Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blog #11

Throughout this semester, I have wrote several blogs about what we are reading and discussing in class.    The first one started out with us discussing why we wanted to take the class. Then as we started to read and discuss the books we had to write about what was our favorite fairytale and why.  I chose Snow White, because I loved how it included the seven dwarfs and a lot of animals.  I also like it a lot because my sister was in the play when she was little at her school.  Coming into this class I didn't know we would talk about fairytales that much, because I didn't know that there was this much to talk about.  It is extremely interested how in depth you can go into a fairytale.  Pretty much every detail in a story has meaning and I was not aware of this before I took the class.  Before I took the class I had no knowledge  of what cinderella's foot fitting into the slipper meant or how Snow white's step mother is her other conscious (who she will become when she grows up).  When I came into the class I wasn't sure to expect.  I thought it was really interesting how we not only learned about disney tales, but also about the Grimm brothers and also more unfamiliar fairytales that they created.  I have learned a lot from this class and even more then I thought I would. I really enjoyed this class a lot and am fortunate that I got into this class, because it was a lot of fun yet I learned so much.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Boys and Girls Club Reflection

When I first heard that we were going to teach young children about fairytales, I was very excited but a little nervous.  This is something I have done in the past however I have not worked with children for a really long time, however it is something I really enjoy.  For several summers I worked as a camp counselor and did pretty much the same thing as we did at The Boys and Girls Club.  I have always enjoyed working with little kids, so I was thrilled to do something  like this and involving fairytales into it.  This project is not just a grade to me it an incredible learning experience that I will always remember.  When I first found out that we would be doing this for our final I was incredibly happy.  I do not do very well with tests, so when I found out we didn’t have one it was such a relief.  When students take a final they know the information that was on it for a little bit but then they slowly start to forget.  Having an experience like this as my final is not something I will just forget, in fact it is something I enjoyed so much that I know I will always remember.
 In this experience I learned how preparation and organization are crucial in doing things like this but also many other things.  Something that takes part in this is over planning.  It is never a bad thing to over plan especially when you are working with little kids.  You always have to have a backup plan especially with kids.  It doesn’t matter if you think something will work out, kids are so unpredictable in what they all like and don’t like and how they will behave.  I also learned how to control children, when teaching young children it is not easy.  However if you tell them you have candy or say anything around the lines of that they will get serious and pay attention.   For example, during week three we had to continuously remind the girls that there was a prize at the end because that way they would pay attention and behave.  We also had to do that in our fourth week, when two boys were not paying attention what another boy was saying.  Being able to teach children and get them to listen to what you are talking about is really hard.  I learned how to teach children however there is not really one way that you can teach children.  They are all different, some that we had were quiet, some were loud, some even liked to participate while others did not. 
We were pretty lucky with the children we got each week and we never really encountered any big issues. The fourth week for us was by far the best, the children were pretty much well behaved and our plan worked extremely well.  It was definatly my favorite week because this week I feel that I assisted with this activity more then the others.  Even though I did participate in the others this time I was actually able to help two boys with creating their stories.  For example, one boy didn’t want to write because all we had were crayons and he wanted a pencil.  He got frustrated so I told him if he could think of ideas I would write them down for him.  I really like how everyone worked together because it felt as if we were a team because we were all helping each other out. Each week we had at least one kid that was really shy and didn’t wish to participate.  For the first week we had a group of four kids, three girls and one boy.  The boy wouldn’t participate and as much as I tried to get him involved he didn’t want to so we all just let him be.  After that I was afraid that it would be like that for the next few weeks, I am glad it wasn’t because our next weeks were pretty good.  Other then that we really didn’t have any serious problems and I was really surprised because dealing with different children every week is a challenging surprise.  One thing I would change for next time would be to pick more games that will take a longer amount of time.  We tried to do this to the best of our ability however sometimes it did not work out too well. 
For example, for any freshman that take this fys next year I would have a lot of advice to give them.  For one, working with children is not easy and do not get discouraged if one of your classes with the children doesn’t go well.  Another thing is you do not realize how important over planning and being organized is until your plan falls through.  Another thing I would recommend is to be creative, children love it when games are interesting.  If they are not then they will lose interest which could possibly lead to a disruption.  Some students may think a project like this is easier then a final, but it really isn’t it is just very different.  Working with kids is a really tough job.   It is also important for the new incoming freshman to understand that in their group you never know what gender children you will have so always try to pick stories like Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood, and The Golden key.  Most boys don’t like to hear about stories with a princess so try to pick a story and activities that you think will interest both boys and girls. 
The only thing I could think to change about this experience would be the place, but that really can’t be changed much.  As I stated before children get distracted really easily so when we had four times in that large room at once it became very chaotic.  Overall I really enjoyed this project a lot and im considering looking into volunteering at The Boys and Girls Club because I enjoyed it so much.  I am grateful that I was given an opportunity like this, and learned many things because of it. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cupid and Psyche vs. The Frog Prince

In Cupid and Psyche it starts out with introducing the three sisters and how they are all beautiful.  However, one is much more beautiful then the rest and people come to visit her to just see her amazing beauty.  When she is called prettier then Venus, she gets absolutely furious this shows her jealousy and hatred towards her sister for being much prettier then she is.  After she attempted to put a spell on Psyche, it failed which lead her into living with her “invisible” husband who was extremely rich.  She had never saw him at first but she got tired of that and really wanted to know who she was married to.  One day after her sisters convince her to see what her husband really looks like she does and thinks he is going to look like a monster when really he was very handsome.  That left her to losing him and the palace.  In order to win him back she has to do a few tasks, they eventually get back together.  This goes to show that women can very well do things and women aren’t at all like the princesses in fairytales. 

