Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Craving a Conclusion?

What do we get from all of these lenses? How do the items we carry make us who we are?

For starters, the items that we carry throughout our lives affect how we view the world as well as how others view us. This is where the lenses come in. A lens is a way to look at the world and we have looked at the things we carried with many different lenses such as the historical lens, Freudian lens, and a slew of others. For example, who would have thought that our very own iPods could relate to the archetypal critism lens?

Yet what is the commonality between all of these lenses and objects?

The commonality is that the smallest tangible items do not necessarily define us, but build upon our person. Our personalities, our individuality, our outlook on life, all of the things we carry with us are a part of us. They make us the people we are. Our society also has a lot to do with the things that teens carry. As the demand for the newest and best things, teens are the first people they target, and for good reasons.

The things we carry are what make us different and what also bring us together. Our differences are what make us unique and establish our individuality where as our similarities allow us to relate and build relationships with others.

Enormous Expectations

To every junior the mention of ACTs, SATs, college essays, GPA, and class rank brings groans and complaints, yet we have barely gotten our feet wet. Junior and senior year are full of expectations most of which are enormous. We begin the year with a schedule full of honors, advanced placement, and UConn courses. Being the awesome student we are, we're also involved in numerous extracurriculars which range from play to clubs to sports. As well as all of this, the majority of us hold down jobs. Being an honors/AP/UConn kid comes with some high expectations from teachers to parents.

The teachers in these upper level classes know we are hard working students and in effect we are given a substantial amount of work. While the work in the inidivdual classes is not overwhelming the accumulation of heavy workloads in anywhere from 2 to 8 classes is where we stumble. While teachers see the work as preparation for a college work load, students see it as a 20 pound book bag that looms over them all day and late into the night. I am not trying to come off as a complainer, but college work and high school work have differences. For instance, in college, you don't get one assignment with it's due date and then have another quickly following it and so on and so forth. Instead, you recieve a syllabus which outlines the course and assignment by which you are expected to complete x number of assignments by x date. This gives you the flexibility to plan your time, while in high school you are often balancing due dates of assignments on a daily basis.

Thru a parents view, homework has both been praised and scolded. The majority of parents I have met do not have any complaints about homework. They believe it is reinstilling what has been taught during the day. Yet, a few believe that homework cuts into family time and has gotten out of control. These few believe that children should be spending more time "being a kid" and playing outside rather then sitting at a desk long into the night.

Jazzy Jewlery

Jewlery is one of those things that acts as a fashion accessory but also as a keepsake of a person or a memory. It's something that we are able to carry around with us as a representation of something that means a lot to us. For example, many Catholics carry around a necklace with a cross on it to symbolize their beliefs in the Catholic church. Other pieces of jewlery could be gifts from a family member, a boyfriend, or a friend. Jewlery acts as a way for people to establish their own individuality and style.

Through a feminists view, jewlery might be something that doesn't define us or make us a woman, but something that makes us unique. Jewlery is a way that we show our own personal style and to carry with us things that are important in our lives.

Perfect Pooch

From dogs to cats, and from fish to reptiles, pets come in many different shapes, sizes, and species, but they all hold a special meaning to the owner. Some pets come with stories, others are gifts. For example, my aunt loves cats, I think if she could she would have a house filled with cats. Her cats though have their own backgrounds, each different, but they have something all in common: they were strays. My aunt's last endeavor was nursing a couple weeks old kitten back to health which her husband had found in the street. Today, the cat is as healthy as any cat could be. My special pet is my dog, Bailey, who is a Labradoodle. A what you ask? Well he is part Labrador and part standard Poodle which makes him hypoallergenic since my mom is allergic. Ever since I was young, I have always wanted a dog and I would beg and beg with no success. Then in 6th grade, my mom had to have surgery to have her thyroid cancer removed and it was very risky since it would be the second time they were going in. Since my mom was in the hospital, I went to researching dogs and found a labradoodle which I instantly fell in love with. Yet, when I started to contact breeders in our area I found a bigger problem: price. Labradoodles in the Northeast cost $2,500 and no way were my parents going to spend that much. I showed it to my mom anyway and her only comment was "Find me a cheaper one." Leaving I felt enthralled, "I could have a puppy!" I thought to myself. I spent 12 hours the next day researching and found Bailey in Arkansas. I then went onto Petco's website and priced out everything the dog would need writing out a detailed list for my mom and she said finally said "Yes." In the end, I have my dog and my mom which is better than anything I could have ever wanted.

