Getting Scammed

Slice of Life Day 20

As part of our Internet safety unit for Software Applications, students are doing a myriad of projects. My group is -stalking- (insert strikethrough there) finding out information about Yana Soriano, a 15-year-old girl who lives in Olympia, WA, by finding and interpreting information that she posted publicly. Other groups, for example, are looking up confession websites and “stalking” our teachers. 

Recently, we received a prying survey from Mr. Borchardt asking for our addresses, birth dates, home phone numbers, and other personal information for yearbook profile purposes. Even though I filled out the survey, I probably should not have because I think that was a project by a couple of our classmates. (I heard it was Sarah’s and Anita’s) We also received a really lame survey that was clearly a scam asking for our passwords to our school emails, which is lame because at the bottom of every Google Form it clearly says “Never submit passwords through Google Forms.” The troubling thing is that I don’t know if that scam was for our Internet safety unit or if it was an external identity theft attempt. I didn’t fill out that survey with truthful information–I BSed it with “Miley Cyrus” as my name and “yourefatstupidanduglygoaway” as my email password. Let’s hope I don’t get in trouble for that.

We also received a 3rd survey from Monmouth University asking for information about MJSS: our BASH sections, home address and phone number, etc. I don’t know if that was real or not, because why would they need our home addresses and phone numbers? I didn’t fill out that survey, just to be safe. It also had a suspicious method of obtaining our information, through Google Forms. I won’t fill it out until Mr. Roche gives us confirmation, since asking Mr. Roche what to do is always the right answer.


I Did Not Plagiarize! D:<

Slice of Life Day 19

On Powerschool, I was checking my Biology grades, and I found that I had a 95% on the Set 4 Objectives. To see what I did wrong, I then went to Turnitin, and I made no mistakes in the content of my responses, yet a -5 and this comment from Mr. Roche were waiting for me:

“Lots of copy & paste here, Maya. I’d rather see your words / interpretation for answers.”

Even though I had a whopping 70% similarity, I did not plagiarize at all. Most of the percentage was from having Mr. Roche’s objectives still in my document. Added to that was the stuff that I got straight from the board. I also took a lot of stuff right out of the book, so that added to my percentage too. I had 12% and 5% submitted to two other high schools, and that’s mostly stuff I got straight out of the book. High Tech is not the only school in the world that uses the Mader textbook, so obviously there will be some other kids writing answers straight out of the book. To top it off, Turnitin started marking as plagiarized the following individual words and groups of words:

  • DNA
  • RNA, and
  • ribosomes
  • and have
  • Eukaryotic cells are much larger than prokaryotic cells
  • cell wall
  • plasma membrane
  • cytoplasm
  • nucleoid
  • the
  • a
  • proteins
  • or
  • so
  • a specific
  • the nucleus
  • chromatin
  • ER
  • Golgi apparatus
  • vesicles
  • chloroplasts
  • …and many more.

You get the idea. How am I supposed to replace the word “protein” with something else? Protein is the proper term. Also, Turnitin marked as plagiarism the words “the,” “a,”  “or,” and “so.” How am I supposed to replace those words to avoid “plagiarism”?

You can clearly understand my frustration with Turnitin. I think Mr. Roche should have made his own judgement about the extent of my plagiarism.

Holmdel’s Single Story

Slice of Life Day 18

As an assignment for English class, Mrs. Gross has asked us to write about a “single story” about something in our world, inspired by Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk, The Danger of a Single Story. I hope this isn’t giving away too much personal information, but I live in Holmdel, and I will tell the single story of Holmdel from an outsider’s viewpoint.

I guess most people think Holmdel is a town of rich, spoiled white kids and smart Asian kids, and it is. However, there is so much more to Holmdel. Even though we only have two major ethnic groups in Holmdel, as far as I can tell, I think every Holmdel resident has a different perspective of Holmdel. My view of Holmdel is that we have a school system that focuses too much on special education and has lackluster gifted and talented/honors programs. Holmdel is also very spread out, which is frustrating since it is impossible to get anywhere without a car. Holmdel also has a really small library and the schools don’t have an orchestra–they only have a band.The good thing about Holmdel is that it is safe and cultured and I am very fortunate to live in Holmdel. I am sure that others who live closer to relevant stores may think that Holmdel is not too spread out, and those who need to make use of special education programs love Holmdel’s education system. Clearly, there is no “single story” to Holmdel.

