Category Archives: GCE

Mixtape Making Part 1 of 9

May 29, 2013, by

I was given the task (along with 9 other kids) to pick 2 songs that would be great for setting the mood at a graduation for our school. While I looked for these songs I looked for songs that had good beats, good timbres, and good pitches. I learned what kind of beats, timbres, and pitches usually resonate well with people and then put chose songs that had them. I am proud that I was able to find songs that would go great with the graduation that will be taking place at my school. :D The songs for the  project are down below and so are the statements of why they go with graduation! Enjoy the music!

Touch the Sky (Carlos Serrano Mix)

Kanye West Vs. The xx


I chose this song because I feel that it sets the perfect mood for graduation, which is achievement and happiness. I believe that the sound sets this mood by the happy pitches of the voices and instruments used in the song. I also think that a key thing in making this such a good song is how the beat fits is so well. The drums/beat went perfectly with the tempo of the two songs that were being mashed up. The happy pitches and the great beat makes the song resonate very well. It just lifts it to the sky.

Fist Up



I chose this song because I believe that it is extremely unique just like the entire class of students that are graduating this year. I think this song is unique because of the way that the DJ changed the unique pitches and timbre of the guitar and trumpet to make most of the sounds in the song. The timbre of the trumpet is brassy and raspy while the timbre of the guitar is clear, crisp and happy sounding. It invokes the feeling of happiness and celebration in it.

Erase Me Everlong

May 21, 2013, by

In a class I am taking, we were learning about beats and how they make people feel. We were then given the assignment of creating a mash up in order to see the power of beat and how it moves people. I am proud that I created a song that made people get happy because it showed me that I achieved what I had been hoping for my track to do. What I learned was how to find an instrumental and match the beats of it up with the vocals of another song. You can listen to my Mashup below and then read the artist statement below it to understand the process of coming to it.


Erase Me Everlong – JM

     For our music course at school we were learning about beats and how they affect people. So, the purpose of this project was to learn how beats and the mashing of different beats and music invokes utopic or dystopic feelings inside of people. I then mashed the song Everlong by Foo Fighters and the song Erase me by Kid Cudi in order to create a song with an utopic beat and that turned the lyrics utopic by doing so. I will explain now how I came to creating this mash up in the following paragraphs.

     What we did in class was we learned about beats in music and how they make people feel through experiencing new and already known tempos and seeing how they made us feel. We then found songs with beats that either made us feel good or bad and decided to try and mash them up. We failed. We then had a DJ come in and teach us how to mash songs together. We then made our mashups and succeeded.

     When building the mashup, I struggled immensely. I spent almost all of my time looking for songs that would sound good together. I went through around 20 songs and finally chose the song Erase Me by Kid Cudi because it had a very appealing beat and it was also very constant. I then looked rigorously for a vocal track that would sound good with the background beat and track. I finally found the perfect vocals for it which was the vocals to the song Everlong by Foo Fighters. I then mashed the lyrics accordingly with the beats of the instrumental.

     My final product was extremely utopic. I found it Utopic because it was filled with a never ending happy background beat (Erase Me – Kid Cudi) and tones that I mashed with some dystopic vocals (Everlong – Foo Fighters) which made the vocals in the mashup seem utopic. The beat contributes to the utopic feeling because it is in a moderate tempo and it is a very constant and song building beat.

Fresh to… Not so Fresh

May 14, 2013, by

This post is about a food review I have completed for my Food For Though Course where we are learning about ways that food is changing and how it is affecting us. With this project, we were given the task of going out and finding the different tastes in foods that are made/produced differently. I am proud of finding that processed and easily accessible food may bee cheap and easy but that food you make definitely tastes better and is healthier to. I learned that when you pay attention to what you eat the more attention you are paying to your body and by doing so you already being healthier. If you want to see what I did for this project, check out my presentation below and then read the food review.


Tasting Cupcakes – From Scratch to Processed

by JM

     I am writing this food review to show that there is a difference between food you make and food you buy. I am conducting the test more for me than for you. Because I have to admit, I am a processed food junkie when it comes to sweets. I decided last minute to do a test on more natural sweetening for my homemade cupcakes to see if I could find the same amazingness in my handmade, not completely-processed food.

     The first food I will be reviewing is a cupcake I made from scratch. This cupcake was made of flour, eggs, milk, sugar, butter, and baking powder. Rather simple. I creamed the butter and sugar together, mixed the eggs in, then the flour and baking powder. Then I mixed the milk in. I placed them inside of the oven at 350º F for 25 minutes and then they were ready to eat. I could smell the buttery sweetness. I could see the lightly brown delicacy that I was about to indulge.

