My Storyboard Is Making Me Hungry

Once again, I find myself getting distracted while working on the re-mediation project because all I can think about is food. It’s hard to focus when all you’d rather do is eat Veggie Straws or pasta or fries or pickles or… nonetheless, it took me awhile, but I finally have a storyboard.

It’s still a work in progress. Ignoring my lack of artistic ability, here’s a photo of how I plan to set up 4 of my ads if you were wondering what they might look like. The first is of a photo of a cabinet door open showing food vs. a cabinet with the door closed. The second is of a short, wide glass vs. a tall narrow glass. The third is of a small plate vs. a big plate with the same amount of food on both. The fourth is of food that blends in with the plate vs. food that is distinct from the plate. I am considering doing a fifth one showing a plate with a sandwich or a piece of meat vs. a  plate with the same amount but cut into smaller pieces.

I’m excited to take the photos and format them. I have the perfect image of how I want the finished product to look; I just hope I’ll be able to accomplish it. I think the thing that I’m most worried about is that the combination of images and words will not be enough to interest/inform the viewer. I’m still working on the slogans. Still struggling a bit with coming up with a concise way to get the message/info across, but I think I will be adding another line underneath each larger sentence. What do you guys think of them so far? Any feedback would be appreciated!

I hope you guys are making good progress on your storyboards too!

InDesign Newbie #techchallenge

I decided to explore for some tips on how to navigate InDesign because let’s be honest… I’m not a tech savvy person so this remediation project will probably be a struggle. I figured that after I had gathered all my necessary photos and slogans/quotes/info for my ads, I would just play around with the program. I assumed I would just learn about effects and be able to cut/manipulate images and backgrounds, but there is actually so much more that I can do.

I watched a bunch of video tutorials. One was on “guides and grids”, which help you accurately size and place images on the layout. You can also create layers that you can toggle on and off, so that you can use the guides as necessary. This tool is super cool because usually when I size images, I just guesstimate, but on InDesign, I can be exact and place them in specific locations/orientations. I also watched a video on “placing art”, which will be extremely important for this project because my ads are going to be very visual (hopefully). The number of videos they have is kind of overwhelming, but at the same time reassuring because at least they’re there if I do need help figuring things out (and TechDeck and other resources on campus). I’m just a little worried that I may not have enough time to learn the program well and create a project I am happy with in time.

I think I’m currently at a pretty good place though. I have a fairly solid idea of what sort of images I would like to incorporate, basic layout, and some ideas about slogans. I’m currently working on my storyboard and playing with InDesign + getting tips from helped give me an idea of what I can realistically accomplish.

I hope everyone else’s re-mediation projects are making progress and going well too!

e-Portfolio Fun

To be honest, I initially dreaded doing the e-Portfolio. It seemed like a lot of work for something that I didn’t have a clear vision of or that I wasn’t very excited about. But with some thinking and tinkering (while procrastinating on my re-mediating project proposal), I think I’ve finally made some progress in creating one that I’ll like.

At the beginning I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to include outside of what I’ve worked on in this class and in English 125 (as I take almost all science classes and don’t do much writing besides sporadic journal entries in my rare free time). I also wasn’t sure how to define myself as a writer because I’m only just getting back into the swing of writing since most of my time here at college has been spent memorizing molecular structures, hormones, and metabolic pathways. So I decided to go way back to high school, when I wrote on a more regular basis, to rediscover what I was/am interested in. The computer I saved my files on in high school broke the first month of freshmen year so all those writing pieces were gone forever… or so I thought. I realized that I often sent myself e-mails with drafts attached to either work on more at school or to print. So I went way back to 2011 in my sent mail folder to find some pieces, and I found a bunch of interesting ones!

I decided to focus my e-Portfolio on how identity can be established through what we choose to care about, what we choose to learn more about, and what we choose to share. I want to be honest and share my passion about life, from the little things that occur in my daily life to larger social/world issues.

I obviously still have a lot more to add (content, images, etc.) and tinkering to do, but here’s the link to the work in progress!

If you happen to take a look at it, let me know what you think!

Repurposing Progress

This re-purposing project is taking a lot more my time and mental energy than I thought it would, not that that’s a bad thing. I’m working on converting my ethnographic essay from ANTHRCUL101 on the role of gender in our food volume/choices into a series of articles on food psychology. I’m definitely doing a lot more research for this project than I did for my anthro paper (which was mostly just making and analyzing observations) and I’m learning a lot of interesting things about the social and environmental factors that implicitly influence how much we eat (focusing on what makes us overeat). I’ve decided to divide the topic of food psychology into 3 articles: the first on the size of dinnerware/silverware; the second on atmosphere (lighting, music, odor, company, etc.); and the last on tips to avoid overeating.

