Posts Tagged ‘school’

Of Brilliance and Mediocrity

(April 29th, 2010)

Dear amazing teacher-filled Planet Earth,

Imagine: coming into English one day expecting a rather dull discussion on the usage of a semi-colon and realizing that by the end of the class period, all the students have their cell phones out marveling at the outline of a dead body under a rug. Well, that’s exactly how the scenario played out today! My English teacher pondered over what to make out of a slightly used pair of sweatpants left over from another class period. Before you know it there is a group of high-schoolers helping her stuff the pant-legs with construction paper and creating a crime scene in the middle of the classroom floor. These quirky mannerisms are what make this year so captivating.  Everyone’s had that teacher who has created some wild, unforgettable moment to shatter that absurd boring aspect of education. There is an amazing, unique person that always adds light to the confines of the dull cement block walls or the painstakingly over-original shade of slumber brown reflecting off of the bulletin boards. I’m talking about the person who really captures a vivid environment for their students by hanging random paper mache molds of ham, a giant sculpture of a green egg from the book by Dr. Seuss, a festival of lights from the dry-erase board or a small stuffed pair of toddler jeans disguised as a flower planter and referred to as “the half girl”. I’m talking about the teacher who will make every occasion count by bringing in an enormous glowing elephant lawn decoration during the week before winter break and set it up with a group while one classmate reads from the instructions, the one who puts up a Youtube video of a blazing fireplace on the overhead projector and dims the lights when the temperature in the room is cold. This is the teacher who adds random images of dopey-looking horses or adorable squirrels on intermittent slide shows to loosen the scene or cut out a shape of a duck from paper after she asks you to blurt out any animal from the top of your head. I hope I’m not gloating by saying that my English teacher is among some of the most wacky of all the figureheads at my school. I don’t want to spread the idea that nothing work-related gets accomplished. Instead, my teacher just makes it an enjoyable experience. Before assigning a five-paragraph essay, my teacher once acted out a skit based on the television show, CSI. She blows away the previous definition that school is a place solely of study and learning and makes every day memorable.

By the way, Connor recently had his entry accepted on GraphJam, a downright hilarious website full of charts, diagrams, and of course, graphs. I recommend that you check it out, he would really appreciate more viewers! Anyway, click here to see it.


The Less Taken Path

(March 12th, 2010)

Dear Car Riding, Gas Guzzling, Ignorant Planet Earth,

I’d like to make every day a day open to adventure. One where the eyes shift around the diverse landscape in every direction, admiring all of the earthy colors and natural architectural masterpieces.  And one breathes in the aroma of the trees and the after-effect of a rainfall to be fully enveloped in the real world. The world that we are provided, not one constructed solely by man. I’d like to step inside a consistently shifting world that shines a cheerful expression at the coming of the following season. In order to fully appreciate such a majestic world, it is really as simple as opening your eyes. What I mean is, opening up to the world around you and using all of your senses to admire it. This, I fear, is something left out of a busy work day: the simple ability to be conscious of your surroundings. A contemporary worker is droned out under the barbaric noise of a Blue-tooth headset or trapped inside a car: such an object that shields oneself from the outside world. As for myself, I feel that almost every day I can manage to catch a mighty breath of the outside world. I walk about 1.67 miles every day to get home from school. This type of activity has given rise to questioning of some students that I am familiar with. They are so used to driving from place to place in the nick of time or at least catching a ride from their friend. I do agree that driving would make the process of transportation largely smoother, but without my daily walk I just feel like a large part of me is left out of each day. As a person strongly opposed to any sort of athletic sport,  I do believe that walking is enough to get myself into shape. Physical education just forces people to do activities that they don’t want to do, so there is little, if any motivation. On my walk, I just feel so alive since I am in touch with what is around me. Walking just leads to this feeling of strength and power.  I feel as though every stride that I take has meaning towards something great. Some days I eventually feel like running to release all the strength I have accumulated from this path, this winding sidewalk that I follow for 1.67 miles. I take it all in: the trees, the grass, the sky, and I feel something that others may not experience on a day-to-day basics. I look at the cars zooming past me and I just ignore it. Not once have I felt any sort of jealousy that they could get to where they are heading faster. I look at them and see all of their suffering. I watch them wait in traffic and I can just feel the negative vibes flowing from their automobiles. I feel like smiling, I feel as though I’m doing the right thing by getting exercise, by not wasting gasoline, by taking in my surroundings. People in the cars that zoom past think they have all the power, but they are wrong. I know there will be a day, though, when I follow in their footsteps. When I get my license and my walking days would just flow out the window. Poof! All of the memory lost. I cherish it now because I am young and I know that at heart I am the champion of the sidewalks.