     The feeling of the slightly crisp, moist top of the cupcake still makes my mouth water a little. As I bit into this cupcake, a rush of sweetness and moist texture flooded my mouth. It was amazing. I remember tasting the sweet, slight crunchiness of the top of the cupcake and my brain telling me that I wanted more. The saccharine rich flavor of the entire cupcake enticed me into another one. Other than the sweet tastes that flooded my mouth, there was also this little hint of saltiness in the taste of these cupcakes. The succulent carbs I was eating was filled with Omega 6 and the hanging possibility of a heart attack from all the butter that was inside of this delicious cupcake.

     As I read labels on my ingredients, I found a label on my carton of eggs that I decided to investigate. It said, “ United Egg Producers Certified”. I did research and found out that this symbol meant that the animals are kept in conditions that people see healthy for their hens. They call it Hen Welfare. What Hen Welfare entails is: a code of conduct for proper animal handling signed by trained employees, annual compliance audit by independent third-party inspectors, scientifically supported space for hens, nutritious hormone-free feed, fresh water and air available at all times, prohibits feed withdrawal molt programs, strict biosecurity measures to protect food saftey and health, and space for nests and perches in cage-free houses. Although my deepest efforts, I knew that all the ingredients were only somewhat organic.

     The next cupcake I tried was a Good & Delish Red Velvet Cupcake from Walgreens. I took a look at this cupcake and said, “Well this is definitely going to be different.” I got home later and decided I would eat it.

     This cupcake was in a plastic container. I still hear the snap of the container coming off of it. As I pulled out the cupcake, I felt it moist and the icing rather creamy. Then I grabbed the cupcake and took one bite. I felt a rush of too much sweetness hit my tongue. It was overwhelming. It was so sweet it was practically candied tasting and sickly to my stomach. I believe it was the icing on it. As I pulled it away from my mouth there was an aroma lingering in my nose. The smell of chocolate and salt even though they were making a red velvet cupcake. I think from now on, I might just stick to making my own cupcakes. These processed ones just aren’t that great.

Récit De La Celleri – JM

April 12, 2013, by

Daveyboy, 2013

Daveyboy, 2013

This post is a post about food and how it invokes thought. This gives us the name of the course in which this project is being blogged for and the title of it is Food For Thought. In this project we were to explore food in our family and from doing this find an ingredient that is important to our family. When we found that ingredient we traced it to its origin and after that we were to create a autobiography about this ingredient and how it is now something we are related too. The purpose of this piece is to show just how the world is all intertwined just by the food we eat and how widely spread it is around the world. From completing this project I am proud that I was able to write a story from the point of view of a plant because to try and speak from the point of view of an organism that we have kept contained for so long is a lot harder than most would think. I learned a lot about the history of celery and of the benefits of eating it through this project. I hope you choose to stick around and read my story about celery. I am also including a Prezi that has a family tree of the favorite foods of my relatives and I. Have fun reading my story!

Récit de la Celleri

Escuelas del Pasado, Presente y Futuro

April 9, 2013, by

On our Spanish course “Escuela”, we have explored schools around the world, in the past and present time and we have discussed what schools and education will be like in the future. The first Action project consisted in creating a timeline of what schools were like in the past. The second Action Project consisted on creating an auditory description of  the role of a student and teacher in the past, present and what would be like in the future. The third Action Project consisted on designing a lesson of the future. Please see featured Action Projects that the students have created.

PAST: Timeline


PRESENT: Conversation


FUTURE: Lesson


Lesson Plan


Why: The purpose of this lesson is to create the three different ways of learning into the categories past, present and future. By doing this wild will be able to note improvements in schools over time as well as what has been changed and or loss in time.

How: I will create three spaces that represent past, present, and future and split students into those spaces. In each one students will be given a task using a few mediums to complete it with. Afterwards each student will be given two tests one based on simple facts and the other on experience.

When: Friday

Who: the entire class

What: teach me how to learn

Group 1: Past

Background: En escuelas en pasado estudiantes aprendíamos básico matemática y ingles. Estudiantes aprendíamos habilidades diferente. Niñas aprendían habilidades de casa, cocinar y coser. Niños aprendían and advancado ingles y matemática y habilidades de cultivar. Niñas no permitir advancado clases en escuela. A veles niñas eran enseñaban por su madre. Niños aprendiand habilidades tenían éxito en vida. Niños eran maestros y cultivos. Niñas a mas de casas. Todo el mundo las clases se estructuran de forma diferente. El clases en Escuelas de Arabia Saudita son separados los niños y las niñas. Las niñas son mas inteligente los niños. Escuelas en Taiwán son doce horas largo. Escuelas en Korea es también doce horas largo. Escuelas en Korea son caro. Escuelas en China siempre tienen prueba. Estudiantes de Korea, Saudia Arabia, China, y Taiwán todos preferimos escuelas en América.

