Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
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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.
http://moodle.scienceleadership.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=2#p2 Some Works that I am proud of:
Some Works that I am proud of:
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
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.
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,
dear to you,
the structure of the cheek,
the roundness of the nose,
the brownness of the eye,
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jeffrey Schwartz Play
english history 10th grade block
“Hello class, My name is Mr. Block and this year I will be your teacher for English and world history” it all started with what I thought was just a simple introduction to what would be my 10th grade English class that turned out to be a long journey of lessons and learning’s. I never expected to learn so many things about myself in others through this journey I called my 10th grade English adventure. The lessons and learning’s that I gained were all developed from the activities and observations that I participated in. This year I took a lot more time observing other than I expected to.
When you take the time out to observe you create hope to open up doors to new ideas. This was one of the things that I realized by sitting back and observing. In my 10th grade English class we engaged in an Art In the Open Activity, which is a festival that takes place throughout the city of Philadelphia. During this festival many people perform art throughout the city. During this art my teacher said “Today were going to starting our Art in the open project and soon you will be creating art in the open piece of your own.” The day that my English teacher introduced this project to us we took a journey to an Armory near our school. While we were at the armory we were instructed to pick a spot and observe everything about this spot and I did as I was told. I observed my surroundings which went from the noise that the hard metal hummer made when I tapped on it to the way that I could use my body as a way to tell the story that this hummer could not tell it self. “I told the story of the trouble some ride that this hummer had taken through the middle of the hotel Rwandan battle. Bodies thrown on the back like potatoes sack. People dying and the driver driving the hummer carelessly because he had seen endless deaths that he could not do anything about.”
Later on we did and activity similar where I had observed another and based the story I wanted to tell a story with my body basing my story off of the story they were telling with their body. This is a snapshot of me (in the orange sweater) and my classmates observing one another to open our minds up so that we could eventually create our Art In the Open pieces. After we had presented our entire art in the open project I was instructed to do a reflection on what I had learned and observed when I did this reflection I realized that It made me open up to a side off me that I knew was there but I never let anyone else know about. “ I learned throughout this process that is very viable to me is how much I miss dancing this made me think about how I should not forget about doing what I love when I have spare time.” No only have I learned something me loving to dance I realized how much my self and others enjoyed writing poetry.
We were given a poetry unit where we were instructed to write a nice amount of poetry and post them on a poetry wiki inspired by the inspiration of my observations I wrote in my I was inspired by poem. “I was inspired by dance emotional dancing. Producing my emotions through the stroke fingers. Dance was something your never take from me.” These lines were produced out of passion that later on told me that I was a good at poetry and I could open up a way to a new type of art.
I learned things about my self by setting back and observing others and myself. Once I was proud of what I had produced it was time to publicize it. Now that I was confident that I could step outside of my boundaries I was sure that if I was going to make my work public it had to be close to perfect. If your work was going to be public then you had to make it your best and this is what I learned through observing others and myself. Making our work accessible to the public always makes you work at your best. Throughout this process of the year we were asked to post our work on wiki’s, blogs and forums. On piece of work that I made public was my poetry wiki and many of my poems were my best work. “I will raise you confidently. Teach you how to hold you head high.” This was a line from my poetry wiki I created a poem about my future child it was called My baby angle by putting many emotions into one poem about something that I never experienced but yet it was my best work. No matter If we were writing about something we knew or didn’t to, to an author or a family member we always made sure that it was our best work if it would be public. “I am honored to be reading your book especially at this time in my life. Your book really caught my attention when I began reading it, not only because of the beauty of your writing but also because I recently found out that my grandfather is Haitian.” Something a had written in a letter to an author giving her my best work not only because I could compare to her but because she deserved to see it just like everyone else who would see it when it became public. Making work public not only made us work harder but seeing a final product that we could be proud of made us feel better.
Through the hard work and the lessons and learning’s the best part of this year was being able to be proud of your finish product. That’s what made this year an adventure being able to work as hard as you could on something even though you hated the assignment given to you. We were always able to be proud of our work in the end because of the support of our 10th grade teacher who provided us with adventures and projects we might never get the opportunity experience ever again. That’s what mad 10thent grade year so special, the ability to experience things and be confident about your work.
