Spice Trade In the Indian Ocean

The spice trade; date back to the early 15th century, where trade, growth and history was being made. Technology was slowly developing; economics with trade were making countries richer and stronger and different information and evidence discovered, has pieced what the spice trade we see now. Through using geography, history, economics and cultural anthropology, we could have a deep understanding of the Spice trade.

Geography is an important aspect in Social studies; and helps understand the spice trade that occurred on the Indian Ocean. The spice trade was between Asia, Northern Africa and Europe. Spice trade was Cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, pepper and turmeric was most popular and traded the most amongst the traders. The trade was mostly took place on the Indian Ocean and also on land, however trade occurring through sailing was more popular since many countries used trading to their advantage, and added taxes if they wanted to cross their country to go to other countries. Maps are often used to guide and help learn about and give information of a place, a simple map that shows us a lot of important information, such as the different routes of the spice trade that occurred on the Indian ocean, you could also infer from the different routes, that some countries have more resources and trade more with other countries. Also by looking at the different routes that the traders take, you could infer on why the traders all take a similar route, since it could be affected by weather a lot, or there are many pirates and traders often get ambushed and attacked.

While the spice trade did help many countries grow, others were colonized for the land, resources and money, and were robbed from their wealth, freedom and land. An important world changing part was when the Europeans decided to colonize the Indian Spice trade islands for their own, and Europeans ended up taking over the spice trade. As shown below, a British merchant seaman, George Early. It wrote about how they dutch government treated the native people, and how it caused the locals to rebel, as many burned down their own plantation to show their unsatisfaction. They lost their freedom, they were over taxed and under paid. They rather beg over the extreme taxing.


Polymer Creation Video Journals

March 31st, 2015
Today was the first day of the Polymer Project. My Partner Willie and I mostly experimented with different combinations of materials. We had two ideas one was a moldable bouncy/reaction ball that could be used for other things, and a thing that could stick onto many different objects and surfaces. We started with a bit of borax, White glue and guar gum however it did not turn out as we wanted it to be, it was not sticky enough and was not easy to stretch and mold, however had the different aspects that we wanted, slightly bouncy, not slimy and slightly moldable. We later made some small adjustments with a slightly different idea , still borax, white glue, but substituted the guar gum with corn starch, however it also was not sticky enough, not allowing us to stick it onto different things.
We now have a grasp of a few things we need to change, next class we will continue experimenting and hopefully get a product that we want, right now my partner and I have decided to make something that could stick onto many different surfaces and objects.

April 2nd, 2015
Today my partner and I experimented with different combinations of materials, after a few tries we came up with an idea.
After we finished with our formula and we tested the product, we tried it on the computer cases we had, the wall, and wooden cupboard and we were happy with the outcome, it was able to stick on to those surfaces for more than 10 minutes and we were quite sure that it could stay longer. After we were happy with the outcome we started to come up with ideas for our video, however my partner and I disagreed on parts of the video however after we talked about it we were somewhat on the same page.
Next class we would start working on our video and hopefully get most of it done.

April 11th, 2015
Today we found that our polymer dried up and could not be used, so we spent the class focusing on re-making our polymer and we did not get as good results as the first few tries, it was not as sticky and was more bouncy, and it was less sticky, however we have to use it.
Due to remaking our polymer we had a small amount of time to finalize our idea for the video. So we did not have time to work on our video. We will try to find time during the weekend to finish the video.

April 13th, 2015
Today was the video evaluation day, there were many videos that we was, and some products were pretty similar while others had a quite unique product. In the end, Jing Jing and Noah’s group were voted the best, though it was not my favorite one however it was also really nice.
There were also some that stood out to the class, the list includes, Chloe and Joy’s group, Jason and Jack’s, Anthony and Justin’s Group and Claire and Anita’s group.

Introducing The Book Thief!

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be living in Germany during World War II? In the book, “The book thief” by Markus Zusak features the life of a ten year-old girl living on Himmel (Heaven) Street Molching, Germany, during World War II. The book is quite unique, and is being narrated a soul-collector as he watches upon a girl, named Liesel Meminger.
The story of the book thief starts after a soul-collector introduces itself and gives details of what will be happening throughout the book The story of Liesel starts in Himmel Street when Liesel meets her foster parents, after her brother dies on the train on the way to Molching, the mood is set really dark and sad. “I knelt down and extracted his soul, holding it limply in my swollen arms.” (Markus Zusak, Pg. 21)
“The buildings appear to be glued together, mostly small houses and apartment blocks that look nervous.” (Markus Zusak, Pg. 27) that shows how it was like living in Germany at that time; it was poor and hard living there, especially during winter since it was cold. The people there would not speak to each other much since war was going on at that time, everyone was fighting for survival living on the bread and food they had. Also for Liesel first arriving at Molching would be very different and scary. Making her scared and refused to go into the house of her foster parent’s home. “A gang of tears trudged from her eyes as she held on and refused to go inside.” (Markus Zusak, pg. 28)
“The Hubbermanns lived in one of the small, boxlike houses on Himmel Street” (Markus Zusak, pg. 32) Adding on the past quote, the house the Hubbermanns (Liesel’s foster parents) live in really small house and live a hard life, with Rosa Hubbermann always getting angry and raising her voice adopting Liesel means that there will be another mouth to feed and a harder life the them.
It might see that Liesel turned to be much happier when she arrived however it is exactly the opposite, though her new papa, Hans is nice and takes care of her, however her mother Rosa is always shouting at her and
Germany a dark and hard place to live at during that time, homed a book thief with what story to tell?

