{AHS Lesson 10} The First Crusade

Hello Students! Welcome back to Anime High School 🙂

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Today, class, we’ll be going back… in time. *insert mysterious music*

Student (Susila): “Oooh, similar to Steins Gate?”

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I meant that as a figure of speech, not literally… Moving on!

If you are literate and can read what is written on the whiteboard, indeed we’ll be discussing The First Crusade today.

In all honesty, I had absolutely no knowledge of this before today, for I’m not a Christian. I know it doesn’t take one to be a Christian to have general knowledge but history’s not really one of my passions.

Battle Knight

The First Crusade, in 1096 – 1099, played a very important part in Medieval England. It was an attempt to re-capture Jerusalem, which was taken in the Muslim conquests during 632-661.

According to the New Testament, Jerusalem was the city to which Jesus was brought as a child, to be presented at the Temple and to attend festivals.

Furthermore, under the rule of the Muslims, any Christian who wanted to pay a pilgrimage to the city faced a very hard time. Muslim soldiers made life very difficult for the Christians and trying to get to Jerusalem was filled with danger for a Christian. This greatly angered all Christians.

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A Christian, called Alexius I of Constantinople, feared that his country might also fall to the Muslims as it was very close to their territory. Thus, he called on the pope – Urban II – to provide him with assistance.

In 1095, Pope Urban II spoke to a large crowd at Clermont in France. He called for a war against the Muslims so that Jerusalem was regained for the Christian faith. In his speech he said: “Christians, hasten to help your brothers in the East, for they are being attacked. Arm for the rescue of Jerusalem under your captain Christ. Wear his cross as your badge. If you are killed, your sins will be pardoned.”

Yuri Kuma Arashi
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The First Crusade had an arduous journey getting to Jerusalem:

Without control over the Mediterranean Sea, they had no choice but to cross by land. In the course of their expedition, they covered hundreds of miles, through scorching heat and deep snow.

The Crusaders had also ran out of fresh water, and were forced to drinking their own urine, animal blood or water that had been in sewage.

Food was bought from local people but at very expensive prices. Some men were reduced to pillaging and plunder in order to get food.

Disease was common especially as men were weakened by the journey and drinking dirty water. Dysentery was common. Heat stroke also weakened many Crusaders. Disease and fatigue affected rich and poor alike.

More than half of the entire army had died, by the time they reached Jerusalem.

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Student (Teresa): “Why did they not ensure that there was adequate preparations beforehand?”

I admit, I admire the crusaders’ unyielding strength and desire for the sake of their religion. Despite all the obstacles, they persevered and managed to achieve their intended objectives.

But at what cost?

Similar to what Teresa had said, the reason why the crusaders faces so many challenges was due to poor foresight and planning. In life, we need to think thoroughly first and then, prepare ample resources and materials, before carrying out the particular action.

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom)
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… is fundamental for anything that we do.

Forgive me for saying this, but it is quite an extreme view to say that the First Crusade was a success.

In my opinion, the satisfaction in terms of the recapturing of Jerusalem, is unable to outweigh the significant loss of lives throughout the crusade, plus the grief inflicted on the victims’ families. Therefore, if we were to measure the overall benefits and drawbacks, the First Crusade should not have been organised at that point in time.

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But students, this has solely been about the Christians. What about the Muslims and their welfare?

Indeed the Muslims were the ones who perpetrated this war with Christians, by attacking the city of Jerusalem in the past. But was it right to massacre all of them, after the recapturing of Jerusalem?

In Christianity, the second Greatest Commandment is “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself“.

I believe that Jesus also said to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you“.

god loves everyone (cut)

 

Considering these aspects, how is the massacre different from the recent actions of ISIS right now? There is absolutely no form of justification behind the ruthless killing of Muslims by the Christian crusaders, other than pure vengeance, which is what Jesus does not advocate.

