Growing up in the “Bible Belt” I was no stranger to the gospel. After hearing the gospel of Christianity so much, I assumed everyone in the United States has heard it or, better yet, were Christian. Of course my assumptions were wrong. Over time, I have slowly seen an increase of Christians online sharing their testimonies and the gospel over Facebook and/or Twitter. Evangelism, which simply means to share the gospel of Christianity, has now taken a foothold in the online community.
I also plan to argue that online evangelism has been working and has produced more positive effects than negative effects on Christians and non-Christians. I first plan to give a basic rundown on Christianity, its beliefs, and the various forms of sharing their beliefs (Hendershot). Then, I will, in turn, discuss the rising influences of blogging and use of social networking sites to share ideas (Barlow). After that, I plan to draw from a sociology experiment (Bobkowski and Pearce) and statistical evidence (Schultze and Woods Jr.) to back up my claims of the rising openness about being a Christian online. When I am done going through all the background and evidence to prove my claim, I will discuss both the positive effects (Rosen-Molina, Schultze and Woods Jr.) and the negative effects (Hendershot, Rosen-Molina) of online evangelism; this is where I plan to spend the majority of my paper. I will then go into my personal opinion about online evangelism. Finally, I will conclude my paper by reviewing what I have discussed and my final thoughts on the topic.
Ok so today we talked about the essay “Against School.” Let me first say that I was annoyed at Gatto; he complains about being bored of teaching yet he wins Teacher of the Year his final year of teaching. Makes no sense to me. But anyways. What really got to me today was we went around the room and named different works of literature we all read for school. It’s so amazing how there were a lot of pieces most of us read and then there were some that no one else read. After that, I actually talked with Hannah about the different books we read and we discussed what we liked about them. The symbolism, the meanings behind the plots, etc. It was so fascinating to me that we could have conversations about these great works; it actually made me miss high school and the different memories associated with the works. For example, I read The Crucible when I was in 10th grade and we put on a mock trial putting Abigail Williams on trial. It was so much fun, even though for 2 weeks my class was divided between the prosecution and the defense. I can say for a fact that we were not bored. For me, moments like that (and the memories that are made from them) remind why, as much as I get frustrated with it, I will never get bored with school. Those are the moments that make this “required education” worth something. One thing that we touched on in class was that we could have read these timeless works on our own; however, we would not have given these amazing works the time of day if we did it on our own. We needed a spark of interest. The funny part is we found that in the one of the most boring institutes: school.
Also, this week we went to the library to further research or even determine our subjects for our final projects. I went in the library with not even a clue as to what to write about. I am so used to be given a guideline. But after Dr. Seaman finished talking with us, little things were starting to piece together. For me, I was interested in Christianity and culture (I am a Christian), but I wanted to take it further. So what about evangelism and culture? Too broad still. So I began to think: What is big in our culture? Then it hit me: social networking sites. My topic is going be how people are using social networking sites (Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) to share the gospel and the effects it has on others. Any thoughts? Let me know!
This week’s topics and readings are very interesting to me for I never sat back asked myself “what exactly is knowledge?” We are so immensely fortunate today that we have information so readily available at our fingertips! We can practically be anywhere in the world, at any given moment, want to know something, and within seconds have the answer provided! The technological advances are so incredible and provide ample amount of opportunity for knowledge and education. I always find it amazing when my parents rank about how “when they were my age” to find something out, they had to go to the local library, search through the card catalog, find a book, read the book and maybe they would find the answer (and of course they walked up hills both ways). Today we just whip out our iPhone and ask Siri our question and she tells us instantly. Mind blowing. I couldn’t imagine having to write my friends letters to communicate to them (a weekly process) where now it takes a second to send them a text or instant message. This fact amazes me and I cannot imagine my life without the Internet or my iPhone! We can communicate with anyone in the world via email, text, video chat, telephone etc in seconds. I wonder what is to come next?
The Internet is such an amazing tool. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t use the Internet or my iPhone and it is difficult to remember life without it. Personally, I feel that I have learned a substantial portion of what I know from the Internet from searching and constant exposure. I really enjoy school as a means of learning but find some of the aspects very tedious and irrelevant. For instance, I believe it is not necessary to memorize much of the information many classes require for the information is so readily available. Why spend hours studying for something to memorize when u could take two seconds to look it up? For example, I personally cannot stand being required to remember specific places, names, and dates in history—I believe the overall content is more important then the smallest of details—what teachers often care most about.
