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Summer Reading Recomendation~

Loving, Living, and Learning by Leo Buscaglia is a book I would recommend for your summer reading. If you're going through a difficult time in your life, I assure you that this book will be your guide to be inspired. Leo Buscaglia is very inspirational and gives you life lessons you will carry out through your life. No, this is not a book about relationships. It's a book about all types of relationships- relationships with the world. I've read this book two times and I plan on reading it again this summer. I love this book that much. If you don't like this book you must be going crazy. “Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” - Leo Buscaglia. 
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Humanities Portfolio 2012

This year we have worked on papers, telling stories, and working in rolls. Through this my headphones have become great tools to create work. For almost every paper or piece of artwork they have helped. And in this class there is always a project going on. The idea of perspective is something that we worked with all year. Perspective is something that we all have. We all see things differently and come at things from different points of view. 

In English one of the first things that we had to do to show our perspective was to write a poem called Theme for English 2. We where told to go home and write a page tonight and let that page form out of you- Then it will be true. When we started that I didn’t know what to do. What did a poem have to do with anything? But now looking back I see that that’s all we where looking for, the truth in the worlds that we see and use everyday. 

As we moved through the year we where made to look at other people points of view and then work through them. Like when we read How To Date A Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie by Junot Diaz. A lot of people where upset but what was written but like I wrote in my reply I thought it was funny. I mean this is the way he thinks and sees the world of girl. But you have to keep your mind open to it.

Another thing we had to do that was about perspective was our Passing art work. We had to make something that showed how a character saw things.  I picked Claire. A light skinned black woman that was posing as a white girl. So was in-between black and white but she saw how both worlds where and wanted to be able to express both. That something that everyone goes through.  Seeing two different things and wanted to have a little bit of both. It was a lot like me being a native of West Philly going to school in Center City. Being thought to be better then others just because of the school I want to was and is a hard thing to go through. Wanting to fit in with this year proving that I was born to stand out. 

But along with the way we seeing this we also had to look at how we change as these things happen around us. Like in my Chapter 26 for Things Fall Apart. In the story of Things Fall Apart Okonkwo, who is a father and a strong leader in this village, kills his self after this village is taken over by white missionaries. He saw these changes are more then he could take. In my chapter 26 his beloved daughter Ezinma lets the death of her father make her stronger. When she is at the market with her mother she stands up to a cowed of me “Who among you know anything of this man?” Ezinma mocked back at the man. “Who know his name? His motherland? Who?” She ran through the crowed. Pushing man and woman out of the way. Her mother watched unknowingly knowing what her miracle child was about to do. The translated looked on at Ezinma in shock. The side of this face was hot with the red mark of Ezinma’s hand.” Even in a place where a woman is worth less then a man she changes her perceptive to see that these man are not any better then her. And that she has every right to fight back.

            I can also see change in the way I write. From the language autobiography where I was just looking at the way I write. In this paper my first paragraph “In the world we live in there are only a few ways of expressing yourself. You can talk, sing, dance, or be a writer. I can’t sing, or dance. And even though I like writing, expressing myself verbally is the best thing for me to do. The English language is like a damn to me. It blocks off all the beautiful and elegant words I want to say and twist them into a word search,” was now as a look back at it simple compared to what I am writing how.   To the poetry unit where I was made to take steps to change the way the poem sounded and flowed.

 This change carried all the way to the end of the year when I was writing my final thesis paper, my favorite paper of the year. Where I am writing more complex papers that really make me thing and want to write. For example my firs paragraph of that “As human beings we are made to look for other human interaction. Humans are made to look for touch, sound, emotions, and feeling that only others can provide. Thus even when we are places somewhere where these things are hard to find we will find ways to make these connections. Every day people are making new technology to get to know other people. People will always look for humanity even if the most inhuman places.”

This means a lot to me. And I think that that that’s something that you can find in writing too. You find a person who is just truing to reach out and find a way to become a part of someone else. They just want there writing to resonate with others. and that’s what the goal of all of this work really is a way to make our work in this class resonate with other in and out of the class. This class has made me a better writer, person, and listener.  

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Humanities Portfolio 2012

M Saunders English/History Portfolio 2012

 

            There has been a lot done this year.  Everyday my mind has been expanding in different ways and learning new things.  There are some interesting ideas that I have for the end of the year.  These are the general statements I have learned throughout the year.

            We have look at a lot of different books and points in time.  Something stands out to me is that when someone is in power they tend to lose the power or lose their minds.  Most times power leads to insanity.  One of the books we have read is Lord Of the Flies.  This is about a group of kids that get into a plane crash and end up on an island.  Some of the kids start to lose their minds while going through being on the island. “In Lord of the Flies it shows that insanity is like gravity all you need is a little push” This is a statement I used to describe the book.  It was the right place and the right situations to easily make a person go crazy.  One of the boys ended up being a leader of the group. At first he mad all the right decisions on how to get of the island but soon after he started to lose his mind.  This shows how easily you can lose your mind.

