Rayna

"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

A Bloody Battle for a Republic

Many years later after the French Revolution, the memories and stories were fading away. Many people who lived in that period had passed away, and the tales are becoming blurry. It was a time of flesh and blood, of changes. It is a time that’s worth remembering forever. The common French people fought for freedom, to escape from the cages of a miserable life. As an old man, I was rummaging through old papers when I came across a yellowed journal with the words “Pierre E. Bernard” engraved on it. A lightbulb went off in my mind, a tiny light which made me open the book with shaking hands. Here is my story that I share of my childhood in the Revolution…

Many things through this long Revolution battle have changed, while some things have stayed the same. The French Revolution created new inquiries about the nature and developing of human rights. Furthermore, the French people were more equal. No longer were there classes or privileges for the authorities, a rule in the Napoleonic Code. However, it didn’t achieve its original goal of creating a republic, getting another king after the turmoil (which wasn’t mentioned in the journal as it was after the Revolution). In addition, Napoleon didn’t bring peace; he only started many battles with other countries. Maybe he was a villain after all. In the end, was the Revolution worth it? At first I still stuck to my opinion that it was, that we overcame many challenges. But as time passed and I recalled the events again, new perspectives lit up. It is still impossible to tell.

A Bloody Cry for Liberty

In the late 1700s, the French Revolution erupted with cries of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”! The French people had suffered enough, especially the commoners that carried all the responsibility. The king, who was careless about his people, was overthrown and executed, the monarchy abolished. Commoners rebelled, and the National Assembly rose to power. It was a chaotic and bloody period in the country. There were conflicts with other European countries, thousands of people killed. A man who started off in poverty slowly worked his way up to create a new monarchy (Napoleon), and sit on the throne. The image shown above is a well-known painting, depicting the brutal revolution of the time, with so much flesh and blood sacrificed. The ten-year revolution changed many laws and influential ideas of the time. The controversial topic of whether it was worth it may still be too early to know the answer…

image source

 

Ever wondered why you could just “Google It”?

The book I read is called Google It, by Anna Crowley Redding. It is about the history of how Google was made by two university students, who wanted to organize worldwide information on the internet. A theme in my book is creativity frequently empowers ideas that can lead to successful outcomes.

There are three reasons why you should read this book. The first reason is when Larry and Sergey were just starting off on their Google ‘project’, they made do with their limited supplies: “Placing the hard disks into the tower, their homemade server was complete” (Chapter 2, Beg, Borrow, Stalk). This shows that through creativity, they were able to overcome difficulties and use what they had (in this case Legos). It was the last thing to make a server before the original Google was made, and without creativity it wouldn’t have been possible. Secondly, the Google founders cared a lot about their workers’ environment, which they believed would help make creative ideas. “For Larry and Sergey, all of this—the building, the toys, the culture—was about empowering their employees to change the world” (Chapter 10, Google World Headquarters (for Real)). The energy they put into making Googleplex and having fun activities and competitions online for users, was essentially all for the spread of creative ideas that might possibly change our lives one day. Lastly, Google X was the company’s moonshot factory to create new technology, the place where “Impossible dreams, lofty goals, and seemingly unattainable ideas are what they work on every day” (Chapter 16, A Healthy Disregard for the Impossible). The people in Google X focused on worldwide issues, and make the impossible possible. It really reveals the effort Google put into creating new ideas that can impact our lives. It is the key to their success.

Something I learned in this unit is that I should pay attention to causes and effects, which might seem simple but can be very complex. Also, this can lead unexpected connections between parts that don’t seem connected. Furthermore, I also learned that descriptive passages in stories can often lead to many ideas. Before, I always read without paying much attention to anything beneath the surface in stories, I just thought the author wrote a story. Now, I know how to dig deep into books and understand them better, and what the author is trying to communicate.

Who Is Right? The Boxers Have “Fisted” It!

The Boxers don’t deserve a bad rap. The foreigners invaded their country, and created spheres of influence that weren’t welcomed. The foreigners invaded Beijing and destroyed the Imperial Gardens. They forced the Chinese to sign a treaty with them that gave them more freedom in the country, and this angered the common people, because they didn’t want foreigners in their land who were trying to convert them into another religion. The foreigners had no right to invade Beijing without permission from the government. Furthermore, the Qing Dynasty was weak, and the British army is very powerful and skilled. They had a greater advantage than the Chinese, having defeated the Qing army in the Opium Wars. In this kind of situation, the Chinese wanted to defend their country and culture. Thus, the Boxers were formed. In addition, when the Boxers trapped foreigners in their legation, 8 nations (led by Germany) banded together, beat the Boxers, saved their country’s people, and were ruthlessly brutal to the Chinese. In conclusion, the Boxers shouldn’t carry a bad reputation compared the actions of the foreigners.