I really like how the body of the articles are turning out so far. The pieces aren’t too formal (which is a nice change because the anthro paper was), but they’re informative (I hope). However, I’m having a lot of trouble with the conclusions. I’m not quite sure how to end each piece because I don’t want to sound like I’m telling everyone that they’re overeating and need to stop or that they need to change all their habits and choices in order to eat appropriate amounts. To be honest, this has been an overwhelming week so I may not have devoted as much time to this project as I could have, but hopefully sitting down and thinking about this over fall break will push me in the right direction and give me some good ideas.

I’m also having trouble getting these drafts done because I can’t stop thinking about eating while I write (obviously), so all I want to do is go home and feast, which is ironic because I’m writing about how to not overeat… Perhaps I should include the effects of just thinking about food on hunger and consumption volume.

Keith on Rhetorical Situations

To be honest I was a little apprehensive about this piece because the title “Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents” didn’t really speak to me, but I was actually quite interested while I was reading Keith’s piece. I had never really considered what a rhetorical situation was and it was surprising to learn it’s quite complicated and hard to define.

Some of the key ideas of Keith’s article are:

– A situation consists of exigence, audience, and constraints. Exigence is the goal that someone tries to achieve through discourse. Audience is those who help accomplish the exigence. Constraints are the things (people, events, objects, relations) that can restrict decision and action needed to change the exigence. (as defined by Bitzer) This point was particularly interesting to me because I never really considered constraints before in my writing. I saw words as the only constraint on my ability to accomplish my writing goal, that the success of my piece only depends on how I present my ideas and how receptive the audience is to my ideas. Even more interesting was the idea that constraints can be positive and that they can “harness the audience to take on the desired action/point of view.” Constraint naturally has a negative connotation, but it may actually be helpful in creating focus and influence; I’m interesting in learning how to do this effectively.

– Keith believes a fourth constituent should be considered. Rhetors are as important for a rhetorical situation as the audience is and there may be more than one of either/both. I agree that the audience is not the sole decider of success. The creators have a lot of control over how exigence is resolved. I thought it was particularly interesting that he noted rhetors must be conscious of their identity in every situation, as it may vary, and that each rhetor may play several roles. These ideas remind me of Consigny’s analogy (mentioned earlier in the article) to carpentry, that rhetoric is both static and fluid. I have my basic roles in life as a daughter, friend, student, etc., but as I live my life and develop more relationships, my network grows and I definitely think that affects how I create and respond to rhetorical situations.

– There are many different kinds of audiences and many people offer definitions. The one idea that stood out to me was Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca’s that the writer can never be sure who their audiences are. We may know who our intended audiences are however we can’t be sure of other audiences that may influence the rhetorical situation or that intended audience would be receptive. Many factors influence how and what we think and as a result, our audience is never homogenous. I guess that’s a risk writers must take. I’m always afraid that my writing will be ineffective or misconstrued by my audience because I never know how readers will respond; for example, I don’t know what my classmates will think of this blog post. Will you guys agree? Disagree? Were you even intrigued enough by my ideas to reach the end? It’s hard to tell.

Response to Sullivan

I really liked Sullivan’s comparison of a blog to a ship’s log. “In long journeys, memories always blur and facts disperse” applies to life in general. Sometimes I find it difficult to remember the details of 3 days ago. I personally prefer writing diaries to blogs just because the idea of sharing my thoughts publicly and of receiving feedback/critique is a bit daunting. But I love that blogs/diaries are able to remind us of the details that our memory is unable to recall. It’s kind of scary that our mind can fail us in that way, but it is a relief that there are such exciting, fun ways like blogging that save us from letting our past disappear.

I found some of the points on the blogging basics handout to be a bit surprising. His points on length, spacing, and visual rhetoric are things that I don’t really consciously think about while reading blogs, but definitely hold true. I like reading short blog posts because they give you a quick glimpse of the blogger’s thoughts that gets you thinking and generate conversation if you want to learn more. Images and videos are definitely appealing features because they are more concise and eye-catching as they jump out at you between bodies of text. I’m not sure if I agree with his point on frequency however; he says updating your blog at least 3 times a week is important in building a community and readership, but I don’t think quantity necessarily reflects quality. I think it’s important for the blogger to write posts and respond to comments as they see fit; forcing words out so that the blog remains constantly active and updated would only distract readers from the more meaningful posts.

Check these blogs out!

My favorite thing about blogs is that they give you a glimpse of someone else’s life, whether it’s through words, photos, art, videos, etc. Even the style and the structure of the blogs themselves provide insight into someone’s character. I tend to be drawn to blogs that are very personal and thought-provoking; these qualities help me find inspiration for my own work/life and build a connection.

