Humanities Portfolio 2012

This year has seen me grow considerably. My ideas have matured a lot from September to June. Over the course of the year, I feel as though I’ve come across three general understandings that I feel are significant. They show that I’ve grown significantly this year.

            My first general understanding is something I’ve learned a lot about in history. I’ve come across many examples of how conflict is required for social change. Though I’ve realized that this conflict is most successful when violence is not involved. "The French revolution was a revolution in the way that it was carried out, and because of the results of the uprising. It was not however, much of a change for the better. The government in France changed but the difficulties did not end." (French Revolution Reflection) I wrote this after completing the French revolution unit in history. It seemed that the French ultimately didn’t gain anything meaningful after the uprising. My next example comes from my project How to Start a Revolution. I found many examples of successful social change in history that was mostly nonviolent. "There are many different methods of nonviolent protest. An effective one would to have women and children at the front of a demonstration, this would discourage any military force brought up by the dictator from attacking. Another is to humanize the military force by talking and interacting with them. This shows both sides that they are all part of the same country." (How to Start a Revolution) My last example comes from a journal entry I made pretending to be Galileo during his in-house arrest brought on by the church. I feel that he ultimately succeeded by complying and not getting himself killed. "I've resigned to comply with the Church. I’m tired of fighting this fight; it is better for me to reject my work then to die. At the very least I’ve contributed to the scientific community. Even if I’ve not enlightened the public, at least I can say that some benefit from my work."(Galileo Journal Entry)

            My next general understanding comes from a mixture of my classes of English and History. After out many discussions about the issues we covered I feel that the discussion helps me see the full issue. Discussion helps me see all sides of the argument. My first example comes from my Servant Point of View piece. My role was to see the issues that came along with the French revolution through the eyes of one of the lowest members of society. But as we discussed the issues at hand, I learned about all of the higher rungs on the ladder. "I'm just a servant, no one important cares about the likes of me. I just go about my day making sure the palace stays completely perfect. Everything around me costs more then I will ever make in my entire life. The royal family is a group of pigs! They make all the decisions so that they'll always come out on top." (Servant POV) My next example comes from my reflection on the Sweatshop trial we had in History. I realized after the trial was over that I’d begun with a very biased opinion on the matter. It was only until after it was over did I realize that I’d been ignoring half of the points that were made because they were made against my group. "I think that each group that participated in the trial did a good job of representing their organizations. It is especially difficult to do a trial like this when there are no clear victims or groups at fault. All groups defended their positions with relative success, even when they were more clearly at fault in the situation." (Reflection on Sweatshop Trial) My last example comes from my roles as Pope Urban the second during the religious role-play. I feel like the lesson from the French revolution role-play where driven home during this unit. "Hello, I'm Pope Urban the second. I became pope in March of the year 1088" (Religion Role-play)

            My last general understanding comes from the beginning of the year in English 10. I realized that writing out the stories of my life and describing my experiences gives me a fresh view. My first quote comes form my very first assignment. It gave me a vague idea of what I would be doing for the first part of the year. All I had to do was describe myself in a journal entry. "I'm 15 years old, born in Philadelphia/ Spanish is my second language, after 10 years, I'm fluent/ I play soccer, defense, and I work hard. In sports, and everything else/ I have a brother and a sister, I'm the oldest one." (Theme for English 2) Our next assignment that year was to write a descriptive piece about a painting in our house. I was given a new look at the painting after having to describe it in detail. Every time I walk past it in the hall I think of the assignment. "In the foreground, waves rock the two boats as they approach their prey. The men are experts, standing in the their positions, ready for action" (Description of a painting) To finish up the unit, I had to write a whole descriptive essay. In this essay I had to describe several different memories in detail. I think that describing them has helped me remember them more clearly. "As I sat inside, I heard my brother talking animatedly to my sister, to him this is a fun family-bonding treat. He smiles as he runs back and forth, helping the rest of us in the small ways he can" (Descriptive Essay)

            My growth this year has been gradual. But I can see it clearly just by looking at my work in the beginning of the year. My initial reaction is to laugh at myself from a year ago, or to feel embarrassed. But in the end I’m proud, because it shows how far I've come.

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Screen Shot 2012-06-05 at 2.33.14 PM