Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
Teams must qualify.
When I become a teacher
I'll put a map of the world on every wall in my classroom
My students will always know to have a universal mindset
When they hear freedom, they'll think of more than spirituals and Emancipation
They'll remember the stinking pits at Babi Yar
The curled steel at Auchwitz
Sarajevo’s rifle butts
Cambodia’s grit and sweat and death
These classroom walls will not fence their minds.
Eyes will be opened. Again.
Instead of asking my students to adjust to my teaching style
Fawn in silent awe over my genius
I'll ask them how they learn
Then tend to the visual
and tactile learners
the best way I can
They’ll never doubt their place in my plan,
Confuse our classroom for a cookie-cutter
Stage where they must sit on their hands.
I’ll take criticism.
Gather it like gold dust between my fingers.
Never satisfied, I’ll Practice my practice forever.
My classroom will be painted bright blues and yellows
Along with students drawings, murals and poetry
Displays of Me Magazines
And word walls
Scenes from books acted out
and Mock trials
I will appreciate their creativity
I will teach my students inquiry
Ask them questions about the world around them
Their opinions on issues from health care to the Palestine Wall
I won't talk at them, but with them
We'll have discussions and debates
I will challenge them
Ask them how they would tackle issues like budgets cuts
Low reading levels
And school safety
I'll ask them how they feel about Pennsylvania finding money to build 3 more prisons but cutting funding from schools
Or how they feel about districts paying millions for standardized test and curriculum but not having enough for extra curricular activities
They will be informed
My students will be poets
All while being beautifulEveryday I will tell them they're beautiful
cuando yo era un niño, yo era un poco corta, de gordito y muy saliente. Yo era gordito, porque me comí casi todo, pero mi comida favorita era nuggets de pollo, que podíacomer para siempre. algunas de las cosas que me gustaba eran, ver la televisión, y practicar deportes outside.I pensaba que iba a ser un atleta, cualquier tipo de deportista. Pensé que si yo era un atleta, me haría cargo de todas las personas que seinportant a mí, como mi mamá, mi tía, mi tío, mi primo, y su abuelo.
Hoy en día, soy alto y fuerte, pero sigo siendo la misma persona saliente que solía ser.las cosas que me gusta haber cambiado. Cosas que me gustan ahora son, deportes, electrónica, música, y las niñas. Mi rutina diaria es más o menos ir a la escuela todos los días en el SLA, y pasar tiempo con amigos.
En el futuro, tengo previsto ir a la universidad en la Universidad de Pennsylvania, y mayor en negocios. Quiero trabajar en negocios deportes. Im va a tener un buen coche y una casa bonita, con una bella esposa, y tal vez algunos niños. eventualmente quiero abrir mi propia firma de consultoría, que veo como un gran éxito. Y voy a vivir feliz después de todo.
My element is Nitrogen.
- What are some things your element are used for?
Some things my element is used for is producing ammonia and fertilizers, and its used to manufacture nitric acid.
- How did you come up with the idea for your print?
I came up with the idea of my project by the fact that nitrogen is in all living things. That is were I got the idea for the earth part of my print. I also found out that the the word nitrogen means "burnt air". That is where I got the idea for the fire on half of the earth.
- What steps did you take from your idea for the print to the final print?
The first step of this project was to research a meaning behind the common idea of your element. It was very important for us not to pick the first idea that came into our mind. We picked three of our ideas and sketched then in our sketchbooks. Then we picked one and traced the good one onto a block. Then we cut out either the negative or positive space of our drawing. We then printed four prints with the carved block.
- What are your thoughts on the project?
I liked this project, except for the carving part. The carving was really hard to do. My favorite part was making the prints. This project taught me how to turn simple negative space drawings and make them into something bigger, like these prints. Before this quarter I didn't know much about negative space drawings. Now I have learned a lot and am very happy with my print.
- What would you do differently if you did this project again?
If I was going to do this project again, I would most likely of researched more and gone a bit farther behind the element to get my idea.