            Also another thing we looked at was the French Revolution.  What we did was we chose people to research and we had to act like that person.  The person that I chose was Maximilien Robespierre.  He was one of the main people in the revolution.  Through out the revolution he started to get worse and worse in what he does.  At first he really helped the people. Right after the king died he took control.  It wasn’t that bad then but latter on is when it started going down hill.  A major part of the revolution was when Robespierre passed a law that said if he thought that some one was against him then he could just kill them with no trial.  From Robespierre paranoia he ended up killing a lot of people.  Soon after Robespierre was overthrown and killed.

            Another role playing activity we did was the Cortez trial.  This was about when Cortez and his men when to see the Aztecs but ended up taking over there land.  There were different roles that we had to act as.  It was Cortez, Cortez men, System, King, and Aztec people.  What we had to do in this activity was prove that a certain group was guiltier in the takeover of the Aztecs.  It was run like an actual courtroom with opening statements and cross-examinations.  At the end of the trial each group would give there closing statements and we had to assign points of guilt to the most guilty person we thought was.  Something that I thought was interesting was that in the research done Cortez didn’t listen to orders and did what he wanted.  He was the leader of the men who were just supposed to explore this land but instead he took it over.  The king sent notes and people to go after Cortez. Cortez just ended up killing them.  Having the power to just control a group of people to do what you want is too much for people.  Cortez got greedy and tried to take all of the Aztecs gold and land. Maybe if another person were in charge then the Aztec wouldn’t have been taken over.

            Throughout the year we have done a lot of interesting and creative things.  For most of these you really had to think about how to use your skills in different ways to make your project that much better.  Creative thinking can make a project better.

            One of the things that we did was called Art In the Open.  The main thing we did was we had to find a space around our school and create a piece that used different movements and used the space in different ways.  At first I wasn’t used to just moving around the way that we did in this project.  There were people that came to the school that showed us some techniques to help us create these pieces.  This was really getting out of most peoples comfort zones.  If you wanted this to go well you had to really come out of your comfort zone and be really creative with the way your body would move in this new way.  If no ideas were coming out or people weren’t really trying then it would just be a bland piece but with each groups creativity added to the project. That is what made these pieces interesting and enjoyable to watch.  With out the creativity this wouldn’t have worked.

These are other pieces I have done:
Language Autobiography
Revolution Guidebook
Play
Edwidge Danticat Letter
descriptive essay
Wordle Eng:Hist
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Humanities Portfolio 2012

Summary and Analysis of The Year

Sla has a very interesting style that was applied throughout Mr. Block’s class. This way of learning has brought out a lot of inspiration in people. It was always a different experience every day. Our poetry portfolio work has brought everyone into working with a more personal side of themselves. Our poems were very interesting. Everyone wanted to express themselves in different ways and I think we all did so in our poetry class. This class has inspired me to want to write more about anything that I find appealing to me. It has brought us all closer to ourselves.

Humanities Portfolio 

In Mr. Block’s English and History classes we learned a lot. Personally the way the work went wasn’t always appealing to me but some units were very interesting. Everything we did in class was always a process. Every unit when we wrote something we did a draft then a final version. This was beneficial to a lot of people because it gave them time to edit their work. I don’t usually edit most of my work because I try not to make mistakes the first time so I often wasted the time we had in class writing drafts and this sometimes didn’t work out for me. More interesting projects like the Poetry Portfolio sparked a lot of people’s imaginations and that made everyone want to do exemplary work. I think I speak for everyone when I say some units were disappointing. For example the Lord of The Flies unit was boring for the simple fact that I don’t think the book was any good. The project that followed was great though. Even though some things weren’t appealing to me I still learned a lot of things that I can carry over into my personal and school life.

This Final Portfolio is supposed to give 2-3 general understandings that we have learned over the year. I think the most important thing we learned over the year is that someone’s past experiences shape them into who they’ll become in the future. I think this was illustrated perfectly in a lot of work that we did. To use an example from my favorite project, the Poetry Portfolio Allen Ginsberg’s whole career was based off of his childhood. He often mentions drugs which to me is caused by the fact that his mother was a drug abuser. (Poetry Portfolio) “His greatest poem “Howl” referenced “angel-headed hipsters which to me is talking about drug abusers. Also he writes lines later “high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness” which is another reference to drugs.” He became a very popular poet because he had a strange technique, which was formed by his disturbing childhood. He often abused drugs during his lifetime and that would most likely be because people often do what they are used to. He was raised around drugs and started to do them himself.

