Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Islands of Raw in Today's World

The Islands of Raw are a safe haven and paradise for anyone with transcendentalist beliefs. A society tucked away in the Pacific Ocean, southeast of Hawaii, it would seem to be the only society that is and ever could be perfect. It would be a euphoric experience for one to live there and to truly be oneself. However, the Islands of Raw are the complete opposite from a perfect society, as it would never be able to exist in today’s world. Although the concept would appeal to the masses, the Islands of Raw would have the critical difficulties of not having issues that do not go against the definition of transcendentalism; such as being discriminatory and having rules. In addition to the anti-transcendentalism the society would have in these current times, there are the desperate issues of the Islands’ economy and jobs, and the lack of resources.

In today’s world, it seems that more and more people are embarking on the journey to find their selves. What better place to find one’s true self than at the Islands of Raw? It is truly an individuals’ paradise. The concept of the society is groundbreaking and simple; have a group of islands that are all special in their own way, and have the citizens experience all of them on the main island before deciding where they fit in best. All personalities are catered to, and it is impossible to not find a home on the island. This idea of living would appeal to the masses, therefore bringing enough people to the islands to live and allowing the islands to function properly. Unfortunately, this lovely little society couldn’t be possible for the same reason of mass appeal.

If the society appealed to the masses, then everybody would start flocking to the Islands of Raw. This migration is not necessarily good, as humans either lead or are led. Although the Islands of Raw target transcendentalists to live in the community, many would start moving to Raw just because others were. The Islands of Raw would no longer be a true transcendentalist community. There would be no solution to ratify this problem, as it would be exceptionally difficult to find a way to test citizens for transcendentalism. The conformist people would have to stay; as transcendentalists cannot be discriminatory, that being part of their beliefs. However, that would totally negate the idea of a transcendentalist society in the first place if conformists and followers were allowed to live there, just like how a transcendentalist society itself cannot be achieved.

Societies must have rules. Transcendentalists must break rules. This argument against the possibility of the Islands of Raw and all other utopian transcendentalist societies is pure logic. Transcendentalist societies cannot have rules, as someone’s genuine self could be imposed upon. However, if there are no rules, is there really a society? Order and safety are only possible by following rules. However, transcendentalists are told to break rules and be themselves. Back to the problems specific to the Islands of Raw is the fact that there would be an issue of jobs.

In the Islands of Raw, citizens are allowed to make their own life decisions. One of these crucial decisions is which occupation they choose to perform.  In today’s society, there are many people who complain about their jobs, as they dislike them and only continue working to get paid. They may be just overreacting, but there truly are some undesirable but essential jobs to a society. These fall under such categories as waste management or plumbing. In the Islands of Raw, no one can force anyone to take a certain job. The problem with this is that many will chose a desirable job, such as being an artist or writer, instead of an unwanted but essential to society one. With the lack of some undesirable jobs, society could not properly function, just as it wouldn’t without resources.

Today, the world is a very uncertain place. There are countless problems with just about every country’s economy, and there seems to be a worldwide recession in progress. Even the Islands of Raw would not be excluded from it.  There is no guaranteed successful economy. It would also need to be invested in, as it doesn’t exist yet. With a dodgy market, many won’t invest in something that they won’t get a definite return on. Also, there are no islands southeast of Hawaii. In addition to that, the technology for transparent underwater walkways that would be the transportation between island to island does not exist yet.

The Islands of Raw would be a great place to live with it's mass appeal, but it's just not possible to exist in today's society because of the definition of transcendentalism, it's problem with jobs, and the lack of resources in the world. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2 Consequences of a Transcendentalist

Being a transcendentalist, like anything, has its consequences. As I have just recently learned, consequences are not always negative. A transcendentalist experiences both kinds of consequences, negative as well as positive. 

The world is, has always been, and always will be a home to judgmental people. As humans, our first instinct is to judge. Judgement has evolved, as humans themselves have evolved. It used to serve as a method of survival (good thing our ancestors decided to stay away from those dinosaurs!). Now, as our rate of survival has flourished (probably because those pesky dinosaurs are no longer around), our judgement now dictates what is acceptable in society and what is not. As a transcendentalist, you must truly live out your full potential, to be what or who you really are. If you're living a typical life, and trying to be a transcendentalist, mainstream society obviously isn't working for you. However, if you finally do become a transcendentalist, there must be values, thoughts, beliefs, or ideas you have that are underground. The same people whose judgement dictates what is mainstream and what is not will judge you. They will come to the conclusion that you do not live your life like they do; therefore you are not one of them. The overall idea is that you are no longer accepted by society, and people may not respect you for truthfully being who you are.