Skip ahead to 10:40 for opening remarks.
One thing that stood out to me in english class was the different movies and clips we watched in class. In stead of just using the internet to find information, the videos and clips that we watched in class really gave me a feel about what we was learning. One clip was the torture clips. That stood out to me because you wouldn't think that some people would actually go ahead and hurt someone until the pain gets worst. Why they didn't stop? I never could answer that question until we watched the video in class and we discussed it. Now I know the answer to that question.
English class opened people eyes. Make them think of things that they never would think about before. Something that I really enjoy class was when we did the interview of a family member about their lives. It was a long process but it was fun because we got a chance to actually look into someone else's lives and ask any questions we were thinking about. It was a good project because we could edit it, and make it into a certain type of interview. With different effects in it.
It's this year has to end so soon. Some other things that I really enjoyed in this year of english was the thesis papers we did. It wasn't like a regular paper you had to write like a normal essay. We had to make an argument that people go go against. It was a learning experience for me because it made me build of my writing skills. It makes you think about all the things that you can connect your paper to such as outside sources. I loved challenging myself.
Have you ever written a play that could be screened to an audience in your class. Well I have. The most fun part that I think that was awesome was creating a monologue. I never made a play before. But creating a monologue was fun. It wasn't what I thought it was going to be. It wasn't like creating a actual play because you had to change somethings around and have once person in a scene. It was fun when Kate came because she really helped us out a lot. It was the bees thing that I ever done in a class before. I don't know if my monologue was good enough. I think that we all worked hard over the couple of months and made a good quality project. I am happy I got that opportunity to do something that creative.
Throughout the year, we've been focusing on a lot of different themes of English and History. There was the past, obviously, and there was the future. All the things that we have taken in have been extremely beneficial to our lives. We've learned lessons and taken in values from other people's mistakes or ideas.
In English, though the first part of the year was focused on descriptive stories, we have certainly learned how to decipher the true moral values that could help us later on in life, or at this point in our lives. "Days are not always what they seem." From a short simple paragraph grew a descriptive essay. Of which, I admit, was not my best work, but, looking back... it helped a lot in the end of the year. In our descriptive essays we were to link two different occurrences together by a bigger idea. In my essay, the bigger idea was that days are not always what they seem. I figured this would be a nice topic, because as Hannah Montana says, "everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days, everybody knows what I'm talking about, everybody gets that way." I just feel that everyone can relate to having those days, good or bad. So, that’s the reason I wrote about them.
Another project in English, was the last quarter benchmark, which was a three page thesis paper. I feel that this one was the much more refined version of the second benchmark. The Lord of The Flies paper was a thesis paper, but the past quarter, there was a lot of improvement. The outside source was better, and much more on point in getting an exact example that related to the thesis. The thesis was “When you have people who surround you with love, and they do something that may be unkind to you in a way, is it considered 'out of love?”
In history the values were a little different. There were always something about the world involved in beliefs and ideas. In my op-ed, it was all about nuclear power. ""It looks like our world leaders 'have it under control' for right now. I wonder where this will take us in about 5 years?" There were many sides to take in this piece. The good, the bad, the smart, the stupid. Like Mr. Block said, a good topic should be controversial. And, I think this one was a very controversial topic that could have been further debated.
A last example for history was the museum proposal. I feel like I poured my heart and soul into this benchmark. I did tons and tons of research, and it felt like I was sitting at my desk for hours. I feel like it was maybe one of my strongest benchmarks. “You could see how the Dutch really monopolized an innocent country that was rich in goods.” Like the op-ed, this one was benchmark was controversial as well. It supported colonialism rather than not supporting it like the other benchmarks were.
Overall, I loved my sophomore year. English and history were maybe 2 of my favorite subjects, even though they may not have been my strongest. They were the ones that I had the most fun in everyday, and it would be a complete loss if I missed out on these classes, so I'm glad that I've gotten to experience all of this, this whole year. I've really valued my time here.
