Author Archives: siyin

Event Reflection

Meditation Monday

I participated in one of the meditation Monday that took place on every Monday at 10:00 o clock at James lounge  located in H-quad.  That event is a good activity for relaxing, especially for at this time when the semester is approaching to the end and all the upcoming finals are stressing us out. We did an nearly an hour long guided meditation. We are guided to take deep breath, thinking more about ourselves. We were gradually led to a status of tranquility. I feel that meditation is a really useful tool for relaxation and distress. I successfully released a significant amount of stress and find a sense of peace. I will continue to find some time to do meditation every day  to develop it to a daily habit because I think it is really beneficial, especially for college students who are consistently under the pressure of papers, midterms, presentations and concerns about futures. Everybody need sometime per day just to be fully free of concern and deeply relaxed.

American Sniper

“American Sniper” is a war film directed by Clint Eastwood. The leadership role demonstrated by Chris Kyle was most impressive to me in the film. He said: “There are three types of people: the sheep, the wolf, and the sheepdog.” He assembles the sheepdog in the quote, protecting his fellows and citizens in the war.  He performed exceptionally as a leader even under the intensive war tension. Not only was him very responsible to his duty, but he also largely inspired other soldiers involved in the warfare. The leadership spirit he had went far beyond his riffle skills and precise pinpoint that saves thousands of lives. He was a true hero who showed much strength in the war and dedicated to save American lives.

Lone Survivor

” Lone Survivor ” was adapted in accord of Marcus Luttrell’s real experience. In 2005 , he and his teammates were ordered to perform secret tasks , that is to to track down and kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. However, they were circumvented in Afghan Hindu Kush mountain and they have to fight for their own survivor. Marcus ultimately became the only one survived  which is indicated explicitly  by the title of the film.

There are some similarities between this film and “Saving Private Ryan”. In both films, a small number of people form a team to strive for a shared goal in the military setting. However, there are significant differences in terms of emotions and relationship between  the team members.  In this films, the team members are more in a consent of their purpose and are more united for the task, while in saving private Ryan, they were questioning and have different opinions about the significance of their tasks along the way. The leader of the team with the mission to find Ryan serves more important role of unify them and give them some guide emotionally. In the film of lone survivor, they are fight against a common enemy that threaten their survivor. In essence, both movie share the important theme – ” no one left behind”.


Movie review Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down is a British-American war film, directed by Ridley Scott. It narrates the tale of a U.S. military attack that went terribly wrong when delicate  preparations met  unanticipated circumstances.  Also, the movie tries to describe as precisely as possible what it was like to be one of the soldiers under that situation.

The film is set on 1993 Mogadishu when 123 elite U.S. soldiers went to catch two top lieutenants of a rebel Somali warlord and centered on the daring attempts of different Rangers to arrive at the downed black hawks. The movie offers a view of how little war has altered despite America’s up-to-date tools and advanced methods. It illustrates what took place in Mogadishu by portraying the characters’behavior and their struggles. Ridley Scott gives us a holistic view of horrific battle and also manages to show the terror and extreme anxiety from a soldier’s perspective. One lesson we could learn from the movie is to never underestimate our enemy and overvalue our own power.


Movie Review: A Few Good Men

Movie review A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men, directed by Rob Reiner, mainly focuses on the court-martial of two U.S. Marines accused of murdering their colleague Private William Santiag and the troubles of their lawyers as they manage to protect the clients. In the movie, a Marine dies following a clouding incident and two young Marines are accused of the death. However, a curious Navy legal ace thinks that there’s more to the incident and requires more investigation.

Adapted from a Broadway play, the story of the movie is very appealing. The largest part of the film is crammed with set pieces in which the actors are seated at restaurants and in court rooms and offices. The actors continually discuss about the case and the problems around it. A Few Good Men brings up complex and interesting issues surrounding the military and about the duties of soldiers in uniform: the nature of conformity, persecution of inferior ones, and the charge of unquestioning obedience to superiors. It also teaches that regardless of how high an official may rank, they aren’t manipulators to the law and should respect it. A positive result in the movie is the manner the culpable guys are punished. In a word, the film A Few Good Men asks the question whether you go after your duty and your sense of right or wrong.

