My Mega Awesome Genius Hour (#2)

Screenshot 2016-02-10 at 12.17.17 PM

Hi everyone! Our class’s just finished our second Genius Hour and now it’s time for the reflection. Before we start though, I just want to restate what a Genius Hour is. A Genius Hour is a project where we are given time in class to research a topic we’re interested in and present it to our class. My last Genius Hour was about criminal profiling and the basis behind it (see my post “My Super Awesome Genius Hour” for more information). This time, I went in a completely different direction.

I decided to compare Apple’s ios and Google’s Android. I chose this because I’m surrounded by Apple owners and I wanted to see why. Was Android not good enough? Was it boring? To answer this, I compared the two phones’ security and sales, which are two features of any device that I feel are important and reveal a lot about the brand. From this, I learned that Android is more popular globally because it is much cheaper than its Apple counterpart. Those numbers are coming from developing countries because Android phones cost less compared to an iPhone, it makes it easier for developing countries to own their phones. For example, the most recent Android phone costs about $100 less than the most recent iPhone. On the flip side, Apple is more popular in the United States and China because the people there can afford Apple’s high prices. At the same time, Apple puts more money in and has more successful advertisements. Also, app developers invest in Apple’s apps more than Android’s. Security wise, I never found a direct answer during my research, but I personally think Apple’s security is better because it limits one person to one device, which I believe is automatically secure if information is unique to one device and can only be accessed by one person.

This Genius Hour helped me become more critical when answering questions with answers as easy as “this” or “that one.” Before I researched the positives and negatives of the two softwares, my mindset was a little biased. I was almost positive that Apple was better and that those on the internet would agree with me by generally supporting Apple. They did support Apple, but others supported Android much more than I thought they would. In other words, they were much more unbiased than I imagined. Looking back at this, I realized that sometimes, even the simplest questions may need a little background information before coming up with a simple answer. Even though I still support Apple, I have learned more about Android, which helps me have a more impartial answer.

For this project, instead of talking about one subject, I compared two items. It was kind of weird because I had to constantly remind myself that my presentation format cannot be exactly the same as my last Genius Hour because of the compare and contrast factor. Due to this, I also had to research and analyze my information more. The topic and research mostly helped me since the main reason I chose this project was to help myself understand the differences between Apple and Android. It may have also helped some of my classmates learn a little more about Android (they didn’t need to listen to Apple pros and cons to decide if they still liked the brand, especially since almost everyone was against Android) even they most likely have not changed their minds about their preferences. I feel like my topic generally introduced a few points about each of the brands that showed how one wasn’t drastically better than the other.

I am not sure what my next Genius Hour will be or how it will affect the world, though I do not want my next Genius Hour to focus on something with such a big impact (e.g. world hunger, pollution, etc.). I feel like I want my next Genius Hour to focus on issues that are smaller than that and possibly forgotten. I hope that with my next Genius Hour, I will help the world and the people around me just by bringing attention to it.

Here’s a link to my presentation:

Media and Me: How Do I Feel About It?

Hey everybody! A few days ago, my class presented their Genius Hour (YES!!!), meaning that for the time being, we have moved on to something else. Specifically, we’ve been working on media literacy. We still have some time before we finish the unit, but I’ve already learned a lot from what I’ve seen. In other words, I’ve been reading between the lines of different types of media and have come to some conclusions on how media impacts a culture, gender, economy, and me personally. Here’s what I found (by the way, there was no real research done on this; these are inferences from my brain and my brain only):

Culture: First off, how does media impact a culture? I believe that media can either bring a culture together or break one apart. On one hand, it could bring a culture together if the majority are willing to make changes. Other than certain cultures that have different ways of avoiding influences by the outside world (such as being a relatively disconnected society from the world), more likely than not, multiple people are bound to have a different perspective of their culture based on influences from media outside the world they live in. If everyone is okay with making minor changes to fit the world of today then it could bring the culture together and help the culture as a whole become more modernized. On the other hand, it could cause rifts in the culture as two different groups grow in numbers: one that believes the culture should stay the same and the other that believes their culture should stick with the times. Overall, media’s impact on a culture depends on how open the culture is to the information that the media gives.

