When I joined Compass I had two things that I wanted to do. I wanted to study the concept of fear and I wanted to make a horror film. So I ended up combining the two, researching the psychology behind common phobias then applying the gained knowledge to a film. I ended up deciding to start an online series of short Horror films called ¨Foreboding.¨ I tossed around ideas for a first season for a while before deciding that I wanted to make a season about a killer clown. Season one is about a trio of deranged serial killers putting tapes of their grisly murders onto the air disguising it as a children's show called ¨Snuffles Adventures ̈
For this season I obviously used coulrophobia as the main fear, the fear of clowns. Though I did also sprinkle in a few other common fears such as arachnophobia (spiders), hemophobia (gore/blood), aichmophobia (sharp objects), thanatophobia (death/dead things), pediophobia (dolls), nyctohylophobia (forests at night), maskaphobia (masks), automatonophobia (puppets, statues, wax figures, etc.) and nyctophobia (the dark.)
Phobias can be obtained in many ways. In many cases, they can be learned by a parental figure or another guardian figure. In these cases, the child observes the fear in the parent and learns to feel fear whenever they see the object of unease. But also many deep seated phobias can be a result of something that one went through as a kid. Enduring a traumatic experience is a way to begin to fear something that your brain has associated with that dark time in your life.
But since this season ́s main antagonist is a psychopath donning clown attire I'll discuss more deeply one effect that comes more to my advantage in season one an effect known as the ¨Uncanny Valley Effect.̈ Uncanny valley effect is when something looks extremely humanoid but is slightly bent or distorted, a little off. A good example would be mannequins or hyper realistic androids. While there are a few different theories about why clowns unnerve us the one that stuck out to me is the uncanny valley effect since I had previously looked into it last year in Introduction to Critical Thinking. The theory suggests that perhaps the fact that clowns look very human (since they usually are) but have such heavily painted faces and distorted features that it confuses the brain in the same way as an android. Another theory suggests that perhaps our primal instincts are telling us to avoid the pale faced comedians since they resemble dead or ill individuals. Other theories simply imply that people are just freaked out by the fact that the big red noses and white paint somewhat conceals the wearer ́s identity. Though another reason often listed by adults that fear clowns is how unpredictable they can be. Unlike the other acts at the circus, clowns just do whatever they think will be funny to the crowd.
Burnett, Dean. “Coulrophobia: Why Clowns Trigger Our Fear Reflexes | Dean Burnett.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Oct. 2016, www.theguardian.com
Black holes are one of the most mind-boggling and intricate objects that have been discovered. They can slow down time relative to the earth, cause a distortion in the fabric of space, warp light, and are completely invisible. Yet, there is still so much that astronomers haven’t learned. I decided to focus my learning around the formation, anatomy, physics, and history of black holes.
Right now with my project, I’m going back and forth between the history and scientific side of black holes. The first project I completed was about a documentary called Black Hole Apocalypse. I took several pages of notes throughout the film then composed an essay about everything I learned. My second project focused on the important historical events that relate to black holes. The project that I am currently working on is comparing two black holes from two different movies to what astronomers know of black holes now. The goal of this is to see how similar and different a realistic black hole is to a black hole in a science fiction movie.
I think one of the most challenging parts of my project is the language used in the resources and the different theories that are used to explain a black hole. There is a lot of new vocabulary that is used quite often in the resources I find. It takes time to clearly understand what each word means. The second most challenging aspect of this is the theories that are used to explain the way a black hole works and is formed. Einstein's theory of relativity and special relativity are presented a lot along with many other theories. The other challenging part for me is understanding time. Grasping the concept of time in space and how it is affected by certain objects is an important part of understanding how the universe works.
I have already learned so much about black holes with the couple projects I have completed. The first thing I wanted to know was, what exactly is a black hole? It is a point in space where the gravity is so strong that once something enters it can't escape, not even light. They form from massive stars collapsing in on themselves until the core gets crushed into a very small point. Once it is compressed enough it creates a black hole. These black holes can come in many different sizes ranging from 10 solar masses to 17 billion solar masses, which is the largest black hole to be found. The supermassive black holes are found at the center of every galaxy we have observed, including the milky way. With my second project, I went deeper into the history and series of events that corresponded with black holes. One of the first points in time that related to black holes was in 1783 when John Michelle had announced the idea of a “Dark Star” by using Newton's Law of Gravitation. Then later on in-time, the first-ever black hole was discovered in 1971, it was named Cygnus X-1. While astronomers were observing a binary star system they noticed an invisible companion that had enough mass and gravity to keep the other star revolving around it. This later turned out to be the first confirmed black hole.
