H.M.S. Family

Ahoy, matey, and welcome aboard the H.M.S. Family! I’ll be giving you a brief… briefing… of how this ship works.
First off, this ship needs work to maintain. Yes, we do have sails, but we also rely on rowing to power us through tougher storms, and the whole ship needs constant maintenance. Look here, that’s the captain’s cabin. The captain is the member of Family’s crew that does most of the work, navigating, steering the ship, organizing the rest of the crew, pitching in with the swabbing of the deck and rowing, and often the only one who’s got their wits with them, too. Next to it you see the first mate’s sleeping quarters. The first mate does less work than the captain but still puts a lot of effort into keeping this ship afloat. They are often the only ones the captain can rely on in a storm.
Now, if you’d be so kind to follow me down to the bilges…
Here you see the stowaways and work shirkers. These are crew members in name only: they don’t work, they don’t help, often they argue with the captain, and generally are useless. Still, you can’t just throw overboard a member of the Family, so we deal with them as best as we can.
And here are the general crew quarters. These fellows are the ones in between the first mate and the stowaways, but there’s no real set place where they stay. Sometimes they help and participate, other times they complain about rowing duty or cleaning. We make best with what we can.
Sometimes, when there’s a heavy storm or a reef ahead, the captain will try to run the entire ship by themselves, and usually fail, since a body just can’t keep up with that kind of work. They will implore the rest of the crew to help, and more often than not, you’ll hear quite a few complaints about who’s turn it is to row. Ironic, since during times like those, EVERYONE is needed.
So that was a brief tour. Now, I’m curious what kind of crew members you have in your ship. Who’s who in your Family, and can you recognize them?
Published in: on July 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm  Comments (1)  


Right, so today I discovered an interesting analogy. Tutoring middle and high school students is much like the action of enzymatic processes. To explain:
In an enzyme, there are two relevant sites: the active site and the Allosteric site. An enzyme is a catalyst in a reaction, which means it accelerates certain reactions without being used up in the process. This way, a small amount of enzyme can cause a massive reaction. The way an enzyme changes a substrate (the stuff being changed) is by having it attach to the active site on the enzyme, which then performs the reaction, and the products are released. With me so far? Good. Now, here’s the fun part. There are substances called inhibitors which control enzymes. For example, a competitive inhibitor blocks the active site of an enzyme temporarily, while a non-competitive inhibitor attaches to the Allosteric site and completely blocks the enzyme from functioning alltogether.
So how does this compare to anything? Simple.
I am the enzyme. I catalyze the action of learning. I convert the base substrate (untaught students) into wise products (students who actually get the point of the lesson now). My attention and speaking is the active site, to which the substrate binds. There are, however, competitive inhibitors. These are students that require my attention for frivolous tasks which I find entertaining. The other, more damaging inhibitor is the non-competitive inhibitor. Namely, while I am trying to teach someone, they will often pull out their cellphone as I am talking to them and begin texting/checking Facebook/whatever. The point is, this kind of behaviour often destroys any good intentions the enzyme had while it goes to its desk to sit there, and while sulking, make some rather interesting mathematical observations it keeps in an orange folder.
Published in: on June 1, 2011 at 11:53 am  Comments (1)  

Essay I wrote for English Class

Got a 97 on it.

Cause and Effect: Not Doing Homework

One of the most interesting cause-and-effect relationships in today’s age is abstinence from homework. From the point of view of an instructor, it seems illogical that a student would choose to not pursue their education; After all, it is their future, is it not? From the student’s view, homework is an offense against personal space and time; what gives a school person the right to affect the student’s life outside of school? Either way, personal view is irrelevant, as the cause and effect of not doing homework are what actually matter.

As referred to in the opening paragraph, a frequent cause of not doing homework is ego. The very idea of having to do academic work out of school is an anathema to many students. Often the adolescent in question feels that the work is below him; he understands the lesson, so why should he have to chew the same old soup? Why does he have to do work which has little easily observable beneficial effect, yet is punished if he does not finish and turn it in on time?

There are, however, cases when the homework is simply not doable. The living circumstances may sometimes severely limit the student’s ability to do the work, and as a result, he is punished unjustly for his existence. This type of refraining from work is usually rare. When there is a will, there is a way.

The last significant causes are simple laziness or improperly planned procrastination. While the result is the same, the latter is more easily fixed than the former. Sheer laziness is a deeply rooted bad work ethic, and is often irrational. Significant negative feedback is needed to overcome this condition, and often it is not enough. On the other hand, procrastination is simply poor time management and overestimation of one’s skill. To remedy this, just wait. Seriously, that is all that the instructor needs to do. Eventually the student’s grade will buckle and cave in, and he will either have a fit or plan his work better.

