Part 114- 80%, acceptable or not?

 So, early blog, big stories. And, this isn’t just a story, to be honest, it’s a complaint. It’s a complaint, about the NISD grading system, and grading rules. This hasn’t happened just now, but over time, and every time we have an assignment. In my school district, and for most classes, there is a grading rule that the student cannot re-do their assignment or fix their grade unless it is below 80. I bring it up now, because now, something has happened, which I find upsetting, and I need to speak out for. So, in Science, I and my two friends partnered up together to do the Mars project. We chose, to solve problem 4- out of the different scenarios and solving options. We were to build a shelter, that can protect our colony form the harsh conditions on Mars. We followed all the requirements, but we got points taken off because we added too much. But, this isn’t about me. It’s about the whole grading system and all scores. 

I am one of many students who care deeply about their scores and work hard to maintain the 100% grade average and grades. Even if we get a 98 or a 94, we feel upset. We want to know where our 2 points went and what happened. Usually, it’s an ok thing if it’s like 98 or 93, not exactly ok but it’s fine, but when we get say a, 85, we freak out. I have had the feeling many times. Seeing the crushing two numbers that break all my hope for the day and fill me with regret and disappointment. We would want to immediately redo the assignment in the hope of a much better score. But, we can’t. Why is that? Because you aren’t allowed to redo something unless it is below an 80! It’s basically saying, 80 is an acceptable grade! 80%! Who thinks 80% is acceptable? I know I don’t, or those other students. We probably think this way because of the way we grew up/ were raised. My parents are Indians, and they raise me to work hard for everything. They want me to do my best and expect that I always do. This is common with a lot of Asian parents, to be honest. My friend is that, and she is like me, determine to always to her best and get the best grades. There was a joke, recently on Twoset violin, that is very true. To Asian parents, this is what grades mean.

A- Acceptable

B- Barely acceptable

C- Can’t eat dinner

D- Don’t come home

F- Find a new family. 

Sure it may be a little exaggerating, but it is true. According to most grading systems, A is 90-100, and a B is 80-90. It continues downward after that. Anyway, I took my school’s grading system to the STAAR test level. One thing every kid in Texas knows when they reach the 3rd grade is that they have to take the STAAR, starting from that year to high school. It’s a 4-hour long test, with questions up to 50. You have to take it for different subjects per year. Math and Reading never changes. Every year, students have to test on Math and Reading, and possibly another subject. 4th grade- Writing, 5th grade- Science, 6th grade- nothing else, and so on. Anyway, the STAAR is graded by category. Did not meet, Approaches, Meets, and Masters. Students go into taking this test, with the same mindset as any other test. Oh, it’s fine if it’s in the ’80s or at least meets. And in the end, it’s right. Don’t believe me? Check these out. 

Link: STAAR raw score conversion table
Link: Spring STAAR results- NorthwestISD
Link: Statewide summary reports- STAAR

Now, I may not understand a lot of the numbers in the chart, but I’m talking from what I know, see, and can infer from. Approaches- 27 to 58. Meets- 64 to 76. Masters- 81 to 100. I know that a lot of there are a lot of questions, the questions are difficult, the test takes a long time to do, and it is exhausting, but how can 64 be meets? 81 is master’s! I would rather say a 88 is masters than an 81 if I’m honest. 

