This revolution has been nothing but a disaster for the French nation. My children, who I spent my whole life trying to protect and give the highest quality of life rebelled against me, throwing my kingdom into chaos. Thousands starved in the streets during their little revolution and when the “evil king” was removed nothing changed. I was not the problem with our country, money was. Murdering me acted only as a distraction for other men to grasp the power left behind in my passing so that they could put all of France under their thumbs. This Robspierre was allowed to massacre thousands of his own people in the name of public safety without anyone saying a word. Despite being the reason for my death he still had a duty to try and keep order in my passing and keep lead our great nation to glory, but all he did was shove us further into ruin and poverty. I am glad that the people finally saw reason and removed him from the power he so unrightfully took. I can at least look back on this terrible part of time and laugh at the irony of the french people electing Napoleon ( a king without the title) to assume my throne. This truly shows that the people of France need a strong leader to keep everything running smoothly and further proves that this failed attempt to establish a people led government was only doing the country harm. I do forgive those that called for my head and opposed me. It is human nature to want to control your own destiny and I cannot blame my people for wanting to seize theirs. I only hope that they will learn from these dark times and never again destroy this country in the hope of trying to establish an inadequate ideology.
Two months ago my head was sent flying into a crowd of screaming men and women in the name of justice and glorious progress. Now it is plain to me that I was a scapegoat, a puppet used to distract the public from the “new governments” shortfalls and failures. This new republican government is failing in all of the same aspects that led to my downfall and inevitable execution at the hands of the Jacobins. Grain is still to overpriced for the common people to afford, the government is unstable and is in a push and pull situation between the girondians and the Jacobins, and the streets are still an unsafe place to be due to the excess crime being committed by the scum of Paris. My death was supposed to start a new era of peace and progress for our great nation but it only worked as a way for greedy men to grasp power from the massive hole that I left. Robspierre and his dammed Jacobins called for my head and the public eagerly rushed to his side, thinking only of finally removing me from power and not about this foolish leaders ulterior motives. I swear that that man is going to cause more damage to this country than I ever could have. I remained loyal to a country that wanted me dead to the point where I made my final words, (I pray that my blood may be of use in restoring peace to France.) You will never see that cowardly snake robspiere lay down his life for our great nation. My only goal going forward is to act as a guide for those that haven’t already been dragged into robspiers radical and insane ideals. My guardsmen and subjects need to try and maintain order so that our country doesn’t fall into ruin after my passing. I have heard that my wife will be joining me soon. Robspiere and his toadies plan on executing her in an attempt to execute the last great French monarch . She has done nothing wrong except leading a lavish lifestyle worthy of her position. Once again Robspiere grabs power through the execution of an innocent women, I hope that this doesn’t become a recurring theme. I hope that the people will see what the republic is becoming and will be able to stop it before it sends our country spiraling down into ruin. I will be known as the king that led his country go to ruin, I will be known as the man who let thousands starve, I will be known as a traitor to the people, and I will be known as a tyrant. What the history books will leave out however is that I tried to help the people, I listened to their pleas, I stayed in my country when I should’ve fled, and I gave my life for a country that will only remember me as a tyrant. I hope that my beloved France will survive this ordeal and come out hardened by the times they have been through.
This article was written by the French Gazette/ the official newspaper of the the town of Reims.
To me this shows that the french revolution caused a massive change in ideals and how the country changed its opinion on people that they thought of as great. In no case is this clearer than the coronation of king louis the 16th. In the beginning of the ceremony thousands of people came out to see him and everyone was either celebrating/praising him. A few bad decisions and an economic crisis later and he is hated by the general populace and outed from government by an upstart group of revolutionaries that without a doubt thought of him as a good monarch the first few weeks into his reign.
The first hand resource that I found is related to my characters coronation. This is extremely relevant and important to my characters storyline because it shows his beginning rise to power and the intense love that the people had for him before his reign went disastrously wrong. It must have been great for the french people to see a new king come to power after the rule of his father, not because his father was a bad king but because some of the decisions he made were considered unpopular by the general populace. According to this link it seems that the king was adored by his people and was greeted/praised by the church and the common people during his trip to show of his coronation. Many rich and famous people came to greet the new and young king in an effort to gave his favour since they most likely considered him young and impressionable. This coronation ceremony was so important to the royals that the king travelled all over the city, to multiple places a day to try and win the favour of his people and show off to the french people. Ironically he would go from being a beloved new ruler to one of the most despised French Monarchs in all of history. During his extremely long coronation ceremony King Louis appointed some of the nobles under his command to higher positions and held outings to various religious centres such as churches to talk to the holy people that ran then. This event is also very significant because it demonstrates the tradition of the french monarchs and their need to be overly extravagant. Even though the country was in debt by this point the king and his court still decided to make the traditional trip to Reims where thousands of years of monarchs had been crowned before him. In one final attempt to appeal to the people the king decided to touch 2400 disease ridden people and give charity to them to help with their condition. This itself shows how much the monarchy had to appeal to its people to make up for the fact that they were denying them representative government.
