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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Living Things Change through Hand Art

Topic: Illustrating that Living Things Change through Hand Art
paper, pencil, scissors, glue
Procedure or Method of Instruction:
• Have the children choose what paper they want to use to make butterflies. It could be colored pictures from a magazine, construction paper, tissue paper, or even white paper they color themselves.
• Trace the child's handprint on the paper.
• Cut out the hand print. Use lots of cut out handprints to get a layered look.
• Glue the handprints together for each wing.
• Cut out a long oblongated shape that will form the body of the butterfly. Through the process explain that a butterfly starts from a caterpillar and sleeps in a coccon.
• Glue the wings to the caterpillar and explain how a caterpillar can be beautiful when it eventually grows its own wings through metamorphosis.
Practice Key Vocabulary words in English or the child's native language: change, butterfly, caterpillar
Accommodation: Teacher and Teacher's Aside. Lots of space is needed for children to do hand craft.
Also know the native words for butterfly and caterpillar in the child's language.
Checking Understanding:
• To help students in the concept of change.
• To help students understand that living things change.
• To emphasize that physical change is natural.
• Promote language development by knowing the native names of the words used during the activity.
• Help with fine motor skills.
• Ask open ended questions like, who what and how.
• Film clips can be helpful to contribute to the understanding of kids.
Closure: A song about the caterpillar turning into a butterfly
Butterfly, Butterfly
(to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Butterfly, Butterfly,
Fly Away,
You were a caterpillar yesterday
Butterfly, Butterfly
You never stay,
Always flying to a new day.

Topic: How Rain is formed

Materials: To make this craft project you will need cotton balls, scissors, white paper, a background piece of paper, glue, and silver or blue ribbon
Procedure or Method of Instruction:
• Ask the children to cut a cloud shape out of the white paper using scissors and cut out many sort lengths of ribbon
• Curl the ribbon lengths using scissors
• Glue the cloud shape onto the background piece of paper and glue the curled ribbon streamers on the bottom of the cloud to appear as rain
• Next add fluffy white cotton clouds to the cloud with glue
Practice Key Vocabulary words in English or the child's native language: rain, clouds, cotton, sky, water
Accommodation:Teacher and Teacher's Aside. Lots of space is needed for children to do hand craft.
Also know the words that pertain to the happening of rain in the child's language.
Checking Understanding:
• To help the children understand about rain.
• To introduce them to the reasons why rain happen.
• To introduce to them the concept of weather change.
• To stimulate children's enthusiasm and encourage them to communicate with their classmates as well as promote language development by asking them questions.
• Tell the students stories about rain to reinforce their understanding or maybe make other projects involving the weather.
Suggested book: And Then it Rained by by Dragonwagon, Crescent or other books available at the local school library.
Closure: The song Rain, Rain Go Away

Topic: Earth is made up of Land and Water
Paper Plate, Paint, Construction Paper, Wiggle Eyes, Glue , and Scissors
Procedure or Method of Instruction:
• Find a picture of the planet earth to use as a guide.
• Have the children use the green/brown and blue paint and make them paint the backside of the paper plate.
• After the paint is dry, have the children glue on the wiggle eyes.
• Using construction paper, have them cut out a smile and glue it in the paper plate. Hands and legs can also be added to the sides of the paper plate.
Practice Key Vocabulary words in English or the child's native language: water, land, earth
Accommodation:Teacher and Teacher's Aside. Lots of space is needed for children to do hand craft.
Checking Understanding:
• To introduce to the children the concept of the earth's composition.
• To inform them that the earth is composed of land and water.
• To increase the children's awareness regarding their surroundings and help cultivate their curiosity about the place they live in.
• The smiling face of the earth also gives them the idea that we should take care of our planet. The instructor could put in a little information about ways to take care of mother earth.
• To help with fine motor skills.
• Outdoor games can help in the interaction between the children and can aid in their language development.
Ask open-ended questions like how, what and why.
Closure: An awarding of who made the best and the happiest looking earth. The winner's work will be posted on the bulletin board.

Topic: The Sense of Smell
Materials: cupcake liners, construction paper, cotton balls, perfume, pencils, crayons, glue
Procedure or Method of Instruction:
• Have the children glue the cupcake liners to the construction paper.
• Draw stems for the liners and color them green. The children can also add leaves.
• Glue the cotton balls on the center of the cupcake liners.
• Spray the perfume on the cotton balls.
• The perfumed flowers are then done.
Practice Key Vocabulary words in English or in the child's native language: smell, perfume, flower, stem, leaves
Accommodation:Teacher and Teacher's Aside. Lots of space is needed to children to do hand craft. Also know the the counterparts of the english words used in the children's native language.
Checking Understanding:
• To introduce the children to the five senses starting with the sense of smell.
• To make the children aware of their physical processes and know the right words and terms for them.
• To help the children understand that the five senses are important in our day to day activities.
• Help with the children's fine motor skills.
• Ask open-ended question.
• Engage the children in other activities that involve the five senses. Example maybe to blindfold the kids and make them touch dry and wet things and make them differentiate from the two. Activities for tasting can also be used like again blindfolding the students and making them taste food that are familiar to them and gauge whether they can recognize them. This way language development is promoted because of the interaction that would happen.
Closure: Some riddles that are about the five senses can be used.
Examples are:
What has eyes but cannot see? Needle or potato
What has ears but cannot hear? Corn
The teacher can make her own as long as it is related to the five senses.