Transcendentalists are the only people that move society forward. This consequence is a positive one- who wouldn't want to take credit for moving society forward to a better place? If all a society's population conformed to mainstream ideas, society would be stuck at a stand still. However, transcendentalists get over the fact that they are not accepted by society and continue to live and think out of the box. Their new, innovative ideas keep the world going and moving forward. Eventually, their underground ideas receive enough attention that they are no longer considered underground. They are broadcasted into and accepted by society. Then, more transcendentalist ideas are contrived, and they become the new norm. It is a never- ending cycle of new ideas, all thanks to transcendentalists. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Transcendentalist T-Shirt!

            When making my Transcendentalist T-Shirt, the only thing I was worried about was the aesthetics of it. I am a design and color oriented person and excel in most art forms. I also am cursed/blessed with being a perfectionist.  So, as I put the felt tip of my permanent marker to the white cotton fabric, I immediately regretted it.  I then took more time to create a foolproof plan. I wrote down my ideas in advance, picked out acceptable colors, and then came up with a design. After I finished, my fingers locked up and carpal tunnel acting up, it looked a little something like this:
At school, at lunch, the backside, and a messed up Shaka.
The things I fretted about most after I completed it were the few mistakes and misspellings I made. I begged that no one would catch on.

As the day wore on, things got a little uncomfortable. The T-Shirt caught everyone’s eyes: classmates, friends, random people, teachers, and administrators, and I got much unwanted attention (I get enough already!). Everyone wanted to know what was going on, what it was for, and wanted to read everything on it. Their questions and my answers quickly became repetitive. I recall that in a particular hour, Photo, I believe, my friends actually made me stand up, and slowly twirl around in a circle so they could see everything.  However, I loved the fact that people were learning things about me. Even some of my closet friends learned new things about me that day. In the end, it was a great idea, and I had a lot of fun participating in this.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Modern Transcendentalist- Marnie Weber

When thinking of possible transcendentalists for this post, a common reoccurring theme that I found was that many of the possible were artists. They all created- visual art, music, written word. The person I finally settled on was Marnie Weber, known for two of the creative forms above and for her own personality.

In essence, art is about finding a way to express your inner most thoughts and feelings- to expose true emotions. Marnie does just that, by creating works of various medias. Collages, sculptures, photos, and videos are some, just to name a few. In each of her pieces, she explores a type of innocent, fantasy-like surrealism, allowing the viewer to see what she does. Although some may not understand her art, it doesn’t matter. Her works of art are things she believes and sees inside her little world and cares about. If she did not feel this way, then she wouldn’t have chosen to create what she had. From an interview I found online between Marnie and a reputable art blogger, I found an opinion of hers on transcendentalism relating to art. “I am most interested in the artists who are doing things out of love for ideas rather than those who are motivated by their position in the art world.  I like the people who do what they do whether they will get a show or not, artists who work in the contemporary art world who have the same spirit as outsider artists in terms of their own work. I like it when artists have multiple layers of ideas and are working with complex psychological issues rather than just making things that look good. It isn’t always what is popular. So I maneuver through it and seek out what I like and artists who have the same interests.”  I am aware that she, as most artists do, creates her artwork for herself, not for others. The only time Marnie factors others into the business of her artwork is when she shares it with them (also stated in the same interview above) Her works, as they are her innermost beliefs, show her personality as a transcendentalist.
I happen to have the pleasure of knowing Marnie personally. Our families are close family friends, as well as what I have dubbed “kinda-cousins”. Her own persona is one of natural characteristics. She is very easy going- always going with the flow, open minded, gentle, kind, caring, inviting, nurturing, mellow, in a dream-like state, and of the tree hugging type. In the introduction of Marnie Weber by Magasin (the exhibition catalogue), the contributing author felt that “…the presence of Marnie Weber seems very natural”. I spent the last summer with her, and I never once saw her be something she wasn’t. Also, she didn’t act in anyway that did not coincide with the traits listed above.

