Category Archives: Uncategorized

Snake Report Completed!

Last week I finished my report about snakes! I wrote 31 pages (the requirement was 30 pages) single spaced and included pictures. I wrote it so that I could have a conversation with my mom about me getting a snake. She said that she would read it today so I don’t know what will come out of it, but I really hope that I like the outcome. I’ve been working on it for six weeks and I think I spent around 50 hours working on it. If she says yes, then my current plan is that I will get a western hognose snake sometime in August or September after all of my summer trips are over.

Click HERE to read my report yourself. Please feel free to comment on this blog post and make any suggestions or reflections about it. Thanks!

This is a western hognose. They are the cutest things in the world. Google “western hognose playing dead” and watch a video. Do it.

Top 5 blog posts from the past year

I thought that I would go through all of my blog posts from the past year and choose my favorite ones to share here. I’ll list them in order from oldest to most recent. Enjoy!

The Balkan War

Alright. This is technically from a year and six days ago, but there’s no way I’m going to post my  best blogs and not post this one. This blog talks about the Balkan war and how it affected Bosnia. We had a parent come in and talk about his experience as a child in Bosnia during this war and his experience living in a refugee camp and then finally coming to America.

The Curly Girl Method

Here, I explain the main idea of the Curly Girl Method. I also have some pictures of my hair’s progress before and during the method. It’s been almost exactly two years since I discovered my hair was curly and I’m never going back!

Winthrop Eagles

This isn’t my best blog, but I wanted to include it because it shows my art skills about a year ago. I remember that the portraits I drew of this team were harder than the big ones because they were so small! I was super proud of how it turned out but I never did end up getting it autographed.

Punnet Squares

In this post I talk about dominant traits, recessive traits, alleles, heterozygous, and homozygous through the use of punnet squares. I also show how traits can skip generations in hiding because they were recessive, then show up later when paired with the same recessive trait.

West African Drumming 

This post might be a little confusing in some parts, but I did spend a lot of time making sure I used the correct spelling and names. I break down the Kuku rhythm and how it came to be. I also talk about different types of drums and proper form when drumming.

Transcribing Project and Surviving the Plague

This week I started a new project; transcribing my favorite podcast.

I’ve been listening to a podcast called The Hamilcast. It’s about the  Broadway musical Hamilton. The host Gillian Pensavalle interviews cast and crew members of Hamilton and other Broadway shows as well as other people in the community. I really love how fun she and her guests are and the questions she asks are always super interesting!

Recently I learned that they were asking for help transcribing the podcast for deaf or hard of hearing people and I thought I would help. So far I’ve transcribed a little over half of one of my favorite interviews. I’ve learned that it’s pretty hard! I have to type quickly in order to keep up, figure out how to format it when they interrupt each other, and really listen to make sure I type the correct words. It’s a really relaxing thing to do when the kids I babysit are asleep or before bed.

My biggest problem I had when learning how to do this was that sometimes they would talk so fast it would take absolutely forever to type everything out without rewinding every two seconds. I figured out that I can change the speed of the podcast to .5 so that they talk slow, but fast enough for me to understand them better. It’s also entertaining because they sound pretty intoxicated.

I’ve managed to survive the Plague (flu season) so far, so that’s good. We had 13 sick people on Tuesday. I can’t wait until this is over.

Bye!

Crocheted Headbands

This post is about my newest business venture; crocheted headbands.

On Wednesday during Change Up I wanted a fidget, so I started crocheting a scarf. Halfway through I decided to change it into a headband and I made this.

I really liked it! I got a lot of compliments and a couple of people asked if I could make them one. That evening I went to Michael’s and got a couple of bales (yes, bales. That’s a thing.) of yarn and the right size crochet hook. I’ve been making them almost constantly now when I don’t have an offering or meeting. I’ve given a few away to Grayson, Nancy, Elisha, Tessa, and my mom, but now I’m going to start selling them for $7 each. I texted my Grandma to decide on a price because she knows a lot about pricing this sort of thing.

Here are some of my works in progresses:

I have to go. Bye!

 

MLK Trip

This Monday was MLK day. Every year pretty much everybody from school goes Uptown to the different museums offering free or cheap admission to either their usual exhibit or a special event. Last year I went to the Harvey Gannt Center and this year I went to the Levine Museum of the New South. I really like the Levine, but I’ve been so many times that it’s a little bit boring.

I really like how instead of not being able to touch anything, you can feel cotton in different stages and be in a barber shop or appliance store from the mid 1900s. In between the little shops and activities there is a lot of information mostly about segregation/desegregation, what working was like for poor Americans, and how Charlotte (and the area surrounding) has changed over the years.

Even though I’ve been so many times, I always notice little things I hadn’t before. Like the two black boys, aged 8 and 10, were put in jail for kissing a white girl their age. I also saw a picture of the redlining done. Redlining is where the government decides which kids go to which schools because of their race and/or socioeconomic status. Instead of drawing clean lines that make sense, they would move them all weird so that the kids of color all went to one school. Then, they would give way more money to the white schools than the other ones.

