Rich, hot, successful, and....oh.... a Vampire!

I want to suck your....BLOOD! The contemporary fascination and near obsession with vampires comes to us with a strong sexual overtone. Not only are hunky male leads posing as mysterious and erotic vampires, the female leads in which they suck blood from are just as mouthwatering. So why not lust for a vampire...their passion seems to exceed that of any human and as the Newsweek article points out, Vampire sex must be the best. The tiny nibble that Dracula took in the late 1800's has turned into sexual fantasy's men and women desire through the big screen and from the comfort of their homes. For modern women the vampire can be seen as the romantic hero, a fictional character that can give them what they want in a dangerous sort of way. This idea of wanting something with a bit of danger releases them from the normalcy of what is their life while at the same time still allows them to be socially accepted because its Vampires and everyone is doing it! Women of all ages are reading Twilight and tooning  in on Sunday nights for TrueBlood, it's all ages that feel this infatuation...for the tweens Vampires take them to a forbidden world where sexuality runs wild, for the women in their 20's and 30's the Vampire shows them what they can have and helps them to explore their sexuality...a sort of sexual liberation if you will, and for women in their 40's and beyond the racy sexual escapades of the vampires they see on TV reminds them of what they once had and quite possibly hope to keep exploring. The fascination with Vampires also ties in nicely with another topic that we have covered throughout the course...appearance. The vampire is an immortal figure who never ages; of course the vampire fits it! We live in a society obsessed with youth and this figure is our spokesperson! The eternal youth of the vampire fits in nicely with our modern society, the vampire might as well be the face of Botox...sexy, appealing and most of all youthful! This figure reaches society more so than previous decades because of the changes we have seen in the past 30 years. Sexuality is no longer a private matter and this obsession with youth allows the character of the vampire to connect with so many. Sex sells and so does the image of youth....thus so does the vampire....

Vampires through the years....

Early...not so hot

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Evolving...more appealing

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Modern...hot?

lgpp31687robert-pattinson-is-edward-twilight-poster.jpg





http://media.www.thecowl.com/media/storage/paper493/news/2009/10/29...

http://www.esquire.com/features/thousand-words-on-culture/vampires-...

http://www.physorg.com/news168803021.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/opinion/31deltoro.html

http://www.newsweek.com/id/207128



 




Old School vs. New school

It is funny how we get sick of one clothing style and then 10 years later the same leggings that we once despised become our main fashion staple. I swore I would never wear plaid or neon ever again but those items just seem to have snuck right back into my closet without a lot of hesitation. Something's different this time around however...this time that same fashions that are popular for me are all the rage for 2, 10 and 16 year-olds. Nowadays children seem to grow up SO fast not only in their actions and accessibility, but in their clothing choice as well. At the same time we also have a society of adults who are so obsessed with looking young that they wear the same clothes as their children. We live in a society where everyone wants something they don't have, the old want to be young and the young want to be old. What happened to growing up and getting to wear make-up or finally getting to wear that mini skirt your mom promised you could wear when you turned 16...8 year old girls look like their 14 and 14 year-olds look like their 18. I am not saying I am perfect and don't fall into this category because I definitely pushed the envelope for wearing make-up and tight jeans but I think some things should be saved for a right of passage. The kids I teach have Coach, Juicy Couture, Ed Hardy and True Religion jeans, purses, shoes, shirts and sunglasses. I did not get my first pair of designer jeans until college! This dynamic is interesting...why is it that we always want something we can't have...to only fit into those size 2 jeans again. I think clothing in general defines generations. The eighties, punk rock...think Madonna, the nineties, grunge...lots of flannel, baggy pant, combat boots as we reach the 2000's there is not a clear style but a style that works for all ages....and this is where my argument comes in. There are not clear cut "older" women styles and toddlers can wear the same leggings and flats just like 21 year-olds. The young are getting older and the older are getting younger. $200 UGG's can be worn by babies and grannies. I think in general people are wearing their money and fitting into something that masks who they really are. The 40 year-old puts on her low cut Ed Hardy tank and walks down the street next to the 12 year old in the same shirt.
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Are you are Barbie girl in a Barbie world?

