Research Report on Greek God

Currently, in Literacy essential class, we’re learning about Ancient Civilization; as in history while learning literature as well. The historical contents that we’re focusing on are The First Civilizations, Ancient Egypt and African societies, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and Roman Empire and World Religions. The literacy skills that we are going to get out of this unit are:

  1. Citing textual evidence from informative text
  2. Writing and responding about informative texts
  3. Independent research project on an aspect of culture  from an ancient civilization
  4. Rhetorical arrangement and language of informative texts
  5. Mini-grammar lessons using unit texts
  6. Vocabulary Decoding and Discovery

 

For the past weeks of this unit, we have been doing a Greek Mythology Layered Project as our final product. One of the project was to write a research report on one of the 12 Greek Olympian gods and goddesses. I have randomly assigned to research on Apollo, the god of light and music. In the report, we are assigned to write 7-paragraph informational report on the god that we are assigned.

Here is the report that I wrote for the god, Apollo.

 

Apollo is one of the most complex and important gods in Greek mythology, and is the god of many things, including: music, art oracles, archery, medicine, sun, plague, light and knowledge. He is the son of Zeus and the Tita Leto, and was born in Greek island of Delos along with his older twin sister Artemis – goddess of the hunt. Apollo is a wise god and his myths describe him as a cheerful and light-hearted individual. Since Apollo was a musical talent filled with poetic words; as poems are often set to music, he was considered as the god of Music and Poetry.

The lyre which is perhaps his most well-known symbol signifying that he is the god of music. Another role Apollo had in Greek myth was to bring the sun to earth each day. According to the Greek myth, each morning Apollo rides a golden flaming chariot across the sky bringing daylight to the world. In the evening his twin, Artemis, rides her own chariot across the sky bringing darkness. He also considered as the god of healing and medicine, either through himself or through his son Asclepius. He could also bring disease and plague with his arrows; the god that can cause disease is also able to prevent it. In addition to that, Apollo taught men the art of medicine, so he is often referred to as “The Healer.” Predominantly, Apollo is alternately referred to as the God of Light and the God of Truth and because of his truthfulness and integrity, he was granted the gift of prophecy and oracles, meaning that he could look into the future but it wasn’t always a guarantee.

 

Apollo has his father and mother Zeus, the king of Gods and the Titaness Leto on the Greek island of Delos, conceived during Zeus’s marriage to Hera; his twin sister Artimis and his half sister Eilityia, Eris, Hebe, and Perseophone, but that is not half of Apollo’s family.  He also has his half brothers, Ares, Dinoysus, Hephaestus, Hercules, and Herme. Apollo only has three cousins as well Arion, Desopena, and Trition. He also had paternal grandparents Cronus and Rhea along with his two wonderful great-grandparents Ouranos and Gaea. Apollo was not lucky in love. His first love was Daphne, and Eros, the god of sexual attraction caused problem with this relationship. Eros shot a golden love arrow into Apollo’s heart, and an anti-love one into Daphne’s. Apollo passionately chased after Daphne but she was scared so she prayed to her father, Peneus, the river god, for help; he turned her into a laurel tree. Apollo was truly still loved her, so he the made the laurel a sacred tree. Apollo also has a love affair for Cassandra, who he promised to give her the power of prophecy if she would comply with his desires. She accepted the proposal, received the gift, and then refused Apollo her favours and so Apollo took revenge on her by decreed that nobody would believe her. People believed that she was a madwoman. Apollo fell in love with another beautiful young woman who became pregnant with his child. Apollo assigned a white raven to spy on Cornonis, and the raven reported back that she was cheating on him. Apollo has Coronis killed and later regretted this act, but he luckily snatched the unborn child from her naming him Asclepius, who later became the god of healing and medicine. Apollo also suffered when he fell in love with a man, Hyacinth, son of the Kind of Sparta. Greek man of this time period had open gay relationships; one day they had a discus throwing match, and Apollo accidently killed Hyacinth in such tragedy. Apollo did not marry anybody, but Apollo was a bisexual person. He slept with a lot of men just for the pleasure of it but he did have four kids, Asclepius, Troilus, Aristaeus, Orpheus, even though he wasn’t married.

