Saturday, February 15, 2014

Predictions for Communism in Crisis

Communism in Crisis is our last and final unit in this class!  We will look at examples from several communist countries and consider how their governments are challenged.  1979-1991 is a pivotal period in history, as many communist governments declined or collapsed.  We will also finally learn how to write Paper 1!

It is fascinating to think about how many ways history repeats itself.  The Olympics are a perfect example.  Consider how controversial Sochi is in 2014, and compare to the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.  Why did the United States initiate the boycott against the 1980 Olympics?  How do you see participating countries still reacting against Russia's policies now?

On a completely unrelated (but very important) note: tell me your biggest fears about the IA.  Is it finding sources?  Taking notes?  Turning your research findings into a paper?  Be honest here, because this will help me direct class tomorrow.


  1. The US initiated the boycott of the 1980 Olympics because of the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan. I have not been into the winter Olympics, but I do that gay rights is one of the major issues in Russia right now and I did see Google react by having a colorful illustration of the Olympics. According to Wikipedia, freedom of speech, association, and assembly are controversial right now.

    My biggest fears about the IA are the sources and time. There are only two weeks left before break and I have a major assignment due in most of my classes. I don't understand the general task or format of the IA either.

  2. I think that the 1980 and 2014 olympics are very similar in a multitude of ways. During the 2014 olympics, one of the main political ideals that were brought to the worlds attention was the Same sex tolerance level of Russia and many other countries who participated. The main focus in 1980 was the Communist Vs. Democrat P.O.V., but they both follow the same kind of path. The rest of world was looking directly into the Nation's tolerance for many things. If America had a much more stronger stance on GaY Marriage then we might have boycotted the olympics in 2014 like we did in 1980 when Russia invaded Afghanistan.

    Oh the IA. I hope that what I'm about to say doesn't offend Ms. Sutton or whoever else might read this, but I believe it has to be said. We have done certain parts of the IA which is a good strategy, divide and conquer like Napoleon, but I really don't have any Idea where the research and the actual substance of this paper will come from. Yeah we can order books and pour through Jstore, but that wont help me write about my topic or anyone else for that matter. I think that we lose track of the main purpose of the IA and class in general. I know that IB is supposed to be a very in depth look at certain historical events, but when we spend almost half of the year talking about Cuba and its affect on the world and the other half on unrelated topics it gets difficult to see the end goal. I think we lose valuable time we can spend working on the IA or studying for the exam at the end of year. Now I'm kinda getting into how our class dynamic works, but from the other students I have talked to, they are feeling the same way. This class is a runaway train waiting to be derailed. I know that is harsh but I feel like I am unprepared for the IA, the exam, and even the papers in most cases. I understand having fun in class and joking around is needed, but theres needs to be some organization and structured learning or else these past two years were for nothing. Again I mean this in the most sincere and kindest manner and I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I feel like the class has veered so of course that we may not be able to get back on course in time to save ourselves from failing on the exam and IA.

  3. Like Ashley said, the United States Boycotted the 1980 Olympics because of the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan. Which i'm not sure i'm the only one who sees the irony now, since the US practically did the same thing not even 20 years later. Another example of a company (like google) showing some progressive thinking is the Oreo company. Who i believe around the time of the 2008(?) Olympics had a gay pride oreo advertisement campaign. Im not 100% sure about the date that these ads ran on air, but i recall them airing around the Olympics.

    As for the IA, my biggest hurdle is definitely finding the right resources. I feel that once i have the right resources the actually content of the IA comes rather easily.

  4. The 1980 boycott on the USSR by the US was because of the Afghanistan invasion. It seems to me that the main focuses of the two olympic games were similar, with the 1980 focus being more of a general democrat vs. republican argument, whereas in 2014 it was narrowed down to gay rights. Like Ashley mentioned, Google even reacted by having a colorful representation of the olympics.

    Regarding the IA, I am mostly concerned with the amount of time we have left to a) find all of our sources from our bibliography and b) research and footnote. I am still confused as to why we created an entire bibliography before writing the paper, because I have a bad feeling that I will not find a majority of the books I have listed, and whereas a small bibliography may be the end result, IB is looking for nearly 10 sources. Yes, I requested a book from the Cheshire public library, but I don't know when it will come in, and that is only one book. And on top of this IA, I also have an IA due in math and English. So basically, my primary concern is how there are not enough hours in the day to finish everything well.

