Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Last Day of Class!

Hey Guys!

Just a quick reminder that we're meeting in the Writing Center today. Bring whatever materials (laptop, flash drives, Writing Projects) you need to work on your Reflective Essays and Portfolios!

See you there!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Vengence Is So Confusing

The film Sympathy For Lady Vengence is a tale of, you guessed it, vengence. The film starts with the main character coming home after being imprisioned for thirteen years. She was in prison for murdering a young boy. She was forced to confess though she was innocent. The story goes back and forth between present and her prison time. Many stories intertwine. She killed in prison a bigger woman who forced the other girls into sexual acts. The main character killed her by feeding her bleach. However, the main character seemed to have undergone a transformation on discovery of prayer but she had a demon and an angel in her soul. In the film she finds her daughter and brings her to South Korea. She is sorry for abandoning her daughter and her daughter confesses to wanting vengence when she was younger but not after meeting her mother. The main character finds the man, a teacher, who set her up and traps him in an abandoned school in the mountains. She gathers the parents of the children to see what he did to their children and extract their revenge. Each family has their turn and after he is dead they bury him in the woods. After that they feel reborn there for celebrate a birthday. The main characer heads home to her daughter in the end and tells her to remain pure.
The film Sympathy For Lady Vengence was interesting and somewhat confusing. The film was visually well shot but the story left me in the dust. It introduced characters that did little to nothing to the main story. Her jail moments only showed a side of her that I would call an angel of death. She killed bad women in prison. Perhaps its how she has the will and drive to kill in the end of the film. Other parts of the film seemed useless such as her relation with a coworker in a bakery. I saw it as just something to distract you from the main story. In all the movie was good dispite the headache but I dont believe I would go out of my way to watch it again.
P.S. Did the main character die at the end?? I am so confused!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Love Dogs??

The movie Amores Perros begins with a really bad accident that leaves all the people involved very injured. It takes place in Mexico City. This accident that begin the movie connects three different stories of love. One story is of two brothers and the sister-in-law. The younger brother Octavio wants to raise enough money to run away with his sister-in-law and nephew. So one day he decides to enter his dog Cofi into dog fights to get money. After a bad dog fight Octavio leaves in his car. When running a red light he runs into a car and causes the really bad accident. He ran into a model named Valeria and the accident causes her to lose her leg and her modeling career. El Chivo is a homeless man that enjoys the company of all his stray dogs he has taken in. One day well he was out in the streets he witnessed the dangerous accident and ended up taking Cofi because Octavio was taken away in the ambulance.

This movie was really interesting I liked it. It was all in spanish that was a negative, I did understand and read the captions but I wouldv'e liked to understand it more. This movie was purely about love and how it can change your life for good or bad. It was mainly about cheaters and affairs. It was a really good movie and I liked how the director tied the three stories into the one accident. All three stories were at the accident even if one just witnessed it he was there as well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Head of the Mafia

The Godfather was filmed in 1972 and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino star as Vito Corleone and his youngest son, Michael. In New York, Corleone is in the phrasing of organized crime, a "godfather" which is the head of a Mafia family. Michael has rebelled against his father by enlisting in the Marines to fight in World War II and returned back as a captain and a hero. He rejected the family business a long time ago. He shows up at his sister Connie's wedding with his non-italian girlfriend, Kay who learns for the first time about the family business. During Christmas time, the godfather barely survives as he was shot multiple of times during a drug trafficking rival. Michael persuades his older brother Sonny, and family members Tom, and Sal that he will be the one to get revenge on the men. After he murders a police captain and the drug trafficker, Michael hides out while a war begins at home. Michael then falls in love and marries a local girl who was murdered by Corleone enemies. Sonny is also murdered. When Michael returns home, he convinces Kay to mary him, and his father recovers and makes peace with all his enemies. Later, Michael becomes the new godfather and leads his family into a new era of prosperity.

Overall this movie was very long, and I was beginning to get antsy. Its one of those movies that you really have to pay attention to in order to really understand it. But I enjoyed the story line, and the whole mafia concept. I would like to watch it again, so I can get a better understanding.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Group 3 introduction

For our audience we chose The California Board of Education. California is the most populated state in the country yet they buy their public school textbooks from Texas. The Texas Board of Education wants to remove key Hispanic and African-American figures from curriculum in the textbooks that California and the rest of the country buy. Significant people and events that were based in California are proposed to be removed. We believe that if we can convince California to draft and purchase textbooks that are generally well rounded, historically accurate and unattached to religious affiliation, other states will be able to buy a textbook other than Texas' if they choose.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Group #1 Introduction

A majority of Las Vegas, New Mexico's residents are of Hispanic heritage. New Mexico's history is predominantly shaped by Hispanics. The Texas Board of Education has been making amendments to the K-12 social studies curriculum. These amendments will exclude important Latino figures from the curriculum. Some of these figures include César Chávez and César Romero. If these figures are excluded from the curriculum, the impact that they had on our history will soon be forgotten. For this reason, we feel that it is necessary that these Latino figures be included in the curriculum and therefore, into the textbooks. If they are not, we recommend that the PTA of Las Vegas City Schools does not purchase these textbooks.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Group project introduction

We chose students that attend a middle school in Austin Texas as our audience because if the Texas Board of Education passes these amendments, it will greatly affect their immediate future. We chose a comic strip as our genre because were informing them of complex ideas in a way they will understand.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Killer Swell

The 3D documentary  "Ultimate Wave Tahiti" is a mix between Kelly Slater, the best surfer in the world, and a subtle global pollution warning. The film starts with an exciting introduction about killer waves and how Kelly Slater is going to shredd them up. It then shifts to the scientific reasons for waves along with a more philosophical/theological view from the Tahitian natives and their cultural beliefs. At times it almost seemed like a really long commercial, the long shots of off roading their Toyota SUV, epic surf scenes and then their message about 'humans killing the swell, bra.' These things aren't important though. The amazing part was the 3D actually being so close you can feel it on your glasses. This was the most mind blowing theater I've been to in a while (I loved how they turned off the lights and told people to just sit down) and the 3D was the best I've ever witnessed. The water splashing up onto my glasses and the solar system being right in front of my face. I was told that the film was involved with Mr. Lowen and his students, I wish he would have talked about what they contributed and things of the sort a bit more, but I didn't want to bring it up because he seemed so extremely bummed about missing the showing. I can't believe that I only 4 people attended. I really agreed with Mr. V when he stated that he'd "never felt so out of touch with college students."

