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“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching, love like you'll never be hurt, sing like there's nobody listening, and live like it's heaven on earth.” – William W. Purkey ~d(-v-)b~

The Good Times

Posted in English 9 with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2016 by Mina<3

          For my second blog post of my CREATE project, I decided to read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, an American classic, as described by many other reviewers. This novel (a book with a red cover) is known to be one of the world’s great antiwar books, and now I can see why.

          At first, it was confusing, and I had trouble catching up with the concept and the plot, because Billy Pilgrim, the main character, has flashbacks and has gone insane due to the tragic and disturbing events he has been through – especially the World War II. The author writes: “The time would not pass. Somebody was playing with the clocks, and not only with the electric clocks, but the wind-up kind, too. The second hand on my watch would twitch once, and a year would pass, and then it would twitch again” (Vonnegut 26). Billy suffers from an apparent mental illness, gets flashbacks and hallucinates, back to the old days. This made me ache and cringe inside because my parents and I have many conversations, and some of them are about these veterans – how they suffer after fighting in wars or after getting held as captives.

          “So it goes” (149). This quote appears multiple times throughout the story, and holds significance, due to its comfort of facing death, and facing the reality of the inevitability of mortality. Also, the aliens of Tralfamadore play an important role in this novel. The author writes: “ ‘He has always pressed it, and he always will. We always let him, and we always will let him. The moment is structured that way’ ” (149). This quote shows that, as four-dimensional viewers, the aliens believe that all events happen at the same time and will repeat itself. We can also learn from the aliens as the author writes: “ ‘That’s one thing Earthlings might learn to do if they tried hard enough: Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones’ ” (150). This is my favorite quote because I also think that it is important that we focus on good times rather than complaining and hurting about bad times.

Featured image found here.

Bring Out the Baseball

Posted in English 9 with tags , , , , , on May 3, 2016 by Mina<3

          Remember when you were going through one of the hardest times? Hopeless. Catastrophic. “Silence. Dark. So dark…” you “couldn’t even tell where the trees ended and the sky started” (Salisbury 185). But do you also remember what helped you out of that scary abyss? Tom has been through that same situation before, in Graham Salisbury’s Under the Blood-Red Sun.

          The World War II is very well known to all of us, that it was one of the deadliest time periods of human history. This is when the book takes place. Tomi is Japanese-American, and he is in Hawaii. He goes through so many hard times, especially that he tries to be fully American since he was born in America, but his grandfather and his father were not. He is discriminated against by his peers and others, makes many sacrifices, and not bring shame to the family, all at the same time, as the author writes: “Don’t shame this family, Tomi…” (138). Tomi is pressured to take care of the family (later on in the book) while substituting for his father, as the author writes: “For hours I stared at the dark clouds that moved across the stars in my window. It was too hard to think about what was happening to Papa… What were we going to do? How would we live?… An eighth-grader not even half Papa’s size could do what?” (144).

          He made through all this trouble, by the help of his friends, and his hobby, baseball, the author writes: “ ‘If we ever needed baseball, it’s right now’ … Billy smiled and said, ‘Let’s go.’ What had I been so worried about all those years?… For once, some things seemed to be returning to something like normal” (189).

          I read this book for the Reading Challenge – a book that I have not read since elementary school – and I am glad that I reread this, as it has touched my heart, once again. I also created a poster, using Photoshop, with the red sky background with the Japanese flag half-visible, a silhouette of two holding hands, with a baseball and baseball mitt filled inside them, which ties them together. The background is blurred to show that they are strong, despite the petrifying war going on.

Under the Blood-Red Sun

Citations for images:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-photography/best-of-travel-photography/content/travel-tips-and-articles/77709

http://juganue.deviantart.com/art/together-holding-hands-153965261

http://forum.bigsoccer.com/threads/a-2008-c-2009-home-and-away-kits.713246

http://www.sportskeeda.com/baseball/24-major-league-baseball-players-may-face-suspension-over-drug-abuse

Formative Assessment Question

Posted in Asian Studies on February 3, 2016 by Mina<3

Question: How did the organization of early societies change?

The organization of early societies became more sophisticated and complex but neat and well-run. For example, weapons were invented, valuables were exchanged, transportation was fixed, societies were divided into cities/city-states, government structures were applied, houses were well(or better)-structured. These changes made the societies run more smoothly with fewer problems. For example, the cities were laid along perpendicularly, and the houses were firm from sun-baked mud bricks in the Indus Valley. The Indus Valley had little weapons because it was rather peaceful, despite the fact that they had around 1500 sites. The Indus Valley people also traded goods like cotton with the Mesopotamians. Like how the Indus Valley developed, these were the very first steps of the changes of early societies.

 

CREATE Project – Connecting Photography & Poetry

Posted in English 9 on December 10, 2015 by Mina<3

For this project, there were many Common Core Standards that connected, for example, “Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters” from the Writing Common Core Standards list. To support this standard, I created a prompt for myself.