  5. The parallel between the current Olympics and those of 1980 certainty bring back some historical uneasiness, whether we want to confront it or not. There will always be conflict between countries, especially between the US and Russia because we were under such extreme conflict during the Cold War. The fact that the Olympics are in Sochi this year gives people a reason to continue to react to Russia's policies and spread the word about whether they think it is right or wrong.

    As for the IA, I have three books that were originally on my bibliography, but I still don't have the two that I did my evaluation of sources on. I requested them through IConn but who knows if or when I will get them. I may have enough research from the three books I have to create a summary of evidence/analysis but my main problem is that it won't include anything form the sources that I evaluated. So either I wait to finish Summary of evidence/analysis or I re-do my evaluation of sources, neither of which I want to do. Like Mike said, I am also concerned about the exam. I am really not confident in anything we have learned, I am going to need an extremely comprehensive review.

  6. The Olympics were created to bring countries together and create a more global network, that being said, the issues outside of playing sports simply don't go away and in participating in this network the unrelated conflicts are bound to appear and create controversy. So like the 1980 Olympics and the different countries response to the Sochi olympics, I'm not really surprised.

    as for the IA, Im really just stressed about time. I have to put the finishing touches on my EE this week as well was work on the TOK essay which unexpectedly took me all weekend and Im still not finished. I think with the IB guide books and online information I could definitely complete the IA correctly it's simply a matter of having the time and resources to do so. The library in my town is good, but im a second semester senior who already knows what college she's going to, i would just really like to get the paper done and relax during break.
    I also missed half of last year and am pretty concerned about my level of knowledge for the exam. The science seemed to be broken up into comprehensive segments and depending on what your teacher had taught you simply had to pick maybe 3 out of all of the subjects you could have learned. is that how it is on the History exam? is there some sort of list or study guide that we could get to tell us exactly how much of what we need to know for the exam? The IB textbook is also sort of useful with specifically IB exam review, I understand its not totally comprehensive for learning purposes but at this point i just want the exact amount of information i need and no more. While writing this TOK essay i realize that i really wish we had utilized it more because it contains all the information IB is asking for. Could we maybe start using the textbook as a study guide?

  7. The united states boycotted the 1980 olympics because of soviets invasion of afganistan.

    I think my biggest fears of this ia is that quite frankly, we waited until the last minute and I don't think that we will perform as well as we should have. We had two years to do this and we waited until the last two weeks to really get working on it. I also think that going to the library one day for 50 minutes was not enough time to find sources that we need to write the essay so just like last years group, i predict that we will be more on the website side rather than the book side which is exactly what we didn't want.
    Also as other people have mentioned I feel as if I not confident in much of what we have been taught in the year and a half I have taken that we have taken the course.

  8. I find it amazing, and completely ridiculous, that the we have waited so long until we started the IA. This is the most important thing that we've had to do during class time, and it has been brushed aside time and time again. Going into depth about sources is useful to a degree, but that is all we have done. I don't think that the seriousness of the matter is really being considered.
    I think I speak for everyone in this class when I say that we are extremely unprepared for all upcoming assessments. The IA is a shambles, and we have not learnt nearly enough material to be in any way ready for the May exam.
    People may say that I'm a distraction in class, and I would agree. But the nature of the class has led me to be so, and I would hesitate to assume any personal responsibility for how the class acts now.
    I think it is too late to even start talking about this now, and I feel that we all need to work hard by ourselves in order to have any chance for success in either the IA, or the May exam.

  9. I think America has grown up and is not afraid of Russia anymore.

    The only thing I am concerned about with the IA is if I have a sufficient amount of resources. Mike, relax.

  10. As everyone else said, the US boycotted the 1980 Moscow olympics because of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. While this is irrelevant to the olympics, countries and groups are openly taking a stance against Russia's anti gay policy, along with their recent invasion of the Ukraine. Russia seems to have a political edge in the sense that they are seemingly untouchable because of the military threat and the toll that it would take if a large-scale war was waged against them.

    My biggest fear IA wise is simply translating the sources into a cohesive, thesis driven paper. I think that the class is anxious and self conscious, with merit to their argument, about the IA and the exam looming.

  11. The boycott of Moscow Olympics was originated from Russia's invasion of Afghanistan, and now it seems to related to the cleaness of the city-Sochi, how many stray dogs are there and Russia's domestic tolerance toward homosexual affair and practice.
    My several concerns about the IA are:
    1. Formatting and how well do I know what am doing. (If I am able to turn parts of IA that I have done so far into a smooth, cohesive paper.
    2. I am not sure what I am exactely to figure out the main content of my paper, what to do with these articles and books i have got. It won't be realistic to read them all, should I just go through some book reviews?