May 21

There once was a boy named Tyler. Tyler was like any other boy; he had all of his senses and all of his limbs. Tyler had a loving family who all lived in a little house in a perfect neighbourhood in a town called Brighton. Tyler loved his dads and his little sister very much, and enjoyed going swimming and biking with them on the weekends. They had a very open relationship, and all seemed to be well. As I said, Tyler was just like any other boy. Until he hit puberty.

It was always his dads’ dream that he would go to an amazing university, have an wonderful career, and have a beautiful family with a husband of his own. Tyler wanted this very much too, but when the time came for teenagers to start dating, he just wasn’t very interested in the other boys around him. Instead, he grew very close to a girl named Whitney. Whitney had a girlfriend at the time, and was only available too hang out with Tyler every other day. The more he hung out with Whitney, the more and more attracted to her he became, until he finally realised that he was in love. How could this be? How could he possible fall in love with a women? Tyler needed to know what was happening so desperately that he made the mistake of talking to one of his peers about it. And just like any glass of water, it takes a single drop for the water to run over the edge.

Tyler went through an emotional roller-coaster over the next couple of months, learning from his peers and from books that what he was called was a “heterosexual”, and was considered one of the greatest sins in their society. Tyler was picked on and bullied; people were writing “hetero” on his locker, on his books, and on his house. His fathers no longer spoke to him, and dinner was no longer a family affair. Tyler no longer had any friends, Whitney was the only person who showed him any sort of compassion and sympathy. She was the only person he could count on, and he loved her all the more for it.

Tyler would never forget the day that Whitney came to school with bruises on her face. Her auburn hair was precariously styled in an attempt to hide the darkened purple skin that framed her green eyes, and makeup to cover her cut up lip. Whitney had been beaten up for fraternising with a heterosexual. Her girlfriend had broken up with her, and one of her mothers had forbidden her to be around him any longer. Tyler saw this, realising it was all his fault, and became a complete recluse. He no longer went to school. He hardly ate. He cried all day and tossed and turned all night. He couldn’t understand why God had to make him different. What was his purpose in life when he would just be shunned by the people around him? Tyler stopped speaking.

Kids started throwing stones at his windows a couple of weeks later. They would stand outside in groups and shout awful things as loud as they possibly could. People had spray-painted the words “God hates heteros!” on the front wall of their house, and broke all of the downstairs windows. For the safety of their daughter, Tyler’s dads’ took his sister and left the house. Tyler was left all alone.

His ex-peers started breaking into the house. Tyler kept his door locked and let them do as they pleased. He was too afraid to leave the sanctuary of his room; the warmth of his covers and the soft glow of the sun keeping him from slipping into the darkness. The loud bangs of teenagers stealing his father’s possessions downstairs became quieter and quieter every day, until eventually they stopped completely. That’s when the tapping on his door started. It started out as small taps, as if a child were bored and had nothing better to do. But as the days when on, the tapping got louder and louder, until is sounded as if the person was banging on his door in an attempt to get in. He flung the door open to make it stop, for the love of God just please make it stop. There was nobody there just Tyler alone in his little house in the  perfect neighbourhood in the small town of Brighton. Tyler started leaving his door open. He stared through the door, expecting someone to walk in any day soon.

His house caught fire on his 18th birthday. He doesn’t remember much; just that there was a loud explosion somewhere downstairs and it got really really hot. Tyler wasn’t afraid. Death isn’t what scared him, society scared him. No one would mind if he died right there. No one would care.

The last thing he saw was the angel. With auburn hair and emerald eyes -f- she lifted him up and took him home. And he lived happily thereafter.

Apr 26

intangible: Not concrete, can’t touch is or clarify it

dichotomy: 2 opposing ideas

analogy: comparison based on structure

metaphor: comparison of two unlike things that have one representative similar quality

Apr 24

1. What is the message of the story? Explain.

When I first read this short story I immediately thought of propaganda against Communism. I thought that it could have been used in America to make Communism seem like this evil thing that makes life hell.

2. What do you think the handicaps represent?

I think the handicaps represent the American take (at the time) of the idea of equality within Communism. People would have been okay if being equal just meant that everyone got everything and that they were all happy about it, but the way equality is portrayed in the story is that they make everyone equal by means that could be seen as torture, such as the mental handicap radio that would emit very loud and hurtful sounds into the man’s ears in order for his intelligent thoughts to be controlled.

3. Do you think the Handicap General represents a real position? If so, what is it? Explain.

I think that it represents the ruler from that time (in the case of Russia, Josef Stalin), and can be seen as an opressor more than just a ‘regular politician’.  Overall, I believe that this merciless image we get from the text of the Handicap General would be the exact same way the media would describe a leader that they believed was oppressing its people.

