When Love Gives You Lemons, An Interpretation of Scene 3 Act 2 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

When love gives you lemons, make lemonade! We all know that love is difficult, very difficult, especially if it’s unrequited. In our lives, we strive to chase after the people we adore and admire, even if that requires us to be persistent and enduring. Well, what if I told you that what I am describing to you right now is what exactly happened to the characters in the play.

For the past few weeks, my group and I have worked on our play. It is an interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There were four parts to the director’s notebook: staging, costume design, prop design, and music selection. I was responsible for getting the staging aspect done. Andrew designed the characters’ costume. Anthony designed the props. And lastly, Kevin chose the music to go along with the film. The parts we interpreted for the play was Act 3 Scene 2, lines 35-140. Below includes a slide show of all the group member’s parts, my rationale, the script that we interpreted, and the final film. Enjoy!

For the director’s notebook, I’ve mainly worked on writing the script, editing the final performance, and planning the staging aspect of the performance. Firstly, the main thematic issue that our group explored within our performance was the unpredictable dynamics of love. Acting as Demetrius in the performance, I was able to use words and movements to present Demetrius as a perseverant, single-minded character who had a prolonged desperation to win over Hermia’s heart. For example, when I followed Hermia to her locker, I was very insistent and had my body slanted towards Helena the whole time. I also had used various expressive hand gestures such as raising my hands up with my palms separated and facing each other to reveal my outgoing and welcoming charisma. In addition to that, the way I delivered my lines and my tone of voice was very dynamic. For example, I emphasized words that was important such as “so” and “still”, allowing Demetrius as a character to seem desperate for Hermia’s love. Furthermore, my tone of voice also had an element of desperateness to it. Throughout the scene, my voice remained very high pitched and breathy. This is to further indicate that Demetrius’s eagerness to mend their relationship.

Since I was responsible for the staging aspect of the play, I’ve managed to use blocking to enhance the characterization, theme, and setting of the scene. Starting with characterization, I was able to plan all the characters movements, actions, and interaction with the other characters so that it would best showcase their personality and intentions. For example, when Hermia gets followed by Demetrius to her locker, I’ve staged her so that her body points forward, with her head tilted upwards. Since this shows that she is confident and doesn’t want to interact with Demetrius in any way, it demonstrates her bold and self-assertive character. In addition, I’ve also staged Oberon and Puck’s characters so that it would reveal their secretive yet compassionate personalities. For example, when Oberon and Puck are secretly discussing their plan in the bathroom hallway, Oberon is staged so that he leans forward, with his head above Puck’s shoulder to whispers his question to Puck.

The theme of the unpredictable dynamics of love was another aspect I tried to incorporate through staging. For example, when Demetrius gets rejected by Hermia, I’ve staged Demetrius so that his “body is slightly angled towards Helena.” This shows that Demetrius is very persistent and is desperately trying to win over Hermia’s love. This reveals the theme because before he gets rejected by Hermia, he is unsure about whether his persistence she will love him back, showing that love is always unpredictable. When Hermia rejects Demetrius at her locker, I’ve staged Demetrius so that he “turns around with his back towards the locker and bends down with his hands on his knees.” Since the feeling I am trying to emphasize by staging him this way is sadness and depression, I am able to further support the theme. This is because after Hermia’s rejection, the atmosphere suddenly shifts from being joyous to being melancholic, revealing that love is very unpredictable.

 

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Our Bad Habits: CREATE Project

For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading a book called The Power of Habits by George Orwell. In his book, he explains about how habits form and how we can overcome our bad habits. This book was what inspired me to write an article about bad habits and how we can cure them. In order to show my understanding of the Grade 9 Common Core standards, I’ve focused on supporting my arguments with scientific evidence and using media to aid comprehension.

