Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Most Important Weapon is My Voice

The Power of the Voice: Humanities 8 Unit 1


My project links:

  1. Diamante Poem: A Glimpse of Me in Seven Lines
  2. Choices Speech: Choir Commitments
  3. Argumentative Speech: Technological Killing
  4. This I Believe Essay: A Safe Haven
  5. This I Believe Multimedia: A Safe Haven Video

Unit Guiding Questions:

  1. What is the power of the voice (YEAR LONG ESSENTIAL QUESTION)?
  2. How does life experience shape belief?
  3. How does a belief system shape a society?
  4. How can one express a belief that connects/transforms an audience?
This past quarter, my humanities class and I indulged ourselves in deepening our understanding about beliefs and powers of our voices. Our humanities teacher assigned us multiple projects that could help enhance our understanding of these themes. We've written speeches and essays, held thorough discussions, and created interesting multimedia projects. Furthermore, we read an auto-biography called Persepolis, written by and about a women named Marjane Satrapi. It is about her childhood living through the Iranian Revolution and how it was like when the Islamic Regime was the ruling body. To conclude our unit, we thought about the four guiding questions for this unit, and how our new knowledge could be used to answer some of those questions.

How does life experience influence belief?

       When I look at this question, many things come to mind. However, I think that the most important factor that proves that life experience influences belief, is knowledge and learning. To start off, without making mistakes and learning from them, people won't get life experience which leads them to a belief. For my choices speech, I wrote about me making a mistake by not balancing out my time. Being to focused on one activity led me to forget most other priorities. Throughout writing this speech, I saw how my belief changed throughout my story. In my story, and even when writing actually, I started off believing in never quitting. However, I learned more and experienced more things that led me to realize that it's not the end of the world when you break a commitment.
       Finally, without knowing things, how are you able to understand and believe something? On page 73 of Persepolis, the Islamic Regime announces that it is going to close all universities and change what the population is learning in school. In panel two on the page, a representative of the regime is explaining that: "the educational system and what is written in school books, at all levels, are decadent. Everything needs to be revised to ensure that our children are not led astray from the true path of Islam." The young population is going to grow up with that education, and they're going to be brainwashed to believe in the "true path of Islam." However, when reading it is clearly seen that Marji is more influenced by her parents and family friend than by the government. Her family is against the government, and they express that through having their own beliefs. For example, the ruling body banned parties and alcohol, while her parents take Marji to a friends house when they do and use exactly that. From this life experience, Marjane grows up doing what her parents do, instead of what the Islamic Regime expects of her. She is leading astray from the "true path of islam." To end, in my opinion, the most important factor is knowledge and learning, when it comes to how life experience can shape belief.

How does a belief system shape a society?

       Beliefs itself have their own voices. Similarly to how our voices share our ideas, the beliefs do. After sitting and having a thought about what I really want to say about this question, I've come to the conclusion that beliefs shape society because they can unite people. Societies can only function when all the people are one. Without general beliefs, life would be chaotic. Relating this to Persepolis, the nation Iran is united through religion. As a matter of fact, it is discussed in a conversation between Marji's family friend and her father on page 62 of the book. The friend explained that: "in a country where half the population is illiterate you cannot unite the people around marx. The only thing that can really unite them is nationalism or a religious ethic." As was mentioned in the section above, the educational system was changed so that citizens could learn more about islam instead of maths and science. As a result, the Islamic Regime ran, and is running, the country through a religious ethic; a belief about God and Islam.
       Connecting this to modern day, in many areas in the Middle East, religious governments or groups direct countries or communities through what they believe in their religion. For example, ISIS is a very strong religious group that runs its community of people through a very old and strong version of Islam. To conclude, belief systems shape the society because they can unite the population better if there is a lack of education. 

In sum, I've been able to use my understanding of the book, my learning process in this unit, and my own individual thinking to analyse these two questions. I enjoyed working through this quarter as it has opened up my mind to even more perspectives and opinions. Beliefs clearly have a stronger meaning in our society than what I first thought.

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