At the beginning of this project I wasn’t sure what this had to do with our previous Danger of a Single Story project or how these two would be connected. Coming into this project I was really excited to do more debates and to learn about the Vietnam War. I wanted to really incorporate my opinion into my work and when I found out that we would be writing an essay on our opinion on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident I was really happy and excited to go more in depth with the material on the project. Reading The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien really showed me war from a veterans perspective and Interviewing our veteran gave me more knowledge on how war truly is.
For our veteran interview I was in a group with Todd, Ashley, and Matti. We all did our parts to make the interview run smoothly, including making questions that we would ask our veteran. We used the app StoryCorps to conduct and record our interview with veteran, Brian McAleer. My favorite parts of the interview would have to be hearing how not everyone was welcoming when he came home and his reasoning behind going off to war. I learned something really valuable during this interview that wasn’t recorded. I learned that you can play the video games where you kill people and burn cities down but then press the reset button and everything goes back to normal and nothing is ruined. But in real life, there is no reset button, and if you kill someone then you have to live with that all your life.
During the socratic seminar for our book, The Things They Carried, I wanted to make sure that I invited people into the conversation and didn’t take it over. I didn’t talk over anyone or talk a lot but I did invite people into the conversation. I heard other people’s takes on the stories and meanings behind war that was mentioned in the book.
For the Gulf of Tonkin essay I used all of the research papers and the spicy option papers to make my argument solid and backed it up with a lot of evidence. Even though I didn’t get the grade I had hoped for on this assignment, I would say that my understanding on the incident has grown and now I know what the Gulf of Tonkin Incident is and how it was caused. In the future I would like to challenge myself a little more by actually having a solid argument before actually writing my essay.
One takeaway I got from this project is that war isn’t just blood and all bad things. It has some sort of love to it and some sort of meaning behind it. War is like a stormy day that has little rays of sunshine that quickly get covered by rainclouds. There are happy parts but they get shadowed by the evil and horrible parts. I understand war a lot more and what Communism and Capitalism are.
Pencil on canvas board
In my art piece, I am showing how the physical pains can heal but the mental and emotional ones don’t. Not everyone has physical pain, and so when they come back from war, people back home think that everything is okay. Although sometimes it’s not, and sometimes they themselves can’t even describe what they’re dealing with. I used a man's head as a silhouette and wrote words like “anxiety,” “depression,” “PTSD,” etc. inside the head to show what each person coming home from war might have to deal with. The words are scattered and cross each other to exhibit that these things aren’t just simple thoughts or feelings, and the words are unorganized, like their thoughts. I also wrote on the bottom of the canvas, “Not all war wounds are physical,” to show that even though we don’t always see the struggles people face it doesn’t mean they’re not there.