Monday, May 24, 2010

Personal Reaction to APEH! =)

I remember it like it was, you guessed it, yesterday. I was sitting in my eleventh-grade sixth period class entitled US History. They told us we were going to listen to some of the "old-heads" talk about courses for next year. I specifically remember my friend and "cousin", Angela Grieco as she ranted and raved about some teacher who as far as I knew, had been nonexistent for the past three years; "Maz." I will admit I had my doubts as Angela went on about the writing and reading that would take over and become my air and food supply for the next year if I decided to take the AP European History course. but now that is is all said and done, the long hours and hard work was worth it all. In the long-run I thought to myself, if I take this course I will definately be more prepared for what college has to offer, and by having a glimpse of that for an entire year, I can honestly say that I feel like I have learned more this year than I have in the past three years of the various History courses I had taken.

 Well sure! Why not! why would I, a college bound senior pass up the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the various areas that have not been touched on during my middle school and early high school career. I am so glad that I went through to my guidance counselor and conversed to him those four letters "A-P-E-H" followed by a please and smile of course. This course was way worth it. yes it has been hard and it has pushed me out of my comfortable state of listening and threw me into a realm of interaction with history. not only did i notice a significant improvement in my writing skills, but i also was given the opportunity to try new techniques, such as, this here blog that i am doing right now. I did not realize how much fun blogs were prior to this semester!

Although there were some units that were not entirely my favorite (the ones with all of the king Henry's and Charles'), however, I did learn a lot about the sort of reign they all lead. I cannot believe how quickly the year has gone past, but it is finally here, FINALS week!  and then graduation.  I will always remember this class and you too Maz! I had a great year, even when I stumbled a little bit, I still learned through it. It was a great year in a great course.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reaction to class ~ Nuremberg 5/17-5/21 (classes)

For the past week we have watched the dramatic and capturing movie Nuremberg, directed by Yves Simoneau. This movie helped me to grasp a thorough understanding of all that took place during the Trials held at Nuremberg. I was able to get a visual of the autrocity behind the sceming that took place during 1945, after the end of World War II. Germany stands ruined and defeated after the unconditional surrender of the Allies. This fact-based courtroom dramatization examines the international tribunal that assembled in Nuremberg, Germany, which was in an utterly war-torn state.

Reichsmarschall Hermann Georing as played by actor Brian Cox

above picture shows Alec Baldwin plays the part of Alexander Rae.

                                     above picture shows Alexander Rae alongside actor Christopher Plummer who        plays the role of Sir David Maxwell Fyfe.

I really enjoyed the film and I found it to be very captivating. the harsh cruelty and truth behind the Nuremberg trials is portrayed very effectively. When the film showed a segment on the real footage behind  the camps I felt like i was right in the courtroom along with others who watched in shock and disgust as some began to flee the area because of the shocking evidence.

all in all i found it to be a well established portrayal of what all took place during the Nuremberg Trials.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Connection Across Time~WWII

After having discussed the information in the arena of World War II, including its' causes, steps to war, effects, and connection to our world today, I came across a book written by Michael Bess, Vanderbilt University's Chancellor's Professor in History and Specialist in twentieth century Europe. In his work Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II, Bess evaluates the Second World War and deeply describes the celebration, doubt, and complexity that surround it.

His book opens with these lines...

"When we were fleeing the burning city
And looked back from the first field path,
I said, 'Let the grass grow over our footprints,
Let the harsh prophets fall silent in the fire,
Let the dead explain to the dead what happened.
we are fated to beget a new and violent tribe
Free from the evil and the happiness that drowsed there.
Let us go'- and the earth was opened for us by a sword of flames."
- Czeslaw Miloz, Goszyce, Poland (1944)

As I read the introduction and conclusion of Bess' Book, I realized that if our country comtinues in the direction it is going during our current president's term, this generation just might live to see another World War, heaven forbid. Bess outlines his book by connecting World War II to today as he dives into our country and its' current state. The sections in his conclusion entitled "We Cannot Afford Another War Like this" and "Heroism Is Still Needed" give an overview of how if our country does not produce a strong leader with intentions of abiding by our Nations' Constitution, the United States as we know it may be altered, eventully leading to destruction. Our country cannot afford that, Bess is right, and there is still a need for a hero in a position of authority.

Nazi Mass Rallies of 1936

these pictures capture the essence of the totalitarian interpretation of dynamic modern dictatorship, as performed by Hitler. The uniformed members of the Nazi party have all willingly merged themselves into a single force as they continuously await the command and orders of the "godlike" leader. Hitler held these mass rallies as he would have people salute and hail him as the ultimate ruler of the nation.
Talk about totalitarian egocentricism.!

