Diversity in the English Langauge

For my last post, I want to speak more about diversity, particularly in the classroom. Where I student taught this past semester, I encountered a lot more diversity in human beings than I had ever before. I wasn’t just racial diversity only. It was socio-economic, gender, religious, ideals, and moral diversity as well. This I encountered all in a 5-12 band program. We are stuck in a society that deems one standardized test determines the success of a child for the rest of their lives. This should be changed.

We have diverse classrooms and we need diverse instruction. Standardized tests need to be changed to be available in the language of the speaker. We do include standardized tests in the languages that are recognized by the United States, however, there are some languages that are left unrealized and neglect a portion of the American population every year. This is African American Vernacular English (AAVE). It is something that has been talked about in education classes. A test was given to a child who only knew AAVE instead of standard English. This child, when asking this question, “What do you use when you get out of the shower?,” did not know the answer because it was asked in standard English. His mother knew he knew the answer. The test proctor asked the mother to ask him in a what that he would recognize, and she said, “Whaddoya grab when you get outta the tub?” The child responded, “towel” which was the correct answer. (NOTE: Spelling is in phonetic reference to AAVE language.)

AAVE has become a popular enough language that it should be fused into the standardized test language list. If it isn’t, we are not providing an equal opportunity to each child taking standardizes tests such as the ACT. I am not saying we need to change what students are taught in school, particularly in their Language Arts and English classes. We do not do that for those who speak Spanish or Native American or other languages. However, it is required that a test such as the ACT should be available in the taker’s native language because it is a true test of their learning. AAVE tests should be available to those whose home language is AAVE.

With the ever-increasing diversity in school systems, testing strategies and language barriers should be available and updated as well. In order to provide equal educational opportunities to all, diversity stemming outward from the classroom is necessary.

 

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Hey There Rose Tyler

 

The idea form this blog post came from a video on Youtube that was a mix of Hey There Delilah entitled Hey There Rose Tyler. Parody songs where an individual changed the lyrics have always fascinated me and the ones centered on Doctor Who are so creative and cover so many Doctor Who bases, I was amazed at the quality of some of them. Particularly in Hey There Rose Tyler, the singer uses lyrical techniques that closely mimic the original song. In this post, I will compare lyrics of the original song to the parody and then do a lyrical analysis. Beginning with Hey There Rose Tyler, in the original song Hey there, Delilah, the song begins with,

“Hey there, Delilah

What’s it like in New York City?

I’m a thousand miles away

But, girl, tonight you look so pretty

Yes, you do

Times Square can’t shine as bright as you

I swear, it’s true”

The cover song begins like this:

“Hey there Rose Tyler

What’s it like in your dimension

I’m a thousand worlds away

But I’m still seeing your reflection in the blue

My hearts are broken without you

I swear, its true”

Both songs obviously start with addressing the one who the singer longs for, then they move on to the loved one is a distance away from them and their longing for them from a distance. Both lyrics reflect their love and their longing in a parallel, which I believe is a great technique for song cover lyrics. People who listen to the original song or know the original song will relate more to the cover song if it parallels a similar storyline. I believe that Hey There Rose Tyler is a successful cover because of how it uses the parallel to form its own story.  The comments are a tribute to its success as no one is questioning the quality of the song, and all are able to reflect on their feelings that it gives them in correlation with the show.

Another song that is well done, is a parody of Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, done to the tune of Take’em out in reference to Doctor Who fighting the Daleks. The parody’s chorus goes like this:

“ and the Daleks always say say say say

Exterminate nate nate nate nate

But I just wanna take take take take take

Take’em out Take’em out”

Taylor Swifts Chorus is written like this:

 

“Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off”

 

In this parody, the Daleks are equal to the players and the haters. The Doctor and his companions are the ones who are shaking it off (or taking them out in this case). This works so well because of the popularity of the Daleks and their juxtaposition against the Doctor and his companions. The comments in this video are as positive, with reviews that admit they are subscribing because this parody was so well done and of viewers feelings excitement from the feeling they get from the original song and the parodied version.

 

Overall, well-done parodies are ways for fans to relate to the show and create their own song using their own feelings. Using parallels to the original song amplifies the effect and the overall feeling of the parody, giving it a professional and comfortable experience.

Meme Mania

As I was searching through a facebook group chat that has been made exclusively for memes, someone posted a meme about Doctor Who. I believe that memes are now an important part of people expressing their ideas and thoughts on a topic. Almost a subset or meta form of social media that can be turned into a picture and shared on other social media sites. As I thought about this, I googled “Doctor Who Memes” and scrolled through some of the memes. I will be going through different types of memes and how they relate to other topics.

doctor-who-20

This is the first meme I found in the group chat. This one is singularly related to Doctor Who and looks at the excitement of a fandom when they are referenced and cited somewhere else. This meme generally occurs in a comments section on social media and is the basic, silly, fun form of a meme. This meme is shown as a reference for how general memes can be and that they can be on the non-confrontational side of social media.

how-i-feel-about-trump-right-now_o_6237165

Opposite of that, this meme is the equivalent to the other meme but on the opposite, confrontational, side of some types of memes. People can use memes to express their political views through the filter of a show or topic. This can make people feel more comfortable or allow them to express themselves in a direct way without having to be verbally/textually direct such as typing their own Facebook post. These types of memes increase in popularity and frequency whenever there is a topic that is highly publicized. As an example, with the recent shooting in Florida, there are a lot of memes going around expressing opinions based on gun control. These type of memes allow for discussion of a topic that may be particularly harsh or hard to talk about and give it a softer filter for people to speak through or a harder filter to see so that writer can show the reader how they really feel.

