Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Service Op: Seed Packing at Willow Creek

This opportunity was brought to us by Uprising, a Christian group at our school"

It’s that time of year again! Time for Willow Creek’s Celebration of Hope annual seed packing event! This year we are issuing a challenge to you, our student impact community. We have committed to a two hour Impact only time slot!!! THIS HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE! During this time you will be assembling seed packs that will be used to grow kitchen gardens for families in Zimbabwe. They will provide valuable nourishment and a sustainable income. We need 650 of you to step up to the challenge! Impact’s night is Thursday May 3rd from 7-9pm in the activity center at Willow.

Saints, Roughnecks and Drugs

Watching the Freaks and Geeks episode about the students using drugs reminds me of a more recent episode at our school that illustrates the same idea. Many students were upset about the investigation this semester that lead to the suspension of many students. But it might surprise students to learn that this was actually a relatively tame investigation. Here is a podcast from This American Life about a real drug investigation in a high school in Florida. Click on the link below and click on Act Two and play.

Act Two. 21 Chump Street.
Last year at three high schools in Palm Beach County, Florida, several young police officers were sent undercover to pose as students, tasked with making drug arrests. And this, this is the setting for a love story, reported by Robbie Brown. Robbie works for The New York Times in Atlanta. (13 minutes)

After listening can you see how our school handled the investigation the way the Saints were treated in the Chambliss reading instead of how the Florida school handled it (like the roughnecks)?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Strength to Resist

Here is a list of links that will support you in this quest.In the video called The Strength To Resist; The Media's Impact on Girls, the film makes the case that young girls grow up happy and excited about life and then sometime around middle school, these girls learn to become critical of them selves and their bodies. They develop an unhealthy obsession with trying to fit in to an ideal that is not real but still has been shaped by our families, friends and the media. Do you see how this image has been created and validated by US culture?

One of the girls in the film raises an important sociological question, one that we have been touching on throughout our course. She said,
It is hard to be sure I am being true to myself all the time. I think sometimes, 'Do I try to look nice because I want to? Or is it because I feel I have to?' I don't know how I make the decision about what looking nice is, or whether I do look good or not...
How do you know whether you are dressing or acting a certain way because you want to and you are being true to yourself, or whether you are reacting to all of the messages that are socializing you? What advice would you give to young girls that are wrestling with this issue?

One of the criticisms of the video was the focus on athletics as a way to get to know your own body as something more than a reflection. The idea that the film meant to impart was that your body is your own and it is more than an object. Your body is useful, strong and powerful. What are some other ways for you to accept your own body and see it's strengths and powers that go beyond athletics?

Hopefully, you can separate having a healthy body from having an obsession. Ultimately, the point is that you can have a healthy and beautiful body and healthy self-esteem even if you don't have a body that falls into the mainstream culture's definition of beauty.