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Elements Project

Inquiry- I used this because I had to look up things that I didn't know about my element. I had to think about what I was going to draw. 

Research- I had to research images and information about Gallium my element in order to do this. I had to research what Gallium was. 

Collaboration- I use this by asking people to help me and helping other people. I got ideas from my friends on what I should've drew. 

Presentation- In the end was the final project which was the final drawling. It had to be a certain size and it had to matted or not matted. 

Reflection- I am writing the reflection right now. Also, the reflection is when I finished my drawling and I have the final product, I can reflect on whether I though I did well. 
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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

Throughout this school year, Mr. Block had introduced us with various assignments and projects from both English and History. At the beginning of the English course, we began with descriptive writing. It was one of the first assignment that was started right after summer break. From all the assignments and projects that was given, my personal favorite is the poetry writing unit. We wrote poems on a website called WikiSpace that is shared with the entire class so that we can read each others. Here is a link to my WikiSpace poem. My WikiSpace tells various stories from the many different poems. This is one of my personal favorite project of the year because I enjoy writing poems and expressing my ideas. It expresses my emotions and how I feel towards certain things that can be interpret through poems. One of the poems that I wrote is called an ode poem. “Private speakers,/ Small and high quality/ moving me into a different state of mind./ A nice one/ A calm one.” That was a stanza from my ode poem. My ode poem expresses my emotions towards my headphones because I use it everyday.

In History class, we wrote monologues about the XL Keystone pipeline. This is a first major project of the school year. In this project, I worked with another student and as a result of this project, it came out really well. After the monologues were polished, we asked other students to perform at least 5 of the monologues. This following quote of mine is from an introduction of the monologue project “With this intention, I created several monologues expressing how many people feel about the pipeline, and how I feel personally as well.” When we were first taught about the XL Keystone pipeline, I didn’t understand it very well. or how to react towards it. However, when doing the monologue project, it helped me understand the harsh consequences of the XL Keystone pipeline. Working with another student, helped me even further because we worked and brainstormed together to get the highest quality monologue as possible. To do that, we had to make a lot of researches about the pipeline. For me personally, working with a partner or a small group really helps me understand things a lot better in the classroom. For example, the Sweatshop Trial. The trial consists of students having a role of either the prosecutor or a defender from each group of labor in a trial of a classroom. Working collaboratively with my group members, I came up with a very strong question for the defender during the trial. The question was “How do you plan to use the profit made by your workers? In which their salary is much lower than the cost of the products that they make.” This question was towards the defender of the Multinational Corporations.  I came up with this question from the things that was taught in class and from what my group members said during the trial. Here is a link to the Google Doc that was shared among my group members on the Sweatshop trials. I enjoy working in small groups or with a partner because it takes me further in learning. If I were to work by myself such as the WikiSpace poem, I would try to get the highest quality made and pushing myself beyond personal boundaries.

One of my project that I’m most proud is creating a podcast about the people I know on crossing boundaries. This was an individual project. I interviewed a friend and my two middle school teachers that I had a really good relationship with. The podcast was over 45 minutes long from the 3 people I interviewed. I felt really proud of my interview skills. At first, when I first heard about the assignment, I really thought that I couldn’t do a 45 minute interview because I had never interviewed anyone before and it has to be over 45 minutes. I felt accomplished after the 45 minute interview. I had never done anything like this before and I pushed myself into developing this podcast. As a result of pushing myself, my podcast was successful. For the final draft of the podcast, it had to be cut down to 8-10 minutes. From the 45 minute interview, I removed all the unnecessary points, keeping the important details to become an 8-10 minute interview. The link to my podcast can be found here. The main thing that my interviewees talked about were about violence. The things they said are very similar to what I wrote in my journal entry for history, which can be found here. Based on what I wrote in my journal entry, I was able to go in further details about their experiences with violence in the podcast.

One of my journal entries that stood out the most deals with human inequality. The main question of this journal entry is “Why do humans so often treat each other badly?” This question is really deep because it makes me think about the things that are going on in our world today and even in my neighborhood. My response to this question is stating that because of hatred of race, culture, or it could simply just be the attitude. My full response can be found here.

In conclusion, I have learn and discovered many new things throughout this year. I learned that working in groups can bring out a lot of new things that an individual cannot think of. Working in groups brings out the best in individuals. If I were to work alone, I would push myself to bring out my best effort. Out of all the work that I do, I would try to be original as I can and pushing myself beyond my personal boundaries.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

Throughout the year, in both my English and History classes, we did very deep exploring into different topics that may be confusing and taboo in real life. By this I mean that people find them hard to talk about or deal with straightforward. Through this exploring I was able to come up with a few general concepts that I think are very important and have helped me improve my learning throughout the year. These two statements are, “reflection allows you to connect with the thoughts and feelings of others and gives you a better understanding of different perspectives” and “when challenging yourself you are bettering yourself.” My experiences connected with these statements have not only allowed me to grow and challenge myself academically, but they have allowed me to start growing and changing as a human being. These are two lessons that I will carry with me throughout my life and I will fall back on them when I am dealing with a real world situation.

There is a lot of evidence throughout the year of me applying those two statements to my work in both English and History. Those two concepts came into play in almost every lesson and activity that we have done. This year, in English especially, I have challenged myself in multiple ways in order to produce high quality work. I’m not very good at expressing myself in my writing because it’s hard for me to bare my soul on a piece of paper and have it out there for anyone to read. However, this year I have made my best effort to put a piece of me into everything that I have written. By doing this I have not only made my writing something worth reading, but I have bettered myself by learning how to be more open about myself and trustworthy. The first example of me applying this skill to my work would be our first journal entry of the year. It was called “I know something about...” I was very scared of writing this and when I wrote it I was in a very dark place at the time. I had never displayed myself like the way I do in this journal entry before. At the time I wasn’t ready to show anybody or talk about it, so I folded the page down so my teacher couldn’t read it. But now I’m ready for people to see.

