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Throughout the Capstone Project this year, each person in our class chose an issue in China that we feel passionate about. I chose equal education because I felt very compelled to learn about this problematic issue. From the research that I have gathered, I realized that there is a big gap between the rural and urban schools of China. For the last part of this inspiring project, we had to create a documentary promoting this.

I worked very hard on this project because I felt like I had the responsibility to show everyone how unfair and merit-based system in China was like and how the rural students were falling in dust year after year.

Overall, I think that two of the best qualities in my video was the shocking statistics it included and powerful video clips I found from Wall Street Journal. I think those things played the biggest role of my PSA. However, my slides towards the end began to speed up and it was probably a little incomprehensive because the video was a little over 3 minutes.

Success Criteria:

  • The catapult can launch the ping pong ball more than a meter and a half away.
  • The aims/launches can be consistent.
  • This catapult can retain its figure after multiple launches and not fall apart.

During the Catapult Project, my partner (Anannya Umesh) and I constructed a catapult that could launch a ping pong ball from it. Two quadratic functions had to be extracted from the parabolic trajectory, height versus time and height versus distance. Using logger pro, we found the standard form of this equation which we put into desmos to create a graph. Applying the graph gave us the factored form and the vertex form. The purpose of this project was to have a deeper understanding of quadratics as well as to apply it in real life.

One of the most important things I took away was understanding more about how to apply trial and error. Previously, I did not fully understand what all the values in a quadratic function could determine, but after trying more numbers on desmos, I can understand that about quadratics much better. Because I did not have a lot of knowledge about this when we started, the most challenging aspect for my partner and I to create the function for the height versus time graph. It took us a long time to figure out, so we were both stressed about it. Since we were stressed, we did not manage our time correctly. This project tangled up with other homework projects and we started this later. If we could do this project differently, I would ask more questions and make sure we have correct instructions. If we had done this, we would have been able to finish much faster and with definitely less pressure.

 

Is education a vital right? Is it necessary for a country in the long run?

Recently, I gave an elevator pitch about education inequality in China. Our grade 8 humanities class did this to clarify our thinking on the Capstone unit and to practice our presentation skills.

Overall, I think that my pitch was written out pretty well, and I put in a lot of effort the night before. However, I was too nervous and my mind felt blank when it was my turn to present. Furthermore, I was lacking confidence, especially when I started. Beginning to speak was the most difficult part, but after I began, I was able to carry on loudly and expressively. I should have spoken slower so I wouldn’t have to repeat some sentences, which had slowed me down.

Next time I present, I would walk into the frame of the camera in a more determined manner and try not to laugh or embarrass myself.

 

PROTOTYPE ONE: 

Goal: Successfully create a batch of slime twice the amount of the original.

40 mL of PVA

8 mL of Borax

For prototype one, the slime was too slimy, too small, and it remained wet.

One main reason for these cons is because we overestimated the original recipe, which was extremely soft. This was a problem because our polymer could not hold its shaping and it could run down a person’s forehead. The temperature was cool though, so that was definitely a strength. More information and tests with this slime are accommodated in Journal 3.

PROTOTYPE 2 (Final prototype)

60 mL of PVA

20 mL of Borax

Prototype 2 is the most effective for meeting our goal. I believe that it is successful because it could maintain the coolness better, consistency against different temperatures, and its shape. As I have mentioned in Journal 3, the lowest temperature of the pack was 5 Celcius. When my partner and I left prototype 2 in the fridge for 2 days, the temperature we achieved was 5 Celcius and leaving our polymer in the fridge for 6 days gave us the same result. Furthermore, this batch of our polymer was larger and less slimy.

Recommendations for Future Improvements to our Design: 

Both my partner and I believe that we should not have kept our product in a ziplock bag when it is not inside a fridge. It could have been more entertaining. This could have worked as well because it did not stick to my hair or clothing. It was stiff enough. If we did think of carrying this through, we would not necessarily need a plastic ziplock pack to keep it in, which will just be wasteful. An old, small, and reusable lunchbox could have stored our product just as well. Besides, a small ziplock pack could easily rip and putting our product back into the bag was definitely a challenge each time. 