To take you back to some of my humble beginnings ill take you back to one of my journals. Throughout the year we were asked to write in our journal mostly every day. Most of our journals were based on what we talked the day before or something we were going to talk about in class. At the beginning of the year I wasn’t really into writing in a journal so most of the time I didn’t keep one. After I realized that the journals weren’t that bad and would allow me to get my thoughts down on paper. So after a while I allowed myself to keep a journal to be able to not only be more a part of the class but to be able to express my feelings and also participate more. One of the units I liked the most was the poetry unit. During this time on one of our journals we were asked to free write a poem. When this day came a long I was going through a bunch of mixed feelings, which allowed me to write I Hate Who I Became. This poem allowed me to express myself at the time and created visions in my head of what I was feeling, which also helped me get my head straight.
During our poetry unit we were asked to create a Poetry Wiki Space to be able to display our knowledge on poetry, this also included having information about a poet of our choosing. This unit was one of my favorites, this being because poetry is a big part of me. Me as an individual really enjoy writing and use it as my escape. I believe that poetry is a way of releasing feelings that you have bottled up inside. Poetry, as being one of my hobbies allowed me to be able to express feelings and turn this assignment in something more then just writing poetry and meeting the requirements, but also expressing myself. Also bringing out an entire different side of me as a writer.
Creating this wiki space also allowed me to come back to my poetry roots since I had stopped writing. We were given somewhat of a base for our poems but other then that we wrote on our free will and were allowed to express as much as we could. This unit helped me grow as a poet because it allowed me to learn how to edit my work and be able to come up with more polished poems. It also taught me a lot about poetry and the different styles that can be used to create them.
One of the most interesting projects we did in history was create a Wiki Space debating the views of two different religions and their views on a certain topic.I chose to research on the views that Buddhism and Catholicism have on homosexuality. Through out this process we were asked to include different evidence to proof the views and such. This project helped me realize that sometimes we as humans can be very judgmental and hypocritical.
Through out this year we were also involved in writing up our own collection of monologues that discussed a certain topic that wouldn’t only relate to the U.S but that could be relevant in all parts of the world. I chose to research the DREAM ACT. This legislation will allow teenage immigrants to continue into higher education and be able to receive permanent citizenship and residence.
This topic was interesting to me because of the controversy that it was creating amongst the U.S and I knew I would be able to find a lot of information about it, which would allow my collection of monologues to come to life and have a lot of drama in them.
At the conclusion of this project I became attached to my characters. Through out the process they all sort of came to life and allowed me to let my imagination run wild to be able to come up with great monologues that would be relatable but also easily understood by my audience.
Not only were we asked to write the monologues and include them on a Monologue Google Doc, but we were also asked to research and also create a Research Google Doc. Creating both allowed Mr. Block to track our process and allow our mentor to be able to view what we were changing and how she could help us really polish all of our monologues and to include the research part of the five core values.
During this one of my favorite mock trials was the one we
did on Ancient Mexico & The Aztecs. During this trial we were asked to
defend our side for the demise of the Aztecs. I was put in the group to defend
the men of Hernan Cortes. Another trial we were a part of was the sweatshop trial. In
this trial we had to defend different sides on the controversial topic of
weather sweatshops should be allowed and who is really to blame for them to
keep growing. During this I was a part of defending the Poor Workers who
actually worked in the shops. These trials allowed me to be able to research in deeper and
create opinions on several topics whether they’re recent or something from the
As for history we were faced with really thinking about the topics we were studying, a way we did this was being a part of several mock trials that would allow us to play the role of a certain group that were put to blame. This was done by allowing us to come together in groups and research more background on the topic and the history along with it. Not only did we have to research our sides and facts to help us argue for our side but we also had to find facts that would put to blame the other groups also battling us in the fight to be able to come out as innocent.
In the end sophomore english with Mr. Block allowed me to learn a lot of different things about myself as a writer and as a student. I also took a lot of different types of styles of writing from my peers and different research habits. Overall i can say i really grew this year from where i started.
