Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blogging Around

            The first blog I read was by Maeve Hanrahan and it was called "Imedia:Women". Maeve's words really hit home for me in this blog post. Being a girl that is affected by media I really was able to connect to her post. She spoke about the places like Abercrombie making a shirt that says, "Why do we need brains if we have these?" okay for young girls to wear. I for one do not think that is alright at all. We need to be encouraging the young girls to take a stand on what they believe in and strive for whatever they want in life.

I posted this on Maeve's Blog:
"Maeve, this blog post is clearly SO relatable for all girls growing up in today's society. We are expected to be something that is clearly not possible to obtain. I think a great example of this is the dimensions of the famous "Barbie" doll brought to life size. Her proportions are off, certain body parts are too big, while others are much too small. She would be incredibly underweight and her legs would not be large enough to support her body. This example just goes to show that the media is making it seem "normal" to be something that is not even possible. Little girls start playing with Barbies at a young age, and it is then that this idea of a "perfect" woman is placed into their heads. I loved this blog Maeve, it was really interesting to read."

            The second blog I read was by Raina and it was called "Get Organized: A Tribute to Aristotle". I loved this post and I really could connect to what she was saying on so many levels. Her blog made me realize things about myself that I didn't even know beforehand! 

I posted this on Raina's Blog:
Raina, I think my brain works similarly to yours. It's just something that I haven't fully realized until reading your blog. I never thought about cleaning as a way to relieve stress, but now I think that is something that I might like to do. I too feel a sense of peace after something is cleaned. After I read this I went and cleaned my backpack too, and it made me feel less stressed out than I was beforehand. I think I'm going to try cleaning as a way to relieve stress now! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Get Organized: A Tribute to Aristotle

          This blog happened to be assigned at a perfect time in my life. Earlier last week my Mom told me that if my room wasn't cleaned in one week I would be grounded. This blog was the last bit of motivation I needed to actually go through with cleaning my disaster of a room. 
          I'll start with how my room became the insanely messy area it was before I began cleaning. I am a perfectionist in most things I do. Actually almost everything I do. The only exception is my room. Since it is my living area and other people, for the most part, do not see it, I am alright with it being messy. If people were going to be coming into my room often, then I would keep it clean. I tend to care about other people's opinions too much, so if nobody sees it then why clean it? 
           A layer of clothes, supplies, stuffed animals, garbage, writing utensils, papers, books, and much more lined every surface of my room. Let's just say that it was time for a deep clean. My mother was right. Before cleaning I looked at my junk filled room and felt overwhelmed. I wasn't sure that I would be able to accomplish this, but for my mom and this assignment I chose to go for it. 
           I decided to begin with the desk in my room because I haven't been able to use it in about a year due to how much stuff is piled on top and in it. While cleaning I found things that I hadn't seen in years. Birthday cards from 7th grade, papers from 6th, and corsages from freshman year dances were just a few of the random things I found. These are all things that I no longer need, yet I kept them for some reason. 
           Before I continue, you need to know that I am also someone that has difficulty throwing things away in fear that they might mean something to me in the future. This made cleaning my room even more difficult. I would stare at a birthday card from forever ago and wonder if I would miss it if i threw it out. The process went on and on like this until my Mom came in and told me I was being crazy. She began helping me go through things, and it helped quite a bit. This is when the cleaning process really kicked into gear. 
          After finishing my desk I moved on to my closet where I found shirts that I couldn't even fit over my head, pants that had no button, and socks with more than 10 holes on the bottom. All of these are things that I obviously had no use for anymore, so I threw them away. When I finished cleaning my closet I moved onto the floor, which was just covered with random things. I ended up throwing a lot of it away and by the end of the process I could see the floor. I made my bed, turned on the lava lamp and took a gander and my newly cleaned room. I was proud of myself immediately. I felt a sense of relief being able to use my desk and see my floor. I had never realized that my messy room actually made me a little bit anxious. Having a clean room made me calmer. 
           The process was tough, but I learned that a clean environment actually makes me feel better. I also learned that I am a person that really needs quite a bit of motivation to go through with anything. Overall, I am so happy I finally cleaned my room because it really taught me a lot about my thought processes and how my mind works. Oh, and now I know what color my carpet on the floor is. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

What if: Dinner with Aristotle.