Chemistry Unit Reflective Journals

March 9th– Oobleck

For the first time hearing and learning about polymers, Mr Winkelman read us a book by Dr. Seuss, called “Bartholomew and the Oobleck”. After he read the book we did an experiment, the experiment was interesting and it was amazing how a liquid and can quickly become a solid state, and how the solid form of it could also quickly turn back into a liquid.
For the experiment, we added water to cornstarch. Cornstarch is already a polymer, the texture is quite different to flour or salt since its very soft, but when you pinch it, the powder gets hard and grainy. After adding the water slowly, the mixture became harder and harder to stir as more water was put in. Also after leaving it in the beaker for a long time, it would nearly be impossible to stir.
After getting the mixture to a pretty liquidized form test was to roll it into a ball and throw it in the air to see what happened. At first it was easy, however as soon as you slowed down or stopped it became a liquid and was frustrating, and when it was thrown into the air it became a blob and slashed on the table when it was caught.
I find it really interesting how it does that, and would like to know how the atoms or molecules work.

March 11th– Polymers

Due to changing mac books and a Wednesday schedule, around half an hour of class was missed (half of the class). So most of the class was researching and sharing ideas.
After researching about polymers, a lot of new knowledge was learnt, for example, knowing what polymer falls into the synthetic group and which are natural. What does the polymer means, and the uses of polymers.
Also we started putting the research together on a mind map/concept map, using the application, “Inspiration”.

March 13th- Slimes

Today we did an exciting experiment; we used different polymers and combined them to make new polymers that had different characteristics. For me three of the four experiments could be completed. The main polymers were, borax solution, white glue (also know as PVA Glue) and Laundry Starch. These were mixed together to make the new polymer.
The characteristics for the three different solutions were connecting; the “Super Slime” was a combination of “Gloop” and “Boogers”. The “Super Slime” was bouncy and jelly like, it was made from PVA glue and Borax solution. “Gloop” was bouncy and a little sticky and it was made by PVA glue and Borax solution. The “Boogers” were extremely stick but not so bouncy, and it could not hold together for a long time, it was made by PVA glue and Laundry Starch.
The new substances were interesting however they were very sticky and hard to wash off the spatula and the beakers.

March 16th- Review and Crossword

Today we shared our mind map/concept maps that we all put together, we did some exchanging and then did a Crossword. Using your own mind maps was slightly easier, however most of the times if a word was unknown; we used Google, or the science textbook. Some were just give away’s however some were so hard the whole class did not get it. After that we got a review packet for the upcoming test.

Real World Parabolas- Table Tennis

Direct link to dragons gate: http://tube.isb.bj.edu.cn/viewerportal/isb/home.vp?programId=esc_program%3A19445.

Parabolas are every where, golf swings, dolphins jumping or throwing a ball. A Quadratic equation forms these parabolas, and it is anything in the form of, ax^2+bx+c. There are many ways that the quadratic equation is used in our daily life, such as figuring out how to earn money, even if you raise the price and lose some customers, or how to get something into outer space.

In my video the parabola is formed when the table tennis ball is hit by the racket in an angle. The parabola is stopped after it bounces on the table because the path is altered, however you can continue to draw a line using the data you have.

