How to Make an Origami Butterfly

For my English presentation, I was uncertain about which origami demonstration to do. If I’m pressed for time, I could go to this post directly and present. I already did the powerpoint for the heart but I took these pictures before doing the heart and typed up the instructions so I’ll put it up here too. This butterfly is extremely easy to do and takes a couple of minutes. It took me two minutes, rounding down, my sister finished in thirty more seconds, and my dad did it in five.

0. Paper20140606_0135511. Fold paper in half and crease.
2. Unfold. 20140606_0137193. Fold sides of square to meet the center crease. 20140606_0138234. Fold in half to crease.
5. Unfold. 20140606_0140076. Open a flap partly and fold to center crease. Do not press down yet.PicMonkey Collage7. Repeat on other side. 20140606_0141448. Press down so that the top reaches the center crease line. 20140606_0141599. Flatten and crease. 20140606_01424210. Flip over.
11. Repeat steps 6-9. 20140606_01435012. Fold in half. It should look something like a twin boat. 20140606_01551413. Pick up a flap, don’t open it, and fold to the center crease line. 20140606_01555614. Repeat previous step to other side. 20140606_01560915. Fold the pointy corner on the side, not in the center crease line, just slightly. 20140606_01564616. Repeat previous step on other side. 20140606_01571017. Fold in half. 20140606_01564618. Pinch the tip in the front at the bottom.20140606_01573819. Fold a bit, flap it around, and curl the wings slightly. Play with it until it resembles a butterfly. PicMonkey Collage20. DONE!egSenEJTb5R8Qc61c5IeYa5yAaw5Qo-omOYSqzDHGrY

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How to Make an Origami Heart

My mom describes origami as folding paper artistically and drawing eyes on it. By artistically, she means the kind of art that’s literally a scribble but if you tilt your head and squint it kind of looks like a nose. When I was ten, she taught me how to make a box and gave me an origami book when I wanted to learn how to make a flower.

Anyway, in this post I will be showing you how to fold a heart with a starburst pattern. I chose this because it’s simple enough to do in about five minutes on your first try. It takes me two and a half minutes, my eleven-year-old sister five, my twelve-year-old cousin nine, and my dad gave up after step 6. My descriptions aren’t amazing but the steps for most all origami are to fold, crease, and repeat. I looked on youtube for a video and found some slightly different ones: one using a sheet of copy paper that hides the flaps, and one out of a dollar bill.

0. Paper.
1. Fold paper into quarters.
20140606_0100342. Crease and unfold.
3. Fold in half again.
4. Fold diagonally so that it meets the middle crease line.
20140606_010152 5. Unfold
6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for all three other sides.
7. Place finger in the center point of the crease lines.20140606_010231 8. Fold down the left side with your finger still in. 20140606_010244 9. Smooth over crease line.
10. Match the points of the triangle.
20140606_01025411. Crease the top center line with the triangle.
12. Repeat steps 7-11 on the right side.
PicMonkey Collage13. Flatten and crease.
20140606_01034714. Turn paper upside down.
15. Repeat steps 7-13 for this side.
PicMonkey Collage16. Fold up corners of triangle to the tip of the triangle.
20140606_01055417. Crease and repeat for other three sides.
20140606_01063718. Open a triangle flap.
20140606_01070619. Fold the tip to the center point.
20140606_01071820. Crease and repeat for the other three sides.
PicMonkey Collage21. Fold corners into the smaller center crease line of one of the four squares.
20140606_01131522. Repeat for other seven sides.20140606_01143523. Open the smallest flap in the center of a tiny triangle.
20140606_01151424. Flatten and crease.
PicMonkey Collage25. Repeat for other seven sides.
20140606_01192326. Flip over.
20140606_01193027. Fold down tip of rhombus to meet the bottom.
PicMonkey Collage28. Fold back the pointy corners of the heart (the ones on the side).20140606_01205729. Crease with a pinch.
30. DONE!
(31. Or draw eyes and a nose and call it a mouse if you’re my mother.)20140606_012330

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So we watched this movie in class the other day, an end-of-the-year type thing (like reading Night by Elie Wiesel). I’m not sure what I was supposed to be thinking about it. With the other movies that we watched, they were either clearly time wasters or back-to-back with a book we read.

