In-Depth Post #2

We are currently three weeks into in-depth now, and I am already enjoying the yoga experience. Last week, I was actually able to visit Yoga Generation – the yoga studio where my mentor works – and meet her for the first time. We politely introduced ourselves and started having a conversation about the studio. Our personalities seemed to be similar so getting along was not difficult. She gave me a rundown about how the classes work, her past in learning/teaching yoga, and allowed me to ask her a few questions.

Progress:

After having a conversation with my mentor, I attended my first yoga class. It was a Hatha Yoga class, which is semi-active. At the very beginning of class, my body was so relaxed and comfortable I felt as though I could fall asleep. However, soon we got into the physically-demanding poses and I realized how inflexible I was. I am not naturally flexible so a lot of the movements that are taught are quite difficult for me. For example, between every few poses, we will return to a downward dog pose. This pose requires flexibility in the hamstrings, which I lack. Halfway through the class, I was already sweating tremendously.

Although the poses were challenging, I was determined to maintain the positions for as long as possible, even if it means being in some pain. Nearing the end of the class, everyone was instructed to lie down on their yoga mats in a relaxing position and close their eyes. Calming music played in the background. I felt so exhausted by then and was ready to sleep. Finally, we sat up in a bound angle pose and concluded the class with “Namaste”.

How to agree:

#7. See if there are any circumstances in which the other person’s views might be right.

Since my mentor and I have only met and talked once, most of our conversation consisted of factual information. Because of this, I believe that her points are right. My mentor has more experience in yoga as she has been doing it professionally, so it is reasonable for me to listen and take notes of her experiences. Everyone has their own “logic bubble”, which states that we all believe we are acting logically based on our values, perspectives, and experiences. I try to understand my mentor’s logic bubble and her way of teaching yoga, even if I have my own opinion. After some time, I see her point of view and learn to agree with her teaching style.

 

How to disagree:

#2. Do not disagree just to show how clever you are or to boost your ego.

Yoga is completely new for me, so it may be hard for me to have a different personal experience to begin with. In Edward De Bono’s How To Have A Beautiful Mind, he states that we should disagree with people “politely and gently rather than rudely and aggressively” (pg. 26). There has not been much for me to disagree with my mentor on, so I will talk about the yoga class instead. During the yoga class, the instructor (who was not my mentor), mostly spoke the names of the yoga poses while walking around the room. Luckily, I was near the back so I could look at other students in the room. I hoped that the instructor would go to the front of the room and demonstrate the poses for the class, but she did not. I disagree with her teaching style, but that doesn’t mean she is a bad instructor. In fact, she has more knowledge than I do, so I trust her ways of expressing and teaching yoga.

 

How to differ:

When a difference arises, try to figure out what this difference is based on.

Often during the conversation between me and my mentor, we would bring up the subject of “purpose”. My mentor explains to me what her personal purpose of doing yoga is, and it differs from mine. We both have lead and experienced different lives. Of course, it is likely for the two of us to have different motives for learning yoga. Other than learning yoga for the purpose of this in-depth project, I also want to learn it to better my health both physically and mentally. I have always been interested in how yoga can greatly improve your body and clear your mind. My mentor wanted to learn yoga for different reasons, and that is totally valid. I accept her reasoning for pursuing yoga as it is not just her opinion, but her personal life experience.

I am looking forward to more classes at Yoga Generation!

ZIP Final DOL

“How does the use of cultural language impact the authenticity and realism of children’s movies?”

disney

Everyone has watched a children’s movie at some point in their life. In a lot of these movies, people of different culture are represented, which makes each one worth appreciating and acknowledging. At the beginning of my ZIP, I struggled with deciding on which area to do my research project on. Last year, my chosen topic was focused around slam poetry and how it is written and performed. This year, I thought about going further with poems and possibly writing a book of poetry; however, I also wanted to experience something completely different from last year. I decided to direct my learning towards something else I am deeply interested in: children’s movies. Animated movies are a big part of my life, and I have always enjoyed watching them. Now the only question is, how do I incorporate my interest in children’s movies into ZIP? There are many sections I could focus on, such as scriptwriting, story plotlines, character development, etc. In the end, I chose to look at the cultural perspectives that are presented in some Disney movies. Throughout the course of this project, my inquiry question did change a bit. The initial question still remained, however, I also looked into the topic of cultural appropriation. Overall, I just analyzed the cultural behavior and language represented in a few Disney movies.

