Throughout the year in World History Class, there was a rush of many thoughts and ideas that rooted within the minds of students as well as I. Working on certain topics that focused on issues past and present in the world, we gain an understanding of how the world and people think.
Participating in the sweatshop trial was a turning point for me in this class. It was an awakening, I realized how certain governments and companies (ie. ours in the US) only look out for themselves. I believe that for the world to ever change, selfishness must cease. In the sweatshop trail, the US multinational corporations, the US consumers, and the government of the poor developing countries were taking advantage of the sweatshop workers. I played one of the sweatshop workers in the trail, what I had to say to all of the people who were forcing me to work was: "We are just a worthless tool used to fulfill greed. But by today, you shall know that we worth more, and we deserve more. You are nothing without us." (Iron Sweatshop Trial). In the trail it made us, the workers, seem as if we had a choice to work in the factories. The workers choices are very slim. It’s either you work in a factory and get some type of income to support you and your family or you along with your family die from poverty, starvation, disease and other things. Also being in the factories exposes you to disease so either way life all around is just crashing. Us, the U.S. consumers also have a part in this because we are blind and naive because we don’t know what’s going on but it’s our responsibility to find out because the government and the corporation tried to put a wool sheet over our heads to make us think everything is fine. Basically human life means nothing to them as long as theirs isn’t endanger.
However, people’s struggles wouldn’t be going on if colonialism didn’t happen. If countries weren’t greedy and took over other lands people would be living peace in their our society. "Colonialism in Australia forever changed the natives, these changes can’t be fixed. They left a scar on the people that will continue to the end of their exist." (Colonialism Benchmark) Colonialism in Australia started with the English taking over an invading the land where the aboriginals once lived and thrived. Colonialism dramatically affected the people, the English exposed them to alcohol and they killed most of their people.
In countries when the people are worn out to the maximum of what’s happening, rebellion begins. In our Revolutionary Digital story, I focus on revolutions from the past, researching I came to the conclusion that "All of these revolutions are just evidence that a revolution is a continuous battle that seems like they’re over but it’s actually the physical fighting that has ceased." (Revolution Digital Story). With selfishness, people who are degraded will never get what they are entitled to. Therefore revolutions go on and on… "Revolutions don’t end, they kindle on like an ember deep down within the hearts and minds of freedom seekers." (Revolution Digital Story)
Even in our own country (ha! It’s not really ours because of colonialism!) troubles from the other countries knock us in our faces. The media tries to make the Keystone XL Pipeline seem like it’s a good thing. Actually it’s not. The corporation building the pipeline is forcing people to move from their houses so they can place those pipes where their houses once stood. For the monologue project, I was a reporter that went corrupted because I turned my back on the lies the media was feeding the people of America. "But I’ve got news for you, your cheap propaganda doesn’t work for me. I will not conform to your image. You are not going to turn me into something i’m not. You thought that I could be another mouthpiece for the creed but I'm not ashamed to tell you that I'm not." (Pipeline Monologue) I thought it was important to tell the people what the government tries to cover up. Even though the pipeline creates jobs and made gas cheaper, people were suffering because they were going homeless and the earth is being ripped apart to dig for this oil.
Reading an article about this women from Nigeria but lives in the United States, she talks about how the media made her country look so bad. "An ongoing problem in the United States is that the media tries to only show the bad problems within a country instead of the good things that are actually happening." (Return to Nigeria). This not only happens to other countries but it happens in the US too. The media targets certain areas that are poor urban communities and always talks about all the bad that happens there. Rarely any good is talked about.
This world only looks out for itself. There are deceivers who only look out for themselves and steal from the poor to gain more profit. There needs to be change, in order for that to happen, we need to lend a helping hand to our neighbors. We can’t leave them worrying, and feeling helpless. "The 50 year old child who has to rome the streets worrying about what to happen in his future." (The Somebodies - Journal # 50).
My greater understanding of the world leads to my change which all started from Mr. Blocks World History Class. Thank you Mr. Block.
This year in world history I experienced things and explored new levels of thinking. History class wasn't basic or boring as I expected. With a new topic came a new lesson. Each lesson was unique and creative. Mr. Block used food and made us interact with each other. These lessons challenged me to do SLA's core values, inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, and reflection. Overall I learned a lot through this history class. I've learned how to put myself in others' shoes and how to respect others' culture. Here's a link to a project were I had to do a momolouge. I also learned how we as people all grow and learn with the help of others.
Throughout the year Mr. Block has given us a numerous number of projects and papers we had to complete. We've done plays, trials, roleplays, and more. We've gotten a chance to experience the different aspects of people in different places over the world. We’ve learned about sweatshops, human trafficking, colonisation, and more. Out of these three topics colonisation stood out to me the most. It was intriguing to me how someone can feel like they have the need to fix one’s society. Its like social media. In social media people are always painting a picture of how things should be. It’s either you’re too fat or your hair isn’t straight enough. And sometimes our worth and equality is based off that. In an assignment “Pathologies of Power” a similar topic was discussed. I think that “A cause of our society’s failure to face up and deal with is the erosion of equality”. As a society we base too much of our worth on external things rather than eternal things.
Colonisation can be described in different ways. It can be good or bad. If colonisation happens in a multipathing way then it can hurt the colonizer and the natives. I think that variety is a great thing. If everyone was the same life would be pretty boring but, with variety new conversations and ideas strike. Its the same with Biology. Everyone couldn’t have the same DNA because if one person became infected then every onc would become infected and die. Knowing this I was a little frustrated to why colonizers would try to change someone’s culture. In a journal I wrote “I think everyone grows and learns from the people around them. One can’t develop himself”. I think the world would be a better place today if people were respective of others’ way of living. I think that they should have learned from each other instead of despising each other. I also think that colonizers tried to hard to push their opinions on people who didn’t need them. In an assignment “Custer Died for Your Sins” I wrote “American try to fix things that aren’t broken. Sometimes when the oppressed side is fed up they rebel and start a revolution. Here's a link to a project of similar topic.
In conclusion I think this world history class was a great experience. I was never too thrilled about coming into a history class but Mr. Block’s class was different. It was a lot of reading but Mr. Block incorporated many activities to balance it out. I think I had a pretty successful year.
We (students) in some ways create our own quality of education by how much effort we put in. Looking back at my history class, my classmates and I did a great job of creating a quality education for ourselves. On all our worksheets, journals, benchmarks, and mock trials I found that community was extremely important in our history class. Opinions would not have been shared so openly while journaling if we did not have a great sense of community in the classroom. Even though SLA is small we are still able to make a change through analyzing, researching, and collaborating with one another.
Social change happens when various communities can come together in a non-violent way. Over the course of this academic year I have come to learn that conflict does not always have to lead to violence. All people are set apart by their religion, race, culture, and social class. However, one thing that makes us all the same is that we are all human, and once people can look beyond their differences they can see their shared humanity. Placing your beliefs behind you is a very difficult thing to do of course because it is hard for people to let their guards down. It is easier to dehumanize people rather than try to understand others cultures and beliefs. However, what I have learned this year is that problems can be solved and voices can be heard if various communities work together.
Over the past academic year I have challenged to think outside of a structured box. A box in which I was comfortable in, and knew no other way. I was hardly taught to believe that my opinions could be the answer or solution. During quarter three of this academic year, I was challenged to define what made a revolution successful. My definition was not based on what wikipedia told me or what a history book informed. It was all solely from my intelligent brain. In my benchmark I claimed in my video, “Non-violent revolutions are so important, so people can see how humanity can triumph politics.” (Quarter Three Benchmark) Before I began my research on violence in revolutions I already knew I was personally against violence. However, I felt I needed to learn more about violence in revolutions before I could make a definitive opinion or response. Moreover, I actually ended up learning that non-violence truly is a better way to conduct a revolution through reading online articles and watching YouTube videos of revolution. This taught me that my opinions do not always have to be validated or prompted by a history book.
