Thursday, March 31, 2016

The First Months of 2016 at School

This quarter, I've learnt and experienced many things. In three sections (growth, challenges, and success) I'm going to sum up some key points in my academic semester so far. 


A clear success was in Humanities. My writing has been at a constant rate of success. In the beginning of the semester, I challenged myself a lot to meet the expectations of my teacher. That paid off, as now I can write a paper faster, and pretty well.

Example Humanities paragraph:
Prompt: Did Communist leaders use violence to achieve equality for the peasants/working class or to establish their own personal power?

Vladimir Lenin, the first Russian communist leader, decided that the only realistic way to attain equality in Russia was to use violence, however it was more often used to establish his own personal power than for fairness. According to a document called “Communism in Russia”, it is described that Lenin and his fellow communists began the Red Terror campaign, who executed over 200,000 people, because they opposed the new government. This demonstrates that communists were fearful of the anti-communists, therefore going to great lengths to keep up their power. Also, one third of the Bolshevik party was expelled for disagreeing with Lenin about the NEP in 1921. This proves that even Lenin’s co-workers were forced out of his government for opposing him and his ideas. In the end, the impression is given the only approach the communists took to maintain their power, was violence, and that this was to ensure that there was no competition or opposition threatening their rule.


An obvious growth that I have had, was in my Portuguese class. We've had to write many blog posts and dialogues that have improved my writing and speaking skills. I used to mix up the different verb tenses a lot, but now I'm improving and noticing that people are understanding what I'm saying. Through assignments that my teacher assigned me, such as summative blogposts, I can honestly say that I've gotten much better. A core value that I demonstrated, was perseverance and risk-taker. First learning the language was really hard, but I had to really push myself and now I can pick it up easier. 

Blog Post example:

"Aedes Aegypti" não seja o principal vetor de propagação do vírus Zika

O artigo do BBC BRASIL.

Em muito detail, este artigo do Marina Wentzel, um repórter da BBC, descreve novos descobrimentos sobre o vírus Zika. Cientistas já descobriram que esse vírus pode ser transmitido por outros mosquitos. A Margaret Chan, diretora geral da OMS, disse que uma outra espécie está causando isso também. Depois da descobrimento, cientistas tem muitos lacunas científicas, mas não tem respostas.
Durante o artigo, eu fiquei mais e mais com surpresa e choque. Porque assim, o virus pode ser mais e mais transmitido, e mais pessoas podem ser infetado. Para o nosso próximo geração, isto é um futuro mal, pelo razão que as crianças que fui nascido de um mãe com Zika, tem cabeças anormalmente pequena, que tem efeitos negativos para o inteligência deles. Eu tenho muito medo para esse futuro, e espero que isso nunca vai acontecer. Eu espero que as cientistas fazem a isto sua prioridade, porque o mundo precisa um solução rápido. 
A speech that I presented to my class. 


A challenge that I've faced, was in BRSS. Even though I have vastly improved my Portuguese speaking and writing skills, it is still a challenge to be in this class. Being surrounded by native Portuguese speakers, it is hard to follow along. They talk really fast, and the information is difficult to comprehend sometimes. Nevertheless, I am persevering. I've started to take notes more often and just asking my peers for help, as they can translate it to me and summarise what the teacher said. A core value that I am demonstrating in this class, is critical thinker. I need to think about the words and information that I'm hearing, because I might understand things in a way that I shouldn't, and without thinking about what I'm hearing, I won't ever learn from it.


The class in which I demonstrated how the learning habits impacted me as a learner, was math. Some units in math were a little challenging for me, and that is when I demonstrated the learning habit Perseverance/Risk-Taker. I had to push myself to understand things, and I took risks when solving a problem even if I wasn't completely sure. I demonstrated inclusivity in my class because the class is mostly made up of students I didn't really talk to before I actually worked with them in class. Now, I know everybody and don't mind at all who I'm working with. Responsibility was obvious this quarter when I completed all my assignments and made sure that I was up-to-date with my learning. Lastly, I represented the learning habit 'curious', when I did extra problems and tried new methods to try to solve some problems. Even if the methods didn't work, it was a learning experience either way.

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