Category Archives: Uncategorized

What Makes a Game Great

This week we took a break from the technical practice and stepped in to a new realm. What truly makes a game fun to play? In class this week we talked about game design, less about creating a game, and more about designing one. In class we sat and discussed, what made our favorite games special, and what did we dislike about them?

Most people chose series of many games, or a single game that has been updated over several years, which allowed us to discuss our likes and dislikes over time.  People mostly chose well enjoyed series like Animal Crossing or Fallout. I personally chose the Pokemon DS games as well as World of Warcraft (WoW), two very different games. Though a theme rang true among not only my games, but most other people’s, the games had gotten easier and easier over the years, to the point that some titles became hardly fun.


As I reflected on my own choices, I noticed that my main problems with the games was the fact that they had become way to easy. I gave up playing the Pokemon DS series about 5 years ago, because it had gotten to the point I could play through the new games without ever trying. Then when I thought on WoW, which I do still play, I found myself upset with the new player catch-up systems. In simple, the game feels unrewarding because new players can catch up to veteran players, even without very much skill. This leaves the player pool Diluted in terms of skill, and also unrewarding for Veterans because new players will catch up to our hard work very easily. WoW is approaching the point of “Why Bother?” simply because it is as easy to be very casual as it is to be mildly hardcore.


I think that the idea that video games have gotten easier over the past decade is true. Most games now can be picked up by anyone, and completed relatively quickly and without struggle. I personally feel modern video games often lack the feeling of accomplishment that comes with working hard at something, and then finally succeeding,

Pokemon Pearl. Game Stop,
Accessed 6 Nov. 2018.

World of Warcraft. Wikipedia, Accessed
6 Nov. 2018.

Hot off the PRESS!

Whether it be through other organizations or through news outlets themselves, being featured through the news and through various platforms is a major accomplishment for The Girl Narrative. I was recently interviewed for a podcast called Nonprofit Jenni, who has thousands of listeners across America. Today, I’ll be talking about what it means to be in the news and why these features are so big for us.


The Girl Narrative was recently featured on the Nonprofit Jenni Show, a podcast streaming through Spotify, Apple Podcast, and many other platforms that talks to CEOs and other Executive Officers around nonprofits, volunteer work, and the nitty-gritty ugly work behind the businesses (Click the link to see more about the Nonprofit Jenni Show).

I have talked previously about how we have been featured on many other organizations pages in my previous blog We’re In a Serious Relationship…Actually a Few, where I talked about how our article about Alana Mayfield was featured on Go Live Girl’s page. However, this new medium for us (podcasts) as introduced The Girl Narrative to an entirely new group of people who maybe prefer to hear articles instead of reading them.

Let me try to put this into perspective. Say, for example, you are a student who is in a deep study of biology. You have been featured on other students and nonprofit pages. Then, after so much of your work, you have been asked to be interviewed by an organization that has thousands of listeners, and this interview will be streamable online. This massive step is exactly what this means for The Girl Narrative; a start to being introduced to new spheres of people and the start of more collaborations.


In this interview, I talked with Jenni about how young people are beginning to be deeply involved with other nonprofits both domestically and internationally, and what other organizations can do to engage this new, driven generation. If you would like to hear my interview, you can look for the Nonprofit Jenni Show on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or on Google Play and look up Season 3 Episode 2: Nontraditional Volunteers You May Have Forgotten About.

When I first heard the interview (I’m not gonna lie)…I cringed. I hated hearing myself speak. I felt as though I was clunky and awkward, and I hated it. But I need to remind myself; I have only just started. I am not a seasoned professional in interviews and oral press releases; I am just starting.

This has been a recurring theme that I have found that I will undoubtedly write about later; I am constantly disappointed in myself as a CEO. I feel as though I am never doing enough for my nonprofit and that all of my nitty-gritty work is not getting me anywhere. But the truth is I could never do enough for my nonprofit. I could always be doing more, being more, and writing more, but because I am a student and a naturally flawed human, I can’t do all of the things that I want to do.

