Before taking my senior seminar class, English 495 with Professor Wexler, I honestly disliked the idea of implementing technology as a means of teaching within a classroom. In fact, I was against the rise of technology all together (I still vow to never buy a Nook). However, after this class and all the presentations given on the new forms of media, it has really opened my eyes to how vital the new technology can be in a classroom. The different types of animated video sites that kids can use in a classroom I think is a great idea, they can learn while having fun with the technology their generation has grown up with. Also, learning the proper means of citing works and using online programs and emails properly will be a huge skill to be conquered young, and a vital one throughout their education and professional careers. Before this class I was even anti-social media, and now I even see the positives in that for children. I still find Facebook obnoxious, but there is so much knowledge that can be gained through these types of social interaction that the limits are endless. These networks connect individuals all over the world and create an immediacy of experiences for all people in every culture. Knowledge, insight and developing an open mind are the key constructive factors that can be taken from the global sharing of recent generations, and overall can pose to be dynamic new means of acquiring knowledge.
April 27, 2012
Throughout the 20th and 21th centuries in America there has been a tremendous increase in industrialization, the expansion of the market and enormous wealth created within the country. As the years advanced the nation heard Presidents speak on the progress the country was making industrially and how bright the future would be for capitalist America. To outside countries, America appeared to be a dominant world power with its’ growing market and workforce, upon closer look though, the displaced people of these countries would soon realize the reality of capitalism. America reached into foreign countries to apply capitalism in other markets, increase industrialization and ideally create a better lifestyle for people around the world. Through the development and progress made in other countries, no room was left for people of the lower class. An example of this dispossession of the lower class in a society due to urbanization and industrialization is India, which can be displayed in the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire. In the movie the audience follows the life of a young peasant boy, Jamal, who along with his older brother try to survive in India as it transforms from a rural country to an Western capitalist one. The movie Slumdog Millionaire represents the socio-economic changes imposed upon India due to capitalism as well as the dispossession of people of the lower class.
In the beginning of the Slumdog Millionaire the living conditions for Jamal and all the other residents of his neighborhood in India are far below the average living for poverty stricken individuals in America. Furthermore, it is almost an entire city that lives in such poor conditions, as oppose to a small neighborhood. The movie gives an accurate portrayal of just how harsh it was to live in India in poverty, as seen mainly through a child’s perspective. The kids in the slums were wearing nothing more than raggedy tank tops and a pair of worn out shorts; none were even seen wearing shoes. Another example of how poor the living, and subsequently the working conditions where for these people was a scene in which the two little brothers have built an outhouse of wood on top of a walkway made of planks and they charge people a coin just to use their restroom. This is a very rich scene to include because not only does it exemplify the living conditions of the poor, it also illustrates the under developed infrastructure India possessed before urbanization. Also, is displays the types of jobs in which the poor where realistically able to obtain, such as the restroom scene or pawning their personal items in the streets. The amount of wealth in India shown early in the movie was very low, but there were still means of survival for the poor and people of the slums through their own craftiness which required no professional training.
In the past ten years or so America has taken it upon themselves to impose capitalism in other countries, and view this neoliberal idea of an open market necessary to freedom of a country. In a book by David Harvey titled, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Harvey states that “According to neoliberal theory, the sorts of measures that Bremer outlined were both necessary and sufficient for the creation of wealth and therefore for the improved well-being of the population at large. The assumption that individual freedoms are guaranteed by freedom of the market and of trade is a cardinal feature of neoliberal thinking, and it has long dominated the US stance towards the rest of the world”(pg. 7). Along with off shore production and disciplining of labor, America has increasingly influenced many foreign countries with the American capitalist market place, immense industrialization and urbanization. Socio-economic change, due to the overreaching of American capitalism in foreign markets, can be seen in Slumdog Millionaire in later scenes in the movie. In one portion of the movie Jamal meets up with his brother, whom he hasn’t seen in years, and his brother is working at a construction site for a gangster. All around the huge skyscraper that his brother is helping build are dozens of other monstrous buildings being erected as well. The brothers sit and ponder the changes that India has been affected with in recent years. Upon their reminiscing, they can see the old slums in which they use to live and comment on how crazy it was that people ever lived that way in comparison to the new developments which have become prominent all over their homeland. The industrial change is vastly different then the lifestyle the people of India were used to, and although the future looked promising to investors and the wealthy in the country, such as Jamal’s brothers’ boss, the rest of the population saw that their way and standard of living would never be the same.
