"Media Literacy"

4th Block Spring 2014

Smore #1—Media Literate, 1/13/14

To be “Media Literate” is to comprehend literature on the basis of the latest technology. Yes, the classics of literature are still important to read and analyze, but for the very first time in history, we can access this ability in a new medium of telecommunication. This interests everyone, but in particular young students who are evidently the ones studying literature on an academic level. “Media Literate” is the academic term of our generation in various ways and allows students to engage in their personal interests towards technology in an educative perspective. Although many people are opposed to this new phenomenon, society has generally applauded electronics in education. For example, Apple finances hundreds of North American high schools with materials so each student can access textbooks, assignments, and other school tools through a single light a portable device. From personal experience, the idea of carrying textbooks and other supplies around physically bores me at even just the thought. I can truly understand as a student the great number of conveniences technology can bring into life at school. Additionally, students usually have a difficult time with physical materials mainly because it draws a negative association—studying, work, and a lot of unamusing assignments. With the new technologies at hand, however, a new kind of skill has appeared, a type of skill where students use their growing knowledge of technology and happily apply it to literature and necessary skills needed in the educated world: the true meaning of “Media Literacy”.

Cheerios 2014 Game Day Ad | "Gracie"

Smore #2—Superbowl Commercial Analysis Précis,‎ 2/10/14

Cheerios in the commercial for “Gracie”, which aired during the 2014 Superbowl, communicates to viewers that Cheerios are always connected to family values, happiness, and love.

Cheerios advertises its cereal by depicting a child a her family using Cheerios to hypothetically (but actually) ask for consent for another member of the family.

Cheerios attempts to get viewers to use pathos to connect to this commercial even though the product is not actually affiliated with the description it conveys so that families, the main target market, would be more inclined to buy their product.

This commercial uses an emotional tone which connects with young couples and families who value love.

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Smore #3—Satirical News Story, 3/17/14

ADVERTISEMENT: Worker’s Party of Korea in Need of a New “Communist Uplift” Officer!

Joy Yang, Editorialist

Are you tired of starving all the time? Do you want to finally rid yourself and your family of malicious diseases? The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s very own Kim Jong Un invites you to apply for the “Communist Up-Lift Secretary” position offered by the Workers’ Party of Korea!

In the heart of our country, the WPK will actually encourage your innovation and emboldening attitude in our work environment here in Pyongyang (unless you mention anything about revolt or ridicule the Supreme Leader in any way, in which case we’ll just have to send you to Camp 13) J.

As an officer, your duties are but not limited to: finding valuable artists who can imitate capitalist propaganda, help research new forms of nuclear weaponry, brainstorm new ways to threaten America, help the Great Leader browse for imported tuxedos and fine wine, and consider new torture techniques for the especially recalcitrant prisoners.

Interested yet?

Not only will you be compensated well, but also you and your family will receive complementary benefits including but not limited to: free education at Kim Il-Sung University (includes Kim Il-Sung textbook fees), sufficient housing and roofing in Pyongyang, nutritious foods locally grown by our prisoners, and military opportunity in the Korean People’s Army!

Prerequisites: Must be a Kim-Il Sung University alumnus, citizen of Pyongyang, and in Songbun level 30 minimum.

Interviews will be held in the country capital building next Wednesday. No need to cry over this beautiful opportunity, for the power of Juche as well as the presence of the world’s best leader are holding you in their hands. Go DPRK, Boo America!

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Smore #4—Kinetic Typography, 3/18/14

Free Writing:

"Since the summer of my sophomore year, I have gained a personal interest in helping the people of North Korea from their oppressive government. This became a passion after watching the National Geographic documentary on the North Korean lifestyle. I joined the school-sponsored club Liberty in North Korea and began collecting money to send to the rescue teams in South Asia. After a while, I began to unconsciously gain an understanding as to why some of its citizens seem truly happy under the government, despite its corrupt intentions. Even now, I cannot verbally explain it, and there is not one single reason for their continuous loyalty. Maybe it is my ignorant, capitalist-raised, self that believes that by liberating the people, that they will feel truly liberated. However, raised in a restricted household myself, I assumed happiness until I tasted freedom for the first time, and that opportunity has made all the difference in my life."

