Class, Wed, 5/10

Favorites

On the Page

  • Will on Jake
  • Devon on James
  • Sara on Graham
  • Jake on Amanda
  • Allison on Brittany
  • Ellysa on Mackenzie
  • Brittany on Ashley
  • James on Devon
  • Melinda on Molly
  • Isabella on Will
  • Jessica on Sara
  • Graham on Melinda
  • Sam on Isabella

On the Screen

  • Alex on James
  • Jay and Ellie on Sam
  • Ashley on Ellie
  • Amanda on Nicole
  • Mackenzie on Allison
  • Nicole on Sam
  • Molly on Ashley

 

Love and Admiration

Like many of my classmates, I’ve had the privilege being witness to great pieces of work, both written and multimedia. So while there are many that could go in this post, and while I’m surely neglecting a bevy of content that is worthy, I’ll stick with that few that stood out.

Amanda’s video on subtweeting was elegantly created. She seamlessly edited the piece to make it appear as if it were done professionally. In comparing it to my editing skills, well, there really is no comparison. It was a pleasure to watch. The content itself was interesting as well. I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to using social media. In fact, I’m quiet a novice. But if Amanda were to create a serious on all the in’s and out’s of social media, I feel like I’d be one of the many viewers to tune in. Social media’s ever growing importance in our lives was highlighted in many of the books we read and many of the conversations we had in this class. Amanda seems to have a keen knowledge of it, using it to convey messages that would otherwise be wasted with a less-skilled person relaying it. So this video, like the many I hope she makes in the future, was simply great.

It would silly to not mention and honorable mention here — Ellie’s remediation, Concept 60 video. Without going into too much detail, I was almost awash with tears after I heard it. It was beautifully written, and even more beautifully spoken. Thanks a bunch for that, Ellie.

As for written work, I’ll turn to Jake’s ‘Plaintiff and Defense’ piece. After our group read this piece out loud, we knew that he had to share it with the class. First of all, following the progress of Jake’s writing all semester has been a treat; he really has developed into a well-rounded writer. And I believe this piece was his best. The last paragraph struck me more than anything else, especially the last line:

“I know I harped on a very minute point made by Ronson, but I think this is a very important point, and that he would agree. If there is no plaintiff and defense, then there is only an executioner.”

Just wow. The writer in me became all giddy and excited after reading this. It’s important, as a writer, to channel your most deliberate and meaningful statements into all of your paragraphs, thought at times you have to choose when it would be best to wow your audience. I think Jake did a fantastic job at this, saving perhaps the most important part of his piece for the very end. He kept me reading, and that’s the best quality a writer can have.

 

 

My 2 Posts

For my selection of a post that demonstrates “quality of prose” I picked Amanda’s social action post about her old teacher, Bambi. I liked that she not only told us about the highlights of the situation, but she added her own voice and experience to the pool. A moment in particular struck me,

“Because of my contribution to the #ThanksBambi hashtag, I may be banned from the theater when it comes to auditioning and being in shows in the future. It was rumored that anyone who used this hashtag was being put on a blacklist.”

I missed this the first time I read her piece, and I wanted to point it out her because of her passion. I think it’s always hard to realize when a group you’re apart of strays from your own moral code, and even harder to express your distaste. I think her disregard for her potential shunning from the Milburn Theater is a demonstration of her love and support for an instructor that changed her life.

In terms of a post that goes “beyond writing” I had to go with James’ infamous “How to Properly Watch a Movie at Home” video. I think there is a common theme with both Amanda and James’ piece: passion. What makes James’ video so great is the fact that you can tell he loves Star Wars. His passion makes me more interested because I know it is coming from a genuine place. As for a few seconds in particular that I would like to point out, my favorite part of his video were the jokes he included. It wasn’t just a “How To” video, the goofy element made it more than that. The comedic undertones definitely would not have been as obvious or received as well if he did this assignment as a block of text. The video starts out more straight forward, but the comedy that he sprinkles in adds something extra. I think that is one of the reasons everyone reacted to his post in such a positive way.

2 favorite posts

One of my favorite posts from this semester was James’ concept in 60. One thing that I love to talk about when comparing written word to film is subtlety. A transcript of James’ video would be simple instructions on how to watch a film, but the visuals tell a different and comedic story about Star Wars. As the video begins on you see first that he is putting in a Star Wars disc, which could be any movie. But by the end, he is in full Jedi robe with a lightsaber. It is clear that James loves Star Wars (as everyone should) and I find it interesting how he showed this with visuals and no words.

