Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Am I better than I was yesterday? Yes and No

Yes and no. Am I better than I was in August? In some ways I am. Regarding my senior project, I am much more excited and I see it more closely than i saw it four months ago. This is a reality, it is really happening and I don't believe the wonderful opportunity my Chinquapin School is giving me. I've always wanted to give something back to the school. To have the opportunity to do just that through a sculpture, a form of art and creativeness, is just a nonexistent positive adjective. My research has helped me understand more about the methods of making a sculpture, the different types of sculptures, and different ideas. My Ted presentation has helped me widen my mind and enrich my brain with knowledge about sculptures, plus fill me with creativity. Although I am very excited, I have been doing some procrastination. My procrastination is the result of my perfectionist self. I don't turn in things when I see that it is not fully perfected. I am working very hard to get rid of this habit. I have just recently learned and am still learning what others learned many years ago, nobody and nothing is perfect. By the end of my project, I will learn to be pleased with the work that I have done. But in order for this to happen, I need to work really hard. I already got in contact with some of the people that will help me in my project. Now I am just excited for my project to become tangible.

My Sentence and Blog

My sentence

Throughout my life, I have seen many people at school struggling so much that they give up on it and become delinquents that take away from society by killing and committing other crimes, which has inspired me to create a summer program for Chinquapin that will tutor and counsel students that seek the help to prevent them from ruining their lives.

My Blog
How do you answer that question within several sentences? The question: Was I better today than I was yesterday? I’ve thought and thought of ways to do that. Yes, I am better because…..I sat on a chair pondering on that question to the point that my brain started hurting. How was I better? That is what kept going through my mind. The truth is, there is not simple answer to that question. It is a question that has to be answer in great detail. So, when I think about that question, I take myself back to the very beginning of the school year to where we were introduced to our senior project. I remember being stressed and felt as though I wanted to give up, even though we hadn’t yet started our project. I was very undetermined at the beginning of the school year. I had no intent to “help out my community” because I was not internally motivated to do so. I was a wreck and couldn’t manage to clear my head. Looking at that moment, I can easily say that I am better today than I was at the beginning of the school year. I am more determined to complete my project because of the outcome and impact it will have on others. I will make a great difference with this project. Also all of the research and contacting has given me better communication skills and enhanced my thinking. This is because when I tried to search for something and couldn’t find it, I had to figure other ways to search that topic. This project has also taught me to become more organized with my planning. With this newly acquired determination and organization, I plan to carry out my project to its full extent. I will set up deadlines and appointment so that I won’t bunch everything in at once. I have already gotten permission to work during Creativity week to interview teachers and students at Whittier Elementary School. So in other words, I am already organization events for my project ahead of time.

Am I Better?

I believe that I am indeed better than I was at the beginning of the year. Before this project even commenced I had always wanted t o make a song and music video but I had never had to real drive to do so. Now the opportunity has finally arisen and I am as fired up as ever to get it done. Over the past five months I have gone from practical dreamer to vivid hopeful. The research I have done has taken my thought process and evolved it. I used to think about how I could get all the girls needed for m video, now I think about the vantage points, the lighting, and the camera angles needed to even capture the girls in the video . As of right now I have been able to get a studio that I know for sure I will be able to record my songs in. I have also created my board that will assist me in my project . Everyday now I sit down for about 20 minutes and write down lyrics that come to my head. I am trying to find the perfect words for the perfect song.

Passion <=> Traits

Throughout this semester I have changed my ways of planning and putting things into action. My passion hasn’t change but I as a person have. I started off a young man with great ideas and just wanting to do them. But as I tried to just take control and just do things I was stuck. I wasn’t organized. I needed to start all over.  As I started over, I made sure I had everything planned out and I made sure that my organization got better. The Senior Project has helped me execute these skills. The project requires me to be very organized to have everything planned out and ready to execute all of my plans. I have planned ahead by actually using my planner. I have looked at events that will benefit my project and put them on my calendar. At the beginning of the school year, I felt as if once I was given a task I would just rush into and try to finish it as soon as possible. Now with the skills I have gained I stop and think about what I am going to do and how I am going to do it. I stop and think about what I am doing instead of just rushing into doing it. This is better because now the outcome of things is better. I still do things with the same passion but now they just come out better. A great skill that I have uncovered while doing this project is communicating with people. In the making of this project, I have been force to speak to many adults and try to convince them to help me with my project. With this, I was force to think on the spot and work on my communications skills. I had to be patient and keep contacting people until they were reached. I learned how to be persuasive so that I could get information for my project. I have been communicating with people that can get me in touch with people for my project.Now I have learned how to be more patient and persuasive with my speech.I have learned to have more dedication for the things I do, I need to take my time with them and let them express all of the hard work I put into it. With all of these traits learned and gained, I have become a better person. My traits have changed but my passion stays the same.

