Friday, May 11, 2012

The 495ESM Experience...

This class, although at times confusing, was a great cheery on top for our English Subject Matter coursework. It was really great to be able to sit in a class with thirty something other students who have the same goal or interests as me. We began with this introduction of media in the classroom, and at first that seemed like a topic that would not last a whole semester. I never really gave it much thought as to how much technology has advanced in the classroom. Student's interaction with technology in the classroom is not only bringing advances to how a teacher can present material, but it also presents a new way for students who are any type of learners (and have multiple learning abilities) to better understand and access the material. From iPads to blogs, opening this new door for students has become a priority for me. This is an effective tool that can only help.
Following this we entered a section of myth and knowing. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the semester. I got to interact with an amazing group that worked super well together. I feel like I can honestly say it has been the only group I've worked with in my six years of being in this school that has not only gotten along but shared similar ideas that helped us produce a great presentation. Examining the female divine was very interesting and fun being the man hater that I am. (That was a joke, but I very much enjoy being reassured that my sex is the dominate sex). The story for our presentation ties in with the film Slumdog Millionaire in the sense that they both involve India. If it weren't for this class I would have never discovered my love for Indian music. Karla Martinez and I have a class song that came from the film. Its a joy that has created a memory that will last forever.
Moving forward: Slumdog Millionaire and globalization made me realize how much I desire to be the president of the entire world. I work in a very widely hated banking institution. I hear about how they want to take over the world every shift I work. The way in which they do this is the horrible part. they have a strategy that requires blinding the general public from seeing the harm they are really doing and masking it with "providing a world class service". Its total crap. I'm going to get super fired when they Google me and come across this post. Thug life. Its just such a crime to be able to allow the world to work in such a corrupt way.

Wrapping it up, Professor Wexler's involuntary jokes didn't hurt the fun factor for this class. It might have not been jokes necessarily, but this distinct way of speaking he possesses. It was nice to have a professor in charge of this class that didn't dictate our every move, and who also knows the best song from A Chorus Line.

Overall, I'm grateful for what I learned, who I've met, and what I'm now more prepared for :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Final essay

Rosalinda Arevalo
Professor Wexler
English 495 ESM
April 30, 2012
            Mumbai in the 1990’s, as portrayed in Danny Boyle’s film “Slumdog Millionaire”, was a time of industrial change. The main character, Jamal, and his brother Salim are perfect cut outs of how this industrial change impacted Mumbai’s youth. Jamal and Salim grew up in the slums where they faced many incidents that no child should ever experience. Because of those horrible incidents, Jamal has the knowledge that wins him the grand prize on the TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” This was a bittersweet winning since it was the horror he faced as a child and teenager that won him the money. Greed, power and wealth are idolized in these third world countries; where America is viewed as the leading powerhouse and prime possessor of greed, power and wealth. In “Slumdog Millionaire” we see how media also plays one of the biggest roles in influencing such change in Mumbai. For example, the show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is portrayed as being watched by every single person in Mumbai. Also, American brands and historical figures are discussed throughout the movie.  With American influences merging strongly in India at this time, it was only a matter of time before capitalist corruption boomed.
            In America we sue other people for practically anything. In Mumbai, the law was not on their side. In the scene where Jamal and Salim watch their mother get killed by a group of men shouting “Kill them, they’re Muslim!” the two boys run out to find help from the nearby police officers. To the young innocent boy’s surprise the officers just sat around and played a game of cards while a man who was set on fire runs screaming down the street. They had no one to protect them and could only stand to watch their slum be burned and attacked.
Moving forward in the boy’s life, they find themselves on different trains moving through Mumbai selling fruit and toys to make enough to eat. The social class separation at this point in the movie is a very clear line between being rich and decent or corrupted and dirt poor. There is no in between. Randy Martin makes a point of this in his article “Where did the Future Go?” “When wealth is stripped of any specific application and aggregated as a great disposable mass and population is abandoned to be an ends in itself, liberated from an obligatory history, very different futures are brought into the present. The regimes of finance profit from the volatility they create and are too vertiginous to provide a stable picture of what the future might look like” (Martin). The abandoning of the population really does shape the lies ahead.
            Jamal is determined to find his young love Latika, which sets up the film to follow such an informative role of Mumbai. They introduce the Three Musketeers to the kids at such a young age and teach them English very early one, as if English should be the universal language. Through the west making its way to Mumbai, the children’s surrounding also begin to change. Now, we see major American banks affiliated with foreign financial institutions. From working for one of the most hated banks in the world, this is always a hot topic. This way the American banks are still making a profit by charging the tourist a certain percentage to convert their funds and provide this service, while the country itself is not gaining a profit. The only thing the foreign country gains is the incoming funds from the tourist. This also adds more pressure to these third world countries to be more appealing to tourist because if they don’t have that money coming in a huge chunk of their yearly gain is lost. Globalization in this sense is nothing but more dilemmas for these countries.      Once Jamal becomes a millionaire from this hit TV show that boomed in Europe, a shift happens in the film. If we backtrack and take a look at where Jamal came from and where he ended up and the happiness it’s bringing him, globalization doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. Of course this was all diluted from the use of the typical Hollywood love story. This still will not allow anyone to deny the fact that the rich are still getting richer while the poor stay poor. The idea that there is a hundred trillion dollars or a capacity for geopolitical intervention that seems to be free to do anything and be anywhere at anytime, are equally unstable” (Martin). Capitalism masks this with globalization; they make their way constructing an image of “spreading the wealth” when in reality they are only making money off of the idea. Slumdog Millionaire is a clear reflection of this capitalist globalization.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pressing Problem...

It maybe due to the passion I have for education that I believe our most pressing problem in society today is how defective our education system is in our nation. I am a strong believer in the idea that fixing this problem will lead us to the solutions of other issues that stem from our original issue with the education system. I can not stand the idea of how such an important system is just left to dry out and die.
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

I would love to live in a nation that understands how important it is to teach us all to fish. Unfortunately, our education system is nothing but a dirty business, not by choice, but by force.
this is not the solution, but a well connected idea by my homie Ken Robinson.