During this one of my favorite mock trials was the one we did on Ancient Mexico & The Aztecs. During this trial we were asked to defend our side for the demise of the Aztecs. I was put in the group to defend the men of Hernan Cortes.
Another trial we were a part of was the sweatshop trial. In this trial we had to defend different sides on the controversial topic of weather sweatshops should be allowed and who is really to blame for them to keep growing. During this I was a part of defending the Poor Workers who actually worked in the shops. These trials allowed me to be able to research in deeper and create opinions on several topics whether they’re recent or something from the past.
William Potts 5-19-11
Reflection On Prisons Readings
The most important point that I had come across in these readings was a comment made about the amount of time the inmates are held on based on the severity of their crimes. It said that in America we treat a ten year sentence like its nothing while anywhere else a decade behind bars is seen as a sever punishment for a serious crime. There was a story written about a marijuana dealer who was caught by the police while he was carrying a gun. According to the article he was sent to prison for 55 years. Although this sentence seems to be outrageously long for man who was only cough carrying contraband and a weapon, I have recently heard a story of a drug dealer who offered drugs to a high school student in Philadelphia, The student replied with "I don’t want any of that S***"The man responded by shooting the teenager and killing him. The 55-year sentence was more than unfair, but it would seem that the police are giving people sentences for crimes that they have not committed but rather that they could commit because of their position.
That is also the reason that kidnapping is now treated like murder case. The police are going hard on offenders, this is understandable, but this may cause an increase in the severity on the nature of the crimes. A clear example of this is a terrible story of about a man who hade a criminal record. The man has a young daughter to take care of and of coarse with a criminal record it was nearly imposable to find a legitimate job. So he had started selling drugs again. One day he was driving with his daughter on the highway. The man hade an incriminating amount of cocaine in the car. A highway patrol car pulled him over for speeding. The officer was a lone young woman who was new to being a police officer. She asked the man for I.D he handed over his information and she started to walk back to her car to run the information through her computer, the man realized it was only a matter of time before she learned of his history and search his car to find the drugs. So in a desperate act the man jumped the women and threw her to the ground, he started to beat her severely beating her and breaking bones and knocking her on the verge of consciousness. As he got up he stated in a voice riddled with guilt, fear and sadness “ I’m sorry, but I just cant go back to jail” he got back in his car and sped away leaving the police women on the side of the highway.
The only good thing about this story is the fact that the women survived her attack. The perpetrator was caught several days later, instead of avoiding prison; he was sentenced to 60 years behind bars. He was atleast 30 years old, so he basically received a life sentence.
Mr. Block’s copper stream was an excellent year, I feel that I have learned a lot throughout 2010-2011 school year. Even though I had my struggles I pulled through and give it my all to reach my highest learning skills for this class. We learned many wonderful things during this year and the one that I feel I had a better understanding for was the poetry unit. This particular unit made me feel better about expressing my thoughts and feelings into paper. Many of my poems let me express many of my feeling and thoughts.
My wiki page shows many of my sampled poetry and how I expanded my understanding into many ways of different poetry such an sonnets and many other ways to express yourself. Here is some of the many poetries on my Wiki Poetry page.
The majority of my writings this year, I developed a better understanding of general thoughts and thesis idea. Our first major writing assignment was our Descriptive Writing piece. With this project we learned how to make scenes that are vivid and descriptive; using extensive details and illustrative language; making the scenes easy to “see” in the readers mind.
As part of the Monologue Project, I wrote a play about a young girl that lives in India and struggles with the educational problems that are going on in her country because of the economy and their lack of money. This project gave me a better understanding of how it feels to not be given the educational needs that I am given freely. This assignment improved my skills in research and also in my writing skills as a young play writer. This was a very fun project to work on this year.