Furthermore, the third quarter revolutions benchmark was not the only thing in history class that taught me more about having an educated opinion. Class discussions and journal entries were certainly an outlet for thoughts to be shared. For example, in a journal entry I wrote, “It's always men first.” (Journal Entry #24) This of course is a controversial statement to people from various communities. However when various groups of people come together to work with one another then you merge into one whole community. This relates to how social change can be achieved. Social change is happening in school classrooms when students work together to listen to one another and make a better society.
In my first quarter benchmark I stated, "It is important for them to let go of desire because Buddhist believe in being selfless and that all things are interconnected and that nothing can exist independently." This reminds me of Science Leadership Academies core values because we believe that collaboration with others is essential to learning. We as a school recognize that we are interconnected in our education and we cannot do our best work without learning from each other in one way or another. In my thirty-ninth journal I stated, "Colonization changes any/every man because anytime one human tries to take power over another human it ends badly." At SLA the teachers and administrators are of course leaders, but a overwhelming power is not help over students. This is how a strong community of all diverse people is developed.
Furthermore, collaboration requires people to be able to find similarities in their differences. This reminds me of a statement I made in my first quarter benchmark, "Both religions recognize themselves as servant leaders. Muslims are servant leaders to Allah. They worship and give all the glory to their God. Anything good that happens to a Muslim is because of Allah's grace. Buddhist are more servant leaders to the world… Buddhist however do this to maintain a positive Karma and to be interdependent." Islam and Buddhism are too very different religions but they meet common ground because they are both servants to someone or something. When Buddhist, Muslims, Christians, and Jews (or any other serving religious followers) recognize that they are all living for a similar reason they can collaborate to make an improved society.
Additionally, through learning about what we can do to achieve social change I have learned what we should not do. For example, during colonizations the Europeans were trying to create an improved society, however in the end they helped industrialize. However, they did not improve or help humanity. This happened they the colonizers looked with a distant view never trying to understand others. Journal forty-five reminds me of their distant view. In my journal I state, “Africa has been written historically with an outsider tone.” Social change nor collaboration can be successfully achieved if people look at each other in a distant or dehumanized way.
In conclusion, over the past year I have learned about having an open mind. This open mind has helped me form and develop thorough opinions to share with others. Furthermore, I have learned that social change happens when various communities can come together in a non-violent way. This general understanding has come from my first quarter religion benchmark because I learned so much about how many religions are actually very similar. This then showed me that if various people from different communities came together and learn more about each other then there could be positive social change in the world. Moreover, another general understanding that ties into communities functioning cohesively is collaboration. Collaboration that requires people to understand differences, but also seek for positive similarities. Even though I did a lot of research on my own; I could not have learned as much or grown so much as a student without the help from my classmates and Mr. Block. So thank you!
Some other quotes from this school year:
1.) "I do not think it is important to apologize for something that happened one hundred years ago….. However, I do not think you should completely disregard the injustice that happened." - Journal #19
2.) "In conclusion, Buddhist are more focused on themselves creating their own fate and interconnecting with the universe. On the other hand, Islam is more about making Allah happy and doing what Allah calls the Muslims to do. " - first quarter benchmark
3.) "I think it's very interesting how people in the muslim religion believe the hijab is liberating, but people outside the muslim religion have an opposite opinion." - Women and the Hijab worksheet
4.) "If culture limits how an individual can advance, then it is underdeveloped." - Different Views of Development worksheet
In september of my sophomore year I found out that I was in Mr. Blocks world history class. When finding this out I went to my sister which is and alumni of SLA for advice, thinking back I didn't really take it. I walked into the class thinking that it was going to be super boring because history is not what I would call my favorite subject in school. But immediately Mr. Block shut down the idea that it would be boring. The first day he gave out m&m’s and did an activity with us which I believe really engaged the class to learn more so they could possible get more m&m’s. This was just the beginning of many more interactive activities.
11 quotes from my work
1.) A messages that "The world is just" cartoon may be trying to get across to its audience is that the world will never be able to agree on what justice for all really means- Journal # 40
2.) People who work for social justice see the world as incredibly sad - pathologies of power worksheet
3.) American live in a fantasy land and fall in love with un real things- Vine Deloris worksheet
4.)It made us seem like freaks and that we do a lot of unnecessary things that when in reality thats not what the american culture is really all about. They totally twisted up our culture so just for this reason its not acceptable to judge another culture.- Journal #3
5.) How can another child of Buddah be trusted with knowing the truth?- Sacred text analysis
6.) Go to combat with HIV/AIDS, malaria and other popular diseases , without the education no one would be able to have the knowledge on how to control or overcome the disease.- Different views of development
7.)The point is that foreign investments are not the key to solving poverty. it might just be making them sink even deeper into poverty.- "Globalization worksheet"
8.) All I do is try.. I try but can never succeed in what I do. Being a stay at home has not been as good as the rich people make it look. My husband can not do this all alone… He is constantly losing his jobs because of his pride.- Keystone pipeline monologue
9.) The Congo exhibit it to show that colonialism comes from hatred of one culture to another culture and trying to enforce change- quarter four benchmark
10.)Good afternoon jurors we are all here today to to figure out who is the blame for “dehumanizing" workers and corrupting the environment of the workers.- Sweatshop Trial
11.) Though each party shares the blame we believe the consumers and poor party allege make up the largest portion of the shared blame. the country ruling elite are responsible for encouraging global sweatshops which is an important part in the problem. Without the encouragement from them there would be nothing pushing to have people working in ridiculous conditions. The consumers also take on majority of the blame because more than most of them are aware of the conditions the poor workers are living in and the ridiculous wages they make (or a lack there of), but they decide to ignore what they are paying for. we the System are innocent. the system is completely run by the people and the people who are running us could also put in the effort to change us if they feel the system is not good enough. there is us there are many other systems that need some changes but we can only change if the people change.-Sweatshop Trial
This year in World History, I learned about different countries throughout the world. If I was asked to give a theme about my history class this year, I would say the main idea was change. People all over the world have been fighting oppressors for their rights since the beginning of time. Earlier in the year during our revolution unit, we focused a lot on Ukraine. The people were trying to start a revolution to change the government. They read books and studied different revolution tactics. They took a lot of strategies from Egypt's revolution a few years earlier. The key thing they learned is that the point of a revolution is too see change, and in no circumstance should you leave before you see drastic improvements. I learned that strategies in revolutions evolve over time due to trial and error.
Majority of the countries we learned about this year are not considered first world countries so I did not learn a lot about them previously. One thing a number of these countries had in common is that they started off wealthy. When I found this out, I spent the first three marking periods wondering how they went from these amazing dynasties to the state they are in today. When the fourth quarter began, I learned how this decline was possible. The explanation behind it is colonization. And another thing these countries had in common is how they were colonized. The countries acknowledged that the land was not theirs but everyones. Western civilizations had a different opinion on the land and felt that they should claim everything for the name of their lords. I find it fascinating that every group of natives accepted the explorers and welcomed them into their land. In some cases the natives even seemed to help and aid the explorers in taking over their land.
Alot of people have problems with the way society is today, but they seem to forget you don't have to sit back and wait for an epidemic, you can start one yourself. In the beginning of the year, we learned about the Keystone XL Pipeline. We talked about the pros and cons to extending the pipeline. Alot of people in the classroom had different ideas and views and opinions on what should be done. We didn’t realize it, but we ourselves can really get involved and make a difference in our communities. Petitions are a great way to create awareness about problems and issues in our communities. This may not be the biggest way to create a change, but it is a great start.
This year I learned many lessons I will never forget. I think the one I remembered most was in the Things
In September 2013, I entered my World History class I was assigned to and found that my teacher was Mr. Block. I wasn’t very excited to have history because I never really liked the class, or the the things that were taught in it. But, the first day of history, we actually were having a discussion and ended up using M&M’s. M&M’s? Oh, I could tell that it was going to be a fun year!
My favorite activity and project in history this year was the first trial. Actually, it was all of the trials. I loved those. I loved that I could put my opinion in the trial along with all the research that I did, depending on what I was assigned to. It was also hard for me because other peoples opinions weren’t always right in my eyes and I don’t agree with people easily.