Abraham, C. (2009). Learning Foundations Curriculum. Retrieved May 21, 2010 from,

BestKidsBooksite. (1999). Rain Clouds. Retrieved May 21, 2010 from,

CanTeach. (2001). Caterpillars, Butterflies. Retrieved May 21, 2010, from

Family Crafts. (2000, February 26). Earth Crafts. Retrieved May 21, 2010 from,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Healthcare in Germany

Different countries have their own ways in which they offer their health care to their people. Many countries have developed mechanisms in which they make sure that the greatest number of people access medical care services in effective ways despite of their economic or social classes. This paper focuses on health care in Germany.

In Germany, there is policy, which requires everyone who earns less that 3862 Euros per month to join one the three hundred statutory sickness funds that are found in the country. This is with exception of permanent civil servants and the self-employed people. Those people who lie above the mandatory insurance threshold have the room to opt out of the system offered by the state. Most of them buy private insurance although there are also those who decide to remain in the state system. In the country, it is estimated that ten percent of the population are insured voluntariry.The sickness funds in the country are required to be self-sufficient financially. The premiums are usually set as a percent of the total income. The premiums are usually subtracted from the pay where the employer and the employee pay half each (Kirch, 2008).
Since the 1990’s the government has tried to increase competition among the insurers. This is aimed at enhancing provision of high quality services by the insurance companies. The competition has made the insurance to offer services that are affordable to many people. It is possible to make a comparison, of which insurer offers the best services from the Internet, magazines and the ranking, which is usually done by independent consumer organizations. This has led to large scale shift from the traditional dominant funds. However, this competition cannot be compared with the one that exist in the United States of America. Those people who have a great portion of their pay cut each month becomes the patients who demand to have high quality medical services, which can be, compared with the value of the money that they contribute for the services. They tend to go shopping for the best doctors (Tartaglia, 2005). This is because they do not pay any amount of money as they receive the medical services. Their payments are usually reimbursed by the sickness funds. This reimbursement is usually done through their regional physicians associations. However, those people who have private insurance pay by use of invoice for the treatments that they receive. In the provision of medical services, a distinction that is made between those people who have worked and those have who have never worked. Those people who have previously worked are included in the national insurance system. However, it is nit the employers who pays for the medical services of these people but there are agencies who pay. For those people who are unemployed and have never worked, there is social fund where the provision is made. The social funds arrange cover directly with health specialists (Wolper, 2004).

In Germany hospital are diversely owned. This enhances further competition and constant efforts that are made by the health providers to raise the standards of their services. For instance, in 2002, almost fifty-four percent of hospital beds are owned by the public sector, thirty eight percent were owned by the private non-governmental organizations, while eight percent were privately owned for profit bodies. In Germany, there is no queueing, which is common in many countries in order to see a specialist. Germans have the freedom to see and get services from any specialist that they like. They can visit various hospitals or they book for appointments that are booked instantly by the physicians. Consumers also have the right to penalize for any bad service that they may receive. There is a well established system that allows all the patients to have the most effective serves at the appropriate time in all times (Tartaglia, 2005). About half of medical specialists in Germany have their practice outside the hospitals. Most of the hospitals in the country do not provide out patient services. What happens is that there are very many independent clinics, which have sophisticated diagnosis equipments, which makes them to offer high quality medical services. There are also many health specialists in Germany. It is estimated that there are 2.3 practicing specialist out of one thousand people. This is high as compared to other countries for example UK that has 1.5 practicing specialists out of one thousand people (Kirch, 2008).

There are two problems that health care in Germany face at the moment. For instance, there is a shortage of nurses and many Germans have the feeling that the medical health care services are expensive. However, there are reforms that are being carried out in the health care system in the country. For instance, there was the introduction of charges for non-prescription drugs and the elimination of the free treatments for example health farm visits and free tax rides to health centers. These reforms are aimed at reduction in premiums from an estimated average of fourteen to thirteen percent of gross wages annually (Wolper, 2004).

Kirch, W. (2008) Encyclopedia of Public Health, New York, Springer.

Tartaglia, R. (2005) Healthcare Systems Ergonomics and Patient Safety, New York, Taylor & Francis.

Wolper, L. (2004) Health care administration: planning, implementing, and managing organized delivery systems, 4th edition, New York, Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Traditional and Electronic Bullying among Adolescents

Definitions of Traditional and Electronic Bullying -- Bullying has been a major problem in schools ever since. It may take different forms either verbal, non-verbal, direct or indirect. It is a problem that has caused major attention because of it's rising gravity and the numerous cases of student deaths resulting from intense bullying. Adolescents are most likely the culprits and victims of bullying because it is a time in the human physical and social development that emotions are most sensitive, hormones are at an all-time high, and peer pressures are abound. However, in the fast paced world that we have that caused evolution of technology, traditional bullying has taken on a different look. Like our gadgets, clothes, look and style has been modernized, so has traditional bullying. It has taken a form that was motivated by the availability and accessibility of the internet. It is now of another form referred to as “electronic bullying”.

Traditionally, bullying is said to occur when a person is the target of criticism or any form of attack and that the bullied person eventually feels that he is powerless to put a stop to the harm being done to him. The main forms of bullying are physical and verbal (Olweus,2001). Physical bullying would mean physically hurting another person by kicking, punching, pushing, throwing things and other forms of abuse that may hurt the person physically. Verbal bullying on the other hand, constitutes calling the person names that are emotionally hurtful. It may also be teasing and throwing words that are degrading and demeaning. It may be direct or indirect. Other definitions of traditional bullying by experts are : Bullying is a subtype of aggression (Dodge, 1991; Olweus, 1993; Smith & Thompson, 1991); "A person is being bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other students" (Olweus, 1993, p. 9) ; "A student is being bullied or picked on when another student says nasty and unpleasant things to him or her. It is also bullying when a student is hit, kicked, threatened, locked inside a room, sent nasty notes, and when no one ever talks to him" (Smith & Sharp, 1994, p. 1).