Over the course of this year, I have learned many different things. This class help me understand that you have to go through a struggle before you can make it anywhere in life. Also it helped me see from over point of views when I was a tunnel vision type of person. Now I see the world differently. My actions are different and everything I do is important to me. Imagine is everything in life and if I don't make mine look good then I won’t even get a chance to be discover as a person of importance and if I don’t open my eyes to other people points of views then I will never understand where do other people come from with there ideas or why they see things the way they do. Assignments as in the Galileo work where we had to research and learn about how he went through his struggle to get out his theory of the sun being the center of the universe. Galileo had to go through the catholic church tell him that he was wrong, give up his views, and that if he didn’t give up his view or if he told someone he would be killed. Here is a quote I write during the assignment "If I knew my family wasn’t going to be harmed, I may have done many things different. I would have made sure everyone had my book and I would have gave speeches about it."I wrote this because I had a chance to tell how I felt about the way Galileo approached the problem and that I would have made a larger problem just to get my discovery noticed, even if they was to kill me because as you can see I said that if my family wasn’t going to be Harm, Then why not risk my life. That assignment meant allot to me. At first I didn’t know why but I have come to realize that I am the type of person that when I'm right about something or I know something is wrong I stand up for what I believe in completely if it means allot to me!
Also the French revolutions role play assignment reflect everything I'm speaking about. "In response's to the declaration of the rights of man." This is one of my Quotes that I wrote because I had to act as if I was the king and talk to everyone in his role. This force me to see from his point of view and make decisions that wasn’t real but felt pretty much real. “system are you the ones that make everything okay for people to have child labor? Then why do you make people believe that they have to make the most money?” This was my sweatshop trial assignment, where we had to take a role in the world and approach the problem with sweatshops and all this was done a class trial. Like as if we was in court. I decided to show you this quote for many different reasons. One was because of the way of learning in S.L.A. is totally different then any other school. Other schools may look at this event, have the teacher talk about it but then a test and then goodbye assignment. S.L.A. has us looking at the event, work on some assignments but then have us take in roles of the world that part take in this conflict. Then go to trial with it and argue it our self. Learning this way helps out in so many different ways. Simply because of the fact that you can walk away from a assignment and forget about it, you can’t walk away from a trial and forget that you was just defending or arguing about sweatshops. It sticks in your head.
Overall in English and History class they help me change my views about the world together as one, As if the class was combined as one. Now I believe that you have to see from other points of view before you can argue anything or defend for your self and you will always have to go through a struggle to reach your goals.
Walking in the classroom of 307 in the beginning of my sophomore year was no mistake. Well, of course not, it was on my roster. But, the experiences that happened inside those walls will forever change my writing and perspective.
The only perceptions of Mr. Block's class I could acquire were those of his past students. But, that wouldn't compare to actually participating in his class.
With expectations held high the first day, I knew this was going to be a rigorous course with many action packed activities.
Since my last portfolio, my major turning points were taking in better consideration of outside opinions and analyzing literature and situations more deeply. While I had acquired those skills, I had a lot to bring to my new History and English classes.
The first assignment was to write a page, just a page, about anything that came to mind. One had a whole night to express whatever they felt. Go home and write A page tonight. And let that page come out of you--- Then, it will be true. I’m asked to write a page tonight. (From L. Hughes.) This was the task. I particularly favored this as a beginning assignment because this was the first impression the teacher would have of me. Looking back, I realized my favorite part of this assignment: Originality is just a word until you embrace it. When I had reminisced about this activity, I beamed in excitement knowing I had done a lot of exemplary work throughout the year and it'd be great mission to convey my best works.
