The Chinese Cultural Revolution Common Craft Video

This revolution was so important, millions of lives were never the same after the revolution, and it even influenced China up till today.  Everyone was brainwashed about Chairman Mao as a god-like figure, whether if people liked it or not. The revolution also established a base for China’s communism. Today, due to the influence of the cultural revolution, many families are scarred. At that time, everyone stopped working and became revolutionary. Some workers no longer had to continue their labor. Students couldn’t receive education at that time, leaving them uneducated. Many intellectuals were repelled. Those who stayed in China were humiliated, others fled to foreign countries. Some were even humiliated to death or killed because of their “bad” background. For example, the girl in the book Red Scarf Girl was a hard-working girl, destined to be successful. But because of the revolution, she was humiliated by students in her school, and because of her “bad” social status, she wasn’t able to enter the High School she’s been longing to enter. With a father in prison, she lived in fear during that time. Her life was never the same, and she left China after. China would’ve become a developed instead of a developing country today if it wasn’t the revolution. What stayed the same, though, was that the end of the revolution did not change a single bit of the communist party ruling China today. Chinese people cannot vote for their desired leader, they are still limited in what they could do politically.

Two Shoes, One Dream

For OneDay 2018, I chose to work in the Paper Quilling group. I like crafts and it was something I was passionate about working on for one whole day. I am excited that ISB allows me to experience different forms crafts can be. I wanted to explore what Paper Quilling was, so I came here.

For OneDay, I decided to make a pair of artistic shoes and make paper quilling arts on it.

First, I make soles by using a glue gun.

Second, I attached the fabric onto the soles using a glue gun.

Then, I made paper quillings on the shoe to make it artistic and fashionable.

What I learned in One Day was that to never give up. There were so many challenges for me to make the pair of shoe. I feared to fail, I feared after failing I wouldn’t be able to make it right. During the first time I started to attach the fabric on the soles, it wasn’t right and the shoe kept falling off of my foot. I decided to pull the fabric off and attach again. After numerous fails and numerous tries, I think I’ve finally mastered it. I got on the hold of the techniques, and the second shoe was soon made. Just to put a paper quilling element in it, I decided to attach a bit of black paper quilling, which made it more complicated and gorgeous. All of my friends like it, and I think today was fairly successful. I didn’t give up, and so I succeed.

For next year, I think I am going to try ceramics. Why? Because I like to explore the different elements of arts and crafts. I believe that art isn’t just drawing or painting. We can see art through many other aspects. I think using clay will help me demonstrate my understanding of art too. I think One Day is just fabulous for all people to attend because it provides them one full day to work on what they desire for.

The Journey to a Dream


Brown Girl Dreaming, written by Jacqueline Woodson, and the winner of the Newberry Honor, National Book Award, and Coretta Scott King Award, tells the story of the author’s childhood in the form of lyrical freestyle poetry. While facing the loss of family members, a brown skin, and the how people disregard her, she still holds her dream tight. The theme of Brown Girl Dreaming is that her story is like a complicated journey, where every single memory of her brings her one step closer to her dream: becoming a writer.  “And somehow, one day, it’s just here speckled black and white, the paper inside smelling like something I could fall right in to live there- inside those clean white pages” (Woodson, 164). While dealing with the ups and downs of childhood, Jacqueline gains confidence not only from family and friends but also through writing. “Every dandelion blown, each star light, star bright, the first star I see tonight. My wish is always the same. Every fallen eyelash and first firefly of summer… The dream remains. What did you wish for? To be a writer” (313) For every wish, Jacqueline hopes for the only thing – to be a writer. Jacqueline’s story reminds me of Woodrow Prater, the boy in the book Belle Prater’s Boy. The Woodrow’s mother had disappeared from town, and he had to live with his aunt.  People in town talk about him a lot because of his mother, and he had a hard time during his childhood.  But he eventually found himself friends with his cousin, just like how in Brown Girl Dreaming Jacqueline found herself friends with paper and pencil.  My movie trailer represents the theme of the book, while in the beginning the trailer gives descriptions of the memories that the author had encountered, the story slowly evolves and the theme and main point uncovers. I put in the extra sound effects, and the background music to show the deep emotions into the story.

Places Where I Don’t Belong

Imagine living in two places where you don’t fit in. In both places, you were the “odd” one. Your culture never matches the place, and your lifestyles are different. In the book Brown Girl Dreaming, the author, Jacqueline Woodson, describes her childhood in the 60s and 70s, especially when her brown skin color matters a lot during that period of time. Raised in North and South, Jacqueline feels she’s halfway home in both places. In the award-winning book Brown Girl Dreaming, the author, Jacqueline Woodson describes her two homes in a way so descriptive that we can imagine ourselves there. In Brooklyn, she was left out in events because of her religion, and in the South, she was teased of her Northern culture.