I know the graph is a little difficult to see, so I linked the website above. It is the statewide scores link, and this chart shows the 2017-2018 vs. 2016-2017 school year scores. More people fall in the approaches and meets category than the masters. Only about 20% or even less, of students testing in that subject, that year, and that grade level, fall into the masters’ category. Even more disappointing, more people fall into the did not meet category then the master category. Why can’t most student test with the determination or thought of trying to aim for 100? I’m sorry if I’m misjudging and students do think this way, but I can’t see it well with the scores. How should we improve this? I’ll propose an idea. Raise the standard. I will openly say, that I have fallen into the meets and masters category, and I think, even once, approaches. I do try my best and so do others, but a lot of kids just want to get the test over with. No one likes sitting at a desk, testing for 4 hours, not being able to speak, get up, or move unless using the bathroom, having to wait until another person is done using the bathroom to be able to go, and then being quiet once done testing for who knows how long! I know the feeling. It is so boring and incredibly hard and exhausting to do! Anyway, if we raise the standard, I think students would at least try harder. Rias the STAAR grading/ testing standard. Change masters to 88 – 100. Meets to 70-88. Approaches 60-70, and did not meet 0-50. I think students will try harder. Knowing that the grades are raised and mastering or meeting is higher, they will try harder and work harder. 
This might also work if you change the grading system for regular tests as well. Change the policy of only being able to redo an assignment form under 80, to under 90. Try that. Kids may just be careless knowing that they can redo anything under an 80, and when testing or doing an assignment, just do it and hope for the best. Do we really want kids to have this attitude when they go to college, or even when they get a job? Just saying that 80% is fine will make kids into knowing that it is acceptable and only work for an 80. When doing a job, they may only think, I’ve only done 80% of the work, it’s acceptable. In college, I’ll only do enough to get an 80. Is that the mindset we want kids to have in the future or even to have right now?? I don’t think so. If you want more proof as to why we should raise the standard, I’ll show you.
Pull up the link for NISD STAAR results. 
What do the numbers say? 5th-grade reading- 14% do not meet, 86% approach the grade level, 64% meet, and only 40% master. Let’s check out a  different grade and subject this time. 8th-grade science- 8% do not meet ( improving), 92% approach ( Not that great), 72% meet, and only 43% master. Why is it, in every grade or subject, or even statewide, that mastering is either 4th or 3rd ranking for students falling in the category? Why not 2nd, or even 1st? I know it’s a lot to ask, but if we really do change the standard and grading system, it could help raise those numbers and help students do much better not only in tests but even in the future. I only want the district to try changing the grading policy for a couple of years and see how the STAAR results and test scores come out then. I believe that the grades will change and improve drastically, and become much better.  
So, consider the proposal, and why I am bringing this topic up. A bunch of students like me want to redo our assignment but can’t because it can’t be corrected unless it is lower than an 80, and such an attitude can affect thoughts of kids in the future and when taking STAAR tests. Think about it, if we change a small thing, can we change something that is greater and bigger, and even change the world? 

Part 113- Justice Ginsburg

 Hello. Today is Sunday, as we all know, and, today is blog post day. So, we have a slight change of plans. Um, so, Friday, September 18th, associate justice of the Supreme court Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or Justice Ginsburg, has sadly passed away. She has passed away at the age of 87, by complications from pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer happens when cells in the pancreas begin to multiply out of control and form a mass. And, these cells have the ability to invade other parts of the body. So, as a tribute to Justice Ginsburg, we will talk about her life, what her main accomplishments were, and how she changed the world today. (Sources: HallofFame, The hill,

Justice Ginsburg was an amazing woman. Her entire career was to eliminate gender-based stereotypes in legislation and regulations. She was first appointed by President Clinton to be Associate Justice in 1993, and is,”..the second woman to sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court in its 212-year history.”  That’s pretty impressive. To be the second woman to sit on the bench. The second woman in the whole 212 years of there being a Supreme Court. She was nominated to fill the vacant seat of Justice Byron White, who was retiring. She graduated from Cornell University in 1954 with the HIGHEST honors in government, went to Columbia and Harvard law school, making Law Review in both of them, and graduating as the top of her class at Columbia. In 1956 when she entered Harvard Law school, “…the dean asked her and 8 other women to justify why they were taking seats that would go to men and a law school employee told her that women could not enter a room in the library which she needed to do research.” Still, even though similar events like this happened many times in her life, she refused to give up. I bet, that she really proved herself to all those who said no or didn’t accept her just because she was a woman. She continued to work hard to where she stood today. She argued gender-discrimination cases in the Supreme Court, which had persuaded an all-male 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause,”…applied to discrimination based on sex, not just race.”  Her and litigation on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union, where she headed the Women’s Right Project, which drew attention. She helped write the ACLU brief in Reed vs. Reed, which was a case argued before the Supreme Court that involved discrimination against women in awarding the administration of a child’s estate. I know I’ve mentioned this many, many times, but I want to make it clear, because not only did she work hard for this, but also because me being a girl, it matters to me too. She argued cases of sex discrimination. There are many arguments about this topic. Many, many cases. One of the most important of these was Weinberger v.Wiesenfeld. After this victory, was followed by another in Duren v. Missouri. Even though she went through surgery for early-stage colon cancer, surgery for pancreatic cancer, and surgery to remove cancerous growths in her left lung, she refused to retire. Despite rumors of her retiring because of her advancing age and poor health and death of her husband, she did not retire. She stood her “ground” and didn’t give in, no matter what everyone else said.

