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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

Before I entered English 2 of my sophomore year, i would have never thought that you could represent language in different ways. Language is not just a form of speaking but it is everything around you . Language can be displayed in poetry, different body movements different types of silent protesting and many more. In the past units that I have learned in English 2 different types of languages were brought to my attention multiple times. 

While completing an autobiography that had to describe a time when language affected me the most, I was forced to notice that when I spoke to my bi-racial cousin, the way I was communicating to her made her feel uncomfortable. It wasn’t just the way I talked around here it was the way I moved when she tried to hug me or any type of affection she decided that she wanted to give. I didn't realize that when I didn’t speak to her I was still using body language that made her feel uncomfortable. So I changed the way I moved around her so she knew that I didn't feel any different about her than I did my other family (language autobiography). This displayed that the movement of your body is a language and you can speak with people that way. 

After completing the language unit in English 2, we had to create a video that displayed what we thought language was, and how language affected you. Since language is more than just a form of speaking, in my video I labeled language as a variety of things in this video. The video simply goes over the fact that language is everywhere around you and you decided how you use language . 

During our poetry unit, we were asked to describe what was poetry. I gave the definition: Poetry is  when someone puts together a group of words that has a deeper meaning than meets the eye (English Journal 28) drawling the conclusion that poetry is just words. After discussing with the class and creating the poetry wiki (here) I also created a drawling to accompany one of my poems which said a lot but was not accompanied by words I noticed that poetry is more that just speaking, its art, dance, and anything you want it to be. Poetry is a form of language , and just like poetry, they both are more than just speaking. 

Not only in English 2 did we learn that language is not just a form of  speaking we also learned it in history. There was a time in india where the British were trying to stay in power and the Indians didn't want them to. Instead of using words such as threats , racial slurs or other things, the protested silently. They were communicating with the british that they had enough and didn't want to be colonized anymore in a silent language that the british understood. Showing that once again you don't have to to speak to show that you are using a language you don't even have to speak to communicate. 

In (Journal 39) we had to discuss weather or not we believe violence is more power than non violence. I always associate nonviolence with language  and silence.  Before the unit I stated that violence is power, but after  the unit I realized that non violence is power it shows you realization and it gives you a voice. Showing that language can be a fighting tool. 

I have learned a lot in English class over these past 10 months, however I believe the power of language and how language can be more than words stood out to me the most.  Like stated above language is everywhere. I don't believe that there is a definite definition for language because language is everything.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

At the Beginning of my Sophomore year at Science leadership academy, I had an English 2 and World history class with Joshua Block, I didn’t walk into the classroom with the same understanding the beginning of the year that I’m walking out of with at the end of year, I walked in with a local understanding and mindset of the things happening around me and my concern for world rights and civil rights weren’t as strong. We’ve covered everything from poetry, to global education.

One of the things I’ve learned this year is poetry is definitely a form of self expression. In English class we covered a poetry unit, expanding on how you write poetry, what’s the meaning of it and what it does to help a person. We did a project called “A Poem a day”... which we made a poem every day for a week. A Riff, ode, I was raised by, Found poem, and an HAIKU poem. Out of every poem that I created. I was most attached to my I was raised By & Ode Poem.

“I was raised by that 100m mark,

The chance to take that Win, for lost, not for the team.. but for yourself”

A quote from my I was raised by poem I wrote during the year, before this year I was never the one to display what I love most, or my environment whenever we had to talk about “ourselves”. I’ve ran almost my entire life and never talked about it, never talked about how nervous it made me, how much it isn’t a team sport, I found this as a better way to express myself.

It's thin, skinny, like it's been taking Zumba classes.

             Shear dark skin, it's my black best friend.

             I wish It'll spend more time with me, but good times always has an end it.

             My gateway to connect to people, the music it plays are like stories, and I love listening,”

             Describing things weren’t always my best ability to writing anything, especially to the last detail. These are a couple of lines from my Ode poem, describing something that you love, something that you see everyday or someone. Describing something in the most creative way possible, I had to use my imagination to the best standards I could've thought of, I was describing my Iphone in this poem, from what it does and how it looks like.

During the year we’ve learned that it’s always important to Defend yourself with evidence, this year in history class we did a trial on Multinational corporations and third world countries regarding the workers and how poorly they’re treated with the labor handed to them and the poor pay that third world country workers receive, who's the most Guilty? Well we did a trial debating the same question, The poor country Elites? the ones who look over the poor workers, watch them work for outside countries but does nothing about it? Multinational Corporations, the ones who pay these third world country elites to do their dirty work, but claims that they aren’t aware of what’s happening behind closed doors?

“We have no jurisdiction over the country or factories, all we do is make contracts with factory owners

Multinational Corporation

You admitted that you with your own two feet walked and applied for these factory jobs.

Poor workers

Yes you help the poor countries out of your pockets, but you also contribute to their sweatshop lives

These are just a couple of quotes from the trial of the multinational corporations, the different perspectives and views of different sides of each story, what you did and said to Defend yourself with Evidence.