So, how can pets be looked at through various lenses? For starters, we can look at the type of pet someone owns. A cat is a creature that in general needs little attention compared to a dog. For instance, a dog needs to be taken outside periodically to run and use bathroom. Meanwhile, cats sometimes prefer to be indoors and end up remaining indoors all day. Thus, a person with a cat can be seen as someone who wants the company of a pet, but is to busy to have a more needy animal such as a dog.

You can also tell a lot about someone's personality by the interaction between owner and pet. If the owner is very stern with, let's say, his dog, then the owner is most likely a very strict person, in general. The other extreme of this, is the owner who lets their pet run a muck and do whatever it pleases. This owner is looked at to be very laid back and in certain cases, neglectful of the pets safety.

Whether your pet is furry or scaly, large or small, friendly or shy, they'll always hold a special place in your heart.


There are few worldwide, life changing expereinces. Some of these experiences hit those closest to the event, but can effect everyone in one way or another. 9/11 was one of those life changing experiences for our generation. Whether we knew someone who died in the attack of the twin towers or not, 9/11 was a realization and an eye opener for all those watching. Not only during, but after the attacks, the uneasy feelings still lingered for years after.

9/11 is something I carry with me as my first, true experience of the world's brutality. I was young when it happened so as I got older I learned more and more about what actually happened that day, in turn, learning more about the people in this world and the relationship between different cultures and lifestyles.

Through a historical lens, this would and has been, one of the turning points in our history. Events in history shape future decisions and actions of not only our country, but countries around the world. This has changed America in such a huge way; it has brought us closer and more united as a country.

9/11 was a life changing event for the U.S. and the people involved. For me, it was the first real encounter of the harsh realities. It is something I carry with me as a reminder of how lucky I am to live in a country where, when we are faced with struggles and obsticles, we are a country that can overcome them and rise through as the a true united nation.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Classy Clothing

Walking through the halls, you can tell a lot about the people you are surrounded by depending on their style of clothing. Whether it be a summer dress or sweats and a sports t-shirt, you can commonly see, through people's clothing, what mood they may be in or the personality they choose to portray through their style.
When seeing clothing through a feminist's persepective, you can interpret it in many different ways. For example, a feminist might say that clothing is what makes women women. A woman takes pride in her appearance and portrays her own personality and style through what she wears.
On the other hand, when looking at it in a different light, a feminist may also say that a woman shouldn't be judged by how she dresses. A woman's personality is what makes her her, clothing shouldn't be a part of the way people percieve her.
Clothing is a freedom of style, its a way to express yourself and to stand out as an individual. We wear our clothing as a part of us, a part of our nature, a part of our own self.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Notable Names

So, we didn't exactly find our names in our pockets, but they are significant to us in more ways than we know. Our parents name us after themselves or after our grandparents and sometimes they even name us after celebrities in their favorite soup operas, but despite the historical, cultural, and parental intentions behind our names, they eventually come to have their own meaning. For example, the chances of me finding someone else with my name are very small; however, Melissa and Nicole must come upon many different times where they find their name also being used by someone else. Because my name is not so commonly used, I don't have to worry about being confused with someone else and I don't have to worry about trying to fill someone else's shoes just because I'm named after them. However, Melissa and Nicole have an advantage as well because under the Formalism lens, the given subject is analyzed or read closely and intrepreted or evaluated based on inherent features. So, if you happen to be shopping at the supermarket and you find that the gentleman reloading the shelves has the same exact name as you do, don't sweat it. Formalists don't evaluate you based on historical or cultural content. You are your own person. Your name will be looked at differently and you won't be compared to others. In the end, just be thankful that people don't mispronounce your name everytime they try to say it.


Death is a word that most are uncomfortable with thinking about, never mind talking about. Yet, it is the sole thing that is sure to leave a mark in our lives. By now, we have all experienced death in one way or another whether it be someone close or distant. One way to look at death is through the Freudian lens. Freud believed in death instincts or thanatos. Freud believed that people had an unconscious desire to die but that this desire is largely impaired by life instincts. While some may disagree with this approach to death, it is a lens to consider.

We could also consider the viewpoints of someone who has experienced death and who has not. For those who have not experienced it, the first death one encounters can be very traumatic especially if it someone very close to them. This may cause a range of emotions such as shock and fear for the others around them.

When someone has experienced the death of close friends or of family members, the feelings and trauma of it all, can have a lasting and changing impression upon them. Personally, death has afflicted my life more then I care to think of and it has had a strong impact. I believe I have become numb to the feelings usually associated with death. However cynical it may be, my family has come to cope with all of the loss with humor.

Death is an event that we all will face at one point in our lives or another. No matter when it happens, how it happens, or who it happens to, it makes a lasting impression in our lives.

