Stumbling…

I decided to drift a bit from the blog posts regarding our work…you know, like our redrafting and portfolio maps and all of that shenanigans that we have to complete in about a month…

 

because, well, I was stumbling. You see, I used to go on StumbleUpon all the time (definitely not in the middle of a boring lecture, no no. I never did that…   ;D   ) But I realized I haven’t just “stumbled” for the sake of it in forever. So why not take a break from the stressful homework and unleash the creativity…see where my Interests take me on StumbleUpon today.

And man, did I discover the coolest artist ever. I really felt the need to share this someone…anyone…so I figured, why not share it with the wittiest, craftiest minds I know? My fellow minors, of course!

25 Thought-Provoking Pieces From A Prize-Winning Polish Cartoonist: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1zhmLJ/:1B4.E8V2e:Z1oO7knB/www.filmsforaction.org/articles/25-thoughtprovoking-pieces-from-a-prizewinning-polish-cartoonist/

If you have any free time, this is DEFINITELY worth checking out. Each of this guy’s works are blowing my mind, one after the other. They really make you sit there and think about what the artist is trying to say…what is he telling us about society? And he NAILS it. His pieces reveal the stark truth about reality and our world…and what is becoming of it.

 

My favorite pieces are #4 (using the Facebook symbol – the man looking out into the world from inside a sealed room), #21 (the men staring at the paint rather than the victim), and all of the pieces that involve children in it. There are just so many subliminal messages…it’s baffling!

So, if you do check it out, which is your favorite piece and why? Just curious…

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Would You Change It?

I happened to be looking at my MiW Gateway portfolio the other night (ya know, to brush up…get some ideas for my Capstone portfolio) when I stumbled upon my old blog posts. Particularly, I clicked on a link to my first ever Gateway blog post, where we were all required to introduce ourselves. Man, is it great reading back a post I wrote about two years. I know two years doesn’t seem like a lot, but it sure feels that way. So much has changed within the last couple of months: my family, my friends, my experiences, my perspectives. But what’s crazy is that no matter the changes, my voice has remained the same. In my writing, that is.

So, as I read back on my first Gateway blog post, I giggle to myself and recall typing it up that first time. I think to myself, “If I had to write a personal introduction today, how would I approach it?” And truthfully, I would write it no differently. No matter how much I have grown as a person through out my college career, I still keep my little quirks, knacks, and passions. So, I wanted to ask you, my fellow Capstone buddies, would you write yourself a new introduction if you had the chance? Or would you keep it just the way it is?

 

So, here it is…my first ever Gateway Post:

No, No…I-Am-Not-12-Years-Old-Niki-Berman

 

HI! I’m Niki. Yes, with one K – so fancy, I know. I sware I’m 20 years old! Everyone seems to peg me at 12. I may be 4’11 and 3 quarters (YOU CANNOT TELL ANYONE THOUGH…the rest of the world believes I’ve made it to 5 feet!), but haven’t you heard of the saying, “big things come in small packages?”

 

I’d like to think of myself in that light because yes, okay, I may be tiny…BUT I have:

 

-A huge personality

-A huge voice (singing, I mean…)

-A huge appetite (you don’t want to know what I could eat in one sitting…)

-A huge selection of 5-6 inch heels

-A huge obsession with Disney Channel (come on, who doesn’t dream of holding that beautiful, glowing wand…still, to this day…)

-A huge love for anything witty

-And a huuuuuuge crush on Jimmy Kimmel…oh, and Chelsea Handler.

 

…yeah, who’s small now, huh?

 

 

 

Official link to my first post:

http://writingminor.sweetland.lsa.umich.edu/2013/01/no-noi-am-not-12-years-old-niki-berman/

 

Inviting Someone Else to Make My Decision…

I always find that the best ideas are discovered after hearing someone else’s perspective. I actually had thought up one or two ideas of my own before walking into class; however, as I began conversing with Jessica about each of them, the ideas finally seemed to come to life. Before immediately jumping into my project ideas, I described a couple of my passions to Jessica, allowing her to get to know me better, considering we hadn’t known each other before this class. Actually, I began our conversation with something like, “my favorite ideas are the ones that come from something small about yourself…something so particular or quirky or different that you never knew you could elaborate on; yet, you somehow find a way to spiral the topic into an entire project!” I was excited when Jessica seemed to agree with me and jumped on my bandwagon. So although we shared our general interests with one another, including our majors and our future goals, we also tried to steer away from those simple questions and instead, go for something more fun…more weird. Not only did it get my mind rolling, but it got hers going in all different directions, as well.