During this inquiry process, I was able to take something that I love to do and make it useful in my school learnings. I think that this is very important for me not only as a student but also as a learner in general. It’s important to be able to take something that is enjoyable for me and turn it into something that can help me with other successes. Another specific skill that I expanded on was researching and gaining a greater understanding of cultures and languages. When people watch Disney movies, we mostly focus on the characters themselves or the story that it is telling. Although, how often do we truly look at the cultural background that is shown? A deeper meaning is integrated within the exciting stories and unique songs. This inquiry process has taught me to appreciate the multiple cultures represented in Disney movies, and how to use my curiosity when watching new movies.

cocoThe inquiry question that I proposed has no specifically correct answer, although there are many points that I found which are related and similar to an answer I was looking for. As an overview, I can say that characters of a different culture who speak some of their cultural dialects add a lot to a movie. Without any representation of cultural behavior, the movie seems less authentic and, in some cases, stereotypical and inaccurate. One of the movies that are used in my project (that I have just recently watched), Coco, is a wonderful example of cultural representation in children’s movies. The characters speak quite a great amount of Spanish since the setting is in Mexico. All of the characters refer to each other in common Spanish terms. For example, Miguel, who is the main character in the movie, is referred to as “chico” by his family, meaning “boy” or “son”. Words such as “alebrijes” (spirit animals) and “ofrendas” (altars, used to honor the dead) are also commonly heard. Many of the songs are in Spanish, and it really makes the storyline more realistic and authentic. On another note, this movie is specially produced to educate and display a real Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos (also known as Day of the Dead). This holiday is all about honoring the dead. In every home, an “ofrenda” is set up with the family ancestor’s pictures to ensure they are not forgotten. Since Dia de los Muertos is an authentic holiday that is celebrated, it makes complete sense to portray the links between the dead and the alive, the “ofrendas”, and the characters the way they would be in reality. There are also other movies that are similar to Coco that I will be explaining in depth during my presentation.

My final learning artifact is a Pecha Kucha presentation. I understand that our presentation is not supposed to be a lesson; however, I believe that this is the best way to demonstrate my learning because I will be able to verbally explain my findings with a slideshow as a visual aid. For my ZIP project, it is a little difficult to show my learning with a single, physical artifact. Unlike other areas of interest such as scriptwriting or trailer-making, a project solely based on research and perspective cannot be simply demonstrated with an object. Since my Pecha Kucha will definitely not take up 5-6 minutes, I am hoping to have an interactive portion with my audience member. I will have a few cards face down on the desk, each with a character from a movie on it. My audience member will choose a card, and I will then talk specifically about that movie and its cultural references. If there is time, the audience member can also ask questions regarding my project.

These are the core competencies I have chosen:

  • Recognize how language constructs personal, social, and cultural identity.

The language that is spoken in the films I have researched shape the characters and society portrayed by that culture. It demonstrates how much the words and language we speak construct our identity.

  • Apply appropriate strategies to comprehend written, oral, and visual texts, guide inquiry, and extend thinking.

My Pecha Kucha provides visual texts and photos which I will be further explaining verbally. The second part of my presentation will include more interaction between me and the audience member, which will challenge my understanding of my topic.

  • Recognize and identify the role of personal, social, and cultural contexts, values, and perspectives in texts.

In all the movies I have chosen, cultural values, perspectives, and beliefs are present. Most of these ideas impact the entire plotline. I will do my best to identify and explain how these roles affect our view of the movies.