Where Is The Love?

(February 11th, 2010)

Dearest Planet Earth, with your many love-struck, little birds,

It’s the week before Valentines Day, and yes, I am feeling a lack of love in my life. All around me people are recieving special flowers from their lovers at school. All around me people are going about their daily love-making sessions in the hallway. I guess I could use the excuse that this event is a great distraction from my schoolwork, but that would make me sound like a hateful soul whose purpose is to break up any bit of happiness in others. It isn’t that I am jealous; I just don’t know how to express my feelings about such a subject. Luckily Valentines Day falls during the weekend this year, so I won’t have to put up with as much of the “holiday spirit”. Just to put it out there, what is the point of this holiday? It seems that its only purpose is to raise the ones connected by a bond of love, while smashing the rest in the dirt below. Year after year, I reflect back upon who cares about me and who I consider to be close at heart and I realize that there really hasn’t been anyone out there for me at school. I sit alone at lunch, I sit alone in the morning on the cold, filthy carpet floor hoping for someone to show up to sit by me. It’s tough. It really is tough to go through a day of classes without having anyone to express feelings with. We talked about conformity and Transcendentalism in English class today: about how hard it is for one to go against the grain of society, which I feel like I am pursuing every day. Emerson says, “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. The man must know how to estimate a sour face. The by-standers look askance on him in the public street.” Sitting at lunch, I felt looked down upon by the peers around me. I felt like a disgrace to be at the long lunch tables since a group of friends who were planning to sit where I was gave me such a sour look.  I really don’t want to have Connor as a person I rely on. He isn’t there for me when I actually need it, which is why I need to find someone who will care for me that I see every day in real life. Of course, going through every day alone gives me something special that many others do not: the ability to think for myself. I develop my own beliefs and causes at school which make me stand out as a unique character. Emerson continues by saying, “The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” As I continue to battle the common day’s conflicts, I remain strong and continue uninfluenced by the harsh tone of my surroundings.

When asked about what I will be planning to do on this upcoming holiday, all I have to say to respond is that I will do as I normally do any other day. I might even hang up some banners for Presidents Day to celebrate the 15th. After browsing the many exotic weblogs on WordPress, I have located one that demonstrates my feelings about such a “Valentines Day” that our society has grown to adopt. Click Here.

 

What’s The Point?

(January 25th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

This weekend was a tough one for the books. Luckily I didn’t have too much stress since the finals were over. I felt trapped inside the house all weekend because I couldn’t get out and do anything. Usually I pass the time by playing Dance Dance Revolution. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option this time since I had gotten a splinter from a small piece of glass… or something… that I stepped on. It was the tiniest thing, but I couldn’t walk afterwards since the bottom of my foot would start stinging with every step. On Sunday I did manage to get out with my family though. I stopped at Borders and picked out a new book. Gosh, I can just never get enough of books anymore. This whole weekend I just felt like browsing a bookstore and seeing what interesting stories I can find. I’ve started to look at the adult reading section… I know! How mature of me! I felt so warm inside when I was scanning through the shelf at that Borders in the literature section, thank you very much! I’m just not used to the reaction that my parents give me… ever since I started *reading*. Anyway, the book I picked out today, Breakfast With Buddha, is about a normal man out in the world who encounters a religious monk. His wife tells him that he should go on a trip with this spiritual being to the place of his childhood. I haven’t really gotten that far into it, but that is what I know of from the summary on the back. I don’t know why it appealed to me, I guess I’ve just been into religious readings recently ever since I took religions last year. I had a bad experience when I was trying to read it last night. I was in my bed with my night-light on when I heard my parents start arguing in the room on the other side of my bedroom wall. It felt like the arguing went on for hours… I just couldn’t concentrate on the book. My mom and dad have fought so often now and me and my sisters are upset to our stomachs having to listen to it. They just don’t love each other, and I can’t really do anything to change that. I wished I could just get up and out of the house, but I couldn’t walk on account of my splinter. I couldn’t drain out their noise with my iPod because my ear was bleeding like crazy last night. What could I have done?

