Once again, Day One has provided me another awesome prompt! This prompt is similar to another prompt that I wrote about a couple of days ago, but this one is a little different...
This year, I am completing my language requirement by taking Spanish 2 (Honors). So far, this class has challenged me in ways I have never been challenged before. For the first time in my Spanish career, I have been required to speak and listen to fluent Spanish. In past years, whenever I felt “confused” in Spanish class I could always find support by seeing my teacher after class, unfortunately, this year has been different. I have found that my teacher could not simply teach me to speak and listen to Spanish by writing notes on the whiteboard, as my teachers have done in the past. Rather, he could only offer corrections and tips for practicing. For the first two months of the year I struggled with Spanish, there were times when I would sit in class “lost,” without any idea of what my teachers were saying. As the year continued, I slowly began to realize that it was my rigid mindset (“I cannot do this”) that was getting in the way of my learning in Spanish. I now understand how important it is to accept that things are difficult and I now, more than ever, realize that you can only try your hardest, even when things aren’t going the way you want them. I can now accept that Spanish has a lot to do with natural ability and this year’s Spanish experience, undoubtedly, has set me on the right track to succeed in learning to speak Spanish fluently.
Playing video games CAN be fun. Last night, my fiend Sam Holister and I went into Newton center to meet up with some friends. After some disagreement, we all decided to get Chinese food for dinner. The food was great and we all decided that we wanted to part ways for the night (we had all seen each other a lot in the last couple of days), so, Sam and I started to walk home. When we were about half way home, Sam and I were both startled when a car started honking its horn right behind us. We turned around, and we were immediately blinded by the car’s headlights. At first, I wanted to run (only half kidding), but Sam realized that the headlights belonged to my mom’s car and yelled, “Sam, run!” I picked up on his sarcastic town and I turned, and like Sam, I saw my mom and dad laughing in the front seats of the car. I said, “Nice try bud” and Sam and I walked over the car and got in. Still kind of laughing, my mom asked a question, “We were just going to make a dessert run for your brother (they were on their way home from Boston), I am assuming you guys don’t want to come, or do you?” Just mere seconds after her offer, we both said, “Sure!” We ended up having an awesome time, enjoying ice cream cones all around! Then, we all got back into the car and drove home. When we arrived home, Sam and I rushed downstairs to the “man cave” and turned on the Duke vs. UNC. In case you didn’t already know, Duke vs. UNC is probably the biggest, most intense, and thrilling college basketball rivalry of all time. In similar fashion to the other great games between Duke and UNC, last nights game was competitive for 32 minutes, and was nothing short of “amazing!” Duke ended up winning (Yes!) And Sam and I, still hyper from the caffeine in the ice cream, decided to play NHL 14. Although, we usually don’t play video games, what would soon become of the next two hours of “gaming” is some of the greatest time I will ever share with Sam. We decided to play a seven game series of 10 minute games in NHL. Each game was so fast paced and stressful that by the end of the series (he won) we were both screaming and throwing punches. Typically, video games are not my favorite thing in the world, but when you combine them with friends, they can be awesome!
My great grandmother, Theresa Deary gave birth to thirteen children. And now, thanks to my great grandmother, I have a total of 96 second cousins. Over the years, I am fortunate to say that I have memorized the names of all of my second cousins, and for the most part, I have had conversations with all of them. There are many benefits in having such a large family, but in my opinion, the best part about my large family are the group texts. At first, this may sound odd, but please hear me out. Whenever someone in my family has a big opportunity, or is experiencing something difficult, such as surgery, cancer, a championship football game, my uncle puts together a group text with 150 people from my family. Although, I typically receive about 500 texts, the amount of support and love expressed through the texts are amazing. For example, a couple of years ago, I severely broke my foot and had to go the hospital. I am not sure how my Uncle found out about my foot, but after being in the hospital for four hours, I arrived home to a phone that had close to 750 text messages. At the beginning, I had no intention of reading all of the 750 messages, but after reading the first couple, it felt as if I had an obligation to myself to read all of the messages. The texts were as simple as, "So sorry to hear about your foot Sam :( . Lets hope for a speedy recovery!! I love you soo much!! Ant Robin" "I cant believe you broke your foot!! I am so sorry to hear, I was going to crush you in one-one (we had a big bet on this game)!! I hope you recover soon!! Love you!! Hayden (my cousin), and "The other day I mistakenly commented on a Facebook post about a death: "LOL," thinking it meant lots of love. So, LOL!! Feel better! Grandma." By the time I had read all of the texts, the pain in my foot had mysteriously disappeared, and I was suddenly in a great mood! Having such a large family can be so special!