I found comfort in my classes and eventually was able to be more upfront about the way I was feeling and the things I was dealing with and soon applied them in my writing. My english class became a form of release for me. When we started our Descriptive Scenes and Essays unit, the class was asked to write an essay incorporating a descriptive scene we had written earlier. I titled it “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and in it I wrote, “It all spiraled out of control from there. It was like I was stuck in a never ending freefall, and every time I thought it was over I would fall again.” I felt like this was the first thing I had ever contributed to the world. It took a lot of thought and a decent amount of time to write it and when I was finished the class was instructed to post it onto our english class's public blog. I was really proud of being able to say that I wrote this essay.

During our Poetry unit in english, we learned about different types of poems and how to analyze them. Every student in the class was then asked to create a poetry wiki page of their own. On this page we had to create our own poems using the style of poems we had learned about in class. We also had to research a poet and do a report about how we can connect the type of person the poet was to the way they wrote. “To me a poem doesn’t have to be obvious to be meaningful. Your poem must leave something up for the reader to interpret and come to their own conclusions about.” Poetry has never been one of my strong areas of writing, but this project really helped me learn how to express myself in ways that I have never experienced before. Poetry can be anything, mean anything, and be seen in different ways by different people. That’s what’s so great about it. Anyone who reads a poem will be able to connect to it in some way because we all interpret things differently.

Most of the time when I challenged myself it was on an English assignment and I was challenging myself to express how I felt and to show the real me. But most of the thinking I did in both classes was reflecting about different events in history and different experiences of people from a vast amount backgrounds. In english we did some reflecting after reading and analyzing a book or text. Upon finishing the book Night by Elie Wiesel, we were asked to write a reflection on our thoughts about the book and it’s meaning. In my reflection I wrote, “Remembrance keeps people alive in spirit and forgetting them makes them disappear forever. Forgetting about horrible and tragic events helps heal you and puts the past behind you.” When a person is asked to reflect on something, it gives them the opportunity to think long and hard about the thing they have just experienced and whether or not they can relate to it or not. In this case, by reflecting on two quotes by Elie Wiesel, I was able to understand the points he was making and connect with the way he felt about what he was talking about.

As I mentioned before, our class held a lot of thought provoking conversations about taboo topics that one wouldn’t have in a normal conversation or even think very much about. In our sixth english journal we had to respond to the question “Why do humans treat each other badly?” At first I thought it was kind of an odd question. This question only looks on the negative side of things and implies that most humans treat each other badly. But the more I thought about it the more I was able to understand that in fact most humans do treat each other badly. I could see why someone might ask this question because a lot of things that go on in the world today are violent and cruel. One of the problems is a lack of understanding about different cultures. In this journal entry I wrote, ““Things like race, religion, language and all the other barriers...” I referred to these things as barriers because they are one of the main reasons why there is still so much cruelty in the world today. This journal got me really thinking about a topic that is happening globally each and every day and by thinking about it, it opened my mind to solutions and the feelings of those who are treated badly.

During our Revolutions unit in history class this year we learned about different types of revolutions throughout history and discussed how revolution still exists today around the world. Throughout the unit we completed several interactive activities such as a role play of different people/roles from the French Revolution and a video made with a partner about the Arab Spring. Upon the closing of the unit, the class was instructed to write a response about what we had learned about revolutions. In my Revolution Final Thoughts I talked about how different aspects of a revolution were evident in the French Revolution and the Arab Spring. I feel as though by writing this response I was able to fully understand what a revolution was and make connections between events in time based off of the expectations of a revolution.

Although I have created a lot of great work this year in both English and History, I feel like the pieces of work I have explained above are the best and fully relate to the concepts of “reflection allows you to connect with the thoughts and feelings of others and gives you a better understanding of different perspectives”, and “when challenging yourself you are bettering yourself.” Theses two concepts have pulled me through both of my classes and have been the main structure for almost every piece of writing I have written this year.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

During the 2012-2013 sophomore school year, the students in Block’s History and English classes focused on a variety of topics during the many units of both classes ranging from many eras, across different nations and on a variety of topics. What was consistent was the expectation to be able to connect everything we learned in a unique fashion. My general understanding of this school year is that “no one is innocent if you choose not to rise/step up to the occasion and that if you do choose to make a stand, being one (wo)man alone, you can make a big difference.”

“He tried to convince himself that he had nothing to do with the experiment, when he found out he wasn’t hurting the man, he then tried to separate himself from his unjustful doings.” - Excerpt from Torture and Obedience worksheet

In class, we watched a video of a man who believed he was inflicting pain to a participant just because he was told to. The patient was not actually being inflicted pain, as the man thought he was. Instead of challenging the authoritative figure who was simply telling the man to continue because “Its apart of the experiment”, he chose to ignore and not rise to the occasion. Another example of someone not rising to the occasion is Okonkwo, the main character in Things Fall Apart when he killed who he believed to be a son of his in Ikemufuna.

“One day the Oracle told the people of the village that they had to kill Ikemufuna as a sacrifice. Okonkwo, along with the other men of the village traveled into the forest. After Ikemufuna was struck with a fatal blow, he cried to his Okonkwo (as his father) then he ran toward Okonkwo in pity. To not show weakness, Okonkwo delivered the last blow that finished Ikemufuna off” - Excerpt from Quiz on Part 1 of Things Fall Apart

This is a great example of how people choose to put the not as important things and pride in front of what they know they should do and what they know is the right thing to do. This is what I call confused priorities. Okonkwo loved Ikemufuna more than his blood-son. But pride stood in the way of him showing his true emotions for him. Even though there may not have been much that Okonkwo  could do to save Ikemufuna, the least that he could have done was express his love toward him before he died. If the man chose to stand up to the man, he could have saved the patient from being inflicted pain (even though there wasn’t real pain being inflicted). Both did not stand up for what they believed in, so in my opinion both are guilty for their actions and have no explanation for their wrong doings.Which leads to the question “Why do humans treat each other badly”

“Humans treat each other badly because they some people do not have the courage to stand up for what is right, so they take the easy way out. Some because people they were treated badly of the when they were young and others simply because it is there make-up” - English Journal #6

Even though many choose to take the easy way out, there are some who do stand up for what they believe in and end up making a huge difference. These are the heros of the world, the people who make positive changes to their community.

