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Business 9, Lesson 125 – Advertisement to Join RPC

Have you been thinking of home-schooling your child, but are slightly hesitant to do it?  Do you want a home-school Curriculum that does not require textbooks, handwritten papers, and other nuisances?  Do you want a home-school Curriculum that offers a good education to your child without you having to act as a full-time teacher?  If you said yes to all these questions, consider joining the Ron Paul Curriculum.

The Ron Paul Curriculum is a liberty and freedom based online home-school Curriculum that offers courses from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.  The Curriculum requires almost zero parent involvement starting 3rd grade.  Not only does this give parents time to take care of the house or do their jobs, it teaches the student ownership and responsibility from a young age.

Every course offered in the Ron Paul Curriculum teaches students in 20-30 minute videos with reading assignments.  Every course (besides Math) requires students to write an essay every five lessons.  If you do one lesson every day, you have to write essays weekly.  This teaches students good essay skills and gives them plenty of opportunities to improve their writing.  The Curriculum also requires students to set up a blog (which is completely free if you use WordPress.com) where they can post their weekly essays.  Not only does this teach the child blogging skills, but it proves to people that your child has been doing school and has been improving their skills over the years, and it allows the student to receive feedback on their essays from other RPC students.  Students can post their essays to the various forums available.  These forums serve as a database of essays for future students and a place where students and parents can talk to one another.

The best part about the Curriculum are the high school courses.  Starting 8th Grade real life topics are being taught to students.  The Curriculum offers a Personal Finance course, a Public Speaking course, and two Business courses in High school.

There is an annual fee of $250 and $50 for each course.  But if this Curriculum doesn’t work out for the student, you have a 60 day money back guarantee. 

If this Curriculum interests you, click here to get started.

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Blender Project, Section 4 Wrap Up

For the last month I have been working on the fourth section of my Animation Project course on Udemy.

In this section, I did not really alter anything, but I did UV map the whole character. UV mapping is something animators do to make it easy to animate the object/character later on. The squares you will see on the character are the UV mapping marks.

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English 9, Lesson 120 – Northup Vs Eliza When Separated From Their Children

This week I started reading Solomon Northup’s autobiography, Twelve Years a Slave.  Northup was a free black man who was drugged and kidnapped into slavery.  Today, I am going to compare Northup’s reaction to being separated from his children versus Eliza, a slave mother’s reaction to being separated from her children.

Before Northup was kidnapped, he was very skilled with the violin and was asked to perform for a travelling circus one day.  He agreed and went to the ‘circus’, but he did not inform his wife or children as they were out of town.  This was a mistake as the ‘circus’ was a guise.  He was kidnapped, drugged, and shipped off to New Orleans as a slave who had “escaped from Georgia.”  During the whole ordeal the only thing on his mind were his wife and children.   

Unlike most people, Northup was still hopeful that he would be able to escape.  He was determined to escape and thought in terms of when and not if.  He was thinking of when he would be able to see his wife and children again.  Northup knew that he was a freeman and kidnapping a freeman was illegal.  He was convinced he would get justice one day.

Before Northup was sold to a master, he was kept with other slaves, one of which was named Eliza.  She had two children, Randall, who was ten years old, and Emily, whose age was never specified.  We only know that she was much younger than her brother.  Northup talked of Emily’s beauty for such a small child.  She had fair skin and smooth, silky hair.

During the slave auction, Eliza had tried to be sold to the same owner as her children, but failed.  Randall was sold to one master, Eliza to another, and little Emily was to be kept at the auction house until she grew up a little more.   Eliza’s master had attempted to buy Emily as well, taking pity on the woman, but the auctioneer refused to sell Emily.  Northup described how this ordeal affected Eliza.  She was no longer sleeping or eating well and she was not taking care of herself.  He noted how she started to get skinnier and less healthy looking.   

How come Eliza reacted so differently from Northup?  The answer is quite simple. Eliza was a born slave.  Northup was kidnapped into slavery.  While Northup knew he had rights and was convinced that one day he would be able to use those rights to get out, Eliza had none.  She was born a slave and therefore had no rights. 

I believe that Eliza also knew in the back of her mind that her children may be sold to cruel masters.  She also knew that the possibility of seeing each other again was very slim.  Not impossible, but not very likely either.  She would not know which state they would be shipped to or what would happen to them. 

While Northup would not be able to know what his children were doing and where they were, he could sleep peacefully knowing that they were free and their mother would be able to take care of them.  Eliza did not have this luxury.  Therefore she worried herself sick (literally).

As you can see, even though it seems like Eliza and Northup were in the same position, they were not.  Northup knew that he would see his children again.  Eliza knew that she would never see her children again.  That is what makes her story so heart-breaking.

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Business 9, Lesson 120 – 15 Benefits of the Ron Paul Curriculum

In my last essay I listed five reasons to join the Ron Paul Curriculum based off of my personal experience.  Today’s essay is going to be slightly similar.  I am going to be listing fifteen benefits of the Ron Paul Curriculum.

Benefit One: the curriculum is self-taught starting 4th grade.  This teaches the child discipline and gives them a sense of responsibility.

Benefit Two: because the curriculum is self-taught, parents do not have to act as full-time teachers.  They can work from home or take care of the household without having to worry about their child’s school.

Benefit Three: the curriculum is self-paced.  The student can go at whatever pace they desire, resulting in a zero stress education.

Benefit Four: if the curriculum does not work out for a certain family they have 60 days to get a refund of their money.

Benefit Five: students are not required to use textbooks.  This saves money for the parents.  All books required for the courses are free on PDFs or can be bought from Kindle for under $10.

Benefit Six: speed reading is taught in ABC (Academic Boot Camp) and encouraged in all of the other courses.

Benefit Seven: weekly essays are required starting 4th grade.  This not only teaches the students how to write good essays, but it gives them plenty of opportunities to practice their skills.

Benefit Eight: there are forums for every course where students can talk to one another when they need help or get constructive criticism on their essays and/or speeches.  The forums also serve as a database of students’ essays, allowing future RPC students to get essays for inspiration when it is their turn to write.

Benefit Nine: RPC offers unique courses like Business (two Business courses in high school), Public Speaking, and Personal Finance.  Regular schools do not offer courses like these to high school students.

Benefit Ten: the curriculum is very easy-going and allows students to have flexible schedules.

Benefit Eleven: the curriculum is 100% online.  Because of this it is possible for the student to do schoolwork anywhere.

Benefit Twelve: there is no extra work to do after the class is over.  The student is given assignments to do after watching the videos and then that subject is done for the day.

Benefit Thirteen: RPC does not force students to do hours and hours of schoolwork everyday.  The maximum time a student can do school using RPC is 6 hours.  Of course they can do more if they wish to.

Benefit Fourteen: there is no age limit to the classes.  Unlike Public and Private schools, grades are not based on age but on the student’s knowledge.

Benefit Fifteen: everything is home-based.  There are no bullies or social drama other than the ones at home (aka siblings).

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English 9, Lesson 115 – Did Thompson Provide Persuasive Evidence that South’s Slave System was Morally Evil?

This week I finished reading John Thompson’s autobiography.  Thompson was an escaped slave from the South and in his autobiography, he told his readers what it was like to live as a slave in the South.  In today’s essay I am going to answer the question, “Did Thompson provide enough evidence that the South’s slave system was morally evil?”

Thompson did not specifically say, word for word, that the South’s slave system was morally evil, but he gave enough evidence to prove it.