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to play HiQ. HiQ is a game that tests you're thinking strategies by requiring the player to eliminate as many of 36 pieces that he can. Ultimately, the goal is to get one piece left in the center hole, which defines you as a “GENIUS.” But if you get 2 left, they call you a “SHARPIE,” and if you get one left, but not in the center hole, “YOU TAKE A DEEP BOW. ” HiQ is a solitaire game where you compete against yourself, trying to improve your score. The basic rules say that each move must be a jump, either horizontally or vertically, over another piece and the piece that is jumped over is removed. Multiple jumps (double jumps) are allowed, but moving without jumping is not permitted. Over the years, I have gotten close to one left, but I guess I am only a “SHARPIE” because my best score has always been two. Below is an awesome video of a “GENUIS” beating the game!
I hope you enjoy!
A couple of years ago, my good friend Luke and I were searching the Nike website for sneakers when we noticed the words “customize.” We clicked on the nine letter word and we were introduced to a world were you can make anything look like anything. Luke and I were amazed as we experimented with the dazzling colors, and then, if it wasn’t already enough, we learned that you could customize different shoes! We then began to customize every possible shoe Nike offered. Soon afterward, customizing shoes became an addiction for Luke and I. We spent roughly one month customizing shoes, accumulating over 100 different designs.
Below, are only a few of my designs!
If you are interested in customizing, check out this video and learn how to do it!
Have you ever wandered why your name is your name?
Samuel Wilson Breault
In my family, names are chosen from relatives who have passed away. My parents wanted to keep the tradition running and having learned that I was going to be a boy, they narrowed their search to two options, Theodore or Samuel. My father’s grandmother was named Theresa and was called Teddy. She was adored in many ways so my parents thought Theodore would be a good way to keep her name in the family.
As for Samuel...my mom’s great grandfather was named Samuel and was a well respected and liked businessman. He enjoyed gourmet food and lived in New York City in the Ritz Towers Hotel on Park and 57th. He was awarded the Legion of Honor award by the French during World War I because he played a big role in saving the silk industry in France. According to my grandmother, he was a very generous and kind man.
The final decision on picking my name, however, was made upon a simple reason. My parents preferred Sam to Teddy and so I was named Samuel Wilson Breault.
Write two paragraphs. The first paragraph: A sentence for everything noteworthy you've done that day. The second paragraph: What you've been thinking about, activities and, thoughts.
I just opened up Day One (daily writing app) and this prompt popped up (above). It seems pretty cool, so I am thinking that I will give it a try!
I woke up. I played and fed my dog. I read an article in the New York Times about lethal injection (death penalty). I debated my brother on who should be the next Democratic Nominee for President. In Social Studies, I participated in a simulation designed to demonstrate what a capitalistic society is like. I leaned about respiration in Science class. I debated Stephan Kindle and William Locke about the existence of god. I made spaghetti bolognese for my family (first time making dinner by myself). I wrote a blog post. I read book 20 in the Odyssey. I wrote a reflection for Social Studies on the simulation testing capitalism. I read an article in the New York Times about demographics in the United States and how they suggest that by 2000, the caucasian race will be a minority.
I am so tired. Should lethal injection be legal? Who should be the democratic nominee for President? Just six more days before I find out what independent high schools accepted me. Capitalism has plenty of flaw’s. Does god exist, or does he not? Should I add cream or milk to the bolognese? Why does Odysseus lie to Penelope? Will the caucasian race become a minority in the US? Man, I need to find out about the independent schools!
Please comment whether or not you thought this piece was interesting!
Today marked a very stressful day for my family. A couple of months ago, my grandmother began to experience pain in her shoulder and after meeting with her doctors, they both came to the conclusion that she would need to have her shoulder replaced through surgery. Originally, my grandmother had planed to have her surgery in early February (last month), but due to unusual circumstances, the surgery was rescheduled for today (February 3rd). Although, my grandmother was not happy about this later date, she has since moved on and she has began to prepare for her surgery. Finally, February 2 came and went and my grandmother went into surgery. The surgery started at 11 AM and finished at 3 o’clock. According my grandmother’s doctors, the anesthesia will not wear off until later tonight, but nevertheless, both my mom and dad left for the hospital two hours ago. Of course, I wanted to accompany my parents and go to the hospital, but my grandmother had made it very clear on an earlier date that she only wanted parents to come, due to the fact that she wouldn’t even be awake to see us (grandkids).
NOTE: I am now talking from the present…
Even though my brother and I are not thrilled about not going to the hospital, we are going to make the best of our opportunity by making a delicious dinner. We plan on making a risotto with bacon!
Here is the recipe my brother and I are going to use!
1 cup Lundberg® Arborio Rice
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4-5 cups hot stock (or water)
½ cup white California wine (optional)
We are adding bacon.