As a young girl my days were filled with Barbie, Skipper and Ken. How is it that a 7 year old plays with a doll twice her age with full grown breasts...not to mention her size 20 in waist. Is it realistic for young girls to play with a doll whose dimensions are physically impossible without countless plastic surgeries. Young girls never grow out of their desire to look like Barbie, take for example Cindy Jackson. Jackson is an infamous "human Barbie." Jackson went through 31 cosmetic surgeries and spent nearly $100,000 to look like Barbie. Jackson is the founder of Cosmetic Surgery Network, to think an ambitious, successful business women still obsessed with looking like Barbie...hmmm...
Cindy Jackson.jpg

Lets think back to the 70's when Doctor, Astronaut and Lawyer Barbie hit the toy stands. Barbie represented the ideal woman, physically she was flawless while at the same time she was able to maintain work as a lawyer and reach achievements of that of a astronaut. Barbie grew from secretary to executive following societal trends, Barbie presented the popular image of independence that women of the 70's and 80's enjoyed. OK....so great Barbie is keeping up with the sign of the times but does this doll really represent powerful women, can women really do it all...the perfect job and the perfect body? Somehow Barbie's sexually appealing feminine attributes appealed to consumers and became acceptable to society. Thus, I received my first Barbie at age 5 and understood quickly that big boobs and a tiny waist represented a beautiful woman...and it has been ingrained ever since. I will never forget when my mom gave me her Midge doll...Midge who was Midge? Midge represented the un-glamorous  girl next door. It was funny how Midge was un-appealing to me  her fuller figure and freckles...I was so used to the blond bombshell with porcelain skin and perfect pink lips. Midge was un-attention worthy to me and un-attention worthy to consumers in the 60's she didn't get too far before she was yanked from the shelves. Poor Midge..she did not embody the physical perfections of Barbie. 
midge.jpg
 And thus....Midge did not last too long before she got lost in the toy shuffle. Maybe we should channel the dimensions of Midge and get her back on the shelves...it might be nice to introduce young girls to realistic images instead of exposing them to extremes that do not even exist...unless your Cindy Jackson of course! It's time for something new and not in the form of Bratz....because that's a name we want young girls associating with...

To eat or not to eat?

| 3 Comments
How is that something as simple as food cause huge pressure to conform in the public sphere? Women in particular struggle daily with the evil "F" word...FOOD! How is it that women have made impressive strides in education, access, jobs and economic status and are still struggling for basic acceptance physically, of their bodies. Somehow society decided to raise young girls on the notion that they need to emulate the models and stars in magazines and Hollywood. We live in a society that has an obsession with FOOD and an even bigger obsession with bodies and an overwhelming focus on the need to transform. How many different low-fat, fat-free, gluten free items do we need. When will something ever be good enough, the way it is supposed to be...body- wise and food-wise. This constant obsession with food in my opinion has caused women to internalize that they are not good enough the way they are. Growing up in the performance world I was trained internally to obsess endlessly about what I put into my body and in turn, what my body looked like. Let's rewind even more... In my opinion it all started in the 70s and 80s... women's bodies seemed to quite obviously take a step away from what is natural and turned into warped figures that seemed to be literally wasting away and falling to societies pressures. Take for example Brooke Shields...a 15 year-old who made made every woman desire Calvin Klein Jeans. Was it Brook that sold the jeans or was it her tall, slender legs and slim physique. The media was basically ordering women to "channel" their YOUTH and fit into skimpier clothes adorned with a youthful style...ironically the standard of beauty was imposed on a female audience of whom was naturally larger and more mature than Shields. Go figure!! I have come to think if this nasty relationship between women and food like this: the more space women take up in the world the more pressure they feel to reduce themselves physically. So ultimately women succumb to the pressure to diet and fit a certain body type because after years of inequality it is the only thing that can be done to save their space in society. More on a philosophical level but makes sense... I think that society and the media's wide range circulation of magazines, TMZ, talk shows, diet supplements, exercise regimes, etc are a direct link the pressure to be thin and the epidemic of eating disorders. I mean just the other day my drop dropped when I saw a commercial of a 13 year old girl talking about having weight loss surgery...13!!! Now she "fits" in and feels great...!?!? Hmmm....so when is too young for dieting and surgery? My final thoughts are that the pressure to diet and achieve the accurate body shape for a desirable female is part of the ongoing BACKLASH against the changes in the status of women...the larger the female presence, the narrower and more childlike idealized images become. Think of famous movie stars and television stars...how many look more like you did in your teens than the "housewife" they portray? desperate-housewives.jpg

Pop Culture...yes please!

