Journal Entry #40

Monthly Review Press, New York 1972

Pg. 19-20

"They prove that colonization, I repeat, dehumanizes even the most civilized man that colonial activity, colonial enterprise, colonial conquest, which is based to contempt for the native and justified by that contempt, inevitably tends to change him who undertakes it; that the colonizer, who I order to ease his conscience gets into the habit of seeing the other  man as an animal  accustoms himself to treating him like an animal, and tends objectively to transform himself into an animal."

Amie Cesaire, I agree with everything this man says. He simply takes his idea of colonozation and exaggerates it to get the attention of the audience. No, excuse my language he unrefines it and removes the commonly used word "settlers" inorder to portray crudely how evil colonization is, was, and always will be. This does not only pertain to past even in our histories, but places that are being overthrown today. And you can no tame the untamable unless you become untamable also.

"Colonialism is influenced by racism." 

Element Project

Inquiry:  I asked many questions when beginning this project. What is neodymium? How can I reflect the element's identity in a piece of art?

Research: I did quite a lot of research to educate myself on neodymium and it's purpose and importance in our lives. I researched both the science and chemistry of the element and the artistic application of the element.

Collaboration: My peers helped critique my various sketches. I was able to brainstorm better out loud and get good constructive criticism to improve my product.

Presentation: The presentation of the final element print is essential. I had to print neatly and cut and matte it precisely in order for it to look professional, well done, and well presented. 

Reflection: I reflected and looked at the bigger picture several times during my process, considering what my project would look like in a grade wide periodic table. I also reflected on my previous experience in science and engineering class with elements to help enrich my project.

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Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 6.19.47 PM

Journal Entry # 36

Violence is powerful but non-violence initiates action. For example actually I have no example, but I will explain my reasoning. If you are violent law officials will see you as silent and easy tagets, but if you are non-violent there only strategy is no longer effective and they must give you what you need.If you are non-violent this awaken the opposing party and tells them "no this is not a joke." Both of these acts of resistance will have consequence, but one will be less painful.

My Faith in non-violence by Mohanda K. Ghandi

"I have found that life persist in the midst if destruction and, therefore there must be a higher law than that of destruction... I have found, however, that this law of love has answered as the law of destruction has never done."

Ghandi's response to non-violence was not only plausible, but soothing. I have heard of him only when being compared to American activist ie. Doctor King. But actually hearing/reading his views makes me think of new ways we can end violence today.

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

Final Portfolio

Jules James

Looking back throughout the year in history and in english the theme this year in history, to me was seeing things in different lens helps create a better understanding of the world. We learned about what happened in the past and also what is happening now. We didn’t just stick to one subject. We learned about about a lot of things that happened in different places. One thing I remember learning about in history was the Colonialism Project. In this project we had to search any place in the world that was colonized in the past and we as individuals prepared a proposal to make an exhibit. This project really showed me that there is a way of learning without just sitting in a classroom and listening to a teacher talking our brains out and telling us to take notes. And some people, like me, consider this way to be the easiest and the fun way to learn. In some cases it’s nice to learn and find out new information on your own other than just getting a ton of facts thrown in your ear.

It wasn’t just the projects that helped me learn new things in different ways but it was also the daily journals we did. For example, one of the journals I thought was helping was History Journal #19. In this journal, the question was “What is your universe obligation?” I answered this question by stating the four people, things, or places that I that felt as though was extremely important in my life. I liked doing this journal because the answer for this question didn’t have a right or wrong answer. It was opinionated. At this time we were learning about the universal declaration of human rights. We learned about the different rights for humans such as being born free, no slavery, equality to law, privacy, and many other rights. We also learned about The Modern Day Sweatshops. It was interesting the way we gathered up all our information and used it on each other by having a trial. We performed the trial by playing in different groups such as U.S. consumers, the system of profit, the poor country workers, the poor country ruling elite, and the multinational corporation and we basically chose one group to put all the blame on for the sweatshops, that is all around the world, and we had evidence of how each other was involved in the sweatshops. “We don’t care about the employees. We just want a profit.” This is one quote that was said during the trial by the system of profit and I felt as though this was a good quote because they was really playing the role of the system.

In english there was a lot of feelings and description going on. This year was filled with emotion and I thought this was important to state because in english not everybody have the chance to learn about these things because they are either focused to read  books or they are learning about grammar. We had the opportunity to read books and work on our grammar also. So the theme in english was language has hidden meanings and influence. There’s multiple reasons why I feel like this was the theme. For example, language played a huge role in my english 2 classes. We learned about descriptive language and poetry throughout the year that really brought out people’s emotion and thoughts. “Love don't exist in the pool of me. But the pain from is its number one visitor. As the smiles that I call bodyguards of happiness try to keep the pain out, its too strong for the bodyguards who don't use weapons except the lies of a smile.” When you read these quotes you can see that they are not just a regular sentences that you say when talk to someone. Well these sentences and more sentences like this was written in my Descriptive Writing. During our process of writing this, we was told to write different description paragraphs about things we saw or a moment we remembered from before to help us write with a lot of description. I thought this was very helpful because not only did this help me write with more description but it also helped me with looking at every little details of things and using figurative language such simile and metaphors. After writing the descriptive writing we switched to the poetry lesson.

