Friday, August 10, 2012

Heading Home

It was a gorgeous day in Oxford today.  Sunny AND dry.  Unfortunately, it was the day that most of us had to head to the airport. Hope you will keep some of the posts coming.  Here are some parting shots for you.
Since we talked about it in class, thought I would pass along ESPN's list of the Top 10 Athletes of the 20th Century:

1. Michael Jordan
2. Babe Ruth
3. Muhammad Ali
4. Jim Brown
5. Wayne Gretzky
6. Jesse Owens
7. Jim Thorpe
8. Willie Mays
9. Jack Nicklaus
10. Babe Didrikson

You will note that Babe Didrikson was the only female.  Check out her bio and perhaps you will see why she earned a place on this list.  It is particularly impressive since she died young and in the mid-1950s.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

United Blingdom

It seems like a lot of people on here are starting to get irked about Britain's cheesy obsession with Team GB. But we can't blame them! Hosting the Olympics and racking up medals (after a slow start) is reason enough to get a little overboard with their excitement. Ask yourself, when you have a chance to represent USA in some sort of match, event, or even the 4th, let's get real, how tacky do you get? Pretty tacky to where it's almost an embarrassment. But you don't care because you're proud to show of your citizenship and pride for the greatest country on the planet! Back to Britain, it surely is cheesy and cute the way they're excited for their winning team. It seems that every commentator would rather focus on that than the scandal that could have just happened in the sport they're working - like gymnastics. I think I see the excitement more in the newspapers though. During these past two weeks, the only headline/photo I've seen on every front page is winning results/athletes from the day before - or even HOURS before. Yesterday, a friend was reading one of these papers, and it was interesting because it didn't have an athlete on the front - it was just numerous gold medals with the cheesiest line of all: "United Blingdom." Yeah, I guess we can make our own judgements on that one. Congrats Team GB, thanks for a great Olympics and GO TEAM USA!

Olympics Experience

I attended the bronze medal women's soccer match in Coventry this afternoon. This is the closest I will ever get to "going to" the Olympics since I have negative athletic ability. It was definitely a fantastic experience to see other women who do have talent representing their countries and playing to win them a medal. And they sure were playing to win; my blood pressure was spiking each time one of the teams almost scored a goal and came so close, but not close enough.

The experience was great besides just the game. The Olympics staff members and volunteers were extremely nice, and were helpful and friendly at the rail station. There were people everywhere at the stadium directing fans and contributing to a sense of safety and control despite it being in something of a secluded spot in the middle of the day.

Going to the game meant a lot to me--the 1996 Olympics happened before I lived in Georgia, so this was a truly special experience for me. It's not something I ever thought I would get to do, but I am so glad I had the opportunity. I haven't been able to watch the Olympics coverage much, so I am glad I got to experience it in person!

Has anyone who remembers the Atlanta Olympics gone to the London Olympics and had any similar (or different) experiences? Do you think the venue contributes to the experience, or that the Games are mostly the same no matter where they're held?

All Good Things Must Come To an End...Or Do They?

Saying I'm a procrastinator is an understatement. So it's no surprise that I've waited until the last day to compose my final blog post. But whereas I normally put things off because I'm a tad lazy, this time it's different-- I waited until the last minute because I just don't think I want to acknowledge the fact that our time here at Oxford has come to an end.

I knew I would have a wonderful experience here; I knew I would learn a lot and enjoy the subject matter. But I think I underestimated the impact that our Grady class would have on me.

Before taking this class, my experience in Grady was mostly confined to PR and news writing classes. I found other majors such as advertising and broadcast journalism interesting, but I didn't know much about them. Being in this class allowed me to understand the perspectives of students with different majors and let me learn more about them. I really enjoyed hearing everyone's experiences with their career pursuits and what attracted them to their major. What was especially remarkable was that this class showed me how interconnected our professions are-- whether you're in PR, advertising, photojournalism, magazines, the theories of mass communication still affect your lives. Our careers are all influenced by the mass media and the growing age of social media. Even if you aren't in Grady or aren't majoring in the field of communications, what we learned in class was still relevant to our lives and really changed the way I'll look at the mass media. I'll be more aware of advertisements, how news stories are framed, whether or not ads and commercials perpetuate negative stereotypes or break them, and other issues such as these. I think, if nothing else, this is what we were supposed to have taken away from this class-- to be more cognizant of the world around us and understand how the media affects us and how we can adapt to it. We can all take what we've learned and apply it to each of our professions, and I can tell by seeing my peers' final presentations that this will definitely be the result.

This probably won't be my last post, because I think this blog has been a fantastic way for us to not only document our journeys, but to view the progress that we've made-- so I'll keep composing to show how much this class has really affected me. I know it's a bittersweet ending, because Oxford has stolen most of our hearts and it's very sad to leave, but I can't wait to get back to Athens and continue to experience more of what UGA and Grady have to offer me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Britain's Gold Rush

This year's Olympics stands as a milestone for Team GB. They currently rank third overall and hold an impressive 22 gold medals. Considering that less than 20 years ago, they only won 1 gold medal in the Atlanta Olympics, Team GB has come a long way. Newspaper front covers have reflected a growing sense of pride and patriotism, particularly after the past weekend's "Super Saturday" when Britain celebrated its greatest single Olympic day in over a century. I suppose I have been lucky enough to pull for a country that has continued to dominate the Olympic stage (or podium) and have therefore been slightly desensitized towards our collection of medals. I constantly update the medal count; sometimes after only 3 hours of not checking, we will have collected multiple gold, silver, and bronze medals. It's hard to image America not being ranked in the top 3 most decorated countries, nevertheless bringing home medals in the single digits.
For Britain, I think the excitement of hosting the Olympics on their own turf and other recent international attentions (the jubilee and the royal wedding) has definitely given the country the boost that it needed.

American Wives Versus Army Wives

American Wives (called Army Wives in the USA)

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the show Army Wives. While I was in France this past weekend, I recognized the characters from it in a teaser on French TV. I was at first surprised to see that they broadcast the show in France, but I got over that initial shock pretty quickly when I saw how they were broadcasting it. Instead of calling it Army Wives, it is simply labeled American Wives. I found this to be quite troubling. I don't know if a lot of French people watch the show, but given that it's centered solely around Army wives and the dramatized struggles they go through, I take issue with simply calling it American Wives. The Army represents a fairly small segment of our population when considered in the context of the variety of other women who are married and living in the States. What do you think is the reasoning behind the title of this show in France? Can you think of any other examples either in our culture or in another culture where a television show is re-branded and ends up incorrectly depicting an entire population?