Sunday, March 24, 2013

In Service of What- Reflection

As I began reading "In the Service of What", I was a little lost and unsure of what was going on and how I was going to write my blog. As I kept reading, the term community service stayed in my mind. The more I read, the more I had the idea of community service stuck in my mind and I just kept remembering all the community service I had done over the past years. Both authors, Westheimer and Kahne describe different ways to complete community service and ways to get involved in the community to the readers.

Over the past few years, I have completed community service at a few different places. One thing that I did for community service was for my senior project. As the end of my senior year, I volunteered at a daycare. I thought this would be a good idea since I was planning to major in Elementary Education. It was really great to help these children out because you could tell that they did not get much help at home so it felt really good that I could go to their classroom three times a week to help them. This is also how I feel about my service learning placement this semester. I know most of these kids come from low-income families so most of the time their parents are working so they don't have time to go over things with them. It makes me feel a lot better knowing that I helped improve their reading skills. 

Something else that I have done is give clothes, toys, and books away to families that can not afford it. Even though I was not going out to buy them brand new clothes and toys, I feel great knowing that maybe I helped make their winter nights a little bit warmer. Many kids, especially in Providence, do not have money to just go buy new clothes whenever they want. Some families can barely put three meals on the table a day. Knowing that I can help these families makes me feel really good. Why should I throw away my old clothes when they are in good condition and can go to people who really need them?

As I read on, I saw that Westheimer and Kahne said that some states require students to do community service in order to graduate. My school did require this and every year the amount of hours increased. When I graduated I only had to complete ten hours. Now, I believe my high school requires twenty hours to graduate. This was put into effect my junior year but I do think it is a good idea to get kids involved with the community so they can see what the real world is like. 

My point to share in class is this: How many other people had to complete community service hours in order to graduate? If you did, what did you do and do you think it was useful? If you did not, do you think it is a good idea and how do you feel about not completing the hours? Do you feel as though it has a negative or positive effect on you today? 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cinderella Ate My Daughter- Hyperlinks

Throughout the story "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" written by Peggy Orenstein, she tells us about a personal experience that she has with her daughter. While her and her daughter are at a family party, she lets her daughter run off. However, when she doesn't return after a while, Orenstein gets nervous. She looks around for her daughter and when she finds her, she is laying on the ground with her eyes closed. A little confused, she looks around at the other children and they tell her that she is pretending to be Snow White.

When reading through this article, it kind of seemed like Orenstein was shocked that her daughter would do something like this. So I researched other articles and found out how other parents felt about Disney movies. In one article that I found, the author tells us that based on her research, the negative effects in Disney movies outweigh the positive effects. The author gives an example using "Beauty and the Beast", which I thought it was interesting because Dr. Bogad used the same movie as an example. However, in class we talked about positive things. We talked about how girls might view Belle and what things she does that makes her heroic. But in this article, the author laughs at all this because she notices that Belle isn't in control at all. The Beast locks her in her room and deprives her of food. This falls right into the gender categories that we discuss in class.

I think this article is very interesting because it is mainly focusing on gender, while most articles when dealing with Disney movies focus on race and how they are no African-American princesses, only white. I have a question for everyone. Do you think Disney movies portray negative affects more because of race or gender? As I read through people's blog, I notice that some people don't think it has any affect on children and I am one of those people.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Unlearning The Myths That Binds Us- Extended Comments

As I read through "Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us" by Linda Christensen, it was really hard for me to pick a side. I have a sick obsession with Disney. It's actually a problem, I probably have more Disney stuffed animals than your average five year old..oops. As much as I love Disney now, I also loved it when I was little too. I grew up watching Disney shows and movies. I knew that the stories weren't real, they were just something called "fairy tales". But it never occurred to me that there would be some kind of "secret education" behind it all. I also know that when I was little, I was focusing on the princesses finding their prince charmings, not trying to figure out about some "secret education" that might be behind the scenes. 

After I read Christensen's piece and formed my own opinion, I decided to take a look at other people's views. I wasn't sure whether I agreed or not with what she was saying, but thankfully I wasn't the only one who felt this way. After I read other people's blogs and comments, I realized that other people felt the same way I did. Alicia's blog stood out to me, especially because she took information from Nicole's blog so I could reflect off both of their opinions. Alicia pulled out a quote from Nicole's blog which I also liked. The quote is "After taking this class you are forced to see things that shape society and you as a individual, when in reality you’re not really an individual at all... All in all though, you determine what you want yourself to see, if you want to remain ignorant or accept awareness of these things." Like Alicia did, I highly agree with this quote. Nicole is right, we are forced to see things in society that maybe we didn't notice much before we took this class. I like the part where she says "When in reality you're not really an individual at all". Nicole is right in this statement because most people do what is considered "the norm". Not many people will be a leader and do or portray something different in this society, mostly because I think they are scared of how society might view them. Going back to Alicia's blog, she says that "they are looking into it way too much". I completely agree with Alicia, especially because children do not even notice things like this until their much older and go through life. I'm sure Alicia's daughter isn't watching Cinderella thinking "Why isn't she a black princess?" Kids watch these shows and movies for entertainment, not to try to figure out the secrets behind the scenes. 

 I still can't really decide if i agree or disagree with this article, but I think I am leaning more towards disagree. I would love to know other people's opinions. Did any Disney shows or movies affect your views on society today? If so, what movie/shows and why? On a positive note, in 2009 I think society does see this issue because they release the film "Princess and The Frog", which has an African American princess and she is portrayed as the main character.