April 29, 2009
I think that culture shock and emotional turmoil are some of the common things that North Korean defectors would feel, but I think in this documentary the situation is different from the usual because it deals with teens. Since teenagers are exceptionally sensitive to the changes around and in them, I think North Korean teenagers would feel tremendous stress towards big changes that they were not prepared for.
But thanks to the special boarding schools, like Hanggyre School, the transition might be a little smoother, but I do not think that anyone can help these defectors from adopting new set of values and motivations in a Westernized Korea. Yes, the family ties and loyalty are still there but can they get used to things like individualism, rejection of tradition, and profit-motive? This question still roamed around my head even as I finished watching the documentary.
But then, remembering the article about North Korean defectors on National Geographic Magazine, may be the assimilation of Westernized values won’t be hard. The defectors can eventually find their self after a certain period of time, but it will be also hard trying to stick with some ugly elements of their reality.
April 29, 2009
1. Authors such as James Joyce, William Faulkner, Mark Twain, and James McMurtry are cited as influencing McCarthy’s writing style.
2. McCarthy treats humans as more of lost souls going on a journey and in this process even evil or misdeed can be committed by them while on the other hand, land and horses are described with serenity and subtle perfection that by just looking at them, readers feel sense of awe.
3. He uses long tumbling sentences that elevates his descriptions as well as conversations between characters.
4. Elizabethean dialogue as well as other dictions and phrases that were used in history of English.
April 6, 2009
March 10, 2009
Our topic for the archetype and stereotype project was about modern princesses. Although princesses have been around in our society for centuries, the concept of princesses has taken a new dimension in the modern age which derived characteristics from Disney princesses. Princesses have changed from objects of worship and virtue to objects of commercialism, in which big corporations such as Mattel and Disney market the image of princesses to young girls from 7-12, also known as the tween group. Disney, the archetype of the modern princess and companies selling stereotypical princess products such as Barbie allowed girls to project themselves as princesses from fairy tales, but aggressive marketing of modern princesses has caused a major negative consequences on society: distorted perception of beauty.
Writing Prompt #2
We have seen news about the negative affects of the modern standard of beauty. Although the media would claim that fashion magazines and TV shows have affected this image, we believe that the problem actually arose from princesses that girls encounter in their early lives. It is hard for girls to not live their childhood life without encountering princesses from fairy tales. By listening to stories told from their moms and watching movies about these stories, girls have already established the standard of beauty based on princesses from these sources. The effect of princesses on girls may have been subtle until toy industries started to really target the concept of princess. When Disney, Mattel, and other toy industries started to manufacture products that enabled girls to fully indulge in their desire to actually experience princess lifestyle rather than through vicarious experience, Western beauty combined with unrealistic body curves started to establish unrealistic perception of beauty in girls’ minds. As we have seen from the clip from Dove Evolution, it is “no wonder [that] our perception of beauty is distorted.” How can girls know that what they see in princess shops and movies are all warped versions of beautiful women? While enjoying the benefits of being a girl is important, companies and society should promote a realistic perception of beauty in these products. In a sense, diversity is what princess products and media should portray. Media can use variation from a stereotype to show that unrealistically thin waistline does not necessarily equals beauty. Moreover, a little more diversity would prevent young girls from being narrow-minded at such a young age. After all, one of the greatest things about princess concept is that there is no definite meaning; diversity would be a lot easier to integrate. Diversity would be a ticket to a break from plastic image to a more individualistic concept.
The video highlights the dangerous effect of emphasis on improbable body shape and standard of beauty.
Writing Prompt #1
- We believe that the original image is the Disney Princesses mythology. After the “Disney Princesses,” brands and shops like Club Libby Lu have elements that are derived from Disney Princesses. For example, these stereotypical products have pretty faces, bell-shaped curves, nice dresses, and fancy accessories. Just like what Disney Princesses had.
3. The intended audience is definitely international audience. Disney movies with princesses are exported throughout the world as well as Barbie and “Princess Diaries.” They represent what many girls throughout the world want to do: living a princess life. Princesses on media get to be beautiful, wear beautiful clothes and jewelries, and find Prince Charming. Even before Disney started to group all the princesses together, thousands of girls across the world are already familiar with Western fairies tales with princesses such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Beauty and Beast. Eventually, due to the familiarity, Disney was able to market the Princess mythologies not only in North America, but all around the world. Even though some Asian countries like China are not very familiar with these Western tales, selling princess products are not a hard thing to do because it is what every girl in the world would want to do at some point.
