jayden

What would happen if you made a periodic table out of 1x1 meter cube-shaped blocks, where each brick was made of the corresponding elements?

Off With Their Heads — The French Revolution

Image Credit

“Terror is only justice: prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country.” — Maximilien Robespierre.

The crowd cheered as the King’s head rolled off the stocks holding his neck. His blood flows; cries of joy from 80,000 armed men rend from the sky.  One dips a fingertip on drips of flood and tastes it: “It is salty!” An executioner at the Scaffold side smells a bundle of his hair; people buy the ribbon that tied it. At the end of the day, everyone carries off a small bundle of his cloth stained with blood.

Welcome to the French Revolution.

From the absolutism of the old monarchy to the rise of emperor Napoleon,  the commoners of France continued to fight for liberty and equality for all.  The ideas of the intellectuals of the Enlightenment, and influence from other successful revolutions, such as the American Revolution, planted the seeds for the French Revolution. In the beginning, the unjust socio-political system and unfair taxation policies caused the people to rise up in anger. Furthermore, the Bankruptcy and widespread starvation of their country did not even bother the King to make any changes, as his wife continued to spend lavish sums on her makeup and fashion. Most Historians believe that the French Revolution officially started with the ‘storming of the Bastille’, which occurred in July 14, 1789. This was the first instance where the commoners brutally battled with the Royal Guards of the army. This reaction paved the way for the utter brutality and bloodshed that would become the legacy of the French Revolution, for further events, such as the reign of terror.

Whether the French Revolution was a success or failure, I would lean towards the ladder. Even though some outcomes are viewed positively, they came with a. high price.

For starters, it tried to create an impossible world: a regime both of liberty and of “patriotic” state power. The history of the revolution is proof that these goals are incompatible. The American Revolution succeeded because it chose one, liberty. The Russian Revolution became deranged when it chose the other, state power. The French Revolution , to its credit and sorrow, wanted both. it wanted virtue, it wanted terror, and it wanted to have created the model for Europe of what a equal society looked like. The brutality was extreme—people died for their political opinions or actions, but many for little reason beyond mere suspicion, or because some others had a stake in getting rid of them. An overall brutal revolution. The French cannot be blamed for everything, alas, but their revolution, with its glamour and influence, did not only popularize, it deified revolution. Ultimately, from the absolutism of the old monarchy to the one-man dictatorship, all this was for some fair taxes and a loaf of bread.

 

Link to [French Revolution | Common Craft Video | G8 Summative Project]

Chew on this—but what exactly are you chewing on?

This video gives an overview of “Chew On This” by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson. I hope this persuades you to read to book!

“Chew on this”, written by author Eric Schlosser, explores the American and UK Fast-Food Industry, focusing on McDonald’s. The story begins by explaining the pioneers of fast-food. and tells an in-depth story about the McDonald Brother and Ray Kroc. Then, the book moves on to discuss the various strategies used to persuade people to buy fast food, and the negative impacts of the industry. Issues like widespread Obesity, animal cruelty, and decreasing the minimum wage are all consequences of the Fast-Food chain’s business plan and goal. One theme of this book is that power often comes from deception and the manipulation of others. The author tries to express that to get ahead in life, you have to step on others.

On a scale of 1-10, I would rate this book a solid 8.5. This is because the method he uses to explain the data is very engaging; full of shocking statistics, interesting details and vocabularies, and a good description of the setting. Moreover, Eric Schlosser explains a huge quantity of information slowly, in a step by step manner, and I think even people who have not read non-fiction books yet would be comfortable reading this. The book also shows that there are “hidden costs” for everything, but you can’t just look at the surface and expect to find them. For example, just think of how many plastic happy meal toys that the industries produce, but not everyone links McDonald’s to some world issue like plastic pollution. Hopefully, after reading this book (if you choose to do so), it would persuade you to cut down on your overall junk food consumption.

Something I learned from this unit was the art of notetaking. I am really grateful Mrs. Long taught me this valuable skill and displayed the variations of Notetaking. I believe this is a great way to help students identify the importance of concepts covered in class. Even if you have a great memory, you simply won’t be able to remember everything the teacher says. Also, when notetaking in a notebook, you could use your creativity to understand the concept better (e.g. use a highlighter to emphasize key vocabs or circle central ideas in red). When all is said and done, this has been an intriguing unit, and I’m hyped up for the next one (RUSSIAN REVOLUTION)!

“We can withstand bullets, dodge swords, and manipulate fire—be warned, Foreigners!”

