Monday, February 28, 2011

inside look.

"Michael Wesch, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthroplogy at K-State, and a few of his students give you an inside perspective into the current Visions of Students Today project."


Saturday, February 19, 2011

living my future now, darnit!

From Teaching as a Subversive Activity, quoting John gardner.. I feel like the context is important so bear with me:

"To accomplish renewal, we need to understand what prevents it. When we talk about revitalizing a society we tend to put exclusive emphasis on finding new ideas. But there is usually no shortage of new ideas; the problem is to get a hearing for them. And that means breaking through the crusty rigidity and stubborn complacency of the status quo. [emphasis added] The aging society develops elaborate defenses against new ideas-- "mind-forged manacles," in William Blake's vivid phrase... As a society becomes more concerned with precedent and custom, it comes to care more about how things are done and less about whether they are done. The man who wins acclaim is not the one who "gets things done" but the one who has an ingrained knowledge of the rules and accepted practices. Whether he accomplishes anything is less important than whether he conducts himself in an "appropriate" manner.

The body of custom, convention, and "reputable" standards exercises such an oppressive effect on creative minds that new developments in a field often originate outside the area of respectable practice. [emphasis added]"

I feel like this hits a load of thoughts for the idea of the college ritual. The fact that we are to "learn" and get an "education." Yet we are bound, oppressed, to do it inside the walls of a college setting. We get acclaim because we "go to college" because that is the "appropriate manner" in which learning and education is gained. And that is exactly what I am against! I feel like there is so much more outside the walls! Outside the ritual, the way things are, and "should" be.

Hopefully this is not read the wrong way. I appreciate being in college and wouldn't have found what I am passionate about without the experience of being here. I'm just sick of the pressure that we've put on the "college-bound" age group. The fact that we label them "college-bound" or stereotype them to be on the path to failure, or a low-end, bellow middle class, lifestyle. The pressure was put on me, and I'm dying to get out. It brings my mind to something Kevin brought up in our interview. Being stuck in this phase where we always see "what's real," what we're working towards, lingering in the future. The past and future always being ominous and unsure of interpretation. Yet I want it NOW. I want to be living my future now. Not waiting for it. Is that even possible!?!?

And. thats what's flooding my brain. Whew. Only 200 pages to go...


Friday, February 18, 2011

get excited!

I had an awesome interview today! Kevin Coleman, a grad student ELP teacher. Sat down with some tea in his office and talked it out. Point after point, almost unguided, he hit multiple topics completely relevant to our projects. school being more than about learning. how teachers today are not even the "experts" any more, but more like passive facilitators of the textbooks (who are the real experts). how media literacy is important. how students today are unhappy in the moment... I am super excited to transcribe it and break it down for you guys!

Classes have been full of breaking down the research. We've got the line up of our projects, how they fit together, and a general sense of where we're going, but it comes down to each of us becoming experts in our own topic. Mine? You guessed it: Generation Me. Individualistic. Narcissistic. Assertive. Entitled. And more unhappy than ever.

The next five weeks will be full of hitting the books and playing the field.

Week One: Reading Teaching as a Subvertive with an interview with Kevin Coleman (check)

Week Two: Reading Saturated self. Probably interview Kelsey about how Generation Me is affecting the other generations as well, whether they think so or not...

Week Three: Reading Generation Me.

Week Four: Reading Mediated.

Week Five: Open for right now/catch up...

Somewhere in there I'd like to set up an interview with Professor Prins. Along with other interviews that may come up. I'll be trying to document some different things I see in the class room, around campus, and at home that point out the stereotypical generation me aspects.

