Friday, March 22, 2013

Airport, Crown Plaza, and Close Up.

     The starting of our adventure was at the airport. We woke up on Sunday, March 10th, at 4:00 a.m. We all had to be at the airport at 5:30 a.m. At 7:30 a.m., we all had to be on the plane. The trip was about 6 hours to get there. The funny thing is that we left on the day the time change happens. So we all had to move our time an hour forward. The time we were supposed to arrive in D.C. was abut 3:30 p.m.

     When we arrived at Washington D.C., we were all transferred to the hotel that we were staying at called Crown Plaza. Crown Plaza is on 1480 Crystal Drive, Arlington VA, United States. The rating of this hotel is exactly 4.2/5. The program that this hotel was forming was called Close Up. We weren't the only ones who entered the program. Many schools from around the USA applied.

     The point of Close Up is for students to actually see and understand the role of the government. Some say that this program is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students  put all the history they learned and show it to them in real life. Students do so many things in this program. They reenact the debates the government does, they search through the history of the American political system, see and explore the many memorials and monuments in Washington D.C., AND SO MUCH MORE!!!


         When we went to Williamsburg we saw a lot of things. I thought that there would be more action going on.

  • Did you expect it to be so big or small?

  • Was the tour enjoyable?

        I expected it to be big and it was. The houses were old fashion. If you came to Washington for a trip and you are from San Francisco there would be a big difference on the houses or homes. In Williamsburg, people who represent different times in history live there; important settlers or slaves in the past.

       The tour was enjoyable. Our tour guide was not afraid to speak. She was very open with what happened in the past. I really enjoyed the jail cell where our tour guide showed us were the prisoners would do and what they would be. I also enjoyed to see the House Of Burgesses. What was interesting to me was The Floor. The Floor was where they debated on the new laws.

       If you were found guilty of a serious crime and you were convicted of being guilty, you had to choose to either get your hand burnt or you get hung. If you committed a crime after you got your hand burnt then you would then be hung.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Reception Rooms in he White House

Two more days until 5-8 trip to D.C! We are so excited. Each person in our class has to do a report on one of the places that we are going to visit. For the report that I'm doing are the rooms of the White House. i don't know a lot, but here are some things I know about the rooms.

There are exactly 412 rooms, 147 windows, 132 rooms, 28 fireplaces, 7 staircases, and the whole building is 6 stories high. Wow! Wouldn't it be great to live in the White House?

Lets start off this report with the Entrance Hall. The Entrance Hall was also known as the "Grand Foyer". This room hold some of the famous artifacts brought from the Lewis and Clarke exhibition. There is a grand staircase at the end of the hall that leads from the State Floor to the Second Floor. The back of the Entrance Hall leads to the Cross Hall. The Cross Hall is a long corridor that leads from the Entrance Hall to the State Dining Room. Now lets go South, to one of the oval reception rooms.

The Blue Room is one the reception rooms. the presidents use this room as a "formal" reception room. They mainly use these rooms to receive guests. But this room is for formal guests. Before, this room was known as the "Diplomatic Reception Room". After a big refurbishment of this room, as in a different coat of paint for the walls, different furnishing, etc., it became the "Blue Room".

The Green Room is no different in use as the Blue Room. The green Room was the place where the president made his first reception. Some time before, the Green Room was used as a "Lodging Room" by one of the presidents. Through 18265-1829, it was known as the "Green Drawing Room". It was intended to be the"Common Dining Room" by James Hoban, for only the president and his family, but since the fire, they made a refurbishment of the room. They based the furniture on the early 19th century style. Through the years, they made the style of the room more modern, but it is still based on the early 19th century.

Another reception room is the Red Room. It has been known as the"Red Room" since 1845. The Red Room used to be the "Presidents Anti-Chamber" when Pres. Thomas Jefferson stayed at the White House. Now, the president uses it as a "private parlor" for having friends over and other visitors who are going to talk about business. Sometimes, this room is for socializing with some of the presidents friends, and introduce his friends to the White House.

