Ukulele Song: Rainbow By Sia

How is your recording the same and different compared to the original song? What were your reasons behind your decisions?  
I changed the tempo to a slower beat, so I could allow the audience to hear the ukulele strums more clearly, and also changed the timing of some parts. For example, in the verse “Here comes the sun… Smiling down…” I shortened the space between the two lines to fit my general beat better, as the original singer slows down a lot and the tempo isn’t regular. I added a drum track to provide a background beat and act timing, so it’s easier for the audience to follow my rhythm. I added a strum pattern instead of just using to original chords provided by Ukutabs, but I kept still used the G, A, and D chords to maintain my pitch. I used all the original lyrics, but while to original singer was largely independent of the accompanying music, I matched my words to my strumming and electric piano. I also changed the light airy theme of the original song to a steadier, lower theme so it would be easier to follow the ukulele chords and also so I could maintain a strum pattern for most of the time.
How did your music classes prepare you for this assignment? 
In music class, I learned how to play the D chord, which I didn’t know from the first assignment. I also learned how to use the digital piano in GarageBand, which provided a track that was more attuned to my singing, as the ukulele strums were a bit generic and didn’t match the notes I wanted to sing. When I was exploring GarageBand in my own time I discovered in my own time that if I recorded with earphones GarageBand would pick up sound better as the earphones also had a recording capability and were closer to my instrument than my computer was. I managed my time well, and was done before the due date, but I had a problem halfway that threw off my schedule. Some of my original ukulele clips sounded bad after I paired it with the rest of my music, so I had to re-record my G and D chords and strum, using additional class time as I could only record ukulele in class.

Science Structures and Forces Unit Reflection

The natural world can affect us with natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, but also with everyday forces that are just as important, such as gravity, and different climates. All of these forces can affect people in positive and negative ways, so it is important for us to use scientific thinking to learn about the natural world through observation, experiments, and data collection. We can also enhance or combat forces of nature through building structures, such as bridges and buildings. It is important to study the natural world and adapt our structures and designs to match; for example, people living in wet, marshy areas might decide, through experimentation and research, to build their houses on stilts. Without using scientific thinking, people may make incorrect conclusions about the natural world and that often brings unfortunate results, such as houses collapsing in typhoons.

Personally, I did a research project on how much weight certain beams can hold (in grams). I used truss, square, and I-shaped beams, balancing them over a 30 cm distanced gap and using washers to test their strength, representing how gravity and weight would affect the beams in buildings and bridges on a much larger scale. I learnt that the beams with support and a system of weight distribution that evened out the weight was overall stronger, while beams that were unbalanced and had all the weight focused on one point caved faster and more dramatically.

During this unit, I felt that I did well in time management and organisation, as I carried out the entire experiment according to my original plan and completed my experiment on time. Initially, I used a spring scale, but I realised that it not only didn’t have enough weight to properly measure, I was also pulling too hard at the end and making the data inaccurate, After I realised my mistake, I switched to using washers, which worked out better and provided much more reliable data. I didn’t have enough time to complete my experiment by the ideal date, as it had taken too long to create all nine beams, but I took initiative to come in at lunchtimes and completed my experiment on my own time, so I was on schedule after that.

Service Day

A while ago we participated in service day, and I stayed at school to participate in the domestic helper group. It was a bit boring, and I was slightly disappointed because on the description it said we would be doing simulations but all we did was a online word game. Nevertheless, I learned a lot from the activities, especially the online word game.

We saw the story from the helper’s point of view, and the thing that I noticed was that they never really had a choice. No matter what I chose, I still had to come to Hong Kong, still got a bad job and was mistreated. When I tried to report my case, it was impossible to get a good result no matter what I did. This makes me sad because in real life in Hong Kong many helpers face the same problems and they can only get into worse and worse situations.

After the word game, we played a modified version of Game of Life, a popular board game. In first round, I played the role of employer, and I noticed how disadvantaged helpers were. All the employers (that went to ‘college’ in the game) were paid in amounts of 80K and up, while even the domestic helpers that went to ‘college’ only received amounts of 4 or 5 thousand. Overall, these two games showed me how disadvantaged they were and how little choice they had. Furthermore, many helpers in Hong Kong have no idea what their rights are, how much they should be paid, and what facilities they should have. Too scared of losing their jobs, many are afraid to speak out and contact help in cases of abuse, overwork, and underpayment.

Ukulele Song – Rocky Mountain

During the past weeks in Music, we have been learning the ukulele! This is my song:

Discuss your Ukulele song choice and the skills you acquired:

The song I chose for my recording was “Rocky Mountain”. It is 2/4 time, and the key of tune is C major. The first and second lines were fairly easy to play and were mainly made up of Eighth notes, with a quarter note and a rest at the end. I found the third and fourth lines harder, and in the beginning I frequently mixed up the Quarter and Eighth notes. I played a chord for every beat, which meant I played a chord for every two Eighth notes and a chord for every Quarter note. The chords I played were C, F, and G. I had some trouble with consistently playing notes accurately, especially with bars 1-8 where the rhythm is quite fast, because when I did plucking my fingers would sometime hit the other strings and I couldn’t change fingering fast enough.

Discuss your overall understanding of Garageband and its processes. How has your skill at Garageband impacted your song?

