English 11

New Media Challenge

Chinua Achebe Quote: “The whole idea of a stereotype is to simplify. Instead of going through the problem of all this great diversity – that i...”

Let’s Challenge Stereotype

Where did stereotypes come from? It seems like they are always there, but perhaps it all began with a single story. We’ve all made or believed a single story in our lives, a story told about someone else but from only one perspective. Single stories can shape a person’s opinion, point of view, and perception of a group of people or an individual.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in Conversation

In the TED Talks, The Danger of A Single Story, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once said “the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” She shared about her experience when she was studying at a university in America, and how people made assumptions about her because she was from Nigeria. They assumed Adichie was uneducated, poor, and from a rural country. Her experience revealed that many people are born and raised with a single story about other countries, people, and beliefs and have never looked beyond that single story. However, even Adichie herself, who understands the feeling of being stereotyped the best, had stereotyped others as a result of being influenced by a single story that was widely spread in the media. Because of the media’s portrayal of immigrants, she once saw Mexico as a dangerous country where people lived in harsh conditions. Her story once again proved the power of a single story. When these stories are shared repeatedly, they become the “truth” that people believe.

What is a stereotype?Making assumptions is human nature, which makes overcoming stereotypes even more challenging, but this doesn’t mean we can normalize them. Michael Welsch created the video “How to Stop Hating (Country Music)”to demonstrate how to overcome stereotypes and hatred with empathy. In the video, Welsch challenges himself to try to love country music, which he previously hated. Indeed, loving something you once hated may not change the world, but more love and respect will undoubtedly make the world a better and less divided place. As Welsch said, love is “a practice and you can get better at it”, so “experience difference, experience differently, experience more!”.

 

Note that single stories exist everywhere, even if we don’t notice them all the time. The Social Dilemma explains how social media and algorithms are making us more narrow-minded. Social media companies analyze our interests and bombard us with similar content to keep us scrolling. We became so certain of our own beliefs and opinions that we rejected all the alternate perspectives. To balance our information sources, Christopher Seneca advised us to “seek disconfirmation, a term for information that actively contradicts preconceived opinions.” We can free ourselves from the hands of algorithms by constantly seeking out different voices and all aspects of a story.

After watching Adichie’s Ted Talk on single stories and Welsch’s video about overcoming hate, our class discussed how these two videos are connected, as well as the problems with single stories and how we can eliminate them. I was amazed by my peers’ diverse ideas and perspectives, which I had never thought of. These new angles sparked new ideas in me and reminded me again of the importance of listening to others.

Moving past single stories begins with you and me, therefore our class accepted Welsch’s challenge! Students were paired with someone they had never spoken to or had little interaction with, and we had a 30-minute to learn about each other. The purpose of the activity is for us to spend time with people who are different from us and learn how to empathize with one another. My partner is Shyaanm, and after our conversation, I realized we have a lot in common, particularly our interests in painting, photography, and fashion. I was surprised by the outcome, as I had always imagined us to be very different based on my assumptions. The activity made me realize that maybe our world is polarized because we assume we are so different from each other, but in reality, we are all connected in some way.

If only 30 minutes could turn my thoughts upside down, how much of an impact would it have if everyone spent 30 minutes talking to other people? Talking to someone new can be hard, but once you take the first step, you will experience a completely different world. We can complete these single stories by becoming more empathetic readers and listeners, and also by sharing our own stories and experiences.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy to Vulture

Photo courtesy to Quotefancy

Photo courtesy to ThoughtCo. / Melissa Ling

Spoken Word – My Passion Is Lost in The Maze

So, what do you be when you grow up?

As a student, people always ask me, what do you what to study at university?

For real, the number of times I’ve received this question

is greater than the number of fish in the ocean.

What do you what to study at university?

Of course some might be asking out of pure curiosity.

But there is a greater possibility,

that they are asking about your future in society.

It is the standard assumption

that you have a destined passion

and that your mission

is to find its location

and achieve it to the exclusion

of everything else.

When you’ve done that,

you’ll find the instructions that fit every piece of the puzzle,

and the ultimate answer to all the unsettled.

How will you answer?

A doctor, lawyer, or yet to be discovered?

Fortunately for me,

I’m at the age that is still learning about trigonometry.

However,

if you are someone who already understands the whole universe’s history,

congratulations;

you are expected to build a rocket that you love

and that is big enough for you.

If you can’t find a rocket that you want to keep,

it must’ve been because you discovered a better, higher-quality spaceship

that can carry you and your family on a space trip.

For those who don’t have any,

you have failed the homework of life like many.

This is what I have been taught since I was a child.

“Follow your dream”

is just one of the millions of fairytale stories.