“She did not want to leave her Supreme Court seat, and much of her legacy the court, in the hands of President Trump. In 2016 she said, ‘I can’t imagine what the country would be- with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court even, I don’t even want to contemplate that.’ ” She even told her granddaughter just before her death, that her most fervent wish is that she would not be replaced until a new president is installed. “She tried to gut it out, to get to January when hopefully there would be a different president to nominate her successor. She was 87 when she died just a few months short of her goal.” Even though she wasn’t able to achieve that goal, she accomplished many other things and many other goals. Some which I haven’t mentioned before was writing books about her life, and in general, books by her.

I think, that Justice Ginsburg may have wanted to keep her seat, for some more reasons. She says that she didn’t want to leave her seat in the hands of President Trump. This may be because she was a liberal, and her views and beliefs in politics and such would have been different than President Trump’s. If she had given up her seat and had President Trump’s nominee to fill her seta, their views may have been different than hers and would change a lot of decisions that would have to be made. It would be n a different way and perspective then how hers had been. So, she was hoping that the next president would possibly have the same views as her, or nominate someone who has the same views as her. 

Justice Ginsburg was a remarkable, and amazing woman, who spoke out multiple times against sex discrimination. She fought for who she is and the equality and didn’t stop, no matter what in anything she did. Whether she was in college with deans who asked her to explain why she was here, or looking for a job and was refused one because they weren’t looking for women, she didn’t give up. She changed how we live and think today, and was true, amazing. I hope she led a wonderful life and passed away happy. Bye.

Part 112- China

So, this post is about China. China’s, One China Policy. Let’s get into it, no time for intros or any of that stuff.

Quick Background: China has two “labels”, one of which actually is China and the other which is just a name for Taiwan. The PRC-People’s Republic of China is China and the Republic of China is Taiwan. This actually is a basic explanation of why the One China Policy is there. What is the One China Policy? The One China Policy is basically, a policy that states that there is only one sovereign state under the name China. Like I said, this refers to Taiwan and China. So, Taiwan, or also known as ROC was a sovereign state based in mainland China but wanted to become democratic after China established Communism. 

Now, what the political problem, is that Taiwan declared the independence of China, but China claims Taiwan as it’s own or that it was once China. It is also an official PRC policy to force unification if peaceful unification doesn’t work. This means, that China was wanting Taiwan to become one with it again, or become part of China again, and Taiwan didn’t want to. The peaceful unification is most likely any way without violence. So, without that working, China decided to force unification, due to their policy. But why would they enforce such a policy in the first place? I know that there is a reason, and I’ll explain in a minute, but why? I mean, it is a good strategy to try peacefully at first, it always is, but still, if Taiwan wanted to be independent, why would you try to force them to re-join? I know that a lot of this same event happens all around the world, for example, India and Pakistan, but why would you try and force them to be one again? Taiwan wanted their own government of democracy, and to be their own independent country form China, and China wants them to become one again. Taiwan chose it’s independence and wanted to state its own government and “rule” or govern itself. Like, for example, Taiwan was sick and tired of being ruled by others, and they wanted to govern themselves and follow their own rules that they create.