“Jean Dominque had a huge impact on the people of Haiti because he used his access of radio communication to deliver positive messages of hope around the island” - Excerpt from The Agronomist

Jean Dominique is a terrific example of how one man can make a huge difference in his community. He understood the dangers of going against his government and faced death everyday. He had his station torn to pieces, shot at and ultimately was assassinated for his works. Jean Dominique was more than just a talk show host. He represented the heart and soul of Haiti the same way Gandhi did for India.

“Gandhi showed courage by turning the other cheek to the street thugs. He was willing to take physical blows to prove that he wouldn’t be turned away” - Gandhi Film Questions

Gandhi was not tall, strong or in any way physically threatening, but he was determined to prove a point. He fought for equality among the british and Indians. He was willing to risk his body in non violent retaliation and was able to defeat the British colonial power. Jean Dominique and Gandhi are examples of heros.

“Anyone has the chance to be a hero, heros are not just the famous but they are everyday people who choose to do the right thing, despite what they get out of the situation.” - English Journal #44

Standing up for what is right takes a strong, dedicated person. It takes courage to do the right thing and doing it at the fullest extent. The people who do the right thing and do not fold when the pressure and the spotlight is on them are the people who deserve to be recognized for their excellence.

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Element Prints Project

Inquiry: I had to use inquiry because I had to find things out about my element that I didn't know. I also had to use it when I was making my prints and matting them because I had never done it before. 

Research: I had to use research a lot in the beginning of the project. I had to do a lot of research to figure out which things copper was related to to use in my three drawing ideas.

Collaboration: I collaborated with classmates a lot in this project. At times I had trouble or someone else had trouble with something so to figure it out we collaborated a little.

Presentation: I'm pretty sure these prints will be posted around the school somewhere. I had to make them look nice and look presentable so I would be proud to see mine on the wall somewhere.

Reflection: By answering these questions I am reflecting. Also I made a few mistakes in the process of printing and matting and I reflected what I did wrong.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013_Rabbi Awsan

I went through a lot of struggles and some of the work were challenging for me throughout the year. Although that has happened, I still managed to work very hard in class and I tried my best I could possibly do to complete my work on time. I can confidently say I have learned a lot and experienced through many obstacles this year, but 10th grade was a great year for me.

I have learned and experienced a lot in both English and History classes. We have learned a lot inside and outside of school, but the two major things I think I really enjoyed most from each of these two classes are the researched on prisoners from history class and the Hidden City Project from english class. The prisoners researched has taught me that the government spend more money on prisons than they put money for  education expenses. One of the things I learned and see as an inspiration is from the Art in the Open dance because it has taught me more about acting,  what goes through an actor mind, and how it is in their way of seeing and using the space in different perspective than a normal person.  When someone examine something closely new information and perspectives emerge.  

The things I notice while I was researching about  prisoners is that the government spent more than $33000 for one prisoners and only $11000 for one student. That is a huge differences and that is one of the main reasons why there are more prisoners than students in this country. The government spent the same amount of money in a prisoner's in 4 years and 12 years for students. The U.S. taxpayers spend 32 billion every year on Prisons. The cost for each prisoner is $22,000. The United States spent 45 percent more on prisons than universities and there is no way to proceed into the future. It also says that the government focused more on prison uniforms than than they do on caps and gowns for graduation ceremonies. We need more education and less war because if you are educated there is less chance for you to commit a crime. I think that’s how we can decrease the crime rate of this nation. 

 For the Hidden City Project, the first day my english class went is to the Armory place, which is a few blocks away from our school. It is a huge empty place where the army used to have their camp. The first thing Leah Stein dance group told us to do once we get there was to play and test out objects and to discover ourselves in a place where we are comfortable. They also told us to play in our space and put us in a group of 4-5 and told us to make a play within 30 minutes and most of the group did really well on the first day. From that week we had the same group to work with and we transition to a short five-minutes play in one and a half week. My group and I went through a lot of difficulties because we had a lot of ideas and we were confused on which  story we should use for our final product. Then we came up with an idea and decided to put all of our story together and the people from the Leah Stein group  helped us a lot with our five-minutes play. I don't think our act would have been this much better without their help. From now every time I am going pass by the playground where I performed,  I am going to visualized that place more than just a playground itself.

These are some of the work I have done in my 10th grade year.

Poetry Wiki-

Cortes Trial-

Colonialism project-

sweetshop project-

Cortes trial-
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Bread and Roses

Bread y Roses es para los trabajadores de limpieza que tienen los derechos humanos en su trabajos. Sam, Maya y sus amigos luchado para tener los mismos derechos. Para este proyecto, vamos a analizar la película y explicar los segmentos de la película. Cada segmento contiene distintos derechos que creemos que fue violadas.

El personaje principal es Maya. Maya vino a Estados Unidos para trabajar en esta compagina llamada Angels. Sin embargo, el jefe de allí no les daba igualdad de derechos, por ejemplo, es el sindicato. Ella conoció a un tipo llamado Sam. Ayudó a Maya y sus compañeros de trabajo para conseguir la igualdad de derechos. Pero no todo fue así de fácil. Ellos lucharon para conseguir lo que se merecian. 

En la primera escena, cuando Pérez se preguntaba uno de los trabajadores a ser gerente, pero a cambio tiene que contarle lo de las reuniones ocultas para la Unión.. Esa escena violaron tres derechos humanos. Esa escena violaron tres derechos humanos ya. La primera violación fue el artículo tres, toda persona tiene derecho a la vida, a la libertad ya la seguridad personales. La mujer no puede protegerse a sí misma ya Pérez se mantenía inmersos en una situación muy apretada. Si ella no habla, ella pierde su trabajo. Pero si habla que va a tener en sus compañeros de trabajo en problemas. El segundo artículo fue violado el artículo cuarto. Estaba prácticamente esclavizado a hacer su trabajo sin vacaciones porque de la ética del trabajo de Pérez. Y la tercera violación es el artículo nueve. Prácticamente estaba exiliado de su trabajo debido a no hablar de las reuniones secretas que los trabajadores están teniendo.

