Humanities Portfolio 2012

Summary & Analysis of the Year

In tenth grade, students go through many changes as they learn where they stand on certain issues. It gives them a new understanding of themselves to know and understand where we each are coming from, what perspectives we know we can give, and who we are becoming in our current environment. This year, I feel as though I have evolved through means of knowing better who I am, and how I affect and interact with the people around me and with the environment. A few of the most important things I believe I have learned are, for one, the importance of nonviolence used to make change, and for another, how with freedom comes struggles, and with struggles comes an inequality that we have to fight to be rid of. I learned about the Millennium Development Goals set forth by the United Nations, especially the goal that all school-age children should have the right to free education, and have access to it. This lesson especially illuminated the idea of inequality and how we really need to strive for the equal rights of all humans.


500+ Word Blog post

Throughout this year I have had several minor breakthroughs in my academics that have sort of shaped me into becoming a different person than I was in September. One of my understandings that I have come to is the importance of nonviolence. This entire year has spoken of what has come from nonviolence, not just one unit, and I have been able to see what it can accomplish in many different ways around the globe.

First, closer to the beginning of the year in our religion unit, we were given the task of looking up a religious figure for a class role-play in which we would speak as our religious figure in a discussion with the other figures. In this assignment, I chose to research Mohandas Gandhi. This was an interesting experience, because I had not learned before exactly who Gandhi was or what he did. I was able to learn that he was not just a religious, but also a political figure, which led most of the nonviolent protest against the English for India’s independence. He was one of the greatest minds behind nonviolent protest and developed many writings on the subject, starting a revolution of many people who took this tool and used it to change what they believed was wrong. This was my first account of something so passive becoming so powerful, as I had not thought that anything could be really changed without some show of violence.

I also saw such an impact on this when we went into our Revolution unit, and looked at several different revolutions including the French Revolution and several protests that were more current, such as Egypt and the Middle Eastern countries like Iraq. These countries, especially Egypt, was able to get what they wanted sorted out almost in a year, and while they are still in the process of obtaining the goal of what the people want, they have achieved very much in very little time, as opposed to the French revolution for example, where even though they overthrew their rulers, the country was still in the same kind of turmoil that they were in if not worse, thanks to the group of people that led the revolution, the Jacobins. The French revolution was a violent one, and led to more violence, while the nonviolent revolutions we went over were much more successful.

Another great example that we went through was a movie we watched on Apartheid, and how colonized countries like South Africa were segregating everything to the point where different colored races could not live, eat, drink, play sports, or do anything in the same place to keep the bloodline strong. In this movie, South Africa was not allowed to participate in the Olympics due to the fact that most countries would bail out of the Olympics if a segregated country participated. Eventually, it got so that South Africa could only participate in international sports if it was rugby. And so when South Africa’s all-white rugby team toured, all of the countries they toured to gave protests and made it more difficult for them to compete. People stayed on the field to stop them, kicked them out of hotels, and did anything that wasn’t violent in order to keep them from competing. Today, South Africa’s sports teams are integrated, just like normal life. All of these experiences have taught me about the importance of nonviolence in trying to change something, because now I understand how you can get further with words and expressions than you can with an expensive and sad war.

Some Works that I am proud of:


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