So when I begin to critique myself whether it be through my upcoming news stories either about myself or The Girl Narrative or through my own performance as a CEO, I remind myself to take a deep breathe and be patient; I am not the perfect CEO and I never will be. But I want to keep working to be better because that is what’s important for The Girl Narrative.

Sabrina Schoenborn

CEO & Founder of

The Girl Narrative


Schoenborn, Sabrina B. “‘Hear Our Girls: Alana Mayfield’ by Sabrina Schoenborn, The Girl

Narrative.” LiveGirl,

Hargrove, Jenni. “The Nonprofit Jenni Show.” Nonprofit Jenni,

Hargrove, Jenni. “Jenni Hargrove (@Nonprofitjenni) .” Instagram,

Hargrove, Jenni. “Nonprofit Jenni Show.” Spotify,

The Spring Model Continued – Baiting


In the past two weeks, I worked on Second Order Differential Equations with constant coefficients and learned more about the Spring-Damper Model. In this blog, I will provide a brief recap of the basic knowledge, and then provide further analysis of the same model. If you are interested in my last blog, please visit here.

Recap of Critical Definition from my Last Blog:

1. The standard form of homogeneous second order differential equations is:

WeChat Screenshot_20181019091555

  • In which y is a function of tt is the independent variable, and A, B are arbitrary constants. While analyzing the spring-damper model, the independent variable t represents time.

2. The characteristic equation is:

WeChat Screenshot_20181019092258

  • To solve a homogeneous second order differential equation with constant coefficient, set


  • Solve for r, then use WeChat Screenshot_20181019091131.png to find y.

3. The spring-damper model is in the form of

WeChat Screenshot_20181021171514.png

  • m is the mass of the block, b is the damping constant, and k is the spring constant.
  • If you wonder how we get this equation, please check the link above and read my last blog.



After reviewing the basic knowledge, we are now ready to analyze the damping of the spring-damper model! In this case, we will first transform

WeChat Screenshot_20181021171514.png



Remember that mass never equal to 0, so these two equations are equivalent.

And then the characteristic equation becomes

WeChat Screenshot_20181103131532.png

We first need to analyze how the roots (r) behave in the characteristics equation. We can use the same analysis for quadratic equation:

WeChat Screenshot_20181103132049.png

In this blog, we will look at “underdamping” in detail. If you are interested in other two types of damping, please first try to analyze them yourself then visit here.

First, I want to look at the implications of b^2<4mk in general. This may mean three things:

  1. The damping constant b is small, which means the damper is weak.
  2. The spring constant k is large, which means the spring is strong.
  3. The mass is large, which means the block is heavy.

Imagine either one of the three cases, then you will find that as long as the mass(m) is not too big to break the spring, the block will oscillate and goes back to its equilibrium position. Let’s now try to prove this assumption mathematically!

First, since we haveWeChat Screenshot_20181103132049.png, we can set

WeChat Screenshot_20181103141617

So that

WeChat Screenshot_20181103142027.png

Plug it back into x and take the real part, we have

WeChat Screenshot_20181103145701.png

Notice that since the value in cos and sin are the same, we can use the sinusoidal identities and transform the equation into

WeChat Screenshot_20181103145723.png

In which

WeChat Screenshot_20181104193319

Following this equation, we would find:

  1. When t (time) approaches infinite, (position) approaches 0. Which means it goes back to its equilibrium position. This agrees with our assumption.
  2. The position of the block versus time should somehow follow the cosine function, which means it has a period and oscillates up and down. This agrees with our assumption.

If assign arbitrary values to b, m, and and plot the function, we would find something look like:

WeChat Screenshot_20181103151009.png

Graph from MIT Open Course Ware

And this is how underdamping looks like!! And conventionally, you can imagine the damper as gravity, and thus the motion would look like this:

Image result for spring damper gif

In this blog, we looked at how a block oscillate with a spring and a damper when the damper is weak. We also analyzed and found the math agrees with our common sense in real life. In fact, many of our observations have an origin in physics or mathematics. As long as we use deliberately use math as a tool, we will be able to explain them!