In one of my first journals, I said, "Not to procrastinate and to get my work done when I first get it.." (Journal Entry #4). This made me think about all the struggles I had in History class this year. It was hard for me to adjust to the “sophomore lifestyle” but I think I did an okay job. I did slack for some quarters, and in the end I tried to pull everything together and I think I need to work on that the most. Next year I really need to begin to procrastinate less, because it is a very crucial and important year.
Creativity happened in history class this year during the keystone pipeline monologue project in the beginning in the year. For that project, I used creativity in the way I wrote my monologues, the way I talked in my video and just the whole thing overall.
So I did have some bad expectations and things that I didn’t like, but it turned out okay. There were a bunch of assignments I loved and a bunch that i hated. The projects and the worksheets were a little intense since we did sometimes get them back to back, but it was fine. I think that from all of this, I have learned to just be more productive at an earlier time.
Links to my work:
I remember sitting in class one day having a debate about how whether or not you are allowed to criticize someone’s culture. It was a good debate, in the sense that everyone contributed their opinions respectfully and thoughtfully. In that moment, I realized that we were all collaborating to come up with an opinion. Social change happens when people’s views begin to coincide.
During the first quarter, we received a benchmark that asked us to create monologues that talked about the Keystone pipeline XL from 3 different perspectives. At first I thought that a project like that would be pointless. I felt like making monologues had nothing to do History class and it wouldn’t go with the circular. But it turns out, the more we progress into the unit, the more I began to see that there was a connection between the monologues and the overall unit. Many people didn’t want the pipeline to be built, as they believed it would cause problems in the country and it’s just more money being taken away from the people. We ended up watching videos of people protesting the pipeline and it was then that I finally got the connection. The video showed that"the economy was the biggest concept being thrown at you (Keystone Pipeline XL video)".
After moving on from the monologues units, we jumped back in time to the revolutions of the world. From the French revolution to the Haitian revolution, we broke down what it happened at the time and what the people were doing to express themselves and their emotions. My opinion on this unit was that it already happened and that there isn;t much to talk about. A bunch of people came into a country or small village, began to rule over them, and changed the place around. It didn’t feel as engaged with the unit until we began to discuss the Egyptian and Ukrainian revolution. I think it was the fact that it was happening at the moment, so it wasn’t like I’ve already heard about what was going on. When it came time for our 2nd quarter benchmark, I did a lot of research and actually became interested in the topic. The reasoning behind the revolution was that the people of Ukraine didn’t want to be ruled by the Russians. Also, everything the government did, the people didn’t agree with. They were not on the same level of thinking as the other group was. One side believed what was happening was for the better of the country, when really, the side who thought it was bad for the country was right. My general understanding was further proven by that. Since their ideas did not coincide, there was not any social change.
With the last two quarters of the year, we focuses manly on cultures and colonization. We had many discussions, similar to the one in the beginning of the year, about them. We tried to understand why one culture criticized another culture. It was brought up that no culture should be able to criticize another culture solely for the fact that they all have different beliefs. A quote that from one of my journal entries about this was “ Basically, unless you have had an experience or something similar, you have no say in how they live they life. (Journal #3)” It is the truth. You can not and should not have any word in how somebody should live or act unless you’ve had an experience of their lives for a long period of time. I think the last two units, the culture and colonization unit was my favorite unit out of the entire year. Maybe it was because of the projects that we did or the conversation we had, but something about those last two units allowed me to express my feelings on how the world works.
1.“Ideas abad other things become popular when it A, appeals to the consumers/viewer’s eyes or B, the consumer/viewer can relate to it” (Journal #23)
2.“But the downside is that people never tend to care about non-violence and focus more on the violence” (Journal #31)
3.“Traumatic experiences can be an excuse for altered behavior but never negative behavior” (Journal #47)
During World History this year we focused on the the cultures, traditions, and religions of people all over the world. The topics were always broad and left for us to make opinions about. The commonality all of the topics, I at least saw, was that there was a significant change in the strength of a country or a group as a whole after experiencing some type of change that either benefitted or threatened their culture, traditions, or religion.
Through the year, there were many assignments I was proud of, but the following that I have chose to share with you are ones I feel will help portray to you the overall idea I got from this year’s research, as explained above.
The first assignment I chose to share is a journal entry (page 1) that speaks to the idea of when it is appropriate to criticize another culture. I felt this was important to include because a lot of change that happens upon a country, culture, or religion stems from the criticism of one person. History has shown that in the past that different religions or cultures weren’t respected by one another for being different, but that they were changed.
The second assignment I chose to share is also a journal entry (page 2). This one speaks to the idea of believing in something strongly enough that you are willing to die for it. I felt this was important to include because this initial passion that causes for countries or groups of people to fight back during these changes are what helps things like revolutions. Without this passion, a lot of different religions, cultures, and countries would have been ripped from their roots and changed even more than they are today.
The third assignment is another journal entry (page 3). This one is a response to a poem called The White Man’s Burden. My poem is called What Is The White Man’s Burden. It speaks to Natives and how I interpreted their feelings were towards the changes happening to their culture. I felt as though this was important to include because it gives everything a new perspective. It shows how those who are being changed feel about everything.
The fourth assignment I chose to include is a written response to the French / Haitian Revolution (page 4). I felt as though this was extremely important to include because it focuses on revolutions. Revolutions happen when changes are trying to made and aren’t wanted. For revolutions to even start there needs to be that initial passion, spoken about before. It talks about what makes a revolution successful or not and I believe that after looking at several different revolutions, there is one thing in common. Whether or not the revolution was successful, and regardless of if the goal of the revolution was accomplished , there is still always strength gained after the revolution is over. There needs to be a lot of passion to even begin a revolution and even more to carry one out. Revolutions also come along with a lot of struggles, but this causes so much strength to be gained.
The fifth assignment I decided to include is a poem called The Somebodies (page 5). I felt as though this was important to include because it gives example to the passion that is talked about. It feels as though you are reading from a person who is passionate about a change happening to them.
My sixth and final assignment I chose to include is my quarter 4 benchmark. It is a colonialism exhibit based on Ireland. I feel as though it is a great way to sum up the year because it shows the process at which a country goes through during change. It portrays the passion and exemplifies the struggles. It shows both sides of the story and the strength gained after it all.
World history is a very broad and expansive subject. Throughout the year we have not only studied things from the worlds past but subjects that are making history now. From sweatshops to Revolutions, even the Keystone XL pipeline. One conclusion that I have came to throughout the year is that beliefs can be used as a way to oppress many people and also that no opinion is wrong. Using collaboration this year has been full of unlikely discoveries pertaining to equality. One day at during this class we started off writing in our journals. The journals always make us think about issues that are usually ignored or not thought about as much in everyday. Mr. Block does not stop at us just writing our ideas in the journals but makes us share them with the class or our small table group. This gives us different ideas that we did not think about from other people. What you say someone else might of never heard so it brings another sense of learning into class. Also in the class when we could go around the class and have everyone share an idea or discussion question which leads into a new units.
In my journal that was required for the year I wrote multiple opinions on different topics that involved the current part of history we studied. “There should be no reason for them to apologize for something that they did not do or cause.”(Journal #19) This journal we were talking about how the people shouldn’t feel guilty for the things that happened in their history hundreds of years ago. An example is the British being sorry and apologizing to the native americans for Columbus coming to America and taking their land. There should be no reason for the British to apologize for the acts that their ancestor committed. Apologizing for someone else makes it less important, and less meaningful.
I found a lot of my journal entries had very interesting subjects when I went through it. “People are not concerned with what is just in the world.” (Journal #37) This quote is from a later journal entry that involves a cartoon of a fish cartoon (See cartoon here). The cartoon shows how the world looks from different social standings. I said people are not concerned mainly because the people that need justice are the ones that are barely heard or looked at. This gave me an idea of how the world actually works. The world is not full a piece but full of fake justice that is meant to make you forget about the real errors in the systems of the world. This relates back to the Sweatshops trial that my class did. The trial explained why sweatshops are a problem but people do not notice the actual effects of it. In trial, workers, system, multinational corporations, poor country elites and US consumers were tried (Notes from Trial). The point was to find out the true group responsible for sweatshops.
