Category Archives: Elective


Casa Ideal

June 1, 2013, by


In my independent study class Casa I worked on my final unit creating my dream house. I did this by incorporating everything I have studied and learned in the past units but adding on one thing. For this I had to also incorporate one of the 8 millennium development goals. The goal I chose was environmental sustainability. In order to learn more about the environmental sustainability of houses I did research at the museum of science and industry with the smart house. I learned a lot about how simple design choices can help save energy. I am proud of my project. Below is a slideshow entailing the details of my dream house. Enjoy ūüôā


Back Your Bias

June 1, 2013, by


For this unit of my elective class 162 we focused on charity. We were allowed to select charities and research them. After learning about the relationship sports play in charity we were asked to create a game that promoted awareness and understanding of a specific charity or charities in general. We were paired in groups of 2 and I was partnered with JH. For our projects we decided to do a spin off of apples to apples. We chose 9 charities to support and advocate for. Then we used the game as a way of making people aware of their bias towards charities and the people associated with them. We had our class play the game and test it out. Below is a brief sideshow with pictures from our game and the rules of the game. Enjoy ūüôā

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. ūüėÄ 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.

Espejo Magico

May 25, 2013, by

In my elective class Casa, I have been learning about the feelings that people associate with home; as well as the things.  For my action 2 project I chose to write a short story about someone that tries to reconnect with home emotionally. I have illustrations and the story below. The story is written in Spanish. I was surprised at how hard it was to tell a short story in Spanish.  I enjoyed making the illustrations. Below you can find my work. Enjoy :).



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Espejo Mágico

Erase una vez una nina llamada Maria. La Familia de Maria fue siempre en movimiento. Sus padres estaban siempre en busca de trabajo. Maria nunca tuvo un hogar por un largo tiempo. Nunca desempaco sus cosos. Excepto sus espejos. Maria tenia dos espejos especiales. Cuando Maria tenia nostalgia y soledad se iba a sus espejos. Cerraba los ojos y pensaba en un momento en que estaba feliz. Cuando ella abrió los ojos vería esos momentos: sus buenos recuerdos de su casa. Fodos vivan en el interior de los espejos. Fueron sus espejos mágicos.


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 РKid Cudi) and tones that I mashed with some dystopic vocals (Everlong РFoo 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.

Scouting Report

May 21, 2013, by



In my elective class 162 we were asked to do a scouting report of five baseball players. We had to look at their statistics as well as their payroll and see who was the best value. We a choose a few variables to measure the five players by. I had all hitters. So I measured them by on base percentage, slug percentage, and hits among a few other things. I also looked in to their backgrounds at things such as weight, height, years played, etc. I had a great time doing this project. I’m really proud of how objectively I was able to judge the players. Below is my full scouting report for my players. Enjoy ūüôā

GCE Falcons Fantasy Draft

May 19, 2013, by

For my third milestone in 162 (economics and history taught through baseball) we compared five players against each other in order to find who was the best player overall, and who was most worth their current salary.  We did this by analyzing the players performance this season in relation to his total career.  I looked closely at stats such as Strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP.  Although I previously knew a lot about baseball, this assignment was difficult because it made me look at the sport from an angle I usually dont: the way a GM does.  I looked at five single pitchers, and you can see my thought process and the statistics I used to get an answer below.

Mocking a Mockingbird

May 1, 2013, by

This project is for the Soundtopia course I am taking. In this course we were supposed to recreate the pitches of any song we wanted as long as it meant something to us whether it was utopic (happy) or dystopic (sad). I chose the song Mockingbird by Eminem because it made me feel dystopic and I feel that I can relate to it. I learned how to create an instrument (the diddly bow). I am proud that I was able to recreate the diddly bow and use it to create the pitches for my song because I didn’t think I could at first. Check out my recreation of Mockingbird below and then check out my artist statement that explains my reasoning behind it.


Mocking a Mockingbird – Artist Statement – JM


     The project we were given was to recreate the pitches of a song that had meaning to us. By being given this task, we asked to create instruments that would allow us to recreated these pitches. The instruments we created as a class were the Kalimba and the diddley bow. I made my own instrument and it was a drum so that I can match the pitches of the drum in my song.  I learned how to make all of these instruments. I also learned about the science of pitch, how it is measured and how it is imperfect therefore making it appealing to our ears.


     The story that fits with the pitch of the song is that sad story of a family that falls apart. It is the story of a family that focused around the 3 children. The parents tried to give the kids a happy life and in exchange the kids were asked to do thing just like in any other normal household. But there was an everlasting evil there. It lingered and could lash out at any time. It was the father. If something goes wrong, the lives would seem to be a fairy tale or nursery rhyme that had gone bad. That had what seemed to be a sad ending or a hidden feeling that was all sour.

     I feel that the pitches of this song definitely fit the story that is a part of me. I believe that this fits because the song has a set of pitches that are meant to be in a major up and down scale but is put to a slightly lower pitch and slowed down to make it slightly dystopic. But then it becomes more dystopic due to the pitch of the rap voice since it is also somewhat in a minor pitch due to the fact that the rapper is sad when rapping this song.

     To make this whole project possible it took a long process. We first studied what made pitches appealing to us and unappealing to us. It turns out, that the reason why we like music is because it is imperfect rather than perfect. The nexts step of the process of making the project was to choose the song we wanted to recreate and what it meant to us. After this step we created our diddly bows due to the great FE guest Jay. After we made diddly bows we made our own Kalimba’s (thumb piano’s). We were then left to recreate the song. I decided to create my own version of a snare drum so that I could make the pitches of the drum in my song. I then divided the different tracks of my song (beat/drums, piano/melody, singing voice/chorus, Rapping voice/Verses). This allowed me to created my song in a more organized manner. After recording these, I uploaded them to Audacity and edited my audio to recreate my song. This then gave me my final product.

Mi Casa es Mi Casa

April 19, 2013, by

In my Spanish class Casa I am learning about my house and the furniture of a house. ¬†I learned about my neighborhood and the history of it. I also learned a lot of the language to describe it. I am proud of the many words I can say now as well as my hard work. I loved doing interviews about the history of my house and talking to older people who have lived in my neighborhood for decades. Below is my slideshow with images I put together. Enjoy ūüôā

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

April 19, 2013, by











In Unit of our Math & Baseball course, 162 we learned a lot about segregation in sports. Before I took this class I knew a lot about the baseball because of learning about Jackie Robinson in history classes. I never knew how much he impacted baseball as a sport. I ¬†also never realized that he didn’t just improve sports for¬†African-Americans¬†but other races as well. I was surprised that his actions had such a negative impact on the negro leads. It was great to hear about the other¬†Negros¬†that had an impact¬†similar¬†to Robinson but way before because they often get looked over. I loved listening to other presentations and learning new things about sports and how people have fought back and stood up to discrimination. I am really proud of my partner ZP I couldn’t of done this project without her(Check out her intro¬†ZP). Below is our slideshow presentation. Enjoy ūüôā