Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blog Entry #14

In my final blog entry of my first ever blog, I feel as though I learned a lot in this class. I love to read, and The Hunger Games trilogy is one of my favorites so being able to dedicate three hours a week of class time to the discussion of something I am passionate about is a great experience. I feel as through the guest speakers brought so much to the class. Dr. Raley's lecture inspired me to take her Gender and Society course, which I am super excited about. This class has allowed me to interact with professors from different disciplines and that is invaluable. It opened my eyes to so many different fields of study which helps me when looking at my own, and I feel as though that is the purpose of an SIS. The class was well taught and I had fun with my classmates, but I wish there was more open and unstructured conversation. One of my favorite parts about being in the honors program is interacting with my peers and bouncing ideas off of them. It is a great feeling to be challenged intellectually, but I feel as though there was not enough self-led conversations to allow for that. I also think that while the reading offered insight into the series, they could have been better. I know that it was difficult to find scholarly works that supported the texts, so I feel as though they were useful. I hope that this class can be offered many times in the future for students to appreciate The Hunger Games like I have been able to.

Blog Entry #13

I felt as though Katie's presentation was particularly interesting. I am an Irish-American; I have family that still lives in Ireland and we celebrate our heritage often. The struggles of the Irish people are extremely dear to my heart because they were experienced by my own family members. In the early 1900s, my grandfather and grandmother's families came over and settled in Queens, New York because they could not provide for their growing families and they needed new opportunities. When Katie was talking about the struggles of the Irish people and showing pictures of families that were starving, I pictured the faces of my family and what they went through. Katie's descriptions of the famine made it very easy to relate to The Hunger Games. The hunger experienced in the districts means that people do not live healthy and prosperous lives, and they often die young from hunger. The lack of assistance from the government is another connection. Overall, I feel as though Katie did a great presentation.

Blog Entry #12

The nature of evil is an interesting topic to discuss when looking at the world today. I sincerely believe that Collins wrote the books thinking that there was potential for this dystopian society in the future. Personally, I feel as though evil can be defined as the absence of good, because when good people stand by and allow even to be committed, they are equally responsible. Mr. Rubin Sztajer mentioned this during his lecture on the Holocaust. Being a Holocaust survivor, Szatajer has first hand experience with evil. The atrocities committed in Europe during this period of time were witnessed by millions of people that did not speak out against it. By choosing to sit in silence while millions of people were persecuted for no reason other than their religion, evil was allowed to run rampant. Szatjer told us about his sister that cannot speak of the things she went through. He also told us that he chooses to speak out about his sufferings because he wants to prevent another tragedy like the Holocaust by educating people and teaching them to recognize the signs and speak out against evil. Dr. Josh Baron came in and spoke to the class about evil as well. He discussed what it means to be evil in terms of ethics and his lecture lined up with Mr. Szatajer's lecture. In The Hunger Games, the people of Panem watch evil unimaginable acts without acting against the government. Once Katniss provides an outlet for the citizens of Panem, they can finally speak out against the evil, and prevent it from happening again.