Why was Gettysburg such an important battle in the Civil war?

Recently, I was cleaning out my school binder when I found this paper I wrote a while ago about Gettysburg. I really enjoyed learning about the Civil war and the history surrounding it, so when I saw this paper I wanted to share what I have learned. Basically, I had to write about how and why Gettysburg was a turning point in the war, after I had completed a small info packet. So without further ado, here we go.


Gettysburg was an important city in the Civil war. It was the spot of a great battle between the Union and Confederacy. This battle took place just north of D.C. in a town called Gettysburg. Why was the battle of Gettysburg such an important battle for the Union in the Civil war? It was one of the most important battles of the war because first off, it took place in a vantage point north of D.C where an attack could be staged. Secondly, it increased morale and convinced people to join the Union army, and it caused severe damage to both the Union and Confederacy.

The battle of Gettysburg took place north of D.C. which was a very important spot for the south. If the south had won, they could of flanked D.C., the capital of the Union, and Civil warpossibly have won the war. As you can see in document A (a map of the paths both sides took in the war), Lee’s army marched up to Gettysburg so they could have a vantage point the the Union would have to spend units to defend. This would leave lots of other Union cities free for the taking.

The battle also inspired many Union citizens to join the army and take back the South. Lincoln’s Gettysburg address reminded the people that these soldiers fought fir a cause and in honor of them, they needed to end this war and correctly reform the Union. This rose morale in the Union causing them to win the war. On the other hand, Confederate had been losing morale and thus fighting worse than they ever had before. As you can read in Lee’s letters to President Davis, the public no longer respected Lee and he wanted to resign. These changes in morale greatly affected the balance of the war.

As a result of this battle, both sides were severely damaged. The Union lost many, but the South lost more. In Lee’s letters, he explains how they lost many great generals, many whom are the leaders of Lee’s army. It does not matter how many soldiers they have, if they lose a general then part of the army can no longer function as an army, but as a cluster of men with guns. The Confederates lost a huge chunk of their army which added to the imbalance of the war.

The damages caused, morale affected, and the location where this battle took place all greatly affected the outcome of the war. Before this battle, the Confederates were on a steamroll through the states, but one thing after another and the Union beat them back. Both sides were affected in this battle, and the outcome of the battle would change the face of America for hundreds of years to come.


I’m a sweatpants kind of guy. It seems a tad silly to say that my personality can be defined by an article of clothing, but I stand by it. I like working out, but I’m not a gym rat. I don’t wear those pink sweatpants with “juicy” written across the rear. I just wear normal, everyday sweatpants. They’re comfortable. They’re practical. They are objectively the best pants for your money. But not many people wear sweatpants on the regular. Is it because they think it looks gaudy or crude? I care about my appearance, I just don’t care what other people think about my appearance. Some people accuse me of not seeming to care about many things, but I would argue against that. Just because I’m laid back doesn’t mean I’m not aware of what’s going on. Just because I wear sweatpants doesn’t mean I’m a slob. I actually have very high self-esteem. I take care of my health, I’ve got tons of friends (I think), and I do well in school. I’m not obligated to fit the stereotype of a “successful” person. If the way I dress conveys a different story to the truth, then so be it. The way you dress should not be determined by what your life is like. What you wear affects how you live your life. I wear sweatpants, but I also wear a smile, and confidence, and kindness. My outfit consists of more than a hoodie and a comfortable pair of pants.

Chatta… Noot, Noot!

Up until Friday in this Winter Break, we, as a family, were not doing too many big “vacationy” activities. We did go shopping on Christmas Eve and lazy around (at least those of us who don’t have a job :P ) and relax. A trip was planned for a one night stay at Chattanooga, while there we were going to visit the Aquarium there and go to the IMAX Theater also present. And of course we were to go out to eat. I’d say that’s pretty much EXACTLY how it happen, and it was a huge success.