During the year we had to keep a track of our thoughts in an english and history journal, but during the year in our English journal #39, we were talking about Freedom, Here’s a quote from my Journal My opinion and thoughts on this journal surrounded around Freedom, expressing how much we need it, when it isn’t given to us, how we live life.

As we were talking about Art, and how art is created. What we do to make art. It’s so abstract, anything could be art. I believe that art is a very effective form of expression oneself, In my Journal #43

Ron's Wordle
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Negative Space

1. ​What is negative space? 

Negative space is the area around the object you are drawing.

2. I found negative space in both my drawings and my cutouts by drawing the object first, and then shading around it.

3. Why does it help an artist to see in negative space?

It helps an artist to see in negative space because he is able to determine the difference between light and dark. 

4. Does negative space enhance your drawings?

Yes because it helps make the object in the drawing more distinct and visible by making it contrast with the negative space around it.
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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

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“From the roots of a tree to the branches of it, you can see the changing colors of the season. Almost time to wear coats but not precisely. It’s like knocking the wind out of you. The warmth of summer so quickly replaced by the warmth of sweaters scarves and pumpkin coffee. Fall is beautiful.” was one of the things that I wrote in my journal. I learned so much from this unit as well.  Not the changing colors because of the seasons but how fast something can change. Like I changed throughout my sophomore year. It wasn’t a negative change nor positive. But it was an original change. The originality of specific things.  Originality is pushing yourself beyond personal boundaries.

In fall of 2012, I began my English and history course for my sophomore year. I was looking forward to the year because of the work I heard about during my freshmen year. The thing that inspired me the most or at least kept me myself through the entire  academic year would most likely be the history journal 19. The journal question asked “ what is your universe of obligation? I thought to myself . But it did not take me too long to answer this question. I knew what was keeping me strong for the year. It was my family. My family is my support system and regardless having fun time or an education or even a job, they came first because that’s what kept me going and motivated. We also learned about spirituality during the unit. I am a strong believer in the Catholic religion so I felt like the unit connected to who I was in several ways. And even though we did not study how Catholicism began or even talk about Christianity, I had the opportunity to write or express my thoughts of what spirituality really is in a journal entry.  But although I felt comfort writing about my religion on a piece of paper, I had to pass that boundary. I had to push myself to strive for something bigger, for something better and for something more unique.

we were already in the middle of the academic school year and I was feeling sluggish. Just not caring about anything because I felt like I already knew everything but I reality I didn’t.  During one for the classes, we were searching up inequality in other countries. We found out about sweatshops. this was it. A way to get out of my boundaries. Journal 32, explains how industrialization is positive because it has led to many more job opportunities for many people and has made the economy rise. But then it talks about how it is negative because of all the pollution and negativity going on due to the factory opening. And then journal 33 talks about all the negativity that goes on because of the factories. It talks about sweatshops. I think that this moment was the perfect moment for  me to get out of my boundaries. I didn’t  want to buy anything created by sweatshops but it was basically impossible due to the simple fact that everything is created by them and if they are not then it is super expensive. Also, I tried another alternative which was making it myself. I didn't know how to make clothes but also most of the fabrics were manufactured in sweatshops so I wasn’t actually able to accomplish much.. Right now, I am gathering as much information possible and see what things can be put into action to stop sweatshops from still being in business.

You see, many things were learned this unit. Everything from being comfortable with yourself and how others do not have the chance to be comfortable at all. We also learned about how the only way to survive was to do things in unison.  We did a journal entry that ties everything up so neatly. Since I am such a family oriented person  my journal entry was about my experience in puerto rico. it was in my personal boundary but it was original. if you wanna read more, CLICK THIS LINK, to read the journal.

Whatever happens when all the leaves fall from the tree? It may feel lonely or frightened, it may not be the prettiest, but when spring comes all you have to remember is that april showers bring may flowers. Every moment you have to stand out should be taken because thats what originality is. And thats what I learned this year. If something really interests you, go for it. You may be pointed at or signaled but just like the tree in the winter, it realized that it bloomed in spring.

If you want to read more pieced of wrinting, please visit my POETRY page.

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Journal #43

​"Why do people create art?"

People create art to express themselves, whatever is on their mind they put it on paper, wall, anything basically, doesn't exactly have to be material, It's good to have a background, It can add to the power of art because the setting help express an even deeper emotion. 
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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

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Over the course of the year I’ve learned a variety of things about the different time periods and people in those time periods. Those time periods and people in them were very significant to the shaping of the history in the world. I learned about two main ideas that stood out to me, The 1st main idea was “No one is really innocent, everyone is guilty of something” and the second main idea was “
Revolutions cause the world to change in unexpected ways” .