Electronic bullying is a form of bullying by electronic means and may be indirect or direct. Electronic bullying has been defined as a means of bullying in which peers use electronics to taunt, insult, threaten, harass, and/or intimidate a peer. Anecdotal evidence and media reports show that Internet bullies use text messaging, e-mails, defaming websites, and online “slam books” to aggress against peers (Tench, 2003; Wendland, 2003). One specific example may be the use of cellphones to take pictures that may compromise the dignity of your peers and by distributing this to others. This pictures may have been taken by secret or through deceit. Electronic bullying has also been referred to using other terms such as cyber bullying or online social cruelty. It is said that Electronic Bullying has now been considered as more dangerous than traditional bullying. “Cyber bullying is a very difficult form of bullying to prevent and to police. A major difference between cyber bullying and traditional bullying is the ability to bully without a face-to-face confrontation. Kids become emboldened by the false feeling of being anonymous and they say things they might not have said in person (Beckerman & Nocero, 2003).”

Characteristics of a Bully
Because of the growing problem about bullying, a lot of studies have focused on the determination of the inherent qualities or observable qualities of a bully. This is important for the determining of ways on how this can be cured and avoided. Healthwise (2009) provides a list of characteristics of a bully: Children who bully:may witness physical and verbal violence or aggression at home. They have a positive view of this behavior, and they act aggressively toward other people, including adults; may hit or push other children; Are often physically strong; may or may not be popular with other children around their same age; have trouble following rules; and show little concern for the feelings of others.

The Dominance Theory by Hawley in 1999 and the Social Cognitive Theory by Bandura in 2002 may somehow give light as to how the social networks would provide a venue for bullying (Moutappa, 2010). The dominance theory takes the position that some students use agression against the weaker peers so that resources are made available for them as well as an increase in social status. The social cognitive theory on the other hand poses that some students makes models of some of their more popular peers and imitate their behaviors including aggression.

Preventive Measures in US Schools against Bullying
Since the school is the common venue for bullying, it is important that the school engage in preventive measures to avoid the mitigation of this social problem. Some actions made by schools in the US are to fund researches and concentrate on strategies to reduce bullying in schools. Several websites that are informative were designed by a collaboration of a number of schools to provide the students an online help and information center when they experience problems regarding bullying. Example of which is stopbullying.com. Leaflets and brochures that talk about the negative effects of bullying and how this can be prevented are circulated in the campus to provide insights for students. These materials are also distributed to parents on occasions such as PTA meetings and other gatherings so that they are also educated and informed. Students are also immersed in seminars, talks and lectures made by experts in the field to further the cause of the elimination of bullying in schools. Guidance Counselors also encourage the students to seek help whenever there are onsets of bullying that they may feel they are subjected to. It is a constant effort that everyone lends a hand in putting a stop to this problem that has emotionally maligned a number of teens in the United States and even lead to tragic deaths that may have been avoided.

The US governments also make efforts in reducing bullying in schools. In August 2008, the California state legislature passed one of the first laws in the country to deal directly with cyberbullying. The legislation, Assembly Bill 86 2008, gives school administrators the authority to discipline students for bullying others offline or online.This law took effect, January 1, 2009 (Surdin, 2009)

Raskaukas, J. Stoltz, A. (2007). Involvement in Traditional and Electronic Bullying Among Adolescents. Washington DC: American Psychological Association

Olweus, D. (2001). Peer harassment: A critical analysis and some important issues. In J. Juvonen & S. Graham (Eds.), Peer harassment in school: The plight of the vulnerable and victimized (pp. 3–20). New York: Guilford Press.

Dodge, K. A. (1991). The structure and function of reactive and proactive aggression. In D. J. Pepler & K. H. Rubin (Eds.), The development and treatment of childhood aggression (pp. 201-216). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Smith, P. K., & Thompson, D. (1991). Practical approaches to bullying. London: David Fulton.

Smith, P. K., & Sharp, S. (Eds.). (1994). School bullying: Insights and perspectives. London: Routledge.

Michele Mouttapa "Social network predictors of bullying and victimization". Adolescence. FindArticles.com. 09 May, 2010. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2248/is_154_39/ai_n6364179/

Surdin, Ashley (January 1, 2009). "States Passing Laws to Combat Cyber-Bullying— washingtonpost.com". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2009-01-02.

Beckerman, L., & Nocero, J. (2003, February). High-tech student hate mail. Education Digest, 68(6), 37.

Tench, M. (2003, January 21). Schools struggling to stop tech-savvy bullies
who have taken their taunting to cyberspace. Boston Globe, p. B1.

Wendland, M. (2003, November 17). Cyber-bullies make it tough for kids to leave playground. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 24, 2004, from http://www.freep.com

Healthwise. (2009, January 14). Bullying: Characteristics of Children Who Bully. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/tc/bullying-characteristics-of-children-who-bully

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Orleans: Developing a Sense of Place

When one hears a great speaker talk about a cause that they personally believe in, a feeling emanates from within. One can feel affinity to the speaker and gets infected with the same intensity of feeling that the speaker feels for his cause. In the visual perspective, when one sees the news and it features something about violence, the viewer cannot help but feel fear. Tools used for violence such as guns and knives may be associated with the fear that has developed from what was seen. So, can one therefore say that emotional feeling can be taught in ways that may only be seen and heard in the four corners of a room?

