Thursday, February 24, 2011


Mohamed Bouzizi: Burned himself to make a point that he would not put up with the way that he was being treated by his government and that he was ready for a reform. His act starts a revolution in his home town and causes revolutions is many middle eastern dictatorship style governments.  His act enraged his friends and fellow citizens to rebel, and eventually become the first group of people to overthrow their dictator. 

Thich Quang Duc: Set himself aflame to rebel against his administration that was persecuting Buddhists. After his death the government promised reforms, however, they were either slow to be integrated, or not integrated at all. His act increased the number of protests against the government, soldiers were dispatched, and many people were killed.

I think that it is interesting how closely related both intents were, and how different the results were. Both men were standing up for what they thought was right, and both men were able to spur on their countrymen to back their cause with their extreme shows of selflessness, and both were against and oppressive government. 

This quote shows the fear that people living in an oppressive government, such as both suicide victims, face every day. It also helps explain why they were so willing to take their own lives for their causes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Alfred Joyce Kilmer

Alfred was a noted American poet who was killed in action during WW1. For more info click here.

The follow poem was written by Alfred himself.

Prayer of a Soldier in France (1918)
My shoulders ache beneath my pack 
(Lie easier, Cross, upon His back). 
I march with feet that burn and smart 
(Tread, Holy Feet, upon my heart).
Men shout at me who may not speak 
(They scourged Thy back and smote Thy cheek).
I may not lift a hand to clear 
My eyes of salty drops that sear.
(Then shall my fickle soul forget 
Thy Agony of Bloody Sweat?)
My rifle hand is stiff and numb 
(From Thy pierced palm red rivers come).
Lord, Thou didst suffer more for me 
Than all the hosts of land and sea.
So let me render back again
This millionth of Thy gift. Amen.

That poem can be found here.
I think that this poem is describing the pain that he goes through as a soldier in the Great War. But at the end of the poem, he seems more grateful than i would originally appear. For most of the burdens he describes, he compares it to the burdens that were born to the cross. "My shoulders ache beneath my pack/(Lie easier, Cross, upon His back)."  This line shows that he is able to find joy in all the pain he goes through.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Self Reflection

1. How did I feel during planning this presentation? Why did I feel this way?
a. Anxious. I wasn’t sure how this project was going to come together, and I felt that there was an extra need for me to step up to the plate.
2. How did I feel prior to presenting? Why did I feel this way?
a. Confident. I had practiced a lot, and had spent a heaping amount of time on my slides, making sure that they were timed right, and that my slides all looked good.
b. Nervous. I didn’t truly think my group had any chance of winning the debate because we were not only up against a very good group, but also because I was unsure of the amount of time some of group members had spent on their presentations, and was really hoping that somehow we might be able to pull this together.
3. How did I feel while I was presenting? Why did I feel this way?
a. Disappointed. After my 4+ hours of working on my slides and presentation, it was crashing and burning. The first thing that went was my confidence, and I struggled aimlessly to regain my composure and get back on track. Unfortunately, it was to no avail.
4. What did I personally do well?
a. Comprehension. I was able to gather most of the information we read into my memory, and was able to remember most of the major points all the way through the presentations. The points pertaining to my group were the points that I knew all the nooks and crannies of all the points made by us, and countered by our opponents.
5. What did not go as desired in this presentation?
a. Most everything. This was easily my all time low presentation as far back as I can remember, and in those, some done without planning and practice (none in the DLC). It was literally my worst nightmare, as my keynote got way ahead of me, and I couldn’t keep up.
6. On a scale from 1-10, how well do I think I understood the content? Explain.
a. I think that I did an excellent job of comprehending the content both from the PVOnline, and the sites that were linked from it. Despite the fact I did very little research on top of the PVOnline in areas that weren’t corresponding to my group’s area of study, I still knew what opponents group was talking about the whole time and was able to answer the 8th graders clarifying questions.
7. How do I think my group members perceived me? Why do I think this?
a. Bossy/Control Freak. I think that other people in my group perceive me as being either bossy or a control freak because my style of leading relies heavily upon being in the control of the situation. I think this because not only have people pointed this out to me, but I also notice that I am pertaining to these traits.
8. How do I think the 8th graders perceived me? Why do I think this?
a. I think that they were being far too lenient with me, primarily because of the fact that we were at the same school for a two-year period, as well as the fact that during that time period we would sometimes work together as a group.
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. If possible the main thing I would change would be the way my slides were set up. I thought at the time that it would a good idea to be able to walk around the room as it went in the background.
b. I would also spend less time on my slides, and more time preparing to own at the presentation, even though I had already spent a good chunk of time in this area.
10. What are my strengths in groups?
a. Leadership. I think that even though sometimes I show an unlikable part of being a leader, I have quite a bit of experience in the area, and am often able to get my group to bear down and focus on getting the job done.
b. Hard Working. I always give it my all when I’m in my group, and work hard not only for myself, but also because I don’t want to let my group members down.
11. What areas do I need improvement?
a. Patience. I will often not be patient with my group members, and expect them to work at my pace, not my own. I will often not give people the ability to do what they need to do to produce the best work they can.
b. I need to improve at being able to relax and let the other people in my group do their work instead of stressing about whether they have completed this or that and trying frantically to make everything go the way I envision it going.
12. What is the most important thing I learned about myself? Why is this so important?
a. That I need to calm down and let people work the way they choose to work, in stead of worrying about it.
13. Are there any other things that I need to express?