I Need Improvement

Over the semester, time has definitely been as issue. That all comes with time management, and I haven't handled it in the best way. I need to improve my research skills and move beyond obstacles. The reason why I've found it so difficult, is because i need a teacher, someone who will help me with architecture and i just barely found them. I'm sure I'll be up and running when i get this figured out. I'm better in the fact that I first tacked this project. The truth is i was to scared to even approach it and now I'm going at it and finding was in which i can learn it. The steps I've taken towards this haven't been quite on initiative but rather what i was told to do. For example my e-portfolio. My blogs have definitely  improved and I hope to keep doing so.As of lately I've been all gears to advance with my project, but better planning needs to be done.When my planning is efficient, I'll be able to execute.

A Better Me

I believe I am a better person. Before I just came up with the idea, but now I know how to execute it. I know that you have to do research and find people who are interested in your idea to help you out. I know that you have to look for resources because it’s hard to do it on your own. I understand that there are certain steps that need to be taken to achieve what you want. And I not only have to take those steps, but I have to do it in a way that will help me become a better person. This senior project has helped me become a more organized person, especially because of the blogging part

A new and improved me!

I am now very familiar with how difficult it is to ask people to help you. In August I was very shy about my own project idea, but now I am excited to inform others about my project. I have gone from trying to avoid the subject of my project to trying to advertise it. I have learned how to gain the attention of an audience. I learned that an audience really wants to know what is going on. I have learned to let myself simply state what it is I am trying to get across instead of trying so hard to sound “smart”.
I have learned how to manage my time better in order to meet deadlines, and also to just keep myself up to date. I have gone beyond simply looking at the surface details. I’ve dived into the words to discover what many, smaller details are behind them. I learned to not worry so much about “right” and “wrong”, because the truth is all I really need to do is share my honest thoughts and views from my perspective to be successful. My ideas may not always be clear, but that is why I have learned to further explain things. Gaining the skill of further explaining I have also been able to give more helpful feedback to my peers, and their projects.
In August I came to school with the usual fear of being wrong. I overcame it pretty quickly, because it was not long before I was told in order to be successful I have to “dig deeper” and take a chance with my writing; that is the only way I will improve. I took a chance to be different, honest and got a comment on one of my blogs from the author, Daniel Pink, himself. Although the perspective I took on his book was different, because I was honest with my thoughts it caught his attention. I am far more confident, better informed about how much information I need to gather and organize in order to be successful in my project, and life in general.


Yesterday looking up at the night sky, and I realized that I am slowly coping with my grandfather death. I am also realizing that in the process I am being even stricter and opened minded than what I was before not caring whether I hurt peoples feeling or not. I have placed a barrier  to keep my self from getting hurt, with the support group I hope I am able to slowly drop the barrier. Hopefully soon I will be able to refer to my grandfather without blaming someone for his death, and without crying.

I Am Better!

In August I doubted myself more than I should have. In August I believed that I would not be considered as a participant for the TEDxYouth conference. In August I had no idea how I would start work on my project. Now, in December my mind is made up, I have participated in the TEDxYouth, and I am ready to dive into working on my project.

I am more confident in my ideas, I realize that I can make them realities and I don't need anyone to tell me how to do it. By preparing for the conference I was able to get a taste of what working on my project would be like. It won't be easy but I am confident that I will be able to deliver an encouraging and captivating performance.

Have I become better then before?

