Alexander’s Pre-Poland Pep-talk

I couldn’t believe it. Stalin, who was leading us to greatness, has just signed a pact with the Nazis. Those greedy Germans – they took so much of our resources twenty-five years ago. And to think that I admired Stalin. After Lenin’s death, he took control, and started progressing our great nation at a great speed. However, he made blunder after blunder, and this pact was a grave mistake. Who knew what the heinous Hitler was plotting.

Before this, Stalin’s rule was very promising. After the civil war, he announced that the country was going to have a famine. I was sent to lead a squad of police and raid the farms of the countryside. I admired his care for the workers and his determination for the industrialization of Russia. However, that wasn’t enough, and the famine Stalin predicted came.

After the raids, I was issued to work as a sentry for the Dalstroy labor camp. The first few weeks were like hell – the cold bit every inch of exposed skin, and it was utterly monotonous. However, gradually, kulaks arrived at the camp. After I noticed this, the job became enjoyable. I remember my father telling me about them. He hated them – back when he was still working at the countryside, there was a kulak family who persecuted him and his family. When they hired my father’s family during the harvests, they always paid them very little. He hated them for that, and I shared his resentment. I made sure that they got what they deserved. I later found out that Stalin sent all the kulaks to labor camps. He believed that, to take another step towards communism, he had to “collectivize” the farms of Russia. He believed that the kulaks were the most susceptible to insurgency, so he sent them to labor camps. As a result, I supported him. Looks like he will progress us to a communist eutopia, just like Lenin did.

About 5 years after I was issued to the labor camp, I was reassigned to Moscow to act as a bodyguard for the trials that were being commenced. I thought it was going to be easy, but there were more than I expected. After almost every trial, I was told to execute the criminals. I looked over dozens of trials, and I started to notice something strange. The “confessions” were absolutely preposterous – one confessed to spreading sickness among pigs and horses. Unlike back during the revolution, these (I assumed most of them were) innocent. I hesitated more and more during the executions – I felt like a thief with a burning hat.

Almost a decade passed when the last trial was commenced. I was exhausted. My hands were stained red with the blood of the innocent. My faith in the communist regime was dwindling… and then the pact was signed. I wanted to give up, but I remembered my family. They all worked all their lives for something like communism, and I wasn’t going to just give up. I was going to keep fighting.

The day after the pact was signed, the army commander announced that we were going to attack our enemy along with the Germans.

We were going to Poland.

Boxers: Bad or Benevolent?

The Boxers do not deserve a bad rap; they were rightfully angry at the foreigners for destroying China’s economy, culture and reputation. A big piece of evidence was the Opium wars and the “unequal treaties”. After the opium wars, the foreigners forced China to sign the “unequal treaties” that destroyed China’s economy, and basically divided china up to themselves. Many Chinese people suffered major poverty in that time, and many were treated badly by the Foreigners. Therefore, the Boxers do not deserve a bad rap.

 

Today on Athenian Law: Egeus was the Right One?


Athenian Times by Robinson T

In this project, we were to make a magazine cover for a character from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. I chose the character Egeus because I believe that he is misunderstood and, by Athenian standards, is justified and rightful. I used this image in the cover because this is what I think he looks like – an old man with white hair and is overall grumpy. I chose this specific image because of the way my friends pronounce his name – “Egg”eus. His face in the photo looks kind of like an egg, don’t you think? I am especially proud of the aesthetic of the cover. It looks quite like a magazine cover, if I do say so myself. 

Dulce Et Decorum Est: A Documentary on the Horrors of War

Directed by Wilfred Owen, this movie has gotten a record 99.99% on the movie review website rotten tomatoes.com, won an Oscar for Best Picture, and voted “Best Documentary of 2019” by the readers of The Penguinland Post. Though not suitable for children, this movie follows Wilfred Owen in his story fighting in WW1. As seen on the movie poster above, the movie emphasizes on the quotes “Dulce Et Decorum Est” (Owen 1) and “In all my dreams… drowning.” (Owen 1) in Wilfred’s own poem Dulce Et Decorum Est in order to clarify the theme of both of Owen’s creations, how war is not something that is glorified – it is something that haunts you for your life.

June is Not a Time for Bullying

Photo from here

Story here

You finally stood up to that bully. You weren’t afraid of them anymore.  In the contrary – they might be afraid of you. That’s what the main character of my story, June, felt when she finally stood up to the bully in her story – June. She showed huge character growth in the story – In the beginning of the story, she was very afraid and “slink[ed] like a whipped dog” (Mazer 3) from the June who bullied and teased her in her swimming class  and, eventually, her school. However, near the end, she stood up to the bully, and ended the dynasty of terror that was the other June.

The character June experienced a big character development in this story, from being scared of someone who teased and hurt her to standing up and telling her to stop. In the beginning of the story, the June who bullied her “only had to growl… for [June’s] heart to slink” (Mazer 3), but at the end, she said, “No – more.” (Mazer 8). She was scared when she first met the other June and tried everything to stop going to the classes where she was there. But near the end of the story, she learned that, to stop June from harassing her, she just had to stand up to her. And, she knew that “this was [a bad day for] the other June.”(Mazer 10), meaning that the other June wasn’t expecting this to happen and was shocked and embarrassed.

      I had a very similar experience in my lifetime. when I was in BSB (British School of Beijing), I was a bully of sorts. It was funny, because I was the “muscle” of this other kid called, let’s say, Nick. He pressured me to follow him, and I did, for a few months. but I was really mad when he started bullying some of my good friends, including Sunny, my best friend there. I finally put my foot down and Stood up to him. I told him that I will never talk to him ever again and reported him to a teacher. I finally did the right thing, but I regret following him for such a long time.

 

Wow, Very Cheeky

photo from here
During puberty, hormones in an adolescent’s mind cause great mood swings, and in some cases, anxiety. This causes a teenager to feel the need to be “cool”. This is a big characterization in Amy Tan’s story “Fish Cheeks” with the main character, Amy, expressing shame of her Chinese inheritance and feeling the need to look cool in front of her crush, Robert. Even so, her mother has great hope for her and gives her great advice. 

Like me, the main character is sometimes ashamed and embarrassed about her Chinese Inheritance. Because Chinese customs are very different from those of Americans, some people will view them as “weird” and therefore “uncool”. In the story, Amy “prayed for… a slim new American nose” (Tan 1). This means that she wants an American nose, so she does not think that the Chinese nose that she has and inherited by her parents is “cool” and would impress Robert, her crush.  

I, sometimes, am also embarrassed by my Chinese inheritance and customs. Recently, I told my friends about how I ate Pigs’ intestines. It, called 肥肠 (Fei Chang) is a popular Chinese dish and I quite like it. But, my friends were (rightfully) disgusted. I tried explaining that it was very good, but in American culture, even the thought of eating intestines is revolting. After that, I never told my friends about it, and had doubts whenever I encountered the dish again. 

I Think I Lost My Found Poem

The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant” By W. D. Wetherell. This found poem was about a conflict in the story. To be specific, the inner conflict that the main character had about whether to ask his crush to go on date or not. I found the poem on pages 1, 2, and 3. The conflict propels the story plot by showing the main character asking Shelia to the date, so the whole Bass fiasco could have happened on the way to the date.

Found poem photo from https://www.123rf.com/