Tuesday, December 11, 2012

BGC Reflection

Spending time at the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster this semester was a very fun and culminating experience. I enjoyed spending time with the kids and teaching them about different fairy tales. Although there were some challenges, the Boys and Girls Club service learning project was successful and fun experience for not only me, but the rest of my group members as well.
            Although I did a service learning project instead of a final exam, I learned a lot. Actually working with kids, teaching them, and learning how they function has taught me a lot more than just sitting down and studying for a test would have. I actually had to be a teacher for four weeks. I prepared lesson plans and activities with my group, which actually was not a very easy task. My group learned very early on that teaching the kids like they were in school was not going to work. We went to the Boys and Girls Club on Friday afternoons. It was clear that the kids were full of energy and eager go home for the weekend after being in school for a week. The kids did not like the “traditional” lesson plans, and actually complained at times that “this is just like school.” So after our first time with the kids, we added more learning activities into our lessons so that we could keep the kids entertained. More activities kept the kids active, occupied, and attentive, which is exactly how we needed them to be.
            There were also some other obstacles like the kids fighting with each other over different things. For example, the first time we worked with the kids we did activities based around the story Little Red Riding Hood. As a prop, we brought a red cape with a hood so that the kids could use it to dress up when we asked them to act out the story. As it turns out, that was not as good of as idea as we originally thought. The kids ended up fighting over who was going to wear the cape and when and for how long. It was very hard to get them to pay attention to anything else but the cape. Another time we did a lesson about Hansel and Gretel. We brought pictures that when put in order told the story and had them arrange the pictures as an activity. It took forever to get them to do the activity that we had planned because all the kids could focus on was who was going to go first, and who was right and who was wrong.
            If I were giving advice to new first year students doing a project at the Boys and Girls Club, I would definitely stress that they have good plans with good activities, but also have backup lessons and activities just in case things don’t work out as they originally planned. Sometimes if a lesson backfires you find yourself wasting time trying to come up with random lessons or games on the spot. That can be pretty hard especially when you have 5-7 kids bouncing around. Also, use your time wisely. Try not to waste time on things that the kids won’t enjoy very much. The experience becomes so much better when you can actually enjoy the activities with the kids and see that they are enjoying them as well. Have fun with the kids, let them color, and give them treats. (:njjju
            I would definitely do this project again if I had the chance to. I had a lot of fun taking a break from my campus responsibilities and working with kids. I think I enjoyed the coloring activities just as much as they did. There are very few things that I would change or improve. If doing something like this again I would just make sure to always do things that the kids will enjoy. It is hard to keep the kids engaged if you don’t teach in a way that will keep them attentive. If the kids are bored, you are to. Other than that, the time I spent at the Boys and Girls Club was very enjoyable and successful.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The End is Near...

     I have really enjoyed my time in this First Year Seminar class this Semester. Who would have thought that a class with the name From Grimm to Disney could actually teach me so much? I have looked at fairy tales and stories that I grew up reading in a completely new light. There are things that I notice when reading these stories now that I would never have guessed would have had anything to do with the story before. Being in this class has made me a better reader. My analytic skills have become better, and I now read to learn. I can now actually take more than just a story away from a story; I can point out symbols, and lessons. I also really enjoyed the project with the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster. Working with the kids was really fun. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let me bungee jump from your hair....

I chose this cartoon because I thought it was really funny. The idea of Rapunzel using her hair to do fun things with the prince instead of just letting him climb up it to get inside of the tower really amused me. I would definitely have to say that this cartoon is very similar to the Disney version “Tangled.” In the movie, Rapunzel does a lot of cool things with her hair. She does things like tie the Prince to a chair and when they escape she swings from trees and things like that. The fact that the prince is bungee jumping from Rapunzel’s hair reminds me of some of the things Rapunzel did in the movie.

Bluebeard, Bluebeard, Bluebeard

The three versions of Bluebeard, although very similar, were also very different as well. They all have a male character that is looking for a wife. In all the tales he has to either bribe or steal the girls in order to get them to marry him. He has a house that has many room all filled with riches, and then a secret room that he forbids his wife from going into. In each of the stories the wife disobeys him and when she enters the room she finds dead bodies and blood. Once finding out that his wife disobeyed him, he tells her that she must die. Each version of the story ends in a different way, but in all of the stories the wife survives by outsmarting her husband or finding a way to receive help. All of the Bluebeard stories show the excessive desire for knowledge by women.  My favorite of all the versions would have to be “Fitcher’s Bird.” This version is my favorite because of the way the wife outsmarts the sorcerer by putting her sisters in the basket along with the gold

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Frog King and Cupid and Psyche

           The Frog King and Cupid and Psyche are similar in a few ways. The Frog King is about a princess who promises a frog that she will be his companion and playmate if he retrieves her gold ball out of the well. The frog retrieves the ball for her, but the princess runs off and leaves the frog at the well. The next day, the frog appears at her house. Once the princesses’ father found out about the promise that his daughter had made, he makes her keep it. Once in bed, the princess becomes infuriated with the frog and she throws him up against a wall. Upon hitting the ground the frog turns into a prince and they get married.
            In Cupid and Psyche Venus becomes jealous of a beautiful mortal girl and she sends her son Cupid to punish her. But Cupid falls in love with Psyche. At the end of the story, Psyche becomes immortal and she can now be with Cupid forever.
            The Frog King and Cupid and Psyche are similar in that in both stories the main character is the youngest daughter and also the most beautiful. In both stories the girl marries someone that no one else wants because their true identity is masked.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

     The cartoon that I chose is a social one. It shows the wolf from “Little Red Riding Hood” or “Little Red Cap” lying on a chair in a psychiatrist’s office. The caption reads “I understand your motive for eating the grandmother, but why did you feel you needed to dress up in her clothes?” I chose this cartoon in particular, not only because it is funny, but also because it made me think of one of the presentations from class. The presentation talked about Perrault’s view of the wolf. In the presentation, I learned that the wolf actually wants to explore the feminine mysteries of fertility and that is why he eats Little Red and the grandmother. Because of what I learned in the presentation, I also think that the reason that the wolf dressed up in the grandmother’s clothes was because he wanted to explore the feminine mysteries. Because of this prior knowledge, I was able to answer the question of why the wolf dressed in the grandmother’s clothes in my head.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Snow White (Grimm vs. Anne Sexton)

            The Grimm version of Snow White and the Anne Sexton version are different in many ways. For one, the Grimm version is a lot less sexual than Anne Sexton’s version is.  Sexton includes a lot of sexual insinuations throughout her poem. When Snow White is wandering through the woods she implies her “sexual awakening” when she writes “At each turn there were twenty doorways and at each stood a hungry wolf, his tongue lolling out like a worm” (Sexton 97). Another sexual insinuation is when she refers to the dwarfs as “those little hot dogs” (Sexton 98). Another difference between the two versions is the way that Anne Sexton infuses pop culture into her poem. She mentions things like Ace bandages, daisies, and soda pop. Also, Anne gives a time when the prince comes. She writes that the price comes in June, which is not only a transitional month, but it also represents beauty. In the Grimm fairy tales the stories are usually timeless.
            Although different, there is one main similarity between the two versions that I would like to point out. In both versions, Snow White did not learn from her mistakes. Because of the Zeitgeist, Snow White has to be a passive character. She repeatedly let the Queen fool her with ribbons, combs, and finally with the apple that put her into a death like slumber.
            In my opinion, the Anne Sexton version is better. I like how she includes things that make you thing and how she refers to pop culture. I think the poem was a lot more interesting than the Grimm version.