Being the very introspective person that i am, I tend to gradually find my miistakes and my flaws and learn from them. Now in the past semester I honestly think that i have become better than I was in the beginning  of the year. In this past semester I feel like i have picked up on a few things that have made me more aware of the life ahead of me and what i need to do to become better.

In the beginning of the year, I wasn't very much aware of what i wanted to with my life, and wasn't sure of what to exactly what to expect out of my senior year. I wasn't sure how to go through my last year in high school.

Later as the year progressed and I started to become more aware of my project. I started to look into psychology and being my introspective self I asked myself questions of what am I going to do? and after answering my questions I came across my solutions. I've become more aware of the things around me such as the students, I've learned to be helpful with them and be friends with them also I have learned how to become focused on what is needed to be done such as school work and projects and how i should address certain situations.

In the end I think that I have become better because I've learned to be more interactive with people and my teachers. I've learned how it is to be part of a group and working with others, I have learned how to reflect better, and accept things in my life. It has been a real journey for me.


Am I a better person now than I was at the beginning of this project? I would have to say yes. There is no doubt in my mind that this project has helped me grow as a person. I remember being very intimidated when the senior project was first assigned. Then when I finally figured out what I was going to do the pressure just increased. I wanted to paint a mural in a children's place in order to make a kid smile. I knew what I wanted to do, now I just had to figure out how to do it.
It took a lot from me having to e-mail and call people I don't know but I had to get over that timidness if I ever wanted to find a place to paint. Rebecca and I called the Make-A-Wish foundation and Texas Children's Hospital but even thought they liked our idea they couldn't provide us the space to make it happen. Those two were a bit of a disappointment but we did not give up. In the end, thanks to some connections a lady - Janet Peden - got interested and decided to offer us a place a wall in her Boys and Girls club. This process definitely taught me persistence and it paid off. We were able to get a place and accomplish the first part of our project.
This project also helped me learn more about smiling. I have always liked to smile but now I know that it can actually make a difference on a person. Specially on a child. It can make them be on a good mood, keep them away from depression, and send a signal to their body that everything can be okay, even if they are going through a hard time.
I have grown because now I see that I can make a difference on a person. This has made an even more cheerful person. I always say Hi! and smile to people walking by. I like talking even more to the younger kids. And I enjoy now more than ever spending time with my sister, Karen.
The steps Rebecca and I have taken is that we know now which days we are going to go over and start the painting process, mostly during creativity week but we also scheduled some Fridays. Now we need to start focusing on researching more about the smiling part.

Looking Back

At the end of the semester last year Ray and Susan gave us the task of coming up with a individual project that we could take all senior year to work on. The only thing to come to mind all summer was designing a city. Everything I read or experienced made me want to design a city even more throughout the vacation. At the beginning of the school year all I knew about designing a city was that it took a lot of time and work. Looking back at the start of the year, I see that I have developed a better understanding about what cities need to prosper, through my research I found that I can plan my time more wisely by digitizing before I make a model, and I have taken the biggest step to completing my project which is figuring out that I will be designing an urban/park sector of a city.

Modern cities are disruptive to the environment without Green buildings and technology. A city doing well ecologically says a lot about its livability. The greener a city is, the more success it is able to have. Therefore it is important to keep in mind each buildings impact when designing, which for me is going to be one of the main focuses in making the city.

Sometimes when I look back at something I learned, I find that it should have been obvious to me. Tricks for time management was one thing I overlooked at the beginning of the year. I thought that it would be safe to make model buildings one by one and just put them in a city setting. Now I know that it is smarter and easier to make a digital version and model based it off of that.

The biggest burden I had at the beginning of the year was deciding on what to model. The decision proved to be based off of personal appeal and showability. I chose to design an urban/park sector in a city because I liked the idea of a better green space in a downtown. I also chose it because I could more affectively portray the different elements of a city; Buildings, streets, houses, shops, parks, etc...

Better Than Yesterday

I started out in August not knowing what I was going to do with my Senior Project. I was going from topic after. I was so indecisive. I had no focus and I wasn't really thinking about what my passions were. I just thought that I should do something to help my school. When I realized that I wasn't really motivated, I realized it was because I wasn't doing what I really loved.

