Da Lat Trip – Third day of the trip

This was probably the most tiring day because we spent most of our time going from one place to another. We did some activities and then started building our raft in the afternoon. We had to use our Ember Dollars, which we gained from good behavior and winning activities, to buy the materials to make the raft. We then had a raft race. We were in third place, which I think was already good. Then we left the campsite and moved to the hotel. The hotel was huge and marvelous. Like many buildings in Dalat, this hotel was built in the old classic French style back in the colonial time. We checked in and started to unpack our things as soon as we got into our room. The girls had a whole villa to stay in. My roommates were Yen Khe (a 6th grader) and my tent buddy, Weyshin. Yen Khe and Weyshin were a bit freaked out of the place due to the fact that it was a bit classic and they were scared of ghosts. We then had dinner at a restaurant. We sang karaoke and it was a lot of fun. We had the team cheer performance at the girls’ villa and then everyone returned to their own room. Yen Khe was the first one to take a shower. She had to open the bathroom door due to fear of ghosts and I sat outside singing loudly so that she wouldn’t be scared. Then it was Weyshin’ turn and she also had her door opened but we only needed to turn up the volume of the TV so Weyshin could hear from inside the bathroom. Finally I took a bath and we went to Mithi’s room to watch Inception except everyone was too tired to focus. We headed back to our room after the first 20min of the movie. We then took turn to brush our teeth and then we all went to bed.
Photo essay – Trust on PhotoPeach

Da Lat Trip – Second day of the trip

The second day of the trip was probably the busiest yet most exciting day out of the whole trip. I and my tent buddy woke up at 5 due to the chilly weather. We then gathered around the small bonfire, tried to keep ourselves warm. After that we had dinner at 7:30 and then we returned back to our tents to pack the things we needed for the tracking. We then went hiking up a mountain for 3 hours. After that we had lunch and play activities. Our team won four activities and earned quite a lot of Ember Dollars. We also learned a very important lesson which was we (all four teams) are sub groups of one big team called TAS. We learned it through a hard way though. We were asked what “assume” means and we answered that it is “to act without thinking”. Mr. Jack nodded his head and then told us to play a game in which we had to put all the balls into our group’ loop. Automatically, everyone assumed that “our group” meant the four groups (Great White Shark, Tiger, Four-leaf Clover and Awesome) and we all fought each other for the balls. It was a war, people were pushing each other and trying to keep their balls in their hoops. Then it hit us that we were all one big group which was TAS and that we should be placing all the hoops on top of each other and putting all the balls into the hoops. And that was what we did. It took us more than 10min to finish the activity while if we had thought more clearly we would have been able to finish it in 5sec. Mr. Jack then explained to us how we were all a team, and a big family. It was embarrassing but at the same time it opened our eyes and broadened our minds. He also said that when we “assumed”, we made an ass out of us and him(Assume = Ass-u-me = Make an ass out of you and me). We went back to our campsite and had dinner and watched the Lat people danced their traditional dances. After that we had smore and we went back to our tent. This time we learned our lesson and wore lots of warm clothes. We slept well probably because it was a tiring day.

Da Lat Trip – First day of the trip

The school field trip to Dalat this year was probably the best field trip I’ve ever been on. To be honest, I didn’t really expect it to be so fun and exciting because I’m not really the out-going type who likes to go out in nature and camp. We set off at around 7 o’clock in the morning on Wednesday (May 18), heading to Dalat. It was one long bus ride. It lasted for more than 8 hours. By the time we arrived at our destination, it was already 3:45 in the afternoon. We divided into 4 sub-teams. Each team has one leader and around 4-5 members. What made it quite interesting was that the leaders of all four groups were the girls from the 8th grade. Probably because 8th graders were the oldest ones and the girls were more mature than the guys. So anyways, Weyshin’ team was “The Great White Shark”, Weyshan’s team was “The Tiger”, Diwa’s team was “Awesome” and my team was “The Four-leaf Clover”. We then took the boats to the island where we would camp. Then we had some fun activities in which we learned how to build a tent and bonfire. We then checked into our tents and unpacked things. Each tent had about 2-3 people. The teachers had their own tent. My tent buddy was Weyshin while Diwa stayed with Weyshan. After that we took a rest and waited until 6 and then we went for dinner. At night, we gathered together around the bonfire, singing songs, playing games and making smores. Then everyone had free time. Some of us insisted on going for a walk while others gathered to play and talk. I and my friends went into the boys’ tent to tell ghost stories. It wasn’t really scary except for the fact that sometimes the others would unexpectedly tap the tent and use their flashlights to scare us, even the teachers joined in. Our math teacher, Mr. Paul, scared the life out of us when he suddenly banged his hand against the tent right when Diwa was telling the climax of the story. Everyone was startled and we screamed so loud that it felt like my ears were going to explode from all the noises. We headed back to our tent at around 9:30 because our curfew was 10. We had a hard time trying to fall asleep mostly because we weren’t familiar with the place. Some of us (including me) woke up in middle of the night because it was bloody cold.
smore

Social Studies

I’ve been learning about things like racism and prejudice  in our class recently so I think maybe I can share some ideas about this controversial topic. There is this video on Youtube called “The Sneetches”. This is the plot:  Some Sneetches have a star on their bellies, and some don’t. So a prejudice was formed: the ones that have a star on their bellies discriminated against the ones that don’t have stars because they thought having a star on their bellies mean they are a better race of Sneetches. Then one day this guy came and said he could put  a star on each of their bellies so that they would be the same as the star-bellied Sneetches. The Sneetches with no stars were tired of the discrimination and stereotype think that maybe things would change if they had stars on. But still even when they did have stars, they weren’t accepted and so the two sides kept changing and the only one who was benefit is the guy. In the end, the guy left and the Steeches realized the fact that it was silly to have all the prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes and racism and they became one united group. It’s great that the video ended that way because if they hadn’t been able to change their attitude they would be used by the sly and cunning outsiders like the guy with the machines who made a fortune out of their prejudice. I think it’s important to include all voices because after all, all men are created equally and so they should have same basic rights including the right to voice out their opinions. Furthermore, a society can benefit by learning new things from the excluded people. When you exclude someone, you also narrow down your knowledge. It’s always great to hear every single voice to open your mind to new ideas.