A place does not essentially mean just a location or a mere name. It is the elements that make it up. These elements add up to make the place distinct and create an atmosphere that makes the certain place unique.It may be the people, landmarks, animals, stories as well as the history that makes the place a whole. One can develop a “sense of place” when the person begins to be conscious about his physical surroundings. As the person fully absorbs and integrate the experience of what is around him, he learns to appreciate and eventually embrace the feeling of familiarity. This is when he develops his sense of place. Sense of place being a social phenomenon is usually derived from the natural environment but most often intensified by the culture that is inherent in the place. This culture may be portrayed through art and music made by local artists, poets and historians.

New Orleans: The Making of an Urban landscape is a faithful representation of the wonder that is the place. The author, Pierce Lewis did a magnificent job at detailing the development of the city, as well as the large-scale processes that were involved in affecting New Orleans and how these processes translated to the city that we see now. The book is very effective in influencing one's views and awareness on the legendary city. It is more than a guidebook or a book that only conveys information but with the good illustrations and an engaging writing style, the reader cannot help but feel a sense of pride and admiration for New Orleans.

Using the other various presentations that showcased New Orleans such as listening to the local music of the place, radio broadcasts and watching films, aided in the development of a deeper understanding of it's uniqueness. These means have further enhanced the connection that one can feel with the place. It has achieved a goal which is to make a way for the students to harbor a kinship with New Orleans. By listening to the local musicians, taking in their music, and identify their struggles, the students are positively inspired and they get infected with the same attraction and passion that these musicians have for their hometown. This kind of place-based education is very effective in ensuring that students would not lose their culural awareness and in the future would not feel detached to their place of roots. By promoting this kind of education or incorportating this in the curriculum, students may still have their sense of place intact despite the many global and national issues that tend to take up much of the public's attention. However, a great deal of effort should be employed when choosing the materials that are presented to the students because the mediocrity of the material can directly affect the amount of attention as well as interest that a student may exhibit. The information that was imparted throughout the course were well chosen and has been substantial to facilitate the sense of place that the students have for New Orleans.

In a society that has been radically affected and changed by modernization, one can fear the eventuality of being disconnected in the place that has given him a sense of cultural distinction. It is important that sense of place be cultivated because it gives identity to the people who dwell in it and when one is familiar with it's rhythms, potential and beauty, a sense of intimacy and responsibilty is then established. As a student of the course and based on the experience of being immersed in the local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experience of New Orleans I can definitely say that my sense of place for it is now re-affirmed. Through these various intellectual means perceived visually and through sound, it can be concluded that a sense of place can definitely be established though classroom instructions.

Kriesberg, D. (1999). A Sense of Place. Colorado: Teacher's Ideas Press.
Allen, B. (1990). Sense of Place. Kentucky:The University Press of Kentucky.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Blind Side

With the promotional poster depicting a picture of a woman holding the hand of an oversized football player leading him onto the field, the movie “The Blind Side” made skeptics of moviegoers. Challenged by most energy-packed movies that hit the screens in 2009, the movie at hind sight did not do much visual stimulation. However, being a movie that faithfully represents the real life experience of famed football star Michael Oher, it did not fail to raise a lot of eyebrows from both movie fans and critics. The fact that it is a success story of an African American who did good in life despite a tragic background did much for the marketing aspect. But what spurred the most intrigue and added to the mass appeal of the movie is the fact that the this African American kid was adopted by a family, the Touhys, who were white-skinned Americans. This well-off family composed by the socialite mother, a father who owns a chain of fastfood restaurants, the cheerleader daughter and an energized young son became Michael's family who geared him towards being a successful footbal player, erasing the painful past that affected his outlook in life.One cannot help but speculate on the possibilty that this is another movie that would be embracing social class and race as a central theme. One only has to see the movie and absorb as well as digest it well enough for one to realize that it tackles something simple, something that everyone is most familiar to. Love and family. The Blind Side

The movie ends with a monologue done by Leigh Anne Tuohy, potrayed by Sandra Bullock, which actually sums up the main idea of the film. This is an excerpt from the dialogue delivered by the character of Bullock at the closing part of the movie,” I read a story the other day about a kid from the projects...in and out of foster care...killed in a gang fight...superb athletic skills...life would have been different...21 years old the day he died...it could have been anyone. It could have been my son Michael. ” This gives a an over-all view of what the movie communicates through the audience. Simply put, there are chances in life that a person may come along that would change our life perspectives. How we approach that change and be courageous enough to do something about it may have a lifelong impact on another person and might make a huge difference. The soundtrack that played at the end of the movie, Chances by the band Five for Fighting, contributes to creating an atmosphere for the movie that is both moving and introspective.