 

 

Aside from general memes or political memes, there are memes that are pieced together to relate across fandoms and join them together to bond across fandoms. The first meme is related to Dungeons and Dragons and brings together those who are both in the Doctor Who fandom and the Dungeons and Dragons fandom, and then maybe bring some of those who are in one fandom but not the other to explore the other side.

The other meme is one that crosses fandoms based on the actor. David Tennant who was the tenth Doctor, and who appeared in the Harry Potter series. This also brings fans from both fandoms across to another fandom and exposes them to more information.

 

Overall memes are a form of social media that allow people to explore other fandoms, have difficult or open discussions, and allow the creator to share their own ideas in a way that is different than a post on Twitter or Facebook.

The Dichotomy of the Doctor

I was inspired by our recent study of fanfiction, I started to think about why I loved the movies and shows that I love. After I began thinking about this, I determined that I loved the show due to the character that provided me the most comic relief parts but also allowed me to comfortably “feel” the sad or serious parts, and these shows were mainly action/adventure movies and shows. I love Guardians of the Galaxy because Groot is cute and funny throughout the movie, but also allows me to feel sad at the death of a character or scared when there is a dangerous scene. He enables me to feel the deep feelings a child would, who may be experiencing that connection and feeling for the first time. I love Star Wars because the droids allow me to feel both laughter and pain at various points of the movies. C3PO allows me to feel fear, R2D2 and BB8 allow me to feel both happiness and sadness. In many ways, these characters along with others, are the “pet-like” characters of the show. They allow for innocence and wide-eyed moments to happen in movies and shows that bring the watcher deeper into the show and let them connect to it. I believe that the Doctor is meant to be one of these characters. However, he isn’t as “pet-like”  because of his role as a main character in the show.  I think, though, that this allows the viewer to fall in love with the Doctor because he has the same emotional output as some of the more “pet-like” characters such as Groot or the Droids, which I believe added to the success of the show following the ninth doctor. Different from most main characters, the Doctor is the person making you laugh, cry, and be angry. The companion is the one that reacts to these most of the time. This dichotomy almost allows the viewer to emotionally connect even stronger to the show. Other main characters are more serious and full throttle to adventure type characters and its hard to give them the role of serious lead and make them funny or sweet. For example, Thor, however uneducated about Earth, is very full throttle into adventure and serious, not as much funny or goofy unless you watch the most recent Thor movie. Harry Potter is another example. He is very serious and then they pull Dobby in or Ron as comic relief or let the viewer experience sadness through Hermione. I think that Doctor Who has done something special by giving the Doctor the ability to be both the serious one, but also the funny, crazy, sad one and allows the viewer to feel with the companion through the Doctor. I feel this dichotomy of the Doctor is special and does not happen often in shows, making Doctor Who a special show and helps with its continuing success.

Music to Movement, How Music Influenced How We Feel When We Watch TV

Have you ever listened to how other cultures music is different than ours, or even how the background music in a show changes? In movies or TV shows, music sets the mood, feeling, or idea for what is going to happen next or currently happening. Most people will notice the more obvious ones like when something sad happens, suddenly sad violin music comes on, or when something scary is happening and the music switches to loud John Williams type pieces.

In Doctor Who, they play a lot on what is going to happen next with the background music. For example, in the start of the episode “Father’s Day” the music signals to you that Rose narrating about her father is something sad, giving you the idea that something bad may have happened to him, then the narration tells you that he died. If you listen, many times when the TARDIS is starting to move (when the characters are already inside it) the music will start and it will play music that will lead you into the next scene. Again in “Father’s Day,” the music implies a curious tone leading into the scene where Rose is going to see her father so he will not be alone, but when she saves her father the music becomes screechy and loud, indicating that something bad has happened. It changes this way many times throughout that episode.

In the episode “The Empty Child,” for another example, when Rose discovers the child, the music is creepy and dangerous sounding, giving a hint that this may not be a safe situation. The same music comes on when there are interactions with the child later. Then, when Rose meets the officer who saves her and they go out to the top of the ship, the music gives a very stoic feeling to it. However, when the music changes to the homeless children, it changes. The music can indicate class. In the show, using the homeless children in “The Empty Child,” for example, the music changes to a simpler sound and a lower pitch, indicating the lower class or those who are in trouble. The music used to represent Rose in “Rose” was like this until it was shown she was a character that had gained more knowledge. Then her music changed to almost matched the Doctor’s music. It became more curious and fast-paced, along with more complicated rhythm and sound.

I think this is something to look at when watching future episodes. It is very intriguing to listen to and gives a better understanding of the dynamics of the shows.