Helpful sources:

https://www.k-international.com/blog/the-languages-of-moana/

This website includes the description of the Polynesian languages spoken in the movie Moana. It tells us how the soundtrack includes both the languages Samoan and Tokelauan. It also mentions that “one common challenge with language preservation is making the language seem relevant and attractive to children”. In general, most of the cultural language used in the movie is shown on this website.

https://slate.com/culture/2017/11/alebrijes-ofrendas-and-more-mexican-cultural-traditions-in-coco-explained.html

This is one of my favorite websites, mainly because Coco is currently one of my favorite Disney movies. The site gives an insightful definition of certain Spanish terms that are not commonly known. It also gives a nice description of the correct use of Dia de Muertos vs. Dia de los Muertos.

https://lakotachildren.org/2015/09/reservations-about-films-disneys-pocahontas/

This was an interesting read. The website provided me with a long and in-depth history lesson of the movie Pocahontas, and the origin of the story. This website also showed what the filmmaker did to “morph” the story into a fictional love story that did not actually occur in the past.

https://themagicofreligionindisney.weebly.com/mulan.html

This website gave a brief but informative outlook on the movie Mulan. The film reflects the nature of the Chinese religion and culture by making many references to and emphasizing “upholding the family honor”. In general, it describes the cultural (and religious) practices and values from the movie.

While researching my inquiry question, I often run into websites that don’t necessarily talk about the answer I am looking for, but the content interests me. The subject of cultural appropriation and misrepresentation popped up a lot, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go too far down that path for research. It does spark my interest in how a lot of these movie producers and directors are not actually from the place they are basing the movie off of. This causes me to wonder if they have a deep enough understanding of the culture, or if some parts are based on stereotypes. For the future, I would like to have more time to explore that subject.

This concludes my inquiry project. Goodbye, ZIP 2019!

pocahontas-gif

ZIP DOL #4

Describe the ups and downs you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when you were frustrated or struggling in your inquiry, what did you do to address the situation?


So far along my inquiry, I have run into a few obstacles, although I would consider them a blessing. These obstacles have helped me uncover a new topic related to the cultural aspects of Disney movies. On the internet, I found it a little difficult finding the information I was looking for. For example, when researching ethnic/cultural behavior that is expressed in specific Disney movies, I only read articles about how Disney misrepresented the culture. Most of the information on the websites explained the issue of cultural appropriation. Although this is technically an obstacle because it is not directly helping me achieve the answer to my question, it is still useful information to have. I will definitely include this topic in my final presentation.

fnewsmagazine.com/2016/11/disneys-cultural-appropriation-in-moana/

This website is not exactly formal or reliable, but it was still an interesting read. It describes cultural appropriation in the movie Moana. Apparently, the movie started as an appreciation for the beauty of Polynesian culture but somehow ended up with backlash for misrepresentation of Maui. It also states how the Maui costume may be offensive to people. Overall, it was an eye-opening article that can be referred to in my presentation.

ZIP DOL #3

Take a moment to reflect on your inquiry plan (calendar). Do you need to make any revisions to your original plan? If so, why? If you haven’t made any changes to your plan, why do you feel you have been so successful in sticking to it?


My original inquiry plan:

January 6: Complete proposal and rubric, post on my blog

January 7 – 13: Research and take notes

January 14 – 18: Research, compile notes, start planning presentation

January 19 – 20: Decide and plan presentation (how I want the product to be)

January 21 – 27: Create and edit video or Pecha Kucha, review notes resources

January 28 – 29: Present!

I feel that I need to revise my original schedule because my research took up a few more days than expected. Instead of compiling notes and starting my presentation on January 14th, I have used the last couple of classes for further research. Although I did not completely follow through with my original plan, I don’t regret using my time for extra research. My notes are quite detailed and thorough now, and I plan to compile and review my notes today and tomorrow during class. Today is January 15th, and originally, I was supposed to start compiling my notes yesterday and start organizing my presentation today. However, because of the slight shift in my schedule, I will not start my presentation until January 18th (this Friday). Other than this revision, I believe that my schedule is reasonable, and I am able to keep up with it.