Another major significance that the movie highlights is the existing and growing problem of gang fight deaths. The youth are at a constant threat of being dragged into a life that is on the danger zone. This is most likely for kids who grow up in a dysfunctional environment. Having experienced violence on the home front and left with meager opportunities for education, teens are easily influenced to join gangs usually involved in drug trafficking which can cost them their lives. In the movie, Michael has been exposed to the same kind of environment and may have fallen victim to the same deaths that his hometown buddies experienced if it had not been for the saving grace of the Touhy family. Acceptance is a major virtue preached by the selfless concern and love that the family extended to Michael which was reciprocated by protective love that was inherent in him. The topic on racism was indeed slightly touched by the movie when Leigh Anne Touhy's socialite friends sarcastically praised her on her charitable action but at the same time, warned her of the possibility that her daughter may be violated by Michael. Leigh Anne brushed this off and her family's acceptance of Michael's obvious physical difference sustains the film's take on acceptance and love as a major topic and regarded the racism issue as something that is unavoidable in an inter-racial or inter-class setting. It is then safe to say that the movie though purely intent on emotional significance, also has social relevance.
Warning and Friendly Reminder: Plagiarism is a crime. This essay is here to give you an idea or guide you, not to be copied by you. You can look at the references and Works cited provided by this free academic essay and from that you can create your own. Be a smart student,be honest: look for free academic essays anywhere in the web or the Internet but don’t forget to make your own. There are so many free essays online as guides but please do your own. You can also utilize free plagiarism checkers available online.
Having an interplay of various human social and emotional issue, it is genius that The Blind Side is both dramatic and funny at the same time. Compared to other films that are of similar genre, the movie is delivered in a way that is very engaging and captivating. Like the movie, More than a Game which is the success story of sports icon Lebron James, The Blind Side has more artistic value and has a well-thought story line. Since sports films are usually true to life, movie watchers may be critical of how the movie is highly sugar-coated and tweaked. Therefore, directors and script writers are conscious on their presentation but, artistic value should not be compromised. The Blind Side's approach is both informative and provocative making it unforgettable. Bullock's outstanding performance in this movie definitely gained her the award. She was very instrumental on how the movie gained critical acclaim. Since the movie bordered between being dramatic and funny, Sandra expertly gave a performance that is of best actress calibre. Her portrayal of the character was one that is of high entertainment value and delivered with an aristic flair that only actresses of her experience can satisfactorily put to effect.

A lot of reviews since the showing of The Blind Side has been made by movie critics. This may not be all in agreement and different views of the movie has been presented. In examination of the various reviews that are posted in the internet by movie experts, it can be deduced that most of the reviews are positive. One in particular is a review made by Ann Hornaday for the Washington Post entitled “When the Story carries the Ball”. To say that I like the review is a understatement, because I am definitely in agreement with it. The review talks about the how the movie caught the critic by surprise. She had an early skepticism about how the movie would go but a big turnaround happened when the movie got rolling. To quote the critic, “What ensues is the kind of entertaining uplift Hollywood does best, its dramatic elements leavened by frequent moments of comedy.” This is most true because it is outstanding how the script was wrote in way that is very moving but cannot be totally described as cheesy. The director, John Lee Hancock did an awesome job at choosing the scenes to include in the film. The most relevant ones were picked and though it may only be a handful compared to what really happened, the scenes were very representative of the whole story. Another critic by Joe Lyndon for the Variety is yet another positive review. It describes the film as emotionally honest and gives a thumbs up on how the film showcased “an insightful and evenhanded view of racial and political realities in the contemporary South.”

Of all the positive reviews abound, there are negative takes on the movie. To cite one, the review made by Melissa Anderson for the village voice critcizes how the movie made the white-skinned people as saints in the movie. The review is quite sarcastic and even touches on the topic of life by the actors outside the movie. It focuses on the critic's interpretation that the movie was made to uplift the “imperfect whites”, a term used by the critic to describe the Touhys, and almost canonize them for their saintly act of paving a road of opportunity for Michael. It further emphasizes that the movie “peddles an insidious kind of racism.” In reaction, the critic gravely condemns racism but uses terms that attacks the white-colored Americans which gives the impression that the review is very subjective and rather accusatory. Another phrase form the review that I disagree with is the condescending way of how Michael Oher was according to the critic, treated like a “big puppy”. It was necessary that he was carefully instructed and guided because it was in the character's nature that he lacks confidence and self-esteem.

Movies that are about the real life struggles and success of famous and notable people are the trend in today's movies. It is hard to come by one that can totally captivate attention and stimulate emotions in the audience. These stories are real life accounts of real people. Therefore it is necessary that these movies appeal greatly to the emotion and affect people in a way that would get them motivated and inspired because everyone wants to relate to someone that has undergone the same challenges as they did. Being success stories, it should make the viewer feel empowered to rise against the raging tide of life and fuel their drive to positively impact other people's lives. The Blind Side achieves being both a blockbuster hit and preaching life values that viewers can safely imitate.

Works Cited
Anderson, Melissa. “Saintly White People do the Saving in The Blind Side”. 17 November
2009. Village Voice. 11 May 2010

Campbell, Rhonda. “About Gang Fights”. eHow. 11 May 2010.

Hornaday, Ann. “When the story carries the ball”. 20 November 2009. The Washington
Post. 11 May 2010.

Leydon, Joe. “The Blind Side”. 15 November 2009. Variety. 11 May 2010.

“The Blind Side Movie Review”. 24 February 2010. Nhansense. 11 May 2010.

“The 50 Best Movies of 2009”. 22 December 2009. Inside Movies. 11 May 2010.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Osmose and Dislocation

As time ages, so does Art. Art has been like a journal for humankind to reflect the different changes that human culture have undergone. In this time and age where technology has been a great vehicle that fueled a change in the life of men, it has not only impacted our way of life but our art as well. Looking back, artists have developed art that were considered as great works using only materials that were available during their time. Nowadays, artists have access to more arrays of art mediums and they have developed contemporary art forms with the aid of modern technology that are fascinating and makes us see the world in a different view.