When I heard this I thought we was going to just read a lot of poems from popular poets, but we didn’t do that. We made our own Poems and we used different styles that I never heard of like riff, ode, and found poems. Writing these poems taught me that not all poems have to rhyme just for it to make sense or have significant meaning. “But throughout life these languages will never connect. They are strangers living in the same house.” (Language vs. Language) This quote to me was separating language and poetry. The theme of language also came into place in my English Journal #10 where I had to fill in the blank, I wish ___________, multiple times. “ I wish I had tattoos. I wish I could fall in love. I wish I cared.” These quotes show that the phrase “I wish...” can go as far as to want to take it. And this is the same with language and poetry. You determine how much of you you want people to hear in your language.

In conclusion, this year was filled with different lesson that in a way all connected. And as I look back at all my works that I did for this year I realize that when challenging yourself, you are bettering yourself.

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Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 10.33.38 AM

English journal 41

Never shall I ever forget...
The time that I went to my grandmother's house
The big palm trees and flowers next to her house.
Never shall I ever forget...
The smell of her cooking,
The colors of the room
The feeling of excitement.
Never shall I forget...
Her lovely personality that cheered up the home,
The things she would say to those she loved.
Her small, tiny body
That walked faster than anyone which seemed like she was running.
And would do anything
to make us happy because we were on vacation.

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

I have learned many interesting and life assisting things throughout this years English class, but one of the things that will stick out to me the most is the language that I have learned coming into this year and leaving this year. My ability to express myself through spoken word and written as well has grown throughout the year. Like I have my language has grown with me, and it has shown through my work and not just in English class, but also in other assignments that require me to write or express myself. With the help of Mr. Block and his English class, my growth has shown in my work. Here are some examples in which my writing has shown growth from now compared to the beginning of the year and my previous years as a student.

         Language evolves within a person. As a class we were just heading into our poetry unit and I wrote a poem about my stuttering. A line from my poem that stuck out to me or really shows how I've grown is like a butterfly I fell as if I'm encased in steel. I feel like that was my language in the beginning of the year, trapped. Now that I have grown, my language has as well and it has broken out of its steel shell that it was encased in becoming this very elegant language that it has become which I am proud of. This is just one of the ways my language has evolve over the years.

         Another example where my language has evolved along with me is in my Language Autobiography. I expressed my difficulty dealing with language itself. Since I am a person that stutters language is not really said to be my friend. In the autobiography I compared my stuttering and everyone else's speech to mine. I said "I’ll try to keep at my own speed by switching lanes and letting everybody go past, but it’s hard. My brain is a sweatshop. All of the work it has to put up with and the only reward is knowing that you’re living to do it all again the next day." This describes how I feel everyday. My confidence has risen since that moment. Which shows the growth and the evolution of my language and myself as one.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

These 2 examples will always be the main part to my evolution with my language. This is what started it all. From me coming out of my shell to actually using the new language that I have achieved. Not overcoming my speech problem, but just knowing how to use it now it one of the abilities that I have acquired in my evolution of language. I am thankful that all of my hard work that I have done this year and all of the assistance that I have received from Mr. Block and Ryan as well. Without them and the projects that we were given, language would not have evolved the way it has inside me.



Poetry Unit

I was raised by Nature.
The animals and cool breezes,
All things green and earthy.
The vegetables in my garden.
Flowers in my front yard.
The fish in my pond.

I was raised by a hippie of a mother.
One who loves all things natural.
All things pure.
All things pretty,
And all things living.

I was raised by train tracks
Train tracks leading virtually nowhere to the naked eye.
But leading to a whole different world to my friends and I.

I was raised by streams and rivers.
The ones that flow so peacefully.
So peaceful you can sit there for hours and admire their beauty.
The ones that house our fish and give them the gift of life.

I was raised by good music and good people.
The music that soothes our souls and expands our minds.
The people that bring nothing but positive energy and good vibes.

I was raised by the world.

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

6 External Links:

1. Journal

2. Journal 2 

A big part of the year that I really enjoyed was writing in our journals. I felt as thought that was one of the only things that I felt confident in because there was no right or wrong answer. Often, Mr. Block would choose a question that was somewhat controversial and really made you think. I enjoy talking about things that make me think because I feel as though as long as i'm thinking, i'm bettering myself. 

3. Arab Spring Video

The arab spring video has to be one of my favorite projects i've done all year. It was such an interesting topic, and my group and I worked so well together. It was a lot of work, but in the long run it was way worth it considering the outcome of our project. This project called for making a video about the topic and before my group and I actually started the project, I was a little bit nervous about how it was going to turn out because making videos is NOT one of my strong points, but all in all, it turned out great. 
4. Podcast 

For this project we had to make a 8 minute long podcast. Now this was the best assignment i've ever had in my entire life. I thought it was such a great idea and really gave the students space to express themselves and the things that make them happy. For my podcast I focused on things that made me happy in my life and why they made me happy. I loved this project and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

5. Descriptive Writings
Descriptive writing was one of the first units of the school year and a ver interesting one if I do say so myself. For my writings I chose to write about somethings that interested me, and that is art. While reading this essay I hope you really get a feel for what my painting looked like and the different textures that were included.

6. Poetry Unit

Poetry was one of my least favorite things to do. But after spending over a month of writing different types and styles of poetry, I kind of grew to enjoy writing it. I'm not the best poet, but I don't think i'm the worst. Here is a small poem I wrote towards the beginning of ur poetry unit. Enjoy. 

