this link goes to the googledoc with the process we took
In my 10th grade English and History class we learned about many things that go on in the world. Many problems and many situation past and present. Both of out English and History classes interlaced with each other. Specifically in class we were taught different things about revolution and how they start. We also were taught about how money effects people’s status around in the world. Also we learned about Power in different ways. Clear examples of this were our Haiti unit with Jean Dominique , Papa and Baby Doc, and Jean Bertrand Aristide. That unit showed us a lot of what we’ve been learning about all year. What we have mostly been learning about is Power, money and how many situations in the world are solved that involve those things.
1st General understanding
One of the topics of study that stood out to me the most were talking about a world renowned author named “Edwidge Danticat”. She wrote a book called Create Dangerously that is a collection of essays. The essays were essays she wrote in the past and incorporated in her book. She talks mostly about her life in haiti and in the united states that involves lots of personal struggle. One thing that i noticed from reading this book is that When there is personal Struggle, successful people seek outside help to change their reality. In the first chapter of create dangerously she writes, “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.” When i first read this quote it had me thinking, and that’s exactly what our year had in it, topics that had our brains thinking wildly. I wrote about this quote in one of my journal entries. I said “how about you think deeper than face value, when it first says. “Create dangerously is for people who read dangerously” and before reading anything else in that quote to me it said that the book create dangerously is for people who are willing to risk something and be in danger to read that book, because that’s what it was about. Then later on in that unit the class wrote a letter to Ms. Danticat and in my letter i made an honest statement and said “I have told my grandpa about you and some essays in the book and he seems a little less interested. But then I told him to give reading it a try and he honestly fell in love with it. I barely have time to read it my self, it’s always in his hands.” Now looking back on it i was interested in the book a lot.
In my English class we started off the year with an intro mini unit. We had to write a poem about just about anything. I first thought that it would be dumb and boring but when i did it it was wonderful. My feeling along with that tied in with the feeling of the class at first. I thought that everything would be dumb boring and pointless. Even the starting thing off in the class was interesting. That started me off with a new idea of what the class would be like. After that i knew everything would be interesting and a new approach to learning. In my poem i called it the prisoner of love. It was deep and i was new to things in the class. One thing that stands out to me now that i look back on the poem i wrote is a line that says “But love can be thrown out, To express your feeling And rampage can be due to anger, Anger that drives a whole in your heart, And kills love Then there is no show of that feeling, So now there is just hatred and sorrow, And since there is no love, You hold in that anger as if it’s a prisoner, Not just as an angry prisoner, But now A prisoner of love…”. That was how i ended the poem off and it is amazing to know i was capable of something like that in the beginning of the school year. I have learned a lot through the year which is in retrospect a short amount of time but i was capable to get it in and learn and try my best. I had my bad moments in class but in the end i learned a lot and i know it’s going to be helpful in the future, all thanks to my English/History teacher, Mr.Block.
Edwidge Danticat Letter
English B poem
Throughout the year in English/History I have learned and experienced through many different and disputable topics. On the very first day as I entered through Mr. Block’s classroom and as several weeks gone by, I was still uncertain about the expectations in his classroom. Later in the year, at some point there were times when things had came to mind on many controversial lessons that was taught in class, and I have always questioned myself because of these classes. How are these units that we are covering in class going to have an impact on me? In many substantial ways, it did had an impact on me and I was struck by it, especially through written essays, the poem studies unit, as well as The Art in the Open Festival, and all of these controversial topics has lead me to the general understandings of struggles, challenges, and hard work.
One of the greatest understandings that I have experienced and learned from was Struggles, and all of the struggles that I had gone through was told through written essays that were assigned in class. In English class, we are often given a writing assignment on a topic that addresses to our ability of understandings in the storyline of a book, which can also correlate to our own life, or a written essay of a reflection from our past experiences that we struggled through in which can be learned from when is expressed through writing. At the beginning of this year, the very first day of school, Mr. Block assigned us a “One page” paper that night where can just write about anything; your intentional thoughts, current situations, life, anything that you want to put down in that one page, and the next day in class, we would have to gather around in a circle to share out a part of out one page story. The start of this assignment started out as, “The instructor said Go home and write A page tonight. And let that page come out of you --- Then, it will be true.” Before Mr. Block gave us the writing time in class to get a head start on this one page assignment, I thought it was going to be easy since it was only a page of a writing. I though I could write this paper and get it done in less than twenty-minutes, but as writing time as come, I struggled through the writing time we had in class and several hours at home as I tried to think of what I wanted to write down for this one page. I came to an idea after several hours later thinking in mind, “This is my sophomore year, I am in a new stream, I will be in a same classroom with different faces that I have not met nor worked with last year, I am in a new learning environment, and with a different teacher who will be instructing me for the year.” This gave me an idea of wanting people to know a little more about me. I started this paper off as a basic intro, then worked my way through the life in crisis which was such a hassle for me to go through. Sharing was one of my biggest struggles in the beginning of the year. I can confidently say that the struggles had impacted on me from wanting to share my stories, but one of the greatest release from those struggles were having some feedbacks from people in the classroom, and feeling good about expressing what I wrote, which made me had more confidence to have my voice be heard. The only reason that held me back from speaking up was the thought of judging from people’s opinions, but those were the main reasons from how I managed to break out from my own little bubble and had more confidence to share out some my own thoughts.