All in all, the First Crusade may be an event of the past, but I hope everyone of you learn from the important takeaways history provides you with. Do not let history repeat itself. Violence and war can NEVER be justified as a panacea to problems, unless it is self-defense. There are many other alternative methods that will prove to be beneficial for everyone.

If the recent extreme actions of ISIS are not enough to ingrain this notion, I don’t know what will.

Have a good day, yall! Class is dismissed 🙂

{AHS Lesson 9} Midas Touch

{DxM VIII}

Amagi Brilliant Park
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This screencap was an allusion to King Midas, which is quite a significant figure in Greek Mythology. Thus, this post will be a reflection on his actions and the consequences of greed.

So, who is King Midas? Does the term “golden touch” ring a bell?

One Piece

Tell me if you got that pun!

Did you get the pun?! XD

Once upon a time, the satyr Silenus was drunk and got carried by some Phrygian peasants to their king, Midas. Midas flourished him with sumptuous food and accommodation, entertaining him for several days with stories and performances.

When Midas brought Silenus back to Dionysus in Lydia, Dionysus offered Midas a choice of whatever reward he desired. Midas asked to give him the ability to turn anything he touches into gold. On the way home, he decided to test his powers out by touching a tree branch. Miraculously, it turned to gold!

Student (Rachel): But what about food?

That is a very clever observation! Turning everything he touches into gold, Midas was totally unable to eat nor drink. As a result, he started to suffer from starvation. What seemed like a blessing at first, turned out to be a horrible curse! But the most dreadful thing was when he accidentally touched his daughter. Oops, we all can guess what happened next…

Fairy Tail

"FATHER NOOOOO"

“FATHER, STOP! DONT TOUCH ME! NOOOOO T>T”

All in all, this story is not implying that desire for wealth is erroneous. Wanting money is natural since we live in a world that essentially revolves around money. This need is further amplified by the rising costs of living, inflation, increasing dependency on economically-active people.

However, all I am saying is that we should not be blinded by greed. Our actions and principles should not be oriented around selfish desires, such as avarice and materialism. For the case of King Midas, he was too focused on achieving material success, that he disregarded the possible ramifications that could have arose from it. Through our pursuit for money, we should still pay attention to everything else, because affluence is really not that important. Don’t believe me? Well, at least I know King Midas wasn’t happy at all, even with all his excessive opulence.

And along this note of supernatural powers, I’d like to point out that even with the best superpowers, like the ability to create anything you imagine, or temporal manipulation, or the potential to restore something to its original form, people will still face difficulties trying to solve basic problems about friendship and love. Therefore, in my opinion, coveting power, fame, wealth, etc, is really irrelevant in today’s society because there are countless of things that mere money cannot overcome.

Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
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In conclusion, greed begets greed, and one will always be unsatisfied with one’s current financial state. If we can learn to acknowledge the insignificance of opulence in our lives and focus on our own ideals, the world will be a much more charitable place 🙂

Other Allusion Posts: Tarzan

{AHS Lesson 8} Music To My Ears

Hello, class! I’m happy that you all reached the Singapore Conference Hall on time. I believe you all have bought your tickets to the concert already, right? Without further ado, let’s enter the concert!

Students: “Woahhhh… There’s so many people!”

Hurry up and sit down!

Emcees: “Good evening, audience. Welcome to the ✨Lumiére✨ concert, proudly presented to you by Dunman High’s Symphonic Band cum Alumni! ”

Oh, here come the musicians~

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Emcees: “First up, we will be performing Danse Bacchanale from Saint-Saëns most famous opera, Samson and Delilah! Sit back, relax and enjoy~”

If you want to listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEUYMYbV7XM

Okay students, so there are a few music terms to describe the pace, mood, intensity of the performance. Let’s learn some through the course of this concert 🙂 The music terms may not be present in the performance, but I will just introduce one for each.