In-depth 2019: Introduction

Greetings!

This year for in-depth, I will be studying the art of yoga. Yoga is a mental and physical practice that not only relaxes the body but the mind as well. For the first couple of months along the learning process, I will mainly conduct research regarding the purpose of yoga, and how it helps relieves stress for students, such as myself. The next couple of months will be dedicated to specifically practicing the yoga poses and creating a presentation that effectively showcases my learning.

yogaThroughout the four months of this project, I will attend yoga classes every two weeks at Yoga Generation. An instructor who teaches there, Prestonne, will be my mentor. After every yoga class, I will have the opportunity to ask her about my inquiries. In my own time, I will also review the yoga poses that I learn from her. I am hoping to take photos to track my progress (balance, posture, flexibility, etc.).

I want to learn about yoga because it is a lifelong skill that can be applicable to my daily life. I would also like to be capable of sharing my knowledge of yoga with my peers. Yoga is known to be a calming form of exercise; the benefits of this exercise are both mental and physical. I believe that simple yoga should be known and taught internationally, providing a healthy stress-reliever to many people around the world.

ZIP DOL #2

For the past few days on my journey of ZIP research, I have opened and closed many websites, read and reread many articles, and taken notes on relevant information. Here are a couple of resources that I found useful:


 

https://www.k-international.com/blog/the-languages-of-moana/

This website talks about the “Languages of Moana”. It explains the meanings behind character names in the movie. For example, Moana means “ocean” in Maori, Hawaiian, and most other Polynesian languages. It gives a brief overview of the cultural language spoken in the movie, and why it is spoken.

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/mulan-chinese-representation-stereotypes-disney-anniversary

On this website, a woman talks about her personal experience watching Mulan as a child and watching Mulan as an adult. The lens that we view movies through changes as we develop as individuals in society. She now recognizes stereotypes within the movie and brings them into perspective.

https://sweetanimatedfilms.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/a-history-of-disneys-cultural-representation/

This site asks a very good question about “representation or appropriation”? It explains both negative and positive sides to some Disney movies. Although this website is slightly off topic from my main inquiry question, I still believe it is useful for my research and contains insightful information.

ZIP DOL #1

January 7 – January 8

During the focus block on January 7, I researched Disney movies that utilize a great amount of cultural behavior and language. I created a list of five movies that I will be focusing on for this project. The movies are Mulan, Moana, Coco, Aladdin, and Pocahontas. Then, I took notes on the specific cultural-based scenes, whether that be the songs, dances, attire, dialogue, or etiquette. I realize that I have not watched a few of these movies in a long time, so I hope to find time to re-watch them. By watching the movie, specific moments that are culturally significant will be noticed. I plan to watch one this weekend.

During the focus block on January 8, I conducted focused research on just one movie: Mulan. I discovered that cultures may not be accurately portrayed in some Disney movies. For example, while researching Mulan, I read how the Chinese audience reacted to the movie. Not only was it shown as stereotyping China, but it was also gender-stereotypical. After reading through many websites with movie reviews, I concluded that cultural representation in children’s movies is only notable when depicted correctly. This piece of information slightly contradicts my inquiry question, but I do not regret the discovery. It is very important to note all the pros and cons of cultural representation because another big issue is cultural appropriation. I will take that into account during the rest of my inquiry.

zip-notes-jan-8

(I apologize about the blurry picture. It basically just includes my research on the selected five Disney movies. -taken on January 7-)

ZIP Inquiry Proposal

 

Aloha! 你好! Bonjour! 안녕하세요! Hello!

Human language is a wonderful system. It varies around the world and every culture has its own unique dialogue. For my ZIP inquiry this year, I will be exploring the application of different languages in children’s movies and how it affects the realism and cultural recognition of the film. The inquiry question I am hoping to research is:

“How does the use of cultural language impact the authenticity and realism of children’s movies?”

