Saturday, January 21, 2012

What I will remember from AP Comp

***I don't know if I did this correctly, this is a VERY rough draft. I didn't do all the letters though...there were some where I couldn't think of anything.

     Analyze, analyze, analyze. DO NOT SUMMARIZE, 1-145
    and how they are everywhere. you can't hide from them 34, 128
    on a quiz? Quick- someone call KARE11! 5
    class mascot #2 (see Orwell) 88
    ...What did I just read...? 54
    I love it. 39
    Yeah, write 119
    Hey! It's Me :) 122
    Reviving Ophelia 17
    The Male Brain 100
     "If your love life were an ocean..." 135
Claim, reason, warrant
    The building blocks of life 33, 87, 120
    In my head 11, 24, 37, 46, 67
     apparently this is Mrs. Cardona's most common answer for multiple choice questions. 78
Desk group
     Laura, Matt, Jason 23
     Rhetorical Analysis, Gah 14
     Revision, I can do this 98
      50 essays 3
Friendships 25
    almost every single quiz 2-18
    and then learning from it 10, 15, 23
Google docs
     "Wait, can the other people in our group see our convos?" 22
     "I'm so hungry I could eat a unicorn." 65
      Massive study guide 142
Hyperventilating 127
    "Becky, you can do this."
     My favorite rhetorical device. Mostly because it's fun to pronounce 103
     "I have a dream." MLK jr.
    All the time 11,14, 28, 49, 100, 117
Love/hate this class 7
Late nights 131
    and thrust 115
     class mascot 56
    And a lot of it 9, 23, 55
    And regretting it, 32, 48, 66, 98,102, 109, 123
Peer-editing 127
Power writing
     everyone for themselves, must get those stamps 44
Proud 156
    corrections 12
    reading quizzes 1, 3, 5
    with Laura 35
     Pretty much sums up this class 1-234
     Meltdowns 122
     "I'm going to pull my hair out" 66
      Every time a new project is assigned 82
Self-doubt 46, 49, 53, 81
    Struggling 20
    Finding my writing voice 89
   "I can't remember what pejorative means!" 102
    Improving big-time 131
    and learning to enjoy it 77

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Boys decoded? Not really.

My BLA book this term was The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine.

I can believe everything that is said in this book because the author, Brizendine, is a psychiatrist and also a Harvard graduate. She also backs up all of her claims with solid hard facts and personal examples.

I'm going to be completely honest...It's not my favorite book ever. The reason I did not enjoy it is because I feel like she makes her argument seem really redundant. My group discussed the exact same things over and over each week; there wasn't anything new that ever showed up.

For example: 
Did the anecdotes she included contribute to her overall argument and how? Yes. They made it easier for the audience to relate to certain situations. 
Do you think that her scientific evidence contributes to her overall argument? Yes. It gives solid evidence to explain why boys do what they do. 
Etc etc etc.

The main argument of the book is that boys are far more complicated than they seem. They aren't always thinking about sex and they do have emotions. Males have to deal with a lot and go through different phases, just like girls.

 Brizendine tries to refute this stereotype:

This book can be for both males and females. It gives males a chance to understand why they act the way they do, and it explains to females why boys do the things that we don't understand. I've seen girls, myself included, analyze for hours one thing that a boy says or does. Girls, don't deny this. You know you do it. (Maybe reading The Female Brain can help me figure out why we do this). It's quite frustrating. Anyway, The Male Brain is supposed to be a book that's the best of both worlds. 

But I still don't understand boys. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dear Future Becky,

I hope that you are doing well. I know that as of now, I have big plans for you. Hopefully you went to one of those colleges that I love and find myself dreaming about from time to time. I'm so jealous that you are already done with the ACT and SAT. Those make my stress levels shoot up. It makes me nauseous to even think about it. Are you still sticking to my "no procrastinating" goal? That was one of my resolutions this year. This is the last piece of homework that I have to do this weekend. Besides the AP Chem magic show script, but that isn't going to take long. Impressive, right? Hopefully this new habit carries on.

Where are you living right now? I'm guessing not in Minnesota. I've never liked living in Minnesota. Maybe you are living in New York? Or Chicago? Or are you living somewhere totally random, like Nebraska? Either way, I hope that you are happy. I'm happy right now. I love being 16. I have concluded that this is probably the best age to be. I have freedom because I can drive myself around and stuff like that, but at the same time I don't need to worry about stuff like mortgage and insurance. Although I can't wait to be done with high school.