These stood out to me because they are so true. When we were conducting the trials in World History, we learned that everyone in the cortes trial was partly guilty for why Cortes did what he did. Also in the multi-national elite trial, everyone was partly guilty of why poorer countries are taken advantage of. One quote from the trial is “We bow down to the system of profit, we’re brainwashed into taking as much money as possible, just as the leaders of rich countries like the United States would do, and their leaders are ridiculed too. We are no better, or no worse.” This is saying the the ruling elite in the poor countries are following the ways of the US and how we handle business here and they are just modeling our work Another quote is “Our country is not where it needs to be. No country is perfect, we have to work to move our way up.” I strongly agree with this quote. No matter what, every country has it’s problems.I’ve always believed this and after the trial, it furthered my beliefs in this.

The only country that came close to perfection was Atlantis and we aren’t even sure if it existed. I believe every country does need to build it’s way up. No country starts at the top. The United States started from the bottom and now they here at the top. Every country wants to get to the top so they can provide a better life for the people in their country. If they are struggling then no one there has the luxury to live a comfortable life.

During the trials I learned that in order to get significant funding from the bigger companies, countries have to decide if they want to please the companies or the residents. They can’t come to a decision to satisfy both parties because no matter how they try to balance the choices, it always favors one party more than the other. My group was faced with the challenge of trying to do so, as were 5 other groups and no one truly succeeded despite who was said to be the “winner”. Now some revolutions that changed the world would include the French Revolution, the American Revolution and the Haitian Revolution. The American and French Revolution are the two best known revolutions but the Cuban Revolution is significant also.

The French Revolution was huge in changing the future of Europe as prior to this Great Britain ruled over the French. The French people were sick of the way they were being treated so they did something about it and they enlisted some of the biggest names, manly Napoleon Bonaparte. He was a big reason the French Revolution went the way it did. For the American Revolution the Americans wanted to break free of Great Britain’s control over them. They fought back and overthrew the government. They also enlisted a historic figure in George Washington and he helped get the now United States their freedom. Over the course of the year I learned why this was all important. Doing research on it helped because prior to this I would always hear little details here and there about it but never the full story.

I began to compare the two revolutions and see which one seemed more important but in the end, they both were important in shaping the future. If neither one occurred, I wouldn’t be writing about this. I might be working somewhere through forced labor by Great Britain.The history of these revolutions made sure the future was bright for it’s kin. In the present there have been other revolutions inspired by this two which helped their country gain independence and they aren’t ruled over by another country.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

“I was raised to fight.




I was raised in conflict.

I was raised within nirvana.”

Over the course of my time in Mr. Block’s class, I have stretched my learning across many different topics.  The Holocaust to the Arab Springs, my time spent C band and E band has been diverse as the school I attend.  Throughout my time in Mr. Block’s class, Mr. Block has made his main point of teaching, the Humanities aspect of all of the topics we have covered over the course of the year.  Within humanities, comes love and compassion and I have learned to put my heart into everything I do in Mr. Block’s class. To sum it up in a quick sentence, I have learned to create humane art, through words, my voice, and movement.

“I was raised a sinner.


Insensitive remarks,

Bruises from big cousins.

Nostrils flaring,

Loud, unruly.”

I first came into Mr. Block’s room, an opinionated 15 year old.  My favorite subject is History, specifically in Civil Rights, so when I found out that Mr. Block’s philosophy on teaching was humanities, I knew it was going to be a very interesting year.  We tackled trials and poetry units, museum proposals and videos.  We used many different outlets to observe, compare and contrast the morality of different historical events.  “I was still young enough to be unaware,

But old enough to question.”

“I have always had a complex vocabulary, according to my mother I was able to say 26 words by the time I was a year old.”  In english class this year, I learned not only how to communicate my ideas through paper, but also through dance, and public speech.  I am a very vocal person in class, to contradict that, I am also very afraid of public speaking.  You can only imagine my nerves when we had to speak in front of Market Street about our opinions on different subjects when we were creating OpEds.  I suppose my vocality in the classroom is not only for a participation grade but also an attempt to break the nervousness that takes over.  This class has taught me to break outside of my comfort zone.

I had to break outside of my comfort zone yet again when I was placed in a group that had to defend Hernando Cortez’ “exploration” of Mexico.  While morally, I was completely against what he did to current day Mexico, I knew I had a job to do, which was make him look as innocent as possible.  Cortes sought to pacify, not provoke; to appease with gifts, not oppress with guns.” While my group still ended up the most “guilty”, I was proud of myself for pushing myself to try to make a man, who did the most terrible of things, look innocent.  

Throughout my year in Mr. Block’s class I learned how to push boundaries and I became a more compassionate person when it comes to historical events.  I pushed myself to be more open to different ideas, and learned to defend things that I was not morally in agreement with.  Mr. Block’s class has led me to be a better person. When I walked out of my first class of the year, “I was unaware I was leaving a piece of me behind.”

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History Journal #13

Considering what you learned and read about Buddhism, what buddhist principles align most with your beliefs?

The quote to the left relates to my beliefs because nothing can affect the morals I have, no outside ideas of the world.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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Journal #1

Journal #1 

Why is the world such an unequal place?