Incorporating pop culture in the classroom is something that I am a firm believer in. I was taught to teach with an authentic pedagogy, basically real-world experiences and current information help students understand the past and make connections to the future. As a former social studies teacher I am fully aware of utilizing the media and pop culture. It is so hard for students to make sense of the past when they can barely grasp ideas and events of the present. I have found that music is one way for students to make connections. As we read, lyrics can be so powerful. In the 60s Dylan's lyrics helped a generation express their thoughts and feelings on government, war, love and the counterculture. Today, the lyrics from Kanye West or Jay-Z connect to our youth. I look at this as "funky poetry." These words are important to our youth...why are they important? What is in these lyrics that speaks to our students? In my experience in working in an alternative setting understanding what motivates, moves and interests my students was key. In showing interest and making connections to pop culture my students were much more motivated to understand the past and therefore make their own connections through authentic learning. For example, looking at the Lyrics of Lil Wayne songs as an opener helped when we later looked at songs from WWII. Students could understand that both songs were trying to portray a message and music allowed this. I showed the following video at the end of the semester. The students would be moving on and I wanted to remind them the of the message I had been getting at for the last 14 weeks. This was a popular John Mayer song, it shows how a pop culture song was so important to the deaf community. I prefaced the video with always be aware of the different cultures around you, be critical and open to what you see and hear, ask questions and think outside of the box. The best part this entire experience was seeing the open jaws at the end of the video. For the first time of the entire semester....there was silence. Waiting on the world to change
 In my opinion pop culture brings relevancy to students lives. The authenticity of incorporating pop culture into the classroom allows students to walk away making connections to their own life and use something they learned in school and make it applicable to everyday life. It's about functioning as a greater community and understanding human nature. The past will help you understand the present and the present will help you forecast the future.

Assignment 1:
 

March 11, 2009

Civil War Era

          American History

Angela Quinn

 

Day 8 (nearing end of unit)

 

 

 

Unit Question: What challenges and triumphs did Abraham Lincoln experience during the civil war era?  How did slavery impact the progress of America?

 

Primary Question: Does slavery still exist today? Are there common themes between slavery in the 1800's and today?

 

Learner Outcomes:

1)    Students will conduct research about modern day slavery.

2)    Students will be able to think for themselves through the process of independent journaling and Socratic seminar.

3)    Students will develop, expose and explore various meanings of past and present slavery.

4)    Students will be able to look for commonalities between past and present slavery.

5)    Students will be able to critically analyze issues surrounding equality through Socratic seminar.

 

Materials: articles for students, PowerPoint

 

Rationale: It is important for students to make connections with the past and present, looking for and linking together common themes. The process of the Socratic seminar will allow students to reach a new level of understanding by developing, exposing and exploring various issues surrounding past and present day slavery. Students will partake in divergent rather than convergent thinking, thus able to think on their own while at the same time challenging or changing prior beliefs in a safe learning environment.

 

Developmental Sequence:

Anticipatory Set:

1)    TFTD (Thought for the day): Do you think slavery exists today? Explain. (In student journals). (3-5 min) These are private thoughts that ONLY the teacher has permission to read if the student so chooses.

Body:

2)    Mobile Lab. Give students about 40 min to do some outside research on modern day slavery. Students should using the following questions to guide their search:

§       Where in the world is this happening? (geography)

§       What type of slavery and who are the individuals? (culture, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, etc).

§       Who/What is benefiting from this?

§       What legislation/action, if any is taking place in order to reduce slavery and punish the individuals in charge?

§       What questions do you have?!?!

