Aesthetics

I was really struck by the profound message in the Moral Imagination article. I have never thought of a Haiku as being able to convey a powerful message, but the thought of using simplicity to speak to an issue really stood out to me. I like the idea of using few words that translate into a lot of meaning. Often times words stand as fillers, and depart from the point of the conversation. Lederach also uses haikus as a form of peacemaking. The haikus get to the root of the problem, rather than beat around the bush with meaningless words. Looking at words in its simplest composition, as Lederach describes, allows the audience to look at the bigger picture and find a resolution.

The idea of using a haiku to convey meaning reminded me of the exercises we do in class. Creating a scene or image to convey meaning is similar to using poetry as a means of communication. Despite their differences, acting and poetry can communicate more simply and effectively than other forms than may cloud the mind.

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Polluck Reading

 In this week’s reading, the idea of oral history as performance caught my attention. I have always viewed oral history as a type of performance because of it’s ability to move people and create a life like moment. Polluck described the use of oral history as performance as “living history,” that involves dialogue and community building.
 
I agree with the fact that oral histories strengthen communities and bring people together to share commonalities or even bond over differences. I also liked how Polluck described the performances and oral histories as unpredictable, and unscripted. The performances are dynamic, and are never stagnant or flat. I think that oral histories allow for more in depth analysis of situations, that force the performer to put themselves in that moment they are trying to reinact.

Boal Readings

 I enjoyed reading the Boal article, especially because of the postive spin it placed on situations that many would deem depressing. I was fascinated by the fact that the actors in the performance weren’t paid or professional, but were actual prison guards and prisoners across 37 prisons in the state. The prison guards even adapted to take on the roles of the prisoners, and portrayed the hopeless stances of the prisoners, with their heads lowered and hands on the person in front of them.
 
I was especially moved by how touched the audience members were by the performances. One of my favorite lines from the article described the performances as “hopes,” which makes the demonstration even more life like. Our discussion about occupy Wall Street in class last Thursday reminded me a lot of this article. The article cites that the performances “opened up dialogue between 4,000 prisoners,” which is similar to the purpose of Occupy Wall street. Discourse and argumentation is important for people to express their concerns, opinons, and hopes, and without an opportunity, these dreams will fall to the background.

Blog #4-Organizing for Social Change-Allison

I was very intrigued by this weeks reading about Dialects, and how they influence and shape our lives. The presence of dialectic tensions in social change is understandable, but I was surprised to discover that they also exist in songs, such as Smokey Robinson’s hit song, and even in sports, such as the unwavering support of Red Sox fans. In the section titled “Dialectics and Social Change” (p. 49), the author’s] acknowledges the hypocritical aspect of the two, when he or she writes that “a person may say that they believe in performing a certain action, yet these beliefs may not be reflected in his or her actions.” I find this to be very true in today’s society, where people seem to be quick to provide answers, but can’t be found when it comes time to follow through.

While I found all of the dialectics to be present in today’s society, I found the dialectic of stability and change to be even more prevelant than the others. Stability and Change is described as “involving the tension between wanting both sameness and variety in our relationships” (p. 47). People all too often strive for change, but are reluctant to change when the time comes. I also believe that people brush under the rug the fact that tensions do infact exist, and ignoring the problem can sometimes make situations worse.

Blog #2

I really enjoyed this week’s reading on the Guerilla Theatre of Greanpeace. I loved their idea of “igniting sparks” through different acts of performance, whether they were hanging banners on Mt. Rushmore, or sailing broken down boats to protest bombing in Amchitka. I also found it interesting that sometimes their demonstrations overshadow the message they want to convey to the public. Often times the publicity extinguishes the voice of the Guerilla Theatre, resulting in “defeat” as one Greenpeace member describes it. Regardless of the amount of publicity they recieve, the Guerille Theatre still manages to reach a large audience, and now has a huge following. The line, “creating images that have an impact on people’s lives” (pg 4), really struck a chord with me because often times our society is consumed with images that have absolutely no impact on our lives. We become obsessed with the lives of others in reality tv, that the true definition of “reality” is distorted.

I found an interesting article that chronicles the fact that reality tv isn’t actually real at all..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53032-2004Aug9.html

Blog #1 Allison Murray

As a future educator, I find it interesting the relationship of student and teacher in our chapter 2 reading. I like the description of teachers as “narrating subjects,” but I don’t think this is true in every aspect of the classroom. While students are being “filled” with the narrator’s (teacher’s) information, I think that generalizing education in this way ignores the teachers who do inspire their students. While it is difficult to find educators that ignite the desire to learn in their students, they do exist in the field of education. How do educators find a balance between feeding their students facts while at the same time instill in them a desire to learn? Are the students or teachers to blame? Does our society’s obsession with celebrity status and money distract our children from the importance of education?

http://calteacherblog.blogspot.com/2005/11/spoon-feeding-students.html

While I couldn’t find a video that covers this video, I did come across this blog that covers the issue at hand.