A photo I took of Marnie & her daughter in Venice, Italy.
In addition to visual art, she also performs and sings in a band. Her old band, The Spirit Girls, is somewhat of a quirky, punky, mysterious exploration of innocence. Her characters are always in costume, expressing themselves. As Marnie states in the same interview, “…I do consider dressing the character in the appropriate clothes for their psychological state”. This is a point of transcendentalism. In the meantime, she has gone on to create a new band called F for Ache, having the same musical tones, but this time dressing herself and her band mates in Amish clothing. If these groups were to be filed based on genre, they would most likely be found under “Unknown”. Both these bands are very different from the norm, and many do not enjoy the sound (I do!). Marnie and her band mates know this, but their passion for it keeps them going. The passion and effort Marnie puts into her band is also what makes her a transcendentalist. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Walden Post

        Henry Thoreau lived in a self-induced exile in Walden Pond for 2 years, 2 months, and 2 days, beginning on July 4, 1845. During this time he lived a simple life. He lived in a small simple cabin, with no exquisite things to keep his fancy. He passed his days surviving off his surroundings, playing his flute and recoding his musings in his daily journal. By participating in these humble activities, he was able to experience life in its purest and simplest form. He was able to view the beauty of nature by refraining from indulging in the good life. This idea still pertains to today’s society. In these modern times, life has become complicated. The beauty of life will only be seen again if life is simplified, which will never happen because of the constant invention of new technologies.
        In the present, most everyone individually owns an array of electronic devices.  Continuously being reinvented are cellular devices, tablets, mp3 players, laptop computers, computer themselves, televisions, etc. People that use and have possession of these devices are digitally in tune and are pioneers of a new, digital age. These devices provide comfort and security to their users. Unfortunately, along with the comfort and security are consumerist and frivolous feelings, as well as a barrage of distractions. These devices are supposed to be used to get things done. However, they just seem to upset lives.  Along with access to resources that can help finish tasks, come many and multiple tempting distractions. Eventually, if the distractions were utilized and no self-control was present, eventually people would lose themselves in electronics, not seeing the beauty in life. Being distracted by electronics is one thing, but being distracted by surroundings is something far worse.
        Humans have evolved, and as they have changed, they have made changes to their surroundings as well to best fit their current lifestyle. The surroundings right now are based on consumerism ideals, as materialism has found its way into peoples’ hearts. In Walden, Henry Thoreau urged humans to “Simplify, simplify” (383). However, the human race has decided to turn in the complete opposite direction. The simple, serene and picturesque natural landscapes that Thoreau graced are nowhere to be found.  The majority of locales today are of concrete, urban jungles crawling with bright flashing lights, loud screeching noises and advertisements everywhere. These adverts, since humans are materialistic, try to prompt consumers to buy their frivolous products. These frivolous objects themselves are also something that cannot be simplified in our lives.
Society has begun to manufacture useless and frivolous products. Wealth around the world and the thought that there is excess money has made this possible. In reality, there is no excess wealth. There is only a small percentage of the world that holds the wealth. However, that does not stop the fact that products today are not necessities. Most items today are all a “want”, and people could do without. They are only status symbols and trinkets, and serve no purpose in daily life whatsoever. It is sad that the world today has come to this, where looks are valued more than functionality. Some products today are just stupid, and yet people still desire them. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Declaration of Independence

As the citizens of the United States of America, every citizen has his or her irrefutable rights. The citizens of Grosse Pointe South High School are mainly the students. We, as the students of Grosse Pointe South, have undeniable rights of our own. Grosse Pointe South High School is a school of outstanding rank. It could not have, however, come this far without some sort of enforcement throughout the school. The execution of rules, however, has rules itself. Rules must be fair and just- for all. However, the authoritarians at South have gone too far; not letting us be students. To be a student is to gain knowledge. A school is a house of knowledge, and must stay that way, especially for a high school. Our minds are at our sharpest in this schooling period, ready for the outside world. It must be a place where knowledge is easily accessible and readily available for the benefit of students. A school must be a safe environment for the children- who learns when they fear for their lives? And we must not be treated as if we are all the same little insignificant clones of adults. We are not! We are only alike in one way; as we all share being in the discomfited stage of adolescence. We are in-between the ways and personalities of a child and an adult.  However, contrary to belief, we do not act alike in anyway whatsoever. Each student is an individual, expressing his or her thoughts in our own, distinctive ways. Nevertheless, we are not allowed to express our true feelings in fear of the rules.  We, the students, have as an assembly, come to the conclusion that Grosse Pointe South High School must change its restrictions in order for the betterment of students, and comply with our indisputable liberties. 

I.         This school needs to give students a stronger voice. As of now, the students do not have a say in the rules and regulations, only teachers, staff, and the school board. We believe that if the students have more of a say in what is going on, then things would run more smoothly because they speak for all students at South. At our school there are many ways to get involved, however not for certain things that some kids are interested in! These include the following such as rules, attendance policies and many more. If the students were given a bit more of a voice, many would be satisfied with the new changes.

