Archive for January, 2010

HIST 471 – Topic Proposal

Friday, January 29th, 2010

012810 Topic Proposal

Mozart: Carmina Burana

Monday, January 25th, 2010

My name is Riley Baver and besides from playing tennis for Mary Washington’s Men’s Team, previously for Radnor High School, and USTA junior tournaments, playing the trumpet in concert band, marching band, and jazz band has been my biggest hobby since elementary school.  Over the years I have become familiar with a variety of popular musicians, classical and modern.  During my years at Radnor High School, I had the privelege of playing one of Mozart’s famous pieces: Carmina Burana.  This work of art was one the few pieces I have ever played that I vividly remember playing because the emotion in this song is incredible.  Right from the first note this song creates insensity seldom heard in music.  Even when the music is at its softest, one can feel the building power and crescendo moving the piece forward.  While practicing this peice in band, the conductor drilled the accented notes every day because the crescendos, decrescendos, and staccatos bring life and power to this song.  This piece would not have any emotion or intensity without the wording that goes with the notes.  The song is fairly conjunct throughout, however the beauty doesn’t come from the the notes themselves, but from how the notes are played.  The combination of the key in which the music is in, plus the accents that give the notes life contribute to the dark and ominous feeling this song portrays.  This combination of emotion, intensity, and dark and ominous feelings throughout the song make Carmina Burnana one of Mozart’s most popular works.

012110 Ten Years of Madness.

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

I thought it was interesting to read the three accounts of people who lived through the event supplemented by the Appendix of people too young to go through it.  The three interviews were filled with regret, sorrow, and an overall feeling of horror while the younger generation, having no understanding of the experience, claimed that maybe it wasn’t as bad as it’s made out to be.  The younger generation had a sort of absent nostalgia for the CR.  Everything is so caught up in money nowadays, they think that perhaps this would’ve been an interesting even to be a part of, without imagining the consequences.  I can’t imagine what this would parallel in America, perhaps our 1960s, too, but to much lesser extent.  A younger generation puts on a tie dyed shirt and a Hendrix album and glorifies a past they were never a part of, forgetting that everything wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

Hello world!

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

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Benson Outline.

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

011610 China Since 1949 Outline

011510 China Candid QQC

Friday, January 15th, 2010

“Executioners are people too; and what they’re shooting at is not just skittles.” (308)

The two chapters of Sang Ye’s China Candid I chose to read were “Little Sweetie” and “Parting Shot.”  In Parting Shot, which this quote is from, we follow the life of an government executioner as he gives behind the scenes details of what happens after a criminal has been sentenced to death, and the manner and tradition the sentence order of death is performed.

I found this interesting because though I have imagined what capital punishment might be like for the convicted, I think that is accurate to say that I have never once imagined what the people that must carry out the sentence go through.

By the tone of this interview, I believe the speaker when he says “I hope you don’t think I belong to any particular school [of opinion involving capital punishment].  My job is to carry out executions” (299).  The speaker gives accounts of the prisoners last acts of their lives, but shows little support or regret regarding the system that he works for.  It is simply their job.  He finds flaws in the system, such as the bureaucracy of needing a 4 to 1 ratio for every prisoner, but never argues with the institution itself.

Having the advantage of reading a previous post about this same story by kjamison (they mention that though it seems through this interview that the east and west are similar, they still seem worlds apart), I would question whether they are really so far apart.  The speaker repeats a few times, “you’re growing melons, and I’m growing beans, and it’s only in the early days that the two crops look similar” (299).  This restates that the basis of the United State’s version of capital punishment and China’s version are indeed similar at heart, although, their methods are different.  Throughout the reading, I felt that the speaker was saying that the psychological aspect of the criminal knowing that their life is limited is the real torture.  He offers a quick and painless physical death, just as the United States claims to offer with lethal injections.  The wait on death row is the real punishment, which we also have, so are they really worlds apart?

haiti earthquake

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Due to the severity of this earthquake, it is good to hear the the United States is sending a proper amound of aide to Haiti.  I can relate to this page because I live in southern California and the Los Angeles county fire department is sending massive amounts of aide to Haiti.  President Obama also assures that we will help aide with whatever means neccessary.


Tuesday, January 12th, 2010


Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Compose a short self-introduction including discussion of the broader issues in History which you find most intriguing.

I am Daniel Payne, 27,  from Fredericksburg.  I am a double major at UMW, History and English, so though I am classified as a Senior, I won’t be graduating until May of 2011 due to those pesky English classes.  Most of my History requirements except for the 400 levels have been satisfied.  Through my seemingly long journey as a student, I have gone through different phases of interest regarding History.  Some topics that have interested me in the past enough to write about are American politics, the Roman Empire, World War II, the American South, Environmental History, Film/Music/Cartoon History, and the History of Baseball.  A fairly standard collection of topics with a few unconventional ones thrown in.  I am looking forward to studying China this semester, as the country and its amount of historical significance is fascinating.  I confess most of what I know of China’s history (which isn’t that much) is not within the range of this class.  Hanging coffins, Great Walls, Terracotta Armies, they don’t really fall into the recent category.