Activity Adventures #2 ~ Mock Trial

I believe most of us have seen Legally Blonde.  That movie may not be the best example of what goes on in court, but whatever it takes to get your attention.  Many of us worry about things that will never happen, like getting eaten by an alligator or being chased like a bear.  However, it is likely that you or someone you know will end up court.  The Mock Trial coach at my school has been encouraging me to join the team the last two years and I finally jumped in this year.  I am so happy about that decision, I have gained a lot from being on the team.

For those of you who don’t know what Mock Trial is, it’s basically a “fake” court case based on actual events, of course with cheesy court jokes in there as well.  Each team prepares to argue on both sides: plaintiff and defense.  Each side needs three lawyers, three witnesses, a bailiff, and a timekeeper.  So the smallest team you can have is 8 members.

This year’s case was about students’ freedom of speech at school.  A student posts a video mocking the principal, and the principal freaks out.  The principal removes the student as student council president, suspends them for 10 days, takes away their $20,000 scholarship, and takes away their privilege of walking down on graduation.

If you want to read more about this case, check it out.  The link has all the materials.

Some things I have learned in Mock Trial:

  • how to behave in court
  • be confident in your knowledge
  • how to think fast on your feet
  • how to work as a team (many activities are individual)
  • that Pizza Ranch is delicious

Okay, the last one might just be for my team, but it was a good tradition.  Mock trial was a lot of fun, my only regret was that I didn’t start sooner.  I highly encourage you all to join your school’s team.  The more you are exposed the court, the better you can understand the court system and our government.  We have many freedoms and rights in this country, and it is important to learn what they are and when they apply.

Babbling Books #7 ~ The BFG

The BFG

By: Roald Dahl

 

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This image was taken from Wikipedia.

Here is the summary from Goodreads:

“Captured by a giant! The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, the Bonecruncher, or any of the other giants-rather than the BFG-she would have soon become breakfast.

When Sophie hears that they are flush-bunking off in England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!”

I give The BFG a 3/5 stars for the stage of my life I am not, but as a child I remember it being one of my favorites, so a 5/5 stars for children.

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I remember reading this book for the first time in third or fourth grade.  It’s funny how books seemed so much longer back then.  I was originally introduced to Roald Dahl when my teacher read The Witches to my class.

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This image was taken from Wikipedia.

I hope to re-read the Witches soon as well.  I recently re-read The BFG as it was made into a movie the past summer and was released on DVD a few weeks ago.  I remember loving the BFG (big, friendly giant) and Sophie.  However, I did forget some parts were a little dark.  This is a great book for children, they seem to skip right over some of the questionable parts as if by magic.

New Movie Cover:

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This image was taken from Disney Movies.

I am not usually impressed by book to movie adaptations.  I was however impressed by this one.  There were a few small changes as well as an added plot line.  (I will not give it away for those who have not read or watched the BFG.).  Steven Spielberg did an amazing job like usual.  My favorite part of the meeting was when they went to catch the dreams.

 

I’m sure all of you have read or watched one of Roald Dahl’s works.  Below are some more of his creations (in addition to the BFG and the Witches):

  • Matilda
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • The Twits
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • George’s Marvelous Medicine
  • Danny and the Champion of the World
  • Boy: Tales of a Childhood (auto-biography)
  • Esio Trot
  • and more..

 

Roald Dahl:

He was considered one of the world’s best storytellers for children.

Roald Dahl birthday quiz - how well do you know your Dahl? Quentin Blake

This image was taken from Lisa’s History Room.

Here is the link to his official website.

Biblical Brunch #6 ~ Rich Fool Parable

I will be sharing stories from the Bible.  I am NOT trying to influence your beliefs or tell you what to believe.  I also expect you to respect me and my beliefs.  If you do not believe in the Bible, that is okay, you don’t have to read the post or you can take it simply as a story. 

The Parable of the Rich Fool

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”  Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

I am taking this story from Bible.org (Luke 12:13-21) and Bible Gateway.

When I read this story, I think of tithing.  One Sunday, the priest talked about how Catholics tithe the least, less than 1%.  I think that is said, especially if that number is correct.  Even if you don’t have a lot of money,  you can give your talents.  God gives us all unique gifts so that we can share them.  Having our gifts are worthless if we don’t.  In life, it is our duty to figure out what our gift is and give it to society.  Your job this week is to give to someone else, whether it is time, talent, or treasure; it is valuable.

Media Mentions #6 ~ Harry Potter

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This image was taken from CNBC.

I believe everyone knows about Harry Potter, it is unnecessary for me to explain it to you.  I jumped on the bandwagon very late.  Don’t be mad when I tell you, but I only read the series for the first time last year.  (Gasp! I know).  My uncle had the compete series, so I was able to marathon them in less than a month.  My only reason for not reading them sooner was that I didn’t want to be disappointed after all of the hype.   I was not disappointed at all.  I was so happy that I finally disciplined myself and read them.  Now, I just have to marathon the movies.

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This picture was taken from Amazon.

