Edusystem, an insider’s review (Part 2)

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This year, I told myself that I was going to write here more often. I was thinking about what to post, since I’ve been doing nothing this week, except for yesterday when I went to the pool at a friend’s beach house, is writing in my notebook and making an effort to play the Pirates of the Caribbean story in Disney Infinity (My life sucks, doesn’t it? Just to make it clear, I was being sarcastic). And I could go on about what I was thinking of posting about and how inspiration suddenly came to me from Heaven (aka, a comment from a family member), but all my posts would begin this way because I’m a very uninspired person. But this is not what I’m here to talk about.

What I’m here to talk about is the electronic book system my school has been using since the last semester: the Edusystem. I talked about it in a previous post, hence the “part two”. To recap what I wrote there: the Edusystem is an innovative way to learn, but the lessons take time to download and open. You can never fully trust it, since you couldn’t see some of the lessons. I happily say that the Edusystem has improved, sort of. Now, the lessons don’t take an hour to download and you can see them after you’ve opened them. Sure, there’s the occasional hiccup now and then, but I never said it’s perfect.

You can use the Edusystem with a computer (Mac or PC), an iPad, an Android tablet and my own last-minute tablet, the Edutablet. Now, you should be noticing a pattern with how these people name their products: Edusystem, Edutablet, Edufile, etc. Remember when I said it wasn’t perfect (Well, you should, I said it two sentences ago.)? Case in point: the Edutablet. This is the mother of all the incredibly slow tablets. You try to use the browser and you’re aimlessly typing until the text shows up on screen ten seconds later. You try to go to a website, you have to wait a minute until everything loads. Twice I typed the password for the Edusystem and the screen just turned black (please note that this doesn’t happen in computers). Once, all the notifications just stopped reaching the tablet because it just didn’t get any Wi-Fi when the Wi-Fi was working perfectly. My English teacher sent me that lesson twice because of that… UGH! And sometimes, the screen just freezes and I just want to hit it with a bat or something.

work you stupid thing

The Edusystem is doing better, thankfully, but the Edutablet is (and I can’t stress it enough) really slow and hard to work with.

*Oh, and I want to thank Crisarlin for her wonderful comment on the last Edusystem: an Insider’s Review.

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About Peace and Friendship Day…

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Normal day in class, everyone’s minding their own business, doing their own stuff… The teacher tells us to be quiet and that she has an announcement. So, apparently the next Monday would be “Peace and Friendship Day” and we had to come dressed in our P.E. t-shirts, which are blue and jeans. Wait… Peace and Friendship Day? So, a minute ago, I looked up “Peace and Friendship day” in Google. There’s a peace and friendship treaty. There’s an international friendship day. But no Peace and Friendship Day.

When I think Peace and Friendship day, I think of all the 7th and 8th graders holding hands in a circle in the middle of the basketball court, watching in awe as the Peace and Friendship mystical… thing descends from the heavens to bless up with its Peace and Friendship rays. Then, the whole world would be filled with rainbows and unicorns and sunshine and all that sappy sweet stuff, while the students wallow in their own unbridled happiness. And for the rest of the day they are still wallowing in their happiness until they realize that wallowing is stupid and they should behave like normal human beings.

Some of my classmates thought we would have one of those traumatizing bullying conferences like in fifth and sixth grade. And, the ones in fifth and sixth weren’t, like, different conferences. They were exactly the SAME DARN CONFERENCE. Sheesh, talk about intensifying my fears for the sixth grade. Anyways, there wasn’t a conference. There wasn’t a march. There wasn’t any such event commemorating one of the most generic holiday names I have ever heard. We just put on the jeans and the blue P.E. t-shirts and… yeah, that was kind of it. What’s the point of the holiday if were not gonna celebrate it? Just establishing a day as Peace and Friendship day isn’t going to make the students be able to care less. The P.E. t-shirt isn’t going to stop my classmates from teasing themselves. The jeans aren’t going to lecture them. So, the point of this makeshift holiday: The students don’t care. No one cares. And whoever planned this was trying to make a difference…

Considering that point, I have yet to see what will be done for Red Ribbon Week, a week celebrating (believe it or not) drug awareness. After 5 years of not celebrating it. At first, I thought it was for AIDS awareness. Let’s see how that goes. In the meantime:

peace bro

Memes… oh so cheesy memes.

