Two Worlds Divided

The Karakoram Highway (23)

Nature’s beauty is
shrouded by human’s waste.

The snowy mountain’s magnificence,
hidden from our eyes.

The sickening smog becomes an impenetrable barrier,
blocking out the nature, never to be seen.

The highway down below only sees of grey,
not knowing the wonders that stood above.


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The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay by Austin Lu

“To survive, sacrifices must be made”

The entire trilogy of The Hunger Games is based on sacrifice, whether it is Katniss taking her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, or killing other participants to survive the games, sacrifices are made through the entire series. In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, every character that was introduced had to give up something valuable to them, whether it’s a career, a home, or a loved one. During the time when Katniss and her comrades rebelled against the Capitol, many of the rebels had to give up something big. A large number of rebels were killed during the rebellion, which is another example of sacrifice. Lives must be sacrificed for the greater good.

My Poem above explains what Katniss would feel after winning the Hunger Games. The guilt of killing people for her own survival stirs up her emotions.
“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.” (Collins,76) Katniss questions herself if she was really worth the lives of all the other contestants. In the end, she makes peace with her self and decides: “To survive, sacrifices must be made”

Picture source:

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Chinese Cultural Revolution

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Chinese Revolution CommonCraft Video

What changed in China as a result of the revolution? 

The Chinese Cultural Revolution setback China and its economy, creating 10 years of bloodshed, torture and disaster. Mao needed to devastate his enemies, so he falsely  claimed that the party was invaded by counter revolutionary “revisionists” who needed to overthrow communism and made tyrant of the bourgeoisie. Numerous students stood up and volunteered to help Mao, they denounced and mortified their family and teachers. As a result, after the after the revolution, around 500000 to 2 million died. And of course, the economy development slowed down, and China became unproductive.

What stayed the same in China as a result of the revolution? 

Today, communism is still the Chinese government. The Chinese people of today still can not say how Mao was wrong during the last 10 years of his life. Mao is still praised, his portrait is still respectively hung on the Tian An Men square. The government decided they should still follow Mao because he was a communist. Today, the reputation of Mao is still the same. No one dares pointing his mistakes out, or else there will be legal consequences. 

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Russian Revolution


Sergei (Austin)

It has been 15 years since Vladimir Lenin died. In theses 15 years, Russia has changed a lot. For these past few years, I have worked ambitiously. My efforts have earned me a General rank in the army. As a General, I worked with Stalin, our new leader. After Lenin died, Stalin came in to power. I respect Stalin’s will to get things done, but he is a ruthless man. Now I rest in my office in Moscow, a beautiful city and the well-known capital of the Soviet Union. After the Non-aggression treaty was signed yesterday, everyone could relax and take some stress off of their backs. I enjoy peaceful times like these even if fighting is my job.

I remember in 1924, when I first heard Lenin died. I felt regretful because he was a man I respected. With Lenin gone everyone wondered who would be the next leader, that was when Stalin came in. Joseph Stalin is like a machine, ruthless and emotionless, thirsty for power. He took Lenin’s death as an advantage, doing anything to gain control. Stalin spread himself through huge amounts of propaganda, people treated him like a god. He killed almost anyone that opposed him to remain in control. During 1928, The Five Year Plan was created. It demanded impossible factor output goals, working the peasants for 24/7. 1935 and 1938 was called “The Purge” anyone suspected of disloyalty was murdered, sent to labour camps, or put on public show trials at which they pleaded guilty to incredible crimes they could never have done. I have met Stalin before, he even taught me a few things. “No man, no problem.”, that was his philosophy. I respect his strong will and determination, but he is too inhumane and cruel. I remember when I was in charge of one of the Gulags. I didn’t like how merciless we had to be in the camps, but I had a job to do, and I was ready to face anything. Even if Stalin was cold-blooded and bad leader, I did my best to please him. I knew what he was capable of and what would happen if you opposed him. The USSR took a turn for the worse, but I feel like there is still a small chance to save our union.

These past few years have been bad. There has been mass loss of life, terrible political choices, and a vicious new dictator. The Soviet Union is like a corpse, slowly decaying and decomposing. I am worried about our union’s future. I want to make a change, do something that will make this country better. I am sick of the death, starvation, and fear that has been haunting everyone. Russia is in a horrible state, and I want to make it better. I hope that we can get through this hard time and make the USSR great again.

