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Junior Homecoming Skit

It was great!

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A Collection of Music

Hey guys! As junior year of high school begins, I would like to share a plethora of music that I personally listened to throughout the last decade of my life. I hope to discover/share more amazing pieces in the future, but if you want some sweet, dulcet tones for now, check out these links!

Undertow by John Mackey

Symphonic Suite by Clifton Williams

Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner

1812 Overture by Pyotr Tchaikovsky

The Avenger’s Theme by Alan Silvestri

Zigeunerweisen performed by Rafael Mendez

The Ayres of Agincourt by Richard Meyer

Satiric Dances by Norman Joio

Transcendent Journey by Rossano Galante

National Anthem of the USSR

Vapaussoturin Valloituslaulu

 

 

 

Origami Caesar (Planet of the Apes)


This origami model was folded right after viewing the fantastic finale to the best movie trilogy of this decade. War of the Planet of the Apes inspired me to design this model, and I think it turned out pretty good. I folded it from a 16×16 grid and a ten inch square sheet of paper. Caesar not like Koba. Apes. Together. Strong. 

Origami Dragon

This origami dragon was designed and folded by me. I used a ten inch square of green kami, and the base is a regular bird base with pleats folded in the middle. I also put one of my origami Links on the back of the dragon just for giggles. The origami link was folded by me with a post-it note during my ACT test prep class. This was just a fun, quick fold, and I am sorry for not posting in like three months.

Drowned in the Unknown

A poem inspired by Holocaust survivor, Lilly Black (interview).

A new lily, comely and pristine,
Youthful and truly untouched,
to observe the first of what changed her life,
Religion to her body was clutched,

She saw the people being herded like cattle,
But why? Why were they being sent away?
Doubting all answers and ideas given,
No matter what her parents would say.

And soon she too was among the “lesser”,
Which she had questioned if they truly were worse,
but they must be, all Jews and herself,
She believed the people mouthed them a curse.

Why didn’t these observers do anything?
They let these soldiers shove us around,
Caged upon trains like meat sent for transport,
as the silent watchers stared to the ground.

Drowned into the black of unknown,
Constantly doubting her only kin’s life,
Robbed of her culture before the dark set,
Her dreams were slain and flame set to her strife.

Her finger scratched, was her life to be gone?
Her sister taken, was her soul as well?
The woeful unknown enveloped her so,
The circumstance naught but a frightening hell.

For the unknowingness was horrendous,
She never knew of her fate,
or what went through other people’s minds,
or if this pain were ever sate.

By Shivang Shelat

The Journeys of Fear and Sorrow

Have you read Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton? Read on to learn about the symbolic journeys and references pertaining to the rooting of fear and the embarking of sorrow!

The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “He who has overcome his fear will truly be free.” If one’s fears are quenched, he begins a new journey of sorrow. He is no longer cemented in place and is liberated. Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, maps the circumstances of various conflicted characters in South Africa who are shadowed by fear. Fear roots people in place, while sorrow enriches people and allows them to embark on a new journey.

The rooting of fear is demonstrated in Paton’s symbolism, which reflects the bigger picture of the detriment that can be caused by dread and the arrival at an understanding that is derived from sorrow. Using imagery and personifications of light and dark, Paton describes the valley of Umzimkulu as “still in darkness, but the light will come…. For it is a dawn that has come, as it has come for a thousand centuries, never failing” (312). The darkness cast over Umzimkulu represents the rooting shadow of fear, bringing impoverishment to the people upon the land. Paton shows that the light will eventually appear, showing that the arrival at understanding brings positivity as well as potent to rebuild. The coming of light that never fails represents the quenching of fear through enrichment; once one learns the truth, their fears are confirmed to be true. The dreaded thoughts dissolve, replaced by sorrow. All they can do is embark on a journey that includes rebuilding as much as possible. The link of this symbolism to Kumalo’s relationship with his son, Absalom, is the fear that clouds his mind as he travels from place to place, trying to catch leads on his child’s whereabouts. The detriment caused by the fear is the growing uncertainty of Absalom’s deeds that grow in Stephen’s mind. The dread slowly grows whilst Stephen cannot do anything but search more and more to quench his fears; he is rooted in place. When Stephen learns of the crime committed by Absalom and the death sentence granted to him, there is nothing he can do to prevent the hanging. The sorrow that replaces the fear is now a journey of rebuilding his relationship with his son. Through letters, communication within the family is restored, and Absalom expresses his sadness for leaving his village and giving in to the corruption of Johannesburg (274). Kumalo’s arrival at sorrow is represented through the letters because of the rebuilt relationship he now has with his son. Sorrow sprouted from the fear, bringing positivity and renewed sense into Stephen Kumalo’s life.

