Saturday, March 24, 2012

Project Space Ethonography

On Wednesday March 21st 2012, I visited a kindergarten classroom to view the space of the school. The majority of the people there are kids under 6 and they are learning from a teacher who is teaching the basic thing about the world. It is more like an introduction to society as they grasp what they need in order to accommodate society.
The environment inside the classroom is very colorful and everything is mostly arts and crafts. The children inside these classrooms are semi focus, but they know who the leader inside this classroom is. The teacher is using a form of order to have the children follow direction and their punishment is a time-out method in which the children must be alone for about 5-10 minute. The classroom has a sink, fountain, restroom, and other various thing that makes it resemble a community within a community. Within the community that the children are in, they learn together and they learn basic things that they would use in life.
The location of the kindergarten is in a friendly environment where it is made to feel like a safe place to be.  The building is fairly small and it resembles a day care center. When you walk into this kind of classroom you feel like you are in an environment meant for kid. It is not the sad or gloomy feeling, but it makes you happy.
The space could change from being a peaceful place to a crazy place in any second. When children cry it disturb the atmosphere and causes people to react differently about the place.  It is the sound of annoyance, but also it makes you feel like they are helpless you must help them.
Although this place has an educational background, it has the feel of being at home. The kids have a daily routine here and they are stepping on a stairway to enter society. If there was a potential threat to the children in the classroom, this will alter the space in the whole school. It is like a domino effect because safety is a big thing and the issue must be taken care of swiftly. The classroom is changed from a safe environment to a very dangerous one.  
The classroom of the kindergarten is very organized with a lot of labels. They are used so the children could be surrounded with words so they could learn and play at the same time.  Although everything is clean it is not like that at the end of the day. The floor is dirty, and everything becomes disorganize, that is how I know the kids enjoyed their day in the classroom.  The space of the kindergarten classroom has a huge influence on mostly children. It is like the Chuckie Cheese, but for a educational purpose.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Sign and Science of Shopping

               Reading the essay, The Signs of Shopping, by Anna Norton gave me a complete different perspective about shopping.  Norton state that shopping is a “subversive activity for women”, this is like saying something about men and sports.  Her claim about female shoppers is the average stereotypical truth, but it is not like that for all female shoppers. Not all female shoppers use shopping as a subversive activity. She states that in society women shop to relieve stress and it is a time where they are intimately enjoying it.  Norton also claimed that women are socially dependent on men because of their money. She thinks that women identities are made of “possession of property and the recognition of their dependence. I find that this kind of statement may be accurate a couple decades ago, but it is not the same anymore. Women are independent and they are capable of providing for themselves.
                The mall is one of the strangest places where people would shop. Norton states that “the mall has something of the Mercado, or the agora, about it. It has both a place of meeting for the young and one of the rare places where young and old go together. “It is very rare for a place where old and young people could agree on, but the mall somehow places different age groups in a place where they are doing one thing, which is shopping. Norton also explains some of the signs that reflect the space of the mall. I agree with Norton about how the malls catch our attention by using visible things to catch our attention. They influence our space a lot by having commodities that are wants in life , but not necessities.  It is also true that store hanging a variety of identities on their racks and mannequin. They use this as a source of luring people to change their identities.
                The Science of Shopping is another article that states an excellent source also about shopping. Out of the whole blog, I think that the idea of what Paco Underhill said about banks and stores is true. To create a business right next to a bank means asking to go bankrupt. For myself I see the bank as a place to exchange money and the stores near it makes it seem like I am just passing by it. Store tends to attract customers in many ways. The local stores around my area are walking distances. That was the way things were built back in the early days, but now there are many construction of homes that looks just like apartment complexes in new York. There are people living in the top of stores and restaurants. I think this is the new way of living because most of their resources are there for them already. By doing this, the businesses in that area will have 100% guarantee that their business would at least make minimum revenue. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Project Web Essay

