Tuesday, November 6, 2012

RESEARCH/MULTIMEDIA PROJECT PROPOSAL


For this class’s final project, I’ve enthusiastically decided to go with the second option of creating a video.   The main focus of the video will be myself being interviewed (in the same manner that the subjects where interviewed in the UP! Series) by someone you can’t see (a close friend of mine).

I will include my friends and family and speak on our relationships but I won’t actually interview them.

Some of the subjects I will cover:

-What experiences in life have led you to where you are now?
-What’s most important to you in life right now?  Why?
-What drives you in life and what do you ultimately want to accomplish? 
-What is your relationship like with your immediate family and why?
-Who are your friends and why?
-Why and what are you studying at St Johns?  Why are you in school?
-What do you want to be “when you grow up?”
-Where are you living?  What neighborhood, what city, with whom?  Why?
-Where do you want to be at 28 and 35?
-Girlfriend?  Why or why not?
-Hobbies?  Interests?


I really want to focus on this critical time in my life: after the Marine Corps, before my career, this whole college thing.  Where I am in life.  What drives me?  Where I want to go in life.  What do I ultimately want to accomplish?  I think it will be interesting to look back at this in 10, 15, 20 years and see if I succeeded in doing what I wanted to do.  I’m going to try to ask similar questions to the ones asked in the UP! Series. 

Besides me actually sitting down and being interviewed, I will show scenes of my neighborhood, the city, (and explain why they’re so important to me), my family being my family, my friends being my friends and me out and about doing things I do on a regular basis.

I will really only predict my life and not make predictions on much else.  I will start this project by getting together with my friends that are going to interview me and map out or let them come up with questions.  From there we will film the actual interview segment.  After that, I will go around with a camera filming clips I want to add into the interview until the videos ready. 

The introduction will be a few short clips of: me and my friends out partying/drinking, me at the gym, my with my mom, my dad, then from there I will transition in the interview, my city, my neighborhood, etc.  

INTERVIEWING


In Reporting on Your Own and Writing about People: The Interview, Kalita and Zinsser explain what interviewing really is and how do it properly.  Interviewing is more than sitting down, asking a few questions, writing down the responses, going home and putting it on paper.  To interview correctly is a long hard process that takes a lot of work and there’s a few things that an interviewer always has to keep in mind.  My favorite point was Zinsser’s point on finding the human element in anything.  Finding the human element (to anything) and exposing it brings life to an interview or any work.  It can make the most boring subject interesting.  This reminds me of the move “Waiting,” a movie about a restaurant. This doesn’t really sound interesting and a movie simply about a restaurant wouldn’t be interesting.  But the film finds the human element of the restaurant (the workers), and exposes it.  Their experiences at work, interactions with costumers, the shenanigans that go on in the “the back,” (the kitchen, freezer, and other areas of the restaurant that a costumer wouldn’t see) and this all makes for a very interesting and very entertaining movie.  This also reminds me of anytime someone documents a conflict or war.  It’s one thing to talk about the political reasons behind the conflict but to interview people living the conflict brings life to the documentary and makes it interesting.  The documentary goes from being about two fighting political parties to being about the locals living through the conflict;  their struggles and hardships, or the soldier fighting the conflict; his pain, his struggle, the horrors he endures.  Another strong point in the articles (this one by Kalita) was that when one interviews it is necessarily to forget everything we already knew about the subject of the interview.  An interview is meant to tell a story, from a specific persons point of view: their opinions and their stances.  We cannot bring what we already know to the interview.  Doing so would be to bring our own personal opinions and cloud the direction and outcome of the interview taking away from its authenticity.  And lastly, (to me) the most insightful point in these articles was (Zinsser’s) the point on the process of coming up with an interview worth publishing and an interviewing staying true to the interviewee.  Coming up with an interview worth publishing means taking many different interviews and extracting worthwhile material out of them and putting it together into one flowing interview that makes sense.  This takes a lot of work, and a lot of times it might mean rewording some of the quotes or editing sentences so that they make sense.  Though that’s a necessary part of the process, it’s always important to stay loyal to your interviewee and not put words in his mouth or change the message the interviewee had to say. 

