My Favorites

In the beginning of the semester, a lot of our writing stemmed from the books we had to read (Boyd, Swanson, etc.). But as we moved on throughout the rest of the course, our writings started to evolve more and focus on more than just answering questions about readings.

One of the pieces I really liked from this course was James’ Concept in 60 video. The reason I found his video so amusing is because he used a concept that went in the opposite direction of what a lot of the rest class did (how to properly watch a movie at home), which I think is sometimes needed in class because people like to really touch upon more serious subjects, which isn’t a bad thing at all, but a little comedy sometimes helps everyone, even if though don’t admit it. I’d say my favorite part of the piece is the credits scene because he used a whole Star Wars theme throughout the video and in the end credits, he did a Star Wars type credits crawl which I thought was entertaining. Overall, I chose James’ concept in 60 because it was very engaging and was a good change of pace for the class because of it’s comedic approach.

A piece that I thought went beyond writing was Sam’s remediation poem “The Hudson River Blues”. I chose this piece because one, it was a remediation of an assignment done in a prior class, so I thought that was passing beyond some borders that not many people crossed. Secondly, I think that the fact that he didn’t use any writing in the remediation of the piece shows how much he went beyond writing. The edition of the background music to go along with the image of an of the actual Hudson River really helps brings out a more understanding and entertaining meaning to the poem and my favorite part of the post is how the image is moving from the sea up to the clouds. I thought it was pretty cool how as the poem was read in the background, the moving image almost matched up with the words, and if the poem were to simply be written then we wouldn’t get this effect as readers/viewers. All in all, there were so many pieces that I could’ve chosen from for both my favorite and one that reaches out beyond writing, but the two I chose really just stood out to me and grabbed my attention the most.


Brushing Your Teeth Remediation

For my remediation project, I decided to go back to my concept in 60 video, which was how to brush your teeth. This time I decided to call up one of my older brothers and ask him a few questions that relate to my methods about his whole brushing of the teeth process. I also go to ask him some questions on some parts I wanted to include in my video, but didn’t have enough of a time frame to include. Since he is my brother I was able to ask questions in a pretty relaxed and maybe somewhat comical manner so the interview wasn’t that bad, so here it goes:

  1. You’re supposed to brush your teeth at the very least 2 times a day, but being your younger brother I’ve seen you skip brushing your teeth whole days at a time sometimes, but now that you don’t live at home and have a real job and everything, can you tell me how many times a day you brush those chompers?

Tim: “First of all, I’ve seen you go full days without brushing for whole days when we were younger and I’ve always at least brushed my teeth once a day (I had to call him out for lying) but now being grown up and all, I brush my teeth when I wake up and before I go to sleep, with the occasional midday brush.”

2. So I had to make this video for one of my classes, called a “Concept in 60” which was basically taking any idea or concept and showing it in 60 seconds. For mine I did the process of how to brush your teeth. When I did it, I rinsed my tooth brush in water before putting the tooth paste on and some people think that is weird while others think its normal. Can you give me a little insight on how you go about brushing your teeth?

Tim: “Yea, so I have heard people who don’t rinse their tooth brush before and me personally I always do because I think it feels so weird and dry when I forget to rinse my tooth brush first. At least the bristle aren’t as hard when you rinse the brush first to.”

3. Here’s the big question brother. The dentist says that we should all brush our teeth for a span of 2 minutes. I have an electric tooth brush (the most banging Christmas present I’ve ever gotten) that turns off after 2 minutes of brushing, so tell me honestly stank breath (just a joke, his breath doesn’t stink), do you brush your teeth for the full 2 minutes?

Tim: “I mean I never count the time when I’m brushing my teeth, but I brush for what I think is 2 minutes. Sorry I’m not a weirdo who asks for toothbrushes for Christmas like.

4. In my video, I didn’t get enough time to fit in the importance of mouthwash and flossing, and I know every time I go to the dentist they stress the importance of flossing, so be honest with your lil’ bro. Do you floss you teeth and use mouth wash?

Tim: “Yea man, I can’t say I floss everyday. There will be like streaks of me flossing everyday twice a day, and then there’s different streak where I just don’t floss at all. I do use mouthwash once a day though, usually in the mornings before work because I want the minty fresh breath, you know what I’m sayin’.”

Overall, you can see that my interview with my brother Tim was pretty much just a comparison of the steps I included in my Concept in 60 video that help me and others get a sense of how people do things differently sometimes, just giving a verbal and written form rather than a video format for brushing teeth.

