Stan D.

7th-Grade English Portfolio

My Portfolio Reflection

1. How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?

I improved my writing, at the beginning of the year I was writing very vaguely and now I show, but I don't tell.

2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.

I think that my writing strength is really going into detail. I prefer writing in very specific detail than vague adjectives.

3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.

I want to develop being able to write in such a manner than I can at the time be specific with lots of details, but also be able to cover everything. I have to learn to cover everything, not to stick to just one point.

4. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.

I think my perspective, I was able to cover everything and in a short 500 words. The assignment was 400 words, so that really meant to pick one point, and to really go into it.

5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.

My Genocide article. I covered a topic that I hadn't ever heard of before. I took a bunch of research notes, and turned it into an essay.

Artifact #1

Dear Augusta and Aliza,

The separation changed my life. Since I have no family left, I just had to worry about myself, but nonetheless is was still extremely hard. Our whole orphanarium was evacuated to an abandoned building in a bad, bad, neighborhood. The schools here are worse, the teachers are good but we are 40 kids for 1 teacher. Learning is impossible with all these people and some kids just hold us back from learning new things. Non-Jewish boys come to my school to insult us, they humiliate us, and their parents just stand there laughing, encouraging their kids to do this, teaching them these ways that are extremely offensive to all non-Germans. They are encouraged by the officers and their parents to bully us. I quote a parent I heard exactly:

“ You are forbidden to play with those Jewish children, they ravage our streets, poison our cities, they are terrorists that have come to destroy us.” Sometimes, I wish I had an older sibling or parent to watch out for me, be there when I need them, but sadly, that will never happen. I was raised in a Jewish orphanarium, and all of my family was Jewish too. They can’t do this to us just because we believe in something different than they do!

The supervisors are bringing less and less food every day because Jews are only allowed to shop in certain places. I have lost 10 pounds in the last month! Many places have been banned to Jews, such as restaurants, and even some school. My friends and I have been banned from all the public parks, so we have to play soccer in the streets.

One day when Will and I were playing soccer a German officer came up to us and said, “Get your dirty faces out of here and don’t come back.” Being separated from the rest is unfair. What right do the Germans think they have, humiliating and torturing us? It isn’t fair. We are not property, we are human beings just like them, but I think that they don’t realise this. They have no right to treat us like this, and I will not stand by and watch. I am Jewish and I will stay that way. I am proud of who I am.



Artifact #2

A Horror Not Forgotten

By Stan de Martel and Esme Stotland

20 long years ago, in Rwanda, a tragic horror happened that none of us will ever forget. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in less that 100 days. Thousands left without families. 2 major groups lived in Rwanda. The Hutus (85%) and the Tutsis (14%).

So Rwanda was already in a complicated situation, and one event set off all the bombs. The Tutsis ruled the country, even though they were the lesser population, and they didn’t rule fairly according to the Hutus. The President Juvenal Habyarimana was a Hutu, him and the other Hutus were in charge of the government, but the Tutsis made all the rules.

Then late at night on April 6th, the plane carrying Habyarimana was shot down landing in the capital. Nobody knows who fired the missile. People of Rwanda think that the missile was shot by a Hutu. Then all of the political and high profile people were killed before they had a chance to deny the Hutu plan on a genocide.

A Hutu extremists then launched a plan to wipe out the entire Tutsi population. Violence spread extremely fast, and even though this genocide only lasted 3 months, it had a devastating effect. During the genocide, 200,000 Hutu military were asked to kill their Tutsi neighbours, equipped with machetes provided by the government, the militia followed orders. There were roadblocks set up to keep any Tutsis from escaping. Most of the Hutus followed orders, but not all. Some of them opposed this plan, and they helped the Tutsis by housing them.

4 months before the Hutus launched their plan, General Roméo Dallaire, commander of the UN(United Nations) peacekeeping force, warned his superiors that the Hutus were planning to do this. In January 1994, he requested more troops to prevent this, but his request was denied. This horror was viewed by the rest of the world as an “internal problem,” and the UN discouraged an intervention. Once the killing started, General Dallaire once again pleaded for more troops, but his pleas were ignored, the UN even reduced the troops in Rwanda from 2,500 to 270.

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