Another general understandings that I experienced and learned from was challenges and hard work. As I already said before, the topics that was taught in Mr. Blocks class are controversial, which made some of the assignments difficult and challenging for me. There was one project that I had a very hard time with was the project to The Revolution Guidebook. For the Revolution Guidebook, we had to design and create a guidebook that presents unique perspectives about revolutions in the world, it was more of a project as a creation of “Revolutions For Dummies,” in a slides/presentation format, and in a way to show our project, we would have to present it front of class along with a voting on the best project presenter to present again at a final round. It was one of the most challenging projects I did this year for History class. It took me several days to adjust the point of this project. Although it took me rigorous time to figure out the point and what to do for this project, I managed to put in all my efforts complete this project the way it’s supposed to be done.
Another example of a challenging process in English/History class was the dancing performance that was coordinated by Leah Stein group. From the very first day ( when we started our first steps by introducing ourselves using our own movement that matches the syllables of our names, first workshop at the Amorine, and working our way towards to put together this dance performances, there were many expectations that I had in thought, that changed my mind into thinking that there are many other ways where you can possibly expressed yourself through dancing (freestyle) than just dancing in general. Working with many different objects to make sounds, using different techniques to express yourself in a way you want others to see, and many of things which makes your movements seems unique in other people perspectives. Before we started this whole process, I thought dancing was more like a technique where people would danced to or follow by the rhythm of a certain song; more like free-styling in some sort of ways, but it has changed my perspectives in many ways. The most challenging part of our Art in the Open performance was coming up with various techniques that we want to show the audience. I thought I couldn’t do the dance that my group came up with for the performance, but all it takes was practice. During the performance, I gave in and pour out all of the energetic power inside of me to my dances as the audience glides their eyes towards the performance, and it was the greatest success that I was very proud of al wished to go back to the beginning and start over at the very first step.
This year has been one of the most struggles and challenging for me, but all of these determination to hard work has been the greatest success for me. I would also like to thank Mr. Block for teaching and showing me an open door to my comfort zone in sharing, as well as speaking up, and the experienced from classroom in which I have learned more from. this one one of the greatest learning experiences and I will never doubt any of the works I have done, hard work pays off.
Go read Soulkeepers
God, Love, Death and Mystery
A teen Fantasy
Mother gone missing
Danger Paves the ground and sky
The Magic Defies
All laws of Reason
A tree warps time and season
Cat with mind of man
A knight with aquatic hands
An innocent heart
You best be quite smart and
click here for a deeper start
Throughout the year i have learned many skills in history and in english and in my different journals I show some of the skills I have learned. In this final portfolio I will put some of the quotes that I like the most and that tell a story about my general understandings the most in this final portfolio. I will also talk about some of the projects we did and the ones that I liked the most and why I liked them the most. In this paper you will learn a lot of interesting things about me and a lot about the type of person I am so read on to unveil things most people don’t know about me.
The 3 general understandings that I have chosen to write/ talk about in this paper are struggle because this year I have had a hard time and struggled in some classes, faith because when I struggled I had faith that I would be able to still move on and do better even after struggling, and hope because I had hoped to be able to do better and be able to pay more attention and do more of my work to be able to come back from my struggle. I picked these 3 because to me these 3 things are what help me to succeed in life, this class, and in school. To me if you don’t struggle in life then you come across a problem you won’t know how to solve the problem and then you might get stuck in some point of your life because you don’t know how it is to struggle. When you do struggle you need to have faith and hope to be able to get past a struggle because with faith you believe that something will help you get through your struggle and then you won’t be as concerned about struggling. If you have hope then you will believe in yourself all the time and never let anything get you down in life and always be able to get through things even if you are struggling with them. I feel like you need these 3 skills in life to be able to achieve your dream and be able to chase your dream and never let anyone get in your way or stop you from achieving your dream.