            Reading Sophie's world has got me thinking about many different philosophers, but one in particular stood out to me for many reasons. Aristotle is known for his ways of teaching, and since I want to be a teacher it was very interesting for me to learn about his ways. After thinking long and hard about what topic to do for my blog this week I decided to go with 'What if' because I wanted to ponder the possibility of having dinner with Aristotle. 
            First of all I would make sure to get reservations at a wonderful restaurant that is not too loud and has great lighting. I'd do this just to make sure he is comfortable in a place that he is probably very uncomfortable being in in the first place. Then I would begin talking to him. I feel like our conversation would be very enjoyable and quite easy since both of us have a passion for teaching. He would probably have a lot to say about categories, since this was a min factor in his teachings. I think that he would ask me many questions about our world today since it said in Sophie's World that he was a big questioner. He would most  likely ask me about how people these days are living up to the theories he had back in his time. I would explain to him that his theories about categorizing were for the most part dead on. 
            For example, he says that he could make a prediction for a group of adults as to where they would place different things if they were asked to put them into categories, and they would all put them in the same place that he had predicted. This seems to be common sense for us now, but back when he thought of it it seemed remarkable. There is one portion of his lesson that I think he should have included in more detail, and that is children.
            If I were to have dinner with Aristotle I would explain to him that his theories were correct, but he left out a huge group of people; the children! Since I do want to become a kindergarten teacher in my future, of course this is the first thing I think of when I learn about Aristotle. I would tell him that if he did the same experiment with kids the results would be completely different than what he predicted! And this is simply for the reason that kids have not gotten a chance to learn everything that adults have about how things go together. For example, an adult knows that a tractor and a farm would go together because they both have to do with farming, but a child might not realize that. I can't wait to continue reading this book and learning more about philosophers, but I think, at least so far, that Aristotle would be my first pick for a dinner!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Best of Today: Humans Merge with Technology

            Today in class we discussed the topic of humans merging with technology in the near future and whether or not we would become a new species if that indeed does happen. This discussion blew my mind. I have never really taken the time to think about things like humans merging with technology. Obviously, when I'm watching the movie Terminator I am watching it happen right in front of me, but that movie is fiction, so I've never thought for something like that to really happen. 
            The discussion in class today really got me thinking about this concept. I took a while to ponder exactly what my view was about it and I finally decided that I am against merging humans and technology. I understand that it would make people live longer and probably have more fulfilling lives, but I think that merging with technology would take away our humanity. Removing a broken part of us and replacing it with something else is taking away a part of us. If we do end up merging with technology I think people will end up changing greatly, and not necessarily for the better. I am guessing that people will make themselves fantastic at many things, and we will end up with a population of rich people that can do everything and poor people that seem under par because they cant afford to combine with machine. 
            Not only does this concept seem very unfair and biased towards people that have a lot of money, but it also will destroy our concept of hard work and dedication leading to reward. It could get to the point where information is simply downloaded into our brains, making it incredibly simple to learn new things. School would be useless because a kid could learn how to write with a click of a button. I feel like we are better off only using technology in humans in dire situations. If someone is dying and needs something mechanical placed inside them and they can afford it and are willing to risk the changes that could come along with it, then sure. But for the most part I think that is we do end up merging with technology the human race as we know it will never be the same again. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Metacognition: Mindbook

