Project: Breakdance #14

My hopes for my final product are very high. I spent all of the last 20 time hard at work making the videos. Some teachers were walking by and had to ask if I was okay. I can see why. I’m pretty sure to them, my freezes looked painful and that I was having a seizure of some sort. Oh well, judge me, I don’t mind. Anyways, I’m importing the videos as I write this post and will be placing them into the iMovie project at certain times in my song. My song, since I haven’t told you, is Apashe’s Goodbye edited by me and my friend Ryan Warbington. We edited the song so that there was a Chief Keef line before a bass drop. Also, because I wanted to end the song earlier than it was originally, I trimmed the song and added a gunshot to end out the song. I have some really great choreography planned for all the bass drops that I hope everyone will enjoy. I can also say that there will be at least 1 windmill in this video, most likely in slow motion because it will cover up some of the imperfections (But keep that on the down-low, nobody else has to know that).

Project: Breakdance #13

So… I have the first 13 seconds of my final video… This is a lot harder than expected… Honestly, I thought editing videos would be a lot easier. Now I finally understand the pain it takes to make a good video. I’m able to get a fairly good quality video using a camera from the photography teacher at Durham Academy. Thanks Mr. Haynes! Anyways, the video quality is great but like I said last time, it’s a pain trying to fit video with music. Through what I’d say is a good couple hours on the weekends, I have been able to familiarize myself with iMovie. I have been focused on doing my homework during 20 time days so that I have time and energy to delve into iMovie during the weekends. I need to focus more on making the actual videos of myself dancing, now that I have somewhat of a knowledge base of iMovie. All I can hope for at this point is that I wont get any major complications in my video. Can’t wait to see a finished product!

Project: Breakdance #12

Today was another day of me working on my breakdancing video. It involved a lot of sighs of frustration because of my new-ness to iMovie. I had all these great ideas, but no vague clue on how to put them into action. I did end up figuring out how to do slow motion on iMovie which I think is pretty good. I plan on putting some of the more elaborate footwork or moves in slow motion. Another obstacle was figuring out how to make sure the music and my video matched. Originally, I wanted to dance in all these places around our school campus, but was unable to because of the classes going on at the time. I worked today outside of my house. It has been a very hard process, all I can hope for is that the end product will be well worth it. I hope I can get a status update out later! Also, hopefully my time fooling around on iMovie trying to learn the ins-and-outs will not be wasted, and instead, put to good use.

Project: Breakdance #11

It was a very interesting day. Sorry for not posting in a while, I was waiting until after I was able to meet with my mentor Jose Velasquez to report. Jose Velasquez is a local breakdancer who used to be in the breakdancing scene. He helped start crews in Durham and has even had the chance to work with one of the best breakdancers on the east coast: No Sense. I was unable to get his real name, but his dancing name is No Sense. It is very interesting how these names are created. No Sense got his name because of his non-traditional way of connecting and flow. Eventually, when he started creating his own moves, his name came to mean something to the effect of, “Do you see what this guy is pulling off? That makes no sense.” Anyways, enough of that, I’m not sure I will be going into the breakdancing scene.

Jose worked with me on some variations to some floor work that I had been doing. Not only that, but he introduced me to switching up directions. Currently, still feel more comfortable while going clockwise with leg sweeps and 6 steps. However, Jose is trying to push me to go counterclockwise. He says the change in directions offers a fresh look. I can see how people might get tired of seeing someone only go one direction in a dancing set. Now, I need to start creating my breakdance video while incorporating valuable advice from my mentor, Jose Velasquez

3/24/16

Today I feel really good. I remember why I love writing so much. It was so good to have some plot lines cross and tangle in weird ways. For the first time in a long time, I feel on top of this. I love it.

I redid the backstory to change the story a little, give the main character better reasons for what he does. I made it more of a post apocalyptic scenario than the imagine it yourself scenario I had going on. I feel really good about clearing that up. I made it all pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I also got a better idea for how I’m going to end the story, I guess the main thing I did was figure out how to improve the process rather than write more of the book. I still really think I used the time well and I had fun doing it.

Training 3 Season 2

At my last training session (Wednesday the 23rd), Catherine was at swimming, so I only trained Allison. First, I scored Allison in the foot skill drills: toe-touches, inside-insides, inside-outsides, the V, juggling, and dribbling through the cones. Her scores are continuing to improve. I am, however, still working with her on her juggling. She was getting upset that she could not get that many, no matter how she tried, so I just told her to also practice juggling on her own. Hopefully she takes my advice, because it actually will work. After the scoring, we passed around the cones for a few minutes. Her first touches are very good, and her passing is to target, which is also great. Then, after passing, we went to trapping and volleys. This time, Allison actually requested to do trapping and volleys, so of course I did them with her. We did the progression where I started by throwing the ball to her feet, then to her thighs, chest, and head. I am still impressed by her performance at these. Almost all of her volleys are right back to me. After we did the progression, I showed her another drill for trapping the ball out of the air. I would throw the ball, and she would bring it down to the ground with different surfaces of her foot: the inside, the bottom, and the laces. I showed her the technique for each, and then she did them. I think that she was very good at these as well. She needs to work on taking the ball down with her laces, however. Overall, Allison has been doing very well in these trainings, and I cannot wait to train her again this Wednesday.

