Foundations of Algebra II

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Welcome to the new season of 12 and Beyond’s math-based series, It All Adds Up! As I embark on my sophomore year of high school, I’ve begun taking Algebra II. Already, in comparison to Geometry, I feel the course is much harder, and the pace is insane- just how I like it.

So far, we’ve jumped all over the place in terms of topics, since we essentially covered 2 1/2 chapters of algebra review in a week. Thus, I’m going to pick and choose a few interesting topics to discuss today: Absolute Value Equations and Interval Notation. 

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Glee’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’

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Never before has a TV show affected me with such honesty, depth and pure beauty.

It’s unfathomable.


Before I get into what I intend on writing about, I’ve been meaning to write a post about Glee for quite a while now. My sisters and mom have been absolutely obsessed with the show as of late, and I’ll be honest, i’ve found myself tuning into more than a few shows as well. In just the past month or so, we’ve made it five seasons in, and thus, reached the inevitable episode.

Glee is just astounding. The show itself speaks wonders about the struggles of teenagers today, and was incredibly ahead of its time in terms of awareness. Looking back on it now, the messages still resonate just as much today as they did when the show first launched.

The character dynamics and themes intertwined are truly gratifying to watch, between the relationships built, obstacles overcome, and accolades achieved. From the lowest points to the highest points, i’ve been captivated by the pure selflessness, yet confidence, of each and every character as they develop. Even Sue, in the darkest moments, resonates the most loving, human traits.

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L’an D’école Nouveau

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Welcome to the new Season of French Connection! This year, I’ll be publishing monthly essays all in French, and to the best of my ability (at a high school level- without a translator). Thus, for those familiar with the language, my writing will appear superfluous and intermittent as I continue to build fluency. For my other readers, you can feel free to translate this post using the button on the Sidebar. Please enjoy.


Salut! 

Cette est très nouveau pour moi! J’ai jamais écrit tout en français sur mon blog, mais je suis excité! J’ai appris le langue pour trois ans, mais il est toujours beaucoup pour exploration. Je pense que je peux parler bien, mais a ce point, seulement avec trop des mots, et ils sont des phrases que je ne sais pas encore, ou j’oublie. A les plus moins, je peux exprimer que je veux, en general.

Durant la dernier semaine d’Aout, j’ai commencé mon dixième an d’école. Je suis très contente, parce que mes amis meilleurs sont dans mes classes, et comme le premier an, mes profs sont excellent.

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A Culmination of French Connection

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Over the past three school years (equivalent to two high school courses), my experience in World Language has been incredible. In this time, I’ve become so much more fluent, I’ve learned intricacies of the language, and I can speak well (at least in work-arounds).

I’m far from done with my French journey- in the close future, I’ll be taking French through High School (up to ECE French V), and we’ll see where it goes from there. As far as French Connection on 12 and Beyond, though, things are about to round a major corner.

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It All Adds Up: A Conclusion of Geometry

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It has been quite the year taking Geometry, but alas, with the new school year ahead, my lessons regarding such must come to an end. This will be the last It All Adds Up Geometry edition, and beginning with a monthly schedule this Fall, I’ll be moving on to Algebra II.

Thus, I must conclude this season with where we began: proofs. Proofs, as a refresher, are step-by-step ways to prove a mathematic hypothesis true. We’ve dealt with proofs at their basics, like in Algebraic Proofs | It All Adds Up, and then applied what we learned in geometry to proofs, like with definitions, triangles, and segment geometry.

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Book Review: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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View the entire collection of 12 and Beyond’s book reviews here, and be sure to look out for more monthly reviews this Fall. 


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is quite the read. And Mark Twain is quite the author.

Huck Finn was originally assigned to me as Summer Reading for school, and thus, I wish I had the chance to read Tom Sawyer previous to this. However, from this book alone, the relationship held by Tom and Huck can is clearly, well, peculiar. Fortunately, the novel does a beautiful job at incorporating various themes and qualities which make the novel so much more than just an adventure story.

The novel tackles so many different aspects of Finn’s life, that he as a character becomes so three-dimensional, and relatable in so many ways (although often to the extremes). For example, his paining relationship with his father, and how easily Huck became inculcated into his Father’s lifestyle, leaving all that truly mattered behind him, was difficult to read. Furthermore, Huck’s struggle with his inner morality in response to the influences of society portrays him as a person of true character.

In all, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a story of careless adventure at its surface, and one of friendship and humility at its depths.

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In Tune: The Mama Mia Soundtrack

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In my efforts to expand my musical experience, I’ve explored music from the 80s to the 1800s, but the 70s was a decade that at first appeared too out of reach for me to fully grasp and appreciate, especially given modern music. That is, until I discovered the Mama Mia movies, the second of which we recently saw in theaters.

Granted, this is a stark contrast to the type of music I typically listen to, but the fun, upbeat, and careless nature of the music was quick to draw my attention and amusement. Not to mention, the soundtrack is all re-recordings of classic ABBA songs, a defining group of the 70s.

One of the best things about their music is that they are all unique in structure, lyrics, and melody, yet are reminiscent of the same origin, of freedom and radiance. That’s why they’re perfect for a soundtrack like Mama Mia- they go so well together, yet are so distinct, and tell their own story.

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A Perspective on French Culture

New French Connection LogoRecently, I read an article about how France voted to ban cellphone usage entirely in the school system, exemplifying yet another stark difference between American culture.

And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing- in fact, I’m very fond of the idea. There are many aspects in general that are very appealing in my eyes.

Over the past school year, we did a variety of research on French culture, especially involving daily routines, food, and the educational system, and comparing our countries brought many things to light.

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A Tail of a Lot of Kittens

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Welcome to the 2nd season of  ‘A Tail of Three Kittens’!

NOW with more kittens than ever! 😅

It’s been a while- and a lot has happened since. I think we ‘may’ have a bit of a cat problem. See, our backyard has always been National Geographic- with cats, coyotes, (yes- an excellent combination), chipmunks, and the like. Up until recently, though, it’s only been our immediate cat family: Callie, Macintosh, Goldie, and Nutmeg, along with a few other occurrences. Evidently, word has gotten around though, and our ‘family’ has grown- significantly.

Let’s get started.

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Les Misérables Book Review Volume II: Cosette

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View the entire collection of 12 and Beyond’s summer book reviews (and more) here, and be sure to read my Fantine book review too.

Three hundred pages into the [full-length] novel, Les Misérables’ second volume, Cosette, still maintains its overall grandeur and elegance, and intertwines the same elements and perspectives that truly define the novel.

In this volume, a captivating tale is told of Jean Valjean’s escape from prison after being recaptured, and further proves Valjean’s righteousness as he rescues Cosette from her abusive caretakers, the Thenardiers, all the while under the pursuit of the inspector, Javert. 

At the strongest points in the volume, the story is suspenseful and exciting to follow, and takes the reader on an incredibly detailed and elaborate adventure, with no intricacy left out. The viewpoints and relations of all characters provide the reader with an omniscient comprehension of the events, which only serves to strengthen the magnitude of the volume’s impact.

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