In this project, I learned various techniques and skills in writing and analyzing poems. I wrote a final poem called 'Til the Light that I refined over weeks and weeks of writing to make a masterpiece I am truly proud of. In addition to that, I practiced reciting my poem and managed to adequately perform my written piece. I learned various techniques and refined my writing abilities during this project. This newfound knowledge and ability was explain in great detail in my growth as a poet essay. The poetry project allowed me to gain a great understanding of poetry and the ability to create my own works of poetic art.
For this project, I was tasked with researching a subject pertaining to globalization in the new world, and create a cartoon and Op-Ed to illustrate my findings. I decided to focus on how a hyper connected world affected the Japanese mafia, the yakuza. In order to conduct this, I formulated two sections of research notes. The first one was background knowledge on the yakuza themselves, so I could understand how they were structured and operated. The second collection of research were of a grouping of five different sources that had any evidence I would need to back up my statements in the Op-Ed. Then, using that research, I wrote an Op-Ed explaining how an increase in globalization greatly benefited the yakuza's wealth and productivity. Then, I drew a political cartoon to further prove this point.
Coming into this project, I already had a decent grasp on the concept of globalization. I knew that trade ran from country to country, and virtually every economic group on the planet had some sort of relationship with another. However, I didn't realize how much globalization can affect a single person. Previously, I assumed globalization only affected the countries as a whole. Later, I came to learn that this globalized process affects everybody. A single customer at Apple can only get his new phone, because its parts were made in a sweatshop on the other end of the world. A factory worker might lose his job, because a third world citizen might do his same work for a fraction of the price. During my research, I learned how globalization affects the yakuza by allowing their illegal trade to spread faster and faster amongst countries. Unlike many things I've learned in humanities, globalization is one thing that affects every single person, including me. Instead of simply referring to events that have or are happening to other people and countries, I have come to understand that globalization is happening to me. From the yakuza to a single farmer, globalization changes everybody's lives. This project has taught me how the world works, especially with a place in it for me.
The greatest skill I have nurtured in cartooning would be making my objects clear and identifiable. This is important, because I am not a very skilled artist to begin with. In my first draft, I had two men inside some sort of a building. The reader had no way of knowing that these men were yakuza, or that the building was actually supposed to be a train. It would be impossible for people to understand my intended meaning, if they can't even understand what they're looking at. However, I refined this aspect of my cartoon, and by the time I completed my final draft, everything was neat and recognizable. Instead of showing the inside of the train, the placed the point of view outside, allowing people to see the wheels and railroad tracks. Additionally, I gave the yakuza unorthodox hairstyles, a common trait among yakuza gangsters. I also had a policeman calling them the "blasted yakuza". Throughout this refinement process, I managed to increase visual clarity in my art piece and present a very clear and precise final cartoon.
This writing was very different from normal in that I had a very limited maximum number of words. For such a lengthy topic enriched with ideas, 1000 words was a fairly tight space to address everything I needed to. In order to deal with this, I had to write differently. Sentences had to be clear and concise. All evidence had to be very selective and applicable. The analysis had to be quick and straightforward. Every word counted. By the time I was done, I had become fairly adept at shortening sentences and placing more emphasis on individual words and ideas, rather than long paragraphs. This Op-Ed writing allowed me to write much more concise and get to the main ideas much quicker and more effectively. I will apply this to future essays to allow myself to make my thesis clear and then make sure everything from that point onwards is short and applicable. A single sentence of genius may be more valuable than a book of ramblings.
In this musical piece, I aimed to tell the tale of the South Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. The intro of the song utilizes a major pentatonic scale played using a flute. This illustrates the general culture of Vietnam, as well as creation a soothing, peaceful sound. This exemplifies how peaceful Vietnam originally was. Then, booming drums and relatively dark piano sounds come in. The music gradually rises in tempo and volume, creating increasing tension. Then, the piece explodes into a booming minor key, demonstrating the chaos of the warfare as the South fought the North in Vietnam. Then, the music stops for a bit and is replaced by a mellow major key. This symbolizes the USA coming into Vietnam to “save” the South Vietnamese. A second, loud part is added to the piece, illustrating the change in the USA’s involvement in Vietnam, morphing from being simple advisers to full military aid. Then, the piece descends into a minor key again, as the US began to kill even the South Vietnamese, not knowing who their enemies were. The same chorus as before plays, with a few random, quick licks thrown in. This exemplifies the immense confusion that the American soldiers were facing in the new environment. Then, the music stops again and is replaced by a flute piece similar to the intro. However, this new section is played is a minor, and much lower key. The song finally ends on a minor, slightly off-key chord. The finale is meant to symbolize the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Many people are dead, and the country is now under communist control. The fighting may be over, but at what cost?