4. Girls about age 18 are most widely represented. This is because girls at this age are usually at the pinnacle of their beauty. Moreover, the tween group known as 7-12 year old girls have tendency to “look up” to teenage girls; as a result, princesses in products and media tend to be around late teenage so tween girls can purchase and imitate teenage girls in princess products.
5. Girls above 20 years of age and Asians seem to be the least represented. This is because usually in fairy tales girls are no older than 20. Also, Asians are least represented because Asians do not represent the Western beauty that is currently the standard of beauty in the world.
6. We realized that original Disney princesses did not comprehensively incorporate pink in their dresses or jewels. Except the Sleeping Beauty, princesses like Jasmine, Snow White, Cinderella, and Belle wore either azure or yellow dresses. According to the New York Times article, we found out that pink in the early century was considered a masculine color because pink was a light color of red, which was the color representing Apollo, the god of the sun. On the other hand, blue was known as the more feminine color due to its association with Virgin Mary. It was only after Barbie that the world started to associate pink with girls.
Key Images With Captions
Vocabulary and word cloud
Jewelry Ariel Tiny Wasitline Pretty Photoshop and Air Brushing Disney
Belle Princess No definite meaning Corporate merchandise
Girlie Prince Charming Fantasies Living the fairy tale life
Snow White Western Beauty Distorted perception of beauty Big eyes
Cosmetic surgery Thin Tween Dancing
Must haves Cinderella Asians looking life Westerners Silky hair
Bell-curves Flawless skin Fashion Barbie
Spin-off Singing High Bridged Nose Jasmine Pink
Resources and Links
“What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/24/magazine/24princess.t.html?_r=3&pagewanted=6
“Building an Edgier Barbie to Revive Franchise Sales” The Wall Street Journal http://www.commercialexploitation.org/news/2008/12/edgybarbie.html
Dove Evolution video on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U
Barbie waistline Image from www.beautyfromtheheart.org http://www.beautyfromtheheart.org/uploaded_images/barbie-789919.jpg
Link to Jung Eung Chung’s blog jungeun620.wordpress.com
January 14, 2009
After watching the documentary “Growing Up Online” by Frontline, I had many responses to some of the topics mentioned in the film. The following responses to questions from Mr.Jones’s blog will show what I felt about the documentary.
#1 In what ways would you need to change your routine in order to disconnect yourself from all media (i.e. no TV, no Internet, etc.) What problems would you encounter if you unplugged for one day? One week? One month?
Since I am not a person who is always online, it is not very hard very me to totoally disconnet my self from all media. For example, I could spend my time doing something I like: cross-stitch. These days since I am developing a taste for cross-stitching, which would easily help me change my routine to disconnect my self from the media. Although it might sound tedious at first, I love the fact that I am cross-stitching Xs and make a beautiful artwork. Moreover, if that cross-stitch is for people who have helped me I am more excited to spend my time expressing my gratitude towards them. Thus, rather than turning on my computer after I finish taking my nap, I can take out my cross-stitch and begin working on it.
However, a major problem that I would encounter is missing emails that are important for my classes such as APUSH. Mr. Macklin sends important information about discussions, quizzes, tests, and activities for next class through email. If I fail to get plugged in, then it is very possible that I cannot read these emails and thus fail to prepare effectively for my next APUSH class.
Of course, I would have some problems with my friends, who will be disappointed that I am not available to talk with them online. Yet, I have been offline for a while that my friends are used to the fact that I am offline most of the time.
#2 How many hours per week do you estimate you spend on Facebook or similar personal networking sites? What are the benefits and disadvantages of using these sites?
Now that I am accepted to a college, I spend about 3 hours on Facebook. One definite benefit of using these sites is opportunity to make friends and socialize with my future class mates. Through the site, I am able to socialize with my future classmates and current students at Claremont colleges. Recently I have been talking to a student at Claremont McKenna who asked me if I would like to work as a layout staff at Claremont Conservative (a publication). Since I see opportunities that Facebook can present to me, I spend more time on Facebook than before.
A disadvantage on the other hand, would be lack of wise time management. As soon as I am done with Facebook business, I get really tired and go to bed. Well, I could have used my time wisely to finish my assignment and prepare for next day.
#3 To what extent are you aware of viral marketing, the use of “advertorials” (presenting advertisements as editorial content), or direct marketing on Facebook and other social networking sites?
I am aware of the fact that there is a direct marketing on Facebook and other social networking sites because I see advertisements on the right side of the Facebook page. However, I was not clearly aware that there were use of “advertorials.”
#4 Personal response based on your individual viewing of “Growing Up Online”.
