Posts Tagged ‘act’

A Much Anticipated Post

(April 27th, 2010)

Dearest Planet Earth, our exotic and beloved home,

I had a ball celebrating this year’s Earth Day with the annual feature-length film by Disneynature. I have found that it is a tradition to go with my friends each year to see nothing more than landscapes and animals on planet Earth. I treated myself to the film, Oceans, which came out on Thursday and was rather impressed. My friend interested in Zoology pointed out the names of sea creatures mentioned and kept me fed with random facts throughout the film. Even though the film did not have a distinguishable plot, line of characters, or special effects, all I can say is that the visuals truly capture your eye  and keep you attentive to this documentary. Every once in a while we would feast our eyes on the impressive feat of a whale or dolphin shooting out of the depths of the water or gasp at the ocean-floor-dwellers devouring their innocent prey. We would laugh at the penguins sliding on the ice into the antarctic waters or stare in awe as the baby sea turtles slowly dug their way to the surface of the sandy beach.  There was some brilliant footage of certain parts of the ocean that I never knew existed. It is such a vast area, and there are probably parts in the dark depths that man has never travelled. I wouldn’t say that I am that interested so much as to watch the entire volume of Planet Earth CDs by Discovery, but I just feel that every Earth Day we should treat ourselves to a little piece of the grand world that surrounds us and understand the power of protecting the environment and promoting life of all living creatures. Just like almost every nature documentary, Oceans talked about how pollution of the waters  has disrupted the lives of innumerable sea-creatures. It was rather sad to see a transition from crystal clear blue ocean to rusty, dirty pools of trash. At one point it showed a whole shopping cart on underwater on bed of sand. I mean, really, of all things? It would be rather nice if humans could just get along with this other parallel dimension. For a small segment at the end of the film, it showed a scuba diver approaching an innocuous shark swimming freely through the water. The diver followed the movements of its tail in a peaceful way as to not frighten it and kept up for it for some time. Such a bond between man and shark clearly shows how people can come closer to animals and stop abusing them.

Ever since the end of winter break, the focus of junior year has been on achievement in the upcoming test: the ACT. So far I’ve gone to classes for the five sections, just so that I can work for a higher score. We’ve taken a practice five-paragraph essay twice in English class. This test is just looked upon so seriously: it decides the level of college that you get into and decides the direction of your life. The intimidation starts with the fact that juniors have to sit in a room for five hours with one twenty-minute break in the middle. Electronic devices are denied entrance; not even a book or a snack out in the open.  The test alone is not even built to finish on a humane level. Having to look down at a bubbling sheet for hours, the neck gradually starts to suffer from such pain. The rather mind-numbing part, the essay question, is right at the end: the last thing that one wants to think about at that point of the test. The reading section is what I am mainly worried about. It is preposterous that the test only supplies thirty minutes to complete four readings and answer questions on each, in no particular order of difficulty or appearance in the reading. My weakness of reading fights against me in this test. Luckily my strength in mathematics helps me a bit. The math section is not only simple, but actually enjoyable. I finished the practice test with plenty of time to spare since I viewed each question as a puzzle or brain-teaser. Well, this test is tomorrow and I hope to say that I feel ready for it. Sleep and a healthy breakfast is what every adult has to tell you to do the night before, so I will definitely strive for that. I just hope my brain can deal with the intellectual burden that the ACT forces upon everyone.


I discovered something rather new this weekend: the intense flavor and texture of a homemade pizza. A couple of months ago a new pizza delivery service, HomeMade Pizza Co,  was erected in our neighborhood. Without a doubt, they have a unique style of preparing dishes. The company pools all the dough and toppings together and allows customers to cook pizzas from home in the oven or on the grill to truly press the title of “freshly baked”. This literal interpretation becomes profoundly visible when this bakery-fresh delicacy arrives at the dinner table. Beforehand, the customer is given a variety of options on the structure of their pizza: from breading to cheeses, sauces, and toppings to spices. It is now perfectly acceptable to call this a finely crafted piece of art, suited to the consumer’s taste. I absolutely loved the first time I tried my own. I decided on a sausage pizza with basil and oregano spices; I could already smell the sticky dough brim when I tore the plastic wrap off. Overall, this pizza has a natural taste, unlike the greasy fast-food pizzas from places like Dominoes or Pizza Hut. The bread is just like heaven: it is nice and fluffy inside, feels and tastes fresh on the outside. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to any pizza lover, since the restaurant gives you the freedom to experiment with different flavors. Their website is located here.


Preparation

(February 5th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

I’ve been so jealous of Connor this whole week since he’s been given the advantage to miss school for a couple of days while his “snowfall” clears up. I feel like I need that time to relax and be care-free again. Recently I’ve started to go to a preparation class for the ACT and SAT on Thursdays. I took a practice test last week for English. I felt like I did pretty well on the grammar section but not as well on the reading. I’m just not that great at reading under a strict time limit. Of course, I have started to read a bit more recently, but I like to take it slow so that I understand everything to my greatest ability. Why must reading be so radically adjusted for exams? I really wonder when in my life my boss is going to give me a sheet of paper to read in eight minutes and then answer a whole assortment of questions based on what I remember. I didn’t even get to the last reading of the test since I was still trying to figure out my answers for the other three. Luckily there are other factors in determining whether I am worthy of getting into a certain college rather than just testing. Anyway, I’ll have to continue it for the next couple of weeks before the test starts. I have been getting rides to school from a cab. My mom repetitively asks me to ask someone for a ride, but I’m just not that social. It really would take a great effort for me to ask. I had attempted to bring the topic up in computer science to someone in the same class as me, but someone else in the class turned it into a joke and then I just decided to never bring it up again.

Tutoring was a blast on Friday. I had an opportunity to actually teach someone a little something about Mathematics. Every tutoring session is completely up to the chance of the draw; I was so excited when the luck of the draw went to me. There was a student who came in (most likely a sophomore) who needed help with Advanced Algebra. I kindly accepted the challenge and asked the boy what he needed help with. To my surprise, he had told me that he wanted to look ahead at future chapters in his textbook that he had not gone over yet in class. I was a little skeptical that this would turn out well, but it ended up being a blast. I was finally given the opportunity to teach this over-achiever something new! I covered several random chapters that he had flipped through in the book at random and taught him everything he needed to know on the subject. I felt so honored to be giving out knowledge instead of just helping a student master a topic.