As a Jehovah’s Witness Jacqueline was confined to many activities and couldn’t find friends with the common language in Brooklyn. In this religion, Jacqueline was restricted from several things to do. “Because we’re witnesses, no Halloween, no Christmas, no birthdays.” (Woodson, 164) The environment that she was in was very different in comparison to the country-side life back in the South. Brooklyn was not a carefree place. With all the bustling streets and busy crowds, Jacqueline experiences an urban life there. “The rain here is different than the way it rains in Greenville. No sweet smell of honeysuckle. No soft squish of pine. No slip and slide through grass.” (165) While at school, teachers put high expectations and pressure on Jacqueline. They thought that her academics were as good as her sister, Odella’s, but Jacqueline had proved them wrong, she disappointed the adults and was forgotten soon. “Everyone knows my sister is brilliant…she is gifted we are told. And I imagine presents surrounding her. I am not gifted. When I read, the words twist twirl across the page. When they settle, it is too late. The class has already moved on.” (169) Jacqueline was trying hard, but her talent was not discovered, and she was discouraged. However, with her neighbor and best friend, Maria, she gained support. And when Jacqueline’s mother crushed her dreams of becoming a writer, she only continued writing and kept practicing with persistence. She finally wrote her first book in Brooklyn, named Butterfly. “And somehow, one day, it’s just there speckled black and white, the paper inside smelling like something I could fall right into live there-inside those clean white pages.” (164)


In the South where Jacqueline’s grandparents are, she and her siblings sometimes are left out by the other kids because of their way of living in the North. Children in their neighborhood would refuse to play with them, and students and teachers at school wouldn’t accept them. In the leisurely lifestyle and the relaxing activities, Jacqueline rather enjoys her time with her grandparents, with her grandfather playing the role of her ‘PaPa’. With her rural environment, everything seems closer to nature. “Warm autumn night with the crickets crying the smell of pine coming soft on the wind and the women on the porch, quilts across their laps, Aunt Lucinda, Miss Bell and whatever neighbor…”(Woodson, 98) But with her mother’s demanding rules, Jacqueline often could only watch other kids play outside. And with her Northern accent, Jacqueline was mocked by others. “While our friends are watching TV or playing outside, we are in our house, knowing that begging our mother to turn the television on is useless, begging her for ten minutes outside will only mean her saying no.” (167)


This book was relatable to a friend of mine. Her father was from New Zealand, and her mother was a Chinese. The mixture of Western and Asian culture made it uneasy for her. In both places, she was a minority in both places. Technically, she didn’t look alike nor acted alike to the majority of the people in neither of the country she’s from. She couldn’t blend into the society, but she always worked hard towards the problem. I saw how she adapted herself into the Chinese society through advancing her Chinese language speaking, improving skills of using chopsticks. She told me that she was from both New Zealand and China, but she seems to be coming from neither at the same time.


Jacqueline’s story illustrates her two major places where she grew up, and neither does she fit in well in the society. As her journey continues, she adapts and thrives in her societies with her writing talent. She also discovered her writing talent within. Brown Girl Dreaming has places with dreams and memories, and they are unforgettable for the writer, and unforgettable by the reader.


The places where Jacqueline doesn’t belong to, are the places where her dreams come from and become true.

My Country is Important, But My Family is More

Sergei’s Journal

August 25th, 1939

Age 53

I am relieved, my mind feels released. Yesterday the Non-Aggression Treaty was signed with Germany. I am an old man now, I do not want to fight anymore. I want to spend the remaining years of my life with my family. Perhaps this is the only one thing that Stalin did correctly. I’ve seen the changes in Russia through the years. My older son, Vasily, just turned fourteen today. My family is living just like how I imagined 15 years ago. I need to protect my children, I hope they can have a better life than I do, and escape the fearful life like mine. Now, my family is my everything, and I cannot lose them.


Without fighting, I still fear that my family may have been purged. The purges of the party ordered by Stalin began in 1937. Stalin, our leader, was a cruel and brutal man. His favorite quote was “No man, no problem”. My colleague Petrov and his family disappeared. Petrov often complained about Stalin’s tyrannies, and he paid for his consequences. I was lucky enough that my loyalty towards Stalin saved my family from the gulags and blizzards in Siberia. I don’t like Stalin’s plans, but to keep my family safe, I have to follow orders. I understood that Stalin was trying his best to turn USSR into an industrial country, like his Five-Year-Plan eventually turned into a four-year-plan. Peasants suffered, it was not worth it.