I thought this documentary was a pretty accurate reflection of the ongoing conflict that arises from Internet. The documentary was supporting neither parents nor teenagers. It had interviews from both sides that allowed me to comprehend the situation objectively and accurately. Moreover, I really liked the fact that the documentary portrayed that many teenagers are aware of cyber predators and do not talk to these strangers who ask their addresses. As a participant of the online community, I know that my friends and I are aware that we should not talk to strangers who ask “weird” questions. However, parents do not know about this and get an inaccurate belief that their children will be the next victim of online predator at any moment. Thus, I felt that Frontline did an excellent job presenting this problem.
December 9, 2008
Response to Article 1(Joongang)
I think this is an insightful follow-up article (after the article in Korean Herald)about problems among Korean students studying in American colleges. Even for me, essay writing is a serious problem but I think I can handle it if I get some practice. Afterall, several classes I took in previous years such as US Literature and General Literature focused on essay writing. Also, World Literature gives me some experience with in-class essay writing. I notice that plagiarism is treated really different from Korean schools and SIS. SIS utilizes websites such as turnitin.com to prevent and discourage the use of plagiarism among students. I do not know if other Korean schools use this website but I think use of this site has more impact on my academic experience than I thought. After I read the article, I think I am proud that I have written my essays without use of cut-and-paste technique. However, there are somethings in the article I wish the author would have expanded on. For example, the author asserts that 1.5 and second generation of Korean Americans also have difficult time with college education. This may be due to Confuscian emphasis on education and Korean education style but I thought many students even American students had difficult time adjusting to college level education. American college education is a tough system to go through and it is not easy for everybody. If the author expanded on the paragraph about Korean American students, then he/she would have clarified some problems I saw in the argument.
Response to Article 2(AFP)
It is certainly a bad sign that more people in my generation are cheating, stealing, and lying without a significant solution to this phenomenon. Despite heavy punishments though, I believe that students will still try to continue what they were doing(whether that’s cheating, stealing, and lying) if they do not feel the seriousness of the problems. They have to feel deep pang of guilt and shame so they could stop. But the real problem is they do not feel their conduct of behavior was not bad as noted from the article(AFP). Comparison will not help because if everybody starts comparing themselves with others, there is no stopping poing for these students to stop comparing and stop cheating, lying, and stealing. Whether somebody conducted a lighter “crime” than others, it is still a “crime” and thus there is no point in comparing themselves to others.
When I read these two articles, I think about Cornel Wests’s Democracy Matters and what he talked about dishonesty among corporate executives and politicians, aka nihilism. By reading two articles, I think West’s argument that this sense of nihilism would spread among West and to the world is correct. Although Korean’s tendency to cheat did not originate from American’s influence, rate of cheating and plagiarism among Koreans would go rampant if American students’ tendency to cheat, lie, and steal spreads throughout the world. Since America is the world superpower, what it does will certainly influence other countries. However, I think individuals should not succomb to peer pressure to cheat, lie, and steal. One should realize the seriousness of this issue and think in long terms, not in short terms.
The following questions are from Mr. Jones’s Blog
1. What are some elements of the “warrior tradition”?
I think some elements include things such as the ability to use “supernatural” powers such as climbing up the wall or flying from roof to roof.
Using some supernatural power gives sense of awe and admiration towards the warrior who have been depicted with these feelings over decades. These feelings helps to idolize warriors and adds a sense of godliness to warriors. As a part of warrior tradition, warriors need to be idolized so people could appreciate what they do to ordinary people. Warriors had to live through hard work and painful training; it was no easy process. Afterwards, warriors were obliged to perform tasks that no one else could do: protect the people from evil forces. Thus, I think the effort and time warriors put in would be paid off if many people would admire and even worship the what the warrior did.
Another element of “warrior tradition” would be the posture. From time to time, warriors from movies such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers abruptly stopped fighting and positioned themselves in a kung-fu posture.
This could be to recollect one’s spirit or calm their minds to focus better. Also, postures remind the warriors that they are fighting in a more dignified way and not just a street fight. This would remind them about certain rules of kung-fu such as no-killing policy.
2. How is the natural world depicted in relation to martial arts?
I think natural world is depicted as the source of ultimate power in relation to martial arts. If we look at the powerful sword from Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragon the name of the sword was “Green Destiny.” This name signifies that nature is the source of power among warriors since the word green easily relates to nature. If one uses nature carefully, then one can win the fight. For example, from House of Flying Daggers the general was able to win the blind dancer by using water.