I can’t even see my shadow,

as if I’ve been sucked into a black hole.

All the light is swallowed,

yet I was told

to find a way out of that endless tunnel.

Where I was left alone with my thoughts,

where only doubt and uncertainty will visit me.

Days came, left, and came,

without bringing any dawn again.

All I did was stand there,

thought, tomorrow maybe,

the sun will rise as ordinary.

Now that I know,

it is okay if dawn doesn’t come for me in the epilogue,

because I will search for whatever is behind the fog.

The sky is bright after all,

the moon and stars are still by my side.

Even if everyone releases their balloons at the same time,

each one will rise at a different pace.

But this is not a race.

You don’t have to chase.

You won’t be displaced.

It is just that some balloons contain nitrogen,

while others may contain helium or oxygen.

So, before I find the destination I am looking for,

I will board different trains

until I reach where I appertained.

Remember that we are not limited to one single location.

Someday, when you stay in a place for long enough,

you may pick up your suitcase again,

step on another train,

change to another lane,

head for another day,

but don’t forget to enjoy the scenery along the way.

 

Feature Story – New Media 11

Humans are pushing marine life to the brink of extinction

Ending unnecessary hunting and overfishing are the key to stopping the extinction of marine life.

Link to the article

A shiny tool approached the creature, and the creature swam as fast as it could. A chill swept across its neck. It was too late. The creature groaned feebly, followed by hundreds of keen tools piercing into the sea. Soon, a vague maroon colour rose from the bottom of the water, covering the entire seashore.

This is not a fictional story, but what happens every year in the water near Faroe Island. The Faroese government says that approximately 600 pilot whales are captured on Faroe Island annually. However, the slaughter on September 12, 2021, has attracted worldwide attention. An estimate of 1428 pilot whales and white-sided dolphins were killed in one day, as reported by CBC News on Sep 17, 2021. These unnecessary slaughter that happen around the world will lead to the current extinction of marine life.

Whaling has been a tradition on Faroe Island since the Viking era and is considered a sustainable way of collecting food from natural resources. Despite this, many islanders on Faroe Island oppose whaling. According to The Washington Post, a survey reported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stated that only “17 percent of respondents consumed pilot whale meat and blubber regularly, with almost half (47 percent) admitting they rarely or never ate them.” Large amounts of mammals are killed only because of the greed of humans, not for the long-gone tradition of the island.

The chairman of the Faroese Whalers Association, Olavur Sjurdarberg, also admits that the slaughter that happened this September was excessive; in an interview with BBC News. Sjurdarberg said, “When the pod was found, they estimated it to be only 200 dolphins.” As the killing continued, they discovered the actual size of the pod. Mammals were brutally killed because people did not think critically before acting and had no clue about the impact their attitudes and actions would bring, neither does the government have the proper regulation to control the number of mammals being killed.

This tragic demonstration of greed is similar to the overfishing crisis that occurred in BC. The Canadian government provides harmful subsidies to Canada’s fisheries, which mainly benefit large corporations and promote them to fish more than the actual demand for food, said Rashid Sumaila, senior author and professor at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. This means local fishers are affected, excess seafood is wasted, and the fish population is depleted. The depletion of fish stocks not only affects those who depend on the sea (such as indigenous populations, local fisheries, etc.) for their livelihoods and protein resources but also deeply impacts the ecosystem.

The Canadian government often claims that it cannot afford to repair depleted fish stocks. But by ending harmful fisheries subsidies, the Canadian government “can free up funds that could be better spent to protect our ocean and support fishing communities,” said Alexandra Cousteau, Oceana Senior Advisor. However, considering that the economy is a top priority compared to the environment and animals, the Canadian government has not acted effectively and speedily.

Many understand that due to human activities, oceans and marine species have been severely damaged. Even so, people are not willing to sacrifice their greed and economy to make better changes for the ocean when the extinction of sea life seems to be the problem of the future. As the world continues to ignore the consequences of human activities, the extinction of all marine species is, sadly, not far away.

 

 

Photo courtesy to Samuel Joensen-Mikines
Photo courtesy to Sea Shepherd – Faroe Islands
Photo courtesy to Reuters

 

One Pager Assignment – New Media 11

Empathy VS Polarization

The competency I’ve chosen to reflect on this assignment is thinking competency, to “think critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore ideas within, between, and beyond texts”. I demonstrated my critical thinking by analyzing quotes and demonstrated my creative thinking by developing new ideas to synthesize the chosen quotes and connect them with what I have been learning in New Media 11.

The Internet is Awesome

This is my The Internet is Awesome project for New Media 11, which I created with Milanote.

Skip to toolbar