Sunday, December 4, 2011

THE GIFT OF THE MAGI by O. Henry for MAX Juniors

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

At Thanksgiving, the Makings of a National Feast for MAX Seniors

In sixteen twenty-one, a big celebration took place at Plymouth Colony in what is now the state of Massachusetts. European settlers known as the Pilgrims were celebrating their autumn harvest after a winter of struggle.

Civil War and industrialization for MAX Seniors

Tensions between slave and free states mounted with arguments over the relationship between the state and federal governments, as well as violent conflicts over the spread of slavery into new states.

The Khitans

The Khitans were an ethnic group whose language belonged to the Mongolic group. Khagan Ambagyan founded the Khitan Empire in 911.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Essay for MAX Seniors

An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition of an essay is vague, overlapping with those of an article and a short story. Almost all modern essays are written in prose, but works in verse have been dubbed essays (e.g. Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism and An Essay on Man). In countries like the United States, essays have become a major part of a formal education. Secondary students in these countries are taught structured essay formats to improve their writing skills, and essays are often used by universities in these countries in selecting applicants (see admissions essay). In both secondary and tertiary education, essays are used to judge the mastery and comprehension of material. Students are asked to explain, comment on, or assess a topic of study in the form of an essay. During some courses, university students will often be required to complete one or more essays that are prepared over several weeks or months. In addition, in fields such as the humanities and social sciences, mid-term and end of term examinations often require students to write a short essay in two or three hours.
In these countries, so-called academic essays, which may also be called "papers", are usually more formal than literary ones. They may still allow the presentation of the writer's own views, but this is done in a logical and factual manner, with the use of the first person often discouraged. Longer academic essays (often with a word limit of between 2,000 and 5,000 words) are often more discursive. They sometimes begin with a short summary analysis of what has previously been written on a topic, which is often called a literature review.
Longer essays may also contain an introductory page in which words and phrases from the title are tightly defined. Most academic institutions will require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material used in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention allows others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of the facts and quotations used to support the essay's argument, and thereby help to evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.
One essay guide of a US university makes the distinction between research papers and discussion papers. The guide states that a "research paper is intended to uncover a wide variety of sources on a given topic". As such, research papers "tend to be longer and more inclusive in their scope and with the amount of information they deal with." While discussion papers "also include research, they tend to be shorter and more selective in their approach...and more analytical and critical". Whereas a research paper would typically quote "a wide variety of sources", a discussion paper aims to integrate the material in a broader fashion
One of the challenges facing US universities is that in some cases, students may submit essays which have been purchased from an essay mill (or "paper mill") as their own work. An "essay mill" is a ghostwriting service that sells pre-written essays to university and college students. Since plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty or academic fraud, universities and colleges may investigate papers suspected to be from an essay mill by using Internet plagiarism detection software, which compares essays against a database of known mill essays and by orally testing students on the contents of their papers.

Forms and styles
This section describes the different forms and styles of essay writing. These forms and styles are used by a range of authors, including university students and professional essayists
Cause and effect
The defining features of a "cause and effect" essay are causal chains that connect from a cause to an effect, careful language, and chronological or emphatic order. A writer using this rhetorical method must consider the subject, determine the purpose, consider the audience, think critically about different causes or consequences, consider a thesis statement, arrange the parts, consider the language, and decide on a conclusion.
Classification and division
Classification is the categorization of objects into a larger whole while division is the breaking of a larger whole into smaller parts.
Compare and contrast
Compare and contrast essays are characterized by a basis for comparison, points of comparison, and analogies. It is grouped by object (chunking) or by point (sequential). Comparison highlights the similarities between two or more similar objects while contrasting highlights the differences between two or more objects. When writing a compare/contrast essay, writers need to determine their purpose, consider their audience, consider the basis and points of comparison, consider their thesis statement, arrange and develop the comparison, and reach a conclusion. Compare and contrast is arranged emphatically.
Descriptive writing is characterized by sensory details, which appeal to the physical senses, and details that appeal to a reader’s emotional, physical, or intellectual sensibilities. Determining the purpose, considering the audience, creating a dominant impression, using descriptive language, and organizing the description are the rhetorical choices to be considered when using a description. A description is usually arranged spatially but can also be chronological or emphatic. The focus of a description is the scene. Description uses tools such as denotative language, connotative language, figurative language, metaphor, and simile to arrive at a dominant impression. One university essay guide states that "descriptive writing says what happened or what another author has discussed; it provides an account of the topic".
In the dialectic form of essay, which is commonly used in Philosophy, the writer makes a thesis and argument, then objects to their own argument (with a counterargument), but then counters the counterargument with a final and novel argument. This form benefits from being more open-minded while countering a possible flaw that some may present.
An exemplification essay is characterized by a generalization and relevant, representative, and believable examples including anecdotes. Writers need to consider their subject, determine their purpose, consider their audience, decide on specific examples, and arrange all the parts together when writing an exemplification essay
History (thesis)
A history essay, sometimes referred to as a thesis essay, will describe an argument or claim about one or more historical events and will support that claim with evidence, arguments and references. The text makes it clear to the reader why the argument or claim is as such
A narrative uses tools such as flashbacks, flash-forwards, and transitions that often build to a climax. The focus of a narrative is the plot. When creating a narrative, authors must determine their purpose, consider their audience, establish their point of view, use dialogue, and organize the narrative. A narrative is usually arranged chronologically.
A critical essay is an argumentative piece of writing, aimed at presenting objective analysis of the subject matter, narrowed down to a single topic. The main idea of all the criticism is to provide an opinion either of positive or negative implication. As such, a critical essay requires research and analysis, strong internal logic and sharp structure. Each argument should be supported with sufficient evidence, relevant to the point.

