Monday, June 24, 2002

summer school at Gunn

I justed started a summer SAT preparation course at Gunn High School. The class focuses on building vocabulary as it's one of the most important aspects of the SAT. Our teacher is very diligent and caring; she makes every effort to ensure we don't fall behind, although she does give out a lot of in-class assignments and homework. No wonder they say Gunn is such a competitive school.

Currently playing: Deus Ex

Friday, June 14, 2002

halfway through high school!

This was the last day of classes before summer. The Spanish II Honors final was very tough - even with all the bonus questions - so I really hope I didn't bomb it. The other exams were also quite difficult, but they were nothing like the Spanish one. I just hope I won't get a nasty surprise when I open my report card. *crosses fingers*

Because I've finished 10th grade, I'm now halfway through high school. It's hard to believe I'm going to be an upperclassman in the fall. Damn, time goes by fast.

The good news is that my family has lots of things planned for the summer, so it should be pretty awesome. :-)

Currently playing: Thief: The Dark Project

Friday, June 7, 2002

and now, for our feature presentation...

As I've previously mentioned, my group had to film a short soap opera for Spanish II Honors. The five of us finished the project yesterday morning; it was not an easy task by any means. The telenovelas were presented in class this afternoon, and I think everyone did a great job!

Our production was called Amor y Mentiras ("Love and Lies") and took about three weeks to make. I've provided some details below for those curious:

Cast and crew

Each of us had a role as follows:

  • Yours truly as José
  • David Barth as Davíd
  • Sarah Murray as Sarita
  • Michelle Nelson as Micaela
  • Shannon Haley as Lilia

Shannon was our de facto director as most of the filming was done at her house.

Scene 1

Davíd and José are two bad guys who go out and rob a bank. This part was shot at a small neighborhood store in Los Altos called J&R's Foodland. The manager of the store was very nice; not only was he cool with us filming there, he also guest-starred as one of the bankers!

Scene 2

The second and third scenes were filmed at Shannon's house. As the story goes, Davíd and José use the ill-gotten money on a vacation to the Bahamas. While holidaying, they cross paths with the three girls and fall in love with them. This is where our love scene comes into play.

Scene 3

The romance is short-lived as Davíd and José plot to frame the girls for the bank robbery. But when the girls find out about the illicit activities, the thugs burn down the girls' vacation home and shoot Sarita dead as the she and her friends try to escape. Yikes!

The telenovela ends as Davíd and José flee the country.

Special thanks

Of course, such an endeavor wouldn't have been possible without the help of others. We owe special thanks to the following:

  • Shannon's mother Sharyl for helping around.
  • Sarah's mother Carol for the occasional ride.
  • The manager at J&R's Foodland for letting us film at his store, and for guest-starring as one of the bank tellers. What a champ.


I know our plot is kind of lame, but we're still very proud of what we've created. Although we had our conflicts and disagreements over the course of the project, I am happy to say that we generally worked well as a team. I really wish I could share our telenovela with you, but I don't have a copy of the video myself, nor do I know of any websites that allow people to upload large media files for free. You'll just have to use your imagination!

Sunday, June 2, 2002

love scenes are so awkward!

Shannon: You're going to hug Sarah for the next scene.
Me: Crap.
Shannon: Do you want to kiss her instead?

For the final project in Spanish II Honors, our class has to film Spanish soap operas, or telenovelas. There are four other people in my group, namely David, Shannon, Sarah and Michelle. Shannon is our de facto director as most of the filming is being done at her house.

The five of us have been working on the project for about two weeks, and we just finished the obligatory love scene. The most awkward moment was when I had to give Sarah a hug. But because I'm still very shy around girls, I adamantly refused to get close to her, much to the annoyance of my fellow team members. Pretty sad, I know. In the end, the two of us just held hands instead. *blush*

In hindsight, this is definitely something I regret. Sarah is a very sweet girl, and I'm sure she wouldn't have minded. In fact, she was probably a little offended that I didn't want to touch her. Oh well.

Currently reading: Java: Your visual blueprint for building portable Java programs by Ernest Friedman-Hill