9 September 2006
Driving a Point Home: Meadow Soprano Vs. the Snow Queen
Growing up, I often heard jokes about lady drivers; probably everybody in our culture does. Although I have two sisters (now eight years old and sixteen). I never thought much about them until I heard someone making fun of a woman driver in front of my little sister when she was fourteen. I knew she was just a year away from driver’s ed classes and two years away from legal driving age. I wondered if these kinds of jokes would affect her self-image and maybe make her less confident in her own abilities.
Could these kinds of jokes even cause accidents? I wondered. ...view middle of the document...
("Save Us All.") She then throws herself sobbing into Jackie Junior's arms. Jackie and his friends, however, seem to arrive at and escape even their most ill-conceived, crank-induced heists without accident. I came to believe then--and still hold--that television exerted a negative force on the self-esteem of girls.
Since I couldn’t prevent woman driver jokes, I had to think about how I could counteract them. One weekend I was had to baby sit and I was reading to my littlest sister, Donna, the fairy tales she liked so much. I was reading her "The Snow Queen" (Anderson 46-50). In the story, a boy named Kay gets into the Snow Queen’s sleigh. She’s not a very nice person, and the boy is somewhat lost before he even meets her. It’s a crazy ride and things go from bad to worse after that. But you know what? No one makes fun of the Snow Queen’s driving ability. She is the strong and kind of scary person in the story, and in her sleigh she is in control. When I was reading the story aloud to Donna I wasn’t worried about her growing up to think she was too stupid to be a good driver. We were both just hoping that Kay would escape the Snow Queen’s clutches. I realized then that some myths and fairy tales might be important and worth thinking about.
An actual student essay would continue on from here, developing the ideas discussed in the essay. Here are some hints about formatting essays:
You pretty much only have to think about how to format your paper the first time you do it. Have one good one that you keep as a model and then copy it each time and just put in the new text. If you irrevocably confused, you can always go back to this one again. Don’t forget to change the date.
The whole essay should be double-spaced. Sometimes there’s a temptation to put extra line spaces between things, but this is actually never necessary. In Microsoft Word, the short cut is Control-A to select all the text, and then Ctrl-2 to double-space it.
Use one-inch margins top and bottom, left and right. In Microsoft Word you do this go going to the File menu, selecting Page Setup, and then under the Margins tab make sure it says 1” next to Top, Bottom, Left, and Right. If it doesn't, put in the right number and then click OK. If you're using Open Office instead of Microsoft Word, go to the Format menu, select Page, and then select the margins.
In the upper left hand corner of the first page, put your name, then the instructor’s name, the title of the course, and then the date.
Your essay should have a title and this comes next. Don’t italicize or underline or use all caps for your title. Just use “title case”—that means that the first letter of each important word is capitalized. Word will put it in title case for you if you select the text and then hit Ctrl-F3 two times to toggle through the cases. You’ll have to manually fix the capitalization of unimportant words like “the,” “and” and “or.” They should be lower-case unless...