CA & Class Reflection

First of all I would like to say that I really enjoyed this class and it was by far my favorite writing class that I have taken at CU. It really opened my eyes to the subtle nuances of race, gender, and class in all forms of popular media. I know notice these things and think about them critically while consuming, instead of just letting them passively influence me. Before this class I would have considered myself as fairly unbiased in these respects, but now after taking the class I am able to notice things that I have done in the past and continue to do on an ongoing basis. I have definitively grown as a result and am very happy to have done so.

As for the latest assignment, I had always realized that my vast consumption of online popular culture had influenced me but I never really thought of it in a critical way. It was mostly positive realization that I came to, but I also now realize many negative aspects that are ingrained within me. Looking back at my many influences growing up has really helped me understand myself and the way that I act, I believe that everyone should do something like this to help them understand themselves in order to become a more understanding and sympathetic individual.

Once again, I really had a lot of fun (and learned a lot too!) in this class. Thank you Allison for being such a great teacher, instructors like you are few and far between.

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blogg 12

           I never thought that popular culture affected me in the same way that it did others because I had assumed that I did not consume it that much throughout my life. However when I started to do this project I realized that popular culture can be in the form of news, write-ups, and other various sorts of ways within the media. I was always knew that pop culture had an effect on the way people view the world and the people in it, but I was never really able to catch a full grasp on the way it has impacted me personally throughout my life. After taking this class I have found that pop culture has had a huge part of my life growing up as kid and still does today.


I thought the last assignment that we did was very fun, and there was a lot of room to explore ones own options and this was really helpful for me because most of the projects that I’m assigned are usually focused on one main point. However, this allowed for all different sorts of ideas to flow. I also enjoyed it because it allowed me to be really creative with my ideas. I think the assignment is helpful for understanding oneself in a larger context and really helps you figure out what type of person that you are .


The  other assignments that we did throughout this class allowed me to think outside the box and foucus on ideas  and qualities that I thought were really important. I really got to understand in depth everything that we talked about in class. One thing I really enjoyed was how we always got to hear other people’s opinions during class time because it allows one to look at something from a different perspective. This final project, in particular, forced me to look deeper into why I am the way I am. I think it is so important that we all know and understand  who we are as people and the history that surrounds are family backround. I never really took into consideration all the different ways in which people can identify as. I normally would not be comfortable discussing in front of a group of peers but this class allowed to me come out of my shell a bit.  Thanks again for teaching this class Allison. It was definitely one of my favorites I’ve had a CU.


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Blog 2

Adrienne K explains on the blog “Native Appropriations” that “Playing Indian has a long history in the United States, all the way back to those original tea partiers in Boston, and in no way is it better than minstrel shows or dressing up in blackface.  You are pretending to be a race that you are not, and are drawing upon stereotypes to do so…you’re collapsing distinct cultures, and in doing so, you’re asserting your power over them.” Cultural appropriation generally is applied when the subject culture is a minority culture in social, political, economic, or military status to the dominant culture. Cultural appropriation is harmful because it is an extension of centuries of racism, genocide, and oppression. Cultural appropriation treats all aspects of cultures as free for the taking. Cultural appropriation is not an acceptable way to honor, respect, or appreciate a culture. Cultural appropriation of ceremonies and objects dishonors these traditions and is a slap in the face to the original practitioners of the ceremonies. Cultural appropriation is insensitive and ignorant at best 

Example 1: The Flordia State Seminoles Football Uniform Logo of the Native American chief on their helments promotes a lot of cutural appropriation.  As a result you get fans dressing up as Native Americans to games, people covering their faces and warpaint, doing war cries on third down plays, selling tomahawks, jerseys, hats, and feathers as merchandice, and most of all having players associate themselves with the Seminoles even though they are not affilated with the tribe whatsoever. This has become a problem because they have pretended associate themselves with a culture that they are not apart of nor do they show any respect to. However, the NCAA hasn’t made them change the logo because they will lose millions of dollars in revenue do to the fact that thousands of people buy the “fake” Native American items that they sell. Other Professsional teams that promoe cultural appropriation towards Native Americans are the Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Example 2: Naturural American Spirit Tobacco Comapany

