What affect does co-curricular activity have on student learning? 

When I think of High School the memories I look upon most fondly are spent playing sport and engaging in various musical events. Whilst a number of my peers found co-curricular activities to be a distraction with the perpetual stress which is synonymous with the HSC, I found it incredibly liberating to be provided with a balance of work, study and physical activity. 

With this in mind, I propose to engage with fellow students to discover not only the range of co-curricular activities they commit to, but whether or not they believe it helps or hinders their ability to be a successful student. According to ABS data there is a decline in the participation of sport for people aged 15-25 in the last decade. There are perhaps a number of reasons for this statistic, one reason could be due to educational pressures that the current generation are faced with.

 In my investigation I will delve into the difficulties graduates now have attaining work which is both suitable and profitable in industries which are increasingly competitive. I would be interested in surveying students within the cohort who may have ceased engaging in co-curricular activities such as sport in order to focus on studies for the preceding argument.  I intend to gather qualitive data in the form of extensive interviews with people within the cohort, whilst respecting the privacy and consent guidelines appilicable to the release of the information gathered. Primary research will be the most effective method of determining whether or not co-curricular activity has a positive affect on students, and the university provides a resource base in order to achieve this. 

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Storify Report | Citizen Journalism

Here is the link to Assessment 3 for Journalism 102.

https://storify.com/debsyUOW/contemporary-journalism-a-citizen-s-eye

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Week 11 Module

The journalist I have chosen to analyse is Nine Network Foreign Correspondent Peter Stefanovic, his work inspires and interests me as I am interested in the same field in which he works.

This particular journalist frequently uses twitter to promote and collaborate news stories for his designated audience of followers. Working for channel 9, Peter Stefanovic primarily refers to news programs on the network. Despite this, his twitter maintains a respectable level of content relevant to trending news stories around the world. Social media is a large part of any journalist’s professional line of work, as it can provide insight into news stories from behind the scenes, and it can also foreshadow news programs the particular journalist is reporting on (perhaps coming up at a later date). Stefanovic countlessly uses his twitter to promote the work of his other colleagues from the nine network in particular; such as Leila Mckinnon, Ben Fordham, Tom Steinfort and Peter Overton. This is primarily through retweeting and mentioning using their twitter handle – which ultimately gives them further exposure and accreditation to the public. Despite this, Peter Stefanovic’s Facebook account was absent from any of my findings. This may be due to the desire to avoid bad publicity or to ensure privacy.

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What’s Hidden? | The Beauty of Travelling

What’s Hidden?
Jrnl102 Assessment #2

“We are defined by what chances we take, to inspire, to improve and to fulfil the destiny of what we are destined to achieve.” – Abraham Lincoln

In regards to our theme for Assignment 2; What is hidden? I have decided to explore the depths of self-discovery, individuality and the beauty within travel that can perpetuate into lifelong memories and sentimental treasures. Using a collaboration of images taken by both my father and my brother, accompanied by an original musical composition I have the intention of conveying what has been described as a beautiful, moving and eye opening trip for both my talents. For three weeks of their respective journeys the two were lucky enough to travel the countryside of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, spending valuable and meaningful time together and sharing a profound and significant bond that will forever be with them.

Only until you push yourself to limits unknown, can you comprehend what it is in life you intend to do, or what it is you are searching for as a human. This is the way in which my brother James describes his travels overseas, after recently arriving home from what can only be described as a trip of self-discovery and adventure. Based in a small village for called Barrow, James lived and quietly worked for close to 9 months away from home, out of his comfort zone, being constantly challenged by financial hardships and home sickness. Despite this, he is adamant his time overseas which included Germany, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Poland and the entire UK; helped in developing his independence as an adult and firming a strong sense of identity and individuality in the process. He feels that if not for these travels, this side of him perhaps may not have been unveiled.

Similarly, my father Dave embarked on his first overseas trip of his life, at the tender age of 52. Such was the profoundness of this trip, my father came back as a changed man after engaging with his heritage and culture in his family hometown of Raskifa, Lebanon. Discovering more about himself and his family was a feat he was motivated to achieve his entire life, and in doing so has been issued with sentimental thoughts and experiences that can only be found on a journey for self-discovery.

Talent 1 # Dave Debs

Talent 2 # James Debs

Storify URL https://storify.com/debsyUOW/jrnl102-assignment-2-tweets

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Week 7 Module | Photographers who inspire me

Three Photographers that inspire me:

Christopher Anderson
Born in Canada, 1970 however later grew up in West Texas. He became famous for his work with Haitian refugees that were trying to sail to America, a boat which sank in the Caribbean. This work marked the emergence of his ‘emotionally charged’ style which has characterised his photography for nearly two decades. This style largely focuses on person and place and majority of his work emphasises the despair experienced by people in troublesome areas such as the war torn middle east. In one sense however, he looks to empower people who are experiencing these hardships to portray them more meaningfully through use of light filters and low angle shots. A number of his photo albums portray demonstrations, rebellion and protest; an issue he evidently feels very strongly about, which is a passion I too share.

