Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

HW36: Pre-Turkey Podcast

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

HW35: Goodbye blogger.

Dear Readers,

I have learned a lot about maintaining the blog and completing the assignments over the past 13 weeks. I've learned a lot about the timeliness involved in updating a blog every day. I hope that someone can read some of my blogs and be influenced to read from more sources that they are accustomed to. By comparing news that they hear from different sources with different credibilities, it can help provide for a well-rounded opinion. After this class is over, I think I'll be deleting this blog and discontinuing to post. I have concluded that blogging, although undoubtedly interesting, is not for me. However, I respect and admire those who have worked to improve the world of blogging and increase its audience.



HW34: Tea Customs in Iraq

The custom of evening tea is very important to most Iraqi families. In a October 18th, 2003 blog published in her book entitled Baghdad Burning, author Riverbend states that, "no matter how busy the day, everyone sits around in the living room, waiting for tea." This gathering usually occurs daily for most families and the exact process of making the tea differs from family to family. However, in Iraq, "teabag tea" is considered a low-end, non-respectable tea. If a family were to serve teabag tea as opposed to blending the leave mixture and water beforehand, the servers "risk scorn and disdain" because a teabag blend is an insult to experienced tea connoisseurs (Riverbend).
If the tea is made correctly, the gathering becomes a center for conversation within the family and a board for discussion, if any problems were to arise. I believe that this break in the day that Iraqi families take is vital. It brings families close, it builds networks, and it can definitely help in educating children within the family of the world around them.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

HW30: June Cross & Scott Ritter Symposiums

June Cross

June Cross, a former writer for the Boston Globe and current professor at the Columbia University School for Journalism, discussed her story at the Mabel Brown Room and wowed another audience with the work on her documentary entitled Secret Daughter. "As I tell my students, what you think means nothing," says Cross in reaction to her response to being in front of the camera instead of behind the scenes as she was taught as a journalist.

The event featured the documentary which discussed Cross' life of secrets, false faces, and a family's unity through the segregated years in our country's history, not nearly far enough behind. Intertwined inside of her tale were the tales of her parents, who were of different color skin. Due to the ongoing prejudice in the United States in that time period, the child and the relationship needed to be kept secret from both families to avoid any tension. After the breakup June was forced to live two separate lives -- one with her real mother, and one with a trusted friend in Atlantic City -- without ever getting to know her father. She was raised as an "adopted" daughter and did not know the entire family history until her documentary opened a channel for her mother to share the secrets and to finally reveal her tale.

Scott Ritter

Former UN Weapons Inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter, fueled the audience toward change in the White House. His presentation entitled, "Citizen Soldier: Global Warrior," represents his call for a uproar amongst citizens in this country to fight for their rights. "We own the constitution. Not Bush. Not Congress," said Ritter in an effort to gain the audience's support. He talked about our fourth amendment rights as citizens that are being directly violated by the USA PATRIOT Act. By wiretapping without warrants, the government is committing unreasonable search and seizure as defined in our constitution.

He goes on to talk about our government showing signs of fascism by allowing an oligarchy (leaving government in the hands of the rich few) with a militarism. He also calls the war in Iraq an "illegitimate" war. He talks mostly of the addiction to consumer goods and our expensive lifestyles that is fueling this war. The thought of the United States intentionally and illegally using the resources from another country.

Monday, October 29, 2007

HW23: With Apologies to Virginia Woolf

By splitting up the reading lists for 14- to 15-year-olds by gender has some going out of whack. Then again, it could just help widen the already outstretched gender gap in the United States. Perhaps the idea is to help “weed out” those who don’t follow the self-defined “norms” during gender identity stages in childhood. Or maybe it is thought that the boys and the girls would both be more interested in reading books that they could relate to. That could be a very efficient learning style. That is exactly what this blog, Collective Voices, talks about. Although biased, the article raises very important questions involved in our children’s education.