E-portofolio

As I look back on my experience with popular culture, I can safely say that it has been an immersive eye opening ride. In the beginning I was a little confused on what we are learning. I thought it was a class about movies, TV shows and famous people but it turned out to be a much more than that.

My initial learning goals where to be a better overall writer, but I also wanted a course that is interesting and fun. I had a slow and awkward start since I was forced to sign late for the class, but the teacher and classmates helped me settle in very quickly with their friendly attitude and willingness to offer help. In the beginning weeks of the term, I made more specific goals. I had set goals to be better at sourcing my writing, a better researcher and manage my time properly. The mentor workshop gave me the guide to begin with some group exercises were I showed my strengths and weakness. It was really helpful to engage in conversations with other team members where we exchanged notes of our writing experiences. I thought that communicating would be a challenge since this was an online class but the way the course was set up made it easy for me to post assignments and respond to others assignments. My biggest challenge was time. I could not manage as I thought I would. Since this term is my last as a mechanical engineering student, I made my major specific classes a priority. I could not compromise my time for those classes to work on this one. It was really hard since this class was a writing extensive class and there is heavy reading involved.

I can confidently say that I have gotten better not only in the categories I mentioned but also in other ones. I became A better communicator and learned how to share my thoughts in a safe and productive environment. It really helped that this was a multicultural class. Each classmate brought a deferent approach to writing. It was a real treat to see such diverse writers in one place. Each exercise we had brought significant improvement to my writing. They were very diverse, but on the other hand, plenty of resources were given which really helped. For example, I become much more confident in my interpretation of advertisements in the media. I would say that the most interesting assignment was on week three of the course blog. It really helped me realize how to deconstruct messages in ads. I wrote two prompts, the first was to find an affective ad and deconstruct it and the second was to analyze a cigaret ad while following an analysis technique found on external resources presented to us. Here they are 1:”Since I grew up in the nineties, I saw a lot of Michael Jordan. For those who don’t know him, his is considered on of the greatest basketball players of all time. He was everywhere. TVs, newspapers, magazines, billboards, buses and even on cereal boxes. Here is an ad that he did for Gatorade in the nineties. This ad is one that I think defines how companies utilize celebrity fame to sell their products. It shows Jordan holding a Gatorade and smiling with a large bold text that reads “Be like mike .. drink Gatorade”. In this ad, to sell their product, Gatorade was relating between their drink and Jordan’s fame that comes from his ability. Since it is a sports drink, the audience being targeted here were obviously sporty people. The ad gives the idea that if the best basketball player is drinking Gatorade, then it is got to help regular people up their game. Also, the power of using such a popular figure in an ad is that there are people who would buy it just because the figure that they love is using it. For me effective merchandise ad is one that sells the product, and Gatorade was booming at that time.” 2:“A celebrity, smiling while using an unusual looking cigarette. The people being depicted in this ad are white, middle aged, happy and stylish men. The man’s hand is highlighted using light to direct the attention on the cigarette. The ad uses stylish blue colors matching the stylish clothes of the man. The phrase “Rise from the Ashes” is large to catch the reader’s attention and to direct them to read the smaller info about their product. The smaller text is where the ad closes the deal, it describes how tobacco is bad because of the guilt, the smell the ash and the unnecessary moments where the smoker is forced to leave a place because it forbids smoking. So, the ad is selling happiness, ease of use and relief. The message being used works because those who are new to electronic cigarettes will see the obvious advantages of them in contrast to tobacco.”

It has been an immense learning experience for me. Weather it was writing, working with other people or utilizing resources available. Most importantly I think that my research skills are improved. For an engineering student it is an important skill to have, since our work involves many detailed based research. I really expanded my skills of crafting and honing my writing by utilizing external resources. Writing is a creative skill, but more importantly is having a good argument backed up with a proof of some kind. In the end I am more confident with my writing, communication and researching skills which has prepared me to be more successful in the future.

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Arab Muslims in popular culture

Nine eleven 2001 is a day remembered as a tragedy that will never be forgotten. It is also the day that changed the remaining good views that some people had of Arab Muslims and how they are portrayed in popular culture. The popular culture perception forced law-abiding Arab Muslims to deal with hate crimes, racial profiling, discrimination, and bullying; Arab Muslims are mostly commonly portrayed as violent, untrustworthy, and as terrorists. Stereotypes are not always bad, generalizations help us know what to expect when we someone or go somewhere new, but when exaggerated negative images of people override the positive images, it can be damaging.