Anyway, in mainland China, the CCP- Chinese Communist Party- declared the PRC, and create the reality of Two Chinas. After the creation of Two Chinas, the PRC began to fight a diplomatic war against the ROC or Taiwan over official recognition as the sole legitimate government of China. Like, there can only be one China government, I’m assuming they mean. Or, it could also mean, that the name China is under one sole government and because Taiwan-ROC- is under China, they are part of the same government. The second way sounds most likely to be correct. This may also be why Taiwan wants to change their passports. Oh, haven’t you heard? Taiwan has been wanting to change the names on their passports and it has been deemed official. (LINK) So, here’s what happened in case you didn’t hear. “On September 2, the government of Taiwan launched its new passport design with independent identity, deemed as official from January 2021.” Basically, Taiwan came up with a new design for their passports. the reason why was because, their original passports had” Republic of China” on them, and Taiwan wanted to get that changed, and so, they came up with a new design, that says Taiwan. See:

OCAC.R.O.C.(Taiwan) – News

This is the original or the first one on the left, and the new design one on the right. And, that’s reasonable. It’s reasonable and understandable about why Taiwan would want to change their passports. They aren’t a part of China anymore, but in fact, their own country and want to be recognized for that. They wanted to, ” …distinct Taiwan from China…” Continuing from Chinese unification, China never recognized the two Chinas. Again, I’m wondering if that refers to the part of, Taiwan is under the name of China and is therefore part of China. I mean, that is partially right. If it is named, it is under one name.  But think about it this way. ( BTW my example is not saying China and Taiwan are like fruit and pineapples and apples, it is only supposed to be an example, and hopefully, one that is clear and correct) Pineapple has an apple in its name. It is actually, not at all an apple. Just because it has the same word in its name, doesn’t mean that they are the same or one. They are two completely different things, but just have part of the same name. Anyway, China still claims Taiwan as its 23rd province. Plus, in 2005, they passed the Anti-Secession Law in order to, “…discourage independence of Taiwan independence sentiments, and in order to legitimize its use of force against Taiwan.” Wait, is that even possible? Is it possible for them to do that, to just say and state something that allows them to use force on another country and discourage them of their independence? Wait, what if the rules for such things are different. Like in the U.S., are there different rules or guidelines for passing laws or acts and such because it is a democratic country, as opposed to China who is a communist country? Would they have their own guidelines for doing something like that? Come to think of it, ARE THERE EVEN ANY GUIDELINES FOR PASSING ACTS OR LAWS?? Have 

I just been asking random questions over something that may or may not exist this whole 5 minutes?? I know that China claims Taiwan as part of them, but, isn’t it wrong to do that to another country. To pass an act that allows you to use force on another country isn’t that wrong. ( Thinking other than Taiwan and China) That country is its own independent country that is recognized as by the world, and you just want to pass something that, gives you permission to use force on them. That’s not right. That is very, truly, not in any way possible, right. It shouldn’t be right. It’s like saying, I’m allowed to do anything I want to you even though you are your own person, just because I want to. Why? But then, think of China’s perspective. We can’t always put them in the perspective of the bad side. They must have their own logical and fairly accurate reasons for doing so as well. When passing this law or act, or whatever it is called, China might have been thinking and believing that it is possible/allowed to happen because Taiwan is under the name of China- like mentioned in the other fairly-exhausting-minutes-of-writing paragraphs. They may see it as, if it is a part of us, it isn’t a big deal. This event is only happening within China, and not with any other country, so it is fine. 

Anyway, It has been, surprisingly, at least an hour of non-stop typing and researching, and it is getting late. I hope that this blog clearly discusses different facts and opinions on Taiwan and China, and is much, much better than the other posts before. See you soon.

Part 111- Update

 Hey! I wanted to make this post an actual update blog. So, I’m going to be posting less, only once a week, due to school and other things. Still, the posts will be the same, but focusing more on one topic each week. The topics will have lots of info and opinions. So, after that update, I want to tell you some more recent events that have happened. 

