Humanities Portfolio - Allen Yang

Throughout the year, I felt that I learned and changed a lot from this class. From the day I set foot into the room I wanted to know what there was to learn in History, and not so much of English. In all honesty, I felt as though the first half the semesters in the class was rather slow and I wasn't very captivated. But however things took a turn towards the end of the year right now. And now I admire both of these subjects to the same extent. 

A first project that I liked was the Religions benchmark. Despite of the outcome, the grade and how much time I put on it to get that, I'm still proud of it. Because in the beginning I thought that I knew a lot about it but I learned that I didn't know too much and instead learned more than I thought. More astonishing was that it ties in with another project that I would later do towards the end of the year. 

Another thing that I did in the year and stood out among others was the Cortés Trial. It was the class's first ever trial, to determine who was at fault during the rulings of Conquistadors in present day Mexico. We were separated into groups and would later verbally battle it out to make a decision on who's the culprit. The trial was something that I've never done in the middle of a classroom, in easier terms I'd say it was a heated discussion that challenged our public speaking skills and the questioning + answering skills. I was nervous at times but when the time for my prosecuting parter (Vinny) and I to go up against the opponents, while all eyes were on us, there was nothing to do but to question what needs to be questioned and find the answer to what needs to be answered in order to prove a point and determine the one at fault. 

This next memorable work that I liked is also a trial. Instead this one was on Sweatshops, and it may sound weird, but this was a controversial topic that I never expected would've turned out the way it did. I was prosecutor yet again, this time to determine who is at fault for putting sweatshop workers in danger. This trial had the class realize how much others around the world have to go through in order to create the daily things we use. From the past trial about Cortés, being a prosecutor wasn't so hard for me anymore, I just went up and do what needed to be done "get a satisfying answer". This trial was more intense than the Cortés one, rather that it was a heated discussion, it was more like a discussion packing heat. At some point it got quite a bit personal between two groups that later turned into a flame war. At the end of the day, people might "ehh, who cares it's just a fake trial", but to us (at least I do) it matters because at some point of the trial we all got caught up in a moment. 

Mr. Block had write an Op-Ed one day, and this took place during the 3rd-4th quarter. Everyone in the class was pretty puzzled that day because almost none of us had a clue what Op-Ed was. Except that it sounded like two abbreviated words turned into 5 characters. Block later explained that we were to write a report like paper based on a controversial topic along with our own opinions using facts. I'd call it a Factual & Opinionated piece. I don't know about others, but to me, it couldn't get any better. It wasn't my first time writing these so I felt at ease.There was one problem, during that moment in time many things were happening around the world, from natural disasters to made made destructions. Over the course of two days I decided to pick the Libya Vs. NATO topic. So for a period of time I caught up even more with the current event through both the internet and television news. I however felt that it was too controversial so I had doubts at first, however I didn't really care and kept on writing it. When the deadline arrived, I finished it a day head, and Block said that we were to send emails to newspapers and see if some of ours to qualified to be published on them. I wanted mines to be published to a local Philadelphia Newspaper, I got one reply back that they received it but never got one back on whether or not it was published, but I don't really care because after all I'm satisfied with it. 

One of the last projects of the year was a History benchmark, that we were all to do on colonization. All of us were to pick a country, and make a proposal for a museum and have eight artifacts to be displayed. I picked Israel yet again, and somehow it turned in to Israel & Palestine (*note that the images are indeed not displayed on the document, but if you google the names they will show up as expected*). I had much difficulties with this benchmark in the beginning because it was so confusing how it tied in to Palestine the neighboring country and eventually mind-boggling when I found out how much it tied in with many of the works I did in class before it. Such as the Op-Ed because it was controversial, the Religions benchmark I mentioned earlier, and the Cortés trial because I was determined to find out who was at fault to put Israel & Palestine to the position they are in present day. Now it may seem irrelevant to colonization but it started out as colonization, then to religious crisis and to an ongoing conflict that hasn't been to put to a halt. After the eight artifacts proposal was done I thought that it was officially over, but I was wrong. After this we were all appointed to make a presentation out of either powerpoint of keynote to display the topic and country itself. Unlike others who went specifically to the point of how their museum was to be laid out, I took a stab at a different angle. I did my presentation to the conflict from the beginning of colonization to a bigger conflict and eventually today. Within it were insights on some of the artifacts to be displayed, without the audience even knowing. 

An extra memorable work that I liked a lot was the second to last project I done recently. The Art in the Open Festival. I really don't know how to call it, but The Art in the Open was where separate performances the whole class contributed in. Mr.Block appointed us to create an art dance that took place in the street and with the assistance from a professional group of Street Artist/Dancers, the class performed it along the river banks on the day of the festival. To put it in easier terms again, this type of art and dance involved the interaction with the environment around us. It's definitely my favorite because we went from knowing nothing of what street art is to performing it to live audiences. Block allowed us two weeks to practice the performance at a certain site along the river banks, and in honest words I was very satisfied with the product that the group made on performance day despite the fact of 100+ degree heat. Only thing that was kind of disappointing was my fail on a jump during the first performance, but there was a second performance so it meant that there's always space to improve. The failed jump, resulted in some scrapes but those scrapes are actually the reflection on the effort put in to create that act. 

The last piece of work that I like a whole lot, is the one that I'm currently working on. The one,that whoever you are, is reading. It displays all the work that I'm proud of and that the public gets to see them. And it's the Final Portfolio.

Screen shot 2011-06-13 at 2.55.37 AM
Screen shot 2011-06-13 at 2.55.37 AM