Even though my evidence on the Thinglink suggests that the “Boxers deserve a bad rap because of their brutality and intolerance towards foreign nations and missionaries”, I have plenty of evidence to suggest that the Boxers do not deserve a bad reputation, even though the evidence could not be displayed above.

The boxers do not deserve a bad reputation because their brutal rebellion was a reaction to the exploitation of their country, both economically and religiously. It was the defensive response to foreign missionaries and Western culture overtaking their way of life.

British traders smuggling opium severely hurt China. By 1835, over 12 million people were smoking opium and it caused social and economic damage to the country. This led to the opium wars between the two countries, and the British won due to superior warfare technology, resulting in the “unequal treaty (signed in 1842)”—granting foreigners the right to extraterritoriality. Because of the economic disruption from the opium situation, China’s economy’s growth had stunted, while their population kept growing. China’s population had increased 30% in less than 60 years but food production had barely increased. Ergo, hunger was very widespread throughout China. Foreign influence and pressure were also rapidly invading China. One leader, known as Empress Ci Xi, rose up to power and tried to reform the education system, military and diplomatic service. In addition to this, China also set up factories to manufacture goods. However, in a weakened state, China was constantly defeated and territory was slowly being claimed. For example,  in 1894-95, the Sino-Japanese War, Japan defeats the Qing Empire, gaining control over Korea and annexing Taiwan. Then in November 1897, Qingdao was leased to Germany for 99 years due to two German missionaries killed in the Juye incident.

This suffering is what led to the rise of the Boxers, a group of young vigilantes—peasants, out of work men—who believed that they were impervious to bullets. Their goal was to overthrow any and all Western influence in China. Which leads to the point: Although some may believe that the Boxers’ methods were brutal, they do not deserve a bad reputation,  nothing else worked so far so they needed something drastic to happen that would push them back into a unified country again. It was most likely the only thing they could do to save their country. From the Boxer’s perspective, they were the ones being bullied. And remember: History is always told from the victorious side.

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If you really want to see what our current evidence suggests, here is my additional CER about why our studies in school suggest that the Boxer deserves a bad reputation.

The boxers deserve a bad reputation because of their brutality and intolerance towards foreign nations, missionaries, and Chinese citizens.

This started from the opium wars, which when the Chinese government agreed to the “Unequal treaty”, it was the beginning of western exploitation of the nation. In the late 19th century, because of growing economic impoverishment, a series of unfortunate natural calamities, and the mass number of foreigners “invading” their country and culture, the boxers just decided that it was correct to kill these foreigners and Chinese Christians.
On June 5, 1900, the boxers cut the railway line connecting Beijing with Tianjin and the cost, to prevent any communications between China and foreign powers. When Clemens von Ketteler and his team traveled from legation Quater to a meeting at the Zongli Yamen, he was assassinated by a group of boxers (June 20, 1900). The boxers burned down legation districts, and many of the foreigners had to flee to the Churches to hide. Then on July 13,  Boxers and imperial troops detonated a mine under the french legation, forcing the French and Austrians to shelter in the already full British compound. Life was cruel.

The fact is that, they were hostile to all foreigners, which is racist. Not every foreign country was involved in the opium war, nor do they want to colonize China. You could possibly claim that one of the main reasons other countries want to be in China, is that it would be beneficial to their economic growth and materialistic achievements (since everyone wants silk, silverware, and tea).
Moreover, I personally find the boxers quite ignorant. The natural disasters somehow led to Chinese citizens believing that the increase in foreigners and their religion caused the bad luck, without realizing that correlation does not imply causation. This misconception occurred because the exact time when the population of foreigners grew, the drought began. Revenge through genocidal actions can only cause more problems for oneself.

MSND: The Conflict of Love

MSND Poster

In this poster, I will be analyzing the character Hermia in “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, a renowned play written by William Shakespeare.

I choose the character, Hermia, because she is having a complex problem that could apply to a current real-world scenario.
I choose this picture of her because she is renowned for being one of the most beautiful women in Athens, if not the most. She is a bit stubborn and independent, however, so I choose a facial expression that would fit her current mood. If you see in the photo, she looks sad, and also unwilling to do something.

Enjoy!

 

Am I a Humanist?

Humanism by Jayden Guan

After averaging my overall rating, I am proud to announce that I am 92% Humanist. This is because I strongly agree that humans should become non-theistic, secular beings, and depart from religion. The idea of a supernatural god in this natural phenomena universe is not logical, in my opinion. I also believe that the scientific method should be used to analyze occurrences from the vantage point of reason, which the humanists did very well. Lastly, individualism should not only be used by the Renaissance’s Humanists, but by our present nations and laws. It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow up to be.

