I have learned much during my experiences in English 1101. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages that I emerged with is my recently acquired knowledge in the field of blogging. Before English 1101 I had never seen nor written a blog. Now, I have quite a collection of blogs under my belt.
The syllabus that was handed out on the first day of class explained that English 1101 with Professor Tryon would focus on the advancement of writing with technology. Within a few days sure enough, fellow students in the class had their blogs up on the web, and were typing away their thoughts and ideas for the assigned blog.
Being new to the blogging experience, one of the first things that struck me was the fact that I could read what everyone else had typed on their online journals. This was really exciting for me, as I could then get an idea of what everyone else though about a particular topic. So as I started to write my blogs, I knew just what to write about.
Thus began my blogging career for a semester at Tech. Throughout this career, I have struggled and achieved. I hope it is safe to say that I excelled more than I struggled with my journals. Yet I think that struggling is naturally part of the learning experience.
One particular blog that I had a hard time with was the blog pertaining to Riverbend, a struggling Iraqi girl. First, I had technical difficulties, as the quote that I pasted into blogger did not show up correctly. Past that, all I could gather at the time from Riverbend’s experiences was that her life was going downhill fast. I was surprised at how her family was treated by soldiers. Yet I never recalled seeing this horror even mentioned on the news. In fact, if not for Riverbend's blog, I would probably never have even known how bad life was for families in Iraq at this time. I had to sit down for a while and think about what Riverbend was really trying to convey to readers worldwide. Obviously it would be tough for any viewer to directly help her out, due to the war waging on all fronts. Finally, I came up with an answer. The purpose of Riverbend’s blog is to, “keep us informed so we know where to help out.” By this I mean that with knowledge of crisis such as this, citizens can rise up and rally for the families of Iraq. If needed, people could protest to the government and demand better treatment of the people in Iraq. So this blog essentially revealed an unbiased media source that I could turn to for the true, uncensored story.
As I struggled with Riverbend’s blog, I experienced solid progress with other blogs. One certain blog about Joanne Jacob’s “clown college” was especially great. For this blog perhaps the biggest reason that I enjoyed it was due to the fact that I could directly relate to what she was saying. She wrote about the difficulties in motivating students and raising standards. Well, coming from a school where studying was not necessary, I could easily see a lack of motivation by many students. After all, why study when there are much more gratifying things that can be done, like watching a football game or hanging out with friends? As I could easily relate to this blog, it became that much easier to type about it.
Another great blog would have to be the one concerning blogging and ethics. As I enjoy to debate, this blog merely fused my passion for debate into a homework assignment. This blog was an open-ended blog. Every student had their own opinion. So I just simply stated what I thought should be right concerning blogging and ethics. I eventually summed that blog up with this, “If blogging is one of the few places that people can find refuge in this world of censorship, then blog-on my friends!”
More recently, I enjoyed a blog that was in response to a website that some guy created, by posting thousands of pictures of his life, to create a visual journal. I simply discussed what I liked and though about this guy’s site. I believe this especially fit the English 1101 syllabus, as pictures are a form of technology that has changed the world, and this blog addresses the effects of that.
One point of interest would have to be my response to Tara McPherson’s article on TV and the Internet. I really enjoyed her deconstruction of TV and the Internet alike. Some great points that I found were, “Showing how time progresses, she points out that TV is constant, with organized commercial breaks. On the other hand, the Internet is more unorganized…” McPherson was able to take two similar everyday things and break them down into exactly what they were. I have never heard of such a comparison of this type, and as a result, enjoyed responding to what she had to say. This blog proved successful as I once again found great interest in the topic. Again, the goals of English 1101 are to evaluate technologies such as the Internet and TV, so this blog was a great way to compare and contrast between the two.
