Final Porfolio

When you start a new course, specifically something that has to do with history, you don’t really expect to get much out of it, besides a pile of facts that are most likely going to be forgotten toward the end of the year. You don’t really expect to walk away with something meaningful. Then again, looking at something from one perspective has never really led to any kind of positive influence. 

 There is so much that can be said, so much insight that can be provided. Sometimes, speaking up is the difference between complete success and absolute failure. No opinion is wrong, but staying quiet can be the wrong option

Those who are taking the backend of the abuse, be it economics, for example, and are able to truthfully speak out about an issue are considered greedy, unappreciative, and asking for too much.” Journal #40 (Full journal here)

Asanextreme introvert, I have a ton of thoughts that I keep to myself, most of which, when concerning different problems can go from a broad spectrum to completely subtle to totally blatant, and really blunt. Before taking this course, I didn’t keep a keen eye on things that really mattered, on a global spectrum. When I did know something, I didn’t know enough to form any kind of opinion. As the year went on, that mindset completely changed. While in a conversation, I still struggle to let my ideas be known, in writing, I can be extremely opinionated, and sound somewhat like I know what I’m talking about. I wouldn’t have really developed that skill, if I didn’t have the class. I wouldn’t have been able to look at things from a different, less biased way, This course specifically, has shown the positive effects of expressing an opinion without fear of judgement. 

“We, as an entire nation,are greedy, judgmental, and arrogant. Judging from the treatment of almost every, ‘new,’ ethnicity besides white, America is nothing close to what it was originally supposed to be.” - Vine Deloria: Custer Died for Your Sins.  Full page here

As the year went on, we had a different array of things to look at, most of which challenged thinking, and even stepping out of our comfort zones, and switching our ways of thinking altogether.  From the thoughts of someone extremely sensitive to almost every possible thing, this was really a strong part of the course overall. It wasn’t just sitting and learning. It can literally be described as experiencing different pieces of history, with a hands-on attempt. When you have both the power and the space to have an opinion spoken about, while being both supported and not-judged, is a pretty unique aspect of a class in total. This specific quote, while seeming a bit too blunt, shows that throughout the year, I became a bit of a risk taker with my words, something this World History course has shown a lot of. 

“The poor girl. She has so much to lose if they actually think something’s wrong. There isn’t anything wrong. She has an overactive imagination. Yes, that’s what it’s called. There’s nothing serious about this. We just need to find a cure. Something to keep it at bay, until we can figure out what to do with Victoria. Ah, Miss Victoria. Such a wretched fool she is. It doesn’t matter that she’s the life and death of my job, she needs to step up and become an actual mother to her child, if that is her child, that is. The icy demeanor between the two of them is simply outrageous We need to figure out something, anything. to fix this family.- We’re All Mad Here 

This course had an exponential amount of writing, something I found to be completely within my interest. Toward the middle of the year, we began creating our own plays, pushing ourselves to an idea of a problem within the world around us. Because of my extremely close history with mental illness, my play, written from the perspective of a schizophrenic’s family, displays the unjust, and sometimes cruel world of behavioral health, and the dangerous path that little support can lead to. While the play itself has its flaws, it makes a prominent point toward society’s views on it, specifically during a time when it wasn’t as common as it is today. Using ideas from my own life, with historical prevalence, the piece was created, almost to show that in a completely imperfect world, certain things will continue to stay the way they are.

“There is nothing diverse if your race is shunned, and you must act a certain way, or face the consequences.” Vine Deloria: Custer Died for Your Sins.

The most memorable part of this course in total, has to be the recording of our initial reaction to various topics, sometimes even coming directly from documents found in history itself. I can only speak for myself when I say that history has always appeared to be something that you go over, and continuously is forgotten. This time around, I was actually engaged. I was able to look at the world in an entirely new perspective, and that, in itself, makes all the difference. 

We're All Mad Here: Bonus Artwork 

Journal #40: Bonus Artwork 

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 6.09.42 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 6.09.42 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 6.23.29 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 6.23.29 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 6.25.33 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 6.25.33 PM

History Final Portfolio

This year in world history class, we have learned lots of things, done lots of hands on activities, saw wonderful plays, and learned lots of things about our nation and many other places in the world. I wasn't sure how this class was going to be because most of my history classes in younger ages taught the same exact thing, but in a different way. Almost like it was al tied together, but each teacher taught that subject differently. When we started doing units and learning about certain things, I was a bit shocked because it was a new experience for me, but I soon caught on and got with the program. 
One of the units that really stood out for me was the whole revolution unit. I think that was because I  was able to voice my opinion with some strong evidence behind it. i had a lot of quotes that stood out from the unit. "In life, you need to handle the needs first, then the wants", "Religion can answer questions that are hard to be explained", "People at the top think that there isn't anything wrong with the world, but the people at the bottom live those problems everyday.", " When a country is colonized, it loses its essence and everything that they live by."
Nonviolence is the better, but longer option when it comes to revolutions. In my journal #19, I talked about when it is right to die for something that you strongly believe in. I feel that is how some of the people now feel when they are cheated out of their basic rights for something that is really stupid and has no positive future behind it. In my journal #31, I talked about whether nonviolence or violence was a better force for change. One of the projects I did in this unit was the revolution video guide.In my project, I looked at violent revolutions versus nonviolent ones,and looked at how successful and effective each were.Depending on how and what king of revolution it was, depends on the impact towards the people.I chose this topic because I wanted to point out the flaws in both violent and nonviolent.
Another project that stood out to me was the Cortes trial.What we did was, we separated ourselves in groups and had a mock trial on the the Aztec cortes issue. In the trial, I was a defense attorney and my job was to do the closing statement. I also had to find sufficient evidence and quotes that would help my group stay on the innocent side. A powerful quote from my closing statement was,"To suggest that the System is wholly responsible for the genocide is ignorant.  A person must choose for themselves what to do, and it is they who are responsible.”
In my wordle picture, I used the words, Nonviolence, Gandhi, MLK, Freedom, Independence, Bloodshed, Personal beliefs, Rights, Human rights, Movements, Violence, Weapons free,Look for change, Uprising, Battle for Algiers,and Arab Spring. I used some of these words because those were the first ones that came to mind when I thought about revolutions. I wanted to use some relevant words while also using some of the things we learned in class this year.
I hope that at the end of the year, I can remember what we learned in class and be able to sit down with my family and share my findings and some of my work so that they can go off and tell their friends and share more about the history we learned in class.