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Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 1.42.40 PM

Humanities Final Portpolio 2013

This have been an interesting year, odd, but interesting. During this year I have experienced many things that I otherwise would not be able to understand anywhere else. One of which I say is the most interesting to me would be "Human Behavior." Near the beginning of this year the whole class was given a book that goes by the name "The Lord of The Flies." The name may sound odd; in fact, the name really isn't all that big of a deal in the book. The story itself is about a group of kids that crash-landed on an island with on adults. They were all smart little things so they started to work together in order to survive. They started was a simple system with everyone working together. The older kids hunt while the younger ones build huts and such. However, everything is bound to change after being there for so long. Not long after the older kids dyed their hands crimson with the blood of their first kill, they started to act, well, wild in a way or at lest that’s how we would describe it. In the end, the group split apart into two groups. One side just want to live the way they are on the island, the other wants to go back. But in the end the ones who wish to stay won the battle. But a battle is not won without blood spill and in this case, 2-3 died. This book simply explains basic human behavior. We humans are not born to live the way we do now. We are born to kill others in order to survive. 

(A more detailed paper can be found HERE)


         Now with the basic human instincts out of the way, time to rant about how the society has affected our simple minds. Here is something that happened not long ago. Sometime during 2012, there was a pipeline being built from Alaska to the US. What is it used for? Once the monster is complete it will haul tons and tons of Tar Sand into the US. The tar sand can be extracted for crude oil. This type of oil is extremely unclean and will cause many problems in peoples' heath conditions. However it doesn’t end there. Even during the building of said pipeline, there were many sad stories about how the next topic, Greed, turned everyday cubical workers and politicians into creatures unworthy of the word "human." The oil price in the US is rising day by day. People want cheaper oil. I mean who wouldn't? But in order to obtain one thing, another is lost. In this case for our greed, our humanity is lost. The workers desperate for work in order to earn money did everything they could in order to start building the pipe. Why do they want money? Simple, because they just WANT money. In our current society, money is the beginning and the end of everything. With enough of that green paper, you could even build a casino on the moon. So in order to obtain some of that paper, the workers abandoned their humanity and did many things that should not be done. One of the stories floating about the news web is how they forced an old lady off her own land. She have been living there for ages, everything she have and had was there on that land. From her house to her ranch to her dear memories. The workers however didn't even bat their eyelashes and just forced her out of her home where she spent nearly all her life. One could ask, "Aren’t they being ordered to do so?" To which I reply, "elementary dear Watson!" The answer is simple; it is the politicians and the corporations that issued the orders. However this does not excuse their behaviors. But the politicians and the corporations are just as guilty. They did this all to gain wealth, money, dough, lettuce. However you wish to call it, my favorite way is to call them paper since that is what they are. The politician’s gains favor with people and thus reelection, meaning more cash. The corporations want more cash to build more stuff to earn more cash. So in the end we are all caught in the endless cycle of greed, unable to escape. Greed is something everything alive have, however in our case, we are the only creatures on this planet that would stab someone in the back just to get paper colored in green.

(Some poems about this subject is HERE)


         Now after all that the image of humans to me is the equivalent to that of a piece of trash. But not all hope is lost. There was once a man named Ghadi who was rather short. He was skinny as a twig and weak as a breeze. But this man defeated one of the mightiest empires in existence during that era using words and starving himself half to death. Now he is a shining star of hope in this dark, toxic cloud of humanity. He used his words to defeat the British and it worked out rather well! A wise man once said, "The pen is mightier then the sword..." in this case the guns and bullets. What it means is that using knowledge, nothing is unachievable. During the years that he fought the British power, he never once encouraged violence, but nothing ever goes smoothly. During one of these nonviolence protests, there was a fight. No one was killed for as far as I can remember, but because of this, it totally destroyed everything Ghadi have worked for. Because of this, he decided to fast until all violent actions have been stopped. With nothing but water, this man starved himself for a whole month. Seeing his determination, everyone stopped what he or she was doing. Once again Ghadi surprised the world with his actions. Not long after he has finally done the unthinkable, he have defeated the British Empire. Not once, not twice but three times he broke the way the world goes round and made it spin his way. He was and still should be a roll model for everyone. But sadly this great man's life end with a bang, as in a bullet flying through his body. Though he's body have perished, he's thoughts won't. Those who have listened to he's teaching will forever remember his words. These words of wisdom will be passed day one after another, until the whole world knows them by heart. (Link HERE)

  Now onto a different subject, how about English journal entrees? Out of the many that we did, this one is my favorite. The question was something along the lines of beliefs. To believe something is good, however when one believes something too much, it would no longer help. Instead, it will cause harm to the believer. 

(More Details HERE at EJ 41)

  However one entree that intrigued me was English journal 41. It was for us to write a poem starting with the phrase, "Never shall I forget..." Using this, I wrote my poem based on repeating this line at the beginning of every line. It turned out rather well. 

(Read HERE)

  Last but not least the project that interested me the most this year would be the play. It was something where I can let my imagination go loose. Since it is not limited by most requirements, I had a lot of fun writing my play. But sadly at the time of writing this, it is not complete. But since it is already 40+ pages long I say is still a good read. I will finish this something during the summer.

(Read HERE)

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Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 1.30.56 PM

Journal Entry 2

"What is spirituality? What is religiosity? In your opinion, what is the relationshop between the two?"

Spirituality is a certain belief or way of living. More or less being religious but not as intense and strict. Being spiritual is more so doing it for your own self pleasure. 

Religiosity is a strong belief in a person/place/object/etc.

The relationship between the two is that they both have a great impact on ones life. 

Journal Entry 1

Question: "Why do humans often treat each other badly?"

