infinite ∞

"Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try" – Gail Devers

Early Societies Formative Assesment

Filed under: Asian Studies — Jenny at 4:27 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2016  Tagged , , , , ,

Essential Question: How did the organization of early societies change?

The organization of early societies changed form nomadic life styles to civilizations. Early humans migrated around continents foraging, hunting and gathering for new sources of food. But soon during the Neolithic agricultural revolution, nomads began to practice farming and herding, the domestication of animals. They often settled in sites near rivers for fertile soil, water, transportation, and access to animals. The large food production brought by the rivers allowed people to sustain the worldwide population boom, and introduced new surviving techniques and tools. This led to the form of a civilization. Cities became more advanced, and large population of the cities encouraged trade. As cities grew, the need for more specialized workers such as traders increased and a system of ruling, or complex institutions, became necessary. Early societies built elaborate irrigation systems and made good use of floodwaters, like how Mesopotamian farmers used thick bed of muds, silt, that were left behind when water receded “to cultivate more land and produce extra crops” (Textbook Unit1 p19). With the growth of civilization, social classes formed and farming villages came came under rule of kingdoms. For example, “by 3200 B.C., the villages of Egypt were under the rule of two separate kingdoms, Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt” (Textbook Unit1 p37) with their own rituals and gods. Primarily due to the agricultural revolution and the technological revolution, nomads created civilizations and eventually formed kingdoms.

English 9 CREATE Project

Filed under: English 9 — Jenny at 2:35 pm on Thursday, December 10, 2015  Tagged , , , ,

During the CREATE project, our group focused on the writing common core standard “use precise language and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting and characters”. My Poem, Circle of Seasons, portrays a tree reviving as the season changes from winter to spring. It is written based on a photograph of an old tree taken by Mina, and I interpreted precise figurative language to successfully convey a vivid picture of the change that is taking place. The first stanza begins with sensory phrases and rich diction like “barren”, “brittle”, “spiritless”, and “parched” (1-3), recounting the physical appearance of a frail tree during winter. There is alliteration with “barren” and “brittle” in the first line, and a rhyme scheme of ABCB in the first two stanzas to make the poem more appealing from the start. The entire poem uses personification in phrases like “hang in isolation” (7) and “tree is breathing” (15), to lively depict the scene and the actions that are taking place through ordinary features that follow with humans, not objects or plants. There is a shift of mood between the first two and the last two stanzas, by two contrasting words like “grey” (2) and “golden brown” (14), “motionless” (4) and “shifting” (10) to once again show the modification. There are also many different figures of speech used in Anthony and Mina’s poems like alliteration, “split second” (8) and “flora and fauna” (20), as well as specific vocabulary that vividly convey an image of events, setting and characters. This CREATE project was a great opportunity for us to link our interest, photography, with a poem using a writing standard of our choice.

Japan Formative Assessment

Filed under: Asian Studies — Jenny at 5:32 am on Tuesday, November 24, 2015  Tagged , , , ,

Imperialism deeply influenced Japan, allowing them to seize control of other nations and change their power structure. The textbook states that “The rest of the world clearly saw the brutal results of Japan’s imperialism” (Textbook Unit 6, p 813). By brutal result, it is referring to how Japan conquered nation after nation, China, Russia, and Korea with their high military, political, and economic strength. Because Japan adopted the western ideas and became modernized, its power as a nation grew and imperialism began. Unfortunately, this led to the corruption of Japan though, since basically their aggressive imperialism began with them trying to show the world that they were a powerful nation. After the victory over China and Japan emerging as a major power, they suggested unjustified, aggressive imperialism by moving onto fighting with Russia and attacking Korea with vengeance (*reference to textbook unit 6). There was also a change of power structure as feudalism and dictatorship came to an end when imperialism began; “In 1878, the Tokugawa shogun stepped down, ending the military dictatorships that had lasted since the 12th century” (Textbook Unit 6, p 811). “It changed the empire into a constitutional monarchy like that of Great Britain” (Textbook Unit 7, p 950), so after MacArthur turned his attention to democratization, he drew up a new constitution with other political advisers. There was a new form of government, as well as a new form of power structure. The imperialism in Japan impacted the nations both positively and negatively, allowing Japan to conquer neighboring countries despite the fact that it went corrupt and affecting their power structure.

DBQ PEEL Paragraph: Document 2

Filed under: Asian Studies — Jenny at 11:19 am on Sunday, October 11, 2015  Tagged , , , , ,


Document 2 is an excerpt from Jahangir, Akbar’s son and Mughal emperor from 1605 to 1627.