Objective: Your objective is to learn about breakfast in France and to speak about it in french.

Task: You have a worksheet to complete.

Tools/Setting: You can only use a dictionary and your worksheets and you can help each other but absolutely NO TECHNOLOGY.

Group 2: Present

Background:Escuelas en presentar son mucho centrado. El contenido de clases es depende en el país. En diferente país ellos son diferente contenido por puestos de trabajar. En mas escuelas ellos tiene mucho tecnológia. En unos pocos que utilizan los libros de texto. Contenido en clases dependerá de las carreras. Puestos de trabajar están en constante cambio.

Objective: Your objective is to learn about breakfast in France and to speak about it in french.

Task: You have to write 5 sentences about breakfast in french using the vocabulary and present.

Tools/Setting: You can use any type of technology but you can’t ask for help or speak to anyone in the class.

Group 3: Future

Background: En el futuro Los contenidos impartidos en clase van a ser muy diferente. La clase esctructurara de manera diferente. Las lecciones van a ser mas interactiva e incorporara tecnológica. Información van a ser al alcance de los estudiantes con la tecnológica. Las estudiantes se les van a enseñar a cuestionar y analizar la información y las ideas. Van a tener que aprender a digerir la información y llegar a sus propias ideas.

Objective: Your objective is to learn about breakfast in France and to speak about it in french.

Task: You have to talk and have conversation about food while you eat it.

Tools/Setting: You will be flying to France to have breakfast with a fluent french speaker. You can use any technology, and your french speaking student to learn.

The conclusion of this lesson is a written reflection and short discussion about the experience. Students will be asked to reflect on what it was like in their group and what group they would like to be in and why.


What Are The Pros/Cons of Corn Ethanol? by JM

March 8, 2013, by

This essay is about corn ethanol, its pollution, and its pros/cons. The purpose of this piece is to show the pros and cons of corn ethanol and it is also about how corn ethanol makes an effect on the worlds carbon footprint through your very own. I am proud of being allowed to continue off of a previous action problem. I am proud of this because it has allowed me to voice my own opinions on this topic. What I learned from this project was a lot more information on corn ethanol and the chemical reaction on how corn ethanol is burned. I hope you chose to continue reading because this project was really fun and awesome to complete.

What Are The Pros/Cons of Corn Ethanol?

     In my paper, I will be talking about my chosen form of energy, and the pros and cons of it. My chosen energy was Corn Ethanol and the only pollutant that comes out of Corn Ethanol is carbon dioxide. Even though this form of energy pollutes with carbon dioxide, it is still a good form of energy because it contributes to the carbon footprint while minimizing it during the production of Corn Ethanol. Carbon dioxide is the name of the pollutant and a popular name that it fits under is it is a greenhouse gas. Atoms that make up carbon dioxide are one carbon atom and 2 oxygen atoms. Can be found in the air around us, in the Ozone layer, in leaves of plants during photosynthesis.

C2H6O + 3O2 –> 2CO2 + 3H2O

Chemical Reaction for Burning Corn Ethanol

I was looking at one of the sources on the internet and I realized that in the second part of this equation, the 2CO2 only read CO2 which didn’t equal the amount of carbon or oxygen on the other side so I added a second molecule to the end of the equation therefore balancing the equation.

     As modern day humans, we use gas, oil, electricity, propane, and sometimes wood to power our homes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), using these kinds of energy make my carbon footprint become 7,698 lbs of CO2 a year. Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere by your way of living.

    My chosen energy is Corn Ethanol and it’s pollution is carbon dioxide. This form of energy and its pollution do have a corresponding effect on my carbon footprint because when you burn corn ethanol, it emits carbon dioxide which increases a carbon footprint. But during the production of corn ethanol, the corn absorbs carbon dioxide to create starches during photosynthesis.This has a positive effect on the carbon footprint because it decreases it more than it increases it.

     I have calculated my own carbon footprint with the EPA Calculator. In order to calculate your carbon footprint, you have to enter in facts about your daily lifestyle and as you continue to enter in information, it calculates how many pounds of carbon you produce a year. For example, first I entered in all of my vehicle information which is amount of cars you own, how many miles you drive a week and the miles per gallon (mpg) your car gets and depending on all of that it calculates the first amount of carbon you produce in a year which is for me 10,005 lbs of carbon. Now, remember thats only a part of my total carbon footprint so there is a lot more but lets not get into that.