Stalin was our ultimate lord, and we all were his followers. From 1924, I was hopeful that Trotsky would become a great leader after Lenin’s death. After all, what Lenin said about Stalin, how his personality wouldn’t lead our country to a great cause, I was actually a supporter of Trotsky. But Stalin’s great propaganda and secret police, the Chekas, gave him power and he soon took control of USSR. He even exiled Trotsky. To make the country look well-developed, Stalin even promoted collectivization, the Five-Year-Plan, and the uninterrupted week. In result, there were famines. Stalin caused terror amongst the country. No one ventured to oppose him because against Stalin meant being tortured to death. Back in 1930, the secret police set up the gulags, I once worked as an organizer for executioners there. People worked like slaves, and I thought that it was inhuman that we had to kill a slave every night unreasonably. But I had to tell the executioners to do it. I saw the hopelessness in the slaves’ eyes and their hatred towards us and the government. I wanted to help them, but I showed no mercy because I knew that it was either the slaves being executed, or else it would be me. It was not until 8 years later when my assistant told me that 20% of the zeks died.


I was a patriot. I’m trying to support entire Russia, but my family has become my center. I can’t believe the country had turned under the rule of dictatorship. But I’ve chosen to follow Stalin, I’ve become a coward. I knew the Chekas are watching every move I take. I knew that Stalin has been doing things wrong. I am an old man now, I have my own family to protect, I could no longer support the citizens of Russia. Looking back all these years from 1905, I have changed a lot in 35 years. USSR too. The only thing that hasn’t changed was the suffering of the peasants. Where is my passion for them? They are living like slaves while we are enjoying our feast. Even though I am a soldier and I have fought for Russia, the revolution…was not worth it.

Nature and Nurture – What We Are Made Of

Personality is composed of nature and nurture.” (Francis Galton 1822-1911)

This theory by Francis Galton appeared in and was explained in the book The Psychology Book by Catherine Collin, Voula Grand, Nigel Benson, Merrin Lazyan, Joannah Ginsburg, Marcus Weeks. Galton was first interested in the concept of whether abilities of people are either inborn or learned after birth. He was inspired by his relatives, because many of them were gifted individuals, including the famous evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. Galton was the first person to give the thought of identifying “nature” and “nurture”, the two ingredients to compose the personality of a person. Nature is what is inherited within the person; nurture is what is experienced after the birth of the person, this may be the environment he lives in, or what he learns etc. These two sources differ from each other particularly.

When Galton was doing research towards inherited traits for his book Hereditary Genius, he found that most of the highly talented individuals were often in certain families, certain growing environments. These people’s intelligence was certainly not only from their nature but also from their privileged home environment, which was how they were nurtured. Galton once stated that “Characteristics cling to families.” (Galton, 1822-1911) Many examples are pieces of evidence that support this claim, even including himself, a great polymath grew up in a wealthy environment and was able to receive unusually high education, which was not accessible to most of the people.

Although Galton suggested that both nature and nurture are very important components of a person’s personality, the balance is also questioned. Therefore, Galton’s theory explains both elements are indispensable. First of all, nature may set the limit to how we develop in the world, for example, no matter how hard a person practices, how much he puts effort towards swimming, how well his coach works trains him, if he has no talent towards swimming, he will never become better than the other swimmer who is talented and works hard. Hence, nature limits on how a person may thrive amongst the community. However, it is also essential to realize that even with highest natural gifts may be badly affected by “starved by defective nurture.” (Galton, 1822-1911) For instance, if a person has an extraordinary intelligence, but his family’s condition could not afford the fees for him to receive education, then his gift is completely wasted. Thus, if the talent is not through education, then it has no use upon the person. The debate of “which component is the determining factor” continues even to nowadays. Some people agree that to receive an education is more important than ever, while others think that there’re no gifted people in this world, everyone is fairly treated.

I think Galton’s idea relates to me, I need to thank my family for providing me such a nice source of education by giving me the opportunity to go to ISB. I cannot say that I am talented, but with the knowledge, I am given to learn every day at school, will help me thrive in life one day. With such education, I think it is crucial for all students here to precious it, and we should be grateful and use this chance efficiently.

As a conclusion, Francis Galton’s concept is true and relatable. He devoted most of his life to philosophy, and his theory of a person’s personality is composed of nature and nurture is still influential today. And nature and nurture are both vital components of a human’s personality.