Example One

In the first few chapters of the book, Thompson talked about having his sister sent away.  I studied the Civil War a few years ago in History, and one of the things that disturbed me the most was how the slaves would be separated from their families and it was considered normal.  It was even more disturbing to see it from a slave’s point of view.  This is a personal belief of mine, but I think that families should stay as a unit and should not be broken up.  I feel that it is cruel to separate a family with no guarantee of them ever seeing one another again.

Example Two

Thompson described how harshly his masters would beat him and other slaves if they disobeyed.  He would also mention how many masters would beat their slaves for no reason besides entertainment.  Whether you were young or old, no slave was immune from the whippings.  Thompson recalled how one of his master’s young sons would come home from school and call all the young slave children to the yard.  He would order them to clean it, and while they did, he would whip them for no reason other than to see them bleed.  This is inhumane and evil.  The slave system not only bred racism, but also cruelty in white children and resentment in black children.

Example Three

Thompson escaped slavery as an adult with his friend.  He made it up North then out to sea because he still did not feel safe.  One of the things that deeply upset me was how Thompson did not die a free man.  Legally, he still belonged to the master he had escaped from.  You may be thinking that legal matters do not concern a slave once he has escaped and is on the open seas, right?  Yes, this is partly true, but can you imagine how Thompson felt?  He had to stay on the open seas if he wanted to remain free.  He could not go on land without the fear of being found, captured, and taken back down to the South again.  He died with the knowledge that he was legally owned by a man.  Can you imagine what it feels like to die knowing you were never free?  I find this completely and utterly evil.

Example Four

Slavery goes against everything that God has said.  God wants humans to start families and raise children.  The slavery system saw families as nothing but a source of more income.  God wants humans to worship and pray to Him.  Many masters would punish their slaves for worshipping God because it gave the slaves too much hope.  God wants humans to treat each other with kindness.  The slave system told people it was acceptable to whip a man as punishment.

Conclusion

As you can see, the South’s slavery system was horrible and morally evil.  In my personal opinion, nothing about the slave system was decent or acceptable.  I think everything about this type of slave system is morally evil and inhumane.

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Business 9, Lesson 115 – Five More Reasons Why You Should Join RPC

For the past few weeks I have been learning about how to write compelling advertisements, and this week Dr. North used the Ron Paul Curriculum’s advertisements as real life examples.  One of the things I looked at was the 26 Reasons to Adopt the Ron Paul Curriculum Today (Not Next Term) . . . and 4 Reasons Not To article (https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/public/3346.cfm).  In today’s essay, I am going to be adding five reasons to join the Ron Paul Curriculum coming from a student who has been doing this curriculum since 5th Grade.

Reason #1: you can go at your own pace.  I have said this once, and I will say it again, home schooling is amazing because you can go at your own pace and follow your own schedule.  This is especially true for the Ron Paul Curriculum.  The schedule that each subject follows is four lessons of new material and one lesson of review (usually on Fridays).  But this can be customizable.  There are no hard deadlines except the ones that you set for yourself.  In my case, I started 5th Grade with the Ron Paul Curriculum three years ago and now I am more than halfway through 9th Grade.

Reason #2: saves time.  On the note of going at your own pace and setting your schedule, the Ron Paul Curriculum believes that students should not spend more than six hours in school per day (unlike the eight hour school days other children are subjected to).  The curriculum is designed in such a way that it is nearly impossible for a child to spend more than six hours if they do not want to.

Reason #3: life skills.  Many high schoolers say that majority of what they learned cannot be used in real life.  But the Ron Paul Curriculum offers many courses that will actually help the students in real life.  For example, 9th grade has the Public Speaking course, teaching students how to write and deliver speeches.  There are also two business courses teaching students about how to run a small business and how to advertise.  I was learning how to file taxes in America when I was in the 8th Grade!  Many students who have graduated high school cannot say the same.  These are real life skills that a person will need and use in real life.

Reason #4: blogging skills.  The Ron Paul Curriculum highly recommends each student have a blog.  It allows others to read the essays and get inspiration. It allows the author of the essay to get feedback, and it teaches the student blogging skills.  I have noticed that many RPC students have started their own personal blogs about their interests or hobbies.  Blogging skills are useful to have if the student ever wants to start a small business and needs a way to advertise it.

Reason #5: good note-taking skills.  All lessons in the Ron Paul Curriculum are pre-recorded videos, and usually require students to take notes which can be applied to essays at the end of the week.  This teaches students good note-taking skills, which is useful if the student wishes to go to college or in real life if they get an office job.

As you can see, the Ron Paul Curriculum teaches real life skills and makes education fun and easy.  I have no doubt that the skills I am learning today in this curriculum are ones that I will need and use in the future when I am an adult.

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Business 9, Lesson 110 – Which of These Advertisements Conform to Joyner’s Standards of an Irresistible Offer?

For the past week I have been reading The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner.  In the book he talks about how to create an Irresistible Offer and how to sell it.  To create this special offer, the advertisement needs to answer four questions. What are you trying to sell me?  What will it cost me?  What’s in it for me?  Why should I trust you?  In this essay, I am going to be evaluating advertisements, given to me by Dr. North, and determine if they fit Joyner’s standards for an “Irresistible Offer.”

M&M Advertisement

The link:

The M&M advertisement only answered two of the four questions Joyner requires for is Irresistible Offer.  What are you trying to sell me and what’s in it for me?  They are trying to sell you chocolate candy that supposedly does not melt in your hand when you hold it.  The catch phrase was nice and the animation was obviously placed there to appeal to young children, but as a customer of M&M for over 10 years, I can tell you that these chocolates do melt in your hand and gets all over your white clothing (I am speaking from experience).

Radio Shack TRS-80 Computer

The link:

The Radio Shack advertisement answered all four questions asked, and in my opinion, meets Joyner’s standards for an Irresistible Offer.  The advertisement showed what they were selling and showed the price of the computer twice.  It listed all of the benefits and at the end mentioned that they were one of the biggest names for computers, implying that they are trustworthy since no company can become big if their products are shoddy.

Commodore

The link:

The Commodore advertisement answered three out of four questions, which I think is pretty good.  They showed what they were trying to sell and listed the price.  They also mentioned how the Commodore is convenient and can do the same thing as the office computer.

American Express

The link:

The American Express advertisement only answered one question, which is the “what are you trying to sell to me?”  The video was entertaining, and it caught my attention, making it possible for me to stay to the very end where they mention what they are selling.  But the advertisement does not mention how to get the item and does not list or show any proof of benefits.

Conclusion

Only two of these advertisements met Joyner’s standards.  I will say, the advertisements were fun and entertaining to watch, but only one gave buyers a sense of trust.  For me, when I see advertisements on TV or on YouTube, I always want to find some sort of reassurance that this product is worth my money.  If I saw these advertisements on the TV, I would only be tempted to buy the computer and M&Ms (but only because it is chocolate, not because of the advertisement).

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English 9, Lesson 110 – John Thompson’s Theory of the Relationship Between Sanctions and Slavery

For the past week I have been reading John Thompson’s autobiography.  Thompson was an escaped slave and his book is set in the pre-Civil War era.  In his book he describes his masters and how life was like for slaves.  While reading the book I noticed that he had a very interesting theory concerning the relationship between sanctions and slavery.  In this essay, I am going to talk about this theory and my opinion of it.