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Smore #5—World War II, 3/31/14

World War II. The ungood government leader Hitler wanted to take over the world, including the good people of Oceania. He was a part of the Nazi Party. The Nazis wanted to unperson and vaporize good people in the world including party members and Proles like you and me. A different territory tried to stop him but for the wrong reasons. Other territories sided with this territory and went against Hitler and his party. Hitler refused. Everyone was unhappy. After time went on, Hitler tried to unperson everyone he disliked for any particular reason, not just ungood or unworthy people like Goldstein. Big Brother then emerged from the crowds of ungoodness and war and unpeace to come up with a solution to this problem. Everyone loves Big Brother, Hitler and the leaders of the other territories respected Him very much, but their own desires were getting in the way of listening to Him. The people in the community where Big Brother used to live thanked Him all the time for His care and His brilliant solutions for almost every problem. With this in mind, 3 years after the war began Hitler and the others were fighting over Big Brother to bring on their side for military advice. Since Big Brother was born in the other territories opposite from Hitler, He felt obligated to give advice and command their army, but Hilter knew he would lose if he didn’t have Him on his side so the fight for Big Brother also went on. After a few weeks, Hitler and the others met on a specific day in a conference as they decided to make an agreement to split having Big Brother on their side. It was inevitable, for even this many years ago, Big Brother was this perfect. Ungoodness occurred, even in the conference room as tensions rose and the leaders were fighting not just for the sake of their own personal regimes, but also for the right to have Big Brother. After a few moments, Big Brother stopped all of the ungoodness midway, for He had finally come up with a proposal to solve everything. He decided that both sides should amicably split and that Big Brother should just begin ruling these areas and they should follow Him. Hitler and the others were so shocked by his by his brilliance that Hilter died in reverence. Since that day, Big Brother and his Oceania have been in lovely compliance ever since, and the Heart of Big Brother is still in those who have ever loved him. The End.

Smith, Winston. The Big Brother Foundation and Library Collection. 1984.

I chose this historical topic because Orwell was obviously overwhelmed by the aftermath of this war when he wrote this book (which was 3 years after this war ended).

Smore #6—Personal Response to 1984, 5/8/14

I’ve noticed quite a pattern with Orwellian works in that many of his themes for any type of literary work—novels and short stories alike—are reused, reiterated, and reinforced as these are his strong, personal beliefs. Conformity and the dangers of totalitarianism are amongst the most popular, and 1984 follows these popular themes. In his novel 1984, Orwell left the book with what many people consider an “unfortunate” ending, yet his point could not have been stronger had he not allow Winston to fail in the end. On a personal note, the ending of the book genuinely gave me chills and feelings of insecurity and creepiness because not many books written about revolutions are unsuccessful—this never happens in most books. I liked Orwell’s book because it was original and distinct from other typical books with an overthrowing-government plot; 1984 details psychological, effective, and daringly realistic ideas in the government in Oceania, as opposed to the modern-day, adolescent, identical, Hunger Games, which in this case does not show these characteristics. With modern-day tragedies appearing such as the crisis in Ukraine and Russia, as well as many other totalitarian states still existent today, Orwell makes very excellent points in the problems of modern government considering many of these flaws have continue to persist today. I could not top the scene of Winston crying in the admittance of loving Big Brother, for there is no better way to show the most fearful and operational tactics and problems of the government without such an ending to conclude the book. The most important message about the book is that such a cruel, unfortunate, reality can be possible—all of it. From Big Brother, to the shortage of all materials, to the dark uses for technology, to the obsession for constant war, this type of world can exist and function.

Smore #7—To Wrap Up "Media Literacy", 5/8/14

In Media Literacy, I have learned an amalgam of different topics ranging from: the modern, obsessed trends of social media that have never been used before, classics of British Literature and its themes, as well as a series of unique connections between the two. I leave this class knowing a lot more about the benefits as well as the dangers of social media and modern issues that have affected people today either through the many themes we have learned as a class through British Literature and from the uses of social networking.

This class is definitely different from other Language Arts classes that I have previously taken for a variety of reasons. Primarily, no other language arts class has even glanced at social media as a topic of discussion, and although this idea seemed very unusual to me, after observing and participating, I was able to understand the connection and how relatable it is to the classics we have been studying as well as how practical it is to our daily and future lives as individuals. This class was the first core class I have taken that requires a computer instead of a textbook, and I have enjoyed it this way much more (as opposed to having my hand cramp all day because of writing journal entries, I write them on here!).

This class has been very effective in understanding many concepts, as it is a new course, but a few ways to increase students’ want and ability to be able to make connections with both modern Media and British Literature could be through integrating the curriculums much more in that one-half of the course should not be distinctly on social media and the other strictly on British Literature. Instead, alternating relatable topics the required literature should occur more often. Overall, this class has been worthwhile and probably one of the most practical I have taken all year to better help me prepare for my future.