About paleksey

My name is Aleksey and I am form Ukraine. Currently I am a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering. I am excited to be in this class and would love to learn more about cultures.

E-portfolio

Before taking this course I had very little interest in popular culture and I had very little knowledge of what popular culture was. I also wasn’t a big fan of online courses but after taking this course I realized that not only can I work at home but I can lean at home as well. Through this course I gained and improved multiple skills. I was fairly new to virtual community courses but I managed to familiarize myself quickly with my group and the format of the class. Through the discussions and the activities done in this class, I was able to recognize things about myself that I didn’t before through other sources; class mates and the course content. I realized after the first couple of weeks that the goals, list set in the beginning of the course, needed much improvement.

“One of my strengths in coming up with visual ideas when working in groups. Understanding the problem and collaborating with group members to come to a solution is something that I do well. One challenge that I face is presenting the idea orally to the public. Since English is my second language my word choice is much smaller so getting mu idea across is challenging and is something that I need to work on. This term the mirror blog and a peer review and will definitely help me improve my communication and my writing skills…  In order for a group project to be successful each individual must want to participate. Being able to communicate with one another, providing honest feedback, and not be afraid to share ideas is the key to group work. Also being enthusiastic and letting everyone share their piece will create a successful projects.”

The main goals I set for this term was to improve my communication skills and be able to actively participate in a group, share my ideas, and be able to provide helpful feedback. Also I wanted to improve my writing abilities by writing my making the writing flow more and also make my sentences more powerful by choosing better words. Improving my writing by making my word choice and sentences more powerful was challenging since my word choice is limited. What I felt I did well in was group participation and sharing my ideas. In most blogs I was able to connect with the writers and build on their ideas and concepts. I found this to be my strength. Also, I believe I was able to provide helpful feedback, especially in the mirror blog post, as well as receiving feedback. After receiving the peer review letter form a class mate, I realized my essay was written incorrectly and the way I represent engineers in media is only the negative aspect. After reading the review I was able to improve the essay by showing that even though engineers are most films portray engineer’s negatively, some films show how engineers truly are. This doesn’t only show the positive features of engineers but it motivates others to reconsider their career choices and possibly chose a path in the engineering field.

Throughout this course I improved and expanded on being an effective team member and not only providing advice but receiving it as well. In the peer review a student replied sayingThe Tony Stark reference was a good example as well. However, it seems you may have misinterpreted his portrayal because I do not think “evil” is the right word choice to describe him. The words I think of when talking about Tony Stark is like philanthropist, playboy and hero is the best words, not evil. First of all, he created the suit to save his own life. You could use the example of when his chest gets wounded by his own missile to portray that it is careless to how he got injured due to his own invention. But he learns that his weapons were getting in the wrong hands and harming innocent folk so he shut down its production. He did end up saving the world multiple times so calling him “evil” may not be the best word because he was clearly portrayed as a hero. However, you can use this example as a counterargument as you lack one. Instead of twisting the Iron Man reference you should utilize it as the other perspective to your paper. Tony Stark is a wealthy and very charming man. He does not have that sloppy look like your previous primary sources. Because he can use his own inventions to save the world, it can also inspire young engineers. Iron Man can spark our youth to get into this field because he makes it cool and trendy.” At first thought this seemed wrong but as I thought about the idea of a positive portrayal I found that using Iron Man as a positive source will make the blog much more effective and interesting. I also review another student’s blog and provided similar feedback and gave advice on improving some things to make the blog better and have more meaning. Being able to work with others and accept others ides makes a stronger connection between the group members and makes the class more comfortable.

Throughout this term I not only learned about popular culture but I also learned to write better and be a better group member. The goals we set in the beginning f the term I feel were met by the group.”Over the past term my group has supported these things and replied to post honestly and retuned positive feedback regarding my ideas. Through this  the group often built on each other’s ideas resulting in closer relationships then the first weeks and now we feel more comfortable with each other.” being able to communicate properly with team members can be extremely useful in the future. With the skills I acquired here such as teamwork and writing abilities I will be able to do much more in my future career and job. I will be more effective at work and be more successful when working with other teams. I will also take the knowledge of popular culture and the effects media has on our perceptions and use this information to help make media shape better images of people. It was a pleasure being in this course and working in a group of diverse people.

 

Aleksey Prozapas

 

 

 

Media Portrayals of Engineers

       Media over the past decade has changed drastically not only technologically, but in content as well. Our generation lives in a much more mysterious time than our parents and grandparents. Technology advancements brought our generation comfort and caused us to rely more on what we hear and see rather then what we experience. One of the main aspects of media we experience today is TV ads, movies, and TV shows. Media has taken true identities manipulated them and forced people to reshape their views which affects people’s perception on everyday life. As an engineer I often see how we are portrayed negatively in movies and other forms of media. Despite their intelligence and work, engineers are portrayed as reclusive and isolated causing people to change their perspectives. If we take multiple media sources we can see that they depicted these characteristics about engineers.

Media portrays engineers as socially awkward and reclusive and we see this representation in TV shows such as Prison break. Prison break was created by Paul Scheuring in 2005 and it shows how Michael, the engineer, breaks into prison in order to break out his innocent older brother who was sentenced to death. In the show Michael and his group of inmates experience tragedies and difficult situations as they are constantly on a run. Michael was always the one to get everyone out of trouble and eventually gave his friends freedom. Throughout the show Michael was always the quiet one and often and his friends thought he was crazy because he rarely said anything or had a normal conversation with anyone. To Michael the group’s mentality seemed strange while for the group Michael’s doings were mysterious. In multiple scenes people disagree with what Michaels plan was because it seemed extremely risky, but he was always right and his plans worked. In this show engineers are portrayed socially awkward individuals.

