|Submitted by Elizabeth Anne on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 04:31 |
In this unique class we were not given a textbook and told to learn a set amount of material; we were given tools and ideas and told to complete projects. It is by far the best learning experience I have ever had. I gained so many skills in this class that are vital in this day and age. When I registered for this class I did not expect to learn how to build a website, and I had never heard of a podcast before. Honestly, the list of assignments we were told we would complete over the course of the semester was very intimidating on the first day. But, each assignment was taken slowly and each was successfully conquered. English 006 has completely changed my perspective on forms of literature. I had never realized how many different quality sites are so readily available on the internet. I am so thankful to have my eyes open to this new world of literature where communication is so much more than just old paper books in a library. As technology has progressed, literature too has taken new media which we tasted all semester. One of the most unique aspects of this class was the versatility of the website which contained all of our assignments. It provided a safe haven for new ideas and thoughts while forcing students to become more comfortable with computer programs. I was able to express my ideas more openly than I ever could verbally in class. It allowed the most reserved students to come out of their shells, share what was on their minds, and for the first time be noticed by the class. The website has provided a place for me to finally give back what I have always wanted to give. I loved our open-ended assignments which left much room for creativity. The playlist, collages, and podcast pushed me to explore my limits and throw out any abstract idea without fear. Since most assignments were left to interpretation, I never felt forced to fit into a common mold, and have been able to grow as an individual.
The playlist was one of our first opportunities to express ourselves through a new found medium. Although I have a deep appreciation for music, I had never toyed with the idea of combining songs to produce a larger story. Thorough much trial and error, an acceptable list was made. I began with a fragile skeleton of what I wanted to cover, allowed the songs I found to fall into their appropriate places, and the story began to take shape. My playlist follows a season of a character’s life while he is given advice, finds love, and closes another chapter of his life.
For our group podcast assignment, we conversed about three poets’ views on the topic of death. Tennyson, Noyes, and Dickinson all dealt with death in different lights, but through historical research and group discussion, we were able to draw many interesting comparisons between the works. This project proved to be interesting as we were forced to rely on the strengths of each of our members in order to bring unity to the whole. This is clearly shown in the end group comment sections when the microphone was open for discussion. My grandfather passed away during the middle of this assignment, so I was able to personally reflect on the ideas we discussed. It was somewhat comforting to have three different angles taken on this dark subject as I dealt with his loss. Although each poem brought a different message, they all did not try to conceal death. I found it was much easier to deal with the grief instead of trying to ignore the pain. I was able to take a different form of comfort in each of the messages.
My first collage is the busiest, yet the most basic. I had yet to become familiar with the programs hence; I took the assignment at face value. There is much that needs polishing in the collage, for example the edges of each photograph blend poorly into the next, which creates a choppy feel. I used photographs that represent many areas of my life including friends, family, God, dance, and my love of all things equestrian. Since my family is the unifying element of my life, I chose to put all pictures symbolizing them in color. The roses in the background are from my grandmother’s garden and are a sweet reminder of my graduation party. They are blending across the background to demonstrate how love must flow into every area of life. The cross was placed in the center to represent my faith as the core of my being.
This collage of imaginative expression uses repeated images to combine my favorite dance photographs with a photo of my biggest fan. The edges of the collage are created from a photo of a dancer climbing the stairs to enter the stage. She is approaching her element, her aura, her place of utter bliss. Once again, I chose to include photos of family in color to draw attention to my most unifying element.
Collage with Repeated Images
Overall beauty erupts as a consequence of the friction between the ragged building and the delicate dancers. I chose to keep the color scheme neutral to focus on the message of the images. Each picture chosen is a snapshot of movement representing how necessary dance is in a deadening world. The quote I included summarizes the true meaning of dance, which is to communicate with the audience through the medium of your body alone. This collage was formed with the idea that dance is often the only glimpse of hope in this brutal world.
Collage with Text
This is by far my favorite collage. By the time I completed it, I had become comfortable enough with the program that I could begin to express myself artistically. This collage uses a window pane to catch a glimpse of a dancer’s soul. Since a dancer’s communication is never satisfied with words, images are able to more accurately capture her message.
Window to the Soul
I have never been more proud of my work as I am with the completion of this assignment. I never thought it was possible for me to construct a website. This assignment took much time due to the fact that I was working with foreign materials, but the final result is quite pleasing. I used this assignment to discuss the realities of the dreaded weight gain of an average fifteen pounds in first year college students. After conducting research on this topic which blatantly revealed the truth, I was encouraged to buy a scale for my own dorm room.
After two poems on the topic of death were read in class, my fellow students and I were able retreat to the website to discuss the value of life in this posting. Being that is one of my first blog postings, I was a little apprehensive of how openly I could express my opinion. One of the most interesting aspects of this class is the given opportunity to respectfully discuss touchy issues with other students. The website provides a welcoming environment where every idea and option feels safe.