For my project, I (myself) will be the main focus of the interview.  The project is about my life and my predictions for my future.  My family and my friends will have cameos in the video, and will say a few words, and I might ask them a question or two, but I won’t actually interview them for my video.  Me being interviewed will be the main focus of the video.  I’m going to get together with a very close friend of mine and show him my proposal of the video along with an outline of the video and the subjects I want to discuss (in accordance with the guidelines for the project) and together come up with possible questions.  Or I may let him come up with all the questions and surprise me.  I want to keep the interview genuine and sincere not too rehearsed.  I think it’s only right that I be the main focus since this video is about my life and my predictions for the future.    I want to make something similar to the UP! Series as far as interviewing goes.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

ANNOTATIONS


Thorne, B. "The Seven Up! Films: Connecting the Personal and the Sociological. "Ethnography 10.3 (2009): 327-40. Print.

In the article “The Seven Up! Films: Connecting the Personal and the Sociological," Barrie Thorne describes how gradually the original intent of the UP! Series became less relevant and the films focus shifted to a more personal direction.  The original intent of the series was to make a political statement on how social inequalities shape individual lives and help determine their futures.  At first the children where shown grouped together with other children from similar social and economical backgrounds.  Yet, throughout the series the focus of the films took a turn and the series developed an “emphasis on ‘human drama,’ ‘human nature,’ or ‘human interest “ (336).  The characters became more so individuals and focus was lost on their perspective social classes.  There became an emphasis on the personal struggles, accomplishments, and outcomes of the lives of the individual characters and not as much emphasis on the characters social class and how it molded them.  The individual families the characters had developed became a great focus in contraction to there being no focus on the families of the characters when they where children.


Apted, Michael. "Michael Apted Responds." Ethnography 10.3 (2009): 359-67. Print.

In the article "Michael Apted Responds," Apted does what he describes as odd for someone in his profession: he engages in debate with criticism of his work.  Essentially in the article Apted is defending himself, the UP! Series, and it’s intent.  He describes how the film shifting focus from sociologic to the individual characters was inevitable.  Many factors led to this shift in focus: each installment needing to be able to stand on its own as an individual film; the characters wanting to tell their own story, their way; and the characters wanting to prove the original intent of the film wrong, are just a few.  He says that the shift in focus was “organic and inexorable, and not the will of some bottom-line,”(366) defending the accusations that he shifted focus to make the film more appealing and make more revenue.  He goes on to say that the UP! Series wasn’t really planned; it was more so invented as he went along. 


Ebert, Roger. "The Up Documentaries (1985)." Rogerebert.com. Sun-Times, 25 Oct. 1985. Web. .

In the article “The Up Documentaries (1985)”, Ebert gives his take on the UP! Series and describes the changes some of the characters go through throughout the series. He touches on some of the differences between England the United States such as how different social classes have more significant differences in England than in the United States.  He also touches on the traditional gender roles of the late 1900’s and how men controlled the lives of women.    He touches on different characters and the paths their lives have taken.  He determines that some characters are happy, some are not and that’s because some are doing what they enjoy and “That seems to be the key: Doing what you like.”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

LOOKING AROUND


“The conscious mind seems to block that feeling of oneness so we can function efficiently, maneuver in the world a little bit better, get our taxes done on time.”

I like this quote because it gives a little insight onto the human nature of thinking about “just you.”  We focus on ourselves in our daily lives, for the most part, making our selves our own top priority.  We have friends and family that we care about and this doesn’t necessarily apply to them but when you meet a stranger or you see someone on the street, for the most part, people don’t care. We loose a feeling of connection with other people.  There’s no empathy.  I don’t necessarily think this is a good or a bad thing, but that’s the way it is.  But to be a good writer, you have to be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes.  You have to be able to think what they’re thinking and feel what they’re feeling so you can express it on paper.  And that for the most part, with most people; is lost.  I think to bring it back all you have to do is care.


“But it’s even possible to have this feeling when you see - really see – a police officer, when you look right at him and you see that he’s a living breathing person who like everyone else is suffering like a son of a bitch, and you don’t see him with a transparency over him of all the images of violence and chaos and danger that cops represent.  You accept him as an equal.”