Answer: People often treat each other badly due to the fact that they are insecure. When a person is insecure they tend to attack others that have the things they wish they could have. For example if a girl feels as though she isn't very pretty and she see's a girl that she find very pretty, odds are she wont say "Wow that girl was really pretty, did you see her?" she'd say "Ew did you see that girl. You can tell she thinks she's all that." In conclusion, we treat the people who we wish to be badly. 

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

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Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 11.07.31 AM

Throughout the course of my learning in J. Block’s English and History class, as sophomores, I was taught a lot about american history and how America and other countries came to be. As I was learning these topics, we as a class put on shows and did role-plays to have a better understanding of things. Whether its about the US and sweatshops or Arab Springs :Libya ,  a series of protests in different countries. We were always asked to write essays that showed off our knowledge on the topic, which hardly made me understand, but when we had to use our imagination to create visual representations of the topic we discussed in class, it made my learning experience way more effective than just tying a lousy 750 word essay on the french revolution. This is where the art comes in. 

Art can be everything. I say this because art can actually enhance one’s individual learning. This reminds of the poetry unit. In english, I was asked to create a set of poems with different elements of poetry and were supposed to post them onto a wikispace where everyone can see our work. Yet another boring assignment but when I read the description, I had a little bit more hope. The project description that my wikispace had to be polished and it has to be appealing. Instead of just having words on the blog posted, I used art to give off the vibe that someone was going through my poetry book and as they flip through the pages (scroll down the blog) they get deeper into my personal poetry book. And another way to make me more engaged in the project is that i must create a piece of artwork to go with one of my poems. Me being an over achiever, I decided to do a piece of art work and a video to go along my poem because art gives off more visuals to the reader, making them more engaged in that specific piece of writing. My poem, Ode To My Art, explains what are is to me and how it makes me feel. I said, "The utensil (a pencil), the creator of life, an artist within itself." This meant that all you need is a pencil to express yourself. Your masterpiece doesn't have to look like "A Starry Night," As long as you feel relieved, it's beautiful. In some ways, psychologically, art can be everything. 

To some people, they believe that art is just a drawing. To other people, art is everything. Whether its dance, videos, paintings, singing, clapping and so fort, everything is art. Art can show that you actually understand something more than just writing a boring essay. Art sort of gives of a more playful vibe because your imagination can just run wild. This is way better than a more serious vibe than an essay, and no one wants to sit there an write a 1000 word essay when they can show something through art. Just like my choice reading project in english. After reading a book that I chose, I had to create a graphic novel. But me not being the type to not waste my time on typing and getting frustrated, I wanted people to look at my project and be like wow. I know that I can make a graphic novel with a wow factor, but that would’ve been to easy and people were expecting me to go over the top so, I asked to make a video. My video, Confess. This video would give a larger visual effect on the person thats watching the video and they have to waste less energy because they don’t have to keep flipping through pages, they just have to press play. Making a video gives off a more realistic vibe, so the watcher doesn’t have to imagine what the story is telling because they can actually see people reenacting what’s happening in the story. The art that I created throughout this school year gave me some pretty darn good grades. Way better grades than a boring essay. This just to show you that art can be everything.
The following things are a few more things that show how art can actually be everything and how visual learning can catch the readers' eyes and enhance their learning.
Ode Chhin
Ode Chhin

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013 Cunningham

​This year in history I learned a lot , Whether or not it was about crossing boundaries, or freedom and the meaning of being free, this years history class has taught me a lot. There were some ups and there were definitely some downs but at the end I learned. And I got to learn from and meet some new people along the way. Throughout the course of the year we did a lot of things that helped me learn that particular unit. We had mock trials, plays, or interpretive dances, Mr Block sure had his way of getting his point across to teach us. This is just a quick taste of what this school year of 10th english and history was like at SLA.

1. One of our very first big assignments of the school year was a descriptive essay. The assignment was to write an essay and to make sure that it unfolds, had lots of detail and description, had dialogue, and focused on one or more particular moments in time. I wrote mine about the time that my brother and I got into a fight and were jumped by a group of adults while at a park. Here you will find a link in which you can read this essay in further detail.

2. The second assignment that i am going to put on my blog is my language essay. This of course was apart of the language unit. This Unit taught me all about language and the different types of languages where it be a native speaking language, or your everyday slang, or a speech impediment. I touch based on all of those aspects in my language autobiography. Here is two links. One of the exact essay, and another of my video on languages.

3. My third piece of work that i will be showing is actually from history. This is from the renaissance unit. We had to pick a artist who was around from the renaissance times and research them. You had to get six paintings, and talk about why you think the artist drew or painted it, and talk about how the colors or nature of the artwork reflected on the mood or the harlem renaissance. Here is the link to my Work in Vincent Van Gogh.

4. My fourth memory of this magnificent year is when we were in our freedom unit. We were learning on how different tribes and groups of people gained freedom with using non violent and violent tactics.  “In my opinion, Violence and nonviolence are both powerful in their own sense. For Instance, Non violence can be powerful over violence if you want to get something done. In a good sense if you want to accomplish an objective non violence would be the way to go. Violence affects all people and can possibly end lives. Non violence can win you lots of sympathy, and sends a stronger message.”


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Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 1.52.17 PM

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

For the majority of Sophomore year I found myself sitting in room 308 in Mr. Blocks Humanities class. With having Mr. Block about 8 times a week i've learned a lot about life lessons, and how to interpret certain situations. I've taken the things we've learned about in class and learned to twist it into things I can take with my for the rest of my life.

**I understand that, religion is the basis for just about major decisions throughout history and throughout every civilization.