Prior to Stephen Kumalo’s ascension into sorrow, Father Vincent describes the transition of fear to sorrow along with potential of Kumalo’s journey, “…your anxiety turned to fear, and your fear turned to sorrow. But sorrow is better than fear. For fear impoverishes always, while sorrow may enrich” (140). Kumalo now knows of the potential of sorrow and the rebuilding process that could occur now that his fear is quenched. He begins to strengthen relations with his son after Vincent put forward a metaphor that sheds light on the enrichment that could happen. “When a storm threatens, a man is afraid for his house… but when the house is destroyed, there is something to do. About a storm he can do nothing, but he can rebuild a house” (140). The house represents the link between Stephen and Absalom Kumalo; Stephen fears what his son has done. When the son is eventually condemned, all his father can do is repair their relationship. Rather than being rooted in place and suffocated with anxiety, Father Vincent manages to prod Kumalo into “rebuilding the house”, or the fractured kinship that they carried together years prior. This metaphor represents a new journey of experience and learning. The parallel of this to Kumalo is the rebuilt relationship with his son after he is sentenced to be hanged. Stephen Kumalo is no longer rooted and can move on – he does what he can before his son dies. He could do nothing that would save his son from condemnation besides repair their fractured relationship, which is learned by the arrival of sorrow.

As shown by Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, Kumalo’s journey through fear and into sorrow with his son is depicted through symbolic language and his father-son relationship. Fear is shown as a flood of anxiety holding one in place whereas sorrow is an arrival that quenches the fear and can lead to enrichment. Absalom Kumalo’s fate and rejuvenated connection with his father depicts the rebuilding that has occurred following the journey of fear and ascension into sorrow. The characters are rooted in place by fear whereas pushed forward by the coming of sorrow.

 

 

A Poem of Righteousness

Equality sought for throughout the world,
not communism but rather race and love,
an era of blood and conflict had unfurled,
where preference shouldn’t be considered as “above”,

The river of life goes on and on,
drowning some and stifling voices,
some could be saved, some could have lived,
if others had acted on their positive choices,

Their trains of thought regarded love,
in a different direction to others,
This pushed them down and into the dark,
estranging these sisters and brothers,

different orientations and different lusts,
the rights of humankind pushed aside,
violently ravaged and deprived of musts,
The desires of people utterly denied,

Vocal chords shot, place in life gone,
if equality came, all would rejoice,
for it is us, the youth’s responsibility,
to offer the voiceless their voice.

By Shivang Shelat

A Closer Historical Look at China

What are China and India? China and India are most likely some of the most glorious countries that our earth has ever seen. Combined, they carry around 40% of the entire world’s population. Despite the war-enraged past of China and the caste conflicts of India, both are successful today.

