God Grew Tired of Us
Written by: Jon Bul Dau
25 October 2010
For this research project on the genocide in Sudan, I have been able to use many skills from the AASL Standards. The first skill is 3.1.4 which is using technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess. I have been using a program called Evernote to clip web pages and organize them in one area. Evernote has been very helpful because I have been able to access all my clipping at home and at school. The second skill is 1.1.7 which is making sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, and point of view or bias. For my section of the research paper I have to reflect on how this project has changed my view on the genocide in Africa. It is important for me not to use articles with bias so that they do not sway me to believe one way. In my research I came across an article that did just that, and I threw it out. I did not let it influence my ideas on genocide. The third skill is 3.1.1 which is concluding an inquiry-based research process by sharing new understandings and reflecting on the learning. My group has been able to meet during class and discuss the research we have learned and gather a better understanding on the genocide in Sudan and how all of our sections relate. These research skills have allowed me to develop a better section for the research paper.
This past month’s research on the genocide in Sudan has been a trying experience. Like past research projects, I was required to find sources from reliable databases like Galileo and Gale. I was also required to check to credibility of the sources and cite them like previous projects. However, in this research project I was allowed to use Evernote, a program that allows me to clip web pages and save them for future reference, rather than using Noodle Tools to write note card after note card. This project we only used Noodle Tools to cite sources and create a bibliography. Also, this research project we wrote blogs to record and evaluate sources we used the previous week. These blogs were very difficult to get used to. However, they did help me evaluate my sources and understand my facts and results. I would like to improve the skill 4.2.2 which is demonstrating motivation by seeking information to answer personal questions and interests, trying a variety of [information] formats and genres, and displaying a willingness to go beyond academic requirements in the next semester. This skill would give me experience on creating and answering my own questions which would help me reflect on my research. I would also like to improve on the skill 3.1.5 which is connecting the learning to community issues. I would like to be able to relate my research to my community’s issues so I can further understand the issues. The research project has given me experience with new programs to strengthen my research skills.
God Grew Tired of Us
Written by: John Bul Dau
20 October 2010
This week I finished reading God Grew Tired of Us. I really enjoyed reading this book. It has inspired me in so many ways. One of which, is to be a better Christian. John has been so strong and faithful to God during the good and the bad times. To me, John seems wise because he has learned through his experiences and through reading the bible. “With God’s grace, we must learn to treasure the best of our experiences and apply them to our new lives. We must keep moving forward,” (237). In this passage, he is able to understand that bad experiences will come and go. However, with God’s grace, he can get through anything. He also learns that these experiences can not only help him in the future but can also help others. This passage inspires me to carry on in life and learn from my good and bad experiences. John has also inspired me to strengthen my relationship with God. I have learned this important lesson through God Grew Tired of Us.
At the beginning of this week’s reading, I came across a passage I reacted strong to. “I didn’t understand the tradition of Santa Claus, the giving of gifts to one another. Even now, when I know the custom better, it stills seems greedy,” (211). In this passage, John is at his first Christmas Eve party. He does not know why Americans celebrate Santa Claus or where he came from. He also does not know why Americans decorate a tree with candy and ornaments. To John, these traditions were not honoring God, so he decided not to take part in decorating the tree or exchanging gifts. This reaction from John is reasonable since he is not accustomed to the traditions. John believes that gifts should be given freely like the free gifts people receive, but not necessarily deserved, from God. They should not be given just on special occasions. I can understand john’s thinking. Gifts from people show their care and love for you. If they just give on holidays, it tends to appear that the love is forced. It should not be this way. People need to express their love frequently. John has opened my eyes to see the truth in giving.
A passage from this week’s reading really made me admire John and see through his eyes. “But, I felt very strongly, the grace of God. I can take no credit for it; grace is not something anyone can earn. Rather, grace opened before me like the door, and I walked through it. I knew I had been blessed…God had not forgotten me at all,” (246). In this passage, John is picking up his sister and mother at the airport. He has not seen his mother since he was thirteen which was a very long time ago. And, he is meeting his younger sister, Akuot, for the first time. John made arrangements for his family to join him in Syracuse. John was excited and relieved for his mother and sister to safely arrive in the United States. He realized that he was graced by God to have his family with him. John stayed faithful and devoted to God even though he went through many tough times when it seemed like God grew tired of him. However, God had not forgotten him at all. This passage reminded me of title of the book, God Grew Tired of Us, and it helped me to ‘correct’ the title by saying ‘God had not forgotten me at all’. I thoroughly enjoyed God Grew Tired of Us. It has inspired me in so many ways. I hope to read other books like it in the future.
