Vanessa Vazquez

How am I growing in my own awareness of my strengths and weaknesses?

What challenges have I been through?

In what ways have I started new challenges?

In what ways have I developed new skills?

In what ways have I shown perseverance and commitment to my activities?

In what ways have I worked collaboratively?

In what ways have I been engaged in issues with global importance?

What are the ethical or moral implications of what I’m doing and learning?

Service 1/30/2014

Early in the school year we had a book fair fundraiser to encourage students to buy books at Barnes n Noble and I believe 10% of the funds went to Charter Oak. Anyways, at Barnes n Noble, there were little games and activities for children to do while they were at the book store. There was cheer leading, choir performances, face painting, a little fishing game provided by the Earth Club. I maned the little fishing game for toddlers. It was definitely a cute little game. Seeing how Earth Club promotes environmental awareness, instead of fishing for fish the kids had to fish the pollution such as garbage and contaminants that infested the “pond” in order to save the fish and pond creatures (the students who maned the game before us thought it was create to put stuffed animals into the pond to encourage the children to save Kermit the Frog and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Overall, it was a really fun time to be able to play with the children. When no one else wanted to play, Melanie and I would compete against each other to see who could collect the most trash. This was a great idea to encourage children to learn about environmental awareness.

Service 1/30/2014

Mrs. Archer was in desperate need of some help for an activity she wanted to do with her freshmen so she called upon the seniors for that help. She wanted us to arrange her room and get it ready for the French Revolution simulation. This reminded me of the time where I did the same exact activity for Mrs. Archer’s class three years ago. I distinctly remember being a peasant drawing corn on pieces of paper. Honestly, that was probably the funnest activity that I ever did during freshman year; that and doing the court case in McKinley’s sophomore year. It was fun and interactive which was why I wanted to come and help set up for the simulation because it was one a great activity and two a great way for the freshmen to understand the concept of the French Revolution through reenactment.

Creative 1/30/2014

For the new year, I accomplished something that I never thought I could ever make and that was a two-tier cake for my best friend. I didn’t think that I could ever get into baking, but after I started watching all the great and intriguing designs that could be made and put on the cake, I began thinking that baking wasn’t such a bad idea. Therefore, I will put up a recipe for anyone who wants to make the same cake I did for Melanie’s birthday

Ingredients
@ Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate Cake Mix Boxes
2 2/4 cup of Milk (it calls for water but I like using milk instead 🙂 )
2/3 cup vegetable oil
6 eggs
Semi Sweet Chocolate chips
Chocolate Icing
White Icing
Maraschino Cherries
A mixing beater
1 or 2 9in circular pans
Spatula
Large Mixing Bowl
Pam Baking Spray
Birthday Candle

Instructions
1. Combine the 1 1/4 milk, 1/3 oil, cake mix, and 3 eggs into the large mixing bowl and mix them together until fully combined. (Since we are making a two-tiered cake, use one cake box only). Grab the circular pans and coat each one with Pam Baking spray. Put the concoction into one circular pan. Repeat the process and put the next batch into another circular pan.
2. Put the two mixture into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When they are fully baked, take them out and let them cool. (Make sure they cool all the way or the icing wont apply properly.)
3. Once the cakes are cooled apply chocolate icing to the top of one cake and then grab the next cake and place it on top. Then cover the entire cake in chocolate icing.
4. Next grab the semi-sweet chocolate chips and ground or chop them. After that grab a handful and start covering the cake in chocolate chips. This will give the cake a nice rough/sandy texture.
5. Grab the white vanilla icing next. If you have a piping bag then place the vanilla icing inside, but if you don’t no worries because a zip lock bag would work just as well. Put the vanilla icing in the zip lock bag and snip a bottom corner of the bag so the icing can flow out. We want there to be eight vanilla circles around the top of the cake.
6. Next, grab the cherries and place one on every vanilla circle.
7. Finally get one birthday candle and place on the center of the cake.
… and tadah! we have a wonderful Portal inspired birthday cake.

This was such an accomplishment for me because it was something I’ve never done before. The greatest feeling was when I gave it to Melanie because she had the best surprised face ever. She was absolutely filled with joy and it really warmed my heart being able to let her feel happiness on her special day. 🙂

1/30/2014

For the Unity Fair this year, we planned on having a backdrop that will go behind the stage where the dances will be preformed. Gaber was a little apprehensive in renting a backdrop because the last time they rented one, it ended up getting damaged and ASB had to buy it so he strongly encouraged us to create our own which was fun but time consuming. Luckily for us, we didn’t have to draw the entire backdrop; instead we traced it with a projector. After the tracing was done, we outlined the pencil with permanent marker and then started painting. Honestly, painting made me feel like a kid again because we used such large paint brushed and essentially plopped a huge amount of paint on the paper. We started with around eight people and as the day progressed, it was down to Debby, Shelly and I who ended up going over the picture with a second coat of paint to make the backdrop look more even. It was tough for me physically because I hadn’t had anything to eat in the entire day, but I was so focused on finishing the most that I could that I didn’t really pay attention to food. However, my back was another question. Seeing how we were hunched forward the whole time, our backs were beginning to hurt a lot, but we still kept working because we knew that we needed most of the backdrop down. Essentially, it will all be worth it when we see the nice big hand painting backdrop behind the dancers in the Unity Fair. We want this Unity Fair to be the biggest Unity Fair we could possibly make since it will most likely end next year seeing how most of us are seniors. Hopefully the Unity Fair will see more years to come because it’s been at Charter Oak ever since my oldest brother who is 13 years older than me went to Charter Oak. It will be depressing to let a tradition such as the Unity Fair to end so young and that is why we are trying so hard to make this the greatest Unity Fair since our four years in high school.

Service 5/31/2013

A little while back, I participated in a beach clean up for Earth Club; even though I wasn’t really in the club, I still wanted to go. We had a picnic setting in which everyone brought something so we could eat and have fun (i brought firewood for s’mores). However, we couldn’t technically start because Ms. Foy wanted us to clean up around the beach so we each grabbed a trash bag and started to clean up the beach. Mostly, Melanie and I found pieces of plastic. It wasn’t a hard job, but it was sad to see how much trash accumulated from human impact.

Service 5/31/2013

For these two hours, I helped with the publicity of the Unity Fair. I wasn’t necessarily the person who made the posters for the Unity Fair, but I did help post the posters up around the school with the help of Melanie and Tory. It was a fairly easy job, it was just a little embarrassing having to go to each class asking people if we could put up a poster, but it was for a good cause. Hopefully next years unity fair is the best fair since the time my brothers attended Charter Oak. (the fair has significantly reduced in participation and decorations since six years ago.)

Service 5/31/2013

Today, yearbook wasn’t meeting today and Case wasn’t going to be present at the school so I volunteered at the school library. The service was actually quite tiring since Mrs. Hauser had us stacking up textbooks and in was not enjoyable really, but I did the job without complaints. She had us running around the whole entire library, but she was very appreciative. I was actually the girl who stacked the most books and Mrs. Hauser even said that I was a smart girl for my technique of taking the books and stacking them. It eventually got to the point where Mrs. Hauser told me to stop helping because I had done so much already. I sat for like fifteen minutes before I started helping again, I couldn’t stay seated. I couldn’t find Mrs. Hauser’s contact information but I put the information for her husband.

Service 5/31/2013

Recently, we finished the yearbook, but there were some problems with it 😦  Anyways, there was one problem in particular that we had to manually fix ourselves before we could actually start handing out yearbooks. Mr. Case wanted us to add a sticker to every single yearbook. Each one of us had to complete a total of around three boxes, but each box held eighteen books. I tried carrying a box and almost dropped it. It landed on my leg and left a bruise. The next day, I couldn’t lift my arms, it was horrible. Anyways, the next day,we had to set up for the distribution by making signs and placing them on the boards in ASB. The distribution itself was not that hard, it was actually fairly easy. I hope the yearbook is better for senior year.

Service 5/31/2013

During the Thanksgiving vacation, my brother, Michael, came home from his current job as a teacher in New Mexico. He works for an organization called Teach for America which is a non-profit organization that allows recent graduates to become teachers in different states around the nation. He currently works on a Navajo reservation and enjoys learning about their culture. Anyways, he came home with a stack full of papers that he wanted me to correct. It took me a while to do it and when i finally finished, i received a major headache. Mikey doesn’t just teach one class; he teaches multiple including chemistry, environmental, world history and many more. I’m so proud of him. 😀

Service 5/31/2013

My hours are coming from participating in service opportunities at St. Louise de Marillac. When I was in confirmation, there was many opportunities to participate in service opportunities. Ten hours comes from the Pancake Breakfast and Spaghetti Dinner that the church has each year. In both cases, I worked as a waitress. It wasn’t a very hard job since all I had to do was ask them what they wanted to eat and drink etc. We also had to dress formally to create a restaurant atmosphere. In some cases people did leave tips, but we did not accept them; instead we put the money in a donations jar. One hour comes from one time my group ushered for a mass. We had to collect donations from people (there were a lot of people in that mass and i think i hit someone with the basket). The final hour comes from a time where I participated in stations of the cross where members of different groups had to read passages for the different stations.

Service 4/28/2013

Today was the E-waste at our school by our school’s Earth Club.  I volunteered for two hours.  The first thirty minutes or so were slow.  We were only holding a sign and trying to convince people to come.  Mrs. Foy said that it was slow today because most people came yesterday.  After thirty minutes I decided to do something more productive so I asked Mrs. Foy if I could go pick up trash around campus.  She gave me a trash bag and a tool for picking up trash and I went on my way.  I picked up trash for one and a half hours.  I actually enjoyed it.  I know that our school isn’t the best known for being clean but small actions like this really helps our school earn a good reputation.

Action 4/28/2013

These are all the hours that i spent on the Boy’s Tennis games. At the games, we usually take and maintain scores for the coaches.  Every now and then the players would ask for a water refill and we would give them more water.  On some occasions we would also cook food them.  On their first league game, I brought pizza and sodas so the boys could enjoy themselves.  Other managers baked them goods such as cookies or brownies.  On the very last game for varsity, however, we had a big huge party in which the managers brought a variety of Hispanic themed food.  My other fellow managers brought carne asada and cheese to make quesadillas and I brought rice, beans, chips and salsa.  When the game was over, the boys huddled together and gave the managers a huge thank you. 🙂

Creative 4/28/2013

For my creative hours, I participated in this years unity fair and i performed a dance for Latino Unity.  Our dance consisted of five people (three in the front and two in the back).  We practiced during Charger Time and during lunch for around a month and a half.  I was really fun to represent my culture and it gave me a chance to step of my comfort zone since most of the time I can hardly even talk to a group of people. Overall, the Unity was really fun and I can’t wait until next years.

Action 1/22/2013

For my action hours, I decided to become a manager for the boys tennis team. I help coach JV Boys and help them improve on techniques that they could apply to real game situations.  Sometimes I play against them so they can compete against an experienced tennis player.  When I’m not playing against them, I’m usually on the side lines coaching and watching if they are performing the actions correctly.  After practice is over, I help pick up the tennis balls and put them in the shed. By being a manager, I’ve learned to open up more and meet new people.

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