Tag Archives: history

Geometry, American History, and My Haircut

It’s been too long!

Recently I’ve been focusing on learning geometry because I have a test in June. I’ve always taken the EOGs (End Of Grade) for fun, but this year in 9th grade I have to for the state. I’ve been learning geometry on Khan Academy. I really love Khan Academy because the teacher talks to you and demonstrates everything on the screen with a stylus. There are also practice tests that will give you extra videos to help you with what you need to work on. In the past, I always learned about genetics and the circulatory system on Khan, but I’m realizing it’s a great place to learn math as well! My goal is to complete the geometry section of Khan before my test in June.

Something else I’ve been doing is working on my knowledge of American History. I got A Young People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn for Hanukkah. The books starts when America was “discovered” (but not really discovered because people were already here) and goes to sometime after the year 2000. Right now I’m in the early nineteen hundreds. The book is really good (unlike much of the history inside of it)! I like how you see the events from different perspectives. We hear what the rich white people said in addresses and speeches, what the free/enslaved black people said in front of  large groups of people or in meetings, and what the middle class wrote in newspapers and pamphlets. There is also an entire chapter dedicated to the activist women in the 1800s. I highly suggest this book (or the original adult book if you want) if you’re interested in American history.

One more thing. I got a big haircut! Now my hair is the shortest it’s been in ten years.



The Balkan War

This week I learned about the Balkan War from one of my fellow student’s father. I will teach you what he taught us.

There used to be a country called Yugoslavia. It consisted of a few countries. The ones I’ll be talking about today are Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia.

Let’s get our geography down real quick.

Croatia is yellow, Bosnia is green, and Serbia is brown/pink/redish color.
Croatia is yellow, Bosnia is green, and Serbia is brown/pink/redish color.

As you can see from this map, Bosnia is practically surrounded by those two countries. If you look closely, only a TINY part of southern Bosnia is touching the shore, and that’s it.

On March 31st, 1991, Croatia wanted to secede and become its own country. Serbia didn’t like this, and they tried to stop Croatia from leaving Yugoslavia. This started a conflict between the two states, leaving Bosnia in the middle. Bosnia declared that they also wanted to secede on April 6th, 1992. Serbia obviously didn’t like that either. So now Serbia was in a war with both Bosnia and Croatia. Because Bosnia was left in the middle, that’s where the fighting happened. The innocent citizens, who were just trying to live, were stuck in the middle of a horrible war.

There are many similarities between the Holocaust and the Balkan War. There were concentration camps, pointless killings of civilians, and sieges that killed thousands of people.

The army would go around to people’s houses and take the able bodied males to fight in the war. They didn’t have a choice.

When people were lucky enough to escape to other countries as refugees, they would get on buses. The even luckier ones would be delivered safely to another country. The unlucky ones would be separated into groups of men, women, and children. Then lined up and shot. Just like that.

My friend’s father was 6 when he escaped from Bosnia to Croatia. The bus that transported him and his family to safety did stop. The men, women, and children were separated and lined up. But just a few seconds before the shots rang out a UN vehicle showed up and their lives were saved.

He and his family made it safely to Croatia and lived on an island in a refugee camp for 2 1/2 years before coming to the USA as an immigrant. He had a friend in less than a week, and learned the language in 6 months.

He’s now married and has an 8 year old daughter named Ari. She’s the age he was when he was still living in a refugee camp. He was going to a soup kitchen every day to get food with his family.

Without refugees being welcomed by Croatia, and immigrants being welcomed by the USA, Ari wouldn’t exist. Our school wouldn’t be as happy as it is today, all because of one immigrant.

I guess some people fail to realize how important refugees and immigrants are, and that’s too bad. I think if they took the time to meet one, they would learn that they’re people just like you and me, and that when they need help we should help them.

His story made me think about how very lucky I am to be living where, when, and how I am now.