Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Spring Registration

Class registration for the spring semester seems to be a hot topic lately. Students all around campus are trying to get into classes that are needed for their major but, unfortunately are closed. They are doing everything to try and enroll in these vital classes. I personally, did not have any trouble registering for classes, I even got an online course. But it seems many students got the short end of the stick, like this NIU student.

What should NIU do about the students that cannot enroll in the courses that they need?
Should the school offer more sections, or should the school think of a new way for class registration?
What do you think NIU should do about this growing issue?
What do you think should be done?

Cuss Words

Kids always copy what their parents do and say. When the parents of these little kids are cussing the little kids go to school cussing and getting in trouble. I think parents should be a little more cautious with what they say and how they word things. I know people thinks its funny but these kids are getting themselves in trouble at school by saying bad words and slanders that some of their are using around them. The link is funny at first but if you think about the parents are encouraging him to cuss and a say probably the worst cuss word.

Monday, November 19, 2007

On Turkey and Consumer Culture Protest Movements

Every year, around this time, my thoughts turn toward home, family, and...the destructive potential of the American market economy. As Americans, we are expected to gather around our tables, give thanks to whatever higher power we may believe in, and enjoy the fruits of another year's harvest together with our families. Then, the day after, we are expected to make a pilgrimage together to a mall, or Wal-Mart, or some other Temple to Cheap Consumer Goods, and pay homage to another god. And every year there is at least one news report of devotees to the dollar trampling one another in the early morning rush to buy.

So, every year, I feel the need to take a step back for a moment and consider what effect my own purchasing habits have on the rest of the world. Certainly, I'm not trampling anyone to grab a coffee at Starbuck's. Nor am I kneeling at the CD racks within the hallowed halls of any capitalist temple by downloading an album on iTunes. In fact, most "Black Fridays" I don't even leave the house. Sometimes, I count myself among the few participants in the annual social protest event known as "Buy Nothing Day." The Buy Nothing Day website calls for a "24-hour moratorium on consumer spending." I can do that. I'd rather not be at the mall on Black Friday anyway. I'm more than happy to sit at home, watch some football, and feast on leftovers.

But, every year I this really an effective form of protest? Would it, in reality, be better for me to go out and spend a few bucks for the people who have to work on the day after Thanksgiving in order to afford a decent holiday season? Is my ability to stay at home and comfortably enjoy a hot turkey sandwich and a football game really just symptomatic of the degree to which I am immersed in our consumer culture? Another blog post I found on a fashion blog site through Google makes a similar point. These bloggers suggest that "there needs to be a more sound concept where everyone could bind together and help causes instead of hinder businesses."

Is Buy Nothing Day an effective form of protest? Is Black Friday even a day worth protesting about? Are there other, "more sound concepts" out there for one who is critical of consumer culture, but also skeptical of forms of protest that seem a bit too "easy"?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Racial Stereotypes

This week in class we discussed stereotypes becasue that was an issue in the episode of Cavemen that we watched. In that eposide it was said that all cavemen look alike and that also is a stereotype said about several other races. What are some stereotypes that you often hear that you think are true or not at all true?


On the episode of cavemen, Cash was the substitute teacher. When he found out that the mascot was a caveman, do you feel that Cash was taking the situation with the mascot thing too seriously? If so, why? Should the principal have acted more upon his request to abolish the tradition?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


How reliable are online sources? An online source that many people use is The problem with this web-site is that anyone can edit any article. Because of this, the articles may contain false information. An example is Nathaniel Hawthorne. Some had changed the article so that it said that the author wrote pronographic material for sailors. The people in charge of found this problem and fixed it. However, this took quite some time so many people may have used the false information. Because of situations like this,do you believe students should be allowed to use wikipedia as a valid source for information and research?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Effects That American Myths Have on Society Today

If there was not a such thing as American Cultural Myths, would America be where it is now, or better/worst? There are plenty of cultural myths floating around America; some are said to be true, and some are wished to be true. But have you ever sat back and thought about what if the American Myth of the American Dream was never a myth? Would we all still have this same dream? Or would it actually be into existence. Here is a link to a cite that lists a few American Myths. Have you heard of any of these? Did they have an effect on the coming up of America?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

advertising and myths
The link above is a Clorox bleach commercial that enforces a few of the cultural ideas and myths that we have been talking about in class. These ideas include gender,family, and education. The commercial shows the woman in one family, learning how to do the laundry from one generation to another. This commercial re-enforces that the idea that women are the one that should be doing the cleaning, cooking,etc. What do you think about the commercial and how it applies to the cultural ideas and myths that we have today. Or what are your views on any type of culture myth?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Greed or Success

The Boston Red Sox won the World Series on Sunday night, but unfortunately that was not the only big sports news that night. The New York Yankees' third baseman Alex Rodriguez opted out of his contract. If you are unaware Rodriguez signed the biggest contract in baseball history in 2001. He had three years remaining with the Yankees that would have kept him the highest paid player in baseball. By opting out it guarantees that he will get an even bigger contract for the next 7 to 10 years. This brings the thought the sphere of success, is Rodriguez just using his talent for success in America or is he just being greedy?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A moment of silence please.