Starting now, I will be still working on the online course and building my knowledge. But I will also start to refer more to other models not covered in the course material. Hope you will find them interesting and meaningful!


Mattuck, A., Miller, H., Orloff, J., & Lewis, J. (2011, Fall). 18.03SC Differential Equations. Retrieved November 5, 2018, from MIT Open Course Ware website:

Zhu, B. (2018, October 21). Spring Model – Baiting [Blog post]. Retrieved from Independent Seminar Blog:


ΠΕΛΛΗΣ, Σ. (2012, October 20). ΦΘΙΝΟΥΣΕΣ ΤΑΛΑΝΤΩΣΕΙΣ [Illustration]. Retrieved from

Pasami. (2018, January 12). File:Spring-mass under-damped.gif [Illustration]. Retrieved from

Fleeing the Cuban Revolution|Part I–Nina Wei

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 12.35.27

Getty Images, Cuban and American Flags

To capture a firm understanding of the effects of Cuba’s Revolution on Cuban Americans, I decided to first explore the history of Cuban migration to the U.S. and the dynamics within Cuban American communities established in the U.S.. In the last three weeks, I focused my research on specific historical conditions that induced waves of Cubans to leave their country, the social makeup of the Cuban population involved in different migration movements, and potential factors that caused divisions within Cuban American communities.  This blog post and the following one will be devoted to sharing my interpretation of the Cuban Revolution and Castro’s Communist rule through the lens of Cuban Americans.

Since Castro’s overthrow of Batista’s regime in 1959, at least four major waves of Cuban immigration to the U.S. took place. Most of the fleeing Cubans who left Cuba were pressured to leave due to decaying economic conditions under the new government (Buffington, “Cuban”). The first wave involving 250,000 Cubans immigrants occurred immediately after Castro’s takeover in 1959 and continued until The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. As mentioned in my last post, Castro was determined to modernize the Cuban economy after claiming his authority by transferring private properties to communal ownership. On one hand, leading his government in this direction largely benefited the poor because of shared goods. On the other hand, Castro’s rule also disadvantaged the upper-middle-class by depriving them of their earned wealth. In addition to including former officials of the Batista government, the first wave therefore was dominated by mostly white, middle-aged, well-educated, and comparatively wealthy merchants, bankers, professors, and businesspeople (Cortés, Multicultural).

As a result of intensified U.S.-Cuban relationship after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the second wave of Cuban immigration to the U.S. began in 1965 and ended in 1973. Cuba allowed the U.S. to organize “Freedom Flights” that airlifted around 340,000 Cubans to Miami, Florida. This migration movement continued to be mainly composed of white and educated people from the middle class, many of whom were relatives of Cubans who had immigrated in the first wave(“Cuban Americans”). Aided by the Cuban Refugee Emergency Center in Miami, founded by President Eisenhower, many Cuban refugees gained assistance in finding employment, healthcare, and education(Cortés, Multicultural).

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 12.35.50

1994 Cuban Refugees


The next influx of Cubans, known as the Mariel Boatlift, started in 1980 when Castro eliminated restrictions on fleeing Cubans who opposed his regime. These 125,000 refugees, also called “Marielitos,” had a different makeup than previous waves, containing significant numbers of  Afro-Cubans from lower and working classes. Castro’s efforts to sustain his Cuban model after the collapse of Soviet Union in the 1980s did not improve the faltering economy. As more Cubans sought opportunities across the shore, the fourth(and the newest) wave of immigrants reached southern Florida(Buffington, “Cuban”).