Monday, November 14, 2011

IMAX or Trailer Park Boys on my computer? Easy Decision

Last Friday only three of my fellow classmates decided to make a two hour trek to Albuquerque in order to watch two 3-D movies for the grand cost of nothing! JUST THREE OTHER KIDS?! I’m just a college freshman with only a few bucks to his name, and when I hear that there will be a FREE field trip to the Museum of National History where we would be required to watch two FREE IMAX 3-D Movies, I flip my beans! When free food is involved I sign up immediately. Apparently, the majority of our class had more pressing matters to attend to (or righteous raves in Albuquerque), but I won’t accuse anyone of being “lazy” or “to cool” to visit the Museum. All I’m saying is that Friday proved to be relatively entertaining.

The day was magnificent! Even the ride was eventful. Mr. V edited my essay and Doug enlightened me on some righteous music. Once we arrived, we were greeted by a very energetic security guard. He assured us college students that our teachers would purchase our tickets and urged me to stick my head between the protective perimeter bars of the T-Rex exhibit (which I proceeded to do for a great picture). The class then made a conquest upstairs to view a 3-D exhibit that the students here at Highlands created. It was pretty mind blowing, but things got even better once Mr.V let us loose to peruse around the Museum for an hour or so. Doug and I teamed up and cruised around the dinosaur exhibit. We both tripped out looking at this almost stained glass color changing collage, and we witnessed the mighty Saber-Toothed Tiger in its’ natural environment (dead on top of a man made mountain inside a museum). The video below describes what I was hearing while I gazed upon the flesh less Apatosaurus

It was then time for the 3-D movies, which we got some industrial looking 3-d/welding glasses for the experience. The first movie “Ultimate Wave Tahiti”, directed by Mr. Loewen himself, was awesome. At one point the narrator was discussing the importance of the moon’s orbit around the earth and it looked like as if the planets were trying to enter my brain because it was so 3-D!

The movie was also interesting beyond just using 3-D visual effects. It discussed the beliefs of the Tahitian people and their gods that they worshiped (which at a few points their deity faces would float off-screen and look like they were flying towards us). The film also had some awesome footage of sea life, massive waves, ladies in bikinis, and of course gnarly surfing. The movie ended right when Mr. Loewen entered the theatre, but he explained to us in much detail on how 3-D is filmed. Things like polarization, mirror images, and colors used for lenses on the opposite sides of the color wheel gives people the visual illusion that things are three-dimensional on the big screen. He also told us that 10% of people have too good of vision to witness 3-D, which I guess is both a blessing and a curse.

The second movie was about a group of tornado chasers and to be quite honest, I was not very impressed. The footage they captured was a landmark in film I suppose, but I thought a tornado in 3-D would be a little more engaging. Flying 2x4 and cows or something!

After we had viewed both the movies, we all boarded the bus and headed to a fine dining establishment known as “Flying Stars”. I have never been to Flying Stars before, and I was expecting to get some fast food or a few bags of corn nuts in order not spend too much of class funds. This was not the case in the slightest! Flying Stars has some delicious food to say the least. Not only did a majority of the class miss out on a dinner of a lifetime, they missed out on a discussion of a lifetime. I know in college the relationship between teacher and student is superficial, but how can you avoid fun conversation after going to the Museum? It was as if our professors were not only human beings (say what!?), but down-to-earth people who love movies for the same reasons you and I do.

Everyone excluding the few who attended the trip also missed out on me almost spilling someone’s chewing tobacco nasty-ness on a ladies dress when I was trying to dispose of it (apparently chewers now think it’s appropriate to spit into juice cans and leave them on the bus).

The whole trip was way cooler than anything I would have done that Friday, because honestly I would have been watching “Hey Arnold” or drawing. It may have been different for everyone else that Friday. I hope your Friday was just as good, because I feel like my Friday made my weekend!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wait! Surfing in 3D?!

In the film "The Ultimate Wave Tahiti" was shot and shown in 3D. The film documents world renouned surfer Kelly Slater's journey to Tahiti to surf the demon wave. Through the movie we see much Tahitian culture. We hear of the evil ocean god who summons tsunamis and storm.We see the traditional dances of the people to promote good fortune from the ocean including good waves. We see the people surfing and the different times kids, teenagers and adults would surf. It took us into the science of how waves are made how both undercurrents and the force of the wind can cancel out a wave or create a monster. Throughout the movie the surfers are waiting for the notorious demon wave when it finally comes Kelly Slater surfs and tames this mighty wave.
The film was brilliant. The entire idea and content were so original and the scenes took your breath away. Showing the vast beauty of Tahiti and the ocean itself in 3D was definitly a new, different and exciting experience. These are the kind of films that should be in 3D. Films that capture humans and the earth in harmony and brings us a great story.

This is what Texas wants for our youth

Crazy stuff collegues. Listen closely and you can see how this relates to our latest writing project. Talking of government and religion and The Army of God. Brainwashed, all of them. Check out my link.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This is a blog post, Dave.

HAL's great niece is this dub-step song

One of Stanley Kubrik's finest movies is the 2001: Space Odyssey.
An epic space tale that was filmed in 1968. The film takes place forty years in the future where man kind has finally reached space travel. A mysterious object is reported to be found on Earth's moon, so a team of souped up scientists decide to go investigate the mysterious object, which in turn is actually a giant black obelisk. The story carries forward a few months later to a space ship that is traveling to jupiter to look into another strange occurrence. On the ship there is an artificial intelligent computer named HAL. HAL is able to watch everything on the ship and control everything. The human beings on the ship are the pilots and scientists, David Bowman, Frank Poole and three others who are in a cryogenic stasis. HAL begins to find "errors" in the humans' performance and begins a rough relationship with them.
As things begin to go haywire in the ship, Dave begins to discover the strange alien obelisk that was previously seen on the moon. Sucked into the black object, Dave is filled with out of this world visions and images before the biggest twist of the movie occurs.

Dave is turned into a MONKEY!!!

Stanley Kubrik was a visionary and a genius writer in my opinion. Even a movie that is over forty years old can still captivate us. The style is slow but that is how stories used to be. In our movie times (2000-2011) a lot of films are just rapid fire. Scenes change so quickly that it doesn't give us time to really comprehend and think about it.
Sometimes you do have a slow movie that is just plain slow and loses your attention easily. But not Space Odyssey.

The face only a geek could love.

just goes to prove computers can kill you.