I love to sing. So once I made up my mind that I would sing, I came to a road block with trying to narrow down a specific idea for my project. Now, at this point, I have a fairly detailed outline of what my project will consist of.

As an assignment for our Senior Project, we were asked to create a TEDtalk for our school. This project helped me narrow down my ideas and it has also helped me realize that I have all the inspiration I need.

The biggest skill I have learned is that things won't come out the way I want them to. I am a perfectionist, so this bothered me tremendously. I had to learn to accept the fact that things will not always come out the way I want them to. If I did I would never get anything done.

When I started to get a better idea of what my project was going to be about, I started to look up how notes affected the brain and soothed people. That helped me realize that I wanted to talk about inspiration. While I was looking up this information, I was listening to music. The music was inspiring. That is when I knew that I was going to talk about inspiration and how music did that for me.

Am I better than yesterday? Another question of the past

Looking over this semester and at all the blogs I’ve done has made me realize all the progress I’ve made from the first day when I thought I would try to get a built in pool here at Chinquapin and take up learning to cut hair. It’s amazing to me how much my project has evolved and grown into something I truly feel passionate about. For once I feel as if I have the ability and chance to pursue my dream of making my own CD strictly composed of me from the beats, to the lyrics, ideas, time management, and recording-and-editing skills. I actually see potential in my final product being able to help students re-gain the confidence and motivation they never knew they had.

So am I better than I was yesterday? Have I become better than I was at the beginning of the school year? The answer is most definitely and tremendously. Giving that my project has gone a long way from topic to topic, I have learned to develop my ideas into a realistic form that embraces my interests and has a purpose for myself as well as being used effectively by giving something back to the community. Throughout the process of developing our senior bog posts (page), I gained the habit of maintaining my page in order to keep my audience updated on my projects progress and what my next step was going to be. I also gained the habit of giving off constructive feedback in order to receive the same feedback for a better project from different perspectives. I as well-gained skills for creating an ornate project based page in which I had to learn to embed, link websites, video, and audio on my page.

At first I didn’t think there would be much research for writing lyrics and creating music, but through my Google searches on music composition, I found out otherwise. There is so much for songwriters to learn about music; from psychology to the effects beats have on wave patterns in our brains. From my findings, my thought process for making beats had been enriched due to the fact that I knew that different counts used in beats and instruments project usage of different parts of the brain which creates ways of thinking and moods fallen into. From there on my planning of beats had to be re-made because I would write my rhymes first and compose beats after, but I had to re-plan that procedure vice versa.

So far I have taken multiple steps for executing my plan in order to get to the final product of my project. I had to develop my topic, learn to create a project page and ornate it, research, and gather a script for speeches introducing my project and the significance it has on me. I also had to reach out, through advertising my project, to my mentor, faculty members, and individuals within the profession of music. Last but not least, I had to dedicate and manage my time wisely in order to find time to experiment with composing beats that stimulate the moods I want my listeners to feel. With all being said I must say that I have grown so much and am way better than I was yesterday.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Look Back In Silence

Definitely. The first time I even thought about this project was over the summer while I was working at the Children’s Museum of Houston. The second time was at a college interview when
they’d ask me what sort of stories did I write about. So yes, my project has come a long way and still has room for improvement. I still need to write, write, write and write! The process never ends until the crowd is happy to even review it.

At the beginning of the school year I had a vague idea as to what was my project. Know I have the answer but it’s up to me to get it out there. My skills have developed in the writing department but still there’s room for improvement. My story-telling skills are the only thing keeping my play alive but I have to show what’s is going to blow people’s mind away. Writing a play is something not just anyone can do but a few. I’ve definitely started to show some progress in my protect in the sense I’m looking for the help by participating in a theatre group.

I’ve grown to be a little more comfortable with sharing my weirdness with other people. Some of these amazing people are just as crazy as me but have good intentions in mind. I’ve also starting feeling less ashamed of how I behave in public during dances and performances. The possibilities for me are endless, I just have to take a course and stick through it. Will I write a play, will I have it published or performed? These are the questions I’ve already answered and my first step is to get the play written down before anything else can happen.

