Sunday, June 04, 2006

weapons of the week

We first learned through Jean Rohe’s example that creating a revolution through the use of weapons of the week would not be successful if you are confrontational and are made vulnerable to compromise and criticism. In fact, weapons of the week are the exact opposite, if you may, than confrontation, open to criticism and compromise. Weapons of the week are as Virgil says “an invisible parasite on the dominator's back”. Thus, creating a change through means of not being caught or repremanded. In the movie we later saw we learned of several techniques of weapons of the week. A few are creating “throw ups” which are basically long flyers in which you can post any message up. You toss theses “flyers or throw ups’ onto a wire or something of that sort that can support the throw up and display it. Its sort of like the sneakers people throw on wires but this is with a more symbloci and outright readable meaning. Another weapons of the week are sit downs. Now this is the most used, most known and one of the oldest tactics still being used today as we saw demonstrated in the movie by african americans in cafes during their demonstrations. Yet now-a-days we have created a little technique to this tactic. In the movie we saw the people of san fransisco bond themselves to metal bars and to each other in circles. What this did was delay the “clean up” for cops. As opposed to the usuall sit down where cops can lift and remove you, here they must wait to receive equipment and spend minutes trying to carefully break through the metal bars without cuting or harming the people. Another example is the large blown up photos of the people you wish to “attack” and draw symbolic diagrams on the posters as well as write a message on it. This is a good way to tell people what you think of something. Another method of weapons of the week is throwing up. This is the actual vomitting. When I first heard this my main thoughts were that is diguisting and what message does that get across? And well I guess that’s what they want people to think. They want people to be interested enough to learn why they committed such acts and be repulsed just as they are with whatever coperation or person they are disgusted with. One method that I think stuck out on people’s minds was the black group shown in the movie. This group reminded me of the guerillas. That being because they come out in a group attack and then retreat back into the large crowd they were once in to avoid being caught and reprimanded. They avoid prosecution and therefore might be confrontational but in an invisible way where they avoid vulnerability to compromise and criticism or on the same hand could not be a weapons of the week because as we discussed in class even though the group can be small compared to the whole protest group that wished to be peaceful get the same amount of new coverage. This group could make the “peaceful” protest go to hell or can bring more focus and make it better. I guess that’s one of those confusing situations. What Jean Rohe did was not a method of weapons of the week. Let me explain. What ms. Rohe did was last minute (mistake number one) decided to attack a very powerful authority figure without any consultation of a social change person (mistake two) and publicly attack this person (mistake three). Now in order to create a proper successful revolution you must research (sort of like the action project we recently did) and plan out such an attack. Also by creating a public attack you make yourself vulnerable to compromise and criticism. Which she received! Most publicly if I may add. It took me a little longer to understand the concepts of weapons of the week yet I think I now understand the definition. So I would like to give my own strategy of creating a revolution once again to show my new found knowledge.
My new example of weapons of the week is something I have done all my life till about a year or two ago. Which is that when I used to get sick I would wait for my mom to bring me my medicine to ask her to bring me a cup of soda or juice to drink it down with now one of my strategies was to throw it out before she came back and act as if I was disgusted and needed soda immediately to refresh myself. Or my other tactic was to wait till I received both the medicine and soda or juice and make a big deal as if I was uncomfortable with my mother watching me and therefore I could not drink it in front of her and needed her to leave the room. This almost always worked because she would constantly scream at me until I cried and told her to please leave the room in which she did and I would throw out the medicine anyway I could to avoid being hit for not drinking it or forced to drink it. Another tactic of mine was to hide the medicine in an obvious place where my mom would just overlook. After hours of searching she would be too exhausted to go downstairs and get me new medicine since she knew I was hiding it in the first place. She usually would just try to scare me and tell me that I was going to die if I didn’t drink it and go lay down to see if I was scared. Usually this didn’t work. The first two tactics are examples of weapons of the week because I rebelled against my mother without her knowing; therefore she could not punish me. The third example was not a weapon of the week because my mother knew that I deliberately hid the medicine so that I would not have to drink it. If she wanted to, as she sometimes but rarely did, would be to hit me or punish me. She could have gone downstairs and bought a new medicine and forced me to drink it and ground me. Or just ground me. She also could have made me go downstairs and buy my own medicine and make me drink it in front of her with no soda or juice, therefore sort of torturing me. One of her methods of the week was a cute but unsuccessful tactic. My mother once tried to give me medicine and since I didn’t want to drink it she pretended to be nice to me and tell me that I didn’t have to take it and she would bring me soda to calm down. When she returned she did only return with a cup of soda but mixed with medicine. Her only mistake here was to mix cherry medicine with clear sprite (note: berry sprite was not invented yet) and tried to sweetly give it to me. The young but not stupid person I was caught on to her lie and made her not gives me medicine at all. This tactic of hers was not a weapon of the week because although it was sort of behind my back it was obvious and easy to catch on to therefore making it easy for me to compromise with her. Thus further explaining and proving that weapons of the week are not confrontational and are made vulnerable to compromise and criticism but is in fact done under the covers without anyone knowing what you are doing and doing the act successfully and not publicly.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Strategy for revolution

My strategy of creating a revolution would be to create a demonstration between all the students. I would try to get all the students to participate in all forms of weapons of the week. Such as staying quiet and doing a sit down in front of Ms. De lauras office and sneezing during classes so that we can try to enforce the idea of getting all the students that pass all their classes to graduate under the new york state requirements. Hopefully would this will result in is getting all the students to have a graduation.