"2001 A space Odessy" is a science fiction film. It is about astronauts who find something on the moon, and Jupiter. They have a computer system that controls their bodily functions, such as breathing while they sleep. When the astronauts plot to shut down the computer, it takes its revenge in killing all but one of the men on the ship. That one man manages to disable the computer. After that a pre recorded message shows stating that the thing on the moon is a monolith that emits a radio signal at Jupiter.
This movie was very,very random. I did not like how it bounced around so much and I did not think it needed to be that long.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2001: A Space Odyssey

“2001: A Space Odyssey” is about the change of evolution due to a monolith being placed long ago.  A journey to the moon with humans, on the spaceship controlled by a computer system, HAL 9000 takes place, where the a monolith is discovered.  The discovery draws curiosity in the humans, urging them to set out to Jupiter.  HAL is programmed to communicate like humans and portray emotion, but eventually endangers the crew, attempting to take over.  Dr. Bowman tries to destroy HAL, and continue the “secret” mission.
I honestly don’t really even know how I feel about this movie.  First of all it was really weird, and HAL’s voice was way too creepy for me to handle!  I was sort of confused, and bored since it was a long movie.  Maybe I need to watch it a second time to really appreciate it, or understand it.

Internal Primates Forever

“2001: A Space Odyssey” takes its time as it takes us through time and space. Dazzling us with, for its day, remarkable special effects (which it won an Oscar for in 1968) and extremely conceptual ideas of space travel and what the future would look like. Though the furniture is still very 60’sesque with its rounded corners and drastic color patterns, like odd shaped red chairs in completely white rooms. Krubrick uses his exaggerated style in A Space Odyssey to pound his point across of the possibilities of evolution, the insignificance of human existence and the past’s ominous obsession of computers taking over the world when humans develop the technology to give machines emotions and free-thinking capabilities. The story follows Dr. Bowman, who is also an astronaut, on a very long journey to find this big rock that appears out nowhere at the beginning of the film. He’s accompanied by a couple other astronauts and the all-knowing (with his power supply on) computer, HAL. Just as the apes demolished their opposing creatures millions of years ago and how the humans demolished the apes, HAL attempts to demolish the humans of the space craft, until they unplug him and show him whose boss and continue the journey without him.

I became more interested in the movie after they finally started talking and the story began and Kubrick finally stopped stroking his artistically genius ego (something he loved doing so much that he made another annoyingly persistent movie right after A Space Odyssey called A Clockwork Orange) with the captivating and thought provoking shots for about 45 minutes. I also caught a couple references throughout the movie; “Hal’s Moving Castle” might be a direct reference, along with the navigating computer in “Wall-E” who attempts to take over the vessel in space. Personally, Kubrick films annoy me pretty bad. But I might give it another watching just to find more reasons to back up why I dislike it.  

Journey to Evolution

The movie “2001: space odyssey” is about a monolith that was placed during a prehistoric time, which caused a shift in evolution. The shift in evolution caused humankind to reach the moon’s surface. Dr. Dave Bowman and the computer Hal are at a race to reach the monolith first, so they can discover the next step into evolution. While during this process Dave and his partners practice and prepare for the mission. The computer Hal who is very intelligent knows that Dave and his partner Dr. Frank Poole are planning to disconnect Hal, so Hal betrays Dave and Frank until Dave puts a stop to it and disconnects the computer Hal. Then Dave hears about the monolith and begins his journey. Dave finally reaches his destination and won at the next step in evolution. As he sees himself age and create new life.

I have mixed emotions about this movie. I think it has a great story behind it but at times, it can be confusing and has a few boring scenes. I think I would watch this movie again to get a better understanding of it.

“I’m walking on the wall. Now I’m upside down! La la la!”

“2001: A Space Odyssey” begins by showing the beginning of time. The film shows how the apes begin to evolve with their use of bones for tools and weapons. The film then goes forward into the future where you see people navigating around space. You hear speak of an epidemic on the Clavius base, which you later learn is a cover story as the Americans search for something. The venture to the moon is that of several humans, and one computer system, HAL 9000. HAL is a computer that is said to make no mistakes. The computer can talk to the humans and is programmed to portray the emotions that humans have. HAL believes he (though it is a computer and therefore an “it,” it has a male voice so I shall refer to it as “him”) must take over the mission and takes such drastic measures as killing off the humans. The film continues with Dr. Bowman’s fight against HAL and he continues his search on Jupiter, the search that only HAL knew about until he was terminated.

This movie was strange. I didn’t really understand most of it. It was like one minute you’re seeing a point but then it keeps changing. I’m not sure if I was supposed to be digging deeper, looking for some deep hidden meaning or not, but I kind of wanted to. Either way, it’s pretty crazy to see the technology imagined back then. While it’s slightly, disappointing that the technology isn’t that advanced today, I’m still slightly relieved robots aren’t taking over our lives. I can live without the fear of my MacBook deciding I can’t do my homework. Though, that might make a pretty good excuse for not doing it! Jokes aside, I didn’t really like this movie. It made me feel so weird. I began humming along to the music and making up songs for everything everyone did. (“I’m walking on the wall. Now I’m upside down! La la la!”) It sort of brought out the weirdness in me, which is pretty bad because I’m kind of weird to begin with.Thankfully, I watched the film in the comfort of my own home. Also, the length of the film was almost unbearable. I understand why it’s so long--the journey to the moon isn’t a short one! But, within the first half hour I was thinking, “Alright! I get it! The journey’s long! But, if I were in space, I think I’d be having a lot more fun than they are!” I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll be watching this film any time soon. A part of me really wants to, though, just to see if I can get a better understanding of it.

Caution: Robots Can Read Lips and Plot Against Your

I have seen the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" once before in my biology class and was in cinematic shock within the first few minutes. "2001: A Space Odyssey" follows the migration of these large, evolution-enhancing monoliths and how they effect human life. The film begins with a view of an Australopithecus looking tribe who encounter one of the monoliths, and after one ape-man touches the monolith, a discovery is made. The thought of using bones as tools, rather as war instruments, was put to use and eventualy created a violent split between the ape colony. The movie then moves the viewer millions of years into the future showing meraculoius depictions of satelites over earth, the moon landing, and documentation of goverment knoledge of alien life forms.
Fast Forward to 1991 were a group of astronauts plan to venture to the moon to find a 4,000,000,000 year old mololith code named "TMA-1". They believe that the piece of alien technology is still buried on the moon and they plan to unearth (I suppose I should say unmoon) it for it's technilogical potential. At this point of the movie I was both baffled about the lack of awesome technology we had in 1991 and impressed by the quality of the video phone call the Dr. makes to his daughter. For goodness sake it's 2011 and Skype still needs to get their act together. If a video call can occur without the audio or video mising in this movie during 1991, why can I not get through a 10 minute conversation on Skype without both of these things happening?