“…I find myself a powerful monarch, a shadow of God upon earth. I have seen that he bestows the blessing of his gracious providence upon all his creatures without distinction…with all of the human race, with all of God’s creatures, I am at peace; why then should I permit myself to be the cause of any molestation or aggression to any one?… I have thought it therefore my wisest plan to leave these men alone. Neither is it to be forgotten that the class of whom we are speaking… are usefully engaged, either in the pursuit of the arts or science, or of improvements for the benefit of mankind…”


PEEL Outline:

P: Jahangir, like his father Akbar, was tolerant to non-Muslims, especially Hindus, and did not worry about the diverses customs and beliefs.

E: “… my wisest plan is to leave these men alone”

E: He feels no need of uniting religions and determining the best for unification, but wisely chooses to leave them alone.

E: “I am at peace”, “… in the pursuit of the arts or science, or improvements for the benefits of mankind”

E: He does not see any attempts to bring down his position as an emperor and does not want to cause any aggression. In addition, he thinks that the Hindus are still engaged in improving the empire instead of bringing any negative influences, and the empires of the Gupta and Mauryan dynasties were known for their developments in math and science.

L: By providing personal and intellectual reasons, Jahangir displayed an attitude of tolerance towards varying religions.


PEEL Paragraph:

Jahangir, like his father, Akbar was tolerant to non-Muslims, especially Hindus, and did not bother about the diverse customs and beliefs of the Mughal Empire. As he stated, “my wisest plan is to leave these man alone”, he felt no need of uniting religions and determining the best for unification, but wisely chose to leave religious groups alone. He allowed people to practice their religion because he was “at peace”, he did not see any attempts to bring down his position as an emperor and did not want to cause any molestation or aggression. Moreover, the empire of the Gupta and Mauryan dynasties were known for developments in mathematics and science, and Jahangir judged that the Hindus were still “in the pursuit of arts or science, or of improvements for the benefit of mankind” instead of conducting negative influences. Eventually, by suggesting personal and intellectual reasons, Jahangir displayed his attitude of tolerance towards varying religions.



Relation between the Crash Course Video and the Textbook

Filed under: Asian Studies — Jenny at 12:26 pm on Wednesday, September 23, 2015  Tagged , , , , , ,

The “Buddha and Ashoka: Crash Course Word History #6″ video relates to “Chapter 1: India’s First Empires” from the textbook in several ways. The textbook mainly focus on the establish of the Mauryan Empire and the Gupta Empire while the Crash Course video briefly introduces the history of India, but both of these sources refer to Asoka and the spread of Buddhism overall. After beginning with the unification of India, the textbook describes that “he studied Buddhism and decided to rule by the Buddha’s teaching of “peace to all beings” (190).” The victorious leader, Asoka, seeing his army after the devastating war, began to promote Buddhism and decided to rule by the Buddhist principles/teachings. In the video, it discussed how Asoka built Stupas, monuments to the Buddha, and pillars all over his kingdom to express his devotion and the Four Noble Truths. Although “Asoka’s empire didn’t over last him by much (video)” and at the end, Buddhism gradually declined in India. There is a connection between the two references, the textbook and John Green’s video, as both of them thoroughly describe the background of Buddhism, which Asoka once encouraged.

Featured Image: here

Understanding the Spice Trade through Social Studies

Filed under: Asian Studies — Jenny at 3:44 pm on Thursday, September 10, 2015  Tagged , , , , , , ,


The spice trade had a global scale impact that still affects all major components of social studies such as geography, economy and cultural anthropology. The effects of the spice trade led to spread of major religions and the development of ideas such as colonization and monopoly. The map below shows the major European trade routes in 1750s, and it proves that the Portuguese were slightly better placed than other European countries in terms of exploring into new areas by ship. Having many coastlines, they controlled the trade with a “Cartaz” strategy where merchants had to have a pass to trade. Therefore in order to undermine the Portuguese’s advantage, and for a way to get valuable products directly instead of pass by hands of merchants, explorers of other countries such as Zhang He, Vasco De Gama, and Christopher Columbus wanted to discover their own maritime route for trade. Due to this competition for finding better routes, the vision of the world became wider and trading became more efficient globally. With the acquisition of a global vision came colonization of the indigenous population all over the world. Forced conversion was typical during the colonization period and this led to the growth in numbers of Catholic believes in various areas. Because of colonization of major parts of South America, today, nearly 40% of the Catholic population belongs to Latin America and Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world.

