"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." -Winston Churchill

Chinese Cultural Revolution in Plain English

Listen to audio below after watching video!


This is the about the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that happened in China during 1966-1976. This video was made by me, Lia, and my classmate Sophia. This series of events were made it a hard time for China, as many things were happening both in front and behind the scenes. Violence, chaos and radical ideas were everywhere, which could still be a sensitive subject. This revolution covers topics like communism and extreme leaders and supporters. During this unit, I learned that revolutions are not always organized by the people, but can also be started by government authorities. And sometimes, the goals of a revolution change over time, and the aftermath could be drastically different.

Unpunished Murder; Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice

“Unpunished Murder” by Lawrence Goldstone is a book that covers issues such as systemic racism, racial injustice, and white supremacy, as well as the murder at Colfax that took place in 1873. Basically, around 200 white supremacists stormed Grant Parish, an area located in central Louisiana. They then proceeded to set fire to the courthouse and killed over 100 unarmed black people. Eventually it became a case taken to the Supreme court (the highest court). On top of that, it talks about the Reconstruction of the Constitution, Jim Crow laws, and political division. For context, Northern states or Republicans viewed black people as people (although still not on an equal level to whites), whereas Southern states or Democrats viewed black people as property, ever since the U.S. was founded. Many compromises had to be made in order for the American government to maintain order. One big theme in this book is that people tend to turn a blind eye on issues that don’t affect them.

Why YOU should read this book:

  • It is jam-packed with loads of information on a bunch of different historical figures and events. It really opens your eye to relatively unknown events, and how racism shaped up to be what it is in American history.
  • It covers issues that are relevant today. Systemic racism is still very much alive, as seen through several cases of police brutality and racial injustice for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) living in America today. With recent events such as the BLM movement, it is especially important to educate yourself on these topics.

One thing I learned from this unit is that it is good to re-read parts of the text. Without doing so, crucial information could be missed, and I wouldn’t have a better understanding of what message the author is conveying.

Do the Boxers Actually Deserve a Bad Rap?

The Boxers, an anti-foreign and anti-Christian rebellion (also known as the Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists), deserve a bad reputationFirst of all, they killed over 230 foreigners and thousands of Chinese Christian converts between November 1899 and September 1901 (Szczepanski). Additionally, they burned buildings in the Legation Quarter, losing places like the Hanlin Academy library, as well as destroying railways and telegraphs connecting Beijing and Tianjin (Hutong Academy). The Boxers held many foreigners and Christians hostage with no access to outside communication. “We are more cut off from the world than ever,” (Miner, 1900). A lot of the resentment came from rumors about Christians and foreigners being the reason for droughts in China, meaning that most of their reasoning was based on foolish superstitionsYou may argue that we never got to hear the Boxers’ side of the story, as most of them were illiteratethere are no written receipts about their perspective, and the foreign powers did awful things as well. However, that does not justify their actions. Both sides were in the wrong, and that means the Boxers were too. They were ignorant and looked to violence as a solution. They took thousands of lives and destroyed priceless buildings, when the issues could’ve been resolved peacefullyGenerally speaking, the Boxerdo deserve a bad rap.  

MSND TODAY | Helena the Villain

How to stop being jealous

How to elope


How much of a Renaissance Humanist are you?

The Aged Mother Theme CER

“Where there is love there is life”. There is truth to that, as it is a famous quote. The Aged Mother told by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) is a story about a cruel leader who demands all old folks are abandoned to die. When a poor farmer goes to take his old mother to pass away, the governor of the province requires his subjects present him with a rope made of ashes. Being the old and wise woman she was, the mother came up with the idea to make a rope of straw and burn it upon flat stones. The governor was very pleased thus finally ending the harsh law. This is an old Japanese folktale that tells about mother and son’s love for each other. 