II.      This school needs to keep the school open all hours of the day. Students need snacks, drinks, and supplies for school at any instance of the school day. It would help kids tremendously because they would be prepared for each class if they needed something quickly. Since the school store is only open at lunch, most students only get food because it is time to eat. However, lunch is not the only time when kids are hungry. Students are all growing, and need the intake of food more than the average person. In the morning they may be very hungry as well, if they did not enjoy breakfast for fear of making it to school on time. Unfortunately, they do not have anywhere to get food in the seven minute passing time. Keeping the store open throughout the whole school day would help kids in many ways because they would be able to acquire food to fuel their bodies and minds, and school supplies if they are in need of them.

III.   This school has made tardy policy too strict. The teachers should give students a little more consideration, because South is a large school. Having a larger campus area means a longer distance to travel. In some classes, tardiness starts affecting your grade when it has nothing to do with your level of knowledge in that class. It should be changed so that if you arrive in the minute of the bell that you are not late. It is not fair, as getting from the previous class to the opposite end of the building in some situations is very difficult. In order to be on time, students may have to sprint there, which is infringing upon a different, reasonable rule. Students believe that if they are in the class close to the bell, it should not be counted against you.

IV.   This school, to also ratify the problem of tardies, needs to give students more time in between classes. 7 minutes is not sufficient for the length of our passing time. Students have a long way to travel from class to class. The extra time is a necessity. One of the main problem areas is the journey from the IA building to the S building. In fact, just approaching the IA building is an issue. There are many stairs that students must scale to reach their destination. Climbing stairs takes a lot of effort. 10 minutes would be an adequate amount for our passing time, and it would please everyone, even teachers, because we wouldn't be late as much.

V.     This school needs to let students use their cell phones more often. If they were, students would have fewer detentions because they would not be caught breaking an inconsequential rule.  Students have to avoid letting the teacher see them with their cell phones, regardless if they are being used or not. If cell phones were allowed during certain times, the number of detentions and punishments would decrease significantly. This would not only benefit the attendees of the school, but the staff as well. If there were fewer reports of students being reprimanded, out-of-town parents would notice and consider sending their children to South. Cell phones need to be allowed in the building during passing time, lunch, at the beginning or end of classes. Students need them to communicate with parents and friends for help, or for after school activities. Considering that more than three quarters of the school most likely has a cell phone, they should be allowed because they make students lives easier.

VI.      This school, overall, has issue with cellular devices. However, some sensible rules have been mandatory. Students are not allowed to use them during class time, which is logical. Using them during class takes time away from class, and understanding the content being taught is severely depreciated because of use. If this happens, teachers take the mobile away. However, the cell phone holding policy is unjust. The school has no right to keep any students cell phone past 24 hours.  This is critical, especially on a Friday, the end of the school week. The current policy is to hold it for 24 hours. However, the school isn’t open on the weekends, forsaking the owner of the phone without one. The major reason as to why teenagers have cell phones is courtesy of their parents. They are given in case of an emergency. Also, parents give it to their children to know where they are, at all times.  Students should get their phone back at the end of the school day.
VII.     This school needs to change its policy on school dances. Dances are of much importance to the student body. It is a night to celebrate. However, that cannot happen with the rules that are currently placed. The existing policy states that the doors to the dance close one hour into it and open only 30 minutes before it ends. Some students have other responsibilities that do not constrain to these time frames. Emergencies do not occur at specific times; they happen at random. If there is one, regardless of time, students should be allowed to leave as soon as possible. The dances are for the students. If a student happens to be uninterested in the events, they should be permitted to leave.

VIII.   This school has a grading system as such that a school year is split into quarters and two major exams. Grade points of students are calculated by the average of two quarters and one considerably weighted exam. However, the quarters have more influence than the exam. The quarter grade is derived from completion of homework and the grades received on exams in class. This being said, there should be time at the end of the quarter to make up work. All homework should be completed on time, but there are students that have a harder time turning work in because of personal reasons. Some students may have family issues, and focusing on school may be hard for them if they are in a similar situation. This change would not allow them to forgo their homework, but would help them with their grades, as report cards somewhat determine a student’s future.

IX.  This school should punish students fairly and justly. It is true- there are cases in which students need to be punished. If a student has disobeyed severely enough, they will be placed in an "In School Separation", or "ISS". It used to be that in ISS’s students could work on homework and assignments from their classes that they were separated from. Now, the school has become too strict. The offender must write a four-page essay during the day they are isolated from their fellow classmates. The essay serves no purpose whatsoever for the student's benefit. What would be beneficial to students is learning what they need too, just separate from their schoolmates. The point of school is learning, after all. 