Firstly, my article is able to supply evidence for each clam and point out the strengths and limitations that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concern. Throughout the entire article, I’ve listed the possible strategies for overcoming our bad habits while giving scientific proof for each strategy. For example, one strategy that I have listed was to “have a conscious plan of what you are exactly trying to achieve.” To support this claim, I have used scientific evidence from the European Journal of Social Psychology that includes studies and proven facts. Also, I have pointed out the strength and limitations of each method by explaining the pros and cons of each strategy. For example, I wrote that “it is beneficial to reward yourself for positive behavior.” However, later on in the section, I’ve pointed out that “excessively treating yourself with rewards may result in a habit.” This also shows that I am able to draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. In addition to this, I am also able to “successfully organize graphics and multimedia to aid comprehension.” Since my target audience is to students, I have incorporated videos, gifs, images, and also infographics to assist their comprehension. I have used an infographic of the habit loop to help the reader to understand why “every time we try to ‘cure’ our bad habits … we just can’t seem to reframe ourselves.”


Habits

We all have one or two bad habits lying around in our lives that we just can’t seem to loose.  Whether it’s procrastinating, binge watching YouTube, or overeating junk food, we all have trouble breaking these bad habits. At first glance, it might not seem so dangerous to continue these habits, however, simple habits like these could very well lead to many different severe problems in our lives.

giphy Watching TV

But before we delve into why habits are hard to break, we must first understand what habits actually are. Habits are actions or behaviors that are repeated so much to the extent that that specific action becomes an unconscious part of your life

.Habit Loop

Habits can be detrimental as well as beneficial. For example, we develop habits to free our brains up from tedious tasks, allowing our minds to focus on other things. When we develop good habits, for example, arriving to school on time, we create a seamless transition that we don’t have to think about. Since this habit is “hard weird” into our minds, it leaves us with plenty of energy for us to focus on school work.

bad-habits-good-habits

However, same goes for bad habits. Similarly, we indulge in these behaviours unconsciously, acting upon our hard weird actions without much thought. In many cases, these actions are deemed insignificant, and are often overlooked. However, if we aren’t aware of our bad habits, it might just damage our personal lives.

Overcoming Bad Habits

We can all agree that these bad habits need to be stopped… somehow. Yet, every time we try to “cure” our bad habits by restricting or controlling our cravings, we just can’t seem to reframe ourselves.

say no

However, on the bright side, if we try hard enough, we can eventually break our bad habits and, in many cases, replace them with positive behaviors. Unfortunately, this takes time. According to the European Journal of Social Psychology, one must reframe themselves from their bad habits for an average of 66 days, and replace it with an alternate, positive behavior in order for the old habit to go away. 66 days may seem overwhelming, however, keep in mind that your old bad habits might be obstructing your ambitions and damaging your lifestyle.

Planning it Out

One way to get you started overcoming your bad habits is to have a conscious plan of what you are exactly trying to achieve. Many people who fail usually come up with a simple, straightforward plan that consists of a simple sentence. Such as, “I am going to stop watching YouTube during the weekdays.” Instead, have a solid, concrete plan on how to break your bad habits. One way to do this is to start slow with tiny changes. You don’t want to overwhelm your brain by strictly preventing yourself from your habits. According to the European Journal of Social Psychology, having strict rules imposed on yourself while trying to get rid of a habit will result in you being less motivated and more willing to give up on your plan. Alternatively, focus on one habit at a time, slowly allowing yourself to lose those habits. With a habit that involves watching YouTube, for example, small changes such as shortening each viewing session each week can make a big difference in the long run.

ca12a04f5bced481f7049fc87c4d5351

Obstructions

Placing obstructions in the way of your habit is another great way to prevent your habit. In Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit”, Duhigg explains that “having obstructions that block your bad habits from ‘activating’ is the key to stopping you from carrying out that behavior” (Duhigg, 213) Using the YouTube example again, an obstacle, such as an app that blocks online websites for a specific period of time, will allow yourself to free up distraction and help you overcome your habit.

tripping

Rewards

In order to motivate yourself to keep having the mindset to break bad habits, it is beneficial to reward yourself for positive behavior. In a recent study by the American Psychological Association, the reason why rewards are important is because when you restrict yourself from carrying out a habit, you won’t get a dopamine surge, however the rewards will provide it instead. Through training, your brain will start to associate the absence of your bad habit with this new dopamine surge from the reward. However, keep in mind to not make this newfound reward a new habit.