Edusystem: An Insider’s Review (Part 1)

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I told myself I was going to write this review at least 1 month after I started using this product as a replacement for books at school. But, after trying to download a history lesson last Tuesday, I decided to file my complaints against this app.

In sixth grade, we got a talk about the whole Edu-whatever thing. As far as I thought, it looked pretty cool. Everybody, especially the principal, was excited. I had my suspicions, of course, because the use of something Iike that (details later) would need a computer. And they told us we wouldn’t need computers (turns out we DID need computer, so I got a last-minute tablet. I am writing this with my last-minute tablet.) But still, I looked forward to using the system, to see how it worked and how we would pull that off.

First, let me tell you how this works. You download an app in your computer or tablet or iPad or wherever. Teachers send you lessons to download. You download the lessons, which DON’T USUALLY TAKE LONG ;-| ;-|. You open the lessons to use at school, and even though Wi-Fi is dandy for using a computer, tablet, iPad or whatever for educational purposes, you don’t really need it to use the Edusystem. Which does come in handy, since my school doesn’t have wireless internet. Overall, it should be pretty simple to use.

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After a month of not using any of it, since my school is starting with it and the teachers were letting go of their precious books in favor of something more up to date (technology, technology and technology). We started using the Edu-whatever in September. This month. When I started using the Edusystem, it was working properly. The lessons didn’t take five hours to download and I could access them easily. Weeeellll, until Tuesday. That day, in the notifications, my History teacher sent me a lesson. So, I started downloading it in my house. It downloaded really slowly, maybe because it was loaded with links, papers and other stuff. Whatever. So, I’d try to download the lesson. It stopped. I turned the tablet off, turned it on. That went on for like, five hours. I had to miss ballet class. And it was pointe class. POINTE CLASS! One just does not miss pointe class. Finally, at 8 pm, it downloaded. The next day, I did get to open the lesson. That was the last time, I opened that lesson. I never got to open it, or the next lesson my History teacher sent me, again.

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Any variant of my History lesson

I guess my classmates had it worse than me. Some iPad users tried to open a Science worksheet, but it loaded for a few seconds and closed the app. Weirdly, those three lessons are filed under “other” and the rest open just fine. Coincidence? And the app doesn’t just misbehave for the students. For the teachers, it isn’t all perfect. Sometimes, the app does its job, sometimes it doesn’t. My literature teacher has been trying to send us a lesson for days. Using this app is pretty frustrating.

I won’t really tear this system to shreds way beyond its atoms. I believe that this could be an innovative way to teach. Y’know, to have everything on a tablet or a computer. What does concern me is, how are people supposed to hand this to kindergarteners? I’d recommend its use more for Junior High and High School because kindergarteners will probably lose their electronic devices the first day. And, if they were my brother, they’d probably be playing with them all day long. But seriously, fix this tool, or I’ll be regretting I ever thought it was a good idea. When they DO fix it, IF they do fix it, I’ll tell you people. I think I have faith this can work.

Sorry for the supersized pictures. They are screenshots.

Honesty, Honesty, Honesty

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I need to clarify some stuff in The Truth will Set you free post.

Everybody values the “oh so wonderful” wonderfully wonderful value of honesty that is wonderful in all its wonderful potential in a world of wonderfulness. So wonderful. We get it, we have to tell the truth, white lies are evil, blah, blah, blah.