One of the greatest TV shows that has the most practical representations of a reclusive and isolated engineer is Dilbert. Dilbert was created in 1989 by Scott Adams and this show revolves around the engineer Dilbert and his pet dog Dogbert at his work place in Silicon Valley. At his office, Dilbert can never agree with his coworkers. As in Prison Break, everyone in Dilbert’s company seems unable to make smart decisions and to them Dilbert seems crazy because his ideas are not like everyone else’s. The only individual that understands and agrees with Dilbert is his dog. Dilbert is isolated from everyone else and feels that no one understands him and no one wants to be around him because he is seen to be awkward and crazy based on the things he does. In each episode the company faces a problem and when everyone explains their solution Dilbert strictly disagrees and when Dilbert states his solution everyone else disagrees, thinking that his ways are absurd. This shows how engineers are isolated form the rest of the world because no one understands and respects them.

Figure !.

Figure 1.

Another representation this show displays is the way engineers dress. Dilbert in Figure 1 is shown to dress nerdy and sloppy. Dilbert is wearing slacks that are short and his tie seems to be deformed; always pointing upwards. Engineers are shown to not care about their external looks. What we see and hear has a significant effect on the way we see things and the choices we make. An article that studies the portrayals of engineers written by Dr. Zbigniew J. Pasek states that “Portrayal of certain professions in the popular media has a deep and lasting effect not only on general public’s understanding of these professions, but also has an impact on future career choices of adolescents” (2012). Dilbert portrays engineers as awkward individuals and shows that they do not cope with the rest of society because they are different. This affects the younger generation and their career choices hence there is a decline in engineering professions. The article continues by stating that modern societies are experiencing a strange paradox. On one hand, to thrive, they continuously increase their dependence on a wide range of technologies, but on the other hand, the scientific and engineering communities responsible for the invention and development of these technologies are in steady decline (Pasek, 2012). As times become more advance society requires more engineers to constantly improve technology but because of how media represents engineers we see a decline in engineering career paths in younger generations. Media portrays engineers as mysterious individuals thus causing people to change their perspectives and avoid a career in engineering.

Engineers have helped our world advance technologically and make our everyday life easier and more convenient. To become an engineer it takes a lot of mental skill and experience to fully understand the field. Real engineers require problem solving, leadership, prioritizing, team work, and communication skills and to be successful. In the real world engineers may have different personalities but all engineers must be able to communicate with their customers and create their design successfully. From personal experience I can say that it’s quite hard to become a skillful engineer. As hard as it is on its own, media makes engineering seem unworthy and complex. The younger generation is most effected by stereotypes. The different stereotypes change the image of a typical engineer and this causes young adults not to choose their career path related to engineering because media portrays them as isolated individuals. An article on “Engineers in Popular Media” states that stereotypes are the cause for much worry among the engineering community because they are strongly believed to be one of the main reasons for the lack students enrolling in college to obtain an engineering degree(Olin, Fabian, & Olin, 2012). The author continues and explains that the solution to these stereotypes is the sources which are movies and TV shows. Shows and movies must portray engineers how they are in real life from their perspective not from other sources and their views.

Figure 2.

Figure 2.

One of these more recent movies is Iron Man. This film shows a positive portrayal of engineers and I believe will motivate others to choose the engineering path as their career choice. Iron man is based on the Marvel Comic, which was created by Stan Lee, and released in 2008. In the movie the main character, Tony Stark, is an engineer who created the Iron man suit while being held hostage by a terrorist group. After coming home he recreates his suit and improves its abilities. His close friend abused this opportunity and took Tony’s design and created his own suit which he later used to try to kill Tony. Though Tony made a mistake and others used that to their advantage, he fixed his mistake and improved his design again making it better for him and his company. This film also shows Tony as, most would consider, a handsome and well dressed person that.  In figure 2, Tony is wearing a decent suit and is dressed very formal. When younger people see a man in a suit it instantly sparks an interest and makes them someone they look up too. Tony stark is a good example of a motivating modern engineer. In order to force interest into the younger generations engineers should be shown to be well dressed and someone who can always solve a problem.

In conclusion, media create stereotypes that damage the image of an engineer. This leads to negative portrayals of an engineer which causes young generations to change their career decision. Even though engineers have helped us by creating all the advanced technologies, society will still see them as awkward and isolated individuals as seen in the shows Dilbert and Prison Break. In order for this to change movies and TV shows should be represent engineers positively. Tony Stark is a great example of engineers and it will motivate others to see engineers as great and powerful people and hopefully cause others to choose their careers around the engineering filed. This will show the true representation of an engineer which would also help build the future.

 

 

References

Adams, Scott. Dilbert. Digital image. SFGATE. Benny Evangelista, 2013. Web. 2015.

Figure 1. Dilbert. Prod. Scott Adams. Perf. Daniel Stem. Columbia TriStar Television, 1998. TV Show.

Figure 2. Tony Stark. Digital image. Pixshark. N.p., n.d. Web. May 2015. <http://pixshark.com/tony-stark-suit.htm&gt;.

Iron Man Armored Adventures 1. Dir. Jon Favreau. Perf. Robert Downey Jr. Marvel Entertainment, 2008. DVD.

Olin, D., Fabian, A., & Olin, F. W. (2012). Engineers in Popular Media : Hollywood as a Recruiting Tool for Engineering Colleges Engineers in Popular Media

Pasek, Z. J. (2012). Reel engineers: Portrayal of engineers and engineering profession in the feature films. 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, June 10, 2012 – June 13, 2012.

Prison Break. Prod. Paul Scheuring. Perf. Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller. 20th Television, 2005. DVD.