Genius Hour #3

As you know, my  Genius our project is painting Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh.  A couple of days ago, I started to draw the painting.  After I drew it, I made changes to make sure it looked somewhat like the original painting.   Then I decided to outline the mountains or land list black paint.  I proceeded to fill in my outline with a variety of blues and blacks like the original painting, which was very easy  because all you have to do is mix colors together.  I decided to leave it alone and let it dry after that.

The type of paint I’m using is acrylic paint.  I’m using acrylic paint because my mom said that oil pastels are too messy, which I still don’t understand.  Vincent Van Gogh originally used oil pastels for his painting.  Van Gogh painted with a style called Post-Impressionism. Post-Impressionism means to express your feelings in the painting with bold color or with an image.

At first, this project seemed hard because of all the time and effort it would take to paint a famous artist’s painting.  As I’ve been working on it, it seems a lot easier.  I have learned a lot about Vincent Van Gogh,  and the way he painted Starry Night.  Van Gogh’s inspiration for Starry Night was a view that he had from the asylum’s window.  The asylum that he was at was the Saint-Paul asylum located in southern France. Vincent spent most of his time in France because that’s where his brother, Theo, lived.


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Genius Hour #2

As I said in my last genius hour blog, I’m going to paint a famous artist’s painting. I believe the one that I picked was Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. Even though Van Gogh created that painting with oil paints, I’m going to do it with acrylic paint.

I’ve learned a lot about Vincent Van Gogh since my last genius hour blog. Some stuff I learned was that he was named after an older brother, who was stillborn. Him and Vincent were a year apart. Another thing I learned was that Vincent’s mother was into drawing, and even watercolor paintings. Vincent and his mother never really had a great relationship either. She was still mourning over the death of her stillborn son, and never really got over it.

In his younger years, Vincent went to school and got an education. Since his family was very poor, he stopped going to school and want to work for his uncle. His uncle owned an art dealership, Goupil & Cie. By the time he went to work for his uncle, Vincent was fluent in four different languages.

When Vincent was twenty, he got transferred to the Groupil Gallery, which was located in London. As he was there, he fell in love with Eugene Loyer. She rejected his marriage proposal, and left Vincent heartbroken. After that, Vincent decided to devote his life to the church. Vincent wanted to become a minister, but they turned him down because he refused to learn the language Latin. When the church turned him down, he decided to become an artist.

As an artist, Vincent lived in France to pick up new techniques. He ended being influenced by Japanese art while he was there. Van Gogh moved to the little yellow house somewhere after that. I was there when he started going a little crazy. Vincent would spend his money on paint instead of food. Sometimes he would even eat the paint without knowing it. Then he cut off his ear, and gave it to a prostitute. Van Gogh was admitted to the hospital, and spent most of his time there. Vincent’s death was a suicide. He was 37 years old when he died.

Van Gogh’s painting of the little yellow house.  Source: By Vincent van Gogh – Van Gogh Museum, Public Domain,


Last year I went on a college visit to Iowa State University. The reason I went on it was because I´m in TRIO. I don´t remember a whole lot, but I do remember that there was a lot of walking.

I think one big thing that I remember would be the light museum. It´s  this room where you take off your shoes and there´s a bunch of lights hanging from the ceiling. The way I described it makes it seem stupid, but it´s really not. The lights change color or design, and it´s also really relaxing. The lady said that a lot of people go there to study.

We did the usual stuff like visit the dorms or go to certain buildings. Our guide asked us what jobs we were interested in and took us to certain ones. The guide basically took us to the closet buildings because of our schedule.

One thing I remember is the clock tower. I remember our guide saying that at a certain time, or every hour, it plays a song. I can´t remember which one it was, but I remember her talking about it. You can see it when you go to eat lunch.

Photo by Joe Wolf of Friley Residence Hall
Photo by Joe Wolf of Friley Residence Hall



Genius Hour

For my genius hour project, I´m going to recreate a famous artist´s painting. The reason I chose this project is because I really like painting. Painting is relaxing and everything turns out great when you´re done.

