Polymer Journal #1

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The Summer of Grief, Lost, and Love

In the book “The Square Root of Summer” written by Harriet Reuter Hapgood emphasizes a theme that is not only crucial to this book but it highlights the significance of our youth. I created a book trailer highlighting the theme. Harriet manages to grab the readers’ attention while pointing out a consistent theme throughout the book, how to go on living in the present and move forward when things go wrong.

Gottie struggles to breathe with the sorrow sitting at the back of her heart, the death of her grandfather Grey and the pain of remembering Jason, her secret boyfriend who discarded her effortlessly. Thomas, her former best friend swears on a blood oath that he’ll be there no matter what however he moved to Canada leaving Gottie with the absence of everything in her life. She drifts away from everybody thinking as if detaching her away from everybody else is a solution to escaping her grief. “If you turn people away enough times, eventually they stop trying to find you.” (Hapgood, 85) The bonds of friendship rely on memories of shared experiences with the people that you love. “And as he looks at me, I suddenly get it. “This isn’t the Big Bang. It’s just summer. But it’s still love. It’s still something.” (134)

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Chinese Cultural Revolution

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The Chinese Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Plain English


The Chinese Proletarian Cultural Revolution was significant because it marked the start of a new era in China. The first chairman of China, MaoZeDong, his objective was to wipe out all those people in authority who are taking the capitalist road. He wanted to lead the country and the people to communism. Mao shut down the nation’s schools and called for a massive youth mobilization, students gradually came together forming as what is called the Red Guards. Mao was praised as a God-like figure and nobody was to doubt his invincible thoughts and actions. The victims of this revolution remembered it as a 10 year time of turmoil where the economy was crippled and millions of lives were ruined.  With Mao launching the cultural revolution in May 1966, he attempted to destroy his enemies by unleashing the people on the party and urging them to purify its ranks. Schools were closed and the students campaigned around the country as the Red Guards. Thus, the Red Guards had to be conceded for their violent actions.

 

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August 25th 1939

 

In my peripheral vision, I saw the faces of hunger, the crops of death, and the lifeless sky looking down at me. Simply by looking at everybody’s crippling faces, I can conclude to the outcomes of the Non-Aggression Treaty. Stalin will overthrow Russia and all of us, he is not a man who depicts honesty and portrays morality. I do not have faith in our new leader to re-establish Russia. Years and years past, us peasants are all lethargic and worn out from harvesting. I trod around the crops making sure that the soil was fertilized, the seeds were planted, and the weeds were pulled out. I reached down to grab a handful of soil, the harder I clenched with my fist, the more the traumatizing memories seized me.

Dating all the way back to 1928, when the first Five-Year Plan was established, I was working a late shift that night in the factory when I heard rumors of this news. Late shifts transitioned to more work days and we eventually started working seven days a week. By mid-1930s the Gulags deported me and my fellow comrades to a labor camp. The amount of food was rationed amongst us because there was an abundant amount of us. We spent 24/7 of our days’ mining, digging, building, and if our leaders were in a good mood we were harvesting. I spent four years of my life in this concentration camp, and I had no optimism of escaping this place. I was treated as garbage as if I was one of those stray animals that were not even bothered to be glanced at by anyone. I have had enough of obeying rules and listening to commands. Every single sweat I have shed was not worth it. I am determined to escape back to the city and relive a new life. By the time I escaped back to the city, a new time period called The Purge commenced. People started mysteriously disappearing from families. Not long after, I figured out that the whole purpose was to cause fear among our population and break the will of anyone who posed a potential threat to Stalin’s leadership.

These traumatizing memories will forever afflict me in my sleep. All the way from 1905 to now I have suffered enough of revolutions. Maybe if the War Communism never occurred and us peasants never overthrew the Tsar, I would not have lost so many loved ones. Revolutions are created because a change is needed to be made, however not all outcomes of the change is necessarily prosperous and peaceful.

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The “Ideal” Body Image

Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell, tells a tragic love story of two star-crossed misfits sparking a love story through comics and punk music. One of the themes that came across Eleanor & Park is how shallow the society is for ostracizing all the people with flaws and labeling them for who they are on the outside.

I wrote and performed an inner monologue portraying her own emotional feelings when Eleanor was the new girl in school and she was struggling with “fitting in.” She wore attires that none of the others ever considered of making it even harder for her to be included. “Today the girl was wearing a giant man’s shirt with seashells all over it. The collar must have been really big, like disco-big, because she’d cut it, and it was fraying. She had a man’s necktie wrapped around her ponytail like a big polyester ribbon. She looked ridiculous.” (Rowell, 6) Maybe she is over-weight or possibly fat but this doesn’t give any rights for everybody to hate her for what she looks like.  “That girl-all of them-hated Eleanor before they’d even laid eyes on her. Like they’d been hired to kill her in a past life. (9) Eleanor may be very different to the rest of the girls on the outside, however, her inner self is filled with beauty and grace, which none of the other girls possess. Eleanor may be different but she definitely is that one in a million.

