Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My 20% Project!

Rogate 20% Project:
Another unit in Rogate has ended, and I am very excited to start our next project, our Passion Projects - also known as our 20% project.  These projects our called "20%" projects because we take 20% of our week out each Friday to work on these presentations.  We must choose a topic we are very interested in, and then thoroughly research this idea.  Then with all of the information that we have collected, we will turn all of that research into anything that we want that we can present and teach to the class, and that we learn from ourselves.  It can be anything from a PowerPoint Presentation, to a hand-made model, to even a song.  That is my definition of our 20% project and now that you know a bit more about what they are, I will now teach you about mine.

For my Passion Project I plan on researching the topic of Horses.  Now, this may seem like too broad of a topic, but I will be researching deeper into this idea.  From Horses, I will be branching off into more specific topics.  I would like to research all about the different breeds of horses and types of horses, then I would like to research the jobs and occupations that horses are used for,and then how they participate in the Olympics.  After that, I will be researching something a little different.   I would like to research how horses help people and society.  I know that horses do help autistic children and there are horses that spend their whole lives working with these children.  I am not really sure how that works, but I definitely will be looking deeper into it. Finally, I plan on interviewing a few close people that I know that have very good experiences with horses and would love to share a bit about them.  I am not really sure what questions I will ask them, but I know it will be definitely be about their experiences with horses of their own and what they learned from it.  After I have collected all my research I plan on putting it all into a PowerPoint presentation.

Now, this may seem rather simple, but it is not.  I know for a fact that I will be running into a few roadblocks. For example, I am not exactly sure how I am going to transfer the video of the interviews
onto the computer onto PowerPoint to present it to the class.   I am also not sure when I am going to interview the people that I was planning too.  Another obstacle that I am sure I will come across is,
researching all this information and creating the PowerPoint, in time.  I am going to be researching alot of information and I like to go really deep into research and then write alot, so I am probably going to have to narrow my topics down a little more...but not too much:)

As I mentioned before I am going to run in to a few barriers as I am completing this project.  I am going to need some help or "consultants" for this project.  A few people that I am most likely going to need is:

1. My horse trainer, Elise.
2. One of my best friends Taylor Suto who has been riding nearly all her life and was the one who introduced me to horses. 
3. My sister's friend's mom who grew up on a farm with horses and rode all of the way up to college on the equestrian team. 
4. My piano teacher who also rode a huge part of her life and only stopped a few years ago because of how busy she grew.
5. Finally, my parents that I can always ask for help from too, for any simple question.

Finally, some materials that I will need is:
  • Obviously a computer
  • An access to the library for any books on horses that would help me
  • My consultants and the people I am planning to interview (even though they are not materials,  I certainly could not do this project without them)
  • A Video Camera for interviewing
  • And of course, the traditional piece of paper and pencil couldn't hurt too.

Well I suppose that is about it.  I am so excited to begin working on this project and I just can't wait to get started! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Does Advertising Influence or Reflect Teen Culture...?

Does advertising influence or reflect teen culture? As our unit in Rogate comes to a close, we have been given a final assignment to complete, and that is to write a blog post on our opinions on the question: "Does advertising influence or reflect teen culture?" Well in my opinion, I believe that advertising both reflects and influences teen culture; you couldn't really have one without the other. Ads, advertisements, commercials, and the media in general are constantly influencing the lives of millions of older children and young teens all around the world. However, the media also has to adapt to the changes in teen culture as new interests arise and the culture develops and changes. As that happens, advertising has to change too and generally reflects teen culture and the interests that there are at that time. There is an equal balance of advertising influencing and reflecting teen culture.

First, let’s talk about how advertising reflects teen culture. As I mentioned before, as new interests and likes arise in teen culture, the media and advertising has to adapt to those changes and begin to advertise and sell products associating with the new interests in society. It is true that advertising may have a huge effect on teen culture, but what you see being advertised is 95% of the time what teens are currently interested in. For example, a new pop star or band becomes popular (let us say One Direction since they are my favorite band and are extremely popular today!). Teens all over the world absolutely love this band and just can't get enough of them! Advertisements, ads, commercials, etc. change and businesses begin to advertise their products using this band and its members as role models (this is known as Ethos). For example, One Direction has recently made a Pepsi commercial and I hear many people talking about it. It has stood out to many teens simply because it had One Direction in it! Not only do businesses use this band to advertise, but manufacturing companies now begin to sell products, clothes, perfumes, jewelry, shoes, etc that have to do with this new band! As you can see by this example, advertising greatly reflects teen culture and the current interests in society.