Another example could be Things Fall Apart. This book illustrates my general understanding perfectly also. Okonkwo’s whole life was based off of his father’s failure to appeal to his fellow villagers. A lot of people looked down upon Okonkwo’s father because he was a failure who owed money to numerous people and never paid them. Okonkwo was raised around this and that made his goal as an adult to be the exact opposite of his father. He knew people’s opinion of his father and that made him strive for success his whole life. His father was also a weak man because he was scared of war and this made Okonkwo’s next goal to become a great warrior, which he was successful at. (Things Fall Apart Assessment) “I set off to find myself in my motherland and it did not go as I planned. I feel as though I am a weak man and I did not deserve this life that was given to me. My main goal in life was for my chi to be better than my fathers and I feel as though I did not reach that goal. Therefore I did not need to live my life.” This is a quote from the chapter we wrote ourselves. I think things would have really played out like this for the simple fact that this part illustrates his feelings. He tried so hard to be a better man than his father and when he disappointed his fellow villagers he became disappointed in himself and that would have caused him to kill himself.

Everyone has the ability to create something that inspires others, this is another general understanding I have learned in Mr. Block’s class. It is not illustrated as well through the work he had us do but I do have a few great examples. I think Lord of The Flies advertisement was a good example of this. We had to create an advertisement based off of the themes of the book. A lot of these themes are inspiring and to me I think that if some of them were published they would have the ability to inspire others. My advertisement was supposed to promote “Simon The Communicator”. This could inspire people to want to communicate more because everyone else on the island was oblivious to the things Simon knew because they lacked communication skills unlike him.

Another example is the Sweatshop Trial Analysis. "We need to provide for our families, were living day by day." This is a quote pulled from the sweatshop workers. I think this trial could inspire people to learn more about their clothing so they could save the people who have to live under these circumstances. They live on little to no money while some people waste money on nothing. Some people don’t know that they live like this so this could be a way to expose these companies and save the workers.

I think everyone could agree with my general understandings because I personally have been made by my experiences and I think I can inspire others. My father died last year and that put me through a slump at first but then given time to myself to sit and think I sort of had an epiphany. I knew that my father wouldn’t want me to be unsuccessful and that being so would be disappointing to him because he was a successful man himself. Therefore I decided to get my act together but because I was also raised around a lot of people who over think things I myself was caught over thinking. I came to understanding that I have seen so many people’s lives wasted away and I didn’t want to become another one of those people. This was a contradicting idea because I wanted to be successful which would mean I would have to do work but on the other hand I didn’t want to live my life in a box. Overall that experience has made me try to balance work and play more efficiently so I could become successful while making the most out of my life. 



Here are links to some of the other work i have done.

Lord of The flies Thesis Paper: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12uG8GKbJz9nZRYZ-tQtxtcYC4nB2bgmyuOeRmkvd0V8/edit

Copper Poetry Portfolio: http://copperpoetry2012.wikispaces.com/Devante+Taggart

Copper Descriptive Essay: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pQAmYM5eoes-on1AgiSXLesjj0JpbzoG7JhGorRJj_o/edit


Here is a wordle i have created out of my Humanities Portfolio:
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Chapter 26

Ezinma was sitting on the edge of the compound. Her eyes where red with salty tears. She sat there thinking about her father and the day at the market. The day the District Commissioner had brought Okonkwo’s body to the market. He talked through his interpreter saying how the customs of the Ido where unthinkable. “Who among you would want to be buried but strangers? Who here would want to see a man through into the earth with no care or concern?” everyone was silent. For what could they say. Ezinma and her mother Ekwefi where in the market to get some pal wine for those who where to bury there beloved Okonkwo. Ezinma’s eyes where locked onto her fathers body her ears where perched to hear every word of what the skinny man next to the Commissioner said. Her blood started to boil. How dare they show a man who they already broke in such a demining way? “Who among you know anything of this man?” Ezinma mocked back. “Who know his name? His mother land? Who?” She ran through the crowed. Pushing man and woman out of the way. Her mother watched unknowingly knowing what her miracle child was about to do. The translated looked on at Ezinma in shock. The side of this face was hot with the red mark of Ezinma’s hand. Ekwefi grabbed Ezinma pulling her away from the crowed. “May all the gods that you shouted and disgraced ran down there truth on you.” Ezinmas head was heave. It was hard to keep for leaning of trees. She slowing walked to Okonkwos hut with out looking up. She thought of all of the magic conversation that her father and her had had. All of the unspoken things that they had said to one an other. As she want through the last of her fathers things she found his drinking horn and the last of the clay plates that where in his hut. In the wood Ezinma found writing. It was her fathers. “Ezinma I know you will find this. I am sorry for the pain I have brought you. know that I would not be treated like an animal again. For I am a man. Know that my chi and I have come to pace and I hope one day you will have great sons that are just like your. When you think of me remember the moon and the stars.” The clay broke beneath her feet. At I was the first time she had thought of the old proverb in years. Of how the moon gave birth to the stars, but no one know that the stars where there. Oh little star you are so strong I will bring like to you. so the moon want to the sun and ask for light. The sun agreed and sent the moon more light that it shared with the little star. Now they will know how strong you are. Ezinma found herself on the floor. As the night came to her so did the memories of her father.
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Novel Recomendation - Kindred

