Saved by Google

Maybe its my craving to know the answer to questions that nobody really cares about, but I am simply obsessed with googling. It is part of my daily routine and this week my google searches have ranged from “how many apples should I eat in one day” to “hannah montana transition music” to “location of best french fries in ann arbor.” To put it simply: google is my “go to guy.” For this reason, when I was experimenting with iMovie and struggling, it was only natural for me to turn to google. If any of you are doing an iMovie, I actually found some super valuable and useful info! Because a large part of my movie is incorporating clips from other movies, shows, and news broadcasts, I searched “how to download youtube clips. There were a few websites that popped up that did not work, however, a downloadable application called “Any Video Converter,” made downloading the videos i needed super easy. Essentially you just download the application, paste links of youtube videos you want to download into the app, hit download and they will appear in your “Downloads” folder. I then was easily able to transfer them into iMovie, and edit them to the length that was necessary for my movie. I continued to google any problems that I ran into, and found youtube videos for how to get rid of Ken Burns effect, how to make a song fade out at the end of a clip, and more. So far, working with iMovie which I am only familiar with from middle school projects, has been a good learning experience, and my video is coming along swimmingly so far!!

Same Love: A Powerful Example of Digital Rhetoric

I remember my friends and I all hovered around the computer to watch the much anticipated “Same Love” video, after being so impacted by the lyrics of the hit song by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The song, the music video, and the conversation inspired by the nature of both, are all different elements of digital rhetoric.

The video was posted on Youtube, by Ryan Lewis, with the caption “We support civil rights, and hope WA State voters will APPROVE REF 74 and legalize marriage equality.” The video received over 350,000 views within the first 24 hours of its posting. Youtube is a wonderful example of a platform for digital rhetoric in that it presents a video, which is a piece of digital rhetoric itself, and then allows for commentary allowing others to play with, assess, and contemplate the ideas presented in the video thus including another element of digital rhetoric. The controversial nature of this video led many who felt passionately about the subject to contribute to the conversation that took place in the comment section. The deep and complex ideas regarding religion, homosexuality, feminism, and racism, are all discussed in multiple comments, sometimes in the form of ignorant racial, and homophobic slurs, sometimes in the form of profound and eloquent arguments on either side.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the legalization of same sex marriage, or any other topics that the song and music video “Same Love” addressed, its viral media presence shed light on very important, and prevelent issues that are difficult to talk about. Thus, the digital rhetoric inspired conversation outside of the digital realm, extending it to the classroom, the dinner table, the church/temple pews.

“Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert

It’s All About the Money…

For someone who loves to write and further, becomes deeply attached to the subject she writes about, handing in an essay is bitter sweet. I always feel relieved that the essay is off my plate, yet, I also often feel a twang of sadness when I realize that I am officially done analyzing, editing, perfecting a piece that I have I have poured my heart and soul into. The beauty of this repurposing project is that we are acknowledging the fact that we don’t have to, and shouldn’t, throw a topic into our mental garbage can when we turn in a paper.

 

The paper I chose to repurpose was one I truly enjoyed writing because it deals with an issue that is especially relevant to college students. Written for my English 225 class last semester, is title “A’s Over Honesty,” is a critical analysis of Robert Kolker’s article, cheating upwards, which centered on a major cheating scandal at an elite private high school. However, this article touches on deeper issues, such as the root causes of why people feel the need to cheat, and the immense amount of pressure our society places on success in the form of monetary gain.

 

I want to expand on these ideas in my repurposed project by creating a magazine editorial, potentially doing some sort of chronology of news events and pieces of media that have highlighted the consequences of our obsession with wealth, and further, being the “wealthiest.”

 

I chose the format of magazine editorial because it will allow me to incorporate photos and creatively design the layout of my pages. The main societal features I analyze; wealth, power, and fraud, all elicit vivid photos in peoples minds whether they are of CEOs or movie characters. Thus incorporating some type of collage of powerful images connected to these issues will draw readers in, encouraging them to read further.

