Wednesday, February 23, 2011


a. Comparing and Contrasting Mohamed Bouazizi and "The Burning Monk"

The self-burning of Mohamed Bouazizi and "The Burning Monk," Thich Quang Duc, are extremely sad events. At a first look, it seems that both of these cases are very much the same. However, there are distinct differences between them, too.
One similarity between the self-burning of Bouazizi and Thich Quang Duc is that both were politically based on not having the rights that we, as Americans, are allowed. Both violate our first amendment because Bouazizi wanted a freedom of speech (so that he could speak his mind and be listened to about losing his scale and not being able to have the dignity that he deserved), and Duc wanted to have the freedom of religion (so that he could practice Buddhism and the Buddhist flag would again be raised). Also, they both burned themselves in the public eye. This was most likely because they were fighting for a cause that they wanted noticed, and/or both wanted show their exasperation. Duc had burned himself at a busy intersection in Saigon, Vietnam, in the middle of the road. Bouazizi did his self-burning in the middle of the traffic that was next to the government building. Plus, both of the events ended up overthrowing leaderships. Bouazizi's overthrew the regime of Zine Ben Ali, while Duc's burning overthrew the Catholic Diem regime.
Something that stood out as a unique difference between these two events is the fact that one died immediately (Duc) and one died days later (Bouazizi). In addition, Bouazizi's self-burning happened in 2010, but Duc's self-burning happened in 1963. Even though both of the burnings caused a bit of an uproar, Bouazizi started a revolution and Duc did not receive as much attention as Bouazizi. Also, Duc had planned his self-immolation for a while, prior to the actual day, and Bouazizi's came out of anger that occurred from a woman's slap and a stolen scale.

b. My Personal Thoughts

The first thing that comes to my mind when looking at both of these topics is that we (meaning citizens of America) are extremely fortunate to have our Constitution and Bill of Rights. If Bouazizi and Duc had lived with a written constitution and bill of rights, their self-immolations most likely would have not happened, due to them being allowed to exercise their freedoms of speech and religion. That thought also makes me sad because they gave up their lives for something they truly believed in, and I wish that it wouldn't have had to go that far for them to be able to prove their points. In addition, it appears to me as if they felt such a deep desperation for these rights they couldn't have, and that maybe that was the reason they wanted to burn themselves, in order to express how they felt about what they were fighting for, as well as how much it meant to them. Also, the difference in time periods strikes me, mainly because rights are still not allowed in certain places where people definitely deserve and should have them; it just seems unfair to me.

c. A Poem That Conveys My Thoughts

Desperation by Darren Whites
Desperation comes flying out
Of the darkness, latching on
Taking hold, sucking out,
The life from me.
I try to break free;
There is no way.
Desperation is too strong,
Sucking me down into a
Whirling pool of death.
At the last moment,
I pull free swimming,
Swimming to my freedom
Breaking the hold Desperation has on me.

d. Questions for the Class to Discuss

1. What was the most significant part of the story of either the self-burning of Mohamed Bouazizi or "The Burning Monk"?

2. Do you believe that there was a better way for Bouazizi or Duc to deal with these problems, or do you think that was their only option, considering their predicament?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Option 1/Literay Analysis of WWI

Nationalism: Nationalism was a major long-term cause of WWI. It involved all those who shared a common language, history and culture and was a strong feeling of support for one’s own nation. Nationalism could also be classified as the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other. It often came along with imperialism as well. Nationalists believed that the needs of their nation were more important than the needs of other nations. Plus, nationalists were so proud of their nation that they wanted it to be the richest and most important – and recognized as such.

For more information on nationalism, click here.

2. The Lover

Though I have had friends
And a beautiful love
There is one lover I await above all.
She will not come to me
In the time of soft plum-blossoms
When the air is gay with birds singing
And the sky is a delicate caress;
She will come
From the midst of a vast clamour
With a mist of stars about her
And great beckoning plumes of smoke
Upon her leaping horses.

And she will bend suddenly and clasp me;
She will clutch me with fierce arms
And stab me with a kiss like a wound
Thad bleeds slowly.

But though she will hurt me at first
In her strong gladness
She will soon soothe me gently
And cast upon me an unbreakable sleep
Softly for ever.

You can find the poem here.