World History Final Portfolio 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 7.43.46 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 7.43.46 PM

Nonviolence has been said to be the better option. It is also said to be the harder and longer option. Throughout history people try to say that with the power of nonviolence you can and will get more respect, power over others, and people will not go against you. All year I have made it easy see that I’ am without a doubt all for violence when it comes to needing or wanting something. I personally feel that one; it is a faster method than nonviolence, two; people will give you more power, three; people know that the died for immediate change and not  just so the next step of the plan can be put in action.

Within the debate between violence and nonviolence a lot of people side with nonviolence because of the well known nonviolent protest leaders. People like Martin Luther King and Gandhi always are brought up into conversation based on their horrendous and outstanding nonviolent revolutions. When I join into these type of debate and I ‘am asked about my opinion I always side for violence when something needs to be done. One thing I always throw into the conversation is the fact that those two men were the  leaders of some of the greatest revolutions ever but not only our most known but are most important revolutions were fought with the help of violence. Before nonviolent revolutions the only type of revolutions were revolutionary wars. Revolutionary wars not only freed the blacks but it also freed our country so we could be our own nation.

Most people argue that nonviolence is more powerful because they think it can get your point across better. Well there is an old saying that “if you aren’t willing to die for it than there is no point in fighting for it. Now there are quotes to go against violence one of which is “nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.” -Gandhi. In one of my journals I talked about my stance on violence vs nonviolence. I also talk about how much faith I have in nonviolence. When completing that journal I was reading a piece from Gandhi and that is also where I got the famous quote. I feel like Gandhi thinks that only those who can wield the power to use nonviolence as an answer has a powerful mind. I believe that it also takes a lot of strength to decide that you actually want to use violence.

Another thing people like to argue is that the process of nonviolent revolution is easier than the process of a violent revolution. In another one of my journals I talk about how process does not matter. In the journal I go on to make the argument that if someone has a 100 man army and they succeed while I have a 10 man army and I also succeed what makes us different. Well one thing is that I will get more respect because I made a bigger impact since I did exactly what they did with less people. It is also the same thing as 100 being nonviolence while 10 is like violence.

This is just a small example of the type of work I was able to complete throughout the year. Because of my work and some time I was able to give my classmates another view on violent protest and revolutions. I believe that my work has deeply impacted the minds of my peers.

Final Portfolio

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 9.15.37 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 9.15.37 PM

SLA takes a different approach to teaching History than most other schools in the city. At most schools the students are taught and forced to memorize meaningless facts and dates, then tested on their memorization capabilities and how well they know the facts. In my History class at SLA, however, we explored and discussed various topics, both historical and present day, through readings, videos, discussions, and other forms of media and communication, then applied those topics to modern day politics and events. We were then assessed, on application and knowledge, not on meaningless facts and dates, through engaging projects instead of tests. I leave the year thinking this: learning about historical and contemporary topics and ideas then applying them to present day, and learning through projects, is a much more engaging, enriching, and meaningful way to teach history than through irrelevant facts, dates, and tests. The best way to understand and learn history is through applicable ideas, not facts.

I feel that from this learning approach that SLA poses as a whole, I have taken away more from and learned more from this World History class than if I had been in a traditional World History class. So what I take away doesn’t have to do with the material and the topics, but rather with the way the material was presented and the learning style of the class and SLA as a whole.

Over the course of the year, we completed several projects on areas or topics where most classes or teachers would have given us a test. One such example is at the very beginning of the school year, our first unit was on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. We learned all about it, facts, stats, opinions, everything essentially. But at the end of the unit, instead of being tested on the material, we were assigned a project: to write three unique monologues that showed different sides to the story and how it would affect different characters and people. In one of my three monologues, which can be found here, I wrote from the perspective of a rural fisherman whose river was threatened by the pipeline. My character says, “Not only are they [Trans-Canada] not allowed to get away with this stupid and careless idea [Keystone XL Pipeline], but we most certainly will not relocate from generations of tradition so they can build their goddamn pipeline!”. However, in another monologue of a conservative senator about to address senate on the issue, my character says, “We are basically being given a freebie: no financial drawbacks with many benefits that stack up and up. Tax revenue, job creation, the list goes on and on”. This type of learning teaches its students how to think, not what to think, like how this project taught us how to think about controversial and contemporary issues by challenging us to think about different perspectives and aspects of it. With more traditional ways of teaching, we would be taught a one-sided, historically warped opinion or stance on the issue, but with this way of teaching and learning, I feel the students learn more and attain a stronger understanding of the material and its historical and modern day relevance.

Another example project and idea based learning is a play that I wrote over the course of a couple months in collaboration with a professional playwright, found here. While studying struggle and revolution around the world, we explored general ideas about the issue, but also were exposed to a variety of different materials that allowed us to form our own opinion on the topic. We then were assigned to write a play based on this broad topic that showed or addressed our opinion or stance. This form of assessment, rather than a test, resulted in more creative students and learning, and is shown in the variety of each student’s respective play and the issue they related to. My play is about the importance of ambitions and dreams in a person’s life, and the main character, Gordon, says to his son, Matthew, “You just take your dreams, and your grades for granted? Well I have news for you: you are a junior in highschool now! You’re not just some little kid with his whole bright future in front of him.” I think that learning through projects allows for more abstract and complex thinking, like how in a unit on struggle in hope I wrote a play about future and ambitions.

