Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cercado, Tresia Michelle Jan M.- Reaction Papers

Cercado, Tresia Michelle Jan M.
Reaction Paper: A Beautiful Mind
I have always heard that a film called “A Beautiful Mind” is a classic one, something that is a must-see.  A friend of mine gave me a copy last semester and he regarded it as an excellent one but I haven’t had the chance to see it not until our STS class watched it.

A Beautiful Mind (2001) is a biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a mathematical genius and a Nobel Prize awardee in the field of Economics. The film showed how John Nash lived his life as a mathematician in which he developed schizophrenia and how he continued to become one of the greatest modern mathematicians despite his condition.  Alicia, his wife, and her never ending support to John was also a dominant part of the film.
Focusing on the film itself, I think that it was a good avenue of portraying how the ability counts over the disability. Coming personally from the field of special education, I have a soft spot for people with special needs especially the children. It is very important for everyone to understand the condition of the person with disability. People shouldn’t make judgments just because a person is not able to do things which are out of the “norms”.  Going back to the case of John Nash, he experienced delusions which are common symptoms of Schizophrenia.  His delusions include characters named William Parcher, Charles and his daughter, Marcee. These non-existent characters were present in John’s mind all throughout his adult life but he was able to overcome them with his own strategy and believing in his self.

Schizophrenia, and any other similar conditions, is something that everyone should understand and be aware of. Just like what was shown in the film, continuous support of family and friends is very important in order to overcome and deal with the difficulties that any disorder brings about. It all boils down to the message that it’s the ability that counts, not the disability. John Nash did not give up and did not let his condition take over him but he was determined to continue what he’s good at. It’s all about believing in what you can do and the support from the people that surround you.
Reaction Paper: Social Climbers and Food For Thought

                The BBC Documentary called “The Life of Mammals” shows the basic survival of mammals specifically the primates and how they’re closely related to human beings.  The said documentary is divided into two parts: The Social Climbers and Food For Thought. The former one showed and explained the class system or social hierarchy among monkeys while the other one gave a picture on how apes are almost like humans.

                Social groups among monkeys are vital necessities in survival for different species of primates. Survival activities such as hunting for food, grooming, protection, and mating among others are done in groups. For example, various types of monkeys prefer various ways of looking for food. Some prefer nuts or fruits on top of trees while others prefer looking for food during the night. This shows how diverse monkeys are. Each species have their own set of behaviors which are all under their own customs and cultures. The social hierarchy among apes are also highlighted in the documentary. This class system is usually visible in mating and in relationships of primates. It was seen that the alpha male has a wider selection of mates than “regular” apes. This hierarchy among apes are important since it has great implications in their survival.
                Still in relation to primates, Food for Thought, shows the similarities of primates and human beings and how apes along with humans develop and adapt to the changing environment throughout time. It ended with a brief discussion on Mayan Civilization, of how it was once the most successful civilizations in the world and how it eventually fell out of its dominance.
                In general, both documentaries gave me a clearer perception of survival and how it is related to our resources in the environment. Just like monkeys, involvement of human beings in social groups and activities is something that we cannot draw out from the equation. Humans also depend on the environment, exhausting all the resources that they need in order to survive. In the end, it is all up to us on how we could survive despite the challenges that life offers and have sustainable development throughout time with the help of science and technology.

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