Initial Thoughts

Hello everyone, my name is Isak Parker and I am a first year Engineering student here at UBC. I took Spanish language courses in high school and I wanted to learn more about Latin American culture. That is why I chose to attend this course.

After watching several student videos about different Latin American subjects, figures, and time periods, I have created a short list of my two favourite and least favourite videos. Note that these are my personal opinions, and vary from student to student. These videos can be found on the UBC Latin American Studies 100 website.

My most preferred video was by far The Colonial Experience by Ana Gheorghiu and Lindsay Chapman. This video was very captivating and all around well done. The video covers the fascinating life of Catalina de Erauso and the infamous Casta paintings. The slides about Catalina de Erauso were very amusing and somewhat “movie-like”. It incorporated many entertaining images accompanied with interesting information, as well as hints of humour all throughout. This gave me a sense of adventure while watching it: the accounts of her life reminded me of a thrilling spy movie. As for the Casta paintings, the subject itself was very interesting to learn about. Though it was a preposterous and degrading concept, I found it was intriguing to learn about. The information was clear and concise, which made this difficult subject easier to follow. All in all, The Colonial Experience was my favourite video because of its engaging content and interesting topics.

Second on my list was The Meeting of Two Worlds III by Angela Pope, Ishan Gill, Deone Young, and Francisco Botero. This video emphasized on the voyage of Christopher Columbus and his interactions with the Native Americans. Filled to the brim with interesting information about Columbus and his trek to the Americas, this video was very absorbing. In addition, they included personal journal entries from Columbus himself, which I found enriched the video. There are many captivating pictures as well as cartoon videos that fit smoothly with each other. This made the video increasingly interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this video as it included tons of information, alongside entertaining pictures.

My second-to-last least preferred video was The Meeting of Two Worlds II by Jackson, Spiro, and Chica. The first half of the video was very difficult to understand as there were only white-coloured subtitles that blended in with the pictures in the background. This made it impossible to read the written information. Though the subject was clearly interesting, it was very hard to read what was displayed on the screen. The fact that were only voice-overs towards the very end of the video made it somewhat unentertaining. Overall, I was unable to understand the information delivered in this video, hence it being second last on my list.

My least favourite video was Speaking Truth to Power by Daniel and Mackenzie. My reasoning behind this low score was simply because there were no images, subtitles, or any sign of interest presented within the video. Everything was done through a low-quality microphone and webcam. This made it difficult to retain information, and made me lose interest in the subject completely. Ultimately, I found this video somewhat boring and forgetful. Although there were some interesting topics such as the lack of organization in Latin American governments, it was difficult to be engaged while watching this video.

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