X.  This school should not have the right to search the private property of students, such as cars or backpacks. Administrators have repeatedly violated the privacy of students by searching, most notably using drug dogs. Although lockers are the property of the school, backpacks are not. If the locker of a student does not contain any illegal substances or paraphernalia, the school should not be allowed to continue the search of that student's property. Another constant subject of searches are students' cars.  A car is the private property of its owner, and being parked on school property should still deny the right to search it without a warrant.

    We come to this school to learn, not to deal with these oppressive teachers and rules, which crush the basic rights of the children of Grosse Pointe South.  If students are not learning in this school then what is this place for?  Having power over these students, making money on the tyrannical government we call the administration?  Our school is made for the students, not the needs of the teachers or staff.  We need to have more say in this institution. We are the future, and make this school what it is.  If we do not receive these basic rights, then why still attend Grosse Pointe South? We will not come to a place in which we cannot learn.  What will it take for students to have an environment in which we can, and will learn? What will it take to have a school policy accepted by all, including staff and students? In order for this arrangement to happen, this school will have to make changes in many ways. Adjustments will have to be made; modest adjustments will take place, from basic changes in protocol, to larger adjustments, such as school wide enhancements.  Although it may not be easy, it will be done. Some of the reasonable complaints that need to be addressed can be fixed easily. If so, why are they not being addressed?  We will stand up for ourselves and express what will have to be done for the future of this world, because we, the students are the future and will not tolerate this lack of understanding anymore.  If we do not receive our freedom, we will leave this school until we possess it.

Monday, October 17, 2011


  With her husband dead and his baby on the way, Elizabeth Proctor felt hopelessness to the extreme. Her three sons were lost without the guidance of their father, stunned by the fact that he was killed for a reason so inane. Like any mother, she felt their pain, on top of her own. Elizabeth had loved him, John Proctor. Although John was a simple minded man and very ambiguous at times, she accepted all his faults.  Expectedly, everything that reminded her of John sent pangs of agony to her very soul. As she looked at their children, carbon copies of John, she felt her feelings collapse into one another forming an abyss of despair. Still, Elizabeth held her head high whenever in Salem. She would never let anyone know the sorrow she felt when John’s skeleton welcomed her into Salem. The town’s people expected her as the newly head of a prominent household to keep calm and carry on.
  Elizabeth’s facade finally cracked; a monumental moment for her personal character. The cold, grey, ghastly day that she was handed her husband’s noose was when she was done with it. Rage and anger bubbled up inside her, as if she was boiling her feelings. The community of Salem had meant the gesture to be one of grievance. They had no idea that it pushed her to the edge. Elizabeth however, knew she needed to get away. She knew that the environment she currently lived in would not be suitable to continue raising her children. She felt the twisted, uptight community would only become a choke hold on her children. With that in mind, she planned for a miracle.
 Her miracle came. In Salem, rumor had it that the Massachusett Indians had moved from Boston to an encampment not more than 5 miles away. Elizabeth had always been curious about the indigenous peoples of America, and their views and ways of life. She considered how she was going to get there and how she would deal with the “hostile nature” of the Indians. Being the headstrong woman she was, she decided to impulsively head out.
With her belongings and children packed up on her buggy, Elizabeth took one last look at her estate. She was soon going to be free from the madness-inducing town.  Her state of mind was light and cheerful, and she felt warm although it was mind numbingly cold outside. With compass in hand, she vanished for what she hoped to be forever without a goodbye.
  After a journey of many obstacles including blinding snow and icy roads enveloped in snow, Elizabeth and her children finally arrived at the Massachusett encampment. The natives were surprised to see a pregnant woman, by herself and accompanied by 3 children, roaming about in the wilderness. While they were exclaiming in astonishment, she was so relieved to see them that she forgot about the language barrier. Fortunately, there was already a colonist living amongst them named William. She explained her predicament to him, and then he let the tribe know what she had been through. After hearing her story, the tribe pitied her and let her and her family stay with him.
  After spending much time with William, Elizabeth realized that she was in love with William. After her fourth child was born, a beautiful baby girl, they were joined in marriage. Elizabeth, William, and the kids continued to stay with the Massachusett until she felt comfortable enough to return to Salem. Elizabeth journeyed back with her new family members, and took back her estate and the family’s influential position. They lived as happily as they could after. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crucible Essay

