Sunday, March 25, 2012

Project Space- Parks

For project space, my group and I decided on taking an observation of parks. We each went to different parks located in different areas. I went to three different parks, Gates Canyon Park, Granada Hills Recreation Center (Petit Park), and Lake Balboa. Gates Canyon Park is located in Calabasas. I went on Saturday around one in the afternoon. The park was overwhelmed with people. There were families left and right. Something that I noticed right away however was the ethnicity of the people, there seemed to be only a majority of white people. Plus, all the people that were there seemed to have an acquaintance with one another. The next park I went to was Petit Park, located in Granada Hills. I went on a Thursday afternoon, around 12. Here the people I saw were different from the ones I saw in Gates Canyon Park. I saw a numerous amount of ethnicities. I believe the difference of ethnicities was due to a library that is located just a few steps away from the park. The third park I went to was Lake Balboa. I visited this park on a Tuesday around 10 in the morning. This is a beautiful park that many go to for a pathway to run, plus its very peaceful. Here just like at Petit Park I saw a wide range of ethnicities. Most of the people here seemed very calm, maybe since it is a very peaceful environment with less traffic than most places. These three parks had something in common and a difference with one another. I believe that each park has a main focus on the style due to where it is located. For example, the Gates Canton Park located in Calabasas had a very different look at style to it than what the other two parks had to offer. I believe that the area of where certain parks are located play a huge role on how parks are constructed and seen. They don’t just serve as a place for families or a place to take a step away from the world but the parks serve a role in the community, to most it’s a home away from home. 

Friday, March 9, 2012


According to Norton, “shopping has been the occasion for women to escape the confines of their homes and enjoy the companionship of other women. It provided an occasion for women to spend long stretches of time in the company of their friends, without the presence of their husbands.” I don’t believe this to be all true. For example, when I go to the mall the majority of people I see are couples, men and women. Though it may be a great way to relieve the stress of the family and just go off to the mall, men do they same thing. My brother is an exception to what Norton stated. He goes to the mall and always comes back with at least one item. I don’t necessarily think that women are the only ones who enjoy shopping to get away from the presence of someone; I think it applies to both male and female.
Usually when I go to the mall I tend to go to Northridge mall since it is close by my house. When I go to the mall I see all kinds of different people, babies, teenagers, parents, and the elderly. Plus there are always different kinds of ethnicities, Mexicans, African Americans, Caucasians, Asians, and many others. I believe this does tie into what Norton says, “a place of meeting for the young and one of the rare places where young and old go together. People of different races and classes, different occupations, different levels of education meet there.” However, depending on which mall you do go to, depend on the type of stores you will see. When you go to the San Fernando outdoor mall, you don’t see a forever 21, a Hollister, or even an Apple store. But when you make your way to the Northridge mall you see those stores and many more. Just like if you were to go down to Topanga mall you see stores like Burberry, Armed Forces Career Center, and Bebe, stores you wouldn’t see at the San Fernando mall or even Northridge mall.
Shopping isn’t just for women to step out of the style of being a mother, but to go off and enjoy time for a while. However, these days it isn’t just the female that goes off to do the shopping but so do males, at all ages and ethnicities. Depending on which mall you do go to though, will depend on what stores they do have since they have to accommodate that areas income. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Botanic Garden

Our group visited the Botanic Garden located by Chaparral Hall. We started off just walking on a trail but as soon as that disappeared we decided to just roam around. Immediately we were surrounded by nature including all the little insects, plus rats. We even saw a wasp nest that was closed off with caution tape. The area was very peaceful and seemed like a great place to just sit and relax or even study. Even though we did go around 10 in the morning, there was no one to be found but my partners and I. The only noises that I could hear were the rustling in the plants and leaves. While we were roaming around we saw a beautiful green house.
After talking to the people inside we were allowed to go inside and view the place. There were plants from left to right and the rooms were very humid since this was the habitat of the plants. We noticed little notes on certain plants that detailed them to a certain class and professor. This space served an important process to the university and their students. These plants help out students in their classes and way of learning. After viewing this green house/nursery we decided to go back to the Botanic Garden.
I feel that this Botanic Garden serves more than being the home of animals and nature. It’s a relaxing place where one can go and study; they even have tables and benches. This place helps one learn about their surroundings and they even had plaques near the plants to define their history. Though the green house or nursery may have been somewhat hidden, it serves as an educational environment. Plus this Botanic Garden serves as a tourist area; any new students or visitors can make their way to this place and feel one with nature. Though this area may be small compared to the other places around campus, I feel as it holds a great place here at CSUN. With so much studying and stressful days, sometimes being around nature and quietness goes a long way. 

Gender Roles.