Covering Hermia

Womens Fashion Magazine Cover by Rayna
My project is inspired by one of William Shakespeare‘s most renowned plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I chose Hermia to put on my magazine cover and write about because I think she is a very unique character. In the story, she showed through her lines that she wasn’t afraid of the unfair laws at that time that kept her from choosing her own love. She has a very different personality from the other characters, and has different thoughts and ideas about the rules at that time. I think she also symbolizes justice, bravery, and courage. I picked the image I chose to portray Hermia as a young woman wearing a black dress with dreamy eyes, and flowing black hair. I think that the dreamy eyes makes her seem faraway, deep in thought about the many challenges she’s facing. I think Hermia is also quite beautiful in this image, and in the play it’s mentioned that she’s super attractive and good-looking. People might think of Hermia mostly as a white woman as the play is set in Italy, but I think that as this play has been transformed into many versions, translated into so many languages, and changed to fit so many cultures, that Hermia can be any race or ethnicity. I am proud of the image I found for Hermia because I think it really fits the idea and appearance of the character. Also, I’m proud of the title I gave my magazine, because I think Hermia would definitely appear as a popular woman of the year even if she isn’t real, since she’s a main character in the play.

How Humanist am I?

Blue Icon Charity Infographic by Rayna

Overall, I would say that I’m 90% humanist, because I love humanities and subjects related to it, especially art and history. I agree with humanist ideas and feel that we should challenge all that’s around us in order to learn new things and help develop a better world. However, I don’t study classical culture a lot.

The Animal World’s Battles

Did you know that it was common for snakes to get in people’s houses in India? Even these bloodthirsty beasts has a deadly enemy: the famous snake-killer mongoose. In the story “Rikki Tikki Tavi”, the mongoose Rikki is found by an English family who just moved into a bungalow in Segowlee and becomes their pet. He meets lots of new animals in their garden, and tries to get revenge on the two evil snakes. After a long battle, Rikki succeeds in killing both of them, becoming a hero. The main theme is that bravery can build trust and faith between people.

In the story “Rikki Tikki Tavi”, by Rudyard Kipling, the author believes that bravery often creates strong bonds of faith and trust. When Rikki killed the deadly little snakeling Karait, his human family was shocked and grateful for his bravery: “Teddy’s mother picked him up from the dust and hugged him, crying that he had saved Teddy from death, and Teddy’s father said that he was providence”(Kipling, 5). This shows that from Rikki’s act of fearlessness towards an evil snake, he was rewarded with trust from his owners. They were thankful for his protection. Furthermore, throughout the story Rikki acted bravely every time there was something wrong. without thought in front of his enemies, and got rid of wrong from happening again. It was part of his instinct as a mongoose to kill snakes, but it’s more of helping his friends, and keeping all of them safe. Bravery can bring justice to the world, but also a reward of strong relationships. As the story continues, Rikki’s loyalty and power earns him a rightful place as a fearless warrior who guards the garden and its people from any snakes. Rikki uses his own bravery to make sure his friends and family are safe “with tooth and jump and spring and bite, till never a cobra dared show its head inside the walls” (Kipling, 9). The young mongoose showed the cobras with his selfless bravery that his garden wasn’t a place to go, in order to keep his animal friends and owners safe. Rikki showed that he would sacrifice his life for saving his friends, which helped strengthen relationships. At the end of the story, Rikki became Teddy’s faithful guardian who went everywhere with him, and the family believes in the mongoose to keep them safe. Through this we can see the power of bravery for helping others brought peace and appreciation from the people around him.

Overall, in this short story Rikki’s bravery brought many strong bonds between him and his friends and family.

I can relate to this story because I care a lot about animals and nature. Nature is all around us, and and sometimes we don’t realize its importance for the world to keep moving on, and that it has many of its own battle. I think through this short story the author is trying to tell us that bravery can stop injustice and evil in the world, and will create faith and trust from others. I think Kipling might also be criticizing the many wars waged by us humans. Through replacing us with animals, “Rikki Tikki Taki” tells us the savage, brutal, painfully true battles that have happened between animals, but also humans.