            When I first heard about the Mindbook from some older students that had used it in past years I heard mixed reviews. Some people hated it because it was a bit time consuming and tedious, while others loved it because they got to show creativity that was always being pushed aside in other courses. I would have to agree with the latter. Now don't get me wrong, I've never really been the "artsy farty" type of person, but I have always been interested in finding ways to be creative and express myself. The Mindbook gave me the perfect place to do just that. 
            When we first began working on our Mindbooks I was looking over the prompts and began to worry when I saw that many of them had to do with writing, and there were only a few prompts that involved artistic creativity, like collages or mashups. I started to worry because I have never really been a very strong writer. I was always the kid in english classes that got consistent 85 percents on every paper because I could never figure out a way to improve my work. Seeing that a lot of the prompts involved writing I began to have flashbacks to my prior years in english and started panicking about being able to succeed in this class. 
            Luckily though, I soon found out that the Mindbook entries are meant to help spark creativity, even if it is through writing. These Mindbook entries have opened my eyes to all of the different ways it is possible to be creative. I used to think that creativity could only come when I was working on a collage or something like that, but I have now realized that I can have fun and be creative when writing an essay or something more along those lines. 
            The process of the Mindbook involves a lot of brainstorming and then executing thought out ideas, which I have always been pretty good at. So I found that part to be simple to do because that is how I do most of my projects. But I was very surprised when I found out the amount of creativity present in all different types of writing. I now realize that I can have fun writing any type of paper as long as I put my own creative twist on it. The Mindbook is my favorite project yet in high school, and I know it will continue to be as great as it has been this quarter. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blogging Around

            The first blog I read was by Chris and it was called, "What if; Kids taught other kids". This blog was about the concept of kids teaching other kids instead of teachers doing it. Since I want to be a teacher this post made me think about this technique and if it would work. It think that doing this every once in a while would possibly work in a classroom! I wrote: 
"I think this is one of my favorite posts that I have read! I really think that this way of teaching would allow kids to enjoy school more and possibly get more out of it! If I were in a class like this I feel like I would be much more willing to learn! Since I want to be a teacher eventually this post really got me thinking about how this would work in a classroom! Maybe I'll try it some day."

            The second blog I read was by Andrew and it was called "What if; Plagiarism". His blog covered the topic of plagiarism and also talked about the concept of I agreed with his statement about how in the next few years teachers will not be able to monitor plagairism with something like becasue students will be able to find a way around it. I wrote: 

"I think your post was really interesting. I've never thought about plagiarism in depth, but your post got me thinking. I completely agree with your statement about a way around being inevitable. With the technology we have today and the growth there will be in the future, i feel it will be almost impossible to catch every kid that is plagiarizing a paper. I loved reading your post!"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Best of Week: Born in a Brothel.

            I missed most of this week of humanities due to being sick, but the day that I was there we watched the movie Born into a Brothel. This movie was the highlight of my week because of the way it opened my eyes to the way that people are living in our world. It made me think about the bubble that we live in called Glenview. That we are exposed to some hardships in our lives, but not nearly as many as people living in other parts of the world. I have never taken the time to think about how people live in India because it is so far away from me so it doesn't really affect my life. But after watching this film I have found myself pondering what it is like in other places too. I think this is how many people in the north shore think since we are never really exposed to such horrible living conditions or such horrible laws and restrictions. 
            This film also made me think about how lucky I am to have what I do. I was born into a family with a house, an income to put food on the table, loving parents, and a safe neighborhood. These kids are lucky if they have more than a dirt floor to sleep on every night. I thought it was incredibly unfair that these kids have to live like that, it just makes the cycle continue when they are forced to do as their parents did. It isn't fair that it matters so much where you are born as to what you will do with your life. I mean there are the exceptions that have a wonderful story to tell when they work their way out of the horrible life they were born into, but most are not that lucky. That's why I think what this woman was doing for these kids by trying to get them into schools that would help them get to universities was amazing. She was giving these kids a chance for a bright future that they would not have had without her help. 
            Another thing this film made me realize is that I would love to travel the world and learn as much as I can about other cultures. I want to be an elementary teacher after college and I think it would be brilliant to travel the world teaching elementary kids. I would get to experience the culture and traditions of every place as I was also getting to teach their youth. This is now one of my goals in life. I plan to study abroad in college, but after watching this film I do not want studying abroad to be the last of my traveling. We will see what happens! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Connection: Creativity and The Beatles

