Category Archives: Humanities

The Chinese Cultural Revolution in Plain English

The Chinese Cultural Revolution in Plain English

By: Christina, Tina, Annarosa (A.C.T)

The big idea that it showed about revolutions is that people who are dedicated and inspired by a leaders idea, follow and support him/her, when he/she is trying to change the society, by starting a revolution or an act. The Chinese Revolution also displayed a key point that sparked conflict also in other revolutions, which is the difference in social classes. One of many reasons revolution happens is where a class tries to eliminate another. “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, king, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.” “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan” (March 1927), Selected Works, Vol 1, pg.28 This quote from Mao shows his perspective of what a revolution is like. Even though a revolution can be a good thing, trying to make your country better, but with that comes sacrifice and bloodshed. To achieve the main goal of the revolution, people would have to suffer and endure the conflicts(wars/famine). Even with these conflicts, in the end, we gain new experiences and it leaves behind important ideas that we learn from.

The Red Scarf Girl by, Jiang Ji-li

The Red Scarf Girl

by: Ji-li Jiang

The main character is a girl called Jiang Ji-li. The book talks about Jiang Ji-li, a 12 year old girl and what she experienced throughout the Cultural Revolution. From being a confident girl, to a girl who felt scared think if she was going to arrested anytime. From a leader, da dui zhang, to being a girl that felt insecure because of her family being in the Five Black categories(Landlord, writers, counter-revolutionists, people who had negative effects, the wealthy, rich farmers). From the starts of the revolution, she went through having to get her housed searched many times, her dad being detained, and was forced to go to the countryside.  Some other important characters who played a big part in the book is her family and some of her friends. Families members like dad, sister, and little brother who accompanied her throughout the book. She also had her best friend with her throughout the Cultural Revolution.

When people get persuaded by a leader’s ambition, they will try all they can to achieve it. This book has some topics on leadership and how that one leader’s idea changed the people in China and their thoughts. In the beginning, Jiang Ji-li was a very good student, top of her class, and was da dui zhang (leader in Chinese). She thought that if she was the leader and if she was the top of her class, she would be the best and get into a good school. After the Cultural Revolution started, her image of being a leader was gone because her family was one of the Five Black Categories. “I tell you, jiang Ji-li, you’d better stop thinking you’re the da dui zhang. It’s the Cultural Revolution now, and there are no da dui zhangs anymore. You’re not the chair of anything now.” (Yin Lan-lan, pg. 69) Mao, the one that started the Cultural Revolution gained more power, becoming a leader everyone admired. Mao had an idea of changing China, and in the meantime, people started to follow him, supporting him. Red Guards played an important role in the book. Red Guards started struggle sessions, raided people’s houses, and detained my people, including Ji-li’s dad. “Chairman Mao told us we would never succeed until we destroyed the “Four Olds” and established the “Four News.” (Jiang Ji-li, pg. 21) Cause of Mao’s ambition to maintain China’s Communism, people followed him, did anything to get rid of the “Four Olds” (old ideas, old customs, old habits and old culture) or people that had them, and killed many people to reach it, even if was denouncing their own family members. Was it actually worth it? Would you do this to your own kind of people? Sometimes we get brainwashed into this and we forget other things we should be aware of. “No matter what I did and where I went, the Cultural Revolution followed me.” (Jiang Ji-li, pg. 141)


The Mendocino Complex Fire

Wildfire in California

“We broke the record,” said Scott McLean, a deputy chief with Cal Fire. That is the state’s fire department. “That’s one of those records you don’t want to see.” A fire started in Northern California. The Mendocino Complex Fire is technically two fires burning with about an hour’s distance between them, the Ranch Fire and the River Fire. Two fires started and then they combined forming a massive fire scorching more than 304,402 acres of land. Many homes were destroyed, and cities had to evacuate. Many plants and environments were destroyed too. This wildfire started on July 27, 2018 and it ended on September 18, 2018. Temperatures in California had increased rapidly. The extreme heat can also cause other wildfires. This event is really important, and this had a big impact on us because currently we have global warming, and this can affect it. The fire scorching trees and plants could make global warming even worse. Since there is poor air quality because of the fire, pollution will get worse. There will also be less oxygen. With this event, we can reflect back to ourselves and that gives us a warning why we shouldn’t do things that can cause a fire.