Gender: I can bet that when you read that, the first things that came to mind were gender equality and double standards. Yes, the media has majorly affected gender. The thing is, we’re not at the point where women are feeling bad about themselves due to media and aren’t doing anything about it (of course there are still so many people in the world negatively affected by the media, I can’t deny that). We’re at the point where there are so many different messages and counter-media that are telling us to love ourselves rather than critisize every piece of ourselves that we declare isn’t perfect. In conclusion, I think that media has majorly impacted gender roles and stereotypes, but there is now counter-media trying to fix that mistake.

Economy: I believe that media impacted how economies are portrayed. For example, commercials about a certain topic will always be exactly the same but with different words. One very easy example is comparing the U.S.A advertisements to African advertisements. American advertisements, no matter what the topic, will still be lighthearted and somehow promote the nation. If there is an American advertisement that’s incredibly sad, it’s either about a sickness (which is totally fine to talk about) or trying to help out a country or continent like Africa, who is portrayed as a country that is incredibly poor. That is right, to a certain extent, but there’s more to that than them being poor. And where do we see that? In African advertisements. So I guess it depends on where you’re watching from. Unlike gender equality, this is not a problem that we are striving to fix. It hasn’t had too big of an impact on the world as a whole, but the effect is still there.

Me: The best topic of all :). Personally, I try not to think about media I find offensive or media that I think could be hinting that I need to change something about myself. I’m not really sure why, but it is relatively easy for me to ignore stuff like that. I’m not saying it’s the easiest thing in the world; I needed my family to practically pound that resistance into me. Every derogatory advertisement my mom or dad would announce to my sister that these advertisements that show me a super skinny model or a little girl eating salad are not totally real. For example, it’s likely that that same little girl eating a salad or whatever product she was advertising would prefer eating the complete opposite, like a pizza. Overall, I’m not as affected by the media (at least when it comes to my personal image) but I had extra help with that.


Overall, this is how I feel about these four areas of life that the media can affect. I know other people have different views. If you do, don’t be afraid to comment down below. See you later!


-Eltina 🙂

My iPod, The Survivor

I love my iPod Touch. I know, typical of what someone from this generation would say. Although, when I say I love my iPod, it’s more than just using social media. I have more reasons, as you’ll see below:

  1. It’s My Musical Haven

Music sign

All my music is on my iPod. Listening to music gets me through some of my most stressful times. It’s the sounds that sooth me; every melody makes me feel happy. Sometimes, I don’t even listen to the words. All I need is a simple calm beat.

  1. I Came, I Saw, I Conquered It

From the day I held my beautiful yellow iPod, it has been personalized like a DIY project. Every app I have is for my personal use. When people skim through my iPod and find it shocking I only have two games, I smirk because I do have more games, just not on the iPod… No, that’s another device fScreenshot 2016-01-12 at 8.31.03 PMor another time. My iPod was made solely for me to do my own things there, and what I do doesn’t include playing fifteen games.


  1. It Has Survived The Struggle

You wouldn’t believe how many times I dropped and tortured my poor iPod (and that was before I got a case for it). I’m surprised it still works. Nowadays, my iPod stays in my hand more than on the ground, but I still drop it from time to time. At least I have a case, so my iPod’s lifespan has increased. In other words, I’m proud of my iPod for being a survivor.

Overall, I’m very happy to have my iPod. For my fellow iPod owners, here’s an article to ten really cool things an iPod can do that we don’t know about:


Image Citations:

Featured Image: Hoesly, Patrick. Cracked iPhone Screen- Day 2. Photograph. Flikr. Flikr. 30 May 2010. 12 January 2016.

Music Note: dren88. Music Note Bokeh Cutout. Photograph. Flikr. Flikr. 9 December 2009. 12 January 2016.

iPod Cases: Pietro & Silvia. Ipod_Cases. Photograph. Flikr. Flikr. 9 June 2006. 12 January 2016.