One such works is by Char Davies who have gained technological expertise and gained prestige in the digital arts media community. One of her famous works is “Osmose” where one has to use a head-mounted display together with a vest that keeps track of balance and breathing to avoid the feeling of being disembodied usually felt when immersed in a virtual world. When one enters the world of Osmose, the immersant experiences being in a semi-transparent world of a forest with trees, ponds, and subterranean earth. The sounds that would be heared throughout is that of a female and male voice that utters phonetics as well as choral voices (Popper 2007) . The aim of Osmose is for the immersant to be in touch with the inner self and be conscious of one's own feelings to rediscover themselves. Osmose's data visualization technique is very effective because it clearly communicates the aim of the presentation through visual representation. The semi-transparency that was used and the amount of space that was explorable communicates the point of the immersion across which is introspection for the immersant. One could say that the aesthetics of the work facilitated the achievement of its function.The proper sonification techniques added to the perception and emotions of the immersant making what is viewed more vivid because of the effective aural suggestions that were heard. The use of the choral voices when an immersant chose to rise higher is an effective data sonification technique because it further highlights the rise in altitude since choral voices would usually denote heaven. In a cultural environment that is getting vey impersonal due to a changing environment, an experience like osmose is way to again reclaim self awareness and look at the world in a refreshed perspective.

Another intriguing work in the digital and interactive art world is a work by Alex Davies which he called “Dislocation”. It is a mixed reality installation wherein the subject would look into portals and would then see images of other people or events happening that in truth are non-existent. Data visualization was incorporated into the work by creating illusions and gained the aim of illiciting human responses to reality that was only contstructed. These illusions gave the experience a disturbing effect which was one of the reactions the artist was actually aiming for. Data sonification on the other hand did not need much technical tweaks because the actual sounds were already very effective in implying that the events happening are only within the area of the viewer. Though very visually and aurally stimulating, the aim of this type of work is vague and although fascinating lacks real purpose. In fairness to the artist, he may have a support for his craft but personally speaking, his work has no distinct bearing to human life. It's relevance is limited only to those who are technically familiar to it but does not reach out to the other ordinary people.

Both the works Osmose and Dislocation have both highlighted the digital and interactive art genre. These works when judged on aesthetics and sounds are very notable and employed techniques that are very innovative and fascinating. However, the meaningful implications of both works are varied and caters different groups. Osmose being more accessible and easily comprehensible while Dislocation is quite deep and emotionally disturbing. In terms of technique, both these presentations were carefully mapped and programmed. Considering the issues raised by other traditional artists that digital and interactive art rely on technological trickery to attract the attention of people, one cannot help but be critical on how these art forms are created and whether the skills required to make them would define the programmer or designer as an artist by definition. At hind sight, the immediate human response would be that of awe but dissecting the processes involved would aid in how one would categorize these works. Osmose, in a personal point of view, took a real artist for it to be created. It mixed both science and art to be able to assemble a world that is a treat for the senses and a cure for the spirit. On the other hand, dislocation relied on pre-recorded scenes that were viewed in a portal. In a simpler perspective, it was like watching a movie but because of it's layering with real-time events it was thus made intriguing. With the right technical facilities and location, Dislocation is easier reproduced as Osmose would be. Despite the contrasts, both these works have contributed to the growth of the digital and interactive arts. The caliber of these works attests to the growing art genre that is digital art and growth in numbers of those engaging in it can contribute to it's acceptance in the traditional art world as a serious art form.

Art is a way of arranging different elements to create something that would affect human emotions and senses. The digital and interactive arts have in more ways than one fit the definition of Art. It's proliferation because of our radically modernizing world should not be criticized but be cultivated because it is an expression of human thoughts and emotions. Art is a journal for humankind and works like Osmose and Dislocation are chapters that reflect another age in our lives.

List of References
Cleland, K and Muller, L. (2008) Mirror States. [online] available from
http://www.mirrorstates.com/ [26 May 2010]

Davies, A. (2005) Dislocation. [online] available from
http://schizophonia.com/installation/dislocation/index.html [26 May 2010]

Davies, Char (2004) Virtual Space. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

Popper, F. (2007) From Technological to Virtual Art. Massachussetts: The MIT Press

Muller, L. (2005) Evocative objects, Strange selves. RealtimeArts [online]
available from http://www.realtimearts.net/article/70/7981 [26 May 2010]

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Artisphere - Art Heaven

Art, music, and literature have developed as men have. These have been greatly influenced by the different events in the evolution of humankind. Music, art and literature embody culture and is an expression of the aesthetic sense of the people that comprise this culture. These forms of expression are unique and live through the years and should therefore be celebrated. This is what Artisphere is all about. It is a celebration of the arts.

Art around town is the concept that is Artisphere. It is located in Downtown Greenville's Historic West End and to say that the location itself is already “art” in its totality is definitely a right description. It is the best venue for this showcase of different works by various artists lining Main Street. The scenic view of the falls by the Reedy river, the addition of the Liberty Bridge, landscape areas and the various picnic sites add to the more inviting aura of the arts showcase. With the accessibility of other Art Venues that are located near downtown Greenville one could say that Artisphere was strategically set in a venue that provides an overall artistic haven for artists and art lovers. With the great amenities for artists and the beautiful downtown location, one cannot ask for more. Music is abound and the various street performers gives the ambiance a very festive mood. It is like being in a wonderland of treats for the senses and an immersion to different forms of art that range from the usual to the intriguing. As usual it was another spectacular year considering the crowds that were present in the festivities. It has gained great popularity because of the good reviews it has garnered since it was first started. It is now even considered number 6 out of 600 Fine Art Shows nationwide in Greg Lawler's Art Fair Sourcebook.

For three solid days the festival proved to be a great crowd pleaser and was a venue for various conteporary and traditional artists from all over. I for one could say that it was a great learning experience for me and Artisphere is definitely something not worth missing. From all the visual arts that lined the streets and those that are exhibited including the different performances by musicians and other performers, the Artisphere is an art universe that should definitely continue through time. Not to forget the food that are abound makes one refer to this experience as both a food for the stomach and a food for thought.