Something I would like to know would be the techniques that the artist used to paint his painting. Another thing would be the artist´s inspiration for the painting. Other things that I would like to know would be how easy it was for the artist to paint the painting, and how long it to the artist to paint it.

One artist that I really like would be Van Gogh. By far my favorite painting by him would be Starry Night, which seems pretty typical. If I had to choose a different painting, it would probably be Starry Night Over the Rhone, or even Les Alyscamps. I don´t just like his paintings. His life story is really fascinating too. The first painting I want to recreate would be Starry Night.

Van Gogh painted lots of paintings in his lifetime, close to a thousand I think. He got his passion of painting from his mom, who was also an artist. Vincent was very sad in his life. He suffered from depression, anxiety, and some even say he had bipolar disorder.

During his life, Van Gogh wasn´t a very popular artist. He had very little money, and his love life wasn´t that great. They say he was always heartbroken. They say the reason for that was because he chose women in trouble and tried to help them.

Photo from Wikipedia Commons



Spring Break

For spring break, I went to Washington, DC. About 150 people went on the trip. The people that went were either in 7th or 8th grade. To get to DC, we took a charter bus. Since I live in Iowa, it took about 21-22 hours to get there. The states we went through were Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

When we got to Washington, it was Monday around one in the afternoon. We went straight to the Capitol. Everyone was tired, and in my opinion the Capitol wasn´t that great. After the Capitol, we went to the wax museum. The wax museum was kind of fun.

On Tuesday, the first thing we did was take pictures of the White House. Our tour guide said that we didn´t get to go in the White House because we would have to get background checks. After lunch, we went to Arlington for the wreath laying ceremony. Next we went to the Newseum. For most of the day, we visited memorials. Some of them were World War 2, Iwo Jima, Lincoln, 9/11, and the Vietnam wall.

Wednesday morning we went to Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is where George Washington lived because the White House wasn´t finished yet. Another place we went was the Holocaust Museum. WHen my sister went, they weren´t allowed to take pictures in there. SInce then, they´ve changed the rules. Other places we went on that day was the Washington Memorial, FDR Memorial, and the  MLK Memorial.

Our last day in DC was Thursday. The first thing we did was go up in the Washington Monument. It is 555 feet 5 1/8 inches tall. We only go up to 500 feet. The view is amazing. Next we went to Ford´s Theater and learned how Lincoln was killed. After lunch, we went to the Smithsonian, and the National Archives. Then we went to the Pentagon City Mall to eat and shop.

Out of the whole trip my favorite part would´ve been either the Washington Monument, or the Holocaust Museum. I would definitely visit Washington, DC, again.

View from the Washington Monument

Week 10

I have completed six blog posts. All of my blog posts have been for the challenge. I have received four comments total. One from a teacher, and the other three were from students. My animal post got the most comments. I think it got the most comments because it was a longer, more interesting post. The post that I enjoyed writing most was my Marching Band post. The reason is because I was really involved with it, and my sister was in it too, so it was easy to write about. The only time that I changed my blog was at the beginning of the year. I changed it from the theme that it gave me, to the one I have now. I don´t have any widgets on my blog, and I think that I should at least have a couple. I didn´t use web tools for my blog.


When I think of nature I think of animals. For example, I think of pandas, koala bears, and lions. I’m going to talk about pandas, koala bears, and lions in this blog post.

The first animal I’m going to talk about is Panda’s. Panda’s live in the remote mountains of central China. They’re endangered animals, and only have a life-expectancy of 20 years in the wild. Panda’s are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. Panda bears love bamboo, and need twenty-eight pounds of it to satisfy it’s needs. Sometimes they even eat birds and rodents. An interesting fact about Panda’s is that they’re effecient swimmers.

The second animal I’m going to write about is the Koala. Koala’s are pouched animals. That means that they carry their child in their pouch for about six months after the child is born. They live in eastern Australia because that’s where the eucalyptus trees are. Koala’s hardly leave these trees, and sleep up to eighteen hours a day. A lot of the moisture they pick up are from the eucalyptus trees. In fact, they hardly drink any water because of the trees. Koala’s are a threatened species, and they have a herbivore as a diet status.