In Kumon, for J by 6, I finally got my award just a few days ago. It is a small glass globe with a small plaque that states when I reached level J along with my name. I have started a brand new series, the Red Queen series, which is absolutely amazing. If you are not a young adult, please do not read it. There is some crude language. I got permission from dad to read it and I am so glad he did.  No hesitation or anything, so I was really happy. I am in the next book, Glass Sword. Red Queen is about a girl whose world is divided by blood- Red, and Silver. Red is the blood of common folk and ordinary people while Silver is from those who are rich and wealthy and have un-human powers. So Mare- the main character- is of Red blood but discovers she has Silver abilities when she is thrown in front of the King’s court. She is forced to play the role of a long lost Silver princess who is betrothed to the King’s youngest son. After finding out about her brother’s death, she joins the Scarlet Guard, a band of Reds who want to be equal to the Silvers, and plays a dangerous game where the consequence is death. Anyone can betray anyone. It is a really good book, and I loved it. I can’t wait to finish the whole series and find out what happens in the end. In Kumon, there is a competition to write the end of one of the Kumon stories that don’t have an ending. I’ve always wanted to know what happens next, and now I get to write the end. My plants are doing well. The rise of the cucumber has come again, taking over the okra and Karla and other plants that I don’t know the name of. Watermelon is also growing. Oh, and the last thing, I have changed my music preference. I know I said I listened to Disney and Kidz bop, but now, I have found an artist, or a band, which I really like. Even though they sing in Korean like 95% of the time, I still like their songs. They are BTS, an all-boy Korean K-pop group, and my most favorite song from them is Boy with Luv and then ON.   ( It’s a good song, try listening to it) Anyway, that was all the updates I had for you. See you Sunday!

Part 110- Ancient Empires: The rise and fall over time

 HEY! I know I said I would write about Taiwan in the next post, but, I have something I want to show you and talk about in this post. As you have probably guessed from the title, it is Ancient Civilizations. So, as you may or may not know, I love ancient history. Ancient culture, empires, civilizations, history, whatever it is, I love it. Except for some U.S. History and TX history. Anyway, I was watching this video earlier, and it is the most beautiful timeline of the rise and fall of Ancient Empires. I absolutely love it. It goes back in time form the start of humanity in Africa, and of humans traveling to other parts in Asia. Then the dynasties and empires and civilizations begin. It also lists the inventions and accomplishments as well as the population over time. It is just amazing. 

So, let’s review the video. I promise you, if you watch this video for the whole time, and watch it to the end and pay attention to it, you will love Ancient history as much as I do. Starting from just 200000 BCE, when the humans started in Africa, the timeline progresses on to the future. I want to point out, that the development of humans began more in Asia and the eastern side of the world. A lot of the Empires fought over there, and it was like the fight for Asia. Who could rule all the land. Also, referring to yesterday’s post, humans reached China at around 109000 BCE. Near 3440 BCE Europe started, developing or settling more than the others. There are more names or “country” or land divisions in “Europe” than the others. Excluding North and South America. Then, at 3140 BCE, we see the first color on the map of Egypt for Advanced Civilizations. I wonder if there are present-day Egyptians today. I mean, I know that there probably are people who live in Egypt and are called Egyptians, but I wonder if there is some culture or traditions form the ancient Egyptians passed down to them, and I wonder if they can read hieroglyphics. Or is that just something from the past? I wonder… Of course, the Ancient Egyptians are built along the Nile river, becoming a river civilization. See, I still remember my lessons from class. Those lessons weren’t for nothing! Anyway, later we start seeing some new civilizations in what is Kuwait today, and what looks like Pakistan and some of India. Around 2157 BCE we see a lot of civilizations near the Middle East, particularly Iraq and Kuwait. Then, the minor highlight of yesterday’s post, the Xia dynasty appears in 2065 BCE. Skipping forward a couple hundred years, we get to Shang overthrowing Xia in “China”.  At 1498 BCE we see an Advanced Civilization appear around India. I believe this labeled as Sanskrit. Along the way, Egypt has started to expand and after a few seconds, you see them conquering Syria. A while after that is just development in new civilizations rising and falling to others around them in around the Middle East, and some spreading in India. China is starting to split at this point. WOAH! Then at 514 BCE an Empire- I can’t see the name clearly- starts to take over. 313 BCE the Maruya Empire rises in India. The Seleucus turns into the Seleucid Empire, and then at 168 BCE, the Han dynasty starts to rule. And then, Jesus is born, turning BCE into CE. At 16 CE Xin overthrows Han, only causing Han to overthrow Xin in 28 CE. 100 CE- The Kushan Empire starts to expand. And at the same time, the Roman empire is expanding and rising in present Europe. Around 556 CE the Turkish Khaganate begins to take over. Then- I can’t see the name properly apologies for that- a new civilization starts to rise and grows fast in today’s Suadi Arabia, and started to move. Over time we start to see the basic, fight-for-the-most-land-and-rule-all-of-Asia part. And then, we see the power of the Mongol Empire. Going into the past to 1210 the Mongol Empire has started to grow and very quickly seeming by the video, it rules a lot of Asia, Russia, slowly taking parts of China, making its way to Europe, and so on. I have to point out though, as the Mongols were conquering, they never could take over India. You can still see India’s outline. It could not be taken over by the others.  The Mongols were a very strong Empire as we can tell. They took over a lot of lands and conquered other empires very fast. Very impressive. I have to ask, what was the end of the Mongol Empire. I can see that their conquering stopped and they split. Was the split the reason? Eventually, the Mongols took over China, before it slowly came back. There is still no development in North and South America besides some growth in Mexico. Slowly, slowly, the Mongolian Empire reduced. Aha, now at 1588 the Mughal Empire started taking over India. Now, here comes the rise of the Maharashtra Empire soon. Above, Russia claims the land, as, Russia. Qing in China starts to expand. Spain starts to explore the North and South Americas. Now, at around 1740 the Marathas started to rise. Maratha Empire grew, and so did the Russian empire. The Russian Empire is basically almost covering all of the areas that is Russia today. 1830, the British empire came. Soviet Union, America, Canada, India, become themselves. I also want to point out that China has a label of Communists. Let’s rewind and check out where that started. Ok, so in 1933 there is a label of Republic of China. There was an area of Republicans and a small area of Communists before communists came over. Slowly, it just became China. So around 1953. Then we finish in 2016- when this map was made. 

