The technology we have here at marist in just about every classroom, if not every one, is really amazing. I was used to high school where we might or might not have an overhead projector. I’m getting really spoiled, which isn’t good since I want to be a teacher. I’m going to have to work aroudn major limitations in terms of technology, especially if I work in an urban school district. It’s amazing how quickly we all get used to it. Everyone really takes it for granted, myself included.
Why is selfishness designated as evil? Sure, I have some altruistic sentiments, but I need to make sure my own needs and even wants are filled before I can cater to the wants and needs of others. Why is it the social norm and aspiration to disregard your self and put others’ happiness before your own? I know I do this, often agreeing with what my friends want to do rather than asserting my own desires, or even doing things I don’t want to do at all if it is something that would make my friends happy. Why is the ultimate “good” defined as putting the needs of strangers, not merely friends and family, before your own needs? I suppose because friends and family are like an extension of yourself, so helping them is making you happy. But what personal satisfaction do people gain from helping complete strangers? I wish it were more socially acceptable to be selfish. I hate feeling bad about my self all the time for not really wanting to help others.
I wonder how many whiteboards were ruined in the process of perfecting the dry erase marker? Why can’t they get rid of the smell that gets you high? Who decided which colors were to be the standard ones while others just a few shades away from the “standard” are considered unusual and given names like “neon” or “pastel”? Who invented the dry erase marker anyway?
It is amazing the extent to which people can ignore their surroundings. The rapidity of the seasons changing is one example. I felt oblivious, looking at the ground beneath my feet as I walked to and from class every day. If I noticed anything, it was that there were more and more leaves crunching underfoot. When finally I looked around campus, actually observing rather than letting my eyes drift without being aware of what I was seeing, I realized that the trees, which had been covered with green or red or yellow or even brown leaves when last I noticed them, were bare, skeletal and dead. Most people, myself included, effectively ignore the death cycle of the early winter.
I plan to do my final project on Lefebvre’s dialectics of everyday life, which talk about how daily life is composed of commodities. Therefore, I will construct a life from a catalog. Once I find my catalog, I am going to cut out pictures, glue them to a posterboard and write out a description of the life of my constructed individual.
To create my “Weathermap of Feeling” I collected information twice every day for two weeks. I searched for happy and sad in Google News and Google blogs, I recorded the weather, and I jotted down my current feelings. At first glance, even organized in Flash under buttons for each day, the amount of information is staggering and doesn’t appear to follow a particular pattern. However, upon closer examination, various trends could be extricated from the confusing whole.
I realized that it was much easier to find sad news and blogs than happy ones. This was probably because people like to hear about the misfortunes of others, since that often makes them feel better about their own lives. Happy searches, especially for blogs, were more likely to bring up birthday and holiday greetings than the feelings of people who claimed to be happy. I believe this is because people generally write in blogs, diaries, what have you when they are sad or upset and want to get thing off their chest. When they are happy, they simply enjoy living life and generally don’t bother writing about it.
Conversely, the pictures found in the blogs were more likely to be happy since people tend to at least put on a happy face when they think they are being watched (whether by other people or by a camera) and also because people usually take pictures of happy events. The pictures in the news, however, were more likely to be sad because of reasons mentioned above. One final connection I was able to draw independently was that the weather didn’t seem to affect people’s feelings, especially since the weather report was only for Poughkeepsie and the blogs and news reports came from all over the country.
I compared my weathermap with those of Jennifer, Melissa H., and Melissa G. and we drew some similar conclusions as a group as those that I was able to surmise independently. Two trends that we found were, in economics, that gas prices are going up and, in entertainment, that people seem to be obsessed with Brittany Spears. The gas price increase seems to have the potential to affect the emotional climate, but little emotional connection can be drawn from America’s fixation on the lives of certain celebrities.
In order to see if our data coincided, we all looked at what we had found for October 28th and there were definitely some connections. We discovered that we had all found news stories about various schools and how the administration is exerting its authority in various ways. Some schools banned halloween costumes while others banned peanut butter. This trend reveals that people today are very interested in what is going on in schools. The news that day also provided updates on the fires in California as well as progress in the writer’s strike, which showed that people are more inclined to write about unpleasant occurences than happier ones. Overall, we found that in the course of two weeks, happy and sad events and feelings balanced out, creating a neutral, perhaps even impassive emotional climate.
A- !! I can live with that, even though it’s my lowest midterm grade (I know, I’m such a nerd). I need to get it up to an A by the end of the semester to preserve my 4.0 GPA. If this class blows it (if I get a 3.9 or something) I won’t be too happy…
The project was really annoying. I would have done the arcades project with second life, but for the fact that I couldn’t get the video recording thing to work. That may have been a result of my incompetence with computers in general and unfamiliar programs specifically. So, i was stuck with doing flash, which I really suck at. I worked really hard to get a video that really sucks, and I was really unprepared to explain it to the class. Hopefully I didn’t fail. I wish I had prepared what I was going to say ahead of time. I might actually have mentioned which project I did (exquisite corpse) and not repeated half a dozen times that it relates to Benjamin’s trash aesthetic.