Despite your religious background whether you be christian, muslim, hindu, jehovahs witness, jewish, or catholic, every single decision a person makes is influenced by some type of religion. Throughout the entirety of the School year we’ve covered tons of different topics from Colonization to Religion to Revolution, and within each and every one of those topics there has been a recurring theme, Religion. For example, lets take the Cortez trial for instance. During this unit we learned about the Aztec’s and how Cortez colonized and tried to take over. During his invasion he tried to force religion on the Aztec’s then when they refused many were slaughtered. Ontop of that they were already looked at differently because in their religion and apart of their beliefs was sacrifice, something Cortez and his men were foreign too. The lesson soon progressed into an old fashion trial. My group was defending the Aztec people. Everything they did was for religious purposes, they didn’t believe in violence, it was against their religion. They did animal sacrifices, because it was apart of their religion, they built structures and welcomed the strangers with open arms, because it was apart of their religion. No matter what the situation was somehow it still spun back into religion and beliefs.

If you click on the link below, you’ll get a up close and behind the scenes peek at the notes and statements prepared by my group members and I during and before the trial. You’ll see evidence of the religion and beliefs of the Aztec people & how every move they made was to honor those beliefs.

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Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 2.04.33 PM
The religion theme didn't stop with my school work, it was actually something that was reoccurring through my life as well. Every decision and choice made throughout life is based on religious views or beliefs. During our Prisons unit Mr Block gave a journal where we had to write about a time where we forgave someone for something they have done in the bath.
I took the short time we were given in class to write about the time my family gathered at my house for a celebratory dinner and the news about my recent conversion from Christianity to Atheism. My family are strong believers in Christ. They are hardcore Christians, I told my mom about my conversion in confidence, asking her not to tell any of the family. I'd tell them when I thought the time was right, going against my wishes she told them anyway. Below is a link to the exact Journal entry I wrote and turned into Mr. Block for a grade.
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Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 12.31.03 PM
Another general understanding of the school year, being in Blocks class has taught my that  No matter what social class you're in you can always fight the government. During the Industrial Revolution and the Colonization of several civilization people no matter what their social status is they still found a way to fight the system. Lets take the French Revolution for example. Marie Antoinette was at the top of the social class she had gold, jewelry, riches and power, yet people who were at the very bottom of the social pyramid were able to fight back against the people who were in complete power.
When we learned about the Arab Springs I was able to really apply this principle. The Arab Springs was a series of wars and fights that broke out all throughout the middle eastern regions. These wars were about power and wealth between the social classes. During the unit we had to write a piece detailing our final thoughts, on our the quotes I used is wriitten below,

 “By placing confidence in violent means, one has chosen the very type of struggle with which the oppressors nearly always have superiority.”  by Gene Sharp"

Below this is the final thought piece on the Arab Spings.


The understanding No mater what social class you are in you can still fight the government didn't just go as far as Arab Springs, it went further than that. Mr. Block gave us a history journal on March 7th 2013 at the beginning of our Sweatshop industrial unit. We had to read an article on Foxcon, a famous sweatshop located in Asia that is responsible for making all of the products for Apple.
There are people in high power who are working and fighting the government to obtain freedom for people who are lower in power.
Below are the Notes I took about the sweatshops in Foxcon and the steps people are taking to fight against them.

Humanities Final Portfolio

“Creativity seems to emerge from multiple experiences, coupled with a well-supported development of personal resources, including a sense of freedom to venture beyond the known. In all creative processes we are pushing the boundaries of what we know now, to explore new possibilities; we are drawing on the skills we have now, often stretching and evolving them as the work demands.”

At SLA we focus on what it means to push boundaries and think outside of the box. We do not only look at the definitions and the history of what happened but we are given the ability to analyze and look at cause and effect through discussions and projects and journals and other learning tools that aren’t used in the typical classroom. The thing that I took out of this year during our english and history classes is that as things develop through the world we have to make sure that our actions don’t make things worse and that we do not try to better ourselves while worsening the life of others and how this leads to many inequalities. Through the many hardships that we learned about this year the common theme for me was who made this happen and how did this happen.

Through our discussion about language I have found that language is power and that without that the person who is mostly in control when it comes to language is the one with a better understanding of language. Through our classes about language one thing that really stuck with me was that, “baldwin says that without black english there would be no standard english. That the white’s developed their dialect from the blacks, while the blacks are still frowned upon as uneducated and inarticulate. White’s didn’t want to educate blacks unless it was to their benefit in doing so.” When we had to write our language autobiography I wrote a lot about what it meant for me to be able to speak a second language and how through this unit it has made me realize that in life that will be a very powerful thing that I can utilize.

An amazing thing about this year was looking at race, and racism in a whole new light. While we were working on a journal something that stood out to me was that “race is a modern idea, race helped be a divider in the act of freedom.” This summarized a lot of what I learned through grade school. Through this quote I realized that this is why race is such an important things for different cultures because in our society race is power. Race gave me the idea of my oped topic which talked about racial profiling in America.

The idea of inequality in race was something I was very interested in, this lead to

my interest in the topic of sweatshops. We learned a lot about modern day 

sweatshops and what it meant. We looked into why we continue to buy from these

types of manufacturers even though we know about some of these conditions one

quote was, “advertising teaches consumers that happiness can be bought.” We had

an activity where we tried to find the best way to pay employees and give them fair

wages in these sweatshops. We learned about the “race to the bottom” which

became one of the most interesting things I have learned. I wrote a response to

modern day sweatshops. Here is an example of my response to our activity and

sweat shops in general.
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Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 9.11.34 AM
Through my learning this year I have been given a new outlook on what power

means in our society and others. Power is made up through money, race, language,

and many other things as you can see through the things like sweatshops, racism, and

others. It has been a year where I have realized even if we don’t try and play a part in

all of the inequalities we do, whether it be what we buy, how we speak, or a joke

we say with our friends. Each one of us has the power to improve our society.

