Work It Out

IMG_0511I worked with two of my friends, Olivia and Chelsea to create a workout video that incorporates using minimal equipment that you can find around your house to ensure that everyone can stay healthy and fit without fancy equipment. To encourage more of a healthy lifestyle we also included beneficial pre and post workout snacks.

Throughout this project we had to go through the process of research, planning, filming, and editing. The most difficult part of this was by far the editing. Just when we thought that we had perfected something, another problem would appear. Even using an app like iMovie brought on a lot of issues. We definitely had to use our problem solving skills to create our video.

This project related to our mission statement and what our school is all about. We are helping students have a “healthy and well balanced lifestyle,” and helping us learn to “solve problems creatively and ethically,” because of the many challenges we overcame. This project really helped others but also my group because it built our skills in media, but also helped our peers stay healthy.

Although we faced challenges with editing, in total our group didn’t have too much experience with failure throughout this process. I owe this to the way our group worked so well together and how we were ahead of the game. We actually got some of our filming out of the way a week or two before we started working on the passion project in class because we knew that we’d probably need longer to edit and film other sections. Not procrastinating and making sure everyone in our group had equal work loads and helped us succeed.

I don’t think we actually succeed with our project until very close to the end. We thought we had completed the project multiple times, but then something would go wrong with editing and we were setback. The moment we started to near the end of the process was when we decided to save our movie with the talking audio and reinsert it into iMovie. We figured out that having multiple voiceovers in one part of the video was causing problems. I feel like the members of our group benefited the most from overcoming these challenges because we will be able to use our new skills in the future. It is important for us to know how to edit videos on a basic level because we often need to make videos for classes.

Overall, I am very happy with how our video turned out and how well our team worked together. We created something that benefits ourselves and others by helping them lead a healthy lifestyle. Now we just need to upload our video to youtube and share it with our peers to encourage everyone to Work It Out!



Half Sunrise
By: Hattie White

A shadow cast over the
dewy grass and and track,
as black as tar.
An orange tinge seeping over
the top of the stadium.
Barely there, yet creating
a strong warmth.
Filling in the gaps and
emitting a veil over dark and light.
A shadow, a glimpse,
Making a half sunrise.

By: Hattie White

Plastic cups scatter the lawn
filled with lemony edlerflower cordial
and stuffed with paper napkins
that have wiped up messes of
cousins, totting around, knocking
over everything in their way.

Magpies fly overhead.
“One for sorrow, two for joy”
A french exchange student
dips in the pool, inhaling chlorine,
slipping away from the chaos.

The barabeque sizzles
and burns the chicken.
filling the air with the smell of
char and rosemary.
sending my mother into a panic.
until a little girl dressed
in a frilly socks and a flower printed dress
starts to bawl and gives her something
better to worry about.

Inside, through the glass,
Is a frail women who smells of
perfume and fresh linens.
The only one left of her generation.
Overseeing her family with a watchful eye.

By: Hattie White

A vest to hold a head above waves,
enveloping a neck to keep it safe.
A dripping popsicle, making hands sticky
with tangy juice, just to be washed off by lake water.
The ringlets of a little girl’s hair that becomes
translucent when hit with sunlight.
The warm light that casts over the gardened walls
in the early morning before people start to stir.

By: Hattie White

Soft like the top of a newborn baby’s head.

Cool like a gas station on a sweltering summer day.

Vast like a blade of grass is to an ant.

Easy like letting the current carry you.

Thoughtless like comforting your crying sister.

Hushed like searching for the sound of silence.

Carla Storycore

For many people, thinking about one person who has been the most important to them, or has been the kindest to them, is a very hard task. A lot of people can’t choose or simply don’t have anyone about whom they would say this. However, when I ask myself who has been the kindest to me in my life, I don’t even have to think about it. It’s my dad, Carlos Pineda. Of course, I love the rest of my family but I have a special bond with my dad. I feel his influence everyday, but the first story that comes to mind has been told to me many times by family members. I often wonder how I went through such a thing without being irreparably harmed in anyway. This story is a reminder of why I am grateful to have him in my life.