A Man of Many Words

The person I decided to interview is one of my really good friends I met here at school. His name is Michael “Muki” McLaughlin and he writes for a website that him and a few of his friends created called, a website that gives constant sports updates and has opinion based articles as well. With the website, he uses Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as other ways of spreading and growing the brand name, which I think is pretty cool because those resources bring you directly back to the source. I decided to interview Michael because he is my good friend and also because he likes to offer his opinion a lot on basically any subject or topic that comes up. I also wanted to see if writing is something he plans to have a future in because he as of write now, he does it all for free and his college major does not match the criteria of a writer When interviewing him, I started with some basic questions and then got to know more about what motivates him to write, so here is my interview:

  1. When did you start to write for

“I began writing for last summer. We began the site in June, and officially launched in July after a month of “practice” blogs until we felt comfortable with our writing and topics.”

2. What is your favorite topic to write about?

“My favorite topic to write about would have to be MMA or the UFC more specifically. I am definitely an MMA junkie so being able to actually write about the stuff the stuff I follow along with all day long is awesome for me. It’s also a topic a lot of my friends and followers are not as knowledgeable about, so they rely on what I have to say  to stay up to date.”

3. I noticed some posts on your website are factual and some are very opinion based. Do you personally prefer giving straight updates or do you like writing opinion based articles instead and why?

“Our site is definitely considered more of a sports “blog”rather than an “ESPN” or “Bleacher Report” where they report on straight facts. We like to have the option of going going facts to opinion all in one post, and that is definitely my favorite way to do it. I like being able to lay out some concrete knowledge, and then give my opinion on those facts.”

4. What prompted you to start writing in general?

“I have always enjoyed writing, and after I took my college writing course senior year of high school, I felt that it was something that I was good at. So after about writing for 2 years of free writing at college, I was thrilled to actually be able to write for something “real” and produce content that people could follow along with when my friend approached me about starting Highly Controversial.”

5.  Would you like to try to grow your writing in the future or are you satisfied with what your are doing now?

“I absolutely would like to grow my writing in the future, and have aspirations to continue either sports writing on the side if it’s something I can’t fit into my career, or pursuing it down the line full-time. My biggest goal would be able to write a book or something of that nature, but that is something that is a few years in the future.”

When People Show No Love

After reading some of the posts other people wrote, I realized that a lot of people wanted to touch face in with more serious issues or comment on things that actually matter in the world right now. First off, let me just say that when it comes to commenting on social media I do not really comment on any sight unless it is Twitter or Facebook, with the occasional posts on Instagram. So I changed it up a bit. First I was thinking about going on to a sports blog and seeing if there was anything interesting but I thought maybe that is too simple. So instead, I went to YouTube and tried to stir up a little commotion there.

When I was younger, I used to love reading Spider-Man comic books and he really grew on me as being one of my favorite superheroes. Since those days, there have been six movies, and a seventh on the way that have three different actors portraying the iconic red and blue web-slinger. It started with Toby Maguire, then Andrew Garfield went on to wear the spandex, and now it is a youngster named Tom Holland. So how does this relate to the assignment? Well a new movie coming out called Spider-Man: Homecoming just released a second trailer a few weeks back so it gave me an idea for this assignment. I read through a lot of the comments posted about the trailer and I realized some people are die-hard Spider-Man fans and take it very seriously. I decided to post my own comment to see if I could get a reaction out of people and wrote this:

“Theres been three spiderman actors already but Tom Holland actually kills it the most”
Here is the full page of comments on the YouTube page.
So yea, as you can see I posted a simple, harmless comment, but I thought that it might be enough to get a little debate going on who has been the best Spider-Man actor so far. Well I thought completely wrong. I waited a while to see if I could get any feedback because I saw that people were jumping on comments left and right from earlier in the past, but for me, I got nothing. Now, maybe that is because the trailer I commented under was already three weeks old, and I know that does not seem like that long of a time but i guess in the comic book world with new movie trailers being released left in right, fans tend to lose interest in the old and anticipate the new. Then I thought that maybe I did not give it enough time for people to reply to, but in the end, I think it simply was not a good enough post to gain the attention of others. Overall, I think when it comes to YouTube, people tend to not care about the comments on videos as much as someone would care about a tweet or a Facebook post because those forms of social media are pretty much meant for people sharing their thoughts and opinions while inviting others to comment on them while YouTube is more frequently used for a visual entertainment. I know it is kind of a silly subject I touched upon, but I wanted to be a little different and take a less serious path traveled and I thought a blast to my past would be kind of fun.