I like this quote because it’s a continuation of the last quote.  “To look tenderly and with recognition (of life, living, breathing, own agenda).”  You can do this when you look at anything really.  The author explains how it’s easy to look at certain things in this manner; your baby, a cute animal, something of that sort, and feel connected.  But it’s a lot harder to do it with other things.  And that’s where we loose our sense of caring and become apathetic.  We have to look at something and actually try to see them for what they are.  Think about what they’re going through and how they’re feeling.  It might not come naturally, especially if it’s not someone you know or care about.  You have to do it purposely and want to do it.  If you do that, you’ll start to see more than meets the eye.  You’ll realize that’s more than some random person.  That’s someone’s father, mother, son, daughter, friend, etc.  You’ll realize they have their own life and their own story.  You’ll realize they’re a person just like you, and you’ll feel connected.  I like this because I’ve always been a strong believer on looking at people for more than the obvious, to try to put yourself in their shoes.  I know everyone has their own personal story, and I could never know it by just looking, but just realizing they a person has their own story and problems goes a long way in itself. 


“There is ecstasy in paying attention.”

I like this quote because it reminds me a lot of the art class I’m taking.  Art 1000C: the Creative Process.  The class is all about experiencing things rather than just viewing or hearing them.  To experience everything (it almost makes me think of being on drugs-which I don’t do I might add) takes everything to a different level.  There’s a difference between simply going to dinner and simply eating and experiencing it all.  It’s something else to really feel the music in the restaurant, the d├ęcor, the mood, to really smell the smell and to really taste the food.  It definitely does make it a completely different experience, possibly bringing you to ecstasy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ESSAY #3 REFLECTION


Writing essay #3 was enjoyable.  I really enjoyed the up series.  Personally; even though it was meant to be enlightening and though provoking (which it ways), I though it was simply entertaining above all. 
            I’ve mentioned this before but I disagree with the Jesuit maxim the series is based on.  The Jesuit maxim can be taken many different ways but I do believe the directors intent with the series was to show that one’s social and economical backgrounds define their lives and restrict them to the social class they where born in.  I’m against that for very personal reasons; I do not believe in any sort of predetermined future (destiny, fortune, etc) and believe that we make our own life.  Through hard word and dedication we can accomplish any realistic dreams. 
            Writing the paper wasn’t hard.  Since I feel so strongly about the Jesuit maxim was wrong, I knew the intention of my paper as soon as I read the assignment instructions.  Tony, being my favorite character, and being a perfect example for my paper; was the natural choice.  He was born into the low class, attended public school (dropping out at 15) and still made it out of the East Side of London.  He set realistic goals for himself and accomplished them.  He has a nice house and makes enough money to support his family and be comfortable.  He disproved the Jesuit maxim.
            If I could revise my paper, I would go into more detail on what I personally believe to be the directors’ intent.  It would give more insight as to why I went the way I did with my paper.  And it would give insight as to why Tony was the natural choice for my paper.  