Erich Hartmann

A German based photographer born in 1922, Erich Hartmann similarly attributed a great deal of his work into empowering individuals through the use of his angular perspective. The height of his career centred around German troops in World War II, and he effectively conveyed stories of camaraderie and mateship from non allied viewpoint. Despite this, he also focussed a large portion of his work in the United States particularly after 1960. One of his most prolific signatures of work is the use of distorting photographs to entice audiences to interpret meaning as an individual. Motion blur also is successful in adding an element of obscurity to the photograph, as well as the concept of a part of a journey as the image is only a flicker of a larger story. Being an early based photographer, the majority of his work is in black and white, the effect of this however is very successful when considering the context of his photographic work. His focus is very similar to Anderson which  consistently conveys a link between person and place.

Jim Goldberg
Goldberg is another photographer who continually impresses through his effectiveness in conveying significant depth and meaning of individuals through photographic representation. His work reached it height through the late 1980’s and through the the 1990’s however continues to work as a successful photographer today. His portrayal of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our time.   A majority of his work juxtaposes stereotypically upper class and wealthy people with their polar opposites, the poor and underprivileged. It is through this he became well known in the 1970’s and continued to use this line of work as his signature throughout his career. His connecting of people to place is very powerful in the majority of his working portfolio’s, where his contrast seemingly empowers the poor and highlights the at times ‘overwealth’ of those on the other end of the spectrum. He does this through angle’s and light filters which portray a vastly different image of perceived sterotypes.

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Week 4 Module

For Assignment One I chose to create an audio piece on my father Dave, who has an immense passion for music. Being a professional musician for over 30 years, I intended to showcase the profound connection he shares with his music, which is ultimately his livelihood. Being a quietly spoken man, I felt as though I could convey his passion and pride within this audio piece. The tone is very mellow and relaxed, which is intended to reflect the nature of both my dad and his music. As a result of this, the audience is enabled to connect with the spoken dialogue which is accompanied by a gentle musical piece played by Dave himself. Dave’s emotions are resembled through his words, which conveys to the audience the connection he has with music. Through this it is possible to see the connection between person and place, where he feels most comfortable in this environment.

You can check out the audio piece here:

https://soundcloud.com/debsyuow/behind-the-music-with-dave-debs

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International Education | Building Foundational Bridges

With diversity, problems can arise. WIth ignorance, these problems are fueled. But is it fair to suggest our educational system, particularly tertiary education, is not as welcoming and considerate of foreign students as it should be? Marginson suggests that “International education is not the rich intercultural experience it could be’’ despite the fact that international education accounts for being Australia’s fourth largest export. (Marginson 2012)

The influx of international students in the last two decades is a reflection of how communication is becoming more globalised and readily available, allowing students to travel abroad whilst still immersing themselves in a somewhat familiar and welcoming culture. Despite this, Marginson suggests that whilst most international students are willing to communicate, interact and learn from local students, local students ‘are not interested’ further proving his aforementioned theory that international education is not the rich intercultural experience it could be (Marginson 2012). The most obvious reason for this lack of communication can be attributed to the language barrier that exists. Kell and Vogel suggest that international students may lack confidence and find it difficult to understand the local students (Kell and Vogel 2006). Despite this there is interesting evidence to suggest that more focus is necessary when analysing the way local students initiate communication with international students, as there is often an expectation that it is the duty of the international student to “assimilate into our very ethnocentric culture” (Marginson 2012).

A sample of international students in a focus group study conducted by Kell and Vogel identified that international students “felt that Australians did not want to get to know them” and that the Australian students who were indeed the ones who struggled with the communicative processes. (Kell and Vogel 2006)

Marginson argues that a profound ignorance is displayed towards international students, and that we as a country hold ethnocentric views towards international students (Marginson 2012). These views primarily consist of a misunderstanding of why it is foreign students travel to Australia for study. The most common misconception comes through the belief they want to be ‘more Australian’ or more ‘like us’ whereas the most logical reason for traveling for education is to create new opportunities and challenges whilst still embracing and retaining a sense of culture and identity in a newly establish environment. An argument Marginson argues for this point of view, stating that “International students are not merely motivated by self interest, but a desire for the collective and individual good” (Marginson 2012).

Universities tend to embrace international students by ensuring there is adequate support for foreign students in regards to effective language and communication skills. It is these programs which are designed to lessen the burden on international students by providing them with skills to allow them to thrive in an at times intimidating environment. If local students are able to embrace similar principles and learn how to accept different cultures and communicate with foreign students, it ultimately leads to a healthier environment for all students within the tertiary education system.

References:

1) Marginson, Simon. ‘International Education As Self-Formation’. 2012. Lecture.

2) Kell, P., & Vogl, G. (2006). International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes. In Everyday Multiculturalism Conference Proceedings Sydney: Centre for Research and Social Inclusion.

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