This year my struggle has been my grades in these two classes and with my relationship with my father, in my journal I have written a lot about my dad and almost nothing that I wrote about him was positive, some of the quotes I have chose are “I don’t like my dad” thats the only quote I chose because it says a lot about my relationship with my father. This year I have had my ups and downs in history and english with my grades and from me struggling in one quarter and getting an D it made me have more hope and faith and work harder to be able to get an A the next quarter, this helped me with a lot of my other classes as well because for me to see that I was struggling in this class made me work harder to do better in all of my classes and to stop slacking off. After struggling in this class I started to be more serious about school because this was just the wake up call I needed to be able to do my best or close to it and it helped me become more successful throughout the rest of the year. The unit that I think about most when I think about struggle is the unit when we watched a movie about Radio Haiti because they had a hard time with being able to do their radio show because the people in charge in Haiti weren’t on their side so they had been forced to move away but came back twice and kept trying to do the radio show even after the place was shot up and people were killed because they had faith and hope that they would be able to continue on with their radio show.
The unit I think of most when I talk about faith is like when we were talking about the sweatshops because the people that work in the sweatshop have faith that they will be able to support their families and possibly move away from where they are now. Also this is the unit I think of most with hope because they have hope that they will make enough to be able to live a better life then they do now with their families and be able to get real jobs so that everyone in their families won’t have to be forced to work.
Overall to me these 3 general understandings are the reason why I was able to do good in history and english because if I didn’t struggle then I wouldn’t have been able to have hope and faith to be able to get out of my struggle and to continue to do good in the year and improve my grades. This class has taught me to never give up and always work hard try my best and work my hardest so that I succeed in school and have a good future for the rest of my life so I can be able to continue to chase my dream and eventually achieve my dream.
Sophomore year with Mr. Block was one of the most eventful years, with both classes! From the egg on the floor to Art in the Open, nothing was ever the same each day. There were struggles, and achievements, but overall I learned a lot this year with so many different experiences. Finishing up the year, there were many things I’ve realized looking back at my work. I feel like I’ve accomplished and gained so much knowledge. For a lot for the topics we discussed, it broadened my views on things. The two main ideas I am going to discuss are about struggle and creativity. “Without struggle there will be no learning,” and “Creativity broadens our views on life.”
At one point in the year we had our playwriting unit, I remember first starting it and having no clue what to write. I had a few in my mind, but then thought too much into it, and I felt like it wasn’t going to be good. I then started looking through Mr. Block’s magazines and saw a man working in a mine, and immediately I came up with the idea for my play. My play was about a small family living in a poor part of Brazil. The younger sister eventually had to care for her baby sister because her Mom died in childbirth. Her older brother worked most of the day with the mines. The whole play unit was really great. Although I struggled with writing it and then finally submitting it, we had an amazing teacher come in and help us. Her name was Kate and she was apart of the Philly Young Playwrights. She was great because when she looked at our work, she would really take her time into helping you improve it. “You say the brother has replaced him, which is something I’ll bet happens a lot in mining families. Keep working, don’t be afraid to use monologue, like Andressa talking out loud to the baby perhaps? How will they feed themselves now? -K”(One of Kate’s feedbacks for a scene) This project leads to one of my general statements about struggle. I’ve always been told you need to struggle through something to be able to learn. If you just did an assignment and had no trouble with it, you most likely didn’t learn anything. Creating and putting together this play was much harder for me then I thought. I faced many struggles during the process, but in the end when I submitted it. I learned many different strategies in working on assignments productively, but also efficiently.
Creativity played a big role in both of Mr. Block’s classes this year. Almost all the projects had to have a little piece of your own in it. There were small projects that we were able to use our creativity in them, but there were also projects that helped us open up and express our creativity. There was a time in the year where we read the book Passing. At the end we were assigned to do some sort of art piece on a main point in the book. I choose to draw a picture showing different aspects of the main character's personality. This is the drawing I drew with the two faces of Clare. Art in the Open was one of the main events of the year that I saw everyone come out of their comfort zone. It was a great experience, and really fun for everyone to participate in. Here is a picture of my group’s site and our wiki. Another project towards the end of the year was creating a poetry wiki. This was very creative in ways where, although we all were on the same wiki and had the same format on each of our pages, everyone’s work had their own tweak to it. We were able to express ourselves through the writing of poetry by using our own experiences. My wiki page is here with all the assigned poems.This year was a really event filled year that I'll always look back on and remember the good times and the bad. We had many experiences where we learned about the world, others and ourselves in the world. My two general statements really helped me look back understand my learning throughout the year. I remember the first day of walking into room 307, and now I’ll be walking out with a lot of new interesting experiences.
