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End of year portfolio: EThan

Ethan Reese 6/4/12

Mr. Block is my english and world history teacher he taught us many units over my sophomore year. However, one has sat with me to this day. This unit was learning and discussing the power of language. One quote of mine that really stuck out from my Language autobiography is one that I stated as one of my general understandings. “Language is the most powerful tool in the human’s arsenal.”

This is something I contemplated for hours upon, language is the most powerful tool in the human’s arsenal, I repeated it to myself over and over. Until I finally understood what it meant to me, it meant that language has the most effect on humans and our cultures. It meant that language was the most powerful weapon with the strength to bring the largest army to its knees or, it could heal a culture and reinvigorate its people, had the power to turn men to immortals. Language is not something good or bad, it all has to do with how you use this weapon of mass destruction.

A quote that connects this idea of language holding an all mighty power would be          “Language is the first step into a culture”*. This statement is saying that language has the power to introduce you to a culture and by entering that culture opens your eyes to a whole new world. One of the things we seek in this life is diversity, we want to learn as much as we can and one of the best way to do this is language immersion. People use language to relate with each other and create relationships. Without language we would be babbling mindless bodies wandering through life alone.

A second proof of general understanding is a quote from my language autobiography, “Language is the world’s greatest treasure and its greatest curse”. This quote was something I had strung off of my first quote “Language is the most powerful tool in a human’s arsenal”. What this meant to me was that language has the potential to do great things, I could not imagine life as being an illiterate. All of my friendships I have ever had have come through the connection of a shared language. However it is a curse to the world, people have caused war, famine, and inequality in this life by using language. I do not find language to be something good or bad, I do find it to be an important part of human cultures.

My last proof of general understanding is a quote from my grandfather “Language has the power to start or stop wars, to have one nation silenced or have them all shout out at the same time”. This spoke to me and I knew I had to use it for something I just never knew what, it ties directly in with my general understanding. What this really means is sort of like every quote I have been using that language is a double edged sword that can persecute and destroy or repair and unionize. In this quote he is saying that language can bring peace between nations and end conflicts or one insult spoken through this language can cause an uproar between two nations.

Language is a hard thing to comprehend, some imagine a world without language to be a good thing, they see it as inequality will dissipate and conflict will cease to exist. However they do not see the flip side of that coin, that a world without language would be a world of brutes and barbarians being uncivilized and unorganized. So for as of now I have learned a world of language is a world ten fold better than a world without.

My second general understanding comes from an assignment meant for the book night I changed it around a little to make it a statement more than a thought. GU (power changes everything?)

“Power leads to one of two paths, the first being a path to enlightenment and an age of prosperity in the world. This path is the path of equality and justice, the second path leads you to war and hate. This path is what causes inequality and poverty in the world and sadly is the path most followed”.

This quote I feel has been one of my better pieces of writing, a very similar quote came from the same paper. “Power is a double edged sword, that either is used as a tool for justice or inequality.”. In this quote I use an old proverb of something being a double edged sword, meaning that both ends do something. I translated it into power which in this quote meant that power does one of two things makes the world a better place or on the flipside makes the world a worse place. What this quote really meant to me was that, looking at dictators and rulers from the past people notorious for abusing or rightfully using their power. We can really get insight into what power really is and look at how our different systems work.

A second quote I used came from a game I play, Fable. The game is about being a ruler and making choices that lead you to power, and how you use that power to be good or evil. “Power does not just belong to the powerful, but to all. The powerless just forget just how powerful one child, woman, or man can be. This realization is what causes either peace or violence amongst a civilization.”. This quote is something that I never thought much of until one day when I was playing it and it hit me this has to be in my paper. What this quote really means is that the people in power abuse their power because no one else steps up to oppose or up hold their promises. This ties in with modern day government and about how there are a lot of people in power that are corrupted and make the world an unequal place. Which we discussed amply in Mr.blocks classes.*

Overall this year has taught me many things but the lessons that have stuck with me the most, are discussion of power and language. This is why I chose to use these for my general understanding. I really hope that this shows what my year has been like with my English and World History teacher Mr.Block.

* - Pieces of work I am proud of-

You can see all of my work on this page. - My history - My english

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Humanities Portfolio 2012

Over the course of the year, the amount of work that i received was consistent and always flowing through.Even though at times it was hard to do work not because of the difficulty of the work but just the amount of the work itself.So I say I am not a poet I am not saying I can not write poetry per say but in all actuality Im saying that i can't ever compare to the great writers of the past that made work so powerful that it is still used today.I had the inspiration to do my love poems after looking after all of the poems that reminded me of a person that heavily influenced me in my younger years.It was very rough at first but then towards the end of the poem I learned that not every line of  poem has to rhyme like in the books in elementary school.

The studies that we did during the year were very vast and hot handed.One of the ones that I recall the most was the one we did during the assignment we did about but buddha.It was a very emanational in a way because it had to a lot with predominantly religion and I looked into it and I in a way found a lot of peace by just meditating.Some quotes are

All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. Thiese are just some eye openers of witch i was in triggered by.

