PTI Check-In Paragraph

The most significant internal conflict that Junior faces in Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian is his constant struggle with his identity. Namely, as a reservation Indian leaving his home to go to a white school in Reardan. Junior expresses his struggle by saying “Traveling between Reardan and Wellpinit, between the little white town and the reservation, I alway felt like a stranger. I was half Indian in one place and half white in the other” (118). This quote demonstrates Junior’s struggle with identity because it shows his lack of belonging, of being a “stranger”, even in his hometown.  It shows his loneliness and how he doesn’t fit in with either the white Reardan kids or the reservation Indians. This absence of acceptance drives many of his decisions and is a major plot point in this book.

ZIP! Document of Learning #1

A concept that I have learned about is the idea of asking questions to further a political argument. The book I am currently reading is called The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.I find that Rousseau does a good job of asking questions to further his argument. For example, while discussing the ‘right of the first occupant’, Rousseau poses the question “Is it enough to put one’s feet on a piece of common land in order to claim it at once as one’s own?” (67). This question is thought-provoking, deep, and forces the reader to reflect on the status quo. He provokes curiosity and inquisitiveness, and encourages the reader to continue reading. Finally, the way the question is worded is designed to nudge the reader towards Rousseau’s opinion. All these factors fit together to persuade and convince the reader that Rousseau’s argument is sound.

This information will be useful for others as it will help make their writing more effective. Asking questions in writing encourages readers to think anout the topic, and pushes the reader to continue reading.





Over the past week, I have learned much about what it takes to be a REAL Success, by spending my lunch blocks watching a series of seminars and filling out a paper booklet, both of which are titled How to be a REAL Success (John Maxwell, 2004). While a bit of the material was common-sense, it was helpful for the components needed to be successful (Relationships, Equipping, Attitude, and Leadership) to be articulated, as I know that this knowledge will be useful to me for years to come.

The first part of How to be a REAL Success is Relationships. I learned that success is 87% people knowledge and 13% product knowledge, which is interesting as it shows that one doesn’t need to be a genius to succeed. Also, in order to be a great leader, one must add value to people. This statement reminds me of a book that I read: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield. Mr. Hadfield wrote about the importance of being a plus-one, and this is quite similar to adding value. I will use my knowledge of this to further my skills as a leader and earn respect from others. This skill will be beneficial to me as a leader because I am now more aware of how to foster relationships between myself and others.

Secondly, the next part of How to be a REAL Success is Equipping. To equip one’s team is to provide them with the skills they need in order to help the organization to succeed. This section taught me how to be aware of how my team is functioning, and notice if they ever need assistance. Also, if I have a  task that I know some else can do more effectively than me, I should allow them to do that task so I can focus on the greater goal. I will utilize this skill when I am doing group projects in TALONS, like Adventure Trips, Leadership Projects and Cultural Events, as it is more important than ever to be aware of one’s team.

Thirdly, the next component of How to be a REAL Success is Attitude. One has to have the right attitude if they want to go anywhere in life. Having a positive, ‘growth-mindset’ type attitude is vital for success as it allows one to move on after failure and continue to grow as a person. I plan on using my knowledge of this to strive towards a positive attitude, which will help me grow as a person, and give more confidence in the completion of tasks that I have to do.

Finally, the last part of How to be a REAL Success is Leadership. Something in the Leadership section that really struck a chord with me was The Leadership Lid. The Leadership Lid is a concept that companies can only be as successful as the people running them. For example, on a scale of one to ten, if the CEO of a company is a four, then the company can be at most a three; If the CEO progresses to an eight, then the company can progress to a seven. I plan on using this knowledge to grow my leadership skills and contribute to the TALONS classroom, and hopeful groups that I am in charge of will grow with me.

ZIP! Inquiry Project Proposal


From early on, I have had a clear idea of what I would like to do for ZIP: I want to read a plethora of influential political science-based texts and examine the persuasive devices that these writers use to make their texts more impactful to the general population. I then want to take my knowledge and argue a point using these persuasive devices.

My question is: What makes a good political argument? I chose this question because I am very passionate about debating, and I find political science writings very interesting. I am motivated by my curiosity and general interest in this question.

I currently know a little bit about political science. I have read The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli,   Das Kapital, and The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. I am also slightly familiar with Hobbes’ and Locke’s theories of human nature.