I’m telling you this from the teeny tiny experience I can bestow upon you. Being an open book SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK. People will get hurt. People will get mad. Stuff will happen. My sister once asked me if I liked some nerve cells she had drawn. I said they looked like jellyfish (Sorry, sis). My grandmother then scolded me and I was like “But I was being honest! She told me to be honest!” Truth is, no one wants to hear what they don’t wanna hear. And there is stuff that people will not want to hear that are the truth. Kind of like the pop star who tries to convince us that she’s all grown up by acting like a… We get it, Miley Cyrus, you’re not Hannah Montana. But she won’t listen to you because, number one, you probably have no interest in meeting Miley Cyrus and, number two, she’ll be all “Don’t you get that I’m all grown up?” And we’ll be all “YES, THAT’S WHAT WE’VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU ALL ALONG”

It’s better to keep quiet. Being a person that naturally speaks by impulse, it’s kind of hard for me to do that. Or just tell them their cookies need more sugar, that always works. The thing is, there’s more to being blatantly honest. Blatant honesty will just make you and your friend get all grudgeful with each other and that sucks. You don’t want to go there. Leave that to Simon Cowell.

My Experience at a School Disco Party

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disco party

Every month, my school throws a disco party. Y’know, to dance, talk with friends, dance, eat and dance some more. I never went to any of them… well, UNTIL NOW and you have extra coverage of the event, courtesy of moi (You’re so kind) ! The theme of the party was black and white. So, I expected some balloons of the same colors all around the school auditorium, sparkly streamers on the wall, a few tables so the parents could sit down, relax and eat a shish kebab or two while their kids boogie it out on the dance floor. They would play the latest hits and have a glimmering disco light hung from the ceiling. I would get home with sore feet and a sore throat, from singing and dancing too much. And it would be awesome.

I myself was giddy to go, since this was my first school party and it was well anticipated… by two of my classmates, but, if you multiply that by 10, it gets you 20, so let’s leave it like that. Since this was black and white, I came dressed in… you guessed it, black and white! My sister was also excited to go, since she had been begging my mom to go to a party for two years now, while I had always refused to go for entirety of the last year. Two of my best friends were coming, so I didn’t feel like I was going to be alone (I wasn’t alone, anyway).  My sister had huge expectations, also, because two of her best friends were coming, too. So, finally, arriving fashionably late at 8, we got tickets and headed into the auditorium. It was going to be huge. It was going to be exquisitely decorated. We were going to dance our hearts out. It was going to be… not decorated? There were no balloons in the auditorium. No tables. No streamers. So, I guess the black and white thing was only to plaster it on the posters? There was only these blinding disco lights (which weren’t black and white, btw). I shrugged that off. My night wasn’t going to be ruined. I could dance, at least.

My sister and I sat down, hopelessly disappointed in the first five minutes of what was supposed to be an awesome party. I have to rant about electronica music later on, I do not feel like diving into the subject of needing to wait fifteen minutes for something with lyrics. I did not feel like dancing to that crud that sounded like a bunch of twees and wubs. The party got good when my friends got there. And we did dance a little. The little that we danced. We did not have a care in the world. And, good news, I got used to the blinding lights. Things seemed to be going up for me and I was having actual fun… until FIFTEEN MINUTES OF UNINTELLIGIBLE ELECTRONICA WHEN WE WERE EXPECTING A SONG MY FRIEND HAD REQUESTED. And my friends were urging me to dance. It was kind of like:

9:01: Yay, we love dancing and having fun, yay!

9:02: Boo, I don’t like this.

Overall, I had a good time with my friends. Of course, I expected way more than what I got, but you have to suck it up and live with it. I danced, I talked. Yeah, I can’t really see myself going next month, but you never know. And I can’t just say that the people who organized the dance didn’t do any effort, because just saying that you’re going to do a dance and doing it takes a lot of effort. And there was music. And lights. And water bottles. Oh, well.

