World history has been an amazing experience. I have learned and acknowledge things that I don't think I wouldn't have normally thought about. This class has shined light on lots of changes, both positive and negative. I think Mr. Block has done an outstanding job on bringing the past back to life with his awesome units and lessons. Some of those lessons will be talked about today as I look back on things that developed me as a world history student. I remember me sitting in class in the beginning of the year thinking I would probably hate this class, going off past experiences with other history classes. This class was different. Mr. Block totally changed my perspective on how I viewed this course
Many of the units that were taught and focused on has came to a complete understanding about the way this class is summed up. One of the biggest things that popped up a lot throughout all the lessons we learned was that self identity was a very important credential here in this society and especially all around the world. We looked at units about social justice and and religion/culture. We saw how countries were being colonized and oppressed. We saw how many cultures were being europeanized and taken away their rights and cultural beliefs, just to “fit in”. The “American Dream” did not have any room for people of any skin tone that flawed their ideas at all. Even if that meant not being able to do basic human rights. African countries had the worst of many. Apartheid was a big part of history that we are still scared from to this day. Leaders like Nelson Mandela and Gandhi fought so that someday we could possibly become one and have all equality, but it`s not over yet.
One of the things that stood out to me this year that also reminded me of my understanding,was when we did a discussion on the girl that went back to Africa for a funeral and later went on to move permanently to the country. Here is a part that I truly liked:”She was a strong woman and I think she could have been just as strong living in Africa. She was on a mission and she had something she wanted to accomplish.” I thought that reminded me of when I was thinking about the time I was in Africa and I had to be strong. When I returned back from Africa I thought a lot about how things were so different from back home. I made pledge to myself that I wouldn`t allow people to live like that. That I would try my very hardest when I got older to help those who can't help themselves. I saw that their self identity mattered, because I would see if you were of lebanese descent they would treat you better. It was something about Americans that made life so much easier over their. They would literally ask you if they could kiss your feet, they would stare only because they are not used to such things that you might have. Social identity played a major role in that.
Another unit we did was from the 3rd quarter when we did the plays. It was my second time doing plays. I did one when I was in middle school and had it performed by fellow classmates. I thought that the topic I wrote about for my play could explain just how much world history has tied into having a self identity. The topic I wrote about was about a woman who cheated with married man because she had a problems with herself. Her boyfriend would beat her and would have drinking problems.I have a part of a scene that explains a lot of my general understanding, Mama Jones: “Yeah, you think so honey. You know why they also come to you, because you easy, ya little hoe. Aint nothing to you, but skin and bones. You aint no real women, You a little girl. They know you just a easy fix to get some with. You hardly know anything baby. And you need to keep more than just ya mouth closed before something come crawling out of there’s saying mama.. This is another crisis of identity when a troubled young girl sleeps around because she is unable to get into contact with herself. She looks for love in the wrong place and maybe ends up getting hurt. I think that many of people struggle to find themselves so they search in others to do so.
The unit on revolution was one of my favorites because we did a project on country that we were assigned and had to show how they struggled for their rights and how they overthrew the higher authority. I did mine on Egypt. I learned lots of things that I would never had knew if it were not for this project. Identity was an issue with Egypt because if you were poor and did not have a lot of money it was equivalent to not having a voice or rights. Many of what I was reading when I first started was they were trying to shut up the people that were complaining that they had no rights, which was very unfair. Here is a quote from the story that I Thought stood out, “He was an unfair dictator. He was living a wonderful life while others were living in poverty and dying from simple resources like bread. He was overpowered by the people of egypt. This is an example that long endurance and hard work for justice will happen eventually.” This was the dictator of Egypt and the only reason he was there for that long was because he had a self identity that was higher than most of the people that were against him.
I remember I was sitting in class one day and I was looked up the board and saw that the warm up was asking me a question about whether other cultures were allowed to judge other cultures. At first I thought that it was a question that was actually very smart, because even though we do it, we never really acknowledge the fact that we do it. Even if we do acknowledge it, nobody says that it is wrong. The other resources that I have is the journal we wrote in everyday. I have wrote some meaningful things in there, but one of which I believe I truly should discuss. It was on journal number 3 where I talked about when would it be ok to ever criticize other cultures. I said it would never be ok due to the fact that as a cultural there will never ever be a right way to believe in what you believe in. I think that just ties into the self identity and make yourself fit into a theme that makes other cultures feel lower than some cultures that may be a little more popular such as christianity.
Here is another journal entry that I recognized as a very important entry that I thought would be very good. In the journal entry it gave me 2 quotes and I said that i disagreed with the second one. The second was basically implying that religion was a drug and blinded people of what actually was going on. I thought that was wrong or disagreed because I thought that religion should be an escape for any bad drugs that try to come into your life on a daily basis. I said I think people should turn to religion if nothing else.
All these resources made my time in world history thoughtful, fun and meaningful. I think that Mr. Block has altogether changed the way I look at history. Before coming to this class, history used to be a frag. I used to hate it. It made no sense as to why I had to learn about something that happened 200+ years ago, but this class made it so fun to learn about stuff like that. Now looking back at everything in my journal, I agree with some and disagree with some. I think that overtime as you learn more things and see different things you evolve and change. Change is not always bad, but then again change could be bad as we saw in history. Overall this year has been successful, because whenever you can take the knowledge you have received and place it on other things in your life, that class truly has changed your perspective and identity.