Posted by: Megs | November 30, 2009

Inner City Trip

This class’s subject matter reminded me of a Field Trip my Sociology class took my senior year of highschool. Living in the suburbs of Chicago you are never truly exposed to the inner city or anything like it. So my sociology teacher took us on a bus tour into Chicago. It was one of the most interesting field trips I have ever been on.

The trip began at my high school where we were all told to get on a school bus, we then took Butterfield road all the way into the city. On the way we passed through different socioeconomic communities. Oak Brook, the town next to mine, is upper class, then we moved slowly  but surely into middle class, lower middle class and into the inner city. I was amazed at how quickly things changed. My teacher would say look out the window in 10 seconds we will be changing classes. And right then the street would look different. It was eye opening, the final stop was the State Street Housing Projects. In certain towns we stopped in we were allowed to get out of the bus and talk to the people in the community. But not on State Street. We were told to stay on the bus while our teacher explained that at one time the projects had been a Godsend to the community, cheap affordable housing. But after people stopped caring about the projects they fell into the disarray that they are today.

I think that it is important to be exposed to different lifestyles and situations because they help you understand the world better. I think that I learned more about people on that trip than I ever have.

Posted by: Megs | November 30, 2009

Project Four

I felt that in project four my group did not come across as strong as we were when working together. I think that certain members of the group took over and made it look like the rest of us didn’t know what we were doing. I was really upset by this and I don’t want it to reflect upon me poorly. I think that our group was well prepared and we all had something to say, however there were people in the group who were very controlling and it made it hard for the rest of us to shine through.  This is a problem with groupwork and I think that in certain situations working together is extremely beneficial to everyone involved. However in others one person can stiffle the rest and leave them out to dry.

The project was fun to put together and I liked the concept of each group teaching a a topic that has beneficial information to teaching in inner cities. I think that it was a good tie in to the other projects we have previously had and I liked the topic that we chose. I think that presenting the project was extremely anxiety ridden for me and that made it difficult to enjoy during our presentation.

In regards to the porfolio I do not think that this particular project will make it into my synthesis, I would not know where to begin in placing this particular project into the others, or which aspects of the project I should include.

Posted by: Megs | November 30, 2009

End of the Year Jitters

Just finishing the final project for this class I feel a lot of anxiety in regards to grades especially since we have recieved absolutely no idea of what types of grades we will recieve. I feel like in this class i have worked hard and done all the work but I am not sure if that will be reflected in my papers because I truly do not know what is expected of me in this class. I have never been more confused especially during the course of project four. I felt as though the instructions were vague and I wasn’t sure what Mr. Halle wanted out of the project. I think the point was to make it your own however I am not sure if what my group did was what was wanted. I am still slightly confused on the Portfolio but I think that it is becoming more clear as I begin working on it. I think that this class will have a positive outcome however I am still very anxious because of the uncertainty.

Posted by: Megs | November 12, 2009


In a world where facebook dominates the time of teenagers, should we really have to cite the pictures we use in projects? I understand copyright laws, but who has the rights to a picture, the person in it, the one who took it, the person whose camera it was? This all gets very complicated very fast and I do not think that pictures not copyrighted should need to be cited.

In a history paper I wrote two years ago I used pictures that my grandfather took during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. I asked my teacher, and I had to cite every single picture. These photo’s were basically my photos because my grandfather had past and no one else in my family was claiming them. However I still had to create names for each photo and cite each one. I was so frustrated I used at least 20 pictures in a slide show. Why did I need to cite them?

Copyright laws are important, however if you place photos on a gigantic photo sharing website like FLICKR then should we really expect these photo’s not to be used. There are ways to block photo’s from being used and copied. It is ridiculous to say that pictures that are public domain need to be copyrighted.

Posted by: Megs | October 14, 2009

Written Plan

Topic: Reforming or Escaping the Inner City(Change versus escape; Para-curricular issues in urban education including home life, parenting, poverty, gang/organized crime activity, violence, underground economies)

 Part One:  

Pedagogy of the Oppressed Ch. 3-


Dialog– How love, faith, humility and hope equal trust. “Trust is established by dialog”

**Limit Situations– Overcoming a situation that is limiting you, “limit-acts” negate and overcome instead of accepting the limiting force. They imply the existence of persons served directly or indirectly by situations.

Themes– Meaningful themes are human goals, motivations, and objectives.  

                *These all allow people to critically think about their world and their own reality. People should feel like “masters of their thinking”.  Programs for teaching come from a dialog with the people, “the oppressed must participate.”

This chapter talks about how as humans we can change our own world if given the correct ideals and the right perspective. That through thinking and dialog we can create the situation we want.