St. Patrick’s Day

Slice of Life Day 17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

This year was a really awesome St. Patrick’s day, even though I’m not Irish. (But when I was little, some kid who I guess was not very into diversity told me that I was Irish because everyone in the world was at least a little bit Irish, so I guess I am Irish.) I totally forgot about St. Patrick’s Day in the morning so I didn’t wear green to school today (not that I have any green clothes, even though green is a lovely color), so someone provided me with a shamrock sticker when I got to school. On another note, I really hope I can have a Shamrock Shake before the month ends, since I’ve never had one before.

The best part of the day was the cancellation of our IED test. Ms. G saw that Shane, our Irish friend, brought in some Irish food, so she decided to take us to the MPR to eat Shane’s Irish bread and let us skip the IED test. Ms. G also said that she was changing her name to Ms. O’ Grunthaner for the day and that she would only answer to Ms. O’ G. It was really awesome; yummy food and test postponing and test postponing are the only things we need in life. Thanks, Ms. G and Dolan!

Also, a special Happy St. Patrick’s day goes to the two Patricks in our school. It’s nice to have a holiday named after you guys, but it’s even nicer to have a great ancient Mesoamerican civilization named after me.

Spanish 3 With Señora Chen

Slice of Life Day 16

Since nothing remotely interesting happened to me today, I’ll just blog about something that I have to do today. Tomorrow, I have a Spanish vocab quiz, which I must study for, about things related to the family, including stepmothers, brothers, half-siblings, and in-laws. My teacher is Sra. Chen, a Chinese person who I believe used to live in Argentina, and she says that our textbook teaches us how to go to Spain and make novios and novias (boyfriends and girlfriends), which is very true. In the very beginning of the school year, she asked all the kids in our class if they had a girlfriend or boyfriend. We all said no, except for Philip, who said “yes” and Sra. Chen then proceeded to ask him what his girlfriend’s name was. We’re in the freshmen Spanish 3 class, and there’s only 7 of us, since we had to take a placement test to get into Spanish 3 instead of Spanish 2. Since I had never taken Spanish 2, the first two weeks were insanely hard because of the three new verb tenses thrown at me: the preterite, the imperfect, and the subjunctive. Luckily for us, since then, Spanish has gotten easier, perhaps to the point where it isn’t my hardest class anymore, but it still has a huge workload..

Spanish is a fun, entertaining class. Some highlights of the class include when we were learning reflexive nosotros commands. Reflexive nosotros commands express the English equivalent of “Let’s do (insert verb) together!” One of Sra. Chen’s examples on her PowerPoint was “¡Duchémonos!”, which means “Let’s have a shower together!” This was hugely entertaining to our class, and Sra. Chen says that every year she doesn’t change her PowerPoint to make sure her kids are awake. There have been lots of other fun things in Spanish, including the time we had to make a telenovela (Spanish soap opera) just last week. We got to use awesome Nerf guns, which I blogged about earlier. All the fun moments we have in Spanish 3 makes it reign as the supreme language for Techies to take.

Family Costco Shopping

Slice of Life Day 15

Fudge…it’s almost 10 o’clock and I just realized that I forgot to write my blog post.

Today was a normal Saturday for me. I went to a couple of classes, and as I was picked up from the second class, I found my whole family in the car, ready to go to Costco.  Today was an exception because going to Costco as a family rarely happens to us, usually because we’re all busy. My brother, who’s in college, only came because it’s his spring break this week and my mom dragged him along. We drove to the Costco in Marlboro (there’s one in Hazlet too that’s smaller) and started shopping. It was my mom’s first trip to Costco in a while, so she really wanted to see what it was selling. Her 50th birthday is coming up, so she splurged and bought a watch and a pearl necklace, which I think totaled over $700. Her justification was she “worked very hard” and she could do whatever she wanted with her money. (I thought that if she spent $700 on herself, she could also buy me a new laptop.) I bought a berry smoothie and walked around with my dad looking for samples while my mom and brother methodically browsed the warehouse shelves.

Unfortunately, the only samples I ate were pieces of apple strudels and blueberry muffins; I’m a vegetarian so I couldn’t eat the chicken stuff. We bought our usual groceries and my mom picked up some weird sliding organizers and some other stuff that she said she could try out and return if they didn’t work. I also saw my homie Emily there which was cool too. Overall, it was a pretty fun, interesting, and rare trip to Costco. 

I Lose Too Much Stuff

Slice of Life Day 14

Today was a pretty interesting day. Today is 3/14, so happy Pi Day, and I won 6 points on my biology quiz by gambling with Mr. Roche. Today was also Career Day, and I listened to a lot of interesting talks by cool people about cool jobs. However, the most important thing that happened today was that I found my phone.