In this piece, I will discuss how my Arab Muslim identity is being misrepresented in popular culture.

Stereotypes are not always bad, generalizations help us know what to expect when we someone or go somewhere new, but when exaggerated negative images of people override the positive images, it can be damaging. According to study by professor Jack Shaheen of Southern Illinois University, out of a 1000 films from 1896 to 2007 that contained Middle Eastern Arab references, 12 were positive, 52 were neutral, and over 900 were negative. This study shows that stereotypes began even before nine eleven and the event only made it worse.

There are many examples of Arab Muslims being misrepresented in popular culture. In the show South Park which aires on Comedy Central, there is no boundary when it comes to negative stereotypes. In one of the episodes titled “Snuke” a new muslim kid is introduced to the class when suddenly, Erik Cartman, one of leading character of the show, realizes that the kid is a muslim and says: “dude, not cool” then leaves his desk in fear and asks the teacher if he has been checked for bombs. After the teacher denies the fact that not all muslims are terrorists Cartman says:”no, but most of them are…” Even thought at the end of the episode it turns out that the muslim is innocent, the reaction Cartman made is just the kind of stereotype that damages the Muslim identity.

Holy Terror is another popular culture artifact to damage the image of Muslims. In this graphic novel by Frank Miller where heroes join forces to battle Muslim terrorists. In every description I read about the novel, it is always mentioned that the bad guys are Muslims. Not to mention the fact that in some cases of the novel the racism is clear as sun light. For example in a scene where Fixer, a hero in the novel, says to a captured terrorist: “So Mohammed, pardon me for guessing your name, but you’ve got to admit the odds are pretty good it’s Mohammad…” The Fixer then tortures and cripples the man before detonating his explosive belt. Can it be more offensive than this?

 A very popular show called Homeland got a lot of controversy when it came for some of the content that was presented about Arab Muslims. Nicholas Brody is one of the main characters of the show. A US marine who was captured and tortured in a middle eastern country. When he was rescued he returns home as a Muslim. When people found out that Brody became a Muslim, he became the enemy. He was pictured as a traitor leaking information to US enemies just because he became a Muslim. He was kept under surveillance because the government didn’t trust him and thought he became a terrorist. Not only did his country which he served lost trust in him but also his wife. In one of the scenes, his wife yells at him and throws the Quran on the ground when she knew about his conversion to Islam. Personally, I was offended and disgusted by those scenes.

brody praysNicholas Brody praying in Homeland

 In Melissa Biogon’s Ted Talk, she pointed out that 1.72 million people watched season 2 premier of Homeland and this shows how such negative representations can reach large numbers of people and influence them. This kind of shows sends bad that can destroy people’s ability to view Islam as a religion of peace. Homeland sends messages  that show how Muslims are not to be trusted because they are the enemy and are a threat to this country. Judging people should be based on there actions not the actions of others and not by their religion.

 One of the most influencing popular culture artifacts are video games. Arab Muslims are mostly portrayed as terrorists in video games. They are either the evil henchmen or the main threat in the game. One of the games that shows this repetitive stereotype of Muslims is called Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. In this games Arab Muslims are always dark skinned with beards. They are always portrayed as suicide bombers and angry mobsters. The game sold more than seven million copies world wide, which shows the incredible amount of people that have seen the stereotypes in the game. Also, my friends used to play this game online and could not believe that amount of racial abuse that other players would say just because my friends had arabic name tags.

Call_of_Duty_4___The_Bad_Guys_by_MrAhn The Muslim enemy in Call of Duty

 When misconceptions are shown in the entertainment industry some people might not take it serious, but when it comes out of a respected public figure than it becomes much more believable. One example that stood out to me was what Brigitte Gabriel, the founder and president of ACT for America, said about muslims. When asked by Larry Elder in a radio interview if there are moderate muslims who condemn the radicals, she said: ”I call it a practicing Muslim and a non-practicing Muslim. I think it is a better description than moderate and radical. A practicing Muslim goes to mosque, prays five times a day, doesn’t drink, believes God gave him women to be his property to beat, to stone to death. He believes Christians and Jews are apes and pigs because they are cursed by Allah. He believes it is his duty to declare war on the infidels because they are Allah’s enemies. That is a practicing Muslim.” Shock was an understatement to what I felt after reading her statement. I am a practicing muslim and what she said is wrong. How come I am not a violent man who wants to kill innocent people? Because I understand right and wrong and that Islam is a religion of peace.