  1. The world is greedy. They don’t care about anyone else by themselves. It is causing the gap between the wealthy and the poor to become even more drastic.
  2. People taking the resources from others adds on to the greed. Poor countries are so poor because they are not treated equally.
  3. Colonization brings to the point of other countries are delayed compared to others because colonization for those countries has set them back. 
  4. Access to education is difficult for many of these countries as well, which makes those people oblivious to the fact that they could have a better life. 

What is the best way to deal with inequality?

The best way to deal with global inequality is to help one another. The wealthier countries should give to the less fortunate countries to prevent them from going into debt. It’s about realizing that the world is a bigger place than just our individual countries. In order to function long term you have to not only focus on ourselves, we have to look at ourselves as equal and treat one another the same way. In times of things like natural disasters we can go help rebuild one another. We can set up better education systems that are made equal. We can not take advantage of smaller countries. 

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Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men

The novella Of Mice and Men is one of America’s most enduring pieces of literature. In spite of its mere 107 pages, the story has attracted readers for more than seven decades.  Perhaps this is because the allure of this book is in its characters, rather than in its plot. In the book, John Steinbeck explores the relationship between a lumbering, yet loving dimwit, Lennie Small and a brooding dreamer, George Milton. The two are peripatetic, journeying seemingly aimlessly from ranch to ranch across the western United States. While Lennie and George appear to be just two of the thousands of other nomadic farmhands drudging through through every month just to blow their ‘stake’ on cheap booze and hookers and return to the ranch life, the protagonists of Of Mice and Men distinguish themselves by a few novel traits. The first is their relationship, the second their aspirations and the third the burden they bear. 

When first introduced, Lennie and George are indistinguishable. The book states “Both were dressed in denim trousers and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and both carried tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulders.” As the chapter progresses, however, and they begin to converse, the author makes clear that these two are not the same in this relationship. 

Through Steinbeck’s illustration of Lennie’s behavior, we see a blissful, yet wildly unintelligent giant of a man, unable to fend for himself. He clings to George as a child to a parent, imitating George’s mannerisms and opinions. Lennie is burdened with the intelligence and personality of a small child, and a mountain of a body. His love of soft things leads him to incessantly accidentally hurt and kill the animals he is so enamored with. He wants nothing more than George’s companionship, and perhaps a few rabbits to pet. Throughout the book, this remains constant. Lennie is static.

George appears to be an average man of the 1930s. He is often abrasive, a naturally solitary creature. His burden is that of Lennie’s companionship. It is left unclear how Lennie came into George’s stewardship, but it occurred long before the events of the book. George lives his life constantly running, constantly talking Lennie out of the trouble Lennie lands them in. While George may often complain about his station in life, fending for both himself and for Lennie, he is shown as truly caring for Lennie. The two share a relationship that the other gruff and independent farmhands around them have never known. 

In these brief 107 pages, Lennie and George’s relationship brings them each immense anguish and sporadic moments of joy. It is the central plot device, and the harrowing ending would be void of emotion without it. This is what sets this book so far above the rest, and makes it accessible to people from every corner of life. This book is not about a series of events. This book is about people, and it is about the relationships that two people might forge with one another when neither one fits quite right into the mold that society has formed for them, or into society in general. Lennie is an inherent outcast, left behind because of his unintelligence, and often misunderstood. When other characters see Lennie’s hulking frame, and those hands that could crush a man’s bones, they see a fighter. They see a bitter, cruel oppressor. Lennie, however, is far from that. Lennie is an easily frightened lover, an stalwart companion and good soul. George is nothing particularly impressive physically, and others in the book treat him as such. George is much more than average though. Others accuse him of “playing” Lennie, of extorting money from him and of taking advantage of him, but the truth is that George has fought, ran and argued Lennie out of countless mishaps, simply because it is the moral thing to do. Because as Lennie puts it, “Not us, George, because I... see, I got you to look after me, but you got me to look after you.”

Of Mice and Men ends in heart wrenching tragedy. In quick succession, a series of events leave a single broken soul where once stood a friendship. These last scenes are among the most emotional that I have ever read. As the story comes to a close, you are left with a disjointed band of unhappy undesirables and misfits on an unknown ranch somewhere near Soledad, CA. These are not important people. John Steinbeck, however, through their passion and grief, joy and hope, shows us that these too are valuable people. They tell a valuable story. Even if society refuses to acknowledge them, they are just as real as the wealthy farm owners and aristocrats among us. This situation can be found in countless moments in history. This story could take place anywhere that people live on the fringes of civilization, from the untouchables in India to the slaves of America to the Jews of the Holocaust. 

This theme of not fitting society’s image of you, or into society at large made this book easily relatable for me, as well as for so many other readers. They are what allow me to recommend the book to anyone who feels ready. These themes are also what I chose to portray in the creative piece. I drew Lennie and George as they appear physically, however I used their posture to emulate their true selves. Lennie, with broad shoulders and defined muscles, crouches down, petrified in fear by some unseen attacker. He clutches a pup just a little too close to his chest. He is huge, but in reality, so small. George stands, legs wide and arms outstretched, attempting to shield Lennie. He is not especially strong or cunning, yet he stands to protect his friend from any dangers that may arise. 

