June 4th, 2012

The purpose of this Endurance paper was to use our character’s experience in order to create a dialogue between us. I used the plot of the book and our reactions to craft a story. I chose to connect to my characters hardships because I feel that the worse parts of our lives are the parts that define us most. We either can chose to be overtaken by them or grab a hold and grow from them. I am proud of the way I was able to weave our lives together. I learned that others experiences can help us grow just as much as our own.

Mark hears the incessant buzz of his alarm clock as he wakes up. for school After he gets ready for school, he heads to the redline. As he heads down the dirt-ridden staircase. he sees the same homeless man. He stands on the platform and preaches whatever is on his mind. As Mark is walking by, the homeless man grabs him and says, “The spiritual path is not a solo endeavor. In fact, the very notion of a self who is trying to free her/himself is a delusion. We are in it together and the company of spiritual friends helps us realize our interconnectedness.” Mark shakes free of the man’s grip and quickly heads onto the train.

Mark finds a seat immediately but is still breathing frantically while trying to collect his thoughts. The teenager sitting next to him asks,
“Are you ok?”
“yes” and explains to him what just happened before he got on the train.
“What’s your name?” asked Mark.
“Ishmael Beah” replied the teenager.
Ishmael continued to explain to Mark how he recently moved from Sierra Leone and was looking for someone to show him around Chicago. Mark, seeing an opportunity to miss school, jumps at the opportunity to show Ishmael the city.

“Don’t you have school?”. Mark’s radiant smile immediately turns into gloomy frown. He says,
“School sucks! I’m almost done, anyways! I’ve already gotten into college” Ishmael shakes his head, stares at Mark with such intensity that he feels Ishmael is speaking to his soul, and he says,
“my father used to say, ‘If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die.” Mark stared back at Ishmael and felt such spiritual connection that it combined their two souls and made them feel as if they had switched bodies. They both sat in the middle of the sidewalk. just staring in silence. Neither of them were speaking yet, they were having the deepest conversation either ever had. For them, they were no longer in the middle of Chicago. but rather a place where both their consciousnesses could combine. Each of them could see each other’s experiences and understand each other. They can only stand and speak.

They continue staring and Mark points out his favorite place in Chicago.
“See that? That right there is Wrigley Field, that’s one of the most magical places in Chicago. No matter how terrible life is, when you are at wrigley: everything is alright. You will never find an unhappy kid there. It’s a safe haven.”
“What makes it so special?”
“You can escape reality. Those were the only times my family was happy.”
“How could you not be happy? You have so much here.”
“There is monetary support and emotional support. Just cause you have one, doesn’t mean you have the other.”
“ Children have the resilience to outlive their sufferings, if given a chance. This means you must be strong. You do not need wrigley field to escape your problems because you are capable of handling them on your own.”
“That is true but life is not all about hard work and resilience. Sometimes you need to escape and be vulnerable. If you are resilient and tough all the time then you will miss a lot of life. Did you have any escapes?”
“I had a very difficult childhood. It was full of death, despair, and hardships so the only escape I had was my own. I couldn’t focus on anything but my escape. Do you have any idea what that’s like?”
“Wow no I don’t but I do know what it’s like to be scared, alone, and intent on escape. I went to a school where I was bullied, beaten, and stolen from. When I started at this school, I had the idealistic view of an naive 15 year old and I left with the cynicisms 65 year old.”
“How many more times do we have to come to terms with death before we find safety? How much longer must people like us be scared from our experiences?”
“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Don’t let them frighten you, let them empower you. If you live in fear then your enemies have won.”
Mark then realizes how much Ishmael has taught him. He realizes that it’s important to go to school and work hard. He learned it’s important to value what you have. Most importantly, he learned remain hopeful in his lowest moments. Mark was not paying attention and now realizes that Ishamel is gone. He begins to panic his heart starts to race and….
Mark hears the incessant buzz of his alarm clock as he wakes up for school.
The end

ZS Business Plan

June 4th, 2012

For my student enterprise course, I have been crafting a business plan for the past nine weeks. Each student has created their own business that aligns with at least one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG). My business is called Mind and Body. This business is aligned with the UN’s MDG of eradicating disease. I am targeting depression and obesity by opening a therapeutic fitness gym. This will be a place where people can work with a team that consists of a psychiatrist, nutritionist, and personal trainer. This will allow them to get healthy both mentally and physically. This program will focus on educating people on healthy living and empower them to take the steps to live a healthy life.