Part Two:


  • Statistics
  • Projects to change the inner city
  • Leaving the inner city
  • Teaching Assignment, Lesson Plan, Activity
  • Gang/organized crime and how it affects the inner city.
  • Home life, parenting, schools

Using this background information we will discuss how you can leave or change the inner city and why it isn’t being done. Or what is being done to change the inner city and why it hasn’t been working.

Limit-Situations- Research how they apply to the topic. The inner city is a “limit-situation” and leaving it is a “limit-act” but changing it would also be a “limit-act”. How do these acts work together to create a “theme” of the inner city.

Using Scrapblog, we are going to create visual aids, kind of like Power Point, to go along with a small “lecture” of background information. Then for an activity I was thinking we could create story lines of people in the inner- city, based upon our research. We could give those to the groups and show, through simulation, how difficult it is to “escape” the inner city.


So I was really confused by what was expected of me for this workshop, I tried to use an outline format, and I hope I did it right.


1. Does the plan for Pedagogy of the Opressed seem clear?

2. Do the terms from Ch. 3 make sense in comparisson to our topic?

3. Is an outline the format we are supossed to use?

Posted by: Megs | October 11, 2009

Wow New Vocabulary

When reading the introduction to Pedagogy of the Opressed, I was amazed at how many words were there that I didn’t know, or could not figure out the meaning from context clues. You see, I love context clues, they are my best friends and I would not be the reader I am today without the ability to figure out definitions, or synonyms of words, through context clues. The inability to do so was, at first, disconcerting. I had never truly been out of my comfort zone like that. After continuing to read, however, I became very excited. This is the kind of college text that you think about when you think about college texts. Its complicated and informative and uses words I have never heard of before. This may sound dumb, but it feels very grown up to read this kind of book. 

I think that the fact that this book was banned in so many countries with oppression means that it is really worth reading. It must say something that they do not want us to know, so of course I want to know it. Banned books are extremely important to read, if something is being banned it means that it has truths that are being withheld. Information is power and I think that reading this book is going to be very important and informative.

Posted by: Megs | October 11, 2009

Project 3 review

I just finished project 3 and I think it was my favorite project so far. It was far more difficult that the other projects we completed but I felt a greater sense of accomplishment when I finally finished this one. It was the different elements to it that made it seem more like a project and less like an essay. I felt like the visual aspects to this were fun and they made it easier to complete the rest of the project.

The first part of the project was really difficult, in fact I actually finished it last. I could not write eight hundred words on one psa, it seemed like I would never finish it. I made an outline, stating the different elements I would analyse, and because all of the elements are connected, the paper seemed repetetive. I was really worried, until I saw people workshop on their psa’s then I felt better about mine. The purpose of the public service announcement was the easiest paragraph to write, and without it I would not have hit the 800 word minimum. I feel like I was discouraged because there had to be so many element analyzed, but in the end it all worked out and I am very proud of my work on that paper.

Watching the movie was extremely fun, my group got together and we all watched the movie. We were assigned Freedom Writers and it was something almost all of us had seen before so it did not feel like an assignment. Writing about it was easy too, I love analyzing books and movies. It was something that I could do easily because it is what I usually do in my head after I see a movie. I enjoyed that part.

The making of our own public service announcement that relates to the movie we watched was really fun. I enjoyed it more than any other aspect of the project. For my photography class senior year we had to do similar projects, and while the technology was creating difficulties for me at first, I was introduced to really cool scrapbooking blog site that is really creative and interesting. is probably something I will be playing with for a very long time. I really enjoyed finding the photo’s that I could use in this project and digitally morphing them to create the message I wanted. It was the first time I was able to use my more visually artisic side since I have been to college and that was very enjoyable.

I really think that project three was my favorite project to be done so far. I would always rather write about something else than about myself.

Posted by: Megs | October 7, 2009

Technamologically Challenged

Why is technology mean? I am serious it is cruel and unfair. Spend hours writing on paper, make sure you press save, because if you don’t its lost forever. Try converting a mpeg to an mp3, do people even know what that means. There are very few aspects of technology that I know how to use.

Texting is one, however I am very knew at texting. I never text in class because I am completely obvious about my texting. The phone is always six inches from my face and there is a lot of deleting and starting over. Not to mention I have an older phone so to type a “c” you hit 2 three times, or an “s” is 7 four times. I have resulted to counting so hi would be, 1 2, 1 2 3. Thats what I say in my head, and if I press the button more times than I count it takes like two minutes to get my berrings again and get back to texting. I think that texting is kind of annoying, but I do it all the time. Why don’t we just call people, there are less keys involved and whatever is being said is more clear. You cannot sarcastically text, it is just ridiculous to try, because people get offended. It’s exhausting.

