The book Christ in Concrete starts very abruptly and casually. It sets the scene for the setting, time period and language used.
I think this book will be very interesting because the way it is written really immerses you into the life of the characters. It is almost a first person view on the story without being written in a first person perspective. The subtle addition of personal thoughts embedded in the text adds a certain familiarity and realistic detail that I thoroughly enjoy.
I believe that next in the book, we will see more about the wife and the children. Potentially how the children grow up and the life of immigrants that they have to conform to. It definitely seems that this is a very gritty setting and the story will involve a lot of blunt and almost vulgar themes to further emphasize this.
It was early in the 1800s and the American Frontier was steadily creeping across the Midwest. Towns would seem to appear out of thin air along the trail to the west and each had to accommodate the weary travelers that passed through them in droves.
Each town came standard with a saloon and a hostel. In the early days of saloons, the stock of beer that the bartender kept was difficult to refrigerate and so often times there was no choice but to serve lukewarm or hot beer. This as you can imagine was not good for business and so the bartenders of america had to come up with innovative ways to keep their businesses afloat.
Luckily, and strangely, many bartenders came from a lineage of well educated scholars and were well established scientists. They soon began to form societies of bartenders and those societies joined together to form even larger societies, and so on until every bartender in America was a member of the Society Of Scholarly Shopkeepers or S.S.S. (they also had an affinity for rattlesnakes and rattlesnake themed acronyms).
This society was kept secret from the rest of the world and it encouraged its members to play the role of a lowly, uneducated, pioneer who haphazardly ran a dingy old saloon. Of course being a member didn't just grant you access to the Annual Show of Publicians (A.S.P.); it also encouraged you to weigh in on the solution to the worst epidemic in saloon keeping history: warm beer.
Many would come from far and wide to the headquarters of the S.S.S. to present their inventions and solutions. Working tirelessly, they tried idea after idea until finally they came up with their masterpiece: a cutting edge insulated synthetic cooling machine (now known as a refrigerator).
The year is 1963. Several major powers have fallen into dejected slums of countries and almost the rest have experienced worse fates. The only major industry still standing (albeit scant and barely subsistent) is livestock farming. Roman, a cow farmer, and his assistant Cyrus struggle to keep afloat amongst other farming corporations such as the maligned AgriCorp.
"This is just not fair, we barely have enough cows to yield a sufficient amount of meat and the cops, who are definitely being paid off by the way, don't even bat an eye when AgriCorp raid our barns!" cried Cyrus. "It's ok Cyrus we will find a way to stay relevant in this trash heap." Cyrus reflected for a moment before vehemently declaring: "You know what we need to do?? We need to show them that we aren't afraid of them, you know, send them a message!" "We mustn't disturb the status quo, there is a better way of proving ourselves." "You'll come around to it Roman, we need to show those corrupt bastards what we are capable of."
Many months passed and the brutality and hegemony of the large corporations pushed even the strongest willed to their breaking points. Included in those people was Roman.
"I never imagined that a contingency such as this would happen in my lifetime, but now I see that you were right from the beginning, Cyrus." Roman sighed, defeated. "They have taken you down to this point and I won't let it go any further, I need to show them just how furious I am!!" Cyrus stormed out of the dimly lit, dusty room, ran across what once was a field to their last standing cow barn. He took a bucket of cow blood and threw it at the barn, staining it red. "Look at us Agribastards, we will fight you till the end!! We don't fear you and ultimately it will be us that takes you down."
The painting of barns went unnoticed at first but soon became a symbol of rebellion. several small farms followed suit and spoke out against large corporations. The whole uprising peaked after 2 years of deliberation and conspiring. The disenfranchised majority overthrew the farms of the large corporations and equally distributed the livestock, crop, and wealth amongst all of the oppressed.
"I didn' do it, I swear on me own mum's life!" "Then it be yer mum who is unwittingly sending ye to the bottom o' the sea... Make him walk the plank!"
This conversation was the result of many tiresome weeks at sea that proliferated paranoia and distrust. The man pleading for his life was Jeremiah Lake, a 17 year old deckhand who was accused of stealing from the captains personal store of rum. The condemner was none other than Captain Winthrop 'the cutthroat' Beckett, a maligned soulless shell of a man who had only his own best interests in mind.
The captain spoke again, now to his second in command, Mr. Cobb, "Tie the flea ridden boy's hands behind his back and carry out his rightfully apropos sentence." The crowd of rowdy mariners whooped and jeered. "Absolutely Mr Captain cutthroat sir!... Erm but if you wouldn' mind indulging my unfortunately vivid curiosity for a moment, sir..." The captain sighed, "yes Cobb what'll it be" "well, see, why must we make them walk the plank n' not jus' instead throw them o'erboard? would it not be more efficient to get it o'er with n' spare the time taken away from maintaining the ship n' course?" The whole of the crew screwed up their faces in contemplation. After a minute of thinking the captain broke the silence "Well how am I supposed to know that, Cobb! You've singlehandedly ruined the mood and now you've made me doubt my previously blatantly clear conviction! I suppose you have to bring the boy back in."
And so young Jeremiah was spared... at least for a few days until the paranoia of the rough voyage kicked in again and he was thrown overboard (not made to walk the plank).
