Saturday, February 19, 2011


i finally made it! yay! after much traveling and wayyyy too many stares, I finally arrived in vichy france! so the assignment for this past week when i was traveling was about mcdonalds. I know there is a mcdonalds in my town and I want to experience it before i blog on it. soooo i am going to wait a few days! hope that is okay!! I am getting acclimated and getting excited!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Literacies

In response to Kevin Kelly's comment on a "2nd Gutenberg shift" I would 100 percent agree! I didn't realize how much of my life revolves around things on a screen now. I mean even my teachers either post the material online, or use powerpoints and such to teach. Now my math homework is no longer written down, but rather typed out into a computer program. You can even order food through touch screen order systems now. Just looking around my room, there is my computer, a TV, my smart phone, calculator, ipod, and a digital picture frame. But I guess the biggest thing to back up Mr. Kelly's statement is the recent hype of digital readers. I mean we don't even read books in print anymore. Instead we pick up our kindles and nooks and read books and magazines that way. Things like the ipad, which allows every necessary media device to be combined into one. Think about the amount of time teens and young adults spend in front a screen playing video games.  Do Video Games Cause Depression? In this article in the NY Times, it is suggested that children who play video games regularly are less social and therefore become more depressed. It's sad to think that we are a generation who spends so much time in front of a screen that it makes us depressed. The whole idea behind technology improving was to make life simpler and easier, but the influx of visuality may be turning our culture from the greatness it can achieve. Now I am not by any means against technology or screens, I probably check facebook three times daily on average, and I have a few shows I watch on a regular basis. I guess my fear is that as we turn more from the simple yet beautiful aspect of sitting down with a text and pouring over it, that we might lose or miss out on the knowledge behind it. The original Gutenberg shift changed the world, in a good I guess I can only hope that the 2nd shift does the same.
Less than a week until I am in France!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

my culture

first off, sorry this is late, I was hit with the flu pretty hard and I am just now able to actually move from my bed.
I was substitute teaching at my high school this past week and I had the privilege of teaching english to three columbian students who had come to my school to play soccer in hopes of going to college. So I asked them what had surprised them about American culture. They talked about the modernization of everything and the technology as well as the way people acted and behaved. They were surprised with how friendly and open the people of my school were, but most interestingly how much they relied on their cell phones.
If I was hosting an exchange student..especially someone who had never been to the US, I would discuss the importance of individuality. I feel that America really allows for creativity and for uniqueness that some cultures do not have. I also feel that in my own ethnos as a southerner we have strong ties to food and friendship and faith. How nomos are important, and in the south especially, most names relate to previous relatives, names in the Bible, or southern gents and belles of fiction and fantasy. Because we name children and pets after things we cherish. Mythos are the stories we cherish, like the tales of great grandfathers fighting in wars, that get passed from generation to generation.  I would describe how in my own family we value our family dinners and time spent together. We cherish such archons as the family christmas card, that we hang on a wall that has one for each year. And techne, the amount of time that we spend on our cell phones and computers. We value instant communication.
As we read about in the last unit, knowledge and learning go hand in hand with reading and understanding. I feel that America places a lot of value into education, especially higher education. Granted there are a good amount of Americans whom are uneducated, but at least in my culture and the cultural group I identify with, education is extremely important. Also in my culture, family legacy is important. This past summer I was presented as a debutante of North Carolina. While that sounds stuck up and snotty, anyone who knows me knows I am nothing like that. It is just something that my family has been doing for generations (my mom, and great aunt were debutantes.) This also shows how southern families value family traditions. To the left is a picture of my cousin and I as debutantes with my very southern grandmother.
Another thing we value in the south that goes hand in hand with high education, is football. As evidenced by the picture I posted in the previous blog, I love Clemson football with all my heart. Even after heartbreaking losses, I will remain a loyal fan.
I think that it would only be through experiences that I could fully explain America, and namely southern culture, to an outsider. But I agree with the "Cross Cultural experience and the other" video when it says that sometimes our mentalities shield us from seeing ourselves as the outsider. That is definitely something I will carry with me to France. 10 days until I leave!!