With music still as a topic of thought, my life has grown a lot more musical ever since my sister handed me an iPod one day… for free! Recently I’ve written songs that I am familiar with to put on it. I still have to use my sister’s iTunes account since apparently it doesn’t work on my laptop (according to her). So I have to resort to bugging her every second of every day to put more music on. Any free moment I have is one spent listening. In fact, I’m listening to it now as I am typing this during my free period. I never knew what I was missing out on until now! Whenever the idea of music came to me, I would always just shoo it away, thinking that I didn’t need such a thing in my life. Especially with my music-adoring friend, Trevor. In the past I’ve been irritated with any reminder of music because of him. I am sick of his wild guitar and any other instrument he plays.

It has gotten warmer out lately??? I know! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that the snow outside was gone! I stepped outside on Sunday and the air actually tickled my face with its pleasantness instead of beating it up. Apparently, it started snowing again today. Gosh, these little heat waves are so short!

I’m just so glad that all of my stress from school is at a minimum level again.  Finals were… well… easy I guess. So far I am satisfied with my grade in Pre-Calculus and Physics. I realize now that I have the highest grade in my Physics class now, which makes me want to do a happy dance! I feel so honored. For my Pre-Calc final I only had one question wrong, which kind of bothers me because I was so close to a perfect score. Consumer Economics was a real painstaking class. I am just glad to have that over since it was a huge contributor to my stress. The day before the final I had some idea that I had to complete a final project for the next day. I spent at least two hours working on a goal statement as a consumer, thinking that it would have to be turned in the next day. Apparently, I hadn’t received the memo concerning the cancellation of the assignment. The minute I turned it in to the teacher she started laughing at me! I was so embarrassed, yet proud since I had gone above and beyond. I am praying to god that she gives me some sort of credit for my pointless work.

Second semester started today. I just walked into school with a smile on my face. I don’t know what it is, I just adore change to my normal routine. It might not even be as great as last semester, I just love that it is different. In Physics we started learning about impulse and momentum. I received my grade back from the roller coaster project. I got like 101% on it… somehow. I don’t even think that there was extra-credit on it. Spanish was a pain. I’m just not doing so well in that class as I used to. We started off class by talking about what we did over the weekend… and it basically grew worse from there. She announced that we had to start with Diarios again with the topic that we have to talk about someone else in our class. How exciting! Especially because I am somewhat anti-social. She then announced that we were starting a new short story, and lastly that we would be studying South America next. Gee, I really have to get back into the stream of things with that class. I was so excited when Computer Science came up in my day. I walked in, happy to get back into the swing of JavaScript and HTML when I realized that the entire format of the course was redesigned. Apparently, everything I had learned last year was pointless since we started off with a completely different markup language. I was baffled to find out that there were other people who were in the same class as me last year that were in the AP level now. I feel so behind now, gosh! Anyway, I hope I grow to get used to this whole new format.

Apparently my domain will be ending on February 19th, 2010. I hope to pay it again, I just wonder whether I should buy a new domain for my site rather that renew this one. Any ideas for website addresses?