UP SERIES/MANSLIN REVIEW


The up series is a series of videos that follows a group of 14 children from ages seven to 35 at seven-year intervals (starting at seven).  The director meant the films to be a message about how the different social-economical backgrounds in England could pre-determine a child’s life.  He took children from all different backgrounds, some rich, some poor, some in private schools, some in public schools, some girls buy mostly boys, and even one orphan.  He followed the children’s lives and documented their opinions and their progress through their lives.  The films were very interesting to say the least; in general, even if you didn’t get the message the films were trying to deliver.  It was interesting to see these children progress through life and see where they ended up.  Though everyone’s background has an effect on their lives, I don’t agree with the fact that it determines ones life, thus I disagreed with the directors intent and even think the films contradicted his theory.  Not all the children ended up where you would have though they would have ended up if you where judging them from seven years old.  All the children went through some change in character and though they maintained some characteristics they had at seven, by 35 they where very different than at seven.
            My favorite character was Tony.  And in reflecting on the series, I feel the need to mention why.  I feel I can relate with Tony.  He reminds me of many men in my life, he might even remind me of myself (but that’s a bold statement on myself).  Tony was born in the low class, far from rich.  Growing up he knew what he was missing (materialistically).  He also seemed to know that he had limitations in life because of where he came from.  He knew he wouldn’t grow up to be the President or a rocket scientist.  But despite that, he was always a realist and set realistic goals for himself.  And most importantly, he accomplished them. 
            One thing I’d like to mention is that I feel the director left out a huge factor in a child’s life: parents.  The children’s parents were not even mentioned until much later on in the show.  If I have to be honest I’d say that my parents had more on an impact on my life then my environment.  They gave me a view on my environment and helped me form an opinion about it.  They made me realize it wasn’t a dead end street and I could get out of it if I wanted to.  I’m sure the children’s parents had an equally important role in their lives (whether good or bad).  Excluding the parents from the show was unfair to the children as it would have given even more insight as to why the children act the way they do, have the opinions they have, and the ambitions (or lack of) that they have (a good example would be Suzie; when we later find out about her parents we gain insight and empathy with her, it explains her childhood and adolescent years). 
            Manslins review agrees with my view on the film.  He states that even though there is some truth to the Jesuit maxim, it’s also contradicted in fascinating ways.  He gives a few examples of children who contradicted the Jesuit maxim with their changes in personality and the directions their lives took.  I like his review, because it backs up my claims on the film.  I do agree with her assessment that the characters are drooping; only because as the characters get older, they loose a lot of the charm they had as children and also, as they begin to settle down, they become much less interesting.  But such is life.
            To be perfectly honest, I’ve always had a problem with generalizations of any kind.  I’ve always been against stereotypes and any belief that your life is predetermined for any reason (destiny, fortune, etc.).  So naturally, I would disagree with the director’s intent to show that one’s social-economical background would predetermine their lives.  If there where any truth to that, then I, the son of first generation immigrants, who lived in a one –room house most of his life, has no business at St. Johns.  I should be working at some dead end job or some sort of manual labor right now.  I should have no aspirations or ambitions to change my situation.  Therefore I’ll have to admit that I watched the series biased, always looking for an opportunity to prove the Jesuit maxim wrong. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

ESSAY #3 MISSION STATEMENT

"Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man."

My mission statement for essay #3 is to show that the above statement is true in a sense, but not entirely.  No one can predict the future, thus no one can take a 7 year old child and predict what their occupation will be.  But at 7 years old a person will develop some of their characteristics and personality traits that will define them for the rest of their lives.  These traits will decide how the person will react to situations in their lives such as failure, success, love, etc.  A persons social and economical background will always have a limit (or lack of) on the opportunities that present themselves for that person but their character will decide how they handle their lives.  I will use Tony to prove this.  Although his life did not pan out like he hoped, or like most predicted, he is still the same person at heart.  He lives a very different life now (married, children, cab driver), but he is still the same bold, daring person he was at 7 years old.

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Telling The story, Telling the Truth" and "On Voice"


“When you read aloud, extraneous material falls away.  Voice is-as the word itself tells us- the way a writer talks.  You are speaking to your readers.”

I like this quote because it makes a good point about developing your writing voice.  When you read a good article, or a good book, or a good blog, you enjoy it because it “speaks to you.”  It’s not like reading a textbook where you simply read the material and try to learn what you need to learn.  No, it’s more.  The text speaks out to you like someone’s telling you a story.  And if you read your work out loud; as the writer here mentions, the extraneous material falls away.  You should be able to tell what you need and don’t need.  I can think back on reading my favorite books and I realize how the books kept me intrigued because it was like they where spoken to me.



“My desire as a writer is to make it impossible for the U.S. reader to ignore Latin America.  I do that by telling stories.”

  I like this quote and the insight the writer gives on how detailed stories can really get a point across a lot better than a newspaper article or a report on the news.  She goes into more detail throughout the article but I think her point was that when someone watches the news, there’s really no empathy.  I could turn on the news or open the newspaper and read about an earthquake in Haiti, or the atrocities happening in some war-torn country, but that would be about it, I would just read the article or watch the news report.  I wouldn’t really get a feel for what’s going on, and frankly, if its not affecting me directly (which it probably wouldn’t), I probably wouldn’t care much for it.  But to read a story with detail, a person’s story, to learn their person hardships, and share their experiences and feelings through a good book is very different.  I remember learning about the Holocaust in school.  Learning the facts about the war, the casualties, Hitler.  But nothing really hit home with me like reading “Night,” by Elie Wiesel, or “The Diary of a Young Girl.”  Books like those will grab your attention and really give you a feel for what the author is trying to get across. 



