Thursday, December 11, 2014

"The Square" Extra credit assignment: Jacob Keller

When I first saw this revolution take place on Television I was so confused.  I had no idea what everyone was so worked up about or what the big Idea was.  I thought it was just a bunch of people trying to work against a system.  This Documentary has really opened my eyes and mind on the situation.  It has explained, and more importantly shown,  what these people live and die for in Egypt.  I thought that this documentary was very well made in that it follow a very solid story line and had nice breaks where they explain and show a transition between time or developments in the revolution and the political government of Egypt.  I also like how they were able to capture military leader's responses to the revolution and their take on the situation as seen from the major and the general.  The only weakness that I observed in the film is it did not exactly address if there was any kind of leader ship or organization or system to the revolution.too

After watching the documentary I read a few articles on line that cover what the situation in Egypt is today.  What I have read is that as it currently stands there still is a semi-presidential republic in Egypt and the president leading it is Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who was formerly the head of military intelligence under the rule of Mubarak.  The revolution sadly is starting to lose steam as more people are tired of the killing and are starting to look for stability as opposed to a fight for freedom.  So far the only thing that has really changed is who is in charge of the country.  Some of the biggest challenges for the revolution is being able to get a leader of the people into the seat of power since so far only current politicians have been able to get in to presidency, many who are of the regime.

The way social media played a role in the uprising was it allowed the sharing of thoughts and spontaneous organization and quick execution of commands.  I saw in the documentary that people were not armed with guns but cameras, taking pictures and videos of all the action: police brutality, military aggression, the protests.  Also we saw it used for communication early we see Egyptians on YouTube and other video sites calling out to other Egyptians to gather at the square to start the up rise and we see the actor in the film talk to his father multiple times through Skype.  Some other movements where we see the use of social media are Ai Weiwei in China who uses online blogs to collect other fellow Chinese and hold discussions about dissent towards the Chinese governments actions and policies.  What I learned from all of this is that words are very powerful.  A few thousand people in Egypt spoke out and suddenly a man with great power just steps down.  With determination and strong message to the masses anything is possible - here is an article I read

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Extra Credit: The Square (2013): Zach Powell

The documentary “The Square” directed by Jehane Noujaim is about Egyptian citizens in the city of Cario, coming together in Cairos Tahrir Square to express their want for democracy. The citizen’s goals were to remove the Dictator Hosni Murbarak who has enforced autocratic rule over Egypt for 30 years. They then want to remove military rule. Once Murkarak resigned after the protest at Tahrir Square, the military promised not to hurt anyone and told all the citizens that they needed to go home. The citizens were expecting the military to put Murbarak on trial but nothing was done. 10 months after Murbarak was out of power, the military got very violent with the protesters. Running the protestors over with military trucks. Ahmed says,“The Square was war. Not a revolution.” The secret police were still in power and they were going to just elect someone that was the same as was just removed from power. When Mohamed Morsi was elected into presidency, everyone was very excited. He was the first democratic president in Egypt. Morsi two years after the revolution started, he gave himself unchecked power. The revolutionary's were very upset because nothing has changed. The government was all based on what the brotherhood wanted. Morsi ordered the people to attack the revolutionary's. Two and a half years after the protest started, protects across the country have started against Morsi. Morsi has more power than Murbarak ever had. Murbarak used military power, Mobri uses religion. Millions of Egyptian citizens showed up to protest on the one year anniversary of Mobri's election. Mobri resigned from power and the military power dropped too. The citizens wont know if this revolution has changed anything, they wont know for decades.

The film shows many different sources, and shows what actually was happening but also what the world got to see looking in on it. There were many clips of what happened and what was going on during the protest. These clips did a great job showing the emotions and the drive of the protester during the film. The film also does a great job at showing the violence, blood shed, the emotion, and fear in the citizen’s minds. It shows all that happened to the protesters and everything they had to endure to get what they want. I would say the weakness of the film is that there is not enough showing why the police and military are so powerful and why they are attacking the citizens. I also felt the film should have talked about the past more so that the audience who doesn't know any of this would see how long the government and its people have been fighting each other.

The government and violence is the same as when the revolution started. The citizens are still being attacked, beaten, tortured, killed, and arrested that are part of the revolution. The military is killing its people and running protesters over with their trucks still. The revolution that started 3 years ago is still very alive and very real. The citizens still feel nothing has changed even after everything that has happened. Citizens fear for their lives and its becoming harder and harder to continue the protest. Social media is the main component to keeping this revolution happening. The revolutionary main goal is to find more people that believe in their cause to fight for a better life.

Social media has played a very important role throughout this protest. The citizens used social media to spread videos, pictures and info on what was happening. They used it to spread their thoughts and messages on what they were fighting for. Social media was used to help connect and set up sit ins. The revolutionary encouraged people to capture what they were seeing and what was going on. The people would post what media they captured and put it on social media so the world could see all the violence and horror that the military was throwing at its citizens. The media posted online would hopefully cause people to want to join in on the cause and fight with the revolutionary's. Revolutionary used social media to show the world how corrupt the government was and how much they needed support, using social media to make this revolution important to the people around the world.

