Why I Dropped Everything And Started Teaching Kendrick Lamar’s New Album

Brian Mooney

When Kendrick Lamar released his sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), I was in the middle of teaching a unit on Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye (1970). My freshmen students were grappling with some big ideas and some really complex language. Framing the unit as an “Anti-Oppression” study, we took special efforts to define and explore the kinds of institutional and internalized racism that manifest in the lives of Morrison’s African-American characters, particularly the 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove and her mother, Pauline. We posed questions about oppression and the media – and after looking at the Dick & Jane primers that serve as precursors to each chapter, considered the influence of a “master narrative” that always privileges whiteness.

Set in the 1940s, the Breedlove family lives in poverty. Their only escape is the silver screen, a place where they idolize the glamorous stars of the film industry. Given the historical context…

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3rd & Long: The Weight of Expectation for NFL Quarterbacks

Sports Minded

By Julian Reed

Its 3rd-and-12 in the 4th quarter with your team trailing by 5 late. Opposition knows you have to throw the football. Failure guarantees you’ll be the headline the next day on sports news. Though football is the culmination of the work of a ton of individuals (some visible, some not), you are the face, the focal point. That is the modern definition and benchmark for what a Quarterback is. More importantly, what quantifies quarterback at the elite level? Andrew Luck has been that since he was a freshman at Stanford. So talented, such a varied skill set. One could make a legitimate case that such a blessing is equally a curse. Enter expectation.

Human nature, when someone shows signs of promise or proficiency, natural progression of things is to expect more of them, task them with greater responsibility. For professional athletes in the present day, that largely entails…

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The Last Class

I have learned a lot in this class in this short amount of time. Even though I wasn’t really sure about what information literacy would be, I enjoyed it immensely. From the very first class, I was intrigued. We learned how to blog, which I have never done before now. Blogging is a great way to express yourself, as well as connect to other people. It is definitely something I plan to do again in my future.
Another great thing I learned in this class was to live in the moment. A lesson I learned from a movie we watched the second week, Peaceful Warrior. It has really helped me to do better in all aspects of my life. It taught me to not worry so much about things that have already happened because those moments are gone you can’t change them. Also not to spend time thinking about the future, it hasn’t happened yet. You can’t spend your life worrying about yesterday or tomorrow because then you miss out on the here and now. This has helped me sooo much as far as school; It really helped me to focus. I’ve gained better control of my everyday life, and I am so glad we got the chance to watch it the movie in class.
Last week in class I learned some great information about writing research papers. This information was probably the most useful, simply because in college we do a lot of those. Even though I love writing I often struggle with them because I feel I have no sense of direction. Well in this class I not only found some direction, I now have an outline that I can use on all of my research papers that will help me to organize my information and make the process in general easier.
This class has been so much fun! It was a lot of laughs, and also a lot of learning. I am honestly sad it is only five weeks long, and that we have come to an end. But I am very glad to have taken it and would definitely recommend it to others in the future! 🙂

Research Topic Development

Topic: Health Care Reform

Research Questions:

1.) What is it about the new health care reform that has people so upset?

2.) Why are people so confused about it?

3.) How have people become so misinformed about it?

Thesis statement: There are many reasons why people are so upset about the new health care refrom proposal.

Sources:

1.) CNN What you need to know about health care reform

2.) The NewYork Times- Democrats Raise Alarms

3.) Health Reform: The Fateful Moment

4.) This Isnt What We Were Promised

5.) Tea Party

 

An Unfair World

 Growing up, we are taught to believe that everything in the world is supposed to be fair. Then you grow up and realize that it’s not. As children we are taught to always do the right thing. Then as adults we realize that everyone doesn’t play by the rules. How do you stay honest and true, in such a dishonest and unfair world?

This is a question I come up against often, and it really bothers me. I always try to do the right thing, but it seems as though nice guys finish last; or in my case nice girls. As a child I always did the right thing. As a teenager, I never did the right thing. As a young adult, I’m somewhere in between. The sad thing is that they all yield the same results. So I ask, what’s the point?

Yesterday as I was walking across the street to the store, this old woman dropped a hundred dollar bill. Now, how often does that happen? Probably once in a blue moon. In that moment I knew I had two options; take the money and run, or tell the woman she dropped her money. Okay, I have to admit, I considered taking the money, but I didn’t. I ran to the woman and handed her the money. And the look on her face was unforgettable. She smiled so wide and so warm, and then she hugged me. She said “You are a remarkable young lady, stay sweet. Don’t let this ugly world take away your innocence.” I don’t know if I ever felt so good.