Thompson’s theory was that when a master gives a harsh punishment it does not make the slave ‘behave’, but instead makes the slave resist even more.  But when a master gives a slave light or no negative sanctions, the slave is cooperative and puts in 110% when working.

I think that everyone reading this can agree that this theory is true.  When I think about the theory it reminds me of raising children.

For example, when a child (or teenager) misbehaves and a parent punishes them harshly, they usually do not comply that easily.  In most cases, the child does the same thing again or something even worse in an act of rebellion. 

When you look at slavery, I think this is the same case.  According to Thompson’s book, a lot of slaves were whipped for no reason other than to entertain their masters.  This bred resentment and resistance in the slaves and they would not work as hard.  But masters that were kind to their slaves and treated them as actual humans and not objects to be used, had happier and hardworking slaves who actually loved and cared for their masters.

Thompson made it very clear that he hated slavery because he thought that the system was giving white people (specifically white men) too much power, creating tyrants and sadists.  Thompson did not exactly say this, but I got the impression that he would not mind being a slave if he was treated with kindness from his masters.  I think it is safe to say a lot of other slaves had the same feelings.

As you can see, Thompson had a very logical theory about how sanctions and slavery worked.  I think that his theory is completely true.  Like Jessica said in her essay “it’s a two-way street.”[i]  If slaves were treated well, they would treat their masters well.  But if slaves were treated poorly, they would treat their masters poorly.


[i] “Sanctions and Slavery – English”. Farm Kid’s Blog. 16 February 2018. Web. 27 September 2021. https://rpcfarmkid.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/sanctions-and-slavery-english/

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English 9, Lesson 105 – How My Autobiography Will Be Different From Darwin’s

This week I finished Charles Darwin’s autobiography.  His autobiography was rather short (only eight chapters), making it possible for me to finish it in four days.  In this essay, I am going to talk about the things I would do in my autobiography that are different from Darwin’s.

The first thing I would change is the length of the book.  As I mentioned in the last paragraph, Darwin’s autobiography was only eight chapters long.  When I write my autobiography, I plan to make it a lot longer than eight chapters.  But I wonder if the original autobiography was longer than the one I read.  In the first few pages of the book Darwin’s son, Francis, informed the readers that the autobiography was originally written for his children and some parts of the book were removed for privacy purposes.  I am not sure how many private things Darwin may have added to the book, but it could contribute to why the book was so short.

Another thing Darwin did, that was slightly frustrating, was that he did not describe many important things that happened to him.  For example, his time in the Galapagos.  He did not take the time to write about or describe his experience there, but he did include the fact that he went there.  This left the reader wondering about what happened during this time.  Darwin also did not mention what caused him to suddenly become an atheist, though I can understand why he did not write about this topic.  It is a sensitive subject for some and he may not have wanted to share his opinion with others.  When I write my autobiography, I will be sure not to leave out too many details. 

Towards the end of the book, Darwin started to exclude the time periods of certain events making it hard for readers to understand what time period we were reading about.  In the first part of the book it was very easy to understand what year or decade we were in, but it started to become less clear towards the end.  That happened to be around the time Darwin started talking about his mysterious illness.  I am not sure if this was intentional or not, but it was certainly confusing for me to read.  For my autobiography, I will be sure to remember to include the dates of events I mention to avoid confusing my readers.

As you can see, I have learnt a lot from Darwin’s autobiography.  I think leaving out time periods is a very valuable lesson for me as I know I sometimes forget to specify when certain things happen. You can always learn from other people’s mistakes, and I have definitely learned from Darwin’s. 

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Business 9, Lesson 105 – My Ad

This week in Business, I have been learning about the different parts of ads and how to write them.  In this essay, I am going to write a pretend ad for two novels I plan on selling, and explain my logic for it.

The logic for my ad is quite simple.  Besides listing the price, I also showed a picture of the product to show customers that the books are in good condition.  I also included the books’ descriptions, the author, how many books I am selling, their conditions, the genre and appropriate age group, and their original prices.  I thought that if people knew the original prices, they would know that I am offering them a good deal.  For my ad, I was following the format of book ads I have seen on different online shopping platforms like Shopee and Lazada (primarily Asian platforms).

As you can see, I added all of the necessary details to the ad.  I have never written an ad before, and I am not sure if this will sell well, but I think I did a good job of attempting to write one.

My Ad:

Selling Keeper of The Lost Cities books #8 and #8.5.  Book #8 is hard back.  Book #8.5 is paperback.

Description of Book #8 (from fandom.com):  ‘Illusions shatter—and Sophie and her friends face impossible choices—in this astonishing eighth book in the New York Times and the USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Sophie Foster wants answers. But after a lifetime of lies, sometimes the truth is the most dangerous discovery.

Description of Book #8.5: A guide to the world of elves with recipes of the famous desserts as well as information about Firefox, the Council members, and Black Swan and Neverseen members.  A short novella that takes place after book #8 is at the end.  

Author: Shannon Messenger

Books: 2

Condition: lightly used

My Selling Price: $10 per book

Original price: $20 for each book

Type of Book: Young Adult fiction. Suitable for ages 10+

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Business 9, Lesson 100 – Redistribution of Income

This week in my 9th Grade Business course I have been learning about the redistribution of income and the ‘morals of economics.’  After going through all the lessons, I will say that my view on redistribution of income has changed.  In this essay, I am going to explain why my opinion changed using the example of grading.

Before this week I did not see anything wrong with redistributing someone’s income.  In my mind, I saw it as the people of a country or state helping those that are less fortunate.  But after this week’s lessons I now see that redistribution of income is not the best solution to help those in poverty.  The example that made me realize this is the grading system.

Imagine, you are in school with others around you.  A test is coming up and you start to study.  Your friend, Mark, does not want to study but wants a good grade.  You advise him to stop being lazy and to start studying, but he does not listen to you.  Mark goes up to your professor and asks for a new grading system.  Your professor tells Mark that he will think about it and dismisses Mark.  On the day of the exam your professor announces that those who get a higher grade will have to give 25% of their grade to those who got lower grades.

This example is exactly like the redistribution of income system.  Those that are poorer (have lower grades) are given things that they did not work for by those who worked hard to earn money (or grades).

If this grading system was used in schools this would discourage students from studying for two reasons.  One, if the student did not study they would still get a decent grade from others without having to do anything.  Two, those that do study do not get to keep all the benefits they should earn.  Those that studied would also feel cheated and most likely stop trying to earn good grades when they know they will not be able to keep them.

I am not saying that I am against helping those in poverty.  But I feel that I should be able to do it of my own free-will instead of being told to do it by the government.

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English 9, Lesson 100 – Should I Include Reconstructed Speeches in My Autobiography?

This year in 9th Grade English, I have read seven autobiographies, with many more to come.  Almost all of them included reconstructed speeches the person either gave or heard.  From the other autobiographies I have read outside of this class, reconstructed speeches seem to be a common thing to add to an autobiography.  Does this mean I should add one in my autobiography as well?

If I write my autobiography now, as a 13 year old, I would not add reconstructed speeches into my autobiography for two reasons.  Reason one:  I have never had much patience to listen to speeches.  Only speeches with topics that really interest me would keep my attention.  As I have not come across (or searched for) speeches with interesting topics I would not have any speeches to include in my autobiography.   Reason two, when I come across the reconstructed speeches included in other people’s autobiographies I tend to get bored and skip through it, or only skim through the text.  In a past essay, I stated that I wanted my target audience to be teenagers my age, which leads me to assume that most children are like me and would not be too interested in reading a reconstructed speech.