​This book is one that's very familiar to SLA students because we all read it in our freshman year. Like most students, I read it, and loved it. To a person who is very interested in America's dark past, Kindred gives you the chance to feel experience something you wouldn't get from any other book or movie. 
As I read, I imagined Kindred on the big screen. I thought that if someone (preferably myself) could turn Kindred into a film, it would be one unlike any other. 
I could ramble about Kindred for a long time, but I guess this is supposed to be short. In the breifest of summaries, any movie can make you see and hear slavery, but Kindred makes you feel it. Somehow, author Octavia Butler captures the brutality of slavery, and squeezes it into words for us to experience. 
This book is beyond fantastic, and if you haven't read it stop what you're doing, and run, don't walk, to the nearest book store and do not leave until you've finished reading it. 
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Summer Reading Reccommendation

It tells the story of a young girl, Clara Frankofile, who is a pompous, snobbish 11-year-old who spends her evenings people-watching from a corner table in her parents' chic New York City restaurant, Pish Posh. She has the unique ability to determine which members of society's upper crust are no longer worthy to dine at the fashionable establishment.

Ultra snobby, Clara Frankofile has everything an 11-year-old could want. She's fabulously wealthy, she lives alone in a penthouse apartment with its own roller coaster and bumper cars... and all of New York City is afraid of her! Each night at the fashionable Pish Posh restaurant, she watches glittery movie actresses, princesses, and celebrities and decides who is important enough to stay...and who she will kick to the sidewalk in disgrace.

But Clara's tidy little world is suddenly turned upside down when she discovers that a most peculiar mystery is happening in the restaurant, right under her upturned nose. With the help up whip-smart 12-year-old jewel thief, Clara embarks on a wildly dangerous mission through the streets of New York to solve a 200-year-old secret.


Summer Reading Jawn
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Summer Reading Recommendation: Ryan Harris

The book I'm doing to recommend is The Absolutely True Story of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I believe it's perfect for children between my age range and about 14. While it does contain use of profanity and sexual innuendo, it fits pretty with the story of a normal-teenage boy. This is how all normal teenage boys act, with regards to girls, friends, teachers, and even surprisingly masturbation. It's a worthwhile read.

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Humanities Portfolio 2012

Summary & Analysis of the Year

In tenth grade, students go through many changes as they learn where they stand on certain issues. It gives them a new understanding of themselves to know and understand where we each are coming from, what perspectives we know we can give, and who we are becoming in our current environment. This year, I feel as though I have evolved through means of knowing better who I am, and how I affect and interact with the people around me and with the environment. A few of the most important things I believe I have learned are, for one, the importance of nonviolence used to make change, and for another, how with freedom comes struggles, and with struggles comes an inequality that we have to fight to be rid of. I learned about the Millennium Development Goals set forth by the United Nations, especially the goal that all school-age children should have the right to free education, and have access to it. This lesson especially illuminated the idea of inequality and how we really need to strive for the equal rights of all humans.

 

500+ Word Blog post

Throughout this year I have had several minor breakthroughs in my academics that have sort of shaped me into becoming a different person than I was in September. One of my understandings that I have come to is the importance of nonviolence. This entire year has spoken of what has come from nonviolence, not just one unit, and I have been able to see what it can accomplish in many different ways around the globe.

First, closer to the beginning of the year in our religion unit, we were given the task of looking up a religious figure for a class role-play in which we would speak as our religious figure in a discussion with the other figures. In this assignment, I chose to research Mohandas Gandhi. This was an interesting experience, because I had not learned before exactly who Gandhi was or what he did. I was able to learn that he was not just a religious, but also a political figure, which led most of the nonviolent protest against the English for India’s independence. He was one of the greatest minds behind nonviolent protest and developed many writings on the subject, starting a revolution of many people who took this tool and used it to change what they believed was wrong. This was my first account of something so passive becoming so powerful, as I had not thought that anything could be really changed without some show of violence.

I also saw such an impact on this when we went into our Revolution unit, and looked at several different revolutions including the French Revolution and several protests that were more current, such as Egypt and the Middle Eastern countries like Iraq. These countries, especially Egypt, was able to get what they wanted sorted out almost in a year, and while they are still in the process of obtaining the goal of what the people want, they have achieved very much in very little time, as opposed to the French revolution for example, where even though they overthrew their rulers, the country was still in the same kind of turmoil that they were in if not worse, thanks to the group of people that led the revolution, the Jacobins. The French revolution was a violent one, and led to more violence, while the nonviolent revolutions we went over were much more successful.

