Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Steam engines are heat engines that do mechanical work using steam as fuel. They use boiling water to produce mechanical motion. Steam engines were used for a wide range of manufacturing machinery. Steam engines eliminated the necessity for water wheels and windmills. Now a days we use steam engines for steam tractors and some trains.
The power loom was designed by Edmund Cartwright. Looms were used to weave yarn. They normally would weave any excess yarn they had. Cartwrights Loom was the main idea of Kenworthy and Bullough who took his idea and turned it into an automatic machine. Once the machine was automatic it made everything easier. Workers could have multiple looms in one room running by themselves.
The Spinning Jenny is a multi spool spinning wheel which was invented by James Hargreaves in the Northwest of England. The device was used for creating yarn and it dramatically reduced the amount of people and work needed to produce yarn.
What interesting facts did you learn through the trial preparation process?
The trial process was a great way for me to prepare for the quest we had yesterday. In the quest, we basically had to answer a few general multiple choice questions about the revolutions, and then write about six significant figures from the revolution: Robespierre, Napoleon, and four people of our choosing. Having said that, the trial was a really good way to prepare us for this. We had to learn as much information as we could about the witness we were representing, the person we were crossing, and/or the person we were directing. Also, we learned about Napoleon and Robespierre by simply listening to our peers during the trial.
Why do you think it is interesting?
As anyone from our history class would tell you, I love debating. Put simply, this project allowed me to argue and discuss controversial issues with my peers. Its not that I derive pleasure out of defeating other people's arguments, but rather that I get a genuinely good feeling out of getting someone to just think about a difficult issue, and perhaps, even changing their mind.
Did you learn anything beyond historical knowledge? (skills, research strategies, etc)
Our history mock trial helped me prepare for the mock trial tryouts that I had last week. Before the history trial, I knew very little about how our judicial system worked; however, by the time we had completed it, I had a full understanding of key judicial concepts, such as examinations, opening and closing statements, and objections. I utilized these kinds of skills not only in history class, but also in mock trial.
Also, I realized how important it is to know about what you are presenting. Its not enough to simply memorize a few important points; in order to be a skilled presenter, one has to talk about the topic as if they are truly an expert on it.
Lastly, I realized that time management and organization must be mastered in order to succeed in just about any debate, presentation, project, assignment, etc. Our group didn't use class time as effectively as we could have, and we ended up having to do most of the work for the trial over the weekend and on monday. Although everyone got their own part done, we didn't get a chance to collaborate or practice before the trial, which significantly hurt us in the end.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The biggest problem was the fact that people simply did not know their witnesses well enough. But how can we blame them, when they were only given a two weeks to prepare?
Earlier this year I joined Mock Trial. Mock Trial was, in many respects, very similar to the 'mock trial' that we had in class last week. Still, I think a lot can be learned from the actual Mock Trial program, considering that the organization that designed this program has worked out a really good way to run it effectively. For one thing, they have put a lot more thought and effort into it (over the course of many years) than Ms. Xia could ever have done in just a few weeks. I'm not saying this to take a stab at Ms. Xia and her teaching methods; Rather, I'm merely pointing out that we can learn a lot from an organization that has been doing this kind of activity for much longer than we have.
In Mock Trial, each team is given a set of witness statements. They assign one person to each witness, and that person has to basically memorize their statement in order to fully understand who they are, how they want to portray themselves, and how they were involved to the case.
The prosecution and the defense attorneys can essentially do two things when examining the witnesses:
They can ask the witness about facts that were on the witness statement
They can ask the witness to draw reasonable inferences based on the evidence.
They cannot ask the witness to make up things that were not on the witness statements. Also, the witnesses cannot (for the most part) give their opinion unless they are an expert witness, or they are drawing a reasonable inference from the facts.
Because of the fact that in our 'mock trial', the examiners were allowed to ask about ANYTHING that the real historical figure would know, we basically ended up with witnesses that were unable to answer the questions asked of them (simply due to a lack of historical knowledge). This is completely understandable; I would never expect a witness to spend hours and hours every night, memorizing every single fact and details about their lives. It's simply not a realistic, fair, or even necessary goal to set for these kinds of mock trials.
I think it would have worked better if the witness had to write statements, and the statements would be given to both the prosecution and the defense. Each side could then inform the witness of key things/important facts that they might have left out, and perhaps Ms. Xia could approve a final copy of these statements. This would require much less excessive historical research on the part of the witnesses. It would also give us more time to prepare for other aspects of the trial.