3. The poem by Richard Aldington, The Lover, which was written to synthesize fears and desires he felt during combat, relates to nationalism, meaning the aspiration for national independence felt by people under foreign domination, because he writes, “She will clutch me with fierce arms
/ And stab me with a kiss like a wound
/ Thad bleeds slowly,” and it describes how he wants something, his lover. This is connected to nationalism because the people under foreign domination could feel like they are under a fierce clutch, because they want national independence. So, since nationalism is a strong feeling of support for one’s own nation, when Aldington writes, “But though she will hurt me at first
/ In her strong gladness
/ She will soon soothe me gently,” it shows how he had to get hurt first, then he could be calm, due to the fact he finally had his lover. In the nationalism term, the road of nationalism is a hard one because it is usually paired with imperialism, when a country extends it rules to foreign countries. However, when they won their “battle,” they could feel content. Also, another way The Lover relates to nationalism is through nationalists. Nationalists were proud of their nation and they wanted it to be, as well as recognized as, the richest and most important. On that note, the lines “She will not come to me
/ In the time of soft plum-blossoms
/ When the air is gay with birds singing
/ And the sky is a delicate caress; / She will come /
From the midst of a vast clamour /
With a mist of stars about her /
And great beckoning plumes of smoke
/ Upon her leaping horses” show that nationalists might not be able to prove that their nation is the best in good times (In the time of soft plum-blossoms
/ When the air is gay with birds singing
/ And the sky is a delicate caress), yet, a mix-up of commotions (From the midst of a vast clamour /
With a mist of stars about her /
And great beckoning plumes of smoke), such as wars, will prove how great their nation really is.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The White Man's Burden and Imperialism

1. I think that by writing The White Man’s Burden, Kipling meant that what man does, it eventually pays for. An example from the poem that shows how man ends up paying for imperialism is “But toil of serf and sweeper- / The tale of common things. / The ports ye shall not enter, / The roads ye shall not tread, / Go, make them with your living, / And mark them with your dead.” It shows how people would go to “imperialize” a part of the world, and because they did, war broke out and many lives were lost. When Kipling writes, “And when your goal is nearest / (The end for others sought) / Watch sloth and heathen folly / Bring all your hope to nought,” he could also be implying that hard work might have been put into imperialism, however, when they got to their goal of imperialism, he asked them to question if it was worth it, and they lost their hope because they realize what their greed has done (such as wars).
2. I think Kipling does justify imperialism because in his poem, The White Man’s Burden, he does say that men pay for what they have done, such as when he mentions “Take up the White Man's burden! / Have done with childish days- / The lightly-proffered laurel, / The easy ungrudged praise: /Comes now, to search your manhood / Through all the thankless years, / Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom, / The judgment of your peers.” This could explain how he shows mankind “paying their dues” for imperialism because he describes them as being judged, and their wisdom being cold, as if from their greed. Furthermore, I think he justifies imperialism with this phrase from his poem, “But toil of serf and sweeper- / The tale of common things. / The ports ye shall not enter, / The roads ye shall not tread, / Go, make them with your living, / And mark them with your dead.” I think this also show how he justified it because he, in a way, makes it seem as if they know that by extending their rule over foreign countries, they are going to lose something, even after they gain. Perhaps that is why he wrote, “To seek another's profit / And work another's gain.” That ties in to knowing they will lose something because when they “imperialized” that area, they could take over what it gained, in place of the lives they lost.

3. In my opinion, such justification would be so appealing because the “imperializer” or “the white man” has to now forever carry this burden. His cold wisdom, his greed, his gain, and his loss all add up and equal the burden that Kipling writes about. The White Man’s Burden would attract interest through this justification because of how, as it is stated, “Take up the White Man's burden- / Send forth the best ye breed- / Go, bind your sons to exile / To serve your captives' need; / To wait, in heavy harness, / On fluttered folk and wild- / Your new-caught sullen peoples, / Half devil and half child,” the effect that imperialism had, and what exactly it did to the “white man,” who was so overcome with greed, gain, wisdom and loss.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Self Reflection: Reconstruction Debate

1. How did I feel during planning this presentation? Why did I feel this way?

a. I felt anxious because from the very beginning, it felt like we were unprepared. During the middle, however, it did seem to be getting better, but I was still nervous about memorizing my script.

2. How did I feel prior to presenting? Why did I feel this way?

a. Prior to presenting, I felt excited, as well as nervous. I felt excited because everything seemed like it was going perfectly, we all knew what we had to say, and we all thought our tech. pieces were great.

3. How did I feel while I was presenting? Why did I feel this way?

a. I felt horrified while I was presenting because none of my slides were right. I had thought the right copies of my slides were on the presentation we were using, but the presentation we were using was not edited correctly, and the timing was off.