 

I am wondering if my blog group thinks it would be appropriate/helpful to have some sort of personal narrative interweaved in what is a relatively formal critical analysis…

Listen to your Mother…

A blog that I encourage everyone to follow is very dear to my heart because it is written by my mom! She blogs primarily about all of the trials and tribulations of being a parent and the different types of parenting she has had to adopt for my three siblings and me. The title of the blog is “Unscripted Mom” because of how brutally honest my mother recounts both the struggles and rewards of motherhood. Her style reflects this honesty as it is very raw, straightforward, and engaging. I find her posts meaningful because they often revolve around our relationship and, specifically, how she handled my tough adolescent years, my rebellious high school years, and finally my departure to college.

 

She primarily directs her blog towards other mothers, yet, many of my friends also read it and enjoy the messages. I am called into her office at least once a week regarding her inability to move text or post a picture so she’s not extremely tech-savvy to say the least. For this reason, the blog could definitely be more creative on the web-technology end. However, the simple format is easy to follow and posts are easy to find. I find that this simplicity is appropriate for her mostly older audience who most likely cares less about the font she uses and the co

This is a photo of me and my mom, both looking happy, with our arms around each other in Hawaii.
My mom and I with our toes in the sand

 

http://unscriptedmom.com/

Style Shifting

I love run on’s. This is a revelation I have often. I notice it it when I count only 3 periods in a long paragraph I have just written, and when the most common feedback I receive in red pen is “split up your sentences!” Being concise in my writing has always been my biggest struggle, and the area I work on improving the most. The Style Masquerade activity forced me to ditch my long sentences and adapt Gertrude Stein’s style of writing. Her writing, in contrast with mine, is very concise and consists of all compound sentences that are parallel in structure. Because the piece of writing I chose for the activity was a formal research paper, Stein’s style probably wasn’t the most appropriate. Yet, being forced to eliminate fluff from my sentences and pick out the core ideas helped me in my struggle to mitigate my run ons.

On a different note, I have a few different ideas for my Why I Write Project. I contemplated this question as I applied for the writing minor, and tried to answer it in a briefer sense on the application. Essentially there are a few ways I could frame my answer. For one, my mom is a writer, and I might frame my essay around that premise, and on how her passion affected my childhood and early tendency towards writing. Another approach I could take would be to frame my essay around one of my favorite quotes regarding writing and story telling from the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. This book fascinated me, as did O’Brien’s style of writing and his thoughts on the writing/story telling process.

 

What Counts as Writing: Captions

I sat in awe as my friend ordered a pickle at Zingerman’s for the sole purpose of captioning her instagram “It’s kind of a big dill,” (pun very much intended). As a form of writing, “the caption” stuck out to me because it of its elevated level of significance in this day and age. When I did reports in elementary and middle school I was always taught that photos needed a caption. However, until recently, if I were to use a picture of a woman sitting in a chair, the caption “Woman sitting in a chair,” would have sufficed.

Now captions are expected to be creative and catchy, with word play as a very much encouraged aspect. The increased amount of effort that goes into captioning truly does effect how much a photo resonates with you. For a semi-goofy example, I follow a lot of food instagram accounts, and I will never forget when the caption on a really good looking bowl of mac-and-cheese was “I hope that one day someone will look at me look at me the same way I look at mac n’ cheese.”

Captions are a unique type of writing because even though they are significantly shorter than most other forms, they often are able to communicate the same message in often a more efficient manner. For example, on father’s day I instagrammed a picture of me and my sister and captioned it “Daddy’s girls <3.” The longer message that the caption was supposed to convey was that my sister and I were at a family dinner on father’s day at my grandparents house and and it was such a beautiful night that we decided to take a picture together to capture the moment. Because of the concise caption and the information that the photo gives the reader/viewer, the longer explanation is unnecessary.

Are short captions taking the place of long articles? Absolutely not. Is one better than the other? Although longer pieces are certainly more respected, there is something to be said for a particularly clever or savvy caption.