Archive for February, 2011

Do we really hate teens that much?

I was reading an article in T.O.night magazine on the train and I came across an interesting article.  It was about a high school teacher who was fired for expressing her anger towards teenagers through her blog and Facebook account.  Many people have supported her feelings.  Essentially, she complains that teenagers are too “careless”, “bored” and “whiny” amongst other things.

I am currently 23 years old.  I remember my teenage life and I have learned much from it.  While I never loved school, I managed to get through it despite the mistakes I have made.  There seems to be more hatred towards teenagers now.  While rules and laws need to be enforced, I think it’s important to draw the line between punctuality, respect and oppression.

I went to a school with a strict uniform code.  They wanted to simplify the uniform so that everyone is forced to wear the same school sweater, regardless of the weather.  I know that trespassing is a common issue; for example, a teen from another school may enter a building wearing a dress pants and shirt of a similar design to the uniform.  I eventually learned to live with the uniform code as I moved closer to graduation.

If I wanted to express my frustrations towards teachers, I could.  However, I know they’re just doing their jobs.  I am well aware of some of the pressure they have against them.  No matter what happened, I’m just glad that I got through it and it’s all in the past now.

In a matter of speaking, teachers and students have similar complaints towards each other:

Teachers can be lazy too

I have had many teachers who sit at their desks and say something such as  “Read Chapter 5 and complete all questions at the end.  Hand in your work by the end of this class”.  Unfortunately, this is a fundamental task that I had to get used to in my life.  Even to this day, I still refer to books and other references for the sake of getting work done; both for personal and work-related tasks.  I learned from this is that I can’t expect everything to be taught to me in a visually stunning manner.  However, I feel that going through this in college/university is far more frustrating considering the cost of tuition.

There will always be teacher labor disputes

When I was in college, there was a strike in my first year.  While there many motives behind the strike, there was one thing that we all knew teachers needed more of:  Money!  The cost of living is rising and it is generally believed that teachers are not getting paid enough.  I remember having a part-time teacher who complained that he works so many hours that it feels like he’s full-time.  There were many part-time teachers working many hours to save money from paying full-time teachers.  Some people may enjoy time off from strikes, however, the classes don’t become any shorter and time is taken away from vacation or study break time.

Teachers may not be teaching their favorite subjects

I remember a college teacher said to the class, “Sometimes we teach classes that are unrelated to our skills.”  For example, I had a History teacher who also taught English, Religion and Economics.  I highly doubt this person applied to the teaching position thinking, “I’ve always wanted to teach 4 completely different subjects”.

Conclusion

There have been good and bad times; there have been times I was glad to be in class and when I was bored out of my skull.  Without the intent of bragging, I’d like to state that I did graduate high school and college with honors.  I did a lot of work and it was important to have friends to study with.  I’m not perfect and there are blotches in my report cards despite my greater averages towards graduation.  I know that there are teens who behave repulsively.  It just bothers me that people seem to be expressing anger towards all teenagers.  As we get older, we become aware that we’re sitting through boring classes simply it is a requirement; maybe we don’t like a teacher and we know that we have to carry on and accept them for who they are.  In the end, school is about education, being punctual, making connections and finding out what we want to do in life.

The Corny Factor 3: Why I Don’t Like Romantic Comedies

Shucks! by my1000words

"Shucks!" by my1000words

I have never really liked romantic comedy.  I may watch them occasionally with friends and family and yet it has always been a genre that I generally despised.  It’s always the usual character falling in love with another and through shenanigans, slapstick and setting their differences aside, they share their love together and get married at the end.

It is a genre that be created with a low-budget, geared towards family friendly audiences and receive a high return at the box office.  It is obvious why these movies are being made year after year.

This edition of The Corny Factor isn’t geared towards any individuals or films in particular; if this genre is making profit, I can’t argue with that.  Everyone needs to pay the bills and have food on the table.  If someone paid me millions of dollars to star in a corny cash-in romantic comedy, I’d jump on that wagon too.

What do we really want in a relationship?

There are many types of relationships out there and not all of them are necessarily serious or involve a lifetime commitment.  I’m not a parent or psychologist.  When I think back to my past, I remember being told not to take my life too seriously and whenever I get into a romantic relationship, I should be clear and honest about what I expect from it.  I’m not the marrying type and there are many people who feel the same way.

What I’m getting at is that sometimes romantic comedy can give the impression that we need to go out of our way to find this one “true love” and that’s the only thing that matters.  I’m not Dr. Love and I’m not offering advice.  People want different things in a relationship and may not necessarily reflect what is shown on TV and film.

Marriage is not a requirement!

I’ve been to a few marriage ceremonies and parties.  Although I admit I do get bored at ceremonies, I do like parties.  It’s nice to be in a classy place with good food, music and be able to meet both sides of the family.  I think it’s the baroque visuals that catch people’s attention that make marriages appealing to people who watch these movies.

It is generally believed that 50% of marriages end in divorce.  Everybody doesn’t have to get married.  Marriage isn’t a magic ritual that will genetic alter me and my girlfriend’s DNA to guarantee 100% compatibility.  George Clooney has only been married once and is well-known for refusing to go through another marriage.  People can live happy lives without having to be married.

I’m aware of people getting married to change their citizenship status and that is a very complicated topic that I don’t want to discuss any further.

Just because the characters get married, does not mean their lives are happy forever.

I stop caring about the plot.

With all the clichés, I find myself ignoring character dialog and hoping that something violent or mature will happen.  Sometimes, I have talk over a movie to annoy people at home.  I’m not expecting a plot twist or significant character development.  I know they’ll get together at the end, fall in love and get married.  I highly doubt they can kill off characters, not get married, include excessive profanity and still call that a romantic comedy.  That would be expected in other genres of course.

When I watch romantic comedies, I can’t enjoy the plot or climax of these movies.  With other genres, I find them easier to enjoy and the plot feels more important to me.

Hot girls! What else is new?

I remember talking about why I hate certain romantic comedies and people will say that it starred a girl who is “really hot and I love to do certain things with her” or “so hot that it’s the only reason why I am watching this and I love the way she dressed”. Well, there is a certain genre dedicated to sensuality.  Don’t get me wrong.  Is that really the reason why many romantic comedies make over $100 million?  Most of these key scenes can be seen on YouTube.

In addition, some of these scenes with sensuous women can be the reason why a romantic comedy would have a PG-13 or R rating.

It’s always too long!

With movies I don’t like, I find myself pressing the display button to find out how much time is left and at times I’ll even fast forward through if someone’s not paying attention. Half of the time it passes the 90-minute mark and can be as long as 2 hours, 30 minutes. It’s easy to summarize these movies with the way it’s written and edited. A large portion of these movies is padding and I feel like I’m being tortured sometimes.  People can criticize a movie for being too long just as much as they can for being too short.  Some of these movies even include unrated/extended versions in addition to the deleted scenes and other extra content included on the discs.

Conclusion

I respect the fact that this genre is highly profitable and attracts a wide audience. Romantic comedy is one of my least favorite genres and there have been many times when I wish that I was watching something else. I have nothing against people involved in making these movies or anyone who enjoys them. With the desire to have a constant stream of high income, people will follow trends and invest in anything with a low investment and a high return. It is a way of life. It’s a genre that doesn’t appeal to me and I am clearly not within the target demographic.