Since the existence of mankind, women have been looked down upon in their abilities to perform as well as men. This is not justified in the sense that even in 2013 we refer to several sectors of work or even sports to be primarily ‘male dominated’, for instance: Police-Man, Mail-Man, Fire-Man etc. As women started to gain recognition through out the years, they excelled in different fields of” work and society and cultural norms started to change. More women were offered jobs, even though consequently the initial pay was lower then men but, overtime women gained equal rights through constant struggles and are now even considered a better fit in the workplace. The article ‘athletic intruders’ gives insight into the roles of women in sport and the obstacles they encounter in their daily lives simply due to the factor that they are females. It is unfair that women are treated differently from men in terms of the ‘ideal look’ or the definition of a ‘beautiful body’. The brain of a female is no different from the brain of a male in regards to learning skills or completing certain task. If a female were to dedicate herself to something just like a male would, I have no doubt that she would not be successful, being a female does not mean that you are inferior to males but, the way society and norms work females are portrayed with a nurturing role and its sole purpose to support her children.

 

We can relate the article ‘Athletic Intruders’ to the lecture presented in class when the guest speakers gave us insight on their occupation and the way they go about their lives. The first two speaker tended to have an interesting opinion as they both had a description of what a ideal body should look like. In my opinion, I believe everybody has a beautiful body, it doesn’t matter what gender, age, or ethnicity an individual comes from, everybody has a sole purpose of reproducing in life as per to the theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ if an individual who is obese and has a child is compared to an infertile body builder, the obese individual would be considered more fit in regards to Darwin. Therefore, no one should be given the right to determine who has the idea body type or not, everyone is beautiful in their own way. Similarly, if a female wants to participate in sports, she should have an equal chance as her male counterpart as she as well is a human being and withholds the ability to perform at par if not better.

 

I believe the last guest speaker that presented within the class had more of an open mind compared to the first two as they were simply identifying what a ideal body should look like. The last speaker tended to recognize your current physical state and tried to identify the reason behind the sudden positive healthy endeavours. I believe he said ‘the bigger the why, the easier the how’ meaning if an individual knows why he/she wants to lose weight, how to lose that weight becomes just as easy. Similarly if a female figures out why she would like to join a sports team, become physically ‘jacked’ the road to success becomes just as easy. No one should be able to look down upon someone just because of their gender, if a girl wants to play rugby she shall play rugby, if she wants to become the first female president, she shall become the president. The emergence of women in sports in today’s world is still in its infancy, and as time progresses and individuals start to figure out their ‘whys’ in life, the way their going to go about it would be just as easy.  

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 Within the article ‘Seeing with a Sideways glance’ Downey brings focus on some key elements of the capoeira art form. He explains the ‘sideways glance’ in a way that one must use his/her whole vision at the same time and know exactly what’s happening at all times around him. What I found interesting within the article was the section where Downey witnesses an individual in the middle of his fight who was shirtless and standing within the arena the individual was being disrespectful. This not only astonished the person with the shirt off and solemnly wrapped around his waist but the spectators as well as some were not even aware that certain events took place during the vivid performance yet Downey was fully aware.

 

“… the capoeirista becomes able to discern more and more along with what is seen directly in front of the eyes, developing the ability to perceive things outside the front angle of vision. In this way the capoerista may even be able to see behind himself.”

 

This can be related back to the lecture/activity we were presented in class by the instructor a few weeks ago where the whole class was given small scaled optical illusions and were asked to complete certain tasks. If you think about it, magic tricks done by most famous magicians today, such as David Blaine, Chris Angel and several other use optical illusions to convey or optimize the message. For instance the famous levitation illusion presented by David Blane believe it or not consist of a optical illusion which literally makes it looks as if he was floating in thin air, meanwhile it is just the angle at which the spectator stands and the difference between the knowing and unknowing of the individual. Perceiving things from outside the angle of vision is a skill that capoeirist have modified and practised overtime but this skill can also be seen in different variations among illusionist/magician that incorporate it within their routines as they have a certain type of vision to coincide with their tricks.

 

There was an interesting example presented in class of the Canadian Flag where one would simply stare at a pattern on a page for 45 seconds or so and eventually when looked upon another clear surface the individual would see a flag instead of just random patterns. This is fascinating in the sense that the brain works in mysterious ways. Even though our eyes were focused on one aspect of the image our brains were working in a unique way that created a natural illusion when viewed upon from a different perspective or angle. This amazes me as the world is filled with many surprises and who knows what one can accomplish or present with just a little bit of practice.  

 The true definition of an addict has yet to be settled upon as it has been debated for several decades. If we pay close attention to human behaviour we can conclude one thing, every individual in one way or another is addicted to something that brings them joy or a sense of peace whether it be the drugs one abuses or the success one achieves from putting in a lot of work/effort. There’s different types of addiction, some can be physically harmful for instance abusing drugs, where as others such as ‘online gaming’ can also be harmful as well but more so mentally rather than physically.

