Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

HW 35: Letter to My Blog Readers !

Throughout this time period of keeping my own blog in this class, I have learned many different things. By having a blog, I was able to communicate in a different way, by expressing how I felt about readings and certain topics to the rest of the world. I have become a better thinker an writer and have learned how important blogging is to the rest of the world and ones own personal being. I hope that someone else will be able to feel what I feel through my own posts, and see the importance of blogging and the amount of feeling that goes into it. I feel the most proud about my "Least Favorite" blog post, because I chose a topic that I was very passionate about and therefore the post had a lot of emotion and feeling in it. I believe that once this class is over I will definately keep my blog and refer to it from time to time, or I may even eventually add to it, I'm not quite sure yet what i would like to do from here. I definately believe that blogging had become the new form of technology that is being used in the world today, and it is a great way of staying in touch with te rest of the world, and it reflects of the type of person you are through your feelings.

HW 34: Responding to Riverbend

The custom of evening tea in Iraq Is very traditional and common in their culture. I found this topic specifically interesting. In the evening, most Iraqi families gather together for "evening" tea. No matter how busy the day, everyone will sit around the living room, and wait for tea. " Iraqi tea isn't a simple matter of teacups and teabags. If you serve teabag tea to an Iraqi, you risk scorn and distain. A teabag is an insult to tea connoisseurs. It speaks of a complete lack of appreciation for the valuable beverage(Riverbend 108). The process of making tea is generally a three stage process. The kettle of water is first put on the burner to boil. Then the boiling water and a certain amount of tealeaves are comined in a seperate teapot and put on a low burner until the tealeaves rise to the top and threaten to boil over(Riverbend 108). People drink tea with breakfast, at midday, in the evening, and often with dinner. "Our tea in Iraq is special because it is flavored with cardamom and served in istikans. Istikans are little glasses shaped like the number 8 but open at the top, and flat at the bottom. They are made of thin glass and sit in little glass saucers or porcelain saucers with intricate designs drawn on them. The color of the tea has to be just right, clear yet strong, preferably a deep reddish-rown color(Riverbend 109). Ont these occasions, they sit gathered around a small coffee table with a tray of tea and something simple to eat such as biscuits or bread and cheese. One person will pour the tea, and add the sugar. In most cases the discussion around the table consisits of the troops and war topics. Such a ritual as drinking tea in the Iraqi culture is often taken for granted in our own culture, although we do have our own rituals here in the United States.

HW 36: Gabcast

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #5

Episode 5

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HW 33: Podcast

Episode: Challenges at a Girl’s School in Baghdad
Series: Alive in Baghdad
Date Published: May 21, 2007
Link: Challenges at a Girl's School in Baghdad

The general topic of this podcast is about getting an education. They interview a few 8th grade girls and a few teachers. In this podcast, there is a lot of discussion about how there is an all girls school who is in danger because the school is in a dangerous part of Baghdad. Therefore girls are deciding to leave because of the danger of thier lives rather than by their own free choice of wanting to stay and get an education. It is even becoming difficult to find teachers that actually want to teach becuase of this. Dispite all this violence going on around the school, the girls still feel the need to continue with their education. Jinan Jamal Mattmoud, who is the director of Al- Safina speaks mainly about the schools even surrounding the area and what the teachers and students have to deal with. Just by simply watching this podcast it is very clear as to the the amount of money that is actually put into the school systems. The walls are all faded with paint and the desks and classroos in general are very old and look like they arent really cared for and kept up nice and neat. The streets are all run down and old, ad seem very secluded. Someone watching this episode might learn the way Iraqi's live, and the challenges they have to face. This video is very similar to others that I have seen on Iraq. The atmosphere and settings all look very familiar. The thing that stood out the most to me while watching this podcast was the idea that girls were afraid to go to school because of how dangerous it was. We dont have to worry about things like that around here and I just that very unusual.

HW 32: Responding to Riverbend

After reading Riverbend's October 5, 2003 post she talks a lot about shopping for school supplies. In this post, Riverbend makes an interesting point. She states "Yesterday, I went with my cousin, his wife, and my brother E., to shop for school supplies for his two daughters, a pretty ten year old and a loud seven year old. Every year his wife, S., takes the girls to pick out their own pencils, notebooks, and backpacks but ever since the war, she hasn't let them step outside of the house unless it is to go visit a relative." (Riverbend 94). From reading this section I realized that we do things very differently over here in America. Usually going school shopping isn't an entire family event in most cases especially beyond the immediate family. She also states how the girls arent aloud to step outside unless they are going to visit a relative, which in my opinion is a very scary thought. I could never imagine not being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Another interesting point that Riverbend brings up, is when they are in the store and she starts talking about erasers. " We've all tasted an eraser at some point or another. In the end, we went with some strawberry shaped erasers that oddly enough, smelled like peaches.....S. said I was confusing the kids but I reminded her that they had never tasted strawberries anyway....her kids wouldn't know the difference." (Riverbend 95). This idea is very strange to even consider thinking about. The idea of not knowing what a strawberry looks like or even smells like. In this case coming across an eraser that smells like something very unfamiliar to some yet very familiar to our culture here in America.