Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gama pod: Letter Writing

Category 4:
How much time out side of class do you think a new student should expect to spend on their assignment?
-In the beginning about an hour and a half a week there is alot of work to keep up with.
- In the end 2 or more hours a week because of the 15 page paper
Was this course easy or hard?
-This course was challenging there was always alot of homework and reading to be done. It was time consuming, and you needed to stay caught up.

Category 6:
What did you learn from taking this course?
-How to blog, podcast, use a computer better, and how to structure our writing.
What do we hope for next years students?
-cut down one book, so much reading!
-slow down reading and homework
-make 10-15 page paper
-stay caught up with work, it is so easy to fall behind!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

HW 35: Finally the end

Dear Blog Readers,
In the blog class I have learned new ways to present your opinions. Ive learned from reviewing others opinions that it is not always black or white. There are so many ways to view a situation and voice your opinion that will still be respectful to others. This is important to know as you grow up and have to deal with situations that relate to voicing opinions in an appropriate way. I have also learned a new form of communication. I did not really know that much about blogging or even what it really meant. Now I know exactly what it is, and now I can do it well. I hope that from my blogs, readers will understand how I think better. Like I said before there is not always a black or a white. There is always an in between. I feel best about my blog posts regarding Riverbend. Her book Baghdad Burning is an eye opener and so interesting. I really was shocked by the her story. I'm glad that I now know the whole story and not just what I'm being told through the media. I'm not sure if I would keep blogging. I don't really know what I would blog about. For these blogs I had actual topics. I don't think I'll delete my blog because Ive worked so hard on my posts. I will most likely keep them up, but not add to it. This was a hard course. I learned from it, but there was so much work!

HW 34: Gold and Evening Tea

Response to:
1. What is the role of gold in family savings in Iraq?
2. Describe the custom of evening tea in Iraq.

Gold is part of the Iraqi culture. It does not display wealth like it does in most cases. Gold is also a form of money it symbolizes "family savings" (Riverbend p.100). Gold values money. Since the money situation was fluctuating it was difficult for people to have it. They started converting their gold jewelery (bracelets,necklaces,earrings) into money (p.100). The word for gold that is used is, "zeeneh ou 7 azzeeneh khazeeneh" this means ornaments and savings (p.100). Gold is still used as jewelry and is still worn to be shown off, but can also be sold for money. Now that the troops are occupying Iraq they sometimes take the gold from the Iraqis with no substantial reasons. Also, when Iraqis marry gold is used as a dowry. Gold is important in Iraqi society it has more uses that we do for it. Iraqis also have a daily tea time that is a cultural ritual. This tea time happens in the evening. It is an informal gathering. Tea gatherings are a must they happen regardless of what is going on. Tea bags are not used for this type of tea. If you give an Iraqi a tea bag it is looked at as an insult. "It speaks of complete lack of a appreciation for the valuable beverage"(p. 108). There is a 3 step process to making tea. " First, a kettle of water is put on the burner to boil. Next, the boiling water and a certain amount of tea leaves are combined in a separate tea pot and put on a low burner just until the tea leaves rise to the top and threaten to boil over.Finally, the teapot is set on top of the tea kettle on a low burner and allowed to 'yihder' or settle"(p.108-109). This is a long process to do everyday.There are also many different types of tea that Iraqis can chose from. Iraqi tea is flavored with cardamon and served in istakans. Istakans are the glasses they drink out of (p.109). This is a time for Iraqi families to get together during the day and have the opportunity to spend time together.

HW 33: Eye Opener

Response to Podcast.
The podcast I chose to respond to was "Iraqi Teens Work to Help Their Families." This is part of the series Alive in Baghdad. This was published October 15th, 2007. If you are interested in the blog the link is: The general topic of this podcast was the obstacles that Iraqi teens are facing. 50 percent of Iraqis are jobless. The war in Iraq has left many families in poverty. They are struggling to keep their families functioning. This is forcing teens to join their families in the work force. Working in Iraq is dangerous in this period of time. The route to some jobs are unsafe. Their is a possibility that they could be killed on their way to work. One person in detail is Mustafa Malek Fathulla Ali. Mustafa is in the 6th grade and currently works in carpentry. This is extremely young to be working in a major business. In the U.S. you cant even get a job until 14, and that's if you want to work in a grocery store. Most places wont even hire you unless you are between the ages of 16 and 18. Mustafa has been working with his father for a while now. He describes that the security situation is not good. Iraq has very unsafe working conditions. The best way I can describe this podcast is dark. Everything looks really dry and desert like. The interior of the buildings looks like a normal house to me. Maybe not like my house, but every house in different cultures are different. A viewer might have a better understanding of what is actually going on in Iraq. Not just the war, and the casualties, and American statistics but also the problems that Iraqis are facing on a day to day basis. Their lives are hard and it is important for Americans to recognize this fact. I found the fact that Mustafa is in a business such as carpentering at such a young age shocking. That does not happen in this country. Its so surprising to hear of children working so hard. They shouldn't have to experience that yet. It seems like he doesn't even have a chance to be a normal teenager.