Natural American Spirit products have a Native American smoking a pipe.  The tobacco industry has targeted Native Americans in order to build its image and credibility as a healthy smoking company because many tribes considered tobacco a sacred gift and use it during religious ceremonies and as traditional medicine. The Tobacco company also uses the symbol in order to get more native Americans to buy their product. Native Americans consume more tobacco products than any other race so the tobacco companies use it as one of their marketing techniques. Natural American Spirit has no right to do this because they are not affiliated with Native American tribes in any way

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Extra Credit Blog- 1

I wanted to share with the class a summary of a program I was shown in high school. I will send you the link, but the film is 45 minutes long so I’ll summarize it for you…

The video is called A Class Divided. (Hopefully some of you have already seen it!)

It was made shortly after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in order to make a point about discrimination.

A 3rd grade teacher did a type of experiment on her class. She took aside all of the children with blue eyes and told them people with blue eyes are smarter and that people with darker colored eyes are less smart. Then taking the dark eyed students and telling them the same thing, that people with blue eyes are smarter. The children immediately filed into this fake stereotype! The kids with dark eyes felt inferior and acted that way, while the kids with blue eyes acted like they were smarter and better than the other students.

This experiment just goes to show how influential children are! It is important that we do not put these ideas in kids heads and teach them about equality rather than differences. It’s true, kids are sponges and listen to what they’re told, wether it be from their parents, teachers, or the media they consume.

Here’s the link…

I’m sure there are articles out there that summarize it in more detail if you are interested but don’t want to sit through the 45 minutes.

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Blog #12


I think popular culture has a subconscious presence in my mind. While I am consuming popular culture it seems like it is just entertainment, but after my digital narrative and searching through my old photos I realized I was a huge follower of these trends I consumed.

Also in doing this project I realized how much pop-culture really did influence me as a child and I can still see it in me today. I now hope to be more aware of pop-culture influences and to stay away from the negative trends and stereotypes.

I didn’t experience any drawbacks from the assignment. Even the amount of time I thought I “wasted” figuring out iMovie turned into teaching myself a new media I can continue to use in my up-comming semesters at CU.

Even after hating my life the entire 24 hours before the final assignment was due, I feel accomplished and proud of my end product. I appreciated the fact that we were challenged and pushed out of our comfort zone to create something new.

Thank you so much Allison! I couldn’t be happier with my choice in taking this class this summer.

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Spring Awakening

Last night I attended a performance by Ignite theater in Aurora of the musical Spring Awakening. This musical, originating on Broadway in 2006, was based on a play by the German author Frank Wedekind. While this play was written in 1891, the controversial and tragic themes present throughout the play still ring true today. I had watched live recordings of this musical online prior to this (three times) and might have become somewhat emotionally attached to the story (OK-very emotionally attached). While I had watched this before, listened to the soundtrack countless times, and read both the contemporary and original plays, nothing could compare to actually being in the audience for a production of this musical.

Spring Awakening is basically about a group of young teenagers living in Germany who are growing into their sexuality and experiencing this for the first time. Call this their sexual awakening. The story deals with some very mature issues including physical and sexual child abuse, having sex for the first time and consequently teen pregnancy, teen suicide and pressures to approve parents, abortion, homosexuality, other forms of abuse, and death. Quite a heavy load of topics to include in a musical and still have it be successful. However, I think that the true beauty of this musical lies not in the tragic topics they address, but in the way that the characters are able to remain positive and look forward to their futures in the end of the musical when the sing “The Song of Purple Summer.” 