The car ride was a mere 2 hours compared to the daily 8 hour drives that we took to go to Los Angeles. When we arrived we checked into the hotel, were we got 2 rooms (Yay, more room). We then did as we always do at hotels, bring up clothes/items, unload, park the car, etc. After we settled down and took a break for a moment, we were off again. We walked to the Chattanooga Aquarium check in desk and got our tickets for the next day. At this time we were fairly hungry, only eating some Krystal at noon. We walked across a large pedestrian bridge to the other side of the river to find some food. My dad had looked up a highly recommended sushi restaurant called Totto before we left home so we went there. Along the path there were some strange graffiti on the walls, many of which were labeled “Zero”. We assumed this was some sort of “underground” graffiti guy. The restaurant was fantastic! It was definitely some high-quality sushi. The time was coming for us to leave and go see the IMAX movie. We left and hiked back to the theater, which was across the street from our hotel. The movie we saw was “Jerusalem”, a short film about the varying culture of that city and different religious, family, and cultural aspects of the peoples’ lives there. It was really great and I would recommend it to anyone. The day was finally over so we went and sat peacefully around the fireplace (fake, but still) in the back, behind the hotel.

The next morning we packed up, checked out, loaded up the car, and walked to the Aquarium. Before walking off, we got tickets for another IMAX film at 4:00, this one was about the Ice Age… We got to the aquarium and entered the first exhibit, the river. This was all about fish from the rivers and what they were like. It was, however, not only fish. There were snakes, butterflies, and birds. I really liked it, there were plenty of mesmerizing fish and animals, but I liked the ocean exhibit better. The fish (penguins, and sea otters!) in the ocean were more colorful, more exotic, and in my opinion, overall “cooler” (pun not intended). After this exhausting voyage to the waters, we went back to the theater/hotel area and got some Five Guys burgers. They were so amazing (maybe I was just very hungry). I got a bacon burger with grilled onions and mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, etc. So good… The next IMAX film was also really cool, not as good as Jerusalem but still very enjoyable. The car ride back felt much shorter…

The whole experience was a good one. I would definitely do it again sometime. It was at a great location, not too long or short, and there was tons to do. 10 out of 10, would go again. :D

Spanish News Broadcast

The time has come where school is out for Winter/Christmas break. With this also comes finals and lots and lots of projects and last minute work. In Spanish class, one of my easiest classes, I was excited when my teacher announced that we were going to be completing a project for the last week. What made this even more exciting, was that we could do anything for our project we just had to included some key points. I grouped together with two of my friends and we started to brainstorm. Our first idea was to create a game. This game would include the key vocab words and you would have to use them to complete sentences and so on, but later we decided it would be a lot more interesting and fun on our part if we did a video.

We started working on the script in class and from what we had done already, I already knew that this project would turn out really well. We had almost everything done in class, but we still need to film it. Since the presentations were going to start on the Monday following, we planned to film it on weekend. My friend, Evan, came over and we got working right away: we finished our script and adding extra vocab words, we set up the main news broadcast area in my brothers room, we memorized our scripts, and we filmed. After everything was filmed, we got on my computer and opened up all the video clips in Windows Movie Maker. We had just put it together and it already looked really good. All we needed now was Niraj’s part, who was filming it at his house, and to get some editing on the video. We added some special effects and some intros and voila!

I was really proud when we finished the video and when we presented it in class everyone loved it. I was having trouble adding subtitles, but other than that I loved the way it turned out. And to add something even more to this experience, I got to become better friends with Evan, who I just met this year.3


Winter Break Arrives at Last

The finals are done, the semesters are completed and the anticipated 2 weeks of relaxation has finally come. Although Thanksgiving Break was just 3 weeks ago, I feel like I’ve had non stop activity for the past couple months, especially with finals last week. I feel like I did well on the tests because I did study quite a bit (at least for the difficult ones). But with school and testing out of my thoughts I can’t wait to relax, cozy up, and do some of the things I wanted to do last week (and the week before) but didn’t have the time.


Some of these things are listen to some audio books from some well known science-fiction authors like Philip K. Dick, or  George Orwell. I started listening when I was assigned 1984 for a school reading assignment and I got the audio book so I could listen while laying down for example. I am currently listening to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick and I finished The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and want to get the next couple books in that series to listen to.

Another things is to play some games with my brothers and my friends. During the week we don’t play any video games as to not distract from out studies, but now that there is no study… There are always sales on games during the breaks (because that’s when students and employees have work off) so I might be getting some new games to play as well.

rubix_cubeIn addition to this, I want to continue studying and learn some things on my own that I am interested in. For example, I will continue practicing my shorthand and Japanese. But I will also be studying a bit of Hungarian with my dad’s help. I’ve always wanted to learn it and I think there’s not a better time.

And finally I want to do some random things like get back into the Rubik’s cube, or sit by the Christmas tree and eat candy canes. There are so many things I want to get done in the coming two weeks but I’ll probably just end up lazying around. :P

Learning Japanese

What is something you have taught yourself and how has this influenced your life?

