Thursday, November 29, 2007

HW 36 & 37

This is the link to my podcast for homework assignment 36 and 37.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

HW 35: My Experience with Blogging

I have learned many new things from maintaining my blog over the past thirteen weeks of class. I have learned how to sincerely and honestly express my opinions and views about a particular situation or event. I have learned how to express my feelings through my writing and accurately get my point across to anyone who may read my blog post. I have also learned how beneficial and influential it can be to express your feelings and opinions on a blog where anyone and everyone can see them. This is a unique feeling to know that other people are able to read about your own personal views and possibly respond to them whether it be positively or negatively it is still comforting to know that your voice has an impact on other people around the world. I hope that people will read my blog and be able to connect with my views about the issues, which we discussed in class. Hopefully my blogs will provide them with a point of view which they may not have realized or considered themselves. I am the most proud of my progress as I continued to blog, I feel that my blogs became stronger and more personal. After this class I will not delete my blogs, I will keep them up. I am not sure if I will continue to blog, I have found that I enjoy blogging. Perhaps I will continue to blog about things that interest me and things that I am experiencing in my life. I do not think that I would ever blog about really personal information but I may continue to blog about books I am reading or questions I have with events going on around the world. I feel that blogging can be very beneficial to an individual and it allows you to experience the feeling of having a voice, which impacts other people, which would otherwise be impossible.

HW 34: The significance of Gold

After reading Riverbends blogs I have learned that gold plays a significant role in family savings in Iraq. The people in Iraq do not own gold for superficial reasons or because they are extremely wealthy. In Iraq gold is not considered to be a materialistic belonging, instead it maintains a deeper meaning. Gold is a significant part of Iraqi culture and plays an important role in family savings. The role of gold began years ago in 1990 when Iraqi Dinar began to significantly fluctuate. Due to this fluctuation Iraqi people decided that it would be much safer and smarter to convert their money into gold considering the fact that the value of gold did not change. Before the war they took their money out of the banks and used it to buy gold. They purchased gold in a variety of forms such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Gold is cherished by the family and is only sold in small portion if it is necessary for the survival of the family. Also gold is an important part of their culture in the institution of marriage. When they get married the man gives the women a “mahar” also known as a dowry which is made of gold jewelry and when they married couple has a baby they are given gift of little gold trinkets. This proves that gold plays an important role and obtains great significance to the people in Iraq.

HW 33: The opportunity to be educated is taken for granted

The video pod cast, which I chose watch was called “Challenges at a Girls School in Baghdad.” This episode was part of the series of “Alive in Baghdad.” It was published on May 5, 2007. The link to this pod cast is
In this video pod cast young female students and teachers at the school are interviewed. The video expresses the issues that the young girls are facing while they try to get an education. The director of the school, Jinan Jamal Mahmoud was interviewed wearing a very conservative red and white shirt with a Vail covering her hair and neck. During the interview she expresses her concerns about the girls and their chance to get a fair and worthy education. The pod cast also showed the young girls being interviewed. Surprisingly the young girls seemed to be optimistic about their education. They conversed with the interviewer very maturely and realistically. They portrayed themselves to be very proper and obtain good communication skills. These interviews proved that they are extremely brave and strong young girls. Despite their disadvantages such as the struggle of getting to school, the lack of supplies and the school building being very old and dirty they seem to appreciate and cherish their education. After watching this video pod cast it makes me realize how fortunate I am to be in a new, clean, well-supplied and secure school environment. I feel as if many people take their education for granted. This video helped me to understand the struggles, which these young girls have to go through every day.

HW 32: Did you get to go shopping for school supplies?