Now, let us talk about how advertising influences teen culture. The media greatly affects teenagers all around the world, and plays a tremendous part in their lives. Before I begin, I would like to share the opinion of another individual known as James Rada:

~ Businesses use advertising to promote their products and services, while other types of organizations use it to solicit donations or promote a cause. Because so much money goes into advertising and because there are so many ways to promote your message, the results are carefully measured to determine when to advertise, what to advertise and to whom to advertise to get the best returns on your money. Teenagers are a prime target market because they are impressionable and have lots of disposable income.
~James Rada

Because advertising plays such a significant part in promoting business, so much money and time goes into it (as James Rada said) to make sure that everything is carefully planned and "measured" out, including when it will be advertised, what will be advertised, and who will be the target age group (mostly teens and children). Another thing that Mr.Rada stated that really stood out to me was when he said that "Teenagers are a prime target because they are impressionable and have lots of disposable income". I do know that teens are a prime target for most advertising because of the fact that they are so easy to draw in and persuade. Teens always want to 'fit in' and have that 'perfect model body' and to be 'beautiful and perfect, or strong and muscular'. The fact that they also have a lot of disposable income is also very helpful to businesses looking to sell more and more products.

Teenagers spend about 6.75 hours per day using the media (such as watching T.V, going on the Internet, etc) according to the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia. Because of this, in one year, children and teens watch an average of 200,000 commercials and ads a year! Due to the intense and constant advertising, teens spend about $144 billion a year on clothes, entertainment, and fast food, and still can't seem to get enough! Even when they think they are satisfied, there is always something new and exciting out there that they just have to get. Interests are constantly changing and there always is some new product out there that is the new deal. The industry newsletter selling to kids and young teens, informed its readers that in order to connect with teens and children in their own homes, they have to use advertisements that uses both teenagers' oppositional nature and their need to fit in and be part of a group. They use these advertisements to build on these ideas and thoughts, in ways that teens can connect with.

One of the biggest issues of advertisement on teens is health and unrealistic views. One study reports that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are "unhappy with their bodies." This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen. Advertising promotes extremely unrealistic views of society. This greatly affects the views of kids and teens that lack a greater experience of the world, and are more easily drawn in to the media and its advertising. These children and teens are given fake views and requirements of what is "reality", and the importance of being socially accepted. This can be deadly. In fact, tobacco and alcohol advertising targeting teens have been made illegal because of how effective they were. Advertisements such as these can also lead to dangerous diets, drugs such as steroids (especially males), etc. As I mentioned before, teens always want to have that "perfect model body" when in reality those women and men used on T.V. for advertisements have been edited with technology to delete any flaws or imperfections. Women shown in these advertisements are usually too thin and underweight. These ads and commercials are one of the deadliest because even though you might know that what you are seeing is not real or healthy, you can still be impacted by it - more than you may know.

~ The message is that teens aren’t good enough the way they are. Many kids unwittingly buy into that message, and as a result, end up being hypercritical of themselves because we don’t fit a certain “image” that they believe is necessary for their happiness. What's wrong with this picture? This generation of kids is growing up in what is perhaps the most materialistic society we have ever had. They are surrounded by images of excess and the idea that buying “things” will bring them satisfaction. They are given things easily and rarely have to delay gratification. Worst of all, many of the things that are advertised to teens do not promote healthy development.

~ Susan Carney

I hope that after you have read this essay, you now understand more about advertising, the media, teen culture, and how they are all connected; I know for one that I do, after our whole unit in Rogate. This past unit has been so interesting for me and I have learned so much more than when we first started the unit. Now, as I have mentioned in my article, teens always have that sense to want to "fit in" and "be cool, popular, and beautiful, or good-looking". Well, in my opinion, all of this can be so hard to get away from, and I know that it is very difficult to stand out, be different, and to stand up for what you believe in. I admit that it is very hard, but I can assure that it is worth it, and it is better than being someone you are not...do not be afraid of fitting in with society and meeting its expectations. Don't let the media impact you in a negative way, and be proud of who you are...

Stand out...I dare you...



Sunday, January 6, 2013

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013...

2013 has at last come around, and I myself know that I am certainly looking forward to a wonderful new year full of many new opportunities and exciting, new experiences.  Looking back upon 2012, I have realized that 2012 was a year that was full of a lot of change for me and it has been a pretty intense year.  Every single day of my life there are many people and different things such as advertisements and commercials influencing me, and last year more than ever I found myself tempted by those influences. Now more than ever I have realized just how important it is to stay true to yourself.  I have also realized that from the beginning of 2012 to the end, I am not the same person, and I have grown up a lot over the past year.  With growing up comes many new responsibilities and I have realized that I am so lucky to be able to have such a wonderful family that always give me so much support and encouragement.  I would never be who I am today without my family, especially my parents, and my friends too.  After reflecting further over 2012, I am very proud of myself for continuing to excel in school and winning more awards than I probably ever did, and I myself am very excited for a new year; I cannot wait to see what the future brings.

My New Year's Resolution would probably be to continue to work hard to stay true to myself, and not be as easily tempted by a lot of the advertisements and influences in school, on TV, etc.  Furthermore, I also want to continue to work hard on chasing after my dreams (outside of school), and to really go after something and never give up, if I really want it.  Someone once told me that you are stronger than you think you are.  Finally, in 2013, I want to remember that growing up doesn't mean changing who you are, but rather becoming an even stronger individual.  Lastly, I would like to thank my amazing family, and to never forget all that they have done for me, and all that I am sure they will do for me.
Good luck to everyone else in the New Year, and I hope that 2013 is filled with many new joyful memories and experiences!

~ Marissa

P.S. And always remember: You are stronger than you think you are. ~ Mrs.Mystrena

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