Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cultural Interaction in Australia (SST Essay)

Ever since they arrived in Australia in 1788, the European travellers looked down on the Aboriginal race.  The first cultural interaction between the two different cultures involved the dispossession of their land and was only resolved a few years ago. The effects of what the Australian government had caused, and the responses of today’s Australian society, is what will be explained in the following paragraphs.

In 1910, the Australian government made the decision to ‘breed out’ the Aboriginal race.  They actually made a plan to get rid of the Aborigines.  This plan consisted of the following six steps:
  1. Leave the full-blooded Aborigines out in their reserves to die.
  2. Take away the mixed raced children and make them into brown-skinned British citizens.
  3. Let them marry the lower-class whites.
  4. In a few generations, the darker colour would be bred out.
  5. The old reserves could be sold off to farmers and mining companies.
  6. The Aboriginal race would cease to exist.
Only steps 1 - 4 were almost executed, but were stopped when the Australian government finally realised that what they were doing was wrong.  The victims of this plan are now called the ‘Stolen Generations’ referring to the young children who were forcibly removed from their families, and culture, never to be spoken of, let alone heard from again.

These children were put into ‘camps’ where they were taught the ways of a British citizen. Most times, the Aboriginal girls would be sexually abused by missionaries, and were seen as a source of slavery or cheap labour. Once the children had reached the age of eighteen, they would be released into the white society, most of them emotionally scarred for life.  Statistics show that an Indigenous Australian is 11 times more likely to be in prison then a non-Indigenous Australian.  They are depressed, because of the loss of family. These issue was resolved by special programmes run in centers for the indigenous people to talk about their actions, and reflect and discuss how these things could improve.  To help try and connect families back together, the Healing Foundation was formed, helping heal families’ losses.

As I mentioned in my introduction, three hundred square meters were taken from the Aborigines for mining companies in 1963.  This affected the Indigenous Australians quite hugely, because they believe that they belong to the land.  They were known for never settling in one place, so when their land was removed, it took a huge part of their tradition with it.  This matter was only resolved in 1971 where the government gave the Aborigines 40% of the Northern Territory of Australia.

In Australia today, we don’t see as many Aborigines as we do Europeans. What we do see today is a lot more half-castes.  Well even more than that, probably quarter-casts, or even eighth-casts!  This could mean loss of culture.  It probably does mean loss of culture, loss of language, of tradition.  It isn’t easy growing in society where you don’t know who you are.  These feelings and emotions the Stolen Generations had to deal with, are now being minimized due to the creation of cultural Aboriginal programmes.  In these programmes, people of all ages are taught the ways of the Aborigines.  They are taught song, dance, language, and the traditional face and body painting.  This has been a very positive affect, as many kids feel more confident in themselves, knowing their culture and traditions.

A National Sorry day was requested in May 1997, but was rejected because the Australian government at the time said that “the blame would be pointed at the current government.” An official National Sorry Day, was held on the 26th of May 1998 and has been celebrated by all of Australia since.  Kevin Rudd (Australian Prime minister from 2007-2013) decided to announce an official ‘apology’ to all the Stolen Generations.  The twenty five minute speech was watched by the entire nation.  Even in the Aboriginal reserves, where special screens and monitors were set up, so all could see and listen. All was forgiven, but it will take time to forget.

Years of resentment have been caused due to the racial tension between the European and Aborigines.  This is a problem that might not be so easy to respond to.  Australia is a multi-cultural country now.  So accepting people will have to be more common now, wouldn’t it?  Yes, Aboriginal people were treated very poorly, but that was in the past, and now Australia is doing everything they can to mend the broken families, and their broken hearts.  The point is, Australia is trying, this shows that they do care.  Why wouldn’t they? I mean, Kevin Rudd could be a sixteenth Aboriginal for all I know!

(This was my essay for my Social Studies assesment.)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Misunderstanding of Rumpelstiltskin

In my English class, we are learning about storytelling. Our task was to either write an original piece or to rewrite a classic. I chose to rewrite the story of Rumpelstiltskin. The following is my final edit.

