This was my first week at Space4Art, and I got to say, it was a pretty fun experience. I’ve missed doing construction for a while now. So going back to an environment that I have missed was a great experience. The building crew, Lauren, and I have been strengthening the truss of the roof.
One of my mentors, Bob Jones, was instructing Lauren and I the different steps of strengthening the truss. After he tells us what to complete, he leaves Lauren and I so we can get to work. It strikes me how much trust Bob has in Lauren and I. We have been using our collaboration and communication skills constantly because everyone needs to know what everyone is doing.
Another skill I have been improving on is my construction skill. Some tools are new to me and I have to learn about some of the vocabulary they use. We constantly use SDS screws for the planks, they are really strong and penetrate through wood easily.
Next week, the freshmen of High Tech High Chula Vista will come to a site so they can start working on their project called Tiny Homes. Lauren and I are going to manage them and assist them with building. I am really excited for the upcoming things we are going to do; such as becoming a mini manager and improving the offce at the parking lot. I am sure I will learn a lot more and have tons of fun while at it.
Getting Ready for the NAMI Walk This week, my group and I accomplished all of our tasks. We finished printing our t-shirts; with white ink on an icy blue shirts. They turned out to look really cool and eye catching. Vanessa and I did a really good job on designing the shirts. On Thursday, my group and I had a run through during lunch time. One Junior said she was going to buy one of our shirts because she said, “They look really cute and cool.” Mr. Ted came by and wanted to learn more about our topic. We told him the process of our shirts and the design. We pointed out the designs on the bandages and asked him if he knew what those symbolized. He had the idea of the symbols meaning how to cure depression. That brought up an idea for me to expand on how to cure depression from our book, The Depression Cure. I want to inform people about the importance of social support. Quoted from the book, “Hunting, cooking, eating, playing, foraging, sleeping, grooming - they’re all carried out in the company of close friends and loved ones. Loneliness and social isolation are virtually unknown.” My group and I feel really prepared for tomorrow's NAMI Walk. We have to be there at 6:30 in the morning to set up our booth. We’re bringing: a canopy, two backpacks, dumbbells, stickers, and chairs. All of our tasks on our NAMI Walk Check List checked off. We are ready to advocate against depression stigmas
Ms. Nuvia had scheduled a critique session from professionals on Thursday the 13th. My group and I wanted our critique session to be focused on Vanessa and my t-shirt design. The question my group and I came up with were, what is your first impression when seeing this? And how can we add more meaning to our design.
My group’s first critiquer was Ms. Nuvia; and we received some really interesting probing questions. A question that stood out the most to my group was, why would someone with depression or past depression want to wear our t-shirt? We were stuck onto that question and couldn’t think of a straight away answer. So it made us visualize all the different perspectives about the shirt.
After our session with Ms. Nuvia was finished, we had a graphic designer, David Varela, come to our table to critique our t-shirt design. Since I already knew how the process of the session would plan out, my group and I felt more comfortable with David. Going back to our focus question about the first impression of the design, I asked David what did he thought the message was. He responded by saying it looks like someone is trying to overcome a hard time, maybe like stress or a diet.
Then, I told him our group’s topic was based on teen depression. David then gave us amazing feedback such as, making the bandages have symbols. How do you cure depression? With love, social support, communication, hobbies, and much more detail in the book, The Depression Cure. We would add symbols directly onto the bandage to represent how to cure depression. There are many different ways of curing depression according to the book my group and I are reading, The Depression Cure. Some activities listed are: sunlight exposure, social support, sleep, etc.; for example, humans were made to become a community, social support. As stated in the book, The Depression Cure, "Hunting, cooking, eating, playing, foraging, sleeping, grooming- they're all carried out in the company of close friends and loved ones. Loneliness and social isolation are virtually unknown." That is why the designs in the bandage would have symbols representing those activities. Our last piece of critique was to make the brain sad or tired, some sort of way to associate the brain has gone through a hard time.
Overall, the critique session was a success. We got a lot of amazing feedback on our t-shirt design. We are going to implement our feedback right away.