After reading the blog posts from September 19 through October 5, 2003 in “Baghdad Burning” I felt that the most interesting topic, which she discussed was about shopping for school supplies. Riverbend explains that shopping for school supplies is one of the most exciting experiences for young children. Unfortunately because of what is currently going on in the war it is unsafe for children to go outside on the streets. It is unfortunate that children are unable to even go outside their own homes because they have to worry about being shot at or being abducted. Due to these dangers this year, the children were not able to go with their parents to go school shopping. Instead Riverbend explained that she, her cousin, her cousin’s husband and E had to go shopping for her cousin’s two little children. The children had to stay at home and could not take part in buying their own school supplies. Most children were overly excited for school to start because due to the war it was starting late, and the children were anxious to get out of the house and be able to see their friends again. Instead of being able to walk to school on their own as the children used to in previous years they know had to be walked by their parents or other adults because of the danger, which surrounded them. There were many times where certain children were unable to attend school because the walk would just be too dangerous and life threatening. The parents coordinated meetings to discuss how to guard the school to keep their children safe. They also discussed who was going to provide the school with what supplies. The school was deprived of supplies such as chalk, chairs, and writing utensils. All of the necessary supplies had to be donated or provided by the children’s parents. This was very interesting to me, because I never realized how much I take school and all that it entails for granted.

HW 31: Donald Rumsfeld

Throughout these blog entries Riverbend continually criticizes Donald Rumsfeld. Riverbend had only negative remarks to say about Donald Rumsfeld. She made it very clear to the reader that she was against him and did not agree with his views and did not respect him. She felt that he was ignorant and absent-minded. I became interested in him because Riverbend was so passionate about her dislike for him, so I was curious what other people had to say about him. Donald Rumsfeld is the secretary defense, he has held this position for two non-consecutive terms and he has held this position for the longest period of time besides Robert McNamara. I then learned that many people do not admire Rumsfeld. It states that people feel as if he does not know exactly what is going on and he never addresses the issue directly but always finds a way to weave around the current issue. When I was searching Google to find out information about Rumsfeld I came across one website that consisted of a large number of quotes that were said by Rumsfeld. The website was primarily designed to make fun of all of the foolish things which Rumsfeld has said. These quotes prove that he is in-fact and ignorant man who exerts little knowledge about what is actually going on in the world, particularly in Iraq. The information, which I found on the internet and the feelings which people tend to have towards Rumsfeld coincides with the feelings that Riverbend expressed in her blogs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hw 30B: "Animation as Political and Social Constructions"

Three speakers, Jiwon Ahn, Sander Lee, and Mark Timney presented the symposium “Animation as Political and Social Constructions”. Jiwon made a presentation focusing on how gender domination is displayed trough paintings and animation. She provided many examples of different paintings and artwork, which portrayed a sense of a dominant gender. Sander was the next speaker who showed a clip made by Walt Disney. The clip included Donald Duck who played the character of a citizen in Nazi Germany. Sander explained that he found this strip interesting because Donald Duck is portrayed as a character who is known to have a temper yet in the film clip he is very obedient. He even says Hail Hitler thirty-three times throughout the clip. Sander feels that the film suggests that the Nazi government is so powerful that even those who are normally rebellious have no choice but to cooperate without resistance. He states that the film reinforces the fact that “The individual is powerless under Nazi control.” (Lee, Sander) He also showed another film clip, which was designed by The Warner Brothers. This clip includes the incident where Bugs Bunny encounters Hitler. This clip demonstrates the idea that Bugs Bunny is willing to risk his life to prove that the Nazi’s are cowards and Bully’s. Mark Timney gave the final presentation. He chose to introduce his topic by showing the audience a clip of an episode of South Park. This was an episode about the war in Iraq and the people who are for and against the war. The episode addresses the issue of good citizenship versus bad citizenship and what it wakes to be an active citizen. He explains that 55% of the shows actually have a moral theme and the others usually present a solution. This episode portrays the idea that people who want to be an involved citizen are willing to speak their mind and work hard to change something. In my opinion the most interesting part about this symposium was the presentation given by Sander. I was fascinated by how much meaning one-film strip can entail. I had never seen those filmstrips before and they were filled with so many different messages.