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Gender and Technoculture Assignment

For those of you who normally subscribe to my blog, this post is for a class I am taking on Gender and Tecnoculture.

Plus Size Barbie and Ken Doll Commutation Test

In this image I performed a commutation test on body image and size. This is also a sort of spoof advertisement, but I originally intended it to be a commutation test. I first downloaded the image of Ken, and then took a picture of the screen for Barbie. I wanted to choose pictures where their waists would be easily expandable, so I chose one with the dolls wearing bathing suits. For my text, I added a description of the dolls, in advertisement form, and a title describing what the dolls were.

Barbie and Ken and all their other doll friends are the epitome of the popular girls and boys. They are skinny, have great hair, and have the most fashionable clothes. Little girls and boys want to play with dolls with whom they hope to identify with, and in some way, look up to the dolls. Rarely, do you see dolls in various body types. It used to be that you couldn’t find ethnic minorities in dolls, but with enough protesting that changed. Shouldn’t Mattel, who reaches so many millions of children each year, promote healthy body images? In class, we talked about how people perceive others based on what they look like. Unfortunately it is still very true in today’s world. It makes me think that in some ways dolls like Barbie and Ken may have something to do with this perception. From the time they are very young, dolls are shoved in kids faces, showing them what they can look like when they are older. Maybe, if heavier, or at least healthily proportioned dolls existed, we would not have some of the same issues today.

White Slave Reward Commutation Test

In this picture I have performed a commutation test on race. I first took a picture of an advertisement for a slave reward I downloaded from the internet. I also took a picture of my screen for the slave woman, and then edited the color and cropped the image. For the commutation test I made the slave in the picture Caucasian to see how perceptions of slavery would change. For the text I erased over the name Jack and put Jane. I also changed some of the wording in the background image to read “white folk” instead of “blackmen” and “white and dark tan” instead of “black and brown,” to better fit the commutation test.

So much of society is based on a hierarchical ranking system, with slaves on one of the lowest pegs. Most people associate Caucasian males as being on one of the top pegs, so what if the opposite was true? Would people associate slavery as being as negative as it was if white men and women were slaves, and African Americans or other Caucasian men were their owners? I personally believe that society would have looked at slavery in a different light if the commutation test proved true. White men have the fortunate advantage of being one of the only non-minority groups. Even white women are one less peg than white men. Seeing a white slave then would be perceived as odd, and less worrisome, because of their already high ranking. For example a white slave would maybe be perceived as working off a debt, or just working in general and would not be perceived as “property.”

Victoria Secret Spoof Advertisement featuring Adam Levine

This was my favorite image that I created, and it is a spoof on a Victoria Secret advertisement. In the original ad, a semi naked girl is posing seductively with the same words you see on the spoof, and the lotions in the corner. I immediately thought of the Adam Levine picture that you see in the image. I took a picture of the screen for the picture of Adam, and then I downloaded the original ad and took the lotions out of the picture, and put them on the spoof. I had to manually create the background from scratch, and I also added all the wording to mirror the original ad.

This image was really engaging mentally as well. In class we talked about how sex sells, and how women are so highly sexualized in todays media and culture.  Very few advertisements use men to sell women’s products, even though women are the ones that are buying the product! It is odd how if a man is put in a sexualized image that it suddenly seems taboo and foreign, which goes back to commutation as well. When women are in sexualized imagery, it appeals to both men and women without women feeling awkward. However, if a man is in sexualized imagery, other men feel awkward looking at a picture of the highly sexualized man. So how is it ok for one gender and not the other? Most of it boils down to the sheer level of exposure that female sexualization in ads get, but that never makes it ok.

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Things I will never do if I am a teacher

Having just completed my second to last semester of my Undergraduate career ( 2 A’s and 3 B’s thank you very much!!), and dealing with countless idiotic teachers, who really did nothing to further my education, I have decided to make a list of pet peeves/ things that I will never do if I become a teacher.

1) Say “Look in the book” – This is probably my number one pet peeve. Seriously, if a student comes up to you and asks a question, they’ve obviously looked in the book. Even if you wanted to verify with the student, you could say, “Hey John, did you already look in the book for that answer?”. But don’t just say “The answer is in the book”. I had a math teacher who insisted every answer was in the book, and it wasn’t, which was super annoying.

