I can (kinda) edit videos.

Ok. So I just finished my PSA for the remediation project. I learned a few things in the process.  1) I am NO director. My cinematography is horrible, I do not have a steady hand,  and the images in my mind are much better than the scenes that I turn out. 2) Asking friends to act is much easier when they do not have to actually act. For instance, asking my roommate to think about and then eventually pretend to sext–not so convincing. Asking my guy friends to pretend that they just received some sort of inappropriate text and laugh about it together–pretty dang realistic. 3) Asking for help HELPS. I went to the tech desk in the UGLi. You know, the weird glass room, and the girls in there were really helpful! I was unsure how to even save the jpegs on the computer, let alone into iMovie, and they were there looking over my shoulder and ensuring that I was able to get my project done. Very thankful for that!

All in all, I guess this project was not as awful as I thought it would be. However, I am not saying that my work is necessarily pretty..

How to know what a professor wants.

Would they just tell us, please?

I understand that they cannot do the work for us. However, this semester in particular, it seems that I have a lot of classes that are giving students the “freedom” to pick writing topics, when in fact they know what they want and we just aren’t getting it. For instance, in my communications ethics in journalism class, my professor is asking that each of us come up with an ethics problem in journalism and report on it. The reporting needs to be a pro and con argument and our own personal opinion on the matter. Although this seems very straight forward, it is the coming up with the topic that is difficult. I have sent him multiple emails with some ideas, and he either sends back an “ok” or a “there is no pro argument to plagiarism.” Oh. Duh. Professor, you are so cute and I know you are really smart, but can you just give me a topic? I swear I will so it justice, but just LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!

“You will use cursive for the rest of your life”

And other lies they told us….

When we were younger, there were a variety of writing-related “rules” that were common in many, if not all, elementary schools. Most of them, we took up with great assault–whether or not we wanted to is a different story. However, as I was thinking earlier today, it seems that many of those silly little rules simply do not matter any more. Some of them are as follows:

1) You will write in cursive until you die. Not writing in cursive will result in a failing grade; until the end of time….. Now I don’t know about you guys, but if I wrote in cursive for one of my classes at the University (given that we are actually writing anything at all and not just emailing or submitting over ctools), I am almost positive that I would receive a zero. This is not because teachers dislike cursive (although I wouldn’t know; who ever asks professors’ opinions?), but rather, my cursive has become so unreadable that I dont think they would even have the patience to grade it.

2) The five paragraph rule holds true for anything you will ever write, ever. Ok. We have all written A LOT over the past couple years. We are also relatively good at it, enjoy it, think we have a future in writing, etc. That being said, just how many papers have you guys written in the past semester with the five paragraph form? A five-page essay simply will not fit into five paragraphs. Nor will it be a strong paper with only three arguments. As college writers, we develop a thesis, devote each paragraph to a topic, and don’t worry about how many paragraphs it takes.

3) Using I is bad. I am in a creative writing class where writing about I is KEY to a strong, reflective, yet meaningful piece. I am in a Communications course where our professor asks that we use I to signify when our beliefs begin and those of the other sources end. In our writing class, we had an assignment titles “WHY I WRITE.” No universal rule exists on using I. Different audiences and different disciplines have different expectations, so ask. I am assuming the old rule on’t always hold true.

 

Myths of childhood writing, DEBUNKED.

Resume Writing

Over the break, I told myself that not only would I get multiple assignments done that were already due or coming up this week, but I would also get ahead in my classes and study for finals. In retrospect, I don’t know why I even let myself think these thoughts. Now that the break has passed and I got nothing done, I only feel bad about myself.

There was one thing that I managed to accomplish late Friday night. With the help of two aunts and two uncles (all having gone to Michigan law school), I came up with a complete, succinct resume. However, it was no walk in the park getting to that point.

As a college student majoring in Communications and focusing on such fields as sociology and women’s studies, I have taken many courses that require 10 page+ papers. At this point in my college career, I find that length to be normal. What I have found to be difficult is writing things that need to get a point across in  a short article or piece of writing. Perfect example: the resume.

I will admit, there is an added pressure on having the perfect resume because it seems our futures as career-people rely on this one sheet of paper. However, the fact that you have to convey yourself well while limiting it to one page is the real problem! My usual long-windedness when getting to the point of a paper will simply not do in a resume. Be short. Be direct. Limit your bullet-point usage while still optimizing your chances of getting that job. This was not easy for me. I definitely had to rely on the adults that have looked at multiple resumes over the past 20 years to help in that department.