Above is my one-pager extension

A Mind’s Conflict Starting from a Purse


My Found Poem shows an internal conflict in the short story Thank You M’am by Langston Hughes. I know this because when the protagonist Roger was forced to go to Mrs. Jones’s house, he tried to decide whether to “make a dash for it down the hall” (Hughes, 3), or be a good person and stay put. In my Found Poem, this is shown in the first few words: “The boy turned around, wondering. He could run.” Then, Roger realizes that the woman trusts him. She “did not watch the boy to see if he was going to run now, nor did she watch her purse” (Hughes, 3) I think that Mrs. Jones was trying to tell Roger that she wouldn’t get him in trouble for trying to steal her purse, which I also included in my poem to give the reader a look at the antagonist. Roger feels overwhelmed by the antagonist’s faith in him. He feels that he should repay Mrs. Jones in some way. This character develops throughout this internal conflict, going from being a boy who wasn’t taught right from wrong, to being thankful and feeling ashamed of his actions. My artwork supports my poem, because it clearly shows the two choices that Roger was torn about. In addition, I wrote the title really big, because I think it shows how the protagonist wants to do more than just thank Mrs. Jones, who taught a valuable lesson to him.

Shanbei-style pancakes

Original pancakes:

Recipe–

Ingredients:

2 large cups of flour

1 large cup of corn flour

1 large cup of millet flour

1 large cup of buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon of yeast

1 teaspoon of sugar

4 large cups of water

Oil

 

Steps:

  1. Pour 1 teaspoon of yeast and sugar in a pot
  2. Add 1 large cup of water
  3. Add 1 large cup of corn flour
  4. Add 2 large cups of flour
  5. Add 1 large cup of buckwheat flour
  6. Stir, and at the same time add three spoons of water
  7. Put on the lid and let it ferment for 2 hours
  8. Fry into pancakes on a skillet

Gluten-free pancakes:

Recipe–

Ingredients:

2 large cups of rice flour

1 large cup of corn flour

1 large cup of millet flour

1 large cup of buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon of yeast

1 teaspoon of sugar

4 large cups of water

Oil

 

Steps:

  1. Pour 1 teaspoon of yeast and sugar in a pot
  2. Add 1 large cup of water
  3. Add 1 large cup of corn flour
  4. Add 2 large cups of rice flour
  5. Add 1 large cup of buckwheat flour
  6. Stir, and at the same time add three spoons of water
  7. Put on the lid and let it ferment for 2 hours
  8. Fry into pancakes on a skillet

Here was my design challenge:

To achieve the design challenge I had to make my pancakes gluten-free. I replaced flour with rice flour in the recipe. Pancakes are easy to rebake/heat so I didn’t need to make any special changes for that.

Similarities and Differences between my original and gluten-free pancakes:

Similarities:

  1. Both batters fermented for 2 hours
  2. They both turned gold and brown when fried
  3. Looked visually the same

Smelled grainy because they both contained grains

Differences:

    1. Flour was replaced with rice flour for the gluten-free pancakes
    2. Gluten-free pancakes weren’t as fluffy as the original because I used rice flour with is harder and less dense as wheat flour.
    3. Gluten-free pancakes feel and taste coarser since it’s harder for the air to get through when fried because I used rice flour.

I would add butter and/or milk to improve my adapted recipe, because it would make it fluffier and more tasty to eat, and not as coarse.

Recipe for Shanbei pancakes design challenge (gluten free)

Recipe for Traditional Shanbei Fluffy pancakes (original)

Ingredients:

2 large cups of flour

1 large cup of corn flour

1 large cup of millet flour

1 large cup of buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon of yeast

1 teaspoon of sugar

4 large cups of water

Oil

Steps:

  1. Pour 1 teaspoon of yeast and sugar in a pot
  2. Add 1 large cup of water
  3. Add 1 large cup of corn flour
  4. Add 2 large cups of flour
  5. Add 1 large cup of buckwheat flour
  6. Stir, and at the same time add three spoons of water
  7. Put on the lid and let it ferment for 2 hours
  8. Fry into pancakes on a skillet

My Design Challenge was to change my pancake recipe into gluten free and still contain similar nutrients.

Recipe for Traditional Shanbei Fluffy pancakes (Gluten Free)

Ingredients:

2 large cups of rice flour

1 large cup of corn flour

1 large cup of millet flour

1 large cup of buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon of yeast

1 teaspoon of sugar

4 large cups of water

Oil

Steps:

  1. Pour 1 teaspoon of yeast and sugar in a pot
  2. Add 1 large cup of water
  3. Add 1 large cup of corn flour
  4. Add 2 large cups of rice flour
  5. Add 1 large cup of buckwheat flour
  6. Stir, and at the same time add three spoons of water
  7. Put on the lid and let it ferment for 2 hours
  8. Fry into pancakes on a skillet

To make my recipe gluten free I had to research most of my ingredients to make sure they don’t contain gluten. The only ingredient in my recipe that contained gluten was flour, which I replaced with rice flour that has similar nutrients and is

gluten free.

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