However, if I wrote my autobiography as an adult, or even as a 20 year old, I would consider adding reconstructed speeches into my autobiography.  By the time I am 20 years old, I would assume that I have found and attended speeches that piqued my interest (most likely while in college) that would leave an impression in my mind.  If this is the case, it would be very easy and enjoyable for me to write about the speech while keeping the points accurate.

As you can see, speeches are not something that I would consider adding to my autobiography now.  But, if I start writing my autobiography as an adult, I will obviously not have to same mentality (and patience) as I have right now at the age of 13.

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Business 9, Lesson 95 – Where I Want to be in 20 Years

Growing up, almost every child has an idea of what they want to be, do, or become.  Obviously, as the person gets older their dream/idea of what their future looks will change.  As young children , we have wild and maybe unrealistic, ideas of our future, but when we become teenagers and the prospect of high-school and college come up, we start taking our futures seriously.  In this essay, I am going to talk about where I see myself in 20 years.

In 20 years, I will be 33 years old.  It is hard to realistically write about the future, especially 20 years from now.  But I will try my best.  One thing that I know for sure is that I want to be an actress, onstage and in front of a camera.  I have been pursing acting since I was very young.  

In 20 years, I am an established actress with a few movies and musical theatre productions under my belt.  I also want to be married with a child (or two), and be a stay-at-home Mom who writes songs and novels on the side. I want to continue writing for the rest of my life.

Honestly, it feels weird to think of myself as an adult (a little scary too).  This essay was a little exciting to write as the future is full of opportunities.  I will not lie; thinking about life after high-school and college is exciting. There are so many possibilities out there. Thankfully, I have plenty of time to work towards my dreams.

Thanks for reading!

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English 9, Lesson 95 – My Target Audience for My Autobiography

When you are writing a book you must always keep one question in mind: who is my target audience?  This question applies to any book whether it is a novel, history book, autobiography, etc.  In this essay, I am going to talk about my target audience for my autobiography.

If I write my autobiography now, at age 13, it will mainly be for children around my age.  I feel that children my age will be able to relate to my life more than adults.  Teenagers will understand what it is like growing up with constant access to the internet, as well as growing up in a Covid world.

Some adults may find it interesting to see the world from the perspective of a 13 year old, but I doubt it.  I hope that other teenagers will find my autobiography interesting and relatable.

Thanks for reading!

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English 9, Lesson 90 – Benefits of Writing an Autobiography

For the last 90 lessons of the 9th Grade English course I have been reading and analysing autobiographies.  So far I have read Jim Lehrer’s, Helen Keller’s, Mark Twain’s, and Sergei Kourdakov’s autobiographies.  Now it is time for me to think about my own autobiography and a question arises: what benefits come from writing an autobiography?

In my opinion, I think people write autobiographies for four reasons: for their own enjoyment, so others can learn from their mistakes, to inspire people, and to leave a legacy behind.

Enjoyment

For me, I love to write and I find it fun, unlike some of my friends.  I do not doubt that the people who wrote autobiographies also liked to write.  When I was younger my Dad would tell me that people love to talk about themselves, and I think that this is the same for writing.  Who would not like to write about themselves?  Especially when they know that other people may read it.  Writing about your life, especially your childhood, will bring back old memories that you may have forgotten, or have not thought about in a long time.  Some people may enjoy looking back on their life and remember the adventures they had.

Educational

Your autobiography can also help other people.  You may have heard the saying “you learn from the mistakes of others,” or something around those lines.  Let’s say that you made a bad mistake a few years ago and you do not want others to make the same mistake.  Putting this incident into your autobiography, with ways to avoid this situation, can educate and help your readers from making the same mistake and landing themselves in an unfortunate position.

Inspiration

Not only can your autobiography educate your readers, you can also inspire them.  For example, Helen Keller’s story is definitely a very inspirational story.  When I was a young child she was one of my idols.  Her story shows that you can do anything if you put your heart into it, even if you are blind and deaf.  If you have an inspirational story with a moral, there is a high chance that your readers will be affected by it. 

A couple years ago I found an autobiography by a child actor who was on Broadway.  At the time I was only 11 years old and I was not a child who liked to read autobiographies for fun, but this certain one intrigued me.  I borrowed the book from the library and inhaled it in under a week.  The actor’s story was slightly sad, but very inspirational and enjoyable for me.  His story showed me that success is never impossible.

Legacy

In the 9th Grade English course, and the 9th Grade Business course, Dr North has mentioned leaving behind a legacy many times.  Before 9th Grade I never took the time to think about my legacy.  As I am only 13 years old I think I have plenty of time to figure out what kind of legacy I want to leave behind. 

For me, my legacy is not something that is important to me (yet).  But it occurred to me that for adults their legacy is something that matters to them.  For some people, their autobiography is their legacy, or is something that they want to be a part of their legacy.  Honestly, I cannot think of a better way to leave a legacy.  A book about your life, written by you, does seem like the most fun way to make your legacy.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many benefits to writing an autobiography.  I am sure there may be many other reasons, but these are the four that came to mind when I thought about it.

Thanks for reading!  

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Business 9, Lesson 90 – The Ideal Apprenticeship, and Why

Earlier in the 9th Grade Business course, Dr North mentioned getting an apprenticeship during the last few years of high school.  In this essay, I am going to talk about the ideal apprenticeship for me and why.

With my school, my parents and I planned it in such a way where I finish high school at 16 years old, giving me a two year gap between high school and college.  I had originally planned to get an internship at a production company.  But now, I am leaning towards the idea of focusing on my acting in those two years.

But, if I change my mind (again), and decide to get an internship/apprenticeship, I would want it to be based around acting or teaching acting (as an assistant).  In my mind, the internship would be ideal if it was not too far away from where I live, and is something that I like and want to do.  It would be a huge bonus if I had co-workers who were around my age and have the same interests as me.

As you can see, I am not too interested in getting an internship anymore.  I would rather spend my gap years auditioning for acting roles (movie or onstage), learning the Quran (Islam’s holy book), and writing my novels.  I would also like to have enough time to enjoy my last few years as a teenager before I go off to college with legal adults who are supposed to be mature and ‘grown-up like.’

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English 9, Lesson 85 – How I Can Make My Autobiography Less Disjointed Like Mark Twain’s

This week I started reading Mark Twain’s autobiography in English class.  While reading the book I made two observations.  One, each chapter is no longer than five pages.  The longest chapter (so far) was only three pages long.  Two, the stories in each chapter are very disjointed.  It was if Twain had ideas but did not take the time to sort them out.   In this essay I am going to talk about how I plan to make my autobiography less messy.

In Twain’s autobiography he wrote down memories in chronological order.  But none of them really connected together.  In Public Speaking class we learnt the importance of making one idea flow into another one when we write out speeches.  I think that this is also very important when writing a book.  I also felt that Twain was telling random stories.  While some were important moments of his life, others seemed irrelevant for readers.

When I write my autobiography I will find links between each idea/story so the book flows smoothly and the readers do not feel like they are reading a messy diary.  I will also take time to go through my thoughts and memories before I start writing.  I will only write about big/impactful moments in my life and not every funny or amusing memory I can think of. 

One way to help me do this is to keep a journal.  Humans obviously cannot remember each and every day of our lives.  Our minds would be very cluttered if we could do this.  Keeping a journal will not only give me something to reference back to, but it will also help me remember certain things or details I would have forgotten if I went by my memory alone.