Creating a revolution would mean creating a well thought out and well planed out act that would include many forms of weapons of the week. A good way to go about creating a revolution would be to to an action research project. An action research project ensures that you get the 411 or history of the situation.create a goal, Contact different people within the organization you wish to “destroy” or bring down and people who want that organization brough down. Then map out your pros and cons, plan an organized event to get people involved in the act. Plan out the act and then do the act. After going through with the act you then look over the fact and data. Analyze it and start over again using what you’ve now learned.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

action pj

Looking back to the before and living the after affect of this project I notice that my mother is more relaxed therefore making her a happier person. Evidently making it easier to carry a conversation with her. She has not been judgmental nor defensive. She has not risen her voice at me, has been smiling a lot more at me and has also been a calmer and happier. Since that day I havent been told what to do with a shout or sneer but rather asked to do her a “favor”. She has definitely been using the word please a lot more. When she asks for some thing to drink she sais please ad thank you, to change the t.v. channel or for anything at all she has said please and thank you. My mom also bought me strawberry ice cream and has allowed me to stay out latter as well as sleep over a friends house. She has offered to hang up my just washed clothes and put them away and has also lent me her I pod since it has a song I like and currently do not have it on my I pod. She has invited me to dinner outside the home more watch movies outside and has bought me a new outfit. The most important thing to me was when she made a dentist appointment for me and when she asks me if I need any help with anything. Also askign for my opinion on what to eat, what movies to rent or watch, etc. my mother has definitely been a happier person and has been kinder. Also as a result of her being happier more relaxed and calmer I can see that her attitude with others has changed. I guess a little bit of work at home goes a long way for somre people. It also proves my thought that by making a simple change in one persons life could make a domino effect and create a larger change in the world or in the society. I think if I was to create a new action I would contact other therapists and couselors as well as interview some kids in my class who have had the same goals as me to see what their situations were, just in case it is a bit too far fetched from my situation. Then I will ask them what their techniques were and why. Figure out how they excecuted their actions. Look at their analysis as well as speak to them about how things were accomplished. Such as the tone of their voice seating positioning etc. Then I would see how the results were. I will ask my fellow students/ peers what were their obstacles, why and how they were able to overcome those obstacles. I would then ask them how and why they would change certain aspects. After having done that I will try to match up that data to the data I collected from my project and try to apply it as accurately as I can. This does not mean that I will use all information or try to fit every bit of information to fit my data in any way but I will use what is useful for me and and take into consideration the issues or factors my other fellow students came across. I think it is useful to not only have the information you collect btu also the information others collect on the very same topic since situations can change and havign an outside perspective on things is always good to make change for different kinds of people or different situations or different times.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Assignment # 8

The action I took for my project was creating a nice enviornment where me and my mother can relax and have a nice conversation with no arguments what so ever. The steps I took were reading up in my phsychology book on relationships and how to obtain and healthy one as well as communication skills. I also spoke via e-mail to a therapist about some of the issues concerning my mother and I. Another thing I did was read back on past class notes from the hegemony unit and some recent conversationswe have had. I have been studying each piece of information so that I can put it into practice with my mother. I also tried to change up some techniques to fit my home and the life style we have here. Such as the repetative technique, where you paraphrase what a person is telling or rather screaming to you when they are angry. Now in my household this wouldn’t particulaly work because my mother would take it as me knowing exactly what I have or have not been doing and just disregarding/ignoring it. Therefore just being too lazy to take accountability or action. So what I did instead was paraphrase what she said to the best of my ability, apologizing while doing something productive at the same time. That way my mother would understand I am serious about what I am saying. I then made some research into what my mother likes to do and how she enjoys spending her evenings as well as her days. Then I offered to do things i normally dont do because I am so tired. I did all the chores in the house as well as buy her food since it was too late to cook dinner. I enjoyed seeing how content and relaxed my mother was and that in the end made her a happier person as aposed to days when i dont do any type of help around the house. It wasnt much but I still plan on doing more actions untill the presentation day comes. So this assignment will be be made longer and have more analysis as well.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