3. How are gender roles important to the scenes we watched?
Gender roles are important to add tension to the scenes we watched. For example, usually women’s roles in old China are mostly inferior to men’s roles. However, directors could challenge this notion to make the scene more interesting. For example, the House of Flying Dagger was interesting to watch because women were as powerful or even more powerful than men.
4. What else caught your eye or is worth noting?
I thought the wide variety of weapons in the films were worth noting. I once watched a program from National Geographic Channel about kung-fu weapons. When I watched the program, I thought it was almost impossible to use that many weapons when fighting because I thought a warrior could not even think of using that many weapons. However, when I watched the fighting scene between two sisters from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon I began to realize it was possible and that it was essential for kung-fu warriors to be able to utilize as many weapons as possible.
November 24, 2008
Woman Warrior is an interesting book since the book has a writing style that destroys Western literature’s emphasis on the distintinction between reality and fantasy a.k.a interpretation. But even this is too generalized to say about Maxine Hong Kingston’s writing style. Reality is pretty much down to earth: reality is something that can be regarded as “facts” or “evidence” such as names, place, or numbers. However, I think Maxine Hong Kingston does something more while effectively integrating reality and “fantasy.” She integrates different kinds of “fantasy” such as intepretation, autobiography, investigation, and narrative. Therefore, I can understand why the author of Woman Warrior at 30 acknowledges that
it is a book without a genre
In fact I agree with the author of the blog post that Woman Warrior integrates these different genres very simply that even the readers cannot distinguish which is which. One moment I was reading a fact and suddenly I was reading “fantasy.”
But also I have to agree with different critics such as the report from Dartmouth college that Woman Warrior tried too many things at once. Chapter One of Woman Warrior started out nicely by showing Maxine Hong Kingston weaving facts and her narrative and interpretation together. However, as the plot got more “audacious” as the Woman Warrior at 30 said, she put in too much genre. For example, in “White Tigers” she was giving the fact version of Fa Mu Lan and her interpretation of what Fa Mu Lan might have thought and t hen she gives her intrepretation of the story and the she also gives interpretation of others actions and beliefs. Then she ends the book with her interpretation of her own actions. But this gets worse in Chapter 3 “Shaman” when she suddenly throws in different myths about Chinese big eaters and story about her mother’s back-breaking labor and more interpretation from Kingston.
Despite this argument though, I found “White Tigers” very interesting: even more than “No Name Woman” and “Shaman.” This was because I was able to understand what Kingston was trying to do when she said
I made my mind large, so it would have room for paradoxes
according to Woman Warrior at 30. In fact, I was able to see what she was doing in “White Tigers” when said this because I knew what she was going to do: invent paradoxes. Thus I figured it was pointless to spend 10 minutes each paragraph figuring what if the content was factual or made-up.
November 23, 2008
1. What does Kim say is the most likely explanation for the high dropout rate among Koreans?
Kim says the most likely explanation for this phenomenon is lack of integration of American culture among Korean students since they are forced to study rather than participate in extra curricular activities. Kim considers extra curricular activities to be a crucial factor for foreign students like Korean students to effectively adapt to American culture. However, since these students are forced by their parents to choose study over activities, Koreans cannot get used to American life-style ultimately resulting in high drop out rate among Koreans. Kim’s explanation shows Korean parents’ distorted view of extra curricular activities; to Korean parents extracurricular activities are like Internet games rather than development of personal intersts into life-long passion.
2. How does the dropout rate among Koreans compare to the dropout rate among other groups?
Drop out rate among Koreans is the highest among other groups like Americans (34%), Indians (21%), and Chinese (25%). The fact that drop out rate among Chinese is higher than that of Koreans is especially shocking since Chinese and Koreans share similar ambition towards education. Whether Chinese were more aggressive towards the integration of American life-style or not, Koreans have a seriousness weakness that would cost them not only money but perhaps credibility to presitgious colleges.
3. What are you currently doing to increase your own college readiness? Is there anything you think you should do before you graduate from high school to be better prepared for university?
I am currently working on my attitude towards academics and my knowledge to prepare for college-level education. I am trying to work hard in every assignment during 2nd Semester so I could overcome this attitude of “oh-I-do-not-care-because-I-am-accepted-to-college.” In college, it’s not so much as grade anymore- it’s about passion. Although I am not sure I can kindle a sense of passion towards every class I take, I should make sure I get rid of this attitude towards education. In order to do this, I think I will study something on my own about something that interests me. I should try to read more books on various subjects and try having academic discussion with anyone I can find- teachers, friends, and my family.