First they want us to take a moment out of the children's school day to say the Pledge of Allegiance, now a moment of silence too? Wait a minute - what if that's against your religion or breaking one of the Ten Commandments because your pledging to an object making it higher than God or you find out in high school, like I did, that you do not have to say the Pledge anymore because they cannot force you to say it, but you did it your whole elementary and middle school years anyway because you were forced to!?! Explain that one to everyone please! Besides, what reason is this "moment of silence" for, to make the children stay in school longer? What next teaching torture in school?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Songs and Their Stories

Due to the numerous amount of essays that we have been reading in our Rereading America book that have dealt with American ways and all the posts that have followed, I decided to take a different approach for this post and recieve some personal feelings from the postees. Music throughout my life has been a very important aspect. I love to listen to music because I personally feel better when I do. For example, if I were to have a bad day (which I have noticed that with college this happens a lot), I would go home and just relax and listen to music for a little while. All the frustrations of the day can be swept away in that period of time. I know some people that I have talked to or known read a book instead of listen to music. Which do you prefer? I personally would choose listening to music over reading a book anyday because to be honest I'm not the biggest fan of reading. I just seem to never actually process what I am reading and when I finish at the end of a page I can never remember what I had just read. Does this happen to any of you? Therefore, I listen to the stories of music and pay attention to the emotions and words the artist portrays because I personally find listening to music a better source of a story than a book.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The college life

Since we did not have class this week and there is nothing to base my blog on I decided to ask how hard or easy was it for you to adjust to the college life? What did you have to change or not change about yourself and what changes do you still have to make to be a successful college student? Also what do you like or not like about NIU?

Justice for all?
This person makes a valid point, but i believe that money makes the world go round. I believe that if you earn enough income, you can afford the lawyer that can make they guiltiest man on earth look like the good shephard. There are plenty of reasons as to why people can be exempt from thier dirty deeds. What do you believe earns anyone this so called "justice"? Money, politics, your rank...ect

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Was Thomas Jefferson a racist

Thomas Jefferson is obviously most commonly known as the author of the declaration of idependence. One woud assume that he was ahead of his time and have the beleifs that all me are created equal. However, this essay, Notes on the State of Virginia was quite shocking. "...when they should be colonized to such a place as the circumstances of the time should rendermost proper..." Not a quote that I would've thought came out of Jefferson's mouth. However, in his defense, although he was racist for our times, he was at least for the abolishment of slavery. What are your beliefs on this? Was Jefferson a cold hearted soul that should be removed from the textbooks, or do you understand his opinions and beleive he was even a little ahead of his time?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

America lost its image?

The one thing America has not seen in a long time would be some favorable news from other countries. Hertsgaard shows us examples of how many people outside and inside of America think not only our are egos to big but also our leadership needs to be improved. Along with that most people in America are also blind to the rest of the world around them. If you think about the 9/11 attacks you could remember that we never blamed the people that did the attacks or even the organization; we started blaming the culture and the entire race even if they were innocent. Americans never actually thought about how this pointing fingers would make us look like primates and just get use ridiculed by the countries that thought we were the best and even looked up to us to maybe even become as great as us (by economic, political, and intellectual). Now most countries want to be just like us in economical. What do you think made America so egotistical and ignorant and do you think that we can ever change our imagine to the way it used to be where everyone would admire us by our economical, political, and intellectual power?

Are we better than everyone else?

According to Hertsgaard, America's sense of superiority may well be the very thing that's feeding the flames of anti-Americanism around the world. America has seemed to always have this outlook, and it does take its toll. For example, 9/11. Who really knows what happened? Most Americans don't have the slightest idea what is going on in the world. Is it because we're stubborn or just too lazy to pick up a newspaper and read. Our country is not innocent, and neither are our leaders. Yet, we still ask ourselves, why does this country or that country not like us? Is it because we invaded your country for bogus reasons? Maybe. If we hadn't of gone into Iraq, what would have happened? Would we be in the situation we are in now? Are Americans going to start waking up or are we just going to be in an ignorant funk until we have realized that every country is against us?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Are you affected by the infected?