In the story The Aged Mother, by Matsuo Basho, the author believes that with unconditional love, good things come in return. For instance, when the son takes his mother to the mountain he cried aloud: oh, Honorable mother, your kindness breaks my heart! I will not leave you. Together we will follow the path of twigs, and together we will die!’” (p. 2). That shows how much the son was devoted to taking care of his mother, regardless of the ruthless commands from the governor. As the story continues, the governor demands the province to bring him with a rope of ashes, and that is when the mother comes up with her clever idea. “’Shining needs more than strength of youth,’ he (governor) said gravely. ‘Ah, that I should have forgotten the well-known saying, ‘with the crown of snow, there cometh wisdom!” and “that very hour the cruel law was abolished” (p.2). Thstory mainly tells about the strong relationship between the farmer and his mother. Just like the theme, the son loved her with “tender reverence” (p.1). And then, in return, obtained her wisdom and saved the entire province from the brutal practice. Ultimately this concludes the idea that love can often work in peoples favor. 

Fish Cheeks : The Remix 😸

This is my found poem based on “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan. The conflict in this story is internal because the protagonist (Amy herself) struggles with her Chinese-American identity. My found poem captures the main conflict in which Amy is ashamed in front of Robert, until her mother tells her about how she will always have her Chinese heritage. That is when Amy would come to terms with her culture years later. Basically my poem is a quick summary on the actual text. For the visual of my poem, I drew a fish because obviously that was the main dish of the Christmas dinner.

To look into this theme further:

Reflection on Identity in Fish Cheeks

Fish Cheeks Analysis

Reflect (2)


Develop Craft + Engage and Persist (2)

I first put coils on top of each other to build the bowl. Then I used small coils to curl and shape into a wave pattern on the rim of the bowl.  Then it got fired in the kiln, and was ready to glaze. I used blue, purple and green toned underglaze. Then I coated it with transparent  glaze and it is currently being fired one last time. Some challenges faced when working was making the waves, because the coils were usually dry would always crack when I bent them. I just had to spray them with water. Another one was using painting the underglaze on because there were always spaces inside (especially the small crevices) that I couldn’t get. So I had to use a small brush to get the empty space.


It is not a government’s responsibility to control childhood obesity

Obesity is a worldwide issue. However it is not a government’s responsibility to control childhood obesity, because it is the families job to do so, people believe they have their own rights, and the governments’ strategies are not always effective.

It i not a government’s responsibility to control childhood obesity as it is the family’s responsibility to take care of their children. Almost 1/3 of the kids in America are overweight or obese, according to the Institute of Medicine. An expert said that food restriction is not good enough and that physical activity is crucial (USA Today, 2017). So not only is it the parents’ job to put healthy food on their plates, but to keep their kids in shape. They are in charge for enrolling them in sports, dance, etc. or letting their kids play outside. Being a parent means being responsible, and part of that responsibility should go into regulating their child’s health. It is the family’s job to control childhood obesity, not the government’s.

Another reason why it is not the government’s job to control childhood obesity is that people want freedom to buy whatever they want. For example, when Mayor Bloomberg (the Mayor of New York) tried to ban the Big Gulp from 7-Eleven, the law did not pass. People do not want to feel like the government is going against their free will, and as a result will not support their choices. Also, after 2017 when Obama was out of office, some Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch initiatives (such as more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and less calories and sodium) died because schools did not care about sustaining the program. It is unfortunate that people do not want to stop eating junk food, but it shows that they do not want the government controlling the market.

You could argue that taxes on sugary drinks reduce obesity, and studies have shown that soda sales have decreased (especially in South America, the drop ranging from 10-20%). However, it is not fully solving the problem. First, soda drinkers look for cheap sodas, buy in bulk and drink other sugary beverages. Second, the rich can still afford the junk food, and for the parents who buy quality, it does not necessarily mean that the kids will eat it. In addition some kids eat less junk food but thee quantity they consume causes them  to become overweight. Overall, there are too many loopholes that a tax cannot change.

In conclusion, it is not a government’s responsibility to regulate childhood obesity because it is on the family, people do not support government decisions, and their method of taxing does not always work well. Childhood obesity is still a huge problem but it is not a government’s job to control it.


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