It’s crazy to think this class is almost over; this semester has flown by. I’ve actually enjoyed this class quite a bit. Although some things we have had to do have been challenging, I liked all the assignments and found the readings very interesting. I liked how broad the class was, and how we covered so many topics yet they all seemed to connect. I think one interesting thing that we had to read about that I would like to discuss more is the last class readings that we did, “Critical analysis of post-911 racist animations” and “Video games as vehicle for propaganda”. I thought they were very interesting and I really agreed with many of the main points the articles discussed. I thought that the essay on racist animations really dealt with current issues today and needs to be discussed more in mainstream media. People need to realize that anything racist, even cartoon animations, is not O.K, and is never funny.
It’s really hard to pick an article that I most enjoyed in this class. I honestly thought that so many of them were so interesting and I actually liked reading most of them. Although I thought the articles “Do good: How designers can change the world” and “Ha ha, he said” were very intriguing, I think my favorite articles were “How to become a cult leader” and “This is Emo”. This is because both these articles answered questions that I have always thought about. I loved “How to become a cult leader” because I have always wondered, how do people fall for such a crazy idea and follow such creepy leaders? I always just assumed these people must have been stupid or something. But this article broke down the science of it and showed me that anyone can fall into these tactics. It changed the whole way I looked at the subject, and that is what a great article should do. I loved “This is Emo” because it also answered an important question. I would watch these great movies about these amazing love stories when I was little and think, would that ever really happen? But after reading this article, it kind of showed me how “hollywood” these stories are. Although deep down I knew I would never run into Jack from “Titanic” on the street one day, reading this article showed me this reality in a new light. It showed the effect these fairytales have had on our society as a whole.
If I had to pick a least favorite reading, it would have to be “Walt Disney” by Steven Shaviro. It’s not that I didn’t agree with what he was saying or didn’t find it interesting, I just thought that the article was very hard to read, and that didn’t make it very enjoyable. I found myself having to summarize and explain to myself what he was talking about every couple of sentences. After going back and looking at the article more closely, I found this passage to be very interesting: “Indeed, American culture is so abundantly fetishistic that it forces us to utterly redefine the concept. We saturate the world with our cheerfully animated products. The splendors of Disneyland, the excesses of Jim and Tammy, the platitudinous ceritudes of Reagan–none of these can be said to supplement a lack, or to conceal and compensate for some hidden want…American culture is entirely premised on “powers of the false…” I though this was very interesting. It says that materialism and “fake” concepts have taken over our culture and mindset today. We are so saturated with movies and products that its hard to realize what is real. Shaviro would argue that nothing is real anymore. However, I would argue that there are still many real things that are substantial in our culture today, and still things to search for. Although it is definitely harder to find them today, I believe it is possible; you just really have to look. However, it is important for Shaviro to bring up such ideas because it keeps people aware.
My plans for next semester are still a little unclear. I went into freshman year thinking I wanted to be a doctor, and so I planned out my four years here on a path according to that idea. However, after attending pre-med meetings and taking science classes, I realized that is not for me. So now, I’m undecided and a little lost on what to take. So next semester I am taking some business and communication classes that fulfill common curriculum requirements to see if I like that area of study. I’m taking Management of Organizations, Principles of Marketing, Early Modern Europe, American Politics, Pre-Calc, and First Year Seminar. I’m waitlisted for Media Audiences so hopefully I get in. I think I will like more media classes because I have enjoyed this class so much. Hopefully by the end of next semester I will know at least what area I want my major to be in.
I really want to study in Australia the fall of my Junior year. I think that would be so amazing. I think it would be a good experience to have and that I would learn many things. I want to go somewhere that I probably wouldn’t go if I weren’t in college. I mean, I know at some point in my life I will go to Greece or Italy or France, so why not go somewhere unique and that not many people go to now. And assuming the world doesn’t end in 2012, I hope many good and exciting experiences happen to me. I don’t want to just graduate college and head straight into the job world. I want to do something exciting. I’m thinking about joining the Peace Corps right out of college, spending a year or two there, and then heading into the working world. For people who want to know more about joining the Peace Corps, check out their official website. Hopefully this works with the field I go into. Although my future seems a little uncertain right now, I know as long as I stay focused and on task with whatever is in front of me, I will succeed! (Fingers crossed!)