 

Jessica seemed to really like my two original ideas, so we decided to go off of those and see what else we could add to spice them up. My first idea was to bring back my college app. essay, which was all about my height. Not only am I little physically, but I’m little mentally, as well, in the sense that I refuse to give up Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, or any cartoon for that matter. More importantly, I absolutely love the “little things” in life- you know, like the cold side of the pillow or that first sip of water in the morning. Jessica loved my use of the word “little” and suggested that I could maybe do a spin off from my college essay or even an addition, which would combine all of these “little” areas. However, I then threw at her my second, very different idea: Branding ourselves through Instagram. I explained how I wrote an old paper on reality TV stars and how they “brand” themselves by coming up with an entire character that the public can easily latch onto. I then said how it’s not just celebrities anymore- it’s us. WE brand ourselves. WE create the persona that we wish the public to see and we do this all through Instagram (or Facebook for that matter). Jessica liked this idea, as well, and how it relates to every college student, including herself.

 

In considering how passionate and indecisive I was about both topics, Jessica told me I should try and combine the ideas somehow. I thought this was a great idea! Together, we brainstormed what I could do and what kind of final project I could create. I had already told Jessica that I wanted to steer away from using a Prezi or making a movie, since I had explored those forms of media plenty throughout my college career. Jessica suggested I do something more meaningful to me. For example, if I were to go more in the Instagram direction, how could I personalize the project? She brought up my dream of wanting to be a kindergarten teacher, and suggested I create some sort of children’s picture book. I thought this was a great idea…although, children’s books are much harder to create than they look. It would be a daunting task, considering I am no artist, but it could turn out really awesome. Jessica also mentioned how it could technically be teaching younger kids a lesson: to appreciate the little things in life! Thus, she was able to bring in my first idea, as well! Things were getting good…

 

Based on this experience, I will make sure to listen to someone’s interests, no matter how simple or on the surface they are, and take every little aspect of their life into consideration before giving them advice- something so basic, such as your major, could actually create the most intriguing idea in the end of the day. Yeah, I may have jumped right into the whole “quirky” thing too quickly, but at least it helped Jessica with her own project ideas! Yet, for me, I wouldn’t have even thought about bringing my love for children and teaching into the picture unless Jessica had suggested it. I think Jessica is right- I think there is a way I can combine both of my ideas, since I really do love them both. I am going to think about everything she suggested and go from there – hopefully it’ll all work out!

Just Got Caught Snapchatting In The Diag…*Uncomfortable*

It really is crazy how technology changes all the time…and so fast! As my favorite blog, Betches Love This (I know, I know…I can’t help it), states, “If 2011 was BBM and 2012 was iMessage, then 2013 is Snapchat.” So clearly it isn’t just me who sees this rapid change in trends from year to year. So why do we love this app we call Snapchat? Why has this become the new craze? Why am I addicted to sending 5 second hilarious photos to my friends and receiving even funnier ones back? What is the point in this (well, besides a little giggle in the middle of class)?! Oh, and I don’t know about you, but I completely agree with the Betches in, “the worst part of the snap universe is not knowing if the pic you just received was personal or mass.” EEEEK. Biggest fear…sending back a personal snap to someone’s mass one.

^DO YOU SEE WHAT OUR WORLD HAS COME TO?! (Or maybe just my world?) My biggest fear is “sending back a personal snap to someone’s mass one.” Oh god. I guess what I’m trying to say is, why do we fall for these crazes? And what determines the “new” craze. So maybe you don’t use Snapchat much. But hey, I’m sure you check your Instagram every ten minutes or so, right? How can you make that Starbucks coffee look artsy…hmm, Sepia, Toaster? We all know what a starbucks coffee cup looks like…so why are we so silly? We are in a photo frenzy…is it ever going to stop? What’s next for us?

 

I’m No Scientist But…

 

…is it just me, or this sounds too good to be true? I just read this article “Scientists find treatment to kill every kind of cancer tumor” and was amazed. I then read it aloud to my roommate, who might I add is a pure genius and an engineering student, and as I finished the article, she stated, “But this sounds too easy…and if it were THIS easy, why has it taken us so long to figure it out?” She makes a valid point. Scientists, doctors, researchers…okay, pretty much everyone has impatiently been looking to find a cure for cancer over the last decade. If our world has put so much time into this cause, so many donations just for cancer research, so many long, relentless hours sitting in labs performing trials and errors, why haven’t we discovered the answer yet? And why now…why has it taken this long for scientists to think they found the solution? Clearly there is still so much research that needs to be done regarding this new antibody, but I was wondering what everyone’s thoughts were on this matter? Do you think that this could really be the answer…or are you in total disbelief?!

Last Day of Winter, Hooray…waaaait a second…

I guess the older kids were right when they told all of us freshman last year, “You have yet to endure a real Michigan winter.”

Dear God, please tell me that THIS (the endless gloomy days of little, white flakes, slush that freezes your toes within your snow boots, and the chilling wind that practically tears your jaw off) is a Michigan winter. If it isn’t, gosh I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it for two more years. I guess I could hibernate in my room, skip a couple classes (just kidding). But it really is so difficult to get out of my warm, snuggly bed when I know I’ll only be walking into a blizzard!

And seriously, the amount of times that I have casually slipped on ice on my way to class in front of a dozen unfamiliar faces…WHEN WILL THIS END????!!!!!!

Uy Gosh. Prose Gone Wrong.

