//Wish me luck for my Sociology/Media exam!


Before my journey in UHP 401, the extent of my experience in Los Angeles was limited to Long Beach, which is technically considered Los Angeles, but is also often mistaken as a part of Orange County. As an Orange County native, I have always considered Los Angeles to be too different, crowded, and just plain “out there”. However, throughout the coursework, lectures, and actual time spent concerning the entire region of Los Angeles, my perceptions vastly changed positively. I was blessed to have to opportunities to learn more about myself as a student, a denizen of Southern California, and also as a person. I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a new city that was not my own under the mentorship of a professor who specialized in the urban area, the assignments that forced myself to critically evaluate the deeper meaning behind Los Angeles, and the peers to embark on this sixteen week journey with me. As this course went on, my experience of Los Angeles not only grew in quantity of time spent but also in the quality of it.  

    Throughout the course, I learned more about the historical value of Los Angeles and Southern California alone. Although the information itself seemed redundant in terms of whom and when, the historical effects and contemporary value that revisiting Californian history was very interesting. I did not realize that I had only been taught the romanticized versions of history, but also only taught the boring parts. Learning and evaluating the material in this class proved to be more personally rewarding than my past history courses. Some of the information that I had learned was embarrassing for myself not to know prior to the readings and lectures discussed in class. This course gave me more insight into some of the issues that California has gone through from a sociological point of view, as opposed to a literal, factual perspective.

    A majority of the topics were interesting however, the most interesting topic I found had to do with the readings and discussions about suburbanization. Because I grew up in an area that is infamously known as the suburbs, it was neat to compare my hometown to the historical suburbanization process of Los Angeles. It was also the most surprising topic for me because I thought I had known so much about Southern California itself being a native. The suburbs became a very personal topic for me. One of the most important things I learned about this it was also to see that the ideals of the suburbs did have some societal repercussions as well that I was unaware of. I went from really loving the idea of the suburbs to resenting it for what it represents, and also what it does not have to offer like the urbanized areas do. Other topics that I really enjoyed were the four ecologies and the semi-autobiographical novel as well. It was the perfect incorporation of Los Angeles stereotypes and critical analysis of those subcultures. This is another reason I have gained an appreciation for history itself.

    I think the most contributing, valuable part of this course were the weekly blog entry assignments. At first, I felt blogging was not a valid assignment, but after a few weeks I understand the value in not only my own blogs, but also everyone else’s as well. It was really cool to have this social aspect for our class that took place outside of class in a less academically stressful environment. As someone that hasn’t really had an intimate relationship to the Los Angeles area, it forced me to go out and explore the region. I got to spend time doing some of the most fun things in places I had always thought I didn’t like. It was also a good excuse for me to try adventures, foods, and meet people that I normally would never have been interested in doing. I have to say there has been an evolution in my social personality, making me more adventurous and spontaneous. I really did not start enjoying my blogging adventures until about halfway through the semester, by the time when I was used to understanding how to record my memory of my experiences. I feel that my first few posts were not as great as my last posts just because I wasn’t sure how to blog about my experiences, it was something new to me. The Saturday trip where a few of us went to Los Angeles and Olvera Street together was also really fun and valuable. It really helped to see the readings come to life with my friends and get a visual understanding of how the city works. It would have been really cool to take multiple trips there had time permitted to see more than what was in the readings. As an assignment, I really think blogging was a great way to get people out of the classroom and actually experience the world around them and give them credibility or at least an experience to compare their stories with.

    The other assignments regarding the two optional papers were very difficult, but insightful. I have never been assigned those types of history papers but I really think it was worth it to write on those topics that in depth. It went beyond facts, and reminded myself the value and point of studying history as a subject. I am very proud of those papers and the manner they were written in because of the prompts for them. At first, I thought it was too much to ask for from a general education course, but after rereading and working very hard on those essays I understand now why they were assigned and how much more enriched I am with the material. The information I have learned from writing them proves to be more credible and interesting than what a traditional history course would have required.

    As a previous art history major, I had always thought I understood history and its purpose because I majored in it. However, my major was only a subsection of history as whole. I learned how to evaluate art from a historical perspective, but not necessarily evaluate my hometown and surroundings in contemporary perspectives. It was cool that I was able to incorporate some art history into my blogs such as trail markers, and going to LACMA which I would not have otherwise noticed or have done unless it was directly assigned to me. I think this broader perspective of the idea of “history” as a concept will apply well to my findings and future studies in terms of art history, and even economics itself. What I really liked about this class was the new way of thinking, which is completely applicable to the other disciplines that I focus on. My new appreciation of history will serve me well into the future and also make me appear to be well read than before!

