When I started writing my paper, I already knew what I was going to say and the flow I wanted it to have so I was very excited. Because of this, I started actually writing the paper four days before it was due—which I feel was procrastination. Once I started writing, I realized I was not meeting the word quota I needed to be meeting. In turn, I started adding more information from my sources into the “gaps” of my paper. When doing this, I made sure that the information flowed with what I already had written. After filling in the gaps, I took a break off the paper until the day it was due! By this time, I only had to sections of my paper and footnotes left to do. I hurried and finished. I finished with the entire thing at 12:03am. I thought that turnitin was not going to accept my three minute late paper! Once they did though, watched my paper upload so I could know the percent of plagiarism I had. 12 percent! – “not bad,” I thought to myself. Once I was finished turning it in, I was very proud of myself. I expected to get a good grade, but not a 100 percent! I was stocked when I seen my grade. I shared it with my family and close friends.
Working on my research paper for our history class was definitely an interesting experience! First off, I was going to talk about the evolution of housing in the Near East, the topic I did for my video. However, I did not choose this topic a second time because I did not want to plagiarize my own work. So, I ended up choosing the evolution of the Egyptian pyramids. First of all, I chose this topic because I am genuinely interested in the Egyptians as a whole. Because of this, I knew this topic would be great! Since I was interested in this topic so much, I started research on my topic two weeks prior to its due date. I, first, looked in my Ancient Cities textbook to familiarize myself with the different phases of Egyptian housing. Once I had refreshed my memory, I went to the library and found five books pertaining to my topic. I skimmed through these books and found pieces/excerpts in each one that I knew I could use for my paper. Out of curiosity, I went to jstor.org and found different articles on my topic as well. By this time, I had twelve sources! After reading all of these articles, I narrowed it down to just three that I want to use. Now it was time to start actually writing my paper.
Over all, I feel as if I have learned a lot from this class and from the readings. Initially, this cluster was my fourth choice (although I love history). It was my fourth choice because there really are no jobs in history other than teaching or becoming an archeologist – neither of which I am interested in. However, I do not regret receiving this cluster. I, honestly, enjoy coming to this class and taking notes on parts of the lectures that I missed in the reading. I try my best to ready and take notes on the day’s lecture the night before, so that the lecture will just serve as a memory refresher. The readings are a little long, but very informative and interesting. When something is interesting, it is not hard to remember/retain it. This might be why I do well on most of my quizzes. Also, I really like the teaching style of professor Kaatz! He is very organized and welling to help us in any way possible. I like that the slide shows presented to us in class are also on blackboard, in case I was not paying attention and missed something. I feel as if I will remember 98% of the things I am learning about in this class. In the future, I would love to take another history class taught by Professor Kaatz. I am really enjoying this quarter and hopefully, my other cluster teachers are just as great.
In my opinion, the video on the Mycenaean citadel was very interesting. It depicted the different characteristics of what made the citadel. The buildings looked very advanced. The brick was laid very well and the entrances to the buildings looked leveled. It is apparent that they were very good architects. The ruins of the buildings look well preserved. It still amazes me how they made their buildings literally out of mountains. I am not sure if that is how they were built, but it looks like it. It was clear from the video the Mycenaeans were a very technologically advanced people. Their bronze daggers were decorative and had messages on them and their art. Their pottery looks really detailed. The fact that some of their pieces were made of gold (it looks like) shows that their economy was thriving at some point or another. Another interesting thing was their cemetery arrangement. The fact that they even had an organized arrangement tells a lot about them. I do, however wish that this video would have shown how the bodies were arranged in their grave.
Honestly, my dipity timeline has taught me a lot about the cultures we’ve examined in the past few weeks. I’ve learned so many random facts about civilization and since I love world history, I am amped! For one, I learned that Cleopatra was actually of Macedonian decent. I never knew that! Mainly though, I have learned a lot about the different religions and religious centers of the different cultures. Most cultures had similar practices, similar deities, yet different ways of worshipping them. I also learned a lot about burials. Some civilizations decapitated their dead, others put them in fetal positions, and some did the seated burials, which as rare. Another rare practice was double burials, where two people were buried in the same grave. I truly love my timeline! At first I did not understand why we had to do it, but now that it has taught me so much extra information, I truly do value and appreciate it.
The pdf on the Harappans and Aryans we read this week was very informative. In th same token, however, I felt as if it was a bit unorganized in the way the author (Manian) presented the information. He did categorize the Indus civilization into four categories, but he lost me when he started talking about all the authors he was disputing. Stravianos this, and Greaves that; I just could not keep up! He basically bunched up ALL other theories within the four categories and disputed them that way. This way kind of confused me and lost my attention. Instead of taking notes on the reading (which I always do) I was stuck rereading sentences wondering , “who’s the author referring to now?” In my opinion, I felt as if he should have discussed one author per paragraph, mentioned their beliefs, THEN disputed them, instead of chunking all of that information into four categories. Doesn’t my way make a little more sense? Or is it just me?
Another thing I did not understand was how he came up with these far off theories when most of the authors he mentioned held the same beliefs? Has he, himself, studied the Indus civilization up close or does he piggy-back off of other people’s work and findings? I’d love to hear how he came up with his theories… and his paragraph structures for that matter.
I’m really glad that next week we’ll be reading about Ancient Egypt! I have always been a bit obsessed with the early Egyptians and how ahead of their time they were. It amazes me that archeologists STILL don’t know how they were about to build their pyramids without construction tools such as cranes. Another mind boggling fact about the pyramids is that the Giza pyramids are aligned with Orion’s belt. There are so many interesting facts about these pyramids and very little facts to explain them. A couple theories have been purposed though.
I watch a show called Ancient Aliens on H2. This show basically gives theories about unexplained historical events. In these theories, they suggest that these events had something to do with alien visiting earth and teaching ancient humans different strategies (pretty fun concept!). On one of these episodes, they talked about Ancient Egypt and the pyramids they built. They talked about the pyramid of Giza and said that it weighed 6.5 tons. While examining how they managed to create such a massive monument, they purposed the theory that aliens could have come to earth and showed them how to make the heaviest building materials nearly weightless. They also claimed that it was the aliens that instructed Egyptians to construct the pyramid in such a way that it aligns with Orion’s belt. This theory seems far-fetched and dismissible, but in reality, no one really knows how they built the pyramids; meaning few options can be ruled out. I hope I live to see the day archeologists know exactly how Egyptians constructed these pyramids and approximately how long it took them.