Capitalism appears like an amazing progressive system to any outsider, however, there are so many inherit contradiction within the system that once a country changes to a capitalist market all the flaws become very apparent. With industrialization come more job opportunities and the demand for workers who can successfully carry out the new professional jobs along with the work in which the market requires. Often times the lower class of the society in which capitalism is being brought into does not have the proper training for the new jobs being created, nor the money to get an education required to fulfill the jobs. This leaves the lower class worse off than they were before urbanization reached their country, and are ultimately dispossessed. In the article “Where Did the Future Go?” by Randy Martin, he comments on these circumstances which the lower class are forced to endure when urbanization occurs, “As a social force, capital not only dispossesses people of old habits of life but also attaches them otherwise. Likewise, imperial occupation does not only sow chaos, but also introduces certain demands and desires that are self-ordering.” With no chance of being able to compete in the new job market they are forced to move to an area in which they can make some sort of living, often outside of the developing cities and into a rural area. This is evident in Slumdog Millionaire when the brothers are in the new skyscrapers and looking down at the old slums; those people are surrounding by buildings and a new city which they will never be able to rise socially or economically, and eventually will be dispossessed if they weren’t already. This is one of the issues with capitalism; it geographically shifts problems instead of solving them, which can be observed in the film.
Due to the increased development and urbanization in America over the past years, capitalism has become increasingly appealing to foreign nations. Along with the desire for Americans to spread capitalism, keep trade doors open and impose their way of living unto other nations the industrialization and urbanization of many foreign countries worldwide have become incredibly developed in a short amount of time. Nation leaders think capitalism will bring the country immense wealth, however they do not realize the negative effects it will have on the population. Countries in which are under-developed then become industrialized quickly do create a larger job market and an opportunity for more wealth to circulate in the market, but the majority of the population in these countries are not educated to hold the emergent jobs being created. This makes for a worse situation for the people of the lower class and they ultimately become dispossessed and will never be able to rise socially or economically. These circumstances are displayed in the movie Slumdog Millionaire in which India becomes industrialized and leaves the lower class dispossessed with little opportunity in the job force or chance for a economically successful life.
1. Slumdog Millionaire. Boyle, Danny. Tandan, Loveleen. 2008. Film.
2. Harvey, David. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, 2005
3. Martin, Randy. “Where Did The Future Go?” http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_5.1/martin.htm. © Logosonline 2006
1. Gender- Never acknowledge any type of favoritism or dislike to a specific gender, you will get written up or have the 19th amendment thrown in your face.
2. Race- Any racist remark is completely outrageous in a classroom, and you probably shouldn’t be teaching if you’re a redneck anyways.
3. Religion- Don’t ever knock a religion, at this day and age all types of religions exist and are practiced, so you’re bound to offend someone with any snide remark on a religions’ practices.
4. Politics- This applies to classes in middle school and up, kids can already decipher their parent’s political views and will jump to reiterate them in argument. This topic will most likely end bad and just be uncomfortable for the other students, I know from experience.
5. Sexuality- Yes any homophobic comment will scar the kid in the corner who feels different from the other kids and has not yet come out to their parents about their sexuality yet, be sensitive.
Obviously any form of sexual harassment or abuse is off limits and would end in the teacher being stripped of their teaching license. Other than these topics most other discussion matters are pretty ok.
As technology has increased, so has the amount of information that has become attainable to the world. YouTube is one of the most popular sites that has been created and really allows for a worldwide sharing of information, memories and insight into social, economic everyday issues. While there are some really ridiculous videos on the website, the amount of things that can be learned from YouTube is extraordinary. If there is anything at all that someone wants to research, learn how to do, or simply be entertained, this site can help. It should really be seen as a viable tool for every one of all ages, including teachers and members of the professional sphere. This can pose as an important tool in a classroom because there is seriously a video for every subject and can nicely highlight as well as reiterate any point being discussed in class. Also, since the youths of today are growing up in a highly developed technological world, video stimuli from YouTube can pose as a means of keeping the students entertained while learning. The videos on this site further allow for people to see and interact with people all over the world and visually experience the completely different lives and issues from other countries. This site is an insightful tool that can be used in both the education realm as well as for anyone who stumbles upon the site.
As the state of technology continues to progress, teachers are in need to keep up with all the latest forms of media as new tools for teaching with. As children are beginning to grow up with technology, they are well adapted to and immediately intrigued by all new forms and latest versions of media and technology. In order for teachers to keep their classes interesting and utilize all forms of teaching, it is important to know how to use all new forms of media that come out, this can be through informational websites, the use of videos or the use of blogs are a few examples. One in which a group of mine researched and taught was the use of the website wiki leaks.org. This is a website which contains thousands of documents throughout the world which discuss and argue upon all types of issues from climate issues and case studies, to government files and corporate scandals. This website is useful because the documents can all be sourced and cited in essays and papers as legitimate sources of reference. It is also a good website to teach because most articles and documents contain a specific point in which they argue and are particularly useful for persuasive essays. Along with the broadening scope of information attainable via internet and websites, it is great to teach students what types of sources can be used in schooling for essays as sources. The teaching of wiki leaks opens a whole new spectrum of information in which they can choose from, and know that their source can be an acceptable one. This is just one out of many new forms of media which teachers should learn and teach to their classes as a way of adapting teaching plans to the ever changing and evolving world of technology which their students inevitably have already grown up with and been exposed to.