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This image was taken from Earn This.

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This image was taken from Pinterest.

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This image was taken from Pinterest.

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This image was taken from The Odyssey.

Volunteering Ventures #2 ~ Public Library

My love for reading started as a very young child.  I have talked about this in previous posts, so I will not bore you again today.  I watch a lot of BookTube. For most of the video, I just stare in awe at their bookcases.  How can they afford all of those books?  I do not know to this day, I’m sure some of them they get free, but what about the rest of them?  My parents would have gone broke a long time ago if they purchased every book I ever read.

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This image was taken from Pinterest.

Books can get very expensive.  One year, they bought me the complete Junie B. Jones and Magic Tree House series from the Scholastic Book Fair.  It was for either my Christmas or Birthday, but I remember not believing what a gift they got me.  I went through a lot of books as a child and throughout elementary school, and now in high school I read at least a book per week.  For easy figuring, that’s $30 per week (average price of 1.5 books) x 52 weeks per year.  That’s $1,560 x 12 years of school = $18,720.  That’s a lot of money.

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This image was taken from Amazon.

That money was not spent on books at my house, it went towards my college fund.  Thankfully I still get my hunger for books fulfilled from the library.  I’m not sure how many books I have checked out since I got my library card almost 12 years ago, but I’m sure it is quite a few.

When I started volunteering in hopes of gaining membership into National Honor Society, my local library was the first place on my list that I wanted to volunteer.  It just feels right to give back to a place that has given me so much.  I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.  I definitely wouldn’t have read as many books, my vocabulary would be smaller, my writing ability would be worse, and I feel that I have a better perspective on problem solving.

Some of my jobs at the library include sorting books to be shelved, shelving the books, collecting holds, shelving the holds, making copies, preparing crafts, and shelf reading.  Shelf reading is not the most fun task as you are literally reading the shelves to make sure all of the books are in order.  It is somewhat of an advantage if you are shelving your area of interest because you find books you may not have other wised noticed.  I also got to use my Dewey decimal system knowledge from elementary school to good use.

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This picture was taken from Flickr.

I spent two hours every week volunteering at my local library and racked up almost 25 hours by the end of the summer.  I hope to continue to volunteer there throughout my entire life, even if it isn’t as many hours as it was last summer.  No matter what you are passionate about, or where you have benefited from, I encourage you to give back them.

College and Career Collection #2 ~ Journalism

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This image was taken from Mrs. Water’s English.

You may or not be surprised, but I like writing.  Shocking?  I know!  It’s not like I am writing a blog or have been keeping a journal for the last three years or anything.  Oh wait…

I think it would be so cool to write for a living.  Writing for me is a way to get my opinions and ideas out without directly offending people or end up having to put my foot in my mouth.  It is also a great way to work out your thought processes and get to a solution.

Writing as a career might be a little different because you are on more of a deadline.  However, writing a blog post a day is very similar on a smaller scale.

I thought since most of news is using technology, I would use graphs, pictures, and infographics to share information with you today.

Jobs:

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This image was taken from Web Journalist.

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This image was taken from Cube Reporters.

 

Salary:

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This image was taken from Paid Social Media Jobs.

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This picture was taken from Buzzfeed.

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This picture was taken from Ponyter.

Misc.

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This picture was taken from European Parliament.

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This picture was taken from Pinterest.

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This picture was taken from Visually.

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This picture was taken from Pinterest.

 

Music Maestro #6 ~ Guitar Edition: History

I started learning guitar last year in May, about 8 months ago.  I wanted to learn because my dad learned to play the guitar when he was a child.  He was in a local band as a guitarist during his teen years.  He says he wouldn’t go back to those days, but I can still see the joy in his eyes when he plays his old songs.

Learning guitar isn’t easy.  There is no question that I have wanted to give up and never try again.  I’m sure the thought will go through my mind more than once in the years to come.  However, up to this point, I am glad that I have stuck it out.  My dad had wanted to pass on his legacy and had tried teaching me three separate times throughout my child hood, he even bought me a child sized guitar.  My dad, I love him to pieces, is used to doing things alone.   He doesn’t like help, he would rather do it himself than show someone else how do something.  He tried his very best, but it didn’t help that I wasn’t overly interested in playing at those times also.

 

History:

The guitar (and other similar instruments) dates back over 3,000 years.  “The English word “guitar” comes from the Spanish word guitarra. Prior to that, it likely was formed from the Latin word “cithara” and an ancient Sanskrit “tar”, which meant string.”  The oldest guitar that has been discovered was from the Ancient Egyptian civilization .

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This picture was taken from Music as a Metaphor.

The classic guitar was formerly known as the baroque guitar, which dates back to the 1600s.  Those who play an acoustic guitar (I do) can thank Antonio Torres Jurado, an 1800s guitar maker.

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This picture was taken from Blogspot.

The “coolest” guitar, the electric guitar was patented in the United States in the 1930s by George Beauchamp.

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This picture was taken from Google Patents.

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This picture was taken from Emaze.