Final Portfolio: Sterling Perry
Throughout this year I’ve learned a lot in Mr. Block’s English and History class. So much so that I’ve broken it down to three general understandings. The three understandings will show take you on a journey through our year here at SLA in terms of diversity, change and struggle. I chose the three because they all have to do with everything that happened this year. I struggled with many things along the way like my grades, home life, projects given in class and with performances done for the school. I also chose to talk about change because change is the outcome of struggle, diversity and whatever i aquire or make out of the situation. Diversity can be talked about in so many ways which is why i chose it. I experienced diversity in the way I learned, what I learned, the different experiences I’ve gotten to participate in and with racial culture. With our different learning styles and curriculum we learn a lot of life lessons as well as what we need to further our learning at a higher level.
First general understanding I would like to present to you is that change comes with diversity. Not only racial diversity, but diverse and different experiences as well as cultures. In our classes here at SLA we experience diversity everyday by the mixture of racial ethnicity and curriculum.
One program that we had the privilage to participate in was the Art in the Open (Aio) Festival along with the Leah Stein Dance Company. In this festival we went through a process of learning a new culture and way of dance to actually making our own pieces. In a reflection I wrote I stated “ This style of dance is something I wasn’t used to. I wouldn’t even call it dancing. It’s more like being one with your environment.” I said that because all pieces that were performed were molded and inspired by the surroundings around us.
“This project has taught me a lot of things that i can use in my daily life. Although there is a lot to talk about I learned a lot about playing your part, teamwork and perseverance.” In the end of this experience it changed my personal mindset on not only dance but life in general. By being kicked out of our spot and not having our dance ready until the day of taught me about perseverance and helped me fight through my struggles.
Now that the Art in the Open Festival is over my group and I can just look back and laugh at all the hardships we went though. This brings me to my next understanding that everyone struggles with something in life. The outcome is on you, it’s what you do with the experience. In the end a struggle/ hard time can be something you look back at and laugh or let it be an obstacle to your success.
Art In The Open Pictures
Leah Stein Dance Company
It has been an honor to be able to experience this amazing education I have been given the chance to have Mr. Block is an amazing teacher and he has taught all of us to try to learn in different ways and to go and try new thing’s. This year we have done a wide arrange of different thing’s in English and history. I have learned so much valuable thing’s and skills that I can use in my every day life from now on.
One of the most important thing’s I learned this year is never procrastinate just don’t do it. When I first came into Mr. Blocks class I worked really hard and handed all my work in on time but slowly I started to procrastinate and my work started to not look as good as it could and it would be late and I would do it last minute. As soon as I saw my grades go down I stopped procrastinating and got my butt to work. I’m happy this happen to me because it made me a more determined student and a better learner I think it’s really going to help me out next year. Here is a piece of my work that I procrastinated on and that I felt like I could of done better on.
Culture and change were a big part of this year we dissected the world and looked at all different cultures through out the world. Culture is very important to start change or to help cause a change. We learned in are revolution unit about Egypt’s culture and how they are trying to stop violent protest and have a more peaceful fair culture and government. We researched social change and how it can affect a culture. For a good portion of the year we were learning about Haiti and what was happening in there government and how the U.S when they tried to help them just cause more problems and weakened Haiti economy experientially. We also learned about there troubles.
Sophomore year in Mr. Block’s class has taught me how important my community is and my peer’s are. When I say my community I mean a bunch of different thing’s from my friends at school to the teachers to the surrounding area of where my school is located we have done many great thing’s around are community like putting up murals right out side are school which was meet with very positive responses and praise. We worked with the Leah Stein dance company for 2 weeks and we created are own dance with there and we chose a spot downtown and made are own dance routine it was such a new experience but I loved doing it and trying something new.
This year has been amazing I’m so grateful to have gotten the chance to be in Mr. Blocks class this year I have acquired much needed skill’s to go on and learn further and continue my education all thanks to one of the best teachers Mr. Block.