Before this project, I had never used GarageBand before, but I spent some time on it and learned how to cut the tracks and align them in time. This helped me a lot because I had trouble playing in time. I couldn’t change my fingering fast enough, and my notes often came out sounding weak or messy. Because of this, I decided to do the plucking bar by bar, with some harder notes (such as G and F) recorded individually. Using GarageBand, I fit the clips together and aligned it to time. I had to trim some of the clips where I played just one note because the vibration and the sound continued on after the note had passed. When I recorded chords, I found it hard to consistently play the chords well and switch between chords quickly, so I recorded each chord separately, duplicated it, and fit them together. When recording, I found that using earphones and listening to the metronome helped my time it properly, with a steady tempo of 80, without having the clicking sound recorded. Using earphones also helped me in that I could listen to my other tracks while recording my singing. Overall, I think Garage Band helped me a lot with my recording and by cutting clips, separated recordings, and trimming, I fixed a lot of mistakes that would have thrown of the timing and rhythm of my piece.

 

Logo Feedback Follow Up

About a week ago I posted my logo, asking for feedback. As a recap, this is my logo.

After gathering feedback, I created a short paragraph summarizing what I think I did well and what I could improve on.

I created a successful logo because I used alignment and proximity very well, between the star and the S. The star was particularly successful as it fitted perfectly into the curve of my S and also made the logo look more complete. The logo also represented me quite well, as the S shape stands for Stephanie. It’s an organic, memorable logo that is also timeless.I think some improvements I can make on my logo is the color scheme (many people said the color blue didn’t really represent me.) I could have used a brighter color, as that would better represent my personality. The gradient was also too soft for my personality, and I could use a brighter gradient next time.

Crit. A 練習反思

我覺得我做得好的:

  • 我明白了整個短篇
  • 我做對了 Part 1
  • 我會用短篇裡的信息去做問題

我覺得我做得不好的:

  • 我做得不夠仔細
  • 有很多姿勢我應該會的,但是我寫了拼音
  • 第二段有很多問題我都做錯了
  • 我沒有仔細看問題,很多關鍵詞語都沒有看到

我可以改正的:

  • 我可以多看幾篇短篇
  • 我應該仔細讀問題
  • 不要馬上寫拼音,要先想一想這個字我會不會

Design Logo feedback

I have just completed a logo for design and I would like to ask for some feedback.

Here is my logo:

Q#1: Does this logo represent who I am? Why or why not?

Q#2: What do you think I was trying to communicate with the shape and line of my logo?

Q#3: Do you think the star shape contributed to the general appearance to the shape? In what way?

Q#4: How does the naturalistic shape of the S and rough line contribute to the general feeling of the logo?

Q#5: How should I improve my logo?

Q#6: Do you think my logo applies to C.A.R.P? How?

Some reasons to why I did what I did:

  • I used a light color and a dark color so the logo would be visible against any background, making it versatile.
  • I put the star shape in my logo to make it appear more complete.
  • I tried to make it naturalistic to represent creativity.
  • I kept it with just two components so I would be simple.
  • I also thought of the S shape looking slightly like a chinese dragon, showing my culture and also the virtues of courage and honor.
  • The blue color shows peace, while the purple represents a elegant feeling.
  • This is put into contrast with the rough line, suggesting that I can be more than just one thing, and that I have unique ideas.
  • I made the star half faded on purpose, to show that imperfection can still be beautiful.

Thank you for your feedback!!

Unité 1 – Parlez vous français

Factual

  1. a) How can I use my knowledge of English to learn French?

I can use my knowledge of English to learn French because there are many similarities between the words in the two languages, allowing me to make an educated guess at many words. The two languages also use the same alphabet (the Roman alphabet), which makes learning French much easier than learning languages such as Chinese. Finally, there are words that are almost exactly the same in both English and French, such as téléphone,

  1. b) How do I introduce myself in French?

I can introduce myself in French by talking about the following:

  • My favourite colours and least favourite colours.
  • My pets
  • Where I live
  • What nationality I am
  • The languages I speak

I can also help the progression of the conversation by using phrases such as Moi aussi and Et toi,

Conceptual

How are languages linked to one another?

In my opinion, languages are linked through alphabets, and many come from the same base families, such as greek and latin. Countries may influence each other’s languages, and occupation on a country can affect it’s language. For example, when the Spanish occupied Vietnam, they could not write the native character-based language, who they wrote it phonetically, using the Roman alphabet. This stuck, and later it was made standard, so now the Vietnamese alphabet is based on Roman numerals.

Debatable

Does learning a new language make my mother tongue stronger?

I don’t think learning French has improved my mother tongue, because they come from different base families, and have different sentence structures. For example, in Chinese, you would say 一 (yi(one))隻(zhi)狗(gou(dog)), but in French you would just say Un chien. There is no word similar to ‘zhi’ in Chinese, as in Chinese people, animals, and object all have a certain word in front. I believe another main problem is that the two languages come don’t use the same system. French, along with most european countries, uses the Roman alphabet, while Chinese used characters. Because these two systems have no connections, I can’t ‘spell’ out the words as I would between French and English. Along with the problem of different sentence structures, I don’t think that learning French could make my mother tongue stronger.