Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
Teams must qualify.
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)
This project was similar to the Negative space drawing because we had to choose what part of the drawing we wanted positive and negative. We had to carve out what we wanted to be positive and leave what we wanted to be negative
For the Printmaking project I chose to draw a Street light and Inside the street are LEDs which are made from Gallium Arsenide.
If I could do this again I would do a different print. The printing wasn't that hard but I didn't favor that part of the project