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.

 

 

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.

Jake’s Favorites!

I really liked a lot of different pieces for different reasons this semester – this assignment was difficult! Picking only two pieces was like picking my favorite candy in a chocolate store (I love all chocolate).

I managed to narrow it down though. And the first piece I’d like to talk about is Amanda’s piece, “Ronson for the Gold.” I have a specific quote that I enjoyed for the prose of it. But I also liked how she was able to connect what we were reading to real-time events (United Airlines and Pepsi) and their recent dealings with public shaming. Her ability to connect our readings in class to current events showcases her writing skill and finesse in such a way that highlights her maturity as a writer.

The part I really enjoyed in her piece was:

“Ronson makes the point that each of the attackers made a choice as to whether they wanted to shame that person or not. Whether they thought they were “doing something good” or not, they each made the choice.”

First of all, I agree with the point she is making here about Ronson. That everyone has a choice when they’re online and that technology is simply a catalyst – not the issue itself.

I also liked her use of repetition to drive home her point, saying “made a choice” twice. And also her use of diction – calling the tweeters, “attackers.” Which is a fair choice of word in this case.

Also driving home the point, using the quoted ‘doing something good’ – it oversimplifies and understates that issue at hand – and I think this does a beautiful job of using underestimation to emphasize the point she was making.

For “moving beyond writing,” I have to pick James’ “Concept in 60 video.” Could this concept be translated into text? Into step-by-step instructions? Absolutely.

But there’s no way you’d get the same feeling of enjoyment and hilarity that you get from watching this essential concept in a 60 second video. While being wonderfully edited and put together, James’ video showcases his love for Star Wars which helps the reader or viewer relate to the video and pay attention that much more – and it also doesn’t feel like an ad, which perhaps a written text with a plug for Star Wars might seem.

The effort put into this concept video certainly helped James move beyond the page and find a certain tone and connection with the viewer that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do with simple written text.

You see a friendly guy showing you how to maximize your enjoyment when you finally find some time to sit down and watch a movie for yourself. Well done!

Nice job everyone!

In this class, everyone has their own writing style. Each person uses their talents to do the same project and put a different spin on it. One of my favorite pieces is Jake’s regarding Ronson. He discusses many incidences where he uses the analogy of a plaintiff and defendant to describe situations like United Airlines and Uber. Jake goes on to say that in public shaming that Ronson describes, “…there is no defense attorney – there is no defense. There is simply a mob, and mob’s destroy things. One person follows the next because everyone says it’s a good idea.” I agree with this statement because it describes that there is one person vs. many. In some of Ronson’s examples, he described one person shaming another but many times, through the internet, others join in that don’t know the situation or the person at all. Jake closes this piece by saying, “If there is no plaintiff and defense, then there is only an executioner.” I thought this was a powerful way to close the piece about shaming. The act of shaming can be so detrimental to someone’s life and there is no one there to stop it or act on their behalf.

My other favorite piece was Allison’s digital writer profile. By choosing someone that was close to her, her mother, she was able to have a great deal of information about the source and could link to other information. I enjoyed her original piece about her mom’s interior design writing but her remediation stood out. She changed many aspects like adding links and images to display the work that she had written about. Being able to look at these examples of her digital writing, made it easier for me to understand the strength and energy put into the work. Creating web pages and unique Instagram posts isn’t easy, so being able to see what she does with furniture and floor plans in homes gave me a greater understanding of the types of digital work she does.

 

Favorite Posts

One thing I have really enjoyed throughout this semester was reading everyone’s posts to the site. While all given the same prompt to write about, somehow everyone managed to write about something different so there were about 20 different perspectives and opinions to read about each week.

One write that I really admire for his prose and quality of writing is Will. His posts are always composed of really well-crafted sentences that seem to come to him with ease.

One example is from his most recent post where he remediated his concept in 60 video. While the whole story he wrote provides great imagery in the mind of the reader, some sentences in particular that stand out in their descriptiveness are:

He was the head cashier of a Pep Boys auto shop, the dinky little shack down the street for him. It was there that he felt at home. The walls were lined with greasy tools and old tires, the floor battered with stains from years of mechanical work.”

And:

“Will knew he had one shot to make it back to his younger self on that fateful night years ago. He pressed the red button, then the blue, then the green, then the red again, and finally the yellow. The machine turned on, humming like the sound of an engine. Will stepped inside. He waved goodbye to Dr.Bernstein. He might not see him again.”

 

I think Sam’s “How to Make a Grand Entrance” successfully demonstrated how you can move beyond writing. Reading this as a step-by-step guide (something like WikiHow) would be very confusing and hard to understand. During each entrance that he shows- his friend’s and his own- hearing his voice was really effective. Sure, one can try to describe the intonation of someone’s voice but that is very hard to successfully get across strictly on page. Hearing how his voice changes between his first generic entrance and his second attempt and seeing his facial expressions is something that provides great aid to the viewer that cannot be done on page.

Does My Server Need to Eat This Week?

My piece that I wanted to re-mediate (into text) is my concept in 60 video, where I go over the basics of tipping your server at a restaurant. Although the idea for the video stemmed from Sarah’s current job at the Buffalo Wild Wings, I had also seen an “Adam Ruins Everything” video on it as well. If you are a server, be warned, you may not like Adam’s video.

Upon further research, I affirmed some of what Adam talks about. Tipping, or “To Insure Promptitude” (T.I.P. – get it?) was borrowed from our European brethren as early as the 17th century. Many believe that it came soon after the Civil War, when aristocratic travelers borrowed the concept from their travels throughout Europe.

There were actually anti-tipping movements in many states, and in 1915, six states tried and failed to pass a bill to make gratuities unlawful.

The whole concept of tipping, from what it used to be, was to insure that you were given first priority – also to show-off your aristocratic money – but do you think that the servers gave a shit? Tipping is a bidding war for the best possible service.

As an Economics major, we are typically taught that competition is never a bad thing (save for natural monopolies, but they hold no relevance here). Let these fat cats, and drunk playboys bid for my best service and you better believe that I will make sure they are never dry in their glass!

Also, it’s a great way to keep food prices down by reducing labor costs for restaurants, and ensure that servers give the best customer service. In fact, I would argue that more jobs should involve some type of gratuity pay so that more customer service jobs are held to higher standard, and are held more accountable.

Servers typically do a great job of making sure that your food is ordered and cooked in a timely manner, and they consistently check up on you and give you the experience (of not having to cook and serve yourself) that you pay for. Why shouldn’t it be up to the customer how much to tip? So what if tipping is more a custom than it is a necessity? You’re still an ass hole if you don’t tip. But if your server sucks, man then just give them 10%.

As I show in my video, tipping is very simple math. It shouldn’t make the dining experience any less enjoyable. And it shouldn’t feel like you’re paying an arm and a leg more for your food.

At the end of the day, it’s continue tipping, or pay higher food prices and relatively the same total amount for your food, but your server just gets taxed more on because they run it through payroll instead of letting them take it home as cash at the end of the night. No matter your political stance, being taxed on your income sucks. So don’t let that happen – keep tipping alive and well.

Let your server eat this week.

Remediation

For my remediation piece, I chose to work with a research paper I wrote for my ENGL110 course freshman year. For this particular piece, we had to generate our own data. The subject I chose to research was how women are portrayed in literature and I constructed an online survey I shared to my Facebook and the University of Delaware Class of 2019 Facebook page.

Here is the page from my paper that explain my results:

Capture

Here is the infographic I created for this assignment:

Remediation ENGL397