As you can see in the picture above, out product filled up the whole bag, meaning we had to stuff it back into the bag. We have broken two in the process.

How to make our product:

60 ml of PVA solution

20 ml of borax

Food coloring (optional)

Simply pour both liquids into something to mix with, such as a cup, and combine them. Stir until this feels slimy with a thick consistency. The food coloring is optional, we simply dyed our prototypes blue and red to identify them better.

Final Reflection: 

For this past week, my Tori and I, also known as “Bhig Shaque,” have been creating the “Man’s Not Hot Cooling Pack.” This revolutionary cooling pack is gel and calms nerves during a fever. After receiving our topic, it took us a few days to come up with this miraculous idea. We tested our prototype and tried to look through the eyes of somebody who has caught a cold. Although our recipe was not perfect when we began, each mistake lead to a new thought on improvement. Finally, after four classes or meticulous readjustments, our final design was determined. Overall, I believe that my group worked together to create the “Man’s Not Hot Cooling Pack,” which could actually have an effect on some people.

Here is our final video:

Prototype Tests

For our prototype, my partner I decided to create a cooling pack for the forehead to calm nerves during a fever. After testing boogers, super slime, and gloop during science labs, we felt that remaking super slime would be the best option for us. This is because it is not as sticky, is stiffer, and cooler to the touch compared to the others.

Original Recipe for super slime:

  1. 20 ml of PVA solution.

  2. 4 ml of borax solution.

PROTOTYPE ONE: 

Goal: Successfully create a batch of slime twice the amount of the original.

40 mL of PVA

8 mL of Borax

With this recipe, we simply doubled the original because we wanted more of this slime to test and collect data with.

Borax is used so this substance can keep it’s shaping while having a gel-like feel to it and PVA is used for the slime to stick together and to feel slightly gluey. After testing this out more, I noticed that putting our product in the fridge actually contributed to the thickness. However, it was not horrible because it was still soft.

One of the key attributes we wanted our slime to have is to be reused and eco-friendly. We thought putting this slime in the fridge would be a good idea, so that is what we did. First, we left it in for 5 minutes then 15.

With these original measurements of PVA and borax, the slime was still a bit too soft. This was a problem because it means the slime will not hold its shape for a long period of time, especially against a warm surface. Fevers inspired the creation of this product, and nobody would want to get up every few minutes to put this pack back into the refrigerator then take it out repeatedly. Therefore, we ensured that more borax would be used. After more tests with freezing and borax, we got our desired consistency.

Tests with this slime:

Bouncey Test:

Bounces 3 centimeters off the table before putting in the fridge. Bounces around 1.5 cm after cooling for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, it barely bounced.

Shape Test:

The slime had the potential to stay in place for quite a bit of time with the right amount of borax. However, after a few minutes, it started dropping.  After taking it from the fridge both times, the slime stayed still and was adamant to fall.

Stick Test: 

This slime was not sticky. In fact, it broke apart very easily, even more after taking it out of the fridge. No shapes could be made with this either.

Our first batch of super slime. 

PROTOTYPE TWO

60 mL of PVA

20 mL of Borax

With this recipe, we used even more glue because we wanted more of the slime. This time, however, we put less borax in to see if it would mean that the slime would be softer and more comfortable. It would get stiffer by freezing anyways. Although it started out quite sticky, cooling it made it tougher.

Leaving this slime in the fridge preserved it as well as keeping it cool, which is what we want. The thicker consistency it had when we took it out was more positive than negative. It was still soft but simply cooler. Furthermore, the lowest temperature reached by this is 5 Celcius.

After leaving our prototype in the fridge for 2 days, it still did not freeze. This inspired us to leave this slime from April 27th-May 2nd and see it would solidify or change in any way. But when we took it out from the fridge after 15 minutes, I noticed that it got quite a lot thicker.

