Monday, December 5: Last day of class

Today is our last day of class; I hope you all have enjoyed this semester as much as I have and have learned more about yourselves, the process of coming of age, and the meaning of “adulting.” dontwanttogo

I am also very much looking forward to reading your picture books, which you turned in at the start of class today, along with your artists’ statements (which you should have turned in to TSquare at the start of class as well, 1 per team). If you would like me to make page by page comments on your picture books, please include a note inside the front cover with a post-it indicating the person who plans to pick up the book, so I can email you when comments are ready and arrange a time to return it. Otherwise, I will upload more general comments to TSquare for each team.

Today in class, we will discuss the final portfolios again, focusing specifically on the reflective essay portion of the assignment. We will go over the portion of the assignment sheet (available on TSquare) that specifically addresses the content of the essay, as well as discussing the ways to incorporate evidence and multimodality into your essay on Mahara. We also looked at the course outcomes and Common Policies to help you formulate your arguments and to be sure you can articulate the goals of the course appropriately for your essay. Hopefully by now you have an idea of what you want to argue and the artifacts and process documents you want to use to support that argument.

We also discussed the final exam schedule and discussed the ways in which I can be available to students to discuss questions or concerns in the next two weeks (office hours/online office hours).


  1. Complete the CATME assessment of your picture book team by 11:55pm this evening.
  2. Complete your Multimodal Reflection Portfolio and submit it to TSquare (.zip file and link) NO LATER THAN the end of your exam period for this class (you are welcome to turn it in earlier). Instructions for generating the .zip file and link are on the assignment sheet.
    1. Section C2: Monday December 12 by 11:00am
    2. Section J5: Monday, December 12 by 2:30pm
    3. Section B2: Wednesday, December 14 by 11:00am
  3. Complete the CIOS survey for this course
  4. Double-check your gradebook for any missing grades or grades that appear to have errors and email me no later than December 9 to ensure timely corrections.


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Adulting in Space

‘The Martian’ begins by showing a manned mission to Mars. The story truly begins when a storm hits the base camp, and threatens the integrity of the spacecraft. One of the crew members, Mark Watney, is blown away in the storm and assumed to be dead. The remaining crew launches off from the planet, to return to safety. Left for dead 34 million miles from home, Mark’s adverse situation, coupled with his determination to live, force him to go beyond what was expected of him as he worked to prolong his survival.

The movie draws several parallels to the themes of adulting that we examined in class. Most importantly, it drew my attention to a catalyst for adulting: necessity. In the case of the movie, adulting, in the form of increased maturity, took place in Mark only when he was left with insufficient means to survive the 4 years it would take for the next team to get to mars. He repurposed all the equipment he could gather, and managed to establish a potato farm to prolong his survival. His journey was similar to that of an adolescent leaving the safety of home. In my personal experience, I saw this during my mandatory military service. Along with my peers, I had to leave home and was thrown into the adversity of the armed forces. My initial months of this experience was when I noticed how my peers had changed, as they were forced to mature and toughen up, or suffer severe consequences. Adulting, be it in the form of maturity or otherwise, comes only when it is most needed.

Beyond that, like Mark’s journey in the movie, adulting is a journey of trial and error. Mark made some major strides, which the NASA agents back on earth would never have expected of him. However, success came only through trial and error. In certain cases, such as the hydrogen explosion, he could even have lost his life. Adulting is, similarly, a matter of trial and error. As adolescents are exposed to new environments, they learn to adapt, and understand what is expected of them through a cycle of making mistakes and then corrections. College is a prime example of this. For instance, during job searches, students may blunder about and eventually understand what is expected of them in terms of skills, behavior or even attire (perhaps adulting is as much about following convention as it is about actual increases in maturity.) What adulting actually is, is debatable, but there is no dispute that it is a messy process of trial and error.