 

3)    Students may print up to 2 articles for reference during the Socratic seminar, they should take notes about any other important information they will need during the discussion. Make sure that understand the importance of citing evidence during the discussion, encourage them to cite their sources if they don't print.

4)    Distribute the 2 articles and instruct students to read each on their own (7 min) once they have finished find a partner and highlight the main points from the readings. Are there any themes? They may also share info they found while researching. (5min).

5)    Have students move desks to form a circle where everyone can see one another. Instruct students to move everything off of their desks expect for a: pen/pencil, articles for use during the discussion, any notes they took, their copy of the discussion charter (for reference).

6)    Students have participated in a Socratic seminar before, however seminar guidelines should be up on the PowerPoint for student reference. 

7)    Start the Socratic seminar. (25-30 min) List of potential questions if needed as well as opening question:

§       Open with: A quote from the Weekly Reader article from John C. Calhoun, U.S Vice President and U.S Senator from SC, "it is utterly untrue, that all people are equal." Question: To what extent to you agree or disagree with this statement. What are the implications of this rhetoric? 

§       How is it that this "old evil" is thriving in the modern world? What went wrong?

§       To what extent was slavery in the 1800's considered more acceptable than it is today?

§       To what extent are we reaping the benefits from slavery currently? Would our nation be where it is today without slavery?

§       Are there any parallels from the 2 articles I handed out between the steps Linclon took and the actions Bush has taken? To what extent is the leader or President of a country responsible for restoring and maintaining equality?

§       To what extent does modern day slavery look and sound like slavery in the 1800's?

§       Have we reached equality as a nation? How do we compare to other countries? 

§       Will we ever be able to reach equality if slavery still exists?

§       How, in your experience, as equality or inequality affected you?

Closure:

8)    Debrief. We will go over this the following day if we run out of time. Post the following questions for students to respond to individually on paper:

1.     Did you feel uncomfortable at any point during the discussion? Why or why not?

2.     Did you have an "ah hah" moment? If so, when?

3.     Were any of your previously held beliefs challenged or changed

4.     Did you feel "silenced" at any point during the discussion? If so, why do you think you felt this way?

5.     Were their issues of "power" during our discussion today? What were they?

6.     What went well? Have we improved from last time?

 

Assessment: 5 points for conducting research. SEE attached Socratic seminar participant rubric. (Students are familiar).

 

Resources:

 

Weekly Reader

Washington Times


Assignment 2:
 

Cemeteries Are Historical, Not Solely Grave

Examining Graveyards as Historical Sites: Project

Ms. Quinn                                Due: November 29th

 

The goal of this project is to reflect on the value of graveyards as places of great historical importance and information. Graveyards can be used as a rich opportunity to connect with the past and understand the present. You will investigate ways in which graveyards can be rich historical sources. In doing this you will research and create epitaphs, visit a graveyard, as well as research other burial traditions and rituals of different cultures. Your investigation will help you make connections between individuals and the societies in which they lived.

 

 Task I:

1)    Select a famous historical figure that you admire and who is no longer alive and write an appropriate epitaph for him or her. Your epitaph should include:

a.     a creative inscription

b.     an appropriate symbol

c.     should either be hand drawn, molded with clay, completed on a computer, carved, etc. BE CREATIVE...there are no limits.

d.     Include a short 1 paragraph reflection of how the created epitaph is appropriate in honoring this individual

2)    You will need to do research on this person and complete a short (1pg) biography. You should include:

a.     date of birth and date of death

b.     important accomplishments achieved

c.     why you admire this person

d.     at least 1-2 sources

What is an Epitaph? An Epitaph is an inscription on a tombstone in memory of the one buried there. It can also be a brief literary piece commemorating a deceased person.

Examples:

·      "Having laid down the sword with honor, he resumed the plough with industry; by the latter to maintain what the former had won." (Col. John Buttrick, who led the colonial militiamen who engaged the British at Boston's North Bridge on April 19, 1775)

·      "It is better to die in prison with the peace of God in our breasts than to live in freedom with a polluted conscience." (Rev. Charles T. Torrey, arrested for helping slaves to freedom)

·      "American Union Preserved, African Slavery Destroyed" (commemorating the North's victory)

·      Symbols: winged skulls, delicately etched urns, weeping willows, sphinx, Celtic crosses, broken crosses, figures, etc.

