Author Intent

Wonder – R.J.Palacio

The message of this book is to enjoy life and live it to the fullest. If you have not read this book there are major spoilers in the post. Skip the bold italics part if you don’t want spoilers.

The main character, August, was born with a facial abnormality. He gets bullied and put-down for his looks, and his favourite day is not his birthday, it’s Halloween, where he can hide his face. His “best-friend” was bullying him behind his back and was actually assigned to playing with him. His two real best friends moved away from him when he was young to different states in the USA. His old, rescued, beloved dog, Daisy, dies. He thinks his sister is embarrassed of him. He’s had quite a few surgeries.

Pretty hard life, huh?

So. August is amazing. Having so many hardships and still being open to people. R.J.Palacio is a great author. It’s really great how she made the character so in depth and so touching.

He was born with “small anomalies” which basically means when he was being created his face was deformed. He gets bullied for something he was born with, which I think is so terrible. He hasn’t given up. He studies and stays strong. Even without many people in his life he still is a great person.

Here is a prime examples of August’s maturity and understanding of life (he’s supposed to be our age.): “The only reason why I’m not ordinary is because nobody sees me that way.” And “You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.”

My favourite quote of this book is about his sister when she was born:

“Fate smiled and destiny laughed as she came into my cradle.”

Word Study:

  1. Yearn: To want something badly. “Eva yearned for friendships.”
  2. Xenophobia: Fear of strangers or foreigners. “August has Xenophobia. Leave him be!”
  3. Vermillion: Vivid red/orange colour: “Eva’s bag was vermillion.”
  4. Quixotic: Not sensible in practical matters: “James was quixotic”

Producing songs is hard work!

Hi viewers!

My passion project is to make a small EP with four songs.

The song titles are yet to be revealed! Average time – 3 mins per song.

Producing Equipment:
MacBook Pro 2012 OSX 11.9.0 (microphone for vocals and acoustic guitar; surprising very good quality)

Ashton Acoustic Guitar (no amp plug but great sound range)

Monterey (not sure about brand) Electric Guitar (best sound, contemporary, five tones on guitar)

Blackstar 40watts guitar amp (7 tones)

Garageband MacBook Version

Here are the steps I take to record songs:

  1. I make the backtracking first so that most of the work is done. I use my guitar for most of them and layer three tracks. I always have to spilt them and edit the tone and speed of the guitars. This is very time consuming I have taken 5 weeks on a single backtrack.
  2. I record claps and accents. They enhance the songs greatly. They help keep the beat and rhythm. The bass is the best.
  3. I then record the vocals. These have to be the main focus. They have to be pristine for viewers to like the content.





Poetry is my personal favourite form of writing. It seems to be so pretty and beautiful. There’s no limits to the amounts of metaphors you can make when you think. It’s quite amazing hot beautiful our words can be. We just have to be careful to taste them before we spit them out.

I made these poems. I did my poems on a character from Paper Towns – John Green. I did three on events in the story. I really love this book. If you have some time, it is a must read 🙂 All of these poems are from Quentin’s perspective.

“Her name is Margo.”

I was so lucky

To live across the street

Of a goddess

That I adore

I lived there

For many years

Yearning for her love

But she was always out pulling pranks

That sly vixen

That night owl

She had mystery in her lungs

And mischief in her smile

And her blue eyes

Were my summer skies

“I need a favour, Quentin

I didn’t know whether it was a mirage or not

I couldn’t tell

But she was sitting in my room

With the light of the moon

And she was asking of a favour

It was a surprise

But I didn’t mind

Because I loved her so

But we spent all night 

Roaming the streets

And pranking all who seemed to miss karma

Then when they were done

She told him about how she never wanted to be found

In a paper town

“Paper Towns”

Suddenly she disappeared

She didn’t tell anybody about her escape

But Quentin knew she loved mysteries

So he kept his eyes open

For things she had left

A pin on an opened map 

In her room

He recalls

Her saying about a paper town

He wasn’t ready to let her go

So he went to find her

Down the highway with his friends

They try to find Margo

Please stay tuned for more on my Passion Project and other updates 😉


Powerful Sentences

My book of choice is “Zac & Mia”. It’s about two Australian teenagers who have cancer. The end up as hospital ward neighbours. He learns her blearing music or her foul mouth can’t stop them from thinking about each other even when they’re away. In his time of treatment for leukaemia, this was the first time he met a girl his age in this hospital with cancer. Zac’s cancer is more serious than Mia’s.  The book is powerful altogether I think and so far I would rate it a 9/10 but I have not finished.

“It’s funny how the brain does things like that. Your whole world is getting sucked up and tossed around and the best you can do is fixate on something small and unexpected.” – Zac Meier / A.J.Betts / Zac & Mia

I think this is a very moving and powerful if you think. He is getting better from a bone-marrow transplant that could save his life and he has undergone chemo and other things. He is stuck in this empty room filled with the smell of hand sanitiser and the worst part is when you hear someone has passed away. It would crush him. He had to leave all his friends, not conclude year 12 and under go all this. It’s like saying all he wants are the simple things.