2) Hold students after class for one students misbehavior – This is also really awful. I went to a private school, and the same kids were in your class year after year, and there was this one really terrible kid who always made us stay after class. I can’t count how many times I had to stay after school for that kid.

3) Just read off the powerpoint – I understand if you refer back to the powerpoint for the main points, but if you are just going to stare at the powerpoint and read word for word, then you’re just wasting yours and the students time.

4) Return papers four weeks after you said they will be returned

5) Pick your nose in the corner – Seriously, I had a teacher do this one time. We can see you. And it’s disgusting.

6) Have favorites – Favorites aren’t fair, even if you’re a favorite. It’s okay to like someone better, but don’t treat them any different than the worst kid in the class

7) Sit behind your desk the whole class while we read the book – I had a college G.E. professor do this to the class. He would literally give us a block of pages to read, while he sat behind his desk staring at his computer doing God-knows-what. At that point, why not just cancel class.

 

There are many more things I will never do as a teacher, but I’ll save them for another post! Hope everyone had a fantastic new years!

New year, new beginnings, and New Year’s Resolutions

There is something about the change of the clock from 11:59pm on December 31st to 12:00a.m  on January 1st that has the whole world captivated. Really, New Year’s Day is just a day. The clock goes from 11:59 to 12:00 twice a day, so what makes New  Year’s so special? Maybe it’s the magic of having a whole new year to change your life for better or worse. Maybe it’s the anticipation of a better financial year, where your personal, and the national job market will actually recover. Or, maybe it’s finding that person you will love for the rest of your life. Whatever it is, celebrate the new year today (or recover from last night’s celebration) and make plans to change this year around.

Personally, I’m really excited for 2012. This is the year that I graduate from college and start my Master’s degree. I will hopefully also be moving out, although that may be next year. I will also get out of debt with my parents this year, which will help them out a lot too.

I also decided to make a few New Year’s resolutions, and am happy to say i started one today. I’ve been battling my weight for a while (5-6 years). I have tried multiple diets, and weight loss methods, but none of them really worked, and i usually dropped out of them. This year though I am determined to lose weight on Weight Watchers. I even joined and went to my first meeting today.  With the weight loss comes exercise, so another resolution will be to get active!

Another hope for this year, is to start/maintain a relationship. For those of you who know me personally, you know this has been a struggle. If you don’t know me personally, this is one part of my life that I would change in an instant. For me, it’s not about just “having a boyfriend.” It’s more about the relationship, and having someone in your life that you care about, and that cares the same way about you.

Hopefully, 2012 will be great for everyone, and the world won’t end at the end of the year. But even if it did, at least I would die skinnier!

Life Decisions and the Magic 8 Ball

I wish all decisions could be made using a Magic 8 ball. All of life’s complicated decisions wouldn’t be decisions anymore. For example “Will the U.S. ever not be in debt?” Answer: “Outlook not so good.” “Will I become a multi-millionare for inventing the world’s best invention?” Answer: “You may rely on it.”  In theory, this sounds wonderful, although realistically it just wouldn’t make sense to rely on a ball made of plastic to determine major life decisions such as whether we should remove troops from Iraq, or even whether to eat ice cream before dinner.

Right now, in this stage of my life, I’m deciding what I want to do for the rest of my life. I know I want to work with kids, most likely in an educational setting. Where it gets tricky is knowing what to do. For about 6 years now, I’ve wanted to do something with Counseling. At first I wanted to be a Marriage and Family Therapist, then a School Psychologist, and now a School Counselor. I have talked to a few Graduate Schools and other people who are currently School Counselors, and everyone tells me that the job outlook and current job market for School Counselors is terrible. So if I went through the program, there may not be a job when i graduate.

On the other hand, being an instructional aide for moderate to severe special education right now, I know that I may want to teach special education later in life. This is something I really never saw myself doing, but now that I work in special education, it’s becoming more of a reality. The students that i work with teach me so much about myself, and I know I would enjoy working with them to make their lives better.

So now comes the hard part: The decision. Should I go to Grad School for Special Education, or School Counseling. My passion in life is School Counseling, but there are no jobs. I also really love Special Education, but it isn’t my passion. I could do both, but that’s a lot of time and money. Also if I get my teaching credential first, i couldn’t do the hours needed for my masters in counseling. and if i do counseling first, i couldn’t get my student teaching hours in! All of these decisions make me want to pull my hair out!

Magic 8 Ball, I need you!!

Magic 8 Ball

The story of my life...

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