I think this event was huge and it impacted California. Since I live there, I’ve seen some wildfires but not so destructive as this one. “The area covered by the fire is about one-and-a-half times the size of New York City.” (Newsela Article) From maps and statistics of the fire, I can tell that this might be one of California’s largest fires. “It is now the largest wildfire in modern California history, scorching more than 304,402 acres” (Newsela Article).
think this event was very devastating thing, but this can help us in the future. “It is extremely fast, extremely aggressive, extremely dangerous,” said McLean. “Look how big it got, just in a matter of days. … Look how fast this Mendocino Complex went up in ranking. That doesn’t happen. That just doesn’t happen.” Not a lot of people died, but environments were destroyed, but this event already ended so it’s ok. I think that this also had a big impact on global warming. People can know that we should stop smoking because that is how most people start fires. “Years of drought have created ripe conditions for large-scale wildfires that spread rapidly. Of the five largest wildfires in state history, four have occurred since 2012.” After this event happened, I think and I want people to pay more attention to this and how this affects our world.


“Palaces, fortresses and ancient cities in Yemen destroyed by civil war.” NEWSELA, November 11, 2018.

“War-torn Yemen is losing the fight against famine.” SCMP, November 21, 2018.

“Yemen: injured Houthi rebels evacuated, raising hope of peace talks.” Guardian, December 3, 2018.

The Boxer Rebellion

The Boxers killed and massacred many people because of Westerners coming and influencing their country. They brought Christianity and other things that influenced China. The Boxers only killed them because they wanted to keep their countries traditions and cultures, so I think the Boxers don’t deserve a bad rap.

“Friends for Life” by Andrew Norriss book cover

My book “Friends for Life”, by Andrew Norriss is about a little boy, Francis, meeting a ghost called Jessica. They help other children that are in trouble and change their personality and make them a better version of themselves. Jessica helps the kids at school but what is her real purpose. Why is she still here and why can Francis and the other kids see her? [spoiler alert!] At the end, another girl tries to suicide, but Jessica told Francis and they were able to save her. After that, Jessica slowly faded into the moonlight. I think that, that is why Jessica was there. To stop someone making the same mistake as her. “If it’s true,” she said, “that I’m here to stop you all making the same mistake I did, and I’ve done it… why am I still here?” Her purpose of staying there is because she was supposed to stop the kids form making the same mistake as her, suiciding.

“The conflict is man vs self and man vs society. It talks about something that is happening all around the world, which is suicide(man vs self). Also stressing out in school and being bullied(man vs society). I think the theme is about friendship  and the it’s not to late to change. To change to become a better person, version of yourself.

For my book cover, I had a lot of symbols representing the theme of the book. You can see Francis and Jessica on the ground. The tree symbolises growth. Francis, Jessica, and the other two kids grew a lot in this book. Not only their age, but their personality and them as a person too. The sunset and the moon also represents change. The colors of the flower are pink. Pink represents friendship. The warm colors of the sunset, red, orange, and yellow, also represents love and happiness. When the four of them were together, they felt happy. Blue, purple, and black represents sadness and lost. When Jessica died, Francis and Jessica’s family were sad. Also black represents death(death of Jessica). The two birds in the tree represents trying to achieve something and freedom. “Do you have ant idea,” she said eventually, “why you can see me, when no one else can?” “No,” said Francis. “Do you?” “Not really.” Jessica looked up. “But I wonder if maybe you were the one who could tell me what I was meant to do next.” (pg. 21) They achieved saving someones life and the purpose of why Jessica was there.

“It was , like so many things in life these days, absolutely delicious.” (pg. 231) In the end, they realise how great and precious their lives are. Even though its hard, there will be happy and sweet things too.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I had a lot of things related to love like “Escape for true love”,  “Marry Demetrius or Death”, and “Desperate for Lysander” because in this play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, the theme is that love can be like a maze. Hard, difficult, and sad things can happen when you are in love. She and Lysander escaped for true love. “There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee. And to that place the sharp Athenian law cannot pursue us…” (Line 161-165) Her father, Egeus, wants her to marry Demetrius but she doesn’t want to live a life married to Demetrius. She would rather die than be married to him. “So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, ere I will yield my virgin patent up unto his lordship…” (line 79-82)  “Your eyes are lodestars, and your tongues sweet air more tuneable than a lark to shepherd’s ear…” – (Line 181-194) Helena describes how her appearance is very beautiful and fair.  This is what Helena and Demetrius thinks of her, a fair lady. With all this drama in the Athens, at the end of this, she has to make a decision. That’s why I put “Making a Decision” at the bottom.

