On 5/31/17 we went on a field trip to a Peruvian restaurant. We went for a reward for all of our hard work for the past two years. Another reason was that we would talk in Spanish. At first I thought we would get a menu and order, but that wasn’t the case. My Spanish teacher, Senor Johnson, told me that it would be like a family style lunch. For example its like when you sit with your family and pass a dish around and eat.
When we got there after a 20-25 minute bus drive all the way to Port Chester, I was hungry. When we got into the restaurant, Senor Johnson gave out some papers which had some questions that we studied for two weeks. There were four questions on the paper. I answered three at first because one of them couldn’t be answered at that time because the question asked what was your favorite dish, I couldn’t answer because we hadn’t even eaten yet. The first thing that came were some cups with ice in it. Then some bread and butter came with a drink called Chicha Morada. Chicha Morada is a soda kinda drink but with purple corn and pineapple. I poured some of it into my cup and it tasted like pumpkin spice. Next came a Ensalada (salad) which was good, then some Lomo Saltado which is steak rice and french fries, Pollo Saltado which is like Lomo Saltado except that the steak is replaced by chicken, Pescado which is white fish slathered in sauce and rice, and lastly Tallarin Saltado de carne which is spagetti but with steak in it. My favorite dish was the Pollo Saltado. After eating this food, I felt as if I was in Peru instead of New York.
This was one of my favorite field trips of all time at Heathcote. I hope we can have more experiences like these in the middle school.
On Friday, we got our SMS houses. The houses in SMS are Butler, Cooper, Fountain, and Popham. Out of all of these houses I got into Popham. I really wanted to get into Popham because a lot of people wanted to get into it as well as Fountain because apparently these two were the best houses. I believed them because they had siblings who were in Popham and the younger siblings said they get less HW or go on more field trips and I thought that was good.
So when my mom picked me up, I dashed straight to the computer with my mom’s email already in and I found the email and I saw that the house I wanted to get into, I got into. This was one of the most happiest moments of my life that I will remember.
I am so happy and I couldn’t be happier. And I can’t wait to go to the middle school and start a new school year.
For my Capstone project we also needed to do a site visit. At first I thought a site visit was when you visit a website. But that wasn’t the case. I actually had to go somewhere and then it made more sense. I did some research and found that the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C has elephants. When I googled google maps to see how far the distance is, it said it was 5 hours! I was surprised but shocked at the same time. I was sad also because I knew my parents weren’t willing to drive me to Washington D.C. and because their wasn’t any zoo with elephants in them.
When I met with Ms. Edwards, I asked her where I should go for my site visit. We started researching on where I should go and then I thought of the Bronx Zoo. Then I searched if they have any elephants. Unfortunately when I went through the animals they didn’t have elephants. Then Ms. Edwards told me an idea that my friend Corina did. She said I can do a Elephant Cam. An Elephant Cam is a live stream of a habitat in a zoo to see the activity of an animal. What I did to record this was to take a picture. I don’t have a phone so what I did was screenshot it. It has really fun taking pictures of elephants.
On 5/22/17 at 2:30 pm I had a interview with an elephant behaviorist, and her name is Gay A. Bradshaw. For the interview we tried Skyping but it didn’t work for some reason so I couldn’t see her. But that didn’t stop me. We got to question number two and something happened on Skype so it hung up. We tried again and she said it was best for us to finish the rest of the questions on call, so that was what we did. I also audio recorded it so that it was much more easier than taking notes. I asked Dr. Bradshaw 10 questions relating to my topic about elephants, so these are my 10 questions,
- Why are you so passionate about elephants?
- How do threats to elephants make you feel?
- How do the threats that African and Asian elephants face differ?
- How does The Kerulos Center help stop elephant abuse?
- Do you collaborate with any other wildlife conservation group to help elephants? If so what are their names?
- How have the number of elephants changed since people have been interested in helping to save them?
- Does the government also spend money on helping elephants?
- How does elephant poaching affect the economy?
- Do current laws adequately deter poachers? How can laws be improved?
- What can kids do to help elephants?
When Dr. Bradshaw gave me the answer to these questions, she gave me detailed responses, and I used some of her responses for my information. She was also very nice about giving her time to a fifth-grader answering my questions. Some things that she told me about elephants were in her own opinion. For example she doesn’t call wildlife conservation groups in their names, she calls them “Wildlife Self Determination”. The reason why she calls them this is because “Conservation has its own notion of humans doing something in preserving their animals and other wildlife are sentimental beings.” It was fascinating on how she thought of a different perspective on wildlife conservation groups. She also told me that her center is opening up a center for bulls (male elephants) in Georgia.
I also learned about more stuff that I couldn’t find on the internet. One thing that I learned from her is the difference of Asian Elephant threats and African Elephant threats, and it was also really fun meeting her even though I couldn’t see her. I hope I can meet and talk to her again about elephants. Either way this experience was fun because I actually interviewed someone for the first time and I can’t believe she could answer all of my questions. If you want to hear my interview here is the link:
This is the person I interviewed
We started doing our inquiry question and sub questions and I was really stuck. The inquiry question was the hardest part of Capstone. It took me 3 days to think about and then Ms. Edwards met with me about my inquiry question. My inquiry question is “How do threats that African elephants and Asian elephants encounter compare and how can humans improve their lives?” I am pretty proud of my question and think there will be a lot of researching to do. We started our sub questions on Monday and we worked on them throughout the week. So far I have 6 questions and I think that it is a pretty fair amount. These are my questions:
1.What threats are Asian elephants facing?
2.What threats are African elephants facing?
3.What wildlife conservation groups are working on behalf of elephants? What are they doing to help?
4.How can awareness be raised to help elephants? What can I do to help elephants?
5.Why is ivory so important to make merchandise?
6.When did poaching and threats to elephants start?