The spice trade’s impact was not limited only to religion but all aspects of culture, shaping the current world even through some brutalities during the process. In 1832, the Dutch East India trading corporation in Batavia oppressed the natives in India, the poor. “…preferring beggary to such sever taxation for the supports of a government which seeks only to enrich itself” (Batavia Primary Source by a British merchant seaman, George Early)—the government banned private trades and all European consumptions were monopolized, just for their own benefits. In 1621, the company took over the spice orchard of the Banda Islands, massacring the native and making themselves wealthy by selling what became “their products”. British took the nutmeg seedlings from the Banda’s and planted them other tropical countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. The trading company had influence on all continents in the world, establishing few precedents for modern corporations, while as spices traveled around the globe. The spread of spices was also accompanied by the spread of different beliefs through the core value of most religion, which was to spread own ideas. A Spanish explorer, Christopher Columbus’s purpose of sailing included converting natives to Christians, and a Portuguese explorer, Vasco De Gama ended up converting a lot of people into Christians after his voyage, playing a significant role in spreading Christianity world wide. Buddhism traveled along the overseas trade, and Islam spread thought the East as Muslim merchants played a crucial part in the trade. The tradition of forced conversion to natives became a catalyst for growth in numbers of believers, while the trade contributed in making the development of key religious sects worldwide.

“By the end of Big Era Six, tea became more available, but in the fifteenth century, few could afford it” (Spice it up reading, 22). Around the 15th century, the value of spices was extreme to the point where pepper was a “black gold”. There was a high demand for the exotic spices, not just for culinary delights but also for medicinal properties. It was not just to add flavor, to preserve meats, or to conceal the flavor of partly spoiled meat, but “wealthy ladies sometimes carried ginger around their necks in order to sweeten their breath” (Spice it up reading, 22). Different phrases were established during these periods from the rising value of spices that is still widely used today and along with popular words and phrases, the spice trade’s effects became deeply engrained in the history of the world. The four lenses of social studies combine together address how these valuable products proceeded around the earth.



Map: Khan3, Noor. “I. European Exploration Expands.” Noor Khan’s History Class. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Sept. 2015. <>.

Primary Source: Gullick, J. M. Adventures and Encounters: Europeans in South-east Asia. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford UP, 1995. PDF.

“Spice It Up” PDF: Segade, Irene. “Big Era Six – The Convergency.” (n.d.): n. pag. World History for Us All. UCLA. Web. <>.

Featured Image / Spices Photo: Teoh, Luanne. “The Ancient Spice Trade Route From Asia to Europe 1500s to 1700s Changed The World.” Clean Food Dirty Girl. N.p., 19 Dec. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2015. <>.

Crash Course Video

Filed under: Asian Studies — Jenny at 6:33 am on Thursday, August 27, 2015  Tagged , , , , ,

In a PEEL (Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link) blog post- explain how each of the four lenses was present in the video. (around 30 minutes; 1:10 ~ 1:40)

Geography, Cultural Anthropology, History, Economics


Geography, cultural anthropology, history and economics were all present and talked through in the Crash Course Video about the 15 century mariners. By introducing the three sailors, Christopher Columbus, Zheng he, and Vasco De Gama, it talked about the history around the late 14th century and the early 15th century, and how they had goals of establishing a profitable trade route around the world. Christopher Columbus discovered America in the 1492s, Zheng he was a great admiral during the late 14th century, and Vasco De Gama was the first to make it around Africa into the Indian ocean. A bit of geography was introduced when the video discussed about how the Portuguese were better placed than other european countries in terms of exploring into new areas by ship; Portuguese had more coastlines and they controlled the trade with the “Cartaz” strategy, where the merchants had to have a pass to trade since the Portuguese wanted to monopolize this marketting. Cultural anthropology was a big part of these three sailor’s aims; Vasco De Gama not only wanted gold but tried to spread Christinaity just like how one of Columbus’ goal was to convert the natives to Christianity. When the video discussed the purposes, economy was slightly linked in to the three other areas of study because the “Cartaz” stategy, for example, was a way for the Portuguese to earn profit and and the reason for Vasco De Gama wanting gold also showed how they wanted money through gold. All of them wanted to establish and connect a trade route to Asia/India for spices and it could be said that all three sailors wanted to take benefit of this in terms of money in the future. Though the video did not specify the four lenses, geography, cultural anthropology, history, and economics, they were actually linked together to show the vast impact these three mariners made in the history.

Spice it Up Question

Filed under: Asian Studies — Jenny at 5:46 am on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

By considering the evidence presented in the Traders simulation, and the ‘Spice it up’ reading done in class, explain how the 4 lenses of the social studies interact to help us understand how the world works. Max 1 paragraph.

Geography, Economics, History and Cultural Anthropology all shape the modern world. For example if we look at the spice trade, the geography (where something was produced, in which condition the spice was produced) and the history (how this particular spice was used in the past) all interact with Economy by changing the price. The price of the spices may fluctuate depending on the environment it originally began at. There may be barganning throughout the process and if there was a storm, making the product to be rare, the price will definitely go up. While these spices move around the world, culture aspects of countries throughout the trade route also get transferred along, not just diseases like plague but also religion, mainly budism and christianity. Though spice trade is a huge example of how these 4 categories link together, the price being affected by other features is something that occurs all around the world, all the time. Climate or natural disasters always somehow link with marketting, prices depend on the surroundings, and with the help of traders, ideas travel around the earth.