He visto un montón de películas como Bread y Roses. Sin embargo, nunca me miré en las lentes de los Derechos Humanos. Mi familia y yo nos mudamos aquí a los Estados Unidos por la misma razón, para tener grandes oportunidades. Pero yo no fui a través de las dificultades, como Maya y Rosa lo hizo. Agradezco a la Unión más porque ayudan a amas de casa en su trabajo. Mi madre también es un ama de llaves y la Unión le da un montón de cosas como la atención de salud y vacaciones.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

“Let’s come together” “everyone come into the circle”. It’s something that Mr. Block has been telling us all year. He must have a thing for circles. But really in the class you can see that we all became closer with each other since the beginning of the year. I think the general understanding of this year is that coming together as a community can help/make a change over time. In a number of assignments from both courses the theme of coming together to make a change has come up. In the very beginning one of the early english journals (journal 6 to be exact) Mr. Block asked us why do we think humans treat other humans so badly? That journal intrigued me because I’ve wondered the same thing. I said that “I think humans treat each other so badly because of opinions. Some people tend to treat others badly when they don’t agree with their opinion.” I also wanted to hear what everyone else thought. Even the people who treat other people badly I wanted to know what they thought. In class Mr. Block usually tells us to read our journals aloud and we discuss the topic for a little bit. Next was history journal #7 “Reel bad Arabs”. In that journal we talked about the different stereotypes of Arabian people that were portrayed in movies. I wish we could rid the world of stereotypes. They don’t do any good for anyone and only hurt people who are affected by racial stereotypes. Every race is affected and each race has a negative stereotype. The last journal I’ll talk about is history journal #20. In journal 20 we talked about segregation and oppression, what causes change and ways to make change successful. Uniting together was one of the options. Afterwards we talked roles, rules, and responsibilities. I have chores and other responsibilities to do. They’re important because if my mom and I don’t work together then the house will be completely out of order. Next in the middle of the year we read Lord of The Flies. In my LOTF doc I said thatIn my opinion Jack is a sociopath and becomes jealous of the power that Ralph possesses. It shows that he is so desperate for power that he starts his own tribe in order to become leader of the boys and turn the boys against Ralph.” Jack starting his own tribe was a bad idea. if they would’ve just gotten over their differences then they could’ve have made a little society and been alright between the kids. Coming together would’ve been a good change. Also in the beginning of the year we talked about the Keystone Pipeline being built. A big part of the story was the people coming together and protesting against the pipeline being built. I think the people protesting against the pipeline are going to influence the result. In my work I quoted some articles that explained who and how the people against the pipeline were protesting.  “In September thousands of people converged on the White House in the largest act of civil disobedience in the history of the U.S. climate movement. The protesters sat-in peacefully and over 1,200 were arrested in protest of the Keystone XL project.” and “More than 2,000 people showed up at the Nebraska State Department hearing to say they don't want crude oil running through the delicate Sandhills or the Ogallala aquifer—which supplies water to most of the Midwest.” Then in history we talked about modern day sweatshops. In my response to modern day sweatshops I said thatThe most effective way to change what’s going on in the sweatshops is to revolt and protest against the Poor country elites and the Multinational Corporations.” and “With the protests maybe the world could get involved and once everyone becomes aware of sweatshops the Elites and Corporations will be forced to change their horrible ways.” All we have to do is come together and boycott the multinational corporations. Finally one of the longest projects of the year we created a play. My play was about the life of a chinese factory worker and the struggles they face everyday. The only way the made their factory better to work in is by sneaking a letter into one of the products explaining how badly they were treated everyday with poor working conditions. The woman who found the letter brought it to officials This year has taught me a lot. But the most important thing that I will take away from this year is coming together as a community can help/make a change over time.

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Element Project

Inquiry - 
I did not no anything about my element, so I had to ask a lot of information about my element. I needed to know things such as what it looks like, and different properties. I liked it a lot because I didn't know anything about my element at all.
Research - 
I went on to the internet and had to research things about my element. I looked for what it looked like and I also had to find out what they used my element. I used that information to create a picture that had to do with my element.
Collaboration - 
My friends that were sitting with me helped me a lot. I was really stuck on what to do for my print because I found my element very difficult. My friend sat down with me and she helped me a lot. We came put with a couple ideas together, and I figured out what I wanted to do.
Presentation - 
To present our prints we are going to put them around the school, we are also going to make a periodic table with all of the elements pictures that everybody made.
Reflection -
I really enjoyed this because I actually didn't even know about this element. I had a lot of fun doing this. It was really cool, and I found out a lot about my element. I also learned a lot about printing when I didn't know anything about it before.
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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

Throughout this school year I have learn a multitude of things in my English and History class. Many lessons reflected on each other. Two main understandings I have though is that Language brings us together as much as it divides us and There are many different stereotypes that come with langauge.  In a Prezzi I talked about a situation with my dad. How he wasn’t able how to learn right or wrong, but through the language I had with him I could learn through his mistakes.

In my descriptive essay I talked about my situation with cancer and how I felt after my first operation. A quote i used was “That’s when it finally hits me. i survived, and now I could live my life however I see fit.” This quote goes with my general understanding because my situation with cancer had me learn a lot about how important life was and to accept all that goes with it. The quote shows that I have learned through this experience and that this experience did not only effect myself physically it also effected my language. The quote was a big turning point in my learning where I realized how much I really changed on that day and how it began my path on to my own life.

                  in my Language Autobiography I talk about how I used to let others talk for me because I thought their voice had more power. Two quotes from that assignment would be “To have someone talk through you ruins your words because you are not saying them with the power of their own language.” and “There are many different stereotypes that come with language.” The first quote helps show my language as I was younger and how I have learned as I got older. It also shows that language evolved for me and I learned because of it. The second quote shows, that due to stereotypes that show up in language, your language has to evolve in order to get around them. So you can show that language evolves through experiences such as dealing with many different stereotypes. Not only do people evolve mentally through experiences their language evolves as well.

