Animal Farm by George Orwell Book #35

Book #33                    Words: 29060               Date: 5-27-15


Title: Animal Farm                                          Author: George Orwell

Genre: Politcal Allegory


  • Opening Sentence: Mr. Jones, of Manor Farm, had locked the hen houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the popholes.


  • Favorite word / phrase / sentence: I’ll work harder/ Four legs good, two legs bad


  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: This political allegory and satire by George Orwell not only criticizes the government of the Soviet Union when the revolution in a humourous way by using animals, he also conveys several other themes, such as class stratification and the danger of a naive working class. Orwell tries to tell readers that different classes, the intelligent pigs and the other, naive animals, can unite in the face of a common enemy, Mr. Jones, but that when the enemy is eliminated, the classes will again divide. This is because even though a dictator was eliminated, the elimination leaves room for another dictator to come in power. The more intelligent ones will assume power again and take totalitarian control. The elimination of Mr. Jones, or Tsar Nicholas in real life, didn’t create equality like Lenin wanted, but created even more anarchy and dictatorship. This dictatorship can be achieved when there is a naive working class. If the working class isn’t educated, the intelligent ones can manipulate them with the use of oppression and propoganda to brainwash the class into working for them without rebelling.

The Little Book that Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt #31-32

Book # 31-32                    Words: 103293                 Date: 4-20-15


Title: The Little Book that Beats the Market                                       Author: Joel Greenblatt

Genre: Informative Non-Fiction


  • Opening Sentence: Jason’s in the 6th grade, and he’s making fortune.


  • Favorite word / phrase / sentence: It’s a good idea to buy shares of a company at a big discount to your estimate value of those shares


  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: Just like The Little Book that Builds Wealth which I read before and recorded in this reading log, I came to read this book because I wanted to learn more about analyzing stocks, which is what my dad does for his job. He recommended me this book, saying that it explains many things in a simple manner for a person like me to understand. (The author of this book also happened to be my dad’s former professor at Columbia) And as my dad said, it explained concepts simpler than anyone could. The book tells readers to essentially invest in good stocks at a bargain price, or a price that is at a discount from what you think it’s worth. To do so, we need to just look at two pieces of statistics, Earnings yield and Return on Capital, which best explains the two categories.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Book 28-30

Book # 28-30                    Words: 154290                 Date: 4-05-15


Title: A Tale of Two Cities                                           Author: Charles Dickens     

Genre: Historical Fiction


  • Opening Sentence: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.


  • Favorite word / phrase / sentence: It’s a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known


  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:
    Sublime (adj): worthy of admiration
    Capitulate (v): surrender under agreed terms
    Repose (n): Disposition free from stress


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: This ever famous book by Charles Dickens ponders upon the possibility of resurrection on a personal level and a social level. For instance, Doctor Manette is ‘recalled to life’ due to his love for his daugther when he was considered spiritually dead due to his prolonged stay in the Bastille. Carton, one of the protagonists, is another figure who has changed dramitically in a moral way during the book. At the start, he was a worthless figure that spent his time and money drinking. However, his love for Lucie, Dr. Manette’s daugther, makes him a morally better person, and in the end he makes the ultimate sacrifice by taking the death sentence for Darnay. He believed that by his death, his sins and misdeeds in the past will be forgiven and imagines a better France when the revolution ends, which explains the social resurrection that Dickens was trying to tell readers. This change in Carton also tells readers about the necessity of sacrifice. For the revolutionarys, the cause and outcome of the revolution is much more important than an individual sacrifice by those like Darnay. Carton, however, believed otherwise and had to sacrifice his former self to become a christ- like figure.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Books #25-27

Book # 25-27                   Words:  183349                        Date: 3-17-15


Title: Great Expectations                                             Author: Charles Dickens     

Genre: Historical Fiction


  • Opening Sentence: My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tounge could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.