 

In 1976, a larger-than-life character of China and the Cold War named Mao Zedong passed away. His impact on China was immense. At a ripe age of 82 years old, he died as he had lived – basking in glory as China’s Communist Party Chairman. Less relevant Chinese rulers took his place, and eventually Deng Xiaoping came to power. According to the quote in the textbook, he said, “I don’t care if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” Mice represents monetary success of the government. This shows he believed that money was a main goal for the government of a country to achieve. He single-handedly proliferated China’s economic growth and ignored the filth of the government. The program he put forth was called the Four Modernizations, and consisted of accentuating Agriculture, Industry, Defense, and Science (AIDS). Although the government was still communist, more capitalistic ideals surfaced. Communes were lessened and peasants were given land to farm by the government. They were managed by the people but parts of the crops were taken by the government. Foreign investing also increased greatly when businesses were set up and outside influence was accepted. Over time, China grew to resemble a capitalist society, with a growing wage gap between wealthier city-people and the workers of the land.

 

The outside influence as well as capitalist success began to build up. Chinese protestors from various backgrounds numbered around 100 million. They vied for democratic increase in China’s government. However, Deng was not just ready yet to release communism. As a huge collection of students and protestors met at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, the communist party struck down with their iron fist. Tanks and troops killed several thousands of people in a massacre. Whereas Deng’s priority was economy, this act showed that political control was not to be trifled with; political freedom would not be allowed.

 

The Communist government of China is one of the most glorious of the world. After Mao Zedong’s passing, Deng came to power and instated powerful economic significance enveloping China to around the world. The increase in trade and foreign partaking was huge, and some people began to lead luxurious lives.

 

Chan, John. “World Socialist Web Site.” Origins and consequences of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre – World Socialist Web Site. N.p., 04 June 2009. Web. 22 May 2017.

“Mao Zedong Dies.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 22 May 2017.

 

Jemmy’s Psychological Torture

Fourteen-year-old Jemmy is in a tough position. He has been trying to break into the kool group at school, and now one of the members of the koolies has invited him to a gala on Sunday. He truly wishes to go, but he has already offered to help his band group with an exercise for seventh graders that night. He understands that there will be drinking at the gala, and he promised his mamma that he’d never drink in high school. She has invested her trust in his minds and body thoroughly.

 

 

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Jemmy’s decision would theoretically be affected by several factors that appear in the cognitive theories of Piaget, Kohlberg, and Erikson. His age correlates with his decision, and being a sixteen year old, is venturing into the formal operational stage of Piaget’s steps. The authority that he sees in his life has influence on his moral standpoint of leaving. Jemmy’s formation identity also can depend on this choice.

Piaget believed that the youthful ages of an individual corresponded with their brain processes and progression of viewing the world. The child would begin to sense the environment around them and eventually develop the feature of logical thinking. Jemmy’s age of sixteen shows that he has completed Piaget’s proposal of concrete operational thinking. Jemmy is able to put himself in his mother’s shoes. If he can detect the dismay that would come if he were to betray his mother’s trust, then Jemmy would most likely avoid going to the party with the alcohol.

Kohlberg’s stages of morality reference the relationship that people have to authority in their lives. Again, Jemmy’s age comes into play, as he sees his mother as a figure of authority of whom he does not wish to lose the trust of. Trust is an extremely important part of Jemmy’s life, and keeping it is vital in the stage he is in: conventional morality. An irregularity would show that Kohlberg’s ideas could be false, but Jemmy would typically do the activity he was meant to do instead of risking his reputation and relationship with his maternal parent.

Erikson was extremely interested in the concept of identity crisis. He chose to use the term when a youthful person was stuck making a decision that would decide a major course in their life. Jemmy is most likely observing the choice he has to make in a manner that accentuated the negative portions of doing the wrong thing. In order to avoid tarnishing his identity by going and doing stereotypical high school activities, Jemmy will preserve his mother’s trust and avoid the risk. The identity crisis will be solved when he does not go.

Jemmy will not attend the party with the risk of drinking in order to preserve the relationship with his mother, the trust he has built with her, and the identity he wishes to keep. His age correlates with each meticulous step in the three different theories of psychologists and youth growth in the mind.

His psychological torture will be solved, as he will decide not to betray his maternal parent’s trust.