The voyage seems both succesful and breathtaking until HAL is installed. HAL is this super computer that has the capability to alter everything on the ship. Some of the crew becomes suspicious of the all-knowing robot and plot to decomision it. HAL silently desposes of some of the crew and Dr. David Bowman is forced to remove almost all oh HAL's memory. All of this really puts a stop to the search for the all powerfull giant dominoe until Bowman gets a strong radio emmision coming from Jupiter.
I will not proceed to tell you about the events happening after Dr. Bowman comes in contact with the TMA-1 (because witnessing the last 15 minutes of the movie could potentialy change your life), but I will say he becomes enlightened and reborn. A truly amazing depiction of space travel and human advancement, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is a film that will having you questioning other forms of life, whether it be human, alien, or machine. So many things have either incorperated, inspired, or made fun of this movie. I believe many of science fiction movies drew a lot of inspiration from this film because it was ahead of it's time (the film being released in 1968). "The Simpsons" also did a hilarious "Tree House of Horror" parody where the family purchases a mechanized house maintenance system that has interchangeable voice options (though I would rather listen to a creepy mono tone robot than a Pierce Brosnan robot) and an insatiable lust for Marge. I also believe that the robot GLaDOS in the game "Portal" was devised after HAL, but that's just me. Anyway, take some time out of your high paced to day watch this landmark in film and don't forget to wear your moon boots.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"My hobby is stuffing things. You know, taxidermy." is a Red Flag for Maniacs!!

There is something very entertaining about watching delusional people operate creepy establishments, and if you agree, try watching Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". The movie follows a young Lila Crane (played by Vera Miles) who gets the wild hair to embezzle money from her bosses client. She attempts to leave the city and even trades her car in to avoid being caught. After leaving the car dealership she tries to leave town but a blizzard arises and she ends up on the old highway road. Lila discovers the Bates Motel and decides to stay for the night. Upon reaching the front desk she is confronted by a jittery but polite desk clerk, Mr. Norman Bates. After renting one of the many vacant rooms, the woman is invited to have lunch with Mr. Bates, and what a strange lunch that was. He makes sandwiches and milk (which would be another red flag for me to get the hell out of there) and proceeds to tell her about his taxidermy hobbies and his mother.

Lila returns to her room to take a shower and on the other side of the wall Norman proceeds to watch her through a hole in the wall. Norman then goes all "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" on Lila and stabs her in the shower repeatedly to what sounds like a violinist with Carpal Tunnel. Norman then cleans his frenzied murder and places Lila's body in the trunk of his car, which he later pushes into a swamp. The police and Lila's friends notice her disappearance and proceed to investigate what had happened to her, but things get weird. Loud arguments between Norman and his "Mother" echo from the Bates House and further exploration by Lila's companions expose a ugly and slightly numerous truth about Mr.Bates. I will not spoil the ending if you haven't seen this masterpiece o' thrillers, but I highly recommend it. Though the visual effect look cheesy, I believe it adds to the character development. Well done Hitchcock, well done.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

omg crossdresser yes hahaha

the movie psycho is a film about a girl who works for a realtor she steals 40,000 dollars to go live with this guy shes been hooking up with to end up on the way to his home town she gets caught in a rainstorm. Then has to stay a night in a motel off the highway she meets a man who tries to hit on her and is a total perv. the girl gets killed by the mom of the creeper then the detective gets killed. it all ends by finding out that the creepers mom is dead and he has a dual personality.

this movie is awesome and funny in away the corny music and effects of the stabbings just priceless i like the music for the movie overall a 4 out of 5 in my book interesting none the less. they have even teased on this movie for a south park episode i love it awesome film.

2 Identities = PSYCHO

The movie Physcho was filmed in 1960, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Marion is at work, but can only see her lover Sam on lunch breaks. They are in love but cannot get married because Sam gives all his money to alimony. At work one day she is trusted by her employer to take $40,000 and put it in the bank. Seeing the oportunity to take the money and start a life Marion leaves town and heads to Sam's California store. He employer sees her leaving. Paranoia beges to distract her, but keeps driving anyways. She wakes up in her car on the side of the road and sees a cop at her window. The cops sends her back on her way, but begins to follow her. with paranoia and a guilty conscience she keeps driving. While on her way, she gets caught up in a storm, and pulls off the side of the road to Bates Motel, which is un known by people. Norman Bates who is dominated by his sick mother runs the hotel.

Marion agrees to have dinner with Norman. after when Marion is alone she takes the money and puts it in a folded newspaper, and puts it on a nightstand. When Marion is taking a shower someone comes in and stabs her to death. Norman then comes in and cleans up the mess. He puts her body in the trunk of her car along with the newspaper with the money, and pushes her car into a near by lake.

Marions sister begins to search for her at Sams store. She doesnt find her there, so her Sam and a private investigator begin to search for her. The investigator goes and questions Norman. He is then brutually murdered by the same person that killed Marion.

This was a sick twisted movie which I oddly really enjoyed. It definitely kept me on edge. I went in thinking Marion was going to be the psycho, but just by watching Normans behavior, hes definitely the psycho. I was really shocked when I came to find out that Norman was playing not only himself, but his sick mother. It was crazy. I would defintely watch the movie again, and refer this to other people.

Note To Self: Avoid Renting Motel Rooms At All Costs

The film, “Psycho,” begins with Marion and her boyfriend Sam in a hotel room in Phoenix, AZ. Marion is on her lunch break, the only time she can see Sam. She returns to work where a man enters with her employer and decides to do his transaction in cash, $40,000 to be exact. Marion’s employer instructs Marion to deposit the money in the bank, but she takes it instead. Marion packs and leaves town, headed for Sam’s store in California. On her way out of town, her employer sees her driving away in her car. Paranoia begins to set in, but she continues to drive.

Marion wakes up in her car parked on the side of the road to find a policeman at her window. The policeman sends her on her way, but appears to follow her. Marion goes to a car lot and trades in her car for a different one. The policeman is still following her at this point. Marion drives, guilt and paranoia nagging at the back of her mind, until she can drive no longer. She stops at Bates Motel, a small motel that usually goes unnoticed by any potential customers. A young man, Norman Bates, runs the motel with his sick mother. Norman gives Marion her room and asks her if she’d like to have dinner with him; Marion agrees.

As soon as she is alone, Marion takes her money, folds it into a newspaper and sets it on the nightstand. When Norman goes back to his house, Marion overhears his conversation with his mother. She hears how he argues with his mother because she is appalled at his desire for Marion. After a strange conversation with Norman, a very strange man indeed, Marion goes off to her room. As Marion is taking a shower, someone comes in and begins to stab her until she is dead. Norman then comes in to clean up his mother’s “mess.” He takes Marion’s body, places it in her car, and pushes her car into a nearby lake.