There are way more rooms in the White House, but this blog had to just introduce the reader to the reception rooms. There will be more info after the trip. Our class will be visiting all the important places in Washington D.C., including Williamsburg and Jamestown. The only place we won't be visiting will be the White House. There will still be a lot of facts about the White House without going inside.

The White House in D.C

The whole class is going to to Washington D.C this Sunday.  Because we are going to D.C, we all have to write a report on something we are going to see there.   I chose the White House.

The White House is basically where the president lives and works.  George Washington  chose the location and he hired a man named  Pierre Charles L' Enanfant to do all of the architecture.  They started building the White House in 1792.  Later on, in 1814, the White House was burnt by British troops during the war of 1812.  The first location of the White House was in Manhattan, New York.  When they rebuilt the White House, it was in the same location it was in the first one.

If you have heard of Truman, then you know what he did to the White House when he was there.  If you haven't heard of Truman, then I will explain what he did to the White House.  When Truman lived in the White House, he rebuilt the White House.  When I mean rebuilt I mean he redid the inside of the White House.  

Many presidents lived there and worked there.  When the president lives at the White House, they get to live and work there for four years.  They get to live for four more years or the second term if the president  is re-elected.  

A president that i really like and that i am going to write about  is Abraham Lincoln.  I am going to write about what he did.  Most people already know what he did.  I am going to explain it anyway.  When Abe Lincoln was in office, he did something big and it probably took forever to do, but, he freed slaves when they always needed to way before he was in office.  so just think about it.  Without him there would still be slaves in America.  So just be thankful.

As of right now, the White House is located on 1600, Pennsylvania Ave.

Sadly, we couldn't get tickets for the White House so we can't go inside of the White House.  We will stand outside behind a fence.  The fence around the White House is really far away so i am not sure if we will see the White House clear enough or not clear at all.

The president also has a dog named Bo.  It's so cute!!! 

Go to: to see Bo's wikipedia page


Washington Here We Come!

White House

Two more days until Washington D.C!!!!!!!!!  In the morning we are all going to be sleepy because we have to wake up at 4:00am! We have to meet each other at the air port at 5:30am. It is still worth going to see all these amazing monuments. When we are at Washington we will see, the Withe House, Williamsburg, Jamestown, the Capital Building, Mount Vernon, Smithsonian Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, and many national monuments. I am really excited to see the White House in person. I have never been to Washington, so I am also excited to just go with my friends from school. Here are some places that I got from Google Images. There are captions on the bottom of the picturef so you know what the places look like.

Capitol tidbit

   The Capitol is an architectural masterpiece, holding 600 rooms not to mention tons of art pieces, murals, and statues. Even though construction began in 1793, the Capitol is never really complete, it is a continuos work in progress, always becoming more an more advanced. As of now, the largest part may come as a surprise.
The picture to you left actually shows the Capitol compared to the Capitol's visitor center. The Visitor center is actually three quarters the size of the capitol. 3,000,000 people visit the Capitol by going through the visitor center each year.

Only Two More days till our adventure!

The upper graders are becoming very very excited for the D.C trip!!!!!!! We will be leaving in two days. Everyone is officially packing for the trip. Today we will have a last minute meeting at 5:00- 5:30pm. Mostly all parents will be there and their children has to be there. We will be discussing packing, the D.C schedule and expected behavior. On Sunday we will be waking up early. We will be waking up about 5:00am.


Assignments, March 8

  • Angela, Anya, and Rubina: Teach yourself how to use iBook Author to make a digital textbook. Rubina: your text is on opera; Anya, yours is the school yearbook; Angela, yours is a book about the DC trip.
  • Claire, Kennedy, Mia, Natash, and Asiana: Start your DC stories. They will go into a digital textbook.