History my favorite and most honorable project of the year was the Colonialism
Exhibit, I created an interactive museum exhibit that illustrated the struggles
of Ghana in Africa and how they gained back their freedom from British who
colonized them for their riches of gold and other trade uses. Through this
exhibit I wanted people to exit with a better understanding of colonialism. I
also gained a better understanding myself during this project, I feel that is
my best work throughout this year as one of Mr. blocks history student. I’m
very proud that I finished this year on a strong note and are looking forward
of future work with English and History.
When Mr. Block assigned this project, and announced its full details, I didn’t exactly feel that I had learned anything majorly crucial. As I contemplated this further, I realized that in fact, I had learned multiple lessons and essential nuggets of knowledge, just that they were taught in such a subtle way, that I didn’t fully recognize their importance until I actually took the time to realize them. One aspect of this situation that intrigued me was how the knowledge was not completely hidden in my conscience, but only enough so that I could summon it when needed without the need to decipher its apparent existence in my mind.
In example, during both of the court trials (here and here) I learned to be more sympathetic and to consider multiple points of views, even if my own expressed a strong adversity to one or more of them. For instance, during the Cortes trial, I prosecuted many of the other groups in defense of Cortes, whom I felt quite strongly against before the trial. During the research period of the trial, I found multiple resources that placed a notion of leniency in my conscience. I found that more and more, as I learned Cortes’ point of view, I felt warmer towards him. Of course, I still disagreed with his methods and his logic, but I still considered his ideas. During the Sweatshop trial, The same effect occurred, where I felt more lenient to the group of people I defended.
Looking back upon the monologue project (here), I found that once again the same phenomenon occurred. Because the editing process was so lengthly, I didn’t realize the full extent of my learning experience. During the first few weeks of the project, I had one idea, and as the project progressed, the idea behind my work evolved as well. I switched from studying prostitution to transgendered individuals. As weeks went on, studying transgendered people shifted to studying their childhood, and then to their life experiences. I didn’t realize at first that I was being taught such an interesting and crucial subject, because I was the one who teaching myself along the perimeters that Mr. Block set.
I found that the majority of the lessons learned in class were taught by the students to themselves, with Mr. Block acting as a sort of mediator. Like our monologue project, many of our essays and papers were for the most part, self taught through research. I suppose that the core values of SLA play a major aspect of this. Our history benchmark for this quarter (here) is a great example of self-taught learning. After our unit on colonialism, which gave us a broad knowledge of the subject, we were instructed to inquire upon a culture inflicted by colonialism, research it, present a proposal for a museum exhibit concerning it, collaborate with peers on the best choice for the museum, and then reflect upon our work.
An example of a more structured assignment, would be our poetry project (here). We were taught to observe poetry with new perspectives, by using poetic forms which we wouldn’t usually utilize in poetry, for those of us who actually write poetry. It is almost ironic that the poetry project would become the most structured assignment in our academic portfolio, when the vast majority of poetry is anything but structured. That aside, I learned many aspects of poetry that I had never learned before. For instance, the poet that I studied, Arthur Rimboud, was a poet that I had never heard of before I decided to research him.
So, in conclusion, I have learned many lessons and bits of knowledge that I had previously not recognized. Now that I have realized this crucial realization, I can better prepare myself for further learning that will also be essential to my academic growth. It still intrigues me that all of these crucial subjects were absorbed by my conscience without my own recollection.
My first general understanding was that our reactions to things have a lot to do with our environment. I learned in some of the books I read that we react off of the thing that happen around us. Like when the people where in the holocaust they where going crazy because they were put in very crazy situations. I have had some work that I have done. Like one of my things was a iture log that I did talking about this book named passing tht we read and it was very touching but it also made me think of the different changes people go through.