Choose either Task II or Task III

 

 

Task II:

Go to a Graveyard! Find a local graveyard or graveyard of your choosing and create a map of the area. Observe and take notes. Look at the different tombstones, what are they made of, how big are they, what do they say on them, what information can you gain from the epitaph if there is one? How are modern tombstones different from tombstones in the past? Why do you think they have or have not changed? What social or geographical factors affect the graveyard upkeep, epitaphs, and way in which this graveyard is particularly organized? What connections can be made among people buried in a particular cemetery other than familial relations? You must include:

a.     a map, sketch or detailed design of the graveyard

b.     the address or location of the graveyard

c.     a five page personal essay addressing the above questions

 

 

Task III:

 Research some of the burial traditions and rituals of different cultures (ex: Native American, Haitian, or Indian) and of different religions (ex: Christianity, Judaism, or Daoism). After you have completed your research pick one of the cultures or religions and write a three page personal letter. Imagine that you will be handing this letter down from generation to generation. Your family is depending on you to record the important information regarding burial traditions and rituals. You must give them all of the details to perform a proper burial. You must also create a picture, diagram or some sort of visual that they can use as reference as well. This could be anything from the tombstone design to a map of where the deceased should be buried. Be creative!!! Remember it is up to YOU to save the sacred tradition so do not leave anything out and be as specific as possible. The last two pages of your letter (pg.4-5) should be a reflection about how you feel others can personally examine your culture or religions burial traditions, rituals and sites in order to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for global and geographical history. You must include:

a.     3 page letter, 2 page personal reflection

b.     bibliography (at least 2 sources)

c.     a visual aid


Cyber Communication...is it real?

| 2 Comments
The Aaron Doering article was of particular interest to me because I have had the wonderful opportunity to hear him speak in regards to the program he founded, GoNorth. Aaron's commitment to integrating technology in the classroom is amazing and something that the school I used to teach at took full advantage of. I am not familiar with using CA's in the classroom but I can see how implementing them might help students connect to the class content and also help them develop a more comfortable learning setting. Students seem to trust technology and most feel extremely comfortable navigating on a computer or the internet. I think that the CA's, Doering talks about seemed to and would provide students with a trustworthy presence they could rely on. The fact that several of the participants felt truly connected to their CA is a positive but to me personally raises several questions. These are not "real" people...what does it say to our society as a whole that some people feel more comfortable talking to a human-like figure on a computer screen rather than face to face with an actual person. In my opinion the rise of technology has brought  people around the the world closer in communication via the internet however communication skills are on the decline. What happened to the "public sphere" where individuals went to discuss, question, debate and communicate with one another? Internet chat rooms have taken the place of the "public sphere." Are we losing something by not communicating face to face? Are we gaining communications skills from the internet? Does it say something that our students would rather talk with a figure on the internet than their own teacher? At the same time if teachers are able to track their students and see how they are communicating with the CA  then maybe they could have more of an insight as  to what their students are learning. If this is the case then there needs to be a print out of the conversation for the teacher. This hold students accountable when using the CA. Because as we read in the article...some students were not shy when it came to talking about inappropriate subjects. There needs to be consequences for those that are taking advantage of the CA. A cool idea might be for the CA to "grade" the student at the end or send an "alert" if inappropriate topics come up. Of course this would mean more development of the CA software, but I think students would really respond to this...they are not getting the "grade" from the teacher but from the computer in which they trust. To play devils advocate though.... I think that this might diminish the whole point of using the CA. There is something about being online that allows people to let their guard down...if students know that their teacher is tracking their communication online this might totally defeat the while purpose of using the CA. There needs to be that balance of freedom but in an educational context. Which is hard because students view their internet as a soundboard for expressing their thoughts behind the big glass screen. So if technology is going to be implemented in the classroom, along these lines students need to be given guidelines.  So in the end it comes down to using CA's to make students feel more comfortable and express their ideas and ask honest questions or using them as a way for the teacher to gather more insight on their students thoughts, feelings and questions. There needs to be a balance. I think educators would benefit from further research on this topic. Also, refining/updating the CA software might be beneficial. In the end I am still 100% for 1:1 face time between the student and teacher....like any instructional method the CA is good but should not take precedence in the classroom...use it don't abuse. Keep it real...