I didn’t learn this at the museum, but I did learn this recently. It’s kind of like (or maybe it is) redlining. The neighborhoods were numbered 1 2 3 and 4. 1 being the whitest and richest and 4 being the poorest and non-whitest. My dad looked it up and our neighborhood used to be a 4. It’s crazy to know how much the area has changed!

This week we had a crazy (crazy for where we are) snow so school was cancelled Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday Elisha and I went out and played a lot but yesterday it wasn’t as tempting. It had started to melt and we experienced it enough the day before. We started to make a snowman, but turned it into Dobby the house elf from Harry Potter. It looked really bad. Maybe I’ll add a picture later. Today there’s still quite a lot of snow in the spots where the sun hasn’t shone too much.

Balto (my dog) loves the snow most of the time. He likes to run full speed through it when it’s ankle deep but thinks that everything else is just boring and cold. He prefers to sleep in his bed by the fire.

Here’s Balto:

I found this ancient picture of him.

Bye!

West African Drumming

(I’m writing this blog post on Monday instead of Friday because I didn’t have time on Friday or during the weekend.)

Last week I participated in a West African drumming class taught by Living Rhythms. We learned a lot of things! The biggest thing was how to play the djembe (pronounced jim-BAY). The djembe is a drum played by one person. We played rhythms, intros, and outros on our djembes.

Our teacher (and later his wife who’s name escapes me) Brother Greg also played the dunun for us. The dunun is incorporated of three different drums. The smallest is the kenkini, the medium is the sangban, and the largest is the dununba. The smaller the drum, the higher the sound is.

One of the rhythms that we played was called the Kuku. The Kuku rhythm was/is played to honor the fisherwomen in a specific West African community. One of the really cool things about the djembe and the djembe rhythms is that the djembes were created by women, as well as the rhythms. For a long time people thought that only men were supposed to play them, but it turns out that women are the reason they exist!

Before anything starts, you need to be sitting in your “don’t squish the baby position”. This basically means that you’re sitting on the edge of your chair with your back straight, your shoulders back, your chin up, your legs hip width apart, and your hands on your knees. Once the teacher nods, you put your hands in the “clean hands position”. This is where you put your hands up with your palms facing forward and your hands on either side of your head.

The Kuku consists of a few different sections.

  • The break.
  • The intro.
  • The rhythm.
  • The song.
  • The rhythm again.
  • The outro.

The break is something played by the lead djembe player. It sounds different than the rest of the rhythm so you can tell the difference even when you’re playing the rhythm yourself. The Kuku intro is a series of beats (always in the middle of the drum and loud) in a certain order. The Kuku intro is this: 2 2 5 5 6

But it isn’t constant. It doesn’t sound anything like 20 beats in a row. In between every number, there is kind of a mini break that the lead djembe plays. So it’s more like this:

BREAK (the break here sounds kind of like the drum is saying BLIP BLO BLIP BLO BLIP BALABA)

2

MINI BREAK (BALABA)

2

MINI BREAK

5

MINI BREAK

5

MINI BREAK

6

BREAK

And then you go into the rhythm. And to add to that, the six is broken into two. The first four are slow, then the last two are fast.

Now, for the rhythm. The rhythm with Kuku was pretty simple. It’s 2 slow in the center of the drum (also known as base) and then 4 quick on the rim of the drum. To keep all of us on time during our performance, Brother Greg’s wife whispered “base base” for the first two times we hit the drum.

After doing the rhythm for some time, we would see Brother Greg’s hand go up in a fist. This means that the next break he played would mean for you to keep playing the rhythm, just very quietly. We would keep playing the rhythm at the same volume during the break, but as soon as it was over we would start the rhythm very quietly.

Now it was time for the song. Brother Greg sang the verse, and we sang the chorus. The chorus was Mee Mala Jonculia. So we would play the rhythm (base base quick quick quick quick) very quietly while singing. After about four choruses the lead djembe plays the break again and the rhythm goes back to the original volume (AKA hard enough so that your hands hurt by the end).

After playing the rhythm for a little while, it was time for the end. Brother Greg would swing his arm around (not unlike how you would imagine lassoing without a rope) and that meant that after the next break we would play the outro.

The outro goes like this: 8 4 8 4 7

BREAK

8

MINI BREAK

4

MINI BREAK

8

MINI BREAK

4

take a break the length of a quick breath (no mini break)

7

This one is a bit more complicated. Let’s pretend that _ is hitting the drum and that – is not hitting the drum.

8: _ _ _ _ – _ _ _ _ There’s a quick break in between the 2 sets of (quick) 4. It sounds kind of like thunder.

4: _-_-_-_ This was more even. Just 4 evenly spaced out beats that weren’t quick at all.

8: repeats

4: repeats

shout AND (no mini break here)

7: _-_-_-_-_- _ _ 5 evenly spaced and then two quick. Take a breath in between the 5th and 6th.

Now you know the Kuku!

Here are some youtube links to Kuku. I hope you learned something!

Kuku, but with more parts. -you may or may not be able to find what we did in this video. Mamady Keita, the man in this video,  taught Brother Greg to play!

