CAS Reflection (Activity) – Oct 2019

For my activity, I have selected Karate as I have already done it for the past 2 years, I enjoy karate as some of my friends are also members, in addition to the fact that It is good for my physical wellbeing. My experience in karate so far has not been very eventful due to the repetitive nature; however, I have realised one of my key weaknesses: flexibility, because karate is a martial art, flexibility is directly tied to the one’s performance, due to the fact I do not often train outside of the actitivty, and was inactive over the summer break, my flexibility is currently subpar and hindering my progress (LO1). I believe if I improve my flexibility via. stretching I will be able to perform much better, I hope to continue my commitment and develop my skill throughout the activity.

CAS Refection (Art) – Oct 2019

I have also started learning Saxophone through music ITP this season, after a 3-year hiatus, I decided to relearn and continue to develop this skill (LO2) out of self-interest and the fact that I have been given an opportunity to do so. Because my expertise in this area has degraded quite a large degree due to the period of inactivity, and in addition to the fact that my ITP sessions are only 30 minutes long, my first few sessions of ITP were quite slow and in a way monotonous. Thus in order to accelerate my learning and make the most of my opportunity, I am consistently practising the instrument outside of ITP classes to improve my skill. Although I do not particularly enjoy watching/participating in musical performances, I am quite fond of instruments; having also learnt piano and drums in the past. Therefore I am very enthusiastic regarding this activity and am eager to see how far I will be able to progress.

Levels of Optimism

I believe that although I am not an optimist, I am neither a pessimist but instead a realist. My perspective on events in my life do not follow a positive outlook nor a negative outlook, my belief is to view events as to how it is, in a realistic light. I previously believed that optimism is a futile effort which yielded no results and will only make future failure even more discouraging, however, I now realise the importance of this trait in one’s character. Thus I hope to increase my level of optimism, especially in the field of academics, to view each failure as a learning mistake to a successful future.

CAS Reflection (Service) – Oct 2019

The first few session of my service, Zero-West, have mostly been about introductions to the service and its new members, and the new vision which it has adopted. In addition, because I am now a grade 11 student, I am now free to apply for leadership positions; therefore, I have decided to sign up as secretary for my service, although I may not be able to be an ideal leader due to my poor communication skills and lack of the previous experience, I hope to gain new skills and develop my leadership traits through this opportunity. In the future, I hope to gain a better understanding of what we can do to live more sustainably and to increase the reach of the service.

CAS Reflection (Creativity) – Oct 2019

So far, I am enjoying my selected activities and service. In my activity, ‘Sumo Robotics’ I have been able to learn basic coding and gain an understanding of mechatronics, a new skill which I had no knowledge of beforehand. My participation in this activity has also allowed me to display LO5, as because of the nature of the club (being heavily student-run), students with prior knowledge would all share their experiences and assist the new members, whenever I or anyone else encountered an issue, we would work collaboratively to resolve it. This reminded me of the importance of collaboration, especially in a learning environment. My interest in this activity stems from my aspiration for a career in the field of engineering or technology, thus if in any case in the future that I begin to lose motivation in this activity, or find it too difficult, I will persevere and continue to commit as the skills I learn may become an important asset for my future. By the end of the activity, I hope to have developed my coding skills to the extent where I will be able to apply it to my own projects.

Womens Expectation

The representation of women over time have changed vastly in advertisements, from the obedient housewife persona from the 20th century, to the now present independent equal-footing depiction of women in media.

The first panel displays an advert which aimed to boost female worker morale and encourage contribution to the industrial sector during WW2 America. The advertisement is a clear example of the control which social norms and stereotypes have over representation in media, although meant to display a strong working woman, the female character in the ad still conveys the values of that era. The headgear which the woman wears is befitting of a housewife, conveying the idea that although he/she is ‘strong’, she is still a homeworker at heart, and is not on equal footing as other men. In addition, the usage of the word ‘We’ in the slogan ‘We Can Do It!’ denotes that women can only achieve this through collective effort, and are otherwise weak when independent, further enforcing the stereotype that women are dependent beings.

On the other hand, the modern ad uses the word ‘Yourself’ instead of a plural pronoun, this conveys a value that contradicts that which was shown in WW2 advert, the idea that you should be striving for improvement to satisfy yourself, and not others. In comparison, the modern ad also gives the impression that being a ‘strong’ woman is more to do with fitness and ambitions, whilst the WW2 advert gives the impression that women need to be stronger for the purpose of manual labour. This shows the contrast between the values which were assumed regarding women, in the 20th century, it was assumed that women had no desire to become ‘strong’, and only did so due to external circumstances; however, modern era women do so through personal choice. This has been represented through their attire and posture, in the first advert, the woman is fully clothed in work clothing while the second advert features a woman donning sports attire, signifying that her dedication is due to personal satisfaction such as fitness or appearance etc.