In the last quarter the class read a book about an Igbo tribe in Africa, called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. In a journal I wrote. “I believe he wrote this book so people will not make assumptions about this culture. He wrote it to show the importance understanding something in depth rather than just guessing and/or assuming.” (Journal #45) This was important because it does bring out people assume about different cultures rather actually learning about them. This gave me some perspective on opening my mind to different poeple around the world rather than just ignoring them as just another part of the world.
One thing that we did that is really going to stick with me involve the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeling is a pipeline thattransports oil from tar sands in Canada throught the United States. This pipeline could result inthe loss of lives, jobs, many other things. We wrote muliple monologues about the pipeline that explain poples views. From calling to the people who will be most affected from the ones who did not even know about the pipeline. It shows that everyone should know about something that be such a drastic change in the country. “Talk’n bout jobs.. ya’ll ever thought about who’s jobs you’ll be taken, did ya? 7 million bucks, for what? Some frick’n oil and this country can’t even give people a damn job at a grocery store. If ya would just give them what they want, they’d shut their snouts and people like me get some damn rest. Ain’t nobody asking for some 1,179 mile metal tube through the damn country. Now let me go, cans aint gonna collect themselves.” (Keystone Pipeline Monologue)
Something we did in the beginning of the year an assignment involving Hijab life and story behind why women of Muslim culture wear them. This was really the starting point in seeing that world is not as it seems. No one should really judge a women who wears a hijab before they learn the the meaning of the hijab. The hijab is not because the women are oppressed by the men. No the hijab is used to show a different way of looking at the world. It is apart of a culture we do not fully understad and show learn mroe about. “The authors perspective is that a woman's hijab a sign of morals. Hijab allows men to chase women due to their personalities and not their bodies. Also that they guard their modesty.” (Women and the Hijab)
In conclusion you can see there was a lot to be learned this year but I found it most interesting that everything we studied lead back to unequality and oppression. It gave me a new outlook on the world. That makes me feel grateful for everything I have and also will forever teach me not to just believe everything that I have heard. It taught me to research, and that ignorance is not bliss.
Social change happens when a revolution is started.
There have been many different revolutions and many different types. During our world history class we discussed these themes and topic. I found the revolution units especially interesting. "I think revolutions are interesting because they make the world what they are today." A moment in the year that stood out to me was writing in my journal after we looked at and talked about he Past Of Protest. When I was writing in my journal I was thinking about all the different ways and methods people used when fighting for their rights/freedom. I continued to think about how this impacted the world, and what would have happened if people didn't stand up for what they believe in.
One thing that we explored on our own in class was a unit on an organization that created shirts."People have to believe in the product to become hooked on it. " This organization wanted to explain the process behind how the t-shirt was made. This might not seem like a type of revolution but I believe that it is. "Behind the T-shirt is a industry." One thing that is in the world of T-shirts was the collapse of the garment building in Bangladesh. When cracks were discovered on the bottom floors people were told not to go near the building, but the next day the factory workers were ordered to go back and work. The building collapsed during rush hour that morning. 1,129 people were killed. A few day after the building collapsed the factory workers form all around Bangladesh rioted destroying cars and buildings and factories. I believe that the people were right to do that, because there is no excuse what happened. I'm going to assume that they were also upset because they are paid one of the lowest wages in the world (80 dollars a month/who can support a family on that?) and the condition they work under aren't safe at all. I think that this qualifies as a type of revolution. These people were fighting against something that they thought was wrong and wanted changed. The fighting didn't just stop with destroying buildings and cars. A few days later thousands of people protest in the streets. They were demanding safe working conditions and better wages.
Current events can be understood by people's opinions.
Later in the year our world history class had a discussion on if we thought child labor was acceptable or unacceptable. My perspective on the matter was: "I think child labor is unacceptable in any circumstance." We also had to come up with one question to ask the class. Before posting my response to the question I read what some of my classmates had written. Some people thought it was acceptable where as others thought it unacceptable, But what I noticed was each response was different and I thought that was really cool, because you could literally learn something new from each person, response or question. This goes for all the discussion we've ever in class. The question I posed to the class was: "does having children work in these condition effect them in the long run?"
During the course of the first quarter we were introduced to many different religions and cultures that are practiced all around the world. Near the end of the course we were assigned a benchmark on the unit, I choose Buddhism, and Hinduism and my topic was on the afterlife. During the process of completing this assignment I was very amazed and interested in those two religions, not only because it was different from my religion but because of it’s background and how people practice it. For example, in Buddhism there is no god Siddhartha Gautama is commonly known as the Buddha (the awakened one). He is recognized as the awakened teacher who shared his knowledge to help others end suffering and escape the cycle of suffering and rebirth. To understand another culture, you should to try it through your own eyes, even though I may not have experienced Buddhism first hand I was amazed on how Buddhism makes you see the ways of your actions and make you rethink of the world around you. Which helped me come to the realization that religion can be influenced through knowledge of others and through the resources given to us. https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/document/d/1lUrctVl4CscgdOFbjh1MTvas5IuYXqzV9GJEqos3ivI/edit
Now that we have discussed religion, lets move to revolutions. In this unit we discussed how revolutions were caused and how they have changed over time. For example, in the French Revolution the people of France demanded change and a more meaningful life, they believed in a better way to live.
Symbiosis is “the living together of two dissimilar organisms in more or less intimate association”. This means that the two parts cannot live without each other. You can apply this idea to a huge amount of things. I would like for us to take a look at the term when it comes to understandings. You cannot have an understanding without other understandings, as every understanding is reliant on the understanding of something else. Take, for example, the slicing of an orange. You have a knife and an orange. To have the intention to slice the orange, you need to have an understanding of what a knife is used for, and the fact that the orange is soft enough to cut with said knife. We were asked to form this final portfolio around an understanding, and the understanding that I want to focus on is “Understandings have symbiotic relationships.” So, let’s take a journey into the world of understandings.
In my World History class, we use this idea of understandings to see beyond the established, textbook facts. We synthesize this information into a more cohesive form. I want to take you through some examples of this intriguing structure. We will begin with something from the beginning of the year. In October, we conducted a trial that involved Cortes’s conquering of the Aztec nation. This started with research, as we had to establish a basic understanding of what happened, and who should be tried for what crimes. Once researching was initially finished, we had to adapt strategies for winning the trial. We had to use our prior knowledge and mix it with the knowledge we had of the trial participants speeches. From this, we formulated questions. Questions, such as “What justification do you give yourself for killing your own men, and people of your country?”. We used our understandings from each response and each group’s arguments to form questions as we went, creating a full, constricting understanding with which to pin our opponents. The full contents of our group’s look at the trial can be found here.
One of the more interesting projects I did this year for World History involved the creation of a play. We had to write a play, one that had grounding in the world, and involved world issues. For this project, I wanted to take a more personal approach and take a look at crime in Philadelphia, my home city. I did research, analyzed the crime in Philly, and used my knowledge of many events like these to write about my own, fictional version of one of these crimes and craft a story around the potential motivations behind it. In my play’s case, the reasons behind the crime can be summarized quite nicely by the main character and perpetrator of the crime’s, mother “Jeremy, I would rather die than let you get caught doin’ something illegal. I will pay for my chemo myself. And then, I’ll get better, I’ll go back to working in the office, and we can have a nice life again.” The full play is here.
Another project involved the analyzation of revolutions, finding a way to talk about and relate revolutions. The project itself asks for the fusing and synthesis of understandings. One of the major things I talked about in the project was the fact that revolutions can take many forms, which I found of import after trying to find a new way to angle my project, so as to promote a different way of understanding revolutions. So, I made the claim that flat design was a design revolution, so that I could show that things like design have revolutions too. You can find the video here.