Back At School

(January 4th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

School is finally back in session, which unfortunately many are not delighted to here. I know I am one of those grunpy people who would rather stay at home all day sleeping late and enjoying myself  with Dance Dance Revolution and other mind-degrading video games, blogging on WordPress, talking on Skype and Oovoo Connor, and plenty more. Of course, it is important to adjust oneself depending at what life brings someone, and it my case, it is the stress associated with schoolwork. I felt my stomach sink inside me when I heard in Physics that I would have to do a project examining the changes in force and total mechanical energy at different points on a roller coaster. I had completely forgotten most of the material over this long break! In English I could barely pay attention to the reading we started in class because I was so lost. I really need to get my game on, or I am in for a mighty spin down a drain. I’m sitting in Tutoring in the learning center at school typing this, honored to have potential time to relax after this hectic morning of classes. Today was also the first day getting ready this morning in my new house. I feel like I smoothly adjusted back into my routine of eating cereal, preparing my choice of sanwich for the day, checking updates on my computer, and talking to Connor. Sadly, I was unable to stop to check the weather, but during the dead of winter it seems to be a common instinct to know how to dress for the day. I felt rather cranky this morning though, I just wanted to hop back into bed and sleep for another… five hours?

A couple of days ago I was browsing through Barnes & Nobles when I came across a book that I am dieing to get my hands on: The Wild Things by David Eggers. I had told Connor about it, and apparently he had already known about this certain book. I just have to read it! I wasn’t able to purchase it, since I had just used my money to see The Blind Side with my friend Nick and a couple of other people. Anyway, I’m just so interested to find out how it relates to the movie, its a rather long read (in my opinion). Of course, I am not much of a devoted reader to start out with, but I was pretty excited about this one. I’ve heard some pretty good reviews online about it. I just hope I can find the time in my day to read given that it is junior year, my hardest year in high school. I will get to it eventually!

Don’t You Just Hate That? – Fashion

If there is anything in the world
that students care about the most, it
is the way that they look. Every morning the same difficult decision pops up.
“Hey Becky, Do you think I should wear my new sparkly pink shirt? I really want

to, but I don’t know if Justin will notice me in it.” “Oh don‘t worry, girl! He’ll notice
you in that striped shirt you got at Abercrombie last weekend.” Clothes, clothes and
more clothes. The one thing that crosses our mind is whether our new pants or hat will
attract people’s attention. I mean, really! Who cares about education? Let’s all get dressed
up just to impress the ladies, or make sure that the hot guy from history class will notice us.
Yeah, let’s all strut around the most up-to-date, in-style duffel bag and completely ignore
those nasty, mold-encrusted textbooks with images of the life cycle of amphibians or the
reenactment of the civil war, with tables and diagrams of Confederacy in comparison to the
Union. Gosh, I remember that textbook! Remember back in August when mommy had paid
hundreds of dollars for it? The money that could be spent on the latest style of footwear? The
media  throws out      images of “What’s Hot” and ” What’s The Next Big      Thing,” and people
continue gobbling    that up like pigs attacking their dinner. This  is one      festering sore that

must be destroyed. All we care about is whether  we are on the “Hot” list or the “Not” list.
Honestly, the one thing some people are lacking is
individuality. No, I am not saying that we all have to
start wearing completely bland clothing, but maybe
some clothing line that isn’t inspired by the latest rapper
Lil’ Homedawg, with pants that are falling down halfway
between the thigh, exposing the striped boxers that lie
underneath. And forget tight clothing; forget all those tight
jeans and all of the other itchy, uncomfortable trash  that
is meant to cut off your circulation from overuse. Just be
yourself! Something original, something that says, “yes, this
is who I am!” It doesn’t require a skill of sewing to create a style
that matches your personality. If you are comfortable with the way

that you look, other people will  feel comfortable being around you.

clonez_sig

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

PS: Seriously, Club Penguin? I’m not even going to go into it…
catalog

Please, No Homework…

Labor Day is an honorable holiday that should be celebrated all around. It is a day to recognize the most diligent workers in our world. We’ve all contributed to our society with our back-breaking labor and this is such a day where we are all given back what we deserve: a day off to enjoy with family and friends. Both teachers and students need to enjoy such a day away from laborious tasks at school.