Art Final Reflection- “Cultural Un-Barriers”

This Quarter in art, we had to create a stamp of our cultural identity. However, before we even started we had to brainstorm ideas. At a young age, I moved a lot because of my dad’s work, so I decided to create a stamp of the places I have been when I was small and where I am from. Australia, China, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. These places are all pretty different and I have been living in China for quite a long time, so I decided to choose Yin and Yang for my outline.
For my design I put parts of the flag on the stamp, Australia was the whole flag, China were the five stars, Hong Kong was a few petals of the flower and Saudi were parts of the Arabic and the sword. I used red, orange and yellow for my stamp, because my background was blue and purple. I chose Rachel’s stamp to add to my background since it was about sports, and when brainstorming one of my ideas was my passion for sports. So I decided to combine those two ideas.
We all did a digital self-portrait using Adobe Illustrator CS6. Before that we did the self-portrait we did an ice cream cone design, tracing the outline was very hard and was very frustrating. By the time I finished, I was pretty comfortable with tracing the outlines. However, I later found that tracing a self-portrait was much harder than a simple ice cream cone, since there were eyes, lips and nose that made me pretty frustrated when tracing since it always turned out weird.
Throughout this quarter I learnt many things, how to use Adobe Illustrator, and creating a stamp and printing it on a background. Having these skills I cannot only apply them to art but into different projects.
For me the most challenging part was creating the self-portrait since it was quite hard to trace especially the face. Also it took a while to make the whole portrait. However with some help from the teacher, I was able to trace the face and add more detail. I enjoyed making the background and printing the stamp on the background, because I like the colors made by mixing two colors together. The least favorite was creating the stamp, since brainstorming designs were hard, tracing it on foam and cutting it out was also very tiring since I had to be carful not to break the stamp, however in the end I still broke the stamp.

The Ten Year Journey- Cultural Revolution Journals

January 1967 May 20th

We had so much to say but silence washed over the dinner table, the food smelled good but tasted like nothing, cascading light shone down but everything looked dull. Dinnertime consisted of the clicking of chopsticks and passing of bowls. Just a few weeks ago, along with many others, I was stopped from teaching and laid off. The teaching curriculum was already limited to a few subjects, now I don’t know where our countries education will lead without education: the guiding light of our children’s future.
Being an English teacher who taught English novels, I was extremely limited in the books I could choose to teach; there were many boundaries. Capitalism ideas could not be taught, meaning that I had to skip a lot of parts when teaching, since what I taught was “Analyzing English novels”.

A month before I stopped teaching we held a last 控诉会(kong su hui, a meeting where people discuss what others have done wrong. ) I remember how every time the meeting was held my heart would beat very fast and my hand would sweat, but this one was bought to a whole other level. I had been teaching Dickens’ “David Copperfield,” and a student who was not even in my class told me off, she told everyone that I only taught students about love and other forbidden ideas. I still remember how, as soon as those words left her mouth, everyone stared at me with looks of alarming disapproval, and when I came close they would avoid my like I was a zombie covered in mud. I didn’t even have a chance to talk back.


Suddenly, a loud banging sound echoed in the room, my heart was pounding and I looked across the table and my wife did the same. I told her to go and hide and I panicked because I didn’t know where my son was. I knew it was the high school children who called themselves “Red Guards” They barged in breaking the door and windows, and shouted and laughed as they destroyed my television and my wife’s favorite vase. The couch was torn to pieces and chairs were thrown around. My house was in chaos. I looked at the broken door as my son came in, he rushed to the high school students and told them to stop but they argued back and pushed him. She shouted across the room and I looked up to see her, she was the girl who told me off at the last控诉会.

“He should know, no old habits, customs, ideas or cultures.”
He told them that I was his dad but they didn’t care at all, I stood there while the sound of my wife’s sobs wafted in from the closet she hid in. They searched every room for the four olds old and western influences everything was destroyed and ruined after they finished.
Before they left the girl walked up to me and said: “You’re lucky that we didn’t beat you up, you should thank your son, you stupid professor.” I swallowed my anger and didn’t move.
That night I sat on my bed hearing my son cursing and kicking the walls, and my wife lying on bed sobbing. I thought to myself: what will the new revolution will do to our country? Is this what Mao thinks will make our country better? I spent the whole night cleaning up our house.

The next day I used the whole day to think about how unacceptable our lives had become, I saw the Little Red Book that was handed to my son and I flipped through the pages in disgust, all these stupid quotes, “The more books you read the stupider you get.” I asked myself, how could anyone read these quotes and not freak out!
The Cultural Revolution has already began I think its not going to stop soon, so I guess I have to find a way to save my family.


September 17th, 1972


I read the daily newspaper as I walked to school, the six bold words staring up at me: LIN BIAO DIES OF PLANE CRASH. This was followed with the subtitles, “Lin Biao died of a plane crash while fleeing from a failed attempt to assassinate Mao.” I was extremely shocked, especially since everyone imagined the outcome to be so different. He was going to be the successor of Mao after Mao died, since Mao was getting old.


Soon after, I would hear people talking about this event after I came back from teaching at Qing Hua University everyday. I could see that everyone was confused about why Lin Biao would plot such an atrocious affair. It is obvious that the government is trying to cover something up. I hear some other professors say that Chairman Mao plotted this violent death in order to gain more power.

Many were questioning the leaders of our country after the news came out; everyone’s faces wore unhappy expressions. I thought to myself, “Lin Biao, Mao’s greatest fan wanted to assassinate Mao?” That just didn’t make any sense. I said that sentence over and over again in my head. It seemed weird even though I didn’t know why. I saw people crying and many others calling him a “traitor”, I knew it wasn’t like that; Lin Biao would never do that since he was already Mao’s successor.

That night my wife and I talked about the Lin Biao “incident” we both agreed something was wrong, there was a different story that was been hidden from us, possibly something to do with Mao trying to take over the communist party.

It has been six years since the Cultural Revolution started, and my family and I haves gone through a lot. A year after I stopped working, everyone went to labor camps to slave away. Mao ordered us to all to go to different places to get “re-educated” since we could not teach. We all left at the same day. At first when we arrived we didn’t do much; we just unpacked and sat around for most of the time. We would work on the fields for some time, and during New Year we would all work together to build houses for us to live in. I worked as a carpenter and learnt how make tables and chairs, though I ate little and worked little, I still got a nice pay, since I was a professor in the Communist Party. I heard that college students went to experience life in the countryside, however I doubt they had fun, life there was tough, I remember working on the fields when I was young.


I thought about my son a lot and made him promise me he would be safe, not get into any trouble, not kill anyone, and not join the red guards before my wife and I left. He had eyes of suspicion as he agreed in the end.

The revolution has been chaotic, as the red guards took over the streets many times before we all moved to different places to be re-educated. The red guards raided my house again, and once again I stood watching as my house was turned into a dump. I remember my son coming back to visit the next day, his face instantly changing as he saw the door. I told him not to seek revenge because I saw the red guards had guns, and I was scared that my son would get hurt. All these years I have been trying to protect him.

Hopefully our country will become peaceful again and the revolution would end soon. However with Lin Biao’s death who will be Mao’s successor?


October 6th, 1977

It has been a month after Mao’s death and the end of the Cultural Revolution. Jiang Qing, Mao’s wife, along with Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen, also known as the Gang Of Four, were arrested, when they attempted to seize power after Mao died of a heart of attack. Rumors said that they were already getting ready to gain power after Lin Biao died, however now they have been caught and put under the same name, Traitor.

Gang_of_Four_at_trial            Mao’s funeral was held in the Tiananmen Square. Thousands of people went, and many were sobbing when my wife and I arrived. At first I did not want to go because of all he made us go through – I hated that man for destroying my life. However my wife insisted and I dragged my feet along. The atmosphere at the funeral was dark and everything seemed gloomy, everyone was depressed. Many held up posters of Mao and the Little Red Book but I just stared at the floor for most of the time, my heart filled with mixed emotions, rage and sadness.


Hua Guofeng concluded the memorial with a 20-minute speech, the breeze blew across our faces, and total silence filled the square, as we listened to his speech. As the memorial finished, I could not help but cry, streams of tears just coming, the cold tears came down my face non-stop. I didn’t know if it was tears of joy or loss.

While the festivities carried on, I reflected on the attempt Jiang Qing took to try to gain power, which was really sudden and unexpected. How his own wife would do that to him….

After thinking back on all Mao made us go through, what has he achieved? Thousands of lives lost for nothing. It has been a year since the revolution ended, and everyone seems to have been woken from a dream. At least life has gone back to normal.





Ending Of The Dreadful Trials

Betrayals, confusion, distrust, are the main themes in The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. The protagonist Thomas was forced to go through many setbacks and was faced with many challenges. However, he made it and conquered all the challenges, but lost trust for his best friend Teresa though her intentions were good and were able to save both their lives.

“Thomas couldn’t answer, couldn’t bring himself to hug back. Betrayal. The sign on Teresa’s door, the conversation between the people in his dreams. Pieces were falling into place. For all he knew, she was just trying to trick him again. The betrayal meant he couldn’t trust her anymore, and his heart told him he couldn’t forgive her.”(Pg. 431, James Dashner)

As the story progresses, Thomas tries to make himself believe that Teresa was doing it because she had to what was best for all of the Gladers, however he knew it would never be the same between them. Soon after they finally had time to talk about the whole thing, and try to get thing straight, they were faced with unknown creatures and a storm. That was when Thomas showed change in personality when first arriving at the glade, and now facing scary robotic monsters.

“Maybe for the first time since entering the Glade weeks earlier, Thomas felt no fear. He didn’t know if he’d ever feel it again. He didn’t know why, but something had changed.”
(Pg. 485, James Dashner)

In a few weeks, Thomas transforms from a cowardly little boy to a fearless mature leader that can make wise choices. The trials shaped him into a different person that would save their world from ending?