In the frog prince, the story starts off with the Grimm brothers talking about one very pretty princess who becomes extremely upset after loosing her ball.  However in this version unlike the original myth someone’s comes to her to comfort her.  That is the frog; the frog didn’t want anything from her only love and companionship.  The princess pushed him away as much as she could until her father could make the decision for her to let him stay with her in their house.  One day she got so mad that she threw the frog against the one and that turned him into a prince. 

These two stories are very different, one is an original myth and the other is a fairytale.  Also one involves a mythical character and the other involves an animal.  They are both different but have the same things in the story.  Both girls end up with a guy in the end, who is your typical prince.  The Frog and the Prince comes from the myth Cupid and Psyche. 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The fairytale vs. Disney

The two versions of the fairytale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have some differences but for the most part they are very similar.  In the Grimm version the story starts out with the mother wishing for a child that is beautiful when she pricks her finger, she creates a child just as she had hoped for.  However in having that child she died, and her stepmother took care of her.  This was something that wasn't portrayed in the movie because the Grimm brothers took anything out that was gruesome or inappropriate for children.  A few things that are the same in both of these versions are the characters and the setting.  Something that is different in both is the motif; the motif in the fairytale is how the witch continues to plot to kill Snow White.  However in the movie this is not the case the evil stepmother doesn't try to kill Snow White three times, but only once.  The reason for all these differences is because depending on the audience that is watching it, it has to be appropriate and to their expectations or else no one will watch it they will have to cancel all the movies since they won't be making money off of it.  In my opinion I like the fairytale version better which surprised me because I usually enjoy movies better.  The fairytale had a lot more to the story and a lot more detail which made it more enjoyable to read.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Snow White

When reading the original tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and watching the Disney movie, I noticed that there were several differences and similarities among the two.  In both the original tale and the movie the characters were all the same.  Another major similarity is that the stepmother is evil in both versions of Snow White and uses the apple as an attempt to try to kill her because according to the mirror, she is " the fairest of them all".  However in the Grimm version, the witch takes three attempts to kill Snow White, and in the movie it only takes one try.  In both versions the witch is is an evil character which goes along with her being ugly.  Both stories are very similar however the Grimm version is a lot longer and has more detail in it whereas the movie is a lot shorter.  It just shows how the stepmother plans her death and then kills her, leading to a happy ending.  I think that the actual movie was a lot shorter then the actual story but it summed up the story line very well. I believe that the story changed so that it would be appropriate for children in every possible way.  Looking at all the Disney movies, they are all changed to be fitted for those children.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

From Rags To Riches

There are several fairytales however there are only some of those that are known as “rise tales”.  According to a source, “a rise tail begins with a poor and lowly hero or heroine who rises dramatically up in social ladder”.  According to many fairytales it is very common for a princess to be of low class and to have the male (Prince) make a life for her.  The creators of these fairytales make it so that the male is so wonderful, rich, and powerful and the only way for the princess’ to really have a future is if they marry him.  For instance, the story of Cinderella shows a young adult who has had her life turned upside down, and something comes a long that will bring her up in class and also make her much happier.  In these fairytales the creator does a good job of making sure that the guy is the most important role.  Even though the story is about a princess, it also shows the prince in the story and how big of an effect he has on her future life.  I don’t believe that someone can reach successes from going up in class because they marry someone.  However it is possible that someone can be rich when marrying someone of the higher class. Cinderella shows that it can be true however that is just a fairy tale.  Its actually not realistic at all however there are some people today who do either marry men or women for their money.  In a way Cinderella shows a bad example, the ball she went to was intended for him to find his wife.  Any girl going there wanted to marry him because he was the prince, and she wanted him to have a better life for herself.  I do believe this fairytale is pretty unrealistic but a maid wouldn’t generally go to a ball.  However at the same time it is realistic because there are many times when people marry someone who is way richer then them giving them a completely different and wonderful future. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hansel and Gretel

In comparison to one another, the Grimm version of Hansel and Gretel is much different from the MGM version of this story.  The MGM version was very creepy however it did not portray the story as it was written.
In the MGM version the mother isn’t nice however she is not as mean as she was in the Grimm version.  In addition, in this version the mother talks about sending the children away however she doesn’t plan it like she did in the Grimm version.  She simply gets beyond frustrated with her children and sends them out to get berries.  However after she realized what she had done she was so upset with herself, even though she wanted them gone so the food could just be left for her and her husband.  In the Grimm version the mother was extremely cruel to the children and planned with her husband to take the kids into the woods and to leave them there.  In both versions the mother seems similar however in the Grimm version she is much worse.  And in the end she shows emotion towards losing the children and then gaining them back.  Another difference in the two films was how different the witch was.  In the MGM version the witch pretended to be a sweet older woman who Hansel soon called “grandmother”.  However in the Grimm version the witch didn’t pretend to be anyone, he/she was very creepy from the beginning.  Yet again both witches were creepy but one just was more disguised from the other.  Also the way the witch’s house looks is similar in both because they both are colorful and full of food.  Another similarity between the two movies was the relationship between Hansel and Gretel.  In both films they were very close and protected one another through all of that.  At one point when Hansel is in the cage, he even tells Gretel to run.  She wouldn’t do that, they are so close that she would not be able to leave him. 
In my opinion, I think that they made these changes because times have changed a lot.  Also, the MGM version has better color and acting then the Grimm version, which has to do with how we have updated our media.  They made more changes to make it more age appropriate for children of a young age.  I think these changes made the story a little better and definitely more suitable for children.