It is astounding to me to see just how many were apart of these Mass Rallies! I could not imagine how loudly Hitler's voice must have resounded throughout Nuremberg just to reach the ears of all Nazi Party members and supporters in unoiform. What a deception Hitler lead! so many people believed and supported him, i think it is quite a shame.  
This particular photo of one of the Nazi's Mass Rallies was taken in Nuremberg. Why Nuremberg? Well being that Nuremberg was an old city in Germany and it did become the main and central location for Nazi Party rallies including the particularly important Youth Rallies for Hitler. Nuremberg was considered to be the place for trying major war criminals, as it seemed an appropriate location for a couple reasons. not only was it in historical association with the rise of the Nazi Party, but the Palace of Justice, which contained space for a prison for defendants and courtrooms, was sufficiently intact and could be renovated for the trials.

The First Images of The Battle of Midway ~WWII

Upon researching the events including the battles and naval engagements and combats of World War II, I came across these great images of what took place during the "most significant naval engagement during WWII," as asserted by historians, The Battle of Midway fought from June 4, 1942- June7, 1942.
I think that this image is a great detailed look into the sinking of the Yorktown at the battle of Midway, as the smoke billowed from the USS Yorktown after the air attacks from the Japanese at Midway. The craft surprisingly survived three bomb hits contuing to work until it finally sunk the next day, after being attacked once again.

~*CLICK HERE! to see the first images in video form of the Battle of Midway! *~

Response To Hitler's Foreign Policy Class Activity (Mein Kampf): WWII

"You are an expert in foreign policy" that is what we were told. "It is your job to advise the new leaders of Germany." Those were our instructions for the class activity that we all participated in as we were told to read the crisis given to us and we were to use our "expertise" to chose the best policy. I thought this was a really unique and fun activity and it helped me to better understand the policies, including the ones that hitler chose, which led to the Third Reich. Hitler used endless examples of social propoganda as a way to get what he wanted across to the poeple. He wanted to indoctrinate the people of Germany, all ages, into believeing that Hitlaer was in the right, and trying to "help;" this was help at all.
It was in his book,
Mein Kampf (my struggle), where Hitler outlined his theories and program concerning his plot to sieze control of the government, which was in fact, easily crushed and poorly organized. Hitler was then sentenced to prison, (the place where he wrote Mein Kampf).

~Response to Class: The Six Steps To WWII~ "CRAMCUP!?"

During class Lecture we were introduced to the acronym "CRAMCUP," do not be fooled all you with sweet teeth, no, "cramcup" is not a creamy desert and relative to creme brulee as the word might hint to, but, it is a great acronym and tool to learning the six important steps of World War II: Conscription; Rhineland; Austria; Munich; Czecholslovokia; Ussr/Nazi Pact; Poland. I really enjoyed learning about the six steps to war this way, and about how Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of Germany, declares war. Prior to this unit in class, I had never been exposed to that acronym nor have I ever learned about the depth of the casues, steps and effects of World War II. I enjoy this unit and it surprises me how deep the country of Japan got.
This is a picture of a bond (20 yen) issued by the Japanese Finance Ministry (1942-1943).
I researched Japan a little more outside of class
and discovered that during World War II, Japans government issued war bonds using the Japanese Finance Ministry (Okurasho), and a couple others. The proceeds of these funds were used to fund the war effort. The Start of the Great East Asia War was launched, as we know it, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and Manila as well as the Invasion of Malaya.

Connection Across Time~ Dadaism Today!!☺☼ Gautier's Collection!!!◄

Fashion has been an essential part of people's lifes for long centuries. no one is quite sure about the time over one thousand years ago, but, who knows, maybe fashion existed even then! however, without a doubt, fashion made headway with the begining of the 20th century, the most interesting of time periods concerning fashion evolvement.
Fashion Revolution made by Coco Chanel (with her little black dress and the women suit).
Some say that fashion has always been something more than art, it has reflected, more evidently than any art, via personal emotion and real-life movements.

*Now with a background in the evolvement of fashion, let's take a look at Gautier's "Dadaism" line

Jean Paul Gautier's collection "Dadaism" greatly broadened and enhanced the borders of fashion perception. These were his new images and new combinations of usual thing. using the surreal perception, his "man object" men were dressed in sailor vests and skirts! how strange, but, no doubt, Dadaistic. Gautiers Dadaistic fashion collections are always very expressive: "Dadaism""French gigolo""immodest charm of bourgeoisie".
Jean Paul Gautier is in my mind considered to be the Salvador Dali of Fashion. His images were the most unusual, strange, and "grotesque."
today his ideas are now supplemented with mastery and experience.

