Eminent Person Introductory Blog Post

“Thailand was built on compassion.”

Bhumibol Adulyadej (Adulyadej, n.d.)

To have my chosen person be the former king of Thailand may seem very random at first. However, I personally experienced this king’s reign when my family and I visited Thailand during our travels. We stayed there for months and made great Thai friends. I distinctly recall the compassion and kind nature of all Thai people, including our friends; I believe King Bhumibol is a role model of their compassion. One friend has specifically emailed me about the topic of the king, curious of my views as a foreigner, telling me how he and all Thais love the great King Bhumibol. Therefore, I am drawn to my chosen person specifically because there is a deeper connection to me than the other people I researched.

King Bhumibol was born and brought up in the western world, as I am. Additionally, we both are of Asian descent and have Asian ties. He had significant ties to his country, being born into the royal family, and once the circumstances (death of his father and older brother) allowed him to ascend the throne, he had responsibilities. He fulfilled these with great compassion, touching and winning a place in the people’s hearts. Thus, we both were/are brought up in the western world with western views but have eastern responsibilities.

King Bhumibol’s coronation in 1950. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhumibol_Adulyadej

King Bhumibol showed great creativity when he appropriately evaded political restrictions and traveled throughout his country to talk to and listen to his people. He then used his creativity to develop over 4,000 projects to solve some of Thailand’s problems, such as lack of water sources. Essentially, I aspire to emulate the quality of selflessness of my notable. He devoted his reign to develop Thailand for the people, not for himself. As such, the mindset of King Bhumibol can be represented by a quote of his:

“They say that a kingdom is like a pyramid: the king on top and the people below. But in this country, it’s upside down.” 

Bhumibol Adulyadej (Adulyadej, n.d.)
King Bhumibol’s travels. Image source: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2016/10/13/remembering-thailands-beloved-king-bhumibol

My goals in TALONS are to become a compassionate leader and help people with my creative views, to be responsible and calm whatever the situation, and to become known for good reasons. My notable exemplifies all these goals by helping his people with his creativity, staying truly responsible amidst political crises, and with the good deeds he did to his people.

King Bhumibol is from Thailand, where I am not from. I have no long-term connection to the country other than visiting as a foreigner and falling in love with the places we went. To address this, I will learn as much as I can about Thai thinking and ways of life from primary (such as Thai friends) and secondary sources, so I can understand how the King’s values work and better connect with him. Additionally, we are of different genders; I will address this by dressing up with an appropriate wig for the performance. Finally, King Bhumibol was born into the royal family and became king, while I am just a regular person, in a different society/part of the world too. I will be aware of this and learn as much as I can about the responsibilities and/or privileges that come with his position.

This person has contributed to their field in a tangible and positive way because he developed Thailand, helping his people to literally live better lives. He is also a role model of the kindness and caring all Thais possess. He will still be remembered ten, fifty, or one hundred years from now by his people as King Rama IX, one who helped them very much.

Thais mourning King Bhumibol’s death. Image source: https://qz.com/808425/thailands-king-bhumibol-adulyadej-the-worlds-longest-reigning-monarch-is-dead-at-88/

King Bhumibol was not born to succeed the throne. He only did so at age eighteen when his older brother was found dead (in his personal chambers of a mysterious gunshot wound). Therefore, the king’s first few years with renewed responsibilities must have been a challenge, especially with the grief. He dealt with this very responsibly, immediately switching education paths from science/technology to politics. From the beginning, he was a King who operated for his people, partly because Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, meaning the King acts as a symbol for his people. King Bhumibol continued to use his high position to be a good and helpful symbol for his people even into the later years of his (longest-in-the-world) reign when he began to develop health issues.

King Bhumibol. Image source: https://www.dw.com/en/thailands-king-bhumibol-a-life-in-pictures/g-36013395

King Bhumibol wants to lessen the hardship of his people and because of his travels throughout his country to listen to his them, he gained great respect and popularity among Thais. He is worth researching, remembering, and teaching about because he is an example of a good King. The wisdom we might take away from studying King Bhumibol is that love and compassion go a long way.