my second general understanding was that poetry is more than just words that you put on a piece of paper, it is the emotional connection to life that you express through similes, metaphors, and other different techniques. People that write poetry have some type of spiritual connection to there poetry that no one will ever have with someone else poetry. Mr.block taught me that poetry doesn’t always have to be structured but when it is it also can be your own. I love the wiki we did with our poetry. There is a link to it at the bottom of this paragraph.Poetry Wki
My third general understanding was that citizens have the power but do not always exercise it. Different parts of our unit messed with this topic. Like the trials we had with Cortes and His Voyage. The people of the land had more advantage to them then they thought they had. They knew the land and they have the resources. But they didn’t have the time to think of it to save them selves. I have a link at the bottom of this paragraph of an example of the work that was done for this trial.Trial Work
Another general understanding was that in order for someone to pass with a good grade and for something that they would be proud of he or she would have to really do their work. How would I know? Well because Ashyne likes to procrastinate on doing her work to the last minute and then bull**** it at the very end. It isn’t something that helps you in the long run because once you get use to it, it will be the thing you do forever and it is a hard habit to get out of believe me. So just do your work. Staying on the checkpoints is the best thing a person can do and actually being into the work instead of just getting by.
My last general understanding it that you have to be willing to change and work with other to be successful in this school. There is a lot of teamwork done in this school and there is just no space for loners here. There is something about team work that make things so much more fun and stressful but a good stress. It teaches you to be patient and work with all kinds of people. Those are my general understanding and this was my over view of my 10th grade year.
In the second quarter for History we learned about the Renaissance. During this process we went to the Art Museum, and we saw renaissance art. I think the art was cool because they really didn’t have the tools that we have today, and their art was still on point. We also did a trial for Hernan Cortes, and The Aztecs. This was very fun, we learned, and we got to act like lawyers, and all of the other people in court. In English we read Their Eyes Were Watching God. I loved this book. I think this was the best book we read all year. We started to right Poetry this Quarter. I honestly can’t write poetry, because when I think of poetry I think of rhyming words, and I learned that not all poems have to have rhymes. There are different styles of poetry, but to people like me rhyming poetry is the most common poetry to me. This was our second quarter English benchmark. I surprised myself during this process.
In the third we started out Monologue projects. Mrs. Kate came to class, and taught us how to write really good monologues. I started this project with high hopes, then those hopes got crushed, and I eventually gave up on the project. I really wish we could do that over because I would be more into it this time. We had another trial this quarter, but this one was about sweatshops, and who is really to blame for the sweatshops. I was apart of the group called the system. The system really should have been found guilty but it wasn’t. In English this quarter we read a book called passing. Passing was an okay book to be honest I really stop reading it after Clare let her husband call her nig, because she was darker. Our benchmark this quarter was about crossing boundaries, and we did podcast interviews. I interviewed my great-grandmother on her life, and her encounters with racial discrimination.
In our fourth and final quarter in History we read a book call Things Fall Apart, and this led off to us talking about colonialism. For our benchmark we had to pick a place that was affected negatively, or positively by colonialism. I chose Madagascar. We made museum exhibits for the benchmark. In English we the book Night. The Holocaust was our topic of the quarter. I believe that the holocaust was wrong, but the people who were being tortured were hopeful, so I commend them for that. We wrote an academic paper for this quarter’s benchmark. I did pretty well on it. Then we performed in the A.I.O. This was a fun experience also. I feel that my group did well. Now to end everything off I am doing this final portfolio about my year in English/History. #DoubleBlock
Throughout this year 10-11 in my humanities classes I have learned a lot. My eyes were opened in many different ways. The things we did this year have helped me realize what is going around in the world around me. I realized that people aren’t fortunate enough to have what America has. They have to fight and protest to get what they want. In my History we watched videos of people protesting against their governments because of the oppression. We did a monologue project in our History class about world struggles. Mine was based on the Tiananmen Square protest in China. Another thing we did was a mock trial based on multinational corporations and the people that are involved and affected by them.
One thing that really stood out to me was the language unit in my English class. Language is a very important in the society. You might not realize it at first, but when you think about it you code switch. Your language changes depending on the environment your in. For example you might you use “slang” when you’re with your friends but you speak “properly” when you’re with your parents. We watched a video about the different ways people talk around the United States. That video makes you think about what exactly is “proper english.”