"DA-DA": The Persistence of Time (Memory).

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me" - Richard II, Act v, Scn. Ii, these words by William Shakespeare pose as great example to the effects one has on time and vice-versa. These two paintings by Salvador Dali, entitled The Persistence of Time (Memory) have the unique "da-da" quality to them. "da-da" refers to the surreal dadaism technique of art, including mostly paintings along with collages and photomontages.
Dadaism had started in Europe during this time between the wars as an art movement with the number one goal to discard everything that was standard about culture. Dadaists had no common or particular point and no specific motive, there single aim was to reject all that was prevailing.
I remember when I was studying art in my middle school class and Mr. Kaufman, the eccentric art instructor, had given us a Dadaism assignment. I loved it! it was the most fun and surreal painting I have ever painted. yes, it was at the middle school level, but it still captured Salvador Dali's "da-da" characteristics.

Upon researching Dadasim, I found out that though Dadaism was primarily related to the art movement, its
 photography counterpart came via FASHION! At this time in the fashion world, Dadaist techniques helped photographers to create odd sets, along with experimenting with unique and illusive lighting arrangements.    

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Age of Anxiety: Response To Class

I was quite intrigued when we went over the powerpoint concerning Japan and her major conflicts with China. I never realized how many events took place during this time between the wars, most of them concerning Japan's idea that she was the supreme country and race. even so, Japan believed itself to to be the most dominant even over china, which I was quite surprised to learn. I have never been exposed to the history of Japan during and between the wars and so I was incredibly interested to follow in the Why? and What? of Japan and her motives. It surprises me that Japan felt superior over china! I had always thought that the two countries "got along" in a sense, but after discussing the tragic and grueling Rape of Nanking, I am forced to think otherwise. Japan had already emerged as a "Great Power" in international politics by the colse of World War I and although Japan's light industry included the secure sharing of a world market, Japan fell back to be a debtor nation during the time between the wars. I found it interesting to learn about how the ease of Japan's victory, the internal political instabilities, and the highly negative impact of the Showa Recession in 1926, literally the "period of enlightened peace" in Japanese history corresponding to the reign of emperor Hirohito (Showa), helped contribute to the rise of Japanese militarism in the late 1920's to 1930's. All this leading up to some of the worst events to take place between the wars; eventually, escalading to the attacks led to the devastating World War II!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Response to Class: The Time Between The Wars

During The Time Between The Wars Unit, I really enjoyed listening to my peers' "Age of Anxiety" topics. I enjoy hearing the information from my peers' point-of-view. It is a fun way of mixing up the learning environment, especially concerning history. Some of the topics that really stuck out to me in class presentations were those concerning literature of the time. Learning about how during this time literature also began to explode, along side of the arts! New techniques developed, one known as the "Stream of consciousness." This I learned about in my eleventh grade english class, but, it was really neat to see how that tid-bit of information had its' connection to history during the early twentieth century-The Age of Anxiety. This technique allowed the reader to explore an exact flow of the writers' mind. Writers would write just as they thought, sometimes a jumble of randomized thoughts caught on paper, sometimes a flow of a continuos thought or idea, either way it was the writers way of connecting to the reader, as if they were speaking face-to-face.
 pretty cool huh! I really enjoyed this topic, what an interesting period in history!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Connection Across Time~ WWI

There has been some talk concerning the possibility of seeing a WWIII arise during Barrack Obama's presidency terms, if he doesn't get voted out that is. I hate to throw politics into the loop but in this case of connecting World War I to an event taking place today, that is all I can think of. Consider the fighting that took place in Iraq, no, the whole world is not fighting, however, just about the whole world is getting involved. I have heard through many news broadcasts as well as over news talk radio about Obama's planned one million man "Citizens Army." Obama states in a speech concerning civilian security that "we" cannot continue to solely "rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives" that "we" have set. He asserts the putting together of a Civilian National Security that is "just as powerful, strong and well-funded." I think that if this is to happen, our country as we know it will go down in shambles. For even concerning the latest bill passed for Nationalized Health care ,our nation's constitution is being neglected and ignored. I am no politician, therefore I admitt to the fact that I do not know all of the nitty gritty that is involved. However, I do know enough about the way our founding fathers have established this nation to say that I think that if Obama gets what he wants, there are going to be some radical "changes." can our country afford the price for these "changes?" Is this really the type of "change we need?"