MOA and Gopher Tailgating...MN Traditions?

| 1 Comment
#1) I found myself continually chuckling as I read the MOA article, mainly because I could place myself in a lot of the same settings as Snyder describes. It brings me back to about second grade when I MOA had just opened. I thought it was Christmas all over because my parents had actually pulled me and my younger sister out of school just so we could visit the MOA! I thought to miss school for the MOA...this place must be really something! Now...I try to avoid the MOA at all costs! Hmmmm...could it be because of the "mallrats." Maybe it is the constant aroma of fast food and loud music from the never-ending fashion shows that take place on the lower level...the corny music blaring while beaming young boys and girls show off falls latest looks. In the meanwhile hundreds of young teens beg their mom's to "go buy those jeans" or "return the sweater they bought the other day for this one!" So these jeans and the new sweater are now what define this teen as they walk through the doors of school. Their identity is made out of 50% denim and 50% wool...and it better be the best darn denim and wool in the district if they are going to survive. It always fascinates me to watch mothers and children school shop. For some it is the dreaded day of spending time with mom and being forced to try on a million different jeans until you are so hot and dizzy from being trapped in the dressing room you might just faint right then and there. For others, it is a time to go hog wild wild with the credit card and gather as much "ammunition" as possible to survive  the school year. I say ammunition because that is what it is: 5 cool shirts to get you through the week without being ridiculed by your peers. And for some it means hitting local garage sales and buying things second hand. I hold a huge garage sale every year. A lot of the local school kids stop by not knowing who I am and buy a lot of my old shirts . I often see a lot of my "oldies but goodies" walking the halls of the high school. Always brings a smile to my face. :)
I always remember school shopping with my mom...a HUGE deal and something she looked forward to more than me. I have the type of mom who buys you enough clothes so that maybe you wear the same shirt twice in one year. So one can imagine the extravaganza I went through every fall. Bless her heart...but I hated it! The mall made me cringe and to this day I hate shopping! I could not stand trying on pant after pant and shirt after shirt. So I guess I could say I developed  a kind of negative connotation for malls. I agree with Snyder that the "mall is like a machine," a busy, noisy public area where one is pressured to conform and develop a false identity. When you think about it very generally, the mall is where teens go to get things that everyone else has...things that will make the fit. Does it encourage individuality or does it thrive on the notion that everyone in it wants the same thing...to belong.http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6NgADIr6Tts/SXF0Wv3bQ-I/AAAAAAAABhc/z4Pt0qQAAIM/s400/clueless08-01-12.jpg
Shopping defines Cher, in Clueless. Cher brings the "outcast" of the school to mall and wallah....she fits in!

#2) Location: Tailgating before U of M football game, Dinkytown, MN.
So as I am walking towards my tailgate destination I notice boys and men of all different demeanors but for the most part they are nuts! Bodies painted, beers in hand, aviator glasses, loud raspy voices because they have been up since dawn! I am not quick to judge though...I have had fair share of fun tailgates in college!

"It's my party" to "how many licks"...yikes have times changed!

The 3 required video's for this weeks posting: Leslie Gore's "It's my party", Fiona Apple's "Criminal' and Lil Kim's "How many licks" guide us through a series of changes the represent the relationship between men and women. Let me first start with Gore's video. In this video we listen as Gore sings about losing Johnny...and because of that she can cry at her own party. In my eyes this video and the song lyrics are innocent and do not hold a hidden message. The message is about a young girl hurt by the boy she likes. Yet the video does not focus on this. In this video we see a happy girl singing while while girls dance behind her with tissues in their hands. Boys and girls dance around her, the boys is blazers and the girls in skirts. I would say ultimately in this video the guy "Johnny" has the power. Leslie is crying because of a boy that has broken her heart. Leslie sings about crying and being sad instead of moving on and being strong. This is not the case in Fiona's "Criminal." In this case Fiona, or the girl has the power as she as cheated on her boyfriend and is sexually exploring herself with other men and possibly even women. Fiona talks about taking advantage of an "innocent man", unlike Leslie she is not the "victim." Lil Kim's video takes it one step further as we see her conquest of men unfold before our eyes. Lil Kim has the power here and uses her sexuality to take advantage of men. This is symbolic because she shows that women can have sex without emotion just like men. I think ultimately what this says is that women have power, but only sexually.  In the end I think these video's show 3 extremes. Gore's innocence and submission of the woman, Apple's promiscuity and backlash,  and Kim's overtly sexualized and dominant female. All 3 give youth a dramatized and unrealistic view of the woman. It is funny  to think that so many young girls dance to the words of a catchy tune unaware of the message the notes bring and its implications.