 

Apollo’s mother, Leto, was the goddess of motherhood. She seduced Zeus and became pregnant with twins, but Hera was furious over the affair and made sure that Leto was unable to find a shelter to give birth. Hera even kept her own daughter, Eileithyia, from helping Leto give birth, as she was the goddess of childbirth. Zeus felt terrible for the pain and suffering Leto was going through; out of pity for Leto, Zeus turned her into a quail so she could safely give birth to their children. Leto searched all over Greece until she found a small island known as Delos. Hera was unable to stop Leto from settling on the island as it was being blown by the wind and moved by the waves. Leto suffered for nine days and nine nights with terrible labor pains. On the tenth day, she went to a small lake and leaned up against a palm tree. She gave birth alone ot Artemis who would become the Greek goddess of the hunt. But Artemis immediately took on a new role and assisted her mother in the birth of her brother Apollo. He was fed on nectar and ambrosia and quickly grew to manhood.

 

There are only a few descriptions of Apollo in literature that we can form an imagination to give us a good idea of what he looked like. In artistic representations of the god, he is always depicted as the ideal of kouros, which mean a young, athletic and a physically handsome man with golden hair and beardless; with a crown of laurel wreath of his head. There are many symbols associated with Apollo, including his silver bow and arrows represent the myth where he defeated the monster Phython. Apollo is also the god of plagues and is known for shooting plague arrows at the enemy during the Trojan war. The lyre which is perhaps his most well-known symbol signifying that he is the god of music. In the ancient myths the god Hermes gifted Apollo the lyre in exchange for the rod of health. Apollo’s lyre has the power to cause things like stones to become musical instruments.

The raven is a symbol of Apollo’s anger. At one time the raven was a white bird but after delivering bad news to the god he turned all ravens black. The bird had the bad news of having to let Apollo know his lover Coronis was being unfaithful. The rays of light that radiate from his head along with the wreath he wears are both meant to symbolize that he is the god of the sun. Lastly, the branch of laurels was actually something Apollo wore as a sign of his love for the demigod Daphne.

 

There was a temple built in Apollo’s honor, it was often filled with people who were hoping to beg Apollo to use his gifts, particularly to help foretell their futures. But some said there were two reasons why people came to Apollo’s temple, to consult with his oracle, and to be purified after commiting a crime. Apollo’s sanctuary was where the Oracle Delphi dwelt. Oracle of Delphi is his assistant who help with the prophetic side of his nature, who could foretell the future. This temple was known to be the center of the entire world. It was a spot where Apollo offered advice and wisdom to those who seek through the oracle. The importance of this temple in the ancient world was as a place of guaranteed peace, where leaders from all over the known world – representatives of the Greek city-states, Cretans, Macedonians and even Persians – could come together, even if they were warring elsewhere, to celebrate the Pythian Games (one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece), to make offerings and consult the Oracle.

 

There is a myth teeling Apollo became known as the god of music. It begins by describing a Python who lived on Mount Parnassus, he is lethal, killing anyone who crossed him. Four days, after Apollo born, he was strong and able. He had been given a silver bow with golden arrows for the blacksmith Hephaestus. Apollo wanted to seek revenge on Python for every he had done to the Greeks, including chasing his mother while she was pregnant. Apollo went to the Phython’s cave and shot an arrow at the Python and it pierced him in the forehead. The Python screamed in pain so loudly that all Greece heard it, but he couldn’t save himself but succumbed to his jury. Apollo celebrated his victory by playing a song using his lyre for everyone to hear. The song was so perfect that it earned him the title of god of music.

 

Although Apollo was Zeus’s favorite son, and next to Zeus, the most important god, he personally has some lack of emotional depth. Apollo is not aware that anything besides thought can give life meaning. He need to live in the moment, feel sensations, explore his feeling, and have outer experiences like Dionysus. It would be easy to do this through music and dance, as Apollo has already achieved his expertise. He must learn to follow his heart, and move beyond the boundaries of his thinking world. After all, Apollo is still one of the powerful 12 Olympian gods. Follow by his forename, Phoebus, means “bright” or “pure” and connects him to his grandmother, the Titan Phoebe. He served many roles in mythology such as bringing the sun to each new day, predicting the future, and he was also the god of music, and healing. Like all gods, he certainly led a colorful existence.

 

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin – Women in STEM Research

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, original name in full Cecilia Helena Payne, (born May 10, 1900, Wendover, Eng.—died Dec. 7, 1979, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.) was a British-American astronomer and astrophysicist who found the explanation for the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundance of hydrogen and helium.

 

She began her scientific career with a scholarship to Cambridge University, where she took the course in physics and was inspired by a lecture on how solar eclipse relate to Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which gave her the passion for learning and science on physics and astronomy.

Unfortunately, Cambridge did not have a lot of opportunities for women and did not offer them advanced degree. So, she moved to Massachusetts and pursued a doctoral degree in astronomy and started a fellowship at Harvard College Observatory after meeting Harlow Shapley, and American scientist and the head of the Harvard College Observatory.