Apr 09

How did you prepare for your audience?

Well, I bought their love with cupcakes. But before that, I had practiced with my brother (a 7th grader) so that I could see what he thought of it. I made some adjustments after that to make it more interesting for younger kids.

How did you expect them to react?

I wasn’t a 100% sure, but I think I had chosen very interesting and relatable topics to talk about. I thought that they may be bored in the beginning and then ‘warm up’ to the discussion towards the end.

How did they react?

All four of them were very lively and seemed very interested in what I had to say! They all really enjoyed discussing about Google Glasses and about technology used medically (Hearing aids, Bluetooth heart monitors, etc.). All of them spoke freely about their opinions on the topics and it became a very interesting presentation. I also learnt a couple of things from them!

Would you prepare differently next time?

I actually think that the way a broached

Mar 26

I was inspired to write the written task after watching The Help. The main character in the book/movie wrote a very similar-type column for a newspaper, and I thought that the style and type of column would most likely help to get the point across. I thought that a “Dear____” column would show that the situation isn’t a personal or privite thing that doesn’t happen often, but would instead show that this is a daily occurance for most people and that it happens all the time.

What sparked the idea of using advertising was a presentation given to us by a man named Lawrence Hrubes, who is a teacher at our school. He showed us the many different ways that companies use advertising to persuade us in to buying their products using language, images, and sound. I found it very interesting that only a few elements are needed to make a product seem like something worth buying, and it made me think about how children in this era are growing up with persuasive advertising being a part of their every day life. So I went online and took a look at forums and a couple articles about persuasive advertising and how it works and the effect it has on children. I found many great forums with information and links to articles, some of which were lead by professors and people who work in advertising firms. This gave me a pretty good idea as to how advertising works and what the effects are.


Mar 22

Q: Dear Liz,

I have become deeply concerned about my child and the effects that technology is having on him. Not so much the video games, we doesn’t seem very interested in those, but he’s constantly wanting the stuff he sees being advertised on T.V. What is it about advertisements that are so persuasive that my son wants everything he sees?

-Annie B.

A: Dear Annie B.,

Don’t be alarmed! You’re not the only parent who has these concerns. It is becoming more and more evident in this day and age that advertising is having huge impacts on the way people perceive things. For example, McDonalds has these great campaigns where the show people where their products come from. To be honest, I find them all very far-fetched, but the atmosphere that these campaigns create make a person have a sort of emotional connection to the product. The emotive language used in many commercials on television creates a personal connection to the person selling the product and the product itself. Let’s look at pills that are being sold to help people lose weight. A person will first see the before pictures. These are images of a person who is considerably obese and looking uncomfortable with themselves. This makes the viewer reflect on themselves and feel sorry for the obese person, who is more often than not a woman. The gender of the person comes into play when the after images are shown. These are usually images of vibrant young women who are full of life and are very happy. These emotions shown on the screen make a person think that if they were thinner they would be beautiful and happy.

In your child’s case though, they are most likely seeing advertisements that are aimed towards children. The difference in these ads can be quite drastic, as they are trying to create a different emotion within the person because wanting to be beautiful and happy isn’t something that a young boy would be interested. Instead, what advertising companies will do is get boys that are roughly 2 or 3 years older than the intended audience. This will often make younger boys think that the product is cooler because older boys are playing with it. Because of this, the product instantly has the “cool factor,” which is what most little boys are trying to achieve. They want their friends to think they are cool, so they believe that if they have the product they will be cool too. And are the boys in the advertisements ever under average in looks? No, they are usually good looking, so boys will believe that if cool, older, good looking boys are using the product, that people, usually girls, will see them as cool, mature, and good looking. So whether it’s clothes or toys, boys will want them because they’re striving for the “cool factor”.

Advertisements use these psychological influences because people are becoming more and more susceptible to the way society sees them. People want to be like everyone else, although they claim to want individuality. It’s not unusual in this day and age for children to feel the pressure of society telling them that they need to be a certain way, or else they’ll be “lame”.

And is there a way to stop your son from feeling this way? Not really, because even if you get him the “cool factor”, it will no longer be cool in a week. So how can you fix this?  Well, don’t just buy your kid everything he wants, but don’t be afriad to treat him every once in a while. Set up goals for him to reach, and when he reaches them he can get a ‘prize’. This way, he can feel a sense of accomplishment and can start liking doing the extra work because not only is he going to make you proud, he’s going to be cool for his friends.

I hope this helps,


Mar 18

1. What type of text do I intend to write?

One of those: “Dear ___” letters that people send to news papers. But I want “someone else” to send a question, and then my actual essay would be the respose to that question.