The original reasons why I chose to do photography and poetry was to improve my poetry skills and to connect English to something I like. Therefore, the prompt I set for myself was to use figurative language and make the poem flow while showing a clear mood. For this, I have used many figurative language techniques like rhyme, alliteration, personification, etc. For example, “around” (3) and “sound” (4) rhyme, so does “vitality” (6) and “immortality” (8). An example of personification would be “Cool zephyr dances by as summer sings goodbye” (1-2) – I personified zephyr drifting and summer ending by using specific verbs like “dances” and “sings”. I used rhymes to make my poem catchy,while I also used different rhyme schemes. To bring out the mood a little more clearly, I paid attention to my diction, like “soulless”, “blooming”, “dances”, “sings”, “screaming”, “flourishes”, “decaying”, and “dying”.

As for the original standard, I used precise words to show sensory language, which is just like what I explained above, using the figurative language techniques. I tried to show summer ending and winter coming by connecting it to a burning candle in the rain at the very end. On the other hand, the photo I used for my poem was taken and edited by me. To show our theme, nature, I took a photo of a dandelion in a dry grass field while I used Adobe Photoshop to make the dandelion in color but the dry grass black and white.

 

Formative Assessment: How Did Imperialism Affect Japan?

Posted in Asian Studies with tags , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2015 by Mina<3

Imperialism affected Japan in many ways of change of government structure, modernization, and force – both positive and negative. Firstly, Americans (and Europeans) forced the Japanese to open up the ports, as the textbook states: “Fillmore’s letter politely asked the shogun to allow free trade between the United States and Japan. Perry delivered it with a threat, however… Under its terms, Japan opened two ports at which U.S. ships could take on supplies” (Unit 6, 810). After the Americans had forced open the doors, Europeans followed in to trade at treaty ports. Although, through this, Japan was modernized by the Europeans. The textbook states: “The Japanese then chose what they believed to be the best that Western civilization had to offer and adapted it to their own country” (Unit 6, 811). The Japanese took in many European features (like the discipline of the German army, the skill of the British navy, the universal public education of the American system) that modernized themselves and gradually changed their power structure from feudalism to imperialism. After adapting from the Europeans, Japan grew stronger because the government structure was more powerful. The Japanese invaded many countries, like Korea, China, and Russia, as the textbook states: “The rest of the world clearly saw the brutal results of Japan’s imperialism” (Unit 6, 813). Imperialism caused by Europeans affect Japan in a negative way but ended up affecting Japan in many more positive ways.

DBQ PEEEEL Paragraph – Document 2

Posted in Asian Studies on October 11, 2015 by Mina<3

Document 2:

 

“…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…”

PEEEEL Outline:

Point: Jahangir was very open and free to his Hindu subjects for peace, improvements for the benefit of mankind through arts or science, and thought that it would be the wisest choice.

Evidence 1: “Neither is it to be forgotten that the class of whom we are speaking… are usefully engages, either in the pursuit of the arts or science, or of improvements for the benefit of mankind”

Explanation 1: Jahangir was logical in this area because ,thanks to his wise decision, his people made contribution to art, science, and math. First of all, to be able to have celebrations on the write dates, religious people needed access to the calendar which contained: mathematical skills and astronomical skills to align the moon, the sun, and the stars. Artists were inspired by these religious people, and so they contributed by building and designing temples and drawings.

Evidence 2: “…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”

Explanation 2: His religious tolerance was what made him different from other leaders. His open and free action prevented unnecessary civil wars and brought peace to his land. Many important religions were maintained even until today and are widely known throughout the world. His religious tolerance was part of his effort to develop the religious culture of his land.

Link: In conclusion, Jahangir strived to bring peace to his land and make benefits for the mankind through religious toleration.

PEEEEL Paragraph:

Jahangir was very open and free to his Hindu subjects for peace, improvements for the benefit of mankind through arts or science, and thought that it would be the wisest choice. In this document with Jahangir’s memoir, he states: “Neither is it to be forgotten that the class of whom we are speaking… are usefully engages, either in the pursuit of the arts or science, or of improvements for the benefit of mankind”. Jahangir was logical in this area because, thanks to his wise decision, his people made contributions to art, science, and math. First of all, to be able to have celebrations on the write dates, religious people needed access to the calendar. They needed mathematical skills and astronomical skills to align the moon, the sun, and the stars. Religious people inspired artists; therefore artists made contributions through building and designing temples and drawings. Jahangir also states: “…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”. His religious tolerance was what made him different from other leaders. His open and free action prevented unnecessary civil wars and brought peace to his land. Many important religions were maintained even until today and are widely known throughout the world. His religious tolerance was part of his effort to develop the religious culture of his land. In conclusion, Jahangir strived to bring peace to his land and make benefits for the mankind through religious toleration.