A Twitter Account for School?!?!

For the past few months, my technology class has taught me a lot of things, but there is one overlapping subject: developing the ability to break out of our little third-culture kid bubble that may have grown around us after years of living in different countries. We’ve taken this lesson a step further by trying to do this using social media. Specifically, we set up Twitter accounts to be able to follow various “experts” based on our topic of research (we’re actually having a second Genius Hour; see my other post “My Super Awesome Genius Hour” to understand what I’m talking about) and we get to ask these experts questions.

My area of research has to do with comparing two phone companies that everyone loves: Apple and Android. In other words that means my experts were all computer developers or programmers of some kind. In total I followed ten experts listed below: @OlteenRazvan, @tim_cook, @dotbugfix, @AtdheMahmuti, @namklabs, @MarlonMolina, @nathanmarz, @satyanadella, @pschiller, and @Danenania. I basically asked each one of them if they preferred Android and Apple or, if experts like @tim_cook made it clear whose side he’s on, I would ask them why they chose what they chose. I decided to ask this specific question because I was doing the research part; I didn’t need anymore information other than the pieces I’d already found. I decided that if I could, I would try and get their views on Apple and Android. In my Genius Hour project, it was just a general answer to my research question that did not require research or numbers.

Now… the best part. How did they respond? Well, before we could ask them our questions, we created a “relationship” with our experts by tweeting or commenting on something else related to them. For that part, I got very positive reviews. By that, I mean I’ve gotten a few likes and retweets while a few also responded to me! Sadly, when it came to answering the question I asked them, only @MarlonMolina responded. I don’t blame the others though; I think I asked some of my questions too late. At the same time, I’m surprised he answered because he was one of the people who I asked very late. Then again, he is more active on Twitter than some of my other experts, so I think that plays a part in why he even responded in the first place. Anyways, none of them followed or helped me any further. I haven’t continued a conversation with any of them, though I may go back and do that later.

Despite a rather low amount of responses, I’m not too disappointed with the result. Sure, if I had done things a little differently throughout this journey, I would have probably been more successful. At the same time, I’m glad that someone answered; whether it was one answer to my question or simply liking one of my tweets. It makes me feel good just knowing that I was noticed by people that don’t live in my little bubble. I generally get very excited whenever I see someone like, retweet, or comment on one of my tweets. To see not one, but ten different people like my tweets and occasionally reply to them had me over the moon. I really hope I can be able to use this unusual source for school some other time because I feel like if I do things differently next time, getting information directly from a source will help me in the long run. Of course, if we do another Genius Hour there is a chance I’ll end up using Twitter again. I’m not really sure what other classes I could use Twitter for, though I think I’m more likely to use Twitter for Language Arts, Music, or Science. Overall, I’m still glad I got to do this because I think this activity has taught me that I should not be afraid to contact people that I think will help me, no matter how far away they are.

A Taste of Sierra Leone

I like food. You like food. Everyone likes food. Now that we’ve taken care of that, let’s focus on the different types of food. In my life, the main types of food are American and Sierra Leonean. Even though I am American, I come from a purely Sierra Leonean family. Because of this, my nutritional life is filled with a mixture of American dishes and Sierra Leonean dishes. I’m going to talk about Sierra Leonean dishes. Here are some of my favorite Sierra Leonean in my life.

Common Characteristics of Sierra Leonean food:

  • The food is popular in the West African culture. Though I am specifically calling the foods Sierra Leonean, they are really West African because many bordering countries have similar foods (e.g. the foods in this post are also popular in Liberia and Nigeria). I’m just saying Sierra Leone because it applies specifically to me.
  • At the same time, it has its Sierra Leonean twist. I can assure you that the Sierra Leonean okra soup is different from the Nigerian one (personally I like the Sierra Leonean one the best).
  • It is hot hot HOT. There is no such thing as an African dish that is not spicy. Tell me if you think of one, but there aren’t a lot.

With that being said, let us begin to dive into the foods (and drinks) of Sierra Leone!