lolipop

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Propaganda Poster

British Propaganda Poster

The year is 1941, and the British government had already invested a great deal of money into the war. In order to accommodate the costs of arming soldiers and manufacturing artillery, the British government used the method of war bonds to to gather funds to finance the war. The audience of this poster is mainly targeted towards the older, senior generations of the British population as they are the ones who have enough money to be able to buy these war bonds. Through the use of demonizing the enemy, name calling, and appealing the audience in pathos, my poster is able to persuade the senior population of Britain to develop hatred feelings towards the Nazis in order for them to loan the government money to finance the war. My poster incorporates the techniques of demonizing the enemy and name calling to persuade the audience into buying war bonds. Firstly, my poster uses the slogan “One by One, the Shadows will fall. Help Britain Finish The Job” The message it is trying to convey is that the Nazi regime is already crippling and the British army only needs the audience’s help to vanquish Germany. The use of the word “shadow” is an example of name calling as it labels Germany as the “darkness” in our world. The use of demonizing the enemy is also evident through the slogan and the illustration. As you can see, the slogan addresses that Germany will inevitably crumble while the drawing shows Nazi soldiers being overwhelmed by the British.

Through appealing the audience in mostly pathos while featuring the heroic archetypes of the “hero” and “shadow”, my poster persuades the audience into buy war bonds. Firstly, as you can see, my poster depicts a British solider standing proudly on top of a pile of German soldiers. This shows that the soldiers of Britain are the indeed heroes and saviours of the country since they are illustrated to be overwhelming the Nazis. In addition, the dominant element is shown through the symbolic placing of the solider above the sun. This glorifies Britian. The subordinate element is the faded Nazi logo, behind the word Shadows. This will help the audience connect that that the shadows are in fact the Germans. The focal point of this poster is the royal air force logo as it contrasts against the yellow sunset background while showing that it is Britian that is dominating Germany. In contrast, the countless deceased Nazis below the Hero is portrayed as the shadow of the poster. They are depicted to be defenceless against a single British solider. Furthermore, the use of Pathos is shown through the slogan “Help Britain finish the job” It appeals to the emotional side of the audience since the audience will have an instinct to protect what they love. In this case, it is their country. By applying both features, I have made the audiences feel that their donation to the British army is justifiable as they know that their country is unquestionably going to win the war.

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Cracking the Crumbling Wall – A Brief History of Censorship in China

Youtube, Facebook, Twitter. These sites have already grown to be a big part of our daily lives. You might probably think that almost everyone around the globe has access to it. But, have you ever went to China and visited your Facebook page only to find out that it is not accessible? Have you ever wondered exactly why and how it came to be? Well, I have created a short film below that will teach you about the history of censorship in China.

The animated infographic that I have created primarily focuses on educating middle schoolers (grades 6-7) in foreign countries about the history of censorship in China. Firstly, I have consistently and engagingly exhibited my work in a tone appropriate to my chosen audience. Throughout the entire script of the video, the language and tone of the voiceovers remains informal and unsophisticated. This is to simply the complex concepts of censorship in terms where younger audiences can easily understand. However, there are some more complex vocabulary such as “triage” and “upheaval”, but then I later clarified it by providing examples and illustrations of the words. One example of this is the part where I mentioned about a plane crash over America. I used the example of a plane crash to further explain how Chinese news websites are forbidden to distribute news from overseas media without approval from the government. Furthermore, the fluid animations running across the entire duration of the film greatly appeals to the middle schoolers, effortlessly grabbing their attention. The descriptive language in combination with the visual aids all contribute into gasping the attention of the viewers while also educating them. In addition to that, I have also provided significant facts and concrete details to fully develop and explain the history of censorship. Some factual evidence includes how the censorship laws were “enforced under the State Council Order Number 292” and how Internet censorship was set into place by “the government passing the ‘Temporary Regulation for the Management of Computer Information Network International Connection Bill’”. To link the major sections of my exhibition, I have strategically used words and phrases such as the idea of having the animated timeline appear every time before the switching between time frames. Furthermore, at the start of every new time frame, I also started with stating a specific date. This is to organise my exhibition into an easily understandable chronological order.

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Fake Wives – An Interview With Curley’s Wife

Have you ever wondered what life was like as a women back in the 1930s during the Great Depression? Well, they were treated poorly. Very very poorly.  Through the characterization of Curley’s wife, Steinbeck is able to portray the unequal rights between men and women during the 1930s. Using an interview styled recording, we will explore the social inequality during that time.


