Which events in American history do you consider shameful? List these events in your journal. For each, jot down what your teachers taught you about the event when you were a child. Does what you were taught as a child differ from what you know now? In what way? If you did later on learn harsher truths about these events, how did you feel? Do you believe that you should have been told the truth from the beginning? Why or why not?
Of course, the most shameful experiences in American history were the war in Viet-Nam and the Iraq war. But, the most shameful in American history, as for me, was the time of the black slavery. At first, learning about the cancellation of slavery was good news for me. However, later on, I found out that the cancellation of black slavery with all its clauses and regulation was only forbidden on a paper. The attitude towards black people was still negative and intolerable. Although the law was issued, the white Americans have been treating black people as a lower class, and they were not considered equal to white Americans. They could not get a good job, better service at the bank, hospital, or restaurant, or study in a school with white Americans. Even being friends or marry a black American was frowned upon and was considered shameful. The time has passed since, and many changes were made in order to learn to understand each other regardless many factors. Today, America teaches us to be proud about ourselves, and treat other people equally regarding their nationality, skin color, religious affiliation, or thoughts. Learning and understanding history of a country and the world is important for personal development. It teaches about the mistakes, which have been made in the past, and accept them to avoid repeating in the future. I think that no matter how sharp the truth is, we have to know it, accept it, and avoid it next time.
Imagine you had a son or daughter who didn’t take school seriously. How would you go about motivating the child to value academic success? Would your strategies differ depending on the age and gender of the child? If so, how and why? What other factors might influence your approach?
It is a well-known fact that at a young age, people are never serious. All they need is fun and games. One starts to take advice seriously when gets older, therefore, more experienced and wiser. Knowledge, received at school, is very important as it serves as a basis for everything. Nevertheless, it is impossible to learn everything. So, forcing a child to learn everything would be a crime. Therefore, the best way to motivate a child is to learn how to balance personal understanding about it. On my opinion, a good parent should know how to make a child understand that taking school seriously is extremely crucial for the future. However, a child should never push oneself to the limits, as it may result in psychosocial underdevelopment. Also, the age and gender differences emphasize the choice of the parenting strategy. However, I think that the most popular approach “good cop-bad cop” would not work. Younger children need more discipline and organization. Older children need not a tyrant parent, but a friend, who will try to position self on his place in order to understand what the child goes through. In addition, as the girls are more emotional in general, it is easier to appeal and organize them. Boys, unfortunately, are less flexible and are more difficult to handle. For some reason, they protest against everything and block themselves from understanding, until a certain age. Although, if a correct approach is chosen, the age of the child, gender, and type of learning would be no difference for helping one to develop and become a morally good, prepared, and fulfilled adult.
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To what extent would you say our images of personal attractiveness are influenced by TV commercials and magazine advertisements? Think of commercials and ads you’ve seen recently. What physical traits are typically identified as attractive in women? In men? List as many as you can. What assumptions does each trait suggest?
Comparing advertisement of the 20th and 21st centuries we can observe the changes that the advertising industry had made. Both representation of gender images and the product on television had changed drastically in 50 years. Nowadays, marketing strategies are oriented to create a need to buy the products the industries sell. The advertising industry had learned how to manipulate the perception of the consumers using psychology, linguistics, and the image of attractiveness and sexuality. On the television, we see beautiful and thin women and handsome, rich men. These images dictate us that we can become one of them, just by buying a particular product. Companies create such unrealistic expectations in order to portray a fake image of attractiveness, creating new cannons of beauty, which we want to follow to keep up with the world. Companies do not portray the real world. They create another world of becoming, the world of perfection, extreme beauty, and success, the one we would like to live in, where all women have wonderful long hair, fit body, long legs, perfect skin and make up, and men are hardworking, strong, successful and know how to take care of their perfect women. All these traits suggest the absence of all flaws one can have. Therefore, women need a new mascara, which elongates the length of the eyelashes, depilator, which makes your legs smooth as baby’s skin, shampoo for perfect volume, clothes, which emphasizes one’s perfect curves, nail polish for perfect hands, a variety of creams for perfect skin, etc. Men need a wonderful suit to identify their success, new perfume, which attracts beautiful women, luxury car, etc. It is, nevertheless, possible to be “perfect” without all this, depending on one’s definition of this word.
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