Oh blast the evil queen and her wicked ways!  If it wasn't for her malicious doings, I wouldn't be scattered across this overgrown field of barren grass.  You’d think she’d have the decency to at least store my ashes safely in a vase or jar of some sort. But no, here I am disseminated among the beetles and dead worms on Mount Rumpel. You may know me as the man who spun gold for a miller’s daughter, or the man who tried to steal the queen’s first child.  

Not one soul knows the truth about me. After what the king had done, who would?  This king, is my Father.  I was the first royal child and how happy the kingdom was that the king had given birth to a boy.  However, I was not good enough for my father.  'A waste of riches and royalty' peasants complained. Of course no man would want such a hirsute child!  I was born with Ambras Syndrome and Dwarfism.  My birth caused the death of my mother.  It was too much for my Father to take in, so the guards were ordered to take me to the farthest mountain and be left there.  I was to be named so ridiculously so that no one would remember my name. And so, I was named Rumpelstiltskin.   It was against the law to speak of me. I was to be forgotten. 

The kingdom gates were locked, no one was to leave - no one was to enter, despite the annual visit of the king’s friend who was an old miller.  It was 25 years on - the kingdom was falling apart.  The king’s greed had increased so much he became crazy.  Nothing was ever enough for him.  He demanded taxes to rise so high workers were left with nothing but a penny.  

In the wild, I was forced to scavenge for food.  The only option I was left with, was the feculent sewers that ended at the bottom of Mt Rumpel.  The day came when the miller visited, and he had brought along his daughter.  This was the usual time I snuck around the kingdom, as all the focus would be on the miller.  From the sewer drains I watched as they walked together to the castle, all eyes glued on their faded pastel clothes.  Many of the young fellows tripped over themselves trying to impress the passing maiden. 

I was squeezing my plump tush through the rails when I saw a window open in one of the higher rooms of the castle. I crept along the dusty streets of the kingdom and crawled up the staircases.  I finally reached what I thought was a room of wood.  Slowly opening the door, I felt shivers slither up my spine, the miller’s daughter! Much more quickly, I began to close the door until the girl started to cry.  My piliferous ears pricked up and listened to her, “Why, how am I meant to spin straw into gold?!” she sobbed.  I couldn't believe my hairy little ears. I turned back and peeped my head in. “AAAAAAAAH!!!” she screamed.  "What an ugly little troll! Ugh! Be gone! Leave at once! What a hideous sight!"

I walked back out and grumbled, "Well I guess that straw won’t be spun into gold, will it?" "You! You can spin straw to gold!?!?!  Well what are you waiting for!?!?! SPIN!!!"  She grasped the collar of my filthy shirt and dragged me to the spinning wheel. "My existance is depending on this!! NOW SPIIN!!!" I rubbed the back of my neck and asked, "What will you give me?" "What will I give you?! What do you mean?” she laughed “Oh, I suppose I could spare you some straw and you shall spin your own gold."  I sat for a further few seconds.  "SPIN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!" she shrieked, and in one swift motion, her necklace of stones was removed from her neck and heading towards my bearded face. I dodged the piece of jewellery and quickly got to work.

The night was reaching its' end when I had finished.   I sat there awkwardly expecting a compliment or reward of some sort.  "Um, maiden?  Where shall I slumber?"  She looked dumbly around the small room. "Why, there is no need to rest!  The morning is dawning, now leave! The king must think I have spun this on my own! But if you see that my father and I have not left by midday tomorrow, return to the palace, or I shall take your life. Now go!"

I did as I was told to, and returned the next day as they had not left yet.  Again I was to spin straw to gold, but this time, the amount was much more immense.  "What will you give me?" I asked.  The girl sighed, "Oh if you MUST have something, let it be my ring! For it is made of the finest gold!"  But I, am no idiot.  Why, it was simply painted silver! But I accepted the offer anyway.  And away I spun.  It wasn't till the next day I had completed the task. I tried to leave. But I was met with a very loud, firm growl as I opened the door.  "You must not leave!”, she yelled, "For the king has plans for me to spin even more!"  Footsteps made their way up the staircase and towards the room we were in. The girl picked me up and placed me in her bag.