     The pros of my fuel which is corn ethanol is that, it is a renewable fuel. This fuel only takes at least 6 months to grow (as in corn). Another great thing about my fuel is that it does not require a special vehicle to use the fuel. It reduces the amount of toxic air pollutants because it emits about 10% to 30% less than the usual unleaded gasoline. Its good because it is relatively low cost to process rather than gasoline and other petroleum based fuels. It also helps support rural economies. (Info from –> Pros and Cons of Ethanol Biofuel, Frazier Karen)

The cons of this fuel are that, while the growing of corn gets rid of a lot of carbon dioxide, the burning of corn ethanol and production of it cancel it out 100%. Another con is that it takes a lot of land and a lot of the crop itself to create the ethanol in mass productions resulting in mass wildlife destruction and the loss of valuable food sources. (Info from –> Pros and Cons of Ethanol Biofuel, Frazier Karen)

     By the end of this paper, my opinion on the biofuel corn ethanol is that it is a great resource compared to the current resources we use now. I feel that it is a good resource because the production of it completely eliminates the amount of carbon dioxide you create by burning the fuel and the little during the production of it. I feel that balancing the amount of Carbon dioxide and oxygen you produce is a lot better than just creating a huge amount of carbon dioxide like the whole production and burning of Gasoline. My conclusion is that Corn ethanol is definitely a great resource for energy.

  • Frazier, Karen. “Pros and Cons of Ethanol Biofuel.” LoveToKnow. Love ToKnow, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.
  • AFDC. “Ethanol Fuel Basics.” Alternative Fuels Data Center:. U.S. Department Of Energy, 6 Mar. 2013. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.

Dreamcatcher – JM

March 8, 2013, by

This is a blog post about the magic of making a dream catcher and learning about its magic. The purpose of this piece is to show just how amazing the dreamcatcher and its power is. I am proud of being able to create this dreamcatcher because I am not very artistically adept. What I learned the meaning of a dream catcher on a normal basis and a spiritual basis and I loved learning both of these.

dream catcher foreal doe


     The materials that I have used for my project are paper, paint brushes, blue paint, white paint, red paint, and brown paint. These materials were used to paint a dreamcatcher. Dream catchers are not tools like many people of our culture today think. According to the native people who created the dream catcher, they have a lot of spiritual meaning.

The dreamcatcher is structured in a way so that the meaning of it is portrayed through however it is made. In my dreamcatcher, I have center that is created by a web that makes it look as if it moves into oblivion. I have it like this because I want it to symbolize the great mystery (what I believe is the ability to question everything). I had this weaved into the middle of the web because I believe that if we question things a little to much, we begin to loose the focus of our lives. My dream catcher has blue and white beads on it because I believe they symbolize the essence of peace, clarity, and calmness. The feathers hanging down from the dream catcher are the main passageway in which the good dreams flow down from the web. I have a web that is complex enough to catch the toughest of bad dreams/thoughts and to know to allow the good. I chose red paint for the web because I feel anger towards bad dreams and anger causes blocking of things and I also feel a color of anger is red.

My dreamcatcher symbolizes my fear that I want to block because my fear is the fear of questioning to much. I feel that my dream catcher truly blocks this fear. I feel this because the center of the web is the great mystery the reason for that is that my dream is supposed to not have to deal with bringing up really scary questions.

I feel that the dreamcatcher is a really strong elemental and spiritual tool. I feel this because I feel the meaning is to allow your superego to grow. The superego are the thoughts we previously pushed away and I think thats allowed to grow when you have a dreamcatcher because it opens the concious and unconscious because it allows you to have dreams in your unconscious that you want to remember when you are conscious.

I think that if I were to use this dream catcher, I would hope for it to let in dreams that at least have some of my fears in them so that my dreams enforce my acts of good. I would hope that the spirit of the dream catcher would see the source of the bad thoughts and let in only dreams that would aim towards me being against those bad thoughts and ideas.

What’s Faith? – JM

February 22, 2013, by

This post is for the Who Am I? Course and it will be about a philosophy I made all on my own. The purpose of this piece is to show that through questioning what we already trust, we come to a better understanding in faith and belief. I am proud of the fact that I could come up with a good enough question to create this piece of work because I really enjoyed it. I learned more about who I am, what I feel faith is, and how anyone can have faith.

Please read the essay in the PDF link below! I hope you enjoy it.

Doubt Essay – final version

Time Machine – JM

February 11, 2013, by

This is a project named Time Machine and I am making this for the Who Am I Course. The purpose of this is to show you a moment in my life that has changed me into a different person. I am proud that I have been able to analyze my memory to see how it changed me. I learned who I am even better than I did before through this process. Read the Writing below to see how I changed through this memory. Also look at the Prezi all the way at the bottom to see what some of the things that occur in the memory looked like. Thanks!