Besides the other mini projects, I'd like to shine some light on my benchmarks that were assigned throughout the year. Specifically the podcast and play projects. The purpose of the podcast project was to interview someone outside of the school and convey, through audio, how this person had crossed boundaries in their life. The depiction of "boundaries" could be defined in any way one thought necessary. The boundaries could be social, domestic, academically related etc. At first, I wasn't accustom to the process of this project. I had experience on interviewing people from my participation in the school's newspaper, SLAMedia, and written articles, but to make an influential podcast was very challenging. I had to be strategic in the way I portrayed my subject and still have the podcast orally pleasing. Here, the podcast is linked and for everyone to enjoy. In addition to my podcast, I'd like to acknowledge the play I wrote. The purpose of this project was to explore the questions, What are universal right? and In what different ways do people struggle for dignity, hope, and happiness in their lives? In the beginning of this project, I didn't know what to write. I had trouble thinking of a central idea my play would revolve around. But, in the end, I spent months writing, revising, and getting feedback to make my play exceptional. I decided to focus on materialism in today's youth. I have a snippet of the play, Just Do It, available to those interested. My intentions were to use realistic dialogue and convey a topic of conformity among modern youth. I believe my efforts, in the project, have bore fruit that will one day affect teens across the world.
Overall, throughout the year, personally I've gained more confidence, expertise, and creativity. Concerning confidence, I realized, confidence in your work doesn't come easy. While be challenged this whole year, it was difficult feeling concrete in my writings in the beginning of the year. An example project was my Lord of the Flies vs. Micheal Jackson. I decided to compare the boys' lives in Lord of the Flies to the life of Micheal Jackson. An initial hardship was having support among my classmates to do the topic because it was too profound. But, I had a determination to find a way to convey my point. Another would be the Art in the Open project. Students had to find a location close to the school and create a dance piece. (The description of the project has more detail in the provided link.) In this task, I definitely had to step outside of my comfort zone to create an exceptional performance. My group mates and I had wonderful times choosing the location and collectively creating a dance. The difficulties comprised of choosing a fit location, initially finding motivation to pursue and create a performance, and allowing the environment and accidents while practicing create production to shape our dance. On presentation day, the achievement was substantial and an audience pleaser.
I've also learned to express one's self wisely and discreetly can move massive audiences. I think accomplished acquiring idea through these examples: As mentioned above, the "Write a page a night" assignment was the beginning of showing strategic placement of concepts and ideas. Although the class wasn't told to write with a strategic mindset, I think it's value in introducing a class of rigor and creativity was priceless and began a classroom setting of prudence. In addition to that, I'd like to recognize my letter to author Edwidge Danticat. In this letter, I tried to avoid being generic, but realistic. I had read her book Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work prior to me writing her a letter and I was flabbergasted and impressed at her work. I not only wanted to convey the idea of her brilliant work, but how her foot print on society has affected me as a person. It was great to read her response to the class.
Lastly, I became empowered in the concept that if a change of thought in norms, in one person, can move others to pursue a great cause. In the process of writing my play, Just Do It, I wanted to be brave and show my views on this pressing topic. I have problems with societal norms that could be changed if only people were educated about what they could/can control in their communities. That's what I wanted to convey through this piece. In addition to my play, I wanted to show my Somebodies poem. This stood out to me because it had a key connection to my play. I wanted to convey that those who are stuck into society's norms are controlled by those who refuse to be. And those who refuse to be, make society what they want and mold people into thinking they can't change society, but just live in it. My intentions for this is to educate those of my community and show people if they want change, it's possible, as long as we work together as an organized group.
All in all,
in this past year I have been pushed to many limits and my mind has been
stretched, but only to benefit me as a writer and thinker.
Other works of mine:
The first time I stepped into my sophomore English, was like nothing before. From the Beginning to the end; all that we had worked on wasn’t as simple as ninth grade English class, but it also wasn’t that perplex because everyone understood the class/homework that our teacher gave us.
What I would say is that thou it may seem hard and difficult that in reality it’s not hard or difficult, but fun and easy. Like the time we had to write a poem response (“The white man’s Burden”.) I had to rewrite the whole poem in my own way. I also had to rename it; the name that I had given it was Take up a woman's burden.
"The White Man's Burden" response:
Take up a woman's burden by Maria Latorre
Take up the White Man’s burden.
With there self seen world
That no a woman can take away
Show no woman love
and spit on there face
because they an't smart
so better then a white man's burden
Take up a woman's burden.
(go to the link to read the whole version)
It took me a long time and it seemed really hard at first, but when I had started it; it was a whole different story. It was really fun to rewrite something in my own way that I view the world. Then there was the time that I written other Poems. Mr. Block (My English teacher) Named it Poetry Unit. I had two- four weeks to write poems that come from me and not from someone else. My favorite part of this project was when I got to write my utmost favorite poem called Shadows. This poem shows the real me; the way I am the shadow that still live.
There it stand's watching
that fallows with out knowing
it watches as they are run around
with pain in it
that can never be as happy
but they feel something too
we step over them
and we spit on their faces
the poor little shadow.
(go to the link to read the whole version)
I got to express my feelings to all who reads it, but the fun does not end there. We got to work with a group of people for four weeks. Art in the Open (AIO) was what we had worked on for four weeks. It was The Leah Stein Dance Company that helped us create fun and intriguing art piece that many people liked. This three projects were well very fun to do and very easy. At first it seem very hard and difficult but that was because at first I didn’t know what we had to do, but as soon as I was told it became the most simplest thing that I could do.
Then there were those long moments of time that one had gotten so stressed out that they stop caring, but what did make people happy and lose their stress was when they had finished a big project and it came out to your type of perfection. Just like the play I had to write this year. I finished it the day it was due. Everything was perfect for me something that might only happen once. My play was about a girl that last her mother and father at a young ago and she then had to take care of her siblings. The time period made it worst on her because this play take place in Italy in the late 1960’s. The name I gave it was Sono la rosa nella mia storia It means I am the rose in my story.
In the beginning of this school year we started exploring different things in english and history class. We started off with little things that led into bigger ideas. As day by day passed we completed many assignments giving us ideas of many things, which will all come together into this portfolio. All this led to giving me a better understanding of the world revolving around us. Leaving it all to two general understandings, creativity and challenges during this whole school year.
Creativity played a big role in this school year. I learned that creativity allows a person to show many expressions of different perspectives. Towards the end of the year we had a special guest come to our classroom, her name was Leah Stein. She showed us how dancing can express and give a bigger meaning of many different things by watching dances and videos of her own. When we first started this project with Leah Stein we were taken to a building to have an idea on what our project was going to be based on. Afterwards we had to choose a site with our group to represent what her and her dance company do on a daily basis.“When we chose this site we started wondering around to see how we can make the whole space useful.” I found this project very difficult, but I was happy when it was over and done with.
Another project that we did during the year that had to do with creativity was our podcast. In our podcast we had to interview someone on what his or her personal boundaries were. In my podcast I interviewed my older cousin and when I asked her what a crossing boundary was to her she responded bullying as a major crossing boundary. “One big crossing boundary can be bullying, bullying can be identified as a person who uses strength or power to intimidate those who are weaker.” This assignment showed us how people have their own perspectives on crossing boundaries and how it show others a perspective they might not see crossing boundaries as.
Challenges showed me that if you put so much effort into it you will have the best feeling of accomplishment. Overcoming challenges makes someone feel accomplished. Throughout the whole year challenges came towards my way and I found many ways to have them accomplished for my goal towards the end of the year. During the beginning of history class we had an assignment on global education. This assignment gave me a broader idea on how lack of education remains a global problem. “I think lack of education remains such a global problem because of economy effects.” In my opinion this meant that due to many things occurring with the economy many children tend to lack education as if it meant nothing to them.Another project that I created that represented challenges was the Young Playwrights play. It was presented to use by a woman named Kate, she gave this assignment to write a play on an global issues. Kate was a big help throughout this whole project, she always helped out with any feedback needed and gave ideas on improvement. “You must not worry about education. What you need to worry about is finishing that breakfast for your brother and I.” My play was called “The Life of an Indian Girl”, this play basically was a bout a young indian girl named Chandi. Chandi is just like any other indian girl living India who doesn’t have the opportunity of an education. She brags to her father about having an education but he refuses and tells her she must be like any other indian girl and be raised to be a house wife. WHile writing this play it showed me how we take things given to us for granted that other people wish they had the opportunity of. Also showed me how people take challenges to achieve what they’ve always wanted.
