Historical Thinking: What is Important in SS 10

Based on our conversations in class today, your prior experience, and the “Guideposts to Historical Thinking” handout, which historical thinking question do you believe is the most important to consider for a vibrant and challenging Social Studies experience this year? Why?

I believe that the most important question to ask in our Social Studies experience is that of how the history, on paper, relates to our lives in the 3-dimensional world. Anything that we learn in the classroom needs to be applied to our lives in order to make a difference. If history remains history and not experience, they are just stories to entertain, pedantic knowledge that does nothing except to showcase memory. It may sound easy, but it actually requires us to build connections with the text and to be careful not to impose current values on past societies. A guidepost to historical thinking states that “a fair assessment of the ethical implications of history can inform us of our responsibilities to remember and respond… [to] the past.” Understanding the context of why people did what they have done will present to us what has happened in its truth. It is important that we try to give credit to the wronged and shed light on the past, not just for history’s sake, but for our sake too. Our understanding of history can help us make informed decisions about issues in our own society, and that is what ultimately matters.

Romeo and Juliet Not “Children”?

Before I start, I would like to clarify that I am looking and writing with a modern perspective. At the time in Italy, things may have been different, and so one may arrive at a conclusion different from my own.


It has become a subject of debate whether Romeo and Juliet’s love in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is shallow puppy love carried out by teenage children. I have been reading the play in English and in my understanding, the two’s love is a bit more than short passion, but not much more. It cannot be denied that both Romeo and Juliet love from a physical point. That can be seen in Romeo’s change from his description of Rosaline that “beauty starved with her severity cuts beauty off from all posterity. She is too fair…” to his exclamation that “I have forgot [Rosaline]… my heart’s dear love is set on the fair daughter of rich Capulet” (25, 103). Romeo solely focuses his love, or desires, on appearance, so when someone fairer than the one he loves shows herself, Romeo ditches his old love immediately. We can see from here that Romeo have a rather immature view on love, and he “love by rote, that could not spell” (105). Juliet, on the other hand, is much less impulsive and naive, but in modern standards, she loves too fast and without deeper thought. This can be seen in how she is shaken when the news of Romeo killing Tybalt comes, wondering how can “[a] book containing such vile matter [ever be] so fairly bound” (163). The fact that Juliet just comes to realize what kind of person her husband is after the wedding is quite alarming, likely leading to an unhappy marriage after the physical attractions fade away with age. The reason I don’t classify this affair as simple puppy love is because the two aren’t just loving for fun, like so many teenage kids; they are prepared to live their entire lives together, united in marriage. The intense passion made them oblivious to the other’s shortcomings, classifying the relationship as one that is not well thought out, but the extent of their love goes a long ways beyond physical lust and attraction.

When considering whether Romeo and Juliet are children or not regarding the conventions then, we can assume that they are viewed as adults. Romeo and Juliet was written between 1591 and 1595, originating from The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet written in 1562. The story likely took place during or slightly before that period. In medieval England, children at the age of twelve will often find themselves given the responsibilities of adults with adult-like consequences (academia.edu). Jobs like rock scarers (restaurant dishwashers) or shepherds in Montaillo, France are given to young boys at the age of twelve. The fact that both Romeo and Juliet are in noble households mean that they don’t have to work, but they are both of age to marry as to the customs. It is not often that children under the age of fourteen are married in medieval England, but around 8 % of the children documented are married at that age. The conditions should be similar in Verona, Italy, so the two lovers are both adults in their society. I wasn’t able to find whether “for most of the history of mankind, at 14 years of age human beings were considered to be adults” as claimed by Kulich in her article, but her central idea that Romeo and Juliet are adults is right.




Reflection for John Maxwell’s Leadership Lessons


You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.

John Knox

Many people believe in their abilities to work efficiently and lead, knowing that it would benefit the team and its goals, but they do not often get others to follow. The simple reason is that people don’t have to listen! Leadership is all about influence. As we are trying to take on the responsibilities of a leader and trying to gain supporters, we need to keep in mind that we need to have either position or influence to lead. Also, since we can hardly be bestowed a superior status (if we have any in TALONS) without first proving our abilities to manage, we should change our mindset of “I want a position that will make people follow me” to “I want to become a person whom others would want to follow”. The only solution to this challenge is to become someone others would trust to lead.

*In the second semester, we have one of the most significant projects that TALONS’ students will undertake: the adventure trips. I will also have my cultural event planning and maybe in-depth. It will undoubtedly be beneficial to keep in mind the ways that Maxwell suggested to overcome the Influence Challenge:

  • Care. Get to know others.

This means that I should be familiar with all of my team members, and they should be with me. I want to help them get to know what they are doing and do it better with tips from someone who has a bit more experience.

  • Build trust and be dependable.

I will need to do what I promised to do, whether it is bringing a brochure to the meeting or actually attending the meeting. To develop and exhibit the character I want, I can look at the attributes that leaders I admire possess, and try to change myself starting from now on.

  • Do my job well. 

