Self-Reflection on Media Literacy & HSI


I learned a lot from this class and it was definately my favorite. I learned about…

  • media literacy
  • interviewing skills
  • online identity
  • stereotypes
  • ethics in media

I feel more media literate for sure and I’m very glad. From my science class I learned about…

  • fires
  • lightning
  • hypothermia
  • frostbite
  •  search and rescue skills.

I don’t think I can chose one memory to pick as my favorite at HSI. We did so many fun things, it would be impossible to chose one. I loved the Rockies game and being on TV, going roller skating, going bowling, playing ultimate frisbee, and running through the rain. All these things and more were so much fun and I’ll never forget any of them. As a person I think I have grown to be more accepting and friendly. If I could re-live HSI I would definately take more risks, make more friends, and try to branch out more from the beginning. HSI gave me a little taste of college and it has prepared me for college life, I learned its not as hotel-like as I wanted it to be. I have a feeling I’m always going to be talking about HSI, so much that my family and friends are going to get tired of it. I had so much fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Media Stereotypes


Stereotypes are all over the media everyday. Although they have changed a lot since the 1950s, stereotypes are still everywhere. Gender stereotypes seem to be similar as they were back then, but now just not as focused on. Girls on TV usually have jobs, but they are still sometimes seen as less important or smart as males. We still have the guy always saves the girl on TV today. Racial stereotypes are in some ways worse today. Now instead of being seen as ignorant, black people are sometimes seen as criminals. For gay and lesbians, they are still not really accepted widely on TV. Some shows like Glee and Modern family have gay people in them, but in media I feel like they are portrayed like something is wrong with them. I wish all types of people were accepted in the media, but I don’t think something like that will happen soon, unfortunately.

Digital Media & Multitasking


During school most of my teachers do not allow us to use our phones. At the beginning of the year lots of teachers said that we could use our phones whenever and it wasn’t their problem if we failed the class. This rule was usually gotten rid of very quickly because of the amount of students who would take advantage of it. We’re not allowed to have laptops or tablets either, but this isn’t really a problem. Outside of school, I definately multitask, but not excessively. My friends really don’t care but my parents sometimes say it can be rude. I know I get distracted, and I probably won’t stop, but it may be a problem. Sometimes it can be effective, but I guess we’ll just see what happens.

Mooks and Midriffs


Mooks and Midriffs are still relevant today but just under different names. A mook is a male who doesn’t really care what people think about him and does whatever he wants. A midriff is a female who uses her body sexually to get attention and acts way older than she really is. I think these characters are still present today, they just are more disguised, or we are just so used to it we don’t notice that anything is wrong. Mooks and Midriffs are still on MTV today, like on 16 and Pregnant. The men on this show are usually irresponsible and immature, and the women are obviously pregnant for a reason. MTV content hasn’t changed too much, but now there are less music videos and more reality TV shows. I wish MTV would go back to focusing on music, but I really don’t think that will happen soon.

Katerra Skinner


carKaterra Skinner hasn’t taken her trip to the Dominican Republic yet, but she still plans on positively influencing as many people in the Dominican as she can…
“We are building schools out of recycled materials and clean burning stoves and then we play with the children in the community. And then that night we’ll do some activities…”
Katerra, a 16-year-old from Rawlings WY, is going to the Dominican Republic to volunteer with the Global Leadership Adventures or the GLA for 10 days in July of 2014.
“I used to want to join the Peace Corps and then one day I was looking it up and I came across the GLA website. Then I started doing research on it and I decided that I absolutely needed to do it so I tried to convince my parents, and eventually they gave in” Katerra was determined to go on this trip. She got a job to raise money, researched the country she wanted, and gave her parents extra information about the GLA. She chose to go to the Dominican Republic specifically because it was the option closest to home and she wanted to be close for her first time traveling alone.  She still wants to join the Peace Corps, and says she might look into it after college. “I used to want to join the Peace Corps right after highschool but after thinking about it I realized I might not be mature enough to do something that big. So this GLA program was perfect for me”.
The GLA is a high school study abroad program that offers opportunities for teenagers to volunteer in developing countries in cultures significantly different from the West in authentic, non-tourist communities. She is going to stay in a lodge by the beach but everyday her and her team will hike up to various villages and communities to work on a variety of projects. “I’m most excited to teach the kids English and to build them schools” Being a positive role model and mentor is also something she is looking forward to. “I think it will be hard for me to communicate with everyone because they mainly speak Spanish, but I’m still excited to learn more about their culture and connect with them”.

