In this digital collage I included things that represented the American Dream to me. I used the classic 50's "white picket fence family" and the photo of Homer Simpson to draw contrast to how we see a generic American family now, compared to how we did then. I had the label of "Job Opportunity" go across the photos representing college and career, and right in center to show that it is the controlling theme. I felt that Rosie the Riveter showed a classic and older representation of an equal opportunity job in America.
The purest definition of the American Dream cliche we all know was written in 1931 and it's values still hold true today, it states “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement...but a dream of social order in which (person) shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position” this core concept is what gives life to everyone’s personal ideals of the american dream, and connects them all. Now a study done in 2000 by Public Agenda states that most Americans see higher education as the way to achieve the American Dream, a necessity to succeed. My dream as an American is for myself and anyone else to be able to climb whatever ladder they want to by hard work and perseverance, this can include college, but it could just as easily not. It's about personal choice and where you want to go in life. We live in a place that was known to be the land of opportunity for everyone, and I still think that is true, even for those not planning for a 4 year college. Over time I think people have gotten a lot more specific about what the American Dream is, one of those very specific things being college, and our parents perception of it definitely has an effect on where we end up going in our life. For most of my classmates they are going to a four year college after graduation, because it is the commonly expected thing to do, and we have lost touch with the value of jobs that require other kinds of training. Yes, too many people can go to college, and we are facing that problem now. Another effect of the specificity of our newer widely accepted american dream is that people placed more value on material things, instead of dreaming to be happy and healthy, people dreamed of having a big house and a nice car.
This week we read 2 Native American folklore stories, and one darker story about growing up on a reservation. Below is a free write about the folk lore I wrote earlier this week.
In the 2 stories, “Arrow to the Sun” and “Raven”, they both offer an explanation for something happening around us, for example, the raven story explains how we got the sun, it was made up in a time before we knew so much about our planets and solar system, so they made up a story to explain why we had a ball of light in the sky. And it was told for generations. Folklore can also teach lessons, like the story “the tortoise and the hair”, its a tale warning of those that are cocky and careless with their work. It also coined the familiar phrase, “slow and steady wins the race”. Stories like these usually serve one of those 2 purposes.
All folklore has valuable lessons, they were made up by wise people long ago and they continued to be passed on because people still held that lesson in high respect. In a simpler world, solving religious conflict could be resolved by accepting lessons from kids stories into your life, but there is so much history and pain (like the "trail of tears") attached to these conflicts it would take a lot more than that to resolve them. We have made a lot of progress and things are getting better but life for Native Americans is not what it is for us, and the government has no idea how to work with the reservations.
This weeks guiding question; What systematic expectations are placed upon people of color throughout United States history? How might these expectations still affect people of color today?
This week we read 2 stories by Langston Hughes, a social rights activist and poet, the one I will be talking about is called "One Friday Morning" and how it relates to our guiding question. In the story a young girl is denied a scholarship because she is black. The prejudices that people of color experience now are not usually as straight forward as the example in the story but even decades later people of color are facing the same prejudice roots in different ways. In a movie I watched with my school at the Napa Valley film festival it brought up a point I hadn't heard of before, our subconscious prejudices that seep into our everyday decisions. How we judge people based on a glance is often biased by race. In "One Friday Morning" she describes the American dream as it was stated in the pledge of allegiance, for liberty and justice for all. She and her teacher talk about how they will fight for equality for the next generation, we have these same discussions, we are the next generation of change. Just because racism isn't publicly accepted anymore doesn't mean there isn't more progress to be made. There is much work to do before our country is equal and completely undivided.
The question I will be responding to today is, "How have major wars throughout United States history affected women voices in writing?" I read the two poems, "Viet Mihn" and "the Bombing of Baghdad" today, Both of these stories were written by women from Vietnam, Tra Thi Nga, and Wendy Larson, who moved to New York and collaborated on a book. These poems are both very serious and bleak in nature and what happened was a horrible tragedy but there is a silver lining, these women found a space to work together and be listened to after having this experience. Without it, they may not have been as well known as they are. At the moment, they are published writers and activists fighting for an issue that is very personal for them. We can't know what their lives would've been like if these events didn't happen but as of now, it sparked them onto an impressive life path that is spreading the word and immortalizing events that may have been forgotten and buried without people like them. Of course, no one would condone the sufferings they had, but for these women, it gave them a chance to show the world a very powerful voice.
Miss Emily and Miss Millard.
In the short story “The story of an hour” the main character finds out her husband has passed, and her response in front of company is that of grief but when she is left alone she yells freedom over and over again. She has found this freedom she has never been allowed to have as a married woman. In the other story we read, “A Rose for Emily” the main character never married, but she did live with her father for many years until he passed, and then she was freed too. Emily never did marry, despite that being what everyone expected, she was a young woman in a wealthy family, society says that you need a family to carry on the family name. Her father wouldn't allow her to marry, so when he dies she goes looking for a husband. She really does want to be a wife, and she finds a suitor, but he turns her down. Ultimately she kills him and sleeps next to his corpse. Which is definitely not what society expects, woman or not. I found the second story to be much more interesting, perhaps because it is longer is it able to make a more complete story or maybe its because of the murder. I certainly found that is applied to our question “how do women defy societal expectations?” much better. She was a crazy old lady who was widely respected because of her father and grandfathers actions, and because of that she got away with a lot.