God Grew Tired of Us
Written by: Jon Bul Dau
15 October 2010
I feel like I am demonstrating mastery in finding relevant sources for my research paper on the genocide in Sudan. I am now able to check the creditability of the source. i can find the author within the source and search the creditability of the author. I can also do the same with the publisher and owner of the source. An interesting trick I have learned is to take a selected text and search it on Google to check the accuracy of the article. I can also check the creditability of the site by searching the title of the site on Google and seeing how many other sites are linked to it. I feel that I have truly mastered the skills needed to find and evaluate relevant sources.
Last week we learned how to use the search database, Sweet Search. Sweet Search eliminates the miscellaneous sites from your search results. I have used Sweet Search for many of my resources. One of which is a website titled ‘Preventing Genocide’. This site has provided me with much information on the warning signs, the violence, and the responses to the genocide in Sudan. To evaluate this site, I used the CRAAP Test. For currency (C), the information was last updated on September 27, 2010; the information is up to date and the links are functioning. For relevance (R), the information relates well to my topic; I am comfortable using this source for my research paper on genocide. For authority (A), the editor is Edward Phillips and the organization is ‘United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’; the domain is .org but the information is still reliable because many other websites link to this site. For accuracy (A), there are no spelling or punctuation errors; the information is verified by other websites. For purpose (P), the purpose of the information is to inform and to persuade people to donate to help the refugees in the genocide’ the information is facts and the purpose is clear to the readers. The CRAAP test really helped me to evaluate the creditability of the source.
My top three resources for my research paper are ‘Preventing Genocide’, ‘Save Darfur’, and ‘Genocide in Darfur’, a Google book. ‘Preventing Genocide’ has provided me with the warning signs, violence, and responses to the genocide in Sudan. ‘Save Darfur’ provides me with information mainly on the responses and laws to help the genocide. ‘Genocide in Darfur’ provides me with the background information and what caused the genocide in Sudan. All of these resources provide me with information that relates to section 2 of choice 2 research paper. I still need a bit of information on the genocide in Sudan to have a full developed research paper.
God Grew Tired of Us
Written by: John Bul Dau
13 October 2010
In God Grew Tired of Us, the boys formed a study group to help them pass the major test at the end of secondary school also known as high school. They studied and prepared for the test all of their 12 year of school. To help them study, they each took turns teaching the group about a subject like history or mathematics. “The first time my turn came, I gave a lesson in history… I also taught CRE, Christian Religious Education (156).” Their study sessions remind me of when I used to play ‘school’. I would teach the information I had just learned in class to my pretend class of dolls and stuffed animals. I printed and copied worksheets, puzzles, and other early-grade material. I loved playing so much, I would take the time to complete a worksheet for a student and then correct and grade the papers. On rare occasions, I had younger cousins participate as students. Pretending to be a teacher helped me to better understand curriculum. Just like Jon’s study group, I learned the information though study techniques. Study techniques may be different for people, but the outcome, if done correctly, is very rewarding.
Some of the boys of Kakuma are entirely focused on achieving their diplomas. Discipline is no longer needed to motivate the boys. “Nobody had to smack hands anymore for bad marks; everyone had plenty of motivation (157).” Many of the boys waited hours at a time to study or read a book in the library. Some boys had to hand-copy books, so they could take them back to their hut to read. “I spent a lot of time hand-coping the library books… I made my own miniature library (155).” The study group spent most of their time inside a classroom to study. “I studied in the refugee school from early a.m. to eight p.m. (158).”The boys dedicated all of their time to their studies, and were able to complete school in a shorter time span than US schools. These dedicated boys have inspired me to study harder and to do better in school.
A passage from this week’s reading caught my attention and made me think. “They searched me and found the 500 shillings I had been given to buy books for the library. They pulled my hair, punched me, and took the money (150).” In this passage, the Turkana police stopped Jon while he was on his way to buy books for the library. They arrested Jon because they claimed his pass to be outside the refugee camp was no good. However, the pass was good for another 30 days. The police just wanted to cause trouble for Jon. They treated him cruelly and wrongfully. This passage made me think of how anyone could cause another pain and trouble when they know the circumstances are false and when they know those actions are wrong. It upsets me to know that these wrongdoings do occur all around the world. I will remember this passage when I ever see wrongdoings occur and will do my best to help out in the situation.
