The bloody Syrian war started in the March of 2011. Bombings have killed many and have left more wounded under the rubble. The government was gaining power while the people were losing family, friends and loved ones. Rubble encaving people like a canopy in a forest. Hospitals helping the wounded only to have Assad and his cunning regime blow it up with barrel bombs. This series takes you through the personal life of a Syrian civilian, enabling anyone to visualize the misery the people of this fateful country go through every day.
Hope and Hopelessness are two very strong emotions that human beings go through at certain points in their lives. While one brings about a positive feeling in the life ahead, the other is discouraging and dark. Imagine when someone wants to lead a life with Hope but unfortunate circumstances lead them to be hopeless? This is exactly the mood the author of the book “The Surrender Tree” brings into her strong writing. With different perspectives and many interesting poems, the “Surrender Tree” by Margarita Engle explains and shows the fight for Cuba’s freedom.
Rosa had healing abilities since her childhood and has a wide knowledge of the vast variety of flowers and their medicinal values. Since her childhood, she has been curing and saving lives. She was a slave as a kid who was later released and she and her husband José saved the lives of anyone they found wounded. However, they had to do this in hiding because Lieutenant Death, a Spanish leader, spent years trying to cut her ear, the proof of her death. Throughout her very complex life, she has seen many ups and downs. Times when she was hopeful, and times when she was downheartedly hopeless. The lines below describe how Rosa is despondent for the freed slaves of Cuba:
The Spanish Empire refuses honor
Liberty for any slave who was freed by a rebel,
So even though the planters
Who used to own us
No longer want to own human,
The forest, searching, capturing, punishing.
So we flee
To the villages
Where runaways hide…
Just like before. (Rosa, 29)
The poem describes how Spain refuses to give these people freedom, instead, they find and punish them. Conversely, Rosa is mostly a very hopeful person. She hopes for plenty of things throughout the book. Yet, the one thing she hopes for the most is to save every soul she can, “This is how you heal a wound:/ clean the flesh. / Sew the skin. /Pray for the soul. /Wait.” (Rosa, page 73). In this poem, Rosa explains how she heals wounds. She explains how she cleans the flesh, sews the skin after which she ‘prays for the soul’ and hope for the best. After this, she does what is probably the worst part, wait. She needs to wait to find out if the soul has been saved.
José, Rosa’s husband helps Rosa by guarding the caves and ‘hospitals’ where she cures patients at night, while he sleeps in the day. Rosa and Jose met and before they knew they were married. Together, they worked to cure as many people as they could. Sometimes, they would cure people of the Spanish army, who later choose to switch sides. At one point in the book, Rosa and José become extremely depressed because of the increasing number of patients and war. The lines below describe how Silvia, an orphan that escaped from the concentration camps, told Jose about how her grandmother taught her a cure for sadness.
…The child tells me her grandmother
showed her how to cure sadness
by sucking the juice of an orange,
while standing on a beach.
Toss the peals onto a wave.
Watch the sadness float away.
I think this poem best brings out Jose’s emotions. It shows his confused feeling of hopefulness and hopelessness at the same time. On one hand, Jose hopes his sorrows to float away and will eventually sink to the bottom of the ocean just like what Silvia described. But when thought about Cuba he was feeling hopeless. He didn’t believe that the war was going to end. There had already been two, and this was the third one. It was hard to believe that all the misery in Cuba is going to melt away.
Lieutenant Death is the son of Lieutenant-General Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau. Rosa has known Lieutenant Death ever since their childhood when she was ‘borrowed’ because of her medicinal skills. Ever since they were kids, Lieutenant Death ran after her, just for the fun of it. He later spent his entire life trying to kill her. To him, Rosa was always the ‘Little Witch’ that cured runaways and made Spanish soldiers join her side just by curing them. However, he too had times where he was disappointed:
Once again, light men and dark
Fight side by side,
As if there had never been slavery…
I shake my head still unable to believe
That slavery ended in 1866––
All the skills of my long life,
All the arts of slavehunting
Will be lost…
Slavery had just ended in Cuba. Many slave owners were letting go of their slaves. He had spent his entire life learning the ‘art’ of slavehunting. He had captured hundreds of runaways. Now, since slavery was gone, Lieutenant Death spent more time trying to get rid of the ‘Little Witch’, Rosa.
Cuba officially got freedom from Spain in 1899 with the help of America. Cuba was inspired by America’s tactics into getting freedom from the British. Hence, they accepted the help from them. However, America’s intentions were not to help Cuba, their intention was to defeat Spain and take over Cuba. José was hesitant to tell Rosa the news because he knew their sorrows are not floating away. Lieutenant Death was sent back to Spain. The Cuban citizens witnessed the Spanish flag being lowered and the American flag being hoisted. The Cuban flag was still forbidden.
