Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Southeast Asia Travel

My wife and I have just returned from three and a half weeks of travel. While it wasn't always comfortable, mentally or physically, it was definitely educational. I find that visiting cultures different from my own help me build empathy and compassion. I have definitely grown from being somewhere I cannot read or speak the predominant language. I like to think that learning about other social institutions and customs makes me a better person; at least it gives me more stories to tell.

Here are some of the highlights:

Bangkok, Thailand

  • Hello: Sawasdee
  • Met up with my friend, Liz
  • Trains and tuk tuks
  • Lots of walking
  • Street food
  • Night markets
  • Hot and humid
  • River taxi
  • Mango sticky rice
  • Intestinal parasite
  • Bed & breakfast (Inn a Day) and fancy hotel (Mandarin)

Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Cooking class
  • Currency exchange
  • Temples and shrines
  • Farmers' Markets
  • Street food
  • Hot and humid
  • Lush tropical forest
  • Air B&B cottage (Uma's)
  • Thank you: Kab kun ka

Luang Prabang, Laos
  • Rice farming
  • BBQd dog, rat, bird, snails
  • Teaching English to students
  • Rented a motorbike
  • Street food
  • Waterfalls
  • Tried Mexican, Korean, and Pizza in Laos
  • Guest house (Oudomsouk)
  • Hot and humid
  • Fed the guest house manager
  • Hello: Sabaidi
  • Thank you: Khob chai

Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Hello: Xin chao
  • Street vendors
  • Street food tour
  • Millions of scooters
  • Glass-front hotel (La Selva)
  • Hot and humid
  • Lots of walking
  • Women's Museum
  • Prison
  • "American War"

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Cu Chi tunnels
  • Motorcycle tour
  • Rubber plantation
  • Street food
  • Landmark tour on scooters
  • Hot and humid
  • Air B&B apartment (Christina's)
  • Thank you: Cam on

I hope you are having a great summer as well. Tell me in the comments below what your experiences were.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Enjoy Your Summer


Movie ReviewIn English class we watched Life is Beautiful. The movie is about the Holocaust and takes place in Italy. The movie is about Guido, the main character, who tries to make everything funny and he keeps on running into this girl named Dora that he likes and is always trying to impress her. Then one day Guido and Dora got married. Soon after that they had a son name Giouse and then got deported to camp Auschwitz. The kid’s dad told him that it was a game and whoever got to 1000 points you won a tank. The son believed it the whole time and he stayed alive until the end. Right at the end of the movie Guido gets shot in the camp because he was looking for his wife, and the kid was hiding in a box because his dad told him to hide until everyone leaves and he wins the tank. Right when he came out of his hiding spot and everyone left, an American tank came around the corner. It came at the right time at the right place. So he thought he won the game even though there was not a game.

Jesse C.

Question of the Week: If you could travel anywhere where would it be?My dad says that if he could travel anywhere in the world that he would probably travel to England or Scotland. The countryside seems kind of interesting, has a lot of history and is the scene for lots of movies, like Robin Hood and James Bond. He would like to see what it looks like and see what an English village looks like. Then there are settings that he really likes because he reads a lot of books and some of them take place in that area or parts of the book are in England or Scotland. The part that he likes about Robin Hood is all of it, but he especially likes the part where they are in the Sherwood Forest. The part of the James Bond movie he likes is when he is driving around in the countryside and when they are at his dad’s house protecting him and that kind of stuff.

Jesse C.

Question of the Week: I asked my sister who is in college now, what do you think is your purpose in life? I decided to ask this question because she is a really big dreamer and she has a really open mind.

Her response: “My purpose in life is my passion and my actions. I feel like over-thinking things doesn’t get you anywhere so why not just do it? Trying new things is always very fun and scary but it’s worth it. My actions are what are going to take me to my dream, more specifically, my passion. Your purpose is what you’re here for, what you are going to do to help the world even if it’s just a little bit. I still want to travel and do nice things for people. I feel like my future job is going to help people which makes me very happy. (She’s going to be a therapist). I still need to figure out what exactly my purpose is because at my age it’s still hard to figure out but for now, that is my idea.”