2. I found the negative space in my cut out by comparing the pieces on one side to the other showing what is negative space and what is not. For the stool it was easy to see what areas around the stool that could be filled in and the areas that can't.
3. Negative space helps the author see the drawling better. It helps the artist figure out which parts or the drawling needs to be shaded in the picture and what is the outline.
4. I think drawling in negative space helps enhance the drawling because it makes the drawling pop out and makes it cooler to see the drawling.
"The absolutely true diary of part time indian"
by Sharmen Alaxie
This story is actually about trials of Native Americans. This book is very interesting to read. It's about an indian boy (Junior) who is born with a number of physical disabilities like water in brain. His parents are poor and always busy in their lives especially his father who is always drunk. He talks about his life and his parents lives that like him they also had a lot of dreams but there was no one to fulfill their dreams. Junior has his best friend who cares about him and protects him from other people who fights with Junior. Junior is a smart kid and always afraid of people but sometimes forget that he is afraid of those people and show a strong reaction to them.
( i have not finished this book yet )
I have read this book at least 3 times and I enjoy it more each time. It makes me think about everything from love and relationships to death and religion.
I recommend you read it when you have some time on your hands because it induces some aimless staring or daydreaming as you attempt to digest the huge themes in the book.
I highly recommend the Millenium Series by Steig Larsson. It's a well written novel with great character development. The storyline is very intriguing as well.
Over this year, I have gained so many new experiences that its truly incredible. I came into this class expecting just an everyday English/ History class with the average, Read this book, discuss, take a test, and move on to the next unit but in this class it was a completely different agenda and curriculum that started off our year was our short story unit. In our short story unit it focused on expression of your self and to show some type of growth. Growth opens you up to new environments for example with our language autobiography project. For the Autobiography project we had to write about a personal experience in your life where you had an issue with language, whether it be coming from a different country, having your parents speak a different language, or even you speaking a different language yourself. In my autobiography (Link is found at the end of the page.) I wrote about how when I was younger and I was very shy in school. I never wanted to speak and hated having the attention focused on me. “My voice didn’t need to be heard I just needed to take the characteristics of a chameleon and blend in.” this is how I came into class the beginning of the year, I didn’t want anyone to pay to much attention to me. With that being said, at this point in time I feel like I’m more outspoken than I was 8 months ago I don’t mind voicing my opinion or presenting my work in front of others because I have become more comfortable with myself.
One thing that has grown while being in Mr. Block’s class is my literature. Not just meaning my vocabulary but the description able to be given in my writing has exceeded an expectation I never thought possible. Expression in literature opens you up to broader new ideas, and a unit I feel that really describes this is the Poetry Wiki (Link is found at the end of the page). For this project my classmates and I took in a deeper analysis on poets and tried to define their work. We also created our own poems and then spoke one out loud in front of the classroom. I already had planned out what poem I was reading aloud until a classmate (Danielle Little) came over to me and read a poem she had written. It was called “the little black boy” I liked it so much I said you have to do one about “the little black girl” and she said if I did it with her she would. I never would have imagined doing collaboration on a poem but anything is possible in Mr. Block’s room. The day we had to present our Poem we went up and preformed it and many people enjoyed it. One of my classmates liked it so much she asked us to perform it at this talent show her church was hosting. This also ties into Growth opens you up to new environments. If this took place in the beginning of the year I would have never given thought of speaking a poem outside of class but in the end of it all I did.
Sam Border (Dave Franco) character wishes that he could escape his unstable father's hold on him as he and his little brother travel off and on due to his fathers criminal ways.
Riddle Border (Angus T. Jones) is not much of a talker. He has a strange unique way about him that finds interest in drawing pictures of the insides of things and waits for the day when the outsides of things will make sense. He looks up to his older brother and finds him as a great inspiration and role model. Both Sam and Riddle's world changes when Sam meets Emily Bell.
Emily Bell (Emma Stone) is a strong believer in destiny. First being placed to sing for her church choir, . She sees Sam in the back row being somewhat invisible to everything around him, Nothing, she feels, is mere coincidence. And as she is singing its only her and Sam in one room, or thats what it felt like to her.
"Everyone whose path you cross in life has the power to change you—sometimes in small ways, and sometimes in ways greater than you could have ever known. Beautifully written and emotionally profound, Holly Goldberg Sloan’s debut novel deftly explores the idea of human connection" - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9415957-i-ll-be-there