When I was one and a half years old, my family threw a party. My aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, sister, and parents were all in the backyard playing music and eating. I was asleep in my crib, but escaped and decided to walk for the first time. As I took my first steps, I left my room and headed to the front door, just past the kitchen where my mom and aunt were gossiping and cooking. No one knew I had escaped because I was so small and quiet. Because people had been wandering through all day, the front door was open and I went straight for it. Outside my small yellow house, with paint curling up at the edges, I saw a tree on fire. My dad had been burning the tree to create room for a driveway, but now he was starting to put it out by throwing sand on it. When I saw some sand myself, I grabbed as much as my chubby little baby hands could hold and walked up close to where the fire was burning. I tried to throw the sand like I’d seen my dad do, but as I did so, I lost my newly found balance and slipped and fell into the fire. As I fell, I could see dad carrying bags of sand around the side of the house, but when he realized what was happening, he immediately dropped everything and ran. My dad pulled me out of the fire and didn’t think twice about it. He didn’t think about whether he would hurt himself. He didn’t think about whether it was dangerous. He didn’t think about anything but helping me. He scooped me up as my other relatives ran to see what was happening. As he held me, although his physical touch hurt my skin, it was also comforting. I felt better and safer as soon as he was holding me.

For the next couple months, he and my mom used home remedies to make me better. My parents would not call for help back then because they were scared of being deported. They were scared they would have to give up all of the opportunities that my sister and I would have here. Still, they gave me the best care they could provide at home. I had to stay in bed all day, but I couldn’t let the blanket touch me because it hurt too much. Every second he could, my dad sat by my bed and held the blanket above my legs. When I woke up sweating and crying, feeling hot and panicked from the nightmares in which I had visions of fire, my dad would come rushing in to soothe me back to sleep. My dad would do anything for me. The scars on my right knee, right arm, two on my left hand, and three on my right leg remind me of this.

My aunt and uncle always tried to make me feel better about my scars by tracing them with their fingers, saying that one of them looked like a dolphin or the shape of Florida. Despite this, I used to feel ashamed of my scars, especially when kids would tease me about them. A particular low point was in first grade, when some of my scars ripped in school and bled out everywhere. My classmates thought my scars were “scary,” and no one wants to feel like they are scary to other people. Now, however, when I look in the mirror and see those scars, I never feel embarrassed of them or feel the need to cover them up. Instead, I feel so much gratitude for the kindness my dad showed me 13 years ago and has continued to show me.

Things have not always been easy with my dad. When I was nine years old, my dad went to jail. He was later found innocent, but only after spending six months in jail. I visited him as often as I could, and at the end of every visit we both put our hands on the glass to be together for just a second before he was taken away again. Once, my sister and I went to visit him and he had been transferred to another jail. I remember feeling shattered. My only form of contact with one of the people I loved the most was ripped away from me. We were able to video chat with him, but by the end of our chat I was in tears because I felt so detached from my father. Then my dad said “pon tu mano,” which means “put your hand,” so I did. When my hand was touching the cold glass screen, my dad looked at me and said “allí esta la mia,” explaining that his hand was there too. The glass didn’t feel cold anymore. It was flooded with warmth because of the love I could feel. At that moment, I vowed to never take my time with my dad for granted.

My dad is the person that would do anything for me. When he saved me from the fire he didn’t save me by calling the police or the hospital. He knew that doing that could limit my opportunities. Instead, he treated me at home and took risks because he wanted the best for me. He is the person who knows how to make me feel better with a single action. He has always known what I was thinking by just looking at me. Even when he couldn’t be with me, I could feel his love through that layer of glass. My dad has taught me to be proud of where I come from, to work hard, and to help others whenever I can. For all these reasons, I can say, without any hesitation, that my father is the person who has been kindest to me in my life.


This year in art I have been pushed and learned so much about myself. My personal favorite project I did were the botanical drawings. I had thbotanicale most fun making these and am very proud of them. I really enjoy drawing flowers and it comes more naturally to me than other things.  Here is an image of the three pieces I created. I used watercolor pencils and a thin sharpie.I would really like to create more botanical pieces of artwork in the future.
A more recent project that I put the most effort into out of any other project I’ve done in art was an infographic about healthy and misleading foods. I was really pufood-poster.jpgshed to keep adding onto this piece even after we stopped working on it in class. I got very frustrated but am glad because the product is something I am proud of. I came in early so many mornings and devoted many lunch and advisory times to making my poster the best it could be. I used water color, copic and prism color makers, thin sharpies, and sticker paper to create this. It was a lot of hard work and I didn’t always feel like carrying on with the infographic but I learned to preserver through things that aren’t easy.