    The Crucible was a play written by Arthur Miller in the 1950s filled with lies, deceit, and hysteria. Set in the puritanical town of Salem Massachusetts, one could never imagine the day when a town of God fell to the devil's grasp. However, the city was only puritanical on the surface. In the early 1690s, Salem supposedly became ridden with witches and devils' advocates. Seeing as how Salem was a pure town, the "witches" were hunted down and erased from existence. Based mainly on the lies spun by three people, the one comparative simple lie told in the beginning wound up brutally and ludicrously out of hand. The three people held most accountable for the Salem witch trials in The Crucible were the town's Reverend, Samuel Parris, his niece Abigail Williams, and the influential town member John Proctor.
With all the responsibility placed on him at the time, it is just automatically assumed that the Reverend Samuel Parris was partly accountable for the Salem witch trials. Parris was selfish, greedy, spineless, and extremely concerned about the way he appeared to others. When he first inquired his niece about her and her friends’ questionable doings, he was more so concerned of what his followers might think of the girls' activities and losing his supporters rather than his acquaintances and relatives actually being witches. “Abigail, I have fought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me…” (Miller 11). His personality paved the way for the continuation of the story. The Reverend was told the truth; that the two girls had only fainted from fright from his sudden appearance in the woods. However, as a precautionary method and to save himself from any oncoming trouble, he called Reverend Hale (the other Reverend) to Salem to investigate the possibility of witchcraft. He was too spineless to deal with the rumor of witchcraft himself. Swayed by the hysterics of others while knowing the truth, he let the game of witch crying continue. He was perfectly content with the turn of events until townspeople realized that so much more was happening than just the cleansing of evil. In the latter part of the witch trials, they recognized vindictiveness and ridiculousness, and decided that since Parris was leading them he was to blame. He finally came to his senses and asked for the postponement of John Proctor’s execution, but only until his own well being was threatened. “Tonight, when I open my door to leave my house- a dagger clattered to the ground. You cannot hang this sort! There is danger for me. I dare not step outside at night” (Miller 129).  The lack of leadership while being a leader and the other parts of his personality as well was what made him partially liable for the Salem witch trials. Also responsible for withholding information, though he did not have an appalling personality, was John Proctor.
John Proctor was an influential man in Salem. An honest and hardworking farmer, he was respected widely throughout the community. However, he wasn't perfect. He had his moments, and some rather extreme moments at that; specifically, the infidelity with Abigail. The act of adultery complicated many matters for John and his family's well-being. His previously ill wife was obviously jilted by this committed sin. However, he wasn't fazed. "Then how do you charge me with such a promise? The promise that a stallion gives a mare I gave that girl" (Miller 62)! The affair meant nothing to him. Strangely enough, he still had a thing for Abigail, and even though he constantly denied it, Abigail was obsessed with him, thinking that he loved her instead of his wife. However, his leftover feelings for her completely disappeared once Abigail accused his wife of being a witch. "You mad, you murderous bitch"(Miller 152)! Proctor never believed in witchcraft from the beginning. He knew the truth about the incident that triggered the trials, as Parris did also. Proctor confessed the truth and the affair to try and help not only his family, but as well as other families in Salem. Unfortunately, his act of good was useless. By the time the truth came out, Abigail was too powerful and had the court in her clutches. Also, his wife denied the very existence of the affair, thinking she was saving him. One of her fellow witch criers blatantly accused John of being a witch himself. John decided he would rather hang than to indict others of being seen with the Devil. "I speak my own sins; I cannot judge another. I have no tongue for it" (Miller 141). If only John had not been so naive and weak-minded, the madness could have stopped before it got out of hand. Another influential Salemite, although for the wrong reasons, was Abigail Williams.
     Abigail Williams before the witch trials was of little importance. However, during the witch trials, she exploited her power like no other. It was her that first instigated the crying of witches. When the Reverends began to question the girls, Abigail took care of them. She was a natural born leader, always being quick on her feet. Taking charge, she blamed Tituba. “She made me do it! She made Betty do it” (Miller 43)! However, Tituba was able to shift the blame to others in the village. Once Abby saw this and how well Tituba’s actions were being received, she decided to play along. “I want to open myself! I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil: I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil” (Miller 48)! Since Abigail was a natural born leader, others followed her example without hesitation and began accusing other members of Salem. She continued to make accusations, even though she knew none of them were true from the start. She even knew that the girls had fainted form fright. “Oh posh! We were dancin’ in the woods last night, and my uncle leaped in on us. She took fright, is all” (Miller 22-23). However, she continued her power play. “Are you! I’ve heard that people ride a hundred mile to see your face these days” (Miller 148). She used her new found power to take care of her personal revenges on people she didn’t like. For example, she accused the wife of her once lover, John Proctor, of witchcraft. She wanted to be his wife, and took the perfect opportunity to get rid of her. She was the major cause of the Salem witch trials.
     The Crucible was written about the Salem witch trials. Those trials were caused mainly by three people: Reverend Samuel Parris, John Proctor, and Abigail Williams. Reverend Samuel Parris was at fault for withholding crucial information. John Proctor was responsible for the same thing, as well as being intimate with Abigail Williams. Abigail Williams was responsible because she was vindictive and power hungry. All these traits combined to make one of the most outrageous moments in American History.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crucible Post 2