The movie was okay. Not especially touching, no intricate plot, no eye catching actors. I don’t know a thing about boxing. People get beat up in the ring and there’s blood, bruises, and applause. I feel bad watching that. Rocky was sweet in his interviews with his honest answers and I liked his relationships with his pets Moby Dick, Cuff, and Link. I have four fish and two turtles. I hated how Paulie treated Adrian and was glad when she spoke up. The raw eggs disgusted me. Inspiring training routine and the meat was funny. Adrian was sweet. Apollo Creed was ridiculous. Rocky lost. The goal was to go the distance and he did but he still lost.

I don’t know. I read some movie reviews from imdb and I didn’t see it right. The simple, inspiring movie that yanks you right in, involves you. Rocky’s many layers, character depth. The importance of trying your best and sticking to the girl. I wish I saw it like they did because it sounds amazing. This movie was enough to distract me from studying for chemistry. I watched it. I didn’t feel particularly moved or touched though.

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Filling Idea Capsules

Colorful Capsules

Hi. Remember when I was writing about how my group’s innovation project changed to the Idea Dispenser? Well, the machine finally arrived and a few days after, the capsules did too! The machine we chose was from because the Amazon and eBay ones were either too small or huge and expensive.

Anyway, it came with a stand and was extremely easy to assemble. We basically screwed on the box part of the machine to the stand, peeled off the protective plastic on the glass, and stood it upright.


There are five people in my group and 200 capsules can fit inside so we each did forty. We decided on what categories weeks before and mine was interesting internet links and origami. The other categories were to do at home, to do at school, to do with a friend, to brighten someone else’s day, inspirational quotes, jokes and riddles, treasure maps, small toys and other knick-knacks.

Two-inch capsules are too small to cram in sheets of origami paper and too big to slip inside one link. I bought small four-inch square origami paper and folded each sheet in half because that’s what most origami start with anyway. I put in five slips of lucky star strips and a sheet of folded instructions, and a lucky star. I wrote down internet links on how to make other things in the back of the instructions sheet because it was getting harder to stuff more things inside. I folded origami birds, hearts, flowers, and animals, and put a completed one inside each capsule.

Lucky Star Origami Paper

Lucky Star Origami Paper                                                       Star

I can’t count and folded fifty origami creatures by mistake. I gave ten away, and filled the forty capsules with just origami. I still have the links and thought why not post them up? So here they are, random internet links that my siblings and I found. Keep in mind that one is an eleven-year-old girl and the other is an eight-year-old boy. Every site they went on was approved by my mother so hopefully nothing inappropriate comes up. There is no order and some are useful, some are time killers, and some are strange.

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Co-writing an Essay


Our assignment was to read two poems and analyze how adults provide explanations for children. We had to identify literary devices and how they are used to contribute meaning to the poem.  The poems were “A Barred Owl” by Richard Wilbur and “The History Teacher” by Billy Collins. We had to co-write this two-page essay with three other people.

I am painfully shy. I’ll take on the label of antisocial in favor of having to correct people. I’m basically an intelligent doormat that occasionally explodes in short bursts of negative emotion that come with weeks of warning.

For me, working with others is uncomfortable. If I’m with a close friend, we get slightly off topic and rush through the assignment at the end of class. If it’s with someone who I don’t know that well, my throat sometimes feels like it’s closed up and words are impossible. Communication is basically doing independent work, reading each other’s, and adding or revising. If in a group, I usually don’t speak unless directly addressed to and the answer requires more than a nod, shake, or shrug. If my partner or group gets an answer I know is wrong, I’ll correct them.

With this project, I didn’t have that problem. We all used chat and a shared google doc to do all our work. So the problem I had was with the actual writing of the essay together. It was some time between seven and nine pm when we were all online at the same time. We found the points we were going to make and our paragraph that we all worked on was horrible. After that, we split up each part, introduction, comparison body, comparison body, theme body, and conclusion. It end result was chunky, did not flow, and had one or two restated points.

We had to turn it in online individually and I felt the need to apologize and add this explanation to my submission:
It’s a few inches less than two pages and by the way my paragraph is the one starting with: “A Barred Owl” and “The History Teacher” vary in structure and length… I helped with the conclusion too but the rest we basically wrote individually and slapped it together. We tried and it took too long and was frustrating and that was our happy compromise.