Time spent: around 10 minutes.

Learning Card

Filed under: Asian Studies — Jenny at 5:33 am on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Learning Card: How much did you know about the topic before you started the task?

Honestly I didn’t have much knowledge about the spice trade before reading this text, “Spice it up”, and I still had some quesitons like “What exactly is the Big Era Six” after reading this article. This task (answering each other’s questions) helped me get a better understanding and solved all of my questions


The Arise of Tension

Filed under: Humanities — Jenny at 4:10 pm on Tuesday, April 28, 2015  Tagged , , , ,


What if everyone had the same perspective? Everyone with same thoughts, everyone at the same economic level and everyone treated equally. How would that be? Well of course that is not what happened during the 1930s, during the period of the Great Depression. In To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee, the rising action deals with an African American being charged with a false accusation, just because of his color. A trial occurs but it’s too much for a weak guy to fight for; there are many barriers during the process. It would have been great if everyone thought the way the innocent guy was thinking, but the different perspectives, or the misconceptions the witnesses had ruined everything. People’s different point of view really captivates the audience and creates tension throughout the rising action and into the climax.

Mr. Heck Tate proclaimed that he “found her lying on the floor…” (Harper, p233) and when he “asked who hurt her, she said it was Tom Robinson—“ (p233). Mr. Heck Tate drove Tome Robinson, an African American, into a corner for raping an American girl (which isn’t what actually happened). To be honest he did not have a firm overview of the situation because he saw the scene himself after Mr. Ewell called him over, after Tom fled and the incident had ended. But just from what he heard afterwards he seemed to be making an argument. Then came Mr. Ewell who said “I seen—I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella” (p231). Mayella, who stated that she was the victim in this incident, shared her point as well. She said “come here, nigger, I gotta nickel for you” (p241) and when she went into her house, she turned around before she knew Tom was on her. Tom got her around the neck, “cussin’ an’ saying dirt—“ (p241). Mayella’s affirm could have been the peak that led everyone at the court to trust those 3 people but by the time it was Tom Robin’s turn to speak for himself, everyone in the court already seemed to believe that what the three witnesses said above are one hundred percent correct. No one was question or seemed to wonder what Tom Robinson had to say.

Obviously the only witness with the thought in contrast to what the three above said was Tom Robinson. He was being pushed as a criminal although he said clearly, “…she says for me to come there and help… I was just reachin’ when the next thing I she—she’d grabbed me round the legs… she hugged me round the waist” (p259). Did anyone, or a single person at the court believe him? No. It must have been difficult due to the citizens natural disgrace towards the African Americans, and how the thoughts a few had of African Americans deserving equality got lynched right away, but still, despite Tom’s convincing claim no one even seemed to pay attention. During the midpoint of the trial it was nearly proven that the Ewell’s and Mr. Heck Tate’s proclaims were false and that they were blaming the situation on innocent Tom Robinson, but no one believed it. It was not just because of color differences but it was the three perspectives verses one perspective from Tom, one weak protagonish against a society.

This trial in the novel was actually written based on a real life event; the trial of Tom Robinson is directly related to the real trial of the Scottsboro boys in 1930s. It was where 9 African Americans got accused in Alabama for raping 2 American women on a train and were sentenced to death, even though there was a medical evidence to suggest that they had not committed the crime. Both of these focus around the same circumstances, the rape of an American woman by an African American with the woman’s words held above the African Americans. These trials bring a theme in—the power Americans had above the African Americans. What was the point of having trials and viewing different perspectives if it would be “majority rules” anyway? That’s what many would think. But the contradiction of viewpoints did make the story more intriguing overall and created suspense throughout while showing the main theme of the whites verses the blacks. Scout and Aunt Alexandra had different point of view towrasd the poor Cunningham family; scout wanted to invite them to their house when Aunt Alexandra firmly denied, calling them trash maily because of their economic level. Atticus and Aunt Alexandra had a controversy as well; Atticus kept risking his life for helping the African Americans but Aunt Alexandra was against it, she didn’t seem to approve what he was doing.

In conclusion, we cannot only say that during the “black and white” trial, different points of view created suspense but really, in many different parts of the book, varying perspectives caused suspense to arise. It’s just that this conflict, the trial, not only evidently showed the main theme, racial prejudice, but it also created a feeling of anxiousness and uncertainty for the readers simultaneously.


Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1960. 376. Print.
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