When we hit the french revolution I was moved by the hardships that were faced by the lower class people. The had to change all of the opinions that they had because they were not able to express them because if they did express them they would be "shot down" and not listen to.One day when the people that were treated harshly got tired they rebelledd and fought back. even thought they know they were going to die they still went for it because they knew this was necessary to have a better and more well rounded life.It payed off! Lives were lost hearts were broken and in the end they now have their freedom because of what they did.

These  were just some of the many example pieces of work that I did this year.



french revolution :

Quotes from, budhha:
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what is religion 

 I believe that religion is believing in a high power to look after you and or seek help to . No to some people religion is just some way to get money or just a conspiracy to get people to buy or belive in something that is not true nor real.For most people GOD is the first thing that comes to mind when in al reality religion can be anything for "eating a water melon before bed because the seeds will make you stronger " to "cleaning a house every week will help lift the spirits and bring good luck".At the end of the day religion is defined by believing in something and sticking to it in my opinion.

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Are My Hands Clean?

What are some different messages?

some different messages are that to make the clothes that wear before they get to us the go through a lot of countries and regions of the world that forces people to work for little to no money

How do you answer the question?

I think that mine are not clean because of the fact that i know the hard ships that they face and yet i still keep buying then and supplying the manufactures with money 

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journal #4

what was one of the worst jobs you ever had to do?

When I was younger my family owned a corner store and for my friends they thought it was really  awesome but for me on the other hand  it was not. Behind all the food and money was a team of people that never stopped working because it was constantly always being rushed for the demand of food and goods.My job when i got home from school and until it was closed was to fill up all the refrigerators with all of the soda and juice that it had so that they would be cold for the morning rush. I had to carry,move and sell stuff that I had to put back at the end of the day. It was not AYZE YOFii

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10% Project

Scientists first began experimenting with invisibility in the early nineties, where they would place a very small piece of fiber optic material underneath a microscope. Afterwards, they would shine a very small laser on the material. As a result, the material appears invisible under the microscope. However, the process had to be very specific, and the procedure very precise, otherwise, it wouldn’t work. Not only that, but the scale was so small at only nanometer, that the whole discovery, while impressive, was entirely impractical. However, as the years went by, and as technology grew, scientists found more and more ways to test invisibility.


By far, the largest scaled experiment was conducted in 2004 by professors in Texas University when they took a hand-sized mirror and placed under several lights and cameras in a completely gray room. There, they electrically heated the mirror up to an enormous degree until it reached a point where the mirror reflected any light hitting it, making it appear gray and virtually invisible. This has a sort of ‘mirage effect’, which can be commonly seen on long, hot roads. However, despite the impressive scale, a suit that operated in a similar way would burn the user alive due to it having to be heated up to such an intense degree.


The most recent, and potentially most likely way for scientists to achieve full-scale invisibility came in the form of micro fibers. These little fibers were smaller than a single wavelength of light, which was required for what it was designed to do. When light hits it, it causes the light to diverge, or split, and go around the microfiber, making the fiber itself appear invisible. However, this is the smallest scale to date, and would require centuries of increasing technology and research before it may have some practical use. Still, it is effective, and impressive.


Invisibility has always been something only seen in the movies, but with enough effort, scientists may finally be able to make that a reality.

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Humanities Portfolio 2012

Throughout the year I feel that I have grown, not only as a student but also as a person. Most of my pieces of work have been about family and friends, and through these I learned many different things about them. One example of this was in the beginning of the year we wrote about a piece of art that we observed. We got to choose which piece to look at and I chose one that sister did. It was of a circus elephant standing on top of a ball, and all around it was a rainbow shooting out from every side. I talked about how this was the perfect embodiment of my sister as a person. That she always liked the odd thing, like an elephant standing on a ball, but she also liked to make surreal images that are left in your mind.

Later in the year I compared that very same image of an elephant to a memory that I had of my friend and I playing paintball. I said “In those six seconds I had enough cover to stand up and sprint across the field firing blindly with my left hand (probably not hitting anything but scaring the opponents). I looked over and I was reminded of a picture that my sister once painted. It was a picture of an elephant standing on top of a ball, with colors shooting out of it. I felt kind of like that elephant, precariously perched with colors flying at me from all directions.” This story always bring a smile to my face because it makes me think of how lucky I am to have such a great family, and such great friends. 

About two months later we wrote a paper about our different linguistic backgrounds. As an Irish/German/American I had a lot to say about the many different languages that go on with my family. I said in my language autobiography that “It’s really confusing when people speak all of their languages at the same time (In my family). I am the only one who can understand all of the languages. I can’t speak them back, but I act as an interpreter.”

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10% Project: Genetic Manipulation

For my 10% project, I read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. After reading the book, I was curious about genetic manipulation and the idea of genetic hierarchy, so I decided to write a reflective study based on those topics.

Click Here for the study.

Click Here for the Keynote presentation I made about genetic manipulation.
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