Mice and Men Lennie
Mice and Men George
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Element Project

Inquiry- I had to ask a lot of questions because I didn't know much about the random element I was assigned. It was fun to find out more about something I barely knew existed.

Research- We had to research our element. We had to find out what it was used in, how to represent it in a drawing. We had to research it.

Collaboration- Our friends helped research and suggest ideas. They really helped to make our projects the best they can be. 

Presentation- Our prints are going to be posted and shown all around the school. We had to make sure they were presentable and looking good.

Reflection- I had an interesting experience doing this project. It was fun learning about a new element and doing something I had never done before. Many band aids were used during the cutting process :3
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Journal #17

"The 'ideal' spectator is always assumed to be male and the image of the woman is designed to flatter him."
I completely agree with this. If you look at advertisements, like American Apparel ads (which are notorious for being sexually provocative), the woman is rarely portrayed as a whole person but instead fragments of a body. A leg, an ass, a stomach, a breast. In ads, women are depicted as objects to be desired and not as people. This is extremely prevalent in our culture. 
Woman are objectified in nearly all aspects of the media, including music. Rarely do we hear a man sing about a woman's quick wit or expertise in matematics, her body is whats used to quantify her worth. This is evident in the "song" "Birthday Song" by 2 Chainz. In this song, 2 Chainz (A.K.A. "Titty Boi") says "All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe". When he says that he wants a woman as a gift for his birthday, he is objectifying her. When he does not give the woman an identity other than her large butt, he is reducing her to her body. When he acts as though a woman is something to be obtained, he is dehumanizing her. 
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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

“I’m an individual, yeah But I’m part of a movement. My movement told me be a consumer and I consumed it. They told me to just do it I listened to what that swoosh said, Look at what that swoosh did See it consumed my thoughts. This is a song from Macklemore called wings.” (#Journal #35 English ) When I listen to this song the first thing that came to my mind was English and History class. It showed that we can use poetry and fact to make a point. Poetry is the best way to tell people how you feel like my High School poem.  “Being the smoothest guy that you know if you want that girl all you have to do is give her that look and say I want to be with you I think I love you. Knowing that after saying these words she will do anything for you, she like a salve and you’re her master.” (High School) I had to share this show to my class. The people are alway being told what to do and I want people to see that they a plan already for you . But they don’t even know it something. People are always told what to do. We work on an op-ed and mine was about LGBT right. In my op-ed It was about how we are being told what to do and how to be in life. “Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and/or deprived of the right to leave. Look at us now, we worked to get our rights but we still are treating people like slaves. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are still being treated like slaves because others are against their marriage.” (Op-ed).

This year I feel that I learn the most about the about how life can be view. How people don’t get to do what they want. We read a book call  Thing fall apart. The main character was a person person who made the rules I wrote the last chapter which say “They came and talk to us about making are place better but it not doing nothing . We should stay with the things we know. Just like my 2nd wife son Nwoye when with them. He not my son. No son of mine is going with the missionary. After that I sent for my 5 sons and they came and sat in my obi. I told them "You have all seen the great abomination of your brother I will only have a son who is a man, who will hold his head up among my people. If any one of you prefers to be a women, let him follow Nwoye now while I am alive so that I can curse him. If you turn against me when I am dead I will visit you and break your neck." (Chapter 26) People feel that they need to stay with the thing the know. If the don’t the feel like they are doing something wrong. That not true all the time. We also read a story call Lord of the flies. These story show that even as kids they alway have someone tell them what to do. Just like when “ People find out that bad thing will happen if they don’t let piggy be the leader, and instead, they pick Jack.” (LOTF). We set up the world like this anything we do. There was a people who told us to do it. Their the one who are making us follower. I one of my journal was about a quote “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons” (#journal #42 English) This show that everything that we do or who we are as people can tell if people will like us or hate us. I want you to think about this do I do what others do ? Am I an individual? Do I judge people by how they look, date , or doing ?
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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

English and History have always been the weaker links for me as a student. I’ve felt more confident in math and in science ever since I was a little kid in kindergarten. Although they still may not be my strongest subjects I feel as though I have grown so much as a writer this year through the way I learned.

Writing is a bit tedious to me, although I love expressing my feelings through words I always seem to get writers block, I hit that wall and am not able to finish a piece of writing as well as I’d hoped. I still have room to improve on my writing, no doubt about it, but with the variety of work I was able to produce this year it has helped me build some confidence in the writing area. I can’t take the credit though because it was the curriculum that helped me so much. We learned each thing in such a new and different way that I never got bored with the work.

When things got challenging I feel as though I learned the most. One of the general understandings from the year was “When challenging yourself, you are bettering yourself” and I can say that my work is pure evidence of this. One example was our playwriting unit, where we were asked to write an entire one act play on our own, each about a totally different topic. Never in my life would I have expected to write a play. I didn’t know where to start or even what I would write about, but by the end of the process I produced a piece I was very proud of. A second example the general understanding for the year was our choice reading project. I chose to make a prezi, which I had never done before. It took me days to figure out how to use the website and then another few days to decide how I was going to display all my thoughts on to this incredibly new website. Both of these examples were quite challenging but they are the building blocks of creating a strong writer.