Throughout the book “Mice and Men”, Curley’s wife is depicted as a materialistic and lonely character. Her true character is shown when she explains to the interviewer about the reason why she decided to marry curly, saying that she “ain’t ain’t got no other choice but to marry a whose got alotta money and a farm” (Question 6), revealing her true intentions to her marriage. In addition, she indicates that she “… [doesn’t] like Curley” and thinks “he ain’t a nice fella” but later dismisses all of this by saying that she can “live an easy life  an’ do alla the things a normal wife would do.”, showing her desperateness for fortune.  Furthermore, it is also evident that she is lonely when she responds to question 8 by saying that she “… gets lonely. Awfully lonely.” (Question 8) and that “… [she] can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad.” Through her response, it also shows her flirtatious attitude towards all men due to her pervading loneliness and her desperateness for external companions. It is shown in her response for question 9 when she says she “tried being all ‘looloo’ with em’” (Question 9) and she’d “wear … [her] bright cotton dress and mules with red ostrich feathers” Her response just shows how extravagant and determined she was trying to attract attention.

Through the characterization of Curley’s wife, historical context was also shown repeatedly throughout the interview. As written in question 1, “I’d always be … cleanin’ the house, washin’ [the] dishes, cookin’ and ironin’ the clothes for the family” (Question 1), the general roles of married women in the 1930s were limited to staying home and looking after the house while their husbands worked and brought in a weekly age. This is also shown as she talks about how her “job [as a girl] is to just stay home and help with [the] chores” (Question 2). Furthermore, the living conditions of the people during the Great Depression were also very destitute as explained when she says that “those women in the street wearing them blouses … [had] their hands all black and dirty” (Question 7), showing just how unsanitary the environment was for the working class. In addition, up until the late 90s, women were treated as second-class citizens, and they did not enjoy the privileges as men did. It is shown when she says that “[she’ll] do just about anything Curley’s tell [her] to do. If [she] wants [her] to cook dinner, [she’ll] do it. If he wants the boss’s house cleaned, [she’ll] go do it. There ain’t no questions asked” Through her response, it is implied that she does not have any say in her life, but instead is the property of Curley

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Two Children and a Car

Dorothea Lange's Photo

(Click here for a clearer resolution)

Have you ever wondered what life was like back then during the Great Depression in the 1930s? Well, this photo above taken by Dorothea Lange depicts the destitute conditions of the farmers working at that time. As the viewers first lay their eyes on the photograph, they will immediately focus on the two children standing in the foreground of the frame. The taller child with his hands shading his eyes from the sun shows the sun shining brightly over the horizon, symbolizing the hot arid temperature during the dust bowl drought. This natural disaster that severely affected the United States lasted for almost 4 years affected most of America’s agriculture. Having no rain, farmers couldn’t grow crops. And no crops resulted in the wind blowing soil high into the air creating dust storms. Furthermore, the shorter child facing towards the desert hills appears to be wearing a over-sized underwear, suggesting that it was handed down to him by his older brother on the right. During the Great Depression, the general population was becoming more and more unemployed, thus resulting in the lack of money to afford new clothes. Also, the old RV in the background displays that the family was constantly on the move since they have no money to afford land. In addition, the short distance shown between the two brothers symbolizes the lonely and dreary mood at that time.  In conclusion, the photo the Lange captures during the Great Depression shows a lot about what life was like back then – improvised and lonely.

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Try and Repeat

Rationale

“Try and Repeat” is a story about a political prisoner’s determined perseverance for freedom as he desperately attempts to escape his imprisonment. The theme of persistence echoes throughout the story as the main character pushes himself to do unmoral things for his long desired freedom.

