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"Energy and persistence conquer all things." --Benjamin Franklin

Here are examples of some projects I have written for school in the past couple years. I am not sure what good they will do you, but enjoy them anyway! :)


Paper for Honors English III | Poem for Honors English II

Book review for AP U.S. History | Editorial for Accelerated Chemistry


You can also check out a graphic design project I did outside of school if you go to www.threadless.com
This site has contests were members submit t-shirt designs to be scored by other site members. The shirts with the highest scores get printed and the designers win a prize. If you wan to help me out search for a t-shirt titled "It's a beautiful day in the Kremlin" and rate it a 5, and tell threadless you'd buy it. That's enough of a commercial, get back to my e-portfolio.

 

Orthodoxy

Throughout history many societies have been set up to try and create an “Eden” on earth. These societies have tried, some consciously, others subconsciously, to force all of their members to conform to the orthodox standards the society itself has created. These societies were, and are intolerant of others and limit the freedom of the members of the society. By insisting on complete orthodoxy a society hurts only itself.

When a society forces its members to conform to orthodoxy is severely limits the adaptability of the society as a whole. When any group of people is suppressing new ideas or new ways of doing things is loses its ability to change along with the changes in the rest of the world. Doing things the same old way is not the best way to face new challenges created by other societies who are not so afraid of change. Not adapting hurts a society.
When a society limits or destroys its members who think outside what is considered orthodox it limits what it as a whole can think. A society is like a body, the sum of all its parts. If a society is going to destroy those that speak or act against the normal behavior of the society it is destroying parts of itself. Destroying parts of itself hurts a society.

When a society forces its members to be orthodox it runs the risk of pushing its members to the other extreme of not having any conditions or limitations on what can and can’t be done. In Salem Mass. in 1692 the somber Puritan theocracy pushed its girls to mass hysteria and the witch trials. In the 1960's the conservative drabness of America pushed many young people into the sexual and social revolution. When the heavy handed communist rule of Francisco Franco ended in the 1970's Spain became on of the wildest most liberal countries in Europe. Without a balance between regulations and freedoms a society will push itself off the edge of one extreme or the other.

When a society forces “orthodoxy” it only hurts itself and its members.

This project was written in Mrs. Thornton's Honors English III class during our discussion of Puritanism during our "Scarlet Letter" unit. This paper was written in response to a question about what the effects of trying to force a group of people to be totally orthodox can be. While I worked on this project I not only learned about the effects of excessive orthodoxy, but also how to write a short essay paper for a short deadline.
Home | Top of Page | Paper for Honors English III | Poem for Honors English II
Book review for AP U.S. History | Editorial for Accelerated Chemistry
Soul of a Guitarist

Spirit of joy and grandest purity,
Brother in spirit to the tools of holy science.
Its form was set as if by ancient magic,
With the wondrous shine of heavens light,
And the same breath of life that awakened Adam.
The sharp line of its extended neck
Is that of Arthur's blessed sword.
The body itself cures in grace.
With silver eyes set round its darkened head,
Six in number they are tuned for use,
Like the eyes of the cherub that guard heaven's throne.


Who has heard the note’s of David's harp?
Or the joy brought forth by angel choirs?
The chord upon which the Sergeant's played
Has entwined our time with these harmonies.
A phrase of shadow or line of light,
Is the expression of the artist's soul.
Used for praise and holy worship,
Or composed as some dark minds cadence,
Endless lives give us endless melodies.
The life in the soul bursts forth,
Like the molten rock the earth can no longer contain.

As the music of our lives moves out and in,
The sound changes, although the instrument is the same.
An emotion or a dream expressed without words,
A voiceless melody of untraveled pilgrimages,
So becomes the one who plays.
To some the player and his song are strange.
When troubles pound like the ocean's deep cutting waves,
Expression in music is a blessing,
Even when no one is near enough to hear it.
The soul of the artist is mingled with the past,
For all praise is connected by its wondrous uses.

This project was created in Mrs. Barne's Honors English II class during our unit on poetry, especially odes. This poem was created to be an ode about how it feels to play the guitar. This project was quite difficult for me and through it I learned how to force myself to write in a style that is not my usual one.
Home | Top of Page | Paper for Honors English III | Poem for Honors English II
Book review for AP U.S. History | Editorial for Accelerated Chemistry

Ghost Soldiers Book Review


Early in 1942, Douglas MacArthur’s army on the Bataan Peninsula of the Philippines was in a slow, grinding nightmarish retreat to nowhere. The front lines were broken in so many places that everywhere was the front. Men sat shivering in ditches because they had no quinine to save themselves from malaria. They were forced to eat monkeys and grubs to supplement their ever diminishing rations. Men began to destroy their jeeps and armored vehicles when they ran out of gas, simply to keep them out of enemy hands. Life like this could not go on. Because MacArthur had escaped to Australia in March, it was up to General Edward King to make the largest surrender of American troops since that at Appomattox in 1865.


Hampton Sides writes this story into the hellish and personal account of the men of Bataan and their heroic rescue attempted by the newly created Army Rangers. This tale, which had been quickly overshadowed by the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the surrender of Japan, is recounted in Ghost Soldiers the way it deserved to be told all along. By using first person accounts, personal letters and poetry, copies of actual commands, vivid descriptions of the people and events, and quotations by people who were there, Sides transforms a bland textbook into a truly breathtaking story.

