Project #46001 - commenting essays

the criteria for commenting other students :

 

Provide both critical (but helpful) critiques of your peers' papers, and they will do the same for you. You're required to provide a minimum of 5-7 sentences (a hearty paragraph) of detailed and constructive feedback for it to "count"

1st :

Target Audience: Educated women published in Women’s interest magazine  

The concept of the documentary “Half the Sky” based on the work of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and directed by Maro Chermayeff is a heroic and introductory way of shedding light and inducing change on the issue of oppression against women. Violence against women (ages 15-44) cause more death and disability then cancer, war, malaria and traffic accidents combine (World Development Report: Investing in Health, New York, Oxford University Press, 1993) and in the film reveal that 60-100 million women are missing in our population today (Half the Sky).

Statistically the numbers are shocking and it will take an army of those dedicated to human rights and a change of social consciousness to abolish practices that oppress women worldwide.  The documentary is based off the book, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women”, published in 2009 by Nickolas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn that tells stories of women subjected to debilitating discrimination whom then turned into a positive force within their community. The authors worked for the New York Times traversing Asia when they realized this mammoth of an issue. They began travelling the world documenting women suffrage movements which concluded in the book “Half the Sky”. Nickolas Kristoff takes 6 American Actress’: America Ferreira, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabriel Union and Olivia Wilde, and travels to 10 different countries to meet the astonishingly uplifting women and their grassroots programs that turn oppression into opportunity for the women that are in the most distressing situations. Each actress is assigned to a specific women’s suffrage issue, is a way to grab attention and shed light on the issues that women deal with worldwide. The purpose of Half the Sky is clear with their use of these well-known actress’s acting as messengers, coupled with encouraging stories of women turning their unfortunate situations into opportunity.

The stories alone are heart-wrenching, and the cinematography draws your emotion straight to the surface. Somaly Mam, a Cambodian woman sold into sex slavery at 10 or 11 years old, was then rescued and founded AFESIP (Acting for Women in Distressing Situations). AFESIP is a non-profit that rescues, rehabilitates, educates and lovingly uplifts girls (some as young as 3 years old) who unfortunately had been sold into the sex slave industry. The use of cinematography to evoke emotions (and for most tears) is clear when Somaly Mam is telling her brutal and disconcerting story while the camera captures young children of her non-profit performing a traditional Cambodian dance. The detailed horrors of her story, paired with the beautiful innocent faces of those who went through similar experiences brings out great sadness in the viewer, followed by an overwhelming and expeditious sense to be magnanimous.

Between the stories the film maker’s splice interviews George Clooney, Hilary Clinton, Mary Robinson (Former U.N Commissioner for Human Rights), Melanne Verveer ( U.N. Ambassador at-large for Global Women’s issues) and many more. Hilary Clinton introduces the issue in the beginning with “[the] role and rights of women, their freedom, equality and dignity is the unfinished business of the 21st century”. With these interviews, they do a wonderful job of transitioning stories, tying the issues together, attempting to make a connection to the viewer and stressing this as a worldwide problem that warrants worldwide change.

If you’re a viewer unaware of the obstacles women face, it can become somewhat confusing. In these cases, the editor uses interviews to fill in the blanks, so questions aren’t left un-answered. In the case of Fulamatu, a 15 year old girl living in Sierra Leone, was raped by her Uncle/Pastor and bravely went to the police to press charges. It seems this young girl may see her justice but suddenly her father kicks her and her mother out of the house and the perpetrator is released. To many, this may be distressing and confusing but the practice of blaming the survivor is all too common as Amie Kandez explains, “Fulamatu. . . being seen as the one that actually provoked the Pastor”. This use of interviews to explain situations helps create a clear and interconnected documentary.

