Identity Portfolio By: Zoianna Zhou
Interviewing Why did the government take away your property? He took our land away because we were rich and they needed • to give it to the poor people • How old were you during the war? • Very young, just about your age How did it feel after the government took away your land? • I thought it was okay. The government did it for a good purpose, to help the poor people. Even though we weren’t very rich anymore, we still could survive. Did people threaten/ do anything bad to you? • Not really • 12 years old • Chinese Civil War almost ending What year? • 1949 Went somewhere with two friends to get leaves for the silkworms Were they girls or boys? • Girls Were you scared or worried about loosing your land? • Yes, but I was young so I didn’t really understand much about the civil war completely
Mom tells me to get leaves for the silkworms Walk for 15 minutes Found bushes of fresh leaves They heard big gun shots and Qighting They think there is a war happening (bandits) Saw a soldier come and ask for her town’s directions To Qind their town Was Chinese soldier Was the soldier safe to talk to? Or was it a dangerous soldier? • It was a good soldier from the government. If I were caught talking to the soldier, it would be very dangerous. But if I refused to talk to him, things could get worse. What did the soldier look like? What was he wearing? • He was wearing the dark green Chinese uniform. The shirt was buttoned and the collar went straight up, up to the chin. The pants were the same color, and so was the hat. The hat has a red star in the middle representing China. Also wearing black laced shoes with covered mud She tells him the directions Took him to a crossing street place Soldier found their town to reunite their unity
My Family Tree
Chinese Civil War was from 1912-‐1949 Communist Party of China Chiang Kai-‐shek was the political and military leader of the Nationalist Chinese government Clothing: Dark blue/gray cotton shirts with buttons Dark blue/gray cotton pants from wikipedia
Bibliography Xiang, Lanxin. "Chiang Kai-‐shek Article." World Book. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/article? id=ar109720>. "China (1949)." World Book. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/media? id=bt150042>. "China (1944)." World Book. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/media? id=bt145042>. "international relations, 20th-‐century." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2012. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. <http://school.ebonline.com/eb/article-‐32937>. "China (Civil War)." World Book. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/article? id=ar111400>.
My Historical Narrative -Zoianna Zhou I can’t believe that Mama is making me go out of town. Why can’t she just get the leaves for the silkworms? Going out of town could be extremely dangerous with all the soldiers and bandits Fighting. I just wanted to stay home and rest, where everything was safe. Suddenly, I heard loud crashing footsteps of a tiny pair of feet. “Are you leaving yet? Please get the leaves, bring Xiao Hong and Jingjing if you need to,” Mama told me. I’ll be brave, and go get the leaves. I can do it! I thought to myself as it gave me some shivers. Xiao Hong and Jingjing were already downstairs impatiently waiting for me. “Let’s go! Why do you look so scared?” Jingjing asked. My stomach turned, and then I forced myself to speak. “I’m scared to go out of town,” I gulped. “It’s okay! Remember last time we went to Shushu’s house? That was way beyond far. We went together, and you weren’t scared so you shouldn’t be terriQied for this too,” Xiao Hong said grinning. I’m not scared. I’m worried. I thought. What Xiao Hong said was true. Shushu’s house was out of town, but we had Mama with us. I decided not to reply to Xiao Hong because Mama suddenly interrupted. “You children! Are you leaving yet?” Mama hollered from inside. “Yes,” Xiao Hong, Jingjing, and I said in unison.