As a race, humans are individuals and different from one another. Our differences are not only projected on the outside, but on the inside as well. Beliefs and opinions differ from person to person. However, one objective that every living thing has in common is the will to survive. Surviving is the purpose of living. Most everybody would do anything if their lives depended on it. However, if our survival depended on crossing the line between the truth and deceit, there would be problems.

In society, a virtue that has been constantly drilled into its members is truth. Although some members do not follow this path of honesty, the majority does. Our whole country was built on the foundation of truth and the lack of it. However, most people would falter when given the choice of life or death on the basis of their opinion. In my case, my choice of beliefs would be different for different situations. If my life depended on a lie, I would lie without hesitation. However, if there was even a possibility that my lie would cause harm to someone innocent, I would not. However, if my opinion would change someone's opinion about me, I would stay true to my beliefs. It is important to me to be myself, which is why I would stand up for my beliefs if I would still be alive after voicing them.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How has the Power in Salem Shifted at the End of Act 1?

Salem, Massachusetts was exceptionally different during its early history. In the late 1600s, the social structure was not at all similar to what it is today. Instead of a town led by a Mayor and municipal officials, clergymen were in charge of Salem. This was mostly due to the fact that all towns in the American colonies followed this leadership structure. However, because of the large Puritanical population, Salem’s clergy controlled the city even more rigidly. In the time of the Salem witch trials, the leader of the city was Reverend Samuel Parris.  Reverend Parris preached regularly about his concern of witchcraft and servants of the Devil. Samuel Parris had low self-esteem and this made him easily influenced by others.

Reverend Parris witnessed his daughter and her peers behaving in extremely non-puritanical ways. This led him to conclude that they were bewitched. Reverend Parris did not know who was bewitching the girls. His niece, out of fear of punishment, claimed that his house slave, Tituba, was the one bewitching the girls.  Tituba was most likely targeted by the Reverend’s niece because of her low status and unconventional behaviors. Tituba’s unconventional behavior was influenced greatly by her Barbados ancestry and cultural identity. When confronted about being a witch, Tituba spoke of being bewitched herself by other community members. As soon as Tituba confessed, one of the girls coincidentally woke up from her coma. This made Reverend Parris more convinced that witchcraft was being practiced in Salem. After seeing how Tituba deflected the blame onto others in the community, the girls decided to follow suit.  At this moment, the power shifted from Reverend Parris to the witchcraft accusers.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God follow up post

This sermon by Jonathan Edwards was given back in 1741. It's content was extremely graphic, and it's listeners became feverish to pray for their Christian God. However, if given today, there would be much less of a reaction, if any. It would definitely not create a Great Awakening, like it did in the 18th century. If received today, many would just brush it off as crazy talk. America as a country has drifted away from the pious ideas our country was founded on. It may have something to do with the fact that America has become a melting pot of many races and religions. Also, citizens in the US have become smarter and smarter over the years, and more are turning to science for answers which religion cannot provide.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" Post

           Once upon a time, specifically on July 8, 1741, Jonathan Edwards gave a sermon. However, this sermon was not one that would put a churchgoer to sleep on a Sunday morning. This particular sermon,  titled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, is still remembered today. Just an example- it is the only religious text that is included in multiple books about the most important pieces of American literature. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is so powerful, that people today still cower at the thought, but much less than they did in the 18th century. In fact, New England never forgave him for giving it. The sermon resounded in people's minds, and created much controversy. Perhaps most importantly, it gave Christianity in the colonies a deep revival.  