A list of Essay Topics.
1.    Should universities provide as much money for sports programs as for their libraries?
2.    Should countries ban smoking in public places and office building?
3.    Why do you think many students choose to attend schools or universities abroad?
4.    Do you prefer classes where teachers do all the talking, or where students are allowed to speak too?
5.    Some people believe that it harms a friendship when one borrows money from a friend?
6.    Do people who receive special gifts remember them long afterward?
7.    Could you invent a new holiday to observe to honor events or persons?
8.    Why are people very fond of their pets almost as family member?
9.    Why go to university?
10. Are parents best teachers?
11. Are books more important than experience?
12. How do movies or TV affect people?
13. Do you prefer to eat out or eat at home?
14. Should university students be required to attend classes?
15. Do you learn better by yourself or with a teacher?
16. Should children grow up in the countryside or in a city?
17. Has human harmed the Earth or made it a better place?
18. Do you prefer to stay at one place or move around?
19. Does grade encourage students to learn?
20. Should children start learning a foreign language early?
21. Should boys and girls go to separate schools?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Turkic Khaganate

Turkic Khaganate

"Celestial Turks were a nomadic confederation of peoples in medieval Inner Asia. Under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan (d. 552) and his sons succeeded the Rouran as the main power in the region and took hold of the lucrative Silk Road trade. 
"Celestial Turks became the new leading element amongst the disparate steppe peoples in Central Asia, after they rebelled against the Rouran Khaganate. Under their leadership, the Turkic Khaganate rapidly expanded to rule huge territories in Central Asia. From 552 to 745, Their leadership bound together the nomadic Turkic tribes into an empire, which eventually collapsed due to a series of dynastic conflicts.
Celestial means "sky" in modern Turkish. According to Chinese sources, the meaning of the word Tūjué was "combat helmet", reportedly because the shape of the Jinshan (Altai Mountains), where they lived, was similar to a combat helmet - hence they called themselves.