Another great example that we went through was a movie we watched on Apartheid, and how colonized countries like South Africa were segregating everything to the point where different colored races could not live, eat, drink, play sports, or do anything in the same place to keep the bloodline strong. In this movie, South Africa was not allowed to participate in the Olympics due to the fact that most countries would bail out of the Olympics if a segregated country participated. Eventually, it got so that South Africa could only participate in international sports if it was rugby. And so when South Africa’s all-white rugby team toured, all of the countries they toured to gave protests and made it more difficult for them to compete. People stayed on the field to stop them, kicked them out of hotels, and did anything that wasn’t violent in order to keep them from competing. Today, South Africa’s sports teams are integrated, just like normal life. All of these experiences have taught me about the importance of nonviolence in trying to change something, because now I understand how you can get further with words and expressions than you can with an expensive and sad war.



Some Works that I am proud of:

http://moodle.scienceleadership.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=2#p2

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w6tOcv3cuiYNJai0O-VdEE8Db-fcSGWXxSsKxEchPkY/edit?hl=en_US

 



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Humanities Portfolio 2012

M Saunders English/History Portfolio 2012

 

            There has been a lot done this year.  Everyday my mind has been expanding in different ways and learning new things.  There are some interesting ideas that I have for the end of the year.  These are the general statements I have learned throughout the year.

            We have look at a lot of different books and points in time.  Something stands out to me is that when someone is in power they tend to lose the power or lose their minds.  Most times power leads to insanity.  One of the books we have read is Lord Of the Flies.  This is about a group of kids that get into a plane crash and end up on an island.  Some of the kids start to lose their minds while going through being on the island. “In Lord of the Flies it shows that insanity is like gravity all you need is a little push” This is a statement I used to describe the book.  It was the right place and the right situations to easily make a person go crazy.  One of the boys ended up being a leader of the group. At first he mad all the right decisions on how to get of the island but soon after he started to lose his mind.  This shows how easily you can lose your mind.

            Also another thing we looked at was the French Revolution.  What we did was we chose people to research and we had to act like that person.  The person that I chose was Maximilien Robespierre.  He was one of the main people in the revolution.  Through out the revolution he started to get worse and worse in what he does.  At first he really helped the people. Right after the king died he took control.  It wasn’t that bad then but latter on is when it started going down hill.  A major part of the revolution was when Robespierre passed a law that said if he thought that some one was against him then he could just kill them with no trial.  From Robespierre paranoia he ended up killing a lot of people.  Soon after Robespierre was overthrown and killed.

            Another role playing activity we did was the Cortez trial.  This was about when Cortez and his men when to see the Aztecs but ended up taking over there land.  There were different roles that we had to act as.  It was Cortez, Cortez men, System, King, and Aztec people.  What we had to do in this activity was prove that a certain group was guiltier in the takeover of the Aztecs.  It was run like an actual courtroom with opening statements and cross-examinations.  At the end of the trial each group would give there closing statements and we had to assign points of guilt to the most guilty person we thought was.  Something that I thought was interesting was that in the research done Cortez didn’t listen to orders and did what he wanted.  He was the leader of the men who were just supposed to explore this land but instead he took it over.  The king sent notes and people to go after Cortez.  Cortez just ended up killing them.  Having the power to just control a group of people to do what you want is too much for people.  Cortez got greedy and tried to take all of the Aztecs gold and land.  Maybe if another person were in charge then the Aztec wouldn’t have been taken over.

            Throughout the year we have done a lot of interesting and creative things.  For most of these you really had to think about how to use your skills in different ways to make your project that much better.  Creative thinking can make a project better.

            One of the things that we did was called Art In the Open.  The main thing we did was we had to find a space around our school and create a piece that used different movements and used the space in different ways.  At first I wasn’t used to just moving around the way that we did in this project.  There were people that came to the school that showed us some techniques to help us create these pieces.  This was really getting out of most peoples comfort zones.  If you wanted this to go well you had to really come out of your comfort zone and be really creative with the way your body would move in this new way.  If no ideas were coming out or people weren’t really trying then it would just be a bland piece but with each groups creativity added to the project. That is what made these pieces interesting and enjoyable to watch.  With out the creativity this wouldn’t have worked.