This posting demonstrates how we were allowed to practice our communication skills with any topic we found interesting, proving that almost any topic can be educational. A lunch-time conversation is turned into a writing exercise when you add the communication form of “posting.” We become more fluent in conversation and thought with each posting. We challenge each other and encourage each other to press forward.
Open discussion is one of the strengths of this class, and this entry shows the positive aspects of it. The question I presented to my classmates presented very interesting responses. College is such a formidable time, and it is important to take time periodically to see where everyone stands. We are going to change so much in the next four years, it will be fun to compare where we were back during our first days here.
What I wish I had known as freshman
This posing is my response to the body image assignment. We are encouraged to interpret a photograph to represent how society has shaped our body image. Rather than posting an anorexic superstar, I posted a typical woman fixing her hair in a room. This woman can represent any female. Today’s society puts so much emphasis on outward appearance and has destroyed to the value of inner beauty. Every woman feels the innate need to paint her face in the morning in order to be presentable to the world. So many women would never consider stepping out of the door with out spending an appropriate amount time on appearance. Why is it that women feel this need? It is because this is where they have been taught to find their worth. The eyes of the woman in the photograph are tired. She is tired of this way of life. She wants out of a world that sees her only for her outer shell. But this inescapable cycle will continue. The door in the photograph is partially closed because this world of woman is supposed to be a mystery. Women are expected to magically wake up perfectly beautiful each the morning. It is this mystery that defines woman.
What is natural?
Student comments are sometimes the most constructive not only for the one receiving the comment but also for the one who commented. Since what you find to suggest in someone else’s paper is probably something you can apply to yourself, to revise a peer is to give ultimately improve yourself. The link below is to my thoughts concerning Laura’s collage of smiles.
Reflections on a smile
About mid-way through the semester a deep appreciation for the class developed within me. Before this class, I had always found English to be somewhat pointless, but now I would love to take a similar class every semester. Writing is a vital skill, but I never realized the importance or effectiveness of all the various forms of literature. By exploring so many media of communication, my eyes were truly opened to what is available.
The peer comments were most educational and added an interesting element to the class. I was always excited to log onto the website to look for feedback, even if it was just a short encouraging note, from my peers. The comments gave me an incentive to read other students’ work because I wanted to receive the same attention. This is a good way to maintain a certain standard in the class, as each student is aware of one another’s work and can push for improvement.
Review of Sean’s Collage
Review of Lauren’s Collage
Review of Lindseyd’s Collage
Review of Laura’s Collage
Review of Uttura’s Collage
Review of Jess’ Collage
This post uses two videos to prove the dumbing-down of American culture. Once again, we found another medium to prove a point and express an idea. The entry demonstrates how the quality of my postings has greatly increased over the course of the semester. In my more recent posts, I have begun to master the ways of a true blogger. I am comfortable with posting links and voice my opinion, unafraid. This proves that the website created a safe environment to allow the mind to go free without fear of condemnation.
April 6th Assignment
For this assignment, I discussed one of Hitchcock’s more prominent the film techniques. “The Wrong Man” technique uses the universal fear of unfair punishment to pull the audience into the character’s situation. I found it interesting to discover something in Hitchcock’s childhood that affected his later film techniques. Critics say Hitchcock, as a young boy, was briefly locked in a police cell by orders of his father for punishment, and it is from this moment that his fear immerged. It is funny how such a seemingly small incident in a child’s life can permanently affect their adult behavior.
April 4th Assignment
One of my most favorite elements of this class is the option to write when you feel prompted. I spent some time yesterday afternoon reviewing my peer’s video collages, felt inspired to add comments, and had the freedom to do so. One of the most painful experiences is trying to force words to come. It can be not only fairly difficult to spit out a 15 page paper on a dry topic but can also encourage one to loose interest in writing in general. Below are two thoughtful reviews of classmate’s video collages. This was writing I enjoyed.
Review of Kate and Alyssa’s Video
Review of Angela’s Video
This collage demonstrated new ways of conveying thoughts and ideas while encouraging us to push beyond our technical limits. Through our topic of illegal immigration, I was able to research and become familiar with this national issue. Jess and I chose pictures to demonstrate the hostility of Americans toward immigration and photos to show the Hispanic sentiments toward this country. We also included statistical evidence demonstrating the immediacy of this issue. This project has proved to be very educational and enjoyable.
Paper on two of Hitchcock's films:
For this assignment, I chose one of Hitchcock’s more famous films and one that receives hardly any attention. We viewed “North by Northwest” as a class, but it took a trip to the library to find the lesser known “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” I personally enjoyed the viewing of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” far more than “North by Northwest” since my taste usually leans toward more lighthearted films. The films were compared and contrasted through careful analysis of his film techniques and unique style. Before this assignment, I had always associated the name Hitchcock with the most terrifying films. It was very surprising to learn that he did once branch away from his masterful skill of suspense type films to test a more lighthearted feel. This assignment encouraged me to view films in a more critical manner and made me realize the intellect that makes filmmaking appear so simple.
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