Someone that I can approach for help during my ZIP project is my mom, as she has a Masters degree in Political Science. Other resources I can utilize are the substantial number of political science texts in my family’s library, and the numerous websites on political science.

I will present my research in the form of a persuasive argument. I may either write a persuasive essay or verbally argue for my point.

Here is a calendar of my tentative deadlines. The texts I plan to read are subject to change.


Final Reflection

Wow! I can’t believe that Eminent is over! The stress and anxiety as a master procrastinator is finally over, replaced by the sweet feeling of success when I presented my speech and my Learning Center. Even though Night of the Notables was on November 22nd, I’m still in shock. I actually finished this project!


A major goal of mine was to learn more about the women’s rights movement of the seventies and eighties, also known as second-wave feminism. I wanted to learn about the culture that was prevalent, as well as stereotypes that were perpetuated by society in that time period. Through my interview, I was able to learn a lot about the culture in America at the time, as my interviewee, Lynn Sherr was a reporter at ABC and a “card-carrying feminist.” As a feminist, she was able to think critically about the culture and told me about her own experiences as a working woman., and this was essential to me reaching my goal.

Next year, I hope to take a more practical approach to Eminent. To improve my learning, I would like to create a calendar for an approximate time frame. I think this will help me avoid procrastination, which was a large problem for me.


One aspect of Night if the Notables I will remember is the speeches. I thought that they were quite well done, as they were engaging, thought-provoking, and laconic. I was impressed with how the grade tens were able to convey their chosen Notables’ eminence with only 90 seconds of time. All of these reasons made the speeches very memorable, and I look forward to performing mine next year.

Another aspect of Night of the Notables I will remember is my learning center. All of my hard work during Eminent finally paid off as I got to present a two minute, rapid-fire biography on Sally Ride. Hopefully, I conveyed what I wanted to convey: Sally Ride’s eminence.

My favorite part of my learning center was when I met people who knew who Sally Ride was; mothers and grandmothers who had watched Sally Ride blast off into space or heard about her legendary accomplishment as the first American woman in space. These were women who had seen first-hand the change that Sally Ride brought, and the overall impact of second-wave feminism. I was very happy to tell them more about Sally Ride’s life and other achievements, which often are glossed over when discussing space flight.

My little spiel on Sally Ride:

I would like to thank the following for their contributions to Night of the Notables, as Eminent would not be the same without them:

  • Mr. Morris, Ms. Mulder, Mr. Salisbury
    • Eminent would not be possible without the hard work, dedication, and creativity of the TALONS teachers.
  • My Mom
    • She helped me proofread any and all formal emails I sent and helped me with the visual aesthetic of my poster board. My Eminent project would not be the same without her!
  • My Dad
    • He took me out to buy the materials that I needed for eminent and helped bake the food for the potluck that we had.
  • The Tens, for exemplifying the possibilities of Eminent. I definitely draw on their ideas for my Learning Center next year.
  • The previous generations of TALONS, as they paved the way for a fun and exciting project.
  • Makenzie Manning, for recording my Learning Center when my phone ran out of storage.
  • Lynn Sherr, for responding to my interview request and being an amazing reasource

Document of Learning

For my eminent interview, I had the opportunity to interview Lynn Sherr, who worked as a reporter for ABC news and wrote a biography on Sally Ride. I feel very lucky for the opportunity to interview her, as she is very knowledgeable about women’s rights in the workplace.

For my eminent interview, I learned about women’s rights in the workplace. I chose to focus on Lynn Sherr’s experiences.  For example, she talked about how she and her colleagues “[…] used to joke that they (Wellesley College) had only 2 goals for us:  marriage or graduate school. (2017)” This demonstrates that women were expected to settle down and have children, which was a major issue concerning women’s rights. She also talked about how “Women weren’t anchors, plain and simple,” so it was interesting to hear how her gender influenced her professional opportunities. Lynn Sherr’s experiences were informative on the issue of women rights because they revealed how sexism affected her opportunities, and this information gave me a helpful perspective to utilize for my speech.

Looking back, I really appreciate the opportunity I received to interview Lynn Sherr. With my other research, I was limited to what others deemed important, but with my interview I had the freedom to explore topics that I thought were very interesting and important. People’s experiences are unique, individual things and when I chose to interview Lynn Sherr on hers I feel that the information I received advanced my project.