All in all I think that this resource shows a lot about my character and how his extravagance was both his rise to power and ultimately his downfall.
These last few weeks it has been hard to work on in depth what with balancing my rugby schedule around school. Luckily though my foods class and my cook nights have given me a chance to keep practicing my knife and preparation skills. So far into this project I have deviated slightly from my original plan and have started to cook all different types of cuisines from Spanish to Canadian First Nations. I shortened list of what I have made is as follows, seafood paella, mushroom ragu, mushroom rissoto, Tarte de Santiago, mousaka, Pork Tenderloin, Potato Scallops, Bannock, Tortellini, gourmet macaroni and cheese, and wrapped scallops. A lot of these aren’t Spanish recipes but I do feel like that by making these I have developed my cooking skills which will help me when I attempt to make my Spanish recipes again. During the past few weeks I have had a meeting with my mentor where we talked about my plan for my learning centre and tried to plan future meetings that work around both of our schedules. In our brief meeting we discussed my plan for my learning centre as well as how we would get around the problem of having my meals hot for the night. After talking for a while we decided that I would have giant pots of my food and hand out little tasting plates to the visitors so that everyone gets at least some of my food. The way that I will have it set up is that I will have one menu written in english explaining the dishes and one menu in Spanish since that is the traditional language of where the dishes come from. In typical Spanish style I will be dishing out the food in the form of Tapas which are small tasting dishes that are often served in bars and restaurants. Each person will get a small piece of each course and then afterwards either ask questions or move around and look at other stations while eating my food. To make sure that everything is cooked well and is kept hot my mentor and I will be meeting briefly after school to cook/prepare the seafood, reheat the rest of my food, and keep it hot until the night starts. We will also meet a few times before the night so he can give me a few more pointers as to how I should be plating the food and how to make it visually pleasing. What I want to do with my set-up is use one of the long tables for my menus and pots of food and then have a few small tables or have some room on the other side of the table for people to sit and enjoy the food. This would require me taking up at least one table in the centre of the room or one of the long tables near the side of the room. That is my overall plan for the night but it might be subjected to change depending on how it looks once I construct it at home in the next couple of days. I will be meeting with my mentor later next week to go over final preparations and to see if there is anything I could change that would make the night run smoother for me. On Sunday I will be getting a lot more practice in because I will be teaching Dakota how to make Tarte de Santiago in a muffin form for our foods class. This will give me a chance to see if I actually know the steps and procedure well enough to show someone how to create the recipe. Hopefully it will be fun and we will both enjoy the experiance of cooking a traditional spanish meal as a team.
I am simply a man, a man who tried to please a broken country and was forced from my home because of my failure. The Women’s March on Versailles was the final in a long line of my failures as protector of the people. I cannot blame the hungry families and women that marched on my home all they simply wanted was food that I couldn’t afford to give them. I was out hunting while the hungry mob of women marched on my home, demanding that I spread out the food I collected to the public and that I travel to Paris to see the suffering of my subjects. Once there were through the gates my national assembly tried to calm the mob down and sent six representatives from the group to come up and discuss with me, what a great way to try out representative government. They told me awful stories of what the economic crisis had done to their families and loved ones. Hunger, famine and death all because of the debt our wars and financial ministers had put us in. I felt guilty that the very night before I threw a banquet full of food to celebrate the arrival of my Flanders regiment while these women and their families spent the night starving. I promised them that I would try my best to alleviate the food shortages and sent them away. These were not the vicious savages that my court made them out to be but instead were poor men and women trying to survive through a crisis that my father and I caused. Lafayette advised that I should address the crowd so I walked on to my balcony and addressed the ragged people below. I promised them that I would stop the food shortages and bring everything back to normal but this failed to calm them down. They got rowdier and rowdier to the point where I feared for my life. Then I ordered all of Versailles food stores to be spread amongst the protestors in an attempt to calm them. By this point my guardsman had arrived but instead of ordering them to fire on the starving crowd before me I made more promises to the crowd. I vowed to endorse the declaration of the rights of man. This finally calmed them down and stopped the violence. This showed me that if I could handle the situation just right there might be a chance for this notion of revolution to die down and for I lead France back to its former glory as a European power. The rest of the night passed without incidence other than one little scuffle my annoying wife had with a few of the protestors. One cannot blame women from poor families for hating Marie, she embodies everything they despise, arrogant, frivolous, and completely oblivious to their plight. After the demonstration finished we were carted away to our temporary residence in the Tuileries. I am sure that once this whole thing blows over I can once again return home to my glorious Versailles.