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Always Watching

1984 by Austin Lu

In the year 1984, Winston Smith lives in Oceania, a place where everyone is controlled and oppressed by the party. The party eliminates human individuality with an always watching “Big Brother”. Defying the ban on personality, Winston Smith dares to express himself through a dairy and pursues a relationship with his coworker Julia. These criminal actions brought the eyes of the party to Winston Smith. He was punished for the thought crimes he committed and his rebellion against the party.

“Total control doesn’t make a perfect world”

In the book 1984, the party has total control over Oceania. They control the people, language, and even personality. But this complete control does not make a perfect world, the ban on human personality destroyed normal society.”Big brother is watching you”. On the book cover, is a glaring eye. It is supposed to represent “Big Brother” and how he is always watching and punishing the people who dare to think freely. Therefore, the people live in oppression and fear.


Tool used: Canva

Icons used:
Eye by Gregor Cresnar from the Noun Project

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Substance Abuse

All substances that alter body shape will have negative side effects if abused. They all can have a variety of life-threatening side effects that can endanger the lives of the user and many people around him or her. People usually take these drugs to look good or feel better about themselves. One of the healthy alternatives for these performance-enhancing drugs is actually getting up and doing the exercise so we can build our body naturally.

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Maybe by Austin Lu

Anyone can turn in to anything, that is the theme of my book. My poem started off with describing “he” and his innocence as a child. The poem goes on with talking about “him” and how he was probably like any other normal child. I concluded my poem with “But we all know how he turned out in the end” to focus on my theme: Anyone can turn in to anything.

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The Boxer Rebellion Video

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County vs. Family

Chris Kyle ships out to the Middle East in 2003, only a few months after marrying his wife, Taya Kyle. Throughout American Sniper, he writes about his conflicting loyalties: he loves Taya and his children, but he also wants to serve his country in Iraq. In a different sense, American Sniper shows Kyle negotiating the tension between country and family—the war front and the home front.

For most of the book, Kyle ranks his duty to his country above his duty to his wife and children—he defines himself as a soldier first and a husband/father second. Again and again, when Kyle has the opportunity to retire from the SEALs or reenlist, he chooses to reenlist, even when Taya begs him to stay with her and help raise their children. There are many reasons why Kyle chooses the SEALs over his family: In part, he reenlists because he’s been raised to feel a strong sense of duty to his country and his fellow Americans. At the same time, however, Kyle genuinely enjoys the thrills of fighting in Iraq—over and over he brings up how “fun” and “exciting” SEAL life can be. Another reason why Kyle prioritizes military service over family life is that the rules of machismo tell him that reenlisting is the right, manly thing to do. A final, particularly sobering reason that Kyle reenlists is that he can seemingly no longer connect with civilians, even his wife and children—danger and combat have become such an important part of his identity that he struggles to have a normal relationship with anyone who hasn’t had the same kinds of experiences.

Toward the end of the book, Kyle begins to reevaluate his life. Gradually, he comes to define himself as a husband and a father first, and a SEAL second. On one hand, the trauma of war begins to leave a mark on Kyle (see Trauma Theme). At the same time, Taya’s need for Kyle becomes more immediate: their daughter is seriously ill and needs to spend time with her father. As a result, Kyle agrees to leave Iraq a few weeks early and not reenlist in the SEALs in the future. Ultimately, it’s very unclear what to think about the tension between country and family in American Sniper. There’s never really a moment when Kyle manages to balance his love for his country with his love for Taya—realizing one means sacrificing the other. Kyle seems not to regret his decision to leave Taya so soon after she gives birth, or his decision to reenlist rather than help her raise their children. But at the same time, Kyle never outright says that country is more important than family. Another sign of the book’s ambiguity on this issue is that Taya writes that she and Kyle still disagree about whether they want their own children to serve in the military, suggesting that she and Kyle haven’t reached any real compromise in the conflict between country and family. In the end, people like Kyle must simply make up their own minds about whether to prioritize their families or their service to their country.

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