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This picture was taken from Deviant Art.

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This picture was taken from Shutterstock.

Sources:

http://www.ducksters.com/musicforkids/guitar_history.php

Activity Adventures #1 ~ Speech

Speech was the first activity I joined in high school.  I was always the student that would raise their hand no matter what the question was.  During discussions, I was one of the few girls who would out voice the boys, time and time again.  Presentations didn’t make me as nervous as they seemed to make everyone else.  Joining speech seemed like a natural choice for me.

Public speaking is the #1 fear in America.  Many would rather die (or at least say they would rather die) than speak publicly.   It is common knowledge that it is easier to learn a skill the younger you are.  Especially in our globalized world, it is important to be able to talk to and in front of others.  Even though I wasn’t as deterred from public speaking as the majority of people, I still wanted to face this fear head on.

My first year in speech (a freshman), I was in Great Speeches.  There are 13 categories in speech and that year, Great Speeches was probably the least popular.  It turned out to work in my favor because that meant less competition.  In my category, you take a famous speech from history and explain why it is important.

My first year in Great Speeches, I discussed and gave part of Maya Angelou’s 1977 Commencement Address.  I actually read her auto-biography to learn more about her.  The just of the speech was that we are all heroes (or sheroes) and that we should acknowledge and thank those in our lives who are.

Maya Angelou

This picture was taken from Academy of Achievement.

The second year (sophomore) I also participated in Great Speeches.  That year I gave a speech by Eleanor Roosevelt, What Libraries Mean to the Nation.  I am a strong believer in education and reading.  This was a perfect speech for me.

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This image was taken from First Ladies Library.

This is now my third year in speech.  I was doing well in Great Speeches, but I was getting to comfortable.  I decided to do something completely different, Humor.  In Humor, you find a script or a cutting from a book or play and perform it.  I have only had one meet so far this season, but I am really enjoying it.  My favorite part is that everyone laughs at my jokes.  The name of my selection is, “Dwarf in Tights”. I believe there is a free excerpt online and I would suggest checking it out.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Speech.  If your high school has a team, try it out.  You will learn a life long skill and have fun doing it, while also making new friends (as corny as that sounds).  Don’t be with the majority, don’t fear public speaking!

Babbling Books #6 ~ I Love to Read Month

February is “I Love to Read Month”.  Book readers all around the world spend the month of February giving books the recognition they deserve.   However, reading isn’t just sitting down and reading a work of fiction, an inspiring biography, or an informational book.  Everyone reads, the world revolves around it.  All of us would be breaking the law countless times a day if we didn’t read road signs, most of social media would be pointless, and news wouldn’t travel as fast.  Even those who text have to read.

Being a “reader” means you like to read.  You don’t have to read a book a day to be a “reader”.  You don’t have to read a page a minute to be a “reader”.  There are no “qualifications” to being a reader, you just have to enjoy reading.

The reading community is probably the most diverse community in the world.  People from young ages to those close to a hundred to read, men and women, highly educated or barely literate, rich or poor, from all countries, from all social classes, from all religious, political, and views in general.

I remember my elementary school celebrating “I Love to Read Month”.  Usually it involved a competition between the classes.  One year they brought an author in to read to us.  Another year, we had a “word parade” and we all dressed up as a word.  All of us can celebrate, there is no age limit to celebrating reading, books, literature, and libraries.

I don’t care what you read, but I hope you do pick up a book in February.  Winter can get long and it is very easy to get into a reading slump, but it is important to shove through it.  Many libraries have winter reading programs to encourage people to read. Share the love of reading with others, there is not greater gift you can give someone (okay, maybe besides life).

Happy I Love to Read Month!

Biblical Brunch #5 ~ Jesus Feeds 5000

I will be sharing stories from the Bible.  I am NOT trying to influence your beliefs or tell you what to believe.  I also expect you to respect me and my beliefs.  If you do not believe in the Bible, that is okay, you don’t have to read the post or you can take it simply as a story. 

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee [..]  and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. […]

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”  He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).   Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”  Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

I am taking this story from Bible.org (John 6:1-15) and Bible Gateway.

This story reminds me of a parable I found on Facebook one day:

“The allegory of the long spoons is a parable that shows the difference between heaven and hell by means of people forced to eat with long spoons. It is attributed to Rabbi Haim of Romshishok, as well as other sources.

In hell the people are unable to lift food to their mouths using such unwieldy cutlery, and are starving. In heaven, the diners feed one another across the table and are sated. The story can encourage people to be kind to each other.”

The words in quotes were taken from Wikipedia.

There is enough food on the earth to feed every human.  So why do millions suffer from starvation and malnutrition?  The answer is there is not enough infrastructure to transport the food to the remote areas.  There isn’t always enough to go around (or at least not while keeping the food good) and it is important to share what you have.  They say, “Those who give the most have the most”.  It’s sad to think that some of the poorest people on earth would share what they have among others, while some of the richest people on earth won’t share among their friends.  It doesn’t matter how much you give, but that you do.