Sandbox Field Experience Blog_ZS

May 25th, 2012

For our student enterprise course, we went to Sandbox Industries to present our business. Sandbox Industries is a company that helps fund and run small businesses until they no longer are profitable. I learned the importance of knowing your business inside and out. When presenting your business, you need to be ready to answer questions, take critiques, and clearly explain the idea behind your business. One thing that I can improve about my business is my online presence. The Sandbox team pointed out that my business plan lacks an online presence which is pivotal for most companies. One of the things I can improve about my presentation is my ability to speak clearly and slowly. Presenting our business was rather intimidating and caused me to rush.

ZS 12h Endurance Immersion

May 21st, 2012

The purpose of this Endurance Challenge was to push ourselves and work for 12 or 24 hours straight. I decided to work for 24 hours straight. The first twelve hours were the hardest: I sat in a room with no stimulus. I was not allowed any distraction and I had to just sit for 12 hours straight. For the second part of the project, I organized everything (almost everything) in my life. Surprisingly, the hardest part was not the work but rather the motivation and energy to do the work. If I knew how hard it was going to be to motivate myself, I would have picked a much more entertaining challenge. I am proud of the fact that I accomplished this challenge. This was a very mentally draining assignment and I was happy to complete it.

Swimming in a Shark Tank

May 11th, 2012

Our Student Enterprise class went to the casting call for the TV show, “Shark Tank”. This is a TV show that gives entrepreneurs a chance of a lifetime. They allow aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business to five investors with a lot of capital. The investors are: Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, and Daymond John. If the “Sharks” like your pitch, they are welcome to invest in your business. Our class went to the casting call to meet with all the entrepreneurs and ask them questions. We gained a lot of knowledge and connections from these interviews!


Peace of Mind Through Organization

May 8th, 2012

In our Endurance class we are studying characters who display an exceptional amount of mental endurance. In our class we see mental endurance as the ability to compartmentalize all the obstacles that lie before in order to endure and reach your goal. I was lucky enough to read The Hounds of Baskerville. Sherlock Holmes amazing abilities of observation, deduction and cunning to solve mysteries. He shows great mental endurance with his ability to maintain perspective throughout the case in order to solve it. He is able to keep all of his thoughts organized and was able to think through all the aspects of the case. Unfortunately, not everyone has Sherlock Holmes’s mental ability so the rest of us have to rely on lists. I decided to implement the use of the lists in my life. This is an organizational tool that not only helps me keep track of my daily life but helps me feel in control over everything I have to get accomplished.

My Mission Plan:

To improve my life, time management, organizational skills. Lists allow people to keep track of everything going on in their life and it’s all in one place. It’s simple and easy to do.
I will make lists every day in order to help me keep track of everything I need to do. These lists will include tasks from: School, daily tasks, home inventory. By the end of this project I will be able to manage my time in a more efficient manner as well as be much more on top of my daily tasks. This will also provide me with a sense of security because I won’t have to constantly think of all the things I have to do on any given day.
Who? Zach Silver and my dad, Ron Silver

How many? 1 list per-day. This will be a list will all of my daily tasks and all of my long term tasks. My list will also have daily goals that are reasonable and obtainable. It would be ridiculous to think I could get everything done everyday. These goals will be the essential things on your list. That way if those are the only things you get done, you still feel accomplished. My daily tasks will include: going to get groceries, cleaning my apartment, and doing laundry. My long term tasks will include: Homework assignments, future appointments, and my job schedule.

Where? On Zach Silver’s computer on his Wunderlist App

When? From now until graduation. I make my lists when I wake up in the morning and check it throughout the day. I do one last check before I go to sleep.

What If?

What if I forget to make a list or leave something off my list?

