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What Is A Hero?; Humanities class (OPEN)
Topic Started: Mar 10 2012, 08:57 AM (1,740 Views)
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((Naomi Bell continued from Violet Blue Dragon))

"Naomi, would you pay attention?"

"Whaaa?"

Naomi looked up from her book. Normally, she wasn't the sort to get distracted from her classwork, especially not from Mr. Connor. Drifting off in his classes was a one-way trip to an F. She'd been paying attention at first, but when she'd removed her notebook from her bag she discovered that it had been defaced.

Namely, someone (and Naomi was pretty sure she knew who) had scrawled a picture of a giant penis on the front. It was most embarrassing.

Naomi had been too distracted with wondering how the hell Owen (it was always Owen) had gotten the book out of her bag without her noticing (stupid pickpocketing thief, bags must be easy compared to wallets) to notice that Mr. Connor had been asking her a question.

"Um. Sorry, sir. What was the question again?" she mumbled, flushing pink. She hated being thrown off-topic. As she spoke, she quickly opened the vandalized book and folded the cover so that the graffiti on the front wasn't visible.

Mr. Connor sighed before repeating himself. "What qualities do heroes have that make them exceptional?"

"Right. Um..." It took a few more moments for Naomi to find her trail of thought again. "Well, they have to be inspiring. But what's inspiring depends on the society. They might have good qualities such as strength and wit, like a lot of Greek heroes, or they might have overturned or fought against systems that the societies perceived as unjust. Like how Abe Lincoln abolished slavery, or how a lot of outlaws became folk heroes because they got away with crime under a system that people didn't like. They have to be inspiring enough to matter to people."

She stopped there. Normally, she would have elaborated even more. Her answer had been ripped almost entirely from the basic definition, and she'd shoved some examples on the end so it didn't look like she was completely half-assing it. But she was still pulling her thoughts together.

Mr Connor waited a few moments to see if Naomi was going to continue before nodding and moving on.

"That's the basic idea. Inspirational figures. Now, you all must have some knowledge of people that are considered heroes. Many are imprinted on the collective knowledge of our society. Joan of Arc, Benjamin Franklin, just to name a couple..."

Mr. Connor talked on for a while, regularly asking other students for input. Naomi stayed silent and stuck to writing down notes. Finally, Mr. Connor arrived at the end of his explanation and said:

"So, as part of our study on heroes, I want you to divide into groups and brainstorm a list of heroes--living, dead or fictional--before picking one and researching him or her."

Inwardly, Naomi groaned. Group work. She hated group work. She liked having control of her own ideas and work flow, and sometimes work partners could be rather difficult.

"In a couple of weeks you will present your work in a manner that you seem fit. For now, however, simply brainstorm ideas. Keep on subject and discuss in an orderly manner, or we'll return to class discussion and you'll have extra work to do if you don't dedicate your class time to it."

There was shuffling and scraping noises as classmates got up and moved their chairs over to sit with friends or other people. Naomi frowned at her notebook for a second before fixing her usual 'pretend-to-be-happy-about-working-together' face on.

She glanced around for someone she recognised. Or at the very least, someone that wouldn't be unbearable to work with.
Edited by Violent-Medic, Mar 13 2012, 05:15 PM.
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((OOC: Manu´s debut and introduction))

Manu sighed loudly when he heard the words 'group work'. It got to be a joke. He normally enjoyed Mr. Connor´s class, it was actually one of the few classes that really interested him. But he did not really like to get involved in a group work, because it usually ended up with a few people in it doing most of the work while the rest of the group basically did nothing. Basically, it was slavery as its best.

However, he decided to look for somebody to work with. If he was gonna try and pass this subject, he might as well go and find somebody he could be comfortable to work with. His eyes scanned the class. There was Dani Fernandez there, Manu had talked to him a couple of times, since Manu was one of the few people at school that could talk both English and Spanish with him fluently, but they were not really the best of friends. Besides, Dani had seemed to become integrated in a group rather quickly.

Manu looked at the other side of the class. There was a girl there. He struggled to remember her name. She was on the Debate team, that was for sure, and he had seen her a lot of times around the library, always picking new books to read. A bookworm, and a very cute one at that. Bell, that was her last name. But she was also apparently a social butterfly, or he had heard. He wondered if his sister might know her. He didn´t remember her first, though. Well, he hoped she wouldn´t mind him calling her by her last name. He approached her desk cautiously.

"Eh"he started, trying not to sound too nervous"Bell, right? Would you mind if we work on this together?"
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Naomi looked up at the guy talking to her, scouring her brain to try and remember who he was. Manuel, wasn't it? Yes, that was it. Truth be told, she knew next to nothing about him. Something that should really be remedied.

Though, she wasn't sure if she wanted to work together with him... what if he was a slacker? No, wait, slackers are excellent, that means the work would be left up to her.