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome also known as AIDS has infected over 38.6 million people worldwide. As a person living in today's society does that affect you? Unless you are someone who is infected or know someone who is infected the disease doesn't really pertain to you, right? Wrong, the disease is spreading so be aware of your surroundings and stay up to date on any new vaccines available. Do you have any idea how many lives have been taken because of AIDS? Since January of 2006 25 million people have been killed by the virus and there is no cure. In reality how many times a day do you really think about people suffering with AIDS? The poem we read by Dixon shows how unfortunate it is to know someone who suffered from the virus. What more could Ida do besides make that quilt to show her condolences. Is there anything any of us could do? What would you do in today's society to make people aware of how deadly the AIDS virus really is?

Inequality in Schools?

Most of this class probably attended a formal high school before coming to college. I know that both of the high schools that I attended had an excess of programs, sports, and activities to keep kids interested in school. The graduation rate at both schools was well about 90%, and most seniors had plans for college. Unfortunately, this is not true for all schools. According to the article, schools with higher populations of black and Mexican students have a significantly lower graduation rate. Whats more, they also lack funding for after school programs, and their teachers are paid much less than schools with a higher percentage of white students. Is this a coincidence? Kozol does not believe so, but there are many factors that add to whether or not a school gets funding and whether or not students graduate. What are these factors? Why are they important?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Different uses for blogs

Blogs can be used for a variety of purposes, and can engage a variety of readers and participants. Some blogs are kinds of personal journals, where the author posts his or her thoughts on current issues or events - be they personal, social, political, or otherwise - and blog readers add their own thoughts or sympathies. Blogs may also be used to reflect on or discuss current business trends, or developments within a particular field. Still other blogs allow people with similar social or political concerns to connect and exchange ideas. Some blogs might fit within more than one of these basic categories, such as this principal's blog site reflecting on issues relating to education. If you're looking for a blog on a particular topic, you can use Google's blog search, or another blog search tool called Technorati.
The blog is a very flexible tool for people with similar concerns to connect and exchange information and ideas. As with all tools, though, knowledge of how to use it effectively is essential to its usefulness as a tool. And, as with all writing, observation of certain rules is necessary for communication to happen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


We were all exposed to Lamott's feelings about religion, but is there a valid point in what she tries to establish? What she tries to imply is that religion is more helpful on a personal basis as private expression, and i for one agree that everyone should be proud of what they believe in, but should not try to convert every person they talk to. Does religion have a deeper meaning or is it a way for a person to escape their daily problems? I once talked to a lady who said her faith in God was what helped her get through the day, and it has me wondering if religion is just a belief, or a way of life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Risky Blogging

We've all heard story after story about people getting in trouble for things they have put online. People have gotten in trouble in schools, jobs, sports, activities, etc. A lot of things people put online are just putting up them up there without thinking that any harm will come to them.

I can understand why bosses and schools punish people for pictures they put on websites like facebook and MySpace, but should people really get in trouble for posting things up, because its just someone typing their thoughts and ideas? Do you think that people should be allowed to type whatever they want to type online? In today's society, a lot of things are done over the computer. Should a person be based on their character, or what they once posted on the internet?

Gender Roles

What are all of your opinions on women being a stay at home wife? Is it good for the family? Do the children benefit? I have personal experience with having a mother be a stay at home mom. I enjoyed having a home cooked meal almost every night. It was also nice having my mother around and not always at work.

Do you think that women are above staying home, taking care of children, and doing housework? Or do you beleive it is an honorable position that should be considered more often?

And I guess we can consider the other side of it, should men sometimes stay at home and take care of the house and children? Could they do as a good of a job? Or is it strictly a woman's job because of their hardwiring to nurture?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Family Myth

Where do you think the "family myth" in American culture comes from? What are some possible sources for the idealized picture we painted together in class (mom and dad, two kids, dog, two-car garage, picket fence, baseball and a home-cooked meal)? In what current situations, contexts, or debates is this ideal picture evoked - for good or for ill?

Writing for self-expression

Does anyone else here write for self-expression? Sometimes I find writing to be an important and helpful way for me to externalize my thoughts, and make sense of problems or situations that I'm struggling with or that are confusing in some way. Somehow the act of writing and seeing my thoughts on a page (or a screen, as the case may be) helps me organize my thoughts and digest things a little bit. Both of the readings we discussed in class are just that: people writing to make sense of a significant and perhaps confusing situation in their lives. I'm interested to find out if anyone else has tried something similar - be it in a journal or in the margins of school notebooks. It could be as short as a poem (like the one by Morales) or as long as a short story (like the one by Jack). It could even be just rambling on about whatever comes to mind. What works for you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Welcome to English 103!

Welcome to the English 103.m16 class blog! We will be using this site with some regularity both in and out of the classroom, so try to become familiar with the controls and tools available around the site.