The title “Half the Sky” is derived from an ancient Chinese proverb meaning “women hold up half the sky”. The issues presented in the documentary brings us to places where women’s oppression is at its worst, but the film stresses the importance of worldwide change. The purpose of “Half the Sky” is not only to show the injustices women face, but to showcase women who have suffered adversity and then through a very small amount of aid have become wildly successful, that we have the tools today to help and they just need to be applied and lastly the theme of investing in women. Investing in women is extremely prosperous as Sheryl WuDunn says, “It's no accident that the countries that have enjoyed an economic take-off have been those that educated girls and then gave them the autonomy to move to the cities to find work” and echoed by Melanne Verveer in saying “no country can get ahead if it leaves half of it’s people behind”. When you educate a girl, you educate a village, when investing in women either educationally or economically the outcome will almost always be advantageous for the whole community. This documentary is meant to reach beyond borders and bring women world-wide to the issue; we all have within ourselves is the tool for progress and education through watching the film is the first step.   

 
2nd :

Restaurant Review: Kukai Ramen and Izakaya – Northgate Location to be published in a restaurant blog such as Eater Seattle (seattle.eater.com)

 

The cold and dreary weather is upon us. For those around the Seattle Metro area looking for hot food to provide some comfort during the gray months in this city, you may want to check out Kukai Ramen and Izakaya. It is nestled within the Thornton Commercial Complex, right by the movie theater one block south of the Northgate Mall.  The Northgate location is only one of two Kukai restaurants outside of Tokyo, Japan.  While some people would argue that ramen is easily available for less than a dollar (Cup O’ Noodles, anyone?), Kukai Ramen offers the authentic ramen experience that come in their delicious bowls of long, chewy noodles and deliciously concocted broth.  I have tried almost every dish in their menu and I have liked all of their ramen bowls.

     The ambiance is polished without being ostentatious.  Their décor is quite clean and simple.  The lighting is not too bright or too dark that you cannot see what you are eating.  Its walls are decorated with traditional Japanese paintings depicting sumo wrestlers or ocean waves.  One area also has a three dimensional artwork with embossed Japanese characters and little birds flying into the sky.  Although the main entrance can be quite cramped with people waiting during their peak hours during lunchtime, their seating is adequately spaced from each. If you are eating alone, ask to be seated by the cooking bar so you are in close proximity to the chefs and can see them in action and you also get your dish as soon as it is assembled.

     As soon as you walk in, multiple staff members greet you with a jovial Japanese welcome.  The servers are very cordial and professional. I have not visited Kukai in the weekend but during the weekday lunch hour, their wait time can be as long as fifteen minutes.  If it is your first time, do not hesitate to ask your server about their dishes and recommendations because they are quite knowledgeable about what they serve and all will give you honest feedback.  I have asked different servers a few times about what they would they recommend and have been given varied answers so I know that they are being honest and not just trying to sell me their dishes.  Their turnaround time from the minute you order to the time you get your food is about fifteen minutes, which is pretty long in my standards so I try to get all of my needs met even before I order.  I ask for a glass of water and tea, a fork and extra napkins as soon as I get seated. That way, I will not have to wait for a frazzled staffer to stop by on their obligatory check.

     My favorite Kukai Restaurant dishes are their Agedashi Tofu for appetizer and the Spicy Ramen.  Their Agedashi Tofu is deep fried tofu in a broth similar to the tempura dipping sauce but sprinkled with grated ginger, radish and bonito (fish) flakes.  The toppings dissolve in the hot soup but the tofu’s top part that is not submerged in the sauce stays crunchy giving you soft and crispy textures in one bite.  If you are a fan of foods with a kick, I highly recommend the Spicy Ramen bowl. It has tonkotsu (sliced pork bone broth) seasoned with chili, garlic and spices, a thin slice of pork, chopped bamboo shoots and kelp.  It comes in three levels and I usually get the middle level, level two because it has just the right amount of spice without making my nose uncontrollable runny.  Their noodles come in gluten free options so make sure to ask for their wheat-free noodles if you have that kind of dietary restriction.

     Kukai Ramen and Izakaya may just have what you need for a gray Seattle day. I love going there because their soup bowls and friendly staff provides the sunshine I need for a dreary day. I hope you will, too.

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 11/02/2014 11:59 pm
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