The sky transformed into a dark blue-‐gray. Our feet were getting blisters from walking so much, almost as if a needle poked through my skin. A sudden wave of polluted wind blew as it creeped through and under my clothes. Clouds of dirt and dried leaves twirled together on the Qlat grounds. “Guys! We’re there. I Qinally see bushes!” I shouted. The three of us scurried there pushing each other through to get there Qirst. As we grabbed the leaves, some of them just fell, ripped. Xiao Hong and Jingjing quickly brightened up, no droopy faces but raised eyebrows. As soon as we knew it, our baskets were almost full of new leaves. Bang! Bam! Boom! My heart thumped. “Are those gunshots?” Jingjing said with shivers. We gazed around mysteriously if anyone was coming. I want to go home. I want to go home. NOW! All three of us looked around to see if anyone was coming but it was all clear. The gunshots grew louder than Qirecrackers on New Years. All of a sudden, I spot a small Qigure moving closer and closer. It was someone walking. A soldier. With a gun. I watched each stiff, perfect step, one by one, with my eyes wide open, as he got closer and closer. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. The dirty black boots hit the ground as dusts of a mixture of sand and dirt few around. My goodness, why he is he coming towards us? What is he going to do to us? Is he going to kidnap us? Talk to us? I questioned myself. Oh, great. He’s stopping right in front of us now. I panicked. He was a head and a half taller than me. Xiao Hong, Jingjing, and I all stared straight up at him. His uniform was a true dark navy green.
Wait, so he’s a Chinese soldier. I scanned his whole uniform, and then I noticed his hat. A bright red star smacked in the middle of the green cap. He still wore a dark green buttoned up shirt with a collar, and then plain paints. His black boots were half way up his knee, but completely covered in mud. Thick, black, furrowed eyebrows, right below were his wide chocolate brown eyes. Xiao Hong, Jingjing, and I all exchanged glances. First Jingjing and I, then Xiao Hong and Jingjing, then Xiao Hong and I, our eyes met as the soldier stepped up to us. “I would like to know which direction Chong Qing is in. Which way do I go?” he said with a strong voice but then softened. Xiao Hong, Jingjing, and I didn’t say anything. Our arms stuck side to side slowly walking towards the street crossing, pointing to the north. “That way,” I said softly. He gave us a sudden nod and a salute and headed off in that direction. His Qirst step was so rough that it got dirt all over our cotton gray pants and shoes. Specks of dirt fell upon my lips as I breathed in the smoky pollution. We stood there, watching the soldier disappear through smokes of dirt.
Epilogue I chose this story to write about because my grandmother said this moment was the most memorable. She was only 12 years old, so she was pretty scared about the Chinese Civil War. When this happened, the Chinese Civil War was just about to end in 1949. My grandmother’s family was a rich landlord, so she was quite safe through the whole civil war. After she told the soldier directions to her town, the government took away her family’s land. She rushed back home with Xiao Hong and Jingjing telling her mother and father that a soldier spoke to them. Everybody in the family was worried and terriFied. A memorable moment in my grandmothers childhood life. Therefore, I wrote this narrative about it.
My Reflections This project helped me learn about my family history because when I interviewed my paternal grandmother, I learned more and more about her. I’ve never really had such a long conversation with her before. The interviewing in this process was a very important part of the project . This project is important because in a few more years, my relatives would want to know about their great ancestors. Since we are all a family, we should know some important things that have happened in each other’s lives. There wasn’t any part I really enjoyed but after I Qinished writing the historical narrative draft, I felt relieved. I was conQident and proud of the whole process. I had some challenging parts when we were Qinding research. I couldn’t Qind any useful articles about my topic, but I got most of the main facts. I went to the library to Qind some books about Chinese Daily Life, but not my main topic (Chinese Civil War). After I read some information in the books, I asked my parents for more information. They explained to me much more about the Civil War because they were experienced. ! I think I have grown as a writer compared to the Qirst narrative I wrote in the beginning of the year. In some areas, I may have stayed the same and haven’t improved. I think I’ve improved the most with ideas and “showing not telling”. Some advice I’d give to students as they begin this project would be to focus in the beginning. Even though the whole narrative essay seems like the most important part, but if you don’t have enough preparation it will be even harder. If you focus on all the research, planning, rough drafts, etc., it makes everything else easier. The most important part is to focus and give your best effort.