The comprehension fashioned by this style of learning, and my overall understanding and ability to think and connect can also be shown by looking at some of my journal entries from the year. I think the journals are a prime example of the types of students, learning, and learning environment project-based learning creates. When looking back on some of my journals I wrote over the year, I saw improvement in my complex thinking, and also complex and unique ideas. One of my first journal entries of the year, Journal 3, found here, posed the question, “When is it okay to criticize other cultures?”. I responded, “It is only acceptable to criticize another culture after we have walked in their shoes.” I feel that this response shows abstract and complex thinking. That is the goal of education, is it not? As the year progressed, my journal entries became more knowledgeable and more applicable. Much later in the year, Journal 47, found here, which related to the book Things Fall Apart, posed the question, “Can traumatic experiences ever be an excuse for negative behavior?”. In an excerpt from that entry, I responded, “Traumatic experiences can never be an excuse for negative behavior, it only makes it more understandable as to why someone behaves a certain way.” The journals showed how my ideas were changing and developing as the year progressed, and how the project based learning was shaping how I thought.

Looking back on the year, and how far I have come since September, I leave the year firmly believing that there really is no other way to teach World History other than through projects, discussion, media, and everything I already mentioned. At school you are supposed to learn how to think, not what to think, and I look back on the year knowing and understanding World History topics and ideas, and will carry them with me in their essence and application to modern day life as I progress on through high school.

World History Final Portfolio

I was sitting there, flipping through the pages of my history journal, and I noticed something I had said in the beginning of the school year, that now in the end of the school year, I sort of disagree with.

“I think it's acceptable to criticize another culture when you also look at the good things and when the culture is new. I think you should be able to analyze and have your own opinion." - Journal entry #3 (Link for the journal entry)

In the beginning of every class, we started out with a journal entry, and the differences of what I used to think in the beginning of the year compared to what I now believe and think are very drastic. Now we are reflecting of what we have learned throughout the year, and how it's affected us, by what we got out of the material.

Throughout the year in History, the class has stored many overall understandings in how to understand History overall, and how it affects today’s world. And along with many other concepts. One of the main concepts this course has taught me is in order to understand history, you have to understand yourself as a part of today’s modern world.

The reason I now disagree with what I said is because that was one of the first journal entries for History, and I had had no proper idea or knowledge of other cultures. I knew there were different people than me, but I didn’t really take the time to get to understand them. At that time when I wrote that, I was simple an ignorant person, but now as I think about myself in today’s world, I realize that the history beyond that is so much more than my parents meeting.

Bringing up the topic about being ignorant, I learned about the Keystone XL Pipeline. At the time, my natural thoughts were, “Oh, this isn’t important. Who cares?” But then I realized a lot of people do care, and as we wrote monologues, it was interesting to take on different perspectives.

From one of my monologues I wrote, “All these people in the world just think they ought to trash an item on the ground, dig up trees, hurt the environment, and never think twice about this finite world!” - (Link to Keystone XL Pipeline Monologue Project)

And one of the reasons this connects to understanding myself is that, I realized I wasn’t always the best at making the world a better place, and there are other people like me. For years, people having been using the the Earth’s non-renewable resources, and/or trashing where we live, and this connects to a lot of history about greed from different countries.

Another way in which I had to understand myself to understand history is when we were learning about our religion unit, and the effects each religion had. We were prompted a questions on what ways we personally respond to challenges in our lives.

"I respond to different challenges in my life by worrying a lot and thinking out solutions to them. I try to work through it and try to gain from it." - Journal entry #16 (Link for Journal Entry)

I think that this is still true because I haven’t had a huge amount of impact of religion in my life, while compared to others, they are constantly surrounded by it. This entry taught me that segregation back then and even today has to do a lot with religion, and everyone has their own method for learning or expressing themselves. Which brings me up to my next point about understanding ourselves today to understand history.

In one unit we learned about the history of Galileo, which lead to the history of how women gained rights for education especially in math and science. There was a lot of segregation between women and men, and which I wrote,

Segregation happens because many men still believe women should take care of the house, the children, the food, the clothes, things that aren't "men's work." - (Link to Women in Science Discussion - second entry)

And I believe that learning about the history of womens’ fights for right helped me to understand that where I am today in school, was all affected by actions by women back then. It all correlates, and I had to understand myself as a girl, to fully grasp that it wasn’t all that easy for women back then.

My final explanation of my general understanding of this course, appeared when we were learning about revolutions. And at the end of the unit we created a digital story.

One of my explanations about the topic I was producing was, ““I became more aware of today's revolutions, and how the world isn't as "perfect" on other's people's end, as it seems to me, in my own country and government.” - (Link to Revolution Guidebook Project)

I realized that today’s revolutions, even though they aren’t the same as the one’s in history, the ones today have evolved off of those back then. I understand that, people in today’s world, take techniques that have already been used, and I think that connects to how people in today’s world have to understand their role, to understand history.

So it all ties up to, history has had an impact on today’s world, and to fully understand that, we must understand ourselves.

Final Portfolio

Learn, change, lead. That is the motto of the World History class. This year was very tough for me as a student. However, coming into the World History class has really changed my perspective on global views and societal problems. It was also very relieving for me to be in such of a prestigious course. My general understandings of the course are that creativity is built with experience and imagination, and in order for one to understand oneself, they must step outside their comfort zone to build a better self-sense of everything around them. Those two general understandings has changed me forever.

When you have seen all kinds of things and had many experiences, it has really made my work shine. In my play, The Rolling Spray Paint Cans, It tells the tale of four young teenagers trying to survive in the 1980’s graffiti-clogged New York City. This was my idea for the playwriting project where I worked with Ms. Kate for several months. “Oh. I didnt realize you were going through decline. Im sorry. Lets just finish this tag.” That is a line from my play while the two was working on a piece of art in Harlem. While I was working on this play, I had done further research on graffiti art, specifically on the New York subway trains in the late 70’s to the mid 80’s. I also took an opportunity to work with spray paint in The Philadelphia Mural Arts Summer camp program. It was awesome. I combined the history with graffiti and street art and the experience of spray painting into account when writing this play.

During the first quarter, we wrote monologues about the Keystone XL pipeline. This time around, we had to perform our monologues as well. I was usually not the person to get up in front of a crowd of people and perform. But, for the fact that I felt comfortable to do it made all the difference. In my monologue, I play a father on his way home to see his daughter in her senior year of high school. He is on the phone while riding the train. “I'll be.., Dinner? Might have to order pizza again. I know it’s the 3rd time this week, but Its all we can afford at the moment.” He is also struggling to pay bills while working at a low-pay job as he noticed the opportunity to get the job if the Keystone XL pipeline project is passed. But then he noticed that the real jobs are far out and he would have to move. But he knew that there was a chance the pipeline would not get approved, so he backed out of another business scheme.