We need to step out of that box that society has forced everyone in.
To settle down momentarily and take pleasure in comforting recreation.
To open up and calm down the mind from all that stress.
Have a sense of refreshment, fulfillment, and enjoyment…

Wouldn’t that be delightful? If just for once, maybe we could all use this time to reflect. Instead of being caught finishing up that last bit of Physics homework, or stressed out trying to study for that last minute test in Algebra, maybe we could just escape, to run liberated with our labor free weekend that you will gratefully and kindhearted supply to us.

Of course, this will also have a benefit to you, the all powerful teacher. By not presenting us with homework over this long, care-free weekend, you will also share the enjoyment of not having anything to grade from us. We will also to be attentive to learn in class coming back after our relaxing Labor Day weekend. With all that time to enjoy the peace and harmony, we will return with vivid, live faces, ready to return into the school curriculum.

Even if you are still considering assigning the homework anyway, please keep in mind that there are other ways to motivate us if you are compassionate enough not to assign homework. You can persuade us to obtain more knowledge. We will be motivated, moved, and feel the desire to gain a higher level of education on our own with your guidance.

Please, from the bottom of your heart, have the sympathy to not assign any homework over Labor Day weekend.

clonez_sig

Childhood II – Youth vs Adult

A Collaborate Post
By Clonez and Connor

The end of school is approaching ever so slowly. Tests, quizzes, projects, speeches, orals, in-class essays, writing assignments, papers, and lots and lots of studying for the finals. My level of stress is really soaring right now. I was up last night really late working hard on getting work done early. I am starting to get those end-of-year jitters. Things were so much easier when I was little. I remember the end of first grade: our class had a huge party to celebrate the end of the year. Cakes, cookies, and brownies galore! We would leave school with no homework to work on at home: free to play and do as we please. Sophomore year rolls by ten years later. Everyone is walking around school like a zombie for not getting enough sleep last night because they were working on that last minute project or paper for the final. No party whatsoever. The level of stress soars to new heights that we thought were unimaginable. I just feel like going back. Going back to the time when everything was care-free: to reminisce once again the magic of childhood.

Sometimes I really feel like school is such a boundary for me
I feel like I am in a jail cell
Just waiting to burst free out of the doors
homework
tests
projects
Freedom is waiting patiently on the other side
He encourages me to gnaw through those steel doors and walls
to reach the light I see on the other side
I must escape from this darkness

Freedom isn’t always a good thing Other times I feel like I need to stay in school
where it is safe
Where every day is a new adventure
A new experience to learn more about myself
I go through my everyday routine of walking down the pathways
I’ve carved them for myself to travel throughout the year
School:
where I can meet up with friends
spend time getting to know others
be part of the many clubs that are offered
School really fills up the boring schedule of couch-potato-ness

School really brings out the stress in me.
I come home after a long day
hardships
stress
problems
loads of homework
Summer settles me back to a state of peace with myself
I feel the rush of freedom flow through me
I can go wherever I please
see whatever I am in the mood to see
enjoy what I want to enjoy

School helps me in the long run
I start to focus more on my future
the things that really matter
getting into a good college,
studying for the ACT and SAT
getting a part-time job
Oh, and did I almost forget?
I am going to be a tutor next year
the urge for retaining education has surged through me

Leisure and diversion help me in the long run
I start to learn more about myself
I continue to do summer activities that please me
I can return to the child side of me
Summer keeps me relaxed
I will start all fresh and new when school begins in the fall.

Imagine being stuck at a fork in the road. You have just been traveling for miles trying to find the way out of a desolate, dark, and dreary forest. You now have to make the choice that determines your fate. Its a hard and painstaking decision which road to follow. That is exactly how I feel. I really don’t want to give up the magic of childhood, but I also really want to grow up. I’m torn apart by the mysterious forces of both sides.