Mainly, I need to hand in my share of work early enough so others would have time to critique it. I need to make sure that I put in all my efforts into my product, which will not just benefit myself, but the overall goal of the whole team.

  • Be consistently approachable.

I always need to be willing to talk to others, whether I am in a gloomy mood or not. It is like a hat that I need to put on, gloominess is not something that would benefit the team, and I shouldn’t let that interfere.

  • Be wholeheartedly committed to the goal myself.

Poor leaders demand respect. Competent leaders command respect.

John C. Maxwell

*for clarity purposes, I separated the sections (I personally hate long paragraphs because I can’t understand them). It is still under the word limit.

Tri-Wise-Nugs Mono-Interview

  1. Do a lot of things early on in life like joining conferences and clubs to explore your interests. Identify why you loved the the things that you love, and find jobs that you believe would need those skill sets.
  2. Communication skills is one of the most important things that you could have for almost any job. It is also a transferable to any career, so you will never miss your shot even if you changed fields.
  3. Try and find a mentor when you are new to the job. A good mentor will help you through the challenges and teach you the basics until you can go off and mentor others. You can gain a edge over others this way, and also adapt into your position better.


The these in David Suzuki ‘s “Racism”, told through scientific discoveries as well as personal anecdotes, is that we should always stand up to bigotry. He states that we are otherwise tacitly supporting it, and soon, it will be our turn too if the practice of racism is not stopped. As a geneticist, Suzuki uncovered the ugly misconception behind racial discrimination, that for example, it was thought that all Japanese people hide treachery because of an action taken by a nation that Nisei and Sansei have never seen. Suzuki himself “[has] always been keen to inform people and raise the alarm about misapplication of the rules of hereditary”, and it may have changed someone as profoundly as the acts of kindness that he received from the Chinese cook or the RCMP (20). Bigotry is still in our lives today, even in this ideal world. In the news, we hear of stories of people being harassed for their ethnicity, and in schools, stereotypes restrict our potentials. Even as youths who doesn’t seem to hold a lot of say, Suzuki urges his grandsons and the readers to speak up about bigotry, because the cycle just might stop in our generation. It is when bigotry is the norm that it prevails. By stopping the “[people with] closed minds, ignorance, and fear of difference,” as Suzuki summed up, we can bring awareness to those who rejects or are oblivious of the past, to make them understand the damage it deals, and the fallacy of its origins (30).

English Post #2

From the firm and shocking TED talk, “The Danger of a Single Story”, to the tragic story of “The Metaphor”, I took away the idea that physical appearances or outward personalities are only single stories that need to be expanded, and that we need to seek out more stories and share them to the world so that people can be understood. In the story “Emil” by Stuart Mclean, we see the character Dave judging and squishing Emil into the general stereotype of homelessness. It is until later that Dave began to connect and understand Emil with the help of his wife. Morley, in this case, shows stories that fills the single story of Emil to Dave, helping Dave build compassion and empathy. “The Metaphor” by Budge Wilson brings a more stricken message. Miss Hancock’s makeup that is applied with “an excess of zeal and a minimum of control” along with her overly dramatic attitude that younger children delights over betrays her in front of parents and youth (215). The grade 10 class that Miss Hancock enters “white with tension and left it defeated” eventually pushed her to her end (230). Miss Hancock is a single story of a somewhat insane and childish teacher to her class, and Charlotte, as the only one to know the other side of the equation, of what a great teacher she could be, remains silent. To Charlotte, life’s most precious gifts are “the admiration of my peers, local fame, boys, social triumphs,” and it is not surprising that she is silent about her inner compassion towards Miss Hancock (227). If Charlotte and her classmates had had a more complete story of what success in life mean, and they can learn not just from watching adults in their shells, but connect with them and touch their hearts, it may be a different story.


What comes to our mind when we think of the word “homeless” is a multitude of words that describes greed, addiction and violence. Sometimes, we neglect to consider the fact that even those with no materialistic worth can be kind-hearted. In the story “Emil” by Stuart McLean, the character Morley realized that being charitable often have nothing to do with being privileged after her encounters with Emil. Her attempts to offer the homeless man money and food are often waved away, as Emil would say, “I don’t need it, I have enough. I have enough.” (111) Furthermore, when Emil won the lottery, he gave more than half of it away to his friends who helped him. Emil, as a man with no work, home or possessions except a remote control, broke the stereotypical impression of his kind by acting with altruism and thrift. As the story finishes, Morley finally realized that it is the heart that pushes someone to give back to the society, not the privileges that they may possess.

Hamiltalons, A Theme From the best Musical EVER!!

Meet the latest work from the TALONS program,

I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but, dag, it amaze and astonish!

The thing is that its got a lot of brains and has polish.

I don’t need to holler the thing speaks for itself.

With every word, it shines knowledge!                                            –Rewrite/parody of “My Shot”

Continue reading “Hamiltalons, A Theme From the best Musical EVER!!”