One of my favorite bloggers is Kandee Johnson. She runs two blogs, kandeeland, which focuses on her daily life, and KandeeJ, which focuses on beauty and fashion blog. She also has a YouTube channel on which she posts videos of her discussing similar topics. What is really inspiring about Kandee is her genuine personality and story. She is a celebrity make-up artist and stylist, but she is also a single mother of four children. Her positivity is apparent in every single post and it is incredibly easy to connect with her bubbly personality. On KandeeJ, the one I mainly follow, she reviews makeup products, posts outfit of the day photographs, teaches unique Do-It-Yourself projects, and so much more. I find these posts to be extremely helpful because I love to express myself creatively through art and fashion and her ideas provide a lot of inspiration. Hopefully, someone else will find this blog to be intriguing as well!

In between the more superficial subjects of makeup and clothes, she posts recipes, stories about her children, and about the things that matter to her. Awhile ago, she lost her father and it was a really emotional time for her, but she was not afraid to talk about it to her readers and viewers. Her words made me feel the sorrow and grief she was experiencing. I really appreciate that even though her passion is beauty and fashion, she does not lose sight of what is truly important (family, being a good person, how to stay positive, etc.).

Here is a video of hers where she combines makeup and family; it’s really adorable!
Not my boyfriend, but my son does My Make-Up

Another favorite blog of mine is TheBucketListBlog by Alex, a student from the University of Texas. His blog focuses on moving forward and getting the best out of life. His ideas are very creative and original. For example, his most recent post was about using a jar of marbles as a visual reminder to invest time in the places that matter. He uses marbles to measure his days and encourage curiosity.

My favorite post of his is the one on gratitude. He seeks happiness by “looking at the world with a new pair of eyes and concentrating on things that already bring happiness”. He included an excerpt of a list he keeps of the things he is grateful for. I was really drawn to this particular post because I keep a similar list of “things to be happy about.” He gave me really good ideas for my own list and made me consider things that I had never noticed or thought about before. I find his blog extremely easy to follow and to relate to. I believe a lot of college students would identify with his goals and emotions that are drawn from his period in life as a young adult.

My Writing Style

The last paper I wrote was on what I thought good writing was. This excerpt was my introduction:

“What is a good idea? Spending $4,000 on a pair of jeans? Exercising daily? Drinking 10 cups of coffee before noon? Going to college? Depends on whom you ask. As social beings, we constantly exchange and create ideas through interactions with the world. Good writing arises from good ideas, but who decides the value of an idea? The writer? The reader? The editor? Our ideas are never universally accepted, but does opposition always suggest an idea should be tossed and the writer should try a different direction? My experience as a writer and a reader has taught me that good writing is not solely dependent on the whether or not others agree with an idea; quality writing is based on how a writer develops and supports his idea rather than the idea itself.”

I notice in my writing that I always like to immediately establish a relationship with the reader in order to make my writing more personable and informal. I achieve this sort of friendship through the page by using words such as “you”, “we”, and “our”. I ask rhetorical questions so that the reader subconsciously answers them as they read, as if we were having a conversation. I use this sort of diction to make the reader more involved in my words. For me, the most important part of writing is making a connection, whether good or bad, with the readers. I want them to experience something other than the words their eyes slide over. Through description and the senses, I aim to draw readers in so that they see what I see, smell what I smell, hear what I hear, and feel what I feel. Sometimes I do go overboard with rhetoric, but imagery is extremely important to me. For me, too much is always better than too little. Editing and dialing back the volume is much easier than pulling words out of thin air to describe an image/idea that does not already clearly exist. In my opinion, doing the latter makes the words less genuine.

Response to Orwell & Didion

While reading Joan Didion’s “Why I Write,” I found myself relating an extraordinary amount to Didion’s perspective of the world, how she noticed physical facts and seemingly insignificant details. While working on any task, I always find myself thinking about completely irrelevant things. Just this morning, while I was making fried eggs, all I could think about was the sound a water droplet makes when it hits a pool of water. Why? I don’t know. Whenever I reflect on the past, my mind concentrates on specific details. For example, my memory of visiting a friend’s country house is dominated by the texture of moist, soft dirt between my toes. More interesting things definitely happened on that trip, but I always think about how it felt to walking on earth.

I especially love her belief that the picture in your mind dictates your writing, how you see before you write. Her method of writing is somewhat similar to mine. A certain image always dominates, raising questions that is answered by writing. I agree with her statement on how sentence structure can really affect its meaning. Sentence structure is also really important for aesthetic appeal, which can affect a reader’s response and understanding of a sentence. Depending on what kind of piece it is, concise clear sentences or verbose descriptive sentences may be preferred. I choose my words very clearly, reworking them constantly, and then reading and rereading every sentence I write until it provokes the image I started with.

I did not enjoy Orwell’s piece as much. His four motives for writing were interesting, but not much else really caught my attention. Perhaps it is just me, but I thought his writing style was distracting and I found myself rereading many sentences many times trying to make sense of what he was trying to relay to the reader.