Lila, Marion’s sister, goes in search of Marion at Sam’s store. When she doesn’t find her, it is up to her, Sam, and a private investigator to find Marion’s whereabouts. Little do they know that they are no longer looking for someone who ran away with a load of cash, but they are actually looking for someone who has been brutally murdered.

I really enjoyed this movie. It was definitely a change of pace from the movies we’ve been watching being that it is a horror/thriller film, but that’s a good thing. Throughout the movie, I just sort of sat there watching Norman’s behavior. He is definitely psycho. One thing that really got me was his constant laugh. It’s like that of a little boy, which at the end of the movie you find makes total sense. After the film was over, I was creeped out and, oddly enough, intrigued. Norman’s character really intrigued me and I think I’d like to learn more about the workings of his mind. To Norman, it wasn’t actually him committing these murders, it was his controlling mother. He truly believed that. That’s what makes me extremely curious about his psychological disorder. All psychological curiosity aside, the film was really enjoyable and I’d definitely watch it again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The little Girl Cheif

Whale Rider is about a 12 year old girl whose mother and twin brother died. Her father ran off on her and her grandparents are raising her. The story takes place in New Zealand. The girl whose name is Pai, played by Keisha Castle-Hughes, is the rightful future chief of her native people. Her grandfather, the currant chief sees thing a little bit differently though. He has absolutely no intentions of making her the chief. Determined to change his mind, she goes through all the training that the boys are going through and learning all the same things trying to change his mind. She is convinced that she called the gods and they came to her when a bunch of whales got stuck on the beach. One whale that is only half way in the water looks like it is going to die. Pei gets on its back, like her ancestor did and rides it out to the ocean(though her ancestor rode the whale to shore). Pei states that she is not afraid to die suggesting she is tired of her grandfathers oppression and is driven to commit suicide. Next scene her grandfather gets a call and she is in the hospital, alive. At this point the chief knows he must make his granddaughter chief even though she is not a boy. The movie ends with the touching scene of all the men hauling a boat into the ocean and Pei ordering them to row, and she is sitting next to her grandfather.
This was a good movie. I liked how the director made me feel bad for this little girl. She knew what she had to do and she was ready to take on her challenges. The girl playing Pei I think does a very good job of making people feel what her character is feeling. The grandmother I think could have been a little bit more emotional when she notices that Pei is missing and could have done a better crying act. The grandfather does a good job of acting stone cold towards his granddaughter, and making the transition to a much softer person when he sees her riding the whale.

Whale Rider

The film Whale Rider is about a 12 year old girl Pai whose mother and twin brother died during birth.  After the death of Pai’s twin brother, the girl’s grandfather, Koro, believes that the community is doomed since the first born males are to be considered Paikea’s direct descendants, making them the new chief.  Paikea is an ancestor who rode to shore on the back of a whale after his canoe flipped over.  Pai eventually wished to fulfill the spot as chief when she saw her grandfather’s school training young boys to hopefully find a future chief.  Since Pai wasn’t allowed in the school, she observed and learned the moves better than the boys.  When Pai is finally given a chance to show her worth, she proves her grandfather wrong.
I really enjoyed this film, and the positive message entailed.  It was interesting seeing the different type of culture and traditions people have.  Pai’s perseverance is almost inspiring.  I think I would definitely watch this again.

Strong Girl

The film Whale Rider is a film about acceptance and bringing a people together. Twins are born in the beginning of the film. The mother and boy die while the girl lives. The grandfather wanted a grandson to teach the old ways and make a chief of thier people. The girl is named Paikea, that name is also shared by one of her ancestors that was a great chief. Paikea is treated harshly by the boys her age but she doesnt really care. Her grandfather trains the local boys to be warriors and chiefs but excludes his granddaughter. She learns the old ways on her own by spying and from her uncle. She is attacked by one of the boys in training and beats him in a traditional weapon sparring match. Her grandfather was disapproving and angry. The grandfather gives the local boys a final test. He throws his whale tooth into the water and has them get it. None of the boys succeed. He has failed training a new chief. He calls for guidance from the ancient ones, as does Paikea. One day out on the boat with her uncle she dives into the water and gets her grandfathers necklace. She invites him to her school concert but her grandfather doesnt go. Then the people find beached whales. Paikea knew she called them. After a day of work they couldnt move the whales. Paikea goes to the biggest whale he "ancestors" whale, climbs on the whale and asks it to move. It moves and goes back into the ocean. She has brought the people together in a new time of prosperity and all ends well.
The film Whale Rider is a great film. I have always been taught to be a strong man. A warrior or chief like the boys in the village but I also learned to respect strong women. This film shows how Paikea pushed through adversity and kept her chin high. She had to fight for her acceptance and to be recognized and loved by her grandfather. She is knocked down several times but stands up again. This film has a great feel to it and is a good movie for a saturday afternoon. Id recommend it to my family and friends.

"I wanna ride a whale"

the film whale rider is a short film about a native girl who is kind of the child the parents weren't expecting. she is born in to the world and the mother and her also born brother who is supposed to be like the chosen one both pass away. Her dad leaves her in like the care of her grandma and grandpa she is brought up trying to live up to her name and become the chosen one. Her grandpa creates a school so that one the boys will become the leader that they need but none of them pass the test when he throws his necklace into the ocean devastated by his failure her calls on the spirits they don't hear his calls but they here hers. The spirits who are whales get stuck on the beach trying to help her she saves the whales by becoming the whale rider.

This film is extremely interesting and shows you that no matter what happens or who tells you not do do something don't listen and follow your heart and be brave. She is probably one of the most bravest girls i know i mean at her age who says "I'm ready to die" crazy like a boss she has my respect to save her people and the whales she was ready to giver her own life great movie.

Trying to Gain Acceptance

The movie "Whale Rider" was filmed in 2002. It begins as a mother gives birth to a set of twins (a boy and a girl). The baby boy dies, as well as the mother. In the community of Whangara, the first-born, which was always the male is considered Paikea's direct descendant. These descendants are intended to be the new chief. But being that the male died, it was now trouble for the community. After all this Paikea believes she is to fulfill the spot. Her grandfather Koro didn’t want this to happen so he didn’t treat her with any respect. Throughout the movie Paikea is trying to gain the acceptance of Koro. When she gets tired of how her grandfather treats her, she decides to leave to Germany with her father. After a while she changes her mind and returns back to her grandmother and grandfather. While living there, she wanted to attend the same school as the boys but wasn’t allowed in. She eventually learned the moves better than the boys, and again Koro didn’t accept this one bit. After the ancestors didn’t respond to Koro’s call, Paikea attempts to help and do the same, only, they responded this time. Her success isn’t what she thought, as the whales started to wash up on the shore and all begin to die. As the people couldn’t get the whales back in the water,Paikea tries to help but Koro doesn’t let her, “You’ve done enough” he told her. To show that she isn’t afraid; after the people were leaving she climbed on top of a whale and kicked it. As the whale began to move back to the water she stayed on and rode it in the water. She was brave enough to not let her family down, and let them know she wasn’t afraid to die.