My parents always say that you can learn from other peoples’ mistakes, and that is what I am going to do with my autobiography.  It was very smart of Mr. North to give us a disjointed autobiography to read.  Now all the students taking the 9th Grade English course will not make the same mistakes Twain did.   

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Business 9, Lesson 85 – How I Will Implement a Chapter of Dale Carnegie’s Book

After four weeks of reading, I have finally finished How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie!  The book was very entertaining and educational.  I loved the examples he gave to show how each lesson would work in real life situations.  In this essay, I am going to talk about how I plan to apply one of these chapters to my life.

In my last essay, I talked about the most difficult lesson in the book: “if you are wrong admit it quickly and emphatically.”  I think that this principle is one that I want (and need) to implement in the future.  My plan to start implementing this lesson sound quite simple.  I plan to suck up my pride and apologize when I do something wrong.  For me, this is the definition of easier said than done.  This will be quite difficult at first, but it is not impossible.

I also plan to implement a lesson from part two, chapter three:  “calling a person by their name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”   I totally agree with this.   My plan to implement this tactic is to write down their name in my notes or to get their number and add them to my contacts. 

As you can see, I have quite solid and easy sounding plans for how I want to apply these tactics to my life.  I will admit that the first lesson may not be very easy to do, but I am determined to carry out my plan.

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Business 9, Lesson 80 – The Most Difficult Technique in Carnegie’s Book So Far

For the past three weeks I have been reading How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  At the end of every chapter Carnegie would give a ‘principle.’  In this essay I am going to talk about which principle is going to be the most difficult for me to use.

If I am being honest, most of the principles that I have read about are already things that I know and do.  But there is one principle that I know will be the hardest for me to use.  It is from Part Three, Chapter Three: “if you are wrong admit it quickly and emphatically.” 

I do not know about others, but I find it quite hard to admit it when I am wrong (I will attribute this to my pride).  Even when I am wrong, and I know it, I still have a hard time admitting that I was wrong.  If I have to admit it willingly and emphatically, that may be a challenge.  But if I suck up my pride and admit my mistakes it will help me in the future.  The examples Carnegie gave in this chapter proves it.

In this first few pages Carnegie told us a story about him and his dog.  He had a park that he liked to take his dog to, and one day a police officer came up to them and asked why the dog did not have a muzzle and a leash.  Carnegie said that he had forgotten it at home.  The policeman let him off, but warned Carnegie there would be consequences if he caught them again.  Carnegie used the muzzle and leash a few times afterwards, but eventually stopped.  One day, the same policeman caught them without a muzzle and a leash.  Instead of letting him come over and reprimand him, Carnegie went up to him and started to apologize profusely.  The policeman took pity on him and let Carnegie off, this time with no warning.

As you can see, when you start apologizing before the other person gets mad you may get them on your side and they will let you off the hook.  Carnegie says that people like to feel important, if they feel they helped you and did a good thing, they will feel good about themselves and treat you less harshly. 

Maybe I should start trying to use this principle on my Mom when I get in trouble.

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English 9, Lesson 80 – Why Was Plunkitt so Open About His Money?


This week in English I finished reading George Washington Plunkitt’s ‘autobiography.’  In the last few chapters, Plunkitt talked about how he gained his wealth, calling his method ‘honest grafting.’  In this essay I am going to talk about why I think he was so open about how he earned his money.

First, let me explain what honest grafting is.  Honest grafting is when a politician jumps on any and every opportunity they find to make money.  In Plunkitt’s case he would buy things and sell them at an increased price.

An example given in the book was about “when an old brick road was being rebuilt, and the old bricks were being auctioned off. Plunkitt told the other bidders that if they did not bid, he would give them a portion of the bricks. So he bought the bricks for about 2 dollars and gave the other bidders their allotted portions. He could then sell the rest of the bricks and make a profit.”[i]

I personally think that Plunkitt was open about his money for three reasons: publicity, to prove he was not a crook, and he wanted to brag.

As a politician, publicity is a big thing.  If you portray yourself as a self-righteous person who is law abiding and caring, the people will love you and vote for you.  Plunkitt did a very good job of doing this.  In my last essay I mentioned how he was very connected to the people and was always helping them out.  By showing everyone how he made his money not only would he be creating talk around his name, he was showing the people how easy it is to make as much money as him.

Plunkitt was a very rich man, and many thought that he used illegal and unethical means to acquire his wealth.  By showing talking about his tactic to make money he showed the people and his enemies that he was an honest man.  Earlier in the book he said that he thought “The politician who steals is worse than thieves. He’s a fool.”

I also think that by showing people how he made money gave him bragging rights.  He explained and showed what he did and in a way, was subtly bragging about how much money he made because of how smart he was.  Before Plunkitt ‘honest grafting’ was not a thing.  In a way, he was considered the ‘creator’ of honest grafting.  If you Google honest grafting Plunkitt’s Wikipedia page is the first result.

As you can see, Plunkitt was quite proud of his new tactic to gain money.  Creating a brand new method of gaining money will definitely create a lot of talk around his name, as well as prove to his enemies that he was a law-abiding citizen.  I also think that a small part of him wanted bragging rights at dinner parties.


[i] Hussain, Sofia. “Plunkitt and His Money.” 26 May 2021. Web. Retrieved 12 August 2021. https://sofiarpc.home.blog/2021/05/26/english-1-lesson-80-plunkitt-and-his-money/

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Blender Project, Section 2 Wrap Up

In the past month I have been working on the second section of the Blender course. The last time we saw Corey (my character), only his head was formed. But in the second section I created his body, arms, hands, legs, and feet.

Once again, this is the first time I am doing this, so please try to ignore how chunky he looks.

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Business 9, Lesson 75 – Why is Trust in Establishing Long-Term Business Relationships Important?

Trust is an essential part of any relationship, business or not.  In this essay I am going to talk about why trust is important using the example of a small business as it rises up from the ground.

For the sake of this essay, pretend you have a small business.  During the early days of your business you meet a kind customer.  They are very excited about supporting your business and orders multiple products from you.  They find your products satisfactory and become a regular customer.  Over time they order more and more products, and you in turn slip in free gifts to thank them for their loyalty.  Because of your kindness, the customer starts to trust you and refers you to friends and family.  Your customer trusts you and feels like they can tell their friends about your products without the fear of them receiving damaged or defective goods. 

This same thing can be the same for a business partner or an investor.  Imagine you are contacted by an investor who sees potential in your business and is interested in funding you.  You and this investor become close friends and he (or she) helps your business skyrocket.  Five years later, you run a very successful business and you are making thousands of dollars every year.  Your investor friend may not be a big part of your life anymore, but five years ago you and the investor started a relationship which led to mutual trust.  The investor refers your business to other people and you do whatever you can to help them out.

As you can see, trust is a very important thing in business ordeals.  Trust is the basis of every relationship whether it is a business endeavour or a romantic relationship.

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English 9, Lesson 75 – How Did Plunkitt Patriotism Connected to Tammany Winning the Election?

This week in English class I started reading George Washington Plunkitt’s autobiography (more like a biography that was anonymously published, but that is a different matter).  In the chapters that I have read so far it was very obvious that Plunkitt hated the civil service exam.  He thought it extinguished the patriotism of the people.  In this essay I am going to talk about how Plunkitt thought patriotism attributed to Tammany winning the election.

