Humanities Portfolio 2012

Over the year, I have been taught a multitude of things.  However, I wasn’t just taught the proper way to write an essay, or how to spell a certain word, I was taught to be creative and to use that creativity to my own advantage.  For example, when Mr. Block told us to make a poetry wiki(Click Here), only a small portion of it was dedicated to famous poets.  This struck me as cool and different, I was never asked to do something so personal for such a large project before.  Most of it was to show off our own poetic skills, like how we were taught to embrace our own style of writing and then to improve on it. As an example this line is written by me, and in my own style, “Everyone knows that state that you get into were nothing matters except the next page, and where the book uses your mind as a canvas to paint its masterpiece onto.

In the poetry wiki, we were told to create our own poems, and the only guidelines were about the type of poems we had to write like an ode, or an imagist poem.  The line, “Walking through rose bushes/The sharp thorns grabbing at the pants/Like an army of sharp fairy hands,” really shows the level of creativity we were expected to show.  Where else would you get to use such an abstract metaphor?

            You would think that with all of this creative writing going on, we would learn a flimsy amount of history or proper writing skills, but somehow we managed it.  Our history lessons encompassed everything from  Apartheid to the Holocaust, from the problems in Haiti to the French revolution, all which taught how our society came to be today.  The history of how Haiti struggled through its own civil war so recently really enlightened me.  It opened a window into the world of a poor worker and how they are oppressed and segregated constantly.

            We were also given time to look over what we had done over the year and to draw some conclusions from it.  I noticed that the multinational corporations and poor countries ruling elites were generally selfish people who were doing their best to destroy the environment and their people completely. “The Elites would have to grow a spine and stick up for their people, and be more insistent on things like child labor laws and fair treatment of workers.”  This line comes from a mock trial analysis(Click Here) where  the poor country ruling elites were prosecuted by the rest of the world.  The trial revealed that the poor country ruling elite could easily change labor laws to be morally acceptable, with only a small cost to the corporations in charge.  This selfishness is what is holding the world back from advancement in technology and quality of life.  Even more so than that, I realized that poor leadership leads to most of the worlds problems, and if every leader did what was truly in their countries best interest, the world would be an amazing place to live in.

            Throughout history class, I realized that whenever change occurs, struggle shortly follows, and the struggle may lead to more chaos, or it could end with serenity and peace. Throughout history, groups within society have tried to change the structure of that very society, and a group of people would always strongly oppose them, but that is not always a bad thing.  In WWII, the Nazi’s tried to completely exterminate the Jews, but the rest of the world rebelled against them and eventually won the war, but not before it had affected many people.  6 million Jews died, and I realized the survivors had their souls "Scorched with the fire of oppression.”(Click Here) These brave survivors had to fight to regain their place in the world, while getting over the frightening things they experienced.           

I believe that we were able to cope with the amount of work we were assigned because of the highly structured but flexible style of teaching Mr. Block employs.  He makes sure that even when we have multiple projects going at one time, we keep everything organized and together, while meeting all of the time requirements for our assignments.  The skills that have been reinforced in this class, such as perseverance, hard work, organization, and dedication, have large impacts in other areas in every day life, and that is what I truly learned this year in History and English.


Wordle final portfolio
Wordle final portfolio