Steven Lee
Professor Dinsmore
Eng 114B
28 Febuary 2012
Society’s Gender Role
Identity plays a big role in modern day life. It symbolizes who you are and how people think about you. No matter what people say about, “Don’t Judge a Book by its cover”, it does not matter because in our mind we judge people. We give them names based on their identity and we remember them based on their identity. The movie, Gamer and the graphic novel, Surrogate are two excellent sources that portray identity as a role in life. Society is a very cruel place when it comes to gender, if you’re a woman you must be a sentimental human being, if you are a man you must be masculine. These are common gender role that society demands and expect people to follow.
The graphic novel, Surrogate shows a good example of how gender is portrayed in society. In the book, people live a life where they could be anyone they want to be. They are represented in society as artificial human who could live life as a different identity. The CEO of the surrogate company, Victor, is really a surrogate who is controlled by a women named Victoria. The nature of this proves that as a woman, she believes that being a man in society gives her special privileges and  being a CEO of one of the biggest company that should be well taken care of. Victoria used Victor as a source of having a bigger voice in the company’s action. Even in a world where everyone is perfect, she still use a man as the symbol of power. This shows where the power belongs to in modern day civilization because in the book, their timeline is not so far from our time. 
Despite Harvey being emotionally strong, in the other hand, Margaret (Harvey’s wife), does not believe in going outside without her surrogate. She is living the fantasy that everyone women wants, staying young and beautiful. This does not last forever because when Harvey turned off all Surrogate in the world, he goes home finding out that Margaret committed suicide. Society in Surrogate is trying to explain the nature of women, saying that their image is very important to them, they are very sentimental and weak, and they depend on men. These are all stereotypical things that relates to how Society view men and women.
Harvey’s and Margret’s incident brings up the topic of the reason of why a specific gender cares about their personal appearance more than the other. The stereotype about women caring more about their looks than men is true because men seek women for their looks. This works more like a supply and demand way, but in society’s point-of-view. If men are looking for looks that means women are looking for personality. These kind of stereotypes are all picked up from the media because we believe that in life, women are seeking a man who would protect them. If women are supplying the demand of men who are seeking the appearance of women, then this sums up  the solution of which gender has the power in society.
In reality, from past to present, women are sometime controlled by men both figuratively and literally. Both, the movie Gamer and the graphic novel Surrogate have scenes where men control women as another identity. In Gamer, there exist a place called Society where people could be controlled by other people who could afford the cost to control human. A scene is gamer showed a man controlling a woman, and he is having her do stuff beyond imagination. This kind of act is worse than chattel slavery because she is less than a property that could be sold; she is basically controlled to do his bidding. In Surrogate it is a different story because the man who was controlling the woman was controlling a surrogate. Both of these examples are trying to tell us something about society in the human world. Men want to be the superior gender in the world. They act to dominate over women and they act to show this by controlling women.
There are many assumption about gender role, and they are very stereotypical when people say them. Taking a look at wiki-answer, there was some opinions about the life of a woman and the life of a man. “Men’s Instinct is to breed with as many women as possible, and to make sure they are having “his” kids. This kind of statement reflects nature and the role of the male species. This applies directly to nature because life is all about reproducing and to do this they must have some sort of feature to “impress” the female, so this might be a relation to power.
Wiki-Answer also provide a statement about female, which is the counterpart of the male species. “Women instinct is to restrain, control, and be picky about men. This kind of statement is true because women are the one who decide whether or not the man gets to have sexual intercourse with them. They are more in control because if they say no, it means no and if the man attempts something it is consider rape. Although this is stereotypical, we see a lot of this in movies so it becomes a trend in society. Men have power, but women has power in a sexual relationship.
From the very beginning in civilization, society has a gender role and purpose for human. Through time these role change, but some role still stay specifically intact.. Although it is cruel and the stereotype that are made about opposing genders are very inaccurate, it is only a mere question on why we still think this way. Having an identity means you will be judged, not out loud, but it is from another person’s perspective. The gender we have is just a mere identity that reflects our image and something to be used as a sub category of a human being. Male or Female, gender is just an identity and it could be altered because it is based on appearances.

Project Space: Exploring CSUN

           Taking a look at one of CSUN’s (California State University Northridge) most appealing structure was a very exciting thing to do. On March 02, 2012 , me and 3 other people from my group decided to go see the Valley of Performing Art Center. This structure is very clean and compare to all of the other buildings in CSUN, this is by far the most cleanest place to be. My group and I had a very hard time trying to get into this building, but waiting for someone to come out pays off a lot. We had a VIP tour in the building that no other student had the chance to get.
The VPAC (Valley Performing Art Center) cost about 120 million to build, and it is all paid for by donation and not from tuition. The distinct differences from VPAC and the other buildings is the environment. It looks more like a private property than a CSUN facility. It is empty during the day and mostly packed at night when there are popular plays that are showing. This place could either be a learning environment or a recreational facility.
                The interior of the VPAC is similar to an art museum. It has a very simple white look, but it has artistic mind all around it. For example, there are walls made out of guitar wood, this is very pricey and there are sound vents coming out of these walls so the performance could be heard outside where the concession stand and waiting room is.  The VPAC has music playing as we walked in, but it is very quiet in the lobby.
                The way the building is structured serves it purpose very well. It is for plays ,music, shows, concerts, and etc. It produces very nice sound quality and inside the building the viewers are able to be adjusted comfortably. The place is so beautiful that it does not even look like a CSUN facilty. It feels like you are in another zone where rich people have their get together. The funny thing is that there is a VIP zone for people who donate 3,000 dollars a year and 30,000 in the beginning to have access to a first class view and a room where all the rich people hang out. The reason why VPAC is doing this is because they are trying to cover the 50 million dollar debt they still owe to pay for the cost of the building.
                CSUN is a community within a community by offering VPAC as a source of entertainment. It provides unique shows and plays that are very different compared to going to a movie theater. It gives you the taste of first class. The VPAC was constructed in 2010 and now in 2012, and it is still in good shape. Having classroom on the side and in front of the VPAC creates a learning environment for students who are majoring in theater and radio broadcasting. This is a very good idea because when VPAC needs help they ask student from the theater majors to help such as , stage crew.The VPAC is something that symbolizes CSUN, just like USU and the Oviatt Library.