References

Bhumibol Adulyadej Quotes. (n.d.). In BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/ quotes/bhumibol_adulyadej_782179

Bhumibol Adulyadej Quotes. (n.d.). In BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/ quotes/bhumibol_adulyadej_782178

Sopranzetti, C. (2017, April 11). From Love to fear: The rise of King Vajiralongkorn. Human Rights | Al Jazeera. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2017/4/11/fro m-love-to-fear-the-rise-of-king-vajiralongkorn

Projects initiated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (1999). The Golden Jubilee Network. http://ka nchanapisek.or.th/projects/index.en.html

Royal Development Projects: Classifications of the Royal Development Projects. (n.d.). Office of the Royal Development Projects Board (ORDPB). http://www.rdpb.go.th/en/Projects/

Eminent Person Introductory

Glen, AJ Gordon

Humanities 10

Ms. Wasstrom

October 22, 2021

Desmond Doss

[Untitled portrait of Desmond Doss].

“Even though I said those things to him in regards to [not] carrying a rifle, that he would never be by my damn side at all unless he had a rifle. But then, in the long run, finding out that he was one of the bravest persons alive, and then to have him end up saving my life is the irony of the whole thing” (Gibson, Schenkkan, Knight, 2016, 2:09:52).

This year for my eminent person, I will be researching Desmond Doss. I chose him because of his heroic acts during the second World War and general selflessness post war. Moreover, his devotion to his faith and serving his country resulted in an overwhelming amount of verbal and physical abuse, yet he still would not give up. Although I was fortunate enough to not grow up in an abusive household, unlike him, we were, however, both raised in the Christian faith and went to Sunday services every weekend. In addition to our shared faith, Corporal Doss and I are both extremely passionate for our political beliefs and stick to them wholeheartedly. Furthermore, resourcefulness is another ability we have in common even though I have not needed it in this sort of a dire situation. In the TALONS program, one of the most important goals of mine is to be a leader and help others to the best of my ability and Desmond Doss is an exemplary figure of these objectives. Although he showed his leadership on the battlefield, he best represented his selflessness towards helping others by risking life and limb to bring as many soldiers as possible back down from the ridge after they were injured in battle. His sacrifice to save roughly 75 lives, even some from the opposing side, truly showed he was a thoughtfull, well-intentioned individual worthy of eminence. The only barriers that I could think of would be our personal beliefs. His understanding of faith is far more literal than mine, however, we do still both carry roughly the same values.

[Untitled image of Desmond Doss receiving the medal of honour].

Corporal Doss has made a significant impact on many lives during and after the war. The most prevalent thing he did was save roughly 75 injured American troops while behind enemy lines since the Japanese had taken back hacksaw ridge after a brutal battle. As a result of the movie made about Doss’ heroic actions, his legacy will hopefully be remembered for a long time. Although a good amount of time has passed, Doss will at least be remembered by the families he prolonged by saving their fathers or grandfathers which will at least last several generations. During Desmond’s rise to eminence, he faced most, if not all, commanding officers telling him to give up due to it not being worth going to war without a weapon on him. Moreover, the other privates would verbally and sometimes physically abuse Desmond into resigning. Although not carrying a weapon was seen as a conscientious objection to the war, he still strongly believed that “it isn’t right that [he] should be sitting at home safe. [He] needs to serve” (Desmond Doss, 1942). After being dragged through the courts for this objection to carrying a weapon, his father, a veteran of the first World War, helped him out of his situation and allowed for him to serve as a medic. Corporal Doss is worth remembering because of his heroic actions on the battlefield while remaining true to his values and beliefs, this is the reason I chose him over other veterans. Altering your values and beliefs or not being forthcoming about them has become quite normalized which is unfortunate for a democratic country to have these social pressures. This message is an important one that should be spread farther than just the TALONS program.

[Untitled image of Desmond Doss with a quote].

For the next phase of my research, I would like to investigate his actions after the war. Although I already know he did plenty of memorable deeds post World War Two, however, further research would improve my understanding of Doss as a person. In addition, I am hoping to contact the Desmond Doss Foundation and ask them some questions for my interview to hear more perspectives about his life and service for the United States Army.

Resources

Desmond Doss’ Biography. (Unknown). Desmond Doss. https://desmonddoss.com/bio/

Desmond Doss. (2021). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Doss#cite_ref-a_3-0

Gibson, M. (Director), Schenkkan, R. (Writer), & Knight, A. (Writer). (2016). Hacksaw Ridge [Film]. Summit Entertainment.