I really enjoy analyzing the pictures in the book as well; Miller does a great job presenting the pictures and questions. When I first think of “learning” The stereotypical picture of a teacher in a classroom with eager students learning comes to mind. In reality, this is far from true. There are many different ways of learning as the pictures suggest and we as a society must take advantage of these aspects and must branch out beyond the “normal” styles. I found the picture of the child with the laptop-learning device very interesting. With the rate of technology developing and its importance/ function in society it is essential that children be exposed to its advantages and presence at and early age. If not, they fall behind it’s as simple as that. At my high school ( a private school which had separate upper, middle, and lower schools) the ENTIRE school community was given our own Ipads to use (the entire upper, middle, and lower school students). It shocked me seeing Kindergarten students’ learning/ having their own IPads.We would all laugh and say why does a five year old NEED an iPad? Thinking about it now, I believe my school was right –exposure of technology for learning purposes in younger children is key and provides they opportunity for growth and advancement.
John Taylor Gatto’s article “Against School” was a really great article! I once again have never asked myself the questions “do we really need school?” School is such a huge part of my life and society that I never even thought what if it wasn’t such a big aspect and I simply didn’t go? I couldn’t image if it wasn’t… I truly believe Taylor’s point that “teachers are themselves products of the same twelve year compulsory school programs that so thoroughly bore their children, and as a school personnel they are trapped inside structures even more rigid than those imposed upon the children.” I also really enjoyed his anecdote about his grandfather saying that if you are bored, it’s your own fault! I really thought about that, and I like it, I agree. I believe that education is essential but believe the current school system could be improved. Taylor is right that society tends to think of “success” as being associated with schooling but historically that is inaccurate. Success is defined in many ways. I hope for the future we as a nation and society can transition out of the current “boring” ways of schooling and focus more on outside-the-box teaching methods etc.
I have a trying time trying to come up with blogs that relate to class while dually wanting to be avant-garde with these posts. I am going to attempt to correlate visual analysis with a movie I recently watched in the theater. The movie was Act of Valor and it was for me, one of those movies that I will never forget. I have never been so captivated during a movie. It was visually stunning and emotionally overwhelming. It was one the most “real” military movies I have ever witnessed. My roommate and I bought the book the next day!
SEEING the daily duties and “normal scenarios” of Navy Seals will put things into perspective real spritely for anyone. It had me, and I quote saying, “Man, I thought I was having a bad day those guys…… WHOA! Like that’s what they do on a day to day basis!” I mean I did a stint of ROTC at Ole Miss and I regard soldiers in nothing but the highest esteem. They are my heroes. The stuff these guys do! And to witness actual active duty Navy Seals portraying themselves in the movie was all about visual realism. I have always considered joining the military after college, but that movie makes you wanna get out there up in it – downrange. I literally could not take my eyes off the screen that night except to turn around and tell a bunch of guys sitting behind us to shush up and show respect. The great and awesome thing about that though is when the movie ended you could have heard a pin drop. It was tomb silent. Not one person stood up when the credits started to roll. We onlookers just could not muster up the mustard to stand on our feet.
After seeing that movie, it was as if there was a bond between everyone in the cinema just by witnessing a movie of such magnitude. All twelve or so of the loud people behind us were actually the last to leave. It gripped us all, like I said before, emotionally and visually. I am not intending to spoil the ending but there is the most enthralling poem I have ever heard in my entire life in this movie and it was written by Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Indian Tribe. I hope y’all will take glance at it. It is not intended for filler, and I am not too much into poetry to be honest. But this: it really to me is something very powerful and promotes profound purpose to life.
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and
Demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life,
Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and
Its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
Even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and
Bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and
For the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks,
The fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing,
For abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts
Are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes
They weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again
In a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”
~ Chief Tecumseh ~
In class on Tuesday, we discussed the topic of “How We Learn” and the flaws in the education system today. I am not going to lie; education here is pretty messed up. There is both pressure and slack in the system. Believe me, I’m going to go through the terrible issues that I did not talk about in class. So be ready.
First, let me say this: I will NEVER work as a teacher at any level… EVER! Now that we have that clear, let’s continue.
One thing that has changed and is destroying the value of learning is the teachers. I do not know about everyone else, but when I was in middle school and high school my teachers were descent and it was a respectful student/teacher relationship. Now, my little sister (who is in 7th grade) tells me that she is friends with her teachers. Last year, on the last day of school, she was allowed to curl her math teacher’s hair (please note she was in 6th grade at the time). Does anyone else see how messed up that is?
