Thursday, September 25, 2014

Manchester MOSI Google chat

   It's amazing what technology can do. Today in class we used Google chat to call someone half way across the world. We met Jamie, a curator at a famous Museum in Manchester, England. And yes, he had the authentic British accent complete with funny way of saying things we use everyday. It was quite fascinating, really because Jamie took the camera around and showed us different machines and how they worked. He explained the exhibits and answered any questions we had, while demonstrating himself. We prepared for the chat by practicing our searching skills and looked up some common terms from back in the day. We also drafted questions and asked them so as to get a better understanding of what life was like in the mills. Jamie helped us to really experience it all first hand.
   The textile process is one that has been very long and very hard to do for a long time. You take a natural fiber and turn it into cloth. That is not easy. The whole process, we learned has a variety of steps. First the cotton would need to be sorted, then straighted then twisted and then woven into an intricate pattern. That's the short version. Writing the whole process would take the whole paragraph. But Jamie was kind enough to tell us how each machine worked. He told us about the workers too. I never guessed that it could have been so horrible. The toilets were bad and waste was thrown out into the street to clean out chamber pots. This caused disease to spread like wildfire. The workers developed health problems because of the cotton fibers they breathed in all day and were eventually too sick to work. Children had to clean the machines while they were running to avoid fire hazards and were sometimes caught in process and horribly disfigured or crushed. And the machines damaged your hearing because they were so loud and you stood by then all day. I can't even imagine it. All of this information was truly shocking. But I don't hesitate in saying that without this suffering we wouldn't have had things like sick pay and unions to keep the workers healthy and paying bills. We also wouldn't have higher pay and safety features to keep us alive. We wouldn't have had all of this if it hadn't been for these trials. but we would all say we wish it didn't have to be this way. 
    This experience is a positive influence on my learning because we got to hear from a real person who was an expert instead of a lifeless textbook. I did learn more because I was interested in the topic and could interact with the person who was teaching. I liked that we could actually see him touch the machines and turn them on so it could be demonstrated was the way they worked. The only thing that was bad was how the sound and picture kept getting delayed. But other than that it was great. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Revolution Lessons

   Throughout this past week, our class has been working on a project outlining a certain aspect on the Industrial Revolution. I had four others in my group and  our topic was Transportation. We were given research and pictures to look at and organize. We learned a lot about Transportation. We also learned that the steam engine was one of the inventions that started the whole craze in Europe and eventually America. When we finished, we were allowed to hang up our poster and look at the others. We looked at it as if we were a curator. It was a really fun project.

There are a great many steps in the curator process. Many of them include going beyond the service. The first few steps have to do with research and figuring out how to make the viewer learn as much a possible. Next, they have to do with getting the information across in a effective way and citing their sources. Being a Curator requires a lot of hard, independent work, and the Curators have to be willing to do it to the last otherwise your exhibit will fall behind. I think that Curator is a fun job in itself because you get to devote yourself to a subject for a while to really learn the ins and outs. But at the same time, you have to stay on that one subject at all times instead of branching out and exploring ways it relates to other subjects. So being a Curator has its pros and cons. To it seems like more pros than cons, though.

Four other groups worked on other aspects of the Industrial Revolution. But they all came up with really cool ways to show and exhibit the ideas and research. The first one was called Is the Pain Worth the Gain?, This group detailed how even though children had jobs and could help feed their families and themselves, it came at a hard cost. Most children became disfigured and growth stunted from the back-breaking labor, which was really quite horrible.

The second group was called Prosperity at the Cost of the People. Such a project outlined what having slaves meant in the Industrial era. The want of cotton was going up rapidly and, as no American wanted to do it, farmers were forced to bring in workers to pick the cotton. The Northerners, although they were against it, fueled it by their need of cotton. Which is extremely ironic.

The third group was called Just Keep Spinning(which I thought was extremely clever). This group told of the simple spinning jenny and how it evolved into other advanced machinery. The spinning jenny lead to even to Textile Mill.

And the last group was called Making Money and Destroying Neighbor. This one so artfully showed how the Industrial Revolution had some bad parts to. Many people thought that the new machinery was taking a tole on the environment. And more and more people became depressed as they had to work more to accommodate the high prices because of the demand. It was quite a fun Exhibit!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Revolutionary ideas in the Industrial Revolution