4. What did I personally do well?

a. I think that the thing I personally did well was researching the content and making it a bit easier to understand. I used the original document, and shortened, as well as using more modern language for my section of our project.

5. What did not go as desired in this presentation?

a. The thing that did not go as desired in this presentation was the slides during my part of the presentation. In my opinion, that was what went the worst in the presentation.

6. On a scale from 1-10, how well do I think I understood the content? Explain.

a. On a scale from 1-10, I think I understood the content to probably a 7 or 8. I think that a 7 or 8 would be a good way to describe my understanding of the content because I feel like I could tell someone all about the Wade-Davis Bill, but only certain parts of the Proclamation of Amnesty. Plus, I think that I would need to brush up on the separation of powers.

7. How do I think my group members perceived me? Why do I think this?

a. I think my group members perceived as someone who was a bit controlling, but also someone who would get her part of the presentation done as quick as I could, and help out the group. I think my group members would see me as controlling because at first, I started telling everyone that we need to get this done, or we won't have time for everything else that needed to be completed, plus, I was the one who sent out the emails about due dates. I think that they also saw me as someone who would get everything completed because that is what I have done previously, and that is what I did this time, even though it took a long time to get it completed.

8. How do I think the 8th graders perceived me? Why do I think this?

a. I think the 8th graders perceived me as someone who worked hard, but was not confident, as well as someone who could have focused more on relating to the audience. I think that because, when they were stating comments, one of them had said that you could tell I worked hard and that they felt like I wasn't relating to the audience; that I had went to into the content. I think they saw that I wasn't confident because of my public speaking. I had a hard time getting my script down, and I think it showed.

9. Knowing that I can only control how I act and react, if I could do this presentation again, what

would I change about my actions to make it a more ideal experience?

a. Knowing that I can only control how I act and react, I would make sure that my correct slides were on the copy we were using. I think that if we had to do this presentation again, it would be much more ideal if I did that.

10. What are my strengths in groups?

a. My strengths in groups are being able to provide honest opinions, but in a nice way. Also, I am able to analyze content well, as well as I know what I am talking about and what I am supposed to do.

11. What areas do I need improvement?

a. I think that I could improve in communicating with my group. Plus, I think that I could help challenge my other group members more, instead of giving them easy tasks that they can easily do.

12. What is the most important thing I learned about myself? Why is this so important?

a. The most important thing I learned about myself was that I need to relate to the audience. It is important because you could have a really great presentation, full of content, but when the audience walks away, they have know idea about what you are talking about, and that is why you presented.

13. Are there any other things that I need to express?

a. I think the last thing I would like to express is that having supportive group members really helps when something goes wrong.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reflective Blog Entry

I think that I have grown and changed as a person in this class. By that I mean, that I have almost come over my fear of public speaking. I used to be an extremely fast and quiet talker, now I am able to talk a lot slower, and have more confidence when I am speaking to the public, such as when we are presenting a topic to the class in a live presentation. Plus, because I have become comfortable with talking slower, I am able to have a better-paced narration for our digital products. I also think that I have changed in the way I use technology. I was never able to create anything better than a keynote with tiny pictures and bullet points, and now, I am able to have narration, large images with movement, and have them put together to create a movie-like presentation that could actually entertain someone.

The event that I have done this year so far that makes me proud is our Lincoln-Douglas debates. It makes me proud because I had practically written the script myself, had a great group, and I worked really hard on my public speaking skills, and it all paid off. Even though we lost by three audience votes, it felt like a victory because I accomplished everything I wanted to, and that is why it is what makes me most proud.

I think that the most challenging thing that I have done this year so far is improving my public speaking skills for my Lincoln-Douglas debate. I wanted to show everybody that I could be a good public speaker, so I had to work on each section as soon as I finished it, so I could be really prepared. Also, I hadn’t been able to practice in front of a big crowd, and everyone was going to be there when we presented our debate, so I had to slow down enough to the point where I felt like I was trying to explain something that was difficult to understand, even though it was words and information everyone knew. That is what made it a challenge. In the end though, I was able to do it.

My favorite products that I did were my visual re-creations for The Red Badge of Courage. They were my favorite because I had worked really hard on them, and I think I showed the metaphors really well. Also, I had wanted to prove myself with this project, so I think I had worked hard, and it showed when we presented them.

My hopes and expectations for second semester are that I will be able to make a great enough product that will make it on to the class website. I want to have a product on the class website because all of the better ones go on the site. I do not like to disappoint people, so if one of my products did make it up there, I would feel proud of myself, and feel like other people are proud of me as well. I am going to try my best to create a product like that for next semester.