The other way I came up with to say this:

Abstract and unplanned things are usually my point of interest. I’m sick of all this pain and this puts my mind into a daydream.

“At some point, you gotta stop looking at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.” – Paper Towns / John Green

I couldn’t choose between these two. I like this book also. There are lots of sites where you can find information about the book “Paper Towns” by John Green because it’s very popular. It’s a young adult book. I think it would be a great read for anyone but John Green has a stereotype for all of his characters. He may be good at writing but all of his characters are the same. Sometimes I think the girl protagonist is someone he loved when he was growing up or loves now.

I think this line is very powerful because it’s saying stop daydreaming, go have a little fun. Being happy is better than wanting to stop your death. You’ll find that you wasted your life, over something so bitter and annoying rather than having lived wild and reckless. I’d rather be wild as a storm than someone who has a plastic heart anyway.

The other way that I came up with for saying this would be:

Why are you just staring up at those clouds? Couldn’t you use your life, run reckless? Cause someday you’ll be up there, just wait; it’s something you can’t escape. We are born to live, not to wait for our stupid deaths.


Term 2 Reading Goals

What genres would you like to explore this term and why?

My goal this term for genre is to read some happy, comedy books. I tend to read very emotional, sobering and sad novels. I guess I just like them because of the feelings I get. I am also often told that I should read comedy not books that involve death, disappearance and sadness. I also read quite a few mystery books and liked them but never really went back. I plan on reading one of those too. I will read a fantasy book too, but the reason why I never really did before is the fact that things that aren’t real are things that always reoccur in almost every fantasy. Like magic and myths but I want to try it out again.

The genres I want to read this term:

  • Mystery
  • Comedy
  • Fantasy

What reading routine will you follow this term?

I want to read every night but sometimes I don’t have time so three times a week (out of school) in large parts. I will just increase the amount of pages I read if I miss one reading session.

How do you find out about new books?

I usually just search shelves in genres and ask for recommendations. Maybe see if an author you like has more books.

How many Reading Rants will you aim to complete?

About four a week, maybe five depending on how many books I read over this time.

How can you improve as a blogger about your reading?

Remember to add photos and always get my work in early.

Helpful Hints For Inquiry

Recently in school we have been learning about photography, film and audio as our Inquiry focus. The film and audio required a short film to be made and the photography unit required a presentation of your learning through the notes and pictures that you took. We had two weeks learning about these focuses. While making these products we have learnt many different skills. I will be showing you my learning today in this blog post.


In this unit we took pictures using the notes we gathered from Ms. Torney and from instructional videos with quite a bit of context. We also learnt basic PicMonkey skills. We learnt mostly just colorings. Just playing around with cropping, brightness, saturation and angles.


Divide your frame into a tic-tac-toe boards and put your most important elements along those lines of the board. Place them horizontally or vertically on the lines or on the intersecting points.

There is always a foreground, background and middle ground.

When you want the landscape to dominate, put it on the top third. Flip it if you want the sky to be more important during sharing. The more interesting or important thing more weight on the image. If they are both interesting and important, place the horizon line along the middle (great for reflection shots). That is probably the only time you can break the rule. Make sure that the ninths are equal in length. Most cameras have a built in grid.

  • Allows you to unambiguously (without distraction) direct flow towards your piece.
  • It allows direct flow towards the pic
  • If the subjects were more centered, your eyes would travel everywhere, they wouldn’t know where to look
  • It lets you tell your viewer the most important/interesting elements


Leading Lines

In photography lines can make or break you picture. They have an incredible impact on feelings and atmosphere in the photo.

If your line is in the middle of the photo it cab cut the photo in half.

It will have a more impressive look and stronger composition if it starts at the corner of your photograph. Make sure that any lines are obvious. Leading lines can lead your viewers’ attention to the main point and prevent your eye from wandering. Line can make distance look further. Use your lines carefully though, it can move away from the main subjects.



Peace, calmness and a sense of restfulness.

They should be kept as horizontal as possible. Use the rule of thirds. They can strengthen the composition and create patterns.


Action, depth, stimulation. It can help draw an eye to a photo. Present it to the bottom left to the top right to use it best. It helps an eye scan.


Sensuality, elegance, serene sense of balance. The can be used as an s. Any form of a non-straight line can be called a curved line and be used in the same way.


Flow, depth, distance, scale, Our eyes naturally run along these lines where they connect, having them larger at the front and smaller at the end. This creates interest.    


Growth, power, dominance

Make sure to use the rule of thirds. They cannot start from corners.