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Assigned Reading


I’m reading the abridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Everyone keeps on saying what a good book it was and how it was their favorite assigned reading book in high school.

So far, my worst books were Oedipus Rex and The Odyssey because I found them boring. Greek and Roman mythology is interesting, but nothing changes. It’s like how I’m bored with the Bible. I’m a good Catholic, private school Pre-K through eight, public high school but in Confirmation class and Sunday Bible and Catechism readings with my family. I’ve read the entire Bible from Genesis through Revelations twice but other passages multiple times. I don’t think that’s a good thing. I can go through the motions of Mass and tune out everything and listen to a sentence or two of the Gospel and I know the story. Second readings are more confusing but no one focuses on those as much. If God inspired some new evangelists to write a Bible II, I’d read that enthusiastically.

I liked All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque because big font and spacing and it related to what I was learning in history. I watch videos in that class and it made war sound more interesting and less textbook-y. My brother’s name is Paul so I liked the main character immediately. I liked his closeness with his war buddies, Kat, Kropp, Tjaden, Muller, Haie, and Leer. I loved how chapter five started with “Killing each separate louse is a tedious business when a man has hundreds. The little beasts are hard and the everlasting cracking with one’s fingernails very soon becomes wearisome.” because it was where I started reading after my initial is-this-book-boring skim through. I saw Paul’s change from someone who enlisted because his classmates all were to a soldier afraid of family to a dead man so insignificant in the whole grand scheme that he was nameless, third-person. “He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front.” I love that I memorized lines from that book after writing and highlighting them in my notes.

I loved To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read that book three times in my own time before freshman year. I was never behind because I knew that book and all I had to do was the analysis. I liked how Scout was a tomboy and I loved how she was ham for that play. I love how chicken wire and Boo Radley saved her life. I loved her and her friends, Jem and Dill.

I read Fahrenheit 451 in eighth grade and it confused me. In ninth, it was no better. I just had to do more work – vocabulary flash cards, symbolism, and analysis.

I don’t like A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens because I don’t like Lucie Manette or her father. I think I was cheering for the wrong side because I found Madame Defarge fascinating. I didn’t like all the symbolism and descriptions because they were tiring to read. Why does wine symbolize death?

I hate Romeo and Juliet. So much needless death. And the tights in the movie. I need more reasons for really not liking it. I Sparknoted, Schmooped, Cliffnoted, and Gradesavered it and didn’t really attempt to read it. I got Bs on reading checks and a D on the overall test.

I think that was all my assigned reading and if not, whatever I missed didn’t impact me at all and I formed no opinions about it. Also, there was this book with ice and plane cast-off and canned food. The main character was male and the actor for the movie had a pasty pale behind that was seen briefly on-screen because my teacher was outside talking to someone and didn’t skip through. My class was very immature about this. Rats were eaten. There were wolves and a creepy guy with missing teeth. There was a grandma and a catfish in toilet. There was a cream of rat soup recipe in that book. I don’t remember the title or the plot.

I don’t know if I like The Count of Monte Cristo. The most memorable thing so far was that guy who was executed and that “graphic” description of blood spurting from his neck. To be honest, I was expecting a more gruesome death. There was a crowd and big important people watching. The other guy (innocent maybe) got out alive with the Count’s help. Dantes’ vengeance is supposed to be the most interesting part and I’m not there yet. I hate how everyone’s go-to is suicide and it’s seen as more honorable to die than to lie. Honorable suicide is like Red Badge of Courage. I don’t deserve to talk about that book because I didn’t even plough through a single chapter. The main character was a coward. He hid. He ran. He lied. War sucks. People were dying around him.

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In the middle of the year, my English teacher mentioned BRAWLing (Battle Royale All Will Learn discussion-type thing). My teacher also recently assigned a quote picture from All Quiet on the Western Front. We spent an entire discussing that. First the directions were simple: drop your favorite quote from the book over a picture that matched. By the end of the period, it was a movie with each period competing for extra credit points. It never happened, by the way.

