Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Index.

Analysis (n., see Rhetoric): 
The main activity we perform in AP Comp class, something you're supposed to do instead of summarize.
Appeals; pathos, ethos, logos (n.): 
Rhetorical elements that you're always supposed to use and identify, but never by their real names.
BLAH (n.): 
A conglomeration of un-enjoyable, statistic-ridden books read with extra-enjoyable people, ex. Freakonomics, Outliers
Blogging (n., see Procrastination):
An introduction into the web world, something in which I still can't figure out how to get all the bold words to go away, a mode of procrastination through which I switch the backgrounds and text colors all the time just for fun.
Cardona, Mrs. (n.): 
Teacher, induces mini-heart attacks of happiness whenever she comments on my blog.
Comic Sans (n.):
A font that we've been forbidden to use in this class, and ever again, for fear of being portrayed as a, "45-year old housewife who is slightly chubby in the knees (and who refuses to wear short skirts or shorts for this reason even though it's no big deal) and who work as a secretary only halftime, so she has a lot of free time on her hands." (love, Cardona's font sheet) 

Cult (n., see BLAH):
Our epic group of five that sat near Cardona's desk second term, members include Andrew, Julia, Shreya, and Meredith.
Emoticons (n.): 
Something we're never EVER supposed to use, even though I use them in my blog all the time. ex. :) :P :D :O ;)
Procrastination (n.): 
the story of this class; shown through neglecting to write multiple essay drafts and staying up until 1:00 AM the night before Power Writing is due. 
Power Writing (n.):
A super fun time in class where we write an essay a day during a week, or do some tasks. An activity in which Cardona saw me express my angst in an email to myself... awkward.
Rhetoric (n., see Analysis):
Writing that we analyze within an inch of its life, something we should probably know how to define by now.
Sanger, Margaret (n.): 
SPEECH. ANALYSIS. TERROR. Keeps showing up everywhere (i.e. my APUSH project)
Schaefer, Ruth (n., see Valentine, Jessica): 
Sat by first term, sharer of epic love for The Summer Set, speech analysis/gossip buddy, the camera MASTER

Valentine, Jessica (n., see Schaefer, Ruth): 
Sat by first term, speech analysis/gossip buddy, sharer of Power Writing angst
50 Essays (n.): 
The book I seem to forget every day, even on finals days. The book that Andrew so kindly shares with me every time I forget it.

Sorry about the awkward spaces, I'm just a tad technologically impaired, even though we've been working on this blog since September.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


My FAVORITE AP COMP CULT and I read this book, "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell, for our book for our class for this little fun time called BLA.
Which I thoroughly enjoyed :)

And I'm going to be honest about this book. It was very well written, but I didn't really like it.

The subject matter was very interesting, throughout the book Gladwell spoke about the reasons why certain people are successful, and it was presented in a fresh light. Gladwell depicted the information in a creative way, in a way that I wouldn't have thought of had I not read this. For example, Gladwell wrote an entire chapter on cultural differences in airline companies that caused plane crashes. 

However, I felt that a lot of the information was redundant. Each situation posed the same question: "Why are people successful?" It's a question that can be explored in many different ways, and I think that Gladwell took the same approach in every situation that he wrote about: he gave an image of a circumstance, gave another image that seemed like it wasn't connected to it, and brought in statistics that proved both of the points to be true.

Gladwell did a spectacular job proving himself to be credible and logically intelligent throughout this book, which I comend him for. I just thought that, in general, the book was boring. I fell asleep while reading it multiple times. This book just failed to keep me interested, and I think it was because of the redundancy of his statistics and his SUPER academic tone.

Don't get me wrong, an academic tone is great and it's one of the reasons why I thought that Gladwell was very credible throughout the entire book. But the academic tone overpowered his voice. When that happens, the little voice in my head that's reading the book goes all monotone on me, and the book I'm reading starts to act as a sedative.

I would recommend this book to you if you don't mind SUPER SUPER ACADEMIC tone with little voice and lots of statistics. If you're like me, and get bored quickly if there isn't a lot of voice in the writing when you're reading, I'd stay away if I were you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dear Me...

Hey, Kara of the past.
How's it going? I hope you're not getting yourself into too much trouble. *wink wink*
I'd just like to give you some pointers about what you should and should not do in your near, and also not-so-near, future. Just preparing you, you're going to be making  A LOT of mistakes when you get older. There's no way around that. Everyone does, but you'll probably think that you make WAY more than everyone else. Because I tend to overanalyze things, which means that you will also.
SO here we go.

If you make a good friend, do as much as you can to keep that friend from going away. Sometimes they'll come back and you'll be friends again, but sometimes it doesn't work that way. If you really want to keep someone in your life, you should work at it.