I laughed when I read this one back. I have posted the introduction to my AP American (11th grade) research paper. I absolutely rocked this class: tests, participation, boom! And then came the research paper. I chose a topic that truly interested me (The Great Depression…don’t ask…?). Truthfully, though, the paper was a huge failure the moment I opened the first library book on Herbert Hoover. I should’ve just stopped there. Anyways, here’s my ABNORMALLY long introduction. If you decide to take a crack at it, enjoy the repetition, the repetition, and oh, did I mention the repetition? Oh, and of course the nonsense in between.

 

“People tend to judge others based on circumstances, rather than facts. For example, since Herbert Hoover was President during the Great Depression, it’s assumed he’s a bad person and people think of him negatively. However, it’s not fair to put the “negative” label on him before considering all of the factors surrounding that time period. One should try to understand what was going on before and during his administration in order to get a complete picture of what really caused the Great Depression and how much of it Hoover was responsible for. Indeed, his name will still be synonymous with the Great Depression and therefore given a negative connotation, yet knowing all the circumstances one will get an entirely different perspective on why he received a poor reputation. After all, he had to be popular at one time to have been elected President of the United States. To begin with, we can look at his background and see that Herbert Hoover was truly a self-made man: he was an orphan at age nine, worked hard at Stanford University, and grew to be a very wealthy mining engineer. He then went on to serve under President Wilson in the Food Administration, saving millions of lives, and served as Secretary of Commerce under President Coolidge. (Fremon 17-18) People viewed Hoover as a genius when it came to economics. He even warned Coolidge of a possible future economic crisis. (Fausold 32) However, once Hoover became President, this incredible resume of his slowly got washed over by his inability to solve the depression that had been wreaked upon our nation. And even though there were other underlying causes of the Great Depression, it was Hoover’s idea of “American individualism” and his unsuccessful relief programs that, to a great extent, ultimately left him to be blamed for the country’s crisis.”

(“that, to a great extent…” – what was I thinking?)

My Top Pick(s)

After scanning through the many WordPress Themes, I’ve decided that my favorite is Sight. Not only is it fresh and clean looking, but everything on the page pops…in the good way, I mean. Plus, I absolutely love the slideshow at the top that highlights some of the important posts, as well as the layout of all the preceding entries.

I also browsed around at some of the previous Minor in Writing students’ portfolios and there were a few that stood out to me. One in particular, is Jordan Korn’s blog: She incorporated her love for cooking with her passion for writing. I just love the way she formatted her site, with tab names such as, “About The Chef,” “Side Dishes,” and “Dessert,” each as a metaphor for a particular topic within the Minor in Writing portfolio. So creative!

 

Okay, clearly I wasn’t quite sure if we were to post our favorite WordPress theme or student blog…so I decided I’d just give you both! Enjoy!

I Can Hear The Waves Calling Me Now…

 

Aaaah, the mighty Spring Break is almost upon us. We know this because the CCRB is packed, “spring wear” ads have taken over your browsers although it’s the dead of winter, and my entire sorority has decided that it is totally okay to skip dinner. The constant blizzard in our faces on our way to class is the big guy’s way of telling us, “Seriously, get out of here.” I don’t know about you, but man, am I pale.  I crave the hot, beating sun on my face, my iPod blasting, and that quick, cool breeze from waves crashing only a few feet away. Aaaah, yes. Spring Break.

But I’m curious, what do you think is the perfect break? I am pretty certain that partying from 10 am ’til dusk on a beach with every recognizable Facebook Friend is not everyones ideal choice of  a getaway. Truthfully, I’m usually the one who desires getting as far away as possible from the “scene,” but I figured I am only in college once. I didn’t go on my senior trip’s spring break back in high school…so, going to Mexico will be a crazy, new experience (eeeek). Anyways, how would you define your perfect getaway? Is it relaxing? Is it adventurous? Is one better than the other?

 

 

A Bubble That’s Bursting!

After exploring the idea of The Higher Education Bubble, I feel that the youtube video I have chosen portrays the definition better than most of the articles I have read. Also, I was entertained by the video, which shows a hand-drawn diagram of the concept in fast-forward speed (also including captions here and there next to the pictures). From this video I learned of the increased value our society has placed on education and how this has created huge debts for college students and families. At the very end of the video, the male’s voice in the background states, “the bubble is going to burst.” And if we continue on this path, he is so right!

Click the link below to watch the youtube video:

EncounterBooks – The Higher Eduction Bubble Youtube Video

However, I do feel that the audience of this piece is more of the parents of college students or moreover, parents of “soon-to-be college students,” rather than the college students themselves. I searched a bunch of articles to try and find one that was directed solely to us, the students, but it was difficult to really find one true article that’s subject (college students) was also its audience. I think that we, as college students, are already invested in our education for the most part, or at least I believe that here at Michigan we are. Thus, I feel that the writers are trying to reach out to parents of students that will soon be applying to universities in order to warn them of the bubble that is about to burst.