Thursday, February 26, 2009

Movie Response #1

In each of these cases, there are many factors at play that are the ultimate in determining the success of a student. Cedra's father works hands on with computers and this naturally steered her towards the same field. She goes to Silicon Valley which is a high technology environment. When questioned about her schooling experience, she mentions that it is "assumed" that you will have a nice job because of the lots of opportunities you have at that school. This is something that naturally aids in Cedra's ability to be attending Brown. She has the support of a technologically advanced school and doesn't have the pressures of money struggles due to her parents' support and prominent positions within the community.

However, look at Kep. Born into a family of refugees in Cambodia, he completely turns his life around due to the access and support he has from his school. He gets an internship which provides him with hands on experience and helps round out his resume and has the opportunity to go to CalTech. Naturally the support that his family provides along with the technology access he has, are the tools that he took advantage of in order to be successful.

What sets Travis apart from Kep? They went to the same school and had the same access to the same technology. Maybe it is that Kep was more motivated since he knew this was the only opportunity he would probably ever have to make a name for himself and relieve some of the financial burden in place on his family. He probably didn't want to spend the rest of his life working at the doughnut shop his parents ran. What about Travis though? The reason he barely graduated was due to his own neglectfullness in checking the compatibility of his presentation. He mentions he should have been more careful.

Luisa had her graduation delayed due to working too much at her fast food job. As a student who had to work throughout her high school career, I completely understand how tough it is to balance working with school. However, a smart student knows where to draw the line and when working becomes too much. Then again though, when one has such financial pressure, this line can become blurred because of the need for money. Perhaps if she came from a family like Cedra, and she didn't have financial concerns, she would have had more time to study for her Photoshop exam.

In each of these situations, family life is probably one of the most crucial factors. However, Kep shows that just because one comes from a family that is struggling doesn't mean you can't make more for yourself. It is important to note that hard work can overcome any obstacle because someone will notice it. Besides for the four C's, family life is the most important aspect determining success. All these students seemed to have a basic knowledge of how to use computers, a means of accessing them, and a reason to access them (four C's) but they all had outside influences that propelled them towards or hindered them from success. Honestly, I was not very surprised by the way everything turned out.


  1. Good insights, Seugnet. It really seems like many possibly less visible or obvious factors - such as family support - can be what constitute the tipping points for students with potential who are still unable to cross the divide.

  2. I was a little surprised when I read the email because we're so used to happy endings in films, that I just kind of had this preconceived notion that the movie was trying to make the point that computers are the "savior" of our generation and thought all would end of going to college and majoring in computer related fields, but this was certainly not the case. Realistically, this ending did make sense as both Luisa and Travis made very unwise academic decisions, but still thought everything would work itself out. Good analysis of social factors that ultimately contributed to their failures/detours in their education.