Oh yeah, did you ever get over your fear of other people's blood? I hate blood right now. Or at least other people's blood. Watching other people get shots and IV's gives me the heebie-jeebies. And considering that I want you, or me I guess, to be a pediatric pulmonologist, I probably had to have gotten past that in order to achieve that goal. Gosh I hope I got over that. It's making me slightly queasy to even think about it.

But if you didn't get past that, are you now an interior or fashion designer? You must remember how people laughed at you because that is so different from being a doctor, but I (We?) need to do what makes me happy, right? I can't go through life doing something that I don't enjoy. But this is Plan B. Pulmonologist is still Plan A.

Or maybe you are a kindergarten teacher? I love kids, and you probably still do. They are just so cute. It would be such a rewarding job to help them learn.

But really, are you happy with how your life turned out?

I always am thinking about my future, but now that I am typing this up and sharing my aspirations, it's making me a bit anxious. I'm still not fully sure what I want to be yet. I'm so indecisive! Good thing you've already chosen. Remember those shopping trips you took when you were a teenager? And how it took you 15 minutes just to figure out what color shirt you wanted?

 I guess I'm scared that I will fail at reaching my dreams and just settle for some mundane job that makes me unhappy. That thought scares me. Hopefully that doesn't happen. I'm not going to let that happen. I will try my best to do what I love to do and make something of myself. I really wish that you could write me a letter or something to calm my fears and give me some words of advice. But writing letters to myself is not as easy as it seems.

Wishing you the best.

16 year old Becky

P.S. Let's keep our fingers crossed that someone in my time or your time invents a time machine so that we can meet each other.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Inside the Child Sex Trade

Process Analysis

***The formatting is really weird. I tried to fix it, but it didn't work. So now there are awkwardly huge spaces in between my paragraphs.

The specific human rights topic that I chose to work with is the issue of child trafficking. Of course, human trafficking in general is a very troublesome topic, but I needed to narrow my focus. Most times when we think of things such as prostitution or rape (the sex trade), we think of teens or adults. We don’t usually connect children with the human trafficking world. My claim is that children should not be sold; they are priceless. They are human beings that deserve to be treated with respect. Children should not have to live this type of life; they are innocent and it is wrong to take advantage of them like this. The tone throughout my video is, without a doubt, somber. The biggest rhetorical device that I use is pathos; I pluck at the heart strings of the audience to get them to feel pain for these kids, and to get them to realize how precious children are in general. The audience that I am aiming towards is anyone who likes kids or has kids. Because this video is about children, if the audience has some type of relationship with a child, they are more likely to feel affected. But really, anyone who has a heart and soul should feel bad for these kids.

I chose the original animoto template just because I wanted my pictures to stand out, and I didn't want the background distracting the audience. It's black, it's subtle, and it does the job.

Climactic order was something that I really thought about when making this video. I wanted to have my video be easy to follow along, but still end with a bang. My video is kind of like a story. I show the process of child trafficking, from selling the child, all the way to the final results. After that, I switch gears to get ready for a powerful ending. I show a receipt for one child, and then use other pictures to show that buying a child is wrong, for they are priceless. I used this technique because I wanted the audience to fully understand what these children have to go through. 

I start out with a picture of children standing in a window display at a mall or store. The children are standing in a row, with SALE signs all around them. There are children of all different ethnicities to show that this happens all around the world.This picture is also in color to better show the details. The SALE signs are big and red, and the children are dressed in gloomy colored clothing.The expressions on their faces are forlorn and vacant. They look as if they have accepted the fact that their lives will forever be like this, and it pains the audience. Furthermore, they are dressed in dirty clothes, and look like they haven't showered in a while. They are probably portrayed like this to show that the conditions that these kids live in are not ideal. This, like most of my other pictures, is meant to strike emotion. It most certainly shows the fact that these children are being stripped of their worth; They are being treated like they are just an item, but they aren't. Putting them in this window display is subjecting them to humiliation, and takes away the little sense of pride that they had. This also relates back to my claim, that children are priceless, by implying that children can be bought. 

I then move on to a mugshot of a gross, unhygienic man, holding a sign that says “I paid to have sex with a 14 year old child.” First reaction: Disgusting. Absolutely, positively disgusting. His unkempt facial hair and flabby skin add to the repulsiveness. This, just like the first slide, evokes an emotional response. The audience will feel disturbed. The fact that children have to sleep with men like this is enough to make your stomach churn. It's kind of a stereotype to say that all the men who are in this business look like this, but I still think it gets a message across.  

