The Story of My Learning: BRAWL


The Brawls were a great way to end the school year. It felt a lot like a real life match in a ring, but with  real-life questions that create in-depth responses. My group was called the Oxymorons, and we fit the title. My partners; Eric, Mitchell, and Sophia did so well and put so much time into the brawls. We created a few really cool google docs with charts that would have spaces for a for and against version of each question, as well as a connection we could use during the brawl. We would all fill it out together until it was completed. I was mostly in charge of tweeting from our team twitter account: @oxymoronesz.

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Helping Hands and Packaged Love


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Orange County is one of the least affordable counties to live in in the nation. Here, the general cost of living is 63% above the U.S. average. The 2011 annual estimate for the number of homeless people in Orange County was 18,325 persons. 

Helping Hands and Packaged love was a project that a few friends and I put together as a small but true way to help battle Orange County’s homelessness problem. We spent a few weeks collecting money, buying supplies, and putting the packages together. We donated our packages to the Orange County Interfaith Shelter. We made multiple vlogs of our process, such as the one above, which was our process of putting together the packages. You can also watch the vlog for our delivery.

A google slide illustrating the steps we took to make this project a reality can also be viewed.

Vertical Forests


A vertical forest is expected to be completed this year in Milan. There are two tower apartment complexes which contain a total of 400 residential units. The facade of the buildings will be covered with 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 perennial plants. It is expected to have the same ecological impact as 10,000 square meters of forest.

Aside from fighting smog and producing oxygen, the foliage is expected to provide insulation to the residential units Continue reading

channel ORANGE

While I am unfamiliar with Frank Ocean, I definitely feel ready and equipped to begin to listen to him now that I have read this post. As I understand it, Frank Ocean has a new album being released soon called Boys Don’t Cry. Before that releases I will be sure to listen to channel ORANGE. I have never heard of someone with quite this sound before, and I’m excited to add him to my playlist. This post was well written and provided a reference for where I should begin my musical relation with his work. I would recommend this post to anyone.



Music. An important and influential part of everybody’s life. Artists and listeners are both effected by the message and sensation music gives them. Music is an art that deserves as much attention to detail as a painting or even a novel. It combines instruments, lyrics, and emotion to form beautiful pieces of art. channel ORANGE is an album by the one and only Frank Ocean. Frank is the definition of a musician, an artist. He can tell a story through his lyrics and music, and also put out a message or talk about his life through the lyrics and instrumentals. This was his first studio album, but he has released mix tapes such as nostalgia, ULTRA. It has been said to be a concept album, telling the story of his life and his first love.

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The Pinkprint

Power 106 FM Presents Powerhouse - Anaheim, CA

I know I’ve talked talked about her before, but Nicki Minaj deserves continual praise. Her recent album, the Pinkprint, released in early December, has topped charts in the months following.

Pills n Potions” was released as the lead single from the album on May 21, 2014. The song peaked at number 24 on the US Billboard Hot 100. “Anaconda” was released as the second single from the album in early August. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Minaj’s highest-charting single in the U.S. to date. The song also topped both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the Hot Rap Songs charts for six weeks. The song was an international top ten hit, peaking within the top ten in countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The next single released was “Only” which features Drake, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown on October 28, 2014. The song has so far peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Rap Songs charts.

In her song All Things Go, Nicki gets very personal, rapping, “I love my mother more than life itself, and that’s a fact/ I’d give it all, if somehow, I could just rekindle that/ She never understands, why I’m so overprotective/ The more I work, the more I feel like, somehow they’re neglected.” Nicki branches on topics that most artist would dare not touch, with “I want ‘Caiah to go to college, just to say “We did it!”/ My child with Aaron, would’ve been sixteen, any minute/ So in some ways I feel like ‘Caiah, is the both of them/ It’s like he’s ‘Caiah’s little angel, looking over him” She’s talking about the abortion she had sixteen years ago with her then long-time boyfriend. This wasn’t done lightly, Nicki is so brutally honest and real in this song, it gives women everywhere a view into her life, where they might find solace in knowing that they are not alone, that it will be okay.

Nicki Minaj is a true born, boundary-pushing, front line woman. She says like a calling, “What I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is, that when you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it.”

Picture credit: x

How We Led the War: Together


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the 100When we first met

two opposing forces colliding

so that pieces of ourselves were entangled

pieces that we wanted back

I didn’t understand

Why the root of you blossomed inside of me

I only knew I felt lost my footing, and I hated it

but you knew, and grew wary

You knew that we had begun our descent

and while you watched every step as you stumbled down

I was looking towards the sun

unaware that the beauty I felt was your flower in me growing strong from the light

when we separated, I could feel our entangled flesh ripping

I thought it would work, I thought we would be free of each other

but after, when I was left bleeding and inflamed

that piece of you was still buried in me

nothing had changed but I found that

I was relieved that you were not entirely gone.

Then I knew what it was that had been making the sun grow farther away

I searched for you, searched in all of the places I had not known had been ours

I found that you had gone searching for me

We joined again

not colliding, but entwining

our breath staying even

but our hearts stuttering.

Later I would show you the flower your roots had planted within me

But I could not give it back;

for now my blood went through its stem.

And you would open up

Revealing the vines that my roots had planted

Wrapped so tightly inside you

that they held you in place.

Our salted tears did not aid our plant’s growth

but the whispered reassurance let them breathe.

Take A Second Look


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the avengersI’m so tired of cis white abled straight males playing lead roles in media. Recently my cis white male teacher showed us a basketball movie called Hoosiers that takes place in Indiana (Iowa? Illinois? I don’t care.) It was like they had been trying to find an excuse for no POC in the film (“it’s in Indiana, there are only white people in Indiana.” UH… okay.) The only ones that were really there were the “big shot defending state champs” that weren’t important except as an obstacle to the “single unit” of the straight white male’s dream. The only important female wasn’t really important at all, she only talked to men and only talked about men. This means that the movie didn’t pass the Bechdel test, which is used widely to indicate gender bias. No worries about Hoosiers though, it’s not like half of all contemporary films fail this test. Except they do.

Recent Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne has accepted a role in an upcoming film called ‘the Danish Girl’. He, a cis man, will be playing a transgender woman. Not only does his accepting of this role help the further idea that transgendered women are actually men, but it takes away the opportunity for trans women actors to play a role that should be for them. Haven’t heard of any transgendered actresses? That’s because they’re so rarely cast, however here’s four women who could have played the role Eddie Redmayne took.

There’s erasure everywhere you look. The Hunger Games, a pop culture hit that’s viewed as not very problematic has it’s own flaws. The Hunger Games cast a white woman to play a brown woman’s role. Although the series exhibits something rarely seen in popular media within the PTSD that Katniss Everdeen, the face of the revolution in the novels, struggles with. They dirty their clean bath by exhibiting ableist erasure in another form. In the books Katniss requires a hearing aid, and another character, Peeta Mellark, has a prosthetic leg. These details weren’t included in the movies because Hollywood likes to paint anyone disabled with tragedy. They thought that the audience wouldn’t be able to identify with the characters if they were disabled, that their disablement would be seen as too much of a big thing to have to write in, as if someone couldn’t just put on a prosthetic and move on with their life, as if any disablement was a capital T Tragedy.

Constantly keep your eye on the media. Ask yourself: how come all 5 of the superheroes in the avengers are white? What are the odds of that happening? Ask yourself: Why is it that there are no mainstream films that have characters that aren’t straight that don’t completely revolve around how they aren’t straight? Keep alert. Don’t let them get away with this. The world that they write is not the world as it is.