Reflection for junior year 

This year I’ve gotten better at essays for tests like analysis essays. Also I’ve been reading a lot more and I’m going to continue to always have a book to read and make time for it. One of the things I’m most proud of is the slam poem that my group and I did earlier this year. Poetry is not my strongest point and honestly I hated it but after that I saw the beauty in poetry. I loved that we created do egging with a powerful message. It was challenging but I love the way it turned out. The thing that challenged me most was probably the timed essays since I like taking my time to write and I don’t like to be rushed. However, with all the practice it helped me tremendously for the AP test. At the beginning of the year I wish I knew that it’s okay to not let people go if that’s what’s best for yourself. Sometimes people are just draining all your energy and no matter how hard you try it’s not going to make them stay. Sometimes you have to be selfish. But what’s important is that you’ll overcome it and be better than before. Everything is a lesson and you can find healing in the most unlikely of places, whether it’s on a volleyball court or in the kitchen. My goals for this next year is to be happy. I want to be so happy that it radiates like the sun. 


Someone watching over 

I’ve been researching and comparing hundreds of recipes all week for my friend’s birthday. I decided to make her a cake- not just any cake, a dark chocolate layer cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting, topped with a chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries. I love a challenge. I set out all the ingredients, which by now I know by heart. I’ve already made the frosting, baked the cake, and let it cool completely. Next, one of my favorite parts, frosting the cake. In the this has proven disastrous, but after numerous YouTube videos and articles, I am confident I can achieve perfection. I frost the first layer, then, with extreme caution because this cake is quite moist and fragile, I place the second layer on top face down. This whole process is not as easy as it sounds either, taking about 30 or 45 minutes total, and allowing no room for error. When I’m done I can’t feel happier because it turned out exactly how I imagined. Then I drizzle my chocolate ganache previously made on the top along with fresh cut strawberries, which just makes the cake come together. This wasn’t an easy thing to say the least, but, like I said, I love a challenge. 

In this moment of pure exuberance, I feel a hand on my shoulder, one that no one else can see. That hand is my grandmother’s. Every time I’m in the kitchen I feel her presence with me, watching over me, guiding me. 

One thing about my grandmother was she, hands down, made the best food. Now I know that everyone claims this about their own grandmother, but it’s true. Her black bottom pie tasted heavenly and was just the right consistency. Her pineapple upside down cake was very temperamental, yet tasted like it was sent from the gods above. Her strawberry ice cream, or any ice cream she made, was perfectly creamy, melt in your mouth, not too sweet, just the right amount of strawberries, and healed any heartbreak. She cooked like the old, deep south- with tons of butter. It was so unhealthy, but oh so savory. Every family gathering I looked forward to her cooking. Just the smells were enough to make you hungrier than ever before. All of her recipes have been passed down through the generations. Even her chicken and dumplings recipe is used by my mother (this was one of few things not lost through my parent’s divorce). I wish I had learned more from her about cooking and baking while she was still here. 

I remember that Tuesday when I got the call. I was in Geometry. On that day, February 6, 2015, my grandmother died three days after her birthday. At first I didn’t know what to feel or think. I was shocked despite the fact it wasn’t exactly sudden. She had been in and out of a hospital bed for a couple of weeks. But one thing I did feel was guilt. Guilt for not being there with my family during all this ,for not calling more often, for not realizing how short life really is, and just how quickly it will pass you by, like a racehorse, without you even noticing until it’s too late. 

The weeks following my grandmother’s death were difficult, not only for me, but my dad as well. They were even closer than my grandmother and I. Then somehow I began to find myself busy in the kitchen. I found myself looking up recipes and comparing them. I found myself knee deep in cookbooks and articles trying to soak up anything and everything about baking. Previously, I couldn’t even make the simplest of cookies. One time they even came out flat as the pan and did not resemble cookies of any kind. Whether I was too young to really understand what I was doing, I don’t know. What I do know is that I couldn’t get enough of this exact science and art. I became so engrossed in perfecting my skills but I couldn’t quite figure out why. Then, one day it dawned on me after I’d had a dream about my grandmother. It was because I feel her with me while I’m measuring those two cups and a tablespoon of flour, or creaming the eggs, butter, and sugar. It was something she absolutely loved and now so do I. 

I found healing and solace in the most unlikely place, the kitchen. My grandmother became one of the most influential people even after she passed. Baking has become my passion and what I aspire to do in my life. It is what defines me. 
You now have A LOT! Once you go through all of the edits, let me know if it won’t fit on one page and we can work through again on shortening things.


I’m going to do prompt B: Some students have an identity, interest, or talent that defines them in an essential way. If you are one of those students, then tell us about yourself. 

I’m using this prompt because I’m going to talk about my grandmother who died because she heavily influenced my love for baking. 

The genre I plan to use is a time lapse of something I’m baking like a cake or cookies or something because I think that would be an interesting visual. 

I plan to do it by the 25th and stay on top of it. 

Brave New World

Photography and truth

This photo shows the truth because it’s more of a documentary photo. It helps you get the picture for the volcano that erupted in Chile which was very violent. I think photos like this, ones about nature, are truthful for the most part. The only thing that may be edited is the coloring or filters on it. 
  This photo could be truthful but with all the bad things happening in the world with police and school shootings it could very well be staged. It looks like it was taken from a street camera of some kind because of the low quality but I don’t always trust the news like CNN which is where this was from so I think this isn’t entirely truthful. You don’t really know what happened. 

Do we really know people? 

 Every single individual you encounter has some sort of story which may be completely different than their appearance shows. I think it’s important for everyone to take this into account because so many are prone to judging others by the little we know of others lives. Everyone is their own person. 

Alicia withers-

Just by looking at me you wouldn’t know I am white, black, and Hispanic. You wouldn’t think my mom is my mom as I child I grow up being told by my peers that I’m adopted that my mom looks like she can be my nanny because of our different skin tones. 


Deborah Posada- 

Just be looking at me you can’t tell I’m really sweet person and I would do anything for their people that I love. 


Trinity Douglas- 
Just by looking at this picture of me, you would not know that I struggle with depression and the pain of loss on a daily basis. People all seem to believe that I am a strong, unbreakable girl. But little do they know, I have to force myself to wake up, get out of bed, get dressed, put on a smile, and come to school. Sometimes I just want to cover my head in my blanket, and let go. But I know there are people in my life that look up to me and I refuse to let them down. 


Calisto Banks-

Just by looking at me you couldn’t tell that I would do anything to make someone smile.

Individuality or Comformity?

In regard to society, I believe that individuality is more valuable than conformity. Some want the people to conform and to listen and to take orders. What happens when there’s corruption and the people have no individuality left? Henry David Thoreau, a Transcendentalist, believed that individuals should be self-reliant & live a simple life. Thoreau criticizes public opinion because it robs people of the choice as to how they wish to be viewed. But people say be yourself, wait, not like that. I think to the government conformity is more valuable, but to regular people individuality is more valuable. 

Project Proposal 

We all know the familiar saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”.  The first thing that meets the eye of that person on the train or walking by you is nothing but a small part of that persons life. 
You take the bus to school. There’s that girl with long curly hair. You see her everyday but you don’t really know her and she doesn’t really know you. Your first impressions are not very truthful.

Do you ever really know people? 

I chose this topic because I find even myself having first impressions that aren’t who that person is. Everyone has their own story with their own experiences. I think people need to be aware of that so they stop judging on not only looks but the fact that everyone has their secrets and stories. 

Everyone is a unique expression of the personality of God and I don’t think enough people realize that. 

Catapult Lab


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