            These past few weeks we have spent most days getting to the bottom of what creativity truly is. We've taken apart poems, essays, and many other works of art in order to do so. I think that i've finally begun to grasp the true concept of creativity during this class. Now onto the connection. I have always been and will always be a huge Beatles fan. I could listen to their music for days and never get sick of it. It's something about how different their music is compared to other people that draws me in. All of their songs have an element of mystery and the ability to always make me wonder what they are really about. With my passion for the Beatles in the back of my head at all times I began to make connections as we learned about creativity.
            Throughout learning about creativity I have been thinking about the amount of creativity John, Paul, George, and Ringo had to have possessed in order to create such amazing works of art. In a time when experimenting with different ways to make music was just beginning they were able to take it to a new level. Something that we talked about in class a lot was that creative people were able to think outside the box and make something new and different. They used trumpets, sitars, and created sounds that nobody had heard before through creativity. Sometimes they would just stumble upon a new sound by accident and still they would find a way to incorporate it into their work. The two band members that specifically embody creativity to me are John and Paul. These two brilliant men never stopped learning. They were always hungry for more. 
            Just one of many examples of their extreme creativity is the song A Day in the Life. John wrote half and Paul wrote half. The two parts of the song are immensely different yet they found a way to connect it with a musical interlude. They were able to make two things that normally would not mesh, mesh perfectly. All four of the men in the Beatles possess many different traits of a highly creative person. So as we have been learning about these trait I have found myself always going back to this wonderful band. 
            This relationship matters to me because I was able to understand how these men made some of my favorite music on a greater level. Before this unit I understood the details of their lives and I knew all the words to the music, but I never knew the traits that they all needed to posses in order to do the amazing things they have done with music. I guess this connection really taught me how important something like creativity is in the life of a musician like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, or Ringo Starr.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What if?: Technology and the future.

            Something that was brought up for a brief moment in today's class got me wondering... what if, in billions of years, when the sun is still going strong, whoever inhabits the planets consider us, humans, to be minor organisms from the past? I've spent quite some time thinking about this topic since we spoke about it in class today because I really think it is interesting. We consider the small organisms that first inhabited earth to be minor in the grand scheme of evolution. Compared to human beings, those organisms were nothing. In billions of years people could be calling us those organisms. It baffles me to think of what the world could be like billions of years from now. With all of the technological advances that are being made every day, it seems to me that we are exponentially growing in our technological use and our ability to understand what is around us. 
            The possibility of humans being more machine than human in the future also came up in class today. The thought of that ever happening to the human race scares me. Not just because of the movie Terminator, but for many other reasons. If humans become less human and more machine will we still be able to feel? Will we still be able to experience the emotions of love, hate, fear, happiness? A life without emotions, both good and bad, is a sad one at best. If we keep going at the rate we are going now with technological advancements then, sadly, i can say that I would not be surprised if this actually did happen sometime in the future. If this were to actually happen we would probably gain years on our average life span and a few more physical abilities that we could not have possibly had being fully human. But at the same time we would have the possibility of losing all of the things that make humans such amazing creatures. 
            I don't know about you, but I know that I would not be willing to risk the amazing things about being a human being just in order to live longer or be able to lift heavier objects or jump really high. I wish that things on Earth could just stay the way they are now, but this is a very naive thought. Our world is changing right before our eyes and there is nothing we can do about it. We are just along for the ride. I could probably go on about this topic for hours, but I will end this blog entry now. Maybe I'll continue this post on another entry in the future. I guess we will see!