assignment #7

The action project I have chosen is to create better conversational skills in society thus creating a happier environment. The main focus will be my family which includes my mother and I. My goal is to lessen the amount of arguments we have during the week and hopefully in the month so that coming home or talking on the phone isn’t a job but a pleasure. My opponent will of course be my mother who is not a person that is willing to change easily. I believe she will make an effort while we are trying to make the conversation work but the minute anything goes wrong, whether it be the discussion or the t.v. she is subject to get angry and lash out. My goal is that regardless of her anger I will try to support her and understand that the only time she has to relax is a few hours at night at home. Basically be more understanding and try to calmly explain the issues at hand with her hopefully creating a change. The main thing I will do to create a happier home with my mother is try to reduce the amount of stress in her life. I plan on lessining the amount of work she does in the home such as washing dishes, cleaning the living room, bedroom, and bathroom as well as sweep and mop the floors. I am also considering taking on more hours at work soon so that I can help my mother pay for different types of bills or expenses. I can also do grovcery on my own and once in a while pay for it with my own money so that my mother doesn’t always have to think about minor bills. I will also make an effort to cook at least once every week and make more errands. Basically take on more roles or jobs at home. I believe if I do all things things or at least most or some of them and compare them t days when I do not do much or anythign at all I can get a real feeling for why my mom acts the way she does. Or to find out if that really is the reason she is so angry with me or just angry because shes so tired. Maybe another thing I can do is see if I do one thing different how much does she change then compare that to when I change two things and so forth. That way I can see if the amount of change is dependant upon the amount of things I do differetly or the amount of tasks I take up. Right now I believe that it depends on the amount of things I do that will determine how much she changes. I feel this way because if I go from nothing to 1 thing she will be gratefull but not take me seriously. She will believe im just being nice for the day but if I do more than one thing and continue to do that task with greater and greater amounts of efforts she will start to realize I am serious and therefore begin changing her conversational skills and be a happier person.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Action Research Project

  1. Action research is a project in which people pick an important issue concerning society that they feel needs to be changed. you then pick a specific part in that social issue that you feel needs the most changing (arena) and you do background research on it. You do this by internet (websites), books, intereviews, experts, t.v. , news etc. etc. You then figure out your goal that you are trying to accomlish. With that you split up your component goals as to how you are going to fix the issues. You then move into the action plan, which is what you want to do and how when you take action. The next step is to do the action. Usually this is where most activists stop. Yet the next step should be taking data from the action and analyzing it. So for example if you plan to give out flyers, after you have given them out go to the end of the block and see how many were thrown away and ask a person to whom you have givin the flyer to, why tey threw out the flyer. Then analyze it and create another action plan as to how you will try to accomplish the SAME task but usuing the new data and analysis you have to make it more succesfull. My action research plan is to improve the relationships I have with people and the relationships people have with each other. My researching will include online sources as well as an interview with a therapist and t.v. shows such as dr. phill etc. etc. My main goal is to create better listening skills. My component goals include 1. My point of view on a relationship I have. 2. their point of view 3. reading my pshc book to create better insight for myself. 4. evaluate all point of views and 5 relating all point of views. My action plan is to create a peacefull enviornment, make some activities and create some discussion topics for a discussion session I will be holding. The action will be a face to face discussion and make a default talking and haning out day. For data and analysis I will record all conversations before during and after the action then compare all. Analyze them and come up with a new action research plan. This issue is more important to me because I am leaving to college soon and I will need to not only have better conversational skills with my mother and other family members but also with the people I will be meeting inside and outside of college. I believe it is the most interesting because should I suceed people will see that it is good to change ways and that conversational skills are very important in society. A lot depend on conversational skills such as getting a job getting into a school getting a deal on whatever you are buying, creating a business etc etc. the issues I have decided against was improving the foster care system. I think that this issue is not common in the outside world but it might be in this class for the sole reason that we are all or most of us are leaving for college and family is the most important thing to us. So we would like to create a better life for us and our families. I do not think that I picked an issue that A LOT of people focused on.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May 10, 2006 - 3 Ways of creating social change

Three techniques of creating social change that I find both compelling and exciting are roller stencils, throw ups, and images. Roller stencils are basically paint rollers that have images or words cut out from the. Offering a quicker solution to getting the word out in more places in less time as opposed to the usual graffiti we see on a daily basis that is everywhere. No longer giving significant messages but more so tagging a persons name on a wall for no valid reason at all. Throw ups are basically banners that you throw up onto a telephone pole or object that will be able to support the banner and let it dangle with a question, statement or phrase that you wish to get the public thinking about or be aware of. This offers a clearer and more sustainable solution to getting and leaving messages across as opposed to regular flyers or posters that can simply be discarded or painted over. Lastly, blown up images such as the ones demonstrated in the movie we watched earlier today, were a great idea. This offers you the opportunity to create your own symbol or make a direct statement about an issue as opposed to just making an easily disposable flyer.