To me and a lot of other Arab Muslim in the world, we take offense on how our people are constantly misrepresented in popular culture. Being seen as a violent people that are associated to terrorism is a misrepresentation and a generalization. People might say that there are many terrorists that come from Arab Muslim countries, that might be true but in fact there are more than 1.2 billion Muslims around the world and to associate the minority with the majority is ignorant and wrong. Even thought my identity is being misrepresented in popular culture I have to be optimistic that the world is changing and that people are realizing the truth. I wish that we all stand against all types of stereotypes whenever we can, as it has brought suffering, discrimination and misjudgment upon those portrayed negatively.

Bibliography:

Hernandez, Michael. “Holy Terror comic is Islamophobic, says critics.” The national, 25 October 2011. Web. 1 June 2015.

“Cartman meets a Muslim.” Youtube, 9 Spet. 2013. Web. 1 June 20115

Homeland TV show: Homeland.  Showtime . 2011. Television.

Melissa Boigon’s Ted Talk: “Islamophobia: Melissa Boigon at TEDxGallatin 2013.” YouTube. YouTube, 22 September 2013. Web. 1 June 2015.

http://investor.activision.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=289631

https://www.creators.com/opinion/larry-elder/because-they-hate-part-ii.html

My Eportfolio Essay

My initial learning goals were to incorporate what I have learned into my life, educate others on popular culture, develop confidence in what I am saying, and also not to be afraid of speaking up. Throughout the course, I have accomplished just that. These goals would not be possible to reach if it weren’t for a strong mindset, which is my primary strength that I saw in myself.

When it comes to online courses, many people slack off, however I did not. My mindset was simple. As long as I knew the direction in which I wanted to go, I had the motivation and determination to succeed in this course. The other strengths that I saw in myself throughout the term, is being eager to learn and being an effective communicator, which is proven by my blog comments. In response to another student, I stated:

“I agree with you on both prompts. After reading the essay, it came as a complete shock to me that the distinction between “us” and “them” even exists. Not only that, but how much of an impact the media really has on society in defining others. I never realized that it is a bit difficult to have an open mind when this binary tunnel vision of other cultures is engraved into our brains from the beginning. After the 9/11 attack, I saw all Muslims as “the enemy”, in which the media had a powerful influence on my assumption. When I flew on an airplane and saw a guy with a head wrap, I feared for my life because I thought that he was going to hijack the plane. However, I do not see all Muslims as “the enemy” anymore. That being said, intercultural education should be combined with media literacy. The consumption of media allows us to access information that we aren’t able to get on our own. However, the negative part is that the media decides what to share and what to hide from their audience. Whether we know it or not, the media plays a major role in how we view our society.

Secondly, I agree that Asians are a group of people that I’ve seen represented in a similar or one-dimensional way over and over in popular culture media. The most common stereotype with Asians have to deal with the parents. If you are Asian or someone you know is Asian, people assume that your parents are strict. People assume that Asian parents are never proud of their children. For instance, an Asian person could earn his Bachelor’s degree and his/her parent’s will not be satisfied because they could have gotten their PhD. It is portrayed that Asian parents have such high expectations for their children, when in reality this is not true. Personally speaking, I am Asian and my parents do not even know the name of the college that I am attending, nor do they care what kind of grades I am earning.”

I chose this blog comment because not only does it prove my eagerness to learn but it also proves how respectful I am to others, which is very important in communication. When it comes to reading other’s work, I am respectful with my words. I do not reply back to them with just a sentence. I fully give them my thoughts, questions, and ideas regarding their work, which in turn, will help us both. I state why I agree and disagree. In my opinion, communication is important in all aspects of life.

Moreover, although I did not see any challenges throughout the term, being a student, there was an area that I needed room for improvement on. Before this course, as a student, I felt that I was not an active participant in my education. Not only would I be silent when I strongly disagreed with something in a class debate, but I was also silent in previous mentor sessions. However, due to this course, I am a changed person, as I am now an active and engaging student in my education. To substantiate this, take my blog post about the influence of advertising.

“Prompt: How aware are you of the difference between content and ads when you are using the Internet?

