Monday, June 13, 2011

Cumulative Assessment


Before, I moved to Massachusetts, I was learning about World History. Boring! We’d constantly talk about the activities happening in Paris, Africa, England etc. Luckily, in the month of February I moved to Boston.
It was a great experience to take different courses and learn new things, but I was a bit skeptical about starting a new school in the middle of the year. One course that was extremely interesting was my Humanities class.
This whole unit, in my perspective, was about how African Americans fought for better treatment in the South and the North. Finally something in the United States! We read a ton of articles, stories, and watched a few movies, such as Their Eyes were watching God, The Piano Lesson, Glory, Reconstruction packets, The Great Migration etc, that really showed the viewers how African Americans were treated during the years of 1915-1970.
I liked how this unit went into depth on the struggles of African Americans. The Great Migration was an excellent source. Some of the stories in the packet were out of the ordinary. I loved the originality. While learning about the struggles of African Americans we watched the movie Glory. I really respected the character Denzel Washington played, Pvt. Trip. He always spoke his mind and had an inquisitive mind.
I really enjoyed this unit but I wished we spent more time on the lessons.


We watched the movie Glory for about two to three days. My class had to write a 300-400 word original review. Our goal was to lure potential viewers to see the movie and judge to what degree the movie helped us understand that time in history. It was in fact easy to write this review. The movie definitely kept my interest.
Watching Glory I learned a lot about the Civil War. The movie is seen through the eyes of Robert Gould Shaw, a young commanding officer if the Fifty Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment. I learned that the army was also only African Americans. Denzel Washington, Pvt. Trip, helped me learn how they were treated if they disobeyed superior authority. They were beaten in front of all of the soldiers with a belt. That was incredibly cruel.
In my review I tried my hardest not to spoil the movie for the readers, but I think I could’ve gave a little more details. Instead of receiving an A+ I probably should’ve gotten an A-.

The essay on Reconstruction was supposed to be about 600 words with a response to the prompt. We read different things such as the fiction Their Eyes Were Watching God, a really good book, and history from the packet. I thought the trauma the African Americans dealt with was very unnecessary. My essay was to prove my thesis true, which the plans for African Americans didn’t come out how it was suppose to.
I learned that once again African Americans weren’t treated with the respect as everyone else, or Caucasians in this matter. For example, President Johnson watched a white mob murder thirty-four blacks and three whites. Take note that he claimed her really cared about the well being of the African Americans.
I liked how depth my essay went. I can truly say that my essay was done precisely.

My class had recently read the book Their Eyes Were Watching God, and had to answer questions based on our reading. It was a good thing to concentrate on making the transition to and from the quotes seem effortless. The questioned varied from Joe Starks, a successful town, importance of leaders, prospering etc.
I learned how life could be if I were married back in that era. I realized I’m not as strong as the women back then. Dealing with the embarrassment of being talked down to by men is something I could never deal with.
I’m constantly thinking on how I could’ve transitioned my paragraphs better. Also, how the repetition wasn’t as powerful as I thought it would be.

Tea Cake, a main character in Their Eyes Were Watching God who wooed over Janie’s heart, was such a gentleman. This essay was an opportunity to show how efficiently I can develop and express thoughts. Quickly, I had to write two short essays on certain topics such as comparing Jody and Tea Cake, Hurston’s view on race and prejudice, etc.
Before reading this book I always thought that it was different races against the other. But when I finished the book I realized Hurston, the author, used a character, Mrs. Turner, to show that Caucasians aren’t the only people prejudice toward African Americans, but that African Americans can be prejudice to their own race.
My work done with this essay would deserve an 8, 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. I exhibited skillful use of language, and cited material but I used weak vocabulary and had a few grammar errors.


This section was dealing with art. These pictures captured the moments of hard time that the African Americans went through. My task was to choose three favorite pictures from Jacob Lawrence, which was extremely easy. After choosing the pictures, I wrote one sentence to respond about them. The next thing I had to do was explore at least three ideas on one picture on why I chose this painting, what I can imaged happened, and how could I relate this painting to the readings I previously read.
Reviewing these pictures I learned that Jacob Lawrence used lines to describe the mood. The wavy lines meant calm and peaceful, while the sharp lines that moved rapidly meant anxious and edgy.
The review I wrote could have transitioned from each topic smoother. I think I really enjoyed the pictures from Jacob Lawrence. I believe I completed my work the best way possible.

Piano Lesson
Piano Lesson was an amazing play wrote by August Wilson. His characters were very diverse. My lesson assignment was to create two pieces of writing to the play. I chose to analyze the development of Willie Boy as a character over the course of the play, and the development of Berniece as a character. It was very easy knowing that it only had to be 350 words long and that my thesis was very strong. Berniece kept the tension high and conflict going. She dealt with internal conflict, which mad her often bitter towards everyone she cared about. After that I had to consider the opinion of Sandra Shannon and compare it to your own opinion of the play.
I learned that people always change. African Americans wanted to leave the south because they thought it so bad, but today more African Americans are moving back to south. I think that African Americans moved to the north to only deal with the same trauma from the South. And according to Shannon, I’m not the only person who thinks that.
My argument wasn’t the best. I could have went deeper into the subject more. But my point was stated.

Kim McLarin
The review of Kim McLarin was extremely powerful. In response I had to write a short essay, about 250 words that responded to the Kim McLarin excerpt: The Great Migration and me. Kim’s response was her opinion about the article and her personal experience.
            I learned plenty from her. The people who moved to the north couldn’t settle as they wanted. It wasn’t home and they could never replace that special feeling they had with the north. “I made my peace with the fact that I would never feel completely at home here.”
            My response was perfect. I received an A on it. It was longer than the requirements of 250 words. I felt very powerful when I wrote this response.

Great Migration
“Please compose your response without restating any of the questions or citing the prompt in 750 words in two days.” That was the instructions for the term paper. I admit it was difficult and the timing made it seem like it wasn’t possible, but I did it. The task was to answer multiple questions about the reading such as what do we learn from the historical narrative The Warmth of Other Sons by Isabel Wilkerson, and Which genre speaks to you the most powerfully? Seems problematical, doesn’t it?
Doing this term paper made me grasp that I can accomplish any task given to me. I learned to take in as much information that is offered and to go with it. In spite of a cruel world people will always have a connection to their roots.
             I received an A on the term paper but top receive an A+ I think I could have connected the paragraphs more to my thesis and made my paper less limited in my argument.