Later that night we were brought to an even bigger room of straw.  The king said if she was to complete the task, she would be announced the new queen.  She turned the bag upside down, and I tumbled out. She laughed evilly, "Why, if you spin ALL this straw to gold, I swear on my mother's grave I will give you my first child!" She carried on laughing while I got to work.  I finally slipped out of the city and back to my shaggy hut.

It wasn't long at all until the echoes of gossiping teenagers reached my mountain.  She had given birth to a baby boy.  Once I reached the castle, I walked into the realms of the King and Queen and they both were horrified at the sight of me.  "Why! Could it really be?!" the king exclaimed. "You know this man?" she asked him.  "Why, is that you my son? I've been looking everywhere for you!!" he sarcastically announced. I looked at him lamely then looked to the queen. "Where is my promised prize?" I asked. "Why, NO! NEVER! I WILL NEVER EVER GIVE YOU MY CHILD!!!" she screeched.  The king asked her and she explained all that had happened. "I knew you were no good!" and with that been said, he took hold of his torch and within seconds I was set ablaze.

So that is my story.  My name is Rumpelstiltskin, and my ashes have been scattered across Mount Rumpel.  My father neglected me when I was child, as did everybody else.  I was just a man who's intentions were good, but I've been simply misunderstood.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

9EAD Assignment : Bizarre Paradise

"The jaws that bite, the claws that catch." Not your ideal catch phrase for paradise. But indeed Jabberwocky is one beautiful, odd planet.  The element of bizarre starts with the planet in general. It's basically an enormous ball of tangled green tentacles weighing in at half the weight and mass of earth. Jabberwocky is also the only planet in the known universe which has a sustainable atmosphere despite having two suns. In order for the planet surface to cope with the prolonged exposure to the sun, the anaconda-like appendages roll over every two hours.

The frumzple is a plant similar to the cactus species on earth. Instead of the flesh inside the cactus, lies rows of 5 cm pearls. At each ending of a cactus branch, blooms a yellow hibiscus holding a much smaller pearl, which is in the shade of a more green sort.

The greatest animal species has been recorded as the bandersnatch. Bandersnatches are aggressive K9-like animals, coated with piliferous manes of black fur.  It shares many similarities with man’s best friend.

Jabberwocky’s source of liquid is what we now call h3o.This is because instead of two atoms of hydrogen, there are 3, meaning the liquid is much more thinner than water. H30 is the result of the planet’s appendages’ movement, similar to our human sweat, hydrating Jabberwocky so it is prepared to endure in the sun for another two hours.

In various parts of earth we humans have adapted to the extreme conditions.  How one survives in the Pacific is very different to how you survive in Antarctica.  These challenges we’ve overcome and lived through for thousands of years.  Our next challenge is whether we can adapt to the planet of Jabberwocky, it’ habitants, it’s flora, it’s fauna and it’s environment.

(Information given is confirmed imagination. Nothing affects our existence. Have a nice day.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

9EAD Assignment : Landing on Jabberwocky

In my 9EAD class, we are studying the planet fo 'Jabberwocky.' Our class has been split up into groups according to which team we applied for. On board the S.S Explorer, there are five different teams which are the navigation team, the wild-life exploration team, the medical team, security and defence, and the  extra-terrestrial group, which I am in. In my team I am the 'indigenous ethics advisor.' There are about 5 or 6 students in each team. During class sessions, our room is sometimes transformed into the ship and our desks are swapped for panels or surgery tables and other things each team needs.  We have just landed and our assignment is to draw what we saw while exploring the planet of Jabberwocky. Here are my 6 snapshots.