If you have and abundance of people talking differently, then who are you to say that the way they’re speaking is improper. Another thing that really stood out to me this year was religion. People are very diverse and religion plays a big part in that. This year we had to research religions and compare them. While I was researching I realized that a lot of religions have the same beliefs. If that’s the case then why are people battling over which religion is “right.” We also came to school dressed as someone else an talked about our religions. The person I studied was the Dalai Llama Another thing this year that opened my eyes was poetry. I was used to poetry that rhymed in an A/B format. The project that we did on poetry opened my eyes to new styles. It made me think and express myself in new ways. It was a new experience to me but I enjoyed it.
In this year’s humanities courses, I feel that my mind and perspectives as a student have been opened beyond my own comprehension. The different activities and assignments that were completed have grown me to a place where I can see and think outside of what is directly in front of me. I have learned that things truly are not always what they seem. Every person has a story and a place in the system that is the world we operate in today. It is my opinion that if I had not been able to experience humanities in the way that I did this year, my thinking and perspectives would be completely different.
In the majority of my writings this year I formed my theses and general ideas around topics that at fist glance I did not agree with, but during the process of writing the papers and research the ideas became true beliefs. For example in my Lord of the Flies thesis paper I state, “ Although savagery is a state of being that is frowned upon in society it is one that is necessary in some cases to promote progress.” Just the thought of humans, the kings of all beasts, having to reduce themselves to the savage state of animals to accomplish a goal is strike to the human ego. This idea is one that I did not agree with until during my research when I found clear examples of this idea in play about sixty-five years ago during WWII. The United States bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki along with the Japanese Kamikaze flights were acts of savagery that were ultimately needed to end the Second World War.
As part of the Monologue Project, I wrote a play set in an American owned textile factory in Sri Lanka. I view this project as one my greatest accomplishments and learning times of this year. This project allowed me to step into the shoes of every individual that played a role in the function and corruption of sweatshops. I was taken out of my comfort zone and dropped into an unfamiliar place, where it was my responsibility to tell the stories of those who could not speak. I felt as though I was their only advocate. This assignment enhanced not only my writing skills but also my skills in research and its interpretation. Hours were spent revising and quoting- trying to make sure that the story told was one that was accurate and displayed the message and story that was to be told. The final product was But I’ve Got My Fingers and These Ashes. The product was truly something that highlighted many of the skills that I gained and possessed already.
In our study of poetry I found myself to be particularly struggling because I already had a slight displeasure with the topic. Personally, I am not very fond of poetry because its meanings can be so vast and open to interpretation that it is difficult to find just one clear meaning. Because of this I tend to stay as far away from poetry as possible and did not at all consider myself to be the slightest of a poet. My poems created on the Poetry Wiki are my attempt at being a poet. The quote heading the page tells us that at one point we were all poets and can loose our poetry sense. In experiencing this project I found an inner poet that I thought did not exist and never would. This poet was able to grasp the elements of poetry that I was not to fond of and turn them into something that I feel, demonstrate my struggle with poetry and newfound appreciation for its existence.
I am the type of person who needs explanation for almost all that I come in contact with. In my mind, the idea of always having a black and white answer is slowly fading. Because of interpretation and idea such as “justice” can have one meaning for one set of people and another meaning for a different set of people. In the final thesis paper of this year I stated, “It is the responsibility of both parties during times of war, to seek justice.” by Art Spieglman’s The Complete Maus , Night by Eilie Wiesel and the Nuremburg Trails were the basis of this paper. I explored the effects of environment and experience on one’s interpretation of the definition of justice. Environment and experience are the true definers of what justice is to a person.
The above is also true when considering the lasting footprint that colonialism has left on nations that were colonized by the previously dominant European rule. Often possessing a negative connotation, colonialism in the case the Republic of the Philippines, possessed both negative and positive qualities. As part of the Colonialism Exhibit Project, I created and interactive museum exhibit that illustrated the footprint colonialism left in that nation. I focused experience of that the people had under Spanish rule and under United States rule. The result ultimately was a nation that still struggles today to find itself in the Global Economy and system. This assignment took an idea that I had set in mind and gave it a new definition.
