I’m not very good at this whole blogging thing and quite frankly, I’m uncomfortable doing it; but more comfortable than asking in class and rambling on.

So Eldridge…

Cultural Relevance:

I’ve always taken pride in being a well-rounded person (my parents wouldn’t have had it any other way). Growing up I was (and still believe I am) certainly more “cultured” than most of my peers…except when I come to Jeff’s class(es). My music selection spans smooth jazz, old school hip hop and R&B, contemporary Christian, Gospel, reggae, reggaeton, blues, jazz, and even a little country. I like musicals (well, some), I can read music, played in the orchestra, did all kinds of sports, ballet, and gymnastics. I know a lot about engineering and science. I’m fascinated by military and aerospace themes. I watch old movies and tv show classics like Dick Van Dyke.  Etc. Etc. Etc. In my neighborhood, those things are foreign. I considered myself to be cultured; and now in every class I’ve had since I started the HCI program, I feel like I hear my classmates talking about things that are foreign and I look around to find that I’m the only one with a confused look on my face. Are cultural bubbles to blame?

I feel like Hamlet could be a really good example of “art” but I haven’t read it or seen the play on stage. This makes it incredibly hard for me to understand any of his themes in the first section of the excerpt. Perhaps this is one of my biggest problems when reading some of these works; many times the examples used are in areas I know nothing about. I think this is really an issue because many times I cannot even understand the application or explanation to grasp the theme being discussed. To me, Hamlet is culturally irrelevant. Shakespeare is culturally irrelevant. Maybe for some of you, Shakespeare is your homeboy and you can relate–I can’t. I’m a visual-kinesthetic learner and when someone says “think of a big orange and yellow polka-dotted elephant”, my first reaction isn’t, “hmm..I wonder how much it would weigh and if its color came from its geographic location”, a picture of a big yeallow and orange polka-dotted elephant comes to mind. The same is true for me in this instance with Eldridge. I haven’t seen or read Hamlet so when he talks about patterns and metaphoric imagery, I can’t participate in the application of ‘understanding’.

Oh yea and the last time I gave Beethoven a thought was when the gargantuan sized pictures of him and his pals Bach and Mozart lined the walls of my 5th grade music classroom. Excluded again.

Can you be culturally relevant to everyone?:

Not that Eldridge needs to be concerned with my cultural preferences, but why did he choose Hamlet? Perhaps if he chose to talk about “To Sir with Love”, “A Raisin in the Sun”, “The Color Purple”, or heck….”Mary Poppins”, I would have been able to relate. So when considering interaction culture, how do you decide who to exclude?

Maybe it’s just me:

Although I am certainly aware that theatrical performances are considered “Performing Arts”  where I come from, I don’t exactly walk out of a play and say to my attending company, “Man, that was some good art!” I may say something like, “That was awesome!” or “Man, did you see that!?!? How did they do that?” or “Wow, that was some powerful stuff right there”.

I’m not saying theater is or is not art. I’m saying, when Eldridge says things like, “According to this view, what makes the play what it is as art is this compulsive, visionary meaning-making as a work of inspiration or genius”, I don’t understand it.


What the heck is a “Continuing Subtext”?