"The Square" Extra Credit Evan Dias

This video was just jaw dropping. I can not believe all of this was happening in Egypt. These people are so brave for everything that they did and were truly an inspiration to me and everyone that has seen this. They would not and will not give up until the government is no longer corrupt and the people rule their own country. Despite the many hardships they faced through this including being beaten, tortured, gassed, run over, and killed, they continued to fight on until they got change. They kept saying how they should never of left the square. They compared it to a test that you did really well on but turned it in with no name. That example really hit the nail on the head. Unless you keep working until you get what you want, did you really accomplish anything? This film had several strengths to it. One that really stood out is how they used clips from the news to show that this was being noticed all over the world. American reports were talking about how much of a tragedy this whole situation is and how it needs to be resolved. They also had several interviews from both the corrupt power whether it was the military or the government, and the revolutionists. It displayed both parties and really showed how corrupt and brutal an uncontrolled government can be. It showed a large amount of violence, brutality, loss of loved ones and emotion. The main weakness of this film is they need to explain how it is the police and military ended up with so much power. Why is it the military are against the people? isn't it their job to protect them? . A major theme in this film was to never give up and keep on fighting. These people protesting shouted many times about how they were not going to leave until there was change and how violence would not stop them. The military tested them to see if they could get them to leave. The deaths and brutal beatings caused the fighters to go stronger and unite even more. They knew something had to be done and were not willing to let the government get away with this. Social medias played a huge role through this protest. This is where they spread the word about what they were fighting for and how they showed everyone what was going on. They encouraged every person to use a video camera to record what was going on. With this, they would post it on social media so people could see how awful it truly was. These people that saw it would then hopefully join the cause. They said "as long as someone is recording there is still a revolution". That is one of the most accurate things I've heard. They can use these videos to turn people to their side just fueling the revolution. Egypt today is still the same as it was two years ago when this was filmed. People are still being beaten, tortured, arrested, and killed because they are still fighting for this revolution. Police are using live bullets to try to stop the people in the revolution. The biggest challenges right now are continuing to protest. this is because a lot more people are fearing for their lives. This is a very dangerous situation and these people know that. This causes them to be scared and lose some followers. The only hope for this is to continue is to spread the word about this cause and convince more people to fight with them for a better future.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Exploration 9 Lauren Richards

1). For me one of the writings that I am proud of is my narrative essay. In past English classes I have always struggled with writing a narrative essay however this time I actually wrote something that truly meant something to me which helped a lot. It felt a little weird writing down all of this personal information about myself and the emotions I was experiencing because I have never told anybody about this story. Typically I hide any emotion of sadness away from others because I don't want to feel like people have to worry about me. But while writing this essay I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders because I was finally open to telling others. The story was about my great Uncle Lou's death and how I was coping with it. For me one of the best sections of the writing is here because it shows how much his death affected me:

"When our family finally left my grandparents’ house to return home, I shut myself up in my parents’ bedroom refusing to come out. I felt as though I was in a pit of darkness trying to claw my way out only to be dragged back in again. I began sobbing violently to myself as I thought about the reality death. I realized that there was a fear in me that one day I won’t be able to see my grandparents, parents, or siblings again. I thought about how there will be a time in which I can’t call my mom to have a small chat about what is going on in my day or I can’t go on a little trip with my dad to explore new places and learn through his experiences. It frightened me to know that one day the people who are my biggest supporters in life will not be there. As well as the fact that one day I will not be here on earth as well. My mom tried to come in and comfort me but for some reason, one of the people who I valued most in my life, I didn’t want to be around. I did not want to be seen as this weak little girl who is crying about death. I thought we all know that we are going to die one day it is a fact of life so why was I worrying so much about it? Just get over it it’s a fact of life. She stayed with me holding me in her arms showing me that she is there for me and would always say “everything is all right.” I kept repeating “I don’t want to die” as I was sobbing. While this was all happening my little brother and sister came into the room trying to comfort me as well. However I did not want them to see their older sister who they are supposed to look up to crying in the fetal position about death. After about ten minutes or so with my mom I told her that I wanted to be alone for the rest of the night. She told me that she understands and quietly shut the door behind her. I had been crying for two days straight and was so emotionally exhausted that I finally fell asleep."

2) One thing that I love to do after watching a movie is to go back and look at the behind the scenes to see how the film was made. Personally what I find the most interesting is to see the production of the film as well as how the actors get into character. I love listening to the director and what they envisioned for the film and how they made it a reality.  By diving in and learning more information about the movie it gives me a greater appreciation for it. This interest of mine has led me to possibly pursue film studies as a major. (Avatar: The use of motion capture) (Inception: The rotating hallway behind the scenes)

(I also recommend going on YouTube and looking at Inside the Actors Studio to learn about actors and actresses and the characters they play).