“I knew there is no turning back now.” (2) This quote displays the character’s internal struggles of whether he should escape the jail or not, revealing the actual amount of dedication he puts forwards. In the opening paragraph, the use of detailed imagery depicting the growing psychotic atmosphere in the prison, further contributes to the thrive of his persevered escape. “Lights overhead flickered in fear as vibrations radiated from the forceful kicking of the pale metallic doors.” (1) Furthermore, the setting of the story emphasises perseverance with dictions such as “bitter”, “dreadful”, and “sinister” (2), carefully conveying a realistic picture of the main character’s experience. The sentence “I knew those pitch-black spheres told me something more than my last meal.” suggest symbolism as he comes to a realization of his imminent death, further making him determined to escape. A suspenseful mood and atmosphere is established as the “blaring noise of the baton dragged across the dimpled wall” (2), foreshadowing the the main character’s demise, further exploring his persevered reason to escape. The simile “the echoing cacophony sounded like a hopeless lamb, minutes before being brutally butchered.” explores the idea of the prison’s insanity, allowing the reader to understand the reason why the main character is so desperate for freedom. The motif of the metal baton represents the warden’s authority over his prisoners as if he ruled over them.

In conclusion, my short story includes multiple literary devices, motifs, and imagery to further the reader’s understand of the theme, perseverance.

~

It drifted back into my mind again. Those terrorizing thoughts of that dark red liquid oozing through the cracking ceiling above, slowly dripping into a pool of fresh blood. “Why did I tell him?” These were the bitter words that I kept murmuring to myself as I threw my fist against the hard bleak wall. Bursts of brisk wind blasted through the frigid metal bars, prickling my skin; sinking down to my very bones. A burning cage of agony surrounds me as I backed up against a tight corner, slowly curling into a ball, struggling to regain warmth. Sudden streaks of lightning shattered the dense heavy clouds, hosting an eerie lightshow upon the bare bared window. The glistening blue glow emanated the four pale and dreary walls, mercilessly imprisoning me into this ruthless cell. I was like a roll of film, being paused midway, then stowed away in a lost room, left to be forgotten. Death for me was inevitable, but it came ever so peacefully, steadily, and quietly.

I quietly stood there, with my back resting against the barren wall, unconsciously tuning in to the dreadful prison atmosphere. Violent sounds of that painful shrilling screams pierced through my ears once again, shattering my eardrums; sending me an eerie reminder of my desolation. The echoing cacophony sounded like a hopeless lamb, minutes before being brutally butchered. Lights overhead flickered in fear as vibrations radiated from the forceful kicking of the pale metallic doors. I knew I couldn’t stay here any longer. My prolonged drive for freedom has already exceed my very control. I somehow had to leave. Somehow. The unending roar of hatred grew louder and louder until the sound of a loud clanking sound by the metal baton struck the crumbling wall like the drying scars of a wound. Everyone fell dead silent. The selection has begun.

The blaring noise of the baton being dragged across the dimpled, uneven wall resonated into my ears. Click Clack Click Clack, every step by the strident leather boots rubbing against the concrete tiles seemed to reverberate through the thick armoured doors, echoing across the long narrow hallway. I waited, quietly. Staying at the exact position for exactly 12 minutes. Not moving a single muscle. Restricting my breath as I watched the dark gloomy shadows casted by the prison warden slowly blacken the inspection glass fragment. The footsteps suddenly ceased as a two dark black boots stood viciously in front of my cell door. A pair of pitch-black eyes emerged from the darkness, staring back at me in dread. My heart froze, my stomach turned icy, and it seemed that the whole world around me has stopped. No. It can’t be. This can’t be the day of my demise.

The rattling sound of the metal keys clashed together like the piercing of a gunshot, disturbing the silence of the muted room. With an air of martyrdom, he pushed gingerly at the rough metal doors, pulling a small flashlight from his lower pocket before creeping cautiously into my cell.

“Your last meal request is here” he softly spoke in a monotonous tone while carrying a delicate tray of lobsters and oysters. There was something unsettling about his face as he carefully places it on my bedside. I looked down and see the two delectable plates of oysters carefully arranged in groups of 13, sitting plainly at the centre of the plate.

“Enjoy” he then whispered sinisterly while looking blankly into my eyes. I knew those pitch-black spheres told me something more than my last meal. It’s my death meal.

It’s either now or never. I swiftly glanced at the open cell door then back at his eyes with an evil smile. I swung my fist towards the warden, hitting his ribcage with a slight thrust, in a move that was meant to kill. He was hammered to the floor. The warden’s face dripped with hatred as he looked up into my eyes with a stabbing glare. He merely raised an eyebrow and gave me an amused grin of satisfaction. His hand reached for the baton and gripped it firmly in his palms while charging towards me in full force, striking my body with strength.  But with perfect precision, I clutched the baton firmly and whipped it out of his hands. Followed by a slight kick, the warden tumbled to the ground.