Yorktown, when The World Turned Upside Down…

GIF courtesy of Giphy.com

Lately, we have started studying the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, so popular that it is sold out until the end of 2017. Some of the songs have become by far my most favorite songs, and perhaps,

GIF courtesy of Giphy.com

if you have never listened to them before, you will be shocked about the quality and “amazingness” of the songs. It is so good it even won the Tony Award, 2016, being awarded in 11 out of 16 nominations in actors and others, plus the overall Best Musical award. Check out the lyrics and insights of the song on Rapgenius.com or listen on Spotify. I encourage you to check it out, as it may just change your life in how you think about the Revolution.


GIF courtesy of Giphy.com – Hamilton and Washington salute in “History Has Its Eyes On You”

You are going to be learning about the song “Yorktown (The World TurnedUpside Down)” in this blog post. You may wish to see the previous song, “History Has Its Eyes On You” which no one has done, or to go to “Guns and Ships” in Deon’s post. The song after this one is “What Comes Next” presented to you by Phia.


Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)

OK, above you get two choices, an animation or the presentation on the Tony Awards night. In the second video, it starts with “History Has its Eyes On You”, which I skipped. Now that you can put together an idea of the song, lets take the song all apart. Also, since you may not have the lyrics for whatever reason, plus it being hard to explain without visuals, I am not going to explain the significance of lines, but rather the song as a whole.

First of all, I want to share with you some background information. The Battle of Yorktown, or The Siege of Yorktown, is the last mayor land battle in the American Revolution. General Washington led the Continental Army  to surround Lt. General Cornwallis’ army encamped near Yorktown with the help of the ships of the French Navy. There were two Redoubts, which are like temporary forts, and Hamilton was sent to capture Redoubt #10.

This song connects to a lot of historical elements and things in the Socials 9 PLOs. For one thing, it reminds us of long conflict between France and England, shown in how France is easily convinced by Lafayette to send thousands of soldiers with warships to aid this feeble revolution pulled out by a “ragtag volunteer army in need of a shower”. It also shows how the Americans by now, have gotten used to the “guerrilla warfare” suggested by

GIF courtesy of Giphy.com

Washington, and instead of open combat, they attack stealthily by night. This strategy was later deployed by Afghanistan and Vietnam against the US, notably. The success of the Americans using this tactics had led to everyone doing it nowadays. The battle marked the start of the “American Experiment”, which convinced other societies that they can win a revolution and be able to govern as well, especially seen in France. Some of the content areas and big ideas include:

  • Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events.
    • the idea of guerrilla warfare and quick raids was popularized to
      GIF courtesy of Giphy.com

      more societies as they see its success against a better trained army, and have started to use them themselves, dramatically affecting the outcome of some wars.

    • the idea that America can rise and rebel convinced other societies to rise up as well
  • Collective identity is constructed and can change over time.
    • the identity of the 13 colonies into the United States in the eyes of others and itself
  • Political, social, economical and technological revolutions
    • the battle, a kind of social revolution, resulted in political revolution and economical revolution thereafter.


This song, in my opinion, is one of the best songs in the musical, but everyone thinks that about their song, so it doesn’t really matter. The thing I like the most about this song is the change of melody and rhythm in the song with the different monologues while still under an overall theme, making the song very dramatic and unpredictable, so you would want to listen for more. Smooth transitions in between the different “solos” also occurred seamlessly, most of the parts, so it is hardly noticeable when “I’m not throwing away ma shot.” transformed into “I imagined death so much it feels like a memory.” Roughly, the song goes from the dialogue between Hamilton and Lafayette, to throwing away my shot, to imagine death like a

GIF courtesy of Giphy.com – Hercules Mulligan

memory, to the fast paced orders Hamilton gave, to the even faster paced Hercules Mulligan’s introduction, who needs no introduction. Like a story, these parts resemble the rising action of a story, and it sort of reaches the climax after Hercules Mulligan’s dialogue. After that, it goes into falling action and resolution, with the Americans repeating the words, “We won!” It is probably the thing I like most about this song, how it fuses independent rhythms and melodies together to form one big song of courage and proudness.




This song contributes to the collective identity of the characters, and is also like the climax of scene one in the musical. In this song we see Hamilton express a wish other than his own legacy or for his own sake, like how Eliza in “Burn” said, “You and your words, obsessed on your legacy… You, you, you…” The song hints about Hamilton’s death in how Lafayette said, to Hamilton for the last time, “I will see you on the other side”, and later in “The World was Wide Enough” Hamilton mentions how he will see his friends in the other side. The song also gives us an idea of where Hercules Mulligan had been since he disappeared in “The Story of Tonight” I think. This song, in my opinion, is crucial to the musical, because the event it describes is the deciding battle of the Revolution. The next song ties in to this song as well: with the King questioning, “What Comes Next“, after the Revolution. Overall, the song links to other songs in the musical and advances the plot and the character’s identity significantly.


Bye for now…

Bye – GIF of Giphy.com
GIF of Giphy.com
GIF from Giphy.com