Despicable Me 2

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despicable me 2

After that disastrous Island of the Blue Dolphins in which I put it as “read it”, I decided to expand my reviewing skills. That and I didn’t really have a choice to watch this movie. And most of you went because of the minions, didn’t you? What minions? You know, the cute yellow creatures on the poster who won our hearts and our wallets when we went to Universal Studios and amazed us with their slapstick and weird language. Yeah, those guys. I thought the movie would put more focus on them, but, surprisingly, they still leveled it. I mean, yeah, there is still focus on the minions, but they’re not the centerpiece. The centerpiece, really, is Gru’s relationship with Anti-Villain League agent Lucy Wilde. And, no, I’m not spoiling it. You knew it was gonna happen anyway. There’s gonna be some spoiling here, but just a little. Don’t go Awww, there’s still a lot of minion in there. At least I’m happy that they didn’t capitalize too much on it.

Anyway, I’m gonna put on my reviewer glasses that I don’t have and start reviewing this. Despicable Me 2, not these (look up) cruddy movies (sorry, horror fans).

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Let’s put on our reviewer glasses

This movie… Wow, darn it! While I didn’t know what to say about Island of the Blue Dolphins, I have a lot to say about this one. The main thing that I have to say about this movie is: it’s okay (OKAY!) I mean, it’s not great. It’s not horrible either. It’s okay, (OKAY!). But, well, sequels have to be okay. Except if it’s Monters University, that one was good. It pales in comparison to the first one. The plot is, okay.  I thought it would get twisty, but, it didn’t get twisty. The people that are supposed to fall in love, fall in love. The people that are supposed to be the villains are the villains. Nothing special about it. Is that wrong? No, most kid’s movies are like that. Plus, near the end, it gives a big plot hole there. Was the villain arrested? What happened to the villain’s kid? Did Dr. Nefarious return to work for Gru? We don’t know, but we assume that he did.

The new character list introduced is not very memorable. The only person I remember introduced was Lucy Wilde, the agent. And that’s it. They could do better with the villain. Vector, the villain from the first movie, was way more memorable, with his “Boo-yah!”s and his “pajama” as Agnes said it. The new villain, I barely remember. Vector’s motivations were to be evil and impress his dad. This guy’s plan is to “take over the world” (OF COURSE!). Eh? We don’t see much of the girls or Dr. Nefarious. either. Yeah. But, but, we do see Margo discover BOYS, those despicable human beings put on Earth to make girls swoon over them. Yeah, it’s as horrible as it sounds. And most of that is really fun to watch, especially when the guy and Margo are dancing and Gru is trying to get in the way.

And now, you’re probably thinking “Then, why should I see this movie?” I might have the answer for that. It’s funny as heck. Like, really funny. There’s the obvious slapstick, but there’s also jokes and weird chicken looks. Like that one time when Agnes told Gru “I know what makes you a boy!” and Gru is all nervous. Then she says “You’re bald!”. And Gru sighs. It’s a pretty enjoyable movie.

This movie, sadly, does not earn the heart points. You don’t see that transformation that Gru had in the first movie. You just see him fall in love. Been there, done that.

Now, we come to the conclusion. Should you watch this movie? Well, if you’re thinking about watching Monsters University or Despicable Me 2, I’d recommend you see Monsters University instead. It’s more memorable. But this movie’s watchable. Like I said, it’s okay. I can’t come to a conclusion about what it’s about, and I only remember half the characters, but it’s funny. It’s an “okay” movie. Not great, not bad. Meh.

I give it:  Amazon6Stars 6 stars, or 5.9 stars.

Kindergarten: Worst Grade Ever

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I wish a happy 4th of July to anyone who is reading this and actually celebrates this holiday. We Puerto Ricans don’t really have anything to celebrate, just the fact that people have a free day from work. Yay? I mean, I’m already in summer vacation. Anyways, this post’s not named “Why do we celebrate 4th of July?”