“I’m just doing my job, please don’t kill me” the warden screamed in agony as he laid restlessly on the floor, shivering with fear.

My feet laid above his ribcage as if I was a king, ruling a nation. I knew there is no turning back now. I closed my eyes and struck the officer coldly in the forehead. Two strikes and he’s unconscious. Three strikes and he’s long dead. Blood slowly filled his mouth as I reached down to pick up his keys. Freedom is near. I breathed in the moist humid air and dashed across the room, dodging the white crystal rays of the moon, which leaked in from the small hallway cracks, stopping before the two main doors of the prison complex. My prolonging freedom is just over this door yet I’m afraid to unveil what lies behind it. The thought of the outside world seemed so foreign to me as I gathered my unsettled feelings. Every slight sound whirled around my head until I forced my body to open the door, uncertain of what lays on the other end.

A bright white beam of light hovered above my head as I took three steps into the prison yard. Images whirled around my head as my vision suddenly became distorted. I collapsed to the dirt ground. My eyes flickered back and forth, staring at the dazzling night sky. Then the pain started to hit. I could feel the small bullet that penetrated my chest, slowly loosing control of my body. Two hands held me by the shirt, tugging me back into the building as I drifted away into blackness.

“And this was your?” asked the woman behind the glass panel.

“3rd attempt” I replied.

“Alright” she added while scribbling down some letters on the form.

“Okay, and is there anything you would like to add before we submit your asylum application application?”

“I would’ve never gotten out if I didn’t have the ambition to” I replied firmly.

“Wave him through, he’s the first one today” the interviewer yelled to the guard as she ticked me off, then waving me through.

 

 

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How the Social Studies Disciplines Help Develop Our Understanding of the Spice Trade

Throughout our earliest history, the spice trade was the world’s biggest and fastest ever growing industry. It established colonies, waged wars, destroyed empires, and helped lay the foundations of the present modern world. In the dawn of the 14th century, the global spice trade underwent an upheaval, and the prospect of establishing a long-term spice trade via an ocean ro­­­­ute opened up new possibilities for the Afro-Eurasia traders.  Spices such as cassia, pepper, ginger and cinnamon were known for its scarcity and value. It is only through careful analysis of multiple primary sources by using the disciplines of social studies, we can together gather a clear understanding of the Spice Trade.

spice_route

Economics is one of the most crucial aspects of Social Studies which helps us further our understanding of the spice trade. The birth of the spice trade began with the heavy demand of spices throughout the European regions. Consumers were willing to pay just about any price to get their hands on a small bag of pepper and salt. However, most peasants and commoners were not able to afford such expensive luxuries and spices brought by the ships abroad. Middlemen were one of the biggest factors that lead to the steady increase of commodity prices. Starting from the farmers along the Southern Asian islands, the spices were taken by traders, which were also known as “middle men”, across the Indian Ocean, and through the Mediterranean Sea before finally reaching the consumers; as shown in the map above. Through this lengthy process meant the multiple “handoffs” of between traders, resulting in a roundabout monopoly. Since all these traders in the process wanted to make profit, the prices for each individual spices were jacked up every time a new merchant was involved.  According to Spice it Up, Arab traders sold their cargoes to Italian shippers, who, in turn, sold them to the European towns and cities. Having this rotation of goods meant slowing the European economies down, drastically booming the Asian economy. However, as the Europe started expanding their territories and sending commercial expeditions, across continents, things finally seemed to work out. Following the establishments of the Dutch East India Company, also known as VOC, two to three ships, starting from 1604, sailed each year from the Dutch Republic to Asia. It was the first company to implement negotiable shares of its company, much similar to the stocks we buy now. By the mid seventeen century, the VOC had already replaced most of the local trading networks with their own, guarded by fortified towers. According to the Charter Privileges and Exemptions the Dutch West Indian Company, whoever shall presume without the consent of the Dutch West Indian Company to set sail in any placed within the territories claimed by the company, he shall forfeit the ship and goods. Having a company that monopolized the spice trade eliminated the use of a “Middle Men”, influencing the decrease of the prices for spices arriving at the ports of Europe. Obtaining a cheap trading route allowed the steep escalation of the European economy, which affected the Europe we know today.