In the end my general understandings of “Language brings us together as much as it divides us and There are many different stereotypes that come with language” is now completely clear. My assignments have let me learn all about language and how i evolved throughout my life. My situations have had me learn more than i could imagine, but I could not of realized how much I had learned until this class. The lessons we were taught has shown us a large amount of self reflection in this class allowing me to finally see the general understandings that are shown in this class.  My general understanding has reached a very high point in this class and I hope that my portfolio is able to show how much i have learned in this class throughout the year.

History Journal #27:
Click Here
English Journal #7:
Click Here
Descriptive Essay:
Click Here
Language Auto:
Click here
Click here
LoTF Benchmark:
Click here

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

Before I entered English 2 of my sophomore year, i would have never thought that you could represent language in different ways. Language is not just a form of speaking but it is everything around you . Language can be displayed in poetry, different body movements different types of silent protesting and many more. In the past units that I have learned in English 2 different types of languages were brought to my attention multiple times. 

While completing an autobiography that had to describe a time when language affected me the most, I was forced to notice that when I spoke to my bi-racial cousin, the way I was communicating to her made her feel uncomfortable. It wasn’t just the way I talked around here it was the way I moved when she tried to hug me or any type of affection she decided that she wanted to give. I didn't realize that when I didn’t speak to her I was still using body language that made her feel uncomfortable. So I changed the way I moved around her so she knew that I didn't feel any different about her than I did my other family (language autobiography). This displayed that the movement of your body is a language and you can speak with people that way. 

After completing the language unit in English 2, we had to create a video that displayed what we thought language was, and how language affected you. Since language is more than just a form of speaking, in my video I labeled language as a variety of things in this video. The video simply goes over the fact that language is everywhere around you and you decided how you use language . 

During our poetry unit, we were asked to describe what was poetry. I gave the definition: Poetry is  when someone puts together a group of words that has a deeper meaning than meets the eye (English Journal 28) drawling the conclusion that poetry is just words. After discussing with the class and creating the poetry wiki (here) I also created a drawling to accompany one of my poems which said a lot but was not accompanied by words I noticed that poetry is more that just speaking, its art, dance, and anything you want it to be. Poetry is a form of language , and just like poetry, they both are more than just speaking. 

Not only in English 2 did we learn that language is not just a form of  speaking we also learned it in history. There was a time in india where the British were trying to stay in power and the Indians didn't want them to. Instead of using words such as threats , racial slurs or other things, the protested silently. They were communicating with the british that they had enough and didn't want to be colonized anymore in a silent language that the british understood. Showing that once again you don't have to to speak to show that you are using a language you don't even have to speak to communicate. 

In (Journal 39) we had to discuss weather or not we believe violence is more power than non violence. I always associate nonviolence with language  and silence.  Before the unit I stated that violence is power, but after  the unit I realized that non violence is power it shows you realization and it gives you a voice. Showing that language can be a fighting tool. 

I have learned a lot in English class over these past 10 months, however I believe the power of language and how language can be more than words stood out to me the most.  Like stated above language is everywhere. I don't believe that there is a definite definition for language because language is everything.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

At the Beginning of my Sophomore year at Science leadership academy, I had an English 2 and World history class with Joshua Block, I didn’t walk into the classroom with the same understanding the beginning of the year that I’m walking out of with at the end of year, I walked in with a local understanding and mindset of the things happening around me and my concern for world rights and civil rights weren’t as strong. We’ve covered everything from poetry, to global education.

One of the things I’ve learned this year is poetry is definitely a form of self expression. In English class we covered a poetry unit, expanding on how you write poetry, what’s the meaning of it and what it does to help a person. We did a project called “A Poem a day”... which we made a poem every day for a week. A Riff, ode, I was raised by, Found poem, and an HAIKU poem. Out of every poem that I created. I was most attached to my I was raised By & Ode Poem.

“I was raised by that 100m mark,

The chance to take that Win, for lost, not for the team.. but for yourself”

A quote from my I was raised by poem I wrote during the year, before this year I was never the one to display what I love most, or my environment whenever we had to talk about “ourselves”. I’ve ran almost my entire life and never talked about it, never talked about how nervous it made me, how much it isn’t a team sport, I found this as a better way to express myself.

It's thin, skinny, like it's been taking Zumba classes.

             Shear dark skin, it's my black best friend.

             I wish It'll spend more time with me, but good times always has an end it.

             My gateway to connect to people, the music it plays are like stories, and I love listening,”

             Describing things weren’t always my best ability to writing anything, especially to the last detail. These are a couple of lines from my Ode poem, describing something that you love, something that you see everyday or someone. Describing something in the most creative way possible, I had to use my imagination to the best standards I could've thought of, I was describing my Iphone in this poem, from what it does and how it looks like.

During the year we’ve learned that it’s always important to Defend yourself with evidence, this year in history class we did a trial on Multinational corporations and third world countries regarding the workers and how poorly they’re treated with the labor handed to them and the poor pay that third world country workers receive, who's the most Guilty? Well we did a trial debating the same question, The poor country Elites? the ones who look over the poor workers, watch them work for outside countries but does nothing about it? Multinational Corporations, the ones who pay these third world country elites to do their dirty work, but claims that they aren’t aware of what’s happening behind closed doors?

“We have no jurisdiction over the country or factories, all we do is make contracts with factory owners

Multinational Corporation

You admitted that you with your own two feet walked and applied for these factory jobs.

Poor workers

Yes you help the poor countries out of your pockets, but you also contribute to their sweatshop lives

These are just a couple of quotes from the trial of the multinational corporations, the different perspectives and views of different sides of each story, what you did and said to Defend yourself with Evidence.

During the year we had to keep a track of our thoughts in an english and history journal, but during the year in our English journal #39, we were talking about Freedom, Here’s a quote from my Journal My opinion and thoughts on this journal surrounded around Freedom, expressing how much we need it, when it isn’t given to us, how we live life.

As we were talking about Art, and how art is created. What we do to make art. It’s so abstract, anything could be art. I believe that art is a very effective form of expression oneself, In my Journal #43

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Negative Space

1. ​What is negative space? 

Negative space is the area around the object you are drawing.

2. I found negative space in both my drawings and my cutouts by drawing the object first, and then shading around it.

3. Why does it help an artist to see in negative space?

It helps an artist to see in negative space because he is able to determine the difference between light and dark. 

4. Does negative space enhance your drawings?

Yes because it helps make the object in the drawing more distinct and visible by making it contrast with the negative space around it.
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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

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“From the roots of a tree to the branches of it, you can see the changing colors of the season. Almost time to wear coats but not precisely. It’s like knocking the wind out of you. The warmth of summer so quickly replaced by the warmth of sweaters scarves and pumpkin coffee. Fall is beautiful.” was one of the things that I wrote in my journal. I learned so much from this unit as well.  Not the changing colors because of the seasons but how fast something can change. Like I changed throughout my sophomore year. It wasn’t a negative change nor positive. But it was an original change. The originality of specific things.  Originality is pushing yourself beyond personal boundaries.

In fall of 2012, I began my English and history course for my sophomore year. I was looking forward to the year because of the work I heard about during my freshmen year. The thing that inspired me the most or at least kept me myself through the entire  academic year would most likely be the history journal 19. The journal question asked “ what is your universe of obligation? I thought to myself . But it did not take me too long to answer this question. I knew what was keeping me strong for the year. It was my family. My family is my support system and regardless having fun time or an education or even a job, they came first because that’s what kept me going and motivated. We also learned about spirituality during the unit. I am a strong believer in the Catholic religion so I felt like the unit connected to who I was in several ways. And even though we did not study how Catholicism began or even talk about Christianity, I had the opportunity to write or express my thoughts of what spirituality really is in a journal entry.  But although I felt comfort writing about my religion on a piece of paper, I had to pass that boundary. I had to push myself to strive for something bigger, for something better and for something more unique.

we were already in the middle of the academic school year and I was feeling sluggish. Just not caring about anything because I felt like I already knew everything but I reality I didn’t.  During one for the classes, we were searching up inequality in other countries. We found out about sweatshops. this was it. A way to get out of my boundaries. Journal 32, explains how industrialization is positive because it has led to many more job opportunities for many people and has made the economy rise. But then it talks about how it is negative because of all the pollution and negativity going on due to the factory opening. And then journal 33 talks about all the negativity that goes on because of the factories. It talks about sweatshops. I think that this moment was the perfect moment for  me to get out of my boundaries. I didn’t  want to buy anything created by sweatshops but it was basically impossible due to the simple fact that everything is created by them and if they are not then it is super expensive. Also, I tried another alternative which was making it myself. I didn't know how to make clothes but also most of the fabrics were manufactured in sweatshops so I wasn’t actually able to accomplish much.. Right now, I am gathering as much information possible and see what things can be put into action to stop sweatshops from still being in business.

You see, many things were learned this unit. Everything from being comfortable with yourself and how others do not have the chance to be comfortable at all. We also learned about how the only way to survive was to do things in unison.  We did a journal entry that ties everything up so neatly. Since I am such a family oriented person  my journal entry was about my experience in puerto rico. it was in my personal boundary but it was original. if you wanna read more, CLICK THIS LINK, to read the journal.

Whatever happens when all the leaves fall from the tree? It may feel lonely or frightened, it may not be the prettiest, but when spring comes all you have to remember is that april showers bring may flowers. Every moment you have to stand out should be taken because thats what originality is. And thats what I learned this year. If something really interests you, go for it. You may be pointed at or signaled but just like the tree in the winter, it realized that it bloomed in spring.

If you want to read more pieced of wrinting, please visit my POETRY page.

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Journal #43

​"Why do people create art?"

People create art to express themselves, whatever is on their mind they put it on paper, wall, anything basically, doesn't exactly have to be material, It's good to have a background, It can add to the power of art because the setting help express an even deeper emotion. 
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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

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Over the course of the year I’ve learned a variety of things about the different time periods and people in those time periods. Those time periods and people in them were very significant to the shaping of the history in the world. I learned about two main ideas that stood out to me, The 1st main idea was “No one is really innocent, everyone is guilty of something” and the second main idea was “
Revolutions cause the world to change in unexpected ways” .

These stood out to me because they are so true. When we were conducting the trials in World History, we learned that everyone in the cortes trial was partly guilty for why Cortes did what he did. Also in the multi-national elite trial, everyone was partly guilty of why poorer countries are taken advantage of. One quote from the trial is “We bow down to the system of profit, we’re brainwashed into taking as much money as possible, just as the leaders of rich countries like the United States would do, and their leaders are ridiculed too. We are no better, or no worse.” This is saying the the ruling elite in the poor countries are following the ways of the US and how we handle business here and they are just modeling our work Another quote is “Our country is not where it needs to be. No country is perfect, we have to work to move our way up.” I strongly agree with this quote. No matter what, every country has it’s problems.I’ve always believed this and after the trial, it furthered my beliefs in this.

The only country that came close to perfection was Atlantis and we aren’t even sure if it existed. I believe every country does need to build it’s way up. No country starts at the top. The United States started from the bottom and now they here at the top. Every country wants to get to the top so they can provide a better life for the people in their country. If they are struggling then no one there has the luxury to live a comfortable life.

During the trials I learned that in order to get significant funding from the bigger companies, countries have to decide if they want to please the companies or the residents. They can’t come to a decision to satisfy both parties because no matter how they try to balance the choices, it always favors one party more than the other. My group was faced with the challenge of trying to do so, as were 5 other groups and no one truly succeeded despite who was said to be the “winner”. Now some revolutions that changed the world would include the French Revolution, the American Revolution and the Haitian Revolution. The American and French Revolution are the two best known revolutions but the Cuban Revolution is significant also.

The French Revolution was huge in changing the future of Europe as prior to this Great Britain ruled over the French. The French people were sick of the way they were being treated so they did something about it and they enlisted some of the biggest names, manly Napoleon Bonaparte. He was a big reason the French Revolution went the way it did. For the American Revolution the Americans wanted to break free of Great Britain’s control over them. They fought back and overthrew the government. They also enlisted a historic figure in George Washington and he helped get the now United States their freedom. Over the course of the year I learned why this was all important. Doing research on it helped because prior to this I would always hear little details here and there about it but never the full story.

I began to compare the two revolutions and see which one seemed more important but in the end, they both were important in shaping the future. If neither one occurred, I wouldn’t be writing about this. I might be working somewhere through forced labor by Great Britain.The history of these revolutions made sure the future was bright for it’s kin. In the present there have been other revolutions inspired by this two which helped their country gain independence and they aren’t ruled over by another country.

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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

“I was raised to fight.




I was raised in conflict.

I was raised within nirvana.”

Over the course of my time in Mr. Block’s class, I have stretched my learning across many different topics.  The Holocaust to the Arab Springs, my time spent C band and E band has been diverse as the school I attend.  Throughout my time in Mr. Block’s class, Mr. Block has made his main point of teaching, the Humanities aspect of all of the topics we have covered over the course of the year.  Within humanities, comes love and compassion and I have learned to put my heart into everything I do in Mr. Block’s class. To sum it up in a quick sentence, I have learned to create humane art, through words, my voice, and movement.

“I was raised a sinner.


Insensitive remarks,

Bruises from big cousins.

Nostrils flaring,

Loud, unruly.”

I first came into Mr. Block’s room, an opinionated 15 year old.  My favorite subject is History, specifically in Civil Rights, so when I found out that Mr. Block’s philosophy on teaching was humanities, I knew it was going to be a very interesting year.  We tackled trials and poetry units, museum proposals and videos.  We used many different outlets to observe, compare and contrast the morality of different historical events.  “I was still young enough to be unaware,

But old enough to question.”

“I have always had a complex vocabulary, according to my mother I was able to say 26 words by the time I was a year old.”  In english class this year, I learned not only how to communicate my ideas through paper, but also through dance, and public speech.  I am a very vocal person in class, to contradict that, I am also very afraid of public speaking.  You can only imagine my nerves when we had to speak in front of Market Street about our opinions on different subjects when we were creating OpEds.  I suppose my vocality in the classroom is not only for a participation grade but also an attempt to break the nervousness that takes over.  This class has taught me to break outside of my comfort zone.

I had to break outside of my comfort zone yet again when I was placed in a group that had to defend Hernando Cortez’ “exploration” of Mexico.  While morally, I was completely against what he did to current day Mexico, I knew I had a job to do, which was make him look as innocent as possible.  Cortes sought to pacify, not provoke; to appease with gifts, not oppress with guns.” While my group still ended up the most “guilty”, I was proud of myself for pushing myself to try to make a man, who did the most terrible of things, look innocent.  

Throughout my year in Mr. Block’s class I learned how to push boundaries and I became a more compassionate person when it comes to historical events.  I pushed myself to be more open to different ideas, and learned to defend things that I was not morally in agreement with.  Mr. Block’s class has led me to be a better person. When I walked out of my first class of the year, “I was unaware I was leaving a piece of me behind.”

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History Journal #13

Considering what you learned and read about Buddhism, what buddhist principles align most with your beliefs?

The quote to the left relates to my beliefs because nothing can affect the morals I have, no outside ideas of the world.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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Journal #1

Journal #1 

Why is the world such an unequal place?

  1. The world is greedy. They don’t care about anyone else by themselves. It is causing the gap between the wealthy and the poor to become even more drastic.
  2. People taking the resources from others adds on to the greed. Poor countries are so poor because they are not treated equally.
  3. Colonization brings to the point of other countries are delayed compared to others because colonization for those countries has set them back. 
  4. Access to education is difficult for many of these countries as well, which makes those people oblivious to the fact that they could have a better life. 

What is the best way to deal with inequality?

The best way to deal with global inequality is to help one another. The wealthier countries should give to the less fortunate countries to prevent them from going into debt. It’s about realizing that the world is a bigger place than just our individual countries. In order to function long term you have to not only focus on ourselves, we have to look at ourselves as equal and treat one another the same way. In times of things like natural disasters we can go help rebuild one another. We can set up better education systems that are made equal. We can not take advantage of smaller countries. 

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Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men

The novella Of Mice and Men is one of America’s most enduring pieces of literature. In spite of its mere 107 pages, the story has attracted readers for more than seven decades.  Perhaps this is because the allure of this book is in its characters, rather than in its plot. In the book, John Steinbeck explores the relationship between a lumbering, yet loving dimwit, Lennie Small and a brooding dreamer, George Milton. The two are peripatetic, journeying seemingly aimlessly from ranch to ranch across the western United States. While Lennie and George appear to be just two of the thousands of other nomadic farmhands drudging through through every month just to blow their ‘stake’ on cheap booze and hookers and return to the ranch life, the protagonists of Of Mice and Men distinguish themselves by a few novel traits. The first is their relationship, the second their aspirations and the third the burden they bear. 

When first introduced, Lennie and George are indistinguishable. The book states “Both were dressed in denim trousers and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and both carried tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulders.” As the chapter progresses, however, and they begin to converse, the author makes clear that these two are not the same in this relationship. 

Through Steinbeck’s illustration of Lennie’s behavior, we see a blissful, yet wildly unintelligent giant of a man, unable to fend for himself. He clings to George as a child to a parent, imitating George’s mannerisms and opinions. Lennie is burdened with the intelligence and personality of a small child, and a mountain of a body. His love of soft things leads him to incessantly accidentally hurt and kill the animals he is so enamored with. He wants nothing more than George’s companionship, and perhaps a few rabbits to pet. Throughout the book, this remains constant. Lennie is static.

George appears to be an average man of the 1930s. He is often abrasive, a naturally solitary creature. His burden is that of Lennie’s companionship. It is left unclear how Lennie came into George’s stewardship, but it occurred long before the events of the book. George lives his life constantly running, constantly talking Lennie out of the trouble Lennie lands them in. While George may often complain about his station in life, fending for both himself and for Lennie, he is shown as truly caring for Lennie. The two share a relationship that the other gruff and independent farmhands around them have never known. 

In these brief 107 pages, Lennie and George’s relationship brings them each immense anguish and sporadic moments of joy. It is the central plot device, and the harrowing ending would be void of emotion without it. This is what sets this book so far above the rest, and makes it accessible to people from every corner of life. This book is not about a series of events. This book is about people, and it is about the relationships that two people might forge with one another when neither one fits quite right into the mold that society has formed for them, or into society in general. Lennie is an inherent outcast, left behind because of his unintelligence, and often misunderstood. When other characters see Lennie’s hulking frame, and those hands that could crush a man’s bones, they see a fighter. They see a bitter, cruel oppressor. Lennie, however, is far from that. Lennie is an easily frightened lover, an stalwart companion and good soul. George is nothing particularly impressive physically, and others in the book treat him as such. George is much more than average though. Others accuse him of “playing” Lennie, of extorting money from him and of taking advantage of him, but the truth is that George has fought, ran and argued Lennie out of countless mishaps, simply because it is the moral thing to do. Because as Lennie puts it, “Not us, George, because I... see, I got you to look after me, but you got me to look after you.”

Of Mice and Men ends in heart wrenching tragedy. In quick succession, a series of events leave a single broken soul where once stood a friendship. These last scenes are among the most emotional that I have ever read. As the story comes to a close, you are left with a disjointed band of unhappy undesirables and misfits on an unknown ranch somewhere near Soledad, CA. These are not important people. John Steinbeck, however, through their passion and grief, joy and hope, shows us that these too are valuable people. They tell a valuable story. Even if society refuses to acknowledge them, they are just as real as the wealthy farm owners and aristocrats among us. This situation can be found in countless moments in history. This story could take place anywhere that people live on the fringes of civilization, from the untouchables in India to the slaves of America to the Jews of the Holocaust. 

This theme of not fitting society’s image of you, or into society at large made this book easily relatable for me, as well as for so many other readers. They are what allow me to recommend the book to anyone who feels ready. These themes are also what I chose to portray in the creative piece. I drew Lennie and George as they appear physically, however I used their posture to emulate their true selves. Lennie, with broad shoulders and defined muscles, crouches down, petrified in fear by some unseen attacker. He clutches a pup just a little too close to his chest. He is huge, but in reality, so small. George stands, legs wide and arms outstretched, attempting to shield Lennie. He is not especially strong or cunning, yet he stands to protect his friend from any dangers that may arise. 

Mice and Men Lennie
Mice and Men George
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Element Project

Inquiry- I had to ask a lot of questions because I didn't know much about the random element I was assigned. It was fun to find out more about something I barely knew existed.

Research- We had to research our element. We had to find out what it was used in, how to represent it in a drawing. We had to research it.

Collaboration- Our friends helped research and suggest ideas. They really helped to make our projects the best they can be. 

Presentation- Our prints are going to be posted and shown all around the school. We had to make sure they were presentable and looking good.

Reflection- I had an interesting experience doing this project. It was fun learning about a new element and doing something I had never done before. Many band aids were used during the cutting process :3
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Journal #17

"The 'ideal' spectator is always assumed to be male and the image of the woman is designed to flatter him."
I completely agree with this. If you look at advertisements, like American Apparel ads (which are notorious for being sexually provocative), the woman is rarely portrayed as a whole person but instead fragments of a body. A leg, an ass, a stomach, a breast. In ads, women are depicted as objects to be desired and not as people. This is extremely prevalent in our culture. 
Woman are objectified in nearly all aspects of the media, including music. Rarely do we hear a man sing about a woman's quick wit or expertise in matematics, her body is whats used to quantify her worth. This is evident in the "song" "Birthday Song" by 2 Chainz. In this song, 2 Chainz (A.K.A. "Titty Boi") says "All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe". When he says that he wants a woman as a gift for his birthday, he is objectifying her. When he does not give the woman an identity other than her large butt, he is reducing her to her body. When he acts as though a woman is something to be obtained, he is dehumanizing her. 
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Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

“I’m an individual, yeah But I’m part of a movement. My movement told me be a consumer and I consumed it. They told me to just do it I listened to what that swoosh said, Look at what that swoosh did See it consumed my thoughts. This is a song from Macklemore called wings.” (#Journal #35 English ) When I listen to this song the first thing that came to my mind was English and History class. It showed that we can use poetry and fact to make a point. Poetry is the best way to tell people how you feel like my High School poem.  “Being the smoothest guy that you know if you want that girl all you have to do is give her that look and say I want to be with you I think I love you. Knowing that after saying these words she will do anything for you, she like a salve and you’re her master.” (High School) I had to share this show to my class. The people are alway being told what to do and I want people to see that they a plan already for you . But they don’t even know it something. People are always told what to do. We work on an op-ed and mine was about LGBT right. In my op-ed It was about how we are being told what to do and how to be in life. “Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and/or deprived of the right to leave. Look at us now, we worked to get our rights but we still are treating people like slaves. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are still being treated like slaves because others are against their marriage.” (Op-ed).

This year I feel that I learn the most about the about how life can be view. How people don’t get to do what they want. We read a book call  Thing fall apart. The main character was a person person who made the rules I wrote the last chapter which say “They came and talk to us about making are place better but it not doing nothing . We should stay with the things we know. Just like my 2nd wife son Nwoye when with them. He not my son. No son of mine is going with the missionary. After that I sent for my 5 sons and they came and sat in my obi. I told them "You have all seen the great abomination of your brother I will only have a son who is a man, who will hold his head up among my people. If any one of you prefers to be a women, let him follow Nwoye now while I am alive so that I can curse him. If you turn against me when I am dead I will visit you and break your neck." (Chapter 26) People feel that they need to stay with the thing the know. If the don’t the feel like they are doing something wrong. That not true all the time. We also read a story call Lord of the flies. These story show that even as kids they alway have someone tell them what to do. Just like when “ People find out that bad thing will happen if they don’t let piggy be the leader, and instead, they pick Jack.” (LOTF). We set up the world like this anything we do. There was a people who told us to do it. Their the one who are making us follower. I one of my journal was about a quote “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons” (#journal #42 English) This show that everything that we do or who we are as people can tell if people will like us or hate us. I want you to think about this do I do what others do ? Am I an individual? Do I judge people by how they look, date , or doing ?
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