These are other pieces I have done
Poetry Wiki
Language Autobiography
Revolution Guidebook
Copper Play
Edwidge Danticat Letter
Descriptive Essay
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Theme for English 2

Theme for English 2

By: Byshera Moore

 

The instuctor said,

Go home and write

A page tonight

And let that page come out of you---

Then it will be ture

 

The turth about my age and what I live through. I am fifteen years old and I live in west philly, what does that say about me. That I got to west philly high, have bad grades and live with a single parent. No I got to SLA, get good greats and live with both my patents. And today I walked into my English 2 class and was told to write a page that was true. True to me. But I don’t know what me to be true to. The me that you see, that one that is happy as can be that sits in class and dose what she is told, works hard, try’s not to step on anyone’s toes. Or the me you don’t see. The me that has bad days and sad days the me that does what to talk. The one you see on the bus with her headphones in and no music playing so that you want talk to her. The me you don’t want to see the me that cry’s or maybe the me that lies and says everything is all right even though she is dying inside. There are too sides of me I am like a coin. There is happy and sad so what do I say true to. Think I will stay true. And say that I live music rock pop rap and hiphop. I am happy and sad I laugh at things that people fine stick and cry at the jokes that you tell because they make me feel unwell.

This is my page for English 2 I hope its not to true for you.

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Humility Portfolio 2012

Through out this year our class has explored plentiful amount of topic and themes that come up in our society today. Openly we expressed our understandings to these ideas through numerous ways as a class. We often took parts in role-playing, trials, competitions, advertising, poetry and much more. Since the year is winding down, I’ve come to some generalizations on our amazing year in Mr. Block’s class. Firstly, we are coming into our own, and I realized that expressing one’s self can lead you in the path of finding out whom you are. Second we have done a ton of collaboration and I can see that collaborating can help me tell my story. Overall Mr. block’s class has shown us to think openly to the world around us, and help us to find a deeper meaning in things we know and don’t yet understand.

            Over our 10th grade year in History and English, expression of our selves was quite prominent in our assignments. One of the assignments created for our expressions was the evolvement in Art in the Open piece. The piece took place in a personally selected area, where our minds could be open to using everyday structures and objects to create movements that could show a new way of looking at the space. The process for creating this was difficult for my group and I, so I came to the general understanding about how express our selves

            “…What helped me the most was letting my self go and not being afraid to make mistakes, but instead learn from them.” (moodle post on the art in the open experience)

            The experience Leah Stein Dance Company gave my class and I was really generous. I’m grateful to have worked with such well-polished dancers and will not hesitate to join an opportunity like this again. Expression in the form of poetry was a big influences our year in 10th grade English and History. For example the somebodies poem that we had to write we got to express how we felt about people in power, and what stereotypes we have of people that our in power. As a class we came up with our own version of the poem.

“Who don’t speak dialects, but speak languages

Who don’t have superstitions, but have religions

Who don’t create handicrafts, but create art

Who don’t have folklore, but have culture

We all want to be somebodies

Are the somebodies really anything without you?”

(Moodle post of poem the “Sombodies”)

             Through out our 10th grade year we explored other poetry techniques and found way to express our selves as we wrote them. Focusing on objects for the piece, I choose to write of the mirror. In the poem I didn’t just write what I saw, but I found a deeper meaning and then expressed it through out the poem. In one stanza I wrote,

“We find

something

dear to you,

you haven't

clearly viewed,

the structure of the cheek,

the roundness of the nose,

the brownness of the eye,

and yes

they do

blink back”

(Mirror Poem poetry wiki)

            It is very common to find pieces like this in our Poetry wiki, where we all collaborated in reading and editing each other’s work. So, while thinking back on the whole year the many ways we have decide to collaborate, decide things, and give deeper insight, gave us a way to express ourselves this year.

            While 10th grade year had a bunch of individual projects, we did most of the work assigned to us by Mr. Block by collaborating. Not only did we collaboration help us it also gave us ways to express our story. As we moved along in the year we came across an assignment in our language unit of English. This assignment was to list and write out all our “Roles Rules and Responsibilities” that we either hear every day from someone in our lives.

“…this is how you introduce yourself to someone in power, with a firm handshake.”

(Roles Rules and Responsibilities moodle post)

As I wrote, I could collaborate with my classmates as they too had similar lives, I would’ve never known that if I hadn’t worked along with them. 

Crossing Boundaries
Poetry Wiki
Art in the Open
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Book Review- Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

​This book is the opening book to a 7 book series that highlights the importance of friendship and the power of being brave. It follows a young wizard named Harry Potter and the series connects his past present and future all together. It is a classified as a sciencefiction novel and the page range for the first book (the sorcerers stone) isn't too much to handle. However, as you reach the later books there is a lot more story to read and you will run into books that are over 700 pages long. Don't let this frighten you into not wanting to read it because the series is amazing. It is a must read and as you follow through the books and the characters grow up, you too seem to grow with them. 
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Book Review for Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Lately I've been reading the book Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. This book is one of the only books that can keep my attention. This book takes you into the minds of people that have negatively reacted from impulse. I love this book because it's blunt and doesn't hold back with anything. Ellen Hopkins makes the characters very realistic and their situations believable. I recommend this book to all. But, this book is not suitable for children under the age of 15.
impulse
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Elona Myftaraj Capstone