I hoped the BRAWL would go something like that. We received a handout explaining the basics on the next time he mentioned it. Nothing else for about two months. On the 20th, we formed groups and I was prepared to fail.

Last year, I never spoke during Socratic Seminars. I had a scary teacher who was moody and sometimes would rant at my class just because it was sixth period. There were two people who actually knew what they were doing and came prepared with notes. A handful of others said “I agree” a lot and got some participation points. It was very quiet. I received a zero on every one.

Four days later, we got our questions. They were a combination of the best written by us, all the periods put together. If yours was selected, extra credit. If not, oh well.

There were amazing questions like these:

– In two of the previous novels we read, A Tale of Two Cities and All Quiet on the Western Front, as well as The Count of Monte Cristo, the theme of not trusting others and being on your own is prominent. However, this theme is also contradicted with the relationship of Lucie and her Father, Faria and Dantes, and Paul and his comrades. Why do you think that there is this contradiction? What is the real underlying theme? Why would the author contradict their own major theme?

– In numerous works of literature, the central dilemma is often presented at the beginning of the story, and a happily ever after is reserved for the final chapters. However, in ‘The Count of Monte Cristo,’ Dumas twists this around by placing a fairytale-like ending at the beginning, then shatters this illusion as the plot thickens and betrayal and false promises come to surface. What could be the purpose of this arrangement in regards to the structure of a theme?

And there were other ones like these:

– Why do you think Dumas decided to choose the island, Monte Cristo, as the place that held the fortune? Does the name, Monte Cristo, have anything to do with it? Is there any significance about where the treasure was hidden? 

– Why is granite so important that is mentioned in two major turning points in Dantes life? 

– Take note of the date of Dantes’s escape. Why would Dumas have lined up Dantes’s escape to this particular date in spite of its almost numerical impossibility? 

I had a lot of fun answering the latter ones. I read about a Monte Cristo sandwich (fried ham and cheese), the meaning of symbols of gravestones, pirates (Red Beard), legends (dragons guarding islands), numerology (fourteen day people have strong negative influences on others if they are aware of their own energies), and religion, mythology and folklore.

I had to speak for my group and I did. All three times and I think I did good. There was also an online discussion with the same questions. I answered the last question.

– The date of Dantes escape is February 28, 1829. He entered the Chateau d’If in February 28, 1815. He was imprisoned for exactly fourteen years. Dumas might have chosen these dates for the symbolism of the number fourteen found in the Bible and numerology.

– According to several biblical and palm-reading sites (thisthisthisthis, and this) from the first few pages of Google’s more reliable-looking links, seven is a lucky number and fourteen is double that, which means double spiritual perfection and double completion. The number two (2×7) symbolizes incarnation. This relates to Dantes because he rose as a different man from he sea, the graveyard of the Chateau d’If. He was extremely lucky to have escaped alive, and the perfection and completion he desires will be achieved only through his vengeance.

-In the Book of Proverbs, the expression “the fear of the Lord” occurs fourteen times (I checked with an online copy of the Bible and ctrl F). Dantes seems to think that he’s God because he’s righting his world as he desires after it fell apart in his absence. Those who are good to him, he graces with gifts (his distracting presence to Faria, knowledge and gifts to the pirates, diamond to Caderousse, etc) and those who wronged him, he will punish. 

– The fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover, when God delivered the firstborn of Israel from death. (Exodus 12) Brief summary: God told Moses and his brother in Egypt each household needed a male lamb on the tenth day of the first month. On the fourteenth day, everyone in Israel killed their lambs at twilight as a sacrifice. The Jews would mark a blood X on their door and the angel of death would pass over that house. The firstborn male child would be killed in each unmarked house. Here, Dantes is the angel of death and Danglars, Villefort, and Fernand have unmarked doors. Dantes is more creative than this angel. 

I sound smart. Well-researched, at least. I need to work on relating the information to the book and staying on task. The question had nothing to do with the number fourteen; I got there all on my own. As far as I know, nothing important happened on February 28th. I subtracted the years and got fourteen. I’m almost certain I got it wrong. But in English, you can twist around wrong answers if you ramble intelligently. Most of the time you get at least partial credit for getting something right, and if you’re lucky, extra credit for uniqueness.

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