 “Writers must give themselves that freedom to fail.  As a dancer I learned that unless I jumped as hard and as high as I could until I fell, I hadn’t found out how hard or high I could jump.  Risk-taking and failure is important.”

I like this quote and I think everyone should be able to relate to it, and not only when it comes to writing, but life in general.  I would never have known I could dead lift 405 lbs if I hadn’t tried lifting past what I knew I could lift.  And I know 405 lbs is the most I can dead lift right now because I tried to lift 425 lbs and failed.  With anything in life you have to push yourself past your limit to find out what your limit actually is and to get passed it.  Writing is no exception.  I think it’s a general conception that writing is hard.  If it where not, we’d all be writing novels like “The Great Gatsby,” or “The Catcher in the Rye.”  Because of this, I think there’s a general fear in trying to really write.  You won’t find out how great of a writer you can really be unless you dare to find out.  

2nd ESSAY REFLECTION

This is reflection on writing essay #2:


Writing the second essay was interesting.  One doesn’t usually sit down and think about their life and how certain events led them in certain directions.  It’s not exactly dinner table conversation.  So it was really interesting to sit down and really think about that and realize what an effect the things we’ve lived through have on us.  The more and more writing I do, in this class as well as outside of it for other classes, I realize how much of an effect our time, our childhood, etc has on the type of person we become as adults.  And having this type of reflection really helps you undertand your self and get to know yourself as a person a little better. 
For the 2nd draft, I added a lot of things.  I went into a lot more detail than the first draft.  This made the essay better, a lot more interesting.  It also helped me paint a better picture of exactly how I was feeling at these points in my life, making it easier to understand how these events led me in the direction that they did.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Untitled Poem

This is a VERY short poem I wrote a longlonglonglonglonglong time ago.  Just as an example for the comments I made in the last entry:

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

But what of this distance way past yonder.

At night, alone, I sit and ponder.

Is your love real?
Are your words real?
Is it all in slander?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

ETHICS IN PERSONAL WRITING AND TAKING LIBERTIES: THE EHTICS OF THE TRUTH


This entry is in response to the two articles listed in the title.  I actually enjoyed reading both very much and felt I could relate to them.  They where very interesting and relevant to my writing (or lack thereof).  Here are three quotes I want to reflect on.

“I became a writer to deal with the complexities of my life.  If I’d had the emotional and mental sophistication to deal with it from the beginning, I wouldn’t have needed to become a writer.”

While I don’t agree with the extent that the writer goes to (to me, it seems that unless there are some undisclosed issues, and she had to deal with a lot more than the average person; she was being very theatrical and dramatic), I do believe writing helps.  Spilling your thoughts and feelings on paper (or in our generation – on Microsoft word) can be a great emotional outlet.  Especially for someone like myself that isn’t very emotionally open; writing can be a way to let some feelings out without actually talking to someone.  I’ve written some (in my opinion) pretty good poems, short stories, and a few other things when I’ve been down and didn’t want to share my feelings with anyone.  Come to think of it, I’ve done some VERY (again, in my opinion) good writing when I needed an outlet, when I needed a way to “deal with the complexities of my life.”  Obviously when someone pours his or her heart into something the outcome is genuine and usually good.  I may even post a thing or two on this blog.  MAYBE.  I probably won’t, which leads me into the next quote.

“To write about one’s own life and the lives of family and friends is to accept that exploitation of self and others.  To write about yourself and the people in your life is to accept that, in part, you are a bastard.  You must face and come to understand your own demons.”

