Journal 17.

Inauguration of President Barack Obama

Charisma–from the momment Obama stepped on the stage, he was filled with charisma. It was amazing to watch the speech because of his deep voice and sincere expression. What was more incredible was the size of the crowd in front of the White House. There were thousands of people standing quietly as Obama was sworn into presidency. People were tearing up, smiling, and hugging each other. Even as I listened to his poignant speech, I was so touched that my eyes were teary. I feel like Obama really brings hope to America not only because he is the first African American president, but also because he promised many policies that would improve the economy, welfare, and end the war. Some people say Obama is too idealistic and celebrity-like, but I claim that Obama truly brought change to people’s attitude and outlook towards the future America.


Journal 16.

The New SAT Score Policy

  1.      1. What do you think about this option? Should students have the option of hiding some scores and/or low scores?

Students should most definitely have the option of hiding their scores. The only thing that matters is the students’ highest score because no matter how low his score used to be, the student improved. Students should not be penalized for improving their scores. If colleges look at all the scores of a student, then would they not accept a student with a perfect score because his first score was extremely low? Also,  many students make mistakes or take tests for trials in order to get used to the test. Their score may not reflect their highest ability, so students should have the choice to send the score of the test that they tried their best in.

     2. What do you think about universities insisting that all scores be submitted as part of the application process, rather than just the highest scores?

This proves that universities actually care about SAT scores more than they claim. Many colleges state that GPA, essays, and the overall personality of a student are considered the most during the application process. However, colleges are now contradicting themselves by saying that scores are very important. Sure, some universities may want all the scores to see the progress of  a student. But most likely, colleges do not want to accept students who had low scores in general.

     3. In what ways might the option to hide score raise the stakes and make admissions even more competitive/stressful for students?

Because of this new policy, more students will take the SAT numerous times. In fact, many of my friends claim to have signed up for every month available. More students will try to ‘game’ the SAT by going to hagwons and taking it many times.

      There are both pros and cons to the new SAT policy, but I don’t think the policy impacted anything greatly. Firstly, most colleges are ignoring collegeboard’s decision by requiring all scores to be sent. Secondly, students always took the test numerous times even before the new policy. Lastly, taking the SAT every month will not help your score drastically. Some students overreact to the SAT, but I think I’ll stick with my plan to take the SAT twice–studying for other things is more important to me.

Journal 15.

Cheating, Hagwons, Plagiarism…What Else Can you Expect from Koreans?

American teens lie, steal, and cheat, while Korean teens plagiarize, live at hagwons, and commit suicide if they don’t get accepted to an Ivy League. Which one would you prefer? It is true that Korean students, especially those who attend prestigious foreign language schools, pour their lives onto studying at hagwons until midnight. It is also true that many Korean students cheat and plagiarize (nobody has forgotten about the cancellation of all test scores in Korea a few years ago). However, I feel that the article, though it was written by a Korean, is very biased and taken out of context.

Almost all students from all around the world cheat, plagiarize, and receive extra help. the article about American teens cheating at ‘alarming’ rates proves this point. Every teenager seems to have a time when they cheated on tests because of the pressure they had from parents, teachers, or themselves.

“As bad as these numbers are, it appears they understate the level of dishonesty exhibited by America’s youth,” the study warned, noting than more than a fourth of the students (26 percent) admitted they had lied on at least one or two of the survey questions.”

No matter what race, culture, and school you survey, you would probably find similar results in all of them: teenagers generally tend to cheat and lie in high school, regardless of ethnicity or geographical location. I found it quite ridiculous that Nam Jeong-ho, the reporter of the Korean article, would characterize Koreans as people who can’t think critcally.

“It happens to 1.5-generation [who moved to the U.S. very young] and second-generation Korean Americans who grew up in a Confucian family environment as well,” he added.

The quote above shows how biased the article is, as it states that even Koreans who live in America cannot write creative essays or study on their own in college. Even though many Korean students do cheat and rely heavily on hagwons, I believe there are many other Korean students that are honest and that  do not rely on hagwons. People neglect these students who actually study hard on their own. I feel like even I’m trapped in this steretypical view of Korean students…

Journal 14.


 The Marlboro Man

 The Marlboro man in this advertisement is lying down on the grass, smoking peacefully. He looks very manly and controlled; a type of man that every woman would swoon for. This was probably the image that Marlboro wanted to convey. The phrase, “Come to where the flavor is” is very catchy. It makes the audience want to smoke the Marlboro pack because they want to be cool like the man in the ad. The picture makes smoking look very casual, tasty, and peaceful.



When I searched up images of the Marlboro ads, I found other pictures of men mocking the cliche Marlboro men. For example, this picture is a serious warning to people that smoking will make you look sick like the man in the picture on the left. This poster is effective because of the man’s grousome face.

The emphysema parody ad also is effective because the models who were in that ad really died from emphysema. The ad is actually a real-life situation, where the Marlboro man who was once cool died of a disease. It links smoking to emphysema directly, laying out an effective message about smoking.

Journal 12.

“Merchants of Cool”

Who Controls Youth Culture?