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OneDay Dance

  1. Our group name is called A & E
  2.  I chose hip-hop as my OneDay project because it is a style of dance that I very much enjoy and it is what I’m passionate about. I also enjoy listening to k-pop and learning new styles of dance as I have had 8 years of experience in ballet
  3.  Our plan is to learn sections of the 3 dances and perform it live. However, my partner is not here on the day of the performance, therefore, I will have to do the 3 dances by myself.
  4. During the mentoring/OneDay we spent our time learning the choreography
  5.  IMG_5442.TRIM
  6.  I learned 2 different styles of hip-hop during my OneDay project. Things I could do better are time management and synchronization.
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Opposites Attract

Eleanor, a misfit redhead girl who likely ends up in the back of class meets Park, a geeky Korean kid who listens to blasting punk music. In the book Eleanor and Park written by Rainbow Rowell, two star-crossed lovers who are drastically different fall in love at first sight. Though they are vastly incompatible as individuals, they unexpectedly end up together. Both of them are so different from each other however opposites attract. Let’s say we have two magnets, Eleanor is the north pole of the first magnet and Park is the south pole of the second magnet. Alike magnets will repel and opposites will attract just like Eleanor and Park’s love.  “You couldn’t have strength without weakness, you couldn’t have light without dark, you couldn’t have love without loss”-Jo Picoult. As the story progresses, Eleanor and Park continue on developing a blossoming romance. Whilst Eleanor is swept off of her feet by Park, her home complications tend to increase when coming home to a threatening letter written by her dangerous stepdad, Richie.

 

Eleanor has been kicked out of the house before, she returns once again and lives under the same roof as her abusive stepdad, Richie. Her mother is struggling between raising Eleanor and her siblings and dealing with Richie. Their family has no sense of love or care for each other. Though they are a family with some degree of kinship, they all act as if they are distant from each other. “But when Eleanor walked in the house, it was like her siblings didn’t even recognize her.” (Rowell, 16) Eleanor is dealing with a horrific life at home mostly because of her abusive stepdad, Richie. Not only is her own house dangerous is for her, school is no place safer. She lives her days full of fear, whether it is for her own physical attributes or for the judgments people have on her. Eleanor is not physically slender nor fit, in fact, she is over-weight. Being overweight does not mean that she should be living a life of shame of her body image. “She was wearing that ugly necktie again. Today it was tied around her wrist. Her arms and wrists were scattered with freckles, layers of them in different shades of gold and pink, even on the back of her hands. Little boy hands, his mom would call them, with short-short nails and ragged cuticles.” (43) Eleanor values no self-esteem nor self-love, nobody is able to accept her for who she truly is by her external features. Society does not look within the heart, yet it criticizes us by our visage. She was different than all of the others because she did not have an ideal body image. She was talked about behind her back, made fun of in front of her face. Rising actions that led to the climax included a various number of scenarios in which she started looking forward to bus rides with Park. They started off by ignoring each other and avoiding eye contact, to sharing music and comic books on the bus ride. Sparks fly, but their relationship must be kept a secret: Richie would not be okay with all of this. The most important turning point in the story was when Eleanor came home to all of her possessions that she had of Park destroyed and a threatening letter written by Richie. All along the mean messages written in her notebook were from Richie, she had to leave this corrupt city and the only person who can help her escape is Park.

 

All in all, Eleanor and Park are both high school juniors that are extremely different in every single way however they fit well together. When we think of love, we think of the happy kind of love, the bright kind that is the beginning of something beautiful- something that breathes life. The kind that is everlasting, the love that Eleanor and Park have will with last in their relationship. Eleanor does not belong in this school nor at home but she does belong with Park, and that’s all that matters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When Breath Becomes Air Soundtrack

  1. Say something by The Great Big World 0:00-3:52

 

“And I will stumble and fall, I’m still learning to love. Just starting to crawl.” Paul Kalanhithi has faced an obstacle in his life where it will knock him down. But he knows how to stand back up, and he will fight. He will fight for love and by love I mean for his Lucy. Losing somebody is one of the hardest phases to overcome but with Lucy’s independence she manages to live a life without Paul but it doesn’t mean that she obliterated him.

 

  1. Like I’m Gonna Lose You by Meghan Trainor 3:53-7:38

 

In the epilogue of When Breath Becomes Air, Lucy writes about how she manages to reestablish her life without Paul’s presence. “So I’m gonna love you, like I’m gonna lose you.” In Lucy’s perspective, time is the most malicious devil of them all. She has to hold on to what’s left of Paul, because gradually the time he has left will vanish away.

 

  1. The Greatest by Sia- 7:39-11:07

 

His new chapter in life seems to lead Paul to undergo in chemotherapy, physical therapy, and couples’ therapy. He even had to confront his mortality. He fought with bravery, courage, stamina, and strength. Knowing that he does not have much time left, he made the most out of it. “Uh oh, running out of breath but I oh I, I got stamina.”

 

  1. Fight Song by Rachel Platten 11:08-14:32

 

Even though Paul is battling cancer, he is still optimistic of his future. He is hopeful of his time left, and he does not waste his last few months pondering over when he’ll leave. He endured his pain with fortitude, and with his courage he has influenced so many out there that aspire to obtain what Paul possesses, courage. “This is my fight song, starting right now I’ll be strong.”

 

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Substance Abuse and Body Image

The dangers of using substances to alter body shape majorly impacts the affects on the heart. For instance, Fen Phen and Ephedrine’s side affects include heart disease, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, and risk of stroke. Instead or taking these drugs that will alter your body image, using healthier methods such as working out and eating a proportional amount of healthy nutritional foods will benefit your body shape.

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