I have enjoyed making these memes over the last couple of days and have managed to choose a few that I think are my best. One touches on current events through the form of the Mexican presidents refusal to pay for presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. The other comments on the hamilton musical along with Zin’s idea that the American revolution was a situation where the top 5 percent led the poor people against the slightly richer British politicians. I need to give credit to Kody because he helped me create the first meme about Donald Trump and the situation revolving his wall.
The meme below didn’t take to long to make but required a lot of searching to find the right facial expression. This meme is meant to represent the former Mexican presidents rejection of Trump’s proposal where Mexico would pay for the border wall construction. Near the end of 2015 former mexican president Vicente Fox made a public press announcement pleading with Latinos in America to not vote for Donald Trump. His announcement was created after polls in America showed that Trump was winning the Latino Republican vote. After seeing this statistic and hearing about Trump’s views on how the wall should be funded Vicente Fox made his announcement which put an end (hopefully) to any notion of Mexico paying for his proposed 10 billion dollar wall. This is one of my favorite memes that I created mainly because of candidate Trump’s face.
I made this meme to comment on the American revolution and Howard Zin’s views on the topic. After reading Zin’s article titled tyranny is tyranny I began to see the American revolution in a new light. This is why my meme states “when you get the poor people to destroy the other guy’s mansion”. This dispels the common illusion that the founding fathers were righteous common people that rebelled against there oppressive 1% rulers. In reality (as detailed by Zin) around 70% of the founding fathers held diplomatic office under the british and were desperately trying to reach the top by manipulating the poorest people to focus their anger on the british instead of them. This topic and theme can also be applied to current events in the form of the current American presidential race. Candidate Trump in my opinion is a very extreme version of the founding fathers in one particular way. He is manipulating the common populace to get what he wants and gain one of the most influential positions in the world. This meme was mainly created with Howard Zin in mind. When I was reading his article it conflicted with what I thought I knew about the founding fathers from the Hamiliton musical. In that musical it seems as if most of the founding fathers are honest men rebelling against their evil (and somewhat insane) rulers. However in the tyranny is tyranny piece that we read it showed a different side to the rebellion that seemed more realistic and less righteous. To create this meme I used the meme generator website and tried to find an image that I thought would do the quote justice. I feel like I succeeded and am very happy with the results.
In conclusion this meme making exercise has allowed me to make a lot of connections between the different texts and mediums that we have been researching and viewing. I hope to do more mini projects like this because it gives us a different way other than a mind map or notes to make interesting and unique connections.
So far in this in depth project I have made quite a lot of progress since the start. Before I started the project my idea of making a meal was making toast because I had no idea what I cooking actually involved. Now I am able to cook a variety of meals such as paella, Black forest cake, tarte de santiago, fried chicken, scallops, stuffed bulgar wheat peppers, gourmet macaroni and cheese, and risotto with a mushroom kale ragu. The only thing that I still need to make from my menu is carpaccio de sirloin which will be tricky because it requires extremely thinly sliced meat, this means I will need to practice my knife skills for it to turn out any good. Carpaccio de sirloin is basically sliced pork rump with a traditional olive oil dressing and a side of your choosing. I don’t predict it being to hard to do so after I finish making that I will work on mastering the creation of those dishes and finish my menu.
One problem that I found out I have when cooking is my inability to manage multiple projects at once. When I was making the macaroni and cheese I felt constantly stressed out because I had four different pots on at once, all with different ingredients in. I was making a sauce, making the pasta, frying the bacon, and cutting up the tomatoes to go on top all at the same time. One of the factors that made this especially hard was that it was the first meal I made without using a recipe and instead just using my knowledge of what tastes good. This caused quite a bit of confusion and I relied heavily on my father’s cooking experience so I knew what time everything would take to cook. Despite these problems the dish still managed to turn out decent and because of that I chalk it up to a success.