In my eyes, content and ads are like words versus pictures, however, I came to realize that I am not aware of the impact that difference can have on an individual. The internet is a globalized machine that not only allows people from everywhere around the world to connect but it is also so common that you don’t really think anything of it. AT first, I thought there was a distinct difference between content and ads. Content was the information expressed through a medium. This could be the words you read in a book or even the words that a person said. On the other hand, ads were the pictures that you saw on a billboard or in a magazine. Ads were the unwanted; they were the pop ups that you had to block or the 15 second video you chose to skip. However, as time progressed, they began to overlap. While viewing content on the internet, more often than not, there are ads on the side. Take Facebook for example. Facebook is a social media site that allows you to connect with your friends, you can see the photos that they post, you can see where they are at, you can see how they are feeling or what is on their mind. However, on the right side column of the Facebook site, there are ads with a headline, photo, and caption. In other words, I am using a medium to consume information about my friends, yet, this medium is trying to persuade me to take a further look into their brand or product. In addition, Facebook hires people to track your interests, and from that, they show only ads that are specifically for you. For example, these research analysts would see that dogs interests me because I would watch dog videos on Facebook, and after that, I would see dog ads on the right side of my Facebook. Moreover, facebook is not the only site that allows ads to influence their content, there is also news websites, dating websites, social media websites. In my opinion, this makes me question what the real message is. What these networks are allowing says a lot about their values. I, like many people, don’t want to read an article and have these incessant ads disrupting the content. Let’s be honest, you would much rather choose a picture with a few words than a paper with only words. Although pictures are more appealing to the eyes than words, at the end of the day, words mean so much more.

Prompt: Do you think advertisements contribute anything of value to our culture? What ads? In what ways?

I think advertisements are more harmful than it is helpful to our culture. Yes we are a capitalistic society which means that producing and distributing good and services is crucial but it seems individuals are uninformed of the power that they hold. We, as consumers, have the power. Advertisements are putting ideas and images in your head, however, you can either accept it or reject it. We, as consumers, may not know it, but every time that we purchase a good or service from a certain company, we are making a statement. We should be asking questions like, what statement does their merchandise make and how does it reflect upon me? Who am I supporting with my purchase? What cause does the company support? Urban outfitters is a perfect example of consumer purchasing power. Urban Outfitters has had a bad rep, from horrible working qualities, to offensive products. Because of that, I choose to not buy their products. My silence is the power. Imagine if people stopped shopping at Urban Outfitters, this would make Urban Outfitters think twice about their values. Not only would they improve working qualities for their factory workers, but they would discontinue offensive products. In fact, they discontinued shirts that had words like “Eat Less” and “Depression” not because people stopped buying it, but because there were many critics. Furthermore, I feel that majority of advertisements depends on external factors for validation. In other words, there is such a materialistic connotation with advertisements. Ads create this ideology of what is normal. Enhancing our looks is a constant message shown through ads. In short, it is all about what we look like, and the ads shown below substantiate this claim.

0

You’ve got Katy Perry basically saying that you can eat potato chips without putting on weight.

1

You’ve got an Estee Lauder model with eyeliner, eyeshadow, foundation, blush, lipstick, and nail polish.

2

In addition, the “Beyond Natural” Jessica Alba is anything but natural due to makeup caked on her.

3

To put the icing on the cake, you’ve got Victoria Secret models in lingerie stating in bold letters that skinny is the “perfect body”.

Overall, when I think of ads, I don’t think of promoting environmental sustainability or charity foundations; values that hold true importance. Moreover, there is a strong correlation of physical appearance and advertisements, which should not be the case. All in all, if we not only took the time to analyze an ad, but more importantly, take the time to question our purchases, that is the value advertising can contribute to.”

Although it might have been much to read, this blog post goes to show how much I have improved as a Student. Not only do I put time into my education, but the effort that I have put into this course is evident from my blog posts.

Overall, the knowledge and skills that I have obtained during this course is something that I will apply from here on out, as it has, and will continue, to benefit me. The most important takeaway for me is how to critically analyze the news. Take for example, my analysis of a news article.

“The article, “Afghanistan Kidnappings: Two Foreigners Missing From Aid Team” include many sources. First, Mustafa Andalib, the reporter. Next, Rob Taylor, the writer. Lastly, Michael Perry, the editor. In my eyes, these sources played a major part in the article, setting the tone for the paper. For starters, the sources are bashing high officials. To elaborate, the article includes this, “Rumours of the abduction of a man and a woman by either insurgents or criminal gangs have circulated for several days, but U.S. and Canadian diplomats said they were unaware of anyone reported missing”. This is crucial because they are basically pointing fingers saying that U.S. and Canadian Diplomats are not doing anything about this issue. To further emphasize this negative perspective, the article includes this “Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs said it was looking into the reports, but gave no confirmation of a missing citizen”. Also including one that hits home, “A U.S. embassy spokesman in Kabul late on Friday said there was no information on a missing American, but diplomatic officials are often reluctant to talk about kidnappings in hope it could smooth the way for negotiations on a release”. These only go to show the hostility towards those high officials who were in charge of the investigation, continuing to point fingers at them.