The Martian’ explored themes of adulting, outside of the usual setting for the topic. It was not set in a college, or a military base. It didn’t even star an adolescent character. In doing this, it drew focus away from adulting being just about age and explored themes that may be of much greater importance.


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When all hope is gone

‘You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home.’ Mark says at the end of the movie The Martian.


It is true, for a man who lives alone on the Mars. There are only two options, to solve problems to live, or to die. It is true for our lives, as well.


It reminds of the daily schedule I made at the beginning of the semester. I made a time table for study, practicing the guitar, reading and jogging every day. I stuck with it for several weeks and found it. However, I was stopped by all kinds of excuses. Tiredness, tests, and dues became things that is dragging me from pursuing my goals. ‘Let’s restart my schedule from tomorrow, tomorrow is a whole new start,’ are the words that haunted me. Meanwhile, there were always new excuses I found to waste another day. Tomorrow, has been a day that was so close but never came. My problem, was left unsolved.


On the other hand, Mark stayed positive toward problems and solved them one by one in such a solitary condition. Growing potatoes for food, producing water for life, and planning for his way back home, Mark solved the problems he was facing with calm. If he does not solve these problems, death is waiting for him on the other end.


In our lives, every one of our downsides, is a problem left to be solved. Although nothing will happen if these problems are left unsolved, once we solve them, we perfect ourselves a little bit. There might be many things that bothers us on the way, yet we just need to focus on the present. Start with the first problem, and a better self gets one step closer to us.


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I ain’t sorry

A few months ago, one of America’s most iconic female artist released an innovative surprise to her fans and followers. Beyonce’s Lemonade is a revolutionary film and music series that follows her journey of dealing with the betrayal of her husband Jay-Z, who cheated on her in the previous years. The words of the songs describe different emotions she felt during her rough patch, ultimately ending with the idea that she is an independent woman who doesn’t actually need a man to make her happy or to be successful. With the idea of independence, she also encourages and inspires people of her race and gender to have an attitude and stance similar to hers.

Beyonce mentions in multiple songs that she doesn’t need a man to be successful, claiming she is already successful on her own. In “Sorry”, she says “I ain’t thinking about you, I ain’t sorry, I ain’t sorry” to clearly get her point across that her husband, who failed her as a partner, no longer means anything to her, and she can handle life on her own. She also poses in front of a large suburban type car at one point to prove that she can be rich and successful on her own.

Also in the video, is a plethora of women.  Beyonce includes this demographic to show that she is not the nly woman that can be completely independent, but that every woman like her and in her situation can do the same.

This video includes crazy outfits and scenes, enforcing the fact that Beyonce and her crew are incredibly talented people. This shows that although her husband is a successful artist, she is too. In fact, if you ask me, Beyonce is even better. I fully understood her point made in the video, and she is the most independent figure I know and recognize in America today, artistic wise.unknown

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Adulting requires being on your own

Mark Watney, the main character of the movie, The Martian, is left alone by his fellow astronauts on Mars and has to fend for himself. Even though Watney is already an adult, the adjustment he had to make in order to survive on Mars parallels with the process of auditing. Watney has to learn how to plan out his days with the materials that he has. He rations out his food and discovers that he had enough to last him 300 days. He was told that his rescue mission would be in 4 years time and he had little hope of his food lasting that long, although, lucky for him, his rescue was much sooner.


In order to survive he needed to be level-headed and resourceful. This is similar to what one experiences when he/she leaves home for the first time. During the process of adulting, one has a new set of responsibilities, like managing money. Many emerging adults need to plan out how much to spend a week and strategize about how they can cut down on their spending. The ways in which young adults need to learn how to be financially independent is similar to how Watney had to learn how to manage his food supply. In both cases, there is a limited amount of food/money and if eaten/spent recklessly there would be bad consequences. To be resourceful, Watney plants potatoes in hab, where he lives, and uses his knowledge of chemistry to create water. Young people who have just left home often have to be smart with their spending by trying to use what they already have before buying anything new. Sometimes we fail like Watney did when he first tried to create water but when he finally did succeed he was even more excited.