Finally another recent project was drawing portraits of people. This was a difficult task because making them realistic is something I struggle with. The two I machloede were of people in my class. Overall, I don’t love them but am proud of myself for trying my best and they are better than I thought they’d be. I only used pencil and my finger to help shade throughout the process.img_6681

I plan to continue art in high school and continue to develop my skills. I fin art challenging but also soothing and so much fun. I may not be a great artist but I just want to be the best I can be.


This year in geometry I have learned not just a lot of math, but also about myself and managing my self. Last year we always had study guides made for us and I didn’t have to find resources myself very often. This year we will usual have some sort of study guide but it isn’t enough to help me get the grades I want. I have learned to use my notes, classwork, and other online resources to help me study. I think that in high school I will need these skills because there won’t always be a study guide for me. I am glad that I am learning how to manage myself now before it is too late.

One project that really helped me grow and experience something that was a big challenge was when we were asked to create our own study guides with original problems. This in itself was a form of studying and much more work than just completing the problems. I got very frustrated and stayed up late working on it and I finished it. I struggled but also got a lot out of this experience. I am glad that I am pushed to do things like this that are out of my comfort zone because without them I wouldn’t be as successful in the long run.

Social Studies

I feel like I have learned and grown so much in Social Studies this year. It has never been my favorite subject in the past, but now I look forward to the class. I have learned to relate subjects to modern day problems and have seen history that I’ve learned so many times before in a completely different light. We get to learn so many perspectives that are many times forgotten. During role-plays, characters like Natives, Slaves, and Women are represented so we can see how history would have been different if they were included. I think that the activities that broaden my horizon the most and make me see things differently are discussions. I have a small class but everyone has so many unique and great things to contribute. Especially current event dicussions are insightful. I am so glad that we get to do this because there is no point in learning history when we don’t know what is going on around us. When we have discussions on topics like immigration and the election I find out so much about people in my class, about how what is happening in the world is affecting my peers, and helping me become more empathetic and understand things being myself.

8th Grade Science Chemistry Lab Report: Iron Nitrate and Sodium Bicarbonate

I wrote a lab report with a partner as my most recent project in 8th Grade Science about the chemicals Iron Nitrate and Sodium Bicarbonate. It is a professional report and has to follow a lot of specific guidelines. I am very proud of it so far and have been putting my full effort into making my report eloquent while staying based on facts. You can read my full lab report by clicking on this link.

My science lab report paper is currently in the process of “peer review.” Peer review is an important part of the scientific communication process in which an article is shared with experts in the field to read, check for accuracy, and make suggestions for improvement. Peer review helps make sure published science is correct and usable by others. I have submitted a draft of my report to my teacher, classmates, and experts in the field. I would like to invite you, my reader, to share in the peer review process by leaving a comment in the Comments section below with suggestions for how I can improve or thoughts on the current strengths of my paper.

I would rate my overall effort on this project so far as a 5 because  I feel like I have worked really hard so far, doing my best work possible. I have spent a lot of time on diagrams, and making my work sound very professional while still being clear.

One thing that was hard about this project so far was following the very specific guidelines of a scientific lab report. Not being able to use the word “it” goes against what I have learned in school up to this point. Being repetitive is something I’ve always avoided but it is impossible in a lab report. Another aspect is having to write is pass tense all the time. getting used to these things has been difficult for me.

The thing that I am most proud of about this project so far is the diagram of reactants and products. I spent a long time making it very organized and accurate. It took me a long time considering there were 56 atoms to draw on one side of the equation. Then balancing the equation pushed me to think really hard. I found this challenging but continued to create it and didn’t get sloppy with my work.




Pathway Day

On Thursday, February 2nd the whole eighth grade took a break from classes to explore options for our high school future. At Ann Richards we have a class every year of high school dedicated to a certain field, this is called a pathway. There are three options; biomedical, engineering, and media tech. We went around to each pathway and learned about what you study in them. Each group was talking about all of the great things that happen in that pathway, but what they really want is for you to be in the right place and to grow in that environment.

