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Introduction

Franklin20's picture

Hi!  My name is Michael Franklin (but I go by “MJ”) and I am a junior English major at Haverford.  I am especially interested in this class because throughout my studies here in the Bi-Co, I find myself gravitating towards issues of gender and sexuality, discussing these issues in numerous English classes, an education class, and an Anthropology of Gender class.  That said, I am very interested in exploring the interaction between gender and science/ technology.

I suppose the most important technology to me at the moment is my iPhone.  Like with most phones, being able to communicate via call or texting is very important to me.  However, the capabilities of the iPhone are especially useful to my various artistic interests.  I am most interested in art: my favorite disciplines being photography, theater, and dance.  Being able to record parts of rehearsals, search and download music for dance, take pictures of things that inspire me, and use the internet and youtube functions on my phone has allowed me to access and foster my interests without carrying a large amount of equipment with me at all times.

Because of how multifunction the iPhone is, a possible downside is how dependent I have become on it.  It is disconcerting to be so reliant on such a fragile piece of equipment.  In the future, I would be interested in developing more into a set medium.  That is to say, I would like to isolate one of my various interests and really delve in to it.  For instance, for photography, I would like to use a better camera than my digital point-and-shoot and my manual SLR, and explore digital photography and photo editing.  

 

 

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spreston's picture

Introduction

Hey everyone!  My name is Suzanna Preston and I am a sophomore Economics major at Haverford.

The technology I feel makes the biggest impact in my life is my laptop.  With my laptop, I feel suddenly connected to so many different parts of my life, which is a very powerful feeling.  I can scan through family photos while listening to my favorite new album or videochat with my best friends while looking up recipes using the ingredients I have on hand.  I often take the easy access I have to so much through my computer for granted, but when I am computerless for a few days, I immediately realize how reliant I am on this machine to organize my life.  Whether it is keeping all of my important dates in a word document or checking up on my friends via facebook, I cannot stay away from my computer for long. 

Like MJ mentions in his post, however, a drawback to a technology that allows you to do so much is the reliance it creates.  As soon as I get back to my room, the first thing I do is flip open my computer and check on some stuff.  I feel lost when I don't have my computer at my fingertips. 

I do not actually know all that much about many new technologies, but I would definitely love to explore them throughout this semester!

spreston's picture

I have been thinking a lot

I have been thinking a lot about the different reactions people voiced in class to the material we have explored thus far. From classmates feeling depressed to confused to happy that their opinions were changing so much, I began to think about mine. I realized that, despite many of the readings criticizing our society’s use of categories, binaries, and stereotypes, I do not necessarily personally dislike a lot of society’s conventions. This got me wondering why, when I am surrounded by many peers who dislike the roles society decides for us on the basis of our sex, I actually find these comforting. In a lot of aspects in our life, we have so much choice. It sometimes takes me a good hour to decide what I am in the mood to eat for dinner, or even which pair of shoes look best with my jeans. So when it comes to big decisions like how I’d like to spend my summer or what classes I’d like to take, well that takes me weeks or months and I even then I am still uncertain. With all the decisions I am faced with on a daily basis, I think I have always found comfort in the roles society assigns me because they limit the number of decisions I have to make. I love picking out an outfit full of sparkles and frills and pink. I cherish an afternoon spent baking cupcakes to bring to a friend who has been feeling down. I like babysitting and although I want to go to business school, I have always felt that my ultimate purpose is to be a mother and a wife. In the environment of Haverford, I am typically ashamed to admit how closely my preferences align with those that conventional ideas and society assign to a woman. Although much of the material we have read shows society’s tendency to discriminate against all “outsiders” who do not fit into our binaries, I wonder if in some places, such as Haverford and Bryn Mawr these binaries are so prevalent. When I meet someone who challenges the role society has cast for them, I am often more interested to understand them. In accepting all outsiders, is there a risk that those who are “normal” will be pushed aside? Or thought of as uninteresting? Ultimately, the readings make me feel confused, as many mentioned. But I feel confused in a different way. I wonder why I embrace society’s prescription for the behavior of a woman and whether the authors of the articles would accept me? 

 

Hilary_Brashear's picture

Me and my ipod :)

My name is Hilary Brashear and I am a sophomore at Haverford. I am a Sociology major with a concentration in Gender and Sexuality studies.  

I especially felt the importance of my ipod after I lost it (on my birthday no less!) for a couple of months in high school. For probably two or three months I went without an ipod and I was surprised how much I was affected by its absence. In high school I had a forty five minute to an hour commute to school every day, taking both a subway and a bus, and I would always listen to my ipod on my way to and from school. I found comfort in having an ipod and listening to music because not only I could create a soundtrack for my life but I could create a private bubble for myself in a public space. I could relax after a long day of school and not think about anything but the music. In addition, the presence of two white little ear buds is an excellent way to avoid unwanted conversation. In the ipodless period of my life my commute to school changed dramatically. I was much more aware of the silence and noise of my commute as well as my wandering thoughts. But more than anything I felt a little bit lost and exposed without my ipod. Even though commuting to school was the most public part of my day it felt the most private to me because of my ipod.   I think this is both a positive and negative effect. The ipod has many great qualities and I appreciate the luxury of having entire music libraries in our pocket and the ability to listen to, at the swipe of a finger, any song you might be in the mood for. At the same time the ipod also adds to the distancing of human to human contact created by new technologies. In my experience with the loss of my ipod I realized how nice it can be to just experience public life and interact with it merely through quite observation. It also reminded me of the value of quiet contemplation.  However even though I gained these insights through the experience, I immediately jumped on the offer of a new ipod when my friends father me offered me one. After getting a taste of life with a soundtrack it’s hard to go back.

 

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