For the last animal, I’m going to talk about Lion’s. Lion’s are mostly located in sub-Saharan Africa. They are the only cat’s that live in groups called prides. Prides are family units with around three male lions and a dozen lionesses, incliding their young. The male’s protect the territory, while the females are the primary hunters. Lion’s are carnivores, and the lionesses usually hunt down antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, and other large animals for the whole pride. Throughout history the Lion has been celebrated for the courage and strength that they show. They are also a vulnerable species. National Geographic is trying to prevent extinction of big cats with the Big Cats Initiative program.

Week 6 – Commenting

Sara’s Blog

Sara’s blog was really easy for me to relate to because she wrote a blog about dancing, and I take dance classes.

Marissa’s Blog

Marissa has a poem on her page that relates to some parts of her life. The reason I like it so much is because she made the poem, and used a lot of creativity while doing it.

Olivia’s Blog

Olivia writes a lot about her love for writing, and how she loves reading. When she’s older she wants to become an author. She enjoys it when people comment on her post because then she knows people are reading her own words.

Natalie’s Blog

Natalie has a really great, and moving blog. She has lot’s of quotes on her blog. Another thing Natalie likes to talk about is her opinions on things. Just from her blog, I can tell that she’s a really open person.

Gabby’s Blog

Gabby only has two posts on her blog, but I really like how she adds a lot to each post. Another thing I like about her blog is the way it is set up and how it looks.

Carlie´s Blog

Carlie has a lot of blogs. She likes to express herself, so that way everyone knows the real her.

Hannah’s Blog

Hannah is 13 years old and plays softball. She likes a variety of music, and likes books even though she’s not that great of a reader.

Brittany’s Blog

Brittany is an open person who likes feedback. She’s fourteen years old, and has various nicknames. Brittany talks about all the nicknames she has on her blog.

Isabel’s Blog

Isabel is fourteen years old. Her two favorite things to do is play soccer, and listen to music. She likes to open people up to different subjects, and make us realize stuff that we haven’t already realized.

Emma’s Blog

Emma is fourteen years old. When she’s older she wants to become a photographer. In one of her blog posts, she wrote about how good she is at it.


Popular Food in America


Photo by: Mike Mozart

There are many popular foods in America. The one I want to talk about is ice cream. Ice cream can have man different flavors. Also ice cream can be made into different things. One example would be ice cream sandwiches, instead of ice cream cones, or ice cream in a container.

Two popular flavors are of ice cream are vanilla, and chocolate. Other popular flavors are more diverse. Examples of them would be cookie dough, or mint chocolate chip. Sherbet and birthday cake would be examples of ice cream flavors that aren´t necessarily popular in America.

There are many popular brands of ice cream in America. I´m going to list the top nine popular brands of ice cream in America. This would be according to this year, 2015. The first one would be Blue Bell, then it would be Häagen-Dazs, next would be Breyers, and then the fourth one would be Ben & Jerry´s. For the fifth brand, it would be Dreyer´s/Edy´s Slowchurned, the sixth one would be Dreyer´s/Edy´s Grand, and the seventh brand would be Turkey Hill. After the seventh brand, the eighth brand would be Talenti. Lastly, the ninth brand would be Wells Blue Bunny. As you can see we have a variety of different brands of ice cream in America.

Marching Band

The one thing that has given me the most experience this year, would be marching band. I´m in 8th grade, but I am apart of the marching band show, and I also march pregame. Our marching band show is called Childhood Nightmares. It´s basically a story of a child who is having nightmares.

First they play the opener. During the opener, one of the drum majors leads the child to the bed. At this point the drum major would act like she´s tucking the child in. Next, they play ¨Itsy Bitsy Spider¨, and the child is suppose to act like they´re having a nightmare. After that song is over, the child wakes up, and there´s a pause. The same drum major that tucked the child in, comes back to comfort the child.

As the band plays ¨Lullaby¨, the child acts as if they´re going back to sleep. When the band is finished with Lullaby, they switch to a song from the movie ¨Halloween¨. In the last four counts of the song from ¨Halloween¨, the child screams. The band finishes the show with ¨Somewhere Over the Rainbow¨.IMG_7314IMG_7317

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