Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Technology of the Future

I was unable to attend the Broach School event today due to transportation issues. I was ready to go however with my clay supplies and lesson plan. I am extremely disappointed that I could not come since I was prepared.

Below is my lesson plan, in which I supplied a tub of Crayola air-dry clay as well as colored clay for the 3D modeling part of the project. Jade Pilgrom supplied the 2D aspects of the project with colored pencils and paper.

Technology of the Future

Imagine 20 or 40 years into the future. What is something that you think will change… the way people transport themselves, ways of communication, or entertainment?

Think of why certain items like phones, computers, and video games would be different. To make communication easier, to better society, or just be more fun? Most importantly what do you think you will need in the future?

1) Choose an item (phone, computer, car, personal robot…) that you will use in the future. Draw out what you imagine it will look like and visually (draw out) how it will function.

2) Use your drawing to make a 3D model of your actual design!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Project Proposal

I’m considering making a media project based on music and it’s relationship to a person’s mood... I would show my group of students to be aware of how a song or beat provokes emotions. I’d make a playlist of probably five songs, depending on how much time I was given with the children, and I’d ask them to either use descriptive words or draw how the music made them feel. From that preliminary question I’d follow up with “what about the music or beat made you feel different… for example the quick tempo making someone feel anxious?”. I’m not sure if the classroom will have a stereo or a way I can play the music or not…


I could construct a handout that they can complete all of which relating to the future and how the predict changes amongst themselves and society as a whole. This project would be expanding upon the idea from one of our past blog posts about the “next big thing in the media”. An example question could be, “What does the phone of the future look like and what aspects would be beneficial to the design?” As for an answer the students may choose to either draw what it would look like or use words to describe their design, whichever option they are most comfortable with.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Media and The Body

For some bizarre reason when we were told to find an image that reflected "Media and The Body" I thought of a type of dance, or performance art... synchronized swimming. To me the sport is very old hollywood and that is what drew me in at an early age. I actually have competed in synchronized swimming competitions for eight years and stopped early on into high school. I think that it is one of the most graceful sports and in order for the performance to really stand out it needs to be coincide with the music exactly. The swimming positions need to mirror the music so much so that when you see a performance it seems like you are watching the music play out.

I chose an image of Esther Williams who is iconic for the sport as well as MGM films. She actually trained my first coach, Rosemary. The sport is less known then it's prime but it will always have a little Hollywood glamour to it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Keeping things cool

I feel like the next “cool” thing will be a more exclusive society, people will be more focused on self advancements but not so much as a community. One thing that is kind of disheartening to me is how bookstores are closing nation-wide and reading, as a whole seems to be on the outs. I suppose reading is not dead per say it just does not have the same magic feel to me when I read text on a screen. So I guess reading as it once was, or the format has expired but digital reading is at a high. I can see this as a positive attribute to society because people, especially the younger population, take their ipods, ipads, and e-readers everywhere. This makes reading with a vast library easily accessible and accessibility will encourage reading as a behavior. Another thing that’s encouraging about all of this is that I can already see the progress on making reading cool. The other day I was watching something on hulu and a commercial for audible.com came on. The advertisement was selling reading as being easy and convenient because the novel, essay, or whatever material can go anywhere.

I don’t think this is too new but I definitely get the majority of my news and pop culture from the internet. Instead of looking at a magazine such as US I go to sites such as, Perezhilton.com which started as one site but now has many sister sites, like fitperez, pereztv, and even a site for pets. I like that I can pretty much find whatever is the common interest of the moment and from there browse other nonsense. Today I actually read an interesting article on perezhilton that talked about theatre and acting with robots. I personally think the acting would seem very cold and ineffective since the droid or robot has no memories that mirror any emotion… so what could they feed off of. I do agree that it was pretty cool seeing both a human actor and a robot working together but it seems very science fiction to me too… the sci-fi that has something go wrong! Hah.

Here’s a link to the article that I referred to,


Monday, February 28, 2011


Lolita was a very intense read; it’s not that the literature was above my abilities but the story of tainted love ruining a man’s life almost seemed too contrived for shock value. Humbert is a character that becomes easily transfixed with love or rather infatuation with younger girls and his description of the need and want to be with them seems almost creepy, which I suppose could be a prelude to the deaths to come. The girls, or nymphets as he calls them tempt him in a way that is hard to resist and Humbert knows that wanting them is wrong but he can’t seem to help it.

