Sunday, May 1, 2011

Creative Project Idea

I have this very intense obsession with roses. Not for their romantic meaning but for another reason I couldn't figure out completely. Every time I would see a rose I had to stop and admire it. Every single one is unique in its own way. I loved looking at them and I always got this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew they were beautiful and meant love and beauty, but there was a side that made me think of things that were depressing and I couldn't figure out why. Until one day I remembered a memory that was lodged very far in the back of my mind. When I was very young, probably 3 or 4 my parents took me to a cemetery. I remember it was sunny outside with just enough wind for it to feel chilly. We came to a grave that had a small ground headstone, and written on the stone after we pulled the weeds away was the name Christopher Gibb. It was the brother I never met. My parents had a baby boy before I was born who died a few days after his birth. The umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck as he was being born and he suffocated in the birth canal. It was a devastating lose for my parents. All I can remember standing there was my entire family crying and holding each other while the wind swept around us. Before we left my mother placed a single red rose on his grave.

My obsession with roses isn't just about my brother's death, since I didn't even know who he was or what he would become, but that he never got a chance at life. He was taken away before he could even experience his first day in the world and see the sun or feel the wind on his face, or be free to run around and play; all the joys I had when I was little and still get to experience to this day. The rose isn't just a memory to me but a reminder that life can be full of surprises and can sometimes end too soon for others. This experience really showed me that life is short and its best to enjoy what you can in life and live it to the fullest so nothing is lost or forgotten. I keep his memory alive by living my life the best I can and go to his grave whenever I can to visit.

It can be weird going to a grave of a brother I never even knew but I feel a connection to him. I can't describe what it is or how it feels just that I know its there and I'm going to enjoy life for the both of us. I feel bad that he never got the chance to feel and live like I get to, but I know that somehow he is happy for me. I'm grateful for my life and want to live it out the best I can because remembering this memory has helped me to better understand life and live in this world the best I can.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Image Topic: Cigarette Ads

Ive been thinking about this topic for a while. Its been bugging me mostly because of this one ad I just saw recently. Heres a link to the image:

there are a lot of other smoking ads out there but i want to focus on the ones companies put out for their customers.

a few quick points i came up with right away:
inference: beautiful people smoke, famous people smoke, popular if you smoke,

some of their ads are focused on teens, who cant buy their cigarettes legally anyways, but the younger they are, the longer they sell to them.

I think I want to focus on the idea of what attracts young adults to smoking and what they see when they see a cigarette ad or even one saying it is bad to smoke. it would be cool to include info from both sides, like people who see the ad and still dont want to smoke against those who do see the ad and want to start smoking.

so if focusing on the young adult idea some examples could be like a person whos trying to fit in at school and sees this ad that says he will be popular if he smokes so they start smoking. Or someone whos stressed out all the time and sees an ad that shows they will be calmer and less stressed.

any other ideas?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Image culture thoughts

I feel that images today have become a very important part of society. Everyone has access to a camera of some sort, whether it be on a phone of a digital camera. Photos show what is important to a person as well as what they might be going through. The Hurricane Katrina example is a good example of how photos affect people of today for showing the devastation that happened. For more recent news there's the earthquake and tsunami that happened in Japan. Photos were seen all over he Internet and the news of the devastation and harm that nature caused. Without photos or videos we may not know he damage that happened over there and didn't realize that it was a good idea to prepare and have a plan in case a natural disaster like that could happen.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

text messaging

"in the name of 'progress' our official culture is striving to force the new media to do the work of the old" - marshall mcluhan
i like this quote because i think it is true to a point. we use some of the new technology of today to help with our communication thinking that it is the best way to communicate when sometimes it can do more damage than good.

i find it funny that language and communication is basically done either by phone or by typing words onto a little screen and sending it in only a few seconds to another person. its a giant leap for technology but what about the basic idea of communication and being able to listen to a person and know how they are feeling. texting only gets the word across it doesn't do well with emotions or knowing how a person truly feels. i know i've been a bad with texting thinking that the other person could just read my mind and know how i'm feeling. but thats not the case and it never has been. emotions may be difficult for guys to understand with girls but when texting is thrown into the equation it just blows it all out of proportion.

this quick and new language that has started with texting is making the entire younger generation look stupid. i think its one of the weirdest things to actually hear someone say "lol" or "omg" in public to their friends. it takes away the beauty of language and makes everything abbreviated and fast. language today isn't about intellect and being able to show knowledge, its about getting the point across faster and letting the other people know what you want to say with only a few short letters.

texting is a wonderful example of how this medium of global communication is slowly turning our society more and more to become used to everything being fast paced and instant.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Matrix

My favorite scene in the matrix was the last fight scene between Neo and the Mr. Smith in the hallway of the apartment. I like it because it is Neo's final realization that he was trapped in a cave. He is now strong enough to break away and be himself and not be overpowered by the machines. Throughout the entire movie he doesn't truly believe that he has the power to overcome the Matrix or if he is truly The One. But he finds the way to overcome this and now has the ability to bend the Matrix and keep it from hurting him almost becoming a powerful super hero of the Matrix.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Cave

When starting out as a college student one might feel like they are free to do as they wish and roam around a new place and have new experiences without the watchful eyes of parents. I experienced this my freshman year and was happy to know that I could do as I please and be able to pull money out of my account and never run out because my parents would always keep money available to me. Everything was great my first semester and I was able to do all the things I enjoyed and would never run out of money. But then things changed and I was thrown off my cloud of happiness and into a brutal reality.