My favorite bit of writing actually comes from James as well, and this time he is directly writing about Star Wars, which is cool. In his writing as social action post, James, within two sentences, goes from stating very flat information “Mark Hamill, the man who has portrayed Luke Skywalker for four decades” to using first person casual language “I figured “. Particularly, I liked how James structured the post, going from the process of how he made his post, to some information about reddit regarding his post, and ending on thoughts about social media in general. The end of the second paragraph states: “ The topic was hot for a split second, and then moved past”. The end of the final paragraph: “This applies to social media as well as television, film, music, and many other areas of our society. The fleeting attention given to Mark Hamill’s comments is just a statistic in what I feel is a broader mindset across ages and mediums, not just Reddit” could follow directly from the previous quote, but it does not. There is an entire paragraph between them. This shows a consistent thread that his post follows, and shows how expertly it is structured.

Final Admirations

Well, it’s finally here. The last week of English 397. I now know so much more about writing in the digital age than I did when the class first started. After reading the multiple books about social media and how it affects us, I have a stronger positive opinion on technology and its uses. I feel confident that I will be able to use technology and social media in a professional and efficient way in the future.

Throughout the semester, I have had the pleasure of reading so many wonderful pieces of work. I was both impressed and inspired by each of my classmates. For almost every assignment, I envied and admired the prose of Will’s works. Although I was not a fan of Carr and his negative take on technology and its effects on us, Will’s emotions about the disconnect that is created because of technology and his previous knowledge of the brain greatly convinced me to fear the reliance I have on my phone. Will then shares with the readers a quote from Carr: “outsource memory, and culture withers”. This quote is powerful on its own, but Will’s interpretation of Carr’s words help the reader better understand the logic behind Carr’s fears.

“The understanding is that when we avoid the grandeur of the real world and infuse ourselves with the online world, we begin to lose something vital to who we are.”

-Will Kebbe

Unlike Carr, Will doesn’t leave us hanging with no suggestions to better ourselves. He says that “engaging in socially active conversations and events, making a point to seek them out in the future, and repeating might blur the necessity we have to our phones.” I’m not sure if he uses a thesaurus when choosing these eloquent words or if he is just a syntax prodigy, but either way, I hope to eventually gain the skills to rise to his level of prose.

In the beginning of the semester, it would have been easier for me to point out a piece that has done something on-screen that you cannot do on page. However, as I have seen with the multiple remediation pieces, writers have taken pieces from video to page and vice versa in very creative and interesting ways.

Nicole’s remediation piece is a great example of something you can do on-screen but may be hard to do on page. In her freshmen E110, she wrote a research paper on how women are portrayed in literature. In her piece she includes a written summary of the results she received after constructing an online survey.

“The three most common roles people have responded to have read woman occupying are mothers (74%), housewives (57%), and sex objects (45%).”

To remediate this information, she took the results and created an infographic. Although this same infographic could be drawn on a piece of paper, it would take much more time to create this on paper and add the multiple pictures and color that is shown on-screen. When I first saw this piece, I completely surpassed the paragraph summarizing her results. My eye was immediately drawn toward the graphs and the familiar images of characters and princesses. By creating an infographic for research projects such as this, it makes the reader work harder to understand the information given, but in a more creative and fun way. If you just wrote out the results in a large paragraph, just as Nicole provides for us in her piece, the reader may lose interest or may not comprehend the extent of the differences or impacts between variables.

Throughout this course, we have all written and created amazing digital works. We all worked incredibly hard to showcase our talents and artistic knowledge through the use of digital media. I feel like I’m on the bachelor by saying this, but I can only choose two that really stood out to me. Those two are Amanda’s A Letter to Carr and Ellie’s Remedial Piece.

I sincerely admire the approach Amanda took in her piece A Letter to Carr. She did not just simply respond to Carr’s redundant notions just as a “here’s what I think”; she provided a voice, or rather a character to her response which made it extremely interesting to read. With her voice and character, she made her piece more personal, as if you were sitting in on a conversation between both Amanda and Carr, but you were at the point where it was Amanda’s turn to speak. She kept a very strong point throughout the entirety of response, drawing in on her own understanding of the concepts and putting a twist on them by bringing up personal anecdotes of watching a Kiss Cam video and learning of the bystander effect in her communications class to further her point. Also, the physical structure of her response was very appealing and in a way, eye-catching as well. It was almost written in the format of an online newspaper article with the large bolded quote and placement of the very appropriate image she chose. This is definitely a great example of a very original and well-written piece.

Another piece I also sincerely admire is Ellie’s Remedial Piece, it was an extremely powerful poem and a personal one as well, which I truly appreciate Ellie sharing. Ellie’s approach allowed the viewer of her video to feel her words, the way reading would not allow for. You could get a sense of the intensity of emotions behind her words, you were able to feel Elli’s feelings through this piece. Her words were already meaningful, but when you hear it, it allows for a completely different experience. The images Ellie chose were also incredibly moving as she provided videos of her descriptions, aiding her writing in a way that no longer left the imagination to the viewer, allowing them to see her words come to life. This was an absolutely beautiful and powerful poem.