Better Man

So in the past semester, I have learned much about the legislature concerning Driver's Ed. and who can teach it. I have managed to nail down and contemplate what I plan to do, and I have given myself purpose. I actually want to do this, because I believe it, not just because I am being graded. Learning what needs to be done has given me goals to strive for and hurdles to overcome. More than anything, I can say that this project combined with Close Up has given me the reason and ability to contact my representative (now if only he had reason and ability to contact me back).
In light of all these things I've learned, I would like to say that I am better. By no means would I say by much, but I am better. I think that I have learned enough and applied enough to make myself a more driven person and, also, a more informed person. Isn't that the whole purpose of this project, more than having us leave our mark?

One step toward the ones I still have ahead of me...

While everything that I have done and written in my personal blog Soul Singing shows that I have made progress, I have yet to feel satisfaction of signing. I have read to the writings of Joann Deak (preventive psychologist) who has spent years researching about the development of girls and how their environments can shape the way that they will act and become. I have realized that I became self-conscious (shy) because of prior experiences when I sang before an audience. This is one of the reasons, I joined Speech and Debate class because I knew that I enjoyed reciting poems but if I didn't get out of my comfort zone I would never recite a poem in public nor perform a song which is one of my goals for my project. That was one step I took toward the many I still have to take.

Today, I have a better understanding of what I had when I started brainstorming for my senior project. I know that I that I will carry out an experiment that will reinforce the research carried by Joann Deak and many other scientists. The purpose of this experiment is to actually collect qualitative research that will give me an insight as to what girls think and feel from two different economic and racial spectrum's. Girls are girls in any place of the world but they are affected by different influences and that is something that is fact that could become helpful for the further development of teenage girls today. I also know that even though I have progressed in some ways with my research I have been set back with my lack of organization. I see that for the next semester I have to set deadlines and organize my time to work more efficiently and effectively.

For the second part of my project which is singing I have made little progress if any. I have attempted to find a voice teacher to help me gain confidence in my voice in order to sing publicly but I have yet to find someone. The odd thing is that I always sing at home. At home I sing all around my house, print lyrics, and record my voice all the time. I sing to the wind because no one ever tells me to be quiet. When I sing at home, I connect and transmit the emotion of whatever song I'm singing. I now know that that is the reason I truly sing. I sing because I reach a connection with God when I sing his song. This connection makes me feel happiness and fulfillment. This Christmas dinner, I will attempt to sing with Chassidy Smith the song "This Christmas" by Donny Hathway. It should be a grand step toward improvement.
Overall I have grown in many ways and I have had the good fortune of having Susan Davis and Jan Ott mentoring me through the process of my Senior Project this semester.

Pursuiting A Dream

Am I better now that I was yesterday?

Of course. Back then I would only hear about the DREAM Act and then simply hope that someday it would pass. I've also learned about the importance of hearing both sides of the story. I always wondered why people were reluctant towards the bill, and know I know why it sparks so much debate and emotions.

As of now, I feel like I know a lot about the controversy around the DREAM Act, and why some media portrays is as a "nightmare". After hearing both sides of the story, I've learned that most of the negative critcism of the bill is because of people being misinformed. Some people think that the DREAM Act, is a free ticket to citizenship for illegals. Well, it's not a ticket, and it's not free at all. The bill won't give illegals citizenship, it will only open the doors for many of them. Mostly these are Republicans, but I have been glad to see some Republicans that are in favor of the Dream Act are so because they are well informed about the DREAM Act.

I am planning on getting the school involved. After my presentation on the DREAM Act at school to a small portion of students, I wouldn't mind giving it in front of a larger crowd. I also want to get the school involved, I'm going to start out by writing an article on the Burr, and then probably give a speech to the entire school during circle ceremony. I see this project headed in a good direction.

Painting Smiles and Lessons Learned

I think that every day we learn from our experiences and become a better person that the day prior.

In regard to my senior project I do believe that I have become a better person that I was in August. Before starting on the physical project there have been many failing and successful moments.

With my senior project I have discovered that making my dreams come true is a lot harder than I had imagined. I had had this vision to paint a mural and I could see it and all, but the journey there has been a lot harder than I had imagined.