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 12.35.43

McRae, Exploring Little Havana

The majority of Cubans from the four waves of immigration resided in Miami, Florida, establishing a vibrant and distinct community called “Little Havana.” Cuban Americans differ from other Latino communities in the U.S. and vary in their social and political affiliations. The first two waves were predominantly consisted of higher class and white Cubans, whereas the last two waves had majority of blue-collar laborers and black, the later immigrated Cuban Americans had more difficulties such as rejection and discrimination in adapting to lives in the U.S.(“Cuban Americans”). The immigrants during the last two waves were for the most part blue-collar and black and faced a great deal of difficulties and racism while trying to adapt to life in the U.S.

In addition to learning the social makeup of migrated population to the U.S., I gained insights to factors causing the generation gap within Cuban American communities; this was the field of my interest explained at the end of my last blog post. I discovered that the generational divide might have stemmed from varying political stances in immigrated Cuban families. First-generation Cuban immigrants advocated more staunchly for an anti-communist and conservative stance compared to second and third-generation Cuban Americans. This divide could be evidenced by voting patterns of Cuban Americans in recent decades. According to Buffington, Cuban Americans had the reputation to vote for the Republican Party throughout 1990s to early 2000s, with 70% of them voting for President George H.W. Bush in the 1992 presidential election and more than 78% of them supporting Republican candidates in 1998. However, from 2008, the statistics show that although older generations maintained allegiance to the Republicans, about 50% of Cuban Americans under the age of 30 chose to favor the Democratic Party. Also, in 2012, President Obama gained 47% of the votes from Cuban Americans, which was 10% higher than the Cuban American votes garnered in the 2008 election(“Cuban”).

I concluded from several sources that the tendency for older generations to support the Republican Party can be credited to the following factors. First, President Kennedy’s failure to dispose Castro in the Bay of Pigs invasion diminished democratic support from immigrated Cuban Americans in the earlier waves of migration. Second, Bill Clinton’s decision to return the six-year-old Cuban refugee, Élian González, that was rescued at sea to his father in Cuba spurred dismay within Cuban American communities. Moreover, this article from 2014 demonstrates that Obama’s intent to normalize the diplomatic and economic relationship between Cuba and the United States upsets older-generation Cuban Americans. Martinez and Jacqueline contend that despite having great historical value, many senior Cuban-Americans strongly opposed Obama’s plan.

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 12.35.36

Getty Images, Barack Obama and Raul Castro in 2016

Those who were most traumatized by the Cuban revolution were unaccompanied Cuban children airlifted to the U.S. through the U.S.-sponsored operation named Pedro Pan. The article quoted also Estela Bueno, a participant of the Pedro Pan at 15, explaining her belief that the younger generation had not seen or experienced the cruelty of Castro’s communist government, and that Obama’s intention was “an insult and a betrayal” to those Cuban refugees.

The generation gap becomes apparent as I studied the poll data and stories of Cuban-American communities. Castro’s revolution and turn towards communism was closely related to Cuban migration movements. The upper-middle-class escaped the island under publicization of their properties in earlier stages of immigration; the lower-class fled their homes seeking for economic opportunities abroad, and children were separated from their parents while striving to survive in a foreign community. The development of Communism in Cuba has shaped the Cuban American community to be diverse and divided. Varying social status and political views became obstacles to the community’s assimilation to the U.S. culture.

In next week’s post I will continue to examine the immediate and enduring effects of the Cuban Revolution on Cuban Americans. I am looking forward to strengthening my understanding of this topic by interpreting pieces of literature and conducting an interview, which will be different from my previous approach of analyzing informative reference sources.

Works Cited


Buffington, Sean T. “Cuban Americans.” Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, edited by Thomas Riggs, 3rd ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2014, pp. 591-605. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 15 Oct. 2018.

Cortés, Carlos E. Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia. Los Angeles, SAGE Publ., 2013.

“Cuban Americans.” Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, edited by Timothy L. Gall and Jeneen Hobby, 2nd ed., vol. 2: Americas, Gale, 2009, pp. 166-169. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 15 Oct. 2018.

Martinez, Michael, and Jaqueline Hurtado. “Generation Gap: Renewed Ties Expose Painful Cuban-American Rift.” CNN, 2018 Cable News Network, 27 Dec. 2014, Accessed 29 Oct. 2018.


