Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Americans Entitled to Cheap Gas-Right?" by Joan Ryan...a tad late.

$2.00 a gallon of gas is pricey? I remember rejoicing a couple of weeks ago when gas lowered back down to two dollars. I can now fill up my gas tank for less than twenty dollars. But up until recently, gas has been in the three to four dollar range. With the war and everything, gas prices raised, and since it was the summer they raised even higher. Going off to college, it would take me over a hundred dollars just to make it here to Auburn. My car is not known to have the best gas mileage.
So, this article made me laugh a little. Joan Ryan points out how much more often we drive our cars than the rest of the world. Until, she begins her "rant" of how Americans basically want more than they need. She starts discussing a car buyer buying a car with bad gas mileage just because it's pretty because she has the money to pay for the extra gasoline dollars.
Then, Ryan begins on McDonald's and the growing popularity of fast food restaurants in America. She recommends the movie Supersize Me!. "The movie reinforces what we Americans already know and have known for years: Fast food makes us fat and unhealthy. The movie shows, too, that this knowledge makes no difference whatsoever in our behavior." Throughout the rest of the article she criticizes and stereotypes Americans. I didn't laugh so much towards the end of the article. By the end of her article, I just wanted to put it down; I did not fit into any of those stereotypes she placed on Americans, so it was almost like she was discredited in my mind.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Less is More" by Jan DeBlieu

I grew up with the luxuries of money. I guess you would say. I got a cell phone around the age of thirteen. I got a laptop at fourteen. I got a car when I turned sixteen. My family and I have been on cruises and other vacations around the globe. They pay for my tuition to Auburn and my flag line fees. Yet, we are still financially sound. I do believe.
Even though I grew up with all of these niceties, I never once took any of it for granted. While I never had the experience of scrounging for food, I always took what I had with a grain of salt. When my car windows were down, the air conditioning was off. When my friends got the new and improved versions of cell phones and laptops, I didn't complain.
I think about becoming greener every day. Right now I've started with recycling and not driving as much. I'm almost offended by what she says towards the end of her article. I find it a little hard to believe that her teenage son has never heard of the Great Depression. You learn about it every year since the fifth grade. It almost seems like she's exaggerated this a little too much. To me, she's almost stereotyped her son's generation, my generation, of young adults. ...Maybe it's just me...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Black Men in Public Space" by Brent Staples

In "Black Men in Public Space," Brent Staples describes many situations where he has felt discriminated against based on the way he looked. Whether it be his race, his clothing, or his actions. He tells of how woman have run faster when seeing he is behind them. He describes how people lock their car doors when passing them on the street.
As I have never been a black man or man in general, I don't know what it feels like to have a woman walk faster in front of me. But as a woman, I know I have feel threatened by any type of man walking behind me at night wearing sketchy clothing whether he is black or white, Mexican or Indian, or whistling or not whistling. Maybe I just have a large personal bubble, but when it's dark and I'm walking from the library to my dorm even I find myself clutching my back closer to me and avoiding eye contact when I pass fellow pedestrians.
I do know that I lock my door every time I get in my car to avoid the awkward locking of my door when I pass a stranger. I, also, try to make eye contact and smile when I pass strangers in the daytime even if they make me feel somewhat uneasy. I'm trying to change my way of thinking in stereotypes and judging people. I don't know them, and I shouldn't think the worst of them based on the way they look.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"The Last Stop" by Brian Cable

On the essay "The Last Stop," Brian Cable observed a mortuary.  My feelings on this essay are in the middle.  I feel like I'm being pulled to both sides.  I really enjoyed his approach on the subject: the layout and organization. On the other hand, I did not like his topic. A mortuary? Maybe I'm just proving his point, but I would rather not hear about someone touching a dead corpse.
The way Brian Cable approached his essay "The Last Stop" was really enjoyable.  I loved the analysis first followed by the description.  His introduction was probably one of the best that I've read in a while. It really drew me in.  His description of the undertaker was like one from a movie.  I just pictured this ugly, pointy-nosed guy (Snape??). He described everything he saw extremely well.
Maybe it was the subject of death or maybe it was the talk of touching a dead body, I did not want to hear about a mortuary.  I recently had a family member die and this story just reminded me of how I would not want anyone to touch her dead corpse.  It's disrespectful. I realize that I am proving his point of not wanting to think about or hear about death, but I would just rather live my life in the moment not thinking of life after death and enjoy myself.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"At Ole Miss, the Tailgaters Never Lose" by William L. Hamilton

Though I've never had the opportunity to participate in the excitement of a tailgate, I can see the similarities of an Ole Miss tailgate compared to an Auburn tailgate.  Being a member of the Auburn Flag Line, I've never had that much time before the game to tailgate.  We have to be dressed and ready about two hours prior to the game, but even without participating I can still feel and see the excitement all around.  While I walk through the streets in my sequined uniform, I pass hundreds of tents. Auburn fans have set up their TVs, so they can watch the game.  Like in Hamilton's observations, most girls are wearing newly bought dresses, and guys are either dressed nice or have paint on their chests.  
Like the Ole Miss tradition of their band playing at the Grove, The Auburn University Marching Band (AUMB) plays at Tiger Walk, and the AUMB plays a spirit march.  At Tiger Walk the half of the AUMB plays the fight song along with other songs for the Auburn Football Team as they walk from the busses to the stadium.  At the Spirit march, the band breaks off into four parts and we march from four corners and meet on the corner of S Donahue and the stadium. This is just another similarity of Auburn and Ole Miss. 
In Hamilton's story, he mentioned some cheers that the Rebels fans cheered around the stadium.  This reminded me of all the cheers we learned at Camp War Eagle.  They are the cheers we chant in the stands during the game and at the pep rallies. Some of our cheers are Bodda Getta, Two Bits, and Track 'Em.  Auburn and Ole Miss are similar in many ways.  In particular the tailgaters at Ole Miss and Auburn always know how to have a good time. Whether the team wins or loses, they party.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Longing to Belong" by Saira Shah

Arranged marriages play a major role in some societies. Throughout the Middle East and other regions of the world, women are forced to marry men for many reasons other than love. In some instances a marriage would be arranged for the advancement of a family. And in others, a marriage could be arranged for the simple reason that the family of the women would receive money if the man was wealthier. I, for one, cannot say an arranged marriage is disgusting or vile because I know it is a part of their culture, but I certainly do not agree with it. I have grown up a strong individual. I believe that everyone should be able to choose who they want to be with. An arranged marriage completely contradicts my beliefs.
I believe an arranged marriage is doomed from the start. It takes a long time to learn that you can spend every waking moment of everyday with a person. In most cases, two people forced into an arranged marriage have hardly ever seen each other let alone spent time alone together. How do they know that they will get along? How do they know they will not annoy each other? I know in marriage, especially arranged ones, you are together "until death do you part." Could you spend your entire life with someone that annoys you to no end. I could not.
Fortunately in "Longing to Belong," Saira is lucky enough to have the engagement called off. As I said before, I do not believe that arranged marriages are successful. Now I respect other cultures. They can live their lives however they want, but I can find my own husband.


So, this is my blog for my English 1100 class...obviously. I'm Nicole. How's it going?