In the future, I want to become an architectural engineer. I want to be designing structures with my creativity. Tourists from all around the world would be able to see what I designed. I believe that your dream job should be something you enjoy doing because you would be working almost every day of your life; and I feel like I wouldn’t get bored of this job. I want to become an intelligent man in the future, to be knowledgeable to everyone. A short list I model after is the 7 Habits of Heart and Mind. I want to always better myself on those seven skills. A skill that is a challenge for myself is to stay motivated on a task I was assigned. Everyone always does better on their product if they are interested in what they are doing, but what about something they aren't interested in? It is a huge challenge I hope to overcome someday, because I know for sure I will keep running into this obstacle. Another skill I need to improve on is, working better independently. I work at my best with teams or groups, I just need to transfer my strength to just focus on myself. I sometimes work well by myself, but not consistently. I need to find a way to motivate myself and keep pushing myself. My internship is with the Space4Art organization in downtown. I will be helping with construction and helping develop their new organization. I am excited to be heading into internships because I can finally leave school and take on new responsibilities. But first before I start internships, I really want and need to get my grades to where they should be. After I bring my grade back up, I would be carrying a positive attitude all around, including Space4Art.
Fiesta del Sol In the beginning of the week, I caught the stomach flu. Which meant I had to stay home for two days straight; while my group members were at school working on the final products for exhibition. I have been keeping the communication with my members and myself. Tuesday, they asked me to send them a picture of my t-shirt design. My design was simple but I thought it has a lot of meaning to it once you understand the message. My design was a brain with bandages all over it; then at the bottom there was text saying, “Still Repairing.” When I came back to school on Wednesday, day of Festival del Sol, I saw we had two t-shirt designs; one of them being mine. I was quickly tasked to create a t-shirt poster with my design on it. The objective wasn’t too difficult because I have some experience with PhotoShop and I also had my peers to support me. It was 5 o’clock, which is when the school wide exhibition started. Our first guest was a student from the other junior team. We used this as our “warm up,” and asked for critique on our process after. After that, we got a feel for how our activity should run. In the process, our audience gave us critique on the two t-shirt designs. I received a lot of good critique and I now know what to fix about my design. I made a realization shortly after the critiques that communication is super effective. I feel like if I never kept communication with my group members, we would not be where we were on exhibition night.
“I didn’t get to play video games; I’m so depressed.” “I’m so depressed because I didn’t get my acting role.” You always hear the term depressed as a synonym for sad; but it is not a synonym. Depression is a mood disorder, it changes your feelings, your actions, and even tasks such as sleeping. Since people constantly use the word, depressed, as a replacement for sad, it takes away the meaning of the word.
Another stigma for depression is on teenagers. People think that teen depression is a phase in their age group. “It’s just a phase, you’ll get over it sometime soon.” “You’re not depressed, you are just overreacting.” What those people don’t know about teen depression is that is a very serious topic and issue. According to mentalhealthamerica.net about 500,000 teenagers attempt to commit suicide annually; but 5,000 of them succeed.
To actually tell if you or someone else is depressed, I am currently reading a book, The Depression Cure, and it told us the symptoms of depression. They are listed as: Depressed mood, Loss of Interest or pleasure in all activities, Large increase or decrease in appetite/ weight, Insomnia or hypersomnia, Intense fatigue, Excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness, Difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and frequent thoughts of death or suicidality. Referenced from the book, if you have five or more of these symptoms, you are diagnosed with depression.
In class, all peers made a slogan relating to their Teen Brain Health topic. My slogan was, “ Depression is NOT a choice, so use your voice.” I wanted my slogan to be simple and catchy; so I added one rhyme to it. I wanted to send the message of, you don’t get to choose whether to be depressed or not to be depressed; it is just diagnosed. One of the ways to prevent depression for all ages, is social support. So to have social support, you must communicate about your thoughts and feelings.
This week on Tuesday, my class took a field trip to UCSD C.A.R.E. I really enjoyed the different activities we have done, and also the tour of the hospital. I’ve learned bits of information from every station. The first activity my group had done, was the neuropsychological testing. I was interesting how scientists can study the brain just from their patients doing activities. The one activity that stood out to me was the stroop tests. The point of that activity is having a control over yourself and cognitive processing. My group and I tried completing this activity as fast as we can, but it was very difficult at the end; which was saying a word, with an uncoordinated color attached with it. Another activity my group and I have done, was the EEG testing. We first saw a short tutorial on what the EEG does and how it works. The purpose of this is to scan the brain harmlessly. A con from this test, is that there is no spacial awareness. My friend, Mathew Tofoya, was our “test dummy” so he was up to get tested on. Our speaker who was hooking up the wires to Mathew was telling us the slightest movements would show up in the monitor. The wires were hooked up right below his right eye, and right when he blinked, it showed up in the monitor.