In the end, this class has given me a perspective like no other. The playwriting project gave me a chance to teach others about the NYC war on graffiti and change. The monologue writing has given me confidence in standing up in front of a crowd and doing a performance and public speaking as well. Other honorable mentions of experiences during the course is when we had meditated for 2 minutes as a class, the Sweatshop Trial, the Cortes Trial, and The Somebodies poem. All In all I am happy to be a part of this experience and am looking forward to next class. At the Bottom Of the post is some of my work. Please take some time to check it out!

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.45.24 AM 1
Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.45.24 AM 1

World History Portfolio 2014

What is a good student? How do you become a better student everyday? By collaborating? By participating? Becoming a better student for me is definitely by learning. I must admit that my biggest highlight in this year of world history has been a great learning experience. It wasn’t much of the informational facts, it was more as personal aspect as how you look at the world. One of the biggest accomplishments, if not the biggest accomplishment of this year in history class has been without a doubt the play I wrote about stereotypical views in societies. This play has definitely changed the way that I view myself as. Women and A Touch of Trophy is a play about the latin women stereotypes, and latinos in general.  Scarlett Castillo is a Colombian beautiful young girl who wins Miss Universe and tries to fight stereotypes while finding true love, forgiving her mother, and reliving her past. This play is a very long one, Kate McGrath has contributed immensely with revisions and has made the play better. It was my favorite thing to do in history class this year. Not only did I like writing this play, I now realize that I love writing plays! One of the quotes inside the play that I really liked was  “Coming from a Hispanic culture. When we think of trophy wives we immediately see an image of a rich old white man with a beautiful young woman on his arm”.This was a quote that gives a controversial side to the play. 

​In one of the units of world history class we studied revolutions.  We learned quite a lot of information about revolutions. We used guiding questions like; “What causes revolutions? What determines a successful revolution?” “Why are revolutions made?” From those guiding questions came a great project. We were assigned to make a digital story about revolutions. I decided and chose two guiding questions. What determines a revolution's success? How does media interact with a revolution? Based on these two questions I decided to focus on the way that leaders are interpreted in revolutions, and the censorship that plays in media. This project was definitely one of my favorite! Many of the media that saw during this project was that life changing and eye opening. 

The unit of Religion inside world history has been one of my favorite. In the beginning of the unit I thought that religion was just a mindset that was meant to be followed. I now realize that religion is a very touchy subject that many of us live of. “It’s a way of life”. To most of us it’s extremely important. Personally as being a catholic believer and follower it was very interesting to learn about the many religions out in the world. For this project I did a wiki page on Morals/Sins in Hinduism and Confucianism. Two completely different religions. This was a project of where I gained tons and tons of knowledge. I also enjoyed every aspect of learning, and the different views that are out in the world. 

 Also, another part that I enjoyed in history class was journaling. The journal prompts were varied in topics. Some of the topics didn’t even relate to school, and it was interesting the way that others shared their ideas. One of the journals that I enjoyed the most was about a reading called My Faith in Nonviolence (journal 28). I selected a quote and wrote about it. “Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.” I really liked the way that the word nonviolence was being presented, as if nonviolence were  actually an object you could use to harm someone. Another journal I enjoyed was about how ideas become popular (journal 22). “Social media definitely plays a big role, when it comes to making something popular”. This quote was definitely the most important one I wrote inside my journal. Overall this year has been a great learning experience in all aspects. It was a very comfortable environment that I really enjoyed.  

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 6.27.51 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 6.27.51 PM

Final History Portfolio

Many people see World History is about learning the history of the past. This is great but usually not helpful in dally life and most of what they learned are just facts that they won’t remember. This world history class was very different from the usual structure as it wasn’t memorizing what happened it was more about how it effects us today. When we learned about a specific topic such as the French Revolution, it usually went with a broader topic like revolutions in general and through this we connected this with the revolution in Ukraine. Because of this we learned how history affects today and how things have changed since then. Our courses about religion and inequality were also interesting and lead me to see some problems in the world in a different light. An example of this is a statement about inequality and stereotypes I made saying "I think in order to move to a point of equality we need to cut this stereotype from our lives so that we forget it and the next generate do not even know about it."

One of the courses that I found interesting was our unit on Revolution. At the beginning of the unit I wrote this about Revolutions "A Revolution is a change that changes people's perspective on the world and there purpose in it". By the end of the unit I had learned that it was more of a radical change in society lead by the people. In the unit we learned about the French, Haitian, Egyptian, and Ukraine Revolutions. For my Benchmark on the Revolutions leaders I ended up writing that "now with all the information that is out for the world to see, all a leader needs to be today, is to be someone to act on this knowledge and rally people together". It had many connections to our unit on inequality as revolutions were seen as both the cause of some of the inequalities as well as the solutions to some of the inequalities. 

Another course I found interesting was the one on colonization. In it we read the book “Things Fall Apart” about a Nigerian tribe known as the Ibo who are colonized by missionary. The book shows how the missionary do not attempt to understand the Ibo’s culture and automatically labors it as savage. After reading I wrote that "The colonists are not fighting against the Ibu’s religion but also there entire way of life and culture to try and make them in-superior". In the lesson we learned more about the arrogance of the colonists and how the “Colonizers treat the natives like animals to ease there conscience which takes away there humanity”. The colonization and revolutions unit were very similar as in some of the revolution units we learned how the people through off the burden of the colonizers.  

In conclusion World History has been a very interesting learning experience and what we’ve learned about religion, inequality, revolutions, and colonization. With the discussions and different approaches to various topics, I have gained a new perspective on many of the world’s problems. An example is after learning about problems with charities that “What they need is actual help and not us telling them we can make your country better by doing this." Another example from our religion unit I learned that “for some, a single-minded determination and refusal of much of the aspects of the society may have lead people away from religion." .The projects that we’ve done like the religion wiki and the Cortez trial will help me remember what I’ve learned and how events and ideas effects the world we live in today.