Yureli M.

Two Truths and a Lie
  1. Last summer I used to play video games all the time and used to eat lots of junk food and sweets, but not a lot of healthy food. But, I weighed over 200 pounds and had a heart attack. Then I got motivated and lost 80 pounds. 
  2. I have a dog named Vicious and he is super aggressive. He eats trash off of the ground all the time. He eats my trash everyday. He just got a haircut. He is 3 years old. He hates other dogs and also other people. He loves to dig holes in the backyard. He loves to take walks and I made a sonnet about him. 
  3. I play a lot of Call of Duty Black Ops 3. I am prestige 3. I am trying to get all diamond guns so I can get dark matter. I want to get dark matter because it looks cool and only the good people have it. 
Jesse C.

Question of the Week: What Would be Included in your Favorite Meal? In my dad's favorite meal there would be tacos. There are a lot of reasons though. For example there are so many different options like, what kind of shell you want there can be a crispy hard shell that you can cook up in oil. Then you can mix all of your favorite foods together like beans and meat or lettuce because it adds a crunch. It is good for the environment too because the taco is your plate and you do not really need utensils. Another reason is that our aunt just sent us a book about tacos. So he can try out a bunch of new recipes on top of all the recipes he already knows. If you're by yourself you can eat as many tacos as you want. Everybody can make tacos too because they are really easy to make. The only reason you wouldn’t want to make them is if you don't like tacos or you are a bad cook.

Jesse C

Question of the Week: What were your highs and lows today? My dad did not have a lot of highs and lows today. One of the lows is when my sister, Lilia and my mom left town today for their sixth grade camping trip. He says he is always is sad when they leave for a while, or when anyone leaves for a while. A high is when my mom got her last radiation treatment for her cancer. Now all she has to do is heal and then she can go on normally with her life. But on Lilia and Mom’s camping trip he knows that they are going to have a lot of fun even though they are only there for two days. Another high is when he took Vicious, our dog, on a walk this morning. He likes it because there were not a lot of people outside so it felt like he had the whole town to themselves. It was a forty minute walk and they made it to Bidwell Park. So I guess he had more highs and lows today then he thought.

Jesse C

Question of the Week: Who do you Admire? My dad admires lots of different people, but the one he admires the most is my abuelito, my Grandpa. He was a poor little indian born in Mexico and he did not have a lot of money. His dad was what they called a vagabond. Because he was not a hobo but he went from town to town looking for jobs. My abuelito did not see too much of his dad while he was growing up. But when he did he told him about all the places he saw in Northern California. Then one day when he was grown up my abuelito was on a train in a town called Weed. Someone on the train told him that there's a lumber mill right there and you can get a job. So he hopped off the train and began to work there. Then slowly by slowly he made it his town to live. At first he had lots of family and friends there that he stayed at their house. But then he got a wife named Jesse and got a house so they can live together. Then eventually he started making a family there. And 68 years later he still lives in that town.

Jesse C

What Would be Included in Your Favorite Meal?In my sister’s favorite meal there would be lots and lots of sugar. There would be a huge cake that’s pink with pink frosting with lots of sugar. The type of cake would be red velvet. But for the main meal she will eat pasta. Her favorite pasta is fettuccini alfredo. She likes it because she says it is delicious and it is less meaty than the other pastas. On the side dish she would want buttery bread sticks because they are bready and they add a nice flavor and go good with pasta. For the drink she would love to have a Shirley Temple because she loves cherries. Also she loves soda and the Shirley Temple is refreshing. Since my sister loves cheese and bready stuff, she wants to have mozzarella sticks. She loves how the cheese and the bread taste together when they are cooked right. Plus everywhere we went to try mozzarella sticks, she loves them.


