Blog 7: Remediation Station

I would like to preface this blog post with a personal complaint about the state of my laptop, which is currently horrible. Apparently my “startup disk is full” and I’ve been putting off dealing with this for ~6 months now, and so I’m basically watching documents crumble and crash right before my very eyes. I should probably get to the Apple store, like, yesterday. On a semi-related note of remediating my laptop files into versions compatible to store on an external hard drive, I turn to the topic of remediating my project. I’ve been thinking a lot about my theme: humor, and how it’s emotional connotations are easy to connect to humans and their personal stories. That being said, my original idea for the remediation project actually came to me before I had completely honed in on what I envisioned for my repurposing project.

Considering human emotion and effective storytelling, I immediately thought of a blog I feel truly captures both of these concepts impeccably: Humans of New York. My idea for my remediation project is to take the way the photographer, Brandon, conveys such a deeper/ more meaningful story behind the blurbs and still shots he posts on his blog and mimic that. For my project, I’m thinking of doing a “Humors of Ann Arbor.” Originally, I thought I would be able to run around Ann Arbor, eavesdrop on conversation, listen for a cue of laughter and ask what the person was laughing about. However, after fleshing out this idea with several other students and myself, I realize this might not be the most effective way to extract the “story behind the story” idea that I’m going for. Instead, I’ve started compiling a list of questions surrounding themes that deal with humor such as comedy, laughter, etc. As of now, my idea is to roam around Ann Arbor, explain to people what I’m doing, take their photo and ask them one of the following questions:

1. What makes you laugh?
2. When’s the last time you laughed?
3. Do you have a fake laugh?

4. How do you make others laugh?
5. When’s the last time you laughed so hard your stomach hurt?
6. Who makes you laugh the most?
7. Tell me about the time you laughed so hard you cried.
8. Tell me about the time you laughed so hard you peed.
9. Tell me about the time you laughed when you were uncomfortable.
10. Off the top of your heard, what’s the funniest joke you know/ have ever heard?
11. Tell me about how you feel about the idea that, “laughter is the best medicine?” Do you agree/ disagree, and why?
I’m not sure if these will be the most effective questions in getting people to open up and reveal things deeper within their psyche, rather than just the surface level answers some of these questions elicit. However, I’m planning on further researching how exactly Brandon goes about asking people things and how he gets them to admit to such interesting snippets of their lives. It might be mostly in subject selection, or perhaps he has a formula for getting individuals to open up. Whatever the case, I hope to be able to capture and project the emotions and stories of individuals in Ann Arbor, with humor as a guide, but uncovering emotion beyond that.
Gif courtesy of giphy.com
Gif courtesy of giphy.com
My audience will be fairly similar to the one it reached in my repurposing project, in that I plan to create either a digital blog or Instagram account or both. (Mirroring Humans of New York.) It will reach the millennial audience of my repurposing project, but this audience may stretch a bit beyond millennials into both younger and older demographics who utilize Instagram or surf the blogosphere. I’ve never really had much experience photographing or interviewing people, so I’m excited to challenge myself with this task. Hopefully, it will further benefit both the quality and caliber of my writing and my writing experience for the future.

Rebecca Soverinsky

Rebecca is a Junior (please send help for her mental state in accepting this and a walker for her aging body) studying Communications at the University of Michigan. She believes award show season is the best season (shout out to E! News) and is always willing to take on a challenge or learn something new- as long as there is Nutella involved. She hopes to learn as much as she can from the Sweetland Minor in Writing, and she's excited to see what's in store.

2 thoughts to “Blog 7: Remediation Station”

  1. Hi Rebecca,

    As disappointed as I am to learn you’ve dropped the stalker/eavesdrop approach to your project, I still think you’re headed in a great direction. I know that a lot of other college (and even high school!) campuses, obviously in addition to numerous other major cities, have tried their hand at mimicking Brandon’s approach, and while the results always vary, I have always wondered why Ann Arbor had yet to adopt an equivalent. Now I don’t have to. You may want to look at some of these for inspiration, actually. Because while HONY will of course serve as your primary source example, having some secondary sources – all of them likely equally influenced by HONY as well – will give you some real-world examples of what to do, what not to do, and what has been done before. But I think your projects looking good, and I think you’ve got some great questions down. I look forward to watching it evolve.

    Best,
    Chad

  2. I love the questions you have listed. Just reading your questions makes me feel happy. It’s funny how talking about happiness/laughter can induce the “happiness” feeling. It makes me wonder about the whole “name three things good about your day for 30 days, and you’ll be happier” thing…perhaps that would be interesting to mention briefly? Something about how humor/laughing makes everything in life just a little bit better.
    Anyway, I think it is definitely more efficient in terms of time to do more of an interview rather than a stalk and talk method; ) I’m super excited to see the pictures and blurbs you get. Keep up the good work!

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