Celestial Turks were the first Turkic people known to write their language in a runic script. Life stories of Kul Tigin and Bilge Qaghan, as well as the chancellor Tonyukuk were recorded in the Orkhon inscriptions.
The Khaganate received missionaries from the Buddhists religion, which were incorporated into Tengriism. Later most of the Turks settled in Central Asia, Middle east and Africa adopted the Islamic faith.
 Tengriism is a Central Asian religion that incorporates elements of shamanism, animism, totemism and ancestor worship. In old times, it was the major belief of Turkic peoples (such as the Huns and Xiongnu), Bulgars, Hungarians and Mongols. It focuses around the sky deity Tengri ( Tanrı) and reverence for the sky in general. Majority of Tengrists today live in Northern and Central Asia such as Khakassia and Tuva. "Khukh" and "Tengri" literally mean "blue" and "sky" in Mongolian and modern Mongolians still pray to  "Eternal Blue Sky". Therefore Mongolia is sometimes poetically referred to by Mongolians as the "Land of Eternal Blue Sky".
In modern Turkey Tengriism is known as the Celestial Tanrı ("Sky God") religion, Turkish "Celestial" (sky) and "Tanrı" (God) corresponding to the Mongolian khukh (blue) and Tengri (sky), respectively.
 Khoshoo Tsaidam Monuments are two memorial installations in the Khoshoo Tsaidam region on the western Orkhon River in Mongolia, near Ogii Lake. They were erected by the Celestial Turks in the early 8th century and today are part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape UNESCO world heritage site. They commemorate the brothers Bilge Qaghan (683-734) and Kul-Tegin (684-731), one a politician and the other a military commander. Three smaller memorials, one of which was only recently discovered, are located nearby.
The Celestial Turks have left artifacts and installations all over their domain, from China to Iran. But only in Mongolia have any memorials to kings and other aristocrats been found. The ones in Khoshoo Tsaidam consist of tablets with inscriptions in Chinese and Old Turkic characters. Both monuments are stone slabs originally erected on carved stone turtles within walled enclosures. Bilge Kagan's stone shows a carved ibex (the emblem of Celestial Turks Kagans) and a twisted dragon. In both enclosings, evidence of altars and carved depictions of human couples were found, possibly depicting the respective honorary and his spouse.
The Old Turkic inscriptions on these monuments are the oldest extant attestation of that language.
The inscriptions were discovered by Nikolay Yadrintsev's expedition in 1889, published by Vasily Radlov and deciphered by the Danish philologist Vilhelm Thomsen in 1893.
Mongolian and Turkish archeologists have studied the area and performed excavations since 2000. The site is now protected by fences, with buildings for research work and storage of artifacts.
The inscriptions relate in epic language the legendary origins of the Turks, the golden age of their history, their subjugation by the Chinese, and their liberation by Bilg. 
The Uyghur Khaganate
The Uyghur Khaganate, or, Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate or Toquz Oghuz Country  was a Turkic empire that existed for about a century between the mid 8th and 9th centuries. They were a tribal confederation under the Orkhon Uyghur nobility, referred to by the Chinese as the Jiu Xing ("Nine Clans"), a calque of the name Toquz Oghuz.
In 747, Qutlugh Bilge Köl died, leaving his youngest son, Bayanchur Khan to reign as Khagan El etmish bilge ("State settled, wise"). After building a number of trading outposts with the Chinese, Bayanchur Khan used the profits to build the capital, Ordu Baliq ("City of Court"), and another city, Bai Baliq ("Rich City"), further up the Selenge River. The new khagan then embarked on a series of campaigns to bring all the steppe peoples under his banner. During this time the Empire vastly expanded.
In 758, the Uyghurs turned their attentions to a rival steppe tribe, the Kyrgyz (a Turkic ethnic group found primarily in Kyrgyzstan) to the north. Bayanchur Khan destroyed several of their trading outposts before slaughtering a Kyrgyz army and executing their Khan.
In 759, Bayanchur Khan died after drinking heavily at a celebration. His son Tengri succeeded him as Khagan Qutlugh Tarkhan.
In 762, in alliance with the Tang, Tengri launched a campaign against the Tibetans. He recaptured for the Tang Emperor Daizong the eastern capital Luoyang. Khagan Tengri met with Manichaean priests from Iran while on campaign, and was converted to Manicheism (one of the major Iranian religions, originating in  Persia.) , adopting it as the official religion of the Uyghur Empire in 763. Treaty of Peace and Alliance was concluded with Tang, which had obligation to supply annually in tribute 20,000 rolls of silk to Uyghur Empire, in exchange for 500 selected horses, also Uyghurs who were living in Tang China all were considered as " guests " and freed from payment any taxes and accommodation costs.
In 779 Tengri Bögü incited by Sogdian traders, living in Ordu Baliq, planned an invasion of China to take advantage of the accession of a new Emperor Dezong. Being a Prince Dezong refused to bow to Uyghur Banner in 762 during joint Uyghur-Tang operations against rebels and Tibetans and since then was regarded hostile by Uyghurs. Tengri's uncle, Tun Bagha Tarkhan opposed this plan, fearing it would result in Uyghur assimilation into Chinese culture Bagha Tarkhan led a rebellion against his ruler, beheading him and his closest followers (about 2,000 nobles, among them many Manichaenian priests and Sogdian traders), rebellion supposedly was sponsored by Tang Ambassador in Uyghur Empire. Tun Bagha Tarkhan ascended the throne with title Alp Qutlugh Bilge ("Victorious, glorious, wise") and enforced a new set of laws, which he designed to secure the unity of the khaganate, He also moved against the Kyrgyz once more, finally bringing them under the Uyghur Khaganate's control.
in 840, one of 9 Uyghur ministers, Kulug Bagha, rival of Kurebir, fled to the Kyrgyz tribe and invited them to invade from the north with a force of around 80,000 horsemen. They sacked the Uyghur capital at Ordu Baliq, razing it to the ground. The Kyrgyz captured the Uyghur Khagan, Kürebir (Hesa) and promptly beheaded him. The Kyrgyz went on to destroy other Uyghur cities throughout their empire, burning them to the ground. The last legitimate khagan, Öge, was assassinated in 847, having spent his 6-year reign in fighting the Kyrgyz,the supporters of his rival Ormïzt, a brother of Kürebir, and Tang China boundary troops in Ordos and Shaanxi, which he invaded in 841 . The Kyrgyz invasion destroyed the Uyghur Empire, causing a diaspora of Uyghur people across Central Asia