Establishing shot of planet Jabberwocky
Close up shot of Jabberwocky plant : Frumzple.
Medium shot of extra-terrestrial.
Extreme close up shot of Extra Terrestrial body part.
High shot of S.S Explorer landing zone.

Low angle of S.S Explorer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

News 101 : The Latest Updates Of My Life

It must've been the first time I'd woken up before my parents, that day. Thursday, it was.  I arose from my anxious slumber and went to wash my heavy eyes. Click. The bathroom was illuminated.  The lightbulb seemed extra bright that morning, as if it knew how special the day was.  The 31st of January.

I took my Pt England jacket, and held it up to the light, admiring the curvy red lines over the somber black fabric. I held it against myself, as I gazed at my reflection, tilting my head so I was able to see down the hall. My mother was now awake.  She told me off for  taking too long in the bathroom. I returned to my room, carefully and ever so gently placed my jacket down on my bed. I sighed to myself and settled onto my unmade bed, which was something else I might've got in trouble for.  As I sat, I thought about the processes I might have had to go through during the day.

I was starting at another school. I was leaving Pt England. My beloved home, my beloved teachers, my beloved technology, my beloved friends. But yes, I was starting at a new school. College, as a matter of fact. I would have to change my email template : 'Toreka Tele'a, Room 21, Pt England School.'   I thought deeper about it. 'Toreka Tele'a, 9LC, Auckland Girls Grammar School.' Hmm, not bad.

My thoughts were broken by the distant sound of my father's Toyota van approaching. I quickly buttoned up my shirt, struggled to put my skirt on, then walked out with my hair a bundle of messy joy, and my shoes strapped on a centimeter too tight. My mother took one look at me, then in as if one swift motion, turned my skirt around the right way, rebut-toned my crooked shirt, and crafted my 'joyful' hair into a neat four plait.

I walked outside and took at least twenty photos with my parents. My dad drove me to school and we were introduced to everybody. Well, not everybody, it was only the year nines and year thirteens at school that day, and already it seemed packed. The photo below is of myself and one of my closest friends Selena. As you can see she is also attending AGGS with me. This is our second day at our new school in the carpark of our old school... if that magically made any sense at all. We're now in week five, and according to my email template, I am still Toreka Tele'a, Room 21 of Pt England School.
I didn't want the end of this to look like the beginning of a book, (which actually makes NO sense) but too bad, I could be an author, thanks to my past teachers at school who I think I have no choice but to thank. So, thank you SO much to : Mrs Nua, Mrs Lagitupu, Mrs Maude, Miss Garden, Ms Squires, Miss Va'afusuaga, Miss King, Mr Proctor, Mr & Mrs Burt.
Thank you to each and every one of you for playing very important roles in my life at Pt England.
I'm missing you all.
Be sure to see you soon Pt England!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Swimarama, as an Intermediate student

Slowly, I trudged up the dripping steel staircase, aware that this was my last chance to cruise down the black worm according to the rules. Feet first. One at a time. No blocking up the water.  My cousins and I found that last rule a bit hard to deal with, so I guess that's why I'd already been kicked off twice that day.  But my younger cousin Jorja and I assured the lifeguards that it wouldn't happen again, so we were able to continue gliding down the hydro-slide.

Once we reached the top of the treacherous tower, I leaped forward into the slide, shrieking a loud nothing in to the black hole. I laughed my way through all the bruises and pain as I hopped out of the small landing pool. I noticed a huge clan of girls and boys running towards the diving pool. My eyes lit up as I sprinted out pushing through everybody and lining up to have my turn on the Diving Board, although I think we both know I can't dive.

My turn eventually arrived so I crawled up the ladder and stepped on to the blue plank. Once I was signalled by the lifeguard, I sprinted forward and leaped in to the air flipping backwards three times and perfectly streamlined in! Then I switched back to reality, with my long toes hanging over the diving board, with my stomach the only thing back flipping. I finally gather the courage to jump, so I bounce once, twice, then I propel my self forward, then while falling from the sky, shape myself into a ball, hitting the water with a thud.