The effects of homework abstinence are varied, but usually can be summarized in about three categories: emotional, physical, and academical. Sometimes the student’s grade may fall, and other times not doing homework changes little.

If the cause is ego and the grade changes little, the student’s estimation of self-importance will swell unnecessarily. He is inclined to become more arrogant, do less homework, if any was being done at all, and become just slightly obnoxious to talk to. If the grade does suffer, he may either reform his ways, or more likely, feel emotionally injured and not do anything to change.

When the cause is procrastination, the effects are either lack of sleep, a dropped grade, or both. Procrastination means stretching, blowing it off until the last minute, so to speak, and this schedule (or rather lack thereof) overlaps with time when the student would usually be sleeping. The lack of sleep further damages the student’s performance in class; he is able to understand less and has difficulty staying awake. The damage to his grade, well-being, and academic progress is quite profound, if left unchecked.

Lastly, no matter what the reason, cause, or excuse for homework abstinence, the pupil suffers reduced ability to learn; the purpose of homework is to set in stone the class lesson, and not doing homework weakens his foundation, upon which his whole knowledge base is built. Further, since his grade is lower, his chances of being accepted in colleges or acquiring financial aid in the form of scholarships are reduced as well. Overall, abstinence (from homework) is very unsuitable for a scholar. Saving oneself for college is not a viable option.

Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 2:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Birthday To OwlPages!

Okay, so OwlPages was I think the first forum I ever participated in. It was in the days of dial-up, too, so each page had significance by its tenacity and unwillingness to load already, I’ve been waiting for five minutes and it hasn’t budged…

Okay. So an official Happy Birthday is due, and here it is.

And now translated for Deane, the creator and chief, who happens to be in Australia:

(: ˙ʇǝbɹoɟ ɹǝʌǝu ɥɔnɯ ʎʇʇǝɹd ןןıʍ ı sbuıɥʇ ǝʌıɟ ɟo ǝuo sı ooʇʇɐʇ ןʍo ǝɥʇ ‘osןɐ ˙ǝɟıן ʎɯ ɟo ʇɹɐd bıq ɐ pǝɯɹoɟ noʎ ˙bunoʎ sɐʍ ı uǝɥʍ ʇı uo ǝɯ buıʇɐpoɯɯoɔɔɐ ɹoɟ noʎ ʞuɐɥʇ oʇ pǝʇuɐʍ ʇsnظ ı ¡sǝbɐdןʍo oʇ ʎɐpɥʇɹıq ʎddɐɥ

Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 1:56 am  Comments (1)  

This will be a series of Stuff

Posted from my Theatre Arts Journal. Enjoy.

Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 1:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Essay I think someone will like

Essays that Appeal to the Senses

Your dream house

It is in the land of the sleeping that all is possible. In a dream, a man can taste purple or smell the sunshine. It is for this reason that the house I would very much like to live in is situated in the sublime realm of Morpheus, for today’s technology cannot accommodate the demands I seek.

The house is very large, forty feet wide and one hundred and twenty feet long. As the door creaks open, a warm aroma of cinnamon infuses the air. A red dwarfish squirrel is plastered on the ceiling, tossing around the spice in a drunken, shaking manner. Its coarse fur wafts off ethanol. The wall beneath at first appears to be shifting beige sand, and upon closer inspection it is revealed that it is just sand. Indeed, the entire infrastructure is based on fluid silicates, an engineering impossibility indeed. Plumbing is not an issue, because the house technically is not real.

Slowly passing the entrance, the den shuffles into view; literally, as the flowing floor functions as a conveyor belt. The multitude of grains rub against each other, ever so swiftly, quietly humming Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Each different tune is achieved by compacting and aerating the drumming sand to control the resulting sound. True stereo surround sound, it might be called. The den sports a white marble fountain filled with mercury. Upon the lustrous surface of the mercury is perched an iron replica of Santa Maria, cast and molded by an elite team of dark haired pale midgets. Marlene almost lost a finger trimming the sails. Next to the fountain is an antique divan of vaguely Turkish origin. It depicts a lion hunt on its canvas of dyed cashmere, being more of an art piece than furniture. The divan’s warm colors compliment the cream/ocher of the walls and floor. No Persian rugs, though, as it is utterly impossible to remove the sand out of the weave.