Platoon Movie review


Platoon is a war film written and directed by Oliver Stone. It portrays a story centered on his experiences as a U.S. infantryman in Vietnam War. The film narrates his experiences with his parents and his time in Vietnam. Generally, it tells the story of a young recruit in Vietnam who faces an ethical tragedy in the war and two faces of man.

The main character of the film, Chris Taylor, is a young, naive American in the battle of Vietnam War. He realizes that his presence is quite unnecessary and is measured inferior compared to the rest of soldiers. He draws towards mental collapse and struggles for survival. He thought that he is fighting within two battles, one with their enemy and the other one with the men in his squad. The film make us viewers think that the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam war impacts, destroys and upsets the living people’s life in that era.

As many other war movies, Platoon demonstrates the dehumanizing power of war where numerous people had gone over and was killed during the crucial fight. The film was successful in the portrayal of mental, physical chaos. It illustrates about surviving to witness another battle, how people were calculating the days until a trip of duty is over and living every second with the fear of death. We could clearly tell that Chris’ experiences in the war didn’t provide him anything to be proud of or worth memory, probably the physical and, most importantly, the emotional injuries he has suffered serve to reminded him only of the disgraceful and dehumanizing nature of  the war.

“Fury” reflection paper

“Fury” reflection paper

“Fury” is a film in a setting of the end of World War Two, involving conflicts between the U.S. and Nazis in Germany. Underlying the war scene is a subtle and unique relationship between Don and Norman. The leading role Don’s responsibility was to guarantee that his subordinates could survive and fight bravely in the war. He was humor and values camaraderie. Meanwhile hatred was seen in his rage and determination to annihilate German enemies. Don wanted to share his lifetime experience with Norman, who was young and naïve, and aimed to reshape his personalities. Don was made at his hesitation and fear in the demanding war setting. His reluctance to killing enemies were regarded as his weaknesses that Don wanted him to get over and the problems that Don wanted him to get rid of.

After Norman’s successful transformation, those who treated Norman badly changed their attitude. At the very moment, the fat man protected Norman from a grenade. The fact that the Nazis didn’t kill Norman is very impressive and left me with many thoughts. Not only do wars take away people’s lives, but they also devastated humanity. At the beginning, Norman refused to kill people. However, he inevitably turned into a killing robot after having witnessed and immersed in the brutality of fighting. The young German soldier initially was similar to original Norman, and the war affected him too. In my point of view, what the director of the film really wants to express is that it was reincarnation, as long as the war lasted, the oblivion of humanity would continue. In the end when he was picked up, he glanced back at that “Fury” with distressed tears. Some say he is a hero, which is sarcasm to him, for those who left in the tank are real heroes.

In a word, this film focuses on portraying the inner struggle of soldiers forced to face the inhuman characteristics of the war, which was also a growing experience for Norman. Besides, it is the complex and subtle relationship between Norman and Don that make the film impressive and thought-provoking.


Film Reflection: Saving Private Ryan


                                     Film Reflection: Saving Private Ryan


Saving Private Ryan is a film set on the background of the most traumatic Invasion of Normandy in the World War Two. In 1994, when millions of soldiers landing in the beaches of Normandy, Captain Miller entered the road to enemy territory with eight American soldiers, risking their lives to save the single one solider-James Ryan. Ryan was the youngest son in his family. His three older brothers were killed one after another in the fighting on the forefront. In order to comfort his mother and keep her from bearing the pain of losing her only son left, the General of American Combat Headquarter decided to send a special team to save Ryan. This team faced all kinds of dangers. When their teammates are sacrificed one by one, they began to doubt the rationality of this task: why does this solider worth eight soldiers risking their lives to rescue him? Why Ryan’s life is more valuable than their lives? Nevertheless, in spite of their doubts, they still resolutely carried out the superior’s order. This is a road to test the human concept and value in the heart of every man during the war, a road full of self-scarification. After experiencing innumerable hazards and hardships, they finally found Ryan in a battlefield. However, Ryan, who had a strong sense of responsibility, rejected to leave the battlefield.

