Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I have spent my entire life working with children, from taking care of my little sisters to working at a child care center. I want the best for every child I come in contact with. I have come to understand the consequences that television has on children, of all ages and do not want these consequences to be a result of my carelessness. I would hope that all parents feel this way. When we choose to use the television as a babysitter we are inhibiting our children. Some of the areas that are touching our children are media violence, sexual exploitation, impact on self image, vulgarity, passive watching and commercialization. Children are exposed to these mature themes every time they sit down to watch television. Even when parents are monitoring the programs children are still being influenced. Especially when parents do not take time to discuss what is being shown in the program.

Christina informed me that her kindergarteners are still watching cartoons. Most parents believe that these shows are okay for their children. This is not always true. I have taken the time to view some of these cartoons and I have seen that the violence is almost as bad as real life television. “The boys walk down the hall and they have a plan. Someone is going to try and trip up another student and then another one is going to come in with their web blaster and capture them. Just like Batman,” said Christina. The children see these things done on television and they want to reenact them. They do not understand what is happening to them now, but the effects are sure to come. An article posted by Changing the Channels states, “…media violence makes our kids more aggressive, less patient, and more fearful of the world around them. Watching violence desensitizes children to actual acts of violence.” So in actuality the reenactments done by the boys in Christina’s class are things they do not think will harm others. When really by tripping up another student someone could really get hurt.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I went to the house of Christina and David Neiswander one Sunday afternoon. I

spent time with Christina, a mother and teacher, and her daughter, Grace, who is about

four years old. Christina has been teaching for over 10 years in Colonial Heights Public

Schools. She enjoys working with kindergarteners, however more and more in the last

several years she has been faced with the problem of competing with television programs

in her lessons. She informed me that she tries to keep television out of her classroom; the

kids need a break from it. She does this knowing that most of them will go home and

spend the afternoon and evening watching television. An article found in IDEA Health

and Fitness states, “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children

watch no more than 1-2 hours of television per day. However, the average child in the

United States watches 2-3 hours per day.” (IDEA Fitness Journal 2006) Parents far too

often are using the television as a babysitter. Many know it is not right but continue to do

it for their sanity. Christina watches as her students are picked up every afternoon. The

children want to know what they are doing, right away. “Normally mom answers that

they are going to the store or running errands. The children start to complain, but then

they want to know what movie they can watch in the car.” This apparently settles them.

However, parents are loosing valuable time to talk with their children, all so they can

watch a movie in the car. All of these things baffle Christina who refuses to use the

television as a babysitter. “Not to say that it does not happen, but David and I try very

hard to avoid it. Besides, most of the time Grace would rather read or color than sit in

front of the television.”

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Style Lesson 9

There are a few techniques that one should know and use these to achieve elegance with their writing. They include balance and symmetry, climactic emphasis, and extravagant elegance. For a sentence to be elegant you need balance and symmetry among its different parts. The parts should echo each other in sound, rhythm, structure and meaning. This takes a lot of work to become skilled with. Climactic emphasis refers to ending the sentence with rhythm and elegance. There are three devices that are suggested to help end a sentence with special emphasis: of + nominalization, echoing salience, and chiasmus. All of these deal with word choice and order in a sentence. You want your readers to pick up on what you are trying to emphasis.

“An elegant sentence should end on strength. You can create that strength in four ways: 1) end with a strong word, typically a nominalization, or better, a pair of them.

2) End with a prepositional phrase introduced by or.

3) End with an echoing salience

4) End with a chiasmus.” (161)

The use of extravagant elegance takes the factors suggested above and includes them all. Not necessarily in the same sentence but in the same passage or paragraph.

This section also discusses the use of short and long sentences. Be careful when writing to not have all short or all long sentences. These two types convey certain feelings so be aware of the point you are trying to get across. The section leaves us with three important things to remember: “the simplicity of characters as subjects and actions as verbs; the complexity of balance syntax, meaning, sound, and rhythm; the emphasis of artfully stressed endings.” (172) These are all very important things to keep in mind when writing.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

There is a counterpart to Eve’s negative side. Actually there are several characters

that fit the description. However, one in particular is Viola from Shakespeare’s Twelfth

Night. She appears to be one of the few sane ones in the play. The reason readers

understand her to be one of the good girls in literature is partially because of the pure

love she has for Orsino. Her actions all speak to her love. This aspect makes her one of

the more positive characters in literature.(Need Supporting Quotes here)

*I want to speak about her actions and how they are in the interest of love. She is whole hearted. And I need to find more positive aspects to support my argument. The information about her brother setting her free of her male roles in the end could come in somewhere. Like the idea that she had to be set free by a male in a male society. ETC. It shows that she was conforming to it.*

Continued outline of the paper-

Finish talking about the positive and negative aspects of the two characters

Answer the question: How does the opposition between them reveal culture’s need for a certain type of woman in order to support and uphold the ideal community?