Connor’s eighth grade is a little different. Since my “class” is “graduating” to high school, the eighth grade teachers are like totally “oh em gee!” So we’re doing a bunch of end of the year festivities like we all did last year. Picnics, free days, blah blah blah. This year, one thing we’re doing is a “Graduation Ceremony” at some college campus called Wait Chapel. Or something like that. Whatever. We have to rehearse for it, so I know I’ll be missing a couple periods in the next few days. My “finals” were two weeks ago, so I’m pretty much stressless. However, I do have my FIRST actual fo reelz high school final on June 4th. For math, since I took a high school level class this year. I am definitely stressing over that. My 8th grade end of grade tests don’t count towards my grade at all, but the math EOC (end of course, final, whatever you wanna call it) is 25% of my final class grade. I’m scared about that since math isn’t my BEST subject. The days of naptime and end of year waterdays are long gone. However, I do have a little party in Spanish. It won’t be much though, since my spanish teacher treats our class as high schoolers, because in fact I took a high school level spanish class as well. Waaah! I want chips and movies and soda in Spanish. Those lucky 6th graders. ):

clonez_sig

The Real Deal On Advertising I

Hello everyone! This is Clonez, admin of skydays147 .wordpress .com. I decided that I wanted to give everyone a sample of my real-life writing. I thought this one up in a dream I had, and I was dieing to put it down on paper. I know it isn’t about what I usually talk about, but I hope you enjoy it:

Advertising has always fascinated me when I was little. It is one of those things that are simply unavoidable. They are found on billboards, in magazines, in the form of a commercial, and now they are posted all over the internet.  I used to wake up at six in the morning to watch television before going to school. I would come down in my pajamas and sit in front of the television while I was eating breakfast. It wasn’t just the show that I was watching that I cared about, it was also that five minute commercial in between them. Did you know that the average American child today is exposed to about 40, 000 television commercials a year? That is about 100 commercials a day.(1) This makes me think how crazy it is that one of them does not stick in our heads for the whole day like an engrossing song we hear on the radio.

Anyway, I would then go out to the bus stop; it was about Fifth Grade, and a few kids on the bus would always ask me to recite an entire commercial that I saw. I was literally known on my bus as “Ad Boy” because I had memorized most of the commercials on the television channel that I watched, and the kids were crazy. They wanted to hear ever single one of them, for humor, of course. There was this one song for a commercial that I had memorized for macaroni and cheese, and they would repeatedly ask me to thing that one as a “special request”. Now that I look back on it, no doubt about it, I was wasting my time and looking immature in front of everyone. I might still remember a few little songs to commercials nowadays, but I have mainly moved away from that.

A couple of years later after I had moved away from my recital of commercials, the most fascinating thing had happened to me. It started on a cold, winter morning in Seventh Grade. I came to school early because I was taking Choir, which was almost every day, and there was a sign on the door that said that it was canceled because the teacher was out. Like everyone else who was in Choir, we all went to the library. I decided to wander around, and I supposed that I could check out the nonfiction section for a couple of reading ideas. To my surprise, I had found one of the most moving books I have ever read on advertising. It was called Made You Look and I learned so many new concepts that are used in advertising. I felt like all of the pieces of the puzzle were coming together on why us kids are victims of advertising. In 1983, the amount of money spent on advertising for kids was only $100 million. (2) Now, advertising of kids has jumped up so high that those big, chubby businessmen at the head of the big corporations now spend $15 billion on us. (3)

You probably know someone who is a victim of advertising. What I have always wanted to know is, why do we fall for it? What makes it so that we “have to have it” ? There has to be something that goes on in our brains whenever we look at a billboard, a magazine, or watch a television commercial. That is the one thing that the Made You Look did not get at. I know a couple of my friends who are victims of advertising, especially the ones in commercials. Whenever I go to hang out at my best friend’s house, I notice in his pantry a lot of junk food items that have been advertised on television a massive number of times. They are all brand-name products like Goldfish Crackers, Oreos, Cheese-Its, and Chips Ahoy. One day while he was eating, I asked him, “Why do you only buy snacks that have a brand name?” For some reason, and I am still confused by this, he said, “Because they taste better”. First of all, how can he taste the difference between the no-name brand and the named brand when he hasn’t even tried both foods? Ladies and Gentleman, this is a victim of advertising. It is a person who does not give up their addiction to named product. There are other reasons why people might fall for advertisements. According to a national survey commissioned by the Center for a New American Dream, in 12-13 year-olds, 62% of the people say that eating named-brand products will make he or she feel better about themselves. Remember those days when you were five-years-old and you sat in the front of Mommy’s shopping cart? When you go down that cereal aisle, you say, “Mommy! Mommy! I want the cereal with the tiger on it!” You probably don’t even like Frosted Flakes, you just want it because it makes you feel better about yourself: that cartoon tiger. You scream and pout until you get what you want. When you are a tween, you don’t even bother looking at the generic brand cereal on the bottom self. Why would you want a product that doesn’t have Toucan Sam on it? I learned in Made You Look that there is a reason why they place things in a grocery store on the shelf that they are on. They put all of the brand name products on the shelf at eye-sight level and all of the generic brand products at the top and bottom shelf so that nobody will see them. Try it the next time you are at the grocery store.