I also had a vision of a good trailer for about the choices we have to make and how it affects us. Kind of abstract, but in my head it will be awesome! --- If anyone has an alternative to bubble gum, that you could step in and have the same effect, yet not be as hard to get sticky/have to chew.... let me know ^_^


Friday, February 11, 2011

Generation Me

Passion. Success. Recognition. Materialism. A mediated culture. Why is it that the phrase: "the meaning of life" had no meaning- significance- about 100 years ago. Was it because we got what we wanted, and realized that it wasn't valuable enough? My question becomes: do other cultures, namely, ones who aren't as well off, have the same drive that Americans do in finding such things? It was mentioned in class that there seems to be the greatest discoveries when we are at our breaking points, the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, which in a sense, could essentially be one in the same. So how low do you have to go?

I found a summary of Generation Me by Steve Eubank that had some things to think about:

"Students are less likely to recognize the authority of teachers, presuming instead that their perspectives and opinions are on an equal footing with the experts (pg. 29)."

"GenMe individuals are more willing to share their experiences (positive and negative) in explicit detail with anyone who will listen (pg. 37)."

I had been thinking about this before. Why people don't tell their stories? And why they tell them to certain people and not others? Thinking that they just don't have anyone to tell... maybe this thinking is from being in this generation. Wanting people to tell people their stories... maybe this emerged even more so with things such as YouTube and other social networks as they created a blank canvas to share from.

"“GenMe is also less willing to follow the rules of organized religion” (pg. 34). She notes declining church attendance since the 1950’s, and particularly low attendance percentages for 18 to 29 year olds. Twenge references Jeffery Arnett from Emerging Adulthood, describing “the belief systems of young people as ‘highly individualized’, which he calls ‘make-yourown’religions.’ He found that only 23% of young people are ‘conservative believers’; the remaining 77% were agnostic/atheist, deist, or liberal believers (who believe in a religion but question some aspects of it)” (pg. 34). The churches that have experienced growth are those that “promote a very personalized form of religion” (pg. 35). ...These churches’ emphasis on Christ as a personal savior who has a plan for your life play into the individualized culture of GenMe."

Then what? Depression, "enormous amount of pressure on us to stand alone," lonliness and isolation, pressures on college and career choices, internality and externality. And Twenge's advice for society? "Abandon our obsession with self-esteem, and be honest with children about their success and failures. (pg. 223-227) Give better advice, including the idea that not everyone should go to college. (pg. 227-228)"



Friday, February 4, 2011

learn passion.

It's interesting to me how we have all been pressured so much by society to enter right into college after high school. Some people come to college having no direction at at. No true meaning to passion. Yet some go with the flow and end up at a university and find it. Others don't.

From high school you either go to college or you don't. From there you find your passion or you don't. From there, you either go to college for that passion, or follow your passions elsewhere. That passion fuels the flame of learning as the people around you share your experiences to take learning to a whole other level.

I hope you all take time to find it.

Fight for it.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

teacherless collaborations.

We put a lot of good thoughts together today in class. It was one of the sweetest class periods I think I've ever been a part of. No teacher. Yet we were recording the time so that he could go over what we talked about. Imagine the endless amounts of ways that this could turn out......

..... crazy right? It was actually really sweet. We had the white boards covered with spider web diagrams, lists, and connections to the ideas we were all posing. It actually flowed together quite well. At least roughly so that we have a good kick off for what we'll eventually get to.

I have a couple interviews lined up for the next week or so. Two friends of mine who have posed the idea that our majors teach us how to think. One being an English major the other an Engineer. The engineer being in his last semester and taking classes outside his major for once. I guess he's having a rough time because he's never had to "think this way" before.

We are always being shaped. Always learning. What is learning? I'm learning right now... processing. Learning how to communicate my thoughts. Typing speed increasing. Multi-tasking as I think and type my thoughts to King Tut, looking for the perfect song for my video. Ha! Its crazy how so much ties together. We are shaped by our experiences. Exactly the point of my ethnography in Religion in Culture. (If you're interested in listening to the podcast, let me know and I'll shoot you the link!) We'll never be what our experiences keep us from becoming. Experience, inside or outside of schooling, will always keep moving us forward. Everything in the past is permanent.