My Lesson Plan:

I was thinking about giving people an overwhelming amount of tasks and asking them to remember them without writing anything down. I will then explain to the class the importance of lists. I will show them how keeping a daily list can help them keep on track

Q? How can people use lists to organize themselves and alleviate their own stress?
Why? The reason why I want to do this is due to the fact that I have found that keeping lists truly helps. I want to show how lists can make an overwhelming amount of tasks seem reasonable while motivating you along the way.
I want to start the class by reciting a list of items and asking if anyone can tell me what they are. After that I will do a powerpoint on my mission and how I applied it in my life. Then I will ask people to tell me the items again (they won’t know about the re-quiz). After this
How many? 1 presenter (me) and 11 classmate
When & Where? For 6 min on Thursday, May 3rd
What if?
What if the students find my presentation boring?
I will think of extra exercises\

Please enjoy my presentation!

ORBITS! (no, not the gum/travel agent)

May 4th, 2012

For today’s Field experience our HTML class went to Orbit Media Studio. Orbits Media Studio is a consulting firm that creates high-end and high-quality websites. They revealed to us all the steps that go into creating a website. They explained to our class that they always have an open dialogue with their clients to ensure satisfaction. They gave us a fantastic overview of everything that goes on at Orbits. They showed us all the kinds of websites they make, which are: E-commerce, marketing and custom applications.

We met with members of the Orbits management team. We met with their CEO, head of marketing, and web developer. Todd, the CEO, explained to us all the business aspects orbits. He explained to us all the “bang” that their customers get for their “buck”. He said for $20,000+ they will build any company a fantastic website. Our class then met with Mary Fran, a world-class designer. She told us about all the hard work that goes into designing. She explained to us that she uses photoshop and other kinds of design tools to create amazing looking websites. Sam, the web developer warned us on becoming complacent in school. He explained that coding only gets easier but it is a lot of hard work. He also told us that their sites use PHP coding as well as Javascript which is a much more advanced form of coding (our class uses HTML). This form of code is much more responsive and dynamic. It is still based on html.

So what does this all mean? What did we learn? This field experience was helpful on many different levels. Orbits taught us that creating a website is a long process and we need to be patient. We leaned that it takes 150-200 hours to create a website. We also learned that understanding ourselves is imperative to the direction of our website. We need to know what we want from our website and where we want to go with it. The knowledge that we obtained today will truly be valuable going forward.

Character Profile

May 3rd, 2012

Age: 2
Hometown: Chicago
Current Location: England
Education: He only learned the ABC’s yet he has the rhetorical skills of a high school senior
Occupation: He’s a baby
Family: He is on his own.
Hobbies: Drooling, Pooping, going on adventures, claiming his independence, and spitting up on himself.
Variables in his life: Lack of family and himself
He tries desperately to be independent but everyone just thinks of him as a baby. After going over the list of all the characteristic I have realized that my puppet has had a rough life. He is adventurous because he is being sent through the foster system. He is far more intelligent than people give him credit for and tries desperately to claim his independence. The only difference is that no matter what has happened to him he still maintains his naivety and innocence.

Field Experience at Vosges

May 2nd, 2012

For our student enterprise course we went to Vosges. We investigated sales/marketing at the company.

Definition of market-
They tend to sell their products to businesses in airports looking for gifts for their families.

Description of Product and Services-
They sell high-end boutique chocolates. They sell chocolates with unique flavors.

Marketing and Sales Strategy-
They use stores all over the country to distribute their products to chocolate lovers. They have many stores in airports for people trying to give gifts on the go.

ZS Mandala Project!

April 22nd, 2012
My mandala piece was a way for me to combine: myself, my book and my class. This mandala project gave me an artistic format to portray these qualities. I picked this format because of my lack of artistic ability. I used a picture of a mandala I found off the internet and had a classmate of mine trace it. The reason why I did this was to allow my ideas to be shown but not diminished  by the lack of artistic ability. I am proud of the depth of my project. I truly was able to make it my own and dive into many parts of my life. This allowed me to learn a lot about myself. This project could not have come at a better time. I am currently making my decision on which college to attend next fall and this kind of introspective project is just what the doctor ordered. It allowed me to figure out what I’m truly looking for in a college and how I can endure all the challenges that I will face next year.

ZS Mandala board