 

She began her astronomy work by calculating the abundance of chemical elements from stellar spectra and her 1925 thesis, entitled Stellar Atmospheres, was famously described by astronomer Otto Struve as “the most brilliant PhD thesis ever written in astronomy.”

 

When Cecilia Payne began her study of stellar spectra, scientists believed that the relative abundance of elements in the atmospheres of the Sun and the stars was similar to that in Earth’s crust, briefly mean that the star were built like the Earth; but Cecilia proved them wrong.

 

Cecilia had a better knowledge of atomic spectra than most astronomers at the time. She knew that the extremely hot sun would cause atoms to ionize. She used the equation of an equilibrium of physicist Meghnad Saha on the ionization of atoms to prove that different ionization states would show up as different absorption lines -light frequency-  on the stellar spectra, figuring out how many electrons the atoms had and the elements to which these ions could belong.

 

She then discovered that the sun is made mostly of the hydrogen and helium and she found similar results to other stars. Cecilia came into conclusion that, unlike on Earth, hydrogen and helium are the dominant elements of the Sun and stars; confirmed to the fraction elements in Milky Way Galaxy that 74% is hydrogen, 24% is helium and the 2% left are all the remaining elements – which proven that Cecilia’s result was right.

 

Henry Norris Russell, an American astronomer strongly opposed to this conclusion and told her it was “impossible”, but many other astronomers and the scientific community  has read her paper that was turned into a book, Stellar Atmosphere, and realized that she was totally truely correct.

 

Cecilia Payne made a long journey to prominence in a scientific community that resent to women. Besides, Cecilia accomplishments, being a women meant she was only recognized as a technical assistant who worked at Harvard with her husband, Sergel Gaposchkin. She faced many challenges and arguments within other female scientist who opposed her thesis.

Eventually, in 1956, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, a pioneering astrophysicist and probably the most eminent woman astronomer of all time, became the first female professor in astronomy and her works has made a lot of people understand and discover something new about the universe for decades since she died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on December 7, 1979.

How Boy Views on Girl’s Emotions

Boys, I have a question for you- what would you do and what would you feel if you saw a teenage girl crying in the corner of the room?

Emotions, really, are just like somewhat-well-integrated different personalities inside a person’s head, triggered by different stimuli – many external, some internal – that drive that person to different thoughts, decisions, actions, and behavior.

Everybody is emotional.

Based on the article written by HealthGuidance, there is a stereotype that girls are much more “emotional” than boys whereas “real man” do not cry or get upset. Unfortunately, society has told teenage boys it is a sign of weaknesses to express their feelings while it is much more socially acceptable for girls to talk about their feelings and focused on their emotions and refer to them more commonly.

 

“I would talk about my feelings only to my close friends,” said Sreyneang, a high school student from the Liger Leadership Academy. “but most of the time, I keep my emotions to myself.” She added, “And sometimes, If I can, I would express it out publicly.”

 

Teenage girls are more probable to talk about what they are thinking and feeling and to demonstrate with their tears, facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language.

 

By personal experience, crying has always been a healthy release and I were not ashamed to cry easily.

 

Compared to girls, boys often show their emotions to less people, and often only to their nearest and dearest. Boys tend to have a greater control over their emotions and what they will manifest to the world, possibly due to having more difficulty displaying emotion than girls.

 

Many times, they do not know exactly how they feel, so they try to figure it out on their own, inside their head.

 

“Yes, sometimes it’s hard for me to understand what I’m feeling.” states, Davith Chan a teenage boy student from Liger Leadership Academy.

 

Barton GoldSmith, a Ph.D Psychotherapist stated in his article that, “Most men and boys have a hard time communicating anything that remotely resembles an emotion — because emotions are scary to men, who think much more than they feel.”

 

Boys can not think and feel simultaneously, it is challenging for them to switch gears from their head out to their hearts.

 

“I can’t switch from heart to brain. It will literally distract my work if I think and feel at the same time.” Davith added.

Davith Chan was asked by a question, “Do you cry?”

 

He pauses a moment after hearing the question and finally said, “No,” he sighs. “Unlike others, crying isn’t a way to release my stress.”

 

A follow-up question was then asked, “Well, do you feel comfortable sharing your problems with other?”

 

“No,” he quickly spokeup. “I don’t want to share my feelings to other because I know they wouldn’t care about my problem. Depends on people, some of them might even judge my problem.” He sight with relief. “But I get stress sometimes when I keep all my problems to myself too much.”

 

Let’s switch some gear up. If you see a boy friend of yours, or any other random boys crying, what would you feel?