My capstone is a written play.
For my capstone I wrote a serious of plays interconnected to each other. I wanted to create something that was meaningful to me as well as enjoyable. I did a lot of brainstorming the genre I wanted to write as well as the characters I wanted to portray. The process to complete my project was long and at times difficult. Through this project I learned to overcome writers block and being shy about asking for help
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Elona Myftaraj Capstone

My capstone is a written play.
For my capstone I wrote a serious of plays interconnected to each other. I wanted to create something that was meaningful to me as well as enjoyable. I did a lot of brainstorming the genre I wanted to write as well as the characters I wanted to portray. The process to complete my project was long and at times difficult. Through this project I learned to overcome writers block and being shy about asking for help
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Book review. To Kill a Mocking Bird. By Harper Lee

It's a book about a girl name Scott and her brother Jem living in an Alabama community with her widow father. Her father Atticus is a criminal defense attorney during the 1930s in a racist community. Scott and Jem befriend a kid name Dill and find a spooky house which is the home of the Radleys a black family. Boo Radley was a mysterious and and lonely man who eventually saves the kids and is accused of killing. Eventually the Radleys house got burned down while Atticus also had to defend Tom a Black guy accuse of raping a white woman. The children learn about what the predjustice life is like. The book tells what the meaning of To Kill a Mocking Bird.
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Helen Kilmartin's Journal entries

English

Journal 35

I wish I could live in NYC.

I wish I could get a scholarship to Stone brook College in Long Island, NY.

I wish I could get all A’s and B’s this quarter.           

I wish I could get more college letters.           

I wish I could win the mega millions jackpot for my family.           

I wish I could be a nurse of some sort when I grow older.

I wish I could get done benchmarks.

I wish I wish I could have what I want in life.           

 

English

Journal 36

Things that would be unique to an immigrant would be normal things to us. Like freedom, American food, different religions. There are also things that we might not have done, for example, going to a new place or seeing new people. Anything could be exciting to an immigrant, because it’s all-new.

 

History

Journal 3

BLOCK THROWS ANOTHER EGG ON THE FLOOR!

I’ve been the janitor at SLA for 3 years now, and every year he throws an egg on the floor. Then has the nerve to complain I left some. Does he know how hard it is to clean egg yolk out of a tile crack? It’s extremely hard. I have to wipe it up, pre-soak, mop, and then bleach. These teachers don’t understand what they are doing, they are abusing janitors. He throws an egg on the floor at his leisure but does he see the stress it causes me? I have to take 30 minutes of my time to clean up his experiment.

 

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Humanities Portfolio 2012






In life, there are many ups and downs, twists and turns and just unfathomable challenges . We all go through these, there is no “easy way out”, we just have to push through it all. But it should not be said that with overcoming these obstacles in life, there is nothing earned. For me, or to be more accurate, for all of the students who have worked hard this past year, what we gained was more valuable than we had ever thought. The work we put forth, the hours of sleep lost, every word we had to type, all seemed so miniscule compared to what we were working towards. We gained knowledge, the skeleton key of life. Knowledge is the most important factor opening doors for yourself. Any door. Now, let you show my knowledge.

I have gone through so many hardships throughout this year. It made me realize that for a victory that counts, you must first put forth more effort than you thought possible. Victory that people obtain by living easy or using pawns is a false victory. For example we once did a role play about the French Revolution. I played the role of a noble so everything was handed to me and life was easier. I felt victorious in life while others suffered. You can read more about my and others roles here. The people at the bottom were put through so much and given so little power. The fact that they decided to rebel was a victory itself. The fact that they were successful was even more glorious. Sure it was short lived, but it was a victory they deserved and they fought for it. They won the moment they started to fight for what was right. A victory isn’t something that has to last long, you know. It is something much deeper that we may never fully understand. Actually, maybe it would be good if it stayed like that.

A victory of the same magnitude can be won through methods other than violence. I am sure that you have heard the expression, “the pen is mightier than the sword”. In some cases, this is true. Even the smallest piece of writing can win battles, violent or not. During our class Mr. Block pushed us to not only think that writing conquers all, but he helped us mold a mindset so that we knew that literature was power, power that we all needed. Desperately.

To show us the power in literature, no, to show the power in our own words, Mr.Block had us write poems. I unexpectedly enjoyed this project. It was probably my favorite out of all the projects given to me. At first I thought that it would be a waste of time, but instead it let me express myself in ways I had longed for. The poems made me feel as though my words had life, had meaning. That was a feeling that was so surreal to me. Something that I had long awaited. It felt great. At that one moment I felt the freedom that we have been denied time and time again. And at that moment, I too, felt victorious.



Here is another piece of writing I did throughout most of the year that I am proud of.

Playwright project 












 

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HumanitiesPortfolio2012


 

            Throughout the year our studies have reached far beyond my prior general understandings of human life. Not in a sense of survival requirements but how a person lives. What stood out to me this year was an acute awareness of how humans are separated. There is a general division between people. It is not a set of social classes but almost an understood segregation among human beings. This separation, to me, is symbolized as the Somebodies and the Nobodies.