Negative Space

Negative space is the space surrounding the main subject in a picture. In the cut out I found the negative space by looking at the two different colors. And for the drawing I knew that the negative space had to be everything around the table, the stools and the plant. Artist use negative space because it helps them see things that are usually hard to see. Negative space is useful when making art because it helps artist because it helps when drawing very detailed things and it helps make the art more pleasing.

World History Final Portfolio 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 5.34.19 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 5.34.19 PM

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.

Students talk Climate Change & Ecoliteracy

Congratulations to Amirah, Kadija, Esperanza! This is a terrific video.

10th graders at Science Leadership Academy worked together to study ecoliteracy. We surveyed water quality in the Schuylkill River, critiqued ecology videos, built water filters and made our videos. 

For more information on the project, check out our Wiki!

YATW Blog Post #3

​What Is The Fur Industry?
Even if you buy a fur glove with the little trim, and you think 'Oh, my God, it's just a little trim,' that animal got clubbed. 
 Eva Mendes

In my two previous blog posts (1 and 2), I explained what the fur industry was, including history and statistics, along with results of a previous survey that I used to find out what people knew about the Fur Industry. The survey that I used is similar to the survey I used for this current blog post (#3.) For the survey, (here is the link) I attached an article that composed of key information from my both of my previous blogs, and attached the to a revised survey. I then had my mom take some copies, and give them out to students and teachers at the Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP) and to my dad who works at SEPTA for his co-workers to fill-out. 

My goal of Blog Post #3 was to go and change something. After looking through many sites related to my topic, I noticed that just saying something or doing something might not be the best thing to do, considering the fact that I wanted to change the thoughts of people who heard it. I did not want be talking to people, saying that they did the wrong thing by buying fur products, (although in my opinion, they did) nor did I want to have an interview with a business manager or animal enthusiast, because I would already know what answers I would have received. I think that sending a survey to two different age groups was a good idea, because each response would be confidential, which allowed people to write what they really felt and to tell or show other people the article that I had attached. 

I think that I got far in learning about the fur industry and teaching other people. I think that there is still more that I can. I will possible be returning to GAMP and SEPTA for more projects. I would like to thank them for their participation in my survey.

Video Game Violence Blog #3

My name is Adam Cavalier, and I am a 9th grader a Science leadership Academy on 22nd and arch. For a project, we were given a choice to take on a problem in the world and post blogs about your opinions, facts etc. So, I am doing my project on video game violence and how everyone can raise the awareness. Also I am talking about how violence can be created from any game. This is my third blog post. In my first blog post, I introduced the topic (video game violence) and how it can be stopped and also how the awareness can be spread. To see my first blog post, click here. In my second blog post, I talked about a survey I created and how it helped give new information to me about different opinions from others besides myself. To see my second blog post, click here.

In the last phase of this project, I created a survey to get different opinions on video game violence. The opinions were at a 50-50 rate. So they were very even. The pictures that I have taken were pictures from my advisory presentation I gave on the fifteenth of May.

For my topic, most people that have studied video game violence will create some sort of article or give information out to the world on the internet to raise awareness. Some people make video’s on youtube where people will get very mad at a video game and go insane and break stuff. It’s funny but at the same time its raising awareness and they don’t even know it! I think these changes can be effective, but not a lot of people are actually going out into the real world and trying to raise awareness.  

In my agent of change assignment, I decided to create a presentation about video game violence and present it to my advisory classmates. I made a change by informing the people I know about a topic they thought could be funny on the internet. But now they know that it can turn out to be much more than that. And now those people can spread the awareness out to people they know etc. This project was a lot of fun to do. I was studying a topic that I am really into and I am glad that I was able to do a school assignment that is relatable and enjoyable. I learned that the funny videos that I was watching on the internet where people were breaking things because of a video games can get much more serious. And I also learned a lot more about video games that I didn't even know. I thought I knew everything (playing 5-6 hours a day)!

Something that I could of done better was to try to make my awareness bigger. Presenting to a class that only had around 20 kids might not be enough. And not a lot of them might even care about the topic and won’t try to raise the awareness of video game violence. I think the best thing to do now is to keep raising the awareness of video game violence. For the gamers that create violence, they should cut back on the games a little bit or to control that anger inside while playing the video game. It’s a video game! It is a virtual world that you are living inside. There is no reason for these people to be getting so enraged! Creating all of these blogs and doing the best I can to raise the awareness of violent video games has been fun. It has also been amazing to learn about a topic that I personally enjoy for a school assignment. It’s just like killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Creating the survey, giving a presentation, and writing everything in blog post has been great. I hope the awareness of video game violence will not just go to the gamers, but to the people too.

La Leyenda de Mimzy

Erase una vez en la escuela de SLA original.... Era un nueva escuela que solo tenia 100 estudiantes con 10 maestros. Donde los chicos estudiaban con computadores y no libros de texto. El almuerzo era fantástico y todos eran felices excepto un estudiante..... En esta escuela habia un estudiante única que se llamaban Mimzy. Nadie sabía su nombre real solo sabían que ella era demasiado extraño y no hablaba mucho con los otros chicos.. Ella vestiría como un abuela también tenía lentes de espesor y ancho, ella siempre quedó en el baño con un libro de ficción y un bocadillo de galletas y jugo de manzana.. Todos los días era la misma cosas después de sus clases y durante su tiempo libre Mimzy iría al baño para leer su libro y comer sus galletas.

Un dia deprimido, llovió todo la dia ni siquiera un pequeño vistazo de sol, como todos los días Mimzy se fue al baño para leer su libro. Pero cuando abrió la puerta encontraba a las chicas antipáticas esperándola. “Estas equivocada” decía un chica “No hay un baño para las personas monstruos” Mimzy quien fue muy insegura y huraña no quería pelear con las chicas trató de ir al baño pero una de las chicas agarró a sus galletas y el libro, lo dejó caer en el inodoro. “¿Que eres un perro?, como puedes comer en un baño como eso” pregunto unas de la chicas “Nosotros le estamos haciendo un favor, si quieres ser un chica humana que debe tener una vida fuera del baño” En este momento las chicas dejo a Mimzy en el baño con un libro en el inodoro y ni un migaja de comida. Cuando fui a buscar su libro, encontraba que en  el rollo de papel las chicas han escrito un mensaje “Mimzy es un anormal animal, que debería haberse quedado de dónde venía” Habia grafiti en todos los rollos de papel..  Mimzy intento de limpiarlo pero se quedó..

