Author Archives: leonard225

Othello

As you probably known, students who have enrolled in Humanities are involved in many field trips throughout the school year. And if that field trip is going to a play, before the class goes, we usually do work on the subject of the play. Othello is a great example of this. Before we go to the play, the book on Othello had to be read. The reason for doing this is to give insight into what the play will be about so that you are not watching the play and not knowing what anything is about. Mainly because it is a Shakespeare play, it is very complicated and uses the vernacular from the 16th century and is hard to interpret nowadays. Luckily, when the book was assigned, we were also given a modern day text version. It removes the complex, tricky words from Shakespeare’s version and makes it easier to read as a whole.

Shakespeare’s main intention when writing this was to interact with feelings of characters (mainly Othello), such as jealousy, anger, etc. The book Othello is about Iago’s deceitful and wrongdoing character setting out with a vengeance to destroy the life of Othello. He creates a plan with Roderigo to ruin Othello’s relationship with his wife Desdemona. Iago eventually convinces Othello that Desdemona is having an affair with another officer, Cassio, and Othello is suspicious. As the book progresses, his suspicion grows to jealousy and eventually anger, and sets out to kill Desdemona for the affair that he believes she is having. In the end (spoiler alert) she is murdered by Othello and he then is regretful of his actions, as Othello learns that he was tricked by Iago and eventually kills himself too.

The book was very interesting and well written and I cannot wait to watch the play in which we will be seeing on March 8th.

Scholastic Bowl

It was around the middle of the school year and I had just gotten the suggestion of getting involved in Scholastic Bowl. I was hesitant at first but was eventually convinced into joining since I was interested in seeing what it was all about. First of all, Scholastic Bowl is mainly just competition between two schools in answering difficult questions that vary from subjects such as mathematics, science, literature, history, etc. The goal is for a team to get as many points from answering the 24 questions as they can. Each tossup question is worth 10 points and the bonus questions are also 10, and are given to teams if they correctly answer the tossup question.

I may not have been the best at answering the proposed the questions but I enjoyed going very much so. The best part was watching my Scholastic Bowl team improve as a whole, and get better as the season progressed. Over the span of time in which we participated in it, the team had done very well, as we beat numerous teams and ended our season with a fine record. The only downfall was in the final tournament we took part in, since the two loses we had out of four proved as a fatal blow towards our placing. Our scholastic bowl team got 7th in that tournament, which is, in fact, a decent placing but we all knew, coach included, that it could have been better.

One thing that we all need to improve on, myself too, is answering the questions even if we do not know them. For many of the questions given to us, we had just sat there or said “No answer” which lost us many of the points that could have ended up keeping us in the game. I am sure that at least one of us had a reasonable guess that might’ve been close to correct, because as our coaches’ saying goes “Any guess is better than none”

Overall, I am very pleased that I had been given the opportunity to participate in Scholastic Bowl and enjoyed it much. My coach as well as the whole team was very great and we ended up doing very well together.

 

Examining Art

One of the few art critiques that I had done was one on the Apotheosis of Homer (827), done by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. It is composed of many elements of art, one of which being symbolism, which will be further discussed later on.

The holy power of Christ and the demonstrated power of Homer are best described in this painting. Even at first glance, it is shown that this painting displays a significant event going on. It is showing an angel descending from heaven in order to give Homer a crown. This angel is can be shown to be representing victory as also a resemblance of great power. People all around him (probably of a high status) are all focused on watching this crowning. Behind him is a facade of an Ionic temple that is being used as the background. This building is being used to show the Greek style within the painting mixed with the biblical art. As you can see, many of the people standing by Homer are presenting gifts as a sign of peace and respect. I feel the artist’s main reason for creating this work of art is to show the great power which can be obtained and he shows this theme by using the certain elements and principles contained in art.

This painting uses many elements of art which are all stunning. The first thing that pops out to me is the fact that this whole painting is emphasized on one person (Homer). He is in the very middle of the piece of artwork and this really shows how the painter definitely stressed in creating this feeling of significant towards Homer. To further accentuate the power located in the center, Ingres placed all the spectators around this main point and are shown to be focused on it. This throne that he is shown sitting on also helps with this main emphasis because thrones are usually shown with high dignity and that is what is trying to be demonstrated. Another element of art that Ingres uses is color. The colors used in showing Homer and the angel are white which represents holiness. The people watching, on the other hand, are not wearing specific colors. It is an unorganized clash of colors which could be used to show the flaws and disorder in human nature. This painting also uses a form of balance and that of which is symmetrical. The people on either side are shown to be close to equal which goes back to that emphasis on the middle.  Furthermore, this artwork is done using three-dimensional figures. The space in the work of art is shown in a realistic manner with the images of humans are shown with dimension creating that sense of depth. Also, it has a sense of harmony to it. There is not really any motion shown in the people and each of them is uniform which produces that elegant, smoothly-flowing design.

At first glance, I thought that this painting had more of a holy meaning and significance to it. But as looked deeper into it and got a little bit more information, I feel it is showing Homer resembling “the leader of the Greeks” because of the fact that he is represented as a man of great power. The spectators all surrounding him may represent the humble beings of mankind because they are all “bowing down” in a way to Homer. I feel that each person throughout the entire painting is used to represent something, by the way they were created. Some of which are: the ones holding scrolls are scholars meant to show knowledge, the one holding the bible is shown as a priest representing religion, the angel shows wisdom, and Homer represents great power.