Astronomy is a threshold for a hard science class. It’s very dense in detail which makes learning it a lot more difficult yet very interesting.
I am exploring the world of mental health by looking into film and shows that portray certain types of illnesses. I looked into three different films, Room, The Stanford Prison Experiment, and To The Bone. They are very different in terms of content, but all correspond in one way, they show how people react to certain traumas or how certain events can impact people. And from the films I have watched mental health and mental illness seems to be shown very accurately.
Two out of the three films are documentary-type films, and all based on true stories with real people's experiences and input. I started by watching the movies and analyzing the people in them and saw how they reacted to what they were personally going through, and I tried to relate it to other people that I personally know who may have similar experiences.
To The Bone follows a girl on her road to recovery from Anorexia Nervosa. It shows the highs and lows of the eating disorder and how the road to recovery isn't easy. It shows her thought process during things like weigh-ins and how her family wasn't as supportive as some may think. It also introduced some event during childhood that could have led to her disorder.
The Stanford Prison Experiment was a remake documentary of the real Stanford Prison Experiment. It's about a group of college students, half of the group were guards and the other half were prisoners in a mock prison. The man who ran the experiment wanted to see how they would react. Given power, the guards because out of control and lose a sense of self. Because of this the prisoners had fallen into a depression because of being mocked and tortured and humiliated by the guards. This showed how different events and traumas can lead to a downfall in metal state in both parties.
In the movie Room, it shows a girl who had been kidnapped as a child, 5+ years still in captivity. She now had the reason with the man who kidnapped her. Throughout the movie her and her son escape captivity. When she is reunited with her family, she talks about how she should be happy because she got out but she just isn't happy. She would say how worthless she felt of how she wasn't a good mother to her son. At one point she tried to take her life because of the way she felt. I think this is an accurate representation of what depression is like and how the writers were able to portray that was amazing.
1. Find a location and figure out who is in charge.
2. Determine the customers' needs.
I need to figure out what people want to see in the store. I have done a survey to see some things that people want. So far people want to see stickers, blankets and water bottles. These items will probably go in the store as well as normal spirit items like clothes.
3. Design clothing and other items in the store.
After figuring out what people want Mr. D and I will have to customize apparel and the other items people wanted. We’ll have to do this so the items are appropriate and there is no controversy with our mascot.
4. Look at other school stores- analyze competitors.
I can research the UVM school store or other school stores online to see what they have or what they’re doing. This is important so I am setting up the store correctly so I can maximize the amount of business.
5. Create Advertisements.
I need to advertise when I complete the first few steps on when the store will be opening. I need to do this in a way so it attracts young people all the way to older people. Advertising is very important for a business.
6. Figure out who will work there.
I think that there will be a few employees working. I will for sure be 1 of them and Mr. D will definitely help out. Also, student council will be involved in keeping things under control and in order.
7. Figure out when the store will be open- hours.
The store will probably be open during middle and high school lunches. It will also be open before and after school. And maybe during sporting events.
8. Find a way to keep track of money. Made/spent.
I need to come up with a system that allows me to keep track of all of the money that is spent and all of the money brought in. Also what is spent at the beginning and how much I have at the end.
9. Come up with a safe environment for customers and employees.
I need to come up with a way to create and safe environment for me and the other workers. Also maybe try to get a camera in the store or just figure out a way so people are honest and not stealing any merchandise or money.
10. Have a Grand Opening of the School Store.
Set up a time to have the Grand Opening of the store. I will have to advertise and get the word out that the store will be opening. I can’t do this until I complete all of the other steps before this.
The world of entrepeneurialship is a vast one that can often include risk and reward, a good amount of stress, and the freedom to create a business that can be exciting and functional for the targeted demographic. I discovered a love for starting and running businesses as early as fourth grade when I started a business selling bracelets, keychains, dog collars, and more. This experience taught me simple things such as how to sell a product and how to grow a business through risk taking investments and planning expansions to maximize cost effectiveness and sales. As this business dwindled with age, I discovered I had a knack for starting and growing businesses but at the root of that love I knew I was good at selling a product or service.