Click on the "Label post" link for video.

Reaction to class: The Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles - signed on June 28, 1919, a "treaty to end all wars." Although this is what Woodrow Wilson had wanted to believe, the Treaty of Versailles was not by any means an "end to all wars." Quite on the contrary, in fact the Treaty of Versailles triggered the anger of Germany as well as that of the "forgotten" countries which included Japan and Italy. I really Enjoyed the lecture on Germany's Response to the Treaty of Versailles and I found it hard to disagree with Germany.I think that she had every right to be angry and upset for the Treaty was corrupt and unfair by all means. For first of all Germany was not even allowed to attend the meetings held in the Palace of Versailles near Paris, therefore she was not allowed to defend herself or speak up for her own thoughts. It is a shame that Germany was put on the chopping-block and there was no logical way for Germany to get the 33 billion dollars needed for War reparations!! But Germany agreed to attempt it, and she accepted the blame. Also upon learning about "The Forgotten Countries" I was exposed to Italy's feelings concerning the war; Japan and Italy were both forgotten when it came time for Treaty-making. Italy on one hand was cheated; for a significant amount of fighting took place in Italy, leaving her to lay in destruction. Not having the good economy like Japan, Italy had no money to completely rebuild her ruined country and when she did not recieve any land from the Treaty, Italy grew angry and felt mislead. On the other hand, I also enjoyed learning about Japan, for now knowing the reasons behind Japan's upset, I have a better understanding for what soon will lead to WWII!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Otto Dix: War

Woah! this workk done by Otto Dix caught my eye instantly with its murky and gruesome portrayal of the horrors of WWI. I instantly became curious about what Dix might have been thinking at the particular time when he created this capturing piece. I read about how Dix was horrified and haunted about the images he had seen during the war, images that one would not even begin to describe; prior to laying eyes on some of Otto Dix's paintings that is. I can honestly say that I looked at this painting several times and was constantly drawn back to its immaculate detail and gruesome imagery. I could not imagine having come across a sight like THIS!! And then sitting down with an easel and a few paints and beginning to repaint it!!!! What a vivid memory Otto Dix hadin order to be able to re-create something so horrorific yet ccapturing. Even those who escaped death were scarred, forever mentally wounded by their experiences during WWI.

Reaction to Class: Word Splash Activity!!~

I REALLY think that the word splash activity that we completed in class last week was a great new method of review. I found it to be an extremely helpful activity when it came down to comprehending and being able to regurgitate the proper chronological order of the events of the Great Break and WWI!! later that day as I was reading the work assigned to us in class, I found myself reiterating the order of events and vocbulary given to us during the Word Splash Activity. I also found that I retained more information just by doing a new and fun activity. Even the few events that I had gotten switched in their order, were ironed out by the Word Splah activity. I hope to be able to experience it again in the future!!!!!! =)

Robert Benney: The Battle of Midway

Another piece of work by Robert Benney that drew my attention was that of his depiction of The Battle of Midway. This painting shows just how brutal ocean combat got during WWI. At this time Germany was successful in building up a large modern navy, however, Great Britian was equally as determined to continue maintaing its naval superiority. This particular work depicts a withering attack on a Japanese cruiser by the United States and Hawaii. I can only imagine the sounds of the bombs that exploded leaving death in their paths as violent waves crashed up against the ship. Whenever I see a painting such as this one done by Robert Benney, I often wonder what it might have smelt like. I know that sounds strange but it is true, and I do wonder. the smell of the Salt water fusing with the burning smells left behind from the bombings and shootings. They say that "each picture is worth a thousand words," cliche? yes. But one hundred percent true!!!

Robert Benney: Paintings of Naval Aviation

One form of warfare that I have always had an interest in is that of the Naval Forces. In my opinion there is something intriguing about the risk and danger that is involved in fighting on those magnificent dark waves. I have grown up hearing stories from my Grandfather who was an E-9 Petty officer in charge of all naval aircraft during the Cuban Missil Crisis -John F. Kennedy. I can honestly say that that little tid-bit of family heritage sparked my curiosity as I immediately began to research the Naval Forces that were involved in combat during the Great Break of WWI. As I searched I came across the works of Robert Benny, an American oil painter, who worked tirelessly on depicting the Naval Aviation Department's role in the major battles of the Pacific during the war. This painting, titled The Kill is one of my FAVORITES as it gives a dramatic presentation of a sea-sky battle. I really like Benney's use of colors in his works, as it brings a life to the paintings. Benney has several collections but Imost enjoyed those of his Naval Aviation Collection.