Worse, what if he was one of those philistines who were wrong about everything, and both ignorant of it and really enthusiastic about schoolwork? ...No, he didn't look like the enthusiastic sort.

Working together was probably fine, then. She'd just have to hope for the best. Even a slight fall in her grades could result in the implosion of her chances of getting into Yale.

Naomi nodded, smiling politely. "Yes, that's me. And of course we can work together." Hm. He hadn't used her first name. Either he was the sort that always used last names, or he'd forgotten her first name. Probably the second one. "Naomi Bell, pleased to meet you. Manuel Martinez, right?"

She pushed the chair next to her towards him a bit, so that he could sit down.

"So, I suppose we should get started?" Naomi tapped the blank page of her notebook with her pencil cheerfully. "Though as a start, I'd probably say we should think of less obvious heroes. Abe Lincoln might have been heroic, but he's also been done to death."
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((Gabirel Castinera: Start))

Gabirel Castinera opened the door to the classroom; he was late and aware that he was probably disturbing the class. Still, it was better that he was late than never there. With a sheepish grin he entered the class room as the teacher looked in his direction.

“I’m really sorry, Sir. I lost my wallet and it’s kind of important, you know? I found it though.”

Gabe was lying, he had actually been caught up in a game of angry birds on Facebook and lost track of time. ‘Suck it, Julian Cheng’ he mentally cheered as he took the first place on stage 1 – 12, oblivious to the fact that the schools bells had rung and that it was time to get into class. By the time he realised a fair bit of time had already ticked by and he made a leisurely walk to class, he didn't see much point in running if he was already late.

Mr. Connor seemed displeased with Gabe’s late arrival and with reason as he was taking valuable time out of the lesson. “Just don’t let it happen again. We are doing a group activity, join a group and they should tell you about today’s work.” Gabe thought that it went better than he had originally anticipated, not that Gabe made being late to class a habit, he was normally in class on time.

Soon Gabe spotted a pair that he could work with, he sort of knew Naomi, or rather he sort of knew of Naomi. She was involved enough in most school activities that she was difficult to miss but he never bothered to speak to her before. As for the guy he had no idea who he was but he figured that it was the best time to become familiar with him.

He strode over to the pair, putting on his most casual expression before opening his mouth to speak

“Hey, I noticed that your group is still small and I was wondering if you would mind if I just, like, pulled up a chair and joined? He paused and added “Also, would you mind bringing me up to date on what I missed?”
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Manuel sat down besides Norma. She seemed welcoming enough, and even knew his name. It was weird, but again, she was one of those kind of people who were at ease with social situations. It was a trait that Manu admired, even if he lacked it. Allright, so now he had someone to work with. Now what?

She mentioned Abraham Lincoln. And yeah, she was right, he had been done countless of times. They had to be more original if they wanted to be impressive.

"Yeah, I think you are right, he has been done lots of times" he tried to think of someone who could be worth to write "I don´t know if Nelson Mandela or Gandhi are too common too"

He was about to suggest a couple of Spanish folk heroes, like 'Don Quijote' or 'El Cid Campeador', but decided against it at the last minute. The first was a fictional character and the other one would not be considered politically correct for a social studies class, with all the stories about killing Moors and the like.

"However" he said, an idea shining into his mind "I think we should delve more deeply on the main idea of the work. That is, do heroes really exist? Or are they like saints, just legends that we use to set an example of behaviour standards?"

He hoped he had not sounded too pedantic. After all, he didn´t know Norma that well, but he knew (well, everybody did) that she loved to argue. That´s why she was one of the stars on the debate team. And this work group provided quite a challenge, since both of them were very argumentative. Who knew, maybe this class was not gonna be so boring after all.

And then along came the new guy. Manuel had seen him several times around the school, usually using one of the computers at the library. The guy was Hispanic, like him, but Manuel hardly knew anything else about him, except that his Spanish sucked. Gabriel, that was his name.

So, he wanted to join the group. Manuel frowned slightly. The guy really seemed like a complete and total slacker, that was for sure. Did he really want him joining in?

Oh, hell, why not.

"Oh, sure..." he motioned to another empty chair besides Naomi "The more, the merrier, after all. And you didn´t miss anything big. We just were talking about heroes and why they inspire people. And now we have to find a hero-dead or alive-and do some research about him. So... Gabriel, right? What are your favorite heroes?"


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Naomi didn't have time to answer Manuel's question on whether heroes existed or not before another boy walked up to them and requested to join the group. Another one that Naomi had never talked to. Gabriel, wasn't it? All Naomi knew for certain was that he was Australian. Not that much to build on.

But the fact that he'd apparently only just arrived in class? That indicated that he was a slacker.

Excellent.

"Of course you can join us," Naomi said. She stayed quiet for most of Manuel's short explanation of what they were doing, but at the end added, "They can be fictional heroes as well, like Hercules and such. But again, too obvious.