Heat olive oil in a heavy non-stick 2-quart pot. Saute onion in oil until translucent. Add rice and stir rice until grains are coated with oil Add wine and stir constantly on medium heat until wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup hot stock or water, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes, adding the remaining liquid 1 cup at a time. This rice creates its own creamy sauce; add additional liquid if creamier texture is desired. Remove from heat, stir in cheeses and serve immediately. For variety add fresh herbs and chopped vegetables during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
This is both, my brother and I’s first time making a risotto (we have eaten it many times), wish us luck!
In social studies, we were assigned the task of researching a certain controversial topic. I decided to research Obama’s executive order and eventually, after the note taking process, I wrote a position paper and I thought it would interesting if I posted it to my blog!
Is it possible that a Presidential executive order could help four million people, with few negative consequences? President Obama certainly thinks so, which is why, on November 20, 2014, he issued an executive order to address the growing issue of illegal immigration in the United States. According to Article One of the Constitution, the President of the United States has the power to issue “legally binding orders” without the consent of Congress (ThisNation 1). Believing that our immigration system is broken, and due to congress’s inability to act, Obama has issued this order on immigration. While critics claim that Obama's executive order is unconstitutional and bad for our economy, executive actions have been issued throughout history, and Obama's order will successfully begin the process by which four million undocumented workers will be able to live and work freely in the United States without the fear of deportation.
Since the Immigration and Reform Act of 1986 was passed, immigration has become an even larger issue, with the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States rising from 3.5 million in 1990 to 11.3 million in 2015 (Ehrenfreund 1). There is much discussion and little agreement about how to approach this complex problem. The most recent attempt at immigration reform was a bill that the Senate passed with bipartisan support two years ago (2013). The Republican controlled House, however, never considered the bill, which Obama says is part of the justification for acting unilaterally through his immigration executive order. The executive order is a unique instrument that has been used by many Presidents. Throughout history, Republican and Democratic Presidents have acted unilaterally and issued executive orders. In fact, a Republican president, Ronald Reagan, issued an executive order that has been described by the columnist Mark Noferi of the pro-immigration American Immigration Council as a“striking parallel” to Obama’s order on immigration (Noferi 1). In 1986, Congress and Reagan “enacted an immigration overhaul” that granted amnesty to 3 million immigrants with authorization to be in the U.S. (Taylor 1). Unfortunately, Congress failed to amend the law to include children. To correct this issue, in 1987, Reagan's Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner announced that minor children of parents who had been granted amnesty by the law would also get protection from deportation through an executive order issued by President Reagan (Taylor 1). President George H.W. Bush also used his executive order power to reform immigration. He made a “family fairness” policy that put into place a Senate measure that had never been passed. Mark Noferi wrote, "Bush Sr. went big at the time. He protected about 40 percent of the unauthorized population. Back then that was up to 1.5 million. Today that would be about 5 million (Taylor 2)." Based on the fact that in our history there has been constant dialogue and disagreement about immigration solutions and based on the fact that Presidents have used their executive order power to try to deal with this growing problem, it is clear that there is no one easy solution to such a complicated issue.
Opponents argue that Obama’s executive order on immigration is not only unconstitutional, but will also have detrimental effects on the U.S. economy. They argue that it is unconstitutional because the President's job is to enforce Federal Law, not write it. They believe that in issuing this order, Obama is overstepping the boundaries of his executive powers. Additionally, many believe that immigrants are burdens to the country because they take jobs, housing, and health care, which are some of the most costly benefits of living in the United States. Twenty-six states have sued in objection to Obama’s order because the order would require the states to find additional funding to pay for these new legal immigrants. Another argument is that when the undocumented immigrants entered the United States illegally, they were directly expressing that they show no concern for following the laws of our nation and there is no reason for believing that the four million immigrants who will be granted amnesty will pay their taxes and live responsibly in the United States of America. Also, 28 percent of the immigrant population in the United States has not completed high school (Camarota 1). To some, this low education percentage is an indication that immigrants will not be able to earn enough money or pay enough taxes to pay for the many benefits that the government would provide. This assumption is cause for concern that the government will be forced to tax the middle and upper classes more to make up for the debt caused by the immigrants. To summarize, those who oppose Obama’s immigration executive order predict dramatic consequences, should this order be implemented.