The array of art pieces that were free for general public viewing ranged from the ancient to the contemporary. Great private collections were showcased in the galleries that were available to the public. There were collections of baroque style paintings as well as portraits that immortalized the faces of those who made their mark in history. However, what is best about Artisphere is that it was not only restricted to the work of the professionals but it also featured works by students who had the eye for visual art. What was the most awaited event for visual artists during this 3-day show is the Artist Row which is a challenge for 120 artists who have mastered their art from all over the United States as well as beyond. These artists have specialized in their own visual art froms and have perfected their craft using different mediums. The jurors of the competition are among the best, making the Artisphere Artist Row one of the the most prestigious events in the art community. It is really fascinating how artists could make something incredible and fascinating using outrageous materials to form art. The mediums were photography, ceramics, printmaking, jewelry, glass, mixed media, metalworks, woodwork, fiber, furniture, drawing,pastel, and sculpture. These different mediums were used to produce art that ranged from the old-school to the modern. Personally, I think that art forms such as paintings and drawings are very common and numerous artists are already involved in this undertaking. In photography, those that have an eye for lighting and a knack for capturing moments at the right time have the edge. Digital art requires a deeper and technical knowledge about manipulating modern technology to create art. But what fascinates me the most are the artforms that use glass, sculptures as well as metalworks. These forms of art with their three-dimensional forms are for me most captivating because they are closer to reality than paintings are. These forms are very tangible and would seem like they take greater pains to do. However, Leonardo da Vinci would definitely disagree. His defense on painting would be found in his “treatise of painting” which were from a compilation of his notes that were collected after his death. His contention that painting is the most noble of all arts was based on his belief that the sight is the most superior of all the senses claiming that the “eye was the window to the soul” and that it was the main component that stimulates the brain from appreciating the different works of art. Contrary to what this may imply about the competition among the different mediums, Artisphere is a collaboration rather than a clash. It takes together all the different forms of art in one venue and makes it a feast for all the five senses.

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the ears according to the great Leonardo “recounts the things which the eye have seen”. The different musical presentations that were shown in in the amphiteaters and stages featured musicians and artists that were very entertaining. With the good food, good music and world class presentations, the event became all the more exciting and appealing. From individual singers, to bands, choral groups and ballet dancers, Artisphere offered a culmination of modern, gospel, country, opera and classical that are offered for the varied tastes of the patrons and guests. The highlight for me is Brian Olsen's Art in Action because it is something that is very colorful, energetic and passionate. The use of painting and music is something that taps at the emotional and his energy is very infectious. It is really entertaining how he would transform a canvass into a portrait of people that are familiar to most and the uniqueness of his craft is really enchanting. To witness something so impromptu and spontaneous is inspiring and his contemporary style does not alienate the old but magnets everyone to feel young because of the energy that emanates from the performance. It was a big crowd at the Falls park area who watched Olsen perform and it was definitely enlightening to be part of that crowd.

Another notable thing about artisphere is the children's participation in this event. There was the kidsphere which made the children feel like artists for a day. This event arranged different art activities for kids making them exposed to various art mediums. The kids made, jewelry, paper collages, hats, bowls and even had their own art in action activity which is the splatter paint. This is very helpful in cultivating the inner artist in a kid since art is a tool that can aid kids in their personal development not only by helping them express their thoughts and ideas but can help them gain self confidence and self esteem. The best time to teach art in my opinion is at a young age so that the kid will be aware if he does have a talent. To start young means more time to cultivate the talent and experiment on different art forms therefore discovering the child's forte.

In conclusion, I think that Artipshere encompasses all that an artist could ask for in an Art venue. It has gathered talent from all over regardless of age and created a haven that is purely dedicated to the arts. The murals that decorated the street and walls is a statement that art should not be restricted and free for all. It is an invitation for everyone to express their talent and share it with the world. With a venue like Artipshere, young artists and artists that lack professional experience can have the opportunity to show their craft and be discovered. All mediums of visual art were introduced giving a diversity that is very captivating. The different musical showcases also uplifted the atmosphere and made the town very alive. This is a very good tourism event and economic-wise, is very viable for Greenville. Looking forward to next year's Artisphere, everyone is really psyched and geared up for another arts exhibition that could supass this year's display. Informative and fun ae just two words among the many that could describe an Artisphere experience.

Darr, S. (2002). Why Teach Art. Helium, pp. 1, 2.

Hicks, A. (2010, May 2). Art in Action. Greenville Online, pp.1.

University of the Arts London. (2010). Paragone: Painting or Sculpture.Universal Leonardo, pp. 1, 2.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pros & Cons of English as a Global Language

English is not the official language of the world, but some insist that it is or should be. What are the arguments for and against English-only on a global scale?

Language is a tool for communication. With the absence of it, the world would be a great Tower of Babel speaking in words that are incoherent and foreign to all. Economics, education, trade and all other aspects that are contributory to the development of a nation would not emerge. Linguistics would teach us how a certain group of people can develop their own unique language that will be used in their dealings with each other. Due to geography, countries have different languages which may be divided into different dialects. The language is an outright clue of the place you are from, your culture and even behavior. Because of the call of globalization, there is a need to establish a standard that is applicable to all. This standard is the language that should be used in economic trade and external communications both in oral and written form. The question then is one that has been disputed time and time again by countries. What should be the global language of the world? What are the criteria for a language to become the standard language of the world?