In that moment I realized why we do the right thing. We do the right thing because it’s RIGHT. It doesn’t matter if no one else is being honest or doing the right thing. One person can make a difference, and what matters is that you try. Even when the rest of the world is going crazy, or even when we end up in unfair situations, we have to hold our heads up high knowing that we are being the best that we can possibly be. Lead by example. When people who hold hate in their hearts are around people who spread love and joy, they can’t help but smile. The best medicine for hate is love. And to quote one of my favorite movies, “The ones who are hardest to love are usually the ones who need it the most.”

Trust or Love

You can have one of the following two things: trust/love.  Which one would you choose and why?

The definition of trust is reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. The definition of love is a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose trust. I would choose trust because I think that when you trust someone you grow to love them. Whereas you can love someone your whole life and not trust them.

Evaluating Sources

1.) Fact- Global Warming is not slowingGlobal Warming is not slowing is a fact based source. It is a fact based source because it is an article of facts on global warming and whats going on in the world right now.

2.) Analysis- Coordinated Bombings in Baghdad Kill at Least 121 Coordinated bombings in Baghdad is an analytical source because it gives an interpretation of these facts.

3.) Objective- Children of Tiger Woods-   Children of tiger woods is an objective article because although it is only supposed to be stating facts, the article is alot, if not mostly, opinion.

4.) Subjective- An Epic Showdown as Harry Potter Is Initiated Into Adulthood- This is a subjective article because it evaluates the subject for the read to get information.  

5.) Secondary- Abortion and Costs at Top of Senate Agenda-  This is a secondary source because it is information taken from the state senate, and not a direct source.

Dream Big

When you were a child what did you dream about? We were all brought here to this design school for some reason or another. I believe that reason is a dream, a dream to become something greater than what we are. We all have dreams, and those dreams can become realities if we don’t give up on them. I have dreams that I too hope to accomplish and getting my degree in digital media will help me to do that.

            When I was a child I dreamed of becoming an actress. I did commercials, and voiceovers all in pursuit of this dream. Digital media can help me to accomplish this dream. In this major we learn how to use cameras and use video editing. If I use my degree to do that, then I will be around a lot of people in the movie and television industry. That will help me to get where I want to be, in terms of acting.

            When I was growing up I dreamed of having my own business. I wanted to sell something to the world that was needed but not widely sold. My degree will also help me with this. It can help me because in digital media we learn how to build websites. This is great because everyone uses the internet. People go online everyday to shop. Nowadays people even buy their groceries online. So by building my own website and selling some kind of product I will be in a better standing the most who have to find someone for hire.

            When I was a teenager I dreamed of merging the worlds of fashion and technology. About a year ago I went to school for fashion marketing. Now that I go to school for digital media, it seems as though my opportunity to bring something new to the world is here. In my program I learn things such as Photoshop and Illustrator. These two things along with my knowledge in fashion will help me to achieve my dreams.

            In life some people are happy to be ordinary. I dream of being extraordinary. I know, it sounds crazy right? Maybe it is, but I will never know until I try. And I would rather try and fail than spend my whole life wishing I had gone for it.  As we grow older we often leave our dreams behind for what society tells us is “reality”. No dream is unattainable and I believe in never giving up until you get them. I hope that one day I accomplish all of my dreams and many more.

Finding My Way…

“Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you come to your senses.” A quote from the best movie I have ever seen. A movie that has changed my life, and I just watched it two minutes ago. It’s called Peaceful Warrior, and it’s about living your life right now.

As I first began watching the movie I wasn’t really interested.   I fell asleep during the first half an hour, and I left to use the bathroom twice. When I came back the movie was already deep into the plot. From what I could deduce from the main characters leg cast, there had been a car accident that would change his life forever; then I was hooked. As I watched this man struggle with concepts of life I began thinking about my own.

“Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you come to your senses.”  I connected with that line so much that it brought tears to my eyes. For the past year of my life I have felt as though I was going crazy; Trapped between who I want to be, and who I am supposed to be. I feel as though I have been living life like a ghost; Just watching it pass me by.  I have been trying to please everyone, everyone but myself.

When I was a kid I did acting. It was the only time in my life when I was really truly happy. I stopped when I was 10, when my parents got divorced. I have never felt that kind of happiness again. I am here now at IADT, surrounded by people who are so excited to be here. I am not one of them. I am here to get a degree. I am getting the degree so I can make my parents proud, and have a “regular life”. Not because it’s what I really want. It’s all about the destination and not the journey. And so in turn I am suffering. I am suffering because I just want to make my parents proud of me. I want to show everyone what a smart little girl I am for graduating with a college degree;  Even if it means not being happy, even if it means waking up to misery everyday…

“I took for granted what I could do. I was sloppy with my life; I’m scared but I feel like I got rid of all the old stuff and it was the right thing to do.” I understand now. I have been sloppy with my life, and although it will be scary and I am terrified I have to take out the trash. I have to rid my mind of yesterdays and tomorrows and do what makes me happy right now. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I will figure it out. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but that doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is that I am on the path to finding my way, and I am excited about the journey.