     Whether it’s in the mall, a concert, an amusement park, or a dance party, every crowd consists of usually about 3/5ths teenagers. Teenagers tend to flock towards the “coolest” places and stores, buying whatever everybody else is buying. However, fashion, music, art, slang words, and every other trend in today’s society is not, surprisingly enough, controlled by young teens. In fact, as it was stated in the video–“Merchants of Cool”–youth culture is controlled by companies. For example, MTV controls a large chunk of the modern culture. Every piece of clothing, music, and item that appears on MTV becomes immediately famous. For instance, the first comment on the introduction video to Paris Hilton’s show, “My BFF”, was, “lovin Britney’s style”, by a 16-year old girl from California. Even a minor character’s clothes in the show is extremely important to the teenagers who watch MTV.

     Another company that controls youth culture is Samsung. Samsung, using its newest inventions, advertises its coolest gadgets in order to change the culture. Their main aim is not to get people to buy their product; it is to change the culture to fit the company. When Samsung introduced the new touch phones, famous celebrities like Lee Hyo-ri came out in ads with the phone. Even a famous Korean drama, “East of Eden”, advertised the cell phone by having the characters walk around with the cellphones. Essentially, Samsung was trying to change the culture into a culture where only touch phones were “cool”.

     It is amazing how Starbucks is already part of our youth culture. One could find a Starbucks store in almost every block, especially in Korea. Every morning, most businessmen are seen carrying coffee from Starbucks. Even at break time, people go outside to drink Starbucks coffee. Students too, study at Starbucks and socialize with their friends there. Since many Starbucks now have laptops, students can work on their homework while drinking a delicious cup of coffee. Whenever one has free time to kill, he or she would most likely walk into Starbucks. Also, the Starbucks mugs are becoming very popular. Instead of using mugs from Emart, people tend to use a Starbucks mug coffee because of its cool design and brand name. Starbucks has made its way into our daily lives–every morning, hundreds of people drink Starbucks as a routine.


Journal 11.

Campaign Ads & Logical Fallacies

      This video is about the terrorist Ayers and Obama’s relationship. In this ad, McCain says that Obama “lied” about his association with Ayers. The video also claimed that Ayers supported Obama with $1,500 for his campaigning. On the bottom of every scene, reliable citations of sources such as “New York Times” and “The Associated Press” are highlighted. This campaign ad is very effective because of its dramatic music and color. Throughout the whole video, the music sounds like a music from a scary movie, with lots of drum beats. Also, the general color of the video is red. This video is an appeal to emotion because after watching this video, it really feels as it Obama helped a terrorist. Many people are still shocked about all the terrorist bombings that they might feel hesitant to vote for Obama because he might have something to do with a dangerous terrorist. There aren’t that many solid facts about the relationship between Obama and Ayers; this video makes hasty generalizations without having enough evidence. Nobody can be sure that Obama had anything to do with Ayers because Obama actually said that they were “just neighbors”.

      This McCain’s ad directly attacks Obama by accusing him of being a celebrity. He compares Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, probably the two most outrageous celebrities. Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are both notorious for making bad choices and being bad role models for teens. Similarly, McCain tried to make people think that since Obama is famous like these celebrities, he doesn’t have the ability to lead a country. Obviously, this campaign tactic is attacking the person, as it attacks Obama’s fame. Also, this ad is ignoring the issue. A person’s fame has nothing to do with his strategies/plans, but McCain is making the campaign about something completely off-topic.

Journal 10.

Campaign Politics and Rhetoric

Parody is a humorous imitation of a piece of literature or writing.
Rhetoric is the art of influenicing the thought of an audience.
Campaign is the competition by rival political candidates for public office.
Logic is a particular method of reasoning or argumentation.
Fallacy is a deceptive, misleading, or false notion.

“Time for Some Campaignin” at JibJab

Quote 1: “We failed to extinguish Barack’s rising star” -Hilary Clinton
This quote, from Clinton, not only implies that Clinton lost against Obama, but also that Obama is being treated like a celebrity.

Quote 2: “I spent years in a rat hole in vietnam” -McCain
McCain looks extremely proud of his military service in this video. He suffered through the Vietnam war, so he thinks he deserves to be President.

Quote 3: “I really like change do I make myself clear” -Obama
This quote was very funny because Obama’s slogan is “vote for change”. Obama continually stressed change in his campaign, and it seems like the people who made this video were sick of that slogan.

Implied 1: The rainbow, fairies, pony, and cute animals following Obama implies that Obama’s plans are unrealistic like a fairytale. His goals for “change” are too idealistic.

Implied 2: Obama and McCain, both wearing a gold crown, toast (with a gold cup). This implies that the Presidential election has become more of a competition for a throne than a proper election for the President of the United Sates.

Implied 3: Towards the end of the video, Obama and McCain start throwing money all over the streets. They used so much money for the 2008 election. It is interesting how these candidates would do anything to get extra votes, including spending all their money.

Many logical fallacies were used in this video. I think this video was trying to show that the election is becoming a corrupt competition. The winner of the election will only win if he has the most money, fame, or interesting character.  First of all, this video uses Straw Man, where the creator of the video attacks each candidate’s unimportant points. For example, the video attacks the fact that Obama never served in the army, which is quite irrelevant for the 2008 election. Also, Clinton’s cheating scandal is shown in the video in order to add a humorous effect. However, this scene is completely unnecessary. This video may also be using appeal to ignorance because the video does not mention any of the important/crucial points about the candidates (like their opinion on taxes, etc). Instead, it attacks the funny aspects of the candidates.