This movie is definitely a “Have to see.” I really enjoyed this film. It was very interesting and I loved the way Paikea never gave up. It stood out to me because anything a man can do, a woman can do also. I also liked the fact that she showed her grandfather that tradition isn’t always right. She then believed in her heart she was the chief. I would definitely love to see this movie again.

Waiting For A Leader

“Whale Rider” begins when a young woman is giving birth. The woman gives birth to a set of twins (a boy and a girl), one of which (the boy) dies. The mother also dies. The death of the male baby spells trouble for the community of Whangara because the first-born, who has always been male, is considered Paikea’s direct descendant. These descendants are destined to be the new chief. From that moment, Koro, the twins’s grandfather, believes that the community of Whangara is doomed.

As Pai grows older, she believes herself to be destined to be the new chief. However, due to Koro’s belief in tradition, she has to fight him all the way through. Koro assembles an all-male school designed to teach the boys the old ways of their people, and hopes to eventually find his chief. Pai hides and watches the lessons, attempting to learn from her observations. Unfortunately for her, Koro catches her many times and she believes that he has begun to despise her.

When Koro has lost all hope, he calls unto their ancestors for help, but they do not listen. In an attempt to help, Pai calls unto them as well and is successful. However, her success isn’t what she’d hoped for. The whales from the ocean wash up onto the beach and all begin to die. When the people can’t get them back into the water, it is up to Pai to take action and try to save the whales, as well as her people.

I really enjoyed watching this film. It was interesting to see the different traditions of their people. I always find it somewhat interesting to how different other cultures are from ours. Just the little things that they do differently stood out to me. For example, when the people greet each other, they touch noses in a sort of embrace. In our culture, I feel that would be extremely uncomfortable. I also really liked Nanny. I enjoyed how she let Koro believe he was the boss, but really she was in more control than he would have imagined. She was a very strong woman. All in all, this was a very good film and I think I would enjoy watching it again sometime.

She's Brave!

Whale Rider is deffinitley a go see movie. I enjoyed every moment of this movie. The movie stars Keisha Castle-Hughes(Paikea), Rawiri Paratene(Koro), and Vicky Haughton(Nanny Flowers). This is a movie about how Paikea tries so hard to gain acceptance from her grandfather Koro. Their family is apart of the Maori tribe and in this tribe the first born son is suppose to become the head chief. When first born, Paikea's twin brother and mother both died. After this happened, Paikea was determined to fulfill this spot. Koro didn't want this to happen so he didn't treat her with respect. She decided to leave and go to Germany with her father because of the way her grandfather was treating her. Paikea changed her mind and returned back to live with her grandmother and grandfather. While there she tried to join the school the boys attended to gain training but wasn't aloud in. Paikea ended up learning the moves better than the boys but Koro refused to accept this no matter what she did. He got upset with her and told her to apologize to these boys. Koro took the boys out in to the sea and through his whale tooth in to the sea expecting one of them to bring it back to him. The only one that could do that job was Paikea. Koro didn't know this at first and ended up so depressed. Koro decided to call on the ancestors but they weren't listening to Paikea tried and they came. Next day all the whales were out on the shore. They weren't going to leave unless Paikea talked to them. Koro still wouldn't let her attempt to help. When she did it, the whales finally moved back to the sea and she was riding the whale as well. She was brave enough to let her family that she wasn't afraid to die.

This movie deserves two thumbs up from me. I felt that this movie truly sent out a message to all girls that may have to deal with something like this. Women are always discriminated against because of who they are. Women are aloud to do anything a man wants or thinks he can do. Paikea showed to her grandfather that tradition is also not always right. Certain things in a family line aren't always made for a man. I can relate to this movie alot. I am so happy to have been able to watch this.

WP 3 Rough Draft Due NEXT Week, Not This

Hey Guys!

Your WP 3 assignment sheet states that your Rough Draft is due tomorrow for peer review. However, I'm not sure we're there yet, and I want to discuss your summaries more before you turn it in. Lucky for you all, this gives you till Monday to continue drafting, visit the Writing Center, and ask questions in class about this very complex paper topic.

In the mean time, keep preparing for our Practice Debate tomorrow, and we'll hammer out the draft details tomorrow.

Statement Paper on Founding Fathers.

For both sides of the issue, the main point I think that is trying to get across is that secularists want to be in denial over the influence of religious beliefs that the Founding Fathers used in forming our country.
With editors for many text books trying to write out that they were religious is almost elephant dung. I really do think that they had their religion influence them in writing the constitution but that doesn't mean that they were trying to enforce it on others. They took accountability towards everyone's religion.
The First Amendment stating that it doesn't keep state and the church separated. But it does keep the government from invading on the affairs and likes of the church.
Whatever our Founding Fathers believed shouldn't necessarily affect us or hinder us in todays world.
It has been around two hundred years since the constitution was written and states of change are always in play. If our nation were to become a nation of church. There would be uprisings. If we were a nation of pure government and limited church, still there would be uprisings. There needs to be an equilibrium but it seems that will probably be an ongoing case of "whimsical fuckery" in courtrooms, board meetings and congress.

Monday, October 24, 2011

That Dang Curriculum Change

The article “How Christian Were the Founders?” by Russel Shorto is about the Texas board of education wanting to change the social studies curriculum. Their decisions are going to significantly affect the entire United States. Texas has the bigger budget to spend on text books, so technically they control the standards for what goes into textbooks. The article then goes on how our founding fathers were Christian, therefore our children should be taught with large emphasis of the Christian faith. Two prominent figures in this debate whom stand pro Christian are Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy, they are conservative board members who consider themselves experts in history. They’re the ones who are pushing for less evolution and more Christianity. On the other side of the spectrum, we have people who disagree with the changes made to the history curriculum. For example, independent parties such as Judy Brodigan who is a textbook writer and has to stick to the true facts. In addition others believe the board has a different agenda which they don’t take the general public into consideration.