“Creativity comes from the heart of the person of how they feel.”I thought of this quote because I do believe that whenever someone creates something, it comes from the heart and what they believe should be created. The piece that they create is theirs and they have ownership to it. One of the projects that we worked on was our poetry wiki. This was a project where we had to pick a poet and study them. Then we had to write poems that were similar to the flow of the poet that we studied. It was interesting because it made me think more and stretch my mind to further explore the art and creativity of poetry. The poems that I wrote came from my own experiences and how I felt at the time. I think that this project was fun and I enjoyed myself throughout the process of this project. In the later part of the year, we studied the world and cultures of Haiti. We read short stories that an author named Edwidge Danticat, who was from Haiti and her family that still lives there. In addition to reading her stories, we had to write about her stories and then write a letter to her explaining how much her stories meant to us and how they were interesting. In my letter I said, “I liked how you talked about your family and what the culture is like in Haiti.” Both of these projects required a lot of creativity and I think both of my projects were very well done.
“Challenges lead to trying new things.”I think this quote meant a lot to me especially in the 2011-2012 year because there were a lot of challenges that I had to face in my English/World History class. The work wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. To an extent, I think it was good that I had a challenge because it allowed me to stretch my critical thinking more than usual. One of the projects that was really a challenge was the Art and the Open project. That’s when we had to create a dance that symbolized freedom and we had people come in from the Leah Stein Dance Company and they talked to us about the type of dance that we had to do. It was major challenge because the type of dance that we were taught was not the type of dance that I am used to. During this project, we were also put into groups to put in our ideas together to come up with a dance. It was totally out of my element because I wasn’t expecting to do anything like that. At the end of the project, we had to write a reflection on what we liked and didn't like about the project. I said that it was challenging because working with other people to create a dance was hard because not everyone knew how to dance and the location of our presentation was difficult to use because we were on public property and didn't want too mess it up. Another assignment that we had to do was write a letter of advice to one of the characters in a book called Passing. That was a challenge, because I had to use what I knew about the character and give her advice on what I thought she should have done. In order to do that, I had to read the book, as well as, reading it with comprehension. Along with the letter, we had to create a podcast and interview someone outside of school and talk to them about how they view different things and how they would react to certain things. To me, this was a fun and enjoyable project. I had working with my group and interviewing my cousin and here what she had to say and her view on certain things.
This past school year has opened my eyes and showed me that the solutions to the world wide problems can be the solution to our personal problems.
“Many people use their voice to express how they feel about certain actions that are happening. Language is one of the greatest ways to express yourself.” Language allows you to share with others how you as a person explain and express your opinion. When one has something to say, sometimes it can save millions.
In class we had to write a language auto biography that deeply explained solutions that were used for issues in the world. For instance Edwidge Danticat wrote a short story. The story explained how not having a father/guardian that understand and could relate to how you felt is similar to how a government doesn’t listen to their citizens. Understanding someone who is somewhat in charge of you is one of the toughest things to overcome. If they say one way, and you say another, and no one comes to peace. It’s one way or another.
In the last few of our past english units/projects, we learned as a class how to express ourselves from different views. Such as dance, art, writing, movies, and music. In order to express yourself, you need to have a voice that needs to be heard, to get a point across. As a class we had to find a way to express freedom without using our physical voice, but by using dance as another voice. Or how we use language in our daily lives, in and out of school to have a certain effect on us. For an example speaking english in public and school, and speaking spanish at home, is like living the best of both worlds. You get a mix of both cultures as well.
Expression was a key struggle this year. Given an assignment and being allowed to approach it from every which way was very challenging. Some of the other classmates approached it as if their a teacher, peer, the public, outsider, instead of writing as a the student. When you have different approaches so much can be discovered and noticed. Even solutions to problems that could be solved world wide.
Coming together as a whole, sophomore year has taught me to use my voice, to express how we should feel as a person, and not as students at Science Leadership Academy. How we can use our voice without talking to impact our school, community, city, world?