One day I tried to get money out of my account to buy food and for some reason it said that I didn't have enough to withdraw. I called my mom wondering why this was and she hit me with a full blow to the chest. "Your father has been laid off and we don't have enough money to support you without the help of financial aid". I was shocked. In my young freshman mind I believed that my parents would always be able to support me and have no problems doing so. But this dark reality remained that I now had to find a way to make money for myself since there wasn't enough that my parents could give me.

I was in a cave that made me believe I could be dependent on my parents all throughout college, but I was wrong and the shock of this reality scared me enough to not know what to do. I was in a shadow of my own innocents. I had seen this new light and it was a scary new place. At first I wasn’t sure what to do. I needed to find a way to make enough money to help my parents pay for the rest of my housing and college funds. I was able to get a job working as an assistant in the theatre on campus and make enough for my personal spending, which I also had to cut back on what I would normally buy.

I was able to break away from this cave and find a way to survive in this new light. My parents were proud of me and thankful that I was able to find something so quickly. I know can take classes and get whatever I need with the help of financial aid and working 15 hours a week. It isn’t the most fun reality but now I am at least making it through every week well fed and not worrying about how much I spent during the week. It was a struggle to make everything work but I was able to break away from my cave and see this new light and become a more independent person. My dad was able to secure a new job and I am now less of a financial burden to my parents.

Friday, May 21, 2010

letter to college

To Whom It May Concern:

After a research project on the effects of plagiarism as well as academic culture at San Francisco State University that my English 114 class did, I have found out some interesting information regarding plagiarism and the policies set currently at this school. As a class we came up with a survey that asked questions regarding plagiarism and if they have ever plagiarized. Many SFSU students admitted to plagiarizing for a class either by reusing a paper or copying sections from online or from a friends paper. Personally for me I was unaware of the university’s policy for plagiarism, so as a concerned student I think it is important that the school should find a way to let students know what is and isn’t acceptable to do and make it clear for each department because I know that each department may have a different policy.

In my class’s research project we compared why students may plagiarize at San Francisco State University with the study that Susan Blum did at Notre Dame which was recorded in her book My Word. In her book she included her own research of college culture and distractions students face that take away from time to do schoolwork and can cause students to want to plagiarize. We compared these two schools because there are many differences between the students and the activities available to students, like extracurricular activities, sporting events, school events as well as classes and study or homework habits. Even though there are many differences between Notre Dame and San Francisco State University, there were some similarities why some students may plagiarize, even if the reason for plagiarizing may have been different. I’m sure everyone has many fun stories from college where they had unforgettable times at a party that may have taken place of doing work for classes. For Notre Dame many students felt pressured to go to sporting events and the after parties instead of doing homework. Students at San Francisco State it seem to feel a different pressure. Sure there are times when students feel pressured to go to a party but from my own experience I wasn’t bashed by my friends for not going to a party and studying instead. Yes, there are many factors that play into effect for why a student didn’t complete their homework which could cause them to plagiarize, but many students at this school have activities and jobs outside of school. Other activities lessen the time needed to work on projects or homework which causes more stress for the student and this could cause them to lean towards plagiarizing to get the assignment done on time. I suggest that the workloads for classes should be lessened to an amount that is a doable work that won’t stress a student out too much. This in turn will lessen the amount of classes that students will have to drop or fail because they couldn’t handle the work load and there will be less stress overall.

Its seems that one of the main reasons students will plagiarize is because they don’t understand what is considered to be plagiarism. A way to fix this would be to have each teacher tell their classes what they consider to be plagiarism because some teachers may be okay with students reusing papers or research. There will be less confusion to what each teacher is expecting from students. For some classes it seems difficult to know what a teacher may expect from students, which then may cause them to try to cheat their way through a paper to write what the teacher wants to hear. Instead of making writing assignments that are difficult for a student to want to write, what if the assignments were written in a way for the student to connect to the paper so they will want to write the paper? When I was in high school one of my English teachers had us choose from three different prompts that are about the same topic but focused on three different aspects. We had to write a paper on the book Catcher in the Rye and the class had to choose from three different prompts and write an essay. This gave us more freedom as students to focus on one point of the book we really enjoyed and feel more at ease to finish the paper on time and feel confident that we would receive a good grade. This is just one way to try make students feel less of a need to plagiarize.

Another thing that could be done to either stop or lessen the use of plagiarism is to start a punishment system that has maybe multiple forms of punishment. It doesn’t make sense to kick a student out of school because they forgot to cite one source. If a student does something on accident then maybe there should be a teacher meeting or the teacher has a lesson in class on how to cite a source correctly and what to do to avoid small mistakes. But if the entire paper is just copied from the internet then maybe there should be a meeting with the dean of the college as well as the teacher to find some way to punish them and get an understanding as to why they plagiarized. This way the student will know the risk they are taking and know the punishment they could receive for doing what they did. Even if the teacher doesn’t define what plagiarism is in their lectures then maybe there could be some kind of plagiarism workshop that students could attend a few times a week so they know what not to do and how to correctly cite things in their writing. All of these are beneficial to the learning process of the student, and isn’t that why we, as students, come to college for?

College is supposed to be a learning experience right? So doesn’t it make sense to teach students what they shouldn’t do in their writing that could get them in serious trouble. Its better to make those mistakes in school where you can be taught how to not do them again and not get looked down upon because you didn’t understand all the things that are considered to be plagiarism. I believe that the suggestions that I have given you are some examples of steps towards the right direction in helping students to better understand what plagiarism is. Thank you for your time to read my thoughts and suggestions.