Throughout the year, we have been using a journal to answer daily questions. These questions are used to assess our current understandings, and to wrack the minds of multiple people in the class to come up with greater understandings based on everyone’s individual thoughts. In one of my Journals, my very first one, I talk about how people are abused for the sake of labor. This is reciprocated, mixing more symbiotic understandings, towards the very end of the year, where we do another trial, this one about sweatshop labor and who is at fault. We began the year with a concept, and learned more about it later in the year. Another of my journals (found here) addresses how people’s understandings are influenced by more correct understandings.
History over the years has changed how society looks at religion. Society all the time has a bad effect in our community. Back in the days people were able to freely be who they were and act the way they wanted, over time terrible things happened such as colonialism and slavery this two can be related because they forced people to look like others in order to survived or to adapt to their ways of living, religion was also a big part of history and society because back then it used to define who you were and what you could do.
In 9/20/13. We learned about how the world is surrounded and ruled by money and how certain things need to be done in order for companies and countries economy to grow. In my class which is Iron stream we were doing a trial about sweatshops and multinational companies , in which we had to do trial about who was the most guiltiest in which was consisted by poor country workers, U.S consumers, system of profit , elites which were the government and multinational companies such as nike etc. In the end of the trial we found the elites to be the most guilty because nowadays society is so focused on money that their own government will let things such as low payment jobs in factories in order for them to get a huge profit without care of their own people. In journal # 6, humans relate to the natural world by taking care of it because if we didn’t have the environment like the ecosystem we would die off.
People back then used to take other peoples culture and it used to go by the word of “colonialism” from my point of view it’s invading someone's country over and just for their people and resources. On May 27th we started a project called Colonialism Museum and in this project I talked about the colonialism in which we had to choose a country that got colonized and talk about it, I chose Hawaii and I talked about how colonialism is bad and how it destroys the colonizer, I said that Hawaii’s culture change drastically by the british from the way the Hawaiians used to eat to the ways they used to dress.Also in Journal #46, 5/7/14, I also talk about colonialism by saying “Colonization and colonizer they both change. Basically a colonizer and what happens in a colonization is bad. On top of that when a place is colonized the colonizer will loot from the colonized”.
The Renaissance was a big era not just because of it’s rapid and inspiring way of inventions such as machines and paintings and also a lot of revolutions and poetry. In the revolution Is a link connected to my French revolution trial that is very interesting to me because the french was oppressing it’s own people and Haitians in fact the only people that had to pay taxes were the poor and the middle class the religious such as Christians didn’t have to pay a penny and so did the rich too. in the end the revolution ended when the poor and middle class took charge of this by killing the king and his family. The poetry link talks about a poem that I made called the somebodies and the somebodies were Haitians who lived during the renaissance era and they worked for the french and lived in the French land but they weren’t legally French.
In conclusion Society now and back then was very different but if you think about it we still oppress our own people by the way they talk, or dress. Back then it used to be whether where you came from or what you skin color was, in the end if you think about it very deeply we are colonizing others so we can get control over them, some colonizer such as media. In the end Colonization like this needs to change just like society needs to do as such.
World history has been an amazing experience. I have learned and acknowledge things that I don't think I wouldn't have normally thought about. This class has shined light on lots of changes, both positive and negative. I think Mr. Block has done an outstanding job on bringing the past back to life with his awesome units and lessons. Some of those lessons will be talked about today as I look back on things that developed me as a world history student. I remember me sitting in class in the beginning of the year thinking I would probably hate this class, going off past experiences with other history classes. This class was different. Mr. Block totally changed my perspective on how I viewed this course
Many of the units that were taught and focused on has came to a complete understanding about the way this class is summed up. One of the biggest things that popped up a lot throughout all the lessons we learned was that self identity was a very important credential here in this society and especially all around the world. We looked at units about social justice and and religion/culture. We saw how countries were being colonized and oppressed. We saw how many cultures were being europeanized and taken away their rights and cultural beliefs, just to “fit in”. The “American Dream” did not have any room for people of any skin tone that flawed their ideas at all. Even if that meant not being able to do basic human rights. African countries had the worst of many. Apartheid was a big part of history that we are still scared from to this day. Leaders like Nelson Mandela and Gandhi fought so that someday we could possibly become one and have all equality, but it`s not over yet.
One of the things that stood out to me this year that also reminded me of my understanding,was when we did a discussion on the girl that went back to Africa for a funeral and later went on to move permanently to the country. Here is a part that I truly liked:”She was a strong woman and I think she could have been just as strong living in Africa. She was on a mission and she had something she wanted to accomplish.” I thought that reminded me of when I was thinking about the time I was in Africa and I had to be strong. When I returned back from Africa I thought a lot about how things were so different from back home. I made pledge to myself that I wouldn`t allow people to live like that. That I would try my very hardest when I got older to help those who can't help themselves. I saw that their self identity mattered, because I would see if you were of lebanese descent they would treat you better. It was something about Americans that made life so much easier over their. They would literally ask you if they could kiss your feet, they would stare only because they are not used to such things that you might have. Social identity played a major role in that.
Another unit we did was from the 3rd quarter when we did the plays. It was my second time doing plays. I did one when I was in middle school and had it performed by fellow classmates. I thought that the topic I wrote about for my play could explain just how much world history has tied into having a self identity. The topic I wrote about was about a woman who cheated with married man because she had a problems with herself. Her boyfriend would beat her and would have drinking problems.I have a part of a scene that explains a lot of my general understanding, Mama Jones: “Yeah, you think so honey. You know why they also come to you, because you easy, ya little hoe. Aint nothing to you, but skin and bones. You aint no real women, You a little girl. They know you just a easy fix to get some with. You hardly know anything baby. And you need to keep more than just ya mouth closed before something come crawling out of there’s saying mama.. This is another crisis of identity when a troubled young girl sleeps around because she is unable to get into contact with herself. She looks for love in the wrong place and maybe ends up getting hurt. I think that many of people struggle to find themselves so they search in others to do so.
The unit on revolution was one of my favorites because we did a project on country that we were assigned and had to show how they struggled for their rights and how they overthrew the higher authority. I did mine on Egypt. I learned lots of things that I would never had knew if it were not for this project. Identity was an issue with Egypt because if you were poor and did not have a lot of money it was equivalent to not having a voice or rights. Many of what I was reading when I first started was they were trying to shut up the people that were complaining that they had no rights, which was very unfair. Here is a quote from the story that I Thought stood out, “He was an unfair dictator. He was living a wonderful life while others were living in poverty and dying from simple resources like bread. He was overpowered by the people of egypt. This is an example that long endurance and hard work for justice will happen eventually.” This was the dictator of Egypt and the only reason he was there for that long was because he had a self identity that was higher than most of the people that were against him.
I remember I was sitting in class one day and I was looked up the board and saw that the warm up was asking me a question about whether other cultures were allowed to judge other cultures. At first I thought that it was a question that was actually very smart, because even though we do it, we never really acknowledge the fact that we do it. Even if we do acknowledge it, nobody says that it is wrong. The other resources that I have is the journal we wrote in everyday. I have wrote some meaningful things in there, but one of which I believe I truly should discuss. It was on journal number 3 where I talked about when would it be ok to ever criticize other cultures. I said it would never be ok due to the fact that as a cultural there will never ever be a right way to believe in what you believe in. I think that just ties into the self identity and make yourself fit into a theme that makes other cultures feel lower than some cultures that may be a little more popular such as christianity.
Here is another journal entry that I recognized as a very important entry that I thought would be very good. In the journal entry it gave me 2 quotes and I said that i disagreed with the second one. The second was basically implying that religion was a drug and blinded people of what actually was going on. I thought that was wrong or disagreed because I thought that religion should be an escape for any bad drugs that try to come into your life on a daily basis. I said I think people should turn to religion if nothing else.