While watching this musical, I was really interested to see the reactions of not only my friends, but also the reactions of others in the audience. This was a bit of a distraction for me as I did not end up getting as emotionally into the story as I perhaps would have by myself. I found it extremely interesting during a scene where Wendla, our naive fourteen year old girl, is shown begging her love interest Melchior to beat her with a switch so that she can feel something, since she never has before in her life. During this entire scene, there was laughter in the audience. Obviously (hopefully…) the audience did not find this actually humorous, but instead used their laughter as a defense mechanism for how uncomfortable they felt by what was being portrayed in front of them. Something that I have learned about people is that they are really uncomfortable with talking about certain subjects such as abuse, rape, suicide, etc. that are very serious topics and deserve to have conversation surrounding them. 

On a completely unrelated side note, while we were driving to the theater through Aurora, we found ourselves becoming “sketched out” by the types of people walking next to our car down the street. The majority of these people were black and without even thinking about this, we became nervous and assumed that this was the ghetto part of town. Looking back on these actions later in the night, I could only shake my head at the inherent stereotypes that we all hold and how sometimes, no matter how much we may fight them, they are ingrained in our minds and come to the forefront subconsciously.

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I have kind of learned through my college years that the media and pop culture help to socially construct everyone’s individual form of reality. As a sociology major, we are trained to be critical of the media and images that we are shown in order to recognize the effects that they have on us. This class was unique though in that it gave me the opportunity to go back and examine the types of entertainment and media outlets that influenced my thinking today through socializing me as a child growing up. 

This assignment was really daunting for me: taking three classes and working really made for five of the most stressful and busy weeks of my life. I was feeling very overwhelmed by this task, but cutting down the scale of the assignment was really helpful. I was worried that I was going to create a product that was thrown together and sloppy and afraid that this would show. While I feel like there are definitely things I could have done to improve my narrative, I found myself to be extremely proud of the actual vocal story line that I presented over my pictures. I have never felt such pride over a story that I created or told about myself, and I think this was a really positive experience for me. 

Popular culture influences and permeates our every day lives whether we realize this or not. I think it is extremely important to educate people on the ways that the media can shape our beliefs and opinions and encourage each person to consume a variety of media in order to legitimately formulate their own opinions. I am so glad I took this writing class over any other one. It has been quite the experience, and I have never found myself actually enjoying a class where my main requirements were to write. I actually really loved delving into topics that were relevant to my life and thoughts that I could find some real application for in my life. Thank you for being an amazingly honest and helpful teacher! Your enthusiasm and passion for the subjects we discussed were really apparent and I think this is what helped make our class so comfortable with each other. You’re definitely one of the best teachers I have had here at CU and one that I feel can really help change students lives. Thank you again for the education and great semester and hopefully we will cross paths around campus!

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4th extra credit blog

American Dad season 6 episode 6: there will be bad blood

Stan and his family are all white. His half-brother, Rusty, and his family are Native American. Stan assumes that his brother’s family is very poor and lives in a tiny teepee with no technology. Every thanksgiving, Stan invited Rusty’s family to his house for dinner. Stan’s wife, Francine, shows off her 4 burners in the kitchen to Rusty’s wife, while Stan’s son, Steve, brags to Rusty’s son about all of his cool video games, like the Playstation and the Wii.

But this year Stan decides Steve is too spoiled and that they should have Thanksgiving dinner at Rusty’s house. To their surprise, when they get there they realize that Rusty is extremely rich. Instead of living in a “gross teepee in craphole Arizona” like Stan expected all Native Americans to, they live in a HUGE mansion. The kitchen has 88 burners, and Rusy’s son’s video games are all virtual reality. In reality, while Stan thought he was bringing Steve to Rusty’s house to show him what it was like to have nothing, Rusty had been bringing his son to Stan’s house every year to show him what it is like to have less. Stan is very jealous and tries to rob his brother. Rusty kicks Stan off of his property and they never speak again.

It is ridiculous to me to see how badly Stan needs to feel better than everyone else; he is willing to ruin his relationship with his brother in order to gain the dominance of the family. This happens a lot in society today. We see family members banish each other from their lives, and we see murders committed over just a little bit of money. Most of our society is so concerned with money that they forget the more important things in life, such as love and friendship.