Friday, March 1, 2013

On the Move

On the Move is an event the Exploratorium is holding for the pre-opening of their new facility.  For those who do not know, the Exploratorium is a science museum in San Francisco.  On the Move consists of ten trucks containing popular exhibits that were favorites of the community including True Colors, Glow Grotto, and Levity Chamber.  There will also be live performances and food.  You can see cow eye dissections and flower dissections. 

The trucks will start at three locations(Bayview, Embarcadero, and the Mission), and end with a grand finale at pier 15.  The event will start at 11:00 AM and ends as late as 10:00 PM.  For more information go to the Exploratorium website here.

Another week to go!

Hooray! We are going to journey Washington D.C in 1 weeks and 2 days. Students have been  getting ready for D.C by getting journals and thinking about outfits that they would be bringing.Students are saving up money for souvenirs.Many  people  are thinking in their heads about the airplane seat arrangements and telling one another.Every one is getting excited! I will make another post next Friday when we will be venturing in two days.

Il Trovatore: The Crackling Flame Fizzles

Verdi's masterpiece about a Gypsy woman who mistakes her own child for the child of her enemy and throws her son into the flames. What in the world is she talking about? The opera starts out with Ferrando, Count di Luna's chief guard, telling his soldiers about how when the count was little he had a twin brother. And one day, the nanny woke up to find an old gypsy hovering over the baby. A big racket was put up and the gypsy was shooed away. In a few days, the baby became very sick. The gypsy was caught and condemned to be burnt on the stake. Her daughter, Azucena, was there and the old gypsy told her daughter to avenge her. Mi vendica! Azucena runs into the castle and steals the counts twin brother and comes back to the fire. She had her own child with her, and she mixed up the two children and burned her own instead of the enemy's! 

Il trovatoreTen years later. Azucena's "son" is all grown up and he falls in love with a lady by the name of Leonora. Manrico, Azucena's son, sings serenades to her and is nicknamed Il Trovatore. The Troubadour. And because in opera, everything is twisted and turned, Count di Luna is also in love with Leonora. (And please don't forget that Count di Luna and Manrico are biological brothers.) They get in a fight over Leonora and the scene ends. 

Azucena is now with her gypsies in the mountains and she tells them the same story about her mother burning. Manrico then comes and she tells him about how he isn't really her son. A messenger, Ruiz, then comes and tells Manrico that Leonora thinks that Manrico is dead and is going into the convent. Manrico leaves to stop her. 

In front of the convent, Count di Luna is with his soldiers. He is also there to stop Leonora from leaving into the convent. He decides to use force and kidnap her. He tells his soldiers to hide and to snatch her away on his cue. Leonora and nuns enter. (They sing for about five minutes.) Manrico enters and Leonora promises him that she'll marry him. Count di Luna and Manrico fight some more. The act ends here. 

Giuseppe Verdi
The next act starts out with Count di Luna and Ferrando talking about how Azucena was captured. They don't know that she is Manrico's mother. They talk to her and find out that she is the woman who burned the count's twin brother. They don't know that that isn't exactly true. Azucena calls out to her son Manrico, and they find out who her son is. She is sent to prison. Leonora and Manrico come out and talk about their marriage. Ruiz then enters and tells Manrico that Azucena is captured. Manrico swears to rescue her and runs off along with the army. 

Leonora then comes, (Manrico and Azucena are in prison), and sings about how she knows how to rescue Manrico. She sings three arias, which take up about ten minutes. Count di Luna enters and Leonora tells him that she will marry him if he frees Manrico. Count di Luna agrees and tells the guards to allow Manrico to pass. Leonora quickly swallows up poison from her ring. Opera never works without somebody drinking poison or stabbing themselves... Anyways, Leonora runs to Manrico and tells him to run. He figures out that she offered herself to the count and scolds her. Leonora begins dying and dies in Manrico's arms!!! Count di Luna enters and understands that Leonora tricked him and commands the guards to kill Manrico. Manrico yells to his mother, who was sleeping. She wakes up and watches her son get decapitated...or whatever they did to him. She then reveals to Count di Luna that Manrico was his biological brother. Azucena then calls out to her mother, saying: You are avenged, oh mother!!! Sei Vendicata, o madre!!! 