First, let me clarify what Tammany is.  When I first saw the name Tammany I thought it was a person, but it is actually a name of the political party Plunkitt was a part of.  The proper name of this party is Tammany Democrat.

During the time when the book was written (late 1800s) the civil service exam determined if a person would get into the army or not.  The exam was a lot like the exams we students take nowadays.  There would be math word problems and other academic subjects.  Plunkitt claimed he saw many men with undying loyalty to their country take the exam and fail, leading to the death of their patriotism.

When Plunkitt saw this he would find these young men and put them in any available job he thought they would be suitable for.  Plunkitt had a saying: “be at the fire before the firefighters.”  Judging by what the book said, Plunkitt was always looking out for the people.  He got up close and personal with each and every inhabitant of Manhattan.  He knew the name of every man, woman, and child.  He remembered their interests and likes.  If he knew of a person with a good arm he would invite them to join the town’s baseball team.  If he knew of a person who thought they had a good voice, he would be invited to the Glee Club at City Hall. 

In the book he said that he would give the children candy.  “They learnt that Uncle George coming meant candy.”  He claimed that one little girl “held on to her Father’s whiskers until he promised to vote for Plunkitt.”

The people got the impression that Plunkitt was always looking out for them.  This made people think that the Tammany party would bring prosperity to their country, causing them to vote for the party.

As you can see, Plunkitt knew that the people only wanted what was best for their country.  He knew that if he portrayed the hero looking out for the citizens he would get a good reputation for his party and convince the people that voting Tammany would help their country.  After all, who would not want their country to prosper?

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Business 9, Lesson 70 – What it Will Take for Dr North to Persuade Me to Use Spreeder for Ten Minutes Every Day?

In the beginning of the Business 9 course, Dr North mentioned a speedreading website called Spreeder.  He recommended that we use it for ten minutes every day.  Today’s essay topic is “What it will take for Dr North to persuade me to use Spreeder for ten minutes a day?”

I have already used Spreeder a few years ago when I did the ABC course (Academic boot camp) in the Ron Paul Curriculum and sometimes I still use it when I have to read articles that I find really boring.  It is a good website for those that want practice with speedreading or when you have really long reading assignments, but I honestly do not think that it is a good website for me. 

Whenever I use the website my mind tends to wander while I am speedreading because my hands have nothing to do.  I tend to prefer speedreading straight from the article so my hand can at least focus on scrolling down the page.  I only use Spreeder when my eyes get tired or I get a headache from reading.

I know that Dr North wants me to use the website as a way to practice and work on my speedreading skills, and I am not trying to say that Spreeder is a bad website, but it does not work for me.  However, that does not mean it will not work for you.  I think I that my speedreading skills match the reading assignments I have to do at the moment.  If I ever need to start reading more words at a faster pace I will definitely consider using Spreeder again.

As you can see, Spreeder is not the website for me.  I need to be doing something with my hands while reading an online website or my mind will wander.  I think I will stick to speedreading straight from the article for now. 

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English 9, Lesson 70 – What Was Booker T. Washington’s View of the Future?

Yesterday I finished reading Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington.  Throughout the book, Washington made his idea on how he wanted the future to look like was very obvious.  In this essay, I am going to talk about what those ideas were.

Like I said in my last essay, Washington wanted blacks to be considered equals to whites without being judged by the rest of the world.  He recognized that it would be at least 50 years before this would be possible though.  Washington believed that working hard and being kind to others would make you successful life (I agree with this belief whole-heartedly), but he also believed that “something will turn up, if you pray and be patient.”  He justified this belief by using his school in Tuskegee as an example.

In the earlier chapters of the book Washington talked about how poor the school was when it was first started.  They did not have enough to money to make dorms for the students, and the lodgings they could provide were less than ideal.  But somehow the school stayed afloat and became successful.  How?  Washington mentioned how the school always seemed to receive enough money for whatever they needed whenever they needed it. 

One day the school had a speaker come to talk.  Since the school did not have an auditorium, the speaker had to present his speech out in the open.  However, while the speaker was presenting a storm passed through and it started to rain hard.  The school did not have a shelter to provide for him and he had to continue to present his speech in the rain.  Washington noted how the speech was still very good despite being performed in the rain.  Afterwards, the speaker told Washington it would be nice to have an auditorium, or at least a building for speakers to present in.  The next day the school received a generous donation from two women for an auditorium.  Coincidence?  I think not.

As you can see, Washington had a very optimistic outlook for the future for black people.  I really enjoyed reading Up From Slavery because of Washington’s character.  He was a God fearing man who believed in hard work and honesty.  He had a positive idea for the future, but stayed realistic and acknowledged that he would probably not live to see equality between the two races.

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Business 9, Lesson 65- My Business Plan

So far in my Business course, Dr North has said many times that starting a business in your teenage years can be very beneficial for you in the long run for many reasons.  I agree with the reasons he lists (income, sense of responsibility, impresses future employers), and have come up with an idea for a business of my own.  Today’s essay topic is “I will sell my business when it will be making [?] per year so that I can [?].”

If I am being honest, I always thought of my business as a ‘side gig.’  Of course, it would be amazing if my business could grow to a point where I would not need to do anything and can solely focus on my acting, but at this moment in time I am not sure how that would work.  In my plan, my business will be writing books and publishing them.  My goal is to write at least one fiction novel by the time I am 15 years old.

As a back of the envelope estimate, each book will sell for $5.  Assuming the middlemen take 30% of the sales, I will receive $3.50 per book.  If I sell a minimum of fifty books per month, I will make $2,100 in my first year.  I realize that this is a relatively small figure, but I have yet to understand the genesis of publishing a book and getting it into the hands of my readers.  Once I have figured that out, I will be able to duplicate that process in subsequent years, and have a better grasp on the profit and loss scenario. 

As you can see, I have a general idea of how I want my business to unfold in my teenage years.  As for when I become an adult, I will see how well my business is doing and go from there.

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English 9, Lesson 65 – Was Booker T. Washington’s Program for Gaining Social Acceptance for Blacks an Elitist Program?

This week’s essay topic is “was Booker T. Washington’s program for gaining social acceptance for blacks an elitist program?”  I am going to assume that the ‘program’ is referring to Washington’s school in Tuskegee.  To answer this question, no, I do not think that Washington’s program was elitist.

Elitist means a society where a person, or a group of people, are superior to others in the society. 

I think it is safe to say that this was not Washington’s intention.  As a black man who had seen slavery in the early years of his life, I doubt he would want to do that to the whites.  He did not want the blacks to be ‘higher’ than the whites, he only want equality.  

I do not think that at any point in time Washington’s program made it seem like he was trying to make blacks superior to the whites.  He only wanted equality between the two races, not superiority.

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Blender Project, Section 1 Wrap-Up

For the past three months I have been working on the first part of my Blender project. I have been using a course on Udemy to guide me.

I am trying to make a cartoon character named Corey. So far I have only done the face, head, and mouth (including tongue and teeth). Here is what my character looks like right now:

This is my very first time making a character on Blender, so please excuse how chunky it looks.

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English 9, Lesson 60 – The Most Memorable Moments from Booker T. Washington’s Autobiography

For the past two weeks I have been reading Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington.  So far, I am really enjoying the autobiography.  In this essay, I am going to talk about a couple moments from the book that I found memorable.