Carla Ruiz
In society, still to this day, there are certain roles that men and women are “supposed” to follow. Men are seen as the superior ones and women are the nurtures, the sexual object, and are beautiful. In the movie Gamer and book “The Surrogates” both men and women have certain roles that seem to reflect on our own viewings. Women have progressed from being the housewife to the ones who are mainly going off to college now instead of men. Though women have advanced as much as they have, society still views them as an object who care what people think about their image. Men also have that pedestal that they need to be the masculine type of guy. Since society has a way in viewing men and women, most movies and books capture it.
Women in the movie, Gamer, were either seen as a sexual object, a gossiper, or someone who was seen as perfect due to their physical appearance. In the virtual world of Gamer, women were dressed in vulgar outfits that someone else would pick. Though these women had no control to what they were doing, men had no hesitance in picking revealing outfits. It’s not surprising to see this type of attitude since today’s music videos women barely have any clothing on when dancing in the background of the superior male artist. The only woman that seemed to have any sense of power was one who was a ‘gossiper’. She had a high status since she did have her own television show. However, though she might have had her own television show, being a ‘gossiper’ seemed to be a role society believed fit this woman. Throughout the movie of the Gamer, there’d be women flashing their breasts or wearing ensembles that would barely cover their bodies. It didn’t seem as if they were doing anything out of the ordinary since it seemed like the ‘normal’ thing to do. In this society being seen as a sexual object, a gossiper, or someone with a perfect appearance, was normal. However, it seems as this society had its roles for their women, something that seems to become parallel to the book, “The Surrogates.”
In the book “The Surrogates” there seemed to be two things women worried about, their image and feeling less superior to men. In the book, surrogates were basically robots in the skin of humans. You had complete control over them and were able to pick how you looked. In the end of the book, the lieutenants’ wife becomes so depressed at the fact that she won’t have her surrogate any longer that she decided to over dose and end her life. The beauty of her surrogate and the ability to look amazing without any work was so important that she ended her own life.
Women in today’s society have a certain image they have to achieve. With things like photo shop and beauty competitions’ like toddlers and tiaras and Miss America, it is no wonder that the roles of women have changed. Women are now put on a pedestal to look like a woman on a billboard, without flaws thanks to photo shop. Competitions like toddlers and tiaras train little girls to thinking appearance and beauty is everything. From there most go off into other competitions hen older like Miss America. Something that is always seen in competitions is the load of make up and a bathing suit contest. So image becomes a factor that becomes difficult to ignore. This way of thinking appears in Gamer and The Surrogates as well. Women try to do anything to achieve a look society has made. Women roles have become different as well because of society.
Men in both Gamer and “The Surrogates” have it difficult as well. Just how women have to put up with the roles of society of being an object worried about appearance, men have the role of being the strong, successful man. In Gamer, men were seen as tough, wealthy, and smart investors. In “The Surrogates”, men were successful and also worried about their body image as well.
In the movie Gamer, it was no surprise to see men as strong and wealthy. The main guy, the inventor, was a white male and wealthy. The ‘criminal’ was seen as the strong guy who just wanted his family back. It seemed like a typical male role, fighting for the ones you love and care for, when the inventor and criminal fought for every other person to start living a human, normal life. Both these men had a viewing as strong, a role that all men should have. Just last week, I was at the CSUN gym to obverse. Almost automatically, I saw mainly females on the treadmills and the males lifting the weights. Being looked upon as strong has become a role for males. Men, just like women, now worry about their physical appearance because of all the advertisements of what one should look like. Even in movies, just like Gamer, males are strong, giving the ‘regular’ males more motives to work on their appearance. Ones image, whether male or female, becomes something one cant ignore when everywhere you look, from billboards to movies, there is someone with that ‘perfect’ body.
The book, “The Surrogates” is not so different from the movie the Gamer. I “The Surrogates” the main defenders were agents, who are strong, yet have body issues and is a male dominance. The sergeant was overly excited when he found out he could upgrade to another surrogate, having even more control in how he looked like. All of the agents who were working were surrogates with a young body that was able to do whatever task came to hand. Something that really shocked me in this book was when the CEO was announced. The CEO was to be seen as a male called Victor. When the lieutenant gets a hold of the CEO, it is revealed that the male is really a female, Victoria. Just like in todays society, females feel less superior to men because of history. Males have always been seen as the dominant one who has complete power. This is why Victoria was seen as Victor, so the rest of the community would feel safe. Though we might not notice the way roles control our daily lives, books and movies seem to capture it.
Though we may have certain roles to achieve even before one is born, we can always change that. Women were once seen as objects and the nurtures and now they are becoming something in the world and some may say they don’t need the male in their lives. Just like women, men have been able to overcome certain obstacles; they don’t need to always feel so masculine. Even though men and women do go through a lot with roles, it is always important to know that a role doesn’t define whom we are. Most importantly we shouldn’t let what others perceive as beauty influence the way we feel about ourselves.