My Time at HSI

I learned a TON in this class. My top 5 would be…

1. I understand how media affects me and others. I can now pick out the influences and think critically about them.

2. I am much more appreciative of photographers. It is hard to get that one shot that is simple and beautiful. Click here to see my photos

3. I feel like I am a much better writer. I can put what is in my head on paper or on the screen much more efficiently.

4. I am glad to have been taught how to edit and tweak photos. I want to have a variety of skill and Photoshop is a great addition.

5. I feel like I am able to understand others and their intentions. This alone is a very valuable skill to have in life.

My most valuable memory here at HSI is ALL THE PEOPLE!

I have definitely grown here. I am much more social. The PCs’ help was fantastic. This experience has prepped me some for college, only as much as you can expect from a camp. If I could relive HSI I would be more social right off the bat. When I get back home I will tell anyone who asks that the experience was one of the greatest I have ever had.


On Gender Roles

Gender roles have changed from what there were sixty or seventy years ago. Back in the 40’s and 50’s, men made the money and the women kept the household. That has changed. There are a lot of movies that have women with leading roles. Women have the same jobs as men aswell in the real world. I don’t think that gender roles are switching, just evening out.

The same goes for racial equality. Back in the early 1900’s African-American and Indian roles in movies were very negative. They were never the heroes, always the villain. Thankfully that is changing. In general we as a whole are becoming more accepting of others.

On Multitasking

During classes in school students are not allowed to be on their phones. This doesn’t always stop us. It has gotten to the point that without our phones most of us feel uncomfortable. We always have them and we are always checking them. Always making sure that you haven’t missed a text message or playing the latest game. When we are not in school we are constantly connected. You may not be directly communicating through text or Snapchat, but you are on Facebook or Tumblr, or some other form of social media. I am personally not great at multitasking, but I still switch what im doing all of the time. I just do in that moment what I feel like takes priority. I can only anticipate that it will get worse in the future. I can almost guarantee that I will be multitasking during school. All of this will definitely shorten attention span of everybody.

Mooks and Midriffs

A Mook is a man who doesn’t really care what people think of him, he acts ridiculous for attention. While a midriff is a girl who uses her body to get places. She will always look good for the people around her and feels empowered by her sexuality. Both of these personality types are around today. They may be slightly different, but they haven’t changes all that much. There are countless channels on YouTube dedicated to getting views and likes through acting these ways. There are tv shows and movies who star people like these. Just simply because they are mooks or midriffs. Mooks and midriffs are both a creation of MTV and a reflection of society. These types of people existed before MTV popularized them. But MTV made them huge. MTV has gone through massive changes. I remember when I was very young, I would sit for long periods of time watching music videos. I didn’t know at the time what I was watching. I didn’t know that the people on the screen were just personalities. But I loved them. I couldn’t wait to see the next video. But MTV has changed. They don’t play music television anymore. They have shows like The Jersey Shore and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory. These are still star mooks and midriffs. The difference is, these shows last for half an hour not three minutes. I don’t know where MTV should go next. I don’t personally care for MTV anymore. I have the internet to watch music videos. It is up to the executives to figure out what people want.

Seth Jones

Seth Jones has such a passion for playing the alto saxophone that he has stuck it out with four different instructors. This passion was born through chance. When Seth was just in the fifth grade he and his classmates were choosing instruments.

“In our school, especially in middle school, the first things that you can decide for yourself is what instrument you play. This helps define who you are, and challenge yourself to be who you want to be” says Seth Jones.

With fingers gliding across the keys Seth takes the role of the solo saxophonist. He doesn’t think of it as either a blessing or a curse. It’s what he got and he is glad to have it. With only six high schoolers including Seth in the highschool band every instrument in vital.

Seth and his high school band have had four different band instructors throughout the years, and this is one of the reasons the band as dwindled to such low numbers. Seth and his other band members have stuck it out with help of their passion for music.

Seth has learned something from every one of his instructors.

“Each one of my instructors has been different in a good way and a bad way. Especially my first instructor, she planted the seeds for my interest in music” tells Seth.

With these personalities each giving their input and advice to Seth he has grown to love playing the alto saxophone. With all of these people, there are two that have made a huge impact. His parents. Seth is eternally grateful that he has two people who will always be there to support him in what he loves.

But with only six people left in the band it is hard. The highschool band had to meld with the junior high band. And for Seth this was slightly degrading. He doesn’t like the fact that what he loves was and still is falling apart. He is willing to stay in the band untill he is the last one.