The Catastrophe Of China in the 1900s

It all started in the 19th century when China lost the two Opium wars and the Sino-Japanese war, when China was humiliated and weak. By the late 1890s, a group of ShanDong peasants, patriotic and loyal, started the boxers rebellion by attacking the foreigners, who the boxers thought to be devils. As the rebellion spread to Beijing, the capital city of China, it was supported by the Qing government, and thousands were killed, churches and railroads were destroyed. Then the eight nations sent 20,000 troops to Beijing, facing such strong enemies, the Boxers were defeated, and the Qing government were forced to pay the consequences by the terms of the Boxer Protocol.

Be That Self Which One Truly Is

“Who am I?” (26)

In the book, The Psychology Book Big Ideas Simply Explained, by Catherine Collin, Voula Grand, Nigel Benson, Merrin Lazyan, Joannah Ginsburg, and Marcus Weeks, the idea of “Be That Self Which One Truly Is”, said by Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was expressed. One of the examples that Kierkegaard used to support his claim was that there was a man who wanted to be an emperor, and if he did succeed, he would be abandoning his old self. This is because of he, himself, is not himself anymore when he is the emperor. In his accomplishment, he “does not possess himself; he is not himself.” (Kierkegaard) and this causes despair. And therefore we should accept our true identity and purpose in life to end the despair and discover the courage behind ourselves. When people’s desire for power or honor grows, the ambition grows and may lead to despair. Søren Kierkegaard shows the concept in an objective tone and tells the approach showing the true meaning to be a true self. He uses multiple examples to support his idea and connects it with leaving despair. “To will to be that self which one truly is, is indeed the opposite of despair,”(27). This theory connects to us in ISB, everyone is able to express themselves in many ways. Every individual is special and differ from another. We have projects to show our identity, and we are able to be who we truly are, and want to be, deep down in the heart. My infographic explains Søren Kierkegaard concept in a thorough way, concluding his ideas with supporting evidence, and with a flow chart explaining visually.

Citations: Infographic made in Piktochart

Dignity and Integrity

“Scholars read the great words of the world. But you and I must learn to read the world itself.” (Park, 7)


The theme of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park is the integrity of the person. Winner of the John Newberry Award, the book is about living under the bridge, with ragged clothes, and merely enough to eat, Tree-ear and his friend Crane-man live with and follow Crane-man’s faith and ethical beliefs. They will spend and enjoy what they worked hard for, and will not take any unearned gains.


When Tree-ear came back under the bridge with a bag of rice, the most precious food that the two friends could ever get, Crane-man was gratified, but also puzzled with Tree-ear’s good fortune. Tree-ear told Crane-man the unusual story: It all began in the early morning when Tree-ear met a man carrying a heavy load on a jiggeh, a “framed backpack made of branches” (Park 4), but the rice was leaking, forming a marked white-dotted path. Tree-ear followed, but his conscience was shaking. He helped the man repair the jiggeh. Surprisingly, Tree-ear is free to take the rice on the ground. Good deserves good. Tree-ear’s unselfishness deserved the bag of rice. “Foraging in the woods and rubbish heaps, gathering fallen grain-heads in the autumn-these were honourable ways to garner a meal, requiring time and work. But stealing and begging, Crane-man said, made a man no better than a dog.” (Park, 5)


When Tree-ear saw his master Min’s rival Kang with his tremendous design, he didn’t choose to help and tell Min Kang’s secret, but instead he kept it to himself. “If a man is keeping an idea to himself, and that idea is taken by stealth or trickery-I say it is stealing. But once a man has revealed his idea to others, it is no longer his alone. It belongs to the world” (Park, 64) Stealing didn’t only include stealing items and objects, but also included the stealing of a thought, an idea. Although Tree-ear was desperate to help Min to win the emissary’s appreciation. But telling Min meant letting him steal Kang’s innovation. And theft was the worse a man could do. Therefore, Tree-ear cannot risk his beliefs and moral sense and tell Kang’s pottery idea.


The main character in this book, Tree-ear’s friend, Crane-man is not a scholar, but he is as wise as one. This connects to our society because it is a present situation that many people who did not even go to school have very good thoughts. Many talented people who are in bad conditions was unable to receive education, and couldn’t prove their intelligence to the society. If Crane-man’s thoughts were told to his society, his philosophical theories would be wide-spread.


Tree-ear’s noble actions earned him great accomplishments. After helping to deliver Min’s vase to the royal emissary, Tree-ear was finally earned Min’s acceptance and had the chance to be Min’s apprentice. Tree-ear’s dignity made him a person with integrity.