Thursday, November 13, 2008


Here is a review by famed movie critics Siskel and Ebert, who rarely agree, but do agree that Shawshank is topnotch. Take a look at what they have to say, and post your comments.

By the way, if you find other YouTube clips on Shawshank that you like, let us know. There is plenty on YouTube about the film, and many of the clips have been viewed over and over again.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Community Service

As many of you know, the economic times of the present are hitting food banks hard, and there is a shortage of food to give out at food banks. As a result, many people are lining up for food and finding there is none or little available when they get to the front of the line. Although we might think we have been hit hard by the economic downturn, we are in college, attending classes, and relatively healthy.

As you also might know, Barack Ohama signaled in his campaign speeches and election night victory speech, he is interested in helping college students afford tuition. One of his ideas was for college students to do community service and be remunerated in some way through college tuition reimbursements. Although this plan might be off in the distance, with Thanksgiving around the corner, this might be a good time for students in FYS to help out.

I spoke with Sr. Beth Fischer today to see if Saint Joseph College will be running a food drive this year for Thanksgiving donations and if the FYS class on "Homeless in America" might be spearheading an effort. If so, I suggested our class might want to get involved, given one of the themes in our course is social justice.

In her last paper, Beth Pollette addressed the silent, average citizen, who recognizes social injustice but remains passive. Well, do we remain passive, or can we help out? How do you feel about setting up a food drive on campus or contributing to one spearheaded through Sr. Beth's work on campus? Post your comments.

Photo: courtesy of The Hartford Courant, Nov. 8, 2008 frontpage:,0,6817193.story
To read The Hartford Courant story, "Unemployment Up, Donations Down; Food Pantries Struggle ," follow the URL above.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Retribution and Vigilantism

Kelly and Hannah distributed in class an excellent article about the themes of retribution, vigilantism, and racism in A Time to Kill. Skim through the article, and post your responses to the points made in the article. Which points do you agree with? Which do you disagree with? Why? If you don't have time to read the article, just feel free to post your thoughts about how the film addresses retribution and vigilantism. Does what Carl Lee does (shoot the two men who beat, raped and left for dead his daughter) represent vigilantism, or is it retribution? If it is retribution, how so?

History in the Making: Fast Forward

What does the election of Barak Ohama as the next president of the United States mean to you? How does his election relate to themes we have studied in our course, Hollywood's Rebels and Justice Seekers? Post any comments you like.

Image from: New York Times, Oct. 28, 2008