Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Not everyone in the world has the freedom we have in the United States. They can't say what is on their mind, or do what they please (within specific restrictions). These two people couldn't stand it anymore, and killed themselves to try to stop it. What some people will do to be free. It makes you be grateful for what we have in our Country, freedom.

Both Mohamed Bouazizi, and “The Burning Monk” Thich Quang Duc, lit themselves on fire to prove a point. Bouazizi wanted to at least make enough money as a fruit vendor to send some family members to college. When a lady took his scale, this was the last straw for him. He went to the government building and burned himself, to show he was fed up with everything, and he had been pushed over the edge. This “spark”, combined with Facebook spreading the word around the country and to neighboring countries, started a revolution that took the dictator out of power.

“The Burning Monk”  part of the, South Vietnamese Buddhists made requests to the Diem regime to Lift its ban on flying the traditional Buddhist flag, Stop detaining Buddhists, and giving other rights back to the Buddhists. When no one listened to their requests Thich Quang Duc took to desperate measures. He went to a busy intersection, and sat there silently, burning to death. The main difference with Bouazizi and “The Burning Monk” is Thich Quang Duc didn’t start a revolution like Mohammed Bouazizi, but received little attention. Two people sacrificed themselves for what they believed in, and one created an uprising, the other went somewhat unnoticed.

Not everyone in the world has the freedom we have in the United States. They can't say what is on their mind, or do what they please (within specific restrictions). These two people couldn't stand it anymore, and killed themselves to try to stop it. What some people will do to be free. It makes you be grateful for what we have in our Country, freedom.

David Halberstam, of the New York Times wrote “I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think…. As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

OPTION ONE: Africa and South Africa in World War One

Africa and World War One
"When thinking of World War One, the pictures that often come to mind are trenches, stagnant warfare and other items that are associated with the Western Front. When one thinks of War in Africa, items that generally come to mind are old tribal wars, or General Rommel’s Afrika Corps, General Montgomery and the Battle of El Alamein. However war in Africa can be thoroughly included in the history of World War One. War in Africa occurred almost simultaneously as war in Europe did. War in Africa first broke out in early August 1914 with all the German colonies being attacked by the Allies, the colony of Togoland for instance was quickly overrun by August 26th. While this German colony submitted early to Allied pressure, other colonies held out much longer, like German South-East Africa holding out until the war ended four years later. Africa’s contribution to the war was not limited to only the German colonies. Also just as important were the troops from African nations that fought with the Allies not only in Africa but also in Europe along the Western Front. Regiments from Algeria were the most common in Europe, but also regiments from Morocco, Senegal and others were found in smaller degrees. "

More information on Africa and South Africa in World War One can be found here.
A map of Africa broken up into the different empires can be found here.

South Africa by Rudyard Kipling
(Which can be found here)

Lived a woman wonderful
(May the Lord amend her!)
Neither simple, kind, nor true,
But her Pagan beauty drew
Christian gentlemen a few
Hotly to attend her.

Christian gentlemen a few
From Berwick unto Dover;
For she was South Africa,
Ana she was South Africa,
She was Our South Africa,
Africa all over!

Half her land was dead with drouth,
Half was red with battle;
She was fenced with fire and sword
Plague on pestilence outpoured,
Locusts on the greening sward
And murrain on the cattle!

True, ah true, and overtrue.
That is why we love her!
For she is South Africa,
And she is South Africa,
She is Our South Africa,
Africa all over!

Bitter hard her lovers toild,
Scandalous their paymen, --
Food forgot on trains derailed;
Cattle -- dung where fuel failed;
Water where the mules had staled;
And sackcloth for their raiment!

So she filled their mouths with dust
And their bones with fever;
Greeted them with cruel lies;
Treated them despiteful-wise;
Meted them calamities
Till they vowed to leave her!

They took ship and they took sail,
Raging, from her borders --
In a little, none the less,
They forgat their sore duresse;
They forgave her waywardness
And returned for orders!

They esteemed her favour more
Than a Throne's foundation.
For the glory of her face
Bade farewell to breed and race --
Yea, and made their burial-place
Altar of a Nation!

Wherefore, being bought by blood,
And by blood restored
To the arms that nearly lost,
She, because of all she cost,
Stands, a very woman, most
Perfect and adored!

On your feet, and let them know
This is why we love her!
For she is South Africa,
She is Our South Africa,
Is Our Own South Africa,
Africa all over!