 

Within the two articles written by Van Cleave and Kimberly Young, addiction seems to be the focus of interest. The two articles correlate with one another in a fashion that one does not work without the other. Within the article ‘Video Game Junkie’ Cleave gives us insight on his own life and his addiction to the game World of Warcraft which ‘Ryan refers to as World of WarCrack’ symbolizing his addiction to the game in reference to drug addictions. This type of addiction causes more mental stress then physical as it completely pulls you away from the real world and the individuals within it. As discussed in class there have been extreme cases where children have been left to starve while being addicted to a video game kept the care giver occupied.

 

The components of addiction presented by Ryan was an interesting observation as it included 6 stages which are common amongst Internet addiction (Kimberly Young), video game addiction (Ryan), and pretty much any other addiction that could potentially affect the well being of an individual. The first three stages within the components of addictions was salience, mood modification, and tolerance. These three stages can be seen throughout the course of any addiction whether it be internet or alcohol. It starts with the ‘activity’ becoming the centre of attention for the individual as nothing else seems to please him/her. Once this takes place the individual starts to invest more time into this ‘activity’ that provides some sort of joy or ‘natural high’. After continuous prolonged cycles of performing the same ‘activities’ the individual starts to build a tolerance which only leads to the next three components of addiction: withdrawal due to discontinuity from ‘activities’, conflict among loved ones, and eventually relapse.

 

These stages are relevant in every addiction as can be seen within the example presented in class, where Molly was addicted to gambling, more so to the feel of ‘being alive’ when in a casino. She personally did not care about the loss or gains of money, she was more addicted to the feeling of being within the casino itself. It seems as if she is within the tolerance stage of the components of addiction presented by Ryan simply due to the fact that she enjoyed ‘the high’ of being there and did not care of anything else. This can be related back to internet and gaming addiction as one tends to get in ‘the zone’.

 

If I were to give up a sense

 

We as humans have many senses that vary among each other in there own unique ways. If it was up to me I would not dare to give up any of my senses as they are too valuable to me, unless I gained a super power of some sort in collateral. Hypothetically speaking, If I were to give up any one sense, it would be the sense of touch/thermodynamic. I choose to abandon this sense due to the fact that it would act as a superpower in some shape or form. Think about it, If I did not sense heat or cold upon contact, I would be able to perform activities an average individual would not be able to while keeping all the other senses intact. For example, I would be able to withstand temperatures above and below boiling and freezing point; I would be able to eat my food while its hot and enjoy its taste, instead of waiting for it to cool down; even though it is irrelevant, I would be able to dress more fashionably disregarding the temperature and the apparel it limits us to.

 

Losing the sense of thermodynamics would give me the opportunity to explore locations I would never go to if my senses were intact, simply due to the temperature barrier. I would explore areas in the North with much more confidence, I would be able to observe volcanoes from a closer location, I would also be able to go deep into the cold ocean without the risk of freezing to death.

 

In conclusion, if it was up to me I would not give up any of my senses, but if it came down to my final decision on giving up a particular sense, it would be thermodynamics.

Reflection

Humans have a general superiority over other animal species, as it has been a longstanding tradition in both Western and Eastern philosophy that we belong to a higher order of living things than animals and plants. Even though this is correct to some extent, humans tend to further classify themselves based on culture or religion. Every culture has differences which not only differs in language, norms, or social interactions but cuisine as well. Food and the senses incorporated with each culture are distinct and can reveal a whole lot if studied individually.

Before reading the article ‘Food and the Senses’ I only looked for flavor and smell when trying out a new ‘dish’. I never realized the small differences each culture consisted of while preparing meals. For example, cuisines from various cultures differ in not only flavor but, texture, temperature, colour, patterns, and even the arrangement of the dish itself, whether it is separated into compartments so one can enjoy what he/she wants when they want, or moshed together to have some sort of consistency with every bite. From my personal experience and the Indian culture/cuisine, I can vouch for the fact that we like to eat in compartments as everything is organized and one can simply chose to eat whatsoever part of the meal when he/she pleased.

One thing that fascinated me was the fact that English people were not aware of the combination of sugar with coffee and the taste that one endures after the consumption of the beverage. After the first ‘English worker tried a sweetened cup of hot tea’ it became a transformation of an entire society. This amazes me because a change of such small magnitude changed historical experiences a society had been enduring for a long time.

I agree with the fact that ‘Food generally is a source and marker of social distinction’ because, if we take my culture into perspective we can say that ‘curry’ or basically sauce is a big ordeal. The flavors and spices that we add to a ‘dish’ while marinating are distinct to the Indian culture and would primarily please the Indian community but can be acquired through any individual. The taste or appreciation for any cuisine from my prospective is acquired. For example, I never liked beer when I first stated drinking, but over time I acquired a taste to it and now it is a preferred beverage rather than an experimented one. I think this analogy can apply to cuisine as well as many people tend to watch cooking shows to get insight on different cuisines from different cultures that might please the individuals taste buds. Of course these cooking shows might display something that you might have ate in the past and want to simply the know the recipe to, or they display something that you would like to acquire a taste to because it consist of all the ingredients currently present in your home.