I lose way too much stuff. The first thing I lost was my vocab book, which I found in the pile of books spilling out of a certain freshman’s horrendous locker. Next, I lost my Android phone for the first time, and my bus driver found it for me. Then I lost my retainers. My parents were so distraught about that (retainers cost $400, y’know) that they drove me to High Tech on Saturday to see if my retainers had fallen near my locker. They hadn’t, so on Monday I asked my bus driver if he had my retainers, and he did. He then told me to “stop leaving stuff on [his] bus.” I guess I ignored that, though not on purpose, because I left my gloves on the bus. I found them in the exact same spot when I got back on the bus later in the day. I also lost my calculator and went all over the school looking for it, but then I found it in my pencil case. Yesterday, I lost my phone and I was really depressed about it, and today, it wasn’t in school. I checked my locker, the lost and found, and asked Mr. Bals if he had seen it, but there was no trace of my phone. I felt so disconnected from the rest of the world today. At the end of the day, I thought the day had been great but for the fact that I had not found my phone. I asked my bus driver if he had seen it, and he hadn’t. Then, dejected, I went to sit down, and there it was on the seat.

I guess I’m the kind of person who’s always losing stuff, but the funny thing is that I usually never lose my school papers. I think it’s because I leave stuff on the bus’s seat and forget to pick it up. From now on, every time I get off the bus I’m going to check the seat to see if I’ve left anything behind.


Playdoh and Versace

Slice of Life Day 13

What interesting, funny things happened to me today that readers would not be bored by? If I were Ally, I could write about all the hair that always sticks to my pants, but hair doesn’t stick to my pants so that’s not an option. The only interesting thing that happened to me today was that our we did a fun lab in Biology today. We got to use string, scissors, and Playdoh to model meiosis, and it was a fun, easy, stress-free class period. The scent of the Playdoh and the manipulation of the paper pieces made me feel like a little kid again, as our teacher, Mr. Roche, mentioned. I wish I could go back to being a little kid and I wish that school could be more like this all the time. We only had to complete a series of easy yet educational tasks to receive a grade of 100%, so I enjoyed biology today.

Since I’m forced to write 2 paragraphs for the English requirements, today I was also looking through the newspaper and Olivia pointed out a Versace ad. I then commented that I thought it was pronounced “ver-sayce.” Apparently, it’s pronounced “ver-sah-chay” or “ver-sah-chee” (I can’t remember which). I had seen people write “Versace” before, and now I know that it is a designer clothing brand. I really do learn something new every day.

P.S. Tomorrow is Pi Day and I’m going to try not to forget. Maybe I’ll blog about that tomorrow.

The Sky Was Dark When I Woke Up this Morning

Slice of Life day 12

This morning I had a lot of trouble getting out of bed, even though I slept relatively early last night, at 10:30. It took me a while to figure out why. Due to the recent switch to Daylight Saving Time, the sun hadn’t risen yet when I had woken up. Thus, my circadian rhythms told me to not wake up when it was still dark outside, which made me feel sleepy in the morning. However, the good things about Daylight Saving Time are that I get to watch the sunrise every morning on the bus and the sun stays up for longer in the evening.

World map. Europe, Russia, most of North America, parts of southern South America and southern Australia, and a few other places use DST. Most of equatorial Africa and a few other places near the equator have never used DST. The rest of the land mass is marked as formerly using DST.

Blue=Daylight Saving Time is used
Red= Daylight Saving Time was never used
Orange=Daylight Saving Time is no longer used

The original reason for Daylight Saving Time was so that people could have longer evenings in summer before the sun set. I would prefer to have longer evenings all year round, so why not just keep the U.S. permanently in Daylight Saving Time? As mentioned before, it is hard to wake up and get things done before the sun rises, and in the winter, the sun sets so early anyway that Daylight Saving Time wouldn’t make a big difference. We should just keep Daylight Saving Time because it helps us make the most use of the available sunlight we have, even though there is a loss of productivity due to the time spent adjusting to the time change.

Sleep Deprivation

Slice of Life Day 11

For the past few days, I guess I’ve been pretty “busy” (I probably actually just wasted time), so I’ve been sleeping from 11:30 to 12 every night. As a result, I feel like a zombie. I have no idea how some people can sleep at this time every night and sometimes stay up even later, and they still seem to be functioning normally.

The above diagrams are well-known and common, and I believe the center graphic applies to high school as well. I really feel like I could defy the laws of physics if I simply wasted less time. I waste time chatting people, looking up random stuff, going on Twitter or Google+, and sometime just simply sitting and doing nothing. I also think I would have more of a social life if people actually invited me places. All I have to do is resolve to not waste time and I can go to sleep at 10 every night and have great grades and a social life (if people invited me).