1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?/ My mentor mainly gives me opportunities to go over theories of cooking which is a nice contrast to the mainly hands on learning that takes place in my foods class. Sometimes if I am really stuck on a certain technique such as cleaning shrimp and squid than I will go in before school and we will have a quick demonstration where he can walk me through the process in person. The theory sessions have helped a lot because it gives me a chance to think my problems through slowly and methodically with his help rather than trying to figure them out myself in the moment.
2.What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning? I am not to sure what this question is asking but I am assuming it is asking what opportunities have already been in place and have helped me with the project. There are two main opportunities that have really helped me this project. The first one is taking the foods 11 class that I am in right now. It has taught me how to prepare many types of pasta as well as a few traditional deserts. The second opportunity has been taking brief lessons and advice from my father who loves to cook. Whenever I am cooking he is always there ready to give advice and tips to make the process go smoother for me. These two things coupled with the learning advice I get from my mentor have really made this in depth a valuable experiance for me because it has allowed me to practice a skill I will use my whole life.
3.What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning/ I honestly can’t really think of any opportunities that could help me learn the skill faster considering that I am cooking at least every other day in foods, meeting with my mentor, and cooking at home. Cooking is one of those skills that uses a lot of common sense and the skills that I do need to learn are extremely hard to master. I feel as if my progress is moving along pretty quickly and I am happy with the pace of my learning.
4.When you get together what do you talk about?/ When I am with my mentor and we have finished our demonstrations and answered all of the questions that I have come up with between our meetings we frequently talk about how I will present my project at the night. One of the conversations we have had is how I will prepare the seafood the day of since it is very bad to reheat seafood. One of the solutions to this problem is that either I meet with him just after school and quickly cook my seafood in one of the schools pan while reheating the rest of the food. Another option is to reheat the food at my station while using a portable stove to cook the seafood in front of my guests. He said that he can provide me with a stove and the equipment necessary to cook the food if I can’t bring them in from home.
5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now/ I think that right now pretty much everything is going well in our mentorship. So far I am doing better than last year jut because I managed to get a mentor and the fact that he is willing to help has made the experience really fun. One thing that is working really well is how effectively we use our meetings. Even though we can’t meet as frequently as I would like and our meetings are really short we still get a lot of work done in the time that we do have. One example is how it took us only 15 minutes to go over how to clean shrimp and squid as well as give me time to practice the skill with his supervision.
6. What are you learning about each other/ So far what I have learnt about Robert is that he has been at the school for multiple years and actually knows my rugby coaches because they used to play as part of the same club. I already know a bit about him because he is sort of a family friend, but some of the things he told me honestly surprised me. One such example was that he uses all the large parties he goes to as a sort of practice for his skills as a chef and that he sometimes participates in cook offs with his other friends to see who can cook better. My dad does something similar with his friends and it is something I am excited to do once I am a decent cook.
This past few weeks have been interesting because it has given me time to really analyze what I need to improve on and what I have done well. Moving forward I need to practice being more efficient with my knives and multitasking. My goal before the next blog post is to finish writing my menu in Spanish(it will have the cultural significance of each dish on it) and make the last dish in my three course meal. I will keep meeting with my mentor and practice cooking at home to further progress these skills and hopefully by the next blog post I will almost be done the learning portion of the project and will be able to focus on mastering the skills I have developed.
Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness they fought for those ideals they shouldn’t settle for less. These are wise words, enterprising women quote ’em.
This was my attempt at a sort of fun transition into a very serious talk about abortion which I personally have been researching quite a lot since the forum went up. This is a topic that is personally relevant to me because during the year I went to the mini med conference and one of the main focuses was maternal and infant death rates. These lectures left an impression on me and when this topic started becoming active in the forum it kind of sucked me in.
After attending the lectures I have made up my mind about the topic and decided that I am pro choice. I firmly believe that a women’s body is her business and it is her decision as to what she wants to do with it.
