Thursday, April 10, 2008

blame the french

I have been researching more on my topic, knowing that Mr. Ayers is soon going to say, "1st drafts are due tomorrow!" I don't want to freak out the night before, so I am working hard at deciding what I want to narrow my topic down to. I thought I was just going to write about the pros and cons of tanning but now that I've been researching, I've found some interesting information on how tanning even began and I think it would be useful to use in my paper. Heres what I've found on the cultural history.. but I don't know if I will use it in my paper or not yet.

At the time of Shakespeare, before the Industrial revolution, skin color used to define class systems; it separated working class from ruling class. In Europe, during much of the 18th and 19th centuries, fair, freckle-less skin was considered attractive, especially in women, since tanned skin was associated with manual labor such as on a farm or in the outdoor employ of a wealthier person. Having fair skin signified that one was wealthy enough to hire other people to do work for them. In ancient Rome, people used to lighten their skin with cosmetics, by powdering their faces.

Labor patterns then shifted during the early 20th century, with indoor work becoming the norm, tanned skin came to be seen as a membership of the leisured classes. When famous French fashion designer Coco Chanel (in the picture above) accidentally acquired a dark tan during a vacation on the French Riviera in the 1920's, she started a fad among whites for tanned skin. Now bronzed skin among whites signifies social status, wealth and health, possibly for the opposite reason. Now that most jobs are done inside, tans among light-skinned people signify the wealth required to have the leisure time to get a tan. A tan in the winter meant the bearer had enough money and status to afford a vacation to an exotic, warm climate.

By the 1970’s, people began to develop skin cancer from baking their bodies in the sun for too long. They were totally oblivious to the fact that their sunburns would turn into skin cancer only less than 20 years later.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

iowa state university

Over break, I visited Iowa State's campus with my family. We scheduled a tour on April 4th of the campus and to meet with the guy ahead of Graphic Design (the major I want to pursue.) I loved the college. The campus was really big and pretty and the dorms were nice. I decided that I'm not going to bring my car when I go to college because freshman have to park really far away and they dont use their cars for anything really, just to drive home, which for me, is 2 hours away. Everything in Ames is really close to the campus too, grocery stores, malls, and Iowa State students get free bus transportation so that helps out a lot. When I want to go home to see my family, I will just get a ride with one of my friends and I will pay them for gas. Iowa State is the only college I have looked at so far, because it's the only college in Iowa that has my major. I really hope I get in because I havent looked at any other colleges. I am very excited to graduate from high school and start life at college where I'm on my own. It will be scary, but I am looking forward to such a drastic change. :)

are cell phones destroying our lives?

I can't live without my cell phone. When my dad takes it away from me so I can get my homework done, I freak out on him. I'm so dependent on my phone because that is the only way I communicate with my friends. My friends are my life, I talk to them constantly, either on the phone or via computer. I think my social life and my phone has strongly effected how long I study and do homework each night. I am constantly texting, I text more than I talk on the phone. I sware I am going to get carpals tunnel syndrome from constantly texting. I think teens text more than they talk on the phone because its easier. You can do it quietly, and if you're shy its easier to to talk since you're not actually using your voice to communicate. Also, if you just have one little question to ask or if you want to tell your friend something, you dont have to call them up and have a long conversation with them, you can just tell them something in a couple of words instead of wasting your time with a long phone conversation. I think that cell phones can be good in some ways, they strengthen relationships with your friends and family. Since my mom and I both have verizon wireless, we can text eachother for free. I taught her how to text so she can stay more connected with me. Now, if she wants to know what I'm doing or where I am or if I can pick up one of my brothers from school, she can easily just text me a quick message. She knows I will respond, because I am constantly texting anyway. I think cell phones have more down sides though; they take over our lives. I know that if my friend doesnt reply to my text message within that next hour that something is wrong because she always has her phone on her! Why do we just assume that people are constantly available to talk? Before there were cell phones, we had home phones, and people weren't always available to talk then. Teens these days, even adults, are constantly looking at their phones for new messages and opening their phones to send a quick message. Cell phones used to be for talking only, now we have text messaging, and it's changing the way the world communicates, and how we waste most of our time.

my seventeenth birthday

This year I turned 17 on April 5th, which was over spring break. This was the 1st year, ever, to have my birthday on a day where we didnt have school. I usually make birthday treats for one of my classes and I'm used to people at school saying happy birthday to me and making me signs for my locker. It was weird being at home for my big day, but it was nice to sleep in and be able to do whatever I wanted and not be stuck at school half the day. For my birthday I got manicures and pedicures with my friends and then we went out to eat at genghis grill and 2 of my friends who were supposed to be in florida came home early (which I didn't know about) and surprised me and my other friends at the restaurant. My jaw dropped when I was them, so it was a good surprise and I was very happy to see them after they had been gone for so long. After dinner, we went back to my friends house and opened gifts and ate ice cream cake. It was really fun. The rest of the night wasn't planned, we just drove around and listened to music and did whatever. It was a really good birthday overall.