Kuku along with the dance to go with it. The drums have to stay on beat because if they don’t, they’ll mess up the dancers.

 

St. Augustine Wings Trip

Last weekend @michaelgadhia, @libby, @rachelmichele95, @tomis, @willmh, and @gabe went on a Wings trip to St. Augustine! This was a part of Liberty’s Wings goal, which is to become fluent in Spanish. We all left school on Friday morning and returned Sunday evening.

Here’s a little explanation of the city by Wikipedia:

“St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States. Saint Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565, by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida’s first governor. He named the settlement “San Agustín“, as his ships bearing settlers, troops, and supplies from Spain had first sighted land in Florida eleven days earlier on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine.

The city served as the capital of Spanish Florida for over 200 years, and became the capital of British East Florida when the territory briefly changed hands between Spain and Britain. Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1819, and when the treaty was ratified in 1821, St. Augustine was designated the capital of the Florida Territory until Tallahassee was made the capital in 1824. Since the late 19th century, St. Augustine’s distinct historical character has made the city a major tourist attraction, and it is also the headquarters for the Florida National Guard.”

Here’s an overview of our weekend:

Friday – 

  • Leave school at 9:30
  • Arrive in St. Augustine around 4:30
  • Go to Kona Skate Park. I watched Gabe and Will skate.
  • Go to bed

Saturday – 

  • Leave in the morning for St. Augustine
  • Military Hospital Tour
  • Look around the Fort
  • Lunch + Dessert
  • Stroll through the city
  • Go to the beach
  • Out to dinner
  • Kona skate park

Sunday – 

  • Drive in the car all day.

Sorry about the lack of details, but I’m in a bit of a hurry.

Bye!

 

 

 

 

 

ALC NYC Peeps Visiting

This week a facilitator (@melody), two parents, and some students (@douglasawesome, @simoneboss, @serenagermany, @thewitchqueen908, @agilesaylor, @flamewheel) from ALC NYC visited Mosaic. Serena and Nahla stayed at my house. We had a really fun time playing Uno. Unfortunately, I was sick yesterday, so I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to hang out with them at school. Here are some things I did with the visitors:

  • Balderdash
  • Do You Really Know Me
  • Blokus
  • Never Have I Ever
  • Walk to Harris Teeter

Overall, I had a really fun time with our visitors, even if it was only 2 1/2 days (they got here Tuesday at 11;30ish).

Something else. I’m on a 51 day streak on Duolingo! I feel like my German has really improved recently with being able to conjugate verbs. Instead of being horrible, I’m now slightly okay. 😉

Bye!

Valentine’s Dance

It was toats tubuler with all the moosic in the r0oom and all the ddace of people and their felling i was queen of prom and nate was ming of prom nit was toats tubular and fabu now gtg sleep on couch

I sincerely apologize that you had to read that. My little sister ( @animalfreak9 ) insisted on blogging for me.

This week was, in fact, the Valentine’s Day Dance. It lasted less than an hour, but it was still fun. I danced with Tessa for a few minutes. I was one of the “prom” queens with Nate, my “prom” king. In the end we had chocolate covered strawberries.

Sorry my blog is so short, but I had a really hard time coming up with anything to write about.

Bye!

Mitosis

As you might know, I have been doing Gamed Academy’s Biology 2 class for the past couple of weeks. I’ve learned about Mitosis, Meiosis, Natural Selection and Charles Darwin. I thought I would teach you about Mitosis today!

Mitosis is how most of the cells in our bodies reproduce/divide. There are 4 official phases of Mitosis, but there are really more like 6-7 steps to the whole process. The phases are Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, and Telophase. The other two steps are Interphase (which is the start and end of the whole process) and Cytokineses. Let’s begin!

Interphase: This is the phase  step of Mitosis where the chromatin (relaxed chromosomes) is in a tangled ball all together. What’s happening is that the DNA is replicating during this time. There is a nucleus around the chromatin and there is one centrosome (protein thing) outside of the nucleus, but in the cell. The centrosome splits into two. Now we have replicating DNA, chromatin all in a ball, and two centrosomes.

Prophase: This is the actual first phase of the process. The centrosomes start to move toward opposite sides of the cell. The chromatin turns thicker and more dreadlock-like. Spindle fibers emerge from the centrosomes and the nucleus dissolves.

Metaphase: The chromatin now forms into full chromosomes. The separate strands of chromatids form X’s with two chromatids per chromosome. The chromosomes move to the center of the cell and form a straight line. The spindle fibers (which are attached to the two centrosomes) attach to each end of the chromosomes.

Anaphase: The spindle fibers pull the chromosomes apart until they break. Now the chromatids are again without a genetically identical partner. The centrosomes pull further and further apart and the chromatids go with them.

Telophase: The cell stretches out of shape and the chromatids are as far away from their pairs as possible.

Cytokineses: The cell forms what’s called cleavage as the cell separates into two.

Interphase: The two cells now form nuclei, relax into chromatin, replicate, and the centrosomes split into two.

And that, my friends, is mitosis! Thanks for reading!

Mitosis
Mitosis