To enter the bedroom, I draw a figure eight on the floor using my finger. The ceiling slowly draws down, then draws me up in an obscene recreation of peristalsis. I sift and ooze through the flour -fine sand, leaving no trace but a particularly shiny quarter which I should have secured better and now won’t see again for more than two weeks, when it will likely show up in the lobby next to the squirrel. I emerge dazed on the floor of my bedroom. The passage was blind, deaf, and dazing, yet every inch of me is conscious and aware of touch. The sand both transports and functions as a mild hygiene method, scrubbing off dead skin and dirt. As I stand up, I observe my bed. It is a beautiful wide baldachin, another gift from my Turkish subconscious. A baldachin is essentially a regular wooden framed bed, but each corner features a support some 5 feet high. Between these supports a silk curtain is suspended, almost completely obscuring the cushioned mattress within. Upon the mahogany table rests lit frankincense, lightly emitting blue smoke. I lay down upon the cushions, slowly sinking back into reality.

Reality is harsh. I cannot see anything, for my eyes are still hopeful for the beauty of the sand palace. Dark, cold, and alone, I stumble towards the water closet, and give my message to the world. The flush and the resulting water noise haunts me as I return to my room, the real one. It taunts me with insomnia until daylight comes, pouring golden through my window, mocking with false promises of Middle Eastern cultural treasure.

This was an essay for my AP Lit class.

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 12:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Interview with a Vam- I mean Butterfly

Today we have the privilege of interviewing the Chinese Butterfly Whose Wings Cause Hurricanes In USA. Enjoy.

Me: So, hello there. How do you feel?
Butterfly: A little bit nervous, to tell you the truth. Is the camera recording?

M: Yes. Yes it is.
B: Oh.

M: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
B: Oh man, you have no idea what it’s like to be me. Imagine if millions of people blamed you for natural disasters. Then, imagine it being scientifically plausible. I am under a lot of stress to flap my wings just the right way, or BAM! Another Katrina.

M: Go on.
B: Well, I like moderately short flights on the beach, a romantic evening by the honeysuckle, you know, all the cheesy romantic stuff. When I was just a pupa, I thought I could find Mr. Right, settle down in a good flower bed, lay some eggs. I’m trying to find Mr. Right Now. I’m not getting any younger, and the creases in my wings are getting stiffer. You think I’m pretty, right?

M: (coughs uncomfortably) Uh, yes, you’re beautiful. Is there anything else you would like to share?
B: Well, I was the third of 900 siblings, I grew up in Beijing, and I like the color purple. I was also intelligently designed by Rikki Donnachie, folded by Paper Disciple, and embellished by Tanja Sova. She also made this base. Do you think it makes my abdomen look fat?

M: (Slightly too hastily) No, not at all. It matches your eyes well.
B: (Blushes) Thank you, you’re so sweet. Anyway, I have an 3 inches wingspan, which is actually pretty impressive for a girl my species. The base I am standing on is a slice of natural branch with bark (it was brought down by one of the hurricanes), and the Spanish moss probably won’t ever wilt. I look really good on an office shelf. (Looks at watch) I have to go rest soon, so I hope you don’t mind me leaving.

M: No, it’s fine. Thank you so much for this. Any parting words?
B: Yes. Just three.

(Flutters away)

Published in: on July 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm  Comments (2)  

Incredibly Lame Puns

Prepare to groan, people with cellular biology knowledge.

What do you call a cell structure that makes corrupted RNA? A bribedosome.

What do you call a strong cell power converter? A mightychondria.

What cell structure follows FIFA? The Goalgi body

Why is cellulose a good mason salesman? Because it makes a great sell wall.

Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 1:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Pretty Cool Sculpture, A?

Okay, I know. I’m sorry for the lame pun. But still, I rather like it.

Published in: on May 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm  Comments (1)  

Peggy Lee on my Mind

*Sassy music mostly composed of hmm-tss and bass*

Fever when you hold me tight
In the morning
Fever all through the night

Till you sizzlen
But what a lovely way to burn

Last Friday, a stray biplane passed over my school. The pilot was slightly intoxicated at the moment, causing him to drop his cage of butterflies out of the plane. One of the butterflies shook it’s wings the wrong way, causing an errant dilation in the eddies and currents of the atmosphere. We’re due for a hurricane in a couple of months because of that. Incidentally, I got disturbingly, deliriously feverish. Likely from a viral infection. I probably shouldn’t go into details here, but it felt similar to a trip to the Chocolate Factory (Wonka) if it was housed in a petri dish.

On the plus side, KITTEN!

Published in: on May 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm  Comments (1)