My recent blog obsession has been Lemon Stripes. Lemon Stripes is a fashion and lifestyle blog started by Julia Dzafic. Julia includes posts relating to fashion, recipes, wellness, decor, travel, and lifestyle. After finding her on Instagram, I was amazed by how similar my style is to hers and was led to her blog where I saw my inspiration for what I hope my blog will be like one day. In her “About” section on the blog, she says, “a few of my favorite things are green juice, stripes, bright colors, white jeans, J.Crew style guides, gold jewelry, fresh flowers, blazers, beach vacations, and running (always outside, never on a treadmill).” This is what made me think “wow we are almost the same person.” Ever since then, I have subscribed to her email list and always check her blog for updates and pieces of advice and outfit inspiration.
Podcasts and public radio are the two things I listen to most while I’m in the car. I commute to school and visit my boyfriend in Virginia at least twice a month so I definitely get in my fair share of listening. There’s just something about listening to NPR or different podcasts that helps my drive go by much quicker than if I were listening to music. Now don’t get me wrong, I love music, but there’s just something about becoming hooked on a segment or podcast episode that makes my drives so much better. I love being able to stay informed about different things going on in the world around me! When I listen to radio shows I tend to listen to NPR segments, which I definitely prefer over obnoxious screaming “radio shows” you find on an FM music station.
I agree with the author of “Three ways podcasts and radio aren’t the same” when he says that podcasts do not have the same time restrictions that radio segments have. This is definitely something that is beneficial for podcasters because they can talk about a topic for as long as they want without getting interrupted and it is beneficial to listeners because they are able to become engaged in the topic being discussed. However, I also think that time restraints for radio segments can be a good thing, especially when a listener wants to get news fast or wants to listen to a segment on their 20 minute commute without having to miss the ending.
I think podcasts and public radio are similar in many ways but different in others. It’s not a debate whether which one is better because it is really up to the listener to decide what they want to hear.
While reading the excerpt from “The Voice of the Past: Oral History,” I kept thinking about Twitter. Because of new technologies and different platforms, such as social media and blogging, we are now able to record our lives in ways people were never able to generations before us. The passing down of oral history through generations is such a crucial part of our own history, however, these new ways of recording our lives as they happen are so amazing. In the reading, the author said, “it can be used to change the focus of history itself, and open up new areas of inquiry; it can break down the barriers between teachers and students, between generations, between educational institutions and the world outside; and in the writing of history – whether in books or museums, or radio and film – it can give back to the people who made and experienced history, through their own words, a central place.” Platforms like Twitter, for example, are almost a central place for oral history, new ideas, and areas of inquiry to be recorded and documented in real time, as they happen.
The author also states, “oral history is not necessarily an instrument for change.” Well now, social media IS and has become such a huge instrument for change. Different social movements have begun and awareness has been raised thanks to Twitter and other forms of social media.
Oral history not only has to do with change, it has to do with the simple recording of history. Bloggers are almost, in their own way, oral historians. They are writing down things they learn, experiences they have, and obstacles they encounter in their daily lives to share with people near and far who are reading their words. The social messages of history have changed which has lead the recording of history to become more democratic which has opened doors for people and communities to be able to write their own history in their own words so it can be passed down from generation to generation as it was said in real time.
The video “What Most Schools Don’t Teach” was definitely an insightful and interesting video, however there was just something about it that really bothered me. I understand that things like coding are very important in this “digital age,” but I sometimes find that there can be too much of an emphasis on STEM. Now, don’t get me wrong, STEM subjects are extremely important for the future of our world, but so are humanities and other non-STEM subjects. In the video, Chris says “some of my friends have jobs” when talking about people’s reactions to when he was learning to code after school. Why is the idea of getting a job such a large emphasis on WHY a person should learn certain things? Shouldn’t they be able to learn something just for the sake of learning it even if it won’t lead to a job? In her article in The Washington Post called “We’re way too obsessed with pushing science and math on our kids,” Emily Eckart says, “it is commonly claimed that STEM majors are the ‘most valuable’ – value being defined as immediate job offers and high earnings. Articles promoting STEM have a clear focus: jobs and money.”
It also really bothered me that, in the video, they were showing what it was like to work in environments where people with STEM skills/degrees work. They showed a very relaxed and causal environment with free food, a chef, free laundry, snacks, places to play ping pong and video games, and people riding around the office on scooters and sitting on lounge chairs. 1) What does that have do do with coding? 2) Why are STEM people given those luxuries? What makes them more eligible to have a positive working environment? The answer is nothing. Some people, such as myself, do not have those left brain skills or interests and we are ridiculed for that. In his Washington Post opinion article called “Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous,” Fareed Zakaria says, “The United States has let the world in economic dynamism, innovation and entrepreneurship thanks to exactly the kind of teaching we are now told to defenestrate.”