 

“I would think to myself ‘What happen to him?’ I’m curious for the reason.” Davith put his elbow on the table, palm to his forehead like he was in a thought process. “And I would feel pity for him, you know, no matter what happen. Because sometimes, I cry too.”

 

The same question was asked to Sreyneang, and she mentioned that it would be awkward for her to see a boy cry for some reason. “It would be weird.” She hesitated. “You know, boy don’t often cry, not that I’ve seen a lot at least.”

 

This goes back to where society view men as weak if they cry, and yet no one knew where the stigmas originally came from. Where Sreyneang said “boy don’t often cry,” who might have guessed that she heard it from her parents or friends or just random people.

 

There are a lot of fish in the sea, but you have such a bad luck that you hooked up with one who is emotionally unavailable. And here is an example of what Davith has said, “I’ve made people cry I have to admit that.” He said while nodding his head and gives me that guilty smile. “Like the other times, I made a girl and a boy cry. They were irking me and I was distracted by them and so I yell at them “Shut UP!” very loudly.

 

As Davith and I were in the middle of the conversation, David Phim, an addicted – teenage gamer boy, interrupted us and said, “Girls easy to get mad,” Davith and I both looked at him in amazement. “Oh! Sorry,” He apologize for interrupting, but I said it was okay and that he could join our conversation.

“[Like I said], girls get mad so easily in general that I[‘ve] experience. Like SOME girls!” David continued with his speech.

 

According to Thought Catalog article, some of the guys think that girls emotions are crazy and punishing to understand. For example if you are in a relationship: boys see themself as a victim and girls as their attacker; for instance, where girls always get jealous towards other girls and guys for the fact that she have “insecurities”. Boys might also think girls cry far too often, but there’s always a reason, even if it is slightly irrational. This is when girls use the PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) excuse, even if they know, they don’t have it.

 

It is so difficult being a woman, don’t you think so? You are constantly having some inner battles either with your emotions or with guys.

 

At this point, Davith joined the discussion again and utters, “Girls cry more because of relationship.” And David, in the other hand, peered at me with a smile on his lips. “Girls have more stories to argue about.” Davith continued, “I don’t know why, but it’s so hard to understand [girls] sometimes.” He shrugged after finishing his sentence.

 

“Sometimes when I played with girls, [I would] just hit a bit and then [she would] cry.” David mumbled after Davith.

 

Written by HerWay article, in the topic of “15 Signs Of An Emotionally Unavailable Woman,” the introduction quoted, “It is true that guys have so many problems in relationships with women because we are so complex. There is that saying that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. I think this is true because we definitely don’t think in the same way and we don’t express our feelings in the same way either. Sometimes it is just that obvious that we come from two different planets.”

 

Moreover, David mentioned, “If couple breakup, boy [would just be] upset [and then] walk away, [but] girl [would] cry and need someone to comfort [to make them feel less lonely]. And I’ve seen [the same thing happen] a lot with my roomates. Man like to stay alone.” He shrugged. “Girl need more caring.”

 

Davith was looking kind of confused and curious with what David just said. He looks like he wants to disagree with David. “Only for some girls, man, not all!” He finally indicated.

 

What David mentioned is just another way of saying that girls are emotional and weak. Don’t you think being a teenage girl is very easily judge?

What would you do and what would you feel if you saw a teenage girl crying in the corner of the room?

 

“I would go and ask her why [she’s crying].” Davith said with no hesitation. “The same as [I would do to] anyone. [He/She] must have a reason of crying.”

 

“For me I would walk away.” David said while playing on his computer. “I [would feel] pity but I’m not brave enough to go and talk to her. I would let another girl help.”

 

AP Statistics is HARD!

This year in math class, I have taken and accept the challenge to learn not just something new but something that is above my level. For this past few months, I’ve been taking an AP course, AP Statistics which is a college level course, provided by the college board. The resources that we use to help us with our deeper understanding in this course are two textbooks and many online resources provided by our teacher, Jeff. The two textbooks are The Practice Of Statistics, and the Barron’s AP Statistics book, and most of the concepts that we learned are mainly from The Practice Of Statistics textbook. I have to be honest, this course has been very challenging for me even though I have put double effort into this, both in class and outside of class. So far, I have got to chapter 4 which talks about the two-way table data and categorical data. It is quickly starting to get more challenging as we move on.

Course Details

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:

  • Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
  • Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
  • Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
  • Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses
  •  

Khmer – Writing a Formal Speech

Being a good public speaker is not easy, there are a lot of learning, preparation and writing have to be done before hands. Making a formal speech in Cambodia is very tough since the speech has to respect the structure of the culture and the ranking of the audiences. We can’t just say hello and start the speech, it a lot more protocol that we have to follow to make our speech become eligible. Since our Khmer learning facilitator saw that everyone is not good at doing this, he made us write a formal speech with an intention of conveying an idea. For the introduction of the speech, we had to respect and greet line by line from the highest respected person to the guest.

