Humanities Portfolio 2012

Main Understanding: Hard work and struggle can lead to creativity


Throughout the year I have learned about many different and controversial topics. Some of which I believe aren't part of the normal curriculum. Many things that we did included our own original play that was part of a controversial topic and many other things that are interesting, In the beginning of the year I walked into Mr. Block's History and English class thinking it would be a regular boring class and we would do what I did in a regular high school class. Instead of that I had a different experience. It was regular assignments and research but it was a hands-on experience to different things, like being a part of the Art in the Open festival.


Some of the topics that struck me as interesting were the lesson that we learned about the different rights to education, and the boy that refused to say the pledge of allegiance. We asked different essential questions about each of the topics that we were discussing in class. When we started the process out making our own play, I struggled because I had never done a thing, in actuality I never wrote much until this year. The first thing we did before we wrote plays were that we were to read plays written by the classes from before. After we had read plays and talked about different controversial topic that our play had to include. Throughout the process of writing it, we had much help by doing several activities that would immerse us into the characters that could be in our play. I had some trouble thinking about what topic I wanted to pick during the period that we were choosing. During that time, Kim Jong il died so I decided to do something with the country of North Korea. I strived to create a play following a couple with mixed feelings about the Leader of North Korea dying. I tried creating a story that could’ve been possibly be happening at that very moment.


Second Understanding: Change can only occur when there is support


            Throughout the year we’ve had many different assignments and most of those assignments required us to as another student to peer-edit each other’s work. Most of what I am proud of writing wouldn’t be what it is. This year we wrote a language autobiography on how language affects us. Seeing that I am Vietnamese, I know two languages. The difference from knowing an Asian language and English in my eyes is a big leap from knowing Spanish and English, or English alone. It’s a big leap because of the structure of the Asian language and the difference it makes. In my language autobiography I talk about how when I was younger I felt like an adult. I felt like any adult because of the responsibility that I had as the best English speaking person in the house. Another thing that we did that I help finishing up was the Poetry Unit. Inside this Unit we wrote different poems, with each poem having a different requirement, and constantly had our peers editing posting feedback about the specific poems we wanted. We asked our peers to support us we wrote poetry and made a specific page where we stored our different poems that we wrote at that time.


Third Understanding: Listening can help immensely


            Although I have listened for most of the school year, there are some bits and pieces here and there where I started to space out momentarily. One moment was when Mr. Block was talking about the Final portfolio, which is what you’re reading, I spaced out because I was reading different vignettes from the book “Finding Freedom” Another instance where I wasn’t in the zone was when we were introduced our podcast interview which was part of our Crossing Boundaries unit. This project was a group one where we all interviewed people outside of our school.


            This year has been very interesting, it has been weird but in a good way. I feel satisfied with what I produced this year


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