October 10, 2007

Caribbean Frost

In the honors class I'm teaching, I'm trying some without-a-net activities each week to connect technology with social and cultural history. One recent week, I asked students to describe the aesthetics of everyday objects. In a plurality of cases, students discussed the commercial choices involved in consumer-product design--i.e., that the aesthetics are shaped as part of product marketing. (Anyone who has seen Monty Python's Michaelangelo sketch can wonder if perhaps that dynamic holds true in the creation of highbrow culture as well, if in a personal relationship with patrons.)

One of my students chose to examine as one of her two objects a bottle of blue-green nail polish and discovered that its official name is Caribbean Frost (and you can see the colors at Wet n Wild's website, if you wish to confirm this oxymoron). I live in Tampa, north of the Caribbean. It's mid-October, and the high today will be around 90 F. Who do they think they're kidding?

These weekly adventures are worth a small portion of the semester grade, but I hope they're engaging for students, and in some cases students have made some interesting connections. None yet, though, between nail polish and Leonardo da Vinci (where we started the course).

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Posted in Random comments on October 10, 2007 12:07 PM |