Wednesday, 22 January 2014

ISU Check #2

The novel I read for the ISU was The Other Boleyn Girl by Philipa Greggory, a story that follows Mary Boleyn's, King Henry VIIIs second wife's younger sister.

The biggest cultural identifier I got from this novel were genfer roles in society, back in Tudor England. Men and women had specific roles they had to play at the time, and most women had very little freedom, as their lives were being dictated by the men in their lives.

This culture greatly impacted the characters in the novel, as Mary wanted to mary a man that she loved, but her uncle and father would not allow it as she had to marry someone who would allow there family to have good connections. Furthermore, both Mary and Anne were pushed by their father and uncle to have an affair with the King, creating a sibling rivalry between the sisters. Having men dictate how their lives are going turned Mary in a very reserved and obedient person, while Anne became a very resentful person, proving how important gender roles are in this novel.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Mystery Skype

I thought the mystery was very helpful in learning more about Native culture. My view on Native Americans before this Skype call was mostly negative, as all I knew about them was due to stereotypes (I wasn't in class when we watched the 8th Fire documentary). 

I learned that, unlike popular belief, they have a great education system and that life on the reserve is easier and more enjoyable than in the city, as people don't stare at you just because you are a Native. They also play many sports, just like us, and similar to the play, The Rez Sisters, Bingo is very popular on their reserve. Furthermore, they don't like going to the city as they have had bad experiences there, such as having non-natives question them more or keep their distance, and noticing some of their own people stuck in poverty. Finally I learned that they still do practice their culture, like attending ceremonies and powwows, and even rain dances. 

What I liked about the Mystery Skype was that the students of Wikmemikong were very friendly and finding out that they had a lot of the same interests that we did. I also liked how I learned more about the life on a reserve, and that it is much different than what stereotypes make you believe. It was also interesting to find out that they do enjoy life on the reserve, contrary to the stereotype also.

What I felt needed to be improved from the Mystery Skype call was to spend more time on the interview component of the call rather than spend a lot of time figuring out where the other class is located. I also felt we could've been more organized as most people abandoned their roles as soon as the call started.

Overall, the Mystery Skype was an enjoyable experience, and I learned a lot about Native culture that disproved many stereotypes.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Kite Runner and Breaking Bad

Being a fan of both the novel The Kite Runner and the television series Breaking Bad I noticed many similarities between the main characters, Amir and Jesse Pinkman. I saw these similarities after finishing the novel and then watching season three of Breaking Bad, as they both strive to redeem themselves after making horrible mistakes that will haunt them forever.

Now just to warn you now, I just started the 5th season, so there will be spoilers, but please no spoilers for me in the comments.

First of all, after having left his best friend in an alley to be raped by his bullies, Amir spends the rest of his life trying to redeem himself. Feeling very guilty for many years, Amir is finally able to redeem himself when he saves Hassan's only son, Sohrab, from the Taliban, and brings him back to live with him and his wife in America.

Comparatively, in season two of Breaking Bad, Jesse meets a girl, Jane Margolis, and they eventually start dating. Unfortunately, Jane was a recovering heroin addict, and because of Jesse's meth addiction, she started using again, and eventually overdosed and died. Because of this, Jesse was filled with enormous guilt as he felt it was his fault she died, as he could've prevented her from using again, and avoided her death. In season three of the show, Jesse meets another girl, Andrea Cantillo, at Narcotics Anonymous. He's finally able to redeem himself when he stops Andrea from turning back to drugs, to protect her six-year old son Brock, and by providing her with enough money to live a nice life, and allowing the two to live with him. Jesse is finally able to redeem himself since Jane's death.

Both Amir and Jesse have gone through rough times, and have let their loved ones get hurt, but they both strive to redeem themselves, as they don't want to live with the overwhelming guilt anymore. Because of their good hearts, they are able to get rid of the guilt, by preforming a good deed, and both characters are able to live happy lives in the end.

Monday, 11 November 2013

ISU Check #1

The novel I chose for my ISU is Philip Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl. It is set in the 18th century, when King Henry VIII is in power over Great Britain, and is about his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

While Gregory was not born in the 18th century, (she was born in the 1954), she has studied history at the University of Edinburgh. She later received her doctorate in 18th-century literature, and has even taught history at several universities. Gregory also claims that she has a commitment to historical accuracy, so that each of her novels are accurate, and not full of lies and made up facts.

While she hasn't directly had any experience as a noblewoman trying to get within the King's private circle, but having studied history, more importantly 18th-century history, and has even taught it, and always makes sure to be accurate, I would say Gregory is a credible author.

Friday, 1 November 2013


I strongly disagree with the article about GTA V degrading women, and this is coming from a woman myself. While I do agree that the game does degrade women, I believe that the author is making it seem worse than it actually is.

First of all, while the game degrades women, you can also point out that it also degrades men. The game portrays men as merciless murderers, who only care about drugs, sex and money, but the author doesn't talk about that aspect of the game, probably because he thinks he's doing the female population a favor by speaking against the game using the portrayal of women as his main argument. Yes, GTA V does portray women as trashy sluts, but it doesn't glamorize men either.

Continuing, this game is meant to attract the male population, which is why the three main characters are men. How many games these days are targeted towards men and have a female as a main character? Not many. How many of them are played by millions worldwide? Just a couple. While having a female protagonist is a great idea for a game, it doesn't attract many gamers, therefore it wouldn't bring in much money, and we all know that money makes the world go round.

Finally, the author says that, "perhaps the great tragedy of GTAV is that too much of their audience is comfortable with it". Considering there have been fifteen Grand Theft Auto games that have been released since 1997, and billions of dollars in sales, Rockstar knows what they're doing. With that many games having been released, their audience is used to the amount of violence within the game, and the way they badly portray both the women and the men, not making it a problem with the audience for being used to it, but with the company for making the game this way.

GTA V may not be the best game if you're looking for a game full of 'girl power', but the thing is, it's just a game. It's not meant to be realistic at all, and the GTA franchise is known for the women in the game being portrayed as whores, and the men as psychos, which is a formula that has been found to work and allows the company to make a lot of money. So next time, if you know you don't like these types of games, just don't buy the game, simple as that.