I know that this post was mostly an overview of the video, but I really wanted to share or note the key points in it. It does explain a lot of the Chinese History we talked about yesterday and shows exactly how it once began. It also answers some of my questions in the past post when the dynasties started. I loved this video. It was beautiful and so well made, I loved it. The growth and progress over time. How in the past everything were rise and fall. Seeing who the humans traveled at the start of humankind, not saying mankind, and how they grew. Just the basic growth and seeing how many empires started and ruled over the years. We always explain that the Mongolian Empire conquered many empires and was huge or that the Romans conquered a lot of Europe, but we need it put into perspective and actually visualized to see what they mean. To see an actual representation of what happened. Well, I am running out of time, and I hope to see you tomorrow continuing our talk about Taiwan and China and other topics with China. Bye!

Part 109- Mysterious poem

 Hi, so this blog was actually planned out yesterday, when, for an assignment/ passage we read in class was happening. So, in class, ELA, we are reading a story-a a short story- and during one of the assignments, I came up with a poem for it. And, I’m going, to be honest, I absolutely dislike poetry. In any way, I find poetry to be the most boring part of ELA, along with summaries. Anyway, the assignment took like an hour, and the third step was to make a poem of twenty IMPORTANT words we found, and after using ten of those twenty words to explain their importance to the story. I know it sounds confusing, but really, it’s not. It just takes a ridiculous amount of time to do, and a little stressful. Anyway, we were supposed to write a poem, and it couldn’t be in a summary or format that explains the story. It had to be unique. Well, it was hard to come up with something at first, but, with the amount of practice I have in writing stories and posts, I succeeded, and came up with an amazing poem, in my opinion, that I am really proud of. I’ll upload a picture of how it really looks like in the end. I sort of made the poem in a mysterious, spooky vibe. I guess when I heard unique, I must have thought mysterious. Anyway, I really liked how my poem turned out, and I hope you have an interest in it and like it too. The story is called, Dark They Were and Golden Eyed, in case you want to check it out after reading the poem. 

Typed on post version:

An Atom Bomb, a war and change
Mars, a new life and none of the same,
7 Bitterings and Earthmen, away from beloved Earth home
Hoping to lead a peaceful life, I suppose

One whose mind is warped by fear.
Feeling stranded and helpless by news of despair
Believed he was not Martian,
We’re not them,
Oh yes you are,
Just slower than you suspect

Metal becomes a rocket,
Like brown eyes become golden,
And how skin became dark and burnt,
They were different than they once were

Unlike Cora and his kids, Harry was afraid,
The way they were changing and weren’t the same
Turning into one on Mars
Dark skinned and Golden Eyed they became

Actual version: