Comments on Other’s Blogs

Jon – Relationships

Your research strengthens your points that alcohol can ruin a person’s life, and also those around them. However, I am not sure what your argument is. To raise the legal age of drinking, since 21 (or in Hong Kong’s case, 18) is too low? Or to lower it, since alcohol can affect anyone in the same way? A bit more clarity to can benefit the reader as to understanding the arguments posed in your writing.

Theodore – Are GMOs Dangerous?

Great article! You have some excellent points regarding the history of genetic modification and selective breeding, as well as excellent rhetorical questions posed in the third paragraph. Your conclusion sums up your article very well – it was short, concise, and to-the-point.

Mike – War on Drug is a Big Failure

The comparison you made at the beginning of the article let the reader understand the overall jist of this article, as well as  what your points are going to be. The example you gave regarding the economics in drug trading (supply and demand) is quite insightful, and made the points you made easier to understand. One thing to keep in mind when discussing the economy of drugs is that drugs are quite price inelastic – which is a point you have thoughtfully made in your article. People hooked up on drugs are not just going to stop buying drugs just because the price has gone up – they are going to either keep on spending more and more money, or find an alternative. One thing I would include in your writing is a conclusion stating your view on the topic. Overall, great analysis and argumentative writing on the war on drugs!

Isaac – The Case Against GMOs

Lovely article. Your anecdote that you included in the middle really gives light to the point you are trying to make – the statistics and facts further concrete your stance on this problem! One area I’d improve is to add a conclusion in your writing, so the readers can easily understand and recap your points.

Joseph – Refugees are NOT Terrorists

Great comparison in the beginning of the article, relating current events with what your topic is about. Your research solidifies and amplifies your point that refugees are not terrorists!

“There may be a terrorist attack for every few tens of thousands of refugees entering the country, but such a small number can never outweigh the need to help others who are suffering.” I really appreciate and resonate with this quote! Great Job!



Unit Reflection Semester 2

  1. Include the link to your blog here:


  1. Which of your pieces most helped you identify or explore and develop your God-given abilities?

I believe the quick write from Jan 4 was the piece which helped me identify and develop my God given abilities. I learnt more about what I want to become in the future, and developed ideas of what viable career paths there is.


  1. Which of your pieces best demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively? Give three reasons and explain.

Research Paper, Iambic, and Restaurant Review

a. I believe these pieces challenged myself creatively, as I had to use many descriptive words and colorful language

b. for the Iambic poem, I had to fit my descriptive language into a set amount of syllables and a rigid form – this really led me to think and ponder about what I had to write and how I was going to convey my message in such a way that it moves the reader.

c. The Research paper gave me a chance to creatively express my opinions about music in a way that it can create a sense of change in the reader

  1. Which piece either demonstrates striving for excellence, or discusses striving for excellence and its importance in another area besides writing?

The quick write from Jan 4 demonstrated the ability to strive for excellence. I had to discuss how I was going to strive for excellence. For example, I discussed the fact that I needed to learn many other skills such as mixing,m producing, and other technical stuffs in order for me to record, mix, publish, and perfect a music album by myself.


  1. Which of your pieces explores why it is important to act as a responsible member of the global community?

I believe the Iambic poem, which talks about a person falling to drugs and alcohol, clearly shows why one should not do such things – this reminds the reader to act as a responsible member of the global community. Just because you want to be of importance for once, you should not do anything that harms you, others, or the environment.

  1. How did this course help you to know, understand, and apply biblical principles? Explain, giving specific examples.

This course helped me to understand and apply biblical principles by giving me the task of exploring important subjects about myself and others. I had to pleasure of writing about love – one of the most important ideas that humans have encountered. By exploring this topic, I further understood how to love our neighbors as ourselves, which is a biblical principle in itself.

  1. How did this course help you to think independently, creatively, and analytically?

I learned to write more creatively throughout the year, and also learned how to accurately describe and portray my thoughts using words and sentences. I learned to have a view point of my own of different matters, such as love, discrimination, and growth. I also experienced writing a research paper which challenged my ability to think analytically.


Peer Feedback Comments


  1. Classmate: Isaac Lall Writing Piece: Rebellion Poem

Comments: The contrasts between what your parent tells you and what you actually adds a layer of rebellion and defiance in your poem! Your poem rhymes as well, and that adds a ‘crispy-ness’ feeling to your poem as well. One thing I would change is to try and avoid using ‘but’ as a sentence opener. Good job Isaac!



  1. Classmate: Daniel Wong Writing Piece: Restaurant Review

Comments: Your blunt words and descriptions are easy to understand and to the point. You were brutally honest about your restaurant review, and I believe that is a good thing! No one wants to eat in a restaurant with crappy food and bad service. Your conclusion was basically a ‘tl;dr’ to your entire review – I easily understood your stance on this restaurant. Great work!



  1. Classmate: Hillson Lai Writing Piece: Sonnet


Your depictions of a youngster striving to impress his/her
parents are quite inspiring. Your rhetorical question
resonates with me, as I was discouraged and did not enjoy
music when I was forced to practice and play the instrument.
Overall, I think your sonnet is a great piece of work thats
shows you creative and analyzation talents and skills!



  1. Classmate: JT Writing Piece: Kite Runner Essay 1

Comments: Your personal experience greatly enhanced your reflection as it created a layer of importance and reflection. Great poem, JT!



  1. Classmate: Manny Writing Piece: Research Paper

Comments: Your paper cited many different sources, making your research more credible and easy to understand. Your summary for each point that you made was well constructed. I was able to tell what your viewpoint and stance on the topic easily. The conclusion was also well written – it leaves behind something for the reader to think about. Great work!

Research Paper First Draft


Humans, according to a study on the interaction between human individuals conducted by Keith Devlin and Duska Rosenberg of Stanford University, were made to communicate and spread ideas through mediums of different sorts – examples of such mediums are actions, words, and art. Music alone covers two of such mediums – words and art. No matter who you are, where you are from, or what you enjoy doing, one should attempt to enjoy music of any sort, because not only does it inspire creativity, but it also makes those who listen feel good, and ultimately, is what life is worth living for.

Creativity, the center of all human creation; the basis of all technology, games, and products we encounter every day. Without inventiveness and innovation, humans would be stuck living in the past – a past where mistakes, inefficiency, and barbarism were prevalent, and crime, immorality, and injustice ruled the streets – as noted in the book “This is Your Brain on Music” by Daniel Levitin. Instead, a community with stimulations and inspirations thrive and survive. “Music is one of the greatest ways to enter “mind-wandering mode,” which can unlock creativity,” writes Adams, both a music enthusiast and an article writer for The Huffington Post. “The right music pushes you into this mind-wandering state… you relax and you let your thoughts flow from one to another, and that’s how you get into creativity.” However, not only does music inspire creativity, it also inspires other peers and people to create their own music. Borrowing ideas, sampling, and remixing are all frequent in the music industry – take a look at the song “Butterflies and Hurricanes” by Muse. Matthew Bellamy, the lead singer and songwriter of the band, does not hesitate to include and take inspiration from a famous music piece by Sergei Rachmaninoff during the songs’ interlude. “With Rachmaninoff,  Lizst, and Chopin, there’s a mystery to the music, it’s much more abstract and much more able to stimulate your imagination,” Bellamy declared in an interview with  The fact that music can prompt imagination, spawn new and innovative pieces, and instigate creativity is what makes it such an interesting medium – unique to human beings.

Moreover, music can improve a person’s mood both mentally and physically. It has been proven in many studies and experiments that our mental health can improve when listening to the correct kinds of music. Boothby, an avid music fan and an author for the online health site Healthline, claims that music can affect our moods. When exposed to music consistently with an upbeat and cheerful quality, participants were reported to have contented moods and boosted happiness levels in just a mere two week period. However, positive effects of music were not only observed for mental health, but also in physical health. According to a recent study conducted by the British Journal of Psychiatry and published in the book “This is Your Brain on Music”, when playing or listening to music, certain chemicals will be released into your body. Increased antibody, oxytocin and dopamine levels will be observed, which increases your bodies’ defenses, boosts pleasure levels and amplifies happiness, respectively. Another study conducted by Stanford University and documented by Levitin in his book “This is Your Brain on Music” concluded that when listening to a new piece of classical music, different people show the same patterns of synchronized activity in several brain areas, suggesting some level of universal experience. Also, they concluded that music, which has no intrinsic value, can trigger profoundly rewarding experiences.

Furthermore, without music, there would be next to nothing to live for in life. It is music that continues to push us forward everyday; it is the ability to create music that gives us optimism and hope. It is our capability to create and affect others with such immense positivity and creativity that gives us meaning and life.

However, music does not only have positive effects on the human body. In the article ‘The Harmful Effects of Music on Body and Mind’ by Roberto Assagioli, the author states that in songs that have negative lyrics or dark meanings to it, the entire piece has a harmful and depressing effect on the human body. He then further gives an example using the classical music composer, Chopin, stating that “this kind are certain pieces by Chopin, notably his nocturnes, in which that unhappy soul has given vent to his poignant melancholy and to his weakness and homesickness. They have contributed to the cultivation of that languid and morbid sentimentality which afflicted the young women of the romantic period of the last century.” However, it is quite obvious to anyone, that ‘what you sow is what you reap’ – listening to encouraging and upbeat songs will have a positive effect on one’s body, and listening to degrading and depressing songs will have the opposite effect.

In conclusion,  not only does positive and encouraging music inspire creativity, but it also makes those who listen feel good, and ultimately, is what life is worth living for – and this is why no matter who you are, you should make an effort to enjoy music.







856 words

Citations used:

Assagioli, Roberto. “The Harmful Effects of Music on Body and Mind.” The Unbounded Spirit, 23 Dec. 2016,

Boothby, Suzanne. “How Music Affects Our Moods.” Healthline, Healthline, 3 Aug. 2016,

Devlin, Keith, and Duska Rosenburg. “Information in the Study of Human Interaction.”Information in the Study of Human Interaction, 2006, pp. 1–25. Stanford University.

Levitin, Daniel J. This Is Your Brain on Music: the Science of a Human Obsession. New York, NY, Dutton, 2006.

Walter, Darern. “Interview with Matthew Bellamy of the Band Muse.”, Keyboardmag, 4 June 2004,


Quick Write – January 4


what would you like to accomplish, or how would you like to grow in 2017? maybe it’s your New Year’s Resolution, or maybe it’s just something you’ve been thinking about. What is something that you would be proud to look back on at the end of the year?


I would like to potentially record/publish an album by myself. I have been thinking about this since the end of last year, and have been looking at ways to accomplish/achieve this particular goal. Also, I would like to try and explore more career paths that potentially interest me.

If I were to record, mix, publish, and perfect a music album by myself, this would be a very big achievement for me, as I would need to learn lots of skills (such as mixing, producing, technical stuff about mics, recording software and hardware, codecs etc.) that would otherwise hinder me from achieving my goal. Also, this would be a great opportunity for me to express my ideas about the world in general, and to provide a platform for me to voice out my opinions.

Parkview – a Restaurant Review


Parkview, a Western casual dining restaurant located in the center of the Ma On Shan Sunshine Plaza, provides a difference in cuisine than the usual ethnic foods offered by neighboring restaurants.
Walking into the restaurant, one can immediately feel the contrast of atmospheres between the interior and the exterior. Parkview’s exterior was sprinkled with decoration that was very much nature themed – the floor was made of wooden planks! However, a dark and eerie aura can be observed inside the restaurant; perhaps, it was the soft, dark lighting, or perhaps, it may be the dark, non-reflective concrete floor that paved the restaurant.
After being seated, we took a look at the menu; the restaurant served afternoon-tea at the time. Pictures of the food were provided, giving the customer more information about the products. We settled on 3 items: french fries with mozzarella cheese and bacon ($68 HKD), an all day breakfast ($68 HKD), and french toast with green tea ice cream ($64 HKD) – all of which were meals with drinks included.
We waved the waiter over, ordered our meals, and had a little conversation with another waitress about the restaurants logistics (when it opens, when it is available for booking, and when dinner was served, et cetera.) Overall, service was quite satisfactory, as the waiting team met our needs. However, a piece of bread that came with the breakfast was not provided with butter; we had to remind the waiter to bring a knob of butter.
I had the chance to taste two of the three meals – the french fries and the french toast. The first meal was the french fries with mozzarella cheese and bacon with lemon tea. The fries were surprisingly hot, crunchy, and well-seasoned. The combination of the melted cheese and crispy bacon on the golden fries were very well-balanced; the cheese was just the right texture – not so chewy, and not so runny, and the bacon was large enough to chew, but small enough to eat in one bite. The second item, the french toast, was well made. The soft and warm toast contrasted the sweet and milky green tea ice-cream. Furthermore, the fruits on the sides with the ice-cream worked very well together; the mild sourness of the apricot, peach, and various other fruits highlighted the immense, yet well balanced sweetness of the ice-cream. The last item, the iced lemon tea, was quite alright. The sourness of the lemon did not overpower the aftertaste of the tea, which enhanced my experience with the food.
If you want to come to Parkview, you have to keep a few things in mind. First, they only take reservations before rush hours (around 19:30) on Fridays and weekends. This means you will have to wait just like everyone else during rush hours. Next, their opening time is from 11:00 am to 22:30 pm – last order is at 22:00. Third, their tea-time is only until 17:30 – after that, only dinner will be served.

Much Ado about The Merchant of Venice draft

Elliott Wan


Theme: love


Merchant of Venice

  1. Shylock’s love of money overshadowed his love for his daughter
    1. Love for money caused Shylock to undervalue his daughter – did not realize the eventual outcome of this event
  2. The love for respect overcame Bassanio’s commitment to his wife (ring)
    1. Bassanio respected the lawyer which helped him win the case very much, which led him to give away his precious ring (which Portia warned him to never give it away or lose it). This desire led him to act very impulsively
  3. Forgiveness in love was observed when Bassanio’s wife forgave him when he gave away his ring
    1. Bassanio was told never ever to give or lose the ring away – however, after Portia, disguising as a lawyer helped Bassanio win the case, Bassanio was pressured to give the ring to the lawyer, which undoubtedly made Portia trust Bassanio less. However, she forgives the actions of Bassanio when he comes back from the city


Much Ado about Nothing

  1. Claudio was obsessed with Hero – however, when Claudio thought Hero was cheating on him, he was immediately filled with hatred
  2. Love is almost always second to some other value in the play (money, fame, status etc.)
  3. Leonato shows a different view of love – as a proud father to his daughter. He is keen on her marriage and wants the best for her



Shakespeare portrays love in many ways in his plays, including family love, and marital love; love’s effect on characters’ speech and actions are also observed in Much Ado About Nothing and Merchant of Venice.


Much Ado about the Merchant of Venice final


Throughout history, love has always been associated and depicted to marriage, trust, and faithfulness. In Shakespeare’s plays, he portrays love in many ways in his plays, including family love and marital love; the effect of love on characters’ speech and actions are also observed in Much Ado About Nothing and Merchant of Venice.


The love between family members, as expected, is the bonding and status between a family; respect and honor is a huge part of this relationship. However, in the Merchant of Venice, Shylock, a Jew who lends money, loved his materialistic possessions while not caring a lot about his daughter. When Shylock’s daughter runs away with his monetary possessions, the first thing he exclaims is that ‘he will be nothing without his money’. This portrays him as a ‘money-first’ person, and that he cares much more about his gold than his kin. Family love, in Much Ado about Nothing, is characterized as a ‘secondary trait between characters’; there is almost always another value which is presented more strongly in the play. However, family love, specifically between Don John and Don Pedro (supposedly brothers), are not strong at all – they hate each other with a strong passion.


Marital love, or the love between two wedded persons, are characterized as a strong bond; the two persons are, by legal means, bonded together as one. In the Merchant of Venice, Portia and Bassanio, along with Nerissa and Gratiano, are married to each other. They are bonded together by an agreement, a pact, a promise; a promise to never lose or give away a ring that each wife has given their husband. However, when Bassanio, along with Gratiano, wins a court case that saves their friends Antonio, they give the ring away to the lawyer and his assistant, which was Portia and Nerissa in disguise. When Portia confronts Bassanio about the violation of the agreement, Bassanio apologizes profusely and was truly apologetic about his action. It is because Portia’s true love towards Bassanio that she forgave him, and gave him another chance. However, in Much Ado about Nothing, another perspective and approach to wrong-doings were taken. As Claudio heard from Don John that Hero was cheating on him, he became exponentially angry and impulsive. He threatened to disgrace her in front of the whole congregation – which does not portray much love, nor affections.


Lastly, the status of love between the plays were similar, as love was one of the main themes in both the plays. Love, in the Merchant of Venice, was represented as a forgiving and peaceful entity, as seen in the actions of Portia and Nerissa. However, a more hostile figure was given to love in Much Ado about Nothing – forgiveness is rather minimally represented in the interactions between characters. Trust, a key component to a successful marriage was also lacking between Claudio and Hero, a soon-to-be couple.


Overall, Shakespeare’s inclusion of love in his works strongly affected the action and words between family members and lovers; his views on marital and family love was clearly projected into his plays, which made them more enjoyable and entertaining.