Furthermore, not only do they bash high officials but as you read you can visibly see the bias of this coverage, substantiating that there is no such thing as objective reporting due to loaded language. In the article, they use terms such as insurgents, criminal gangs, gunmen, abduction, and volatile. These terms speak for itself, they all have negative connotations to them. For instance, insurgent is saying that they are insubordinate or disobedient, when they could have used a term that has a less negative connotation such as “rebel”. All in all, diction matters, and by the choice of words they used, this proves that reporters bring their own biases and views into the story.

Moreover, I think the article in general lacked a lot of information that caused confusion for readers. However, based on tone and diction, poor participation of high officials was their justification for lack of information. Also, lack of information made me question if this was a personal matter, rather than professional. The article bashed high officials more than they talked about the information of the two missing foreigners. For starters, what was the name of these two missing foreigners? How old were they? What was the primary purpose of the trip? All in all, reporters could have included reporter chooses what to include, what not to include, and who they get their information from. Because of this, it makes me question what the true message they want readers to take away.”

The news definitely impacts an individual’s perspectives and actions, and learning how to critically analyze the news, benefits me greatly. I ask questions such as, who are the sources and what are their perspectives? Are significant questions left unasked or unanswered? Do quotes seem abridged or out of context? Are exaggerated or rhetorical claims reported uncritically without journalistic scrutiny? By asking these analysis questions, I am at a greater advantage because I will not fall victim to being misled by the news. 

E Portfolio

My initial learning goals for this term was to be able to communicate better with my classmates and my instructor through online interactions. I have always seen a fine line between being formal and non-formal when it came to communication with my peers online. I found my strengths as being able to communicate with my group mates in our workshops. I felt that it was much more informal and I was able to communicate easier with them. Some of the struggles I came to was replying to other students post. I found myself, some nights, trying to see what I wanted to reply to their post with. I felt that I had nothing to say or that my response was not long enough to be notable. This was an ongoing issue but did become less problematic as the term went on. I feel that I was stuck on a certain way to respond to someone and that really hindered me in being able to piece together a meaningful response. I have plenty of ideas but the formalities and different rules in my mind really made it hard to convey. By the end of the term, I was very comfortable with typing out my thoughts and responding to other students just became easier.

In one of my Workshop post, I wrote that “I feel that I am pretty good at public speaking and working in a group. One thing I know I need help with is writing in general. Especially with larger papers and what not. I foresee this class requiring quite abit of writing so I can already see myself becoming a better writer by the end of the term. Communication through typing has always been an issue and becoming more familiar with it through this class will benefit me when talking to an instructor or doing an online assignment or working with my partners to complete an assignment. “This term given me the chance to really practice my writing abilities. Each week required me to write and I was able to be exposed to different examples of writing done by my peers. These combined gave me what I needed to improve my writing skills. Being able to see what others wrote gave me new ways to go at how I wrote my own responses and assignments. Writing weekly has been something that I am not use to and did prove difficult in the beginning. Writing more often gave me the chance to practice my writing skills more than a few times a term leading to getting more help quicker. I feel that practice does make perfect, so all this writing has aided my ability to get better and improve how I wrote.

I gained a new understanding for what it means to be an advocate. I noticed that I tended to reply on post that I felt I agreed most with. I usually tried to back up their response and really give them support. During week 3 I replied to S Morris-Doty’s post with “I remember the ad you are taking about and I do find it odd with the multiracial dilemma. I like how you brought this up because companies are trying to appeal to more people and a multiracial family is a normal thing. It’s just weird how it’s so unaccepting it is even today. Would people who have problems with multiracial families have problems with families different from theirs? Or is it just the mixing that’s the problem? That is a weird topic and the ads are a good thing to bring up.”  The post was about a multiracial family eating cheerios. I backed up what he had to say and gave him positive feedback about his post.  Most post aren’t like this though. I wish I kept some of my previous entries but there were many nights where I would really struggle to find a way to advocate for someone. I would type a sentence and then erase it. I found some topics to really be bland and I wouldn’t care much at all but pushed myself to find a way to agree with them and applaud what they wrote. I know it wasn’t required to agree with what others but I sometimes just would not know what to write to them.