In Rudyard Kipling’s “South Africa”, he talks about the condition of Africa, and mainly South Africa. Before, and during WWI, Africa was divided between the empires of Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Belgium. They were not one continent, they were little pieces of different empires. They had been imperialized, and in a sense, broken up into little pieces. Rudyard Kipling mentioned many times, “Africa all over!” He also wrote with it, “For she is South Africa, She is Our South Africa, Is Our Own South Africa.” He means that many empires, mainly France and Britain, believed that Africa was theirs, when they imperialized a specific part of Africa. Kipling is mainly speaking about South Africa, which was mainly controlled by Britain, but “Africa [was] all over!” He also wrote, “Half her land was dead with drouth, Half was red with battle.” South Africa had been stripped of much of their resources by Britain who didn’t have as much of the rich soil, landscape, and especially the rich gold and diamond mines that South Africa possessed. Their land was “dead with drouth” because of their resources had been taken by the British. What he meant by “Half was red with battle,” was when Britain went to war, South Africa did as well. And when Britain's empire was challenged, South Africa would be in the battle too, leaving their land “red”. Whenever an empire that controlled that specific part of Africa went to war, in turn that part of Africa went to war as well.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The White Man's Burden & Imperialism

1. Determine what Kipling means by "the White Man's Burden."

A: Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" is a satirical poem about Imperialism, and what it is about. During the time period of 1899, many people believed that it was the "White Man's Burden" to take over other territories, so we could share our wonderful lives with them. They "needed" to take over the other places so that they could live the wonderful lives that we free American's live. Kipling is almost making fun of the people who believe it is our duty to act Imperialistic.

2. Does Kipling justify imperialism? How so?

A: No, he does not believe in Imperialism, and makes satirical comments about i t in his poem. He says: "Take up the White Man's burden, The savage wars of peace, Fill full the mouth of Famine, And bid the sickness cease; And when your goal is nearest, Watch sloth and heathen folly, Bring all your hope to nought." By this he means that you must do your "duty" or "burden" by working to feed other people, make sure everyone else is healthy, and when you've almost reached your personal goals, then watch your hope be gone. If you work to act Imperialistic, then you will be working to help someone else, and you will "Bring all your hope to nought."

3. Why might such a justification might be so appealing?

A: It might be so appealing because Kipling, and his persuading poem, believed it was irreprehensible to believe in such an absurd thing like Imperialism. People believed much of the information that they read back in 1899. And if it was appealing to read, such as a poem, then people would want to read it. It gave the people who didn't want to believe in the way of Imperialism, a reason not to.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Self-Reflection; Reconstruction Debate

  1. How did I feel during planning this presentation? Why did I feel this way?
    1. I felt really good planning this presentation. My entire group was in a unanimous decision about who was going to do what. Oliver would do the opener, I would do the closing, Tyera the flaws, etc. I was very excited that I got to do the closing.
  2. How did I feel prior to presenting? Why did I feel this way?
    1. Before we presented I was confident in what I was going to say. I was a bit nervous presenting for the first time for some of the 8th graders, but I was confident in my speech. I practiced over the weekend, and it helped tremendously. It made it less stressful when the time came.
  3. How did I feel while I was presenting? Why did I feel this way?
    1. I felt very confident. I was a tiny bit nervous but I had my speech memorized. I also learned that memorizing something, or knowing it very well, makes the entire presentation better.
  4. What did I personally do well?
    1. I think I projected my voice, summed all the topics up, and ended on a true strong point.
  5. What did not go as desired in this presentation?
    1. Lisa’s had a bit too much content, and the things we fixed with the technology went back to what they were originally. Oliver was also not very confident in what he thought.
  6. On a scale from 1-10, how well do I think I understood the content? Explain.
    1. I think that I would rate myself a 7 on the content, because I understand the flaws, benefits, and most of the content.
  7. How do I think my group members perceived me? Why do I think this?
    1. I think all my group members perceived me as someone who would get their work done, get it done right, and do a good job doing it. Based on my previous projects.
  8. How do I think the 8th graders perceived me? Why do I think this?
    1. Going into this I knew a majority of the eighth graders. Them being 6th graders when I was a 5th grader, out teachers had our classes do a lot together. Hopefully they thought that I knew what I was talking about, and hopefully spoke loud enough to everything to a close.
  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?
    1. I would help Lisa pick out the main things from the Wade-Davis Bill, and take some of it to present it, so she doesn’t have to memorize everything.
  10. What are my strengths in groups?
    1. I’m usually a pretty good task manager, and a good leader most of the time. And always get my work done on time, and done right. But this was a project that didn’t need a leader; we each did our own thing.
  11. What areas do I need improvement?
    1. My public speaking could use some work. I need to have more, different, gestures, move around, and interact with the audience more.
  12. What is the most important thing I learned about myself? Why is this so important?
    1. I learned that, the more I know the topic, and the more I practice, the MUCH better the presentation will be. If you’re more confident in yourself, you sound more confident to the audience.
  13. Are there any other things that I need to express?
    1. None that I could think of at this time.