In conclusion, I have found the integral experience of blogging my ideas, along with reading other blogs, to be a pleasant experience. I have learned that so much information is available through blogs that one should definitely know how to operate a blog. Yet the best part about blogging is that it is a place for people to express themselves. In a world where everything is censored and altered, it is nice to be able to see what people are really thinking these days. The blogging technology not only enabled Professor Tryon’s class to read about current issues, but also enhanced the class itself through its open-forum nature.
¶ 8:44 AM
Hello everyone. Hope all is well. So this week in English I watched several groups present their blogging project. One of particular interest was the presentation about comedy movies. Being a comedy lover myself, I was excited to see what this group had to say. So they talked about the categories of comedy, such as romantic, animated, etc. I must say that I did not love the romantic comedy portion of the presentation, seeing that I just am not into chick-flicks. On the other hand, I am a sucker for animated comedies, such as Shrek. Once Shrek was mentioned, I was all ears. One of the presenters talked about how animated films are able to capture an element of humor that real films can't. For one reason, in real life there is no such thing as a talking donkey (as far as I know). Secondly, emotions and expressions are more easily exaggerated. I had never really considered that before. So I did learn something new about a category that I though I wrote the book on. Other than that the presentation went smoothly. By the time they finished presenting, I concluded that I enjoyed the presentation. So therefore, mission accomplished. I give them two thumbs up for the work they did. In the meantime, I think I'll go watch Shrek. Just kidding, I need to study for finals...
¶ 1:28 AM
Friday, November 21, 2003
In an excerpt from E-topia, William J. Mitchell does more with his writing than he thinks. Not only does he predict that people will move closer to their workplaces, but this move will solve the problem of urban sprawl. Urban sprawl has haunted metropolitan cities for decades. A solution could not be found with whatever method was considered. Yet I believe that as people live closer to their workplace, traffic will be reduced and overall the sprawling will shrink to a minimum. Other than that, Mitchell's insight proves very thoughtful. As to whether the masses of people will actually move and merge their homes with work, I am unsure. For on one hand it is nice to be near your work. Yet on the other hand, to merge work with home would not be fun or beneficial for the family, due to the fact that it would distract the employee too much. Other than that, I enjoyed this essay.
¶ 1:14 PM
Sunday, November 09, 2003
Tara Mcpherson tried to map out the differences that time has on TV. and the Internet, as it relates to the user. Showing how time progresses, she points out that TV. is constant, with organized commercial breaks. On the other hand, the Internet is more unorganized, time-draining (depending on connection speeds), and like a "data base." She states that television is more stagnant, while the Internet offers various communications outlets, such as chat rooms, e-mail, etc. Yet she shows that humans that surf the web frequently become databases themselves. For example, while one may surf CNN, ESPN, Comedy Central, and other sites, what he/she is essentially doing is pouring more and more data, typically useless facts, into their brain. Stock numbers, weather reports, and local news stories are all great to hear, yet a few years from now, they pretty much amount to nothing in terms of meaningful value. Yet the web seems to be, as McPherson states, â€œless time-based, and more time moving than television broadcast." It is like a movie in which the viewer decides the ending, for the sites visited are entirely up to the viewer. Yet on TV, the viewer is bound to preset shows that will air according the time slots. Yet the problem of the Internet? It lacks direction. So if you have no plan in mind of where to go, then you will find yourself aimlessly browsing for something worth-while. Overall, I think the message that Mcpherson is trying to relay is that nothing can be substituted for real, genuine life.
¶ 11:24 PM
Monday, November 03, 2003
Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida presents some very interesting insight into photography. Specifically, some negative insight which one might not have stopped to consider. Barthes presents an opinion that photography is not a good capture of a person on film. He states that although one may try to pose and look their best, they will still appear lifeless, or even "dead" on the two dimensional photo. Well, though this may still be true, I believe that photos still serve the job well. For as photos in a family are kept through out the years, one is able to look back at these photos and remember. You see, keep sakes are meant to remind one of a certain time and or place. That is why we buy souvenirs at out favorite theme park, or key chains from our vacation paradise. So while one walks through his house, he can see these artifacts and remember where they came from, and all the memories associated with them. As far as Roland going to day that people look dead in the photos, I would say that that can be attributed to perhaps the photographer, and how the pictures are taken. Sure, if everyone in a picture finds a still pose they may look dead. I would say that photos are most effective when capturing the essence of what is happening. For example, at a soccer game, it would be most effective to take pictures of the people playing soccer during the heat of the action, not after the game while they are standing there doing nothing. I think what I am hinting at is that pictures are good at capturing actions of people.