There was this one time in Seventh Grade, in Sunday School, our class took a field trip to a grocery store. We were supposed to do this project in which we bought items at the grocery store for a homeless shelter. Each group of five people had to solve the enigma on how to feed a family of 5 people for a week, and under 50 dollars. By instinct, the first shopping items that our group picked out were name brands: bad choice. We went over our quota by a ton of money. The reason we had the instinct to buy named-brand food was because that was the food that we ate in our own household. We had to put everything back and start over from the beginning and choose cost-efficient food items. You probably do not realize it, but name-brand food is drastically over-priced. We do not realize this because normal people do not even bother looking at the price tag on things. Just because something is more expensive does not mean it is better for you. Most of the time, even, there is less food in a package that is advertised. One food that I enjoyed when I was little so much was called Kid Cuisine. It was an individual-sized dinner. On the television, the product looked like it was worth the money to purchase. What I realized when I read Made You Look, was that there are special ways that food advertisers use to make their product look more appealing to the public. For example, in a hamburger advertisement, they might stick a few slabs of Styrofoam in between the bun and the patty to make it look bigger. They also might put a glaze of glue on the bun to make it shinier. Yet the consumer does not realize that the product is fake because we think it is “to good to be true”.

There is one last example that I would like to give from my life. I decided to take a class on Religion this year in high school. In the class, we just started studying about Taoism. The teacher had everyone for homework go home and draw a picture that goes along with a reading that was handed out. It was of an old man fishing in a river between some mountains. (If you want to see my version of it, it is on my other website). Anyway, the next day the teacher taped our drawings up on the board, and right next to it she posted a Chinese landscape painting. There were many differences between them. I felt like in our drawings that it was influenced more by the media world. For example, the old man was in the foreground, signifying that man is more important than nature. The other thing that was different was the mountains in the background. Every mountain in our drawings were almost perfect. They look like an upside-down “U”, which is what we were born into thinking. I mean, I have been to a very rocky area before and I have seen a mountain. I know that mountains don’t look like that, but for some unknown reason, why did I draw that very media-based mountain? It might have been because I had an instinct to do that. The point I am trying to get is that advertising masks everything. What we see on billboards and in magazines is just blocking our vision of nature. The only place where advertising does not exist is in nature. I know when you think of some place like the Himalayas, or the Rocky Mountains, you do not picture all these billboards hanging off the side of the cliff or something. Nor do you see a giant television in the middle of a dense, dark forest.  I remember seeing the commercials for Wal-mart. It always showed these overly-happy people, and as the audience, you are supposed to believe that that is what life really is. The thing is, when you walk into a Wal-Mart, you aren’t going to see smiling cashier-people. You aren’t going to see that cartoon smiley face as their mascot, bouncing around the aisles. We have become over-dependent on advertising to show us what this “real life” is.

clonez_sig

(1) American Psychological Association, “Television Advertising Leads to Unhealthy Habits in Children; Says APA Task Force,” February 23, 2004,www.apa.org/releases/childrenads.html (accessed March 8, 2006).

(2) Juliet Schor, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (New York: Scribner, 2004), 21.

(3)Susan Linn, Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood (New York: The New Press, 2004), 1.

Edited By Dublanous1