So far I have really learned how to be interactive with the professional world. I have learned how to introduce myself and the project formally in hopes that others will listen to our project.

I have grown to learn that ideas take a lot of time to plan and process. I now have learned to deal with being rejected. For example when we called hospitals asking if we could paint a mural for their children it was really crushing to have to hear them reject our project.

My thinking has been enriched by research by looking at other muralists’ art and getting ideas for our own project. Research has also helped us find different colors that will make the mural be a more positive influence on the children of the center. Finding out what colors will bring children have really helped in knowing what we don’t want to do or what colors we will try to avoid.

Steps that we will be taking for the future and to keep on pushing for our project are learning about lesson planning for the art classes that we will be teaching aside from painting. Other future plans are to figure out the actual mural with its colors so we can get the approval of the staff of the center and most importantly, the children.

Becoming Better

When I first started my senior project I simply had an idea but I didn't know how I would realize it. Now, my idea is beginning to formulate into something tangible. I have struggled with keeping up with the blogs and doing a good job of documenting my progress but I'm slowly starting to do a better job of this.

As far as improving my Jiu-Jitsu, I haven't been able to do as much as I would like simply because of the amount of time that senior year requires. However, I have been improving slightly, working on what I can in the time that I have. When the year began, I would do things as they came up, I would struggle to meet deadlines but I have had to learn to manage my time better.

My sense of commitment has increased as well. I have set aside time to drilling and I'm doing it without too much difficulty, when before I would say I would do something and then talk myself out of it.

When I see what I can do now compared to what I could before, I must admit that I am better today than I was yesterday. Not just in class and with my project, but with my Jiu-Jitsu as well.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

To Persevere Or Not Persevere?

It has been a relentless assignment for me to continue and make my project clear to everyone, yet it seems so simple. I have brought my project so a small halt in order to review what I have done for the past 4 months. It has been a struggle for myself and my peers to come across such a difficult mission as to be sent out to not only do our homework after excruciating days of lectures, tests and papers. But, also we were given a year long assignment to confront a project that involves whatever we wish, but to fulfill it is complicated. I have under went stress, research, proposals, to come up with something to do with movies. To reply to the question whether or not my time spent in my production of making my project come true is yet to be seen, but I will say this: I have improved tremendously since the starts of this year. I now have the ability to prepare, plan and execute a proposal and fulfill a project. I acquired not only skills to organize projects or proposals, but also emotions. I learned patience, perseverance, and met deadlines. i still have much to go, but so far I have done well. I'm still in a tight spot as to choosing my review panel, but I'm in the process of completing that task as well. I not only grown mentally to where I can research and seek the necessary factors for a plan to be completed, but also I now know that this is the way life and college will work out to be in the future. To starts out now is just a step towards a greater good.

Better Than Yesterday?

Was I better today than I was yesterday? Am I better today than I was in August? These are two questions that flow through my mind at the moment. They aren't easy questions that require a simple yes or no, instead they require a complex answer that show how you have become better than the previous days. I feel like I am doing a lot better now than at the beginning of school and my project. I remember stressing almost everyday because I felt like school and my project were too difficult for me to handle. I tried to do everything at once because I wanted time for myself where I didn't have to worry about finishing an assignment. Week after week, essay after essay, and test after test, I felt like I couldn't handle the situation. It felt as though things were thrown my way and I didn't have a chance to duck for cover. But after going through all of that, I learned to take things slowly. I learned to not try to consume everything in at once. I split things a part and gave each thing a time. So what I am trying to say is that I learned to manage my time better. Trying to conduct research, finish school assignments and organize my project taught me determination and motivation. Without following my project through I would not be in the position I am right now. I would continue to struggle if it wasn't for my devoted mind. Also seeing others struggle has motivated me to not slack off. Researching has taught me a great deal as well. It has taught me to prepare for failure and always have a backup plan. The steps that I have taken to execute my plans are that I have contacted people who are able to help me put together my group therapy and set up dates to interview counselors so that I can have a better understanding of what I'm up against. Planning ahead is a key procedure that I am utilizing to carry out my project.