Despues de eso todos los días los chicos de escuela molestaba y embromado a Mimzy.. Ella era tan agobiado que corrió fuera de la escuela a la calle, donde choque con un carro. Mimzy nunca vio el coche que venía y nunca recuperó de la cirugía. Despues de su funeral el principal the SLA era tan disgustado con los chicos de su escuela que cerró las puertas, y nadie podria ir a SLA hasta que el director sentía que podía confiar en sus hijos de nuevo. Eso nunca sucedió...... Cinco años después de la muerte de Mimzy Señor Lehmann, reabrió sus puertas a SLA el segundo. Antes que que deje a los niños a entrar limpio al edificio. Pintaron las paredes differentes colores brillantes, pintaron murales en unos pisos. El proposito de todo eso trabajo es para tener un nuevo comienzo para un nuevo escuela. Cuando era tiempo de abrir las puertas todos olvidaban el graffiti en los baños. Era tan viejo que solo podrias ver el nombre de Mimzy... Muchos dicen que si usted lee en el baño puedes sentir Mimzy leyendo con usted.

En su memoria, El Principal mantiene a su nombre en los baños para para decir que no vale la pena meterse con otros niños que no hacen nada para ti y con la esperanza de sus chicos de la nueva SLA, recuerda la tragedia que paso en esto mismos baños.

Catism By Brycen Itzko

“ I welcome all of you to the Rodents. Our goal is to destroy the evil of the Lolcat cult that has taken over our world. 7 years ago, cats suddenly gain intelligence from pictures of Lolcats. Shortly after, a cult had begun to worship these new self-aware cats and forced all who opposed the cult to make cheeseburgers. When the cats looked at the pictures and saw the pictures of the other cats, they slowly began to learn how to read. This made cats able to read signs and other things. Cats then began to think of themselves as more than just a cat but a higher species. Through the years cats became so self-aware that cats were able to solve math problems and think of ideas that would eventually change the world. Now some people saw this as a sign that cats should rule instead of humans, cats supremacy. Other people saw it has a threat to humans and thought of it as an abomination. Eventually the people who thought cats should rule the world created a cult that would in time become a religion. The religion spread faster than wildfire and soon more than three - fourths of world’s population was converted. The small portion of humans that went against this religion moved to Russia in order to escape the religion. There was peace for a time until a human killed a cat with his car. This started what was know as the Cat Fights and these wars lasted for several months due to many of the cats dying from the cold.

The war seemed to be on the humans side until the cats decided that enough was enough. The cats fired three nuclear missiles at Russia. Since Russia already had several nuclear weapons there, the explosion turned Russia into a no man’s land. The remaining human population fled to a secure location in France but had to stay hidden from the Cats. the religion  adopted a new named and called themselves Catism. The Catismist forced the other humans to make cheeseburgers for them. The remaining human population in France created a rebellion against Catism. “

“This is where we stand today”, said Swiss.

This is where I come in, my name’s Bobby Lue and I am one of the newest recruits of Rodents. I born into the cheeseburger slavery and was separated from my parents at the age of 5. I worked the cheeseburger factories until I was 14. I was losing hope until Rodents came in and raided the factory. They found me and recruited me on the spot to join the cause. I went through 3 months of training before I was officially deemed a recruit. It was a hard 3 months, but at the end of it I was able to overcome any obstacle that was put in front of me.  Now I am here with my friend Possum who looks very nervous but anxious at the same time. Possum has been with me since I could remember, the factory workers found him as a baby laying in a cart of buns. Since no one could claim him as their own, he was put to work and name Possum since he looked dead when they first saw him. Now we both made it through the training and stand here in front of our leader Swiss who has just reached the end of his speech.

“Oh, I almost forgot,there will be an special mission tomorrow and the goal of this mission is to capture a cat alive”, Swiss said.

*(Due to issues with writing and time, this story is not complete)*

La Casa de Sr. Reddy

Nuestro cliente tiene treinta años. Tiene cero niños. Le encanta leer, nadar, pintar y dibujar. Tiene uno animal: el perro Alfredo. Sr. Reddy legustaríaa el colour azul. Sr. Reddy el profesor de matemáticas. Sr. Reddy tiene un carro. Sr. Reddy quiere uno o dos niños. Sr. Reddy es sola persona en la casa.

La casa en Manhattan, Nueva York. La casa es grande y bonita y azul. En la casa, hay siete habitaciones. En la casa, hay dos banos. En la casa, tiene una habitación de arte. Hay una sala con una televisión. En la dormitorio, tiene una televisión. La casa hay una jardín vibrante y divertida. Hay una biblioteca pequeña en la casa. En las casa, es una cocina y un sótano. Hay una piscina en el patio trasero. En la garaje, tiene un carro. La casa es cerca de supermercado, el banco, Septa y centro comercial.       

Disenado por Adan y Dubois

Nombre: 806-555-6632
Screenshot 2014-06-09 at 2.09.18 PM
Screenshot 2014-06-09 at 2.09.18 PM

La Casa de Señora Dunn


Description la Señora Dunn:

Nuestro cliente tiene 39 años. Tiene una niña Julia. Le gusta leer, cocinar, ver la tele, ver la películas y ir de compras. Le gustaría a los colores rosa y gris. La Señora Dunn es guapa y divertida. También le gusta hacer yoga. La Señora Dunn tiene tres gatos y uno perro.

Description la casa:  

Mediana la casa esta en ciudad de London. Esta cerca de el museo y el parque. Muy elegante/sophisticated la casa. Tiene dos pisos. Tiene cuatro habitaciones y hoy dos medina baños en la casa. Hoy baños en cada piso de la casa.