I've only been in Mock Trial for a few weeks now, so I may have totally misrepresented a lot of facts about the program. If I did, (Marjory) feel free to leave a comment below, and I'll edit my post accordingly.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
On Moodle, it says that the rest of the unit will be spent in the library, or preparing for the trial. I think it would work well if we played the game on 10/21 (right before our exam, on the review day). I know this is a couple weeks away, but I imagine that the game will potentially take up a large chunk of class time (that is, depending on how I end up designing it). I just wanted to let Ms. Xia know now, so that she could plan class time accordingly.
Or, if you guys don't really think Jeopardy would be a fun/interesting/productive use of class time, just let me know in the comments. I just thought it might be a fun way to end the unit, but I'm always open to changing things up.
(also, credits to Elle and Dylan for originally coming up with the idea)
Ill be using a PowerPoint presentation for the game.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I discovered that one of the problems in France (that eventually lead to the Revolution) was that the peasants were over-taxed, and the 1st estate and 2nd was (for the most part) immune from having to pay taxes. This was one of the reasons why France fell into bankruptcy. All of their income was being sucked out of the lower class, until the peasants barely had enough money to even survive. Throughout the 1700s, there were various propositions attempting to fix France's tax system, but none were successful. The attempts by various ministers, including Chrétien de Malesherbes, and Jacques Necker to tax the nobles, were constantly fought against by the courts. The lower class (despite representing 97-98% of the population) simply did not have enough political power to pass these kind of reforms. Attempts to tax the upper two estates continually failed, up until the 1780s when the revolution began.
After the revolution, it seemed like the estate system essentially ceased to exist (at the very least, it lost most of its relevance/significance). in 1789, the feudal system was abolished, and class distinctions (between the three estates) began to fade away.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Miguel Gregori Antonio Ignacio Hidalgo y Costilla y Galaaga Mondarte Villasenor also known as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla or simply Miguel Hidalgo was a Mexican priest. His nickname was the Father of the Nation of Mexico. He was also a leader of the Mexican War of Independence. In 1810, he led a revolt against the peninsulares for the Virgin of Guadalupe. They disbanded after encounters with the criollos and Mexican townspeople. Hidalgo was captured on March 21, 1811 and executed on July 30th. His rebellion was the beginning of the Mexican war of Independence. After his death, many others took up his footsteps that brought down the colonial governments of Spain of Mexico.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Well Carson, touché.
I now see your point and I do agree with that the AR was a trendsetter for the FR. one point I would like to argue is that the Americans had help from multiple different countries like the French, Spain, and Holland. All three of these countries gave the Americans weapons, money and technology to fuel their victory. I think without the help of these 3 countries, the Americans would have never been able to defeat the British. On the other hand, France didn’t have any help form any other countries and had multiple armies take advantage of the fact that France was in a revolution. I think that with the aid of some of Frances allies, this transition of governments would have been more cleaner, and smoother. Using bloodshed and violence was the only way that the French could send a message to the hierarchy of France that they were not going to tolerate being bossed around any more. They were able to get their point across through extreme violence, they were able to successfully remove the hierarchy form France and clean out the class system that kept millions of French people under poor circumstances. This was shown when the French people began to call each other citizen instead of monsieur and master.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Tomorrow in class (or as soon as time opens up in the class schedule), I will be giving a presentation on Social Contract Theory (as advocated for by Hobbes, Rousseau, and Locke). I know we've already moved onto the French Revolution, but I haven't gotten a chance to talk about these philosophers yet, and since I didn't get a chance to do my previous presentation until Friday, this presentation ended up getting pushed up to this week.
Also, I wanted to get some feedback from you guys about my presentations. Do you think it is excessive for me to be doing 1-2 presentations per week in class? Do you find them interesting? Would you rather have the class time be spent with Ms. Xia discussing more directly relevant material (such as things that will be on the test)? Should I post video blogs on Youtube instead of in-class presentations? How can I improve my presentations as a whole? Feel free just to leave a comment on this blog post. I won't be offended if you think my presentations are boring, or a waste of time, but at least if you are going to comment then take the time to put some thought into what you have to say.
Hobbes was different, but then had some of the same ideas as Locke. A main thing that was similiar to the two, was that they were both political philosophers and they were empiricists. Unlike Locke, Hobbes was one of the main philosophers who "discovered" materialism. Being materialistic means that you are obsessed with having all the new accessories that you can hold and touch. All in all, Hobbes and Locke had many different views, but they had the same profession as a philosopher.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Charles de Secondat, also known as Baron de Montesquieu was a French social commentator and political thinker who lived during the Enlightenment Era. He’s famous for his theory of democracy. Our constitution now is based of his theory. His theory was that there should be “Checks and Balances” which basically means that there can’t be someone higher than the rest. In this case, there are 3 branches that all watch over each others power. In the United States of America, there are 3 branches, the executive, the judicial, and the legislative that all have specific jobs to do in the government.