The most literal answer I could give would be that I taught myself how to read and speak rudimentary Japanese, but it would be more accurate to say that I’ve taught myself how to think differently. Language is reflective of the culture it is spoken in, and because each culture exists within its own world of relativisms, to know two languages is to know two different perspectives of reality. I actually know three, as I studied Latin in and out of school for a while. Learning Latin did have the same effect to a small degree, but not to the same extent as Japanese, simply because it is so different from English. In English, the sentence structure is based on subject and modifier. Every sentence can be broken down into an object discussed and a concept modifying that object. Although it is hard for languages to deviate from this system due to the way humans physically perceive the world, many differences occur, with some being more drastic than others. Japanese twists the subject-modifier relationship into more of a topic-statement construction, where a topic is laid out and anything after that is said, be it adjective, verb, or noun, is applied to that topic. Because I have to approach a situation differently in my mind to convey it in Japanese, I’ve found myself looking at all situations in both a subject-modifier and a topic-statement perspective. Not only has learning basic Japanese enabled me to communicate with people and speak on a functional level, but it has also allowed me a new method for looking at a situation, which could assist me in more easily finding solutions to problems or coming up with creative ideas.

Caesar’s Seizures: A Rough Draft

What does it mean to be alive? One can answer this question in multiple perspectives. Many agree it has to do with perception of a correct reality. If one has a skewed perception, does that mean they are not in this sense alive? If so, it can be stated that Caesar actually died way before the Ides of March. However, if we use the conventional definition of the word “alive” Caesar was very much alive during his final days. However it is noted by various famous literary figures that something in him changed. This change occurred in the most vulnerable place: his mind. To go crazy is something feared by many people. For Caesar, it must have been a strange and disconcerting sensation. Perhaps he did not die in a sense, but he was changed in such a way that he was not the same as he was before. Can it be proved that Caesar was indeed mentally ill? With cold hard facts, anything can be supported. It is a well accepted fact that Caesar had some kind of mental ailment, and because of the seizures, hereditary nature, and strange behavior, it could have been schizophrenia.

Caesar had some head troubles accompanied by seizures and strange behavior. Caesar could not have been right in the head mentally as he walked into a very obvious trap. The fact that the most renown general in history would do this is unsettling. “Why would this man, who was not only a military but also a political genius—and who had the best intelligence in the world—walk directly into what was ‘a death foretold’ (19)?” Plutarch writes that Caesar had head troubles, and was prone to convulsions. “Plutarch provided more specific descriptions of Caesar’s attacks, claiming he had “distemper in the head and was subject to epileptic fits (1413).” When Caesar had seizures, he was worried he may have spoken or acted out of turn. This suggests that he lost control of himself from time to time. ”When he came to himself again, he said, if he had done or said anything wrong, he desired their worships to think that it was his infirmity (1413).”  Why would he apologize for recent behavior if he did not think that something in his behavior changed during these seizures?

Both schizophrenia and epilepsy are hereditary, and Caesar’s relatives had epilepsy. Schizophrenia is hereditary, which means that some of Caesar’s relatives might have had it. “…five children of schizophrenic mothers became schizophrenic, but no children of non-schizophrenic mothers became schizophrenic (38).” Caesar’s relatives did indeed have seizures. Seizures are hereditary as well, so we can assume that if the seizures were caused by schizophrenia, Caesar might have very well had Schizophrenia. “Even when the cause of an individual’s epilepsy is non identifiable, genetic factors undoubtedly influence predisposition to develop seizures (146).” It can be inferred from the fact that his relatives had epilepsy that he had epilepsy due to hereditary reasons. This does not in itself prove that Caesar for sure had schizophrenia, but it strongly suggests it, if not just the fact that some kind of mental defect is causing the epilepsy.

Schizophrenia and epilepsy are related. Those with schizophrenia are more prone to seizures. “…patients with schizophrenia are more prone to seizures than the general population (1).” Seizures are usually caused by an underlying hereditary defect, such as schizophrenia. “…the epilepsy is second to an identifiable cause, often an underlying hereditary defect. (146).” Those who have seizures are more likely to be schizophrenic. “Patients with epilepsy develop psychosis or schizophrenia at a rate exceeding that expected if the two disorders were independent (1).” Again, just because Caesar had a hereditary disease and happened to have seizures because of it, it is not specifically proven that Caesar suffered from schizophrenia. It only supports that claim.