“Identity is everything” is another general understanding from the year that I feel showed up various times in our learning. When you know yourself, you can conquer almost anything. The first connection I make to identity is my culture and I was able to portray this in my language autobiography. Along with the writing we were also told to create a digital story which explains briefly the three parts of me and how they shape who I am. I was able to show how the different languages I speak connect to my daily life. Something I wrote during our language unit that stuck with me is “Language is personal because it joins people together”, I have found this true in many circumstances.

My OpEd directly relates to identity and the fact that you have to know yourself in order to love and understand yourself. It clearly states the problem of self harm in young teenage girls because of society’s definition of beauty. I say “The meaning of beauty in our society today is twisted and ridiculous.” and “It has been implanted in our brains that we must look that certain way and if we don’t we are considered ugly to society.” The way you look is part of your identity and you should not be ashamed of yourself no matter what.

Journal writing was something I really enjoyed this year and I feel they were the training wheels to the rest of my writing. Each entry was completely different from the one before, one day we were analyzing a quote, the next we were writing short poems, and the day after we are writing fully opinionated statements about world matters. Although sharing my opinions and debating with the class was always very fun, the creative writing pieces were probably my favorite because each persons was different and unique. We wear the mask was one of my favorite poems of the year and then we wrote our own. “We wear the mask to hide our face” was my first line. This goes hand and hand with the theme of identity that we worked on throughout the year, people hide their true colors because they are afraid their true selves are not good enough for the world. Never shall I forget was another journal entry that let me express a moment in the beauty of poetry. I wrote “Never shall I forget... that last race, spring season of my novice year.” Each line was a different part of the experience, explaining to the readers each special moment.

I could name a hundred different general understandings from the history and English course of my sophomore year but to me the ones that stood out the most were “Identity is everything” and “When challenging yourself, you are bettering yourself”. I felt directly connected to these statements both through my writing and my morals. I grew not only as a writer this year but a person who knows herself, her identity and her limits of challenge.

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Journal #24

Professional male sports are a big deal because of masculinity and what in means to be a man in our society. Maleness is often portrayed as being strong and tough, and to be successful in sports, you need to be strong and tough.
Women's sports get little to no recognition. The WNBA is often mocked by male NBA fans, and the WNBA has been on the brink of bankruptcy for years now due to a lack of spectators. Women isports are often mocked for a perceived lack of femininity. This is because the woman are not playing sports for the male view, so they are seen as useless. The only professional women's sports league that has spectators is the lingerie football league. What does this say about us as a society?
Feminists often claim that feminism is about liberation for everyone, and that anyone can be a feminist. This is not something I agree with. Feminism should be about the woman as a whole, completely removed from the male. Feminism is for women, and women only. Men can be allies, but men cannot be feminists. It's time for men to move over, they've dominated the world long enough. 
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English Journal #6

Why do humans treat each other badly?

Humans treat each other badly because they some people do not have the courage to stand up for what is right, so they take the easy way out. Some because people they were treated badly of the when they were young and others simply because it is there make-up
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English Journal Entry #44


Anyone has the chance to be a hero, heros are not just the famous but they are everyday people who choose to do the right thing, despite what they get out of the situation.

Most heros are everyday people.

heros go against the conformity of the group

Anyone has the potential to be a hero

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Description of an artwork

This is a picture of two gods, a male and female, their names are Radha and Krishna.  In the background there are many peacock feathers that form the symbol Om. The background is the color orangish, brownish and gold, all three colors blend in together. The two gods are standing in the center of the symbol, with their feet touching the ground.

The male, Krishna, has a crown on his head with 3 peacock feathers on top and one away from the rest, on the left side. On his face he has a long U with a line in the middle and a dot on the bottom. He has hair that fall to his shoulders and is wearing earring, necklaces, bracelets. He is wearing a cloth from his waist to his feet's and he is holding part of the cloth on his arm. Around his waist there are waist jewelry. And his hand are holding a fault that is slightly under face. At the end of the flute there are three strings of beads hanging on it.

The female, Radha, also has a crown on her head but with no feathers. Radha's left hand is resting on Krishna's right shoulder and her head is resting on her left hand as well. She has a flower behind her ear, with her out behind her back. On her forehead she has a Indian jewelry called the Tikly. She is wearing a sari, earrings, 3 necklaces, bracelets, waist jewelry that has a long piece in the center. On her left hand she is holding, 2 pink water lilies.

On the left side of the ground there are 2 pink open water lilies and on the right there are 2 closed ones.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

​I have learned many interesting and life assisting things throughout this years English class, but one of the things that will stick out to me the most is the language that I have learned coming into this year and leaving this year. Like I have my language has grown with me, and it has shown through my work and not just in English class, but also in other assignments that require me to write or express myself. With the help of Mr. Block and his English class, my growth has shown in my work. Here are some examples in which my writing has shown growth from now compared to the beginning of the year and my previous years as a student.

