Humanities Portfolio 2011

Screen shot 2011-06-12 at 9.41.43 PM
Screen shot 2011-06-12 at 9.41.43 PM
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is just one of the many quotes I’ve discovered for myself throughout the year in both english and history. During the year, we dove into topics and discussions in which, related to things in the past, or how things use to be. But even though something happened hundreds of years ago, there are still traces in today’s society of the impact it left. History is going on all around us, yet we’re all too blinded to notice. It takes a keen observer, to notice the situations around us, and then relate it through the very words we create. I always thought to myself growing up... the significance of learning about people from hundreds of years ago. It was only until this year I finally realized that without proper understanding of how things use to be, one cannot stride to change things for the better. After all, during the french revolution, the french stood up to their queen and eventually caused a mass world historic event. Yet, only a very few months ago, there was a gathering in Egypt to take down their leader. This is one of the few times where unless properly learned, history shall repeat itself.

But don’t get me wrong, there was also another key element in which revolved around my year in english and history, the idea of justice. Throughout the year, we as a class formed together and did many exhilarating projects. A few of them being trials, which would be held to find a verdict for the unjust ways of treating. The first, being the Cortez trial. The conquering of the Aztecs were held in many different perspectives. Some say it was the king of Spain who told Cortez to do it. While others were blaming Cortez for following through with it. But without proper background knowledge on the situation, the groups would have never expected to come out victorious and not guilty of their harsh acts towards society. These trials were very active, yet fun at the same time. Groups would band together and fight for what they believe in. Sometimes I’d feel like we actually took a travel back in time, and were actually living in it. But those trials weren’t the only way our class portrayed the idea of justice. 

During the end of the year, we as a class took a trip down to the Eastern State Penitentiary, one of the first prison systems in the city of Philadelphia. The key topic for this was the combination of justice, and rehabilitation. The people believed if you did an unjust act towards society, you’d be forced to suffer the consequences. But we learned that their methods of “rehabilitation” were rather... barbaric. They would take each person and lock them in a room for 23 hours of the day. The belief of solitary confinement was the only true way of change. Living in today’s society, it’s completely clear that was a very cruel and inhumane way of treating a human being. But don’t get me wrong... even today’s society has its flaws, especially in regards to races and other ways to separate a one, true species. 

But in the end, I feel that with this year in english and history, I learned a lot about the course of the past, and relating it to how things are now. Somethings developed only for the better, but nonetheless, also for the worse. I’ve learned that we as humans will always have some sort of flaw, and seek guidance from anyone or anything to try to change that. And even though we are the most developed species of animal on this planet, we still have a lot to learn in regards to how we affect society in not only the present, but also the future. Every footstep as individuals we make, will go down in history. Whether that footstep is the first on the moon, or the personification of justice. We will always be paving the way for the next generation to follow our footsteps.

And here's a few examples of my work relating to the topics previously mentioned throughout the course of the year:

Monologue project
History Journal 22
Language Autobiography
Op-ed on advertising
Thesis paper