2. To which primary source (text) is my task going to be connected?

I want to write about commercials and how they effect us psychologically. Sort of what Mr. Hrubes showed us, but for a different product.

3. How many I use secondary sources to show my understanding of the text?

I would look for forums or online discussions about the product and the psychology behind advertising.

4. Which learning outcome (or outcomes) will I meet this task?

Show the way mass media use language to inform, persuade or entertain.
Part 2 requires that we look at the language of persuasion, including rhetorical devices, political campaigning and propaganda techniques. You will want to examine famous speeches, persuasive ads and political cartoons. Satire, spoofs, parody and pastiche also try to influence readers towards a particular ideological position. We should ask ourselves what constitutes fair and balanced reporting. As a result we will become good at identifying sensationalism, bias and vague language. Finally, popular culture and entertainment should not be ignored. “How do popular TV shows, violent movies or social networking sites reflect cultural values?” Such a question should be answered by referring to specific texts and examples from the media.”

Jan 31

70’s Listening Log

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Title: Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto (Many thanks, Mr. Robot)

Composer: Styx


Context: Written by Dennis DeYoung of the band Styx in 1979, performed for first time on tour in 1983. It was recorded on the album Kilroy Was Here, and tells part of the story of Robert Orin Charles Kilroy (ROCK), in the rock opera Kilroy Was Here. The song is performed by Kilroy (as played by keyboardist Dennis DeYoung), a rock and roll performer who was placed in a futuristic prison for “rock and roll misfits” by the anti-rock-and-roll group the Majority for Musical Morality and its founder Dr. Everett Righteous (played by guitarist James Young). The Roboto is a model of robot which does menial jobs in the prison. Kilroy escapes the prison by overpowering a Roboto prison guard and hiding inside its emptied-out metal shell. When Jonathan Chance finally meets Kilroy, at the very end of the song, Kilroy unmasks and says, I’m Kilroy! Kilroy!, ending the song.

Form: intro, bridge , verse 1, verse 2, bridge, chorus, bridge, outro verse/outro.

Texture: Homophonic

Melody: played by synths and electric keyboard. Synths/keyboard and vioce have a call-and-response effect during the bridge.Voice’s call-and-response during verses. Voice is edited to sound robotic throughout the song.

Harmony: Key of F. The robot-like catchphrase was created with a vocoder. The song heavily features the Oberheim OB-Xa and PPG Wave synthesizers. The voices form a counter melody in the chorus.

Rhythm: 4/4 time. No syncopation, keeps a steady beat throughout song.

Sound Quality: Because the song is “synthrock”, there are a lot of synths playing at once, making it hard to identify which is which and how many there may be. And because the voices are edited and played together it makes it sound very robotic and machine like (especially because everything is in unison).

Other: N/A

Jan 30


People: What kind of people are in the image? What are they doing, literally?

There’s a man and a woman in business attire. They are just standing around talking to each other.


Objects: What physical items are included in the image? What do these stand for or symbolise?

There are no physical items; just the “characters”.


Debatable issue: What is the contentious or controversial issue that the cartoon comments on?

Whether or not it should be okay to have any media that has content that could be degrading to women. Even more concerning, is it okay to be degrading at all (the women’s question is a loaded question)?

Artists technique: To what degree is the artist’s style: abstract, iconic, or realistic? Use of caricatures, exaggerated features, symbols?

The comic is somewhat abstract in that it’s not realistic at all, and the style is “comical” to a degree as the only objects are the characters. Their features are exaggerated to emphasise what they’re saying


Humor technique: Ironic, parody, satire, understatement, pun, black humor, juxtaposition, analogy, or allusion?

Sarcasm –> The women’s rhetorical question poses more questions, but it phrased in a way that makes it sound like it’s said with an “attitude”, which makes it slightly amusing in a not-so-funny way.


Artist’s purpose: What is the artist’s biased perspective on the issue? What is his/her call to action?

The artist believes that degrading women is wrong, and that there shouldn’t be any sort of media containing degrading content. He shows this by having a female character that questions the controversial issue (which is about women). The women is standing up for herself, but is also trying to make a fool of the man.


Agree/Disagree: What side of the debate are you or other people on?

I agree with the artist. As a woman, I think it’s absolutely barbaric that women are still not being taken seriously. I think that artist really gets the reader thinking, and finally reaching the conclusion that degrading women isn’t right at all, for anyone.

Jan 25

*George Gernber

– Spent most part of his life trying to figure out ‘violence’

-Culural indicators project – How media violence causes more complicated effects than just violence.

– Violence is a key to movie success

– Comedy makes it easier to watch violence (“Makes the pill easier to swallow”)

–  Mean World Syndrome: When people see what happens in the media (violence) and believes that the world is like that all the time.