Ancient Civilizations

  I am very interested in ancient civilizations, like the Persian or Khmer empires. I like to imagine myself thousands of years ago when there were no laws, or land borders. Do you think back then that ancient people knew that people would be studying them and writing essays on them?

     The Khmer Empire was based in present day Cambodia. It was established in 802 c.e. by King Jayavarman ll. Their main religion was Hinduism, followed by Buddhism. They have the largest Hindu temple in the world, called Angkor Wat, which took thirty years to build. At it’s peak, the empire expanded to Thailand, Laos, and Southern Vietnam. The empire later declined due to damaged reservoirs and increasing Chinese immigrants, who started what is now present day Thailand.

     The Chinese Empire started in 1500 b.c, from the Shang Dynasty. This empire was started in the Yellow River Valley, along the eastern coast of China. According to recent excavations, they were very extravagant people. They built statues of ceramic, jade, bone, and bronze. They also believed in human and animal sacrifices much like the Aztecs. The Shang Dynasty was led by 31 kings during a 600 year existence. They were later conquered by the Chinese state of Zhou, who became the next Chinese dynasty.

A high-ranking Qin general from the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang China 221-206 BCE Terracotta Mary Harrsch via Compfight

The Indus Valley was an ancient civilization located i what is now Pakistan and northwest India. Religious practices and agriculture date back to 5000 to 4000 b.c.e. Modern excavations near the capital city of Harappa have led to theories of a highly developed city life, including bathrooms and drainage systems. They also may have had a writing system. They followed a polytheistic religion much like Hinduism. Their decline later came due to being conquered and their writing and trading systems failing.

The Hunger Bowl

Our greatest accomplishment so far in our 20% project ‘The Hunger Bowl’ is that we finally got a mentor. On our first attempt, we tried to get in contact with our old elementary school gym teacher. It took two weeks of exhausting waiting to finally get a response. Of course, she declined to be our mentor. Our second attempt lead to us to asking another local gym teacher to be our mentor. About a week later she accepted. This was our biggest accomplishment this project so far. This makes us feel very excited, happy, and accomplished.

Our major December goal is to reach out to the board of education and principal. We need to do this to get permission for the tournament. We hope to have this done by the end of December.

"Mr Cool" Brickmoji model for BrickLoot Iain Heath via Compfight

Worldwide Holidays

In the United States we have many holidays, from Halloween to National Doughnut Day. Although our main holiday is Christmas, we have many other less important ones throughout the year. A lot of our holidays are exclusive to us, including Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and the Fourth of July. There are also many holidays exclusive to other countries around the world.

One of these holidays is Ramadan. It is celebrated in the Islam world by about 1.6 billion people. Most of these followers live in the Arabic regions of Northern Africa and the Middle East. The main focus of Ramadan is to cleanse your body of evil by not eating when the sun is up for a month. They go on this fast to commemorate the first revelation of the Koran to Muhammad. The Koran is the Muslim equivalent to the Bible. To learn more about Ramadan, go to

Another one of these holidays is Kwanzaa. In Swahili, this word means first, which means the first fruits of the harvest. It is celebrated across Africa and the USA. It was founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Kwanzaa celebrates seven core principles, including crops, faith, creativity, and responsibility. To learn more about Kwanzaa, go to The Official Kwanzaa Website.Kwanzaa Penn State via Compfight

A 9 Hour School Day!?

If you live in the United States, you would most likely call it the greatest country in the world, but this may not be true in some instances. Based on math and science in schools, the U.S. sits at the 27th spot. In an article by Business Insider, out of the 76 countries ranked, the top half was almost exclusively dominated by Asian countries. According to this study, Singapore is the smartest country, followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Finland. So, why do these countries test higher than the U.S. these categories?

 Singapore Flag by Zack Lee via cc

Studies show that Asian or Scandinavian youth often do not have higher cognitive ability than Americans, but they test higher. This is because their cultural belief is that the harder you work, the smarter you will be. The popular American belief is that you are born genetically with a predetermined cognitive ability. On average, China has the longest school days, at nine hours. This is an hour and a half more than most American schools. So, would you rather go to school for nine hours a day to get better grades, or live a ‘normal’ life and average education. To learn more about this, go to Los Angeles Times.

  School by Paradox 56 via cc



The Hunger Bowl

My project is a dodge ball tournament who’s goal is to collect money and canned goods to give to the starving.