         Language evolves within a person. As a class we were just heading into our poetry unit and I wrote a poem about my stuttering. A line from my poem that stuck out to me or really shows how I've grown is like a butterfly I fell as if I'm encased in steel. I feel like that was my language in the beginning of the year, trapped. Now that I have grown, my language has as well and it has broken out of its steel shell that it was encased in becoming this very elegant language that it has become which I am proud of. This is just one of the ways my language has evolve over the years.

         Another example where my language has evolved along with me is in my Language Autobiography. I expressed my difficulty dealing with language itself. Since I am a person that stutters language is not really said to be my friend. In the autobiography I compared my stuttering and everyone else's speech to mine. I said "I’ll try to keep at my own speed by switching lanes and letting everybody go past, but it’s hard. My brain is a sweatshop. All of the work it has to put up with and the only reward is knowing that you’re living to do it all again the next day." This describes how I feel everyday. My confidence has risen since that moment. Which shows the growth and the evolution of my language and myself as one.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

These 2 examples will always be the main part to my evolution with my language. This is what started it all. From me coming out of my shell to actually using the new language that I have achieved. Not overcoming my speech problem, but just knowing how to use it now it one of the abilities that I have acquired in my evolution of language. I am thankful that all of my hard work that I have done this year and all of the assistance that I have received from Mr. Block and Ryan as well. Without them and the projects that we were given, language would not have evolved the way it has inside me.


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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

During this year in my English and World History courses, I found myself at many times integrating my choice career of psychology and various other aspects of behaviorism and psychoanalysis into whatever it was that I was writing. I found that as the class and myself began to cover more and more material, there became more and more opportunities for my work to be influenced by my love for the brain and the way people tend to think and act. Again, as the year progressed, I began to think on setting the topic of any work I did in History or English as almost exclusively related to the mind. Now, in retrospect, someone reading this who had never read previously read anything I’d written would more than likely begin to think that my work was very one-minded and repetitive. However, this dedication to relating our coursework to psychology also inspired me to incorporate many contrasting ideas into my coursework. 

Now with that being said, let’s take a look at some of the work that I churned out throughout this year that I thought best reflected the my reasoning in the above paragraph.

The first piece of work that I would like to delve into is both the start of my psychoanalytic-based essays and the most profound out of all other material in my opinion. Here’s a snippet of some analysis from my Lord of the Flies Essay: “His views on young boys and their insatiable desire to extirpate the restraints that their fathers place upon them, and the sinister being that all humans keep masked within the darkest reaches of their minds are both conspicuously exhibited in Lord of the Flies. In society, the insidious and immoral thoughts that our mind keeps repressed further envelops Freud’s rationales that our brain censors our dreams, so that we may not fully see what we really are at heart. A blood-thirsty creature with a sadistic and ominous nature that lives in all of us.” I feel that this quote, as well as the 4 others listed in this reflection, represents the way people change drastically in different environments based on mindsets and reactions to what they are surrounded by in said environment.

            Next up is one of the many journal entries we wrote during the school year.

This one was English Journal #26. The prompt was “Define privilege. What are some of the ways that privileges exist in the United States?” To which I replied, “Privileges are something you are granted, not something you are entitled to. They can be taken away.” I think that this also relates to my behaviorist and ethologist connections I make throughout my work. The different places you are, you are influenced to think differently, or in this case, take for granted what privileges you have.

            Now we can transition back to quotes form projects/essays. This is from my “Memory Poem” from our Poetry Unit.

Scoffing at curse words

Evolved into using them in conversations every day.

Learning about parables in Religion textbooks,

Being taught how to behave as young women.

Loving to be good,

Turned into loving drugs and debauchery.

"What did you get on your last English test?"

Turned in to "Which guy did you hook up with last?"

Yeah, those kind of girls.”

            This quote is a perfect example of ethology. The girls I used to associate with started to act certain ways to certain things. Like for example, chuckling at curse words when they were younger, to acting certain ways around boys they had crushes on. It all changes through maturity.

           Let’s now backtrack towards the poetry unit again. This time this quote is from my “Original Poem.” “A smile fills my features, increasingly more than fear envelopes my optics.” Now this is a very personal quote, and I am not the person to just open up about something personal, so I’ll do my best to have this make sense. When a person is in one environment for so long, a transition to an opposite environment can take a long time for the brain to react and start to adhere to the changed lifestyle. The visual representations of this are as said. I smile a lot more now than I have ever had before. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

            My last quote, but certainly not least, is a quote from World History Journal #40. The topic was Ghandi and the dispute of whether violence is more powerful than non-violence and vice-versa. We had to write a response paragraph to a passage we read about Ghandi’s views on non-violence. “Ghandi is saying in this passage that humans, just as an innate way of thinking, turn to violence.” What led me to make that conclusion was the way Ghandi spoke of how humans’ first instinct is turn to violence rather than non-violence. This also reinforces what Sigmund Freud that about us as humans. “The feeling of happiness derived from the satisfaction of a wild instinctual impulse untamed by the ego is comparably more intense than that derived from sating an instinct that has been tamed. The irresistibility of perverse instincts, and perhaps the attraction in general of forbidden things, find an economic explanation here.”