Annotated Bi-blog-graphy


Exploring Our Solar System

My eminent person, Sally Ride and her partner Tam O’Shaughnessy worked together on this book. This book has information on the solar system and is easy to read and understand. It is a testament to Sally Ride’s ingenious and capabilities as a science educator.

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space

This probably the most comprehensive biography on Sally Ride. Lynn Sherr, a close friend of Sally Ride and experienced journalist, was given full access to Sally Ride‘s old papers to write this book. This book was impossible to put down and gave a full and detailed account of Sally Ride‘s life.

Sally Ride: Life on a Mission

While not as comprehensive as Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space, this book assisted me in triangulating my information. It also contained some helpful diagrams and charts.

Space: From Earth to the Edge of the Universe
This book mostly contained general information about space. Its section on astronauts and the ISS was quite helpful. It supplied me with some well-appreciated background knowledge. It was also a very interesting read.

Women Astronauts

This book was a mother load of information. It contained information on the various female astronauts and cosmonauts, as well as a section on life in space, and the ‘Mercury Thirteen’-13 pilots who could have become the first group of female astronauts. It also contained quotations from various astronauts and 8 hours of footage.

Women Aviators: 26 stories of Pioneer Flights, Daring Missions, and Record-Setting Journeys

While this book had no chapters on Sally Ride, it talked about the history of women in flight. I found it helpful because it helped me gain some perspective on the prejudice and sexism that women faced as pilots. Also, Women Aviators discussed Jerrie Cobb, who I chose for the point of view of my speech.



NASA Space Shuttle Challenger Mission STS-7: Space Documentary – S88TV

This is a narrated documentary that detailed the days leading up to the STS 7 launch. It talked about launch procedures and contained a plethora of mission footage. I found it interesting to learn about the step leading to a space shuttle launch. 


A Ride In Space

Ride in Space is an article and interview published 1983 by People Magazine. It is about the sexism that Sally Ride received, primarily from the press, during the lead up to the STS-7 mission.

Astronaut Bio: Sally Ride

The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and NASA collaborated to publish this page. I found it helpful when I was formulating my interview questions and writing up my speech. All the information was laid out in a concise and clear manner, which was useful for me to reference..

Sally Ride Science

Sally Ride Science is Sally Ride‘s legacy as an organization that works with youth in science. The link is the official website for the organization and contains information about their work, recent and upcoming events, and SRS’s mission statement. 


The Lavender Scare

A Wikipedia article on the Lavender Scare, a movement in the 50’s that many likened to the ‘Red Scare‘ and McCarthyism (where the government fired thousands of queer people). This article provided me with the main events of the Lavender Scare, which provided context for my research on discrimination based on sexual orientation in the 60’s and 70’s.

Who Was Sally Ride?

NASA also published this article, which I read through when I was narrowing the plot-line of my speech. I would describe it as a very basic FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on Sally Ride, written for grades 5-8.

Why Sally Ride Waited Until Her Death to Tell the World She was Gay

NBC News wrote this article that includes an interview with Karen “Bear” Ride (Sally Ride’s sister). Also, it talked about the expectations that accompanied being an astronaut and touched on homophobia within NASA.

Blog Response- Opinions Sheet

I disagree with the statement “Anyone can raise themselves out of poverty if they  have enough determination,” because…

She wakes up to the squeak of the rusted door on its worn hinges. A brisk wind flows into the gloomy sweatshop. It offers a brief respite from the cotton dust that fills the air of the cramped carpet factory, where giant looms dwarf her tiny body. The sun has yet to rise, but the factory owner barks at the small children to work. Maybe her tiny hands could fly across the loom, weaving faster than ever before. Perhaps she could work vigorously enough, quickly enough, for long enough that she could settle the debt that her family owes.  She hears seductive promises of a better life. She just needs to be more determined. Maybe one day she could settle this debt, provide food for her family’s table. But the factory owners have stacked the odds against her. They spread this concept of the American Dream, a promise of social mobility, of prosperity, to those who earn it. A belief that if one fights tooth and nail with all their intent, one can drag themselves out of the worst poverty. Unfortunately, the American Dream is not realistic. No amount of initiative, drive, or determination can atone for the fact that she’s never seen the inside of a classroom, never even opened a book. It can’t compensate for the fact that her parents sold her into slave labor at the age of five to put food on the table or to satisfy a decades-old debt. Any opportunity her future may have held has been lost as wealthy factory owners exploit her labor to line their pockets. She is but only one of the millions of impoverished child laborers who have been robbed of a childhood and a future because of where they were born and the greed of others. How can we expect children supposed to pull themselves out of poverty? How can we possibly preach a message of hope and determination when we live in a such a corrupt, capitalist world?


