Category Archives: World Languages and Cultures

Week 3- Demographics


In last week’s blog post, we explored some major events in prior to World War II and five different Jewish population groups in Europe. As I had mentioned last week, I was going to do some further exploration to Jewish life in Europe before the World War II. Besides the materials provided by the Israeli Consulate General in Shanghai, I also went through some articles and information online. Those materials included two articles written by Dr. Arie M. Kacowicz who was the teacher of my International Relation class in Georgetown University, all about Jewish demography in Europe before World War II. These articles were particularly helpful as they give both empirical data and general introductions. I also watched some portions of a documentary of this topic: “Jewish History- Jewish Diaspora”, which also was rather helpful to me. And I will give a general introduction to what I learned this week.

Continue reading

History of Jews before WWII -Han




Hi everyone,

After a struggling week with all kinds of schedule changes, I am excited to officially dive into my independent research project. This week is rather fruitful for me as I finally followed my original plan and went through numerous scholar articles and consensus. As I mentioned in last week, in order to gain a larger picture of Jews’ background, I will spend about three weeks to learn the history of Jews, including their migrations, their integration into the local population and the anti-Semitism wave in Europe prior to the second World War. As I dig into some article and scholar materials provided by the Israeli Consulate General in Shanghai, I found there are several events rather important to Jews in Europe, and I will mainly discuss some of the major events in this week’s blog. Continue reading

Week 1: The Beginning

I would like to initiate my first blog post with a quote by Aristotle: “well begun is half done.”  This is a phrase that has been running through my head for some time now.  When the idea to do an independent project studying Syrian refugees first came to me one rainy morning in biology class, everything seemed much simpler.  I imagined that I would just have to read a few books and write a script, and just like that I could produce my own film Continue reading

Starting on Mesopotamia! — Cleo

For the past two weeks I’ve been gearing up to start writing my next story! Since the Mesopotamians are going to be my focus for this one, I decided to begin with some basic research on their culture and beliefs. So I’ve been reading Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, an excellent overview (as the title would suggest) about Mesopotamian daily life and culture. My focus was, of course, on the religion section. But one subsection caught my eye: Sorcerers, Exorcists, and Diviners. This span of 20 or so pages was full of wonderful information about the Mesopotamian belief in magic.

Continue reading

Ancient Mythology Short Stories – Cleo

This Semester, I will be working on an independent project focusing on four major ancient religions: Mayan, Mesopotamian, Zoroastrianism, and Norse. My goal is to write about five to six short stories about selected characters from these various religions. My general style of writing is to explore the emotions of the characters, in order to create a narrative surrounding that.  Each of their own unique experiences will be characterized by their relationship with other deities and with the people who the they govern. With this project, I hope to gain a better understanding of various ancient cultures, while simultaneously developing my skills as a writer. Continue reading

Japanese education conceptions –Eric

My posts have been describing the difference of the educations but now I am going to explore the ideas and concepts behind the scenes. In Japanese society, academics are considered to be the most important aspect of kids’ growth. There is no doubt that academics are very important, but Japanese parents see it in a difference way. Parents see it as an absolute obligation and they need to push their children as hard as possible to achieve the goal, which is to get in the top ranked high school and university.

Continue reading

Reflection/Advice – by Conor

Looking back now on the writing process, I feel, more than anything, satisfied. It was a bumpy road working on the story and I’m not entirely out of the woods yet. However, now being entirely in the editing stage and coming to the end of my project, there are a few things I’ve learned, and would like to share with those who plan to do Independent Seminar in the future. Continue reading