            Not to say it has become a compulsion, but I generally do take a great deal of interest in incorporating psychology into whatever it is in literature that I analyze. This is what I feel is the best reflection of my work throughout the year in both classes.




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Wolf Brother Cole Hinton Independent Reading Project

Wolf Brother

       Cole Hinton

The book, “Wolf Brother” by Michelle Paver is a thrilling book to read. The book is about a boy named Torak who lives in a clan called the Wolf clan. Though he does not live in his clan anymore due to things that happened while in the clan, him and his father now live alone in the forest. Torak lives in a world where people are separated by their spirit animals such as wolf and ravens. There are other tribes that don’t have spirit animals but have special abilities that they possess. One night, Torak and his father were attacked by a bear. But,  this bear wasn’t normal, the bear was possessed with a demon from the other world. It was so strong it could not be stopped. Soon after, Torak’s father was killed by the bear but his father told him to run. In the the book, it says that this is the first time that he was alone. I think this would be a good chance to show people that he can show them that he is strong and can take care of himself. But, he still feels scared being alone. Having an evil possessed bear chasing you and losing your father and only person who was with you all your life might be scary actually to me. As Torak walked through the forest heading north, he found a wolf cub laying next to his family who were all killed during a big flood. The cub was confused why his brothers and sisters wouldn't play with him. But, while the cub was howling, Torak could hear everything he was saying. Later on in the book, you find out why he could understand the wolf. When Torak was little, he lived around wolves which gave him the ability to understand them. Torak’s father told him that he would have a guide to help him fight this evil demon and all the other evil in the land but Torak is unsure about this little cub because he looks like he is not even old enough to do such a thing. Later, Torak and the wolf are captured by a group of people claiming that Torak killed a deer on their territory. The people who captured him were a girl named Renn, a boy named Hord, and named Oslak. When he is brought to the leader of the clan, his capturers tell the leader what he was doing and is immediately to death. But, there is something that changes death into a fight for your life. Torak goes up against Hord and succeeds but is too bloodthirsty and tries to kill him. The clan have a meeting to figure out what to do with Torak and all of a sudden, a shadow comes out of nowhere and attacks the clan. The shadow was human made by another tribe and a little help from Hord. They figured out that Torak would go on a journey to find items to bring to the mountain spirit to destroy the evil in the land. He is also accompanied with Renn and Hord. As they find all items, the possessed bear has now caught their scents and they are in trouble but they get out of it easily. They have now made it to the the mountain but the bear is still not killed so, Torak and Hord fight the bear while the wolf and Renn go up to the top of the mountain to gask the spirit to hear them and it works and the spirit sends an avalanche that kills both the bear and Hord but the wolf is missing. Torak then finds him and he is howling with other wolves. The wolf has now became a adult and stronger now. Torak now understands the bond between them and walks away. I think this book is a good thing to read because it tells a story of a friendship that grew along the way as one person understood why they needed that other person by their side. I also like how it shows bravery in a boy who was scared of being alone and just losing his father and still being able to go on with his journey.
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For my creative piece, I brought in a dog. The dog represents the wolf that Torak finds in the book who later on guides him the the Mountain Spirit who later helps him defeats the evil with him. This wolf is a big part in the book because he also helps Torak become a better person.
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Element Project: Carbon

Inquiry: When thinking about ideas for my element, Carbon, I had several questions. "What is everything to know about Carbon? ​What is it best known for? What are some things most people don't about the element? How can I best portray this element?" 
Research: Since I had so many unanswered questions about my element I had to do a lot of research. I needed to look up the atomic mass, atomic number, facts, and designs that can represent my element.
Collaboration: When creating my actual design I collaborated a lot! Many of my classmates and I worked together to help make decisions on what designs should be used and which came out looking the nicest. We also worked together throughout the whole crafting process. 
Presentation: After completing my final products I had a few to choose from to hand in to my teacher. I presented them all to my classmates to help make a decision. This blogpost itself is a great example of presenting my project.
Reflection: This blogpost has actually helped me do the most reelection. After actually looking back to write about my process, I realized how much I learned and how much this project process actually taught me. 
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Element Project

I asked questions like What is nickel? How can it be used as art and where was it made before? Who created it?

Research: I did a fair amount of research to teach myself on nickel and how was it made.

Collaboration: My classmates and my teacher basically critiqued my drawings and helped me choose which one was the best out of all of them.

To present my drawing I had to softly cut the drawing so it looked more professional  and people could tell what I have done in my drawing.

Reflection: I reflected and sometimes I think of what would it look like if I did the same drawing again but a lot much better and nicer.

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