Photoshop is something I learned in my photography classes senior year. I am really good at it, and I understand it. So for the visual portion of this challenge I knew that I coud create something really awesome. This is a time consuming task. First you have to find the photo’s you want to use. Secondly they must be a jpeg file, which just means that when you hit “save picture as” a photo should show up in the album you intended to save it in. If not then, sorry you can’t use that photo. After I found the photo’s I decided to play with them. I started by checking the contrast, making sure the blacks were really black and the lights were light, without distorting the image. After that I decided to create black and white images, and then take away the black and white to leave only choice ammounts of color. And all of this may sound easy but it is really maticulous work. Then after I created the pictures I wanted, I transfered them to a scrapbook, added text, played with font , and saved it all. All that was left was having to transfer it to my blog and thats when technology kicked me in the butt.

No!!! That is what it said, well no what it said was,File type does not meet security guidelines. Try another. But you know what that means, it means NO, and that is so incredibly frustrating because I work hard and then the computer tells me “no”. It kind of sucks. And all of these technologies just keep telling you no in like twenty different ways, which just makes me more angry because trying to sugar coat something that sucks, just makes it suck more. I am very angry with technology today. It probably won’t be better tomorrow because more technologies just keep comming. Uhhhggggg. Maybe in the future new technologies will say “Yes!” instead of “No 😦 ”

(Yeah the computer also makes frowny faces when he talks to me.)

-Joseph Marie De Maistre

Why do we torture ourselves? I mean it, humans do the most horrible things to themselves, whether or not it actually falls into the realm of torture. It can be something we do subcontiously or it is completely intentional. Why oh why do we put ourselves into situations that create more problems than they solve? My current self destruction is in this class  and it is killing me.

I love to write, however in this class I am having the most tremendous writer’s block. I can sit and stare for hours at the computer screen and not think of a single thing to place down on the paper. I don’t know why I am struggling so much, but I think it goes back to self destruction. I don’t know what to do because when life is going good, I self destruct. I shut down and something has to go wrong. It is absolutely ridiculous and it is pissing me off. I have trouble writing things for projects also. And in my other English classes I always know what to write. Why do I do this to myself? I have had trouble writing other classes before and I never found out why. I liked the class, I understood the material and when push came to shove I could not sit down and write essays for this class. It was because I would be completely blank, no thought, no process. I would sit down in front of my computer and then nothing.

Currently for this project, I am trying to write the public service announcement section and I can only get around four hundred words for the add. Normally I would love this assignment, I love art, and taking one little spec and blowing it up, finding meaning in just a color, would be so much fun. But when I sit down to write about it…nothing…blank…empty. I cannot believe that this is happening, it is making me so angry, which is not helping my writer’s block. I want nothing more than to have the same ease in this class that I do in others, however I am shuting down and I am having serious trouble coming up with what to write. It is so frustrating.

So why do I do this to myself? I honestly don’t know, why do people stay in relationships with people they hate? Why do people lie when they know the truth will come out eventually? Why is it that when more pressure is places upon you the more often you freeze, or run away? Why do we place that horrible pressure upon ourselves? Maybe it’s because, secretely we like the struggle. Would you ever feel satisfied with a job if it was simple, if it came easily? The fact that we work through our struggles means that we are worth something, and maybe that is why we torture ourselves. But honestly the process is awful.

Posted by: Megs | October 4, 2009

First Draft

Hey guys so this isn’t the whole thing, I’ll have the rest by Tuesday.

A face stares despondently out from the page of an internet ad. Block yellow letters cover eyes that are filled with water. The letters read “That’s so ‘gamer guy’ who has more videogames than friends.” This ad campaign from is used to end the casual use of the word “gay.” It uses extreme contrast and light tones to explain the message that gay is not a word that means “stupid”.

                In photography, black and white photographs create a tone; it is more somber and deliberate. The contrast within the frame is affected by lack of color. Blacks are blacker, and that creates a more dramatic background. The background however is a way for the words to stick out. The words are the most important part of the ad, and their bright yellows shine with an ominous quality. The contrast between these two elements helps support an important message that needs to be heard.

                There is an absence of color in this photograph. The black and white photo is used to portray seriousness. The only color in this ad is yellow. Yellow is known for its sharpness, brightness and warning qualities. The yellow in this ad is softer, however, and is more powerful. The message means more because of the color in the advertisement. Using a different color would create a different message. Yellow gives the advertisement a powerful message, with a softer tone.

                The teenager in the photo demonstrates the audience that the ad is tailored to. The advertisement is about how the word “gay” is hurtful to be used. Teenagers are the ones that use the term casually which is why the person in the background of the photo is a teenager. He represents all teenagers who are offended by the term.

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