Last but not least, I definitely agree with the fact that home cooking can turn public places into sensory landscapes based on my personal experiences alone. Less then a week ago I brought a ‘butter chicken wrap’ to my math class, and opened the wrap in class. Right after I started eating the wrap I got a curious look from a fellow Caucasian student, and then in a matter of minutes something unexpected occurred as the same individual pulled out his own lunch and started eating it in class. This was funny to me because all odds made me assume that my ‘butter chicken wrap’ created a ‘sensory landscape’ which triggered his mind to consume food. This wasn’t really special but it was one of those things you realize after taking a sensory class. PS, if you don’t know what a ‘Butter Chicken’ wrap is, I’m sorry but your missing out.

Reflection 4

 

As I was reading the article “Consciousness in performance. A Javanese theory” I found a number of interesting things. I noticed that the Javanese way within Indonesia had a lot to do with the mind, body, and consciousness. I agree with the text in terms of expressing one self when dancing, it is stated that “Dancing is a formalized sphere of action or practice which makes manifest what is invisible in the practice of everyday life”. This is very accurate because one does not dance on a regular basis, it is more of an act that is performed on special occasions. Dance is more of a special activity that brings out an inner conscious that would otherwise would be hidden from the general audience. Dancing does make you feel more spiritual and connected with your inner self as one is more connected to their bodies as they express their true selves.

 

When people are involved in dancing they use almost all of their primary senses. The only sense that does not get a chance to be occupied is the sense of taste, other then that the sense of smell, sight, hearing, and even touch are occupied as one is connected with their inner most selves as dancing is truly spiritual rather for entertainment and pleasure. Another thing I found interesting was what the English speaking aristocrat said, “Dance is a shadow of the moving of your mind”. This is mind boggling as if you think about it, it makes complete sense. One would move to the rhythm he/she perceives through her ears and decoded through the brain, in other terms were dancing to the shadow of our mind, every step we take is a result of what the brain interpreted and instructed the legs or hands to do.

 

The Javanese people focused heavily on their dance movements as everything meant something, dancing was a self-body-experience coordinated by consciousness. Javanese people believed that dancing trains a person to be sensitive to a place or social context more so of their physical surroundings. Every movement is ordered and mannered in a way that reflected the character of the person and their ‘rasa’. The dance performed by the Javanese people had four main elements that is only mastered through seniority as one could not articulate or objectify by speech, it had to be embodied over time. The four elements included total concentration, passion, self confidence, and no turning back. I disagree to some extent with the Javanese people in terms of training younger individuals and showing them how to dance spiritually as I believe one can master any art at any age. This is how young prodigies are discovered. If one can only prosper through seniority we would have never witnessed someone like Michael Jackson who mastered a particular art at such a young age, but yet again that’s singing and differs from the spiritual dancing of the Javanese people. All in all I believe the Javanese people and the energy put into the dance performed is fabulous in terms of the art and the involvement of the primary senses as one truly reveals his/her inner self.

Poem

Our eyes hold so much power that we’re able to engage and disengage from communication.

The smells, described as resembling fields of flowers or spices, were attributed to God as representing paradise or bringing comfort to those in need.

I feel my tongue as it moves around, and I can feel the vibrations in my mouth as I talk or hum or even when I cough.

Curiously, I inspected the camel by orienting it in a number of directions to see whether this change in colour was consistently uniform

Through touch the visitor and the collected are united, physically joined together.

It made me realize that our senses are more important to us than we ever knew

I believe one is truly living if you are living adequately through all senses.

We seem to be shielding ourselves from expanding our senses because of this.

A way in using all senses to derive knowledge, a way which seemes more well rounded.

More freedom in previous generations did allow to gain a better sensory experience whereas today we do not have that.

I have never thought about the idea of how deprived we are of our sense of touch when we visit museums.

To limit yourself to not using all of your senses at any given time should be frowned upon, as you are not grasping life for all it’s worth.

Even though this paradigm has shifted quite a bit, we still see its remnants in the world around us.

Sometimes, I would walk by and catch their scent and I would feel such fear.

Her perception was distorted and limited by her ordinary 5 senses. 

To ignore your sense of smell is to ignore a part of the world around you.

Our senses shape and influence how we experience the world

What stimulates your senses in a positive way may not be the same for someone else.

Our power relations and the social construction of what is deemed important and valid has been shaped by history.

Smells can have both natural and supernatural qualities

All senses back each other up, without one, you cannot fully experience everything to it’s highest potential.

I think that once you die, you die.

Who says one sense is higher than the other?

our ability to touch each sensorium and use it to its full potential has simply lost its purpose in a western context.

Create a new sensory experience.

Vision and seeing an object can only give us so much information regarding that object and the truths associated with it. 

We do not value touching the collections nor do we use our sensoria’s as they did back in the 19th century.