[Untitled image of Desmond Doss receiving the medal of honour]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Doss#/media/File:Desmond_Doss_CMH_award.jpg

[Untitled image of Desmond Doss with a quote]. https://www.desmonddossfoundation.org/index.php#Values-4

[Untitled portrait of Desmond Doss]. https://desmonddoss.com/bio/index.php

Digital Literacy: Remote Learning / Digital Project Reflection

  1. What are your thoughts on hybrid learning (in person and at home) compared to when you are in your learning groups (at school for all classes). Which format do you prefer, and why?

In my opinion, I quite enjoyed the hybrid learning model. I would prefer the hybrid learning model over learning groups format because although I could find myself distracted while at home, I also saw the complete flip side to that coin. More often than not, I was far more product at home than I would usually be in school. This was probably due to there being fewer social distractions rather than digital. I was also able to complete other chores around the house while during a lighter course which most likely helped me become more productive since it gave me more time to complete my assigned homework. A perfect example of my productivity increase is shown through my reflections TALONS learners had to complete in our Leadership course. Since this was an additional task that was far more independent, we were expected to work on them on our own time to eventually return it on a given date. I always received good grades on these reflections which was due to the abundance of time I received to complete them.

Three day trip reflection for TALONS 9 and 10

 

  1. How has technology benefitted you during the hybrid learning experience?

For obvious reasons, technology has benefitted me during the hybrid learning model since it was through applications, such as Teams, that we would receive our homework as well as our instructions for materials needed for in-person classes. Without such technology, it would have made my grade 9 learning experience far more challenging. Furthermore, my spelling really improved because of technology due to receiving far fewer written assignments, rather, I was fortunate to rely on autocorrect and other grammar-based tools. An example of how technology benefitted my learning is in both of my Humanities courses where we were expected to type far more than usual. Because of this, I was able to take full advantage of autocorrect so that I would receive no marks off for any grammar errors that are spread throughout my work. It also allowed for me to use more experimental words to better illustrate my thoughts.

Glen Gordon’s Poetry Project

 

  1. How has technology impeded you during the hybrid learning experience?

Although I was quite efficient in my learning during this past year, I did run into a few speed bumps relating to technology. The main one being the distractions I faced while becoming bored of an assignment. I would message my friends or look online for YouTube videos that interest me in order to take my mind off what I was working on. I knew that it did not always help me, however, I believe it helped me gain further focus when the time came where it was absolutely necessary to focus on my work. An example would be using Discord to message my friends or enter servers to look at a new funny meme to take my mind off the homework.

 

  1. Is there anything that you hope remains a part of school that was new because of hybrid learning after the pandemic is over and school returns to normal?

In all honesty, I somewhat liked learning online and I hope that will have some influence when we return to school in a normal fashion. As stated plenty above, I found myself far more productive than I would usually be in class, and I also enjoyed it because I was able to work in my pyjamas while still in bed. Although that might not have helped me as much, it was still nice to have a choice when to wake up and get to work rather than there being a strict schedule on when you had to be at school and when you were finished. If that’s not possible, I would not mind there being far more online assignments and not have to go in school rather than more in person assignments where we are forced to attend. An example we could use to create a better educational system is by using a similar one to this year’s. We could have it so that half of our courses in the first semester would be online and the second half of our courses in the first semester would be in person, giving us the lunch hour to travel to and from.

 

  1. Link to 2 Projects in school /TALONS that used digital technology and explain how the use of that digital technology enhanced your project. Ideas include In-Depth, Eminent, Zip, individual class projects in Talons or other subjects…

In the TALONS program this year, both my In-Depth project an Eminent project used plenty of digital technology in many different formats. For example, in my In-Depth project I was constantly using my camera to take my macro photos which was the skill that I was working towards improving. The use of my camera was completely necessary for my In-Depth project since I had no other way of taking macro photos. The camera that I used probably enhanced my project the most since it was a fairly good quality camera that I had bought the previous year. For my Eminent project, I also used my camera to videotape the final presentation which I also edited on my laptop using an application called Final Cut Pro X. In my opinion, the editing process enhanced my project the most since it was where I cut out a lot of the imperfections in my speech as well as put together all the other aspects to create my final product which I was extremely proud of at the time.

(One of my favourite macro images I took during my In-Depth project)