¶ 8:17 AM
Friday, October 31, 2003
Yeah, I'm a little bit frustrated right now. I just typed this blog, and lost the data, so now I'm typing this stuff for the second time. Anyway, ever visited the American Memory website? I did, and I found that I enjoyed myself more than I thought. For the movies contained on that site were something new to me. Even though they are old, worn, and beaten movies, I am seeing them for the first time, so it is a new experience to me. What really appeals to me is that those movies help to portray what Americans in the 1900's were interested in. Topics such as technology (such as electricity), women, and arts seemed to capture American minds back in the day. What was even better was to see how far Hollywood has come, since the days of black and white pictures. Hollywood has indeed learned much in the ways of filming, but there was more than that, that stood out to me. Being that the films had no sound or color, the films had almost a stronger power to capture the viewer's attention. For in present day films, fancy things, such as flashy lighting and loud sounds seem to distract the viewer. The best analogy that I can think of is a blind man. He can not see, so therefore his senses of hearing, sight, taste, and smell are increased. Consequently, the older movies seem to focus more on mere plot than fancy backgrounds. So it seems that old movies are better at capturing the essentials of a movie, the plot. In other words, the American Memory project is a must see for those of you that have not surfed there yet.
¶ 1:01 PM
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Today I did something new. I went to a museum. Located in central Atlanta, the High Museum is a cheap and affordable way to kill some hours during the day. Immediately, one will notice that the exhibits are arranged my themes, instead of chronology. I favored this, as this made the viewing of the paintings and exhibits less confusing and more enjoyable. Perhaps one of my most enjoyable moments was when I saw the elephant mask. This mask is a simple wooden elephant face, yet it seemed to portray the culture of the African background from which it emerged. Having been to Africa, and already bought other wooden carvings, I must say that I am a little biased towards the African culture, as is very intriguing. Anyway, the overall atmosphere of the museum was very relaxing. The exhibits seemed to be spaced out between the various categories, so one would not see African woodcarvings right next to contemporary statues. Some of the exhibits looked more or less permanent. It seems that the museum made it easy to change certain exhibits, and make room for new ones if needed.
In conclusion, I would say that the museum effectively spaced out many of the exhibits. I believe that an exhibit is much more effectively viewed if there are not any intruding works near it that might distract a guest. If you are an art fanatic, or simply enjoy the simple pleasures of human creations, go check out the High Museum.
¶ 3:05 PM
Friday, October 10, 2003
In search through the vast library of media, I have evaluated many movies and books, to find that one movie stands alone. This movie is not only unique, but it contains qualities that relate it to perhaps the greatest majority in America: the working force. I know that every person that has worked a job, whether a 15-year-old kid at a pizza place, or an old man that sells hot dogs by the road, has experienced frustration with his or her job. Well my friends, this movie is the solution to all job stress. This movie provides a medium, in which the working force can relate to, from the paper jams of a copier to being jobless. With the comedy that Office Space employs, one is able to forget the dreary job life and relax for a full 90 minutes. Office Space is not just a movie, but a type of medicine for job-stressed people. In addition, the movie contains humor that is worthy of anyone's laugh, whether an employee, employer, or not. With the integral value of suburban comedy relief and a well-developed plot, this movie is sure to deliver. As Office Space has so far stood the test of time, it will go down into movie history as a classic comedy that one will not soon forget.
¶ 12:39 AM