Physics – Forces Concept and “Coefficient Of Static Friction” Lab

In physics class for this first term of essential, we learned a lot about the concepts from resources and study deeply through different types of problems. These few months, we have studied about forces, friction, static equilibrium, inclined plane and other concepts that related to forces which is what we’re studying in physics currently. Last week, we had our first experimental class in a long time in which we’re doing lab about the inclined plane. The purpose of this lab is to experimentally determine the coefficient of static friction for multiple materials and to solidify students’ understanding of friction.
So what we do is Build a ramp using the plank of a wood place different materials (paper clip, sandpaper, cloth) upon the plank of wood and determine the minimum angle at which the material will slide. We did three trials of this process, and take the average of the three angles we measure. By using the average minimum angle we find for each material to calculate the coefficient of static friction. And then we compare the results to the other group, which turned out to be quite different.

Here is the data for my group.

After we take a look at the data we made a short report by answering some questions about what was happening while we were doing the lab.

Assumption
Box position: In the experiment, for each trial, we change the position of the box to see the difference. At last, we take the average of it. Its stay in different position and to take the average of it is just not that accurate.
Sandpaper 3: We make the assumption about Sandpaper 3 that it will have the most coefficient of static friction the object is rougher than other objects.

Real-life Factor
Surface of the box: each time we do the experiment, the surface of the box keeps getting smoother that been scratch by different sandpapers, cloth and wood.

Narrative Essay – Coming Of Age

The first term of literacy this year, I worked on a creative writing project, narrative essay. The theme of the project is “Coming of Age”. Throughout the process, I learned mini-language usage lessons from my teacher, Cara, such as comma usage, vocabulary development, concision, conjunctions, diction, subordinates, anaphora and connotation, and denotation. Before the class started writing our narrative essay, we learned about the theme of “Coming of Age”, a rite of passage and what does it mean.

The topic I chose to write for this project is the relationship between my sister and myself and the power of her goodbye. It has been very hard to share a personal story like this because it is so emotional for me. But in general, I think my progress and the development of this writing has been improved by a lot.

Read my story here:

 

The Power Of Goodbye 

Life is full of unexpected and unfortunate events. Throughout my whole life, since I was born to now, I have been through so many experiences, both up and down. Most of them are what called “first time” since I’m still a teenager, understand that it will happen again, and again, and again, and being able to learn from the experiences. This one is very personal, emotional, touching, and loved. It was the first time that I realize how much I loved someone that meant the world to me. Yet, I started to perceive that I won’t be able to be with the person I love all the time. At some point, I have to say goodbye, and it is tough to do so. Still, I have to understand, sometimes it’s better to allow the person to step away or forsake for their own goods and happiness. It’s like a quote that said “It’s painful to say goodbye to someone that you don’t want to let go. But it’s more painful to ask someone to stay if you know they really want to go.” Solida’s goodbyes have made me become conscious, that I can’t be with the person I truly love all the time. She has lightened up a whole big and new life-changing lesson for me. She has taught me to be a strong and an independent girl even though she’s not with me to hold my hand.

 

The first day that I came into this world, the cute little baby that everyone wants to hug, I didn’t know what I was doing or who I even was, besides crying of course. However, I heard from my family that my mom didn’t take care of me much since I was a baby because she was too busy working to find money in order to help my family. So who would be responsible for taking good care of this naughty baby? It was my big lovely sister, Solida. She decided to quit school in the ninth grade since our family didn’t have enough money for everyone to go to school, and she became like a mother to the younger siblings. She took care of me like I was her daughter. She milked me, showered me, cleaned me after pees and poops, played with me, trained me to be a girl, educated me about life, be there for me when I need her, and most importantly, loved me from her kind, beautiful, and warm heart. And for that reason, she is my everything, she’s more than a mother to me, she belongs to me, and she’s mine. She means more to me than any other person, she is everything I think about, everything I need, everything I want. She is my world. I have never met a more caring person in my life. She has made me the caring person I have become. She is extremely hard working and goal oriented. She doesn’t quit when things get hard and just pushes through. This trait is extremely admirable and I love her for it. She not only worked hard to ensure that I had a good upbringing, but was also very strict and often punished me whenever I did something wrong. Even though I did not like the punishment then, I now look back and realize that it was meant to lovingly, correct me and help me to follow the right path when growing up. My life depends on her, and only her.