Next, I have a photo of two big hands counting money, while a girl watches him in the background. The girl looks hopeless and sad, and it is assumed that she is one of the girls involved in the child trafficking world. The hands could be either the pimps, or the john/rapist’s. Either way, it isn’t pleasant, and the audience will feel sad for the girl. She does not deserve to be treated this way. No child does. The photo is also in black and white, which makes it more somber, and will further establish a feeling of dread in the audience. 

The next 10 photos are examples of what a child with this life has to deal with. I take a before and after approach. I found pictures of kids who are affected by this, like little boys and girls being pursued by creepy men, and then I found pictures of children who look just like those who are being trafficked. I tried to find children of all different races to show that this doesn't just happen in one place, but it happens everywhere. Except it ended up being mostly asian kids and white kids because those were the most powerful pictures I could find. I put them in a before and after pattern to show that these kids, who look so innocent and carefree, are shamelessly being used by creeps to earn money. They are just kids, and should not have to go through this kind of abuse and torture. These are the pictures that will probably evoke the biggest emotional response from the audience. There are pictures of little girls sitting in bed with gross men, a boy being undressed by a creepy man, a girl who is standing with her bra next to her on the ground. The pictures are very disturbing, but they all send the same message: THIS IS GROSS AND WRONG. Why do children get put through this? It isn't right. They shouldn't be stripped of their dignity, put up for sale, and purchased by these perverts just for the pervert's own pleasure. It's disgusting. 

I then use repetition, and show a picture of the children in the window display again. I do this intentionally to reinforce the notion that these kids do not want to be here. They do not want to be put on “sale”, but they have no choice. They aren’t strong enough to fight back, so they can’t do anything about it. I use this specifically to tie back to my claim. Since my claim is that children are priceless, and cannot be sold, this, once again, gets the audience to think about children being bought and traded for sex. 

After this, I put in a slide of a receipt of a 10-year-old child that was $14.00. This makes a really big impact because it is almost blatantly stating that children can be treated like an item.  It puts an image in the mind of the audience of buying a child at a supermarket or mall. This relates back to my picture of the children in a window display case, but it takes it one more step further. It gets the audience to think. It’s saying that children are almost worthless, they have no soul and do not need to be treated with respect. Fourteen dollars for a child? That's ridiculous. With this picture, I’m hoping to evoke emotions of disbelief and horror within the audience. I want them to realize that just because children are little and may not be able to stand up for themselves as easily as adults, doesn't mean that they can be subjected to this kind of disrespect and torture.

I then use a transition slide, and put up a big red "X" to let the audience know that this situation is wrong. It's a horrific violation of human rights, and is in no way acceptable. 
My last slide is a black and white picture of a little girl holding a sign in front of her face that says "Priceless." I end with this to leave a lasting impression in the audience's mind that children are precious, and no amount of money is worth putting them through the process of child trafficking. I had to change it to black and white, because it makes it stand out more, just because this is such a sad topic. 

The music that I chose for my video is the song "Beautiful Slaves" by Take No Glory. I found this song on Youtube, and it was specifically written because the girl in this band felt so bad for the children affected by child trafficking. The melody is somber, and the words fit well with my pictures and even help to make my pictures even more heart wrenching. There is a piano being used, and it is playing the harmony to the song. It's heavy and melancholy. There is also a guitar. It is also playing the harmony to this song. There are other instruments as well, but I really cannot identify them.The lyrics, although extremely sad, very vividly and perfectly portrays the fact that these kids are hopeless and do not want to be here, but they have no choice. They will also probably be scarred for the rest of their lives because of these horrendous experiences. I don't think that any other song could better emulate what I want to get across. Here are some of the lyrics:

i don’t know where i am

they’ve taken all that i had

smuggled in for a lucrative trade

beaten, bartered

broken in, until i obey

i used to be childlike

innocent and safe

now i’m someone else's treasure

a strangers pleasure

smothered in shame

succumbed with drugs

but I’m not numb

all I feel is pain

is this all a dream

will i ever be the same?

The lyrics get across that these children have gone through so much pain, and nothing can heal the wounds already made. No child should have to go through this.

Beautiful Slaves by Take No Glory