If You Could go Anywhere in the World Where Would it be?If my mom could go anywhere in the world she would go Mexico. She would want to go there with the whole family because my dad’s side of the family is Mexican and used to live there. She would want to see the ranch my grandma grew up in and meet cousins we never even knew about. She would love to try all the food, sightsee and tour. My dad’s mom’s side of the family is from Guanajuato. It is north of Mexico City. She would like to learn more of Spanish. My mom would want to go tour the Mummy Museum and The Diego Rivera Museum and House. She would like to go to The Callejon Del Beso, which has steep stairs and attracts couples. But she really wants to go to this one ranch called The Saldana Ranchero which is my dad’s mom’s ranch that her family owns.

Jesse C.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

You're A Star

My publications staff decided to recognize a few teachers and staff for the hard work they do on campus. 
We wish we could thank everyone here at Chico Junior because they all do so much for so many.
This is how their Thank Yous took form.
You're a Star, Diana Burdine!
Our Custodians are Stars!
Mrs. Hislop is a star!
What would we do without our counselors?
Just a few personal Thank Yous



Question of the Week

This week I asked my mom, who works at a daycare, “What do you like about working with kids?” She answered, with a smile on her face, “Kids are amazing. They’re creative and imaginative; they're always laughing and playing; and I love their innocence. They don't discriminate by race, gender, or religion. They play with you no matter who you are.” She also said, “I love when they learn and try new things. Whether it be food or learning a new word, their joy brings me joy”
I also asked her, “What made you want to work with kids, and when did you know that’s what you wanted to do?” She answered, “One day I was asked to help with the kids at my church and fell in love with it. They were so fun to work and play with, and I decided that this is what I want to do with my life.”

Iyanah B

Sports Update: Warriors Playoffs Round 2

The Warriors are in the second round of the playoffs after sweeping the Trail Blazers (4,0). The Warriors are going to play the Utah Jazz for the quarter-finals. The Golden State Warriors are the number one team in the Western Conference and the Utah Jazz is the fifth team in the western conference. The Jazz made it to the quarterfinals by beating the LA Clippers (3,4). In my opinion, the Golden State Warriors are going to sweep the Jazz because the Warriors are number one in about everything. The Jazz has a pretty good defense but not a very good offense and that is where you put points up on the board. It will be very hard for the Utah Jazz to beat the Golden State Warriors. I think that this year the Golden State Warriors will go all the way and win the trophy.

Marcos B

Movie Review

I recently watched the new live-action Beauty and the Beast. I know many people have not seen it and know what it's about, so I won't do any spoilers or a summary. I love all things Disney, and I can say hands down that Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney live action adaptation. What I love about it is that it stays true to the original movie and makes it come alive. All the songs, characters, and costumes are the same. Also, the live action makes it 10 times as real, because you seeing actual people tell the story. My favorite scene is Be our guest. I loved the beautiful colors and the incredible animations. Seeing all the dishes flying and dancing was incredible. My second favorite scene was when everyone turns human. In the animated version you don't see everybody, and I like that you do in the adapted version. I suggest that all go see this incredible move, you won't be disappointed.

Iyanah B

Question of the Week: “What would be included in your favorite meal?”

My mom's favorite meal would be Japanese themed. She would order sushi. What she means by sushi is a big bowl of rice with lots of different types of fish. Her favorites are salmon, tuna, yellowtail, eel, mackerel, and she would like to try fish she does not usually eat. There would have to be vegetables like soup or green salad. She would drink a big glass of cold water and eat slices of ginger. She would have the meal with me, my sister and my dad at Big Tuna or in Japan in a restaurant by the beach. But that would be for a special occasion like on a birthday or anniversary because it is expensive. She says, with food that good, there's no room for dessert. But I always have room for dessert so I would have a root beer float.

Jesse C.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Music Research

Let's finish off the year with some 
highly engaging research about music!
Students pick a musician or band that they like 
and create a project around that.

These photos show the process 
in which students are engaged.

We got to hear music from all different genres and develop new appreciations for artists we had previously not heard.

This was by far the most engaging project we have worked on all year! What a great way to finish 8th grade!

Thank you to my students for expanding my musical horizons and re-introducing me to some old favorites.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Student Bio

One of my students submitted this biographical essay for the blog. The student was brave to be vulnerable and tell so much about themselves. I've posted it anonymously. 