Based on this reading I have to protest and take a firm stance against the Texas Board of Education changing the social studies curriculum because the changes were made unethically. America is considered the melting pot, this includes religion, therefore by making a Christian curriculum you are hurting students whom don’t believe in the faith nor want to learn about the faith itself.

Wall of Separation?

The article “How Christian Were the Founders?” by Russell Shorto is about the controversial subject of the Texas Board of Education’s plan to change the K-12th grade curriculum.  The board, which is made up of mainly conservative Christians, who wish to add an emphasis on Christianity into the history curriculum.  Russell Shorto gives background information and knowledge of these changes they wish to include and the arguments behind them.  Included in this article are the many view points and opinions of members of the school board, defending their opinions.  Even though Shorto includes many examples of the school board’s credibility, the article remains very bias.
I believe that this article and the arguments included have a few valid points made, but I still disagree with the incorporation of religious teachings in public schools.  For example, the idea that our founders were all Christians and wanted our nation to be brought up around the same idea.  This may be true, but I think that children should be familiarized with multiple religions, IF any type of religion is to be taught in schools at all.  It isn’t fair that one religion gets a pass, due to majority ruling.  In the article, Randall Balmer, an American religious history professor at Barnard College, explains how David Barton argues that the phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution.  Balmer goes on to say "He's right about that.  But to make that argument work you would have to argue that the phrase is not an accurate summation of the First Amendment.  And Thomas Jefferson, who penned it, thought it was."  This explanation is one of the few pieces of credibility in the article on the opposing side, and an important one in my opinion.

Religion or No Religion

The Texas Board of Education seems to be the popular people out the group when it comes to chaging the cirriculum in the books. The article I read basically discussed whether or not to leave the religious stuff that was already in there or take it out. People of all races and faces came out to speak their public opinon. Even though they spoke up the board still decided on changing the cirriculum based on how it would affect children that were in kindergarten to 12th grade with in the next 10 years. The Texas Board wants more of the religious side. The Republicans on the board say it isn't enough religion in the text.

The way I feel about this is that they should seperate religion from state. I my self go to church on Sundays and I respect the religions but some people want to keep their belifs seperate. It's just the way of America not everyone wants to read upon it everyday. They read upon it on their own. Texas revisers aren't thinking of the other side, they seem to be doing what they feel is right. Yes they have to hire workers to look over their revisions but those workers may just be on their side.

Feeder 3.3

Feeder 3.3

This article is about putting by not separating church and state and combining the Christian faith in with the student’s social studies books. That these new guidelines will affect grades from kindergarten till twelfth grades. Many people are against the vote to put Christianity into books just because of their thoughts on gay marriage, abortion and government spending. They also want to say that the United States was found devout Christians and according to biblical precepts. A big problem was the process of revising the social studies guidelines was the desire of the board to stress American acceptance. David Barton states that students should be taught the following principles that there is a fixed moral law derived from god and nature, there is a creator, the creator gives to man certain unalienable rights, etc. these right were taken from the Declaration of Independence. By March 3 all the decisions on Texas curriculum will be history.

Putting the Christian belief into the curriculum is a dictates religion saying that the United States was founded by a bunch of Christians by changing the components of history itself. They might as well just change the whole entire outcome of everything not just the science and the social studies books all of them so they everything would just be the way Texas curriculum wants it to be.

Crucify me, Cap'n.

For every school across America, curriculum and text books are not only a major concern but a major expense. Most schools do not have the money to fund the publishing of textbooks that have been customized to their state’s needs and beliefs. But for states that do have the money, like Texas, the customizations do not come easy. Texas school board members are elected like any other state representative. Member like Don McLeroy openly holds titles like “conservative republican”, while other call themselves “liberal democrats” but the majority of the board agrees on being “fundamentalist Christians”. Every ten years debates are held over the revision of the state’s textbooks and what topics, names and facts should be added or removed for the students of the next decade to learn. “How Christians Were the Founders?” Russel Shorto discusses how in the past several years the debates have become quite controversial over topics like whether the founding fathers wrote the constitution with Christian values in mind, if the country was founded on Christian beliefs and if ethnic minorities should allowed into the history books. And their team comes prepared, equipped with a practicing lawyer, Cynthia Dunbar is also an assistant professor who’s done her homework and is not shy about using debate methods like incorporation by reference. She states “When you have in one legal document reference to another, it pulls them together, so that they can’t be viewed as separate and distinct. So you cannot read the constitution distinct from the declaration.” And the declaration famously refers to a creator and grounds itself in “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” Therefore, she said, the religiosity of the founders is not only established and rooted in a foundational document but linked to the constitution. Of course both sides have their own proposals for additions and ideas for editing but the conservative’s side of the argument goes a bit over the line of simple revision and crosses into attempting to change laws that have stood since the early years of our country. Laws like “the separation of church and state”, a term coined by Thomas Jefferson that got him removed from the curriculum, though the board is a democracy and everything is voted on, it’s still Texas, a notoriously conservative state. The criteria of Texas’ textbook would seemingly only affect the students of Texas, but like I said before, most states cannot afford to have customized textbooks published. So they buy the books they can afford, which by chance, are the books that the Texas board of education has revised and voted on. Texas is the largest of the upper 47 states and its educational decisions influence most of the other 46. California, the most populated state, would be one of the only exceptions if it wasn’t bankrupt. Like most other problems that we encounter as Americans, we confront this issue with our political party titles and all of our personal beliefs intact. As a country we seem to have a problem with tolerance, with our pride of freedom and democracy we find it hard to swallow anyone else could be having their way with things. So instead of trying to agree upon a fairly balanced curriculum that covers both sides of the nation’s opinions we try our hardest to force feed our young a mindset instead of an education.

My Take on Feeder 3.3

The article "How Christians Were the Founders" illustrated how the Texas Board of Education is editing textbooks in order to shine more light on religion. Currently, conservatives are trying to put a heavy emphasis on Christianity in the classroom. The Board members aren't changing public schools into church houses, but there is much controversy over some of the amendments passed in order to change Social Studies and History textbooks. A lot of the changes deal with religious issues in current history text books and how, in the eyes of the Republican Party, textbooks today do not have enough emphasis on religion.