Native American and European settlement for MAX Seniors

Political divisions
The United States is a federal union of fifty states. The original thirteen states were the successors of the thirteen colonies that rebelled against British rule. Early in the country's history, three new states were organized on territory separated from the claims of the existing states: Kentucky from Virginia; Tennessee from North Carolina; and Maine from Massachusetts. Most of the other states have been carved from territories obtained through war or purchase by the U.S. government. One set of exceptions comprises Vermont, Texas, and Hawaii: each was an independent republic before joining the union. During the American Civil War, West Virginia broke away from Virginia. The most recent state—Hawaii—achieved statehood on August 21, 1959. The states do not have the right to secede from the union.
The states compose the vast bulk of the U.S. land mass; the two other areas considered integral parts of the country are the District of Columbia, the federal district where the capital, Washington, is located; and Palmyra Atoll, an uninhabited but incorporated territory in the Pacific Ocean. The United States also possesses five major overseas territories: Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; and American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific. Those born in the major territories (except for American Samoa) possess U.S. citizenship. American citizens residing in the territories have many of the same rights and responsibilities as citizens residing in the states; however, they are generally exempt from federal income tax, may not vote for president, and have only nonvoting representation in the U.S. Congress.

Native American and European settlement
The indigenous peoples of the U.S. mainland, including Alaska Natives, are believed to have migrated from Asia, beginning between 12,000 and 40,000 years ago. Some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies. After Europeans began settling the Americas, many millions of indigenous Americans died from epidemics of imported diseases such as smallpox.
In 1492, Genoese (a city and an important seaport in northern Italy) explorer Christopher Columbus, under contract to the Spanish crown, reached several Caribbean islands, making first contact with the indigenous people. On April 2, 1513, Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León landed on what he called "La Florida"—the first documented European arrival on what would become the U.S. mainland. Spanish settlements in the region were followed by ones in the present-day southwestern United States that drew thousands through Mexico. French fur traders established outposts of New France around the Great Lakes; France eventually claimed much of the North American interior, down to the Gulf of Mexico. The first successful English settlements were the Virginia Colony in Jamestown in 1607 and the Pilgrims' Plymouth Colony in 1620. The 1628 chartering of the Massachusetts Bay Colony resulted in a wave of migration; by 1634, New England had been settled by some 10,000 Puritans. Between the late 1610s and the American Revolution, about 50,000 convicts were shipped to Britain's American colonies. Beginning in 1614, the Dutch settled along the lower Hudson River, including New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island.
In 1674, the Dutch ceded their American territory to England; the province of New Netherland was renamed New York. Many new immigrants, especially to the South, were indentured servants—some two-thirds of all Virginia immigrants between 1630 and 1680. By the turn of the 18th century, African slaves were becoming the primary source of bonded labor. With the 1729 division of the Carolinas and the 1732 colonization of Georgia, the thirteen British colonies that would become the United States of America were established. All had local governments with elections open to most free men, with a growing devotion to the ancient rights of Englishmen and a sense of self-government stimulating support for republicanism. All legalized the African slave trade. With high birth rates, low death rates, and steady immigration, the colonial population grew rapidly. The Christian revivalist movement of the 1730s and 1740s known as the Great Awakening fueled interest in both religion and religious liberty. In the French and Indian War, British forces seized Canada from the French, but the francophone (French speaking) population remained politically isolated from the southern colonies. Excluding the Native Americans (popularly known as "American Indians"), who were being displaced, those thirteen colonies had a population of 2.6 million in 1770, about one-third that of Britain; nearly one in five Americans were black slaves. Though subject to British taxation, the American colonials had no representation in the Parliament of Great Britain