It never seems to be Humbert’s fault when something occurs but rather the blame is directed to another person, most often a woman. I feel like the gist of this novel is Humbert blaming the women in his life for the misfortunes he suffers. His mother passes away when he is very young, from all things she dies from being struck by lightning. He uses her death as an excuse to behave the way he does, he doesn’t feel as if he needs to be moral since he was never taught right from wrong. His mother’s sister, his aunt attempted at rasing him but once again the blame and wrongdoings that he does, he justifies because he never received the loving he deserved.

In class the discussion of love came up briefly and I argued that what Humbert is experiencing is infatuation not love. Why else would he tire of Annabel or other young girls… once they grow past their prepubescent stage he needs to find the newest thing. Out of all of his relationships, his desire for Lolita lasted the longest and the fact that he could not obtain the goal of having her made it even harder for him to find a new love. He grew obsessed over somethi g he could not truly have. He definitely seems to be blaming women for something he cannot posses, love.

At the beginning of Lolita, in the forward John Ray Jr says, " “Lolita” should make all of us—parents, social workers, educators—apply ourselves with still greater vigilance and vision to the task of bringing up a better generation in a safer world.

" I chose this quote to discuss because of it's utter ridiculousness... after learning that there is no John Ray Jr this statement doesn't seem like a warning but rather another excuse. I also receive the feeling that this quote was written to reassure that there is a moral to this story. Or at best, the story could be justified. And if anything the novel was written more poetically and for love than for a psychologist.

The Piano- Screenplay

The Piano (1993)

Cast suggestions: I have not yet seen The Piano but I did just order it from Netflix so I’m very excited to actually get to see what I read. That being said I didn’t get to see how Holly Hunter played Ada McGrath, but I do know her from other films. Her face is extremely expressive, which the character needs to be since she cannot speak.

I picture Cate Blanchett taking on the role of Ada. Her face is very stoic and she is able to play a variety of roles. Not to mention the fact that she was made for period pieces and The Piano is definitely one! As far as her acting abilities are concerned I think she would be perfect for the part… especially after seeing her in Elizabeth. The only problem as far as a physical standpoint would be that Blanchett is tall and Ada is described as being stunted… but I’m sure there would be ways to mask that through cinematography.

For Ada’s daughter, Flora I immediately saw a young Kirsten Dunst! Seeing her in Interview with the Vampire makes the choice a sound one. She can play very powerful roles and seems mature on film. Just like when she played Claudia I think she could make Flora very witty and almost manipulative.

As far as director notes, I think Jane Campion should have incorporated more information concerning the atmosphere to a shot/scene. When Stewart and Baines are walking up with the native people from New Zealand it seems very abrupt and choppy. Instead of showing the mother and daughter in their makeshift tent and then going to another shot of the men walking towards the beach I would maybe have a shot from inside the tent showing the silhouette of people’s legs and feet. I feel like the two worlds should definitely be integrated.

On occasion there was a note suggesting piano music to be playing in the background. I would keep this suggestion but have it be more involved in the story. Since Ada cannot speak music could be played over her signing to her daughter.

Themes: In the beginning of the screenplay I found out that Ada is having an arranged marriage. I would have loved to see more/read more about Ada and her daughter’s life back in their native country. I also have to admit that I thought it was very strange that her father was setting her up for marriage after she has already been married and had a daughter with her late husband. Since it doesn’t seem like a very realistic subject (especially during the Victorian times) it should have some supporting scenes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Auteurship: Jane Campion films

I must admit that when I saw the term “auteurship” I was a bit confused as to what it meant. My searches kept leading me to the definition of an author, which as it turns out is perfectly correct. The Auteur theory in relation to being an author is the way in which all of their work is categorized. For instant with some directors, their films are easily recognizable… even without knowing the director initially.

At random I chose to watch a Jane Campion film, most likely because the name was female! I feel like I really lucked out with my sporadic choice because I loved her film, Bright Star. I’m easily won by period pieces and she has refined the art. This particular film focused on the love affair between the famed poet, John Keats and his muse, Fannie Brawne. It was beautifully tragic with the underlining story and they way Campion filmed it. I was aware that one of the two main characters would be stricken with an illness or somehow parish but even with that knowledge Campion still crushed my hope that, somehow everything would be okay. I’m very American in my thinking that every ending should be a positive one but the director, who’s Australian, ended the film with a tragic death. It’s very hard for me to define a movie as being good when the ending does not carry the best outcome. Campion, however, tied in delicate notes of love throughout her film and everything from the shots to the acting was poetic. In that sense the film was perfect because it matched the topic of 19th century romantic poetry which Keats’ is known for. The title of the film itself is named after his famed poem which illustrates a devote love to Ms. Brawne.