One of the core arguments is whether Obama’s executive order is constitutional. There is both evidence and precedent proving that it is. Typically in history, when discussing the constitutionality of executive orders, the courts have proven to be on the side of the Executive Branch. In the Supreme Court case of 1974, United States v. Nixon, the court found that, “The Executive Branch has exclusive authority and absolute discretion to decide whether to prosecute a case (Kleiner and Chemerinsky 1).” In other words, the President has the power to decide which laws not to enforce based on how he or she wants to use resources and on his or hers view of the best public policy (Kleiner and Chemerinsky 1). Recently, in 2013, Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh ruled on the broad discretion of presidential prosecution, “The President may decline to prosecute or may pardon because of the president's own constitutional concerns about a law or because of policy objections to the law, among other reasons (Kleiner and Chemerinsky 2).” In Obama’s scenario, using an executive order for prosecutorial discretion is appropriate, due to the fact that because how foreign citizens are treated is part of our nation’s foreign affairs policy and foreign affairs are under the President's executive control. Meaning, in this case, the President is allowed to not enforce immigration laws which call for deportation because he has objections to the U.S. deportation policy.
President Obama’s executive order on immigration is beneficial for the United States economy. The President has created an order that prioritizes the deportation of individuals that pose a threat to national security and public safety, while granting amnesty to four million hard-working, undocumented parents of U.S. citizens as well as permanent residents who have lived in the US for more than five years. Not only are these four million undocumented immigrants hard-working, they contribute to our everyday society by working labor intensive jobs that are the backbone of our economy. Still, however, these undocumented immigrants do not pay their taxes, which is why, if these immigrants were here legally, they would pay their dues to the government and provide a boost to the economy. In fact, according to an analysis by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), “the President’s executive actions on immigration would boost economic output by an estimated 0.4 to 0.9 percent over ten years, corresponding to increases in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of $90 billion to $210 billion in 2024 [White House (immigration) economic section].” Initially, there are 11.3 million undocumented immigrants who are forced to live in the shadows of the United States and, due to the fear of being deported, are required to disobey the law. Most of these people are hard-working, undocumented immigrants who contribute to society and are actually more of a drain on society as undocumented immigrants than they would be if they were granted legal status. While these four million immigrants did break the law when they entered the country, they came to this country looking for economic opportunities to provide for their families, which were not available in their home countries. Instead of classifying these people as “illegals,”claiming they will never follow the law, the U.S. should consider the act of love and commitment these immigrants made for their families and take that as an indication that they want to do what is not only best for themselves, but what is legal and right. The former governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, a Republican, said in an interview, “I honestly think that immigration is a different kind of crime, that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families, I think we need to kind of get beyond the harsh political rhetoric to a better place (O'Keefe 1).” Quotes such as these illustrate that President Obama’s act is a step in the right direction.
Obama’s order will successfully help four million undocumented immigrants have the opportunity to live and and work freely, without the fear of being deported. The benefits that certain undocumented immigrants provide for our country are undeniable, and in a few years time, the significance of this executive order will become apparent in the way it boosts economic outcome. This order has followed a precedent set by other Presidents, thereby displaying to immigrants that we, as a country, welcome them, as long as they abide by the democratic system that our country follows. The borders that surround our country are all only going to grow stronger, as a result of this order, and the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. will fall, while the number of new citizens will rise. Obama’s executive order was a thoughtful and courageous act that has set our country in a positive direction towards the future.
Metacognition on the Literary Analysis Project
When we were assigned the task of creating a literary analysis on the Odyssey, in video format, I teamed up with Owen Elton and William Locke and we all sat down and picked a theme. We decided on xenia, also known as the Greek concept of hospitality, which is a recurring theme throughout the Odyssey. As noted above, part of this assignment was to create a video that followed the literary analysis rubric, instead of writing a formal essay. Together, my group and I decided that we wanted to use iMovie and we began the project by finding an opening quote from the book. Then, we began to discuss the criteria of what we wanted to be in the film. Eventually, we all came to the common agreement that we wanted to act out some scenes, to provide a visual to go with the supporting audio of the literary analysis. After some sleuthing around in the Odyssey, searching for examples of xenia, we began to film and record the audio. Finally, we added the credits slide and put in background music, and we declared our project as finished. Looking back, there are certain things I wish I had done before finishing this project. For example, William recorded all of the audio in this video and I would liked to have had the opportunity to add some head and heart of my own. Also, although I am usually quite good with iMovie, during this project Owen handled most of the technology and there are certain things that we incorporated into our movie that I would not know how to add by myself. Of course, it could have been that I was inattentive, but I would have liked to have learned some of features of iMovie, so I can hopefully apply them on a later date.
I hind sight, this project has allowed me to become aware of some pretty important things. One of which is the fact that writing a literary analysis is not that much different then making a movie. Typically, I always think of my writing assignments as tedious, useless, and boring tasks that are much more difficult than making a garageband song, or a movie trailer in iMovie. Now, however, I can realize that it is my mindset that makes writing harder, and if I can think about writing in the same way I think about making a movie, which are both not that different, writing will become a much easier and enjoyable assignment!
Here is the video, if you are interested
Hi! I’m Sam Breault! I’m 15 and I attend the Fenn school.