Roasted Fish

Roast gilthead sea bream with rosemary butter

A common meal Sierra Leoneans like to make is roasted fish (a.k.a grilled fish).  One major reason is because Sierra Leone is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it easier to catch them quickly and get a daily stock. How do you make it? It seems simple; it’s literally in the title. You roast the fish. Don’t be fooled though, it’s much more complicated than it looks. There are many things that have to be done before the fish touches the grill. For example, you have to make cuts into fish to season it (see the picture). Afterwards, there are other things to do such as marinating it for at least thirty minutes and making everything that goes with the fish, like pepper, onions, peanut sauce and lime.

Now it’s time to make the actual fish. It’s much better to grill the fish over a charcoal grill than an electric or gas grill because it keeps the flavor of the fish. Finally, when grilling the fish there should not be too much charcoal. This will cause the fish to cook slower and as a result, the fish will be well cooked.


Ginger Beer (Homemade)

Homemade Ginger Beer

Don’t let the name scare you. Ginger beer is like root beer; it’s not alcoholic. What’s really funny about this drink is that it didn’t originate in Africa; it actually originated in Britain and was exported around the world. Like the roasted fish, the process for making it is not as simple as squeezing the juice out of the ginger and drinking it raw. You start by washing the ginger very well. Afterwards, to get the juice out of the ginger, you pound or blend it. After extracting the juice, water and lime needs to be added to it. Next, put the mixture on a sifter to clean out the residue. After this, add as much sugar as you think you need into the final mix. This is a drink best served cool.

There are two things you have to remember about adding water to the ginger: it’s not optional and you have to be careful how much water is mixed with it. You have to add water because drinking ginger without water is like drinking a hot pepper. At the same time, you don’t want to add too much water because you won’t be able to taste the ginger. In other words, add water to dilute the ginger but make sure to balance the amounts.

I’m very glad that I got to share these foods that Sierra Leoneans really like to eat and drink. There are so many other foods that I could talk about, but that’s something I will leave for another post.


Bye everyone!

I got all of this information from my parents. Thanks guys :).


Powell, Celia. Homemade Ginger Beer. Photograph. Flickr. Flickr. 8 Dec. 2012. 9 Nov. 2015.

Smith, Peter. Roast Gilthead Sea Bream With Rosemary Butter. Photograph. Flickr. Flickr. 1 Apr. 2010. 9 Nov. 2015.

The Third Culture Widget

As a girl that has lived in multiple countries, I have friends from all over the world. Naturally, when I leave I also stay in contact with them. Yet every time we talk, we are never sure what time it is in each of our respective countries. Because of this, I’m almost always getting messages at three in the morning. Assuming I’m not the only one who has that problem, I added something to my blog to easily answer that recurring question. For my widget, I chose to add an international clock showing the different times of one state/ country from each continent. I added this because while browsing the list of student participating in the blogging challenge, I noticed that even though many students were all from the same place, there were still other countries thrown into the mix, which is exactly how I would describe my experiences with kids from different countries. Eventually I decided to choose a country from each continent because no continent should be forgotten (especially since they are all too big to forget). Besides, I’m a third culture kid; I’ve spent most of my life living in different time zones. The only sad thing about my widget is that I can’t see the time of EVERY single country that has kids participating in the challenge because that would take up the whole blog. At least I have an idea of what time it could be wherever you are (in other words, now I can message my friends at a time when they aren’t sleeping). Au revoir everyone!

My Super Awesome Genius Hour

This year, I did a project that was different from the rest. In this project, I was free to choose to research about anything I wanted and spend class time working on it. Was I interested in this type of project? Obviously! I was never bored as I read through all the different websites (though that’s partially because I like reading…). This project is called Genius Hour. For my Genius Hour, I researched the art of criminal profiling. I chose this because over the summer I became obsessed with THE greatest criminal TV show ever. It’s called Criminal Minds and it combines psychology and criminal investigation (two of my favorite subjects) into a beautiful result called criminal profiling. During my research, I learned about the process of making a criminal profile. You can see what I’m talking about  if you check  out my presentation at the end of the post :).

