World History Final Portfolio 2014

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Since the beginning of the school year, many world and historical issues have been addressed and explored. I’ve learned the value of civil rights and revolution, as well as learning to value the things I’d originally take for granted. But one of the main things explored was self identity and human rights. Self identity is important for everyone, and it's something that most struggle with. Since the introduction of colonialism, almost everyone has struggled with self identity. Self identity defines who you are on the inside and on the outside, but is influenced by the means of culture and environment.

Many of the units explored some aspect of self identity. Such as the colonialism and culture/religion units. As we learned, during colonialism, “foreign” countries were stripped of their native cultures in replace of European nationalism. This caused a large majority of the people’s identities to get stolen from them, and when they tried to regain them, the culture was either too far gone or they were ashamed. This is similar to the way things nowadays around the world. Western countries usually force their culture onto the people, and those who don’t already fit the mold (aka people of color) while literally force themselves to try to be as eurocentric as possible in order to avoid ridicule. This year, I learned that self identity is very important, and if you’re not comfortable with who you are (or at least accepting), then you’ll never be satisfied. Trying to change who you are to fit what someone else believes in will only hurt you in the long run.

During the colonialism unit, Mr. Block had posted a link about an African girl who had lost touch with American culture and moved to Nigeria in order to feel “at home”. I responded with,

"Those who try to maintain a culture that is foreign to the American eye are usually ousted despite this being considered the land of the free."

Trying to change who you are to fit what someone else believes in will only hurt you in the long run. The rest of this response can be viewed here.

Another important aspect of this year was the revolution unit. It taught my peers and I that standing up for what you believe in matters. That there will always be a grip that keeps you from succeeding and it is up to you to break and rise above it. Revolutions start with an idea of a few, and then expand to many and eventually becomes a mind for the people. The success of a revolution depends entirely on the message and aftermath of the event. If nothing positive comes from a supposed revolution, there might as well not have been one. This unit taught me that all should stay informed on what is happening in their governments. Also, to not let seemingly intimidating powers to continue to oppress. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to care for the wellbeing of the people and themselves.

On February 10, 2014, I wrote a paragraph in response to the French and Haitian revolutions. I had connected the historical French and Haitian revolutions to that of modern day and had a great time researching and gaining an understanding. The last few sentences of the paragraph included this,

“The only ways for a revolution to take flight and be successful is for the unison of the people. The people must be passionate and genuinely care for one another and the country, and are willing to risk their wellbeing to defend against a corrupt government. “

The rest of my response can be viewed here.

Another proud aspect of the year that I created was my “Guide to Revolutions” video. My focus in particular was exploring the aftermath of a revolution and what happens exactly. The objective of the project was to express our understandings of a revolution as well as expand on our own individualized topics about them. This video is definitely my favorite of the bunch.

Journal #33 in my World History Journal was interesting and appealing, and stood out from many of my other responses. It entails my personal beliefs on how to start, pursue and end a revolution. Not only this, but difference ways to protest during a revolution that avoids turning to violence.

Another journal that stood out to me was #46. It was in response to a question along the lines of “Are mentalities shaped?”. I thought my response to this in particular had everything to do with self identity. If you take a look at journal, you’ll see that I stood my ground on the topic. Self identity is created by your mentality, as mentalities are created by your environment and influences. Each interconnect to one another and having another person create who you are would in turn change your mentality to only suit them.

This year in World History was very enthralling. I enjoyed the exploration of the different topics we covered; as each of them were engaging and were entirely unexpected. The way Mr. Block teaches is not the ordinary, regular way. Everything is interactive and practically forces the children to pay attention to the topic. Learning about world problems while also enjoying yourself and being genuinely interested is very important.