 

What is Meant to be will Always Find its Way. Always.

Theme CERER: The Monkey’s Paw

Credits to author W. W. Jacob

       “A person often meets his destiny on the road he took the avoid it” — Jean Fontaine

Fate, commonly referred to as destiny, is an interesting topic. While people contradict the idea that life is a determined variable, reality states that our entire life from birth to death is controlled by destiny, and it is non-negotiable. You were born at a particular time, with particular parents. You have a particular eye color, and have a particular hobby. It is our fate that shaped us to be who we are.  In the short story “The Monkey’s Paw”, Mr. White, the protagonist, is a rather modest person who struggles to accept fate in life. Coincidentally, an old friend (Morris) gives him a magical dried monkey’s paw, created by the old fakir, which supposedly has the power to grant its possessor three wishes, Mr. White believes that he can exert his will on the world in a quick and consequence-free manner; despite the warnings that Morris informed him. However, when he tries to wish for unnecessary wealth, his wish goes awry: this impulsive action caused the death of his only son, Herbert, in compensation for the two-hundred pounds he wished. The result of this wish, and the sinister results of the other’s wishes which the story alludes, suggests that fate is predestined.

In the story, Author W.W. Jacobs tries to express that its best to accept one’s fate, rather than arrogantly trying to alter what could not be changed. Meddling it can cause consequences far greater than its benefits. In the opening scene, Mr. White is playing chess with his son, Herbert, when he realizes “he had made a serious mistake and wanted to distract his son’s attention so that he wouldn’t see it” (Jacob 1). Mr. White still loses, regardless. This quote shows that the act of altering one’s fate is an illusion, and this also foreshadows the other events in the plot where he attempts to change his fate and still suffer defeat. Subsequently, the arrival of the white’s friend, Sergeant-Morris, with a magical wish-granting monkey’s paw presents Mr. White with an opportunity to change his life, making him believe that he gets to control his destiny. However, Author Jacobs immediately establishes that this power is sinister: “The first man had his three wishes, yes. I [Morris] don’t know what the first two wishes were, but the third was for death…” (Jacob 3).  It is explicitly stated in the story that controlling one’s destiny is established as sinister and result in consequences—you could deduce that the consequences were devastating enough that the man decided to commit suicide.

More and more instances of this theme show as the story advances. As promised, the monkey’s paw brings disaster, teaching the white family the old fakir’s (the caster of the spell that made the paw magical) lesson. Mr. White’s first wish is for the two-hundred pounds he would need to pay off his mortgage, and he receives this sum from Herbert’s company as compensation for his death in a machinery accident: “‘I have to tell you that Maw and Meggins do not hold themselves responsible for what has happened…but they wish to give you a certain amount of money as compensation….‘Two hundred pounds.’” As Morris suggests, changing one’s predestined path can result in death; two-hundred-pound in trade for the death of his only son is not what Mr. White had in mind. This further supports my theme. Additionally, Author Jacob did a great job incorporating the setting with the hidden theme he planned to express. The author refrains from comment, but his opening and closing scenes—a night “cold and wet” (Tan 1) and a road “quiet and deserted ” (Tan 11)—gives off a sensation that our destiny may be at mercy of an indifferent, universe.

In summary, this story is a warning tale. The short story is a warning to us all about what is really important in life. It makes us question our moral values. The Whites have a good life. Once the monkey’s paw is introduced to them, everything changes for them. It changes the moral values they each have; they took the power to alter their destiny for granted. So the next time when you make a wish, be careful about what you wish for. It might just come true—and not the way you might want it to be…

Personal Connection: I apologize that I cannot meet this criteria. In all honesty, I have no personal connections or lessons that are related to the topic of fate, destiny, and wishes.

Note: Image Souce Here

 

Who are You? — Fishing For Conflict

Below is a photo of my Found Poem (“Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan, Page 1):

Overview of the Author:

Amy Ruth Tan is an American author known for The Joy Luck Club, which was adapted into a film in 1993 by director Wayne Wang. Tan has written several other novels, including The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, and more. Tan was born on February 19, 1952, and publish the narrative “Fish Cheeks” in 1987 when she was 14 years old.

For more information, please click the link below

{An introduction and Biography of Amy Tan}

Below is the PDF of the original story “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan

{Fish Cheeks Story.PDF}

 

What is the Conflict of this story?