One rather pressing issue in America, and definitely in California, is the vastly increasing prices of gas. Back in 2005 if gas coast around 2.28$ a gallon, that was considered high. Today in California if you stop by any gas station, and this also depends on where you are since prices in and near cities are more expensive, the average price of gas per gallon is around 4.50$. This is insane that it coasts so much money for people simply to get to work, school, home and etc. This is seriously ridiculous, for people driving a small Honda such as myself it cost 45$ to fill up, while the drivers with larger cars reach 100$ for a tank of gas. So while this isn’t a death threatening issue, it is most definitely an unfair case of supply and demand that needs to be regulated and fixed. If I were teaching a class of students and wanted them to better understand this issue and possible pose solutions to fixing this via media I would have them begin with researching gasoline related articles and information on the internet. The internet has such a wide variety of material and it really takes practice to be able to research and find what information and articles can be seen as a legitimate source of reference, researching is a tool that will help students throughout their schooling career as well as throughout their lives. Raising awareness on an issue is the first and most important part of teaching them about the gasoline conflict taking place. Then I would have them brainstorm ideas on how it could be solved, then get into groups and come up with all their different opinions on that matter. One way in which I could use new social media as a means of solving the issue is through Facebook, Twitter or whichever social network is most popular at the time. Through this they could create social group and circles that gather hundreds of thousands of members all upset about the same issue, gas prices. Through this they could bring awareness and grab the attention of senators and congressmen. Also, through a social media group they could pose strikes against gas stations, write letters to congress and even boycott buying gas all together for a week or mouthing. Basically through social networking there are many ways to organize huge groups of people and make your voice be heard.
“After he heard the story of how Rinchen had lost the beautiful woman, the king gave him a small wooden box”
In present culture there is a huge amount of literature, art, movies, T.V., shows, plays and music which all illustrate classic stories and myths. These artworks and creations are based off ancient myths and stories, even while most of the masses don’t realize it. Some of the myths we see today are the hero, the myth of creation, the trickster, the male and female divines, and ones of sacred places; noticeably, these all relate to themes in present popular culture. Most people know of creation myths from the story from Genisis in the Bible, with God creating the earth in seven days; there have been many variations of these types of myths in children stories and movies. Also, many people are familiar with the hero myths, that is when a person,usually a male, leaves home, goes on a quest,overcomes a battle, and returns a hero. An example of the hero myth in contemporary society is Harry Potter, who leaves home, goes to Hogwarts, overcomes struggles, ultimately beats Valtimore and becomes hero. These types of hero stories are all over our present day culture, even in Lord of the Rings, and many Disney movies. Furthermore, a new type of hero has emerged in our culture which somewhat reflects the values and opinions of society, this hero is known as the “outlaw hero.” This is a hero who is not an officer or part of the government, but a citizen who is somewhat an outlaw, and actually does morally good, while the officers in these stories are the ones who are actually corrupt and committ the crimes. These types of outlaw heros are seen in shows such as Dexter or Sons of Anarchy. While most people over look myths as a part of the classics and ancient literature, these myths actually affect many of the stories which are produced in society today.
City by the Bay
Countless sharp green hills
Cut into the hazy sky
The summer of love
Cap and Gown
It was a rare sunny day
Everyone’s minds were miles away
One of eagerness and triumph
Sky high with ambition
To conquer life, with each a new mission.
The chosen peers delivered their speeches
Us on the football field
Our families in the bleachers
We shook hands and received a diploma
Then threw our hats and the show was over.
Then and now, now and then
The past few years have been a journey
Flew through school in such a hurry
Time to go on and make something of ourselves.
After the First World War many artists, writers and poets in the United States used their art and literature as a means of expressing their societal views. W.B Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” is a perfect example of his disappointed and certainly pessimistic opinion of not only America, but also mankind. The poem illustrates Yeats’ critiques regarding society in the early 1900s and the negative vision he held for the future of humans. Many people were against World War One, and due to the enormous loss of young men in the war, which later became referred to as “the lost generation,” the war was regarded as horrific and a huge tragedy. Through many intense metaphors, symbols and religious references, the author vividly is able to depict his ideas for the future. W.B. Yeats’ “The Second Coming” is not only a social critique, but also a prediction of the desolate future of mankind.