Sides begins his story with Eugene Nielsen’s tale of escaping from a prison camp where the prisoners had been massacred in cold blood to keep them from being rescued. This ghastly and gruesome tale is a brilliant way to begin the book because it explains both the dangers the Cabanatuan prisoners are in and the driving force behind the Ranger’s rescue. Throughout the rest of the book, Sides primarily alternates between the past tense accounts of the surrendered Bataan soldiers, and the present tense account of the 6th Army Ranger’s preparation and execution of a rescue of the Cabatuan prisoners.


Even early in the Bataan soldiers’ story, Sides had picked a few men like Dr. Hibbs to follow through the fight, surrender, Bataan Death March and captivity. Dr. Hibbs was an Army captain and graduate of the University of Iowa who survived the Bataan Death March and the prison camp and wept openly when he finally saw an American flag again. By closely following specific men through their pain and suffering, the reader gets intimately acquainted with the effects malnutrition and brutal treatment have on an individual’s spirit and mind. By giving this intimate portrait of the prisoners’ lives, Sides forces his readers to understand them and their need for rescue.


The Ranger chapters mostly follow the thoughts of their commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci and his assault commander Captain Robert Prince. Sides does look at the views of some of the enlisted men, especially those of an elite group known as the Alamo Scouts.


No better account could be written of the fears, dangers, and trials the Rangers had to go through on their thirty mile hike through enemy territory to reach Cabanatuan Camp. Also Sides does an excellent job of not giving all the glory to Ranges by describing the tireless and amazing work of their Filipino guerilla allies.
Sides’s story reaches an incredible climax when the Ranger and Prisoner chapters reach the same point in time: the rescue. Ghost Soldiers gives a truly incredible and accurate account of the men of Bataan, and the work of the 6th Rangers to rescue them. Sides has created a work of true genius by describing one of the most amazing stories of WWII.

This project was created for Mr. Mansfield's AP U.S. History Class. I chose to write about this book for my required portfolio piece because the book seemed to be worth spending time with. This project first taught me how to write a book review and secondly it is continuing to teach me how to revise my own work due to the fact that this is one of the pieces I am working on to include in my final portfolio.
Home | Top of Page | Paper for Honors English III | Poem for Honors English II
Book review for AP U.S. History | Editorial for Accelerated Chemistry

Wind Power Editorial

Gas prices are rising. Heating bills are going up. There are brownouts in large cities. Coal power plants are causing acid rain. We are told there is pollution in our air that is causing the earth to warm. We are told danger and catastrophe lie ahead due to our world energy crisis. Is the reason nothing seems to be being done to correct these problems because no one cares about them? I think not. Of course people want a cleaner safer world, they just don’t know how to get it. I think people hear research is being done, and legislation is being passed and they assume this means there is nothing else to be done. They take what is fed them in the 11'clock news or in editorials like this one and don’t try to learn about the problems, or how to fix them, for themselves.


We need renewable energy sources, the oil will eventually run out, everyone knows this, but what should be used in place of fossil fuels? Many people either don’t know or don’t understand the other options that are available. Take wind power for example. We know it’s electricity from the wind but how is it created, what are pros and cons of its use and how widely is it used?

Wind power is the transfer of the energy of the wind into useful electricity. This is done by setting up wind turbines, which are basically large fancy windmills, with electric generators inside to make electricity when the blades spin. Although wind power is the fastest growing renewable energy source in America it still supplies only about 1% of the world’s energy. Wind energy is inexpensive, clean, safe(except for birds) and provides jobs in the rural communities where large scale “wind farms” are set up. Government research has suggest that the wind harvested in just three U.S. states could power the whole country. Even with these benefits there are still plenty of arguments against using wind power. Some say that with the worlds constant rise in energy needs the amount of wind farm land needed would just take too much space. Using Great Britain as an example it is easy to see that although they have seriously boosted their wind power out put their CO2 emissions are still increasing at a high rate. Those against wind power also say it wind farms cause noise pollution, look ugly and take up valuable land in areas previously untouched by construction.

Although I have given some information on both sides of the debate over wind power you surely know that I have not even begun to explain everything there is to know. You must do research and learn for yourself. There are all types of renewable energy sources: biomass, solar, geothermal, wave power and hydrogen fuel cell power are just a few. All of these different types of energy have pros and cons just like wind power. Each of you must decide for yourself if you want to change the world, and if you do you must make your decision based on firsthand knowledge. You have, or will soon have, the power to influence the policies of our government through voting. Please make your decisions regarding our energy based on your own opinions from your own knowledge, not the hearsay you get from the news or editorials like this one. If you get one thing from this editorial it is that you must think for yourself in regards to this nations energy crisis. You must take this call to action: vote for renewable energy. You live in a country with a government by the people, use the power of your convictions and knowledge. Write to your legislator, vote, rally, petition–do something to help the world we live in.

This project was created for Mrs. Fugate's Accelerated Biology Class. I wrote this editorial as my required portfolio piece for the class. During this project I learned about different forms of renewable energy and how it is important to be knowledgeable on a subject in order to have an opinion on it.
Home | Top of Page | Paper for Honors English III | Poem for Honors English II
Book review for AP U.S. History | Editorial for Accelerated Chemistry

© Luke Spicer, 2006