2.) Revised Playlist
4.) Character Collage
5.) Revised Character collage
7.) Open Boat glossaries
Midterm- Music is a big part of my life, so I immediately knew I would enjoy the playlist assignment. I especially liked how the assignment let me choose a character that was interesting to me instead of being given a character. Being able to choose my own character allowed for more personal investment in the assignment, and also for more intense reflection on a character who turned out to be more complicated than I had imagined. I was surprised how hard it was for me to choose a song I felt adequately represented Carmen and her situation, given how much I listen to music. Music has a powerful way of capturing emotions that I feel cannot always be described adequately in writing, but for this assignment I found myself thinking I could not find music that gave life to my character. Interestingly, the reason I chose Carmen was due to a song in the story’s musical rendition I could not get out of my head. When I went back a second time, I tried help with the overall flow of the playlist, by making the narration more engaging and active with the song selections.
Final- As I went back to look over my final revision of the playlist assignment, my biggest problem was making sure the links worked and that the flow of the playlist seemed smooth and engaging. Carmen was such a flamboyant character, and I really wanted the audience to get a feel of her sassiness and lively character. My interest in Carmen has definitely grown through this playlist assignment, and I found myself going through the story again and again, spotting new things I had never noticed before. In the end, I felt it was almost impossible to capture tall of the wonderful qualities of the intriguing yet complex persona of Carmen, but I hoped to let the audience taste the true essence of her character.
Midterm- I had never worked on a collage before, let alone a program like PhotoPlus, so initially this assignment proved to be very challenging. At the time, my computer was not co-operating with me and I had to work on the assignment on my computer, the class computer and my roommate’s computer. After I finally got the hang of PhotoPlus, the next challenge was to find the right pictures that represented the image I wanted to convey. When making the Cinderella collage, I tried to go along with the rags to riches theme, where Cinderella is riding into the collage on horses heading for her fairytale ending. At the beginning of the collage I tried to put things to represent her old life she was leaving behind and further into the collage the new life which awaited her. This was the most time–consuming collage because I had many things I felt needed to be represented in the collage and I was still learning how to use the software. I took a more literal approach to the story of Cinderella, taking things directly out of the story to convey what I thought made Cinderella’s character so appealing to many girls nationwide. I would like to improve on the collage by blending things better and maybe moving items to different places in the collage to convey the overall theme better.
Final - Instead of going for a more literal approach to the story, I presented the story, I went for a more abstract version which told the story of Cinderella still in the process of chasing after her dream. I wanted to emphasis Cinderella still chasing after her fairytale ending by enlarging the horses making them big enough for her and the viewer to ride on. I also put more emphasis on the castle to show what is in her reach, at the same time the castle is fuzzy and unclear to show she hasn’t reached it yet and its still part of her dream. I erased many of the layers I felt weren’t necessary like the prince, the fairy godmother and the glass slipper. I liked the smallness and opagueness of the cottage, broom and pumpkin to show her current reality and that these things are not too big for her to overcome. I also decided to keep the clock to show her race against time. The overall tone I wanted to convey was uncertain, rushed feeling that at first seems gloomy but once you take a closer look see hope on the horizon.
Midterm- I memorized this poem at a young age, and instantly felt a connection to the poem through its use of imagery through words and its reference to another favorite movie of mine, Raisin in the Sun. I wanted to take a more abstract approach to the poem collage since I had such a literal one for the Character collage. So I decided to focus on the consequences of a dream deferred. I started with the aftermath of an explosion, and took the image of Jazz and the Harlem Renaissance, which gave me the image of smoke clearing after an explosion and a single sheet of burned music surfacing from the ash and debris. Everything is bleak of color except the sun, which represents the both power and destruction. Finally the prison bars give the image of a dream being trapped in such a grim environment, aching to get out. I didn’t want to put a lot of images into this collage because I felt it would take away from the simplicity of the poem and the intense message each image represented. I seem to be having trouble uploading the file for some reason, so uploading the file was my biggest challenge. But this collage was surprisingly easier to make compared to the first collage, which makes me want to go back and work on my character collage even more.
Final - I was pleased at the amount of feedback I received concerning this collage and it really proved helpful in the revisions. I noticed people did not understand or like the burning sun being present, so I took that out and instead tried to convey anger with a fire burning in the corner, covered by the prison bars. I also moved the text because it was hard to see, and put it in the center of the collage. I felt it blended better in the center on top of the music. I tried to make it the title of the burnt musical piece, indicating the sadness of the song being displayed in the picture. Overall, I think I did the best job of organizing and articulating my thoughts through this assignment.
OPEN BOAT WIKI
The best part about this assignment was getting to collaborate with your other classmates about the reading. After talking with them and having the class discussion, I was able to see things in the story I hadn't previously picked up on. The group discussion also gave me an idea of which glossaries I wanted to comment on. It was interesting to see the glossaries develop and get different takes on the same topic.
I had the most fun making the video, but it was definitely the most time consuming. I decided to go with the city where your dreams can come true - Hollywood. I focused on the good and bad aspects of the Hollywood dream and also its progression over the years. I chose to go with a happier song for my audio, which was Doris Day's "Hooray for Hollywood". The lyrics to this song was exactly what I wanted to portray through my video. The hardest part was having to work on two computers and making sure all the pictures were saved and would show up on the video. I wish we had time to receive more feedback on the videos, I would love to go back and make revisions!
I think the hardest thing for me about the blogs was feeling like I had to say the smartest, most profound comments. When in actuality, I only had to write down my thoughts and ideas. There were no right or wrong answers in the blog postings and you really didn't have to think hard to write one, unlike many of the essays I've had to do in other English classes.
However, because they were being viewed by others, I still felt I could not just put a one or two sentence blog and that my thoughts did not turn into rambling or informal language as if I were chatting online.
Midterm- Being that I am more quiet in a classroom setting, I like the idea of the blog postings, because feels like I have more to analyze my experience in the classroom, as well as examine and critique the work of my peers. At first, the idea of my thoughts and work being open for everyone to observe and critique seemed intimidating, but after I started posting a few of blogs of my own I found it to be a great way to communicate. I also found it helpful to see what my other classmates were thinking, and this in turn further helped my in my understanding of the reading and assignments. Until this class, I had no experience with learning through technology and the internet. I must admit it took a while for me to remember to post blog comments, but after I finally started posting my comments, I found a new way of interacting and learning. This type of teaching makes me feel as though there is more emphasis on the students actually learning, rather than students just mindlessly spitting out information they wrote down in a lecture, or cramming all the material into a test or paper they will never look at again. By posting on the internet, students actually have a chance to DO something with what they have learned….which quite frankly, is awesome.
Final - I was expecting this to be just another English class filled with reading and papers, but to my surprise (and delight) the course did not turn out to be this way. The assignments given in this course were challenging yet do-able. Most importantly, I felt I could further explore the aspects of American literature that were most impressionable on me, making learning fresh and exciting. In many English literature classes I’ve taken, I learn about authors who write about things I cannot relate to or who I think are, well…. boring. I liked the textbook because it did not focus on just one culture or topic in American literature, but a wide variety touching on different genders, ethnicities and socio-economic status. I also liked the opportunity for students to develop their work as the class progressed. It shows how the class is really focused on the students learning. My biggest challenge in the class was not always having access to a computer, since my old one barely works, but the assignments and class schedule were flexible enough for me to work around this problem. This class has not only increased my interest and knowledge in American literature, it also taught me the value of the internet and computers as well!