Time to "Toon' In

Hey everyone, this is my first time blogging. I guess I have been "tooning" out this whole blogging phenomenon. I was never a huge AIM'er and do not frequently use my Facebook account. Twitter is odd to me...why is it that we must let everyone and their mother know what we are doing and how we are feeling at every waking moment. It is hard to believe that we have the capability to follow the lives of complete strangers. I probably sound bitter about technology...I am not I just do not use it as a forum to express who I am and what I am thinking. That is why this class appealed to me, not because I love blogging but because I want to understand this phenomenon and how it can be useful for me and why youth connect to it so well. Just recently have I really realized and accepted that the means of communication and connecting for teens as have changed. As I mentioned in my intro I coach dance team at a suburban high school. This is my second year coaching and I realized quick that text messaging is the primary form of communication between the athletes and myself. I have told the girls numerous times that a phone call or email are the only acceptable means of contacting me. This was like speaking a different language to them! The glazed over confused expressions should have been my first clue that this just did not make sense to these youngsters! Never-the-less I receive text message after text message, "Coach I am going to be late," "Coach how much do the T-shirts cost again?" It is not like I am defying society and text messaging but I do think teens still need to know how to make a phone call or compose an email. Text messaging is the easy way out. This is where I finally (sorry I tend to be long-winded) get to my point: are we giving children so many easy options that they do not know what hard work is? For example: it takes 10 seconds to send a text message and a whole 2 minutes to make a phone call. Are kids becoming so used to this fast paced culture we live in that they are missing the big picture of so many things? I have asked the girls I coach why they text me even though I ask them not to, I get 2 answers: 1) It takes too long to call or email 2) Texting is the only way I communicate. So how are our children going to do when they sit down for a live, face to face interview? Or will it be the norm to have "text" lingo in high school papers in the future? Have our kids "tooned" out or must we "toon" in to try and connect and save ideas of the past in order to preserve present and future ideas....Periodic table of texting 

I think that the fist few chapters of Tooning In do a nice job of  encouraging us to explore the pop culture phenomeonon and look at how we can relate to young adults through pop culture. At the same time the book does suggests that if we are going to implement pop culture in our classrooms we must do it deliberately and make sure that learning objectives are still met. I always love the " can't we just watch the movie, why do we have to take notes?"  Students think it's "cool" to watch the movie that they saw in the theater but "OMG" ;) how on earth could it possibly relate to social studies? I recently showed parts of the updated film,  Marie Antoinette and my students were a little leary at first. It was amazing to see how they eventually compared the culture then to today. Without even knowing they started to fuse components of pop culture with education. This can be exhausting for the teacher though, constantly finding ways to incorporate pop culture into your lessons. It is important to find ways to be inspired yet maintain the pedagogy you stand by. I look forward to examining different strategies that White and Walker suggest, in order to open that door in welcoming pop culture to becoming successful in connecting with youth.

Test

First time blogging! :)

Recent Comments

  • dwye0056: Angela: This is a fine rant! I love it. What read more
  • nels2005: Hi Angela, I like what you say about the 70s read more
  • Mai Yer: Well said!!!! What have the media done to us? Or read more
  • haehn007: You raise lots of good points here. I also struggled read more
  • rass0030: Great chatting with ya these past few weeks! I agree read more
  • rass0030: Angela, Great blog and I have enjoyed chatting with you read more

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