Some of these amendment changes vary from calling creationism a theory to how "The United Stated was founded by devout Christians." (McLeroy 91) One of the conservative persons that is trying to change curriculum and believes he's smarter than historians is dentist Don McLeroy. He is saying bias things like "There are two basic facts about man, he was created in the image of god, and he has fallen." He says that the founding fathers recognized this, but that is irrelevant to how our country was formed. Even if our fathers were heavily Christian which in some ways the founding fathers were: Missionaries, Imprinting God's name on currency, etc.) it doesn't mean we should exclude other religions. In my opinion, if religion is going to be taught in the classroom (which I think children should be familiarized with it), all varieties of religion should be taught. I think it is selfish to want to teach religion in the classroom, but only focus on one because the old white men who founded our country happened to all be Christian.

position statement: Someone else needs to do their homework

Although the author of the article "How Christian Were the Founders", Russell Shorto, is very bias, I must corroborate with his argument that the Texas State Board of Education is not being fair with how they change the curriculum. The board has obviously not done their homework on who the people being voted into the spots really are. Shorto mentions Cynthia Dunbar who is a lawyer and professor, stated that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution become one in context because of "incorporation by reference", which is when one document refers to another. Because of this, she believes church and state should not be separated because the Declaration of Independence mentions one creator. she then goes on to say she does not believe in public schools and her own kids either went to private school or were home schooled.Bill Martin Jr. was wrongfully kicked off the board because they believed he was a Marxist author and communist, when in reality he wrote books for children. Of course there is the dear Dr. McLeory, a dentist and someone who "reads a l lot" but has no background in education must be in the middle of every controversy. The Texas Board of Education should revise its members before the curriculum.

"How Christian Were the Founders?"

Feeder 3.3
            In the article “How Christian Were the Founders?” it discusses the wall of separation between church and state and also how religion is excluded from history. They discuss amendments that are made and how they have changed history and excluded all of the religious teachings. They want students to be taught that we are a Christian America. But, history books do not teach us that. In the article Russell Shorto states “ In American history, religion is all over the place, and wherever it appears, you should well the story and do it appropriately.” quoted by Martin Marty. Russell Shorto also says “textbooks basically ignore religion”. That is so very true I don’t remember learning about the religion side of anything I was taught I guess it was just the basic things they wanted us to know. You can’t teach most of history without religion and that’s what the argument is. Christianity is everywhere in history and is not being taught correctly. It is taken out because of the wall of separation. And still after this there will be no change it will not be added to the guidelines, and when it comes time again all the discussions and the decisions about what goes in will be history.

Position Statement – I remind us that it is right to take out religion because some parents are against their kids being taught another religion if they do not believe in that. But, I also do remind us it is wrong because history is not being taught properly and loses its’ true meaning. So I stand in between I don’t favor one more than the other.

Feeder 3.3

The text “How Christian Were the Founders?” gives detail about how the different discourse communities (Christians, Jews, housewives, naval officers, professors, and many others) view the teachings of the current social studies curriculum. These people were meeting to give their input on what should be taught. As you would have it, each community is partial to his/her own community’s people. For example, one elderly Hispanic man told the Texas State Board of Education insists, “Please keep Cèsar Chávez.” With each person’s bias, how is the board to decide what goes into the textbooks and what stays out?

Unfortunately, not only are those giving their piece bias, but so are those of the Texas State Board of Education. Don McLeroy, he who dominated the board’s meeting, has been moving for amendments in the curriculum all the way through. McLeroy is a dentist, but claims that he’s read a lot about history. The text states, “The injection of partisan politics into education went so far that at one point another Republican board member burst out in seemingly embarrassed exasperation, ‘Guys, you’re rewriting history now!’” This shows how the bias of the different discourse communities is not only excluding historical events from history but rewriting them entirely. Still, the majority of McLeroy’s amendments passed in a vote held across the board.

The specific argument among the people, reported in this text, was whether or not the founders of America intended for the United States to be a “Christian Nation.” Those who are Christian like to believe this is true and attempt to prove so by insisting, “But Christianity has had a deep impact on our system. The men who wrote the Constitution were Christians who knew the Bible. Our idea of individual rights comes from the Bible. The Western development of the free-market system owes a lot to biblical principles.” These people believe that America’s system of government derives from teachings of the Bible and also point out that no “wall of separation” was ever officially published in any government documents. The Christian activists also assert that in school, science teachers should cover the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution. They argue that “to bring Christianity into the coverage of American history is not, from their perspective revisionism but rather an uncovering of truths that have been suppressed.”

David Barton is a nonacademic expert who is nationally known as the leader of WallBuilders, who aims to “present America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage.” Barton urged the Texas school board that students should be taught principles that derive directly from the Declaration of Independence. These principles are: “1. There is a fixed moral law derived from God and nature. 2. There is a Creator. 3. The Creator gives to man certain unalienable rights. 4. Government exists primarily to protect God-given rights to every individual. 5. Below God-given rights and moral laws, government is directed by the consent of the governed.”

Another expert, Daniel L. Dreisbach, a professor of justice, law and society at American University recommends to the guideline writers that “the founders were overwhelmingly Christian; that the deistic tendencies of a few-like Jefferson- were an anomaly; and that most Americans in the era were not Christians but that ‘98 percent or more of Americans of European descent identified with Protestantism.’” Thus proving the Christians who believed America to be a “Christian Nation” wrong. Richard Brookhiser, the traditionalist columnist and author of books on Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris and George Washington reports, “The founders were not as Christian as those people would like them to be, though they weren’t as secularist as Christopher Hitchens would like them to be.” Basically, each argument presented is biased in the opinion of he who presents it.

The text states that McLeroy met with the publishers to discuss that Christians wanted books to include classic myths and fables as opposed to newly written stories whose messages they didn’t agree with. McLeroy states, “I met with all the publishers. We went out for Mexican food. I told them this is what we want. We want stories with morals, not P.C. stories.” The text goes on to state that McLeroy showed an e-mail message from an executive at Pearson stating, “Hi Don. Thanks for the impact that you have had on the development of Pearson’s Scott Foresman Reading Street series. Attached is a list of some of the Fairy Tales and Fables that we included in the series.” McLeroy didn’t even appear to have a valid reasoning as to why these changes should take place. The Christian activists wanted these changes because they didn’t agree with them, not because they were what was factual. Still, they were taken into consideration and made their way into the textbooks.

I feel that every argument being presented is biased. The only ones that are not biased are those of the experts. Now, why might that be? I would think this is because a fact can’t be argued. History is all about the facts. This is what the social studies curriculum should be based on. If it’s factual, it should be covered. Of course, the length of a term is not far long enough to learn all of the information, so the more cultural impacting events should be covered more than those that are not so relevant. I feel that the board members voting on what goes into the curriculum shouldn’t even have a say. Being a self-proclaimed expert does not make you an expert. When it comes to the social studies curriculum, who should you believe, those who have an education in the subject or a dentist with a little reading? Think about it, would you trust the professors of justice, law and society to give you a root-canal?