10 phrases

  1. La casa tiene dos pisos.

  2. En la sala tiene una silla.

  3. Hoy un garaje en la garaje dos carros y dos bicicleta.

  4. Hoy un jardín en la jardín múltiple flor

  5. En primo piso tiene un baño hoy un lavamanos

  6. Hoy una cocina tiene una fregadora y una estufa

  7. en la casa tiene dos teles

  8. Hoy cuatro habitaciones

  9. En uno habitacione tiene un mesa

  10. La casa es muy moderna  

  11. La casa tiene tres

Primo Piso
Screenshot 2014-06-09 at 10.38.00 AM.png
Segundo Piso
Screenshot 2014-06-09 at 10.39.07 AM.png
Diseñado por Alicia Jones y Dominique Ballinger
Telephone: 1- 800- 366- 6667

La Casa de Kayla!

TITLE: La casa de Kayla:

La Cliente: Kayla Cassumba


photo (5).PNG

Descripción de persona:  Kayla tiene quince anos. Sus colores favoritos son azul,amarillo, y morada. Kayla juega béisbol, básquetbol,voleibol, escalar rocas, patinar, hacer snowboarding. Esta chica es muy atlético y guapa. Ella es más o menos alto. Le gusta cocinar, ver la tele / ver peliculas, y ir de compras. Ella es muy activa.

Descripción de la casa: La casa es muy espectacular esta en las afueras . Tiene que ser enorme y moderna. La casa necesita cinco habitaciones y cuatro baños. Esta cera de un parque, un banco, un supermercado, las escuelas y un centro comercial. Esta lejos de las montañas y el aeropuerto. Necesita vibrante cocina y una gran piscina. Baño número tres es fabuloso. Cuenta con una bañera de hidromasaje y una chimenea de lujo. La casa tiene un montón de espacio. Es muy elegante.

  • La casa es muy grande

  • Hay cuatro baños

  • Esta cera de el banco

  • Tiene cinco habitaciones

  • TIene un patio

  • La casa esta en las afueras de Georgia

  • En la casa hay cuatro baños

  • Tiene bonita piscina

  • Esta lejos de las montañas

  • Esta cerca de el supermercado


La casa:

La cocina:

El  Baño #1:

El bano#2:

El bano#3:

El bano #4:

El dormitorio #1:

El dormitorio #2:

El dormitorio #3:

El dormitorio #4:

El dormitorio #5:

La Piscina:

Un Patio:

El parque:

El banco:

El supermercado:

La escuela:

Un centro comercial:

Contact Info:

Contacto Numero: 267-444-3458

Diseñado por: Yasmeen Collins y Jamilah Woodards

Precio: $700.000

¡Es la casa de sus sueños!

La casa

Cliente- La Senora Dunn

Description la Señora Dunn:

Nuestro cliente tiene 39 años. Tiene una niña Julia. Le gusta leer, cocinar, ver la tele, ver la películas y ir de compras. Le gustaría a los colores rosa y gris. La Señora Dunn es guapa y divertida. También le gusta hacer yoga. La Señora Dunn tiene tres gatos y uno perro.

Description la casa:  

Mediana la casa esta en ciudad de London. Esta cerca de el museo y el parque. Muy elegante/sophisticated la casa. Tiene dos pisos. Tiene cuatro habitaciones y hoy dos medina baños en la casa. Hoy baños en cada piso de la casa.

10 phrases

  1. La casa tiene dos pisos.

  2. En la sala tiene una silla.

  3. Hoy un garaje en la garaje dos carros y dos bicicleta.

  4. Hoy un jardín en la jardín múltiple flor

  5. En primo piso tiene un baño hoy un lavamanos

  6. Hoy una cocina tiene una fregadora y una estufa

  7. en la casa tiene dos teles

  8. Hoy cuatro habitaciones

  9. En uno habitacione tiene un mesa

  10. La casa es muy moderna  

  11. La casa tiene tres

Primo Piso

Screenshot 2014-06-09 at 10.38.00 AM.png

Segundo Piso

Screenshot 2014-06-09 at 10.39.07 AM.png

Diseñado por Alicia Jones y Dominique Ballinger

Telephone: 1- 800- 366- 6667

Life I Never Lived

Chapter 1

Eighty-nine. One year closer to death, one year away from the big nine-oh. Another birthday alone, but that’s alright, I’m used to it. Richard sent a card in the mail, no money in it of course. I knew I raised a cheap ass. You’d think after raising a bastard on your own and giving him everything you could, he’d be kind enough to put a damn dollar  in your card.

It’s fine though, I’m alright on my own. There’s no nuisances to get on my damn nerves, besides these nerve-wrecking kids always screaming outside my window. But other than that, being alone is quite peaceful. Who needs anyone? Not me. Shit. 

I’ve been living on my own, cooking on my own, washing my ass on my own, taking pills on my own, I can do anything a 20 year old can. Speaking of which, I better fill this prescription before I lay croaking on the ground.

“Dave & Brother’s Pharmacy. Please hold.” 

10 minutes later and I’m  still on hold. Boy, I tell ya, people can’t run a damn business to save their lives.

“ Hello, how can I help you?” The receptionist asked.

“I’d like to fill a prescription for Atripla for delivery. ” I said. 

“ And your name please?”

 “Helen Jackson.” 

“ Okay Mrs. Jackson, your prescription should be ready within a few hours. We’ll send it out for delivery as soon as we can.” she said.

I didn’t even feel like correcting her on the “Mrs.” Instead I just hung up. Well now that that’s out the way, I can relax and enjoy my birthday. Watch a little t.v., lay down, maybe even order some Chinese food. The doctor says it’s not good for me, but I’m 89. I gotta die somehow.

Now if only I could find the number. I know I had the menu lying around here somewhere.  Maybe in the kitchen?

These steps are becoming more and more of a hassle for me. And this damn cat isn’t helping.

“Move Mittens!” I yelled.

 And in that very moment, the damn cat clawed at my foot, leaving me to tumble to the steps. I hit my head pretty hard and began seeing a white light. Then, I saw myself, lying at the bottom of the steps with blood dripping down my head. Wait, how am I out of my own body? I can’t be dead. Or can I?