4. What else do you think about this article?
I think this is a good realistic blow to Korean students and parents. I have been always suspicious about ambitious Korean students going to Ivy League schools because they seem to be too focused on studying rather than socializing. What’s more, these students are proud that they are only studying; when I was in forensics competition where international schools and foreign language schools would compete against each other, these Daewon and Minsago students would look down at us because we do not study 24/7. I thought there was something wrong with that argument and tried to argue back but I just did not have to statistics or solid evidence to back up my evidence. Well, this article will be of good use for me in the future whenever Korean school students “mock” our school for not forcing students to study 24/7.
November 23, 2008
The following paragraphs are responses to three of the questions from Mr. Jones’s Blog for Frontline documentary called Young and Restess In China. After viewing the video, I was quite impressed with the way Frontline portrayed lives of nine Chinese. Some of them fit perfectly into the category of ambitious “new” Chinese while some others fit into other categories.
- Why do you think the Chinese government has nicknamed the young people coming home from abroad “returning turtles?”
- How do you think their work or educational experiences abroad have affected their ambitions in China?
- Why do you think these young people have returned to China?
This is because young turtles return to their birthplace after a period of time to hatch their eggs. This habit of turtles certainly makes an appropriate name for returning Chinese. With their Western education and experience, I think they are some of the more ambitious people in China. In fact, these “returning turtles” do know they have an advantage over other Chinese because they got access to “higher” education and values which means that they will be able to use knowledge that other Chinese do not have to do their business. Furthermore, their educational experiences abroad might have affected them to start their own business. As we see from the film, Ben Wu and Xu Weimin both started their own business. I think this was because they were affected by Western education which has a handful of businessmen who became millionaires after starting their own business. Also, I think the concept of opportunity taught in Western education has boosted up their ambition. Capitalist values instilled in American and other foreign education emphasizes the importance of finding and seizing the opportunity. Historically, we have seen this emphasis of opportunity in American history in California Gold Rush and government advertisement for Oregon and Texas. Thus, opportunity was one of the factors that made these young Chinese to return as we can see from the way Lu Dong talked about China’s 9 million shirt market and the way that he referred China as the land of opportunity. Family and home would be another issue that got these Chinese to return. Just like many professional Indian workers, these Chinese would have preferred to work in their native country where they are much comfortable to work in. They do not have to get used to new values and cultures.
2. In what ways do you think Ben Wu, the entrepreneur launching the Internet cafe, is representative of the “new” China?
Like I said in the previous paragraph, ambition and knowledge would be two of the characteristics that Ben Wu is representative of the “new” China. During this period of globalization, knowledge became easier to obtain and more crucial for success. With opportunities and technology such as Internet and over-seas education, young Chinese are very keen about knowledge. For example, Ben Wu was able to utilize his Western education to design and operate his cafe which became pretty successful. As a result, Ben Wu shows that knowledge is important for the “new” China since knowledge can be used to create something unique, which would eventually help achieve success. Ambition is another characteristic Ben Wu is representative of the “new” China. Ben Wu worked all day long between his job and his Internet Cafe. This would have quickly sapped energy and determination from one’s body and mind, but Ben Wu endured this with his ambition for success. He also used his ambition to look for ways to update his Internet Cafe and build more cafes throughout China. Moreover, I think his ambition helped him to quickly realize China’s way of doing business: bribery and to some extent corruption. Although we do not know if he succumbed to bribery or not, Ben Wu’s ambition made him alert enough to read what was going on. This way, Ben Wu shows that ambition defines “new” China. With ambition, “new” Chinese are able to constantly experiment with new ideas and expand business. In addition, ambition makes these young Chinese alert and “restless.”
3. Lu Dong likens Chinese ambition to a poor kid going into a candy store and grabbing too much candy because he has been hungry for so long.
- Is this an apt analogy about China?
- Propose another analogy to describe Chinese ambition.
I think this analogy is appropriate about China. Since China has been poor for so long, it is natural for these Chinese to scurry for money. China’s poverty has turned on Chinese instinct for success, so they could satiate their thirst for plentiful and comfortable life. This analogy about China distinctly contradicts with Siddhartha’s attitude towards money from Siddhartha. Siddartha got bored of earning lot of money so after earning a lot, he would intentionally spend money. Afterwards, he would start earning money again so he could feel that rush of energy and life. Later, Siddhartha had no attraction towards money whatsoever. This is certainly the opposite of Chinese ambition for success. I would compare Chinese ambition to a bunch of fish living in drying river migrating to another river fresh with water. In this process of migration, some fish would die and some would succeed, just like some Chinese facing failure and others savoring their success.