As many people know there has been a lot of controversy over the legality and the ethics of abortion. There are traditionally two sides in this debate, those that are pro life, and those that are pro choice. This has always been an extremely controversial subject all over the world but especially in America where a lot of Republican and traditionally conservative states are making it extremely hard for any women to get an abortion. One of the reasons that they give for closing down abortion clinics that is also related to their stances name is that they believe that abortion is murder of an innocent child. The pro choice side holds the belief that a fetus in not a human being yet and thus aborting it is no worse than removing an unwanted organ such as the appendix. This is an issue that I think will never be solved completely because of the extremely different views held by the two parties in America but I do think that there is a chance that an agreement could be made where both parties would be satisfied.
A. So what is actually being done to make abortion harder to obtain?
Well there have been over two hundred new laws implemented in the past couple years alone but there have been some really disruptive ones passed by multiple states. One such law bans a women from getting an abortion if she is twenty weeks from giving birth. This was passed by nine states as well as an additional two that have made it so that the ban extends even longer. The reasoning for this law which at its heart is very good natured is that at that point in development some people believe that the fetus can feel pain and it would thus be inhumane to kill it. Another law that has severely reduced abortion availability is the law that stops abortion from being covered by private health insurance. This makes it extremely expensive for people that want to obtain an abortion and is one of the reasons that people cannot afford the abortion process. Other reasons include, mandatory ultrasounds(new law that forces women to have an ultrasound and watch be there while the monitor shows the child.), transportation, and hotel fees.
B. How does the stigma around abortion affect someone?
Well it really depends on the state that you are in. A lot of the North western states are abortion friendly whereas in the Southern and Midwest states abortion is viewed as a dirty practice and in some places is considered murder. If you live somewhere where the stigma is very real then people can experience segregation from the community. This can make people feel inferior and guilty about a decision that they felt was the right choice for them. This can lead to women regretting what they have done and in some severe cases some women have committed suicide due to the fact that they felt like everyone was judging them and they weren’t accepted anywhere. In addition some people will try and avoid the judgment by obtaining illegal and unsafe abortions. This can lead to a horrific moments where women can die and bleed to death due to complications with the illegal abortions. The fear of being judged can be so much for people that they would rather risk their health and safety than getting something completely legal and safe.
So what who cares?
Well everyone should care about this topic because it is simply a matter of allowing people to have control over their bodies. Abortions being illegal has been linked (in less developed countries) to increased maternal death rates due to illegal medical procedures. This may not affect us so much in Canada but I think we can all agree that being a mother is one of the most important/taxing jobs in the world and we should do whatever we can to allow women complete control as to whether they want to take on this serious responsibility.
You can literally google anything about abortion and you will find multiple case studies about the psychological and physical effects of abortion and the multitude of laws passed by the states to ban abortions. A lot of the studies have a definite bias because the two sides are so polarizing and can cause a lot of strong opinions. Each article will try and push its opinions onto you (unless it is a scientific study) and you will have to realize this while you are trying to become more informed on the subject.
Nothing really causes abortions. It is one of those choices where it is entirely up to the person and it is their decision to make. The decision usually comes after women have analyzed how they feel and their situation and then come to the decision that they cannot or don’t want to take care of the child. The stigma around abortion can be traced back as to being caused by some traditional beliefs held by various religious groups and the fact that many people consider the practice to be dirty/unclean. They believe this because they think that the unborn fetus has a soul already and to exterminate it would be murder ( a horrible sin).
As I mentioned above there are two very distinct sides in this debate and both have their own opinions. The pro choice group want exactly as their name states, easy access to abortion clinics for women no matter what the circumstance of their pregnancy. Whereas the pro life group believe that abortion is wrong and that women should carry the child to term and then if they still don’t want them, give them off into foster care. The basis behind the idea of making the women carry the child to term is that the people that are pro choice think each unborn fetus has potential and that by aborting the child you are snuffing out any chance the infant could have had of enjoying a happy life. This actually seems like a very good thing to believe in, an idea where all children are given a fair start in life and have a fair chance of growing up in the world, however making women carry the children to term isn’t without it’s drawbacks. Bringing to term a child is extremely painful process and takes a lot of time. It seems unfair to put someone through something like that, especially if they don’t want the child to begin with. This is the main problem with the pro life debate because in a lot of people’s minds (and mine) a women’s rights are more important than those of an unborn child. This is why I am on the side of pro choice because it gives people an option as to what they do.
What should be done
Honestly there is not an easy way to get around this problem because the two choices are complete opposites of each other. The only real way that I can see to get around this problem is for both sides to compromise and come up with some terms where most people can get abortions but there are limits as to what the circumstances should be.