In life, Katerra wants to travel the world and help others. She wants to go to college somewhere, but isn’t quite sure where yet. This trip will probably be the first of many community service trips for Katerra.

Listen to her interview here:

Media & Body Image


The media always portrays models as almost perfect people and it can be very detrimental to our society. We are told to be beautiful we should be thinner, taller, have completely clear skin, etc. These messages are all over TV and internet and it can be very hard to avoid. This can cause many problems for people, especially teenagers, and many start hating themselves. I have friends who self harm or have eating disorders because of the influence from media images. I know it’s almost impossible, but one way to solve this problem would be to teach everyone to love one another and to love themselves without having to change anything about themselves and judging others.



Being interviewed by Katerra wasn’t as bad and awkward as I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t bad or awkward at all really. It was kinda hard to write really good questions, but it all worked out and it was pretty easy. I think the best part was learning more about Katerra’s trip and being able to experience what it is like to be interviewed and interviewing. I learned about interviewing and how important it is to be prepared and ready for the interview. If I could do anything over again I would try to ask more questions and get a little bit more information. For future interviews I would tell my self to be relaxed so it isn’t awkward and to be super prepared. I think interview skills will be very helpful in the future, especially learning how to appropriately answer all the questions.

Ethics of Banning Books


We watched the video for “And Tango Makes Three” and it was actually a great story. I think it was banned because some parents complained that they didn’t want their kids reading any material with any homosexuality. I think it is wrong for this book to be banned, especially because it is a true story. But even if it wasn’t a true story, authors should not have their books banned because some parents complained. I think the ban was inappropriate, and I don’t think any books should be banned. It makes more sense to just avoid placing explicit or completely inappropriate books in elementary school.  Personally, I think whoever it is that gets to decide if a book gets banned sometimes just does it to avoid conflict with parents and schools. It would be better if students talked to their teachers and their parents and discussed what books should be read. My parents have never banned me from reading any books, because they taught me what was appropriate and trust me to make my own decisions. At school, my teacher handled the situation of banned books pretty well especially with “The Adventures Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and “Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” by Sherman Alexie. For us, before we started reading, she would give us a brief overview of the book and warn us if there was any cursing, sexuality, or anything else that could make us uncomfortable. If you thought the book wasn’t right for you, she would find a similar book for you to read and would adjust your assignments accordingly. I think this was a great step for her to take, and I’m glad she did because I know she really helped some kids. I understand that not all teachers would want to do this but even small steps like talking to parents would be more effective than just banning books. On the list of Challenged Books I have read the Hunger Games, My Sisters Keeper, Harry Potter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as well as other books by some of the same authors. We also had the choice to read some of those books but we chose other books over them. I personally enjoyed the majority of these books and disagree that any of them should be banned.


Mixing News & Entertainment


I think that the news media does have a responsibility to inform the public about current events. Sometimes the news is very biased, which can cause it to be unreliable, which is difficult for viewers because they may not understand that the news is partial to one side. Regular news shows should try to communicate both sides of an argument so viewers can make an informed decision for themselves. In 9th grade we had to do a lot of current event projects and every time they told us not to use Fox News.  I think it is a problem if some news sites are so biased that we were told not to use them. Comedy news shows are great because they add humor in the mix, but they can also be less informative in a way because they sometimes focus on the attacking other news sites. However, they usually are pretty honest and try to convey correct information. I sometimes watch these shows but not very often. I actually usually don’t watch the news I hear things from my parents or sometimes my friends. If something super interesting is going on I look around and learn more about it but this doesn’t really happen often. I trust news sources because I assume its their job to give me correct information about whatever is going on, but I guess I shouldn’t always trust them. Now that I think about it, the news I hear may be biased in a way, especially because I usually hear it from someone else who watched the news. We talk about the big things usually, like if there was a shooting or hurricane or something. Or we talk about celebrities, who aren’t really that important usually. I could improve my news diet by watching the news more often and comparing news sites to get all the information about a topic. I use my computer for entertainment often, and it can sometimes interfere with my life, usually my homework. However, it hasn’t taken over my life to the point where I don’t do my school work, it just sometimes gets pushed back. My parents don’t really limit me like they used to when I was younger.