Some new skills I feel that I obtained from the course would be a better listener and reader. I was also able to convey my ideas better while in this course rather then most classes where I go in person. In the workshop, I was able to convey ideas that I have very deep feelings about to my class mates for discussions. For example, “This is where I will be focusing

– Asian American

-Soldier

  1. How are Asian American soldiers seen as in the general population?
  2. What are people’s opinions on what American Service men and women do?
  3. What are peoples first expectations/ thought when meeting an Asian person?
  4. Are soldier’s good people?
  5. is there a struggle identifying yourself as a soldier in today’s world?”

With the work I did in this class, I was able to better portray myself to my classmates and to really do research that meant more to me then what would be given by the instructor. The Peer review on our essays also gave me the chance to see how others viewed my ideas more in-depth. They gave me feedback and gave me new ideas that I would have never thought of. I was able to showcase my thoughts and then critique them base on what others said about them. This would be very useful in future ventures to be able to make an idea of mine better for everyone and myself.

This class has been a very different course then I am used to. It gave me the chance to be able to look into what I really enjoyed and be able to convey my ideas to my peers and also see what others like me really think.

E Portfolio

My initial learning goals for this term was to be able to communicate better with my classmates and my instructor through online interactions. I have always seen a fine line between being formal and non-formal when it came to communication with my peers online. I found my strengths as being able to communicate with my group mates in our workshops. I felt that it was much more informal and I was able to communicate easier with them. Some of the struggles I came to was replying to other students post. I found myself, some nights, trying to see what I wanted to reply to their post with. I felt that I had nothing to say or that my response was not long enough to be notable. This was an ongoing issue but did become less problematic as the term went on. I feel that I was stuck on a certain way to respond to someone and that really hindered me in being able to piece together a meaningful response. I have plenty of ideas but the formalities and different rules in my mind really made it hard to convey. By the end of the term, I was very comfortable with typing out my thoughts and responding to other students just became easier.

In one of my Workshop post, I wrote that “I feel that I am pretty good at public speaking and working in a group. One thing I know I need help with is writing in general. Especially with larger papers and what not. I foresee this class requiring quite abit of writing so I can already see myself becoming a better writer by the end of the term. Communication through typing has always been an issue and becoming more familiar with it through this class will benefit me when talking to an instructor or doing an online assignment or working with my partners to complete an assignment. “This term given me the chance to really practice my writing abilities. Each week required me to write and I was able to be exposed to different examples of writing done by my peers. These combined gave me what I needed to improve my writing skills. Being able to see what others wrote gave me new ways to go at how I wrote my own responses and assignments. Writing weekly has been something that I am not use to and did prove difficult in the beginning. Writing more often gave me the chance to practice my writing skills more than a few times a term leading to getting more help quicker. I feel that practice does make perfect, so all this writing has aided my ability to get better and improve how I wrote.

I gained a new understanding for what it means to be an advocate. I noticed that I tended to reply on post that I felt I agreed most with. I usually tried to back up their response and really give them support. During week 3 I replied to S Morris-Doty’s post with “I remember the ad you are taking about and I do find it odd with the multiracial dilemma. I like how you brought this up because companies are trying to appeal to more people and a multiracial family is a normal thing. It’s just weird how it’s so unaccepting it is even today. Would people who have problems with multiracial families have problems with families different from theirs? Or is it just the mixing that’s the problem? That is a weird topic and the ads are a good thing to bring up.”  The post was about a multiracial family eating cheerios. I backed up what he had to say and gave him positive feedback about his post.  Most post aren’t like this though. I wish I kept some of my previous entries but there were many nights where I would really struggle to find a way to advocate for someone. I would type a sentence and then erase it. I found some topics to really be bland and I wouldn’t care much at all but pushed myself to find a way to agree with them and applaud what they wrote. I know it wasn’t required to agree with what others but I sometimes just would not know what to write to them.

Some new skills I feel that I obtained from the course would be a better listener and reader. I was also able to convey my ideas better while in this course rather then most classes where I go in person. In the workshop, I was able to convey ideas that I have very deep feelings about to my class mates for discussions. For example, “This is where I will be focusing

– Asian American

-Soldier

  1. How are Asian American soldiers seen as in the general population?
  2. What are people’s opinions on what American Service men and women do?
  3. What are peoples first expectations/ thought when meeting an Asian person?
  4. Are soldier’s good people?
  5. is there a struggle identifying yourself as a soldier in today’s world?”