The Umbrella

Washington was called to Tuskegee, Alabama to be a teacher at a college to train teachers.  When he reached the city he realized that there was no schoolhouse for him to teach in and he was forced to make do with old barns or churches.  In the autobiography he described how bad the condition of the buildings were.  When it would rain, the rain would seep through the cracks in the roof.  He recalls how one of the older students would give up his studies to stand next to Washington with an umbrella over his head so he could continue to teach the others without getting wet.

I found this memorable because it showed how much that student admired and respected Washington. 

Buying the Plantation

After a while, the old barns and churches would not be sufficient for his lessons.  He took out a loan and bought an old plantation, which he turned into a school.  He noted how after the lessons were over the students would work on improving the main house themselves.  This was memorable for me because is showed how much the students actually wanted to learn.

Washington also wanted the students to have some experience in agriculture because at that time students would need those skills.  He wanted the students to help clear the trees from the land so they could start a farm.  However, most students were hesitant.  Many thought that doing that work would tarnish his reputation.  Washington started to clear the trees by himself and over time the other students started to help out.

This was very memorable for me because it shows a lot of things.  Firstly, it shows his how he wanted his students to have real life education and not just book education.  It also shows how he taught his students that work is not bad.

Christmas Traditions

In Chapter Nine, the last chapter I read before this essay, Washington describes the Christmas ‘traditions’ of the people of Tuskegee.  Let me say, it is not pretty.

During the last weeks of the year Washington gave the students a break from school so they could celebrate with family.  But the people of the city used these weeks to get drunk and party.  Weapons were used by everyone (and everyone was drunk).  Parents would spend all of their money on alcohol, prompting their children to run around the town asking for Christmas gifts.  Fights broke out, and overall it was violent and unsafe.  Washington was appalled by how the sacred holiday of Christmas was turned into this.

This was very memorable to me because it is so different from how people celebrate Christmas nowadays.  The fact that this actually happened all those years ago is so hard for me to imagine.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are quite a few memorable moments in the book.  Personally, I find it incredible that Washington was able to change his student’s mentality and attitudes after teaching them, not many teachers can do that nowadays.

Thanks for reading!

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Business 9, Lesson 60 – Three Time-Allocated Changes That Will Increase My Productivity

This week in Business class I read more chapters from Living the 80/20 Way by Richard Koch.  In the book he talked about making time-allocated changes to your daily life to increase your productivity.  In this essay I am going to talk about three time-allocated changes that I can make to increase my productivity.

Follow my Morning Routine

A couple weeks ago I decided to come up with a morning routine for myself.  I follow this routine most mornings, but as it gets closer to the weekend my motivation to stick to a schedule is next to nothing.  But if I force myself to keep to a schedule my attitude towards the rest of the day will be more positive and I will be more energized. My morning routine (for weekdays) looks like this:

  • Wake up at 7 am and brush teeth
  • Stretch
  • Do ab workout from YouTube or go swimming (I live in a condo with a  pool)
  • Shower if I did go swimming
  • Eat breakfast at 8 am
  • Start school by 8:30 am

Writing Time

I am currently working on my first YA (young adult) novel that I plan to publish as an e-book by the time I am 15 years old.  Many authors have said that setting a certain time period to write every day has made their brains recognize when it is time to write, that is how many of them get their ideas.  I set a writing time (5 pm) for myself a couple months ago, but I have been having trouble sticking to it.  But, like following my morning routine, if I force myself to sit down every day at 5 pm to write I think that I may be able to get more ideas out.

Bedtime Routine

Like my morning routine, I have come up with a bedtime routine but I do not always follow it.  But like my morning routine and my writing, if I force myself to follow the routine and go to sleep at my bedtime I will (hopefully) get a better sleep and be more energized to do my morning routine the next day.  My bedtime routine (for weekdays) is supposed to look like this:

  • Shower (if I didn’t in the morning) by 8:30 pm
  • Call friends at 9 pm
  • Get off the phone at 10 pm
  • Do prayers with my Dad until 10:30 pm
  • Listen to my podcast, listen to music, or read by book until 11 pm
  • Go to sleep at 11 pm

Conclusion

As you can see, I already have time-allocated things to do each day.  I will keep trying to do it all, even if I do not want to.

Thanks for reading!

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Business 9, Lesson 55 – What Can I Cut Out of My Schedule to Improve Efficiency

This week I started reading Living the 80/20 Way by Richard Koch.  One of ways to “live the 80/20 way” is to cut out certain things from your week to increase productivity and efficiency.  In this essay, I am going to talk about what I can cut out of my schedule to improve my efficiency.

I already have a pretty busy schedule on the weekdays and I honestly think that I have cut out everything that would slow me down.  Which is why instead of cutting things from my schedule I would add and rearrange things.

My mornings are already filled and there is nothing I can cut to increase efficiency.  But in the afternoons, after I eat lunch, I could go nap for an hour before continuing with my school.  When I return to my work I will be refreshed and energized (theoretically).  At nights, after dinner, I could shower right away.  This way, my hair will dry before I need to go to bed and I will not have to push my bed time later because my hair is not dry.

As you can see, there is not much I can do to improve efficiency in my weekly routines.  I have already cut out everything that would slow me down or distract me.  I can only see moving my shower and adding a nap to improve my efficiency. 

Thanks for reading!

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English 9, Lesson 55 – What Were Washington’s Arguments Against the Slave System?

This week I started reading Up From Slaver by Booker T. Washington.  In the first few chapters of the book Washington talks about his opinions of slavery, mainly his oppositions.  In this essay I am going to talk about Washington’s main three arguments against slavery.

Work Ethic

Washington noticed how the slavery system may seem like it is only benefitting the whites, but in reality it was hurting them as well as the blacks.  When the slaves were freed, the whites did not know how to do manual labour for themselves as labour was viewed as jobs for the ‘lower rank’, the slaves.  They were so used to having people do it for them that they could not run their own farm without the help of their former slaves.  On the other hand, the slaves may know how to work, but they could not to read, write, or do mathematics as they were never taught.  Both parties lacked quality skills that they needed to survive, which is why many slaves started agreements with their former masters so that they could survive. 

Washington also noticed how all slaves worked hard, but for different reasons.  For those who had kind masters, they worked hard to please them.  But those who had cruel masters, they worked hard so they would not get a beating.  He found it wrong that the people’s work ethic was tainted by fear of punishment.

Stealing

As a young child, Washington would see slaves stealing things from their masters.  As he grew older he realized that the system would make it somewhat acceptable to steal, in fact, it was common.  Washington frowned upon stealing, but at that time it was the only way the slaves could survive since they were not given much to survive on.  He felt as if the system was prompting bad habits, such as stealing.

Family Structure

Washington’s final argument was that the system ripped apart the family structure.  In those days, as you probably know, slaves were sold from owner to owner.  Their owners rarely cared about the fact that they may be taking a mother or father away from their family or taking a child from their parents.  This happened to Washington himself.  He never met his biological father, never even knew his name.  He was raised by his mother and older siblings.  He did not have a father figure in his life until after he was freed. 

Unfortunately, this was common for the blacks back then.  Washington, like my family and I, believe that every child should grow up with both of their parents around.   

Conclusion

As you can see, Washington had a pretty good argument against slavery.  He was a man with a good conscious and morals.  He stressed hard work and good work ethic to the students he taught in his early adulthood.  Like he said in Chapter Four “I have had no patience with any school for my race in the South which did not teach its students the dignity of labour.”

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Business 9, Lesson 50 – What 20% of This Week’s Lesson Influenced Me the Most?

