I Asked A Band For Help With My Homework

I logged onto my computer early Saturday morning planning to do some research on religion in Continental Europe. Less than a minute later, a notification popped up on my phone saying that a band I like was doing a livestream. Homework or livestream? I picked what I thought would ultimately benefit me in the long run. Yes, I picked livestream.

Shortly into the livestream, the band members started talking about how they were great at doing their fans’ homework. I couldn’t resist. I asked them to tell me about religion in Continental Europe during 1500. “There was religion.  Christopher Columbus had already discovered America for eight years…That’s all you need to know.”  As you can tell, they weren’t much help and I was left to do my own research.

Religion Map

Image from Map Shop

To start my research, I wanted to take a look at a religion map. This one on the left was my favourite. Each of the listed predominant religions are a form of Christianity, the world’s largest religion.

Christians believe in only one higher power known as God. The part that is more difficult to understand is that God can take 3 different “forms”: Son, Father, and Holy Spirit. This however, does not mean there are 3 Gods, there is still only one. The following example from EveryStudent.com, laid out the idea better for me: You can think of the Trinity like H2O which can be ice, water and steam. Though the three take different forms, all of them are still H2O.

 

Other basics of Christianity include:

  • Worship and communication with God is done by praying
  • The main scripture is The Bible
  • Christianity originated from Judaism
  • Jesus Christ is the founder
  • Important symbols of the religion include the Cross, Fish, and 6 Point Star
Christian Fish

Image from calvinwritersonline.org

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

When it comes to lifestlye, one of religions’ largest effects was on art.  Many great artists’ most famous work were religious inspired and related to the Church.  For example, Michelangelo painted The Last Judgement, a religious fresco painting, inside of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.  Raphael also created a religious oil painting called The Sistine Madonna during the year 1512.  Both of these paintings were done by demand of the Pope who was the most powerful person at the time.

Find out more about Continental Europe in 1500 from Ben (government), Madison (technology), and Brian (economics).

 

In conclusion, don’t expect band members to be useful when it comes to homework.  All I got out of it was a good title for my blog post.

 

On The Pursuit To Find Answers

When I first got the assignment to create provocative questions, I was stumped.  Apparently “what’s your favourite colour” doesn’t count.  I tried so hard to think up some deep, philosophical questions but nothing was coming to me.  When we had class time to figure out questions I just wrote the first question that came to mind.  Was it deep?  No, but I just needed something on my page.  Slowly, more questions started coming and they got better as I went along.  Then came discussion time.  Once discussions began, my mind really started flowing.  I was coming up with really interesting questions for myself.  I found the whole process quite exciting as this isn’t something I consciously do often.

My questions are as follows (in the order they came about):

  1. Where do all of the numbers/concepts in math work the way they do?  Where did they come from and how did the creators come up with the theories?
  2. If you could go back in time to save the person you love most from a tragic death but the universe timeline changes along with all of your other loved ones (they act different, aren’t friends with you, don’t know you), would you do it?  (*This question is inspired by The Flash*)
  3. Are there alternate universes?  Time travel?  Do we live in an alternate universe?  (Read Berenstein/ Berenstain Bears theories)
  4. Where did gender roles come from and why were they “created”?  Why do they still exist?
  5. Where does the desire for popularity come from?
  6. If we as people had no desire for tangible objects, would we really be happier?  “Money doesn’t buy happiness”
  7. I believe people are born with “giftedness”.  If my parents didn’t encourage it as much as they did, would I have lost my giftedness?
  8. If I (personally, not in general) were born a boy, would I still have my girly traits?  Would who I am change before birth?  Would I give into the boy stereotype?  Would I stay myself?
  9. What are the colours we don’t see like?  Do we all see colour the same way/ generally similarly?  Is my orange your purple?  Do the colours actually look different but we are taught their name?  (This is one I have pondered for a long time but it didn’t come to me until the end of discussion)

The questions I am most excited to pursue at the moment are questions 4-8.  These questions involve opinion and many relate to ideas that society forces on people.  I like that on the pursuit to answer these questions, I really need to dive deep into my mind in order to figure out my personal answers.

As for questions 1, 2, 3, and 8, they are questions I’d rather put aside for now.  These questions are more logic based and not really my style.  One day I’d love to hear the answers to these questions but I’m just not passionate enough to find the answers for them myself.

Now, back to the questions I am passionate to learn about.  Because the questions don’t really have a finalized answer, I will consider myself “successful” when I have an answer for myself, personally.  To come up with my own answer, I need to research the topic and hear other people’s opinions.  Whether this be reading blog posts online or asking a family member their thoughts, these are all foundations to help me build up my own answer.

After analyzing my thought process and questions, I have come to the conclusion that I am someone who is quite open-minded.  I am interested in people’s opinions, personal beliefs, and values.  To me, it is enjoyable hearing different perspectives on ideas and learning why people feel the way they do.  When I answer these questions on a personal level, I will also be on a journey to better understand myself.

Everything Has Been A Lie…

Christopher Columbus. The guy who discovered the America’s. A real hero. Or so I thought…

I have never been particularly knowledgeable in the area of Columbus. I knew the basics: he was in search of land and came across the America’s. Whether or not he “discovered” them has always been debatable. Either way, I thought Columbus showed some heroic qualities. When I thought about it, he sailed across the sea not knowing exactly where he was going. That’s brave and courageous.

When we received Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress, I thought I’d be reading more about his great qualities. I, like many others, was quite shocked after completing reading the package. My whole perspective on Columbus had changed.

Why don’t we start with the fact that Columbus was just greedy. The whole reason he went on his journey was to find gold. He had very specific intentions that were to benefit him. On his journey to find gold Columbus did horrific things. He took advantage of people he believed were “lower” than him–the Indians. To him, the Indians were nothing but slaves for sex and labour. The line on page 6, though it was speaking of the Spaniards, relates to Columbus’ behaviour well: “total control led to total cruelty”.

So here’s my question; would Columbus have reacted the same way if the people he came across were his “own people”? What if they had similar lifestyles or looked the same? Would Columbus have treated them so badly? This is my take:

I believe that the looks and lifestyles of the people Columbus came about had everything to do with his treatment of them. The less materialistic lifestyle of the Indians was looked down upon by Columbus and his men. It was seen as weaker and their lives seemed less valuable.  They were not equal; therefore, Columbus thought it was acceptable to take advantage of them.  Their different ways of living and personal values between the societies created different actions.

When I think about how Columbus would have reacted if the people he discovered lived like himself, I imagine a major difference.  If the two groups were similar, Columbus would have seen them as powerful equals.  He wouldn’t be taking them for slavery as that would be like taking his own men for slavery.

However, I have a feeling Columbus wouldn’t stop his search for gold nor would there be a peaceful ending.  His selfish and greedy personality would stay the same but the way he received the gold would be different.  Instead of using the people as slaves to retrieve gold, I believe something along the lines of a battle would happen–a war to retrieve the gold.  There would still be a large amount of uncalled for violence and casualties though it wouldn’t have had as much of an effect as it did on the Indians.

I have come to the conclusion that if Columbus were to come across people like himself, his reaction would have been different.  Columbus’ greed would still be present and many lives would still be lost but it wouldn’t be as severe.  Either way, Columbus was never really a hero.  His discovery of the America’s will never make up for the lives and culture lost.