This is a memory of an amazing experience I had because I am a Christian. I went to a really crazy Christian summer camp. I had gone to this summercamp on the advice of my grandfather. Before he passed away, he told me to live life to the fullest while I’m young, because it only gets crazier as we grow. Before I explain the rest of this memory I would like to state why this memory is important to me. When I left this camp, I never wanted to get chocolate on my skin ever again. Many other campers who went with me now feel the same (Hint hint: collective memory!). Despite this gross experience of mine, I had fun; I learned that to have fun, I sometimes have to risk it.


Now, I did not go to this camp expecting to go knife throwing. When I heard we were I have to admit, I was really scared. I was scared because the camp was trusting 15 teenage boys to hold 14” long, smooth, iron blades. These knives were a little heavy and to fling them full force at a wooden wall – that looked as if it could be knocked over with the next blow of the wind – seemed crazy. But I went up there and I chucked my knives at the wall and said, “Hey, this is AWESOME!” and I never worried about those knives afterwards.


Next thing was Blobbing. Imagine a bouncy house. Now imagine that bouncy house in the middle of a lake. Now imagine it with no roof. Now imagine sitting on one end of it and having another camper launch you into the air by jumping on the opposite end. That is what Blobbing is. I saw this and I said, “OH LORD JESUS! I ain’t gettin on that!”


Somehow, later that same day, I found myself on the end of that Blob and I say to myself, “What on earth am I thinking?” I had blobbed someone else, not realizing I would be shot in the air afterward. As I thought this, BAMN! Into the air I went and crashing down into the lake. And I have to say, I felt like I was a bird that was dive-bombing into a lake of really cold water. I also think that bird-like feeling was one of the most amazing things I have ever done; I took a huge risk. I mean, I was launched maybe 50 feet into the air with only a life jacket and swimming trunks on. It was CRAZY!


Then we braved a high-ropes course where we were to walk from one tree to another using a wooden plank bridge. These planks were only connected in the middle by a single cable. We were also supposed to walk across with a second person. Did I mention we were also suspended 50 ft. above the ground? It was really scary but somehow I survived and live to tell the tale.

The least comfort I felt all summer was at something called Fight Night. Imagine 150 pumped-up teens all running to an open field. All of a sudden we were given numbers in a group and were pulled to the outside of a rope arena. The counselors called a different number each time, with campers trying a different challenge concerning some sort of food. When my number – 12 – was called, I was to put my feet in a little swimming pool filled with Kool-Aid and little candy hearts.  I had to grab as many candy hearts as possible in 3 minutes. I didn’t get any. But that wasn’t even the bad part. For those of you who don’t know me, I don’t like to get food or sticky stuff on me. But after all of these games, the counselors came out of nowhere with buckets filled with what I think was a cinnamon and melted-chocolate mix (from what I could taste). They started throwing it by the handfuls at us. Then the counselors took orange Mountain Dew that had been sitting in the sun all day and started spraying the mass of kids. Next,  our torturers came out with buckets of what I thought was powdered sugar (but from tasting it found out it was flour) and started throwing that on us all. Next came tortillas. Then, they made a huge slip n slide and everyone went down it to get a little bit of the nasty off. I crashed into about 5 people going down. Even after that, I still left Fight Night looking like I could be baked into a chocolate cake. It was completely disgusting. But I am glad I stood up against that fear and had so much fun that day.


Throughout this camp experience, I learned that sometimes if I go against what I think are my limits, I can have a lot of fun. I also followed what my grandfather said: “Live life to the fullest, Jus.” I will Papa. I promise.


Rubber Band Powered Car – by JM

February 11, 2013, by

For my fuel class, I was assigned the task of creating a rubberband (kinetic energy) powered car in order to show how people create cars that can move using less energy. I learned how to make a motor for a car using only a rubberband and some tape. I am proud of being able to make a car that had actually moved. To create this car we took many steps. First in class, we watched Youtube videos of other rubberband cars in action to get an idea of what we had to create. Then we drew blueprints for our cars to have a visual goal as we worked to create our cars. My initial blueprint did not work at all. We then built our cars based off of our blueprints (but I re-invented the drawing board). We then tested our cars and made calculations to relate to our cars and the ways they move. We went on an FE to UIC to speak with their motorsports team. The way they helped my project is that they showed me that the design, weight, and displacement of weight are extremely important in the creation of a successful car. Look at the slideshow below to see the work I have created!