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My One Day Project was to capture the life in Shunyi. We went to two locations, one location was in a village behind BSB, the other location was the Wen Yu river.
In the first location, I had some interesting pictures. Unfortunately, I could not get much of the village life because the villagers were not very comfortable posing. However, I managed to get these 2 pictures:
In the second location, I was not able to get many shots of the river itself, however, I got some very nice shots of the greenery around it. These are the two pictures that I like:
If I could change anything about this day, I would probably concentrate more on the river, rather than the greenery around it.
This one day has been very fun, In my opinion, having friends around made it even better.
People who are in highly pressured positions, like athletes in the Olympics, they need to be fit, healthy, muscular. Some of these athletes do this with hard work and perseverance, while others resort to other solutions like drugs that make them stronger and thinner. These drugs have some extremely harmful side effects. Some of the consequences of substance abuse include; Heart Problems, Suicidal thoughts, confusion, depression, heavy sweating, body overheats, Cataract, Hyperthyroidism etc. These harmful side effects can sometimes lead to death. This can still be prevented with healthy alternatives like; working out, eating healthy, playing your favorite sport etc.
Watched by Marina Budhos is a book based on based on a Bangladeshi boy who lives in Queens, New York named Naeem. Naeem is not what most would call a “model teen”. He learned to move fast in his immigrant neighborhood in order to overtake the eyes of his diligent Bangladeshi parents and gossipy neighbors. What could be worse? The fact that they are not the only ones watching? That there are cameras on poles, mosques infiltrated? This was one thing everyone knew: To be careful about what you say and who you say it to, anyone could be a watcher. Spoiler alert! This Bangladeshi boy thought he could charm his way through anything. This misunderstanding rubbed away when all his mistakes caught up with him leading to the cops offering him a dark deal. He wanted to be a hero-a protector, like the people in his brother’s comic books. Yet what is a hero? And is Naeem really being a traitor? For this blog post, I focused more on the elements of the plotline–setting, character development, a type of conflict, resolution. The setting of the book is in an immigrant area Queens, New York, where Naeem has lived his entire life. The character development and conflict comes in when the Police ask Naeem to spy on his old friend. He is faced with the dilemma on whether he should betray a friend that may have gotten him into this mess in the first place or be a loyal friend and pay for what he did. “Better I am poor in a country where I can feel at home. Where I am wanted than to live like this.” (Page 123) This quote shows us that he was not happy with what was happening to him and was regretting everything he had done until that moment. In the end, he chooses to be loyal to his friend and paid for what he did.
My collage only consists of shadow figures, no actual faces. I did this because of this particular quote from the book: “When we came to America, though, we didn’t know what the right thing was. Here we lived with no map. We became invisible, the people who swam in between other people’s lives, bussing dishes, delivering groceries. What was wrong?
We didn’t know. The most important thing, Abba said, was not to stick out. Don’t let them see you. But I think it hurt him, to hide so much.”(Page 76) The reason this quote stood out to me so much was because it shows the reader what the life of an immigrant is like-being invisible-forced to not stick out and avoiding situations like what happened to Naeem. In the bottom of the collage, I put the skyline of Bangladesh and Queens New York merging together because he is an immigrant and they have a combined culture from both countries. On the top right corner, there is a picture of a boy-a normal boy, living his life, without a care in the world. He thought he could charm his way through life, he couldn’t be more wrong. What he did not realize was that he was getting himself into a lot of trouble. In the second picture, you can see that he is being interrogated by the Police-it is supposed to depict the time he was given the choice to either pay for what he did or spy on his fellow immigrants. This particular picture has a face because, unfortunately, I could not find a picture that looked like the others to depict this situation, but I still think that it is a pretty fitting representation of what Naeem would have gone through in that moment of his life. The third picture, the picture where there is man spying on someone with binoculars is depicting the part where he starts spying on people, giving input to the police on what was happening in the immigrant society. The fourth picture (the running man and the other man turning away from him with binoculars) is supposed to depict the time when the Police asked him to spy on his old friend but he decided to quit spying on people and decided to turn himself in. The final picture is the background. I used the picture of the title of the book from the cover and I added a dramatic effect to it and lowered the transparency level using Canva. Canva really helped me make the collage and use the different tools on it to make my collage better. The reason I put the title of the book in the background was because of a) it gave some color to the collage as it was all black because of the shadow images and b) It made the poster more captivating and gave the overall dramatic effect to the collage.
Watched is certainly an important novel, not just because it deals with overcoming religious profiling and social injustice, but because it teaches us to be our true selves. To follow our conscience, take care of our loved ones, stand up for what’s right and good in this world, and that it is never too late to change.