Adolescence and Social Media

While I was reading Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed And Danah Boyd’s It’s Complicated, I thought that Boyd made a convincing case on why it is so hard to live the way Ronson thinks people should. He said, “A lot of people move around in life chronically ashamed of how they look, or how they feel, or what they said, or what they did. it’s like a permanent adolescent concern. adolescence is when you’re permanently concerned about what other people think of you” (pg. 158). Ronson’s stance on how ease an individuals adolescence is that we should all try engaging life in the way a dog. He states, “A dog doesn’t lie. A dog doesn’t feel shame. A dog lives in the moment…We should be like dogs” (pg. 159). A way of achieving that shame-free lifestyle is method created by Blad Blanton, Ronson’s associate, is called “‘Radical Honesty”‘ (pg. 158). Essentially, radical honesty is a person admitting or following through with whatever is on his or her mind, no matter how weird or crazy the thought and that it is the only way to build real relationships.

In Boyd’s book, she talks about a past conversation she had with these two young girls Ashely and Abigail and recalls when Abigail told Boyd that their mom had treated the Abigail better than Ashely because of the way Ashely acted. Boyd recalls Ashley mentioning things that happened in her school such as “when boys mocked cheerleaders for their eating habits. Gossip about who might be pregnant, who was hooking up with whom, and who did what while drunk appeared to be standard fare” (pg. 130). Boyd then goes on to talk about how the way teens and young adults go about life, can really impact the way others live their lives. Boyd says, “the rise of social media has prompted tremendous concern about “cyberbullying.” Although the data suggests otherwise, the assumption among many parents and journalists is that social media radically increases bullying” (pg. 130).

The connection I want to make between the two authors is yes, Ronson has a good way of engaging life and it is probably the way everyone should try to live, but in today’s times with social media increasing and generations changing, it is very hard to live life using “radical honesty”. Personally, I think that using radical honesty or living in the moment is a hard thing to do because the times have changed and its harder to be a teen growing up then it was in the past. I chose the quote about all the high school things because it is a perfect example of the things teen and young adults think about now and with social media around, its easier to get those things out in the open. The one thing I don’t agree with about radical honesty is that there are levels of appropriateness that people should reach as they grow in life and radical honesty might now allow people to understand that. Continue reading “Adolescence and Social Media”

Screen or Print? Which is Really Better?

When it comes to using videos, I feel that it is a lot easier for someone to get their point out in the fashion they want to, meaning if some one wanted to include some sarcasm or comedic relief, doing that in writing and having the reader try to understand is a little more tough rather than being able to communicate it through words or sounds. For instance, the video about motivation that Will made would not have been as funny if someone were to read the dialogue between young Will and old Will rather then watching and listening to it. Also, with videos, the viewers get visuals and do not need to spend as much time trying to create images in their minds of the words they read. Videos are better in terms of showing someone how to do something. There were numerous videos we watched that were (at least I consider them) “how to” videos, meaning videos that visually showed the viewer how to do something. An example that i liked was Sam’s video on how to make a grand entrance, it showed different ways of doing the activity and was a lot easier to follow instead of reading words in a book or on print.

Besides videos being the only helpful item, print has some positive benefits as well. For people who have trouble understand or following along a voice spewing out information, print allows those types of people to keep up at their own pace. Also, print can be right in front of a person, giving them the ability to go back and forth between pages and go over any information they missed or go back to a part that caught their attention. Personally, sometimes I have trouble trying to say what I am thinking so when I write I have more time to think about the best way possible of saying whatever it is I am trying to say. If someone does not like to be on camera, print allows them to express themselves but in a way that more comfortable. When I was doing the concept in 60 project, I had to record some scenes many times because there were little mess ups I would notice so print allows us to simply backspace or erase or cross something out but videos make us rerecord full scenes.

So is video or print better? I do not think there is a definitive answer to that question. I believe that it is all based on personal preference. I think both video and print have their positive aspects and I think they both have their constraints as well. Personally, if I were to choose one, I would choose print because I think videos can be distracting sometimes and I would rather be able to write down and reread my writing looking for any mistakes and giving a quick fix to them, but again it is all preference.