If you like a boy, YOU SHOULD TELL HIM. GET YOUR COWARDLY BUTT UP AND TELL THIS BOY ASAP. Sometimes this boy will have a girlfriend when you want to tell him. Or your friendship will have dried up like a raisin by the time you get your courage up. Don't wait a year and two months. Don't even wait one month. Tell him right away. I guarantee you that you'll be happier if you do :)

Audition for shows like crazy. It'll prepare you for future auditions and make your nervousness go down. Trust me, you will have more and more pre-auditon/show/and such nerves the older you get.

If you don't like a boy that happens to like you, you shouldn't not tell him. Let him know kind of as soon as you realize this so all negative feelings can be spared as much as possible.

Try your hardest to keep your temper and sarcasm under control. Many fights with the ole' parentals will be spared if you try bite your tongue when they're trying to tell you something you've done wrong.  

KEEP SINGING. Never stop. I don't care if people say you're singing too loud. Don't stop doing it. I know you love it, because I do :)

Also try not to overanalyze everything. This will save you countless hours of sitting up in bed and stewing over something useless. So much angst will be saved. And then you can focus on the positive elements of your life and act on those the most.

Live life to the absolute fullest. This sounds cliche, and I know how much cliches annoy you, but its true. Even though I'm only a youngun of a measly 16 years, I know this. If you don't take risks, if you don't jump in and do something that you never thought you'd do, you'll regret it. And regret is one of the worst feelings ever. Try something you've never tried, make a friend in someone you never thought you'd be friends with, something of that nature.

All right, that's all the advice I have for you right now. I'm just going to let you know in advance that you will have an absolutely amazing life. You'll have family and friends who support you and love you, no matter how many stupid things you do. You'll have opportunities for experiences you could have never imagined. You'll have sadness and heartache, but you'll also have joy and happiness.
Enjoy the ride! :)

Kara of the future/present ♥ 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Process Analysis

1. Why did you choose these pictures?

I chose these pictures because they either show the presence of gender stereotypes or the defiance of gender stereotypes in today's society. I wanted to show the juxtaposition between the expected female and male societal roles and the roles that females and males in reality assume. I also wanted to show a very stark contrast by showing opposites; I feel that I did this through the pictures of the stay-at-home mom and the stay-at-home dad, the male and female football players, and the male and female businessmen. 

The main claim that I am trying to make through this presentation is that the pre-concieved stereotypes about males and females that we currently have in our society are not true and should not be acted upon. My target audience for this presentation is the young men and women of our society who are being the most affected currently by these stereotypes because they are shaping our youth's definitions of masculinity and femininity that will define their actions later in life. Warrants in this presentation include that these stereotypes are present in society and that people actually think this and that people desire to change the way that society currently views men and women.

In the "female" sections of the video I wanted to define current female stereotypes and refute them. I addressed the female stereotype of domesticity (shown through the pictures of women doing housework and domestic chores), a woman's role as an object of sexual desire for a man (shown through the photo of Jessica Alba, the Bebe advertisement with the woman in the cage, and the image of the Disney princesses), the subservience of women to men (shown through the, "I hope my smile is warm enough for him" image and the Bebe advertisement), and the expectation of women to be slender, made up, and "feminine" to be considered physically beautiful (shown through the photo of Jessica Alba and the Disney princesses).  

I refuted these stereotypes in the images near the end of the presentation. The photo of the businesswoman refutes the stereotypes that women are subservient to men and therefore unsuccessful and that they are confined to domestic measures only. The photo of the female construction worker shows that females do not necessarily need to participate in "feminine" activities to be successful and that they can prosper in other arenas besides in the home. The image of the female football player shows that women are not subservient to men because the female is playing football beside the male, and it also shows that women can be successful outside domestic endeavors and do not have to be altogether "feminine" to be successful in life. 

In the "male" sections, I also addressed and disproved current societal roles of males. I brought the male stereotypes of "manliness" through a muscular figure (shown in the photo of Channing Tatum and the Calvin Klein advertisement), the belief that men can be successful in all endeavors of life (shown in the photo of Channing Tatum in which he is dressed as a businessman and through the photo of the male football player), the belief that men need to show masculinity in all aspects of life and are not allowed to do anything considered "feminine" (shown through the photo of the man waiting behind the "gender line" to go to the "nurses station"), the belief that men are dominant over women and that they do not belong in the domestic arena (shown through the "King of his Castle" photo), and the belief that it is a man's role to "save" and "protect" a woman because he is strong and she is weak (shown through the photo of "Prince Charming" on a horse deflecting fire).

These stereotypes were also contradicted at the end of this video. The photo of the male ballet dancers shows that it is acceptable for men to participate in activities or occupations, such as ballet, that are widely considered "feminine." This same stereotype is refuted through the image of the male nurse. The two photos of the "stay at home dads" show that the male and female roles in the home can be switched; it is acceptable for men to participate in domestic activities, such as buying groceries, cleaning the house, and taking care of children.  The photo of the female football player shows that the dominance in the relationship between men and women can also be switched: the female is the successful player in this picture, while the man is the one holding the ball for her to kick.