I have also begun the film An Angel at My Table by the same director. It, like the first film I watched is also extremely emotionally charged. The film, also about a famed poet, Janet Frame, shows the natural pitfalls that life may have. Frame, however, seemed to have more than average with her awkward tendencies which turned into antisocial behavior. This behavior, although not normal was not psychotic. Frame ends up being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and suffers years of physical and mental torture for being different. So far in the film it’s become apparent the Campion focuses on unbalanced characters. Keats suffered as an artist and with love. He could not overcome either during his life… in order to be a proper husband to Ms. Brawne he needed wealth and stability; by nurturing his love for Brawne he did not focus on his writing entirely. Both him and Brawne were isolated characters until they met one another. Brawne, herself only gave fashion her attention and therefore her relationships other than her immediate family did not exist. As for Janet she is a loner in every since. She is not too close with her family and her peers have no respect for her. It’s through her tragedy that her talents become apparent. This is the theme that Campion has perfected.

For my third film I have ordered The Piano, which I’ve heard about prior to knowing the director.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hairspray, 1988

Situations Of A Film

I’m sure that this is not the best film ever made or even the director’s best film but John Waters’ Hairspray has always seemed like a classic to me. From the first time I saw this as a child I was attracted to the grittiness and odd humor that is the genetic makeup for the movie. There’s something about this movie that’s perfectly sleazy and depicts teenagers so well. But… let’s face it; the movie would be nothing without Devine. This was the first Waters’ film that I ever saw and after seeing the creature that is Devine I had to follow Waters’ muse throughout his work.

History of the Genre:

The movie is classified as a comedy but I feel like it has a less commercial approach to getting laughs. There aren’t very many gimmicky lines or a moment in which you feel the need to wait for the laugh track. I would say the humor is almost a parody of the early 1960s, laughing at the obvious subject matters (race, discrimination, hair, and acute sexuality) and using the characters to develop a rich comedy.

Out of all Waters’ films this is the tamest in every way. The humor is still a little more natural than other comedies but Hairspray is definitely the most seen of any Waters’ movie. It also received the lowest MPAA rating out of all the movies Waters directed, being PG while most of his films are R, MC-17, and even X.

Economics of the Film:

The budget of Hairspray is said to be about about $2,000,000, which is relatively low. But for Waters it’s one of the pricier films he’s made. At the box office it made $577,287 the opening weekend. For 1988 that is the most lucrative number but this is one of the few Waters’ films that made it “wide stream”.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Contemporary Fairy Tail

Of course I understand that the world was once fresh and green- that things, new things, could be discovered everyday but that’s not the world I live in now. I only know of the green Earth from the textbooks I read in school. This sea of concrete is safe; the strong, germ resistant reality that I live in protects me from the unknown… or at least that’s what the adults tell us.

About forty years or so ago a strain of Ebola hit what was once California and killed 25 percent of the population. A virus is a very strange thing; it changes itself over and over again. The first signs of Ebola originated in primates and then climbed the species’ hierarchy by killing humans. The disease was one of the few times in which humans didn’t seem so invincible. Apparently, from what I’ve heard every able adult within the US dedicated time and even years trying to understand that certain strain. After about five years of testing and hoping they moved most of the state into the desert because in the desert life cannot thrive. There are currently about twenty military bases throughout eastern California. All of the bases look identical, the same monotone buildings, the same tall cement walls, and all lacking anything from the outside world, which makes life quite mundane. There are no trees, no flowers; no life… life lets in too many secrets and the outcome can be scary and unknown. The bases are restricted areas and only a select few can leave; they are the military doctors, the only people with hope. People like my parents, and teachers have adapted to this boring lifestyle because most of them remember the bad times, where just being alive was enough of a victory.

I, however, cannot accept this life because frankly, this is no way to live. I never experienced the hard times and have never- in my whole fourteen years of living have seen this great disease. I’ve never even had a cold! I’ve never been able to climb a tree or play in the dirt because I’m always watched. That’s why I’ve decided that during the second Sunday of this month, when the doctors leave our base for more supplies I’ll be going with them. I heard my mother telling my father of this upcoming trip- my mother generally hits the news first since she’s a nurse here.

People in the medical profession always are the first to learn of new advancements and that’s why, for the first time ever I’m lucky to be the daughter of a nurse. Most of the kids at school dread the doctors because; initially they are the ones that got us stuck here.

So, the night before the long journey to San Francisco I’ll be going to work with my mother… although she’s not quite a part of my plan once I get to San Francisco. After dinner, I’m telling my parents that I’ll be staying at a friend’s house- because, after all, it is a Saturday and they always pester me about having friends. Instead of the friend I’ll be spending the night in our cozy van for when mom goes to work. I’m very thankful for our large American car because I can easily lay down behind the first row of seats… and once my mom leaves I’ll hop out and slide into one of the open military ambulances that are being loaded up for the journey… yeah that sounds easy enough- hah.

I can’t believe it… I can’t believe it. I actually am in the ambulance! Luckily the staff parking is towards the back of the hospital, where the vans and cars are being loaded. The only thing I’m not too sure of is this refrigerator that I’m hiding behind- who knows what it carries. Well, since I didn’t get much sleep in mom’s van the night before maybe I’ll try and just rest for a bit. I have a feeling this will be quite the drive.

Hmm, I wonder how long I fell asleep for… I don’t even remember leaving our base. Did we leave the base? The van seems to be parked and everything seems too quiet. I guess I should have paid more attention so that I could have gotten out to explore. I finally stretch my neck and try to peer over to see the driver. There’s no driver. No anyone. The car’s still running though and the sight of this refrigerator is making me ill, in theory that is. I look once more to make sure I won’t be seen… although I don’t think anyone is here to watch me leave. I get up and jump over to the front of the ambulance from there I leap to the ground. The ground! There’s grass everywhere. The smells are so intense as well coming from all forms of life up into my nose… and that’s when it happened. I sneezed. The sound echoed across the floor of the woods- at least I think this is what woods or a forest would be. The sunlight seems to radiate off of everything. It’s far more beautiful than any base could ever be. Maybe I should look a little more, or at least take a step. I examine the flowers, and trees and the way they all coexist in perfect harmony and then in the midst of my thinking I heard a small crunch. I turn around in a quick whirl and see no one… I haven’t been found yet. I figure I’m just being paranoid so I go on ahead. Not five minutes pass until I hear another soft crunch. While turning my head I see out of my peripheral a small creature… it’s not a mouse, which I know from many children’s stories but it’s a little larger with a bushy tail.

It’s a squirrel! I have never in my fourteen years seen something so cute and innocent. How can something so small feel so at home in an endless space?

Wanting to somehow be closer to this creature that I’ve only ever read about, I bend down and extend my hand. That’s what people do isn’t it… offer themselves to appear less grand. To my utter delight the tiny animal slowly inches towards my hand. I whisper for it to “come on” and it does. The little squirrel reaches out a tiny hand and places it on my finger- it twitches its tiny nose and then suddenly chews my finger.

Oh no. Could I have caught something… it did bite me after all. I’ll just have to go find someone and tell them I came by mistake? Will they believe that?! If my mom could just quickly look me over I’m sure she’d say I’m fine. Which I think I am…

That’s when it hits me. No one ever comes on the base. People only go to the doctors’ or hospital with self inflicted injuries.

I won’t be able to come back.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Platonic Dialogue Concerning Social Interaction

Media is such a broad term that is seems almost impossible to base a conversation or dialogue off of its meanings. The first thing that media generates is communication and generally the particular media source makes communicating easier. My quarrel with making communication easier is that inevitably the interaction between others will cease. As humans, we are social beings and we thrive off of others- with social networks, such as facebook people grow accustomed to flat dialogue and unrealistic physical and emotional responses. These sites and communicating online as a whole can give people a false sense of power and control. Because the conversing party is not present, unusually harsh words can be exchanged with little remorse. Social networks enable individuals because there are no consequences for the context for what is exchanged.

The below dialogue will be based off of an instant messaging conversation relating to a misconstrued relationship.

X: Hey! How was your weekend?!

Y: … Alright, I guess. I didn’t really do much. What about you?

