Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blog Post Update 10/15

In the past two weeks our main focus has been genrally the same as previous. The main purpose was to just expand our vocabulary. Now that we're all fluent with signing the alphabet we looked up ore words. Some were of basic words like hello, mother, father, and help but others were more unique like clumsy, goat, and coffee. Also we've finally finished assigning sign language names to each member of our group. Names can represent physical appearance like Erin's which is red with the sign for E to represent her red hair. They can also be about a specific trait or characteristic you have like mine is clumsy with an E. More research has been done regarding the creation of sign language and deaf culture. For the continuation of the project though we are trying to figure out what other interesting things we can find out about deaf life and deaf culture. Like I found a video about a restaurant in Toronto Canada that hires deaf waiters and requires people to use sign language to order.  Overall we're still trying to find out more about deaf life and American Sign Language.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Passion Project 9/29

We've had two passion project days and we've actually gotten a lot done. We've done research into the history of sign language. We've also looked into how people got sign language names and figured out what ours would be. We learned some basic sign language like letters, greetings, and basic words. There is still a lot more research that we need to do and compile it into a power point presentation. We have a lot of information but none of it is organized. We have a long way to go but we still have time so I hope its going to be a good project.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Empathy and Equality

If you think about it each person lives in their own little circles. My circle is I wake up, take the bus to school, play volleyball, go home, and then go to sleep. Throughout my day though my circle overlaps with other peoples circles who's lives are similar to mine like family, religion, social groups, and so on. So when theres a part of life that doesn't fall within your personal circle its hard to think about but thats empathy. Its the ability to feel for someone else despite it not directly effecting you. According to Jeremy Rifkin, to the problem with society is a lack of empathy. We don't care enough about the person standing next to us to be driven to help them let alone a person in Syria or Sri Lanka that we've never met before. Jeremy Rifkin says that our goal should be to extend our empathy to the entire human race. I would hope this could be possible but I think its too idealistic. There will always be the people that care too much and the people that hardly are at all. Yet I think we can all stand to be more empathetic. Through empathy we can fix a majority of the issues pressing in on our society. When we listed issues in class we got results of sexual assault, gender equality, education, health care, illness, terrorism, disease, mental illness, super patriotism, lack of kindness, Russia and the Ukraine, Syria, and so many other topics we discussed that i can't even remember. Many of the issues we stated were weaved together to the point where by fixing one you may fix another while at the same time creating a new issue all by itself. While thinking that every problem facing our society can be solved is simply idealistic, I think we can solve a majority simply by thinking of people as people. Many problems are caused by viewing others as different or even inferior. But when you remove labels and classifications you are left with just a person. A person with a family, dreams, insecurities, and most likely struggling with the same kind of things you are. When you take away the things that group us together you also take away the fictions that keep us apart. One big issue is gender equality. Literally the only reason people believe genders are so different is because the only see the stereotypes and the fictitious differences that keep us apart. Take away gender and you are left with simply a person. Certain cultures view women as inferior simply because they've been told that women are inferior. However if you look at someone as a person instead of as their labels you don't see female, black, baptist you see charismatic, well read, and loyal. War too can be solved with empathy. There is a difference between civilians and soldiers in war but why. A gun? No they're still people. Society sees statistics as numbers. We've grown up in a world where war statistics are broadcasted over family dinner to the point where they're just numbers and lists of names without any real meaning. It doesn't invoke any true emotion. With empathy though we think before we shoot. Even more empathy can help get rid of the reason to shoot. Empathy makes it so religion or race or even nationality don't really matter because they're people just like everybody else. I don't think its possible for every single person on earth to be completely empathetic but society as a whole needs to increase our empathy in order to create a world of equality and to help solve the pressing issues that we face. We just have to see people, as people.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Passion Project 2 Update

Honestly our passion project has come pretty far. We've actually gotten a lot done. We started by researching different genetic abilities. By combining our research with some of our own ideas we compiled a list of tests. Then we made up a survey and we were able to test everyone in our class except for the people who weren't here. We also tested our families so that we can see how the traits move through our families. We still need to analyze all our data and figure out what abilities are actually determined by genetics. Some obstacles that our group came across was determine what actually counts as having the skill. For example some people have really prominent hitch hiker's thumbs compared to others so its hard to determine what actually counts. Some obstacles that we may come across is finding reliable information and determining what all our information really means. However I don't think these issues will hold us back and I'm actually really excited to keep working on our project.