With the work I did in this class, I was able to better portray myself to my classmates and to really do research that meant more to me then what would be given by the instructor. The Peer review on our essays also gave me the chance to see how others viewed my ideas more in-depth. They gave me feedback and gave me new ideas that I would have never thought of. I was able to showcase my thoughts and then critique them base on what others said about them. This would be very useful in future ventures to be able to make an idea of mine better for everyone and myself.

This class has been a very different course then I am used to. It gave me the chance to be able to look into what I really enjoyed and be able to convey my ideas to my peers and also see what others like me really think.

E portfolio

My initial learning goals for this term was to be able to communicate better with my classmates and my instructor through online interactions. I have always seen a fine line between being formal and non-formal when it came to communication with my peers online. I found my strengths as being able to communicate with my group mates in our workshops. I felt that it was much more informal and I was able to communicate easier with them. Some of the struggles I came to was replying to other students post. I found myself, some nights, trying to see what I wanted to reply to their post with. I felt that I had nothing to say or that my response was not long enough to be notable. This was an ongoing issue but did become less problematic as the term went on. I feel that I was stuck on a certain way to respond to someone and that really hindered me in being able to piece together a meaningful response. I have plenty of ideas but the formalities and different rules in my mind really made it hard to convey. By the end of the term, I was very comfortable with typing out my thoughts and responding to other students just became easier.

In one of my Workshop post, I wrote that “I feel that I am pretty good at public speaking and working in a group. One thing I know I need help with is writing in general. Especially with larger papers and what not. I foresee this class requiring quite abit of writing so I can already see myself becoming a better writer by the end of the term. Communication through typing has always been an issue and becoming more familiar with it through this class will benefit me when talking to an instructor or doing an online assignment or working with my partners to complete an assignment. “This term given me the chance to really practice my writing abilities. Each week required me to write and I was able to be exposed to different examples of writing done by my peers. These combined gave me what I needed to improve my writing skills. Being able to see what others wrote gave me new ways to go at how I wrote my own responses and assignments. Writing weekly has been something that I am not use to and did prove difficult in the beginning. Writing more often gave me the chance to practice my writing skills more than a few times a term leading to getting more help quicker. I feel that practice does make perfect, so all this writing has aided my ability to get better and improve how I wrote.

I gained a new understanding for what it means to be an advocate. I noticed that I tended to reply on post that I felt I agreed most with. I usually tried to back up their response and really give them support. During week 3 I replied to S Morris-Doty’s post with “I remember the ad you are taking about and I do find it odd with the multiracial dilemma. I like how you brought this up because companies are trying to appeal to more people and a multiracial family is a normal thing. It’s just weird how it’s so unaccepting it is even today. Would people who have problems with multiracial families have problems with families different from theirs? Or is it just the mixing that’s the problem? That is a weird topic and the ads are a good thing to bring up.”  The post was about a multiracial family eating cheerios. I backed up what he had to say and gave him positive feedback about his post.  Most post aren’t like this though. I wish I kept some of my previous entries but there were many nights where I would really struggle to find a way to advocate for someone. I would type a sentence and then erase it. I found some topics to really be bland and I wouldn’t care much at all but pushed myself to find a way to agree with them and applaud what they wrote. I know it wasn’t required to agree with what others but I sometimes just would not know what to write to them.

Some new skills I feel that I obtained from the course would be a better listener and reader. I was also able to convey my ideas better while in this course rather then most classes where I go in person. In the workshop, I was able to convey ideas that I have very deep feelings about to my class mates for discussions. For example, “This is where I will be focusing

– Asian American

-Soldier

  1. How are Asian American soldiers seen as in the general population?
  2. What are people’s opinions on what American Service men and women do?
  3. What are peoples first expectations/ thought when meeting an Asian person?
  4. Are soldier’s good people?
  5. is there a struggle identifying yourself as a soldier in today’s world?”

With the work I did in this class, I was able to better portray myself to my classmates and to really do research that meant more to me then what would be given by the instructor. The Peer review on our essays also gave me the chance to see how others viewed my ideas more in-depth. They gave me feedback and gave me new ideas that I would have never thought of. I was able to showcase my thoughts and then critique them base on what others said about them. This would be very useful in future ventures to be able to make an idea of mine better for everyone and myself.

This class has been a very different course then I am used to. It gave me the chance to be able to look into what I really enjoyed and be able to convey my ideas to my peers and also see what others like me really think.