Based on my effort and learning, I would give myself a B+ or an A- because I spent most of my research translating my information into a format that I could easily present to my class. I also took a lot of time trying to understand the information and personally created all the examples I used in my presentation, which I am very proud of.

This presentation mostly helped myself and anyone else in my class that liked Criminal Minds (there were at least two people!) or was interested in the topic. For those who were interested in psychology, I think my presentation helped everyone think differently of the field since I focused on its relationship with criminal investigation. I think most people don’t automatically link psychology and criminal investigation together and I was happy to shine a light on the that. For those who just like Criminal Minds, I think my presentation helped them better understand what the profilers were doing.

For my next Genius Hour subject, I have one rule: I will not do a continuation of the subject criminal profiling. There’s a chance that I’ll do something related to either psychology or criminal justice, but right now I don’t feel like continuing that topic. In terms of how I presented the project, next time I will try to have less words on the slide or I will present with a different format. Finally, there’s one last question: what are three possible topics I could research for my next Genius Hour? Well, I may like to compare Android vs. Apple, research a specific animal, or delve into another subcategory of psychology. I can’t wait to see which topic I choose. Bye!
My Super Awesome Genius Hour Presentation Link:

How to Be Successful in School

Here are three important things a person should do to be successful in school:

  • Manage your time wisely.

Don’t save everything for the last minute and do your work as soon as possible. Doing this equals many benefits such as being done with it so that you don’t worry about it later, having time to ask your teacher any questions you had, and more free time to do what you love. I won’t lie; I procrastinate too. But I’ve found that I’m much happier going to school knowing that I had done all my work and had some time to spare.

  • Have good study habits.

Keep taking those notes. This isn’t a choice; without notes studying could get much harder when you don’t have something short and quick to look back at. Also, do other stuff like your homework just to make sure you understand what you’re learning. You should also find a study method that you feel comfortable with. For example, when studying, I find it easier for me to understand and remember things by reading it or writing it down. If you find a method that works for you, school will be much easier to get through since you’re doing it your way.

  • Prioritize.

You need to prioritize what different things you should do first. For example, let’s say you have to complete homework for two different classes. Class A’s homework is due tomorrow while Class B’s homework is due in two days. You do Class A’s homework first because that class has the closer due date. Don’t waste your time on something that can wait.


With these three things, I think a student can succeed in school. There are tons of other things that can help you be successful in school. Check out this webpage down below for more detailed ways to be successful.


Comment about any other ways to be successful that I didn’t talk about. Bye!



Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015 <>.

Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2015. <>.

The Music Reformation

It was a few weeks ago when I was coming back to Dakar to start the ninth grade. As someone who can’t sleep on a plane, eat the food, or sit in one place for too long, I needed something that would distract me for as long as possible. The answer to that? Music. Believe or not, that didn’t help either. At least, until I came across this one song. This song was amazing and borderline phenomenal. What made this song so special was that it was a rap song that came out last year. It wasn’t the typical rap song talking about partying and being rich; it was REAL.  These days, I feel it’s almost hopeless to find such a raw and meaningful lyrics in a rap song. Because of that song, I’m starting to try and look at rap and music in general from a new perspective. I’m so glad this happened because I like listening to music in the morning. I realized that one of the best moments of my day is listening to music on my iPod and letting each word and beat sink in.



What is a blog?

Hmmm… what is a blog? A blog is a website where a person or group can post different items. On the blog, the posts often talk about different opinions and personal experiences the author has witnessed, though this depends on if it is a personal blog or not. The most common types of blogs are personal blogs or blogs made for an organisation. Blogs are usually made so that people can talk about anything they want. Long story short, blogs are like a journal while the posts are your journal entries.

I think I am going to use this blog to complete different assignments for my Technology class, from connecting with teens my age to answering questions just like this one. It will also keep track of my work in my Technology class. This blog will be like my stepping stone to reaching out to others all around the world.

Bye! 🙂