Here are some other examples of my work this year:
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Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 5.11.40 PM

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

English Journal

History Journal

Language is Key

Response to modern day sweat shops

Picture of my group at an interpritive dance class


Reflection is something that teaches me that I am not perfect. Something that I’ve really been trying to do is find myself and know who I am. In Mr.Blocks class, I realize that the whole course is just one big reflection, learning yet simultaneously focusing on our individuality. I have not really done anything to discover myself, yet being in Block’s class has shown me things about mysef that I haven’t noticed before. In the beginning of the year I was very quite and shy about my opinions. Just writing down whatever, not thinking much of it but then as we started getting into deeper topics I was forced to look deep inside of myself for answers. The first two examples I have are my journal entries. One is a mini letter reflection that I had o write to myself to reflect on my work. The other journal entry is my view on violence and non-violence. My third link is a piece I did on Language and my views on it. I wrote about my first language. And whether it was truely english or spanish. In my fourth link is my response to modern day sweatshops. It really made me look at myself and really taught me appriciation. Because I’m wearing a 15-20 dollar shirt that took a sweat shopworker 30 cents to make. They can’t even afford the clothes they wear. My fifth link will just be linking to my groups interperative dances. For this one, it really made me get far away from my comfort zone. I was taught something that I never tried out before. Interperative dance was very weird and very foriegn to me because I thought that it was really weird dancing random moves but after doing it I realized that it was much more than just swaying your body around an object. It was about telling a deep story, and bringing attention to something that really needed it. On friday 6/7/13 my group and I did an interperative piece on Van Pelt street. We noticed that the area was very patriotic and we came up with the idea of bringing the past to the future. Being robot soilders. What I got from this experience was to be more relaxed and creative. And to also enjoy and notice the little things in life. With each assignment in Block’s class I try to take home a new lesson. From the beggining of the course to now I have been more open and vocal with the class and in my journals. Especially when we got to the poem section of our course. Here is where we had to write all of our poems and I found a new way to express myself. Especially my “Ode to my cookbooks” poem. I never liked to tell people that my dream was to be a chef. But in Block’s class we learn to be ourselves, so I figured I should write about something that was truely near and dear to me. Over this whole course, it has taken me on a road to self discovery.

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

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“Honor is regarded with great respect in a person who can carry great responsibilities”. -  LOTF (Quote from Assignment)

The learning process during sophomore year of taking english and history class, were challenging and quit different from comparing to other english and history classes from the previous years. Learning throughout the year of both classes was challenging because several writing assignments was included to use with different writing techniques that I couldn’t understand and struggle to create polish writing to make sense. 

Personally as myself, enjoy writing and honestly do not have a problem with it but trying to complete assignments with different techniques and reaching to the word limit has been difficult but then I guess thats how writing goes and it comes naturally because once you changed and pass into a different grade, you will notice your writing changes a lot and gathers new knowledge to your learning on your own piece but it also becomes harder to write a paper. Its never easy to write a paper, but once you get use to it and get to the habit on writing essays and projects, it becomes a piece of cake. 

As the units go by during the courses of english and history, I notice that my writing had changed as I normal do when I begin to type a essay. Learning in both classes, my writing had to be upgrade and my knowledge into writing which had been difficult to make my writing better than it should be.

Every unit of english and history, the class is given to focus on a different topic that is assigned. Topics that were included in the units were about Boundaries, Religion, Colonialism, and Poetry. 

In unit 3 for history, the students were to focus on religion. The students were assign to pick two religions of there choice and create a brochure on a wiki. Based on the religions, the students were to research an issue about the religion. This brochure is based on religion and the environment focus on Judaism and Christianity as a issue.The questions we focus to improve our brochure and to grab the attention to the readers is that, Why should the reader care about this issue? What types of things can be learned from the brochure? A different style of writing can be a theme.

“Religion is something beautiful to have in your life to guide you in the right direction, when it comes to ups and downs.” 

 Religion was definitely included to the theme for the brochure and the main topic to focus on. I never worked with focusing much on religion and never actually got the chance to learn much out of it, but the way it works to focus on the theme is that you would want to create a discussion. As the assignment requires research to be done to gather background to support the answer, I got to learn what religion actually means and become more interest and curious about religion.

For english in unit 4, the students was to focus on there own language autobiography. The language autobiography was to be an autobiographical paper to investigate some of the themes from the language unit and relate them to each student life. My personal language autobiography explains the first experience of growing up, raised into a hispanic neighborhood, noticing the different spanish accents around different latinos."Spanish here, spanish there, and spanish everywhere". The piece of writing and video that was created to support my evidence is something that I worked hard, I focused more on myself and the habit of people around in the neighborhood that uses different spanish accents. It is truly something I can call an accomplishment that I am proud of. The way I gathered my evidence and ideas to create a video is something that I used different than I normally do in different assignments.

Six Links:​

1.) Relationship Boundaries

In unit 5 for english, each student was require to focus on a crossing boundary of there choice and interview people that has experience of the boundary to create a podcast. This podcast is about crossing boundaries on relationships. Relationships can be very difficult to manage, especially when you have a issue with your family. Every person has different ways of seeing relationships with others, once you begin to build one. Its either giving it a try or letting it go.