Displayed in this blog post will be a short write up I wrote after reading the story "The Yellow Wall Paper"
In the short story, it portrays a woman who is told she is not mentally well but by the end of following what this man “John” says is best for her, she seems worse off. John is a doctor and is keeping her at this house “for her benefit” but she starts seeing people in walls after she gets there so you tell me if it's benefiting anyone. John believes he is helping her because the social norm back then was that the husband knew best. But she knows that he's wrong and to try to gain some personal freedom starts lying to him. In the end, being controlled and not listened to and walked over for 3 months gets to her and she really does go crazy. When before she was probably just going through a rough patch. Not being heard and never having any accountability (in such a personal relationship as husband and wife especially) only worsened her situation. We’ve all felt unheard, even when you know you’re right but they still won’t listen because they don’t think you know anything. As a young woman who works in an industry run by men, I am very familiar with the feeling.
For this maker project we were asked to engineer, prototype, and create instructions for a lantern to be displayed in down town at Napa's Lighted Festival.
At the end I am still proud of the work I did even with all the challenges and design changes, it may not be pretty, but the wiring is well done and it certainly lights up.
We were asked to make an appetizer in chemistry class, I met my team and we agreed on calamari on the first day, having some doubts about the skill level we were attempting. Our first task was to break down our ingredients and find out what chemicals made up our food, we all soon discovered that our food was far more complicated than we thought (and I realized I really had no idea what I was eating). Many things went well, we all brought the ingredients we agreed to, we overlapped time consuming steps, and the end product was pretty good. But that's not where I learned, I learned more because we had a teammate missing, a marination plan that didn't come together, and a hot plate that none of us knew how to use. We problem solved around all of these and ended up way more experienced for it. But in the next project I will double check that we have a way to contact each other, and formulate a much more defined plan for our allotted time.
In this past semester my writing skills went down from how they were before summer, because my sense of responsibility has been decreasing. This semester I will make a plan to help support myself in my efforts in applying myself to my school work instead of using my time on less important things.
My plan so far is to set reminders on my phone calendar for each assignment when I should work on it and when it's due, and not spending all my afterschool time on my social life and hobbies. A specific thing I want to work on is after completing a writing piece to read the feedback thoroughly and care about making those corrections, unlike what i did on my power essay. Some of these efforts are small but I feel it will have a large impact on my quality of work.
In any parent child relationships we can pass on undesirable traits in our parenting, in the book Insomnia by Stephen King, a man beats his wife for years, including before and during her pregnancy with their child as well as after, eventually after one especially gruesome episode where an ambulance, cops, and neighbors were all involved she was convinced to get a restraining order against him and press charges. But the only reason the main character was able to make her take that risk was by opening her eyes and making her face the reality of what the abuse was going to do to her child as she grew up, especially if the father turned on her, but even if he didn't ever hit the daughter, just growing up in the environment where that was the example of how women (and how she) would be treated when she was older will send her down a dark path including her own abusive relationship.
While some claims state that humans as a whole can over take any inherited flaw because of some redeeming factor there are lots of people that have come to terms with a reality that no matter what we will never be able to completely rid our race of our deep seated evil although it shows up more in some places than others it will always be there. This does not mean we cannot learn to cope and work around our unwanted characteristics but simply that we will never make them disappear without even a trace left to sneak its way into our actions, words, and lives. These flaws are standing in the way of the human kinds full potential, if a large portion of individuals focused on making improvements for themselves to work on specific parts of their personality we could make progress on many issues that are influential to successful life. Some examples human flaws are as follows; enviousness, defensiveness, aloofness, volatility, eccentricity, entitlement, being unreliable, meticulous scrutiny of others, and the inability to communicate. When we exhibit these patterns, especially from a parent to a child, we can imprint on others and pass on hindering personalities from generation to generation.
Brunner, Tom. “10 Character Flaws That Can Derail Even Good People.” Dr. Thomas M Brunner, Brunner Foundation, 20 Mar. 2012, www.doctorbrunner.com/10-character-flaws-that-can-derail-even-good-people/.
Stafford, Tom. “ Are We Naturally Good or Bad?” BBC, BBC, 14 Jan. 2013, www.bbc.com/future/story/20130114-are-we-naturally-good-or-bad.
Humanity's Flaws With Child Abuse8/23/2017
While some people say humankind will overcome any flaws, humankind does have a tragic flaw that could result in its destruction, such as child abuse. Many children in this world struggle with or have struggled with abuse in some sort of way. Some examples of this is physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. Some children have even experienced neglect. Children around the world are having to deal with abuse from their parents, legal guardians, people around them, and even from strangers. Children and even adults that are or have experienced some sort of abuse at some point in their life; it can be hard for them to come out and express whats going on or what has happened to them.There are many sites that give a safe place for people to talk about abuse and get help or even learn other people’s stories and then maybe speak up about what is happening or what did happen. There is many movies, books, articles, and even tv shows that express child abuse but most people that it’s actually happened too are scared to speak up because they think that this tragedy will never end. In the book Insomnia by Stephen king, A man abuses his wife for years even after the birth of their child. He also physically abuses his child after it is born. From this book, I have taken into account that from you being too afraid to speak up about what is actually going on and keep it a secret, you can be putting other people such as your children into the exact same situation.
While some people may say that humankind can overcome any flaw, although this can be true to some extent. Humans can’t overcome everything.This doesn’t mean that over time we can’t fix things in our society because we have seen some things improve. But in today’s day and age we still do have things we need to fix because we can exhibit others negatively and leave bad footsteps for more people end up following.