I believe that Edwards sermon was revolutionary to the world of Christianity for two reasons. One, I believe that he was either a very persuasive actor or he very much believed in what he believed. Two, his message itself. I think that Edwards either preached a very dark sermon. If it was a dark sermon, the following could be mentioned. Perhaps he mentioned Hell on Earth, or that we in fact were all sinners, and had to pray and atone to wash our sins away.  Or, maybe he told of an angry God, that would unleash his rath upon the world if his followers did not appease him with prayer. It even could have been a combination of all three. That is what I believe.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Descriptive Post

The background above the wide open sea- a brilliant mix of contrasting hues. Soft gentle blues, surrounding the small burst of morning sunshine. Wisps of clouds floating by, the bottoms dark, indistinguishable from the depth of the ocean. An expanse, broken only by ripples, the occasional froth and spray, and the reflection from above. Nearer is an twisted yet beautiful sight. As the water laps against the border of pure, concentrated sand, there is a fish. The fish is trapped, enclosed and silhouetted by the sun in a glass pitcher. So close to freedom, yet so difficult to break it's confinement. It's exasperation and longing is reflected in the water.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


English is a major part of world communication. The worldwide spread of English makes it ever more important for citizens in America to be proficient in all aspects of it. Education in the early days is crucial, because not only is it easier for someone to use the knowledge they learned while they were younger, but also it is the foundation for all other learning. However, high school education is even more critical. That's because at a high school age, most people are mature enough and realize that their English classes in high school are preparing them for the outside world and fine tuning their English skills. In a high school English class like Mr. Provenzano's third hour American Literature, not only should students continue learning writing skills, but they should also learn how to better manage their time and how to act their age.
The average American high schooler’s education begins with preschool and continues onto elementary, which is kindergarten through fifth grade. After intermediate school, they continue onto junior high; sixth to eighth grade. After that is the end of their education before college: high school. This lasts for four years, ninth grade to twelfth. Through all the years, the main focus is always learning more. The second year of high school is very important. In junior year, students start to apply to colleges, and take their SATs and ACTs. Writing is a fundamental part of all these activities. It is important as a sophomore to know how to write properly and eloquently. This skill will help a student find an entrance into a college, which will affect their life greatly. Just like knowing how to write, managing time is also an expectation of a sophomore English class.
Time management is a big part of any English class. It starts when an assignment is given. A student can choose to start it right away, or wait until the last minute to begin. Or, they could just have a writer’s block, and procrastinate against their will. Regrettably, procrastination only amounts to stress. In a timed test, this habit could be extremely detrimental. Also, most tests are based in hourly allotments. Not using time wisely could result in a failing grade. That is why the skill of time management is important, similar to acting mature.
Maturity is like knowledge. These qualities should both increase as the years pass by. In American Lit, a big part of what’s required for class will fall under the category of being mature. Bringing necessary materials to class, for example. Being in the right mindset for class. Even being in the right class, not out and about on South’s campus. Not disrespecting others or class time. Doing assigned homework. The major parts of school all depend on maturity. Basically with maturity, comes good grades and a good learning environment.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

About Me

Me, my camera, mess, piano, art, and US Open of Surfing tee!

This is me on a daily basis. Half disheveled, half exhausted, and half bouncing off the wall. As you can see behind me, I create utter chaos in my house, always unpacking from whatever recent trip I have taken (this time, a tri-trip to Italy, Oahu and my once home state California). Also behind me are my piano and my guitar. I use the term "my" lightly, as those I for some reason love and care about decide to either muck about on them or use them to have a quick jam session with me. Our living room is always filled with artwork (by myself, acquaintances, quasi-famous artists and random ones), books, stacks of New Yorker's that I only look at for the comics, music of all genres, clocks, chairs, a ridiculous amount of lamps, electronic gadgets, and some wise Chinese senior. The living room is where I spend most of my time when home. If not there, I'm for sure in the kitchen, as I love food.

My Waigong! A wise Chinese senior indeed. He's telling me to do my homework, what else?

If you can't tell already from the picture of my relation, I'm Chinese. But I'm also of Hawaiian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Welsh, Irish, German and other unknown origins. My mom is Chinese, while my dad is everything else. They both have large families that live all over which enables me to learn even more when seeing the world. My Waigong ("maternal grandfather" in Chinese) for example, lives in California. He is perhaps the shortest basketball player that has played well enough to put himself through middle school to university, in China. I'm pretty sure that I have inherited my athletic abilities and competitive spirit from him, which I display only subtly.

Just like my ethnicity, I'm a little bit of every opposite. Although I can become aggressive and competitive, I'm normally carefree and relaxed. At times I can be shy and, I'm not afraid to admit it, awkward. Some days I'm outrageously loud and spontaneous. Sometimes my usual bubbliness and happy demeanor can give way to a serious and somber one. I use my right brain as much as I use my left. I can wink with either of my eyes. Uhh...yeah. That's all I can think of right now!