Twenty Time #13

I finally got to chapter 5, which is great considering for the past couple of weeks, right after I finished the second book, I sort of lost some momentum. Finally I’m getting back on track and starting to get back to writing. However, every time I have time to work on my story, I can’t really figure out what I want to do. I’m always torn between writing some more or going back and editing, and usually I end up choosing the first even though I know that sometime soon I’m going to have to really buckle down and start again on the latter. The problem with going back and editing is that it’s always hard having to reread stuff that I wrote a long time ago, because no matter how many times I go back and reread it, I can always find at least one word here or there that I can change. In my eyes, it will never be completely perfect, so usually when I go back to edit I just go over it once and make it longer, expanding on some of the thing that I feel need to be explained more, and deleting the stuff that  I’m realizing is sort of poorly written and\or irrelevant. Also as I edit, I’m really working on trying to SHOW instead of TELL, which is something that I’m realizing I should probably work on during some chapters. Also I have to be on the look out for things that I decided to change later on in the book so that I can delete them. Overall, the last book is going pretty well and I’m excited to keep writing it!

French Apple Tart and Roti

French Apple Tart:

The apple tart was created accidentally by a French chef in the early 1800’s. She forgot to put the crust in before the apples in a pie during the dinner rush, leaving the apples exposed when she flipped the upside-down tart onto a plate. It was a massive hit at the restaurant, so they kept making more tarts. I made a modified version of the tart where the apples are left purposefully exposed. To start, I made the pastry. I mixed flour, sugar, salt, and butter in the food processor. I kneaded the dough into a ball and refrigerated it for 2 hours. Once it had refrigerated, I rolled it out to a size of 10×14 inches and put it back in the refrigerator. Then I peeled, cored, and cut the apples crosswise. This part was a bit tricky because the recipe says to cut the apples in half and then take the core out with a melon baller. The problem was that I did not have a metal mellon baller, so the plastic barely cut through the core. I tried cutting each core out individually in a v shape, but they did not look visually appealing. The best method was to cut out a U shape to take out the core in order to make it look like I had used a mellon baller. I placed the apple sliced on the dough from corner to corner diagonally and overlapping. Then I added sugar and dotted the top with butter. I put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 400 degrees. Once it was done I took it out to cool and brushed the top of the apples with warm apricot preserves. I tasted a piece and it was okay but the bottom was extremely caramelized. It was almost unpalatable. It was sticky, chewy, and frankly not worth the amount of time and work it took to make it. I might try using less butter and sugar on top in the future, but I think I will focus on trying to make my own recipe.

 

Roti:

Roti is a West Indian popular in countries like Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, where my grandfather was from. It is a flavorful and light bread traditionally broken by hand to eat with meats, vegetables and sauce that accompany them. I did not make an accompaniment because I just wanted a light snack in the afternoon that I made it. I used a family friend’s recipe who is from Trinidad. The mix consists of chick peas, cumin, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, flour, and some cold water to firm up the dough. I pulsed the first 6 ingredients in the food processor until it became a hummus-like consistency. At this stage the flavors have to be very strong so you can still taste them when you add 3 cups of flour. After the dough was finished I fried them in a pan with approximately two teaspoons of olive oil. I cooked them for about a minute on each side. Traditionally, women in the Caribbean clap the roti to make it thinner and lighter right after cooking. I was not too thrilled with the idea of holding bread laden with hot oil so I just let it rest on a paper towel for a minute. It tasted delicious! The cumin was really the star of the dish because it had a bold flavor but it didn’t over power the garlic too much. I will definitely try this again, maybe with curry chicken next time.

Failed mellon-balling

Failed mellon-balling

Apples dotted with butter and sprinkled with sugar

Apples dotted with butter and sprinkled with sugar

Finished tart with apricot glaze

Finished tart with apricot glaze

IMG_2363

Roti

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Roti ingredients

Post 14: Twelfth Twenty Time Day

I spent today’s Twenty Time class time to record a video of me singing Don’t Speak by No Doubt and to gather information on how to create more complex videos. I spent a good amount of time talking with Elena, and I think I have a solid plan as to how I am going to go about adding new sounds into my videos. That said, I still need Elena to help walk me through the process in iMovie. Next Twenty Time, I am going to record me snapping to  the beat of the song, other forms of percussion, and Elena playing guitar to the song. I really hope it ends up working out, because I think it is going to make the action of creating videos much more exciting and enjoyable, even if it does take a longer amount of time. At this point, I have to continue using my computer for the recording process, and I think that is how it is going to be for the rest of the year, but I don’t mind that so much. This is going to be fun!

To Be a Girl at DA // I MADE A CIRCLE

hello there! I’m making progress! It’s a lil slow, but it’s still progress! Ms. G-B has been SO helpful in getting materials and lending her know-how in relation to building my sculpture/structure thingy. She even went to a saw mill in Elfland to pick up wood that could cooperate with the wood burner that I will be using later on in the process. But she said it was like a little adventure, so it’s a win-win situation.

This twenty time, I went to the art room and Ms. G-B taught me how to use a jigsaw. I had to wear goggles and ear protecters because the act of using a jigsaw is rather messy and noisy. Once I got the hang of it, I jigsawed a circle out of a sheet of wood (I forgot the exact dimensions but it was at least 3x the size of my head). It felt super accomplishing to have a tangible, visible part of what my final product will be.

I can’t wait to power-tool some more things next week 🙂