 

As much as I love her, things wouldn’t be the same as what I expected. As usual, my sister rides me to my English school in the evening. After dropping me off at the school, she went to her French class and learned a part-time language lesson there. Her school and my school was roughly next to each other. One day, when my class ended, I walked to her school so that we could ride back home together. But as I arrived at the place, I heard a lot of mumbling and whispering, and mutter, and smiles, and laughter, and cheering, and congratulations. I honestly didn’t know what was happening but I could see that my sister was smiling widely, showing her delighted face. So I couldn’t help but smile too.

A friend of her came up to me and said, “I wish your sister good luck and all the best.”

I thought to myself, “What are you talking about? What’s going on? What is she being congratulated? What’s happening with my sister?” But I didn’t get to ask anyone. I was just standing there smiling like an idiot, knowing nothing.

As I sat on my bike, I felt hesitant to ask her about these curiosities, but I finally gained the confidence and said, “What happened back there?”

She chuckled and said, “I got an interview today with a french guy.”     

I looked at her back, confused and puzzled, “Is there something wrong?”

This time she giggled, “No! There is nothing wrong at all but-”

“But what?” I quickly interrupted her.

“I’m going to France in three months….”

The moment I heard that my jaw dropped open. My stomach twitches because of the excitement and the depressed. I’m highly strung. I felt like I was having an anxiety attack. My chest feels like floating from my heart. My heart beats harder trying to keep it together. I can’t think straight. I wanted to burst myself out with tears, angry tears, sad tears, and happy tears.

We arrived home, I get off the back of the bike and opened the front gate door to our house. As I looked back to my sister, she was still beaming. “Are you going to tell mom?” I questioned before going in the house.

“Of course, she would be a very thrill to hear that.”

“Yeah, I’m very excited” I mumbled sarcastically. I’m very hurt and she doesn’t even care about me anymore. Maybe she doesn’t even realize or notice that I’m hurt. She just cared about herself. I hate her.

As I arrived my room, I threw my bag on the floor and then I jumped onto the bed, hugging both knees like a rocking baby and listened to the adult conversation from outside of the room. I barely heard them talking but I heard the noise of whispering and cheering when they’re all laughing.

Suddenly, my second brother voice was there and my second sister was there too. At this point, I also wanted to go outside and listen to what my sister has to say, but at the same time, I think I have no business out there. A kid like me shouldn’t listen to adult talking or join the adult conversation because Cambodian parents think that that is rude.

“I hate you” The phrase repeated in my head. “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.” I kept imagining the same things over, and over, and over again. I feel like there is a hole in my chest holding me back from achieving my true goal- to not be alone. When the frustration builds and I think I might explode – I take a deep breath. I want to shout, have a tantrum and beat my hands on the ground like a toddler. I want to vent, let it out, but I don’t want to say words I don’t mean, be hurtful. Because I have to admit, I still love her.

I wrapped my arms around the pillow so tightly, like if it was a human, it will not be able to breathe. I want to tell my brain to stop thinking about it. I want it to shut down and let me go to sleep, but it just can’t. It won’t listen to me. I heard someone open my room door, stepping in slowly and silently. At this point, I’m trying really hard to stop the expressions of my emotions.

“Sreyday!” Solida said with a soft voice. “What happens with you?”

“Nothing,” I replied.

She sighs, “I know it’s not nothing. Tell me how are you feeling.”

I bite my tongue, trying to hold the tears that threatened to leave my eyes, showing my weaknesses. And that’s when I can’t hold them back. First, one small crystal bead escapes from my right eye. I can feel the heat, sliding down my cheek, and rolling off my chin. Then another. And another. And one after another continuously. Until my eyes flood with them, coming like a rainfall. Sniffing every time, they fall, and fall, and fall, and I let them.

“Because you do not love me,” At this moment, I’m in sober. “Why you want to leave me?”

“Sreyday… come on!” She patted on my shoulder but I rejected, hugging my pillow even tighter than ever. “What are you thinking? I’m not leaving you.”

“Go ahead and enjoy yourself in a foreign country and then you will forget me.” The tears burst forth like water from a dam, spilling down my face. I feel the muscles of my chin tremble. I’m crying and sniffing at the same time, making it hard to catch my breath. I felt like my lung was filled with water like it was drowning.

“Sreyday!” She turned my face to look at her. “Look at me.”

My tears welled up behind my eyelids, slipping down my cheeks without resistance. I cry too much, I noticed that it’s hard to open my eyes.

“I love you so much, you know! You are my daughter. I’m never going to forget you.” I felt her throat gone dried out. “How could you even think that?”