Now, I shall get to the point, The San Jose Opera had a production of Verdi's Il Trovatore. I went. I'm going to start criticizing everyone now. The cast included Evan Brummel as Count di Luna, James Callon as Manrico, Rebecca Krouner as Azucena, Melody King as Leonora, and Matthew Anchel as Ferrando. Let's start with Evan Brummel. He was a fine count. I loved his vibrato and the strength of his voice. The only thing I didn't really like was the stiffness of his acting. The same thing goes to James Callon who was also very loud. They were all very loud. Rebecca Krouner was a good mezzo-soprano, but not a Azucena - type. What I mean by that is her voice wasn't thick enough for Azucena. La Cenerentola or Rosina, maybe? She would be an awesome Rosina. Melody King was also rather stiff with her acting. I don't mean that they were bad actors, I mean that they didn't move around enough. But it's probably hard to jump around and sing at the same time... Matthew Anchel was a Mozartarian. His voice was more fit for Mozart. Maybe Rossini? 

Okay, I'm done. Got all of that off my chest! 

Written by: Rubina Mazurka 

Doodle 4 Google

Each year, there is a competition formed called "Doodle 4 Google". It's open or all grades, k-12, in the US schools. Doodle 4 Google is a place where you can make your own Google logo, like the different types on the front page of Google. Like the front page of Google, the logo changes it's theme, sometimes on holidays. This years competition theme is "My Best Day Ever...". Doodle 4 Google started in 2008, so this is their 6th year. Last year, 2012, about 114,00 people signed up for Doodle 4 Google. The reason why we even have Google is because with the help of creative and talented artists who signed up, and made the Google logo.

Here are the steps to enter this contest:
This year you can submit doodles in two ways:
  • By mail at one of these two addresses – doodles must be received by March 22nd.
    • For regular mail: Doodle 4 Google, PO Box 9112, Plainview, NY 11803-9112
    • For overnight deliveries: Doodle 4 Google, 35 Pinelawn Road, Suite 207W, Melville, NY 11747
  • Upload right here on our site! You can upload multiple entries at once as well. 

 the deadlines for this contest are due in March 22nd, 2013.

Alphabet Books

     For the past few weeks, the upper graders (5-8th) have been working on alphabet books for the kindergardeners and first graders. Each upper grader was assigned
 to make a book for one kindergardener or first grader (two upper graders were assigned to make books for two kindergardeners or first graders).
     The alphabet books have one letter per page. Each letter will have a sentence to go with it. The sentence will have as many words that start with the letter as possible. To match the sentence, upper graders will draw a picture. Some upper graders decided to make two sentences that rhyme for each letter. Two upper graders even made a story to go with their book.
    To help find inspiration, we went to an exabition at a library to look at alphabet books. Not only were there alphabet books at the exabition but also short story books. We copied pictures that we saw onto pieces of paper.

How Far Has Trash Gone?


       A friend of mine, Enric Sala, has been on an expedition for NatGeo. He has been doing a daily blog which you can enjoy reading from daily. In one of his blogs,, he mentions a very upsetting story.
   While in a cove underwater in the remote island of San Ambrosio, Enric is enjoying the beauty. Many urchins are found in these parts. There are long spine urchins, short spine urchins and flat sea urchins, or sand dollars. Long spine urchins can protect themselves with spines, but short spines have to find things like rocks to camouflage. Somehow, a old plastic razor managed to get into this remote place. A sea urchin took advantage of this and now has a razor attached to his body. For now, there isn't too much trash in this place, but how long is it going to take for us to realize that if we don't do something soon, no part of the ocean will be safe from trash.
        Keep in mind, it's not that hard to stop hurting and start helping. You can start by donating to foundations, and even going beyond that with your own creative ideas.

Also check out Enric here.

Study for the Test

The upper-graders are having a test on the states and their capitals today.  Here is a link you can use to study for the test.