Language Arts Journals

Tim Lee

Journal #1

Media & Media Literacy

Media is our greatest means of socialization; it represents a large collection of various communicative outlets. Many different types of information come about in different ways. For those of which who enjoy reading, there is a newspaper. For those that enjoy motion pictures, there are news channels on television. For newspapers and TV you can choose whether you read/see among local heroic deeds, tragedies, sports, or even news all the way across the globe. However this same material can also be found on the internet, regardless all of which are widely available. There are so various topics on media, many of which are not typically considered important like sports, funny videos, and more. However there are also many important things being said like news of the latest oil spill or war in in the Middle East. Media is so important because it can dramatically shape your mind and if you are not media literate then you can rapidly be filled with poisonous data. Media is constantly evolving and adapting the way we learn information and the way we think. It can become difficult understanding some of the lingo used or the way different media outlets are organized. That is why media literacy is incredibly valuable. Media literacy is the knowledge of understanding: the role of media, how to use different forms of media, and how to analyze and evaluate media. In my opinion analyzing and evaluating media is the most crucial. Most, if not all sources of media contain wrong details or misleading details to say the least. It is important to understand which sources are most reputable and which sources you best perceive.

Journal #2

My attempt at 24 Hours without Social Media

Challenging myself not to use any form of social media for a 24 hour period was a difficult experience. I heavily rely on social media as a means of communication for important and unimportant conversations every day. On social networks like Facebook and Twitter it is easy to communicate with people in a less personal fashion and also get a hold of people you are not often in touch with. Social media also allows you to keep up with daily events locally and worldwide; it is often the younger generations’ source of information. For myself it is also a large part of my intake on what is going on in the news from politics to sports. However I am not very interested in either of those two topics to the point where I feel the need to check it daily, so I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to be successful in this challenge. While going along my day completing my daily tasks of homework and household chores I was well occupied and did not think of using any form of social media. On the other hand later on when I had no further activities to complete I felt like it was the only way to occupy my leftover free time. When my friends would share something funny to me over Twitter I ignored it at first, but eventually I gave in. Using social media is a routine part of my day and going without it for a period of time during the day is one thing, but without it at all, all day is another. It was overall a difficult challenge, and honestly without any incentive I don’t know if I could do it successfully.

Journal #3

Gender in Advertising

It is more than obvious gender plays a large role in advertisement, but there is a much deeper meaning behind the sexes. On the internet, television, radio and more advertisers have one goal, our attention. Our attention is money if you look at it from their perspective and in our world money is power. Humans are often driven by power and will take negative routes in reaching it. When men see a car commercial they want to see attractive, half-naked women displaying them. When women see a make-up commercial they want to see those ladies wearing make-up attracting handsome men. Now this does not go for all men and women, but it does for large numbers. For these people including many of ourselves these things become their goals. Being that guy driving that car that attracts hot women and being that sexy girl with the nice make-up attracting handsome men becomes the standard of beauty and excellence. These ideas contribute to the notion that you aren’t successful or attractive without these things. Low self-esteem is a growing complication in our society and advertisements alone are a major subsidy to the problem. Men and especially women are held to such high standards that they are frequently driven to live for something they cannot obtain.

Journal #4

Donald Trump

After former KKK leader David Duke endorsed Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Trump stated, "I don't know anything about David Duke." However In 2000, Trump had strong feelings against Duke. He spoke unfavorably of him on three separate occasions, including times where he called him "one of the Reform's biggest problems" and "a big racist, a problem." After attacking Duke long ago, the question is why Duke decides to publicly endorse Trump. Perhaps Trump is promoting some of the negative ideas the former Klan leader strongly believes in.

Journal #5

Young Turk Revolution

WHAT makes these rebellions so powerful?

- The sheer size of the people is the main factor in what makes many rebellions such as the Young Turk Revolution so powerful. Influenced by the French Revolution, the idea of revolting was not farfetched. In this case like many others it substantially benefited the majority (nearly everyone in this case), thus persuading many to participate. The Turk Revolution was also started by Ottoman military officers with higher education, allowing for leaders to create a strategy in efficiently using their man power.

WHY is it that people were inspired to act in the first place?

- The people wanted to limit the power of Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II, who returned them to a Constitutional government. Those that were common soldiers or lower ranked officers were often unpaid and/or had little authority. Over decades the government became increasingly centralized and oppressive. A consistent espionage and execution/exile of anyone who opposed in the slightest of ways made life miserable for anyone below the upper class.

WHAT TECHNIQUES did the activists use to gain participants in the movement?

- The revolution was led by numerous groups from inside and outside the empire. Many of the groups were those that were exiled, common soldiers, and officers of the army. Collective teamwork of the groups attacking sections of the empire at a time helped. Most significantly was the alliance with Germany which led to the Ottoman’s defeated in World War I and led a base for a new government.

Journal #6

Victim or Villain?

O'Brien is the victim of becoming a villain. It is clear that O'Brien is not the head of the party, but is most definitely in a high position. It appears he was brainwashed with the ideals that there is only one way of thinking and that he must enforce it by brainwashing others himself. Given high authority with such an unbalanced social structure, he takes advantage of the circumstances. Winston, his victim, looks to be in a situation that may have been similar to one O'Brien has experienced himself. He states, "Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. "

Journal #7

Course Reflection

Media literacy definitely stood out the most among all the previous language arts classes I’ve taken. In the past it was all so repetitive; reading classic novels, learning about the past. In Media literacy it was more about us and the world around. We are constantly writers whether we think about it or not. We are always writing about our feelings, our experiences all over social media and among each other digitally. These acts can have positive and negative consequences and we discussed much of this in class especially during our Socratic seminars. It was often stressed the importance of being media literate, because of the many interpretations that can be taken from information on the internet. Information on the internet can easily influence ideas over countless demographics. It was engraved into us to be careful of our actions on the internet and this is information everyone should take in. In these seminars we experienced something much different than others because we weren’t discussing some topic we had to learn about, it was about personal experiences. The class did not necessarily have to prepare information to regurgitate, but could simply spill out information that has already been there. For once I felt as though us students could truly relate and apply what we learned in a language arts class. Every day many if not a majority of us are spending hours of our life on some type of social media, and learning to read between the lines if knowledge we’ll need for our ever-changing world. However there were few downfalls to this class. I believe the books we read were important in our course and what we were learning, but I also felt as though too much time was focused onto them. Personally I gained the most out of everything we learned other than that from the books. All in all it was a great class and a fun time.

Journal #8

Auto-Correcting Humanity

In our world today often times you’ll find when you’re out and about with a group of people social media is being used consistently. This can make the atmosphere feel disconnecting and the only way to prevent otherwise is to lead by example. Actively conversing with the people around you will give more incentive for them to stay off their mobile devices and show them what they’re missing out on. Although there are benefits in social media like spreading awareness on a topic or organizing an event it can be easily addictive. This creates a habit where we lack appreciation for the real world and lose true sociability. Using it only for its sole purposes like previously stated is an efficient way to enhance our real world experiences. We can make the world a better place with it and have been doing so in many ways, but we’ve also become a less social and friendly society. What happened to the times when people went around the neighborhood, rang everyone’s doorbell, and got together for a barbecue or a game of baseball? What happened to the times where we sat in class during our free time to converse and participate in some type of activity instead of logging onto our social media to see what’s going on Twitter or Facebook? What happened was our increasing dependence on social media to escape our environment rather than embracing it. We may not enjoy the people or place we are in as much as we do others, but there are likeable aspects in everything and there has to be an effort made to find those features. Effort is known to lack in this upcoming generation, but one person showing care and attention to another can go a long way and influence others to do the same.