If you asked me what my favorite grade (for now) was, I’d say either sixth grade of fifth grade, mostly sixth grade, because I didn’t read any books that I hated with all my rageous hating or was in a classroom in which the girl that sat behind me in Math and Spanish class always asked you for a pencil (in Math) or for quick answers (in Spanish) and if you said no, she’d look at you like “How dare you say ‘no’ to me!?” and that look killed (metaphorically). All of that happened in fifth grade. So, I’d go with sixth grade. Unlike me, for other people it would be KINDERGARTEN. I understand why they would say that, since while we’re waiting for our lunches in the cafeteria, there’s always a lunch lady who takes all the kindergarten lunches to the classrooms while we wait in line for 10 minutes for our lunches. But I didn’t really care about that, since in kindergarten I didn’t really eat my lunch (from home) and the only time I ate my lunch whole (that I remember), I threw up.

One of the primary reasons why KINDERGARTEN was such a cruddy year for me was because I probably was the most whiny, crybaby in my class. For every little, meaningless thing that I didn’t want or like, I would throw a tantrum. And, of course, everyone in my class was less crybaby-ish than I was. Sure, I read faster than most people in my class, and I took a stay from recess very well because I didn’t really care. But look at it this way:

I lost my sticker=

crying

I didn’t finish coloring something=

crying

I didn’t want to go to some conference staring a clown (I still hate conferences)=

crying

And these are whatever adults I staged a tantrum in front of (with the exception of family):

explosion

We used to sleep for one hour after lunch until the school day was over. You must have had a good sleep everyday, then. WRONG. I did not get even a wink of sleep. What did I do, then, for 1 hour of my life every day for all kindergarten? Well, I did whatever reasonable kindergartener would do among sleeping children. Since I would’ve thrown my 4th tantrum that day if the teacher told me to shut up and sleep, I just lay there, in fetal position, wrapped in my Tinkerbell flannel blanket I had gotten for Christmas, shivering in the cold, while the other children slept away with pillows and with their kindermat covers from their favorite princess or SpongeBob or something. And every day, I waited for the teacher to call on me to do something, she only called me once. She usually called some girl. The teacher said she called her because she was “adjusting” (so was I) and she couldn’t sleep.

drama queenSigh.

Excuse moi? I HAD’NT SLEPT FOR THE WHOLE DARN KINDERGARTEN, THIS GIRL ACTUALLY GOT SOME SHUT-EYE, IN HER PILLOW AND KINDERMAT COVER AT LEAST ONE DAY IN THE WHOLE YEAR! And, how I mentioned earlier, I didn’t sleep, AT ALL. I was probably too old for naps anyway.

You’re probably wondering “God? Why does this girl keep ranting? Didn’t she have some friends or something?” Can I say yes?

sad puppy

sad music playing in the background

Well, I did have some friends in kindergarten. I had short-term friends or people that I thought were my friends. Short-term friends were girls in my class I was friends with, then probably forgot. And then there were two girls that I thought were my best friends. They were friends since pre-K and watched Disney Channel when, in turn, I watched Discovery Kids. They liked Cheetah Girls and I liked some band called RBD that I now hate. Well, they did like that cruddy band too. But Cheetah Girls still suck. Oh, and about the Discovery Kids part, I was 6. Don’t judge me. If you were judging me, which I assume you were not. So, what happened to those two, Cheetah Girl-loving girls? They are still best friends. And they’re the girls whose names everyone knows, even though they don’t know everyone’s names back. And I’m the person whose well-known in her class, but there are still the 75% of the sixth grade who doesn’t know who you are. They’re the girls who have their first “boyfriend” at age 6 and hang out with their current “boyfriend”. But I don’t care about that. Sometimes I just spent recess alone. Of course, on first grade I met my best friend and I have a few more friends today, but…

There you have it. Three reasons why kindergarten was the worst year ever. I could go on and on and on about the horrors of kindergarten, but you probably would get bored. Until you explode like the adults that handled my tantrums. May they metaphorically rest in peace.

Do I have anything good to say about kindergarten? Yeah, I guess. But it has always been easier for people to find the negative aspects of something instead of the positive ones. Trust me, it has always been.

Oh, by the way, kindergarten was the year that this guy traumatized me for the next three years.

et