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Throughout this semester, I have come across such a wide variety of posts that I have really admired. One post which I admire for its quality of prose is Will’s concept in 60 remediation piece. I enjoyed how playful and creative he was with this assignment. He built upon future Will’s character in a very descriptive way that may not have been construed the same way if it had been through a different medium. I recognize Will’s piece as a natural flow of his thoughts and story-telling.  One of my favorite quotes from this post was:

He wanted to taste the bounty of life, to behold the wonders of life outside the auto shop. What he really wanted to be is an exotic dancer. So he came up with this plan to go back in time, using the blueprints for the time machine he helped make, to motivate his younger self to take control of his life, even if it meant helping him make a PB&J.”

I enjoyed this part because it made me laugh while allowing me to understand both this post and his concept in 60 post even better. Will gives his readers everything we need to know about his character: what his aspirations and ambitions are, even if making a PB&J sandwich was part of that. Future Will could have easily said these things about himself if this had been a video but the readers received a lot more description through this piece.

One post I admire for how the writer moved beyond writing is Sam’s remediation of his Hudson River Blues poem. The poem was inspired by a picture he took of the Hudson River and he provided that photo in the video. I really enjoyed this video because I feel as though he described the picture so perfectly. Specifically, when he says the line: “and tuck myself in / with the blanket of clouds that rolls overhead” the video pans up to the actual blanket like clouds Sam is referring to. Poems are open to a lot of different interpretations but Sam gave his viewers a peek into his specific thoughts and ideas with the use of this video.

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Concept of Getting Dressed through a different lense

For my concept in 60 video, I chose to illustrate the idea of getting ready through video. This is a concept that is perceived differently in the minds of people so for this remediation assignment I decided to illustrate this concept through an interview. I interviewed my friend Marissa Sabitsky, a junior who is a nursing major here at UD. Getting dressed is something that is part of everyone’s day so I decided to depict this concept through a Q+A with a friend.

I started by asking Marissa how she feels about getting dressed…

 Marissa: I would definitely say I view it as a necessity. I don’t think I have any feelings toward it, it’s just something you have to do everyday. I guess I enjoy it a lot more if I am getting dressed to go somewhere I want to go to like a nice restaurant instead of McDowell at 9am.

How would you describe your getting ready routine on a typical school day morning?

Marissa: I don’t really put a lot of effort into getting ready for class but I put a lot more effort into what I look like when it comes to going out to dinner or going out with friends.

Can you explain what you do when you’re getting dressed?

Marissa: First, I pick my pants – typically I wear leggings because I like to be comfortable. Then I check the weather to what temperature I’m working with. I could wear a short sleeved top with flip flops or sneakers and a sweatshirt. I always put on body spray and I’ll do something with my hair but I never really wear make up during the weekdays. When I go out on the weekends, I put make up on and I’ll straighten my hair. First, I’ll pick a top then I’ll pick jeans. I always make sure to put perfume on, not body spray – there’s a difference. Oh and I always put jewelry on, I feel like it makes me look more put together.

What are you trying to communicate with how you look after you’re done getting dressed?

 Marissa: Typically, I don’t think about what I am trying to communicate because for class you can usually catch me in nursing scrubs which would just communicate that I am a nursing major. Wearing those scrubs communicates more than just my major but who I aspire to be. Although, when I am trying and thinking about what to wear for different occasions, I want to look good so I feel good which will communicate that I am happy to be wherever I am.

Clarissa Gordon: sharing her voice from Rutgers University

Clarissa Gordon is a sophomore Journalism major and Creative writing minor at Rutgers University. A good friend of mine, she was born and raised in New York City and we have always shared a passion for reading and writing. She currently writes for the Daily Targum, a student-written and student-managed newspaper and for Trim magazine, the fashion magazine on campus. Whether her articles take a journalistic approach or they include a version of herself I have always admired her writing. I chose to her to do my digital writer profile on because I hoped to learn about how she implements her voice and grows as a writer despite limitations and the influences and inspirations behind her work.

I began our conversation by asking Clarissa how she got involved in writing outside of the classroom

Clarissa: I took a basic writing for journalism and media class my first semester of sophomore year and realized I had a knack for reporting, especially with the current political climate and my overall interest in current events so I decided to pop into the Targum offices. It only took me two articles before they offered me a position as a correspondent and on the side I write for Trim.

Clarissa, typical to most New Yorkers, has always had a special interest in current events that deal with entertainment and pop culture. So even on a large campus like Rutgers she connects her interests by writing articles on a campus Spring Drag Show and Rutgers FORM (Fashion Organization of Retail and Marketing) fashion show showcases.

What version of yourself are you trying to portray online through your articles?

 Clarissa: Well first things first as a journalist I’m never to insert my opinions into my articles – maybe if I’m writing a review on an art exhibition or a fashion show, but even then, opinion is scarce. Trim is where I’m allowed to really be creative and use my voice: I mostly write for the love and lust column, and as someone who considers themselves a sex positive feminist, I try to empower my female readers, which I think is especially important on a college campus where young women might struggle finding or accepting themselves.

I admire Clarissa as a writer because I have always known her as a strongly opinionated person and she uses her voice to advocate issues that are important to shed light on.

What are some things you keep in mind when writing something new?

Clarissa: I mostly just try to showcase clear and concise writing skills while at the same time making sure my article is interesting and attention-grabbing.

And lastly I asked, what inspires/influences you as a writer?

 Clarissa: Ever since I can remember I’ve always liked to write – I used to sit down in front of my first laptop and jot down chapters of novels in like elementary school…so that passion has always kind of been there. More recently, I think I was definitely inspired by Lena Dunham and how she’s a great writer on so many levels – she can be a journalist and a story teller when she wants to be, but she’s also great at writing jokes and films and tv shows and basically anything she sets her mind to. I’m also inspired by young women I know personally who are writing for Vogue and the New Yorker. Their salaries aren’t the best, but when you’re a writer, money isn’t really ever the end goal.

 

A Poll in Attempt to Raise Awareness

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I tweeted this after a lot of thinking about issues in the world today and how they can be relevant to college students. A public and relevant issue to the entire world is saving our environment and our earth especially because this week is Earth Week and Earth day is nearing on Saturday, April 22nd.  Global issues like this make me think of how a smaller scale of people, specifically our UD campus, feels and can contribute to this greater cause. I think it is important to raise awareness on college campuses because our generation is often too caught up on what is going on in the world of Facebook, twitter or Instagram to the point where it is easy to overlook bigger issues that don’t seem relevant. I contributed to the earth week hashtag while directing a poll to my fellow students. My efforts were to raise awareness about Earth week and earth day. I also included an article about how college students can save the environment to show students that even they can make small contributions to a larger cause. My tweet was a call to action about earth week and my one question poll composed of asking UD students how they feel about earth week and saving the environment overall. With this tweet and attached poll, I was trying to get students to take a step back and realize that all they need to do is make a small effort. I was also curious to see who would be honest and say they did not know or did not even care about the cause.

 

Out of my 10 votes, 70% of students stated that they wanted to contribute, 20% reported that they did not care and 10% did not even know it was earth week and/or how to contribute. I wish I could have gotten more votes but I was pleased to see that 7 out of my 10 votes wanted to contribute to the cause. The anonymity of the poll allowed students to be honest and admit that they either did not know or did not care. I wish this article would have reached more UD students and I would have liked them to elaborate on their responses by replying to my tweet. I found that Twitter is platform where people can raise awareness about certain causes via hashtags but hashtags are so commonly used on this medium that they can just fall into the abyss of millions of hashtags used a day. However, I do feel that 10 more students on campus are aware of a cause and how they have the power to help. Perhaps even admitting that they do not care can later cause an epiphany about caring for the environment.

 

Don’t Point Fingers Regardless of Your Intentions

Ronson was onto something when he analyzed the Stanford Prison Experiment and interviewed the people involved. He thought he had debunked this widely known experiment but instead, his findings were still incredibly applicable to the observations he makes on social media and the viewpoints danah boyd shares in her book It’s Complicated. Specifically, they both discuss social media as an immensely powerful tool that can be used for good or bad but at the end of the day it is the person behind the screen who is at fault for their actions online.

Boyd examines the presence of bullying amongst teens on social media and Ronson examines the modern publicity of shaming. Regardless, both agree that about root of any good or bad and boyd explains herself when she says: ““People choose what to spread online, but the technologies that they use to do so are created to increase the visibility of content that will attract the most attention” (Boyd 146). Social media users decide what they post, whether it may be an insensitive tweet about AIDS or an attack in response to that. Nevertheless, this content is more public than ever because things like retweets, shares, likes and reposts exist. Just over a decade ago, this wasn’t the case; the only people who had a voice were people in the public eye but now “The silenced were getting a voice. It was like the democratization of justice.” However, some people may not know what to do with this newfound power or how to use it for good.

I think this goes back to Ronson’s discovery: study participant, Dave Eshelman, who played the role as a guard and seemed to have become irrationally violent admitted that everything he did was on purpose because he thought he was doing something good at the time. This directly relates to boyd’s position “The dynamics of drama and attention don’t unfold because of social media, even if teens can use technology for these purposes” (Boyd 147). Twitter is not to blame for the absurd tweets sent to Sacco about deserving to get fired and raped. Twitter users thought they were doing something good by addressing an inappropriate tweet but although their intentions may have been honest they were just adding to the cycle of violence.

I don’t know if this stems from my optimistic nature, but I genuinely feel that the vast majority of people are not evil to the core. Shamings happen because in a crowd every sentiment and act is contagious and teens bully because they are so easily influenced by their peers. Ronson observes the powerful phenomena of public shaming on social media and boyd picks apart the roles of social media and of its users. I feel that they too would agree that everyone has flaws but it is much easier to pick at someone else’s and forget your own.

Expression in Text vs Expression in Video

I know I am not speaking for myself when I say that I’ve always been more attracted to video and visuals than reading text. It is in the way us digital natives are wired – to want to learn and engage in something visual. When I am confronted with text such as an article or reading a textbook for a class I catch myself skimming through and only reading things that seem important like titles or captions to pictures.

Therefore, I really enjoyed the assignment of Concept in 60 because the visual and audio components added so much more depth to a concept that would have been harder to describe via text.

On the other hand, when it comes to reading and writing the mind has a lot more room for imagination which is sometimes hard for an author who wants to portray a specific idea. Whereas in video there isn’t a lot left for the imagination. For example, if Ashley’s video had not incorporated herself drawing with her explanation of what art meant to her – the viewer would not have known what type of art or expression of art she was particularly immersed in.

Video can express an idea or story with just images and music because that creates tone. Text can also express a certain idea or certain idea with the use of tone but it takes a lot more work for the reader and the writer. An example of these affordances of video is Graham’s video which relies solely on the use of music and filters instead of explaining his concept with audio. The viewer still grasps what Graham is portraying because of the tone he creates with music and his own expressions.

Another example of a video that would not have relayed the same message if it had been solely confined to text is Sam’s video on “How to make an entrance.” The humor within this video would not have been interpreted the same way through description within text because everything from the music to his own facial expressions and body language altogether in the moment came together to create a humorous tone for the viewer.

Sometimes text is easier because it comes to you just as your thoughts are flowing but this may be a constraint when you have a particular message in mind. It can be easy for text to paint a picture with description but if that picture is already given to the viewer there is no room for misinterpretation.