In addition, Watney did not have anyone to ask for advice, when on Mars. His limited conversations through the pathfinder were for important matters and so he needed to be able to manage his daily tasks and make decisions on his own. Emerging adults have to be in charge of taking care of themselves on a daily basis. They cannot call their parents to ask for help with every challenge they face.

Although Watney had already gone through the process of adulting, the challenges he faced on Mars allowed him to mature even more. Most people don’t travel 50 million miles from home like Watney did, but the themes are still the same. Going to a new place and tackling the challenges that come with it can be hard, but the experience can also cause incredible growth.

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The Martian


Earlier today I watched the fantastic movie, The Martian. This is probably one of my favorite movies and one of the best that I have seen in a long time. In this movie, Watney has to go through a lot of adversities in order to stay alive while on mars including: survival and isolation. After watching this movie I realized that the things he had to go through while on mars wasn’t much different than what I had to go through once I got into college.

The picture above is one of my favorite scenes in the movie because it is when Watney used the supplies that he had to create a room where he could grow potatoes. When I saw this I immediately thought about what we have learned this year in English. Once Watney was left alone he had to do everything on his own and learn how to survive in his new environment. This scene reminded me of what it was like my first week of college. Similarly to Watney, I was initially with my crew (my family) and once we were separated I had to learn to do things on my own, in a new way. I didn’t experience survival to the extent that Watney experienced it, but one of the main things I had to learn was how/when to provide food for myself. Between sports and classes it’s hard to find time to eat.

Once Watney is separated from his crew, he has no other form of human interaction. When I got to college I wasn’t able to bring all of my friends with me. I still had human interaction, but it’s easy to feel isolated in a new and stressful environment when you came from a familiar environment. Watney was able to cope with his isolation through technology. He was able to record all of his experiences and used the recorder as his companion. My isolation wasn’t this severe and I don’t talk to my computer to make myself feel better, but I was thankful to have my brother and my teammates.

Watney experienced many hardships in his new and uninhabited environment. It’s easy to relate to Watney when you’re a freshmen in college because college is a new forefront to explore, but often comes with difficulties. Watney also shows how to cope and successfully hurdle these adversities. I love The Martian because Watney is a character I can easily identify with and I also feel that any freshman in college would agree.


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The Long Way

Image result for the martian

source of photo

Imagine being stranded on Mars.

By yourself.

Knowing that you will likely starve to death before rescue gets here.

The movie The Martian talks about an astronaut Mark Watney’s journey on Mars and the challenges he conquers to survive. Though the protagonist was way beyond the age of an adult in the movie’s setting, the story still echoes the themes of adulting and independence.

Surviving on Mars may seem an impossible task and completely irrelevant to ordinary people’s everyday life, but the process of encountering a challenge, troubleshooting, and overcoming the problem holds the same for just about anyone. Watney had a handful of problems he had to solve just to stay alive on the planet, nevertheless traveling to the next station where he could meet the rescue crew. He would examine the problem, find a solution, and…something would always go wrong the first time around. This pattern perfectly resembles an ordinary person’s everyday life – things almost never go the way we plan, and the only thing we could do is to adjust to what we are given and keep on trying.

The essence of adulthood is independence and solving problems on one’s own, which can be difficult for people to transition into sometimes. The truth is, life is not a straight path. Some obstacles force us to detour, to take the long way. Adulthood means that parents are no longer there to remove the obstacles and show you a clear path. Like Watney, to become an adult, people have to learn how to troubleshoot and solve problems on their own. They also need to accept failures, pick themselves back up, and try again. People ought to embrace the scenery of the long way to adulthood. The journey of adulting is much more important than the destination of adulthood. In the movie, Watney’s journey resembles the process of adulting. He seemed very lighthearted and playful in some of his video entries for the kind of mess he was in, but he also demonstrated a positive attitude, the ability to overcome challenges on his own, and the willingness to take the long way to reach the destination, which is I believe to be what adulting is.