As you can see this has been a really engaging topic for me and I will post the links to the websites I used so that you can look for yourself.
Well this week I managed to make another one of the items on my menu somewhat successfully. The food that I made was Tarte de Santiago, a traditional almond and fruit cake. I say that I was somewhat successful because it was my first time ever baking and I required a little help from my sister interpreting what the recipe wanted me to do. One of the things that I needed help with was figuring out what stiff peaks were when you are beating egg whites. Apparently the egg whites are supposed to turn into a white foam and be semi sticky. Other than that the baking went pretty well with only one other minor problem. According to the recipe I needed a food processor to chop the almonds up fine enough to put in the cake. Unfortunately I didn’t have one so instead I used an old fashioned pestle and mortar to grind up around two hundred and fifty grams of almonds. This meant that the almonds were not chopped up as fine as the recipe required giving the cake a crunch that split my family as to whether it was good or not. I think that the crunch gave the cake some substance that it would have lacked, because of the reasons I listed above I actually chalk my first baking experience up as a success. In addition to creating part of my menu I also met with my mentor so he could show me how to properly deshell and de vein some prawns and a squid. During that meeting I actually learnt something that genuinely surprised me. Apparently the small vein that runs down the belly of the prawn is not the one that needs to be taken out and is in fact not relevant to preparing the prawn. This means that the twenty minutes I spent trying to “devein” the shrimp when making my paella was useless. This news surprised my dad as well and he often cooks seafood which I must admit made me laugh on the inside a little. Preparing the squid was actually somewhat similar to dissecting it in biology class. First we had to remove the shell, ink sack, and internal organs. Secondly we cut the squid directly down the middle,and covered it in flour for frying. Lastly we fried it in a pan for five minutes and it was ready to go.
- What has been the most difficult mentoring challenge so far. Why? The hardest part of the mentoring process so far for me has been transporting the materials that I need to school so that Robert can provide demonstrations for me. This has been so difficult because a lot of the time we can only confirm our meetings the day before because his schedule is very fluid. This means that once I find out I need to phone my mother and hope that she can find the materials that I need for the very next day. If she does find what I need then I have to transport the raw ingredients from my home to school, store it in my locker, and try and get out of one of my classes earlier so that we can briefly meet and he can show me what to do with eh ingredients. The only way that I can think to get around this problem is to buy all of the materials I need and then store them in the cafeteria’s fridge so that whenever I want to meet the materials are there and ready. Although this sounds easy there is no guarantee that I can actually store my food there and they is always the problem that some students might accidentally use the foods that I stored there.
2. What is working well. Why?
One thing that is working well is the demonstrations that Robert has been providing for me. As I mentioned above the demonstration that Robert gave me with the prawn revealed a lot and will defiantly save me a lot of time in the future. These demonstrations have helped me a lot with my cooking and hopefully they will continue to be helpful as i try and make my last dish, Carpaccio de sirloin.
3. What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?
One thing that could work better is the frequency and amount of time that we meet per week. One of the ways that I can make our meetings more regular and longer is what we did this week. I left block two a little earlier and met up with him in the cafeteria so that he could do a demonstration with me. This gave us plenty of time to go through the demonstration and gave Robert enough time to prepare for lunch. I will now try and organize our meetings just before lunch because it gives us more than enough time to do everyhting that we need to get done.
Below I posted some pictures of the equipment I used and the food that i have made. In the weeks to come I will finish creating the last item on my menu, will create my spanish and english menu, and I will perfect all of the dishes that I have made so far.
Last year in socials we focused mainly on how Canada was formed as a country and the many hardships that took place to form the nation. Honestly I found this not too exciting, there were no tales of battles larger than a thousand men, political assassinations, and the native people “problem” was solved through deceit instead of a war like in most other countries. Despite this I really enjoyed learning about the political debates and the different sides and opinions that we all demonstrated through our characters. I particularly enjoyed playing the part of sir Adams George Archibald a white english male that was only interest in forming the country in what he perceived as the “right way”. That meant refuting any person of colour, women, and the French. This role gave me the chance to really stir up arguments in the class, and although I had a concussion for one of the debates I do remember our discussion being extremely heated and exciting. This form of learning took something that didn’t interest me as much and transformed it into a world of fighting, debating, and amazing fun with my classmates. I really hope that we can continue this sort of learning because it truly made the semester enjoyable for me, and I anticipate it being even more exciting in a situation such as the French revolution where heads were chopped off on the daily.