This found poem was created with the words of Amy Tan. and it is a product I constructed for the conflict of the novel “Fish Cheeks.”  The primary conflict of this poem was a character vs society external conflict.

Amy feels embarrassed by her culture (i.e. Chinese Traditions) in the fact of what she perceives to be a more desirable culture (i.e American Traditions). Amy is ashamed of her family—embarrassed about her Chinese customs. She’s insecure and so-called by herself “different,” because she is trying to impress an American boy (Robert). The entire paragraph two—the inciting accident of the story—is a great example.

Amy worries and explicitly states “What would Robert think of our shabby Chinese Christmas?” “What would he think of our noisy Chinese relatives who lacked proper American manners?” “What terrible disappointment would he feel upon seeing not a roasted turkey and sweet potatoes but Chinese food?” These quotes from the story all support my claim of what the conflict is.
Other instances of this type of conflict include Paragraph 5, which Amy exclaims: “Dinner threw me in deep despair”, since she believes her societal customs in comparison to the American ones. Furthermore, at the end of paragraph 5, where her dad offered her the fish cheek dish, her favorite food, she did want to accept it for the mere reason that it would frown on Robert, in this story representing the American society (character vs society dispute).
My two personal favorite pieces of evidence are the following:
1. The conflict between the Minister’s family and Amy. In paragraph 6, it stated the following: Amy’s father belched loudly and
explained to the astonished—which indicates opposing shock—guest that this was a sign of polite satisfaction with the meal.
Right after this sentence, “Robert was looking down with a reddened face; the minister managed the muster up a quiet burb (evidently feeling uncomfortable).” The Minister was, without a doubt, against these traditions, and these phrases show that there seems to be an external dispute between character (Amy and Family) vs. American (American Society), further supporting my claim.
2. In paragraph 3, Amy describes the food her mother was making appalling was weird. She states the following in response to her mother’s cooking:  “On Christmas Eve I saw that my mother had outdone herself in creating a strange menu. She was pulling black veins out of the backs of fleshy prawns. The kitchen was littered with appalling mounds of raw food: A slimy rock cod with bulging eyes that pleaded not to be thrown into a pan of hot oil. Tofu, which looked like stacked wedges of rubbery white sponges. A bowl soaking dried fungus back to life. A plate of squid, their backs crisscrossed with knife markings so they resembled bicycle tires.”
However, those dishes turned out at the end to be her favorites (paragraph 8.)  but she was too ashamed of her culture to consume it, indicating another character vs society conflict.

Note: There is not really an antagonist point of view in this story unless you think of it like Amy’s family antagonizing her in front of Robert’s family by embarrassing her. Both traditions are not right nor wrong, thus, there isn’t really a singular antagonist.

How does the poem show the concept [Literature Wise]

Here, I will breakdown my poem thoroughly and explain why every section and phrase heavily implies this external conflict (character vs society) that I stated in the paragraphs above (“What is the conflict of the story”).

Section A.

P1. I was Chinese
P2.  And American was he
P3. Minister’s Family for Christmas
P4. I cried

P1/P2. Explanation: I wanted to express the protagonist and the antagonist of the narrative, the two sides of the story that would conflict with each other in the least amount of words possible. Using the words “Chinese (I)” and “American (he)” informs the audience that there is possibly a conflict, and it seems to be a character vs society conflict because I used two different cultures (Chinese and American). As an added bonus it has a nice poetic rhyme to it.

P3/P4. Explanation: I just used literal language and tried to put meaning (i.e., sum multiple words up) into each word. Ergo, I only use two words from the text to show the protagonists/narrator’s feelings about the unspecified male (presumably from Minister’s Family) coming to her house for Christmas dinner. “I cried” implies that she either is embarrassed or has any type of negative emotions towards the visitors.

Section A. Explanation: In this verse, I gave an introduction to the conflict and displayed the inciting action of this story. We now know that the initial cause of the conflict was the Minister’s Family coming over to the protagonist’s house for dinner.

Note: This is all supported and stated on "pagaraph 1/2, page 1" of fish cheeks (CommonLit, 2020).

Section B.

P1. Terrible Disappointment
P2. Proper manners, family lacks
P3. A shabby Chinese Christmas

P1/P2. Explanation: This shows that the protagonist is embarrassed in her family’s traditions, more specifically, the Chinese traditions. We can infer from these phrases that she seems to be embarrassed by the terrible disappointment her family’s traditions would be to the “Minister’s Family” and “he.”