Trials Time (min) Temperature of slime after taken out of the fridge.
Initial temperature 0 24c
Trial 1 5 minutes 15c
Trial 2 15 minutes 8c
Trial 3 Around 2,880 minutes, 48 hours, 2 days 5c

 

Trial 4                        Around 6 days/144 hours. 5c

After leaving our prototype in the fridge for 2 days, it still did not freeze. This inspired us to leave this slime from April 27th-May 2nd and see it would solidify or change in any way. But when we took it out from the fridge after 15 minutes, I noticed that got thicker, but since we put more PVA solution, it was not as stiff as trial one.

Even after so many days, our slime refused to drop any lower. This means that even when we put it in the fridge, it can maintain it’s temperature, which is a great thing.

Tests:

Bouncey Test:

Bounces 3.5 centimeters off the table before putting in the fridge. Cracks a little after cooling for 2 days.

Shape Test:

This slime was thick and barely dropped.

Stick Test: 

When we dropped this from 2ocm, the slime actually broke apart.

We wondered what would happen if our slime would be put in the freezer, and when I took it out, I noticed that the slime would not freeze in the fridge but would in the freezer. In fact, our slime had solidified in the freezer on April 27th. The arrows in the picture point to some of the chunks of frozen slime.

After that, we decided to test it against a warm surface of our skin. Because our main intention was to have this against a fevering forehead, we wanted to see how it would hold up and how the skin would feel. We decided to use my shoulder to test it because shoulders are almost always warm. After the first test, we thought it was a good idea, so we continued it. 

Trials Initial temperature of shoulder Time on shoulder (min) Temperature of slime when taken from the fridge. The temperature of slime afterward
Initial temps 34c 0 24c 24c
Trial 1 33c 5 15c 23c
Trial 2 32c 12 8c 25c
Trial 3 30c 20 5c 23

This table accompanies the other table above. The trials are the same; we had three in total. We simply put the temperatures of slime into this graph and merged it together.

Putting the cold packet on my shoulder felt very cold, but it was not uncomfortable. It actually felt slightly calming. From this, I know that when this packet is placed on a burning forehead, it will not be shocking.

After being out for around for 30 minutes at room temperature and not against a hot surface, the temperature of the slime is 19c.

 

OUR GOAL FOR THE POLYMER PROJECT:

The goal of our polymer project is to create a reusable cooling pack for the forehead that can calm nerves and remain refreshing over a long period of time.

Target Market Audience

Target Market Audience #1:

Our first target market audience is for people with headaches or colds.

How will this be beneficial to these people? 

Catching a fever is never a pleasant experience, with the burning forehead and continuous coughing. Our product is a refreshing and comfortable cooling pack. It can calm the nerves and lower the temperature of the forehead temporarily. Not only is it cold, it is also soft and gel-like. So next time you catch a cold, the cooling pack will be there for your high temperatures.

 

We want the Physical Properties of our pack to be:

  • Cold

  • Moldable
  • Soft/Gel-like that doesn’t stick, not slimy
  • Reusable by putting in the fridge.  

 s

Polymer Characteristics We Are Looking For

*Gloop, Super Slime, Stretch-tastic Slime, Oobleck 

 

 

Our Plan to Develop our Prototype

*Prototype = sample or model. 

First, we will design our product.

Second, we will create and find an effective formula, which we will record.

Third, we will test our creation.

Fourth, we will create our advertising video to sell our product.

 

No sources were used.

 

Synthetic VS. Natural

A synthetic material is when many molecules are joined to create one large chain of molecules. An example of a synthetic material is plastics. Synthetic materials are also created from natural resources.

Natural resources are natural materials that are not manmade or fake. It is also something that can be used by people.

Give 2 examples of synthetic materials.

Nylon and spandex

Nylon is a tough, light, and synthetic polymer and the chemical structure is similar to proteins.