The artist’s main intention in making this painting is to demonstrate the power in which one can hold and he shows this theme by using the certain elements and principles contained in art. In creating the painting, one element Ingres was using a form of art known as imitationalism. This is a way of creating the piece meant to be realistic and show the qualities of realism. They want to show the literal qualities to demonstrate what can be seen in the real world. The artist also contains a little bit of emotionalism because he wanted to feel the feeling of power given using emphasis and symmetricality. What I feel he was trying to communicate using emotionalism and symbolism was the power of which one possess.

Star Wars

Many people have been raving about the new Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens” because they have been waiting so long for an extension of the story. This movie is so intense and so action-packed, you will have to see it in order to get the whole experience. I will, though, tell you the main points of significance in the movie. For one, it takes place 30 years after the destruction of the second Death Star, and Luke Skywalker has disappeared. The First Order is set on killing Luke but The Renaissance, on the other hand, is opposed to this. There is much action in the mid-point of the movie as much of the troops from both sides are in constant battle. The climax in The Force Awakens is when The Renaissance use the Falcon in order to infiltrate the Starkiller Base. Han is then killed by Ren (member of the Dark Side) and Chewbacca, enraged, shoots Ren. This shot then sets off a chain reactions, setting off explosives that blow up the base.

In the end, the Luke is then found on a deserted island and is presented with the lightsaber of Ren. Overall, the movie ended on a high note and I am pleased with the performance. The intensity and energy of the movie was outstanding as well as the realistic quality that it posed.

The Bible

I have been a Christian ever since I received baptism and it has impacted my life greatly. Since my mom was a Christian, the Christianity was passed down to my brothers and I and we have been going to church for a very long time now. I have only guessed that the Christianity was only going to interact with my church life, not expecting to have the bible interacted into school. But ever since I have enrolled in Humanities, the bible has started to become interacted in my life more and more, as we refer back to it much in the class.  

I’m not exactly an expert on the bible, but the more I use it, the further my knowledge is expanded on it. Many of the students coming from the Zion school are pretty much experts on the subjects, since their religion had already been interacted so much into their school. I am at least moderately pleased with my knowledge on the bible since others do not even participate in church services and know the slightest bit on it.

My Christianity and the bible interact with so many topics in the classroom of Humanities. There are numerous novels that refer to the bible when creating the theme, one prominent book being East of Eden. It contains characters (such as Cal and Aron) who are associated with individuals from old stories of the Christian bible (Cain and Abel) and Steinbeck emphasized the theme greatly by using this reference.

Of Mice and Men

In Humanities, one of the prominent projects that we are assigned is the Literary Analysis. As discussed earlier, my first literary analysis was on the book East of Eden. Although the first one that was given to us was to be instructed on a specific book, the next ones to come were able to be chosen. My problem, though, was that my mind had not been set on a certain book so I had trouble deciding which book to do for my next analysis. I had heard from other fellow Humanities students that Of Mice and Men was a great book for a Lit Analysis because of the fact that is was such a short book but at the same time, an excellent read.

Of Mice and Men is based upon the relationship of two friends, Lennie and George as they are faced with loneliness throughout the book and use their friendship as a remedy. The two have been traveling around the countryside in search of a job in order to fulfil their ultimate dream of owning a farm. This dream they hold is a way of giving them the motivation to move on with the difficulties because it will pay of in the end.

The book starts off with Lennie and George stopping at a creek after their tireous trek to get to the ranch job that they have discovered. Upon their arrival, they end up meeting a few ranchers and are then put right to work. Overtime, they end up meeting many of the migrant workers at the ranch and the two are involved in many situations in their time at the ranch. There are then multiple events that follow their arrival and their involvement between characters like Curley, his wife, Crooks, Slim and Candy. The conclusion scene ends up with Lennie’s death because George’s love for him was too strong, so much that he didn’t want Lennie to end up in prison for the killing of Curley’s wife. Themes demonstrated by Steinbeck such as isolation, dreams/hopes, and friendship are all present in the text, and of which, create the basis for the whole book.

East of Eden

Image result for east of edenIn the summer of my starting freshman year, I had just received a letter in the mail containing all my subjects I was eligible to take. One that especially interested me was the class of Humanities since I have heard it was a very enjoyable class and of which, many of the higher classed students were taking. This class was recommended to me because of the fact that I had a high enough score on the Explorer test so I decided to enroll in the class.

About one month after I had officially registered for all of my classes, I was notified in an envelope that because I just became a part of Humanities, I was supposed to read a book over the summer called East of Eden. This was the first time I was given an assignment over the summer, let alone reading and annotating a 600 page book! Well, deciding to push through my first work in the class, I ending up reading and, during the school year, writing a report on this book. But when discussing this book, it is essential to understand what the book was about.

East of Eden is a novel following the two intricate lives of the Hamilton and Trask families.  Samuel Hamilton moves with his wife, Liza, to the Salinas Valley whereas they eventually become the prominent family in the area. Adam Trask, first introduced in the book when in his childhood, is now settling in the valley with his pregnant wife Cathy, where he becomes friends with Sam Hamilton. Adam and Cathy give birth to twin sons, Cal and Aron. These sons end up following the same path that their names represent (Adam and Eve) as Cal is lead through jealousy to involuntarily kill his brother Aron. Fate controlled by many factors is one of the main points that Steinbeck was attempting to get at when creating the theme of the text.