Independent Reading Exposition “Panic” by Lauren Oliver

Tina Liu 8-5

 Conflict in the book, Panic

By: Lauren Oliver

In the first few paragraphs of Panic, in the exposition, had conflict. I analysed the conflict of the book that was in the exposition. I think the conflict in my book is man vs man. Technically it the protagonist vs other peoplein a competition. I also think the conflict is also man vs self. She tries to overcome difficult challenges she is afraid of. She is competing in a game called Panic. Each summer, graduating seniors play life threatening, thrilling games, set up by anonymous judgesto win a lot of money. Heather, the protagonist and the main character decides to play. She wants to play because life is not easy for her. She has to take care of caring for her little sister. The conflict is that she needs to complete different challenges in order to win the game. From the quotes and sentences below, we can tell that Heather is afraid of jumping off and that she is maybe afraid of heights, but she overcomes her fears and jumps down. This is one challenge she faces. I’ll be cheering for you, Heather had said to Natalie. The guilt was there, throbbing alongside the nausea. (pg. 22) “I’m going to jump now before I chicken out.” – Heather (pg. 22) She had a sudden terror that she was going to lose her balance and go tumbling down the rocky slop, cracking her head in the shallows. (pg. 22) Her mouth tasted a little like puke. She took a deep breath. She closed her eyes. She jumped. (pg. 23) From this, we can tell that Heather is afraid of jumping off and that she is maybe afraid of heights, but she overcomes her fears and jumps down. This is one challenge she faces.

In my life, I also have to overcome my struggles like trying new things. In my life, I have to try things that I’m afraid of sometimes like doing things that I’m uncomfortable or afraid of. Sometimes I have to read a Chinese poem or prepare a show on special occasions in front of my family. I can be a very shy person sometimes. Also with just dealing with everyday problems likesometimes I have to demonstrate something in classes. I sometimes don’t know what to do. I am afraid of embarrassing myself.I sometimes compete with other people in my hockey competitions and other sports competitions.







“The Monkey’s Paw” Found Poem


“The Monkey’s Paw” Found Poem

My found poem was created with the words of “The Monkey’s Paw”, by William W. Jacobs. In this story, a family is in their house playing chess and knitting, until a knock on the door. The guy is Sergeant Major Morris. He tells them about the mysterious “Monkey’s Paw”. They wish a wish with The Monkey’s Paw. Something tragic happens to their son and they try to bring him back to life. The theme is that fate rules peoples’ life and be careful what you do. Think about it before you do it.

My found poems concept is setting. My poem shows the setting of the place they’re at, which is their house. I showed the atmosphere inside the house and outside. “Outside, the night”, “cold and wet”, that describes the atmosphere outside. “But a fire burned brightly in the living small room” and “Playing chess, knitting by the fire”, describes what is happening in the inside of the house. The place was isolated with only two houses. That’s why I used “Isolated place” and “With only two houses in the road”. That shows that the setting is pretty scary. No one is around but only two houses in the road. I also used “Sound of door banging” and “Depressing silence”, to explain what was happening around. Cause this is a scary story, that set the tone for it. “Street lamp shone flickering” and “Quiet, deserted street” showed that was what it was like outside after they tried to bring him back to life. They were disappointed and misery broke from her wife. A sad, quiet, and deserted street. I used the picture with a house and a road lamp because that is like the setting outside. The fire represents what is inside. Even though it is wet and deserted outside, the inside was warm and cozy. That the pic with the guy putting his hand up to his mouth represents the quietness. The color of the background is dark because the setting of story seems dark and gloomy. I choose another font for cold and brightly because it really shows the temperate and atmosphere of the outside. Even though its cold outside. The fire inside burned brightly. Listen to the wind was also describing the setting. Like the sound of the wind outside. The other words with different fonts really describe the setting. What is it like, sound, and tone of the story.