E-Portfolio

Going into this class I was not sure what I was getting myself into. I had some pre conceived ideas of what I though this class was going to be like but those turned out to be not even really close, but I think that is a good thing. I took this class as my last SINQ and I choose it because I always thought of myself as someone who keeps up with popular culture. My previous 2 SINQ’s were somewhat related to my major so I also wanted to take a course that was something completely different. Overall I have enjoyed this class and will be taking away many valuable lessons and knowledge that will be very applicable to the real world and everything that surrounds us.

My initial learning goals coming in for this class were to expand my knowledge on popular culture and really learn what makes up popular culture. As far as my communication goals went, my main goal was to just improve my overall writing skills throughout the course. Of course my final goal was to do well and hopefully get an A in the class. As the term went on I really started to notice where my strengths and weaknesses lied. As far as strength goes I noticed that my strength seemed to be that I was able to connect my life and personal experiences with the topic or issues we would discuss. This really helped because it allowed me to connect myself to the subject and express my ideas more clearly. Here is an example of how I was able to use a personal experience to get my point across.

“1) The essay I found more compelling was The Book Stops Here. When I started reading the article and realized it was about wikipedia I immediately wondered who contributes to the wikipedia pages and why do people do that. To my luck the essay basically answered my question and more for me. I found it very interesting to read contributors say that editing and adding information is like an addiction to them. One thing I took away from this essay was just how much protection is now around wikipedia pages. There seems to be a lot of work that goes in to protecting the pages from vandals/trolls from contributors and I am sure there are many more now, being this essay was written 10 years ago. Me and my friend actually tried to make a wikipedia page about our friend once and the page was deleted within 5 minutes of it going up because it was considered to be not important or substantial information. It just goes to show how you cannot get away with nearly as much as people think you can on wikipedia.”

I think this is a good strength to have because when the reader sees that you have a personal experience that goes along with what you are trying to say it can help them understand as well. My main weakness this class was exactly what I figured it would be. My biggest problem in all of my classes is procrastination and it was no different with this class. I often found myself Thursday night or Sunday night trying to get my work done. Most of the time I get the work done on time and do it well but sometimes it is rushed and I just wonder how much better it could have been if I started way earlier. I am continually trying to work on my procrastination because I know I can improve my writing and overall work much more if I give myself more time.

I think the role in which I greatly improved and gained a new understanding for is a reviewer. In previous SINQ’s and my FRINQ last year we would have to periodically peer review other students work but never to the extent we did for this class. It was always just fill out a form about their work but ultimately the professor’s feedback would be the only one we cared about. In this class we had to rely on our group members a lot for our final blog post and much more input was given on our topics from our group members than the professor or mentor. This really gave me a new appreciation being a reviewer because I realized that people take a lot of stock into what you have to say and your suggestions really are something people look forward to and they actually use them. Being a reviewer myself I really enjoyed the letters we had to write to our group members because there was no outline or sheet to follow directly so I was really able to be free on my suggestions and because I did not have a worksheet or outline it forced me to really inspect the rough drafts more than I would have.

“One thing that is missing, which you stated, is a conclusion. I think for your conclusion you should make sure it summarizes your main points again and connects those points with yourself. It sometimes seems hard to follow what your main points are through your primary sources so summarizing them in the conclusion would be strong. You go so quickly from the positive affect of things to the negative affect that sometimes I got confused. I’m also wondering if it may be easier to talk about all the positives of gaming in the media and then switch and talk about all the negatives. It may make the paper easier to follow and easier to understand the main points you are trying to make.”

That was part of one of the peer review letters I wrote. In my previous experiences with peer reviewing I would not have written anything that detailed or helpful. I would just follow the peer review sheet given to me and write down general ideas. This is a great example of how I improved as a reviewer from this course and a lot of it has to do with the understanding I gained about peer reviewing.

There are many things I will take away from this course and use in my everyday life and future courses. However I think the main thing I will be taking away is just my improved knowledge of being able to identify, evaluate, and analyze sources and knowing where the line is for copyright infringement. I think these will be the things I take away the most because they are and will be applicable in almost everything I do in my life. With technology playing a huge part in our life and the internet being such a necessity it will be very important I know what is a reliable source or something that I can use. This class really cleared up some uncertainties I had on those subjects and I will take and use that knowledge for a very long time. Overall I am happy I took this class because it has taught me a lot about our world today and has been enjoyable doing it.