The first pathway we visited was the Biomedical Pathway (Biomed). There was a panel of students from each grade to tell us about their experience. I learned about what type of person would enjoy this pathway. Biomed is great for people who want to learn about science, the human body, and enjoy doing labs, experiments and don’t mind taking science-iconnotes. You cover the intros to a lot of different medical sciences like forensic sciences, human body systems, and neurology. This pathway called to me a lot because medicine and the medical field have always interested me. I find science amazing and have always wanted to go more in depth.

The next pathway we visited was Engineering. We were told about some projects you do in the pathway and the basic outline of what it looks like in that class. Some of the projects that really stood out to me were making benches, bread boarding, and a big project a group chose was to make a jungle gym. In engineering you are almost always working engineering-gears-icon_245578on a project which I thought was very unique compared to other classes. We were also told some about how diverse the field of engineering is which interested me. I thought that Engineering sounded great and I could do well in it, but I personally prefer making sketches for planning phases and solving problems but I don’t always love the building part of the process.

The last pathway we visited was Media Technology. I thought that the presentation was very insightful because we got to see projects the students made. Media Tech involves a lot of film-making and animating. It is great for people who like art, graphic design and being creative. I thought it was exciting that you get to learn so many things about filming and using cameras, microphones, etc. I am someone who does enjoy being plainicon-com-53082-a974-256pxcreative but have never been extremely interested in going into the media field so this pathway did not particularly appeal to me. I plan to express my creativity through taking art and yearbook in the future. Despite this I could really appreciate the projects I watched because they had so much effort put into them.

In the end, I chose the Biomedical pathway as my first choice. Like I said, I felt very drawn to this pathway and it seemed like the best fit for my interests. Choosing a pathway is a personal decision and others should not influence the choice. It was important for me to forget about what all my friends were doing and what my family would think. Each pathway has individual qualities that will help different people in different ways. I still feel confident and agree with my choice.

Books that Grew Me


I was trying to focus more on different styles of writing then I usually read. In the past I have tried to challenge and grow myself as a reader by reading books that are very long or have difficult words but I found myself still going back to books written in first person with chapters and classical layouts. They are what I have always read and enjoyed, but I was getting kind of bored. This lead me to think that maybe I shouldn’t get the thickest or so called “hardest” books to help me grow, but instead change it up. The books following mostly consist of those that are written in multiple perspectives and times in history, as a screenplay, as diary entries, letters, and even audiotapes. Some of these books also contained difficult subjects or words but for the most part, the way it was written caused this challenge. I can’t say that I loved every book that challenged me and that I want to run away with every book written completely in a screenplay, but I can say that I am thankful that I encountered them. It is important to read the books that you don’t fall in love with them because in the end they make you a more experienced reader who can find more books they do love. In the case where you find a book that is both to you, you’re very lucky.

Station Eleven was one of my favorite books ever but also very challenging for me. Station Eleven is set in different times, but it is all based around a highly station-elevencontagious epidemic taking over the world and killing off almost the whole population. The book covers the stories of multiple people before and after this happens but focuses on a traveling symphony. My parents and brother had all read this book and kept recommending it to me. I was a little bit worried because I usually only read young adult books and Station Eleven was an “adult book”, but then I decided that I should branch out. I found that it took a long time to read because the perspective and time period it was being told from changed a lot and narrator was not always clear. For me, Station Eleven was not a book that I could just pick up in a place where there was a lot happening and give it half of my attention. When I tried to do this, I would end up having to reread because if I didn’t pay enough attention and it would fly over my head. Reading this book taught me how to pay more care and awareness to my reading. Now I feel like I am not afraid to branch out to higher level books because I know that I can get through them if I focus and put time into the book.

I would never see myself reading an entire book written in brief diary entries and mostly a screenplay for a movie but when I read Monster, I did just that. The story of Steve Harmon, a 16 year old boy on trial for murder, was told from the perspective of him writing domonster_walter_dean_myers_novel_cover_artwn all of the events as a screenplay for a movie. Usually I stay away from books written in different ways but I was assigned this book. I found that it was hard not getting information in a straightforward way. You had to make a lot of inferences when reading Monster which was hard for me to get used to. Overall this was not a favorite of mine. I didn’t find it particularly engaging but can recognize that I was grown and stretched in my ability to read different types of books. This was an interesting experience because it didn’t take me a long time to read the book but when I was asked questions I had to go back and read closely. I really feel like this book made me appreciate straightforward plots more but also helped me become a closer reader which is very helpful.