  • Favorite word / phrase / sentence: Pip, my dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man’s a blacksmith, and one’s a whitesmith, and one’s a goldsmith, and one’s a coppersmith. Divisions among such must come, and must be met as they come.
  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:
    Ravenous (adj). Extremely hungry
    Elude (v). to escape, mentally or physically
    Impregnable (adj). immune to attack
    Contumaciously (adv). rebelliously, in a hostile manner.
    Imprecation (n). Slanderous accusation
  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: The book Great Expectations has lots of themes on society. Through Pip’s growth from an innocent boy in the marshes to a fortunate gentlemen in England, Pip’s ambition has changed based on his status. He always strives to improve morally, through treating those such as Magwitch well. He also works hard to make his social status better, and thinks that education is the key to it, and once thought in the novel that those such as Biddy and Joe are unworthy and that those like Estalla are. In the end, he learns that the only thing that really matters is the person’s moral, since ones’ social class is not important in judging a person. Those like Magwitch, who has a criminal status and was thought of as evil at the start by Pip, was later found out to be a very nice, wise person, proving that the justice system is another thing that doesn’t matter in judging a person.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding Book #24

Book # 24                     Words:  55900                        Date: 2-22-15


Title: The Lord of the Flies                                             Author: William Golding     

Genre: Realistic Fiction


  • Opening Sentence: The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon.


  • Favorite word / phrase / sentence: 

    “There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast. . . . Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! . . . You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are the way they are?”


  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:
    Proffer (n): A proposal made for acceptance or rejection.Entrants (n): a person or group that enters or takes part in something
    Incumbent (adj): necessary for someone as their duty or responsibility


  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: This book by William Golding discusses the human instincts that every human has, a conflict between civilization; the instinct to live by order, peace, and morals, and savegary; the instinct to live by desire, violence, and power. At the beginning, the boys, without an adult to control them, enjoys their life free and lives by a civilized, orderly rule. However, as time passes, the boys, especially Roger and Jack, loses their innocence and their instinct to live as they wish takes over. Other boys follow, and soon it’s only Ralph who lives in a civilized manner, for the others have been slauthered by Jack and the other boys.

The House of the Scorpions by Nancy Farmer Book #22-23

Book # 22-23                     Words:  100214                       Date: 2-12-15

Title: The House of the Scorpions                                             Author: Nancy Farmer               

Genre: Futuristic Fiction

  • Opening Sentence: In the beginning there were thirty-six of them, thirty-six droplets of life so tiny that Eduardo could see them only under a microscope.


  • Favorite word / phrase / sentence:  When you’re small you can choose which way to go.
  • Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:
    embryo (n): an unborn or unhatched fetus
    clad (adj): clothed, dressed
    disconsolately (adv): hopelessly
    consternation (n): distress
  • Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: This book is about a boy named Matteo, a clone of El Patron, who finds out his true identity as he grows up. He was destined to become dissected for organs, which will sustain El Patron’s life. Only at the end does he realizes this harsh fact, and he flees from the house to other places. At the ‘Big House’, he is neglected and detested by many because clones are ‘animals’ and don’t have souls. With that, Matteo needs to find out whether he has a soul or not and whether he is a human. He definitely acts like a human, for El Patron wanted him to live like a human and didn’t let his brain go corrupt like it was supposed to. In the end, he finds out who he is and what he is meant to become and becomes the ruler of Opium.


P1 Reflection

I think that I did pretty good on this project for I was able to use time effectively to complete my project on time. I still think that my project could be improved, for example by adding audio and adding more information. However, I still think I did a good job, and I’ll try to address the issues in this project in the next one so I can make an even better project. In my opinion, I think having more time would help, since it will enable me to go through my project thouroughly so I can catch mistakes I’ve made.

PBL- Trying out the flashlight

Now that we have assembled the basic structure of our model. We tested it out to see whether it works out or not. The distance from the camera and pennyboard was 5 meters at all times. Here is our first trial of our PBL project.