This past week, I have been using Google Books to locate book resources for my research paper on genocide. Google Books has supplied me with many creditable books to use for resources. One of which is Genocide and Crisis in Central Africa written by Christian P. Scherrer. This book has given me information about the causes and effects of the genocides in Africa. Another book I was able to locate on Google Books is Genocide in Darfur written by Janey Levy. This book has given me information about the lives of the victims and survivors and what they experienced during and after the genocides. Google Books is an excellent online library. I hope to find more resources using Google Books.
My class has been using a website to help us obtain knowledge and experiences on analyzing articles. So far, I have done labs to locate to author and publisher of a website or article. I have learned to check the creditability of the author and publisher on Google. I have also learned to see if the article or website is up to date and has the most reliable information. I have learned how to get to the permanent link of the article or website which is very helpful when I want to return to the site. These labs have given me reading and analyzing skills that will help me throughout my careers.
A major resource I found on Google Books was the book, Genocide and Crisis in Central Africa written by Christian P. Scherrer. This book gave me a lot of reliable information. I learned that a base cause for the genocide was colonialism. Colonialism separated people into different groups each having their own thought, beliefs, and ideas. The separation led to ethnicization and violence between the groups which ended up separating the entire countries. All of these causes influenced the genocides in Africa. I located the author, Christian P. Scherrer, and the publisher, Praeger Publishers, and searched on Google. I found that the author and the publisher are creditable and the book is a reliable source for me to use on my genocide research paper.
God Grew Tired of Us
Written by: John Bul Dau
In pages 70 to 140 of God Grew Tired of Us, John and the lost boys travel from town to town to escape the djellabas, the northern Sudan soldiers. The lost boys eventually make it safely to a refugee camp in Kenya called Kakuma. This historical journey reminds me of America’s own history. Sudan’s government wanted to make the nation’s religion Islam. When the southern potion of Sudan disagreed, the government decided to wipe them or force them out. This is similar to America’s early past because white Americans made the Cherokee and other Indians leave the east and travel to the Midwest. This journey is known as the Trail of Tears. Both of these events are forms of ethnic cleansing. Many innocent children and adults died over conflicts that could have been solved by passive means. I believe that ethnic cleansing is unethical and should not be practiced.
Throughout God Grew Tired of Us, John has developed as a person. He now possesses the qualities of a leader. John helps the other lost boys settle disputes. “As leader of so many boys, I often adjudicated small conflicts, usually involving theft. (85)” When the boys are being shot at, John gets a group of boys to pick up a sick boy and they carry him to safety. “I was a leader of my group, and his safety is my responsibility. I could not just leave him. I rounded up a couple of boys… we rolled the round boy onto the stretcher, and hoisted it onto our shoulders. (121)” John also has matured in his years as a refugee. As a child, he was not accustomed to using words related to death, but he soon got used to them. “I found myself using words like ‘died’ and ‘killed’ in conversations without giving them much thought. How much I had changed, I thought. (105)” John has developed into a true guardian for many of the lost boys.
During this week’s reading, many passages caught my attention. One of the passages was about how the boys created church groups to help them get closer to each other and God. “The refugees in Kakuma formed ‘synagogue’ groups to worship, sing, and pray at night to bring us closer together, as well as closer to God. (130)” The synagogue groups met every night. The boys sang, danced, and prayed together. These groups helped to keep the boys inspired and faithful to God. “I knew the Lord had kept me alive in the desert and the forest, and I was sure he must have a plan for me to do something good with my life. (130)” I was glad to learn that these boys did not give up on their faith during all of the rough times they faced.
My class is working on developing a research paper, and my group has decided to research the genocide of Sudan. My school has access to a research database called Gale. This database has collected pictures, articles, videos, etc. to make it easier for people especially students to find information about a particular topic. Gale has one hundred percent reliable information available to use. Gale is very valuable to my research on the genocide of Sudan. It will help me access credible articles and information that I might not be able to find elsewhere. Gale is a great database for my researching of genocide in Sudan.
Over my years at middle and high schools, I have learned many researching skills. This year, my class has been working on a site to learn how to check the credibility of sites. Instead of grabbing information, we check for the author’s name and/or the date the site was last updated. The site has allowed us to get experience on locating the information on sites. This newly-found skill will always help me check the credibility of any site.
My group’s topic, genocide, is a global issue. Therefore, it is interpreted differently all over the world. My teachers showed us a website the other day that will help locate and interpret all the perspectives and information on genocide. This website is called Global Issues in Context. This site brings together background information, different views, videos, news reports, and more on the topic being searched. This site has an easy to follow format with a side bar to find information easily. This credible source provides accurate information for research. This site is valuable and essential to my research on genocide.