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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.     < id=ar109720>. "China  (1949)."  World  Book.  N.p.,  n.d.  Web.  05  Nov.  2012.                                                         < id=bt150042>. "China  (1944)."  World  Book.  N.p.,  n.d.  Web.  05  Nov.  2012.         < id=bt145042>. "international  relations,  20th-­‐century."  Encyclopædia  Britannica.   Encyclopædia  Britannica  Online  School  Edition. Encyclopædia  Britannica,  Inc.,  2012.  Web.  6  Nov.  2012.   <­‐32937>.   "China  (Civil  War)."  World  Book.  N.p.,  n.d.  Web.  06  Nov.  2012.       < 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.  

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