            I didn’t know how society worked, much less how society works in other countries at the beginning of this year. It was different watching these movies and reading these books, but I saw that they all played around the topic of the Somebodies and the Nobodies, the oppressors and the oppressed. What could this mean? My class read the poem “The Nobodies,” by Edwardo Galeano. Our history teacher, Mr. Block, told us to analyze the poem in groups. I understood what this poem was about; there are poor people and rich people. I thought how rich people would be happier, they would be able to do more with their money, while the poor people could not, naturally. The nobodies “don’t have culture but folklore, who don’t create cart buy folklore, who don’t have religions but superstitions,” is what I learned from Galeano’s poem. The idea that there is a type of person that is understood by the world as lesser is both appalling and interesting, although, maybe there was another side.

            In the same history class everyone made a poem opposing Edwardo Galeano’s “The Nobodies,” we created “The Somebodies.” In my poem I tried to present the same idea as the original poem but with a different view. “Nobodies hope for resolve and justice, when Somebodies steal their happiness for a quick charge, Nobodies see a chance for happiness but can’t win the race to it on foot when the Somebodies hold them both in their palms. The Somebodies don’t work but overseer.” The point is we have two sides in this world, people with power, money, and lives. Than there are the lessers, actually the majority of this world, that are push aside everyday. This law affiliates with two other general understandings having to do with collaboration and leadership. I will explain how both played an important role in this year of Mr. Block’s class.

           I said before how the lesser people are pushed aside and abide to the rules forced upon them by the rich. This isn’t always true. Collaborating means working together and creating a highly skilled body of not as skilled souls. It’s easier to accomplish what you want when you work together. I learned that when we studied the French Revolution. At this time the royal family had oppressed thousands of poverty stricken peasants for generations. They began to group together after a hefty bread tax was added to the legion of unfair laws and penalties of the land. I understood that these people needed a little bit more help to achieve equality. The peasant protests grew larger, there was more violence and they started to accomplish a little more with each person added.

           Collaboration works the same in the classroom on a small scale too. There are the students (peasants) and the awful tyrant ruler (teacher.) Not to say any teacher is an awful tyrant ruler, but the ruler of the classroom designs the assignments, and gives out homework to be completed under penalty, like the taxes of the peasants. It seems students can slave over their homework or split the work between other students to make the job easier.

           This is exactly what the peasants did. To make the job at hand easier they combined their skills, slowly took control of the king’s resources including a large prison/gun deposit, and stormed the castle. If the teacher really was a crazy evil titan this action might have to be carried out, but most of the time they provide and teach. Through the course of this year if there was anything I’ve learned it would be: Collaboration does not change the quality of the learning but creates an easier way to solve problems.

           I really enjoyed Mr. Block’s class. The year has been filled with a plethora of ideas that my class and I have absorbed and can now use. One thing for sure is nothing we learn is one sided in Mr. Block’s class. There is always a larger of second meaning. By realizing these new meanings, we understand better and can pass the knowledge down.

            One idea in particular stood out to me. I understood that there are followers. They are people who understand, listen, and learn. Than there are the leaders. These are the people who create dangerously and live by the rules of one of my class’s most familiar writers, Edwidge Danticat.

            One way that leaders inspire is to “Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. ... Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.” (Danticat, Create Dangerously page #10) That is a leader’s role. They inspire, and intern people follow. In English class this year I learned how to lead.

            My favorite example of leading is within the Leah Stein Dance Company project. A group of highly skilled modern dancers attempted to teach my class these eccentric movements that nobody wanted to be a part of. We were assigned 4 group mates to practice our very own piece. This piece would incorporate some basic knowledge of these dance moves like leaning, bouncing, natural sounds, and fast/slow movement. This was the most ridiculous project I’ve ever done. I still wanted a good grade however, so I convinced my group mates to give it a try, much to their chagrin.

            We found a fantastic spot to practice and perform. I urged them to keep trying even if they wanted to stop. I wanted my group to realize that it’s not about how strange this project was or how important the grade is but to create something that goes against the norms that makes you proud to have been a part of. That is exactly what my group and I did. We created dangerously. I felt as if I had lead many of the smaller actions of my group members, but in actuality they had led themselves. With the help of the Leah Stein Dance Company we created something powerful that hopefully inspires others to do the same. If there anything I have learned from this class it would be: Leaders inspire, create, and set an example. After this year I felt I have been bred to lead and will use this knowledge over and over again.

           

 Somebodies Poem

 Poetry Wiki Space

Leah Stein Dance Company

French Revolution Reflection

Jeffrey Schwartz Play

 

 

english history 10th grade block

 

 

            

wordle
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