My own biographical information is available in the About Me section of this blog.


Life is what everybody loves. The better you are at things and the better you try the better your life will be. The thing is life isn’t that easy. You have to put in a lot of work to get what you want. I have a great life. I would not change my life for anything. I have great parents that will do anything for me. I have a special girl in my life that I care about a lot for, I have toys and more toys. Usually when you are a kid you get some toys maybe 3 or 4 to keep you busy but not me I was treated a little differently a kid.

When I was smaller I could remember getting almost everything that I wanted. The older I got, the more things I wanted. I have been spoiled for as long as I can remember. I am so spoiled that whenever I want something and my parents tell me no, I would get pissed off and have an attitude. I am now 13 and I am still learning respect and how to not to talk back. My parents do so much for me and I appreciated it very much, but they have treated me too good. I feel like I have a right to be able to talk back to my parents even though I know I will get in trouble.

I have a mentality right now that I don't really care about what happens to me or what my parents take away because I know when I do better they will give it back to me. I don’t really have any chores to do. My job is easy, my job is go to school get good grades, clean the dishes, brush my teeth pretty much everything a person should be used to do everyday. I always feel that I can face anything and I can put up with whatever comes my way. But the truth is I only think that I can but that is not always true. I need help from my parents and friends but I choose not to take their help.

I have never been a person that likes to ask for help because, I want people to see me as a person that is smart enough to do anything and strong enough to face whatever comes towards me. I want people to look up at me as a good person and to want to follow in my footsteps. The thing is, I am not yet the person that I want to be. I am not the smartest person or the strongest person. I am a normal person that is trying to be something he is not. I know I have to ask when I need the help but I am too hard headed to see that.

I have to learn that I am not the best at all things and that, sometimes I do need help from that people that are willing to help me. The sooner that I learn to be respectful, kind, and comfortable to ask people for help, the sooner my life will get even better. Even though that I am not the smartest or the strongest or the perfect person that I want to be I would not trade my life for anything. If I had a choice to live a perfect life I would choose the life that I have right know. 

I have the best mom ever. She always helps me no matter what life problems I face. She never gets mad at me for messing up. She talks to me and explains what is right and what is wrong. She is one hundred percent the best mom ever. I also have the best dad in the world. He works extra hard so that I can have fun and be the best at what I want. He works two jobs so that he can pay for my basketball and still be able to pay the bills and the house. He is the best father ever. I also have a great sister. She is a very smart girl and I am very proud of her. She is doing very good in school and it is amazing how smart she is. Even though she can be a pain at times I still love her and wouldn’t change her for anything. 

That is my life right now and the problems that I face.


Movie Review

I watched the movie “Nerve” and it is so far my favorite movie! Nerve is about a high school senior named Eve Delmonico who is a good student, always makes good choices, and rarely takes risks. Vee is suddenly pressured by her friends to play the very popular game, Nerve. Nerve is an online game that allows others in your town or around the world to give you dares and if you do the dare it gives you money. The more dangerous the dare is, the more money you will get. Eve suddenly meets this new guy on her very first dare and they suddenly fall in love and start doing dares together but the more they play the more dangerous it becomes. People die from this game but if you tell the police the game itself takes control over your entire life. The game takes all of your information from your social medias, bank accounts, and it even googles you! I really like this movie because our society relates a lot from it with social media and doing anything we can for followers or likes. The movie itself is just so good and I have never watched a movie like this before. I would 100% recommend it! The main characters are Ian ( Dave Franco) and Vee Delmonico (Emma Roberts).

By: Yureli M

Friday, May 12, 2017

Landscape Mural

On our campus right now, a mural is being painted by some amazing and creative students.

They shared some ideas and came up with a plan with local artist, Christine MacShane. Sutter Buttes, almond blossoms, Snowy Egret, rice fields, butterflies...

An hour at a time, students are working together, demonstrating teamwork and camaraderie.

I am so proud of their maturity and independence.

They are creating a work of art that will be 
appreciated by thousands of adults and students
for years to come.