Captain Miller is an ordinary captain among U.S. military, nonetheless, for the purpose of executing the superior’s order, he unwaveringly takes seven soldiers for the task of saving Private Ryan. Six soldiers dead on this journey. Using six soldiers’ lives in exchange for the life of a common solider may seem ridiculous for the logic reasoning. However, in the view of human nature, it is reasonable. Such supreme quality and lofty spirit of human being manifest the meaning of our life: the sense of selflessness facilitated intimacy relationships and contributions between people.


Movie review: A Bridge Too Far

Movie review: A Bridge Too Far


“A Bridge Too Far” is a military movie based on historical interviews about WW2 soldiers, featuring a number of generals who have different responsibilities and tend to display varying abilities. However, the four military commanders James Gavin, Maxwell Taylor, Stansilaw Sosaboski and Roy Urquhart also shared some features as they handled their men. The major common characteristic I think probably is the display of quietness and composure in their act of commanding their armies. They would only speak if it’s necessary for their interventions.

Besides, it is also critical to outline the differences they had. Taylor prefers to use speedy links to enforce his support bases, and in one case he used such a quick link to garner 30 Corps who helped him to take advantage of the British firearms to provide support. On the contrary, Gavin did not rely on this form of support but preferred to use his parachute instead. To succeed, Gavin is seen to parachute the guns down and later following them using gliders. Through this technique, he obtained supports in a different way compared to Taylor.

On the other hand, Urquhart had only been in the position for a short time and was not very experienced, while Gavin, Taylor and Sosaboski were more familiar with military activities. Despite this drawback, he managed to lead his tribes effectively. The last leader was Sosabowski who appeared to be the leader experiencing the toughest competition, but he excelled because of his courage and wit through seeking assistance from the 30-Corps. After appearing as though he was losing, Sosabowski retracted and attacked when he felt he had enough support to overcome the German troops.

Movie “Glory” Reflection


               Every time when I think of t the United States of America, I see Americans with various races and colors as a combined nation of diversity. It appears to me that they have equal possibility to success, since I heard of numerous achievements not only about white people, but also the blacks. I think that two skin colors of Americans mutually forge and consolidate the progress and brilliance of America However, after I watched Glory, I realized how severe the blacks were discriminated and what kind of condition were they circumscribed. Glory narrates the civil war year in which a white officer led a group of black slaveries to fight with the south region for the national unity and freedom. It’s an honorable story just like the title itself that worth respect.

It is through this movie that I saw American black men suffer from various discrimination and unfair treatments through the history. I can see the deep motivation to prove their abilities, to acquire basic rights and equity through their own fighting. Maybe it is during that time that the ideas and concept of black men started to change, even if the change was very small. Although they were free in North, they still suffer from discrimination to a large extend in the world of white people. In the film, the scene that black volunteering army was taunted as the “Negro”, even Colonel Shaw, who leaded the black army, was laughed by other officers. Their difficulties of acquiring firearms and ammunition and the hardship of obtaining uniforms and shoes revealed their inferior status in the entire army. It seemed like that this batch of black army decided to be built at the very beginning was not actually well-invested to put into such large-scale national.

In that tough military environment and discriminated circumstances, they were still self-disciplined. They stick with their responsibilities and are thirst to fight for freedom and equity in the battle. Later, this army led by Shaw defeated south armies repeatedly. Only at that time did white soldiers start to cheer for this unusual army. As we can see, all this glory they received came from their eagerness to gain equal opportunities and their being a member of the nation. For this mission, they did not spare to sacrifice their own life to contribute to the fight. “Any black man carrying with firearms to fight against southern federal government will immediately recover the slave identity once arrested, and any black man wearing Northern federal uniform will be sentenced to death immediately……”When Shaw read off the warning of the South, nobody left the military camp. Their determination and braveness impressed me so deeply.