Essential Education

Education is an essential part of surviving in the world today. What we learn in school, with our friends, at home, at our jobs and in our surroundings assists in estblishing our values and the people we are. We are molded by the things we learn and the people we are surrounded by. Our education, whether it be the knowledge we obtain through books in a classroom or through lessons learned through life experiences, we carry that knowledge with us in our daily lives.
To look at education through an objectivists perspective, they would say that one's education was strictly based upon the knowledge they portray through testing. They would see it as what the person knows and what they don't know by the results the the person shows on a test.
Our knowledge is something we carry with us and use every second of our day. It is something to be proud of and people strive to portray their knowledge through their classes, schools, and decisions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gorgeous Glasses

Unfortunately, we were born with less than perfect eyesight, but finding ways to correct the imperfections make it all worth while. So, we eventually end up loving those frames that end up taking over our faces. It's no big deal; we've found great styles that suit us really well. "Carrying" around our glasses isn't exactly a hassle anymore because it's become a necessity and because they've grown on us. This relates to the reader response lens which states that the focus is more on the reader's intrepretation which becomes a critcism that is based on their own perspectives and bias. Gorgeous Glasses is definitely more relatable through the reader response lens because we all have our own opinions of what looks best on our faces, what trends we'd like to follow when it comes to our faces, and what image we want to promote of ourselves. When it comes down to it, we've come around to wearing a certain pair of glasses because we've developed our own perspective and bias towards them whether it be because everyone else is wearing them and we just want to fit in or because we think they suit us best over all the others.

Kenspeckle Keys

Kenspeckle means easily recognized and when I think about my keys, they are easily recognizable to me. Each one has a different significance and with each key comes unique responsibilities and unforgettable memories. Keys, as shown in the picture, hold heaps of historical meaning thus relating to the historical lens. For example, everytime I pick up my car keys, I'm filled with memories of long, hot summer drives or even of quick ones to convenient stores. The point is, those keys will always be floating around in my pockets. I may end up forgetting what key belongs to what, but that just relates to the memories the keys themselves hold. Each one symbolizes different memories that just can't be forgotten because keys serve as reminders. My kenspeckle keys don't weigh very much in my pocket, but the memories, thoughts, and ideas that follow alongside them sometimes make for a heavy load.

iPod infusion

The iPod.
Its changed life as we know it, but in our eyes, it has come to hold slightly different meanings that aren't quite apparent. Whether it be a silver, white, or black iPod, we've found that the small devices truly represent who we are as people. This is so because we all have different songs, albums, artists and pictures on them, of course. You will never find an exact replica of your iPod, but many of us have found that the artists and albums we have come to favorite help us draw connections to other people who have similar interests. This may be a stretch, but I believe the idea of an iPod closely follows the archetypal critism lens. This lens is based on the human population having a collection of inherited themes and images that everyone seems to have or be able to relate to. Although we know that not one iPod is the same as another, we all have similar songs that carry all the same themes with lyrics that run universal. The music sinks in pretty deep, literally speaking a thousand words...or even more depending on how many songs we own. Over time, we've developed a somewhat huge addiction to these little jukeboxes of love that we don't wish to leave home without.

Phabulous Phone

Cell phones: they allow people to get hold of someone twenty-four seven wherever they may be. We can see phone use through the subjectivist lens because it is a combination of the author's intention and the reader's or listener's interpretation. For example, it is very popular among teenagers to text. With texting has come a new form of language. For example, anyone who texts has come to find themselves using, "ttyl" or "talk to you later" and "rotfl" or "rolling on the floor laughing." Yet, these acronyms can be misinterpreted and this is how the subjectivist lens comes into play.

We have seen this new language of texters come into play in advertisements as well. In a popular cell phone commercial, a mother is questioning why the cell phone bill is so high and why her daughter is texting so much. The daughter replies with texter language such as "OMG, INBD" or "oh my god, its no big deal" and "TISNF" or "this is so not fair." The commerical uses language teenagers can relate to and problems with cell phone usage that parents can also relate to, in order to market their new unlimited texting for only five dollars more a month.

Cell phones can also be viewed as an extension of ourselves because of the features they hold such as a camera, notepad, calender, and video. With all of these features, someone could easily learn about a person by looking at their phone. For example, if someone was to look at a cell phone and find a calender filled with activities and a full phone calling record, they would assume that the person is both incredibly busy as well as organized. Meanwhile, if a mother happened upon her son's/daughter's phone and found pictures and/or videos that aren't appropriate, they would question what their child is really up to and who he/she is hanging out with.

A cell phone is one of the most popular devices today. They can hold our music, pictures, video, calender, notes, contacts, messages, and some even have internet capabilities as well as Microsoft Office. A cell phone has become an important record of our past, present, and future.