“Then why would you want to leave me.”

“Because I need to find my own family too.”

“So I’m not part of your family.” I queried back.

    She exhaled in tiredness and sadness, “You are and will always be apart of me. I promise you, I will only go for three months, when I come back I will take you with me.”

“Really?” I said in big surprised.

She nodded, “Perhaps,” A pair of tears raced down her cheeks. “Even though I’m gone, doesn’t mean that you can’t live without me, Sreyday! You are a strong girl! You are brave enough for things you want.”

“Am I brave enough to fight for you?”

“You don’t have to fight for me because you already had me.” She played with my hair.    “You will learn to be an independent and a powerful girl.”

I turned to hug her so that I’m being wrapped around by her warm and soft arms, and listening to her heartbeats.

“You’re not alone!” She quietly said.

“I love you!” I express in my cries.

“I love you most!”

 

For three long months, the upstairs window has been my only connection to the outside world. I felt like a lonely person. I felt like I have nobody, nobody. “She’s leaving me!” I thought dramatically. Hugging both knees to the ground, looking at a blank wall, imagining the future picture. The day I avoided has came to a reality, a reality where I’m most afraid for the first time in my life.

The luggage was out in the front door, the renting van has arrived and my sister is saying goodbye to our dad. I’m biting my lips so hard just to stopped my tears. “I should be happy!” I reminded myself. I sat at the back of the van, next to the window and seeing places as we were passing by, it was just like how time flies. Positivity just doesn’t want to unite with me at that moment. I’m hearing mom and everyone laughing, and talking, and wishing lucks and only me that wasn’t happy, only me. We finally arrived at the airport and at this moment, my heart just pumped up so fast it hurts my chest. And I realized, I was finally crying and sobbing. As soon as my sister saw me, she came and hugged me so tight, she hugged me for over five minutes long.

“Stop crying please!”

I sniffed so hard, I don’t think I’m breathing. “Please… don’t… go.” I said it between sob, still hugging her so tightly.

“My love, remember that I’m not leaving you. I’m going for a very short period, I promise.” She put her right hand on my chest where my heart is. “You have to stay strong, at least for me? I will always be with you, right here,” She pointed to my heart, “right there,”

My heart dropped to the bottom of the world. My feelings were just like a butterfly. It was hard to hate her because she was just extremely sweet.

“Take care ok?” She whispered softly.

   I nodded, this time with a smile.

These next few hours would either pass as a blip in the course of her life, or they would be the final trauma that broke her. As the raucous of airplane passed above me, I started to feel something, something I never felt before.

   

I cried for a few days but I think those tears are worth to be wasted. I am not with her anymore, that doesn’t mean I’m alone, I’m just having more independent. At that time, I didn’t know how to be independent, I didn’t know what it means because I’ve been with someone since I was born. But as she was gone, I started to understand what independent mean. Even though it was hurt that she has left me, but her decision of leaving me is very meaningful and it was a life-changing moment for me or in another word “A Coming Of Age”. I realize that I don’t always depend on people to help me stand or find a direction to go. And she teaches me that I can be independent and switch into a life where I need discover who I am by myself. I realize that without her I can be who I am. Not just that I learned how to be independent, but I also learned how to take care of my family and myself.

 

Believe it or not, from when she was gone until now, I have made a lot of my own decisions. See here, I got to study at Liger school. I could have said “no” to come to Liger but I was seeing my future in a bright way and that’s why I said “yes”. The answer was not all from my parents, if it’s for my life, then it’s a part of me too.

   

When I was in Kindergarten, I got bullied by a bunch of kids; I was pretty depressed. But my sister always told me, “You don’t listen to what people said and decide that it’s true. You know who you are, you know what you love and those people don’t define you.” Since she was gone, I began to analyze more of what she said and when I understand it, it will be apart of me forever. Currently, I’m doing what I love, I’m doing what I’m passionate about. Sometimes, I even do what I’m afraid of or what I think I can’t do. I just have to have the mindset to do it and she is apart of my mindset. Because of the way she has taken care of me, I have learned from her attitude and I take care of the people who I love and I valued them.

   

The time when I was in the 3rd grade of government school, I make a lot of friends with some bad people and they lead me in the wrong way. But I was still a good student, it’s just that when I’m out of class, I don’t seem to be who I am. In honesty, I stole a lot of my mom money intentionally. I didn’t want to do it, but I was forced to, by them. I ruined a lot good times at that stage. Whenever I got home, I always got hit by my brother or my sister, nearly every day. I kind of got some mental situation but I don’t want to consider but because I was being pushed from a lot of directions. I wasted a lot of times doing nonsense stuff. After she left me, I don’t do those stuff anymore. I realize what I’ve done. From that on, I always take times as a priority. Time is a part of my life and everyone’s’ life. A second, a minute, an hour, a day, a month and a year, those are all moments and no one can bring times back. It’s gone and it’s done. It’s just like me and my sister, I’ve spent ten years with her as my childhood and I’ve no idea how fast that went. It’s crazy!