The last photo, the photo of Rosie the Riveter, shows that women are not weak. It also provides an effective ending to the presentation through a call to action: the slogan, "We Can Do It," which applied to women working in factories during the World Wars, can also apply to the reversal of pre-concieved notions about males and females in our world today.

2. What argument do the pictures have?

I put the pictures in this order because of the somewhat present shock value that goes with the definition of the stereotypes. Generally, people in our society don't recognize that these stereotypes exist because they are overexposed to them. I want them to see that the stereotypes are true in a new light and be shocked by them. This is why I put the stereotypes at the beginning of the presentation. I placed the refutations at the end of the video because it is a solution to the problem arisen at the beginning of the presentation. It's a natural climactic order to place the problem first and the solution second. 

One picture that stood out to me when I was choosing these was the Bebe advertisement showing the woman in the cage. The cage itself literally suggests that women are imprisoned by society; they are pigeonholed as objects of desire and labeled as subservient to men. The color scheme in this photo is dark (blacks and dark blues), which connotates seriousness.

Another one that seemed particularly important when I was picking images was the Calvin Klein advertisement. Its color scheme is also very dark (black and gray), which suggests seriousness and authority. The word "man," seen at the bottom of the picture, connotates that the only acceptable type of man is one that is similar to the one shown in the image. The man's physique in this image also makes a man an object for sexual desire as well.

3. Explain the music.

I chose the song "If I Were a Boy" by Beyonce because the lyrics show the inequalities present between the genders in society today. She is singing about how her life would be different, maybe even easier, if she could be a boy for a day, and how she could be a better man than most boys could because she knows how to respect women. The background music is mostly soft guitar, which provides a calming effect and lets the singing and lyrics take center stage. 

Works Cited!/img/httpImage/image.jpg!/img/httpImage/image.jpg

Friday, December 30, 2011

"Accessorizing" with Kara

I'm in the mood to post about fashion today.
As the salad would say, LETTUCE commence!
*Insert Laughter Here*

For those of you who know me, see me regularly, or closely monitor my patterns of behavior, you've probably noticed that I'm not really an "accessories" kind of person.

I can only wear two types of accessories:
1. Earrings
2. Scarves

I wear six earrings every day. Just because I have that many ear piercings. I love wearing hoop earrings, especially big ones, but those are usually the only type of earring besides the little crystal ones.
Most days of the week, or most days at all, you'll see me wearing hoops.
I think that hoop earrings are so classy. I stick to the plain silver ones, they match with anything and they pretty much look good with any hairstyle, even some sort of up-do kind of thing.

Another type of accessory that I wear frequently is SCARVES.

It's an obsession. I'm not even joking.
I have a hanger in my closet with all my scarves on it, and there's absolutely no space on it.
It's filled. Stacked. Up to the freaking brim.
I think by now I probably have at least 15.

I got two new scarves for Christmas, one from my sister and one from my little 2-year old cousin (it's this Secret Santa thing we do with our family every year, each person gets one person's name and gets him or her another gift, and my ADORABLE cousin had me and got me this super cute tan scarf with a red, blue, and green floral pattern. LOVE HIM)

I think that scarves are so versatile. You can wear them with anything; dress them up with a cute dress, or wear one with a sweatshirt and yoga pants. It works with all kinds of outfits. That's why I have so many. I've never tried it, but I'm assuming that I could find a scarf that I could wear with every single outfit in my closet. 

They're also SUPER COMFORTABLE. I don't feel like I'm "dressing up" when I wear a scarf, I feel like I'm just wearing normal clothes. And there's such a variety to choose from when you're buying scarves, there's not just one you can pick.
I have scarves in so many different patterns; floral patterns, paisley patterns, stripes, solids. I even have a turquoise scarf with rainbow stars on it (that's my lucky one for auditions :) )

So go buy scarves. Because I told you so.
Just kidding :) I hope that everyone feels that they can be free to express their individuality and wear the clothes and listen to the music that they enjoy.
I love that about America. You can be the red apple or the green apple, you get to choose :)

Time for some ONCE UPON A TIME, y'all! See ya! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Get these off your lawn, please.

My dear holiday-crazed neighbors,
Thank you so much for brightening up our dull little cul-de-sac with your innovative holiday lawn decorations. It's such a thrill when I pull into my driveway at night and am greeted by this:
Or this:
They're my favorite. 
The fact that they GLOW at night just makes it that much better.

It's not like our dinner guests comment on how repulsive they are when they can see them from our dining room window.
Nah, no way. 
They add excitement and flair to the rest of the boring old houses in our cul-de-sac. We all just stick with the regular lights, and we all wish that we were as inspirational and exciting as you are.

It's even BETTER that my house is right in between the two houses that put these up every year. We have a snowman on our right and a Santa on our left.

We may just even have to invest in one of these:
Or festoon our house with some of these:

Just to keep up with you guys.

The Classy Home-Decorator

P.S. Too bad the people in the snowman house moved. Now we just have a Santa to look at. Boo hoo.