Relation of the Crash Course Video and the Textbook

Posted in Asian Studies on September 22, 2015 by Mina<3

John Green’s crash course video and the textbook both introduce the beginning of India’s empires and contain information on Buddhism and Ashoka. They both talk about how Ashoka promoted Buddhism through studying it and ruling by the Buddha’s teachings after defeating the state of Kalinga. There was also a prince, Siddhartha Gautama, who left his castle to meditate for months and think about the meaning of life. Both the video and the textbook contained information on India’s first empires. While the textbook was more focused on the Mauryan Empire and the Gupta Empire, the crash course video had a rather wide range of information on different topics. The crash course video has more information and detail than what the textbook has, but it was rushed. The crash course video went in slight depth on Hinduism, Dharma, and Buddhism.

The Spice Trade: Link Between Economy and Cultural Anthropology

Posted in Asian Studies on September 9, 2015 by Mina<3

A smart person once said, “Eventually, everything links together”. In spice trading, an interaction between cultural anthropology and economy can be sought. First of all, below is a map showing the Silk Road (purple lines) and the spice trade route (red arrows). The Silk Road was a time-honored trade route connecting China and the Mediterranean. On the other hand, the red arrows show very old trade routes connecting not just China, but the entire Asia, with Europe. Without these trade routes, Europe and Asia wouldn’t have been able to connect; ideas wouldn’t have been shared, foreign goods wouldn’t have been traded; most importantly, the history of the continents would be different. Religions like Buddhism and Christianity, inventions like gunpowder, paper money, and spice are examples of exchanged ideas and goods – this shows cultural anthropology. The concept of spice trading shows economy (the study of choices that are made to improve the standard of living and making benefits); through spice trading, many people like merchants and traders had to make wise choices to make profits.

Spice Trade Route

To understand better how economy and cultural anthropology are connected, here is a primary source from “Spice It Up”: “In additional to medicinal purposes, spices were highly desired to add flavor to foods, to preserve meats (no refrigeration), or to conceal the flavor of partly spoiled meat. Spices were used to produce medicines, perfumes, and dyes, and to flavor drinks. Wealthy ladies sometimes carried ginger around their necks in order to sweeten their breath” (22). In order to improve the standard of their lives, spices were used for not only medicinal purposes but also for addition of flavor, preservation of meat, production of perfumes, dyes… It was not just spice that the Asian trading system brought to Europe: “Other products sought from the Asian-centered trading networks included manufactured goods as well: rugs, Chinese lacquer-ware, and cotton cloth which was more comfortable and lighter than clothing made out of European wool” (23). This is how cultural anthropology and economy is connected.

Crash Course: Columbus, de Gama, and Zheng He

Posted in Asian Studies on August 27, 2015 by Mina<3

Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Gama, and Zheng He were all very important sailors or explorers.

The geography involved in the crash course video was mostly just Europe and Asia. Christopher Columbus found Indonesia instead of India. He also discovered America. Although he didn’t reach his goal of getting spices, he made other effects like leading Spain into one of the most powerful countries in the world. Vasco de Gama basically connected Europe and Asia through converting people into Christianity and getting gold. Zheng He’s purpose of his journey was to dominate the trade, world’s economy, and the Indian Ocean.

Economy is commonly found in all three of these figures: they all traded. All three were maritime traders – Vasco de Gama traded for gold. Trading gold was also the way how the Portuguese was better placed than other European countries.

All of these three figures made big impacts for history. Christopher Columbus led people to the discovery of America and Indonesia, which is a very important part of history. He was also a key factor which led the Spanish to colonizing the United States – he started an official world history. Zheng He made history for China; his purposes were to dominate the trade, the world’s economy and the Indian Ocean. Without Vasco de Gama, Europe wouldn’t have been connected to Asia, ever. The trading system wouldn’t be as it is today, or as it was. This also leads to the last sense – cultural anthropology.

Vasco de Gana introduced the Europeans to the Asian culture (spices) – he connected Europe and Asia. He also introduced the religious concept of Christianity to a lot of people. Columbus also converted a lot of natives to Christianity.

Spice it Up Question

Posted in Asian Studies on August 25, 2015 by Mina<3

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.

 

The four lenses of the social studies are: geography, history, economics, and cultural anthropology. Through trading, economics can be very clearly seen – economics is not just about money, but also about choices and benefits. Through bargaining, traders can make profits but can also lose; they gave to think and make wise choices. Cultural anthropology can be seen – for example, the Europeans went across to the Asians and had chances to give and take ideas. Depending on the trading, there would be a difference in history. If there was no trading or spices, then these regions like Southeast Asia would have focused on other things. Geography can be seen too – for instance, if a huge storm destroys all the crops, then the region will not make much money. Trading was necessary for Europeans because these spices were unable to be grown in Europe; most of these spices needed a tropical or subtropical climate to be grown.

Time spent: around 10 minutes?