 

My sister has transferred into a teenagehood, it’s very exciting but also frustrating at the same time for being a teenager. But in order to get into that stage, I had to say goodbye to her and I know that the goodbye’s not forever but it was something “special”. Sometimes moving on with the rest of our life, starts with goodbyes. Goodbyes could happen to anything in this world, to a person I love, to an experience I enjoy and to objects I admire. This is just an example of how my sister goodbyes change my life but there were a lot of people who have changed me when they decided to leave.  

 

This i Believe

 

I come from a pretty simple background family. I grew up in a big family with five siblings including myself and my parents. My siblings are all married and have family which left only me and I feel like I’m left alone. Now it’s been 15 years that I’ve continuosly growing and things are starting to change. Some changes are hard to take in and some changes are easy to accept. I’m 15 years old, I’m not a child anymore. I believe: in opportunity to make the most important decision to become who I am.

Five years ago, my life was drastically different than it is today. Every single thing that’s happened to me has since impacted who I am and where I am now. That life-changing decisions I was trying to make, I should have go with my gut. Never should have ignore my instinct again because, it won’t fail myself now. Sometimes it’s really hard to either follow my heart or follow my brain. It’s hard for my mind to explain it self. Knowing that sometime things that I do isn’t always right but I just did it because I was lose in myself. I didn’t know the right path and I couldn’t see a light to follow. This reminds me of something that I used to say before, “Pay more attention to your thoughts, what you’re thinking is what you’re attracting to doing it.”

When it comes to making decisions, I couldn’t stay focused because the negativity will always try to drag me down. For example, some best friend forever aren’t really forever but I will never forget or regret the time I’ve spend with them. They’ve all impacted my life no matter how long they were with me for, eventhough they’re not a true friend now.

This was when I was 10 years old. My sister had to leave me. She is the greatest sister and I always called her “Mom” because she has been taking care of me since I was a baby. She decied to leave us in a happy way so she could find a family of her own. She had to go very far away. I was crying so hard for a week before she leaved. I don’t want her to go because I love her so much. I always thought she’s not going to come back and she don’t love me anymore. At that time she explained to me, “This is for the best of me and for the best of you too. You’re going to be a great daughter and I trusted you for taking care of yourself and the family. This was a hard decisions for me but you’ll understand why I make this decisions when you’re older. I love you so much Soliday! I promise I’ll visit you and maybe one day, I’ll take you with me.” I was hugging her so tightly I don’t want to let go but then I realize, I need to understand her happiness too. I respect her decision and I should be happy for her. So I decided to learn to accept it. This was my sister life changing decisions and she was right, it has changed her now. It was my first lesson.  

Some decisions are really hurt in the end. It’s like the end of the world when I’ve regreted it. Like when I experince heartbreak, I’ve told myself to not wasting so much time on emotions and energy just to think about him because he’s not worth it anymore.

Each decisions that I’ve made, it at least teaches me something afterward. So far I’m still happy with what I’m doing. Life making decisions isn’t always easy and in fact it will get a lot harder, it’s going to try and break me but I will get through it. Don’t pause or it will be a lot more painful.  

 

Literacry – Pgymalion

For the past few weeks, in literacy, we’ve been learning a lot about advanced writing. Our teacher taught us how to write an essay, write a response using evidence and using quote sandwich. She’ve picked a play for us to read, and it called Pygmalion, My Fair Lady. She would tell to read a section and then she would ask questions by using the text-dependent questions, we would write a summarize/main idea using quote sandwich. Right now, we’ve already finish the play and we’ve write an argument essay about the characters.

This class include a lot of hard work then last year. Mainly, we focus on improving our writing skills. For this past few weeks, what I see for my improvement is that when I write a response, I always cite the evidence and explain my evidence really well. What I need to work on is my grammar and to that I need to practice writing more and more.

Class Lessons: 

Khan Academy – Math

Each and every year, math is start to get harder and harder. This year we use one educational website call Khan Academy. We use this website to learn math and practice our math. This website is really helpful because we can have an extra lesson beside class lesson. We have use this website a lot recently this year. There are different subjects of math, geometry, algebra, trigonometry and others. And there’s also a lot of others project related to physics, chemistry, science.