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Martian Resilience and Enginuity

This post was made about the movie: The Martian



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“Everywhere I go, I am the first.”

         Source of Image

        Ridley Scott’s The Martian tells a gripping, emotional story about Mark Watney’s journey living on Mars. Watney is originally stranded on Mars by his crewmates after being assumed dead in an accident, and has to survive on Mars until a crew is able to save his life. Watney is the only person on the entire planet of Mars, and must achieve the impossible- survive on Mars.

Watney undergoes several of the “adulting” themes that we have talked about this semester even though he is a grown man who has been an adult for years. When Watney is stranded on Mars he is left alone without any immediate communications with humanity and must endeavor entirely by himself. I would say this correlates to how many students feel like when they transition to live independently in college. Watney’s situation is much more severe than college students who can easily just call home to talk to family, but there are some similarities. Watney has to learn through several experiences while he is on Mars. He blows up his contraption when he attempts to create his own water, learns to ration his food, and manages to grow potato crops on Mar’s soil. Any child who is transitioning to an adult has to undergo several challenges and learn how to mature from all the experience.

I find the overall resonating message from this film is that anything is possible when you have strong resilience and persevere through anything. The majority of Watney’s food supply was entirely destroyed after an accident, but instead of calling quits, he worked harder to survive. An essential part to growing up is never giving up even though the situation may seem bleak which is something every adult has been though in their life.

My favorite part of the movie is when Watney is sitting down staring at the Mar’s horizon and there is a voiceover that says “Everywhere I go, I am the first”. This is true for Watney since regardless what he does he is the first to do that task on Mars. I take this quote to be much deeper than it appears. This quote sums up a goal which everyone in life should have. Everyone has the ability to do something that has never been done before, and by persevering anything can be accomplished.

Overall, The Martian touches a lot of themes related to growing up and becoming an adult even though the movie is about space. The transition to adulthood has several twists and turns similar to Watney’s journey on Mars, but is it how you deal with them that determines your maturity into an adult.


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Reflection of the movie–The Martian

I watched the fantastic movie called The Martian a year ago and learned a lot from it. This fictional film tells a story about the main protagonist, Mark Watney, who was left on Mars accidentally by his crewmates during a fierce storm and was presumed dead by all people. The story then goes through his experience of trying all kinds of methods to survive on Mars, which shows his perseverance, optimism, and creativity explicitly.


After being left on Mars, Mark checked his food storage and found that the food left in the spaceship is so limited that could not support his living. Instead of being pessimistic, Mark applied his knowledge as a botanist and succeeded in growing potatoes on Mars. He also used his creativity to build an equipment to produce clean water by burning the useless hydrogen left in the spaceship. Unfortunately, his planting room was later destroyed by the pressure inconsistency and he is again facing severe starvation. However, he succeeded in contacting with people on earth and he is told that crewmates are going back to save him. Mark drove his solar-powered car every day for a long distance to test the geographical features in preparation of his survival plan. And finally, after over 550 solar days, he is survived and come back to the earth.


Despite the fictional property of the movie itself, I think this situation also takes place in the reality. There are many children and teenagers facing negative experience every day; such as huge family changes, natural disaster or even social turbulence. However, when facing these disasters, people act differently. Some of them could still live with a positive mind and try their best to change their situations; just like the main character, Liz Murray, in the movie Homeless to Harvard. In contrast, some people become pessimistic about their life and give up trying a bit. In the film, Mark remains optimistic when he is in a situation with hardly any possibility of survival, but he never gives up.

Due to the fictional scenes in this movie, teenagers would occupy a large portion of its audience; since the essential qualities the film is teaching people perseverance, optimism, and creativity, it may help a lot of people who are entering adulthood to learn about these three qualities.


In all, this is quite an educative film that I recommend to all young people.


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