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Writing Reservoir Dogs In The Classroom


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[font=Courier][center]Reservoir Dogs In The Classroom[/center]

[center][b][u]Vol. 1:[/u][/b][/center]

What is Reservoir Dogs? Apart from a jaw-dropping movie from Quentin Tarantino and apart from a really catchy title, Reservoir Dogs is the idea that popular culture can be brought into a situation that, up until that point, had never experienced pop culture before.

The premise for Reservoir Dogs is a diamond heist gone wrong. Simple enough. But what makes Reservoir Dogs beautiful is how Tarantino works pop culture into it. From the opening scene, we are bombarded with movie, music and TV references. Mr. Brown has a 10-minute tirade about Madonna, very feverishly explaining how her ?Like A Virgin? song is actually about a promiscuous woman who experiences an abnormally well-endowed man and in the act of making love, experiences pain. To quote Mr. Brown, ?The pain is reminding the fuck machine what it was like to be a virgin. Hence, ?Like a Virgin.??

Pop culture resurfaces as diagetic music during the infamous ?Ear? scene, in which Mr. Blonde tortures a policeman then cuts his right ear off, all while dancing to the tune of Buffalo Springfield?s ?Stuck In The Middle With You.? Earlier in the scene, at Mr. Blonde?s entrance, he is holding a soda cup, which is presumed to be from a local fast food joint, perhaps Burger King.

This subtle fast food reference arises again in Pulp Fiction, where an entire scene revolves around what a Quarter Pounder With Cheese is called in France.

Tarantino?s infatuation with fast food again reveals itself in Pulp Fiction when Jules and Vincent slaughter a few drug dealers who have conned their boss, Marsellus Wallace. We catch the dealers at breakfast, finding them eating fast food cheeseburgers from Big Kahuna Burger, a local ?Hawaiian burger joint.?

Quentin Tarantino is a master at working popular culture into his films as to connect with the audience and establish common ground. In order to be a successful instructor, one must incorporate Tarantino?s ideas by bringing familiar material into the classroom. Anne Haas Dyson?s Writing Superheroes shows the benefits of this process.

The early years of school are troublesome times for many children. From elementary school on through middle school, children are just beginning to form their own social identities through their environments. I relied heavily on Nintendo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Ghostbusters to become who I am today.

That is why I connected to the children of Writing Superheroes, especially Sammy. I saw myself in him. I was a social outcast through much of elementary, middle, and the first two years of high school. It was only during my Senior year at Cinnaminson High School that I was fully able to become a performer, no longer sitting back to let others take the spotlight. I was confident in my abilities and I knew it.

It is unfortunate that I did not have the special attention of Sammy and his classmates early in my education. My schooling was strictly Culture of Power and nothing else. I was given very little freedom to explore more creative avenues of classroom expression; only once did my instructors encourage me to bring in cartoons or video games as part of the assignment. Popular culture was silenced in that respect, and that is troublesome.

It is troublesome not only because children are being restricted and their learning not fully developed, but also troublesome because familiar material is not being utilized so that children can grasp concepts easier.

Understandably, many people would not want Quentin Tarantino teaching their children. But, Tarantino?s idea of a merging of conventional methodology with familiar material and pop culture is necessary if we wish for the educational system to thrive. As much as some would not admit it or not realize it, Quentin Tarantino has shown us how to be effective instructors.

[center][b][u]Vol. 2:[/u][/b][/center]

We were the Rutgers Camden equivalent of Reservoir Dogs. We were limited by time, under pressure of a deadline from a superior, and the results of our toils had dire consequences should we fail to reach our goal. Our situation was a precarious one. It required a delicate balance of focus, motivation, timing, and concentration.

We had to keep check of everything we said, did, and even thought, as our individual papers demanded that we provide a detailed account of our experiences of completing a group project.

Our process was a fractured one. Schedules did not coincide; the group meetings became two students figuring out when the next meeting would be. We all were unsure of what exactly was going on, as we were uninformed of the others? progress or sometimes, lack thereof.

In essence, we all took the places of Mr. Pink and Mr. White. The stark difference was that while Mr. Pink and Mr. White were dealing with a bank heist gone wrong and an undercover cop in the group, we were dealing with college schedules, elementary school students and superheroes.

Because of hectic college schedules, unexpected complications, and extended delays due to Amazon.com, our group was only able to fully come together a few hours before our deadline and out of that final meeting, a unified presentation was born.

Interestingly enough, this is the same course of action of Reservoir Dogs. Slowly, the others involved in the heist appear, and only together are they totally able to discern who did what and what still needs to be done. Their fractured experiences became one, forming a unified event, a unified presentation.

We were Reservoir Dogs.[/font]
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My mind is divided as to the authenticity of this: Is it fictional or an essay provided on a real occurrence? Whichever, this is a good piece, and you compared the two situations admirably. I am impressed, and find that your work always seem to have the right tone for the situation at hand.

I don't really know what this was for however... so, may I ask you several enlightening questions?

1) What was the project you were working on?
2) Is this fictional or real?
3) Did you create this to cover the situation for yourself, or was it a class project report?

Anyway, good work.
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