Another issue with the lovely education system of the United States is the new pressures they put on the students. My class was the 1st class to go through a program known as the individual graduation plan (IGPs). Every year, we would have to go into our guidance counselor’s office and sign up for classes. In addition to this, we had to pick a major that we were interested in. For me, IGPs were the most stressful decisions of my life! To this day, I am not dead set on being a biology major. So for me back then, there was a lot of pressure to pick a major and be in a particular track.
As you can probably tell, I am FED UP with the education system. But fear not, I have suggestions and hopefully solutions to this crisis. For the teachers of today, START CARING AGAIN! Please do not give up on teaching the fresh minds that walk into your classroom. And do not let those kids walk all over you. Also, for testing, throw a curveball to students and have tests that apply the information they have learned, instead of just memorizing facts that they will most likely forget the next day. I do think testing is good because it challenges students to truly understand the material they have learned, but tests that apply the material would be more beneficial. As for IGPs, if a student cannot decide on a major, please do not pressure them like their lives depend on it (especially when it is in 9th grade). I think tracks are great, but for students like me, something as simple as picking out a schedule can turn into deciding your life plans.
In case you have not noticed, I love movies. So for the rest of these blog posts, the titles will be quotes from movies! So get used to it. This week’s quote is from the movie, Accepted!
Anne completely prompted me to say what Im about to post about here. When she started talking about how her last name is spanish and how people question why she looks the way she does it got me wondering if people who come here from other countries feel pressure to conform and then why they choose to do so. I mean we do see it all the time, the pressure to “americanize” yourself, but Im just curious in knowing why people change who they are and what they look like just become to American. My question is though, what is being American? America is supposed to be diverse and embracing to all religions and cultures. However, If we are as embracing as we say we are why do we see foreign teenage girls fall into the leggings and boots trends to conform. Why not keep wearing what they wore in their own country? So I guess my question is, does society create pressure and force change or do people change to fit in for their own reasons? I know we all come from different walks of life and all of our ancestors are from all around the world but Im specifically wondering about those girls (and boys for this matter) who are brought here as teenagers and didn’t grow up in this country. Is the pressure from feeling different what prompts people to change in order to conform?
Is fashion your passion?
Today in class we briefly discussed “Then and Now: Wearing Your Identity on Your Sleeve” and the topic of our lives being rehearsed and influenced by others. These topics could not have come at a more perfect time. We were asked by Dr. Seaman what the uniform for our generation is. Now I do not know what the complete protocol is but literally walking back to my dorm room from class I know of at least 2 things that college women wear. The trend right now is black leggings and brown riding boots. For the past three weeks that is what I have seen the majority of college women wear. There was no escaping it so guess which college girl went out and bought a pair of black leggings? This girl.
To answer the opening question, no, fashion is NOT my passion; however, I was influenced by the people around me to fall into the status quo. Call it what you will, but you cannot help but falling into or wondering about the status quo and the way things are worn or done.
Now to talk about our lives being rehearsed. Yay! Ok, well I agree. Our lives have become so run down with wanting to fit the status quo that even our interactions with other people have become rehearsed. The most common example: someone walks up to you and asks how you are doing and you say “good” or “ok” or “fine”. Really? Are you “good” all the time? There is no way that it is true 24/7. If you are, please call me and I can give you a reality check. How did this happen? How did it get so bad that we cannot be honest with other people when we are doing “not ok”? Because society tells us that we are “fine” and that being vulnerable is being weak. Society, that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard! Being vulnerable shows that you are strong enough to admit it and want to seek help or even talk to someone. I know that I just went off topic there, but the point is, yes it has gotten to this point where even our interactions with people are rehearsed. Now what are we going to do about it?
By the way, let me say this again: It is ok to be “not ok.” We do not have life figured out. And that’s fine! And if you are tired of answering that you are “good” when you really are not, I’m always here with a listening ear and please fill free to tell me what’s going on (a complete stranger outside of your social networks).
This week we talked about how the media has a lot of control over our opinions. What I mean by this is that we turn to the media for everything–news, fashion, and entertainment. From this the media has the power to mold people into the “ideal image” therefore impacting a big part of our lives. We never really get to form our own opinions because we have grown up with the media practically telling us what we should and should not believe. Continue reading
So after finishing my essay on Harriet Johnson’s essay “Unspeakable conversation” and the image of the disabled students performing a music number on the television show Glee, I’ve organized some new thoughts on the issue of disabilities. Often people find themselves seeing a physically or mentally handicapped individual and feeling pity for them. Pity because they may never walk, or pity because they will never be able to go to college and establish a life for them, independent of assistance. But on the contrary I think the pity should be given to those who judge. Continue reading