All these resources made my time in world history thoughtful, fun and meaningful. I think that Mr. Block has altogether changed the way I look at history. Before coming to this class, history used to be a frag. I used to hate it. It made no sense as to why I had to learn about something that happened 200+ years ago, but this class made it so fun to learn about stuff like that. Now looking back at everything in my journal, I agree with some and disagree with some. I think that overtime as you learn more things and see different things you evolve and change. Change is not always bad, but then again change could be bad as we saw in history. Overall this year has been successful, because whenever you can take the knowledge you have received and place it on other things in your life, that class truly has changed your perspective and identity.
Society as a whole has become very corrupt and the things that keep us all from being pessimists is hope. Hope that we will be alive the next day. Hope for what comes next. For your crush to even look at you that day. Through out the year I've learned what hope and dreams can do for a society. Dreams are what make the world go 'round. Dreams by definition are "a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep." or to "contemplate the possibility of doing something or that something might be the case." Both are very important to making the world a better place. Without dreams we would never have inventions and we would never evolve as the human race that we are today.
When we as humans start to believe in things there starts to become problems and controversies we go through. In religions, especially, we start to tell stories we call myths "Myths have power because they are stories that you hear usually from people of authority that you trust, to tell the truth." Myths also make you believe in the unseen which gives a person the creativity to dream. The thing is "Dreams are fulfilled through education, nothing comes without learning" so the basic human rights need to be fulfilled in order for us to move forward as a whole.
In my Digital Story I talk about happiness and that we are all in the same boat as humans "They also need to remember that we are all in the same boat as humans and if we continue down this road of nothingness we will never be happy as a whole and that sucks because we deserve to be happy in the short lives we have." Life for humans is too short to be fighting the way we do. Like the Europeans conquering the “New world” In one of my journals I say, "You say you want peace you want peace, yet you want to fight for it?" And this could not be put in simpler terms, Society as a whole has a skewed view on the way we obtain things.
We often want what is best but we don’t think about how we get there as something that is important. In another journal we looked at a quote from Gandhi and compared it to a quote from Machiavelli. We compared their views on how to achieve a goal. Gandhi thinks that the means in which you get to that goal is important and I agree with him “No matter the end result eventually people start to look at the way you get there.” People can see if you are someone they agree with or disagree with by the way you do things. We need to remember that good intentions are just that, intentions”
All in all I feel as though I have learned so much, About the way the human mind has evolved over time. About the things that have changed and the things that have stayed the same. Fighting is still the means to get to a goal that was originally good. But the dreams have evolved so much because the human mind has gotten to a place where the unimaginable is now reality.
Throughout the year we’ve gone from learning about the keystone pipeline to writing plays on civil rights, to looking into another culture from a native perspective lens.
From a playwright’s perspective, you can write from different personalities and you can understand the situation from different points of views.
When Mr. Block announced that my play was going to be performed. I was already thinking of the actors to be in it. I had so much to do in so little time. The main focus points of the play is “How do people find hope in the face of struggle? How does change happen? In what different ways do people struggle for rights?” Well the first thing that popped up in my head was a student in school struggling with multiple problems and rights they deserve from everybody they’re surrounding. The main character Paige is struggling with a weight problem and she realizes school nor home is a safe place for her. Along the way she goes through obstacles that make her realize she doesn’t need to be a certain way to fit in and be popular.
It regards back to our civil rights unit because the main character in my play should be treated equally regarding her physical appearance. My play reconnects to many things we’ve done this year in history class. For example, going back on the Cortes trial, each individual of our class had a to defend a role from that situation in a mock trial. My group had to defend the system, they weren't actual human beings but a line of laws Europeans have to follow. This is a google doc where my group and I collaborated on during the trial to write important information and notes. The Aztecs were defenseless against Cortes and his men and Paige in my play is defenseless against the “popular kids” at her school. Even though they’re two different scenarios they still relate to a base of “Civil Rights” and “Struggling with a problem”.
Like the my Civil Rights play, we’ve done things like learn about Revolutions. As a class we studied about the French Revolution from 1789 to 1799. We also made a revolution Guidebook Project. We talked about different topics regarding revolutions. Where the lower class attacked the higher classes because of unfair treatment and high raises in taxes. It wasn’t fair for the lower class because they couldn’t afford to eat and provide for their families. In this case, the third class is struggling with a problem and fighting back for civil rights. Without giving away the ending of my play, the main character goes through the same realization that she should fight back whenever something’s unfair.
Here's some extra information:
Amanda's Journals: Here
1:Boys are taught to only show the parts of themselves are defined as what’s “manly” Journal # 46
2: “ Yes a person’s past can heavily affect someone’s well being and future events.” - Journal 44
3: “Each man’s labor is just as important as another” - Gandhi film questions.
4: “We are the system of empire. The more property that we have, the more security the people will have. Therefore, we travel to different lands to find empty properties in order to protect and give opportunities to our people. We should not take the blame for other people thirst for money because our main goal is expand our society into a bigger place.” - Cortes trial: opening statement.
5: “All I’m saying is that we should care about this environment instead of digging it up and replacing that land with a metal pipe. You shouldn’t call yourself a protest leader you’re just a creature who has no soul and no regard towards other people except for yourself.” - History pipeline monologue
6: “ANYTHING, CALL SECURITY DO SOMETHING BEFORE I BODOSE OVER THEIR TREE HUGGING BODIES MYSELF!” - History pipeline monologue
See this potato? yeah, that’s you, and this french fry can be you if you stopped eating half of the damn fridge. (Eats the french fry) - History Playwright.
8: There could be many different things to cause revolutions. Greed, shortage of supplies, high rise taxes, inequality between estates, and much more. - Revolution Benchmark
9: As you all know, I am Napoleon Bonaparte. I am a Corsican-Italian who became the Emperor of the French after a coup-d-etat. - French/ Haitian Role play.
IS IT LOVE OR IS IT A LABEL? - Religion unit.
Development comes over time. Change never shows right away it is a process. “When trying to achieve change the process sometimes does matter and does not. When it comes to change I don’t think the process matters. However, when you are trying to become a doctor and you cheat the whole way through the process does matter because you can’t pursue in a career which you know nothing about” - Journal 52. Over the course of my sophomore year in history I have learned a lot, mostly about change and how it affects people. We have gone through many units through the four quarters. We have talked about revolution, development, power, society, technology, religion and how all of that affects the people.
Dealing with the revolution I have learned a lot and it has opened my eyes about many things. During my working with revolutions the main thing that stuck out to me was the struggle for power. When revolutions take place there is a unbalance of power. The people who are suffering from the revolution are the native people of that land. A question that most people ask is “Are revolutions ever really over?”We watched some clips during class of the movie “The Square” during the Egyptian Revolution. Some people said “People are true power.” I made a video about revolutions and the power struggle here. You can see some quotes from the film that stood out to me and the quotes broken down here. Dealing with revolutions you will never see a positive outcome immediately. The changes expected from the revolution comes late. The first thing that comes after revolution is development. The people have shown that after revolutions you have to try to develop and make things structured around you so you can become structured.
Talking about religion and culture this year also helped me open my eyes. In culture you see the development the most over time. You can see what cultures actually stuck to what they believed in or if they wandered off or became “modernized.” Over the course of the year I wrote a journal about criticism dealing with cultures: “I don’t think it’s ever acceptable to judge someone else and how they live” - Journal #3. You can read the full journal here. Sometimes when revolutions took place there was a change in culture. When other countries would come over they would leave different effects on the people as in slang, beliefs, religion, dress, how you live and more.
Other than historical events, another thing that has changed and is still changing over time is development. Technology has developed in many different ways, positive and negative. Technology has affected historical events significantly. “Having some people be exposed to revolutions online are more difficult because instead of making a change people will just act like they care instead of really doing something”- Journal 32. In saying that there is more of a negative change because not a lot is being done. In Egypt an entire revolution started because of one post online so having technology also increased development.
In conclusion I really appreciated and learned a lot from working with Mr. Block in World History this year. I’ve learned a lot but what I will never forget is that development comes over time and change never shows right away it is a process. I can apply this to my everyday life.