This week I was supposed to read The Breakthrough Principle of 16x by Richard Koch and write an essay about the 20% of the book that impacted me the most.  But I was not able to get the book in time for the lessons.  Instead of writing about the 20% of the book that impacted me the most, I am going to talk about the 20% of this week’s lessons that impacted me the most.

I think the thing that impacted me the most, and that I remember without looking at my notes, is the 80-20 rule and what it is.  The 80-20 rule states that the majority of the effects (the 80%) comes from the minority of causes (the 20%).   Like in a textbook, if you read the conclusion, look at any of the pictures or graphs that are in the book, and sections that look interesting you get 80% of the knowledge from only 20% of the book.

The really fascinating thing about the 80-20 rule is that it applies to everything.  Business, relationships, your social life, everything.  Now you may be wondering how the 80-20 rule applies to your relationships and social life.  Let me use the example of being in a relationship.

Let’s say that Husband A and Husband B (I know, really bad names, bear with me) work the same hours and go home at the same time.  Husband A does not have a lot of extra work to do and spends three hours with his wife after work every day.  Husband B has a lot of extra work to do and can only spend time with his wife for an hour. 

The wife of Husband A is not happy and complains that he does not spend enough time with her while the wife of Husband B has no such complaints.  Why?

It is because Husband A is on his phone playing games or reading emails during the three hours he is with his wife, while Husband B is actually talking to his wife and giving her love and attention.  Even though the wife of Husband B is not getting as much time with her husband as the wife of Husband A she is happy because she is actually getting attention.

20% of the work produces 80% of the results.

As you can see, this week has taught me a lot about the 80-20 rule.  I have heard about it before this week’s lessons, but these past lessons have just solidified my understanding of this rule.

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English 9, Lesson 50 – How Literature Has Affected Me

Reading has always been a big part of my life.  My parents have always encouraged reading since I was in the womb (this is not a joke).  As a result, I have become a huge bookworm.  Despite the fact that I have probably read over a hundred books, none of them have ever affected me in too big of a way, except one book.

Six years ago, when I was in 2nd Grade, I was given a book to read for my English class.  It was called A Doctor Like Papa by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock.  The book follows Margaret, a young girl who wants to study medicine to be a doctor like her father.  Her mother discourages this because ‘doctoring’s no kind of life for a woman.”  Spoiler alert: her mother eventually relents and allows Margaret to study medicine and she becomes a doctor when she is an adult.  The book is set during the last few years of World War 1.

If I am being honest, I do not remember much of the book anymore since I have not read it in over three years, but I do remember the two things that really affected me.

This book was meant for very young children and was only 100 pages, making it easy for me to finish the book in one sitting.  In the book a virus breaks out in Margaret’s village.  Margaret and her younger brother are sent away to their aunt’s house to live until the virus passes.  But while traveling the two siblings get lost and stumble upon a house with a family who was sick with the virus.  Margaret uses her limited knowledge in medicine and tries to help the family members.  She is only able to save one member, a young girl who is slightly younger than her.  In the book the young girl’s parents and baby brother were taken by the virus. 

Even as a seven year old, I would fully get into the books I read and thinking about suddenly losing my parents struck me hard.  I had always imagined that death only happened to the elderly, but this book made me realize that it can happen at any time.  Up until that point I had not given death much thought.  Why would I?  A seven year old is more concerned about when their next playdate will be, not when their last breath would be.

This book made me realize that death is not just talk, it can actually happen and it does happen in real life.

The second thing that affected me happened a couple years after my first read of the book.  Because of the interesting plot and its short length, A Doctor Like Papa became one of my favourite books to reread when I got bored.

One day, when I was nine or ten, I decided to reread the book and while reading a realization hit me.  Margaret was just like me!  She had a dream (she wanted to be doctor) and she never gave up on it, even when her mother would discourage it.  It reminded me of what my Dad would always tell me “follow your passion and ignore what others say.”  This really made me believe in what my Dad said even more. 

After all, if someone as brave and headstrong as Margaret could get what she wanted just by working for it and sticking to her dream, why can’t I?

As you can see, this book really affected me at a young age, which is saying a lot considering books do not usually affect me too much.  That book will always be one of my favorites and will always be a reread for rainy days.

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Business 9, Lesson 45 – Why You Should Not Borrow to Buy Something That Depreciates

As a general rule, you should never borrow money to buy anything.  Always pay in cash.  You do not want to become a serf of any institution or another person.  However, in this day and age, almost all businesses and people borrow money to buy depreciating assets, including houses.

For those who do not know what depreciating assets are, they are items that are consumed (e.g. laptops, clothes, cars, furniture, toolboxes).  For this essay I will be using cars as an example.  The concept of borrowing a depreciating asset is not black and white.

When a business buys a car on borrowed money, the car is depreciating but it is also used to generate an income. The income the business generates makes the business an appreciating asset.  The income generated is enough to pay off the loan on the car.  Businesses borrow money against their income stream.

When a consumer buys a car on borrowed money, the car starts to depreciate and the consumer is using their own personal income to pay off the loan.  In Singapore, for example, prices of cars are prohibitively expensive because of government taxations and regulations.  But many people still buy cars on loan for various reasons, whether it is for convenience, social status, timesaving or all of the above.  For some people, this may be worth it, while for others it is not.

Personally, I would never borrow money to buy anything, especially something that depreciates as I do not see any value in it.  But I do think that buying a depreciating asset for a business to generate income is smart as long as they have a way to pay off the loan and not fall behind on their payments. As for the consumers who buy a depreciating asset on borrowed money, it is a personal choice.  Who am I to tell you what to do with your money?

Thanks for reading!

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English 9, Lesson 45 – How Helen Keller Escaped Her Metaphorical Prison

This week I have started reading The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. In the book, Helen calls her blindness and deafness a ‘dark prison.’ It was not until Ms. Annie Sullivan, Helen’s teacher, came that she was finally seeing light in her prison.

If you do not know the story of Helen Keller, she was a woman who had lost her sight and hearing at a young age due to an illness she contracted as a baby. Her teacher, Ms. Sullivan, arrived when she was five years old and taught her everything a seeing and hearing child would learn.

One of the first things Ms. Sullivan taught Helen was that everything had a name. Ms. Sullivan put Helen’s hand under a water spout and spelt out the word ‘W-A-T-E-R’ into her hand. Immediately, Helen realized that this cold, liquid thing that was in her hand was called ‘water.’ Ms. Sullivan continued to do this with toys, chairs, anything the two of them could find. This was the first escape from Helen’s prison.

After a while, Helen had learned every name of every piece of furniture and dish in the house. She understood the meanings of simple words, but not abstract words. One day, Ms. Sullivan spelled ‘T-H-I-N-K’ on Helen’s forehead. This obviously puzzled Helen, but being the ambitious and determined child she was, she tried to figure out the meaning of ‘think.’ Finally she realized that ‘think’ is the little voice in your head that tells you what to do.

Ms. Sullivan taught Helen how to sign, read with her fingers, and talk. When Helen was young, braille was not yet invented. The blind would read by dragging their fingers over raised letters on a piece of cardboard, which is what Helen would do to read with Ms. Sullivan’s help.

Ms. Sullivan was truly the key to unlock Helen’s dark prison. Without her help who knows what would have happened to Helen. But Helen’s success is not solely because of Ms. Sullivan. She was a stubborn young girl with the desire to learn about the world, all she needed was someone to be patient and teach her, and that is exactly what Ms. Sullivan did.

Thanks for reading!