We started right off with heated discussion probably because we had our own biases coming into it, especially getting into character of the different viewpoints. It was a lot of back and forth "no you started it" discussion but each claim was for the most part heavily fact based. It was a very realistic clashing of different points of view because some, like the wealthy promoters, would realistically ignore natives wishes and rights.
I thought the fishbowl was a great way of gathering ideas and visualizing each aspect of the same period in history. I think it was extremely fun to argue and have to come to some sort of compromise, whether it was historically accurate or not.
I believe that we the natives really had an edge over the colonists or the promoters when it came to presenting our points and backing it with evidence. I heard many specific dates mentioned and textual evidences stated and in the end it helped us to be the most reasonable and influential argument.
It was very interesting that the promoters clearly just wanted the land and could care less about taking it from the natives. It was also very important that we talked about the struggle that the colonists faced both in England and in the new world. This was very instrumental to the domino effect that included all of the issues that we fought about.
The two friends Ana and Daniella, replete with joy, ran through the fields. They were besotted with pure and utter bliss as they embraced the efflorescence of their relationship. They were absolutely bewildered by this sudden and enigmatic relationship. Agog with love they could only reflect on their relationship.
They had met under maligned circumstances. At their local market a vendor tried to swindle Ana into purchasing a clearly fake gem necklace for the price of a real one. Seeing this injustice, Daniella rushed to expose the untruths told by the vendor. They spent the rest of the day enjoying the proliferation of their commonalities and love.
During our scavenger hunt at Balboa Park, we noticed that many of the artifacts that we looked for related to a story about a person or historical moment. Stories were expressed in different ways such as writing or video.
I really found the three connected artifacts very interesting because I was curious to learn about what they meant. I didn't understand the connection between the sculptures but I could tell that it was honoring the person in the middle. It might be a tribute to his accomplishments and loyalties based on the way that it appears very glorified.
My answer to the essential question on the KLEWS sheet for the project launch was "In order to preserve culture and history you have to be able to tell a story about it." I feel that this was very prevalent in all of the exposition about different historical pieces showcased at the museums. By telling the story of the person, object, or event, the information about the topic was made more digestible and memorable.
Within the museum a lot of the exhibits showcased artifacts or decorations that set the scene or mood as you read the writing or admired the art pieces. The placement was very strategic and helped to encourage questions that might be answered if you read through the story.
The story of Peter and the Wolf was presented in a very creative way. By making the characters out of objects, it first allowed the children to guess what the end product was supposed to be, and then allowed them to be very curious and excited about the way that the puppeteer used these seemingly every day objects.
My first impressions of 11th grade life are very exciting. There are so many emotions that come with being in this grade and having more responsibilities. I am excited to get into projects where we can research and learn to work at an 11th grade caliber. On the other hand I am very nervous that with all of the workload that I have, not just from class and honors, but also from Palomar, clubs, sports, etc. will overwhelm me at times. I need to get acclimated to the organization and work style.
I have been very excited to be exposed to more practice with annotation. It has helped me to analyze the text and react more to what is being said. By close reading and researching claims from the books, I am able to become more interested with the topic and the reading. The only issue that I would have with the way we do these readings is that I would like a bit more time to annotate and understand the readings. I understand that the workload is larger in 11th grade but maybe dividing the reading into a bit every night could help to make it less overwhelming. In this way we could also debrief the next morning and express our feelings about the text. Being able to have conversations is something that I feel is really beneficial to learning (especially to learning history; a subject that can be fairly complex). One of the ways that I am very engaged in humanities is writing. If I can motivate myself to research and write about a very interesting topic, there is little stopping me from putting my best effort into my work.
Overall, I am very anxious to get into it and begin working at an 11th grade level.
After researching the topics covered in the index of the book I was very interested in the maritime aspects of America. I would love to learn about sailors and the height of the trading and ocean based industries that were prevalent during the beginning of the United States. Pirates would also be a large part of sailing culture.
Apart from early America I would also love to learn about the 20s or 30s because there was a lot of socioeconomic crisis as well as booms in those eras. Similarly a post war 50s/60s would be very interesting to see considering that we don't normally focus on the aftermath of ww2 and the U.S. role (becoming a major power and the rising tension of the cold war).
In all I am sure that this year will be teeming with great projects and great learning. I hope to push myself to break out of any "comfort zones", of sorts, that I might tend to fall into when studying history.
I didn't receive any guesses as to what my images might represent, therefore I will just talk about what they symbolized. Starting in the bottom left corner I drew a guitar to not only literally symbolize my ability to play guitar but also my love of music in general. For as long as I can remember, music has been a part of my life whether it be from overhearing the music that my dad played in the car or the scores played in movies. just to the right of that I drew my dog Odie. He has been with me since I was around 8 and I essentially grew up with him. The fire symbolizes my favorite of the four elements as well as my passionate personality. The rocking chair represents my love of crafting and creativity, I find woodworking and the artistry that goes into it very fascinating and enticing. I hope to some day have a workshop where I could craft such items. Last but definitely not least the Chilean flag represents a large part of who I am as my mother is Chilean and I identify largely with the country. I have only actually been to the country once but the curiosity and passion that I have towards it has shown in at least one school project every year since then. In all I tried to set the picture up as a warm living room because it reminded me of home, and as the saying goes: "home is where the heart is."