On March 2nd, my POD went to UCSD to learn more about the adolescent brain behaviours; and also the lab work the students conduct. The traffic there was horrible, it took us about an hour to get there.
Once we got there, we walked all the way to Dr. Jay Geibb’s building; where he gave us a very descriptive lecture on the adolescent brain. I have learned that teenager’s brains aren’t “broken”, they are still developing from the back to the front. Our teenage minds are set to have increased risk taking, increased sensation seeking, and peer affiliation.
After the lecture, we went to have something to munch on. I was really feeling a California Bowl from Rubio’s, and oh was it delicious. I was eating my lunch at the amphitheatre with everyone while some of my peers split off to visit the lab. When I finished my lunch, the past alumni from High Tech High Chula Vista took us on a little tour around their university.
They took us to the leaning house on top of the engineering building and also the beautiful library. What always catches my eye when I visit this campus is the architecture. That is one of the reasons I would like to attend this school.
After the tour, it was time for the other half to visit the lab. The lab was really unique because of all the equipment they had. We split off into three groups for the three different stations they had. There was a microscope station where you observe the cells. There was a gel station where you test DNA. And the last station was slicing a rodent’s brain.
My favorite station out of all of them was the gel station because it was fun inserting the needle into the holes. The instructor for that station, Ruby, was also really enthusiastic which made the station fun.
Overall, the field trip was really fun; walking around the campus and learning about biology. I am now waiting for our next field trip to visit the Hillcrest lab.
Reflection This week, our biology class had two guest speakers come visit us and explain what they're researching about. I found the two guest speakers to be really interesting, they were enthusiastic and got my hooked. Their main focus topic was about adolescence. Which is the stage where puberty occurs. “Our brain is still cooking.” Teenagers still need to develop the part of the brain used for organization and decision making; which is located in the front of the brain. This happens because as we get start to develop, we go from the back to the front.
The speaker had an example, teenagers usually do a lot of things that they regret; all because the brain isn't fully developed. I can relate to her statement a lot; the incident happened in eighth grade. I was in my Engineering & Design class, and we had to work on our constellation night light. I was running around the class and jumping on tables because I was really hyper during that time. Then I decided to start putting my hands on the table and start jumping to see how high I could get. After a couple attempts, I hear a loud thump. I look down towards my shin, and I see a gigantic gap; maybe around one inch. “Ah shit, not again.” I got sent to the nurse's office to wait for my dad to pick me up; and I was regretting my decision so bad. You could blame that because I was acting stupid and careless, but now I can say, it was because my brain was still cooking.
San Fran Visit Going into the eight hour drive to Northern California, I only had an idea about UC Berkeley and Cal Poly. One hour before take off, every advisory met together to have a small pep talk. My advisor, Ms. Quinlan, had told all of us that it'll be an amazing experience and tons of fun. Heading into the bus, I sat with my friend, Andre. We would be talking about some music, soccer, and video games. “I saved The Weeknd’s album for two weeks, for this moment.” I had slept during the first hour of the ride, and I woke up in San Francisco. I admired the architecture of the buildings; very simple but unique. We have then arrived in Berkeley, it looked pretty historical to me. It has the vibe of intelligence everywhere. What I liked about from this college was how it is a big school, the number one public school in the world, and how it's urban. Another school we visited was, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. We didn't spend a lot of time there, but we got to explore on our own for about 30 minutes. I spent almost all my time in the restroom and the gift shop, which I kind of regret now. From what I heard from the High Tech High alumni, Cal Poly offers a lot of engineering opportunities. They also have a “graveyard” for the architects, where they design and build anything they want. Since my dream job is to become an architectural engineer, I feel like I would enjoy studying there. Overall, one thing I've learned in this trip was that my opinion has strengthened. I still want to attend a college that is big and urban. I want to have the college feeling, and to also feel comfortable where I'm studying. In the future, you can maybe see me studying in Cal Poly SLO, learning about my passion. You can maybe see me in Berkeley. The other universities we've visited, didn't catch my eye as they were either too stranded or too small.