Give 2 examples of natural resources.

Minerals and stone.

Stone/Rock

Polymers and Where They Come From

Polymers are materials made of long and repeating chains of molecules. This material has unique properties, depending on the type of molecules being bonded and how they bond. Some polymers bend, such as rubber and polyester. Others are tougher, like glass. The type of polymer will depend on which kind of molecules are bonded to each other. The word “polymer” is taken from the Greek word meaning “many parts.” Polygon has the same prefix as well. “Mer” means “section.” Monomers are the molecules that make up polymer chains. “Mono” refers to one section or thing.

Examples of synthetic polymers and the natural resources they come from

Synthetic Polymer #1

Plastic

What natural resources does this come from?

Petrochemicals (chemical obtained from petroleum and natural gas), carbon, other oils, and almost any natural polymer.

This is petroleum. It is used in the process of creating plastics.

What would we use this synthetic material for?

Cups, graduated cylinders, and furniture.

Synthetic Polymer #2

Silicone

What natural resources does this come from?

Siloxane, which is made up of oxygen and silicon atoms.

What would we use this synthetic material for?

Computer chips.

Chemical Reactions

How do natural resources go through a chemical reaction to become synthetic materials?

Natural resources act as a monomer for a synthetic material. So, these monomers will chemically bond together to make a synthetic material. This process is called polymerization. Polymerization is the process of monomers bonding together. So, for a plastic molecule of oil and polythene would be bonding together making one big molecule, a plastic.

All monomers make up polymers. 

What is a monomer?

A monomer is a molecule that has the ability to be connected to some other identical/similar molecules to create a polymer.

What is polymerization?

Polymerization is a process of reacting monomer molecules together in a chemical reaction to form polymer chains or 3D networks. Molecules being chained up, basically.

Sources I used:

https://www.livescience.com/60682-polymers.htmlBradford, Alina. “What Is a Polymer?” Live Science, Live Science Contributor, 13 Oct. 2017, 09:52, www.livescience.com/60682-polymers.html.
https://www.livescience.com/60682-polymers.htmlBradford, Alina. “What Is a Polymer?” Live Science, Live Science Contributor, 13 Oct. 2017, 09:52, www.livescience.com/60682-polymers.html.

 

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/explainer-what-are-polymersPerkins, Sid. “Explainer: What Are Polymers?” Science News for Students, 13 Oct. 2017, www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/explainer-what-are-polymers.

 

https://plastics.americanchemistry.com/plastics/The-Basics/Chemistry , American. “Plastics.” The Basics: Polymer Definition and Properties, plastics.americanchemistry.com/plastics/The-Basics/.

 

http://pslc.ws/macrog/kidsmac/differnt.htm

Lemer, Paul. “ Polymer Science Learning Center.” What Is a Polymer?, Polymer Science Learning Center , 2018, pslc.ws/macrog/kidsmac/basics.htm.

 

http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/lessonplans/chapter6/lesson12Galvan, Patti. “Natural Resources & Synthetic Materials.” Natural Resources & Synthetic Materials | Chapter 6: Chemical Change | Middle School Chemistry, American Chemistry Society, 2017, www.middleschoolchemistry.com/lessonplans/chapter6/lesson12.

 

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-polymer-820536Johnson, Todd. “What Exactly Is a Polymer?” What Is A Polymer, ThoughtCo., 26 Mar. 2017, www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-polymer-820536.

http://pediaa.com/difference-between-natural-and-synthetic-polymers/

Madahusa. “Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Polymers | Definition, Occurrence, Examples.” Pediaa.Com, 16 Oct. 2017, pediaa.com/difference-between-natural-and-synthetic-polymers/.