Thirteen Reasons Why was a book that I read last semester and really enjoyed but also found different than my usual pick. The book is written from ththirteenreasonswhye perspective of Clay Jensen who is listening to audiotapes made by Hannah Baker just before she committed suicide. Almost the entire book is written in audiotapes from Hannah with Clay listening and reacting to them. This is the first time I have ever read or heard of a book written this way. I have heard of letters or diary entries but not transcripts of audiotapes. This was an interesting book for me to read. Not only because of the way it was written but also what was in the audiotapes. It made me think about topics like suicide and why it happens. Although this wasn’t something I wanted to think about, it is important that I do. Thirteen Reasons Why expanded my thoughts and pushed me to keep going through a book even if the subject is difficult.

Feeling Sorry For Celia tells the story of Elizabeth who lives in Sydney with her mother and only sees her father a couple times a year because he ran off to Canada with a new family. Celia is her best friend, her only friend, but she keeps running away leaving Elizabeth with no one. She has a boring life filled with bus rides to school and spending more than half her time with her dog Lochie or making cakes for her mother’s poetry club. That is until
82783she has to write to a stranger from another school for English. All of a sudden she finds herself living a life filled with chasing her best friend, heartbreak, and being a normal teenager. I have to say that I’ve picked up Feeling Sorry For Celia many times and abandoned it later on without even really giving it a chance. I am guilty of abandoning many books and have been working on powering through those books that don’t immediately hook me. I was looking on my bookshelf for a book to read before bed and thought that I would give it another chance. I can’t say that Feeling Sorry For Celia was one of my favorites, but reading books I don’t love helps me grow. Like I said, I am guilty of abandoning books and getting through this book was a step for me. Going along with my theme of books written in different styles, this was written in letters back and forth and from mysterious “societies” which I surprisingly did not mind. Overall, I feel like the mix of the writing style and my interest level in the book made it teach me a lot. I learned how to get through books and not abandon them, which grew my reading habits.

A lot of my favorites also challenge me but some don’t challenge me quite as much. I think that reading the books you love is just as important as reading the ones that challenge you.

One of my favorite books I read last semester was The Outsiders. I always heard it w51pxwb2p8cl-_sx335_bo1204203200_as a classic and a must read so I gave it a try. It was one of those books that I gobbled down so fast because I loved it so much. I will probably go back and read it again more slowly because I feel like I didn’t take enough time the first time I read it. I am someone who never cries at books or movies. Not even The Fault in Our Stars. But The Outsiders made me cry. That is how I knew it was one of my favorite books, if it can make me cry it must be. I wouldn’t say it was easy for me, but it also wasn’t a challenge book.


Another favorite of mine was Monday, Monday. I was amazed by the speed and density of this book. The book covered the entire life of Shelley, a victim of the UT To5135fxkghrlwer Shooting in 1966. There were so many twists and turns that I was sucked in and held there until the end. Monday, Monday did have some dark and difficult themes but really it just told the story of life, which is the cruelest of all. I never thought that you could pack so much into a book, but I really loved it. I also learned a lot about the shooting that happened. I had definitely heard of it but wasn’t sure what went on. I also found that having the story set in Austin for the most part was really fun because I could make so many connections.


I found that reflecting on books I read in the past has reminded me of the ways I challenged and rewarded myself with my reading. In the future I plan to focus one reading some nonfiction and historical fiction books. Nonfiction are something I have avoided but I feel like they would help me grow my reading a lot and I used to read historical fiction but haven’t in a long time. Historical fiction books teach me so much and I plan on reading some higher level books of that genre. I think that an important part of being a strong reader is planning. I like to have a list of books that I want to read in the future so I am never without a book to read. Here are some books that are on my to read list at the moment:

Into the Wild by: Jon Krakauer

Replica by: Lauren Olivier

Between Shades of Gray by: Ruta Sepetys

The Book Thief by: Markus Zusak



“Career” (man on mountain clip art)×2500/filters:no_upscale()/about/success-57ae27f53df78cd39ca1fe57.png

“Station Eleven”


“Thirteen Reasons Why”

“Feeling Sorry For Celia”

“The Outsiders”,204,203,200_.jpg

“Monday, Monday”