From this year's humanities courses I can walk away a better learner, thinker, and student. The activities and assignments of this year's courses opened my eyes and broadened my perspectives. I feel as though prior to participating in these year’s courses I have been taken out of the box that I kept myself in freshman year. I can only look forward and hope that the years to come in my educational career can offer what I have gained this year.
An example of how I am moving towards fulfilling my responsibility as an innovator is my Op-Ed. My Op-Ed is about the differences between Nuclear Fusion and Nuclear Fission and it was more of a science paper but there is a quote from it that shows I’m trying to improve the world. “Overall, the need for fusion is desperate, especially after what we have and are witnessing with the Fukushima Incident in Japan, with all that radiation from the nuclear fission in the reactors.”
Over the year, I realized that I can create incredible works and teach about what is needed and what is going on even though I’m not a specialist in any field. This is part of another understanding I came to learn, that Experts aren’t the only ones that can create great works of art in certain fields.
My benchmark for the second quarter was the religion benchmark I named “The Huge Psychological Deception. In it I explained how religion affects the world from a psychologist’s view instead of my view. Here is a quote I included in the article by Sigmund Fraud: "In the future of an illusion, the latent content behind religious conceptions remains associated with the 'father complex,' but here this is linked to the helplessness that elicits innate infantile desires for wish fulfillment."
The final fact I came to learn is that collaboration is key to pro level work. Collaboration is what every person needs to do to create pro work, no matter how many times they need to peer edit, record as a group, or whatever is needed through collaboration.
An example of this is the video of an edited scene from a book called Their Eyes Are Watching God in the Marxist lens and normal lens. It took us three days to produce it and we had to do many, many edits to the video.
To give a bigger message about what I learned this year, it would have to be that effort is what brings out the greatness in people and changes the world. I can envision truly changing the world in the future through science, the kind of change I want to make in the world. Specifically, Biomedical Engineering in space.
(Takes place in Cheng’s Grandfather’s house)
(Grandpa is at the market with Grandma. He stops at the fruit store.)
(Says hello to the store clerk in Mandarin)
(Walks around the store browsing the store’s collection of fruit and eventually goes up to the store clerk)
How much do 3 of these jackfruit cost?
66.05 Yuans, Are you crazy!?!?!?!?!
(Throws his hands up as if mad and pointing towards stuff and complaining)
Thats a rip-off! The economy is poor I know that but that doesn’t mean you have to raise the cost 7 Yuan more!!
(Looks away in disgust)
Hmmmff! How much are 5 of the Dorian?
Are you crazy!?
(Swings his cane around and causes the clerk to think Grandpa is going to hit him so he reaches under the desk and pulls out a shotgun which he loads and points at Grandpa)
(Grandpa looks at the clerk and then at the barrel of the shotgun and gets a frightened and mad face and voice)
W-Why are you pointing a shotgun at me?
What are you talking about?
I was swinging my cane around in the air because I was angry but I wasn’t, am not, and will never hit you with my cane, I would get sued.
(Grandpa tries to calm the clerk down and tries to convince him to lower the shotgun and puts his arms up as if trying to stop something from hitting him.)
So would you be so kind as to lower the shotgun and I will pay for these fruits?
(Calms down and speaks in a tired voice)
Well I guess that isn’t that much of an increase since before it was 81 Yuans.
But still this economy is killing the population and bleeding the civilians’ accounts dry.
(Starts to try a barter. So move your hands in front of you as if trying to reason or explain something to a person)
Are you absolutely sure you can’t lower the price on the fruit for me?
(His face turns to a sad face due to the clerk not lowering the price on the fruit)
Ugh, fine i’ll buy 2 Jackfruit and 3 Dorian.
42.85 Yuan is such a rip-off but i’ll buy it for my grandkids.
(In an angry and sarcastic voice)
Have a nice day.
(Walks out the door with Grandma)