I always enjoy watching children’s movies, because they tend to have a storyline simple enough to follow along and a happy ending. Disney movies are most commonly viewed by young kids, so most if not all of my research will be based around them. My goal for this project is to learn and understand the importance of cultural dialogue usage in children’s films, as well as research the inaccuracies the films would undergo if the traditional language is not used. In many children’s movies, characters are from different countries across the globe. Not only do they speak another language, but they also follow a specific ethnic lifestyle that may differ from us viewers. However, for the sake of understanding the movie, it is projected in the language most commonly spoken within our country: English. The downside of showing the film in English is that often the authenticity, or significance in some cases, is not being portrayed as much.

Currently, my knowledge of this topic is not very in depth yet. I am hoping to conduct research surrounding the topic of “diverse culture” found in children’s movies. Some examples I am thinking about using for my project are Moana, Mulan, and Coco. These are a few well-known Disney movies that clearly display cultural norms and ideas, and I am excited to delve deeper into the languages or special terms used to enhance the realism of the film.

By the end of this assignment, I hope to have learned how to acknowledge and appreciate the importance of diversity in language within films. I also would like to learn how to edit movie clips in such a way that exemplifies my main points. During my research, I can possibly approach digital media teachers at Gleneagle for support with video editing. I can also seek help from my peers, knowing that quite a few of them are experienced with technology. However, I believe my main resource will most likely be the internet (websites, YouTube videos, actual movies). It is common that people make video theories and analogies about specific children’s movies, and I figured they might be useful for my research.

At the end of my inquiry, I will demonstrate my findings with either a Pecha Kucha or video production. Most of my work will be shown visually, and I plan to explain the details of my project during the one on one presentation time that we are given. My schedule for this inquiry project is as follows:

January 6: Complete proposal and rubric, post on my blog

January 7 – 13: Research and take notes

January 14 – 18: Research, compile notes, start planning presentation

January 19 – 20: Decide and plan presentation (how I want the product to be)

January 21 – 27: Create and edit video or Pecha Kucha, review notes resources

January 28 – 29: Present!

A Wizard of Earthsea: Style Analysis

What stood out the most about Le Guin’s overall writing style in Chapter One of the novel?

In chapter one of Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, I notice that her writing style is quite “artsy”. She uses many literary devices, such as assonance, repetition, metaphors, and foreshadowing. The thing that stands out most to me is the use of descriptive language. Most places or events are described in such a detailed way. The extensive use of descriptive words makes the story come to life, and a specific image is painted in my head. However, as detailed as some parts are, Le Guin also leaves parts very vague. It seems as if she keeps the important information unclear and mysterious, yet gives all the details about something seemingly insignificant, like Duny’s aunt’s house for example. It was “low and dusky, windowless, fragrant with herbs that hung drying from the crosspole of the roof…” (3). Personally, I rarely read fantasy novels, so I am not familiar with how they are written, nor do I have any comparisons. This may also be a reason why I find Le Guin’s writing style particularly artsy.

A Wizard Of Earthsea: Anticipation Guide

“People are their own worst enemies.”

Whether we like it or not, the true enemy lies within none but ourselves. We are our greatest critics. Society certainly plays a role that helps determine what we think of ourselves, but the rest is up to us. What is the definition of an enemy? An impediment, possibly. Or someone that goes against our beliefs. The only person, however, who is really stopping us from making decisions is ourselves, and the only person who has the power to change that is also ourselves. Insecurities and overthinking often cause us to doubt our thoughts, which can lead to us losing confidence. Even if we hate to admit it, our external enemies are usually people who possess opposing qualities to us. They only become our enemies if we choose to perceive them that way. In other words, if we have the choice to decide whether someone is an enemy or not, we would obviously prefer to choose not. The only reason why we would be enemies with someone is if we both extremely disagree with each others’ viewpoints. Either way, it leads back to us and our own identities. Is it still possible for hatred to burn inside us because of another human? Surely. We can still have enemies other than ourselves, but the worst enemy, the harshest, the meanest, the most self-deprecating enemy is ourselves.