Joy's PhotoThe idea is to block out the other parts of the scene with something bland. Maybe rocks, building or trees. It draws attention to the subject by blocking the edges to place your eyes on the most important part of the photograph. You isolate the best part and make your eyes see it. It gives it a sense of depth in the picture. It adds diminution into the pic. It doesn’t need to go around the full edge of the image. It can be anywhere on the edge. Just framing one or two sides is fine. A blurred frame will add more depth, while a focused frame creates context (more details and informative). Be aware that it can cause clutter, making the composition crammed and tight. Make sure the frame is defined and distinct. It should stand out from everything else. It does not have to contrast.

Negative and Positive Space:

Negative space defines the subject drawing your eyes towards it.

Area between and around objects in the photo. Sometimes called white space. It has been used in art, design, architecture and sculptors for years. It doesn’t take away from the main subject and is non-distracting. It draws your eye to your subject. It gives your eyes some space so that it doesn’t look cluttered and too busy. It defines and emphasises a photo’s main details. It adds up to a more engaging composition. When used properly it creates balance. It may be hard to create this. Keep in mind that some pictures look better with more texture. It’s basically a non-distracting background.

It is basically the main subject. Usually more interesting.

To overcome the problems of too boring, focus on the gaps around. This forces you pay more attention to your composition you don’t have to be scared of empty space. It can be amazing when you isolate the subject. Make sure the space balances. 


Where you put your camera to shoot can change the picture dramatically. It can make your viewer feel small or big. It can exaggerate the size of the subject and create moods and feelings. Eyelevel isn’t always the best view for your shot. By experimenting with many different perspectives will create many different images.


This unit taught us about various microphones and tripods. We also learnt how to use Corel Video Editing System further and use the equipment in production.

Audio can make or break your film. Amazing actors and cinematic cannot mask horrible audio. It doesn’t matter much if your actors are bad, or your cinematic skills suck, or your storyline is bad. If your audio is bad, people will not watch it. It might even be painful to watch. In my opinion cinematic and audio are the most important aspects of a good film. Good audio is smooth, clear, crisp and mood enhancing. Bad audio may be too loud, too quiet, static sounding or inaudible. Audio is very important for a film. Take extra care with your microphones and audio so that the film is enjoyable for your viewers. I’m not saying don’t take care with all your aspects, but more so maybe try and make the audio awesome so that your film is awesome too!

Also keep in mind what sort of microphone you use in your film. Here are some microphones and their uses.

Wireless Lapel:

Great for long shots, whispering, small talk, interviews and great for subtle voice projection. They are compact, easy to use and very easy to transport. You can use them for at least 25m from your receiver before it starts to fade. The quality is fair. You might have to be careful of it picking up breathing, movement and wind though.

Shotgun Microphone:

Used very often in short distance shots. It is named after the way the mic tends to pick up the direction it’s going and for minimizing background noise. Ideal for interviews, reports and single or small group scenes. These microphones come in some different sizes and variations. These are not very good for long/far shots because it doesn’t catch the audio.

Wireless Handheld:

They are very generic. It’s often held below your chin so that it’s not covering your actor/reporter’s face. They can be used for any type of shot. They are very easy to set up. It only has the receiver most of the time because the mic is the transmitter. Can be held up with stands.


This unit taught us about shot-lists

and scene names. We also learnt Corel Video Editing System to a degree and the basic skills of equipment. Every film has a start, middle and an end. There’s pre-production, production and post-production.

Shot-lists basically are planning out your basic shots, dialogue, order and thing you need to do in the shot. These help loads during production because you knew what you needed to get done. Much like when you’re making an animated movie, you make story-boards to show the basic idea of the film to keep it in order. These are very important because it reminds you and helps you keep on track.

We had groups of 4 – 5 and we made films/tutorials about how to do something we knew how to do or are skilled at. Our group chose a hair tutorial. Our group was made up of actors/models, camera people, editors and lights and area coordinator. It was sometimes challenging ‘cause there were five of us to keep in check but it all turned out fine in the end. We also learnt about voice-overs. We have to only be a fist away from the microphone.




Welcome to your new Digital Portfolio


Welcome to your College Digital Portfolio! A Digital Portfolio is like having your own website. It is a place for you to learn about being an active and responsible digital citizen by creating a portfolio of your best work to showcase and share with others. Through the creation of a blog, you will be able to write regular reflections and share your learning journey through photo and video with your teachers, parents, each other and possibly even experts from all around the world.

For more information and support, speak to your teacher, explore, play and learn from each other! Learn how to publish your first post by visiting Publish your First Post. After that see what you can do! Visit the Edublogs User Guide for more help developing your new online space.

There are so many ways in which to use your space, for example:

  • Documenting and reflecting on your learning, passions, and interests, both in and out of school
  • Curating and highlighting work for your Student-Led Conferences
  • In some instances, your teachers will also ask you to submit, reflect and comment on other students work in this portfolio

That’s enough to get you going. Your Digital Portfolio should be a fun, enriching and rewarding way to explore, find or create your place in the world. Good luck!