It cannot be known for sure that Caesar did suffer from schizophrenia. It is not only a very vague diagnosis, but many other ailments also fit the symptoms. However, its as good a guess as any of those and seems like a good interpretation due to its statistical likeness and that fact that Caesar’s judgement was subpar in his later years. It also provides an explanation for his apologizing for previous behavior after such seizures, as normal seizures do not have any affect on a person’s behavior.


Election of 1952 Analysis

In my AP class, I was assigned a project to take the election and polling results of an election and analysis them. I had to take into account the issue at hand, demographic groups, and pre-polls while analyzing. I was assigned the election of 1952 where Dwight D. Eisenhower went against Adlai E. Stevenson and won in a landslide. So without further ado….


The election of 1952 was a very interesting one. After former-president Harry Truman turned down the option of running for a third term, Democrats nominated Adlai E. Stevenson as the presidential candidate with his running mate John Sparkman. Stevenson’s Republican opponent was the likable, WW2 general Dwight D. Eisenhower with his running mate Richard M. Nixon, a California senator. These two presidential candidates would have to fight with their best effort to win as there were many pressing issues happening during the election.

One of the most pressing issues at the time was the rising threat of communism, as the Cold War was escalating at an immense rate. This issue put even more pressure on the candidates when Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy conducted congressional investigations on communist spies in the U.S. Government. This search added more national tension to the other pressing issue of the long, weary Korean War. The way former president Harry Truman dealt with the Korean War was not very popular to most of the country. For Eisenhower, this was a good thing as he could get most of the nature of the times votes and he could promise to deal with this issue swiftly to end this 2 year, bloody stalemate. The last issue that took precedence in this campaign was that combined with everything else, the U.S. was under a huge inflation period of the 1950s recession. These high prices came from all the money used in the Korean War and the U.S. had put more funds into National Security than ever before.

The pre-election polls for the 1952 election showed Dwight D. Eisenhower winning by large margins by percentages of 10 and up. In the end, these polls were pretty accurate as Eisenhower won the election in a landslide with 442 electoral votes and 55% of the popular vote with Stevenson only getting 89 electoral votes and 44% of the popular vote. Most nature of the times voters probably voted for Eisenhower as the Democratic president Harry Truman was president when the country was under a lot pressure with the current issues of the Cold War, Korean War, and the 1950s recession. One of the most clear trends you can see in these pre-polls is that in June when Eisenhower was announced a candidate, he had almost 60% approval with Stevenson at only 31%. This was most likely because the country was in a bad position and when they announced that Dwight D. Eisenhower, a popular former WW2 general, was running for president than most of the population probably flocked towards him and his likable slogan, “I like Ike,” to elect someone that they could trust to end the Korean War and steer the metaphorical car of the country out of the pothole it was driving into.

One of the most impacting demographic groups in this election was women. Dwight D. Eisenhower choose to campaign towards women on education and the pressing issue of ending the Korean War which would appeal to most women and their beliefs as many of them probably worried for their husbands or sons abroad fighting in this war. This paid off as in the final results Eisenhower won the majority of the female votes. 79% of the non-white demographic voted for Stevenson and his running mate, John Sparkman. They most likely voted for Stevenson because he was part of the Democratic party and shared their beliefs along with the majority of the non-white population. Stevenson’s main approach to campaigning was party-based. He said that the country did not want the party of Hoover, but the party of Roosevelt. He reminded people how life was when Hoover was in charge and how life changed for the better when Roosevelt, a Democrat, was elected into office. How ever, citizens with educations ranging from high school diplomas to college voted for Eisenhower. This educated population most likely voted for Eisenhower because they recognized that the issues at hand had to be dealt with and Eisenhower was actually providing a way to deal with these issues rather than trying to win votes by bringing up the past. Most businessmen and professionals voted for Eisenhower. This demographic of people realized that with the recession of the 1950s and wars going on they would be in a tough position and Eisenhower promised to end the wars which would in turn benefit business.



Teeline, the Shorthand of Champions

About a week or so ago, I was looking into different types of alphabets and scripts, as I am quite interested in various was a writing language, and I remembered about shorthands. A while ago I was very excited about learning Read’s Alphabet or QuickScript, but I got to a point in it’s usage that, yes, it is very cool in that it’s phonetic and easy to connect letters and so on, but it wasn’t particular fast to write. It is cool to write messages or what not but to actually take notes with it was cumbersome (having to think which vowels is the actual way to pronounce it, it was made by a British man so they use different vowels than in American English).