Another thing that struck me in this episode was the fact that Stan assumed that his brother was poor just because he was Native American. White people always assume that people of other races are have less money than they do, but that is not true. Some of the richest people I have met have been from Mexico.

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3rd extra credit blog

Psych season 5 episode 4: Chivalry is Not Dead but Someone is

In this episode, two men from a psychic detective agency, Sean and Gus, investigate the murder of a young man in his 20s who had been dating a 50 something year old woman. The women in this social scene date younger men in order to feel better about themselves at this age, while these young men date the older wealthy women so that they will give them money and other expensive gifts. It is a symbiotic relationship, but I still don’t understand it. To me, relationships are supposed to be about love and companionship, not about making yourself appear younger or richer. But come to think about it, in the past, and still in other countries today, marriages were based on the money that both families had; the women had to have a proper dowry and the men had to have their own wealth. Our society today is basically the only one that pushes the idea of love, and that idea is stressed every day in the media.

There is also the double standard that goes along with this type of relationship between an old woman and a young man. It is like the situation where a guy can go around sleeping with a bunch of girls and he is considered an awesome player, while if a girl sleeps with a bunch of guys she is considered a slut. In this episode, the male detective calls the old lady a cradle robber, and the female detective responds by asking: “Why is it that a wealthy older man can date a younger woman and he is a hero, yet an older woman chooses to empower herself and date a younger man and she is considered some sort of social pariah?” Many double standards like this exist in our world today. There is the virgin-whore dichotomy where a girl who sleeps with a lot of men is considered a whore, yet a girl who doesn’t sleep with anyone is considered a prude. Hugh Hefner has a mansion full of beautiful young women to sleep with whenever he wants, but could you imagine a show with an 80-year-old woman sleeping with men in their 20s? According to our society, that would be disgusting. Why is it so much more scandalous for women to express their sexuality than it is for men to?

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immigration to the US

A couple of years ago I got really into the Lou Dobbs controversy and how he was being called a hypocrite for something he said about immigration. Here’s the article I read about the issue, it gives a background of him and his stance on immigration…

Immigration into the United States has been a long-standing issue in our nation’s history. There have been multiple groups of immigrants from different parts of the world who have come to America in search of jobs and opportunities, only to arrive here and be oppressed by white men in power. It is clear that certain areas of the work force are populated more by Latinos than other ethnic groups. Mexican workers often do work for the consumer driven economy, which are mainly jobs requiring more manual labor such as cleaning, childcare, and landscaping. The issues surrounding immigration today have a focus on the idea that the immigrants coming from Mexico for example are taking jobs from legal citizens of this country. However, the jobs that these illegal immigrants are doing are often jobs that many whites would consider to be beneath them and not worth the time and energy.

When I was in high school I used to compete in equestrian competitions. More often than not you would see illegal Mexican immigrants working in the barns and grounds of the horse shows as grooms for the horses and the groundskeepers. However, if these Mexican laborers weren’t there, I can guarantee that you wouldn’t see your average white person shoveling horse manure.

Lou Dobbs is an anchor on CNN, and has been labeled a hypocrite for his thoughts towards the immigration issue. Dobbs openly stated that he wanted to take illegal immigrants out of the country, however his daughter was a top competitor at the horse shows I went to in West Palm Beach, FL. Evidently Dobbs is around at these competitions observing these grooms tending to his daughter’s show horses, however if these Mexican immigrants were to be forced to leave the country, who would take care of his daughter’s horse?

George Bush had a temporary solution in mind in the form of temporary work permits in which immigrants would come, work, make their money, and leave. While this is maybe a viable solution to the immigration issue, I do believe that there has to be a better one. To me, this solution would be like saying, “thanks for all your hard work…but hurry up and get out.” This is essentially what a groom at the barn I rode at wanted to do. All he wanted was to make enough money to bring home to his family and leave, he had no intention of staying in the United States.

People against immigration state that some sort of wall should be built between the borders of the United States and Mexico…but my next question is, who would be employed to build this wall?

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