Historical Thinking


“How can we better understand the people of the past?”

The expected answer, is that we should “put ourselves in their shoes,” but the reality is that we can’t. No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to experience what they experienced in their life, because the accuracy will never be enough. The closest thing we’re able to do is to observe their living conditions, and infer what their lifestyle would be like, based on all the variables around them.


To better understand people of the past, we have to look into all of the evidence and perspectives from their era. The more knowledge we have, the more we’re able to learn and attempt to feel what they felt. However, this is next to impossible because of the incredibly diverse cultures, beliefs, and setting.


To this day, cultures and beliefs are still constantly changing, depending on personality. Certain personalities will never be able to undergo what it felt like to start a revolution about LGBTQ+, women’s rights, and equality, because these ideas are almost unattainable unless experienced first hand. There is still plenty of controversy about these topics, and in the future, replicating these current events will prove even more difficult or challenging than it is to us now.

In-Depth v3

This blog post is going to be somewhat difficult to write, considering the continuous use of “challenges.” From my point of view, at no point in time were there any major challenges, but I definitely can come up with some minor issues.

What logical challenges affected your communication?


My mentor is an extremely busy person, and the only real way I can meet or interact with them, is participating in one of her classes. The issue with this, is that I don’t get the “proper” mentor-ship I’m looking for, but at the same time I can easily cope. On my free time I’ve been researching and learning more about my in-depth, allowing more time for a new perspective or more information to be given from the period of time my mentor teaches. Obviously, I have taken into account that my mentor is too, an extremely busy person and that they have their own commitments, further elaborating on why I am taking time to research and view information on my topic.


What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?


Something that worked well or is good about my mentorship situation, is the ability to easily communicate with each other. Because of her experience with all ages, Grace has gained the ability to easily communicate with essentially anyone at all. I never have to worry about hesitations in criticism, because being an art teacher, she has already come to the conclusion that it is a necessary step to learning and teaching.


What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring  interactions?


Three strategies that I think could massively improve the mentoring process, include most of what I previously mentioned, which is being able to research and learn more on my own time, helping both of us immensely. Another strategy is to look back onto previous meetings or previous education in general, in order to figure out where I stand during that point of time, allowing me to maximize efficiency when learning. Finally, to help out around her classroom when she is unable to help me. I’ve heard the phrase countless times, “if you teach it to someone, you’re teaching it to yourself too,” and I feel like it would be a good idea to use that time not being mentored to mentor others, and practice my teaching abilities.



In-Depth v2

In my opinion, this second blog post is must needed and a great topic pick. In general, I find it an extremely good idea to connect and socialize with my mentor, considering I’m going to be spending the next 5 months learning from them and their experiences.

My mentor’s name is Grace. She’s been an art teacher, for about 14 years now, starting from 2004.  When I say art teacher, I actually mean that she’s started her own “business” in a sense, teaching all ages from kindergarten to seniors, in the comfort of her own home. I visited her class today, February 1st, and had the opportunity to observe her lessons, students, and ask a few questions while I was at it. I’d like to think that I learned a pretty good amount about her.

When she was younger, she was oblivious to how life was going to take her where she is right now. Originally, before graduating high school, Grace had no intention to become an art teacher, much less an artist. At that time, she was thinking about being a businesswoman, but after graduating high school, came to the realization that she wanted to pursue art. A big factor in her sudden change, were her parents, both of them coming from China, and being incredible artists. Grace then decided to follow her career choice, and began to study at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts.

Before 2004, she met plenty of amazing artists and great people from her school, and took a couple part time jobs, doing commercial art for a few companies, specifically murals. To this day she enjoys what she does, meeting new people, socializing with all ages, learning new lessons daily. Grace continuously states that she “likes to stick with that view” of loving her work.

A piece of advice she gave me, was to be patient and never let your students get to your head. I dropped in at the perfect time, during a class of kindergarteners to middle schoolers, loud, upbeat children that won’t stop whining or calling for help. Grace told me that you always have to be prepared for students, explaining how middle school students are the hardest to cope with. Most become rebellious and talkative, needing reminders every couple minutes to stay on task or to stop wasting time. The class I was in today, there was a certain little boy that would not stop sassing back, wasting almost all of the hour and a half their parents were paying for. I watched Grace deal with it as best she could, but at no point in time did she lose her cool, simply stating her side, and telling him he was only slowing his growth and wasting time and money.

To sum up, I’ve taken a lot away from this little bit of time spent with my mentor, especially about how to deal with people as a whole. This is going to be incredibly helpful, considering I have a younger brother that is just as troublesome as some of her students.


MND v1

In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there is a trend of emotional messages that exhibits the idea of how love affects us and those around us. Our emotions can manipulate us to do unfounded actions that will usually result in negative occurrences, and in this case, creating a “love square” to appear in the already complicated romantic life of Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena.