With this attitude Seth has taken a leading role in the band. Especially with their current instructor who is “kinda hard to get along with”, he is there to help lead the younger students in the junior high.

He has grown from just thinking that the instrument just looks cool, to having a leading role in the band. He has taken something he loves and made it his own.

 Listen to the interview here.


Media and Your Body Image

Magazines can make people of all ages insecure about their body image. These images portray the “perfect body” and tell you that you can have the perfect body too. These magazines say that the body you should have is tall and skinny. These can pose a problem to society by making people (especially young people) try to make themselves “perfect” this is often done in an unhealthy way. Media images effect everyone by making them feel insecure about how their makeup, body, or hairstyles look. They prey on these so you will buy the magazine and find out how you should do your hair or makeup. Wether or not you like the idea everyone who has read these magazines have been affected. Maybe not very intensely, but still affected. I wouldn’t say that my friends and I have been affected very strongly because we never pick up these magazines and read them. I am unsure if these glamour magazines are a pressing issue and I’m not sure we should try to fix them. The companies who make them have every right to, so we can’t stop them there. If you wanted to minimize the affect that magazines have on youth, you will have to talk to the youth about how they should picture themselves.

On the Banning of Books

And Tango Makes Three was banned because of the target age group coupled with the pro-homosexuality standpoint. Both sides of censorship have merit. From the viewpoint of pro-censorship, they just want to keep the values of the audience. They feel like if the a book has explicit scenes, people shouldn’t read them. Then there are those on the side of anti-censorship. These people believe that any book should be able to be read. It should be up to the reader to decide if the book is explicit enough to read, Or if the book deals with homosexuality, they should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to read it. I am personally against book banning. I feel that every book deserves to be read. So in the case of And Tango Makes Three the ban was unwarranted. If the authors of this book had a message to put out into the world there shouldn’t be a group that tells readers not to read the book. In my school I have never had a problem with banned books. Our parents and teachers seem to see the value of books that others see as harmful. Of the books on the most recent most commonly banned list I have read, Looking for Alaska by John Green and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

The Fouth Estate

Generally the news is how the public gets their information about what is happening in Washington or what is happening on Wall Street. News programs hold a huge responsibility to keep everybody in the loop. During elections, news programs play the candidates speeches, they share the president’s inaugural speech or state of the union address. With out these programs we would only hear about these speeches and events through word of mouth.

Comedic news programs are informative and helpful as a “Fourth Estate”. These types of shows engage you through comedy. Since you have been engaged, when a piece of news shows up the viewer grabs onto it aswell as the comedy. As for my self, I personally don’t really ever watch these types of comedies. I enjoy them, just not as much as actual news programs.

News to me is a show that tells you what is happening with out too much comedy or tomfoolery. The news I get normally comes from The O’Reilly Factor or Hannity. I started watching these shows because of family. When ever there is news on the TV it comes from Fox. I trust these programs because I know where their bias is and I can pick it out. Fox news is a right-wing news program, of course these shows will have a bias. I don’t really talk to others about the news. Unless it is very pressing. When I do talk about the news it is normally to my friends or certain family members.

Online Identities

I personally don’t have a huge online presence. I have a Facebook account, Twitter, Instagram, ect. The difference is, I don’t ever use them for socializing. I actively dislike taking “selfies” or posting other pictures and personal thoughts on the internet. With all of that in mind I don’t think that I have a typical online behavior.

My parents don’t limit the time I can be on the internet. I don’t think they feel like they need to. I do spend a good amount of time online, but I spend more time hanging out with friends than I will ever spend on the internet.

As for when I apply for a college or a job, I want my online self to look good… or not really be there. I feel like as long as your online identity is not a negative identity you should be fine.

I think that if you want a job and your employer looks at your online presence and it looks bad then he/she has total rights to reject you. As far as they know you are exactly who you appear to be on the internet

My First Couple of Days at HSI

My first day was not what I had expected. My access card for my room had been misplaced. When I finally made it to my room it turned out that I don’t have a roommate. This is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because I don’t have to deal with other people’s belongings and sleeping habits. It is a curse because it was very hard for me to make friends. And I don’t have a “buddy” to go with me to breakfast and other campus activities.

The second day we went on a scavenger hunt with our teams. We ended up walking fourteen miles on campus. By the end of the scavenger hunt I had made friends. I’d consider the day a success.