Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wednesday, January 20. 2016

Today's schedule is B-AG-A-D-C

A Block Social Studies 10 - Today we are in the library for the second last day of research/work on your family history assignment. Remember, your task is to research your family history, which includes learning how to conduct academic research, making critical evaluations regarding sources, and managing information. Use the primary documents and stories you find to uncover what daily life might have been like for your relatives. Also do not forget that you have a self-reflection piece to cover as well...

  1. What did you learn about daily life in past generations here in Canada?
  2. What did you learn about immigration (including the reasons people came to Canada or moved within Canada), the experience of traveling in generations past and the struggle to adjust to life in Canada?
  3. What did you learn about diversity in Canada (including ethnicity, religion, race and gender)?
  4. What did you learn about the differences between Canada now and in generations past?
  5. What did you learn about geography through genealogy?
  6. How was your family's experience similar to or different from others?
  7. What skills did you develop through this project?
D Block Geography 12 - Today we'll watch Home, an incredible documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand who also helped to initiate a foundation called Good Planet. Please take some time to share this movie with as many family and friends as you can. You can watch it on line at the YouTube homeproject's channel or connect with it on the film's Facebook page.

Think about the title. What is our collective home? Now think about the statement from the beginning of the film today...

Listen to me, please. You're like me, a homo sapiens. A wise human. Life; a miracle in the universe appeared around 4 billion years ago and we humans only 200,000 years ago, yet we have succeeded in disrupting the balance so essential to life. Listen carefully to this extraordinary story, which is yours, and decide what you want to do with it. 

I cannot stress this enough...this movie is amazing! It perfectly encapsulates Geography 12...it is both a cautionary tale of human impacts and a love letter to the planet.

C Block Crime, Media and Society 12 - What are Crime Themes or Tropes? From TVTropes:

Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means "stereotyped and trite." In other words, dull and uninteresting. Tropes transcend television. They reflect life. Since a lot of art, especially the popular arts, does its best to reflect life, tropes are likely to show up everywhere.

So this week I want you to consider being a critical viewer of crime media. I will show you three US crime serials in class: Lie to Me; Elementary and the Mentalist (if there was time I'd also show you Person of Interest, White Collar and Castle too but I know that three of you are looking at White Collar for your individual media monitoring assignment). I want you to examine these shows through the tropes of: "Police are Useless"; "The Only One"; and "Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop". Again from TVTropes:

Unlike just one Dirty Cop, or a small group of them, Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop describes an entire precinct (or world!) where police are monolithically terrible. Maybe they're all corrupt. Maybe just a few are corrupt, but the rest are so incompetent that they completely ignore the swath of abuse, violence, and destruction the corrupt cops leave. Maybe they're all just completely insane. When this is more of an Implied Trope due to the fact that nobody bothers to involve the police in anything, you have Police Are Useless.

Whenever someone in film or on TV reports a murder, or a monster, or a stalker or whatever, the police come as close to ignoring them as procedure (and the local captain) will allow. And that's if the report is from a respected professional; if they're an Agent Mulder, or worse yet, a teenager, the cops might try to pin charges on them! In addition to police, this trope also covers the military, security guards, and other people whose job is to protect others. So...

There's a crisis, and our beloved protagonists are the only people who can handle the problem. Unfortunately, this is because all the other people who could take care of it are woefully incompetent. If the series is about a local police force, the FBI are ivory-tower glory hounds. If the series is about an FBI agent, the local police are all useless Corrupt Hick types. If the series is about the military, government higher-ups will only be interested in pleasing the voters. If the series is about the government or an anti-military type, then the military will be The Evil Army commanded by a General Ripper type who is just itching to Nuke 'em back to the stone age, never mind the asking questions part. If the series is about a rogue hero, all levels of government and law enforcement, plus the military, are either corrupt or clueless, with the possible exception of a Reasonable Authority Figure who will still be unable to help because of mountains of red tape. And everyone else will just think that it isn't for them to deal with (In those cases where the people who are supposed to be handling the situation are not also bad guys).
The Useless or Incompetent cop/police will need outside help "the only one" who becomes "the great detective"

A staple of Mystery Fiction and Detective Fiction, the Great Detective relies on powers of deduction and educated thought to solve crimes. The Great Detective is usually an Amateur Sleuth or a Private Detective (because Police Are Useless). Some of these detectives will have an Arch-Enemy that will be their equal, but in a different light.

So think about messages about detective "experts" and what these shows say about the public's view of modern police forces.

Today we'll watch an episode of Lie to Me, called "Moral Waiver". Dr. Cal Lightman and Ria Torres investigate the case of a female soldier who claims to be the victim of sexual assault by her commanding officer. At the same time, Dr. Gillian Foster and Eli Loker work on the case of a college basketball player who is accused of accepting a bribe from his university. In both cases the Lightman group employees are experts who are hired by authority figures (the US Army or a University Ombudsman) to do the work that they themselves can't quite get done...see if you can notice any tropes/themes here.

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