The first indication of Yeats using this poem as a means of expressing worries of future occurrences within society is through his expression in the lines regarding warfare and technology. It is clear that Yeats believes that after the mass destruction and high number of casualties from World War One, that machinery and combat had become too powerful for man. This sense can be found throughout the poem, and the fact that it occurs multiple times gives that idea a greater significance. In the second line, “The falcon cannot hear the falconer,”(Yeats) is a metaphor in which the falcon is machinery and the falconer is mankind, and the falcon cannot hear his master anymore implies that machinery also, will no longer be able to listen to its’ master either. The two lines following the second line, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” (Yeats) also depict a grim forthcoming which Yeats has in mind. These lines project a world which is in utter chaos, and the “centre cannot hold” referring to the humans who created the society begins to crumble as its’ outer parts, being machinery and warfare, become too heavy. Lastly, the fifth line, “The blood-dimmed tide is loosed,” is used as a symbol of war and death. In an article by John Crowe Ransom titled “Yeats and His Symbols,” Ransom states that the fifth line, “[has] an occult meaning or may be a metaphysical image of war” (11 Ransom). This symbol then further indicates that it is because of all the war and killing that leads mankind to their dark prophecy. Through these metaphorical lines Yeats portrays the coming of human society falling part as the technology which mankind created becomes too powerful to control.
The second component which alludes to Yeats’ prediction of the future is his mentioning of a gyre. In this context, the gyre represents the idea that history, or life, happens in cycles, and specifically in cycles of 2,000 years, which is referred to in the poem by, “Twenty centuries in stony sleep” (Yeats). The very first line of the poem says, “Turning and turning in the widening gyre,” which suggests importance because it means that Yeats wants that idea to be immediately in the minds of readers as they proceed reading the poem. This line represents the cycle of history, and means that while writing this poem, in the early 20th century, he felt that the end of a cycle was at hand. If one recalls what happened 2,000 years ago from the 20th century, Jesus Christ was crucified, which marked the onset of dark times for mankind. In John Eugene Unterecker’s book A Reader’s Guide to William Butler Yeats, he states, “Yeats, carefully vague, manages to hint the end of all while explicitly prophesying the reversal of the world’s gyre, the birth of a new, violent bestial anti-civilization in the destruction of the two-thousand-year Christian cycle. His rough beast, compounded from Christ’s Mathew 24 prediction of His future return and St. John’s vision of the coming of Antichrist, the beast of the Apocalypse,” (165). The gyre marks a dark period for humanity and Yeats through this poem expresses his prediction that it is near.
The last element of “The Second Coming” which makes the poem a prediction is the religious reference to the Second Coming of Christ, or Judgment Day. Aside from it being the title, the phrase “The Second Coming” is repeated throughout the poem, which is evident of its importance to Yeats. The Second Coming, according to the Bible, is the end of the world when those who have led virtuous lives will be taken to heaven, while those who have not will remain on Earth which will become a Hell. Furthermore lines nine and ten state, “Surely some revelation is at hand; / Surely the Second Coming is at hand” (Yeats) referring directly to the end of time. Through these lines Yeats is comparing the early 20th century, to the Second Coming. According to the Bible and the book of Revelations before the Second Coming there are supposed to be a series of horrendous events such as natural disasters, war, and disease. Yeats was reflecting on World War One and saw that civilization was declining and thus he made his prediction of the Apocalypse through this poem.
While Yeats’ “The Second Coming” definitely reflects his disgust with mankind and the state of the world after World War One, it is much more than a social critique but is actually a prediction. After the enormous loss of young soldiers in the First World War Yeats, along with the majority of the world, felt very hopeless about the future for humankind. In the poem Yeats uses the metaphor of a falcon getting away from its’ falconer as a way of describing how technology is going to prove too powerful for humans to control in the future; which has and will continue to contribute to the destruction of society. He also refers to the gyre and how it is occurring, ultimately meaning that the end of the past 2,000 year cycle, which is marked by a time of dark anti-civilization. By mentioning the Apocalypse in his poem, and naming it “The Second Coming,” Yeats reiterates his prophecy that the morals of humanity have perpetually declined so greatly that Judgment Day must be in the near future. Through his poem Yeats illustrates a prediction that Apocalypse is upon humanity through his many metaphors, symbols and allusions.
1. Ransom, John. “Yeats and His Symbols.” The Kenyon Review, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer, 1939), pp. 309-322. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4332091
2. Unterecker, John. A reader’s guide to William Butler Yeats. Octagon Books, 1983
3. Yeats, W.B. 100 Best-Loved Poems. Ed. Philip Smith. New York: Dover,
1995. 26. Print.
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