-seems like a good woman or positive one would be needed for the ideal community. The negative one is just going to rebel against the society. (Build off of that)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Literature is surrounded with good and bad girls. They are divided into these

stereotypes. The good girls are the ones that are loyal to their husbands and conform to

their society. On the other side the bad girls protest against the norms that have been set

by the male figures in charge. Many writers have incorporated these two stereotypes of

women into their writings. It adds a sense of identity to the women. They are taking on

shapes different from all other women characters in the past. (more)

After reading Paradise Lost by John Milton the character of Eve takes on a

different meaning. She is not a sweet and innocent character. Her actions make her one of

the bad girls. She rebels against the society she has been put in. Therefore she makes her

character appear negative. Eve was given to Adam. He was supposed to care for her.

They were given to the Earth to reproduce and create life. Adam also asked for Eve. He

wanted companionship, just like the other animals in the Garden. God gave the two of

them a chance to be the mother and father of the world. Eve however, rebelled against

most of this. She wanted to be independent. She begged Adam to let her go off and be by

herself. In doing this Eve was rebelling against the given society. She was going against

the life that was her and Adam. She was rejecting the community. She was supposed to

serve Adam, she belonged to him. (Need Supporting Details-quotes)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

April 27, 2006

Dear Jason,

Your article really gets into the key points. I feel like you are sitting in front of me talking. It is a good feeling to read something like this. There were parts of your essay that were funny, that is always good. For the most part I feel that nothing confused me. Just be careful that if you add any extra “gaming” information that your define the more technical parts.

Your writing seems to take more of a narrative aspect to it. However, there are persuasive aspects to it. They are hidden, but I can walk away from this thinking wow, I don’t want my children to end up like the middle-aged men you described. A reader learns the television and video games are not healthy at excessive amounts. This is a concept you seemed to grasp and understand.

I do not see an identified audience (magazine etc) but I would assume either a video game or parent magazine. I enjoyed the amount of narrative that you have in here, but I do feel that you need some more information. The flow of the passage works well. I do not feel like you were jumping around. Your argument could be clearer. And it is very stylistically engaging!

You are credible because this is your story. You have experienced something that millions of other people do. You have a first hand in the gaming world. So I am going to believe you because at the moment you know more than I do. I know this from your tone, and the sense of understanding about the situation that you portray. You also have given me no reason not to trust you. Your information does not contradict itself or anything in that nature. And you seem to want to make some sort of change in society. I feel this is written towards parents and you want them to see what their children are going through by playing lots of video games.

It is in the first paragraph that we know this is about you wanting to have video games and your parents not letting you. You do this through your narrative. It is further into the paper that we see some of the darker aspects of games and begin to think they are not healthy for our children.

I understand that if I give my children everything they want that in the long run I could be affecting their developing skills. Your argument would again be that children are going to be effected by watching and playing excessive amounts of video games. You go into some of these effects on a personal level (the classroom part). Like I stated before, you could have more background/ informative information. And at the moment I like that the persuasiveness is very natural. You don’t try and shove the issue down our throats. I think that overall your essay has turned out well. Good luck!

Emily Hawkins

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

“When parents of young children need a break, we sometimes turn to the babysitter we’ve known the longest: television.”- Natasha Petroff

Many parents will speak on the fact that they have used the electronic babysitter to entertain their children during the day. Whether they do it while they are making dinner or just need some extra time to tend to the house it still happens. Petroff stated, “As a writer who sometimes works from home, I occasionally hook my own daughter up to a video so I can meet a deadline. At other times, I do it for my sanity.” (Parent Map) As this shows many parents are guilty of using the television to provide uninterrupted work time for themselves. But are they considering the effects this has on their children? Especially when so many television programs appear to be geared toward younger children. However many physicians disagree. In 1999 the AAP issued a statement that reads,

Although certain television programs may be promoted to this age group

(under the age of 2), research on early brain development shows that

babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents

and other significant caregivers for healthy brain growth and the

development of appropriate social, emotional and cognitive skills. (Parent


Physicians continue to encourage parents to keep television viewing at minimum amounts for their young children. Children are going to suffer from their television viewing habits later in life. This could be in school, work or social situations.

I went to the house of Christina and David Neiswander one Sunday afternoon. I spent time with Christina, a mother and teacher, and her daughter, Grace, who is about four years old. Christina has been teaching for over 10 years in Colonial Heights Public Schools. She enjoys working with kindergarteners. However more and more in the last several years she has been faced with the problem of competing with television programs in her lessons.