When in the forest, Demetrius and Lysander are dosed with a flower’s juice, causing them to fall in madly love with Helena. Helena believes she is being mocked, stating ““Now I perceive they have conjoin’d all three/To fashion this false sport in spite of me,”(3.2.290). In this specific situation, love has created a predicament, where Helena believes that Demetrius and Lysander are purposely making fun of her. Instead of being joyous at this occasion, she begins to question herself and comes to the conclusion that they would never love her. Clearly oblivious to the fact that they legitimately ARE in love with her, she retaliates with her doubt and says, “If you were civil and knew courtesy/You would not do me thus much injury./Can you not hate me, as I know you do[…]/When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.” pointing out that Helena KNOWS they despise her and are disgusted by her, and then begins to mock their manliness(3.2.156). The sudden affection given out of nowhere creates a negative, doubtful mindset within Helena, releasing her inner sorrow-filled thoughts and ruining her perspective on not only her acquaintances, but herself. Love has caused Helena to tumble downhill into questioning her self worth, and overall ruining her opinion on men in general. Demetrius and Lysander’s immediate emotion change created a negative atmosphere, proving that love has a major effect on our world.

In-Depth v1

Everyone’s been writing these really long in-depth paragraphs, and I kind of feel pressured to, but at the same time I want to keep it concise, so I’ll try my best.

My in-depth is built around growing and focusing on my artistic skills, but solely based on a more realistic perspective. I plan to put my focus around the physical capability and features of people, possibly including some animation as well. I will definitely be looking into some more bodily features and how the human structure functions based on what they can and can’t do. My current mentor is an art instructor that has created her own business and has spent years teaching kindergartners to seniors sketching, acrylic, watercolour, ink, pastel, etc. By the end of in-depth, I plan to be able to easily draw any human pose or photograph without second guessing myself and hesitating at certain sketches.

If you haven’t come to the conclusion of what my in-depth is, it is the sketching and positioning of people, to the best of my ability.


The ups and downs of zip.

Well, if i were to be in middle school, this paragraph would be filled with a bunch of happy, cheesy phrases. However, I am not in middle school, meaning I will release my real thoughts on this independent project we call ZIP.

ZIP so far, has been a rollercoaster. Much like eminent, I thought it was nothing much, until I came upon the realization that there’s a lot of effort and research needed to create a fully functional slam poem, or something close to it. I have learned a lot about english writing strategies, things like onomatopoeia, to how important alliteration is, etc. I’ve gained new note taking skills, and been able to schedule times for meetings depending on my partners time schedule. Slam poetry, is pretty hard to research, considering how most that is given is description of words and story telling. It represents a combination of speeches and poems, and I doubt that many people don’t already have pretty firm grasps on these ideas.

The only real issue I had with ZIP, was figuring out how to present my learning or explain what slam poetry is, without boring the class. Slam poems are usually only allowed 3-4 minutes, meaning that the other 2-6 minutes would be hard to fill up, considering that the whole presentation is mostly about the slam poem. Although, I think I’ve somewhat found a way to change it up and make it less banal (you see that vocab word use).

All in all ZIP’s been a good run, and now its time to start thinking for next year.


What makes something slam poetry rather than a speech or a poem?

Alright. I have come to the realization, that HOLY HECK slam poetry takes a WHILE. It takes way more time with two people, adding on to the difficulty in general. Over the course of zip so far, I’ve come up with information and most of my presentation, but I might have to rework my schedule depending on the progress and ability to perform said slam poem. I could rant about my question all day, because of the limitless answers, and all the possible debates and arguments for each answer.

My previous calendar and schedule, I stated that I would finish my presentation and slam poem during the winter break, and I think I can get that done. A slight alteration I might add is finishing the slam poem before January, and continuing to create my presentation afterwards in order the make sure that I’m not letting my partner down in the process. In the end, I’m probably going to change it a lot more then I am right now.

By the end of this, I know that I’ll have an avant-garde presentation and an ostentatious way to perform it. Until then, I’m going to continue to relax and go about my own pace.


Over the course of these two ZIP weeks, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on my own capabilities as well as the design and structure of slam poetry. Concepts or ideas that I can definitely work on or improve on a daily basis, is my analysis of situations or events I witness. When researching and jotting down notes, I found that my notes were somewhat vague and if I were to be showing said notes to someone with no experience, then it would be hard to tell EXACTLY what I meant by all that’s written. I listened to slam poetry and read a PDF Mr. Morris had given, writing down notes and attributes I heard or realized that were both from the slam poetry and the PDF. Looking back at it now, it isn’t the most explicit thing. I had nothing but single words written, with occasional thoughts I had in the process of listening.


For my sake, I’m currently rereading my list, and plan to rewrite the whole thing while it’s still sitting fresh in my head. However, this time I’m going to be writing down examples, elaborate on the meanings on said words, and in general make it more “reader friendly.” Not only will this benefit anyone viewing it, but by in a sense, “teaching” or “rewriting” it, it’ll more likely be stuck in my head. With this ability, I can structure my notes to be more neat and understandable, faster to look over, and more efficient in general. It’s a great experience to have for future reference.


In Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the most significant external conflict Junior encounters, is his background. He faces a multitude of issues about who he really is, whether or not he’s “becoming white,” changing who he is completely, or simply growing as a person. The real conflicts are caused because of his background and culture, specifically the way others view him as. Throughout the entirety of the novel, people imply how he is supposed to act, and he continuously questions who he really is, conflicted at whether or not his race or origin effects whohe sees himself as. In the quote, “If that were true, then wouldn’t all white people be successful?” he ponders whether or not our background/race make us succeed in life, or whether it’s all just a stereotypical state of mind everyone is in(131). Having two different characters, one at Reardan and the other at the reservation, it’s difficult to come to a conclusion about whether or not he’s either. Being told to be something he’s not constantly, Junior’s biggest dilemma, is his realization that his origin plays a big part on how people perceive him.