world-temperature-map

Geography, the study of lands, features and inhabitants of the earth, is also essential when we want to analyse the spice trade. At the beginning of the Big Era Six, the Europeans were not capable of accessing spice routes known by Chinese, Arabs, Indians, and Africans due to their lack of maritime technology. According to the article Spice it Up, Europeans borrowed basic maritime technology, such as the compass and stern-post rudder from China. The lack knowledge of these important pieces technology translates to the slow geographical exploration of the world for the Europeans. Having the knowledge of the geography of different places is indispensable to sustain a successful trade route, which the Europeans simply didn’t have. In addition, the whole European continents were cold year-round, meaning the inability for spice growth in their regions. In contrast, Asian countries near the equator had a relatively warm and humid climate, which allowed the growth of spices.  According to the map above, the average annual temperature in Europe was 5.5 to 10.0 degrees centigrade while the active farming countries in Asia had an annual average temperature of 20.5 to 30.0 degrees. This drastic temperature difference and geography gave the Asian farmers a greater advantage over the Europeans since the Europeans had no choice but to buy from the Asian farmers.

Through analysis and insight of these primary sources, we can conclude that the disciplines of social studies greatly contributed to success and downfall of both Europe and Asia. Economy was evident throughout history as all explorers and traders were aiming for lucrative trade and profit. The rise of the Dutch East Indian Company monopolized the spice, providing the European continent with a cheap reliable source of Asian goods. The geography of certain regions also affected the way Europeans and Asians traded as the spices were forced to be grown in the hot and humid areas of Asia. All these social studies aspects added up to the rise of the European economy, shaping it into the continent we know today.

Sources:

World Climate Map. Digital image. Climate-charts. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2015. <http://www.climate-charts.com/images/world-temperature-map.png>.

“European Exploration.” University of Montreal. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2015. <http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~vaucher/Genealogy/Documents/Asia/images/spice_route.gif>.

“Charter of the Dutch West India Company : 1621.” Lillian Goldman Law Library. Yale Law School, n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2015. <http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/westind.asp>.

Spice It Up

 

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Uncontained Paranoia

paranoia-1

Have you ever had the feeling of someone in your room, watching you sleep? Well, I do. This sketch describes a first person’s account of paranoia in a medieval style dungeon room where the character has hallucinations and delusions about two armoured soldier statues. The moods anxiousness and suspense both represent the room atmosphere and feeling when you enter it. The account starts with the main character noticing the movement of the two solider statutes, then going closer to take a better look. As the character pulls up the visor of the statues, he is immediately pushed back to the ground and experience intense paranoia. The character then finally realizes that everything was not real and everything was contained in his mind.

~

Streaks of lightning broke through the dense heavy clouds, hosting a chilling light show. The cries from the heavens shook the dark stormy skies as I slowly curled up into a tight ball, tucking myself against the rugged stone wall. The loud clashing sound that is unmistakable rattled my windows in agony as if it sent an unsettling message towards me. Four stone brick walls bordered the room, locking me into this small confined space. A metal barred door stood at the far end of the room, almost as if it was waiting to be unlocked.  Two armoured soldiers stood erect, side by side, attentively guarding the passageway between by cell, setting a tacit border between me and the outside world. I raised my head up and panned my eyes across the empty drained room; I knew something was absurdly out of place.

I stood up once again, backing up along the wall, slowly tiptoeing across the room. The sound of each miniscule step was spotted by my ear, slowly growing louder and louder until I saw the sudden flickered movement of the guard’s helmet. “No, it couldn’t be, they can’t be alive” these were the words I thought to myself. I immediately retracted my step and turned around to see the once dormant soldiers. I waited, quietly, staying at the exact position for exactly 12 minutes, not moving a single muscle, completely stopping my breath until I was sure they were not active. My curiosity was now directed at the two soldiers. I breathed in the moist humid air and dashed across the room, dodging the white crystal rays of the moon, which leaked in from the small window cracks. The armoured soldiers seemed empty and lifeless with close inspection. As I proceeded to lift up the visor, a pair of pitch-black hollow eyes stared back at me in dread. My heart froze, my stomach turned icy, and it seemed that the world around me has stopped. Every slight sound present whirled around my head until the feeling of a hand grabbed my shirt, throwing me down against the bleak barren floor. My eyes flickered back and forth, staring at the crumbling ceiling above me, not knowing whether sitting up was the right decision.