 

The past week has been filled with careful research and journal-writing. For humanities, I have created 3 journal entries for the Syrian Revolution. These entries are not about ourselves; they are through the eyes of a person going through the Syrian Revolution. For my character, I chose a citizen in Deraa, one of the first cities in Syria to rebel. My goal was to show readers how the Syrian War has affected regular citizens just going about their lives and how they will stand up and sacrifice everything for their hopes. There are 3 turning points I defined in this brutal Rebellion.  in all bloody situation. As Mao had said, revolutions are not tea parties. This Syrian Rebellion has been going on since 2011! Right now as you are reading this, people are still recovering from losses. To see how I have understood this war, delve into my writing to read my journals.

After a dedicated month of research about the violent Syrian Revolution, Anannya, my partner, and I were ready to create a captivating Common Craft Video on this topic. We named the video the Syrian Revolution in Plain English and we identified the 4 key turning points we studied about through the Revolution. Our Common Craft video was produced on an app called Videoscribe. Anannya and I had started out wanting to make a stop-motion video. However, we soon realized that it would take much longer than Videoscribe would. Videoscribe turned out to be easier, nevertheless, it still had issues. One of the main issues we were faced with was matching the voiceover to the animations and keeping the time down to around 3 minutes.

Overall, the video turned out to be much better than we thought it would turn out. The animations matched what we were speaking about and depicted the situation well. The two of us are proud to share the video to show more people the terrible situation in Syria. It is not something to be ignored and it is still happening this very moment in time.

Here is our common craft video: https://isbtube.isb.bj.edu.cn/video/The-Syrian-Revolution-in-Plain-English-/28c60ed32c75fe1330a7d3b6a460236f#

Music. It has existed since prehistoric times, and it is still being created today in the 21st century. However, people tend to underrate the strength and power of music. “Symphony for the City of the Dead,” written by M.T Anderson, is a biography about a composer named Dmitri Shostakovich and how art during Joseph Stalin’s regime in WWII was viewed not only by the government but also by the people of the Slavic region. Art was not just music. Art included poetry, paintings, and operas. Shostakovich grew up in St. Petersburg in the ’20s, and during this time in Russia, it was a time of experimentation in the field of art. The possibilities of art were practically limitless, and instead of focusing on the past, experimenters centered on the future. Vladimir Lenin, the revolutionary leader of the Bolsheviks, stated that he was not fond of music. “It makes me want to say kind things, stupid things…” (42) Music had moved him, and even though pieces then were mostly experiments, they had impacts. Despite the artistic ventures from 1910 to around 1930, this period soon ended, when Stalin rose after Lenin’s death. Many began to miss older times.

During Stalin’s reign of iron, there was only a certain type of music that was allowed. Music that praised the government and himself. Music was a way for people to express, but that included contradictions to Stalin’s rule. He was desperate to keep his spot as the General Secretary of the Communist Party. Stalin’s secret police tried and slaughtered anyone who could have been threatening, usually composers. The reason why the government did this was because they believed in the strength of music. Music could caution the government and inspire people to rebel. Roughly 8 million were shot, 7 million sent to harsh camps, and 2 million died in a year. In July 1937, “259,450 people had to be arrested and sentenced to slave labor…72,950 had to be shot.” (118) This bloody harvest was the consequence of what was later called the Great Terror, starting in December 1936. The people absolutely despised Stalin, even more so when he announced that children as young as twelve could be executed. Families were torn apart, and parents could barely talk to their children, in fear of betrayal. It seemed like everyone had lost somebody they cared about. Shostakovich had lost his sister, and as one little boy saw his father taken by the police, he thought his father was guilty. Sobbing in a defeated way, he said: “Look at what those enemies of the people are like. Some of them even pretend to be fathers.”

Music cannot be limited to one definition. It is more than broken sounds. For some Russians, music was almost like a refuge. For others, it’s a way to recover from the violence. For citizens living in Leningrad, which is now St. Petersburg, music was comforting, refreshing and a motivating reminder to keep going and to keep surviving. The repeating theme throughout “Symphony for the City of the Dead” is the impact of music to give life meaning, keep people going, and to destroy and kill.

Shostakovich, along with many other artist’s works, were banned, such as Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony. The newspapers publicly humiliated and shamed the more adventurous and daring artists, willing to write their true feelings and not using the ironic “realism.” On January 28th, 1936, Shostakovich spotted an article about a piece of his work, titled “A Mess Instead of Music.” (91) The article had also stated that Shostakovich could end very badly. Shostakovich feared he could be the next victim of the secret police just because of his music. This injected fear into him, and everyone that had supported and enjoyed his newest opera: “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District,” turned against him to protect themselves against the secret police. The walls had ears, and people reported others so they could be on the safe side.

Throughout these violent times, Stalin’s best generals were already killed because they “challenged” Stalin. The Germans had already taken Minsk, capital of the Western USSR on the 28th of June. The Luftwaffe, the German air force, had bombed it on the first day of Operation Barbarossa, starting on June 22, 1941, to take Russia. As soon as Stalin declared war on the Germans, people all over Leningrad agreed to sign up to fight. After the Great Terror, one would think that nobody will be willing to fight for Stalin. Surprisingly, these people did fight, and they fought for their country, their family, and their lives. For Mother Russia, not Stalin. There were also some that said it would be good for Stalin to be overthrown because of how corrupt he was. Many cities greeted Hitler’s army with bread and salt.

While this happened, Shostakovich got married and had two children. Through lots of hardships, they were able to flee Leningrad, where the Germans were targeting next. Unfortunately, his extended family was still trapped there. The Germans surrounded Leningrad had planted mines for anyone who tried to flee Leningrad alone. At a simple glance, it definitely looked like Germany was going to win over Leningrad, but they did not. The people tried to stay stronger as the winters of Russia got harsher. Music helped them through it. Art, though illegal at times, motivated the people, especially lyrics and poems. Earlier, Stalin had rejected an import of food to make Russia seem better-off than it actually was. What Stalin did was a mistake. Because of this, it would doom Leningrad into starvation. Eventually, the food was put into the Bedayev warehouses. When Hitler learned of this, he ordered a nutritionist to calculate how much longer the Leningraders would live. Ernst Ziegelmeter stated that “…the population would starve to death soon…the German army should not invade the city, but to wait in a choking noose around it.” (218) It was not worth it to endanger more German Soldiers because according to him, “The Leningraders will die anyway…The more of them that stay there, the sooner they will die.”(218) The news got into Leningrad and the 2.5 million people were scared of this insight. Germany soon took advantage of this and the Luftwaffe bombed the warehouses. “The streets were filled with a deadening mist. It smelled of ham and butter.” (218)

The assaults on Leningrad still didn’t stop, and soon, the rations got much tighter. So tight that workers got 500 grams of bread, children got 300 grams, and the elderly got half as much. An infant would receive the same amount of food a 12-year-old would get, and the amount of food for adults was about a quarter a healthy and functioning person should receive. Food was running low, and so were fuel and other necessities to keep the impending winter warm. Shostakovich’s family was on the healthier side. Only his sister, Zoya had died. Shostakovich’s children were younger, so they didn’t consume as much food. Musicians were all too
fatigued to work. They could not use brass instruments because their lungs were too weak. The shelling that happened wasn’t just to injure and kill. According to a German prisoner, the shelling was to “…most importantly, destroy the morale of the Leningraders.” (222) As the food started running out, the Leningraders got more creative.

The desperate and empty-bellied people started to consume leather, wood, pages from books, and wallpaper paste. The one phrase I hear practically every day at school around lunchtime is “I’m starving!” In the book “Symphony for the City of the Dead,” the word starving is used many times to describe Leningrad. However, these people were actually on the line between life and death. The students at ISB have mostly had breakfast and are blessed with going to bed with fuller stomachs. These people could barely move. We have taken healthier meals for granted, and it is not something to be proud of. These people eventually resulted to cannibalism. Through these hard times, Shostakovich was inspired to create his famous 7th Symphony.