What I really want to focus on this year is sort of the same as what we did last year. I want to analyze and recreate characters from the French court, revolutionaries, and normal citizens trying to get by, to create our own personal world of debate. This will allow us to discuss many of the interesting components of history but will give us a sense of personal investment with whatever character we are playing. In addition to this I want to examine early European relations with the native people and try and find out what drove their greed and need for power. Was it because they could or was it simply they enjoyed watching “inferior people suffer”, this is what I want to find out. Instead of damming the whole European nation I want to delve deeper into history and find out if what happened was the cruelty of a nation towards another or if it was simple human tendency to take over and subjugate “lesser beings” for fun.
I believe that my mid term last year was focused around being more involved in class discussions and doing what I love (playing devils advocate). I think that I am well on my way to accomplishing my goals, so far I have been fairly active in most of our conversations and from what I can recall from last year I defiantly played devils advocate to the best of my abilities. This ties very well into the communication competency (“I can take leadership in a discussion or collaboration, and focus on collective results.) I am looking forward to further developing this but to do that I need to feel comfortable that I won’t be destroyed verbally by some of the opinionated people in the class, that is the main problem that causes me to hold back. I am afraid that in my efforts to create I interesting discussion I will offend some people and that will cause me to have a bad reputation. If I can be assured that won’t happen then I will gladly take on the role as the bad guy in all of our discussions.
The communication competency contains a few points but there is also another one that ties into my interest in socials. That is the critical thinking competency, part of this is the ability to analyze and understand information from varying points of views. To me this seems perfect because it is describing exactly what I want to do. I am looking forward to developing this competency throughout all of our discussions this semester.
Out of the big ideas one stood out to me as being extremely interesting because it dealt with countries culture and human nature in general. That was the question that asks how power imbalance can cause differences within societies and between cultures. To me once I read the columbus passage it seemed to me that it was sort of biased. It painted columbus’s acts as being the worst anyone could ever do. However my opinion is that at that point in time it was normal for explorers to pillage and enslave “less” developed nations. It happened all across the world so what makes what he did worse than the people that colonized Africa, or the Aztecs that enslave the other tribes and ritually ripped out their hearts for their gods. His acts are still inexcusable but to me it seems like the similar theme of cruelty shows the true nature of humanity. It does not matter the cultural upbringing, throughout history the second a person has had enough power they have subjugated those that he could. A perfect example would be the Egyptians and their slaves, the Egyptians had an immense empire and all of the power allowed them to do terrible acts, such as using people as glorified pack mules to build monolithic tombs. The point that I am trying to get across is that humanity is a cruel and savage race and that in almost all people there exists the desire for control and domination over one another. Now because of our social advancements over the last couple hundred years we now realize that our desire to conquer is in fact savage and that it is completely unethical and wrong to try and own a entire people, but back in Columbus’s time it was probably considered normal. His is a wretched man that disgusts me but he is a perfect example of what will happen if a human’s power is left unchecked. It is not a power balance itself that causes rifts between cultures, but in my opinion power instead acts as a catalyst for people to act out their desires of dominance. Just recap, so that I am not prosecuted or blamed as the villain. I think that what columbus did was wretched but how can we be sure that if no other person was in his position they wouldn’t do the same. I believe that humans need to feel like they are dominant and if someone has unchecked power they can do whatever their heart desires. This I believe is what causes the rift between cultures and has caused many of the awful acts our ancestors committed. I am excited to hear other views on the subject of human nature and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Although I will most likely going to be judged for what I just wrote I am willing to take the hate in the hopes that this will lead to an interesting class discussion.
Curricular competencies and questions
I have thought of a few questions that will help me get an understanding of the big idea I talked about above.
- What was the main reason for cruelty throughout colonized countries, (religion, prejudice, or simple human nature)?
- Why did columbus do what he did (because he could or because of some other reasons) I would prefer to use first hand resources to find personal recounts?
- Are there any modern examples of how human nature and power has created horrible acts?
- What are other peoples personal opinions on humanities awful past and their natural desire for utter control?
I hope to discuss some of these questions in class and get peoples personal opinions as to wether it was Columbus’s personality and upbringing that made him a monster or if was humanities desire for complete control.
All in all this past week has given me a lot to think about and has made me think a lot about the human nature and what it has caused in our history.