I quickly crawled backwards, using my arms and feet to push back against the floor, establishing distance from the statue. Curiosity took the better of me, so I pitched my head forwards, taking a peak at armoured soldiers. I couldn’t believe what was in front of my eyes. The statues disappeared out of thin air. I sat there in disbelief, “how could something so large and heavy suddenly disappear?”. I stood up while wiping the filth off my pants, slowly taking steps towards the place which once stood the armoured statues. I bent down and held my head close to the floor. Not a single piece of dust speck remained on the statue holding. At this point, I knew that my brain was playing dirty tricks on me. I just knew it. Somehow I just need to snap out of it.

Categories: English 9 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

A New Day Is a New Life

wakeup-easy

Having a consistent wake up routine is fundamental for having a happy and efficient day. Do you have one? I bet you have. But how does it compare to mine? From getting up by the smell of delicious food to the sound of an alarm clock ringing, this short context describes in detail of my own wake up routine that I follow on a day to day basis.

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The smell of freshly baked bread filled the room as I slowly awoke from a deep slumber. Light blue curtains gently arose as my mom spun the white dangling string, curling up into a small cake-like roll, letting the sun cast its orange rays upon my head. The obnoxious metal rattling sound of my alarm clock sounded like droplets of rain, splattering on a flat metallic surface. The cacophony shook the entire room in abruptness while I slanted my body over towards a small drawer less wooden bed stand to take a swift glance at the time, 7:15. I quickly whipped the soft white blanket aside and pressed my feet against the cool fury carpet. It felt if I was elevated by a cushion of delicately placed feathers. A cool breeze of air-conditioned air spilled onto my back as I leaned down for a long stretch before proceeding into the bathroom.

I pushed against the two wooden doors, revealing revealing its enamel coated walls to my bedroom. With one hand struggling to comb my hair and with another trying to grab the long black toothbrush, I swiftly brushed my teeth. I gently pressed my thumb against the extruded rubber grip and started pushing and pulling the toothbrush into my mouth. Snow like bubbly foam started emerging from my mouth, gradually dripping onto the bowl beneath my chin.  Using my hands to form a bowl like shape, I placed my hands under the gentle stream of water, collecting a pool of clear purified water. I held the water close to my mouth while I sucked it up into my mouth. A cold blast of chilled water filled my mouth, suddenly sending a brisk sensation up my spine. I reached over the sink and grabbed a small 35 by 35 centimetre microfiber towel, and brought it close to my face. As I wiped my face with its dry surface, I could feel the individual water droplets being absorbed, slowly dousing its delicate fabric.

I headed towards the wooden wardrobe 3 metres away, and slid its doors sideways. Immediately I was bombarded by the smell of vanilla detergent, emanating from the piles of fresh ironed clothes, making my sense dance to the symphony of clean odour.  Colorful gaudy shirts and pants hung from a thin metal rod, forming a long unison. I quickly spotted a bright blue shirt along with a navy themed pants and picked it out from the others. As I popped on the shirt and pants, the sent of pristine aroma of newly washed fabric wrapped around my body tightly, as if it was attached to my body.

“Isaac, come down now, it’s time for breakfast” Dad screeched on the top of his lungs. I rushed over to the wooden desk and gathered all my homework together, then placed it neatly into my schoolbag. As I swiftly fumbled down the stairs, the smell of sizzling bacon and bread reminded me that I was dying for food in my system. I lunged myself into the wooden chair and rested my feet onto the table leg. A plate of bacon bread, which seemed like it was waiting for me to devour it, was already placed on the table. I picked up the metallic fork and began to cut the bacon strip into small pieces. As the bacon rested on my touch, I could feel the fat oily juices starting to leak from within the piece. One piece after another, I slowly fed on the bacon, filling my stomach with endless amounts of protein. A new day was just around the corner, waiting for me to explore it.

Categories: English 9 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment