HSI Reflection

Today is my last day at HSI! I am very excited to go home but I am really going to miss HSI and all of the awesome people that I have met here. I feel like I have learned a lot here and really grown as an individual. In this Multimedia and Storytelling class I feel like I have gained a lot of experience in journalism and become more media literate. I have learned how to better interpret information and create more entertaining and professional stories. The other class that I am enrolled in here at HSI is called Unraveling DNA. From that class I feel like I have learned a lot more about DNA in general but specifically how the examination of DNA can be applied in multiple fields of science. I also have become more knowledgable about how to perform some of these examinations. My favorite memories from HSI have to be the ultimate frisbee games. During these games I was able to socialize and make lots of new friends, this is something that I haven’t really done the best job of back home. It didn’t matter if my team was losing, because we always had a good time. Also, I happen to be extremely good at ultimate frisbee, so that was a plus. Some of the funniest experiences I had were during my science class with my friend Reece. We were always respectful but sometimes we were so goofy that to an outsider we might have looked like we were high on drugs. The things we were laughing about weren’t really that funny but I was just so happy that I was able to make a friend here who I could actually act that way with. I am 100% positive that this experience at HSI has helped me develop socially as a person. I have always been extremely independent but I tend to stay in my own little bubble. This camp has helped me to become more outgoing and friendly. It forced me to break out of my shell and try new things that I wouldn’t have usually done otherwise. Also, HSI has helped me to grow more confident in my plans for the future. It has given me a little taste of what college life is like. I have also obtained some really important information here that will help me to make the right decisions when it comes to college and my future career path. If I could relive HSI I wish that I would have broken out of my shell earlier. I was so reserved at the beginning of this camp that I missed out on meeting people that I could have become really good friends with. When I get back home I know that my family is going to ask me what I have learned here at HSI. Other then the academic stuff that I have told you about I think I could also tell them that I learned how to fit in. This has been one of the best experiences of my life and I would definitely recommend it to any Wyoming students. Well, this is my last post at HSI and I hope to continue blogging in the future but for now, that is all.

Media Stereotypes

Today in class we talked about how stereotypes portrayed on television have changed over the years. When it comes to gender roles,the change in stereotypes has been huge. In the 1950’s, women in television were really only there as the supportive housewives who cooked and cleaned for their hardworking husbands. In more modern television shows women are portrayed as more empowered,independent, and hardworking people. Plus there are certainly many more roles available for women than ever before. Racial stereotypes have definitely changed as well. People of different ethnicities are receiving more and more positive recognition in the media. Even if there are racial jokes made in the show, the stereotypes are at least acknowledged. Characters in shows will often get called out for being racist or sexist, which is a huge leap from the 1950’s. Lastly, people who are gay or people with disabilities are also being portrayed in a more positive manner than before. You have to keep in mind that people like this used to never have any roles at all. In one of my favorite shows Modern Family two of the main character are gay. Sure, there are going to be jokes made at their expense, but they are such a crucial part of the show and they are always portrayed in a very positive way. There are still many stereotypes out there but I am very proud of the way that society recognizes these stereotypes and chooses not to integrate them into their own beliefs. So never judge a book by its cover, or else you could miss out on a really good story. That is all.

Digital Media and Multitasking

Smartphones, Ipods, Ipads, computers, laptops. Digital media has never been more accessible, but how does this affect the classroom? In my school teachers are trying their hardest to crack down on technology in the classroom. There are very few classes where we actually have access to computers but the school makes sure that internet sites like Facebook and Youtube are blocked and are not a distraction. When I am outside of school I have another word for multitasking, I call it procrastination. Technology and digital media are my worst enemy when it comes to getting my homework done. Unfortunately I need a computer for much of my homework, but if there is any chance at all of me getting my work done I have to put my Ipod somewhere far away. With this in mind I think I can confidently say that I am not an efficient multitasker. After watching a video in class today about multitasking I would say that multitasking during school will not become more accepted in the future because studies have shown that people actually get less done while multitasking. It will just become harder to control. So just remember to put down your phone down every now and then, in and out of the classroom. Even if it is popular, it is still disrespectful. That is all.

Mooks, Midriffs, Marketing, and MTV

Today at HSI we took a more critical look at television programs, specifically MTV. Most television programs nowadays who are trying to appeal to a teenage audience have started using mooks and midriffs as a marketing ploy. Now what are mooks and midriffs? Mooks are teenage or adult men acting like five year olds and doing stupid stuff. Midriff are teenage girls who flaunt their sexuality and their bodies in a very provocative way. Sure you are always going to find people like this in society but I do not think it is an accurate representation of society as a whole. I honestly don’t know why this is such a successful marketing ploy because it definitely doesn’t show real life teens like programs like MTV advertise. I can see MTV getting even further off-track in the future, becoming more dramatized every year. I think people will continue to watch these shows because they are a novelty even though they’re stupid, or just to follow the crowd. So my only piece of advice is to not become a mook or a midriff, even if you are going to watch them every day. That is all.

Kyle Thomas: Getting Back on Track

IMG_6657Hey everybody! In class we are working on personality profiles. Here is a short little look into to life of my friend Kyle Thomas. Hope you enjoy! Listen to his quick interview.

The cheers of the crowd and the pounding of feet on the track fills the air, but the only thing that Kyle Thomas can hear is the sound of is own breath.His vision is focused completely on the obstacles he must soon face. The hurdles. It was only a practice run but Kyle was taking nothing for granted. He rockets over the first hurdle with ease, enjoying his success for a brief moment. Then there is a moment of hesitation. As yet another hurdle approches Kyle prepares for the jump, and as he he flies through the air an unfortunate foot catches on the hurdle. Kyle Thomas hits the ground hard.

Kyle is a hurdler for the Kelly Walsh Trojans from Casper, Wyoming. He first got involved with track when a bunch of his friends signed him up for summer track in eighth grade.

“I just got really into it and I started to like it,” said Kyle as he recalled those times. Over the years Kyle has had his share of track experiences both good and bad. Kyle describes that one day when he fell during his practice run as his worst track experience. Despite that experience Kyle refuses to give up.

A typical track practice consists of running, stretching, and core workouts. Kyle’s intense work ethic during these practices is what allows him to succeed as a hurdler. At a recent meet in Gillette, Wyoming Kyle placed first in the 300 meter hurdles. The hard work that Kyle exhibits allows him to have positive track experiences like this one and pushes him through the difficulty of training.

“Don’t matter what place you are, just give it your best and nobody will judge you,” advises Kyle. At times Kyle admitted that he did feel like quitting. Kyle has asthma and would occasionally come close to having a severe asthma attack. That and the intense physical exersion during practice and in races made him feel like he was dying. However, Kyle never let any of these things deter him or his goals.

Kyle’s goal during this last track season was to qualify for the State Track Meet. Unfortunately, Kyle was not able to achieve this goal, but he remains ever optimistic. There are many obstacles that stand in his way but Kyle knows what he needs to do to improve himself and is willing to put in the effort.

“My biggest obstacle would be the foods I eat. I am not the healthiest eater, I’m just like any normal teenager. I will eat sugar and probably forget to work out sometimes in the off-season,” says Kyle. He hopes to further increase his work ethic so that he can not only qualify for the State Track Meet but also reach his eventual goal of running track in college.

Lastly, Kyle strives to do his best in all parts of his life, both on and off the track. He is currently here at the Wyoming Summer High School Institute to be rewarded for his academic achievements. In order for Kyle to even be admitted to this program he had to not only be highly intelligent but also creative, imaginative, curious, and enthusiastic about learning and life in general. This displays his great character and the fact that is more than just and athlete.

So no matter what activity Kyle is involved in, he is sure to succeed because he will never give up. Whenever he falls, he just gets right back up.

Product Placement and Advertisement

Today at HSI we watched a video about product placement and advertisement. It seems like you can barely even watch a show anymore without coming across some tye of product advertisement. The USA show Whitecollar is one of my favorite shows but one of the main character is always talking about their Ford that they drive. This practice is definitely irritating at times but it is still appropriate and ethical in my opinion because it is just marketers trying to reach more consumers. What bugs me is that these marketing experts think that they know people’s emotions and their inner most desires, but they don’t. The biggest job of these experts is really just finding out where and how they can advertise their products to expose it to the most amount of people in a positive way. I still have enough faith in humanity that people will buy something because they need or want it, and not just because they advertisement had some emotional connection. My last piece of advice is to just ignore advertisements if you want. There is no way to avoid them because they are everywhere! So just be smart and don’t buy anything unless you want to. That is all.

Self-Reflection: Interview Day

Last Friday Friday my Storytelling through Multimedia class here at HSI had an interview day. These interviews were the first step in creating a personality profile on another student here in class. Overall I think that it was a very good experience. I found that I was actually a lot more comfortable as the interviewer than as the person being interviewed. I feel that a lot of us are probably very similar in that way because we have no problem asking others about their lives but we often are very uncomfortable talking about ourselves. This is not always the case but that is just what I noticed. The best part of the experience was being able to feel in control as the interviewer and getting to know more about a friend. There was not necessarily a bad part of this experience but there were some rough periods of time where I either couldn’t think of what to say or I couldn’t remember what I was going to ask. From this experience I learned how to listen just a little bit better and I just further improved my speaking skills. The only advice that I would give to people about interviewing is to always ask if there is anything else. Also, if you are asked this question than make sure to give a good response. Don’t hold anything back that you are urged to say, the information you provide might prove useful to the interviewer. Although I did not learn a great deal I think interviewing is a great thing to practice because it could be useful in future careers or even just increase your conversational skills. So just keep talking. That is all.

And Tango Makes Three

Today’s blog post is about censorship and specifically book bans. One specific book that has been put on the ban list for certain public elementary schools is And Tango Makes Three. This children’s book is based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male Chinstrap Penguins in New York’s Central Park Zoo. The book follows the six years of their life where they formed a couple and were given an egg to raise. It sounds innocent enough but because of it’s homosexual themes it is easy to see why people who are pro-censorship would want to ban it. People might support the anti-censorship side because the are homosexual and would be offended, or because they want their children to be exposed to this literature even with it’s adult theme. However, that is not their decision to make. Every parent has the choice to let their kids read whatever they feel comfortable with. A ban does seem a little harsh but to me it seems necessary because parents cannot monitor their children at school. Even if the child is warned at home there is no guarantee that they won’t stumble across a book like this. I personally would never want my elementary school age child to read this because I don’t support homosexuality and I think this book would has way too mature of a theme for them anyway. If you really want your child to read this book that bad you can go out and buy it yourself. Parents should decide what books are appropriate for their children, depending on their age and their worldview, just don’t be stupid.That is all.

The 4th Estate: How is news related to democracy?

DON’T ACTUALLY LISTEN TO THE PICTURE ABOVE

This post is all about the 4th Estate. For those of you who don’t know this is a term that refers to news media as being a fourth branch of our government that keeps the other three in check. In my opinion the only function of the news media should be to provide the public with fact. Keeping them updated but not trying to brainwash them with their biased persuasion. I have no problem telling you right now that this is a biased blog, I am merely sharing my thoughts on different subjects and hoping that whoever reads this will listen and consider the things that I say. In the end the decision is all yours. One example where the media did not follow this approach was with this latest presedential election. There is no denying that both candidates had their flaws but their is also no denying that the media was very one sided in their reporting of these flaws. I will respect President Obama because he is the President but what bugs me is how easily young and old Americans are influenced by biased news media or even comedic news. As a last point I wanted to talk about the boundary between freedom of the news media and self-expression and protecting sensitive or important government information. The news has a right to freedom of speech but if what they are informing to the entire world could threaten the safety of our nation then that is not okay. Overall, just remember to be careful what you listen to and have a mind of your own! That is all.

My Online Identity

Right now my online identity essentially doesn’t exist. I just barely created this blog so I am sure it will not come up with the other top results if I Google my name right now. Mostly because if you type in Chris Long you just get a whole lot of stuff about a football player that plays for the St. Louis Rams. If someone from a college ever tries to find my online identity they would not have much success. I do wish there was more positive info out there about me but I couldn’t actually care less because I don’t think my online identity will have any impact at all on my futures education or jobs. Other people would complain that this is a huge privacy issue. However, if they are going to put their personal information online for everyone to see then they should not be surprised when college admissions officers or employers look at it because guess what, everyone means everyone. So with that in mind I think it is acceptable for a college or employer to reject you based on your online identity, within limits. If they look online and see that everyday you post inappropriate pictures and complain about drama, school, work, and life in general then they are not going to want you to represent their business or institution. However, there are limits. These people are justified to reject you if you have a criminal record but should not be able to do so just because your blog isn’t very popular. There needs to be a balance between professionalism and sel-expression in the online world. Most people in a professional setting will act in a different more professional way. You don’t have to act like this all the time! I know I sure don’t. I always enjoy to express myself and occasionally just goof off. I definitely think that it is ok to have both professionalism and self-expression online. As long as you do your best to try and keep these two identities seperate. Live a sort of online double life if you will. Whatever your style is just remember to stay safe and don’t post stupid stuff online. That is all.