Getty Images. Barack Obama and Raul Castro in 2016. Fortune, 2018 Time, Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.

—. Cuban and American Flags. NBC Miami, 2018 NBCUniversal Media, Accessed 29 Oct. 2018.

McRae, Hunter. Exploring Little Havana’s Calle Ocho. The New York Times, 2018 The New York Times Company, Accessed 29 Oct. 2018.

1994 Cuban Refugees., Accessed 29 Oct. 2018.

Why We Changed Our Name – Sabrina

I changed the name of my nonprofit from Project G.I.R.L to The Girl Narrative this previous summer 2018, and I don’t think I could have made a better decision for my business.

For the first 4 months of being Project G.I.R.L, things were going as any new business was going; we were beginning to build our foundation, our audience, and our marketing plan for the future. Later on, there were several issues that presented themselves that caused me to seriously reconsider our name.


1. Project G.I.R.L is great…but it’s generic


a. When I really got to thinking about it, When you hear the name Project G.I.R.L, you have no idea what we do, who we are, or what our goals are. It is beautiful and fantastic but is overall too generic. When you are building the foundation of your business there are two incredibly important things you need to have: consistency and clarity.  


2. There were other organizations that had similar names


a. I remember when I was interviewing Gauri Kapoor, CEO and founder of the after-school program The Girl and I (read our article about her daughter in the program here!), she got confused because she tried to look us up, but found another nonprofit organization. This was also not a one-time-incident. We were constantly confused with other organizations that sounded similar or had similar elements to Project G.I.R.L


3. Our message wasn’t clear


a. This is the biggest reason that we changed our name. Project G.I.R.L tells you nothing about what we want to achieve or why we are important. You would be able to guess that we had something to do with young female empowerment, but other than that, you would have no idea what we do.

LOGOThe Girl Narrative is unique, our own, and clearly states what we do. We TELL the Girl Narrative. We tell the stories of strong young women to inspire girls to be limitless. Now, with our new name, our partners like March Against Revenge Porn, Nonprofit Jenni, Live Girl (and more!), our audience, and our future customers (HINT! HINT!) will be able to find us, know us, and connect with us better. It doesn’t make it effortless, running a business is never effortless, but it does make things a little easier.


Sabrina Schoenborn 

CEO and Founder of

The Girl Narrative


Kapoor, Gauri. “Home.” The Girl And I,

Schoenborn, Sabrina “Mahika Chopra.” The Girl Narrative,

Juliett, Leah. “#MARCH AGAINST REVENGE PORN.” March Against Revenge Porn,

Hargrove, Jenni. “Home.” Nonprofit Jenni,

West, Sheri. “Home.” LiveGirl,

Schoenborn, Sabrina “Home.” The Girl Narrative,




Bank Account Model – Baiting

In the past two weeks, I continued my learning on First Order Linear Differential Equations. In this blog, I will focus on the Bank Account Model. If you find this blog is interesting and would like to learn more from my primary source, please go here.

Bank Account Model:

When you are putting money into your bank account, what would you care about the most? While I guess the answer for me and many will be the interest. So in this model, we will look at the logarithm behind the (theoretical) interest system. Continue reading

Constantly Being Told “No.” – Sabrina








NoRunning a business has truly been a test of patience. Being told no all day every day is exhausting, there is no way around that. It feels as if there is only a descent. As someone who was expecting some ups and downs, it was a harsh reality to realize that, for most of my process, it has been a straight descent. Continue reading

Conclusion and Results


With the end of the year approaching, I’m thinking back on what I set my original goal to be for this project. I knew I had a passion for learning about the reasoning behind people’s actions, and why socially aggressive behaviors exist among us. This prompted me to shoot for two things: a deeper understanding of social aggression and related topics, and to make any kind of change within my own community. Continue reading

Assistant Teaching- Alec B.