Challenge Evaluation

This is an evaluation for the challenge. First, I will start with the registration. Personally, I think two weeks for registration before the first challenge is long enough. The registration shouldn’t be way too long before the challenge starts because then the participants might feel bored and slack off or even forget about the challenge. Two weeks are perfect for registration. I don’t subscribe to any blogs particularly because I occasionally check my e-mail. The student and class pages are quite helpful when I was looking for blogs to visit and leave comments. However, it takes a long time to scroll down the list and find my friends’ blogs at first. I visited the actual challenge on the blog each week along with my classmates and I prefer doing it this way. The challenges that were most useful are probably the images/Creative Common License, and the Tags/Catagories. I learned a lot through these challenges. I found “Let’s Play Tag” Challenge the most interesting because we could write whatever we liked and not something that we were made to do. Some topics I would like to be included in the challenges are music, family, friends and perhaps vacations. As for the tutorial type challenges needed, I think there’s always something new to learn but I think this amount of challenges is enough. Too many tutorial challenges would make the blogging challenge become quite boring. The “Visit these” posts were very useful. They really helped me to finish certain activities in some challenges. Sometimes I got confused and didn’t know what to do and I visited the blogs in the “Visit these” posts and got an idea of what to put into the post. I think the challenges where I had to embed things like polls, etc. are O.K but not very interesting. I think that there are enough chances to visit blogs from overseas and make links with other students/classes. Overall I think this is a good challenge though I wouldn’t say that I love it.

Nomination for Edublogs Awards

As you all know, the Edublogs Awards are coming up and all the participants are asked to nominatee the blogs that they think deserve the awards. So here are the nominees:

-The Best Class Blog: iCubed because it’s updated frequently and the students are quite talented. I really like the quotes and all the thought-provoking questions.

-The Best Student Blog: Jazzing up Eighth Grade because Abbey updates her blog and really takes care of it. The blog looks simple but her posts are amazing. She really looks like she enjoys blogging and all.

Visitors

I didn’t get many visitors to my blog probably because I didn’t post much and so on. There are several ways for me to increase the number of visitors. The first one would be changing my writing. I need to write posts about things that people from other countries would find interesting. For instance, I can write about different places in Vietnam especially Ho Chi Minh City. The post that received the most comments is about “xe om”, which is part of the Vietnamese culture. I think it’s a good idea to write posts about my country because most of the visitors are from other countries and not many of them have heard about Vietnam. Therefore they might find it interesting to read posts about Vietnam especially Ho Chi Minh City, which is the busiest city in Vietnam. I also need to put more effort and enthusiasm in writing and updating the posts. Another way for me to increase the number of visitors is to visit other blogs and leave comments on their blogs. A fancy blog would also attract people’s attention perhaps. I will try to apply these things into my blogging and get more visitors.

Blog Audit for Weyshin

My first impression of her blog is that it’s very cute and girly with the pink and sparkling theme/background.  The badge was what captured my attention, mostly because it was white and blue so it stands out.  The photos and widgets were distracting. I couldn’t really focus on reading the post because there were too many pictures and fun widgets.  Fortunately, the widgets made no noises. I recommand her to have slightly longer posts and don’t put too much widgets and photos because then people would easily get distracted by the photos. Overall this is a great blog and you should visit it

Will I continue blogging over summer?

I don’t think I will continue blogging over summer because I want to spend my time with my my family especially my older sister, who will return back from England. I probably will check out others’ blogs but not really updating/posting anything on my blog. Nevertheless, this is not for sure because I might change my mind and write a post or two about my summer vacation and all. It really just depends on my mood but the possibility of me blogging over summer is pretty low.

What I have so far

How many posts did you write?

– I wrote 28 posts

How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge

– 26 out of 28 posts were set by the challenge and were school based. I only wrote 2 posts of my own interest.

How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?

– I received 18 comments in total (not included my replies): 3 of them were from my classmates/friends, 3 from the teachers and 12 were from overseas students.

Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?

– The post received the most comments is Xe Om in Vietnam. I think this is due to the fact that it was one of the few posts where I really enjoyed writing and did it voluntarily. Another reason is probably because it talks about HCMC and one of the features of the city. Most of the visitors are from overseas so this helped them learn about HCMC and Vietnam in general, which makes it quite interesting.

Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?

– I enjoyed writing Xe Om in Vietnam the most because this is something I’m familiar with and it’s a part of the Vietnamese culture. Furthermore, I go to school by xe om so yeah…

Did you change blog themes at all and why?

– Yes, I changed the blog themes once because I started to get bored of my old one and the new one is easier for the visitors to view/navigate their ways

How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?

– I have 2 widgets. I think it’s enough because I want to keep it simple

How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?

– I have 4 overseas students on my blogroll.