2.) Latino Community

In unit 4 for english, the students was to focus on there own language autobiography. The assignment was to create a paper that should be between 750-1000 words long. In this Language Autobiography in the link below, explains how language can be different from one and another of being hispanic.

3.) Religion and The Environment

In unit 3 for history, the students were to focus on religion. The students were assign to pick two religions of there choice and create a brochure on a wiki. Based on the religions, the students were to research an issue about the religion. This brochure is based on religion and the environment focus on Judaism and Christianity as a issue. The questions we focus to improve our brochure and to grab the attention to the readers is that, Why should the reader care about this issue? What types of things can be learned from the brochure?.

4.) Colonialism Museum Project

In unit 9 for history, the students were to focus on colonialism. The assignment was to create an colonialism museum project based on the choice the students decide to write about different colonialisms. To address the proposal of the colonialism museum project students were to think and discover the story behind.The exhibit needed a name, goal, introduction, eight artifacts accompanied by text and final thoughts to complete the presentation. This proposal of the colonialism museum project is based on The Spanish Colonization of Mexico.

5.) English Journal Entree

The students are required to keep a journal to write daily entrees that is given at the beginning of the class. The question that is given for this english journal entree was, Why do humans so often treat each other badly? and What different things change this cycle of negative behavior towards others. As a respond to the question to, Why do humans so often treat each other badly, Is basically about people just don't understand what it actually means to be a human and don’t realize that we are made way better than being disrespectful to each other.

6.) History Journal Entree

For both classes, English and History, The students are required to keep a journal to write daily entrees that is given at the beginning of the class. In this History journal entree, gives the question “Does the U.S/do WL have responsibilities toward Haiti? How? Why?”, As a respond towards the question was to give my own opinion on how the U.S does have responsibilities towards Haiti. The history journal entree does give evidence to support the answer and gives clear thoughts.

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

(Doom, tick, Doom, tick) this year in English I learned many different and interesting things from this years English and history class. In this years english and history in 307 I learned thing out of the ordinary and uncommon to the people in my family, neighborhood, my culture. this year we learned that there's numbers ways to learn the same subject. One word that came up numbers times this year and that will not only stick in my head attached with a new meaning is Language.

  Journal  #15

Some of the Compromise I will fight for is involving money and other objects of that kind non-nessites or thing I don't hold to my own. Dream or beliefs I will never give up are 

  • Freedom
  • Trust
  • privacy
  • Honesty
  • Dreams
  • love

Language within a person can show many different ways and be expressed in many different ways. In my first example you can see it's expressed in a very common way such as the normal format of writing your response and how you feel on the specific question at hand.

In the "Art in the Open" performance project where I got a chance to show language in a different format where you don't have to actually use words to show your own language without the expression of word and it show'd me that I don't have to use words to express my language. During this project we used interpretive dance to display our language.

This project allowed me to see myself from a different angle and allowed to see deeper into myself as well as  my knowledge on the different ways language can be applied.

Language within a person can show many different ways and be expressed in many different ways. Another example of this is the poetry unit that I did.

I was raised by spongebob

He tought me how to tie my shoes

with that loopty loop and pull and your shoes are looking cool

I based my clothes on him

like the best time to wear a stripped sweater

you couldn't tell me it wasn't the best time

and everyday was the best day eveeeeer

I was raised by spongebob

when it was school time i was always ready

I learned your tough if you eat a bowl of nail for breakfast without any milk

I learned not to steal a ballon even if its free

I wanted to be strong

with muscle on my muscles and muscles on those

even muscles on my eye balls

anything was possible

squirrels under water

starfish living under a rock

squids with shirts

krabs with wales for children

I left with a message

life can be fun

I was raised by spongebob

During this Project we was able to put a spin on a classic format and express our self by using poetry.

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Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 1.52.02 PM

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

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Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 9.00.17 PM

“People are naive and so self righteous, they don’t realize people think differently than them”- Excerpt from my Choice Reading Worksheet.

Throughout the 2012-2013 school year students in Joshua Block’s English and History classes have studied many eras, events, and styles of writing. Normally history is either glorified on one side and made out to look like monsters, or the story may be told with the tunnel vision of facts, not allowing either side much justification.Throughout many projects and activities Mr. Block’s courses have given  face and reason to many historical events, current and ancient. We were taught to see the world through many perspectives.

As a warm up Journal, Mr. Block had us interpret a picture. The picture represents the world’s view on justice based on where they stand, based on their perspective. After our Revolution unit, while reading Night by Elie Wiesel, the class read an article about a boy who was punished for not saying the Pledge of Allegiance. This article stood out because we were studying how countries were overthrowing the tyranny that reigned. This brings up perspective once more because it is easy to tell your neighbor he needs a fence, not noticing that yours is falling apart. It is important to realize, as the article pointed out, that this was an American boy who refused to say the Pledge. He did not hail from another land, America was the only life he’d ever known. It is easy to become unconcious of things we take for granted. We must never exhaust the option of analyzing everything, no matter how familiar it may seem.

In December, while reading Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes were Watching God , the class was also studying lenses. Lenses are a type of perspective that a reader may take on, based on what’s important or relevant to them. this project yielded an artistic representation of  a quote from the book. It was studied through the perspective of a Marxist and a feminist. I found it amazing the justice and injustice that can be found in words or ideas based on the person’s focus that reads them.