1) Maestoso – very majestic and grand playing

Tokyo Ghoul
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Emcees: “Next up, we’ll be playing the theme song from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä), which is a 1984 anime.”

valley of the wind

If you want to listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1EiGG–eXc

2) Crescendo – gradual increase in loudness and intensity

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Emcees: “Last but not least, the Finale from Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony.”

3) Pianississimo – very soft (opposite of fortissimo)

4) Fortissimo – very loud (opposite of pianississimo)

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Emcees: “This marks the end of the concert.”

Audience: “ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE!”

Surprisingly, the conductor went back on stage and the musicians began playing the final song – a medley of Adele’s popular songs, namely Someone Like You, Set Fire To The Rain, and Rolling In The Deep.

5) Estinto – extinguished, almost inaudible, even softer than pianississimo

Hunter X Hunter (2011)
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Emcees: “This is really the end of the concert. We hope you have a wonderful night. Thank you!”

To summarise, we learnt maestoso, crescendo, pianississimo, fortissimo, and estinto.

And yes, all this is the exact same concert I attended 5 hours before writing this post. I have very little understanding of classical music, but I went to support my friends who had practiced a lot the past several months and were in the performance. Even so, I really enjoyed it! Thank you everyone for the performance, especially Min Low, Hazel Chua and Nicole Foo!

Anyways, that’s the end of class. Thanks for reading!

{AHS Lesson 7} The Placebo Effect

Yo, students! Today, we’ll be going through how your mind can become a form of medicine that treats illnesses.

What is a placebo?

A placebo is any object that has no therapeutic value, but achieves a healing effect, due to one’s expectations.

Let’s give an example. Suffering from a fever, you went to see a doctor. As the doctor is itching for a permanent ban of his medical license, he prescribes to you a placebo. In theory, the pill will have absolutely no effect on your fever. However, because you believe that the pill is actually a medicine that will help cure your fever, you feel ‘cool‘ after taking it, and thought that your fever had actually subsided, when in reality, it had not. Thus, you begin to be less affected by the fever and able to carry out your normal lifestyle. In the end, the placebo ‘cured‘ your fever. This is known as the Placebo Effect.

All in all, placebos take advantage of your beliefs and expectations to carry out a theoretically impossible task. And of course, if you know it is a placebo, it will not work at all.

The placebo isn’t the medicine; it’s your mind that is the medicine.

Soul Eater
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Student (Pie): “If placebos are actually quite effective and do not require any active ingredients, as compared to real medicine, then why don’t doctors all around the world secretly prescribe placebos? Is it illegal to do that?”

I wouldn’t say illegal, just that it is extremely unethical of a doctor to do that. As a doctor, you should uphold your duty to treat and save people, instead of betraying people’s trust in you. The only exception whereby placebos are allowed, would be in research studies and experiments that have attained permission from the relevant authorities.

Furthermore, the effectiveness of a placebo varies from person to person. Therefore, placebos cannot just be given randomly to anyone.

Factors determining Effectiveness

  1. Physical Quality & Quantity of Placebo Object
    • duo-coloured capsule vs plain white pill
    • two pills a day vs one pill only
  2. Amount of Trust in Prescriber
    • world-renowned physician vs clinic doctor
  3. The Strength of Your Desire to Get Well
    • “Argh! I need to attend an important meeting!” vs ” Yes! I can skip school!”

For your homework, watch this Youtube video when you get home.

Okay, that’s all for today’s les-

Student (QT-Pie): “Sensei, there’s still 15 more minutes to recess.”

Students: “SHHHHHH DONT TELL HIM BAKAA”

Oh. Well then, let’s go on with Part 2! ^^ Haha don’t worry, it won’t take that much longer.

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Similar to a placebo, when we believe in something, there is a high possibility that the desired outcome will come true.

Log Horizon
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If we think that something is correct, we experience the tendency to affirm the fact that it is correct. If we think that something is wrong, we become more sensitive to points that prove it is actually wrong. This phenomenon is called Confirmation Bias.