Throughout the course of the year studying in World History, I’ve learned overall how important it is to stay together as a whole community, and not as separate countries. If we fail to contribute to a safe, respectful, cooperate community, then how will we ever have the power to stand up for ourselves? We’ve learned this broad statement over the course of the year by learning about sweatshops, bill of rights, revolution eras, and even colonialism. All of these small topics reflect on the idea that although the world is going through a rough stage of poverty, discrimination, segregation and more, we still need to represent our community by acting as a whole.
When we started the class in the first quarter, we learned that a method (not the best) to stand up for what you believe in is to simply protest in to stop something from happening. It also begins because there are many people out there who want to protest for the own rights, sometimes discrimination rights. In this monologue, I took the role of a boy trying to stop a construction worker from helping out with the recent Keystone XL Pipeline. It showed that people protest because they do not think that some things will turn out to be beneficial for the community.
In the second quarter, We were starting to learn about different cultures, if they are different or not, and what we could do to stop the discrimination. In a journal entry prompt given to us in the beginning of the year, we were asked if it is ever okay to criticize another culture. This relates back to the idea of teamwork and communities because it explains why it is never okay to make fun of somebody else just because of where they come from and what they believe in.
We’re halfway done the year now? Good lord! When we reached the third quarter, we had a big unit focusing on revolutions. We learned that people mostly protested in front of their own government because they heard of recent laws that did not satisfy them. However, instead of finding a way to safely inform the law that they have rights that should be heard, they led to violent protesting. In this digital story, I compared two very important revolutions on how they started and what effects they both made: The French Revolution and the Arab Spring Revolution.
In the final quarter, we worked on a playwriting unit. Basically, we spent several months writing our own plays and have been making stronger every day. Then we got into small groups and rehearsed our plays to perform in front of classmates. The pictures show our performances. What I took from this was that It is very important to listen to instruction so that when you perform the play, you can do your absolute best. I also personally learned that if you feel a little uncomfortable with what your lines say, you can just keep telling yourself that they’re just words on a piece of paper and nothing more. Here is my finalized play.
When I walked in to World History the beginning of my sophomore year, I expected it to be a repeat of my 6th grade history class. Wars, battles, maps, boring boring boring. But, it was actually the complete opposite. This World History class was filled with different types of history from revolutions to plays, trials to sweatshops. It was a World History was a mixed breed, it was in fact a mut. And every class was a learning experience that I could never forget.
Belief systems indicate a major amount of assumptions and personal beliefs dealing with a combination of religion and philosophy. When discussing human rights ideas were pitched and thrown around of what exactly human right were, what was fair and what humans deserved. I personally pointed out in this assignment I explained how certain punishments like prison will not always help a murderer or a drug dealer and they have the right to be put into a facility rather than a prison. They have a right to a choice if anything. I also explained how some of my ideas related to The Constitution of Human Rights and how some rights in certain areas should be justifiable to be in touch with reality. In order to understand yourself, you have to understand others. If you judge someone based off of what someone told you, you’ll never know what the real situation is unless you’ve talked to that person. Certain things aren’t understandable if you haven’t gone through them yourself. Other things, you just have to have the mindset to put your beliefs and assumptions to the side, to hear someone else’s point of view whether it be through word of mouth or a creditable book.
This year in World History has brought out a lot of opinions and different perspectives on various things. In our very own debates and discussions in class I’ve found it personally to be hard to agree with or understand what someone else has to say, but going through all of these units has makes you think about things differently. This reminds me of the Scientific Revolution unit where the was a quote that said “The things that we may find to be small or of less importance can turn into something bigger because of the way people take things."It makes you think twice about saying things because you know so much about everything.
One of my favorite quotes from the “What Is Enlightenment” unit was "Enlightenment is opening up your perspective or changing your view of things. To have a purpose." That quote itself explains so much, if you dont open your mind and eyes to new things, you’re perspective will be the same for everything. That’s one thing I loved about that unit because it was so true.
We read a book during fourth quarter called All Things Fall Apart. We had to find proverbs throughout the book and analysize them. There was one proverb specifically and this is what I got out of it. "Don't forget to be humble, even if your life is good. Be determined and it will happen." I felt like that quote was really important because even if all is going well for you it could easily change if you’re too proud. Humbling yourself and being determined will get you farther then looking down on those who don’t have it like you.
By the end of the quarter, looking through my journal for this project I came upon two of my favorites. Journal entries 3 and 5 which said:
"I don't believe its acceptable to criticize anyones culture if its what they believe in and how they choose to live their lives. However if it puts you and other people in danger, whether i be physically or emotionally, then it is wrong."
"A person can't learn for you, you have to learn for yourself."
I believe those quotes sum up a good amount of everything that has been taught to me in this class. Everything is laid out for you, but it’s your choice to take the chance and run with it.
In all honestly I had the feeling that this year’s history class was going to be a bore like any other typical history class. I was proved wrong. On the first day, Mr. Block handed us m&m’s that represented each country’s supply worth. That caught my attention right away. It just wasn’t about what I was learning, but how I was being taught the new information. The most interesting thing that I learned in World History this year was exploring the different changes, cultures, religions, and revolutions in many countries and how it impacted them positively or negatively.
The first topic that really caught my attention was revolutions and their role is developing countries. In Journal #32, we were asked the question what is a revolution in our opinion. The definition that really stuck in my mind was “change against something that involves a large amount of people that all have the same biased decision.” Change was a big part about how revolutions came about, and superior countries taking over third world countries waw an issue. Many revolutions such as the French and Haitian Revolutions were concepts of change that the Haitians definitely didn’t agree with because it wasn’t benefiting them. On the other hand, good change happened in some countries especially involving the government system and how more structure was obtained.
Another topic that really sparked my attention to keep on learning was poverty in third world countries. Comparing education systems and development really made me focus on the weight that these countries had to constantly carry. On the worksheet, Pathologies of Power, we read excerpts of the book that discussed three different approaches (charity, development, social justice) that addressed these suffering countries. The quote that really stood out was “poverty today is a result of a contradictory development; the rich become richer and the poor become poorer." Development really only benefited the rich because they received more money out of it. It’s not like these poor people in these poor countries could afford to live in these developments. There was no point. Today, there are still many third world countries that are still undergoing hardships from these problems.
Diverse religions was another intriguing concept that really taught me how even religion was sometimes an issue. In Journal #18, we discussed the different ways that religion can be a positive or negative force in people’s lives. I stated that many people seek religion to find a new way of viewing life or or forgiveness. Although many religions may give off and interpretations on people. For example, Muslim people who wear turbans or hijabs may be looked upon as terrorist because of people like them have made a bad reputation for them. But is just all stereotypes. Also, limitations have been known to affect the people that believe in the religion because they are forced to believe in something that they honestly know is unjust. This is another example that ties into how revolutions were caused.
Nonviolence and colonization wrapped up the end of our year. In the worksheet, My Faith in Nonviolence, we were became familiar with the strategic steps in which a lot of people must follow in order to attain a mental state of nonviolence. In addition, we read “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe, and studied quotes from his interview. He expressed the struggle of colonization and how it really separates cultures from one another.
This year has been a very productive year in my World History class. Everything I learned was very mind capturing and wasn’t in anyway boring. I had an amazing year, and hope that I can use the knowledge that I learned in my future!
No Opinion is a bad one, they are only great if they are thought through. My portfolio is full of my thoughtful opinions that can raise questions, and arise debates.
“I think that it's only acceptable to criticize a culture when the culture is really cruel to the people, and everyone knows. But other then that, it's just judging people for how they want to live.” Journal #3. Though my writing skills were much poorer in the beginning of the year then now. I was explaining how it isn’t right to judge the way one lives, unless it is negatively affecting you, or is clearly is wrong. Something that I feel is not acceptable is judging muslim women because they wear the hijab and cover. Thats not effecting anyone. It’s their choice of living. Something that I consider an appropriate time to judge is the holocaust. What Hitler was doing was immoral, and it didn’t affect people negatively.