WOW.  This quote resonates with me.  For the past few years I’ve been contemplating starting a blog.  It’s a subject that comes up with my friends every now and then.  One of my best friends (Oscar) has a blog where he chronicles our wild nights and adventures.  He sometimes pushes me to start my own blog but I haven’t been able to do it.  You see, like the writer says, to write about yourself is to accept self-exploitation and come face to face with your own demons.  Which is something that I’m in no hurry to do.  My life is….. strange to say the least.  Unique.  There’s a lot of stuff going on in my life that would make a good read to say the least.  Most of it would be based around my inability to share feelings and things of that matter and my exploits with women that ALWAYS end up bad for this very reason, and how I deal with it all.  That along with transitioning into civilian life again (not easy), the ridiculous things I do and situations I get myself into would be what I would write about.  (But mostly my exploits and issues with women, how I deal with them, and trying to uncover exactly why I am this way.)  But sadly it hasn’t happened.  And as much as I’d like it to, I’m not sure if it will.  Without getting into much detail (I would rather cut myself then openly tell you about my feelings – not you personally Mrs. Alvarez, anyone in general), my last “serious,” girlfriend leaving me when I was in Afghanistan, my father raising me to his (typical hard Mexican father) standard of what a man is, (sharing feelings equates to weakness and men aren’t supposed to be weak), and a few other things have led me to have some very interesting nights, fights, “relationships,” hookups, friendships, etc.  But I could never openly share that with the world.  I don’t even want to take the risk of starting an anonymous blog in fear that someone will find out it’s me.  That and the fact that I don’t exactly want to face my demons, rather deal with them have prevented me from actually starting this blog.  Oh well…. maybe someday.


“I write because I want my readers to take action.  My ability to write these books-in fact, my very survival-is thanks to people who took action against the war in Southeast Asia.  Journalists wrote about the refugee camps and inspired people in the United States to sponsor war orphans like me.”

There’s a very famous quote that goes: “The pen is mightier than the sword.”  And this is a prime example.  The author HERSELF was able to come to America and live life as she knows it because of people taking matters into their own hands and using their pens to move people.  A more recent example would be the whole Kony 2012 movement.  The movie was filmed in a journalistic type of way and caused a whole movement in support of these enslaved child soldiers.  A much older, extreme example could be the Federalists Papers or other works that called for change.  From a person point of view I can think of hundreds of websites and Facebook pages that promote action against injustices towards Veterans.  Any time the Westboro Baptist church plans to picket a military funeral or a veteran is mistreated you will find dozens if not hundreds of articles calling for boycotts or other actions.  The pen is a very mighty tool in moving people.

For example, I literally stumbled across this right now, as I procrastinated on this homework.  And this is just the beginning, this will get blown up in the Veteran community and hopefully get national attention:

http://guardianofvalor.com/disabled-wwii-and-korean-war-veteran-faces-eviction-freddie-mac-refuses-to-return-calls/

Thursday, September 13, 2012

IM SO TOTALLY, DIGITALLY CLOSE TO YOU




This entry is in reply to "I'm So Totally, Digitally Close To You," on how digital, social media is changing the way we interact with each other.  Here are two quotes that I though where especially true.  

But they also discovered that the little Ping-Ponging messages felt even more intimate than a phone call.

I like this quote because I find it to be very true.  Being on the phone with someone is different than texting someone through out the day.  When you’re on the phone for say an hour or however long your on the phone (I’ve had 4, 5, and even 6 hour phone conversations), you talk about things that have happened and are maybe going to happen.  Sure you mention what’s going on at the present moment, but its not the whole basis of the conversation.  When your texting someone throughout the day, you usually let each other know what your doing and it really is intimate.  Your not broadcasting it to the world like on Facebook or Twitter, your sending it specifically to one person to let he or she specifically know.  So to receive a text saying something like “hey, just got to school,” is something special and lets you know that person is thinking about you and wanted to let you, just you; know what they where up to.


“I have a rule,” she told me. “I either have to know who you are, or I have to know of you.” That means she monitors the lives of friends, family, anyone she works with, and she’ll also follow interesting people she discovers via her friends’ online lives. Like many people who live online, she has wound up following a few strangers — though after a few months they no longer feel like strangers, despite the fact that she has never physically met them.