The WW2 advert reflects the identity of women in that era, women were encouraged to join the workforce, but nevertheless, are still subpar to men and did not independently strive to become ‘strong’. Contrary, the present-day ad attempts to challenge the out-dated identity of women and enforced the modern idea that all are equal. Through these two ads, you can see how the values and expectations of women have changed over the generations; similarly, the social norms and perspective that the current society has on certain subjects may also follow a similar path. Things which we would least expect to be viewed in a negative light may not stand beside the same opinions it receives today. The state of social structures can never be guarenteed as ‘right’ or wrong’ as they are all suceptable to change, these adverts, being a clear example.

CAS Profile

For my CAS I will be doing Karate as one of my activities, this activity runs on Monday after school or Wednesdays and thus is rather flexible. In terms of art, I plan on doing pottery which takes place after school on Monday, as for creativity I decided to do Sumo Robotics due to my interest in engineering, this program runs on Tuesday after school. My chosen service is 0-West, which is the same service which I have been doing since grade 9, however, as a second choice, I have selected Techtinkers, which is also a service which I have participated in before.

English Common Task 1

– Target Audience: 13 – 21 American females

  • Easily influenced
    • Does the responsibility fall on the audience for misinterpretation, or the performer for misrepresentation

– Purpose: Entertainment

  • Because people can learn about the culture, can it be considered cultural appreciation as opposed to appropriation?

– Many believed that Japanese women were misrepresented as “submissive” due to the lyrics of the song performed

– ill-received by many Americans; however, praised by the Japanese

  • Who gets to determine whether sometimes is considered cultural appropriation?
    • Who “owns” culture

– Does intent matter? Katy Perry had no ill-intent

  • Are only those who are born into the culture allowed to experience it?

Representation is core to developing relations between communities, those outside the culture can only experience by being part of the culture or through media.

Representation is problematic as it is used as a weapon against groups of people, however, can also be used to solve these problems; it is both the problem and the solution.

 

Cultural Sensitivity

 

Cultural sensitivity plays a large role in dictating how retailers should present themselves and their ads in different countries. McDonald’s, for example, advertises themselves in a completely different light in France when in comparison to China.

The french advertisements of McDonald’s have much more of a mature and “posh” air about them, this corresponds with the western stereotype of the French population as more ‘sophisticated’ than Americans, or in this case, the Chinese. This value of elegance has been conveyed through subtle hints in the ad, such as the smaller portion size of the food, the jewlery on the model’s hand, and in general: the clean, symmetrical imagery. The usage of the brand “McCafe” over “McDonald’s” has been done on purpose, as france is a nation with an abundance of coffee shops; Similarily, the macaroon was also chosen intentionally due to it being a popular desert in france, and its close resembalence to haute cuisine, appeals to the french population.

 

The Chinese ad, on the other hand, is a polar opposite, displaying an action image of a cow on a skateboard, thus completely abandoning the elegance profile and instead taking on a more spontaneous and energetic profile. This has been done to correspond with the fast-paced lifestyle of typical Chinese citizens, and also as a result of the stereotype that the Chinese are not very ‘professional’ or ‘civilised’, explaining the reason why the same style of imagery used in the french ad was not used for china. The rather maximalist design of this ad relates to the belief that ‘more is better’, an ideology that is commonly shared among the Chinese population and can be seen in many of the other ads in china. This type of design style is typically viewed as ‘old-fashioned’ by western countries, hence why it is not used elsewhere, in addition, displaying animals in ads where meat products are promoted is sometimes seen as taboo by foreign countries, due to the rising popularity of veganism and vegetarianism.

Cultural Appropriation (Who Owns Culture?)

In my belief, in the present day more often than not, cultural appropriation is used blindly by people in order to victimize themselves over the actions of others. Personally, I believe that culture is an important foundation of all communities and thus should not be disrespected or in any way exploited; however, I don’t agree with most cases of ‘cultural appropriation’ in the modern society. In addition, I do not think culture is limited to those born into it, and that one must be given ‘permission’ to be allowed to experience another’s culture; culture is collectively owned by the people of its community, therefore how can we know who is entitled to ‘give’ permission? 

 

However, if one were to blatantly exploit another culture in order to gain benefits such as wealth or popularity (e.g advertisements which us significant cultural symbols) that would be cultural appropriation and should not be tolerated. But if someone simply wears a culturally significant dress despite not being a member of that community, or unbeknownst to them, wears the dress incorrectly; they should not be slandered for their actions as there is no ill-intent behind them. In fact, I believe that cases like these actually somewhat lean towards cultural ‘appreciation’ as opposed to ‘appropriation’. As it can spread awareness and thus can cause others to also become interested in the culture, whilst also educating the wearer themselves.