Monthly Archives: December 2015

Stream of Consciousness…

In honor of getting over 600 likes on the Lace it Up FB page today (!) I decided to propose to my followers a stream of consciousness game I typically play by myself when I’m bored (procrastinating): simply sit at your computer, and start writing a list of all of your favorite movies, TV shows, books, songs, etc. Don’t think about it- just write whatever pops into your head first. Not only is it hilarious to see the bizarre order in which your brain sorts different works, but I often find that books or movies I have forgotten about pop into my head and I can remind myself to revisit them.

Below is the list I just came up with (I separated it by movies/ TV shows/ books). I know I am probably missing some of my all time favorites, but nevertheless, here it is:

MOVIES:

American Beauty (1999) Mena Suvari (as Angela Hayes)

1. Mean Girls
2. The Parent Trap
3. American Beauty
4. Gone Girl
5. American Psycho
6. Seven
7. The Devil Wears Prada
8. Bridesmaids
9. The Wolf of Wallstreet
10. Unfaithful
11. The Holiday
12. Goodfellas
13. Bring it On
14. The Virgin Suicides
15. Clueless
16. Out of Towners
17. Meet the Parents
18. The Bird Cage
19. Zoolander
20. Matchpoint
21. Crimes and Misdemeanors
22. Casino
23. Grease
24. Frozen
25. The Great Gatsby
26. Dial M for Murder
27. Fatal Attraction
28. Rosemary’s Baby
29. It’s Complicated
30. The Social Network
31. Billboard Dad
32. Switching Goals
33. Our Lips are Sealed
34. Burn After Reading
35. Rent
36. Shutter Island
37. Mathilda
38. 12 Angry Men
39. Psycho
40. The Hours
41. Pulp Fiction
42. Inglorious Basterds
43. Kill Bill Vol. 1
44. Kill Bill Vol. 2
45. Trainwreck

TV SHOWS:

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1. The Sopranos
2. Breaking Bad
3. Mad Men
4. The Affair
5. Broad City
6. 30 Rock
7. Inside Amy Schumer
8. Girls
9. Last Week Tonight
10. Real Time With Bill Maher
11. Sex and the City
12. Jane the Virgin
13. New Girl
14. Unreal
15. Scream Queens
16. Gossip Girl
17. The OC
18. One Tree Hill
19. American Horror Story
20. We Can Be Heroes
21. True Detective (Season 1)
22. My So Called Life
23. Summer Heights High
24. Gilmore Girls
25. Curb Your Enthusiasm

BOOKS:

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1. Franny and Zooey
2. The Catcher in the Rye
3. To Kill a Mockingbird
4. A Tale of Two Cities
5. Not That Kind of Girl
6. And the Heart Says Whatever
7. The Opposite of Loneliness
8. The Friday Night Knitting Club
9. Dark Places
10. Sharp Objects
11. Nine Stories
12. A Clockwork Orange
13. Are you there God? It’s Me, Margaret
14. Fates and Furies
15. The Girl on the Train
16. Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar
17. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
18. Slouching Toward Bethlehem
19. I Didn’t Come Here to make Friends
20. I Feel Bad About My Neck
22. Animal Farm
23. She’s Come Undone
24. 1984
25. The Bell Jar
26. Orange is the New Black
27. The Bedwetter
28. I Like You Just the Way I am
29. Hiding from Reality
30. The Other Great Depression
31. Fastfood Nation
32. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
33. Nobody is Ever Missing
34. South on Highland
35. The Ice Storm
36. The House on Mango Street
37. Forever
38. The Andy Cohen Diaries

Give it a whirl! Let the magic happen…

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The Problem With Education

The news lately has been ridden with nonsense. This Presidential election has been so overshadowed by disgusting behavior and theatrics, I have rarely heard or seen a candidate talk about the real issues.

One of the issues I am most passionate about is inequality in our country: inequality in healthcare (particularly mental healthcare) and education are the two issues at the top of my list. I believe education inequality in our country is an epidemic, and so rarely spoken about you would think it doesn’t exist…

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The most valuable resource in receiving a quality education in our country is one thing: cultural and social capital. Capital is the primary force underlying the social world. Capital takes time to accumulate and has the capacity to produce profits and reproduce itself over time. The unequal nature of the social world, or “constraints”, can be explained by the unequal distribution of capital. Henceforth, the unequal nature of education can be explained by the unequal distribution of cultural and social capital.

Economists who say monetary capital is the most evident contributor to unequal levels of education fail to acknowledge this “social rate of return” that exists because of cultural capital. How many books one has read, how many museums one has visited, or how many operas one has seen, are all dictated by social class. One has to read esteemed pieces of literature to be cultured on the works of prominent authors, one has to go to a museum and see pieces of art to be cultured on certain artists, and this embodied capital turns into wealth in the form of exchange with other people. Unlike money, which is a clear indicator of social class, cultural capital is a more restrained benchmark for social class. Although it is up to the individual how much cultural capital he or she acquires, ultimately the opportunities available for accumulating such capital depends on one’s social class. For example, a wealthy individual would have more access to prestigious art galleries than a poor person. Or, a wealthy person might have more leisure time to read than a poor person. In this way, cultural capital is a symbolic form of capital indicating one’s social class and how one was socialized as a child. Families with more cultural capital will raise their children to accumulate more cultural capital. Insofar as education, cultural capital can be identified in the objectified state as books read in English class, languages learned, technology one is exposed to, etc. The product of the conversion of economic capital into cultural capital establishes the value that cultural capital has when exchanged on the labor market.

The accumulation of cultural capital is an investment in one’s future.

One’s membership in a particular social class provides that person with the backing of collectively owned capital. For example- anyone from the famous “Kennedy” family in America is automatically awarded with the credentials that the family name of “Kennedy” has earned them over the years. Exchanges of social capital imply the acknowledgment of a certain amount of homogeneity. Thus, the magnitude of social capital depends on the size of the network of connections he or she can mobilize. Belonging to a particular social group automatically leads to a certain level of a network of connections.

When it comes to education, being a part of a particular social group gains one access to the better neighborhoods, or the better private schools, which in turn leads to better connections when getting into college and ultimately getting a job. There is a sort of domino effect where each level of education builds on the other and is ultimately converted into economic capital with one making a large amount of money in a certain career. Above all, social capital indicates that the value of networking is a pivotal part of education.

The notion of “The American Dream” simply doesn’t exist anymore. An immigrant or member of a minority group can “pull himself up by his bootstraps” all we wants- but he is a victim of a culture with almost no chance of social mobility.

Let’s all stop making memes and start making moves.

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