How can this happen? I’m in complete shock. This can’t be real. 

Chapter 2 

Okay, after 25 minutes of trying to understanding what the hell is happening, there’s no other answer; I’m dead. Lord knows how long it’ ll be until someone finds my body. Who comes to check on me? 

And why am I not in heaven? I thought the Bible said “Absent from the body is present with the Lord.”  Wait, I have to be buried first. I forgot all about that “dust to dust, ashes to ashes, back in the Earth” mess. 

Hours and hours pass, and I continue to watch my lifeless, limp body lie on the floor. Of course the cat is walking all over me. I knew I should’ve got rid of it a long time ago. 

After so much silence, I finally hear the doorbell. I went to see who was there, well not “me” but, my ghost or whatever the hell I am right now. It was a man holding a bag. He had on a uniformed shirt, and after struggling so hard to see what it said, I finally knew.

“Dave & Brothers’ Pharmacy.”

He rang the door and even knocked a few times. I tried to answer it, and my arm went right through the door. He left a note on the door, then walked away, and drove off.

Another hour or so passed, when the doorbell rang again. This time, it was Richard. I haven’t seen him in months, so this was a shock. Then again, it is my birthday, so I can’t be too much of shock. He rang the doorbell a while, and began screaming outside my house.

“MA! Open the door!” He exclaimed.

 After 15 minutes of trying to ‘wake me up’ to let him in, he left, but came right back. He left to get the spare key to my home. He opened the door, and walked right through me and found my lifeless body.

After 7 hours of lying on the floor, I was finally found. Richard held my cold body, crying and screaming.

“Wake up Ma, please,” He cried. “I need you.”

He called the paramedics and they pronounced me dead at 8:23 p.m. I saw them carry my body out in a body bag.  

Chapter 3 

Days later, it’s finally time for my funeral. I don’t see too many here but I didn’t expect many. I don’t see too many tears shedding either. Richard is shedding a tear here and there, but no one else. His kids are just sitting there on their damn phones. Can’t even show an ounce of respect. 

Listening to these remarks about me makes me want to jump out the damn casket and hit everyone. Suddenly, I was such a nice person? Yet I lived my remaining years by myself. 

“Now it’s time for the reading of the eulogy.” The Pastor said. “ Richard, if you will.” 

Skimming over the eulogy, I froze. Everything about my life was in there. everything. 

“ Helen Denise Jackson was born December 5, 1997 to Christina Jackson. Born with HIV, life wasn’t the easiest for her. She was told she wouldn’t live past her early 30‘s but she still managed to live until 89 years old.”

The small crowd clapped and cheered as Richard took a pause in reading.

“ She attended Lakewood High School and graduated in 2016. Then, she headed off to college at Xavier University, where she graduated with her Master’s and Bachelor’s degree. She never married, but did have many relationships through out her life.” 

That’s a damn lie. I can only name a handful of relationships. Every man left when he discovered my little secret. 

“In 2024, she decided to have an artificial insemination pregnancy where she had her only child, Richard Dwayne Jackson. Man, I was my momma’s baby boy, everyone knew that.”  Richard laughed. 

No you weren’t. You barely contacted me, Bastard. 

Richard focused back on the eulogy. 

“ Helen leaves behind one son: Richard, two grand kids: Dana and Tyler, a younger sister; Nyla Jackson, and a host of nieces, nephews, great grandchildren, and other loved ones. She never found love with a man, but she surely found love with the Lord.”

“Hallelujah!” a woman from the front row yelled. 

After remarks and all the other bullshit, it’s finally time for the burial. I hear the people chanting the prayer from the Book of Common prayer. 

“Dust to dust, ashes to ashes” 

When everyone left their flowers on my casket, I saw it being lowered into the ground. This was it. Once I’m buried, I’m going to Heaven- or Hell. 

Chapter 4

I opened my eyes and in front of me were two large golden gates. There wasn’t an aching bone in my body and all of my wrinkles had vanished. There were angels at the opened gate and I decided to walk through, or at least try, but the angels stopped me by blocking the entrance with their large wings.

“Why can’t I go through?” I asked.

They didn’t responded, but instead pointed behind me, which is where I saw a man.

“Hi. I’m your guardian angel.”  He said

“Oh well, hi.” I responded.

“I’m also your biological father.” 

My eyes has widened at him. I knew he wasn’t lying because my eyes were just like his.  But why was he younger than me?

“I died at 26 if you’re wondering why I’m so young. While you were in the womb, I was killed by a hit man. I didn’t even know your mother was pregnant ‘til I got here , or her name for that matter.” He laughed.

That could only mean one thing. she got pregnant while “working.” 

I just stared at him in shock.

“Listen, as of know you aren’t allowed in the gates of Heaven.” 

“WHAT?” I screamed. There was no way I was going to Hell.

“Why were you so bitter all of your life? Life is a gift that you misused, and now He doesn’t want you in his kingdom.”

My eyes swelled up with tears hearing this. “Being born with HIV is no joke. I never had real relationships because of it. Guys would always run off once they found out my secret. I had to artificially become pregnant for crying out loud! I wanted the experience to date and find love and be married, and I never had the chance too because of the fucking HIV. That’s why I’m so damn bitter.” 

“Well what if i told you you could live your life without the disease?”
“Then I wouldn’t be so bitter as you like to call it.” 

“You aren’t getting into the Gates with the attitude and life that you’ve lived so I’ll tell you what. Take this” he said, handing her a capsule. “It’ll reset your life, no disease, no nothing. If you live this life like He intended, then you’ll be invited into the Gates of Heaven.” 

I never been so ecstatic. “Thank you!” I cried. I’d finally had the chance to be normal. 

Chapter 5

“Push Push Push Push!” the doctors screamed. 

“One more push Christina, you can do it!” 

I felt a gust of air and a bunch of light hit my face, and I instantly began screaming.

“It’s a baby girl!” 

I still was screaming. 

“I’ll name her Helen” she said . “Helen Denise Jackson.” 

And here I am, only a few minutes old, looking forward to a live without HIV.