"However... concerning whether heroes actually exist or not..." she continued. "Well... I would say the heroes can exist, but that society builds on them and idealizes them, white-washing any flaws to make more idealized heroes. Many outlaws were admired for breaking a faulty system, but I'm sure they were primarily nasty people. They don't always have to exist, I suppose. Myths work just as well. Robin Hood was a myth, yet he's still the quintessential heroic outlaw. Real people are often just bases."

Naomi nodded before turning to Gabriel, smiling. "But I'm talking too much. So, what Manuel said. Favourite heroes? Do tell, do tell."

And hurry up with it. Then you can pretend you've done enough and have a nap or something while we do the real work.
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(Cynthia Welsh, Begin)

Heroes, huh? That was something that Cynthia could easily get behind, as she'd had a lot of fun reading about the people who'd fought during the American Revolution. Of course, Mr. Connor had been quick to point out the slave-owning nature of the original founders and how they'd actually revised the original draft to exclude slaves from the rights to liberty and all that, and so she wasn't really sure what to think about the founding fathers anymore.

Good old Professor Connor, always making students question preconceived notions. Sometimes she wondered whether he was trying to brainwash his students.

Regardless, now she had an important question: who to choose for a partner? The usual group of giggly girls was forming up, and she figured she'd be welcome in that bunch, but she wanted to try something different today, and Naomi's group immediately caught her eye. She hadn't really talked to Naomi much, or Manu or Gabriel for that matter, but she'd heard their names in class enough to have kind of an idea of who they were. It was a start anyway.

"Hey! Sorry to interrupt," she said chirpily, already setting her book bag down next to a nearby seat, "but do you mind if I join you guys? Four's not too much, is it?"
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Gabe pulled up a chair and joined the group; he was okay with Cynthia joining and nodded.

“I don’t mind if the others are okay with it, besides another person just means more input.”

He paused and thought of a hero “If you want reality, you could go with Ned Kelley, but he was a robber so he’s kinda… not entirely heroic. A war hero I know is Jack Simpson and he rescued a lot of men with just a donkey, I think the number of people he rescued was pretty high if I remember right., like, hundreds.”

Gabe was pretty happy with his suggestions, though they were both Australian because his grip on American history wasn’t as great as most others. Gabe figured that he’d learn it all in time anyway. He hoped that everyone else found his suggestions interesting.

Gabe wouldn’t admit it, but his focus on Australian history and the history of the ANZACs probably had something to do with them being responsible for his favourite confectionary, the Anzac cookie. But living in Australia definitely had a lot to do with it.
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(Right, apologies for skipping, but this is dragging a bit)

Cynthia wasn't really too focused on the rest of the discussion. History wasn't her fondest topic, and she had a number of other things on her mind anyway. And so, when the teacher called the students back to their regular seats for discussion, she just sat there for the rest of class, almost dozing off. She'd probably regret her lack of attention when testing came around, but that was a worry a ways down the line.

(Cynthia Welsh continued elsewhere)
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(I'm going to break post order, too, I kind of need to get Naomi somewhere else and this thread isn't really going anywhere. Sorry.)

Naomi nodded at Cynthia as she joined the group, and listened to Gabe's list of heroes. While she didn't think that he was going to turn up anything worthwhile, he did bring up a couple of choices that might be good for a project.

"Hm. I could be wrong, it depends on how well-known Jack Simpson is, but there might not be enough information to do a lengthy assignment on him. It's difficult to analysise the actions and effects of a man on a donkey.

"But... Ned Kelly would have quite a lot of information on him, wouldn't he? And he's a folk hero, that still counts even if his actions weren't 'heroic.' He'd probably be good to focus on for this assignment..."

Naomi didn't list off any of her own heroes, because she tried to avoid white-washing people in her mind, and most of the ones that came to mind in the first place were far too obvious choices, like old presidents.

After that, Naomi stayed quiet for most of the lesson and instead spent it discreetly looking up Ned Kelly on her mobile phone and writing down any valid points. Even if the others chose to do someone else, she could probably do an entire assignment on Ned Kelly by herself. Would be better that way, that would mean no-one else messing around with her assignment. She didn't think that badly of the others in her group (even Gabe at least had some decent ideas) but she always thought more highly of her own skills over someone elses.

When class ended, she quickly got up and left for the library, hoping that she could find a few books on Ned Kelly and Australian outlaws in general before she went to meet her friends.

((Naomi Bell continued in We Rule The School.))
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((Going to skip my turn since this thread has been idle for a while))

Claiming that Gabe even tried to focus through the rest of the class could easily be described as a down right lie; instead his mind began to drift off as the class continued. So he opened his book and started to doodle into it as it went on, simply waiting for the bell to ring.

By the time he left class he would have a craving for Anzac cookies.

((Gabriel Castinera: continued elsewhere))
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