“Religion is a practice of belief in a higher power. Learning, and worshiping or something even accepting that there is a higher power.” Journal #10. Not in the sense of saying that no religion is bad, but in my belief, if you don’t believe in a higher power, you don’t practice a religion. Not even saying that you have to “practice” your religion, but the simple act of believing is “practicing”.
“A revolution is a significant change in a place that the change has never been done. Not a random change, usually a system change.” Journal #29. I picked this definition because I think there are many things a revolution can be. There is not only revolutions in fighting against different countries like the U.S. revolution against Britain. There could be technology revolutions such as the first computer, the cell phone.
Good research makes a good story. But also a good story can’t be made without explanations to facts. Our last benchmark was to make an exhibit on colonialism. This was my 1st artifact,”This is a painting of the taino indians. As you can see, they don’t wear many clothes. This is their native style of clothes. To other countries , such as spain this might make them look undeveloped. Making “helping” them seem like an okay thing. Though the way they dressed, their style of life was important to them.” Colonization in Puerto Rico. I thought this was a significant artifact because it shows how the Taino indians could easily be used by the spanish, they were taken off guard but people with god like clothing, while they only wore small skirts, just like in Africa. It makes it easier for the spanish to take over Puerto Rico too, they seemed to have such little judging them by their appearance. It was obvious to “help” them.
This is my 6th artifact,”This artifact shows how puerto rico is a “territory” of the U.S.
Though they celebrate puerto rican holidays, they also have to celebrate U.S. Holidays. The visitors can pick which holidays they think are american or puerto rican. And descriptions of each holiday. The people of puerto rico have to act as if they are american, though they aren't considered americans.” Colonization in Puerto Rico. I would say this was my most important artifact in my whole exhibit. This really shows how puerto rico is still colonized. They have to have our holidays , that are irrelevant to them, on their calendar. But they aren't americans. Having a territory is colonization.
All these things I am putting in this portfolio are the things that I am truly most proud of, though, what I think I am most proud of is all the work I have done this year In world history. Though I had spinal surgery, I was successful in turning in my work and getting what I need to get done. I am truly proud of myself.
Truly, this year has been... Interesting, to say the least.
Throughout the educational mixture of facts and emotions and a variety of activities, us students have been brought directly into the emotions and situations of the events we have looked at. We have fought intense trials and argued over petty details just to win. We have taken up the mantles of revolutionaries. We have written our own fictional “look into history” in the form of a play. We have truly thrown ourselves into history.
Throughout the year, we have looked upon many different perspectives of the world. One interesting implementation of this was our pipeline monologue project. Click here to see it. "Right now we have a golden opportunity. The door out of this place is standing right there, but you keep trying to barricade it.... Things aren’t always black and white like they are for you and so many others. There are so many other colors and shades. And this one isn’t all bad." (Pipeline Monologues)
We look at the past, we look at those that have had important roles to play, we know where they fit in. But who are we as people? Where do we fit in? A resounding theme this year has been social justice for the oppressed, but what about justice for the ones who don’t know who they are, who have been hurt beyond belief, who still carry their own scars with them for so many years. When we focus on the big picture, we can accomplish great things, but what about the individual behind the statistic? What about one man?...
As part of our Play project, I wrote about what it was like for one man and his friends during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, against Nazi occupation. Click here to see my play project. I looked at more than just the suffering of a people, I looked at the suffering of one man, and how that suffering is connected to the fight for the city, and for the nation.
“Klaus Adler: You’re a fool. If you die, your cause dies...
Jan: And so do you." (Play Project)
You monster. Hell hath no fury like that of a Pole.
(*Starts kicking Klaus*)
This is for my wife! This is for my friends! This is for Warsaw!
And this is for Poland!!! Give Lucifer my regards!
(*Shoots Klaus in head, blows smoke off barrel*)
Well, that’s over. “ (Play Project)
"Stop. What have we seen here? Utter desperation. But this isn’t the end of the story, though you may think it is." (Play Project)
We have focused on such diverse issues from the Keystone XL pipeline, to the role of religion in society. Several more links and quotes from my work are included below: I personally analyzed the relation between religion and war. Click here to see my wiki page about it.
As I write this I think back to my own past experiences. I think back to those days when me and my father sat on our couch and talked about those out of the box topics. Those discussions where we would talk about the first man being discovered in Africa, the Pyramids of the great Egyptians, and the thought of life elsewhere in the galaxy. I think to how these conversations affect how I think articulately.
I have found that process is a key factor in presence and appearance. These are subjects that are extremely important when expressing goals. How you achieve the goal is most important, especially when dealing with the things that follow that goal.
During various class discussions that led into my own explorations the key factors of reaching a goal became apparent. The way that Gandhi led his people from freedom. The wars of today going on in places like yemen. Reading the list of 198 ways of nonviolent action. The best way to fight a war is not through death or harm or hate. The best way to win a war is through logic and setting an example for what is right. To set empathy in the hearts of your enemies.
The best way to win an argument is through logic, while the best way to ace a test is through studying. This is because the way you achieve these things, the presence and appearance, don’t create further conflict. Rather they leave you with the knowledge and experience to be able to perform those tasks again expertly. While a method such as acing a test through cheating will not allow you to pass the test again without cheating. People will think you were good at those subjects and ask you to help them, but you would not know how.
“Somebody had to work for that discount you got. Another message is that so many other people had to work for you to get you your clothes that you thought were so cheap and worth buying. There are so many ties with these big corporations that oil could affect the cost of clothing.”
Journal 1. Question 1.
“Process and preparation is most important when achieving the means. The knowledge you attain from getting there the first time may be the knowledge needed to get there again. The ripples you have imbedded while achieving that action will come back around. The bonds you have made will remain. The damage you dealt will still be damage. However, you can always try, try again.”
Journal 52. Question 1.
"Layout and appearance. What is on the outside is really important when swaying one's thoughts and looking for approval"
Scientific Revolution. Commentary.
"This section of the reading digs deep into the experience of experience. It says that Myth helps not only theoretically explain experiences, but to give them a deeper meaning. This deeper meaning makes experiences more worth while and last longer."
Power of Myth. Analysis/ Closer Reading.
"What you do and what you would prefer to do affect your livelihood. If what you do is different than what you would prefer to do, than your livelihood shall decrease.
Sacred Text Analysis. Commentary.
“People used the message of hippity-hop to get their message across. The message of inequality trying to tear down the Ukraine people was presented. It became powerful when put onto youtube.”
Revolutional Digital Story Benchmark. Fun In Revolutions.
“It still all boils down to a good organized plan and luck for everything to happen in it’s favor. So the best strategy to have is to not disclose your weaknesses, or identity to your oppressor and to construct a plan involving a community.”
Class General Discussion. In your opinion, what are the best strategies for revolutionary change?
Multis: “Only pleasing the consumers”;”Maximizing opportunities” System: “The only system without government intervention” Consumers: “Not responsible for what they buy” Workers: “Forced into labor”
Sweatshop Trials. Trial notes.
King:‘Was doing his job’-”Does doing your job consist of ignoring a mans attack on slaughtering some 240,000 people?”;’He didn’t know’-”How could you not know what was going on when you sent a letter carrier to cortez in a failed attempt to cancer YOUR previous orders?”
Cortez Trials. Trial notes.
“Between the Phoenician Colonies and the greek colonies, the main difference was the reason for colonization. Phoenicians mainly colonised to increase their access to trade, and to build trade routes. While the Greeks partly colonised just for power that came with spreading the control of their empire.”
Colonial Exhibit Proposal. Fun Fact.
These quotes explain the course of events that lead to this thesis. If you read the quotes carefully and in order, the sequential data would show the growth in my processes. It would show how I’ve grown as a writer, as an intellectual, as an individual. It would show that process is a key factor to presence and appearance.
Colonial Exhibit Proposal
Revolutional Digital Story Proposal
Journal 25 and Journal 37 Document