Post #13: Diaspora : Spread

October 12, 2008






Diaspora in Things Fall Apart

·    Church: When the white missionaries came in, many of the Ibo were opposed to the church. However, there was a minority that was in favor of it. The osu, the outcasts in the Ibo society, finally found a place where they were welcomed and accepted. The church, unlike the Ibo society had accepted these people. People, other than the osus, who joined the church protested the presence of the osus, so the church had to force the osus to shave their hair off. Not only this, but people like Nwoye and others who went against the Ibo traditions found something to believe in and found a source of answers to their questions at the church. Although the church had a positive influence on the osus, many of the Ibo were opposed to the church and its teachings. People like Okwonko felt offended by the white missionaries. The church negatively influenced some people like Okwonko, getting them to become more violent, fighting against the church.

·    Courts: The egwugus were originally in charge of keeping peace and justice through the lands. They never seemed to make harsh decisions and ruled quite leniently. For example, when the husband and wife came in with a problem, the egwugus told them to try living together again and so on. The people were not punished severely. However, when the white people came in, the court system and ruling system they set up was harsh and strict. Just because the the Ibo men, including Okwonko burned down the church, the men were whipped, tortured, and required to pay a fine. Not only this, but killing someone in Ibo society was forgiven through exile or payment. However, the white people believed that it was unacceptable to kill others. For example, at the end of the story when Okwonko had killed a white messenger, the white people came after him to kill him. In short, the new courts were strict and had more influence over the people. If the power was used in an accurate and just way, it would have kept order and kept the people organized. Despite this fact, because the idea of punishment and strict rules were unfamiliar to the Ibo, they had trouble adapting to it, and many people despised the white rules and courts by rebelling against the white. 

·    Schools: The Ibo originally passed on their stories and history through oral traditions. However, as the Christian missionaries came in and set up schools, some of the Ibo were educated to read and write. With time, the Ibo would have communicated and passed their stories and history down through reading and writing. This would have made the stories and history more accurate. On the other hand, some of the Ibo protested this new institution, believing that it would take away from their culture and traditions. Although many were against this new institution as it was a “white” thing, no actions were taken against it due to the fact that it was a minor offense against the Ibo culture.

Korean-American Diaspora         

·    Education is a change agent that impacts the Korean-Amerian diaspora. Many Koreans and Korean-Americans are educated to speak English, go to international schools and eventually colleges and universities abroad in english-speaking countries. This causes the younger generation of Koreans to become more “Americanized,” speaking English, disrespecting elders, voicing their opinions, following their dreams, and what not. This change may allow Korean-American students to become more creative thinkers who can go after the things they believe in; I believe it gives students more freedom. Although this is true, I feel like the new generation of Koreans are losing their cultural heritage. Many “Americanized” Korean-Americans no longer respect their elders, believing that everyone is their equal. Not only this, but they do not follow any more traditions like holding spiritual rituals for the dead. 

·    Subways are one of the major contact points that impact the Korean-American diaspora. When Korean-Americans ride the subway and speak english, many of the elders complain telling them that koreans should speak korean. Although this happens, the Korean-Americans continue speaking english. This shows how the gap between the older and more conservative generation and the Korean-Americans is growing.

·    Clothing and products are change agents that impact the Korea-American diaspora. Many Korean-Americans tend to favor American brands of products and clothing and while in Korea look for American brands. On the other hand, Korean people favor Korean products and Korean clothing despite poor quality. The Korean-Americans wear and use different things than the Koreans. This causes Korean-Americans and Koreans to shop and buy different products, creating a bigger gap between the two. 

The Title: Things Fall Apart and Diaspora

  The title of the novel Things Fall Apart comes from the poem by William Butler Yeats’ “The Second Coming.” Both the book and the poem talk about a group of people falling apart and a new beast appearing to make the situation worse. In the book, the group of people falling apart are the Ibo people. As the Ibo people fall apart and lose connections to their ancestors and heritage, the white people come in to make things worse. In the book, the black people who have fallen apart due to white influence struggle. The newer generations of the Ibo people, like Nwoye, start believing in white and Christian philosophy leaving their parents, siblings, and friends behind. From the center of the Ibo, a tightly unified group, things start falling apart throughout the story. Many Ibo people change while others protest and others are indifferent to the whole situation. Because of conflicting views, the Ibo people start to fall apart creating a diaspora. Because this is so, the title of the novel is Things Fall Apart.