X: I just hung out with Michelle and Sarah. Pretty uneventful too hah

[new photos of this past weekend just became posted online]

Y: umm, uneventful?

X: what?

Y: You said you didn’t do anything… but it appears you did go out.

X: Oh, well it was a REALLY small get together and it was at Michelle’s house so it’s not that big of a deal.

Y: Okay, well don’t tell me that we’re going to hang out and not get back to me. It’s especially rude when I see that you were at a party.

(Assertiveness that wouldn’t be as abrupt if it the context of the conversation happened in “real life”.)

X: Sorry. I didn’t know I was obliged to ask you to come.

(This statement, being very much a part of the platonic argument proves that not all people share the same logic of what is ideal and what is not.)

Y: A friend should always be included or at least KNOW what’s up with the situation! I feel like the last person to know about these things. I’m only ever “notified” when I receive a facebook notification!

X: I just didn’t think you’d enjoy it and quite honestly I like to do spur of the moment things. It’s not that big of a deal.

(“It’s not that big of a deal” seems uncaring and makes the other person feel inadequate in their emotions)

Y: I don’t know… it just feels like we never really hang out anymore..

(Facebook becoming a substitute for social interaction)

Y: Like, we always say we’ll do something when talking online but in actuality we never do.

X: I guess so. It just seems so hard to actually get out and see someone, you know? Talking on here just seems easier.

Y: It is easier haha but I feel like we need to hang out… in person?

X: Definitely! Well call me after class tomorrow and maybe can just hangout?

(An actual phone call would provide more information within the context of the dialogue based on tone and understanding)

Y: Sounds good! bye

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Reading Situation

As far as reading is concerned, the practice seems almost habitual to me. My mother is librarian and has been for my entire "situation" so reading never seemed like a chore for me- it has always been fun and imaginative. Reading is a lot more personal than watching t.v. for me. A t.v. program is formatted so that every viewer has a similar take on what they viewed... it's kind of monotonous. Reading, however is designed for the creative mind and can be interpreted into many different fashions based on the individual reader. Growing up, I was always told by my mother or instructors that I had a "different way" of thinking and I didn't necessarily learn the "right way". Reading is very forgiving because there is no right way to read or understand the words. Being a visual person, reading allows for me to envision the story through my imagination- once into a story it becomes like an addiction because I don't want the story to stop or my visualizations.

As far as how I read I tend to read silently hah. But on occasion I'll read some passages aloud because I like to feel the words escape and how they sound. Sometimes the intended tone is not specific so saying the words in different ways makes the story richer and less flat.

I tend to read fiction because isn't it always better than what actually happens? I recently finished "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins which is fantastic, especially if you enjoy post- apocalyptic stories that involve a corrupt government. The tale of survival is one that never seems to age or be dated and that is a factor that makes many timeless stories.
Hopefully this course will lessen the gap between my latest reading because I do find myself not having enough time to read or read the way I like to, which is continuously.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Plato's Phaedrus

In Socrates’ Phaedrus the topic that appears quite frequently is the issue of love.

Socrates begins the dialogue between himself and Phaedrus by inquiring about Phaedrus’ whereabouts. The story within a story allows for some growth within the dialogue and the theme of Lysias “is a paradox about love”.

Socrates incourages Phadrus to at best try and retell Lysias’ tale of love. The telling does not have to be verbatim but he wants the gist of what was told to Phaedrus first hand. After some harassment Phadrus agrees to “give [him] you a summary of the points in which the lover differed from the non–lover”.

· One of the most apparent issues with being a lover is that the individual lover wastes his love on others and leaves nothing for himself. Being a lover is a selfless aspiration and one wonders if they are loved back.

· The non-lover has more control since nothing conflicts with his emotions. It is a less complicated roll.

· The divine madness was subdivided into four kinds, prophetic, initiatory, poetic, and erotic.

· Love is most often corrupt and will tarnish existing relationships. A non-lover does not have the same kind of commitment as a lover; therefore he can appreciate existing relationships.

· Their friendship seems to be somewhat competitive, especially when speech is concerned. (After Phaedrus’ initial speech concerning love, Socrates felt that the topic could be better explored.)

· Socrates brings up the valid point of desire and how that manipulates love into being irrational.

· Within Socrates second speech he ponders about love being madness. Madness is also present in poetry… “inspired madness”.

· Rhetoric also becomes an issue concerning how it can strengthen one’s speech and how politicians come into play.