This quote is very true, and to be honest, if I really think about it, it’s kind of unbelievable.  I can’t remember exactly how many people I’ve met online, but it’s been a bit.  Some were friends of my friends, others complete strangers.  I’ve met older people, younger people, both male and female.  I’ve became friends some of them, good friends with some of the guys, and have even had relations with some of the women.  Isn’t that insane?  To think that I have met complete random women online and have had relations with them is a very strange though to me.  But then again, its almost no different than meeting someone at a bar, club or anywhere else.  Really, to be honest; now a days, meeting someone on Facebook or twitter (or any of the many social media websites) might be a more intimate way of meeting someone than in person.  On someone’s online account I can learn more about a person in a few minutes of reading than I can learn in weeks of physical and verbal interaction.  But a person can also be deceiving online.  They can make themselves out to be someone their not, or exaggerate their accomplishments or activities.  Everyone does it.  So maybe meeting someone online isn’t like meeting someone in person, because you might not be meeting an honest portrayal of that person.  It’s a risk to say the least.  


But where their sociality had truly exploded was in their “weak ties” — loose acquaintances, people they knew less well. It might be someone they met at a conference, or someone from high school who recently “friended” them on Facebook, or somebody from last year’s holiday party. In their pre-Internet lives, these sorts of acquaintances would have quickly faded from their attention. But when one of these far-flung people suddenly posts a personal note to your feed, it is essentially a reminder that they exist. I have noticed this effect myself.


I actually love this quote.  Facebook is the perfect "social medium."  (I just made that up.)  But it's perfect!  It's not as intimate as asking someone for their number; it'ss a way of keeping in touch with someone without actually keeping in touch.  It's so much easier to ask someone for their Facebook rather than their number.  To ask someone for their number usually means their is a mutual interest to actively keep in touch, or at least a certain level of trust or that you and that person had reached a point in knowing each other where it was appropriate to exchange numbers.  But that doesn't happen all the time.  Sometimes you meet people.... and thats it, you just meet them.  You don't expect to really be friends or keep in touch.  Like the quote says "someone they met at a conference, or someone from high school, or somebody from last year's holiday party."  Before Facebook, if I had met someone whom I did not feel comfortable exchanging numbers with.... well that would have been it.  There was nothing else to do, no other way to keep in touch unless we saw each other again.  But now, Facebook provides a perfect medium between intimacy and no contact.  A lot of times it's the starting point to friendships.  It's the perfect way to keep in touch with these "weak ties," without really physically keeping touch.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SEVEN UP!



SEVEN UP

I just finished watching Seven Up, the first installment of a series of videos that follows a group of 14 very different children at seven-year intervals throughout their lives.  The premise of the series is that, at seven years old, ones character is pretty much completely defined and developed.  Little if anything will change about the child as he or she progresses through life.  The children where taken from different social and economic backgrounds and the show compares how each individual child’s upbringing affects them from such a young age and throughout their lives.
It’s a very interesting concept and I believe there is much truth to the theory being tried here.  I do agree that ones childhood can define them and their character.  Though I enjoyed the series very much, it’s hard to relate to any of the children being featured, since we where brought up very differently.  Besides growing up in a different time and place, I feel my social and economic background differs from all of theirs. 
So far my favorite two children are Tony and Simon.  I like Tony because he just seems like the boldest out of all the children.  He is not scared of fighting and generally seems tougher then the other kids.  He seems fearless.  He comes off as a natural born leader.  He is not timid or meek.  I feel the rest of the children would listen to him and follow him if they where put together. Simon on the other had is very different.  He’s timid and doesn’t like to fight.  He lives in an orphanage and is the only child of color.  I find myself empathetic towards him.
My first impression of this series is genuinely interested.  It’s amazing how these kids are so different and you can see it’s because of their background.  Their opinions on love, the opposite sex, their interests and ambitions in life are different all around.  The richer kids know what universities they want to go to while one of the poorer kids didn’t know what a university was and the ones that did had no intentions of going.  The richer children cared about finance and stocks and things of that matter that the poorer children had no interest in.  To me the most interesting difference (so far) is the expectations of these children.  The poorer children are expected to stop school at 15 years old and become workers where as the richer children are expected to become successful after a lot of education.  The lives of the richer kids seem promising and even predetermined while the futures of the poorer children seem uncertain and skeptical. 
Their opinions of each other were amusing as well.  Some of the richer kids came off as thinking they where better than the poor while others believed you had to help the poor or “they would die.”  The poor children believed the rich children could do whatever they want and seemed generally disliking of them.  I enjoyed this series and I am excited to see how these kids develop and to see them at 14 years old.