Find my facebook page here
My book is Prey by Michael Crichton. The main focus of my Facebook page was characterization. My Facebook post is of Jake Foreman. He is the main character in this book. He is a house-husband that was fired because of discovering an internal scandal in his former company. When Jack goes for a tour in his wives’ company, he finds out that the company’s latest invention, the nanobot, caused a rabbit to die just outside the facility, he starts to investigate along with some of his friends, making this the conflict. I chose to do a Facebook page because I wanted to highlight some of the inner conflicts that lead up to the main conflict, for example; Julia (his wife) breaking her promises and suspiciously coming late from work too often and the fact that Jake lost his job.
Jake Forman is Jack Forman worked for Media Tronics after which, he clashes with the CEO and is fired. He’s is later called to his wife’s company called Xymos, that is a large company that works on creating new nanotechnology. Ina revolutionary project that includes microscopic lifeforms that should have to change the world for the better, went out of control and some had escaped. Due to some issues, some unexpected activity happened and these tiny lifeforms can replicate the physical features, perceptions, and motions of humans and live in swarms outside the plant. They are barely visible but large swarms are evolving. They become carnivorous and are multiplying at a tremendous rate of speed. There is no choice but to kill them. Jack, Mae (A field biologist in Jack’s consulting team) and Bobby go out to destroy these swarms, armed with toxic spray. In the process, Bobby and Mae and killed and when Jack goes around looking for them, he notices that one of their bodies were crawling, the swarm was dragging it into the desert. Jack and the other survivor barely make it back into the plant. They are now locked in a battle for their own survival and that of mankind.
On my Facebook page I made sure to make it sound as realistic as possible, his problems with his wife, his kind nature to “forgive and forget” and people from other company’s wanting to employ him, (he ends up working for Xymos, his wife’s company) but, being unsuccessful due to the false accusations the previous company made on him. One part I did not add on my facebook page was the part where he wasn’t getting employed by most companies, this is because I don’t think companies are going to message his Facebook giving him reasons on why he wasn’t employed. Quotes like: “At forty, I was too old to work as a programmer myself anymore; writing code is a young person’s job.” and “Like everything else I’d seen at Xymos, it was jerry-built, half-baked, concocted in a hurry to solve present problems and never a thought to the future.” Prove that he is a smart man who knew what he was doing and yet was finding faults in a big company like Xymos.
My newspaper article tries to show the conflict between a forgetful clergyman, who after missing his flight, lands himself in further trouble by getting knocked unconscious by a gang of robbers who also implicated in a crime that he never committed. This article is based on the book, At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie. The first paragraph in this article gives details about the backstory of this case. It shows the reader how Pennyfather landed himself into this situation and what witnesses to this robbery have to say about this. It also shows points on why many think that he was the robber. The second paragraph shows the reader a theory on how this case must have been blamed on Pennyfather. It also introduces Ms. Marple, an old yet keen eye-sighted woman who helps solve the case. The third and last paragraph shows the reader what is going to happen after this, for further investigation. I think the conflict in this article is person vs. person because Canon Pennyfather has a conflict with his possible doppelgänger and his confederates, who are also people. Some of the lines I tool for reference from the book are: On page 198 it states “…somebody hit you on the head and other lines.
On the first day, we went to Via Ferrata to climb the mountain using ropes and leg/ hand railings. It was very fun and I also did the challenge hike up the mountain over the water. It was very fun.
On the second day, we built rafts and tried to get the raft through small lake/river. It was very fun and the water was extremely cold.
I was able to creatively make the raft and also create different positions to jump up while I was in Via Ferrata. I was not able to have global mindedness and I sometimes stepped on a spot which did not have a leg support, while I was in Via Ferrata.
Humanities Found Poem.
My found poem is based on Page 5 of the story “The Monkey’s Paw” by William W. Jacobs. My poem shows the last scene of this story where Mr. White makes his second and most regretted wish. This wish was made out of force, he was afraid of Mrs. White. He wishes for his dead son alive again. Suddenly, there is a knock on the door. The wife knew it was her son Herbert. Before she could get to the door she is caught by the arm by her husband screaming at her, telling her not to let ‘it’ in. She breaks free from his grasp and heads toward the door “Herbert I’m coming”.
The concept of my poem is the conflict. The conflict between the husband and the wife. My poem highlights the way in which Mrs. White forces her husband into making the wish which the husband immediately regrets. The conflict between the two only worsened when a knock came upon the door. This is when my poem/ the story shows how Mr. White does not want ‘it’ inside the house, but his wife breaks free from his grasp and goes for the door anyway. (Lines 271 to 311)
The illustration that I chose for my found poem was a person knocking at a door. I chose this because I think that this was the point in the poem when the concept, which in this case is the conflict, amplified. This was the point where the conflict between the husband and wife worsened. Which is why I found this to be the perfect illustration for my poem.