For my project, the accomplishments have been minor so far. I have been sitting in on eighth grade classrooms and observing the nature of the class and interactions between teacher and student. I have stepped in a few times to give input to students on how their work is.

In the future, I will be finding time to go into lower school, primarily fourth and fifth grade to do what I have been doing which is observing and helping out with certain assignments and activities. Also, with eighth grade, I will be attempting to lead discussions in the book they’re reading.

I don’t see any adjustments there need to be to achieve my goal, because my goal is to gain the experience of being in the classroom and what the roll of being a teacher is like.

The Competition for Inferiority

        Have you ever noticed how many girls and women, when complimented, will immediately deny it or deflect it back to the other person? It often looks something like this:

        “Your hair looks so good today!”

        “Ugh, are you kidding? It’s so flat. I wish mine looked more like yours…”

        I think many people can admit to using this tactic. I hadn’t even realized the commonality of it until just recently when I overheard a couple of girls in the bathroom at school. Initially, their tones could have been mistaken for an argument; they were bantering back and forth while simultaneously inspecting their own bodies and faces in the mirror. As I took a closer listen to their conversation, I realized they were talking back and forth about who looked worse that day.  They weren’t claiming that they looked better than the other, but the opposite. It was as if they were partaking in a competition of inferiority and self-hate. After reflecting on it for a bit, I wondered why girls believe that in order to bond with one another or build each other up, they must first tear themselves down.

        Responding to compliments can be tricky and even awkward. We can all agree to that. But in the situation of a girl receiving a compliment, it is very difficult for her to respond in a way that will resinate positively with everyone. If she responds by denying the compliment or deflecting it back onto the other, she may often be perceived as though she is fishing for more compliments from the other person, or an ‘attention seeker’. If the response goes the other way, and she responds with a smile and a ‘thank you’, an acknowledgement that she agrees with them, she runs the risk of being called conceited or overly confident. This is one of the many times in which girls just cannot win; they are constantly bombarded with contradicting messages of how they should act in a society. Where does this complicated situation originate?

        It may be possible that this negative self talk is just another repercussion caused from an overly critical society. It’s a historical fact that women who make the choice to carry themselves confidently and acknowledge their own success or positive qualities have been tormented by a patriarchal society, fueled by intimidation and insecurity. Not only have men been known to fear a woman who does not carry herself like she is inferior to him, but for centuries, women have attempted to tear down the one at the top, due to jealousy of escaping the social norm of being silenced and modest. Women are simply held to higher standards by society; Pew Research Center states that 50% of people believe that women’s higher expectations in the work field is considered one of the major barriers for women’s success (Pew Social Trends: Obstacles to Female Leadership). Self confident women have been feared and hated forever possibly due to the fact that they refuse to carry out the expectations set onto them by others, either in a work or social setting. It is human nature for girls and women to feel as though it is their responsibility to prove that they are the self-critical, modest beings that society has so long told us we have to be to prevent being targeted. 

        What’s so flawed about this system is that it is promoting the vicious cycle of inequality for women. On the surface, this game of who-can-pity-herself-more may seem completely harmless. It even may boost the ego of the other person involved who is hearing her compliments being dished right back towards her. However, every time we make even a small comment laced with self hate, we are doing a disservice to woman as a whole. If all of us continue to encompass a mindset that we will be unable to bond with others or succeed without first cutting ourselves down, we will be taking two steps back for every step forward.

        So instead of giving in to this toxic urge to shame, hate, and compare ourselves to others, try looking at it from another perspective: ask yourself, why do I feel the need to criticize myself right now? Who is this benefiting? Once we realize that comparing and competing with others over qualities that we should be celebrating is not bringing women together, but instead supporting a longstanding patriarch in which women are unable to embrace their true greatness, we will be taking one step closer to breaking the system. So next time you hear a compliment, resist that urge to deny it. We are beautiful, and we all deserve to be able to embrace that.

– Liv, 3/7



“Chapter 3: Obstacles to Female Leadership.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 14 Jan. 2015,