I have very mixed emotions about my 20% project. I feel stuck because we are at a point where our project relies on us. Instead of our teachers telling us to send an email or fill out our calendar, we have to make our own goals and deadlines. It’s much harder to be on our own than to have specific assignments. I also feel very proud that we are trying to make a difference in our city. This issue of hunger is a very important reality to us, and he hope to benefit many people. An emotion of anxiety has also crept up on me during this project. It feels as if we are prey and our deadlines are lions chasing after us. I am very anxious about presenting to many people at the end of the year, and the prospect of our project not being successful.

We have many vital goals and deadlines by the end of November. We need to get in contact with our mentor by the end of this month. We have already re-sent our email, but if she doesn’t respond or declines, we will have to choose another mentor. By the end of this month, we need to contact the board of education to ask for permission for our project. We also need to plan out more things like the tournament and concessions. This all need to be done by November.

See my visual aide for more information.

Lavar vs. Goliath

Activity 3 ~

There once was a wee lad who went by the name Lavar. He was always the shortest kid on the block, but was the most boastful and braggadocious of all his peers. He always aspired to be Mount Rushmore figure one day, but hadn’t the means to do it. His desperation to be remembered consumed him, and he did the unthinkable. He challenged the greatest athlete of all time, Michael Jordan, to a basketball match. Of course he accepted the match, hoping to embarrass him. They started off as everyone expected, Michael was running laps around him. But by the second quarter, he had tired himself out. Lavar took advantage, and they went into the fourth quarter tied.

If you want to think of your own ending to this story, comment your own.


Photo Credit

Activity 4 ~


All Hallows Eve

Halloween isn’t just trick-or-treating and wearing costumes. There are many different cultural aspects that are very different to what you would think as a normal Halloween. In Mexico, people celebrate Dieta De Los Muertos. In Ireland, they celebrate Samhain and All Saints Day.

Dieta De Los Muertos, (day of the dead), is a Mexican celebration which last for 3 days. It focuses on gathering family members to worship and pray for their dead loved ones. They build altars for their deceased family members with their favorite foods and drinks. They wear costumes dressed as black and white skeletons. If you want to learn more about day of the dead, go to Day of the Dead WikipediaHappy Halloween EveryoneCreative Commons License Nikk via Compfight

The Irish equivalent to America’s Halloween is Samhain. You are never to go outside at night on Samhain, as it is believed you will hear banchees which will lead to cursing or death. At 11:59 the head of your house will go outside, then at the strike of midnight, he will knock on the door and come in. The day after Samhain is called All Saints Day. They spend the day honoring all saints that have come before them. This is a very important day in the Catholic Church.


Activity 1

I learned that in attribution you cannot just change a few words or copy paste someone else’s idea. You have to cite if you use video, music, text, or images. If you do not, you can be sued. I found that while technically plagiarism isn’t a civil offence, the author can sue them in federal court. I feel confident enough with my findings that I think I can teach my peers. However, I still do not know when or where this policy originated.

Activity 2                                                     Bounce, bounce, bouncing down the court

The crowd shivers with anxiousness,

                                                  Their hands clamming up,

The arena filled to the brim.


Their chants echoing ominously in the coliseum,

Instruments blasting peppy toons,

              The crowd roars as time ends,

                                                                 The newcomers cower in defeat.



2016 MBB | MU vs UofA


Sangudo via Compfight

From compfight

Dr. Swegasuarus

Dr. Swegasuarus

     Dr. Swegasuarus is my avatar. He is kind of like my spirit animal. He doesn’t care what anyone says and you’ll never see him sulking. He is always positive and up-beat. He isn’t afraid to have fun either, but not at the expense of others. He is creative and always laughing. He wears sunglasses to block out the negative things in his life. If you want to make your spirit animal go to Build your wild self.

My Passion

My Passion

      My passion is basketball. Scoring baskets and blocking shots is as satisfactory as an A on a report card. I love watching the likes of John Wall and LeBron James on the TV screen. Even playing the video games is a great excitement for me. Every time I pick up a basketball it’s a rush of adrenaline for me. It distracts me from whatever is bothering me in my life. I don’t know why basketball is such a influential part of my life, but it sure is. The excitement, competition, athleticism, or the fact that it distracts me from the world. Basketball seems like meditation to me. I could be having a heart attack, but my passion shins through.

    I also love the historic aspect of basketball. I know a lot of facts and players like that it was invented in 1891 by James Naismith. Or that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the all time points record, and that John Stockton is the assist leader with 15,806. I love to get in arguments with my friends about who was the greater player or who makes the top ten. It’s amazing how such a life-changing sport came from  small town in Massachusetts. I love looking at new rookies coming into the league like D’angelo Russel or Lonzo Ball. Hopefully I can change NBA history one day…

John Wall
Creative Commons License Keith Allison via Compfight