For example, in an argument between two people, each individual would be more inclined to identify one another’s misunderstanding or invalid statements, and point out their faults. This may lead to erroneous assumptions, as they are just picking out what they want to see, instead of looking at the overall intended message.

Hence, confirmation bias is a form of error, as it causes people to fail to look at the big picture and instead, focusing on smaller details that appeal to them.

Recently, I watched a video, where some guys re-arranged food from McDonald’s and displayed them at an exhibition, telling people that it was all organic. Under that assumption, people pointed out several details in order to compliment how ‘organic’ it is. It is a really witty idea to showcase confirmation bias at its finest. ((Btw, turn on subtitles/translation if you don’t understand Dutch))

So students, remember this! Whenever you’re quarrelling with someone else, try to understand their overall argument and put yourself in their shoes. Once you realise where they are coming from, clarify any misunderstandings between the both of you and work together towards a better future! 🙂

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Thank you for reading this relatively lengthy post! xD Feel free to share any of your thoughts and opinions!

{AHS Lesson 6} The Spider’s Thread

Today we’ll have a simple story-telling session ^^

Student (Mark): “Ooh! What story is it?”

It is a 1918 short story by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, called ‘The Spider’s Thread‘.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
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One morning, the Buddha Shakyamuni is meandering around Paradise, when he stops at a lotus-filled pond. Between the lilies, he can see, through the crystal-clear waters, the depths of Hell. His eyes come to rest on one sinner in particular, by the name of Kandata. Kandata was a cold-hearted criminal, but had one good deed to his name: while walking through the forest one day, he decided not to kill a spider he was about to crush with his foot.

Student (Natalie): “EWW SPIDERS ARE SCARYY, why didn’t he kill it!” ><

Me: “SHHHH I’m in the middle of the story, don’t interrupt.” 😡

Moved by this single act of compassion, the Buddha takes the silvery thread of a spider in Paradise and lowers it down into Hell. Kandata sees the spider’s thread descending towards him and grabs hold with all his might. However, the climb from Hell to Paradise is not a short one, and Kandata quickly tires. Dangling from the middle of the rope, he glances downward, and sees how far he has come. Realizing that he may actually escape from Hell, he is overcome by joy and laughs giddily. But his elation is short-lived, as he realizes that others have started climbing the thread behind him, stretching down into the murky depths below. Fearing that the thread will break from the weight of the others, he shouts that the spider’s thread is his and his alone. It is at this moment that the thread breaks, and he and all the other sinners are cast back down into the Pool of Blood.

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Student (Ophelia): “So there is no change at all from beginning to the end?”

Me: “Yup, just like the anime Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. There was almost no progress in the main characters’ relationship even till the end.”

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Anyways, if you refer closely to both stories, you would be able to find quite a number of similarities between Kandata and Haru Yoshida.

  • Both seem to be bad and evil, but in fact, possess good qualities.
    – Kandata may have been a criminal but he did a good deed as well.
    – Haru’s violent actions make himself seem like a total delinquent, but he is actually very kind and nice.
  • Both experience a change in the process.
    – Kandata tries to ameliorate his living conditions by climbing up from Hell to Paradise.
    – Haru improves his attitude towards his classmates, after meeting Shizuku.
  • Both meet with obstacles and mishaps along the way.
    – Other criminals start to climb onto the Kandata’s thread.
    – Yamaguchi falls in love with Shizuku.
  • Both feel jealous about their possessions.
    – Kandata shouts that the spider’s thread is for him alone.
    – Haru consistently pesters Shizuku, pleading her not to go to the winter camp, because Yamaguchi will be there.
  • Both the thread and Shizuku snap at the end, leaving Kandata and Haru helpless.

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All in all, better pay attention in classes, lest I snap and unleash my wrath on all of you MUAHAHAHA >:D

 

Thanks for reading! ^^