Exploration 9- Hunter Burnett

Exploration 9
Part One:
Dear Mark Lippencott,
            "I still remember stepping onto the field for the first time. We had prepared all week; nerves were through the roof, and friends and family sat anxiously throughout the stands. I will never forget that day, but it is just one of many memories I have on that field. On the other hand, a day I still wish never occurred, I also remember the last snap I ever took on that field. But I did not write this letter to brag about the games won or even to whine about what could have been. I am writing this letter to point out to other people what you, I, and only a select few others know. When the crowd shows up to the packed home football games, it isn’t something that is thought about or even at that point cared about, but for you and the team, it’s everything. Just imagine it, the team comes running out after all their preparation and boom! There are no lines, no hash marks, no numbers, and not even an end zone. That Mr. Lippencott, is why I wrote this letter. I want to give you and the rest of the “field painters” the proper recognition deserved. I've first hand witnessed the outrageous amount of work it takes just to prepare the field for Friday night lights.

I've seen everything from the mixing of gallons and gallons of paint on Wednesday to the fixing of the paint machines themselves Thursday just before the task at hand. I've also seen the hand rolling of the red paint onto the “big F” and the end zones that say “Panthers”. Not to mention, the painting of each individual hash mark and every line from end zone to end zone. I don’t know if you've ever thought about it, but including the sidelines, there is over 1,400 yards of line to be painted. That number doesn't include the 240 hash marks, the two end zones that spell out Panthers, and the “big F” in the middle of the field. Most people wouldn't guess, but as you know the end zones and the “big F” are indeed painted with hand rollers."
The two paragraphs above are from a letter I wrote to our school board president and the man behind the scenes who paints the football field before every Friday night in the fall. 

Part 2:
For my topic I chose an ESPN 30 for 30 short called Robbed. It is about Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton, and the riots that happened during the fight. The fight is said to have ended in the most notorious decision in boxing history. You can also watch this on the ESPN 30 for 30 shorts website if the link doesn't work. 

The link is below.

Exploration 9 Preston WIlkin

1. The writing from this year that I am most proud of was my second writing piece, the narrative. An example of this comes at the end of my story:

“As our time with them was coming to an end, and we were saying our good byes. One of the older boys walked up to me and gave me a hug. As I hugged him back he said something to me that I will never forget. He said “Thank you for coming here and spending time with us. I will never forget what you have done for me. I will miss you.” This was coming from a kid who was maybe 13 years old, he was born without a leg and has been on homemade crutches his whole life. He has been rejected by his culture and his family, and he was thankful because I came and spent three days with him. The biggest thing I had done was give him some socks and toothpaste and he was great full for what I had done.

As I turned and left the building all I could do was cry because he had no idea the impact he had on me, the impact all of them had on me. These were kids who were my age these were kids who are deaf or blind or can’t walk. These were kids who’s culture has rejected them and labeled them as trash and untouchable and worthless. These were kids who were amazing artists and musicians, singers and dancers, simple amazing people. And they were grateful that I spent a couple days with them and gave them a tooth brush. As I walked out the school I looked back to see the 50 faces, who just three days ago I had never meet, knowing that they have changed my life forever."

The reason I choose this piece and this part specifically is that I feel that it was a point where I had something to write that meant something and really mattered. So for that reason I choose to share it.

2. For me one of the most important things to have some understanding in is nature and the animal kingdom, and more importantly conservation. I feel that it is important because it helps us to understand ourselves and humanity in general. This is because animals help show us the value of human traits we value. A good example of this elephants and how they help others bellow is a couple of links to some videos. If you watch the videos you see the elephants helping young who would otherwise die without the help. It helps to put a different perspective on our actions towards other. This closely leads to the idea of conservation as well because if we don't conserve the animals then we can't learn from them. Now some people may agree with me and some may not but the point to it all is this. If we take the time to look at things around us, study them and appreciate them we would have a much better society and that are why it is worth being literate about the animal kingdom and conservation.

Final Exploration: Xavier Gregory

Part 1) I think that my best writing was when I was writing my personal narrative. With the personal narrative I was writing about my very first pet and the lessons that he taught me. I feel like this was my best writing because it has been the first time were I really think about the lessons he had told me. Also allowed me to really connect to the past and how it shaped the person I am now.

In the living room I take a seat on the red couch in my "go to" spot. Three seconds later after sitting on the couch I am presented with a small toy squirrel from Jack. I look down and see that he is looking patently at the plush orange squirrel waiting for it to be tossed in the air. So I humor him and I toss the toy in the air and I see him rocketing through the air to catch the toy in mid air. We get a good 10 to 15 minutes of solid play time before he got tired. He walks over and lies right next to my feet and takes a quick rest before my little sister who is now 13 at the time comes down stairs and heads towards the living room where Jack and I where hanging out. As her voice got closer and louder Jack got up to meet her where the carpet meets the hardwood floor. She looks down and starts petting him and doing all of the typical sayings like" Who's a good boy?" and " You're a good boy!" When she got down to pet him Rusty charges over and tackles her head on so he can be told the same thing This would be the last time that Jack and Rusty share the same attention and the last time that my sister pets him and tells him "he's a good boy!"

I chose this section because it really shows that my dog was a big impact in my life and my sisters. Also I think that it shows that my writing has really changed since high school.

Part 2) So I have always been a big movie nut, but I think one of the best movies that I have seen has been The Breakfast Club. This movie really shows the change that people are capable of when they open up to each other. This movie is a must see because it also shows the struggles that these students face when being in high school.