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!