I wanted something that is 1) fast to write (and probably read), 2) widely used (what’s the point of learning a script if only you can read it), and 3) easy to learn (I didn’t want to spend months learning a script only to begin being able to write in it). I look through the few choices of symbolic shorthands or stenography (a shorthand, as you probably know, is a “shorter” way to write something, symbolic just means you don’t use any normal alphabet to write it) there are and look into the pros and cons (pros and cons is in itself a shorthand of the Latin phrase ‘pro et contra’ or ‘for and against’, although this shorthand is not symbolic, it is just a cutting down of a phrase, which is fine.) of each.


The first one I looked at was Gregg Shorthand. Gregg Shorthand is the most popular shorthand/stenography system in the US in 1888, it was invented by John Robert Gregg, an Irish teacher who immigrated to the New York. The system was the underdog of the much more popular (at the time) Pitman Shorthand and was widely accepted due a disliked change in Pitman, but I’ll get to that later. Gregg Shorthand is a phonetic, light-lined, script-like, stenography. It is one of the fastest shorthands (up to 300 words per minute) but required many months, if not years to become proficient, due to many of the lines looking very similar. The thing that put this system off for me was the time needed to learn. I wanted something more along the line of a month to get a sub-par speed with which I could improve from then on.

120429-A long-live-pitmans-shorthand-blogspot-A-Little-CrossThe second shorthand I looked at was Pitman. Pitman Shorthand was invented by Sir Isaac Pitman in 1837, in Great Britain. Pitman shorthand is a phonetic, heavy-lined (there are differences between line thickness as opposed to a light-lined shorthand), geometric, stenography and is the most popular around the world, being carried all of England’s colonies, some by Pitman’s relatives. It’s kind of funny, one of Pitman’s brothers brought it to America, and another to Australia. This system can write just as fast, if not faster than Gregg, but I still didn’t want to use it, for some of the same reasons as Gregg. It takes a really long time to become decent at it, by also I didn’t want to have to use a special pen for line variations.


And finally, I came across Teeline. Teeline is the newest of the three but the one currently being taught to journalists in the UK. It was made by James Hill in 1968. Teeline fit all my standards (but to be honest I made those standards after finding it). It was fast (100-150 words per minute), although not nearly as fast a Gregg or Pitman, but I wasn’t going to be Teeline-alphabeta court reporter or journalist. It was easy, it’s not phonetic so there’s no need to learn diphthongs and such, in fact most vowels are excluded from words unless at the beginning or end. Also all silent letters are omitted, and finally all the letters are connected. This means to read it, context clues where necessary. This was my dream, although at first I was sceptically because of it’s non-phoneticians, it still has English’s weird spellings. But I started to learn it, and I thought, If I don’t like it I could just stop. But it turned out to be really easy, intuitive, and fast. The alphabet consists on all the Latin alphabet but simplified version such as the T only has the top T line (that’s where the name came from Teeline) or the P just being the P line. I have only been practicing for a week but I can already write notes at the same , if not faster sometimes, speed as my longhand. I really love learning Teeline and will continue learning until I can use it very efficiently. Below is a sample of something I’ve written and the literal translation and meaning. P.S. I am using this manual to learn it if you want to learn more about the rules of Teeline.


Literal: “th plc drv t the scn t fnd tht an x had tkn plc.”
Meaning: “The police drove to the scene to find that an accident had taken place.”

Slam Jams Inc. Home Video

This is the final presentation for my animation class. We were tasked with creating from scratch an instructional animation for the TSA Precheck. It was originally a project for FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) but our teacher re-purposed it into a a project and our final. I did the live action and the animation, and the others in my group did the script and video editing.

We started by working on a script. It was at this point we decided that it would be a fuax self-help video from the VHS era. We used Blender for modeling and Sony Vegas for video editing. The “old and low-tech” aesthetic really worked in our favor as it actually had to look really rudimentary. Thus the modeling didn’t take long and the animation was fairly simple. The intro with the Slam Jams logo was actually made in GameMaker Studio. I think the final product turned out really well.

This was a really good project to do in terms of learning how a full product is put together. All of my group members worked on something different but there was one person in the end who had to make it fit all together. None of us could have done this alone. I am also thankful to my group for being competent.