“By midwinter, the people of Leningrad have grown used to the sight of the dead on the streets and simply walked around them.” (283) How many dead bodies on the street were there for the inhabitants of Leningrad to be desensitized? Before the wars, the city was described as a “City in the bottom of the sea…” (283) because of the ice, but afterward, it seemed more like a nightmare. Still, the strong heartbeat of the 7th Symphony kept pounding. Returning soldiers faced depression, and many people had formed clans to hunt people down so they could eat them. What had become of humanity? This made many of the people question their existence. Were the human emotions and qualities such as marriage, parental love, and kindness merely an illusion? Leningraders were”…subjected to a stiff test.”(295) Was the mouth used to sing or to rip flesh?

Shostakovich’s symphony was almost writing itself. His emotions flowed onto the page. Shostakovich was already quite known due to the many criticisms that he received and the music he had written during the war. There was a use for composers and other artists in the war. The power of music could rise people up and raise morale. As an unknown composer said: “A song is a mighty weapon which could strike the enemy.” (176) The composers and writers got together and worked hard to boost the morale of the grim people. The music troops played for the Russian battalion, and the music was used to remind people of their own culture, land, and that they were human, even with the terrible cannibalism that was happening. Leningrad staged around 160 concerts each month. People gave up days worth of food to attend a concert. Music, even through the desperate situations, were still in people’s hearts.

Shostakovich was invited to a radio station to announce his creation of the 7th Symphony, and as he spoke, this lit a spark of hope in the hearts of the starving Leningraders who had submitted to cannibalism. Finally, when the Great Alliance between Russia, Great Britain, and America was formed, goods started coming into Russia again. The death rate went down by a third and there was definitely less cannibalism. Things were getting better. The now popular and complete 7thSymphonyy was first played in America, and Roosevelt sent the Soviet Union more goods for them to defeat the Germans. The 7th Symphony was definitely a key turning point in the war. The people in America started an organization called the Russian War Relief and received thousands of donations for Russia. The 7th Symphony was dedicated to Leningrad, and that was where Shostakovich wanted it to be played, in his hometown. It was premiered in on August 9th, 1942 in Leningrad to mock Hitler because the 9th of August in 1942 was the precise date Hitler said he would overcome Russia. While the hour-long symphony played in Philharmonia Hall, the people in the audience were all able to connect the music to their lives. The drums beat loudly and the deep, looming sounds of the woodwind instruments represent the rise of WWII and Stalin. That night, the people in the audience were one. Many cried silently and embraced each other. Leningrad cried together. “The event was unmissable” (342), and excitement rose. So many people that night starved for something else. For music. Loudspeakers blasted the music and there was not a single soul in Leningrad that did not hear this piece. To many Russians, this 7th Symphony sang the future and hope for victory, showing the Germans that the Slavic people were not subhumans. After the Symphony ended with a flourish, the audience burst into applause, giving Shostakovich a well-deserved standing ovation, lasting more than ten minutes. For the people of Leningrad, it gave the people a voice, an identity, a hope. The 7th Symphony was renamed the Leningrad Symphony. “This was a real Symphony which we lived. This was our Symphony. Leningrad’s.” (Diarist, 345)

On May 8, 1945, the Germans surrendered, and the war in Europe ended. In Leningrad, rejoicing began, and habilitations were made to the city. During WWII, 27 million Soviet citizens perished during the conflict. This number is larger than the deaths of all the other nations combined. The total dead in WWII was around 50 million. 13.6 percent of the Soviet nation died. Throughout this catastrophic time in Leningrad, the 7th Symphony truly gave the Leningraders a purpose to stand tall and keep fighting.

Hyperlinks

Here is the motivationalLenigrad Symphony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRHZu5xoIe0

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34292312\

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jan/02/war-music-the-humanity-heroism-and-propaganda-behind-shostakovich-symphony-no-7

https://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/arts-culture/books/article/Shostakovich-symphony-helped-unite-WWII-allies-6514018.php

 

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