Thank you to Arts for All for sponsoring our project. We look forward to continued dedication to our students' art educations in the future.


Interesting Person: Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes was born on December 24,1905. Howard Hughes was very smart.  He was one of the most successful businessmen in the world. Although he was a very successful man in his days and he was a smart person, he had a problem. He was a germaphobe.  He became a germaphobe later in his life.  He was obsessed with being clean and afraid of germs.  It is not a bad thing that he was a germaphobe but Howard took it to the extreme. His obsession started small.  He started by wanting everything to be clean.  Howard Hughes insisted in not having any dust, dirt or anything dirty in his whole house.  Little by little his obsession with germs grew bigger and bigger. As howard's obsession grew, he stopped showering and did not go out in public. Howard Hughes went from a smart very handsome adult to a very smelly not very attractive person. He tried to get away from germs but the more he tried the more germs he was attracting.  Howard Hughes died at the age of 70. He died on april 5, 1976. He died of liver failure. He died on his private airplane when he was flying from Freeport to the Grand Bahamas. It was too bad that he had to live the last 10 years of his life away from people.

Marcos B

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Shakespeare Sonnet #130

We are learning about Shakespearean Sonnets. All of us! 
Have I mentioned that this is my first year teaching 8th grade English?

Have you read this sonnet?

Yesterday my students analyzed the structure of this poem: 14 lines in iambic pentameter with a specific rhyme scheme (ABAB/CDCD/EFEF/GG).

Then they talked about it. They said such insightful things! My favorite comment went something like this: "I think it's beautiful that he can see all of her imperfections, and still celebrate his love for her."

Now that's a love poem!


Movie Review
I recently watched the movie Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life. I really liked this movie because I am still in middle school and at this age nobody likes rules. I first wanted to watch this movie because an actress I knew played a role in this movie. I really liked the character Jeanne played by Isabela Moner. Jeanne was a good girl in the movie, the one who followed the rules and volunteered for anything. She was your typical good girl, straight A’s student. The main character, Rafe, had recently gotten his drawing notebook thrown in a tub of acid by the principle, the antagonist. Seeing all of his drawings that took hard work and time in his life go down the drain, he wanted revenge. He planned to break every rule the school had. While breaking these rules he had to have a partner in crime, his “best friend” Leo. Aside from trying to break all the rules he had family problems, girl problems, and his own personal problems. This movie contains comedy, emotion, and a little romance. I recommend this movie because not only is it funny but it is also age-appropriate.

-Ariel L   

Two Truths and A Lie
  1. One Elective I did for 7th grade was a semester class called STEM. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. In STEM you do projects like making robots, learning how to code, and creating paper nets. My favorite part in STEM was making robots and coding them so they can move.
  1. Another Elective I did for 7th grade that was also a semester-long class was art. In art you learn about how to improve your art works and other fun projects as well. My favorite project in art was the chalk walk. The drawing I did in the chalk walk was based on a Clash Royale theme.
  1. On my phone I play this game called Clash Royale. Clash Royale is my favorite game to play on my phone. Clash Royale is a strategy game. The goal in the game is to destroy your enemy towers first. My favorite card in the game is the miner which travels underground and then pops out and attacks.

-Evan A.

Movie Review- The Fault In Our Stars

I know I'm a little late, but last week I watched The Fault In Our Stars with my best friend. Since almost everyone knows what it's about I won't do a summary. I just want to share my favorite parts and what I liked about it. What I liked most about the movie is that it stayed true to the book. I watched the movie first, and relaxed while reading the book that it's almost exactly the same. In most movies, besides the title, you wouldn't know that it was based on the book because it strays so far from the book. Also I love that it's not predictable in anyway. I can usually know what is going to happen in the first 25 minutes of the movie, but in T.F.O.S if was completely left on my toes. Now you can probably tell I would give this an infinity (hahaha! get it) out of ten.
P.s don't feel bad if you cried, I was balling for the last 30 minutes.