    I have to say, after taking this course I have a newfound appreciation for the city, and especially Long Beach itself. I think in combination of graduating and ultimately moving back to my suburban home in Aliso Viejo, I truly am going to miss life in the city of Long Beach. I spend more than forty hours a week between working, schoolwork, and social life in Long Beach these last two semesters and am surprised that after three years of living in Long Beach (prior to this year), it has taken me this long to really enjoy it. I have fallen in love with it and all it has to offer. I originally hated the dark, stereotypical image of Los Angeles, even though I have never given it a fair chance. The combinations of the blog assignments forced myself to analyze and compare my surroundings (between Los Angeles and Orange County) and scrutinize them in terms of a cynical, historical perspective. The blogs were also really fun memories that I had with some of my peers, strangers, and friends I have known for a long time. Aside from the graduation hesitations, I truly do have sad feelings for not being able to love this town when I had the opportunities to. I am graduating in a few weeks and I am incredibly sad to leave this part of my own history behind, but also encouraged to incorporate it into my future.  

    Some of the constructive criticisms (if I have to name some) are more involved with the organization of the course in terms of cohesion. I felt that having optional papers to choose from was relieving as a student, but it also made it harder to discuss the topics with others peers because not everyone was doing the same assignments. It did allow for flexibility, though in terms of scheduling which is nice. Some of the books were a little bit dry for me but I really found the published article readings to be a lot more resourceful and insightful. The books were very long and historic as opposed to the articles being written for the contemporary audience. I also wish there was more time for debate and discussion amongst peers in the classroom about our individual thoughts as opposed to being taught the history and some of the implications itself. I have always found it to be more interesting and helpful to hear a devil’s advocate side to things, especially with controversial and political topics. However, I still found this class to be extremely valuable for its content but also the way it caused me to think about topics. I think that this class would be interesting if the same concept of learning about a city was taught in another area, such as a  “history of Boston” course taught at Boston University. I just do not think that this particular material would apply as well elsewhere outside of the region. I also wish that we were able to spend more time outside in field trips, although I know that makes the organization of the course difficult.

    This course has contributed to my intellectual and also personal growth. My feelings have completely changed. I went from an Orange County perspective to wanting to take chances and explore newer places that I was not comfortable with before. I thought many of the article readings were extremely interesting at an academic level and also insightful to certain topics that I was unaware of. It has to be noted that I think part of what made this class very successful was that it was limited to honors students, making for a smaller, familiar environment. This class not only served as journey into the history of Los Angeles, but it also became a personal one for myself. Overall I have become more cognizant of the sociological issues that are all around myself. Not only did this course give me insight in Southern California, but it also has taught me about the world and how I want to start looking at it. I am more critical and aware of some of the political problems as well and become a little more cynical. I really wish I had taken a class like this when I was younger, but I am not sure if I would have been able to get everything out of it like I have in my final semester of college.

Hey guys, so this is the piece that I did for my Art GCSE exam. This wasn’t coursework, it was the actual piece that I completed in the exam that was spread over two days. The idea behind it was fragments and time and the official title for it was “Fragments of song and time” Fragments being my favourite bit from songs/quotes/books - I was reading The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger at the time and this is what inspired the whole piece.

However the fragments of songs are important, they contain my favourite lyrics, or just lyrics that are important to me and that they fitted in
The piece includes lyrics from Ed Sheeran, taylorswift and Passenger. And also a quote from Doctor Who and quotes from the book itself!
The overall theme for this was creating a universe for Henry and Clare and the fragments of the piece are like the fragments/different points in their lives.
I really really want taylorswift to see this so if you guys could reblog and keep on tagging her to help me out then that would be great! :-) I will be uploading other photos of each bit separately and if you have read The Time Travelers Wife then let me know and we can discuss it!

Have a good day!
Clara xxxx

P.S let me know what you think of this, and if you chose to tag taylorswift when you reblog it I’d be more than grateful! But I do also want to know what you guys think personally!!

i am home from class and collapsing for a few hours until i have to get ready to meet ppl and go see a show 

my teacher said since i am done with my coursework i dont actually have to go to class next week but i think i might anyway tbh

Sorry for all of the shitty debate posts lately, I don’t normally bother but lately things have been getting under my skin 

if you don’t want to see them please block #gaylor speaks

it shouldn’t go on much longer, i have actual coursework to do :’)

first gcse exam tomorrow outside of coursework
actually not bothered about it I feel like I should be nervous but it’s just biology which is easy af and basically just recall
saying that I’ll probably fail anyway because I think that