Post #12: The Ackee Fruit

October 10, 2008

A case shared with Dr. Sanders:

          A middle-aged man, visiting his family in Jamaica, suddenly felt dizzy and lightheaded after a meal at a restaurant. He excused this discomfort and forgot about it until it happened again and again. Surges of nausea and dizziness came back over and over. He felt that something was weird after it happened a third time. He checked his blood sugar which turned out to be very low. When he finally decided to consult a doctor, the doctors were not able to figure out what was wrong. The man was relatively healthy; he worked out everyday and ate a mostly vegetarian diet. It was not diabetes, his liver was fine, he did not have anemia. It was the Ackee fruit. When eaten in an unripe phase, the ackee fruit gives off chemicals that limit the body’s ability to release its backup supply of glucose when glucose levels are low between meals. Beware of the Ackee.


The Ackee Fruit

The Ackee Fruit

Post #11: A response to: “The Second Coming” by William Yeats

October 3, 2008

 “The Second Coming” (1921)
William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand;
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries
of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The Second Coming

The Second Coming

• What is the meaning of the phrase “Things Fall Apart” within Yeats’ poem?
          In Yeats’ poem, the phrase “Things Fall Apart” means that the a certain group of people is falling apart. The group cannot hold together as one and is the people within the group are scattering outwards to follow their own beliefs. For example, the group of people can be a representation of people today. The younger and newer generation and their new beliefs and longings can be what cause things to fall apart by creating a gap between the older and newer generations. The falconer can represent the older generation while the falcon can be represented by the younger generation.
• What does the Second Coming refer to in general?
          In general, the second coming refers to the promised return of Christ on Doomsday, the end of the world.
• What does the Second Coming refer to in Yeats’ poem?
          In Yeats’ poem, the seconding coming refers to the coming of an unwanted force or being, instead of the promised return of Christ. In the poem, the arrival of the “rough best” refers to the second coming which occurs after things falls apart. The sphinx, who was originally asleep, arises.  In the poem, the “rough beast” is portrayed as an ominous force.
• As you read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, note how the novel both takes up and changes Yeats’ version of the Second Coming. Who or what in the novel represents a “rough beast” that “slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
          The novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe takes up and changes Yeats’ version of the Second Coming. In the novel, Ummofia, an African Civilization is disrupted by the arrival of the Christian missionaries from Europe. In the novel, the white Christian missionaries represent the “rough beast” that “slouches toward Bethlehem to be born” from the poem.

Post #10: Strange Foods

September 9, 2008
Cooked Pigeon

Cooked Pigeon

To me, strange foods are foods I would never imagine eating. I coud never imagine myself eating locusts, dogs, spiders, cats, seagulls, and in general, the animals I see everyday. To me, they do not look like food. I am used to looking at them alive. Eating one of these creature would be strange. It would be the same thing as eating another human being. Seeing one of these creatures on my dinner plate would be as strange as seeing a human body part on my dinner plate. Although I see chickens, cows, pigs, and fish that are alive, I am used to eating these creatures. If I see them, the word “food” comes into my mind. In short, strange foods are foods that I have never eaten before and foods that I would never eat.

A few years ago, I ate a pigeon wing at a restaurant. I did not know it was a pigeon wing because it tasted and looked like chicken. Although it did not look or taste funny, it felt weird. You see pigeons everyday, flying around and eating food off of the ground. To see one of these creatures on your dinner plate is strange; when you think of a pigeon you imagine a bird, not something like a fried chicken wing.



Post #9 : Chewing gum after surgery may help recovery

August 30, 2008

      According to an article, British researchers have discovered a relationship between chewing gum and recovery from abdominal surgery. In a review of several small studies, they have came to the conclusion that chewing gum following abdominal surgery may help in recovery. The studied involved five randomized trials involving 158 patients who had undergone colectomy, a surgical procedure which completely or partially removes the colon. Half of the patients were told to chew gum after their operations. The guts of the patients who chewed gum became active more quickly. Not only this, but the patients who chewed gum lowered their incidence of obstruction to the bowel. Four out of the five studies found that the length of postoperative stay in the hospital were shorter for gum chewers than for those who did not. The mechanism is unclear, however doctors believe that chewing gum does have an effect on activating the gut.

Post #8 : Don’t crack your neck!

August 30, 2008

      Even at school, you see many people cracking their necks. Many adults in Korea see chiropractors to relieve pain and they get their necks cracked by them. Although adjusting your neck is supposed to relieve pain and you do it without thinking most of the time, an article states that neurologists have noticed a relationship between neck adjustments and strokes. The technical term for neck cracking, “cervical spinal manipulation,” involves the twisting of the neck. Although people believe that this technique relieves pain, they are taking risks when they get their necks adjusted. Neurologists have hypothesized that this kind of activity could damage the two major arteries that go to the back of the brain. A study conducted indicated that young stroke patients under the age of 45 were five times more likely to have cracked their necks within a week of their stroke than normal people. Other studies disproved this hypothesis. One of these studies stated that strokes were linked to arterial dissections at the back of the neck. Young patients with neck and back pain could have gone to see chiropractors for relief, not realizing that their ailments were symptoms of strokes or arterial dissections. In short, you should be careful when getting neck manipulations as they may carry a small risk of strokes. 