Iyanah B

Two Truths and a Lie
  1. When I was 9 years old I got lost at the Westfield Galleria mall in Roseville. I was lost for so long that the police had to call my name on the mall loud speaker and my mom had to come get me. Afterwards I got in trouble.
  2. I have never been out of the United States. I was born in Massachusetts and moved to Sacramento when I was three years old. At the age of seven I moved to Chico and attended Emma Wilson Elementary where I met most of my friends that I have today.
  3. At the end of sixth grade my friend invited me to her pool party. While we were having fun, an old friend stopped by and came swimming with us. They all were running around my friend Ally’s pool and someone ran into this girl. The girl fell and hit her head on the cement. She had to get an ice pack and sit out.
Ariel L.

Friday, April 28, 2017

29 Days Remain

As we finish up our week of standardized testing in English, it's time to look ahead to what remains of our time together.

29 days to read more Shakespeare and his sonnets.

29 days to complete our Music Research project.

29 days to catch up on missing work.

29 days to blog.

29 days to check in with teachers.

29 days to finish strong!

29 days of middle school remain for 8th graders.

29 days to make a difference this school year.

29 days to make sure they know I care about them.



Two Truths and a Lie

     1. I know how to drive. My grandpa learned how to drive from his dad at age eight. Since he learned so young, he asked my dad if he would teach me how to drive and he said yes. At the time I was 10, and my grandpa took me out to the airport where there was nothing to run into. It took me about four hours, but my grandpa was patient and now I can drive.

     2. I once got paid $100 for babysitting. My aunt has 3 kids, and      when she has me babysit I get paid $30 ($10 for each kid). Once though, my aunt went out with some girlfriends and they needed someone to babysit, so I ended up watching seven kids. Usually that would get me $70, but since it was a big responsibility and I did well, I got an extra $30.
    3. I read 2 million words in fifth grade. At my elementary school we took AR test on the books we read and it counted our words. When I was in fifth grade I read a lot, so at first I read 1 million words then took a picture. And at the end of the year I read another million. For that I got to be in a special section of the yearbook and my dad threw me a little party.
Iyanah B

Movie Review: Teen Spirit

The movie Teen Spirit is what you can call high school reality. In high school there’s always that mean girl, the popular people, jocks, and the not so popular. In this movie a girl named Amber is the most popular girl in school and her high school dream is to get every vote in school to win queen at prom. So her and her so called “friends” rig the ballot so every vote would go to her. On the day of prom when they were just announcing who won, there was an accident that happened with the electricity causing Amber to die right there. Although she was a mean girl throughout all of high school, she was given the chance to go to heaven if she helped the least unpopular girl in school “Lisa” win prom queen at the school's second prom. Throughout the movie you witness love, betrayal, and forgiveness of friends and family. I like this movie because I think it really shows that you should never let popularity get in the way of who your true friends are.

-Katia S

Question of the week
Why does my friend’s grandma like pigs so much?

I only asked her this question because the first time I went to my friend’s house to spend the night with her, I saw pigs everywhere. I went to the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room and even in her grandma’s room, and everywhere there were pigs!

The first time I went I was shy because I didn’t know her family at the time, and she was introducing me to them. I was really scared because I didn’t want them to get the wrong idea of me. Mainly I was scared of my friend’s dad because he was scary looking, and today I’m still scared of him. But later on, after I was getting used to her house and knowing her family, I asked my friend why her grandma had so many pigs in her house.

She told me that she loves pigs.

Bianca F

Two Truths And A Lie

  1. One Lego video game I played before was the Force Awakens. In the game there are really cool characters and missions. Some of my favorite characters in the game are Boba Fett (The Prototype) and Captain Plasma. My favorite mission on the Force Awakens Lego game was Poe Dameron’s survival.

  1. My first Lego videogame was Indiana Jones 1. When I first started the game it was a little bit challenging but then I got better at the game. My favorite character was the Monkey Man. Last my favorite mission was Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  1. My favorite tv show as a little kid was Sesame Street. My favorite characters in Sesame Street were the Cookie Monster and Elmo.One reason why I like the Cookie Monster was because of the funny attitude he had on cookies.Last, the reason why I like Elmo was because of his nice personality.
Evan A