P3. Explanation: “A shabby Chinese Christmas” is the stubborn protagonist’s perspective. Chinese culture is inferior to American culture. This cannot get any more straightforward.

Section B. Explanation: The purpose of this section is to display why she is embarrassed (i.e., to support the phrase “I cried”). See “P1/P2. Explanation – Section B” to see why. This further starts to explain why external conflicts occurred.

Note: This is all supported and stated on "pagaraph 2, page 1" of fish cheeks (CommonLit, 2020).

Section C.

P1. Dinner threw me in deeper despair
P2.
Chopsticks dipped in food
P3.
  As Robert grimaced
P4. I wanted to disappear

P1/P2. Explanation: “Dinner threw me in deeper despair.” This confirms that the conflict is the Minister’s Family coming over for Christmas dinner, and that is because—according to the first few sections of my poem—she is embarrassed by her Chinese culture/traditions and family. This part sums everything up in the first few sections. “Chopsticks dipped in food” is to further support my initial claim about the external conflict being character vs society, since she is embarrassed by using chopsticks (representing the Chinese customs) in front of the Minister’s family and that special “he.”

P3/P4. Explanation: Here, we found out that the special “he” was Robert, an American (stated on the first few phrases of my poem) boy. Robert does not approve of her [Amy, the pratogonaist] culture/traditions, and she is embarrassed, as she “wanted to disappear.” This indicates but does not explicitly states that there is an affectional relationship between Robert and Amy. We can interpret that Amy likes Robert; Robert does not like Amy because of her Chinese culture; ergo Amy does not like her Chinese culture because she thinks it is embarrassing.

Section C. Explanation: We can sum everything up now. My poem displays the external conflict, which is the fact that Amy thinks her Chinese culture and traditions is embarrassing in comparison to the American culture, primarily because this influences how her crush [Robert] thinks of her. And I only use 30-40 words to explain everything, implying that every word has meaning and I represented the conflict flawlessly.

Note: This is all supported and stated on "pagaraph 5, page 1" of fish cheeks (CommonLit, 2020).

How does the poem show the concept [Artistic Wise]

Color  Scheme: I choose a Black-White Colorless Scheme. This is because black represents societal power. It is a color of strong negative emotions and symbolizes grief, which is what Amy, the protagonist is feeling. In psychology, white [symbol of protagonist] and black [symbol of antagonist] is suppose to represent the powerless and the powerful, respectively. This displays the external conflict of “fish cheeks” flawlessly.

Background Image: I choose a classic, traditional Chinese lantern background. This is used because Amy’s culture is Chinese. Notice how the Chinese street in the picture was quiet and empty. This was because Amy did not appreciate her family, and I wanted to display that there was no one in her Chinese heart.

Work Cited:

Fish Cheeks Story (CommonLit Version)

Fish Cheeks Story.PDF

Amy Tan Author  Biography

Poem Background Image Source

 

Geology: Layers of the Earth Project

Product:

Since the Layer Information Boxes (i.e., explaining thickness, composition, etc.) are incredibly blurry and hard to read, I have taken individual pictures for each information box. Enjoy!

**Also, please note that all measurements here are approximates and averages because the thickness, composition, and temperatures vary considerably.**

Below are the following information boxes:

Crust

Lithosphere

Asthenosphere

Mesosphere

Outer Core

Inner Core

Center of the Earth

Blog Post Share: Project Mythbust Covid-19

Project Mythbusting COVID-19

This is the link to my product. It is a poster displayed in an infographic format (which presumably makes it look more colorful and engaging to read), where I will be Fact-Checking and Debunking a widespread myth, the statement “Dogs can carry the coronavirus.”

I hope you enjoy reading it!                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jayden

 

Project Mythbust: Debunk the Rumors – B2

3 Goals you have so you can finish by Friday:

1. Include an ad, product placement, or sponsored by tagline in my product to show the readers how I make money. 

2. Finish “Lateral Reading” and move on to “Debunking the Myth.” 

3. Save up time to revise my project before I submit it.

2 Challenges or A-ha’s you had so far:

1. Finding where the evidence—that my source provided— came from.

2. Fining multiple sources (that are experts, including CDC and WHO) to reference from and support my claim.

1 Image with caption (what did you do or are doing in the image):

Caption: This is my Project Mythybust. You could see that it is displayed in an infographic format, which presumably makes it look more colorful and fun to read. Right now, I am working on the “Lateral Reading” part while citing expert sources. Subquencetly, I will be Debunk the Myth and give out my opinion on whether the statement “Dog can carry the coronavirus” is true or not.

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