The first piece was an artistic rendition of the quote in which Nanny states “Honey, de white man is de ruler of everything as fur as Ah been able tuh find out...So de white man throw down de load and tell de nigger man tuh pick it up. He pick it up because he have to, but he don’t tote it. He hand it to his womenfolks. De nigger woman is de mule ud de world so fur as Ah can see.”The mule is Janie and in this piece she has a pyramid disproportionately large on her back as a symbol of the hierarchy one would see when looking through the Fem-Marxist Lens.

The trials during history class were by far one of the most rewarding and effective activities in perspective. Groups were chosen to defend their group with research and wit. My group was the fleet of conquistadors that came over with Hernando Cortez. These men were charged with and undeniably guilty of the the murder of thousands of native peoples in South and Central America. Here is the closing statement that I wrote below in defense of their actions. It is easy to paint people as malicious when given their actions in black and white, especially when there is undeniable guilt. However, the job of defense attorneys is to change the perspective of the jury into one which is beneficial for the defendant.We accept and regret our sins, but are we truly at fault?

Throughout January, we focused on Neila Larsen’s Passing. This was a story that followed the life of two women in the late 1920s. One passed for white in her everyday  life, and one only did it when it suited her. We were presented with two entirely different characters, with different morals and goals, and as readers we found ourselves more akin to one of the characters rather than the other. The book ends has an ambiguous ending. How you saw the end truly depended on the how you saw the characters throughout the book. The link below shows an assignment the class was given upon finishing the book. In groups, students were asked to perform scenes from the book adding their own flair. My team had the ambiguous ending, so we devised 3 scenes, each of which could’ve happened, because the writer made the ending so vague. Many areas in  history and stories in everyday life are vague and we are left to our own devices to understand why or how.

In the very beginning of the year, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, led to a project in which we were charged with making ads for the best leader for the island. The class was allowed to lobby and campaign for who we believed would rule the best. It was very interesting to see the different ways the class approached this project. While there were only 3 candidates, there was an array of tactics students used. Here is my video Campaign ad.

Towards the beginning of the year, we were asked to write a letter to someone that is/has been in our lives. This project was using the hindsight perspective. One had to reflect on an experience that happened in the past, with the new perspective of stories we’d read in class. It showed how reading something or learning something new could change your feelings toward a certain experience and experiences to come. We should accept our faults for what we see them, not for what someone decides to lacquer onto our personalities. This letter helped me realize that while seeing all sides of the story is necessary, it is also necessary to follow yourself.

An excerpt from my graphic novel "Why Don't People See Things More Clearly?"
Scan 1
Scan 1

Humanities Final Portfolio 2013

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Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 7.19.40 PM

Reflection teaches you that things in life aren't perfect...

"How do you define freedom?" my teacher asked our class. "Provide an explanation for your definition."
I believe "freedom" is the ability to live by your own words and the ability to make your own decisions without being controlled physically and/or mentally by one's decisions. I also believe it is being able to express yourself freely.

This was one of my first discussions we had in our mid world history class. I thought that every word had one meaning and one interpretation, but I was wrong. I always thought that I had the perfect definition and only, the right definition. 

"Yes, anyone else would like to add?" he said.

I was confused. How could one add to this definition? Doesn't every word has its own definition? Twenty minutes went by and there we had it, a chart full of definitions for the word "freedom." From that moment, I began to realize that not everything meant one thing, it's what you make of it.

In my Short Story Letter Assignment that we had to do for English class one time, I quoted, "Your mom is really looking out for you, and you should appreciate it because there are moms who don't even care about their kids." I use to always think that I had the perfect childhood but when we were told to write a letter to someone we truly loved about making the right the decisions. I began to realize that I didn't have a sister who was perfectly fine. She was going through an emotional time and wasn't making the right decisions. Once I created this letter, I learned that perfection doesn't exist, part of living is to understand and deal with the environment you was brought into.

One time for English class, we were given an assignment called the Detailed Study. For this assignment, we had to pick an author and analyze their writing styles. I chose to focus on Marge Piercy because she’s an observer. She sits back and observes an object or something at its natural state. Here's a stanza she writes:

The bonsai tree

in the attractive pot

could have grown eighty feet tall

on the side of a mountain

till split by lightning.

This stanza teaches us that things don't always turn out as plan and that things aren't perfect even if we had envisioned them to be such. Marge Piercy help me to understand that even objects like the bonsai tree can't be perfect but the idea that it is living is the most important part.

Although things may not be perfect, I realized that I'm not perfect even in the way that I speak after completing my Language Auto-Biography assignment. In this essay, I wrote, I am from the roots of slang where we speak with emphasis and where you can only find the best cheesesteaks. This assignment made me realize that I wasn't perfect in the way that I speak. It made me understand that everyone has their own way of speaking whether its a different cultural language, an accent, or just a form of slang. After I analyzed myself, I knew that I wasn't perfect, but this wasn't something to make me feel less of myself. In fact, I felt better that I understood who I truly am. This assignment taught me that you don't have to be perfect nor does anything has to be perfect in order to unique.

Throughout my World History and English class I've learned many things that helped me realize that things in life aren't perfect. Here are a few more links to different assignments I've completed over the course of the year.

Manal Ali Sharit in comparison, was the ideal “Rosa Parks of Saudi Arabia.” She  is a women's rights activist from Saudi Arabia who helped start a women's right to drive campaign in 2011. (Arab Spring Video Project)

It is unfair to be hypocritical to our allies and promise partnership but then slowly overrun its government. (OpEdAd)

My first sentence of my scene grabs the reader’s attention with no formal introduction.

(Descriptive Writing)