Cervical Spinal Manipulation

Cervical Spinal Manipulation


Post #7 : Response to “So Young, and So Gadgeted” by Warren B.

August 28, 2008

After reading “So Young, and So Gadgeted,” I believe that children should get their first cellphone, laptop or virtual persona in middle school when they start learning how to take care of their goods. Before this age, I believe, children will lose and wreck their new gadgets.

According to the Loose Leaf Library Springhouse Corporation, Piaget is the most influential child development psychologist who found the “secrets of human learning hidden behind the seemingly illogical notions of children.” He believed that “children were not empty vessels to be filled with knowledge but active builders of knowledge who were constantly creating and testing their own theories of the world.” He also began to “suspect that the key to human knowledge could be discovered by observing how the child’s mind develops.”

Piaget “identified four states of cognitive development by catching his own children.” “Sensorimotor” was the first stage. During this stage children learn about themselves and their environments through actions—they learn that they are separate from their environments and that the objects and people in their environments continue to exist even though they are outside the reach of their senses.
The second state, the “preoperational” stage (ages 3-5) takes place when children first attempt to represent objects by using symbols. Children gain the ability to think about things and events that are not present. Despite this fact, thinking is still influenced by fantasy.
From ages 6-11 children enter the “concrete” stage during which they learn how to think abstractly and make rational judgments about concrete or observable events.
Children at the ages 12 and up have entered the “formal operational” stage in which they are reaching the cognitive functioning of adults. Children are now able to make rational judgments without concrete objects or observable events.

I believe that there aren’t any “gadgets” that I don’t currently have that I would want next year as a college student. But, I would definitely want a new laptop when I go to college.

Post #6 : Response to “In Grand Olympic Show, Some Sleight of Voice” by Jim Y.

August 21, 2008

According to the article, “In Grand Olympic Show, Some Sleight of Voice,” in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese lied to the whole world; they used the appearance of a cute girl and the voice of another. Both girls had different strengths and weaknesses; Miaoke was cute but she was not a good singer and Peiyi was not as cute as Miaoke but was a good singer. Despite this fact, lip syncing at an international ceremony was not a good idea. Using two different girls reminded the world once again about its obsession over physical beauty.

Although lip syncing was not a wise decision, lying to the world was not a bad idea. If the Chinese had not lied and had told the public about their decision to use two girls, the public would have condemned the idea, stating that the Chinese were people who valued external beauty over inner beauty. If the Chinese did not get caught lying, lying to the public would have been okay and Miaoke would have stayed in their minds as the cute girl at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. If the world found out, the Chinese would have received the same criticism as they would have if they had announced their plan to the whole world. Therefore, I believe that lying to the world was a better choice in that the Chinese had a chance to fool the whole world and avoid criticisms of any sort.

Miaoke and Peiyi

Miaoke and Peiyi

Post #5 : Surgeons

August 3, 2008


          Surgeons are physicians who perform operations on patients in order to repair injuries, prevent diseases, correct abnormalities and in general to improve the health of the patients. General surgeons perform various operations while specialized surgeons such as neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons perform specific surgeries. To become a surgeon you need to be able to have patience, good hand-eye coordination, good hands, knowledge in science, fine vision, and good communication skills. Surgeons work long hours in hospitals, taking care of patients in need of surgery, taking care of patients who have gone through surgery, and performing operations. Surgeons spend most of their time standing and therefore must be physically fit. The average salary for a general surgeon is $ 300,000 per year. Surgeons play a big role in keeping people healthy. Without surgeons, the life expectancy of human beings would have stayed low.




Post #4 : Truck Drivers

July 29, 2008

Truck Drivers

          Truck drivers are the people who drive massive trucks loaded with goods. Truck drivers not only drive, but they also load and unload goods. In order to obtain this career, you have to be very precise, be able to stay awake for long hours, be able to drive without getting into accidents, know about trucks, and be physically fit. Cargo types, vehicle sizes, and trip durations may vary from day to day and from driver to driver. In general, there are two types of truck drivers: heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers and light or delivery services truck drivers. The two groups of truck drivers are classified by their gross vehicle weights. Truck drivers spend most of their time driving. All you need to become a truck driver is a driver’s license. A truck driver’s income varies from week to week but they make around $50,000 a year. Although truck driving sounds like an insignificant career, if there were not any truck drivers, we would have had to drive to ports, factories, or farms to pick up goods.