Speech Storytelling Arc

Main focus: I want to talk about feminism in that era (the eighties) and how Sally Ride was a symbol of change in a typically conservative agency (NASA) and field (STEM).


Exposition: I want to talk about NASA’s decision to allow women and minorities to become astronauts, and introduce Sally’s character as a Ph.D. student navigating the admissions process


Conflict Introduced: Talk about the sexism in that era, which is unimaginable to a lot of youth today*


Talk about how the astronauts were used as a source of American propaganda

  • maybe touch on homophobia
  • high expectations for astronauts
  • a role model for young girls interested in STEM
  • difficulties in the application process
    • NASA was filled with a lot of straight white men who were used to having a position of power


Talk about the misinformation and misconceptions that were rampant inside NASA


Talk about sexism that she faced from the press, including rude and oblivious questions asked by male reporters-ex: “When things go wrong on training mission do you weep?”


Sally sitting on the Challenger, preparing to blast off into space


How Sally Ride proved without a doubt that women are capable of accomplishing all the things that men can


Founding Sally Ride Science

*NOTE: I am currently working to secure an email with Lynn Sherr, who is an eminent feminist who covered the STS 7 mission and wrote a comprehensive biography on Sally

Ride, Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space

“Ride, Sally, Ride!” chanted the crowd on an early Saturday morning as the Challenger shuttle blasted off into space. Inside, Sally Ride made history, becoming the first American woman to fly to space.

Sally Kristen Ride was born May 26th, 1951 to parents Joyce and Dale Ride in idealistic Southern California. She was intrinsically shy and was nurtured by her parents in a progressive, free-thinking household. Sally’s parents never expected less of her because of her gender, and she was raised to love both sports and academics from an early age. As a teen, she attended a private, all-girls school where she took advanced classes and spent the weekend playing competitive tennis. She took classes at UCLA before transferring to Stanford to complete a rare double major.

While Sally Ride was studying to complete her Ph.D., a front-page article on The Stanford Daily caught her eye. “NASA to Recruit Women” the paper stated, and Ride chose to apply as a ‘mission specialist’. She was successful and was one of the class of thirty-five new astronauts (known as thirty-five new guys or TFNG). This group of astronauts was the first to include women and racial minorities. Sally Ride also managed to complete her Ph.D. while in training. Hard work and rigorous studying paid off as Sally was selected to be the first American woman in space. Once Dr. Ride was named, she often experienced passive sexism, which she deflected or shut down using her famed wit.

Sally Ride also co-founded Sally Ride Science (S.R.S), a non-profit organization that is dedicated to engaging middle school learners in the STEM fields. She dedicated her later life to S.R.S. and inspired many young girls with her work. She worked with UC San Diego to bring this program to youth across the country, and it’s still running.


I chose Sally Ride as my Eminent person because of her work as the first female astronaut and entrepreneur. She broke down so many barriers and dedicated her life to helping others. She also used her celebrity to raise awareness about important issues, and inspire the future generations. Sally Ride is not only an inspiration to me, she is an inspiration to thousands of girls and young women across the country.

An important part of Eminent is connecting to our chosen person. I created a chart to compare and contrast our two lives. I used an idea from Aislyn’s post “MacKaye and I”, and made a table to compare our lives.

Sally Ride Caitlin Owens
Has been to space Has not been to space
Was born in California Has lived in California
Interested in science Interested in science
Introvert Introvert
Born in the 50’s/Baby Boomer Born in the 2000’s/Gen. Z
Part of the LGBTQ+ community Part of the LGBTQ+ community
Played tennis Plays field hockey
Agnostic Agnostic


I am very excited for Eminent and Night of the Notables. Sally Ride is an interesting person with an incredible life, and I look forward to learning more about her.

T-minus 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… AND LIFTOFF! Night Of the Notables, here I come! 

If you are interested in learning more about Sally Ride, you can check out the complete biography I made:

Sally Ride: A Biography