   The many ways the Industrial Revolution helped our generation could be counted in the thousands. But many of the ideas were seen as radical and too unrealistic in those times. As they came to be however, each idea was greeted with great enthusiasm. In class, each group of 3 or so people were given a topic to research and each topic had to do with how revolutionary something was. The two topics I found to be very revolutionary were PEOPLE and TRANSPORTATION.
    Transportation became more and more relevant in the Industrial Revolution with the invention of the steam engine, which was a simple way of making energy portable. Two things that the steam engine further revolutionized was the steam boat and the steam locomotive. These two made traveling long distances easier over a short amount of time. Steam boats allowed for more trade and more commerce between states and countries. But steam boats were hard to transfer goods on because all of the coal that was used to power it kept getting in the way. Eventually this was taken care of by a separate cargo space for both the goods and the coal. Steam locomotives were made fairly quickly after railroads were built to accommodate them. Like the steam engine they were more efficient modes of transportation and  trade. These machines made it easier to travel between states because you no longer had to walk, take a carriage or ride for three days to get anywhere. People blossomed and began to take and interest in the goods other towns produced and what inventions were being made.
    Many of the people living in this time were farmers because the only reliable source of income was farming. Almost all of the jobs in a town had to do with farming, so it is only natural the innovations started there. As the soil was devoid of nutrients, Roy Charles discovered that if the farmers planted turnips, the soil would retain some of it's nutrients. He urged them to do it. And Jethro Tull invented a new machine to plant seeds faster than the farmers. But the rise of the revolution also caused richer landowners to take over and enclose land that was shared before, which lead to the idea of enclosure. As the land diminished, farmers were forced to search for different jobs and different opportunities to feed their families. Soon factories were made and workers came to fill them. As the land and jobs increased, so did the money. Which lead to more food and less famine. Famine caused many of the people to have and early death, but now, people began to live longer and healthier lives. Even babies became stronger as their mothers were well fed and were able to have more nutrients. People rose out of the ashes, so to speak.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What The Internet Offers Us

   In History class, I participated in two activities to teach us how to use the internet. The first was a Google a Day. It consisted of the computer asking questions and us having to search the questions on Google. The second was going to an outrageous website and verifying if it was indeed authentic and accurate. These both of these were meant to teach us kids the responsibility we have when using the internet for school. 
    The a Google a Day was hard. The questions were very complicated. But I did find it entertaining to madly search through every available browser for the answers. I learned some surprising things. That Russel Brand gave Katy Perry a tiger for a present. That there was a 1950's show called 'The Howdy Doody show' .But one thing that was frustrating about it was that I couldn't figure out the clade for modern birds. It rejected every answer we put in.  In the end, it was an education on the ways of searching through Google.  
     The website we opened up was called Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. Although ridiculous, this was meant for us to learn how to test a website's Accuracy, Authenticity and reliability. All of which this website had none. We will need to know what qualifies as an acceptable source in future years and this was meant to show us. The website was a hoax about a fake tree octopus that steals dollars. It was created by Lyle Zapato. There are pictures, what we can do to help and even recipes. It couldn't be used as a source because we all know the creature specified in it is completely made up. So it was pretty obvious that it was unreliable. 

Http:// 2006. N.p.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Me in a nutshell.

      My name is Kate McReynolds. I am in 10th grade and am currently in Honors History. This is my first post in a long line of those to come throughout the year. I have had a blog like this in the past and know how this works. But I will give this one some background too. I am doing this for my school, although I am very excited with the prospect of this fresh take on passing in assignments. All of my my posts will be about the fascinating history that has lead to this point in time. So without further adieu...Onward!!!!
   I have had many good teacher's in my time and all have had something to offer to my class. But to me, a good teacher is someone who is kind, understanding, funny, and takes in interest in me and my ideas about the topic we are learning.  Most of my good teachers have been in the subjects English or History. So those are the two places I will mostly highlight. My favorite History teacher was most likely Mr. Zilch in 6th grade at Parker middle school. He was so remarkable because he never yelled, was always smiling and he was very open to the prospect of new ideas. He gave a very loose vibe about the complexity of assignments and never scolded you when you got something wrong. I really liked him. My favorite English teacher was two years after in 9th grade, Mrs. Kaligerous. She really gave me a great gift...READING!!! Her room was full of books. Hundreds of them, all at my finger tips. She would let the student's borrow books and read them. It was then that I got my thirst for reading and stories. She, as a teacher, was good, smart and efficient. She liked me alot and I loved her. Some things you can do to be a better teacher with me is be very patience, explain the directions really well, don't yell and have something funny to say every once and a while.
    About the video we watched yesterday, I really agree with John Green. And not just because I love him. I really like the idea of being able to give back to a society that has invested in me. It makes me feel part of a community. My hopes for this year are as follows: I hope to get As in most of my classes. I hope to become a better person, writer and friend. And I hope to do what I can in the Drama club, Playwriting, and Book club. I will try to reach these goals by organizing myself and doing things one thing at a time. So that's my plan.

(This is a picture of my sister and my cat from my phone. I chose it because I really love both and each represent my family.)