The English language has been a dominant language form since time memorial. It has originated with the British and has overtaken Latin which was the former international language throughout the Roman Empire (Crystal, 2003, p. 7). The British empire has gained super status due to their conquests in those times and because of colonization, their works have been adopted by the countries they have inhabited. However, English is not restricted to the category of British English alone but there is also American English. It is not a secret that the United States of America is currently the country that is number one in terms of economic growth. It has also its shares of conquests during the two world wars and has taught their language to the many colonies that they have conquered. Australia is also an English speaking continent and a number of Asian countries use English as a second language. Therefore, one can assume that the popularity of English as a language adopted by a number of nations is credited to the supremacy of their political and military power as well as economic dominance.

Warning and Friendly Reminder: Plagiarism is a crime. This essay is here to give you an idea or guide you, not to be copied by you. You can look at the references and Works cited provided by this free academic essay and from that you can create your own. Be a smart student,be honest: look for free academic essays anywhere in the web or the Internet but don’t forget to make your own. There are so many free essays online as guides but please do your own. You can also utilize free plagiarism checkers available online.

It is quite obvious that English is dominantly used on a global scale. It is present in written form through books, magazines, newspapers and has also invaded the media through television and radio. Most movies that are being watched and are awaited worlwide are those films that are in english. With the birth of the internet and it's growing indispensability, the strength of the English language has been fueled because it is the language of the internet. Trade and other economic functions among countries are done in english. Even the food packages that we eat as well as appliances and other gadgets have their instructions in english. However, widely used as it is, english is not the global language of the world.

Because of the integration of English in all factors of globalization such as economic, socio-cultural, political, as well as technological, it is the best candidate for being the gloal language. Spoken worlwide by almost 2 billion people, 400 million of them native speakers, English is definitely the language that has the most number of speakers. It is followed by China who has the most number of native speakers (O'Neil, 2009). Personally speaking, the Chinese language both written and oral are quite complex in structure and form. One needs to have studied it thoroughly before it can be mastered. As compared to the English language, it would take a lot of time to teach Chinese or other languages for that matter. To again stress that English is present in our way of life, the internet among others, it is easier to adapt because almost all who are literate may have an idea of English words and meanings having encountered them in so many ways. In our modernized world, it is safe to say that the number of those who are literate surpasses those who are not. Since it is already well practiced on a global scale, even other native traditional speakers of other languages recognize the need to be well-versed in in english. Some of the professionals and even children are sent to Engish speaking countries to learn the language and develop their skills in using it both in writing and in oral communication. Online tutorials have actually been a trend nowadays wherein students have sessions with their tutors through the internet. In the educational system of other countries, English is now being incorporated in the syllabus of students as a course that is compulsory for all. It is a language that is most preferred to be secondary to the country's native language. Economics is also an area that is highly benefited by the establishment of a global language. When a meeting of business tycoons takes place, the conclusion of a contract cannot be achieved when there are various languages being used. They have to agree in using one language that would be understandable to all and english is the usual choice in business and commerce.

Though the benefits from using English in a global scale are considerable, there are also arguments against it. Of the many concerns about an English-only worldwide community, one of the major concerns is the death of other languages. In literature, those that are written in English are the ones that would be distributed globally and all other works in different languages would then be translated to english pre-distribution. Due to this, only these books would eventually be passed on to generations and would have the opportunity to be tagged as classics. Mother-tongues have their own distinct way of describing things and some works that are in the native tongue of the writer will be written in a way that reflects what the writer wants to express. The concern in having these works translated is that the actual point of the writer may not be communicated across because it may be lost in translation. Another concern is that because of a staple language that would be established which is English, people would lose interest in learning other languages besides english because they may feel that it would be useless to do so. The end product of all these will be a widespread language death. This would be a negative phenomenon to happen because the sense of uniqueness and distinction will be lost for other nations without the mastery and existence of their native tongue. Language is a major element in the culture of people and is instrumental in the development of their way of life because language is used in their art, music, literature and history. Without this, the sense of patriotism and individuality will disintegrate for the native inhabitants of a certain nation. Stripped of their strong affiliation with their country, they would easily be manipulated by major english speaking countries who would use the language as a tool for their advantage.

In summary, the call of globalization has hugely affected worldwide activities. With the intense economic activity, exchange and trade among countries, there is a need to establish a medium of communication that would be a standard for all and would facilitate the ease in transacting with each other . Though not official, English is somewhat the language that is employed in the economic dealings among nations. It may be attributed to the economic supremacy of English speaking countries. It is advantageous in a sense that it is easier to adapt since it has already taken root in a number of nations compared to other languages. It minimizes the cost and expenses of commerce because it reduces the amount of time in completeing business transactions. However, making English as a global language would cause the inexistence of a number of languages. It's effect would be more on socio-cultural aspects and would heavily cause a shift in the world as we know it. Change is the only constant thing in this world and the evolution of language and world affairs are ongoing. Therefore, one cannot conclude on a certainty that English will eventually be the global language of the world. It would perpetuate economic growth but would extinguish socio-cultural distinction. It is an open-ended consequence whether the world would eventually reach a global understanding on which is the better choice, prosperity or cultural diversity.

Crystal, D. (2003). English as a global language. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

Melitz, J. (1997). English-Language Dominance, Literature and Welfare. Retrieved

May 28, 2010, from http://www.cepr.org/pubs/new-dps/dplist.asp?dpno=2055

O'Neil, D. (2009). The Most Common Languages in the World. Retrieved May 28, 2010,

from http://anthro.palomar.edu/language/language_1.htm