This year I have taken an initiative to explore the world of car sales and learn the differences and similarities between selling a $10 bracelet and a $40,000 vehicle. After having a work study at Twin State Ford in St. Johnsbury, VT for almost four months I’ve learned there is definitely some obvious differences between the bracelet and car sales such as quality over quantity, persistence, and I also never had to sell anyone a bracelet based off of their credit score. But with these differences was a large amount of similarities too. Being genuine, persistent but kind, and showing a work ethic are the most important parts of both kinds of sales which surprised me as it showed how relatable the two, very different, kinds of sales were.
Throughout my experiences at the dealership I’ve learned a lot of good lessons about starting and running businesses in a way that can make customers feel at home and comfortable. These lessons and experiences can be used later on in my journey to becoming and entrepreneur to create a comfortable environment for customers and implement a way to sell a product or service in the most genuine and comforting way possible.
My project is a combination of alternative therapy and growing to be a better person through living a healthier lifestyle by changing my eating habits. My independent study explores veganism, vegetarianism, yoga, and daily self guided meditation. By exploring these new tactics of food habits and alternative therapy session my goal is to gain not only a new outlook on life but also a way to control my aggression better during sports. I also want to discover how it affects me emotionally, physically, and mentally and keep track of it by making logs in my independent bullet journal. I plan on examining the way it affects my brain whether it’s in a positive or negative light. No matter the outcome of the project I hope to gain a new understanding of other people's lifestyles and practices.
So far, I have made multiple products for my project, presented to numerous people my ideas and aspirations, made pages in my bullet journal unique to me and my needs, meditated and practiced yoga consistently for the duration of the course, tried vegetarianism, dairy free, and veganism, and I have met with my mentor to discuss plans for my future projects. All of these experiences have helped me understand alternative lifestyles and have expanded my knowledge outside of my own.
As a sophomore at Danville school I am participating in my second year of our newly redesigned independent learning program called COMPASS. A class for students who want to explore their own interests and expand their learning beyond traditional subjects. My program is an exploration in interior design, involving the history, evolution and application of interior design.
The First Impression
When you walked into Danville School, the first thing you might have noticed was the creamy white cinder block walls. Although this might seem pleasant and attractive in a single room, these cinder blocks populate the entire school. The only variation in color were a couple of classrooms with painted walls, a wall divider, or where the red brick remained from a past addition. Many of our students had commented that these walls made the school look and feel like a prison.
Over time small improvements were made, including the front lobby and cafeteria walls getting painted, and pictures of our school’s community being hung up on the walls. We were on our way to an attractive learning community.
Ms. Keach's Classroom
If you had seen Ms. Keach's room before the renovation, you would not be surprised to hear her students describe it as a jail cell. Four walls, a couple of doors and no windows. The small dimensions and popcorn ceiling panels did not help the aesthetic. This is where I came in, with a design to fix it all. Now of course I had a budget, and could not redo the entire classroom, but it’s amazing what a coat of fresh paint and new furnishings can do.
Every project starts with an idea, graduates into a design and is finalized with the hard work and persistence of the designer. The first step with Ms. Keach’s room was to come up with a floor plan that would utilize the small amount of space available, without encroaching on the space and making the room seem smaller. How I decided to do this was by taking the long table out, and bringing in two separate tables which added extra walking space on either side due to the new arrangement of chairs. In one of the corners I created a comfortable sitting area, and along one wall three workspaces. The flow of the classroom has begun to improve and everything it coming together.
The Final Product
A complete transformation, from bland to glam with every characteristic a classroom should have. Flexible seating arrangements, personalization, a pop of color and true condition with the decor and wall color. I have received many compliments on the work I have done with Ms. Keach’s classroom, and I am proud to say that I can call this project a success.
A room is never truly complete there are always little tasks you can perform to better utilize the space you have. In the case of ms. Keach’s room there are many little projects I have yet to complete throughout the year. I have a list of goals that I am going to accomplish by the end of this semester alone, however, I don’t think I will ever fully feel that the room is complete as there is always room for improvement.