Hopefully they did their jobs…

 

The power of the PSA

(A little late but better than never)

As a blog group, Rachel, Josh, and I were looking through and talking about some PSA’s that we found not only useful but also entertaining and sometimes really funny. This was at the end of discussing our storyboards, one of which was a PSA about sexting (mine). I stated how I would make the tome very serious, citing the dangers and repercussions of sexting that some children aren’t aware of. However, once I started thinking about it after class, I could not come up with a good reason why I should make one of those boring a videos that dramatize all things deemed important enough to be broadcast-ed on public television, the internet, radio, etc. It seemed to me, after finding those examples of PSA’s that talk about just as stigmatized subjects but in a comedic tone, that my point can be broadcasted in that same way and still be powerful.

Here is an example of a video that we found to be really funny, but still made us think.

MTV \”What if\” Condom PSA

We were laughing so hard at this (and still for some reason explained ourselves to Naomi. Aren’t we old enough to know about condoms?). Thinking about this over the weekend, i have decided that maybe this isn’t going to be the best tone to use for my sexting PSA, but I will definitely see if, while filming, my actors find a separate tone from the one in my script more engaging and useful.

How to Peer Edit

It is in the process of peer editing fellow writers’ papers for my creative writing classes that I am realizing I do not know how to properly critique a paper. Yes, I am able to give grammatical corrections and, if I am taking the time, pinpoint when in a paragraph the topic sentence is no longer holding true and the thought goes off track. However, I am unable to give any advice of real importance. When reading the critiques from my entire class (unfortunately for them I was on a very short time schedule and picked first for the in class peer review. Needless to say, it was not some of my finer writing), classmates were able to make assumptions, parallels, decoding of simple words and phrases, and make all of it useful and helpful and most impressive: easy. When I give my critiques, I almost feel bad handing it in because I know that I will not be able to live up to the work that they have given me. Is this reflective as my skills as a writer? I believe that yes, it is. While I can make papers argumentative and sometimes, if I am trying VERY hard, beautiful, but rarely do i find my writing to have any meaning deeper than that easily discerned by skimming the surface. I hope that through the practice of creative thinking and critiquing I will be able to learn how to one day reach into a place where I make those connections that so many of my peers do so well.

Schon

In all our ordinary judgments about the qualities of things, we can recognize and describe deviations from a norm very much more clearly than we can describe the norm itself.

This statement is clarified by Schon to mean the judgments and actions we take subconsciously, without knowing the reasons behind the decisions and without being able to explain them well. He goes on and uses examples like throwing and hitting a ball, doing a math problem, riding a bike, walking and crawling, and how those are all the most simple ways we practice the skills whose processes we are unable to clearly define. However, when I first read this statement, I immediately thought of my studies in sociology and how relevant many of the terms are to this query. For example, social scripts are the rules that we seem to live by without knowing why or without knowing that we are following any at all. For instance, when a man opens the door for a woman, is he doing so because he genuinely wanted to help her or because he has been socialized to do so in a way that has affected only his subconscious? To stray from certain scripts such as a man opening a door and paying on the first date are considered wrong or out of the norm, but we are unable to really state a reason why and how this came to be.

I tend to believe that it does take cognitive ability and decision making processes to come to a conclusion about which social scripts are right for you (normative beliefs). However, I have a problem calling this “intelligence” as Schon does, because it is in human nature to develop normative beliefs and carry out social scripts based on our imitation and socialization techniques that are present since birth.

Another thought that came to mind when I read this passage was how deviations are common only because we are more likely to put a definition on them. When do we actually define what “normal” is in various situations? In most cases, we don’t, but there are multiple examples of what type of behavior, person, lifestyle, etc., are deviant from those social norms. This is a message that has really started to bother me as I take more and more classes in which I realize the problematic nature of such classifications.

Blog reflection activity

There are a few themes that I notice throughout the majority of my blogs: I am self deprecating, I don’t usually (ever) enjoy writing, and my writing becomes gradually sloppier the more posts you read. These themes are a little unfortunate, seeing as they aren’t necessarily true in real life. Yes, I have a self-depricating humor, but it only comes out in extreme sarcasm which really doesn’t translate well into writing. Yes, I have been overwhelmed by the writing that I have had this semester, but I do not hate it. I would not be here if I did. I don’t know if I can really attribute the sloppiness to anything other than laziness and poor time-management though. Oops!

I thought that the posts I found most interesting were ones where I actually take the time to think about what I write. In most of those cases, the posts have come to a grand conclusion of self-knowledge, and looking back onto those is really rewarding.

I recieved so many great comments over the course of this process. We all really know each other and have a sense of understanding of our writing. I wouldn’t say that there are any that have been unsatisfying. In fact, they really made even the most insignificant blog posts seem special. So thanks group!!

In the future, I know that I need to get back to taking the time to blog. I enjoyed reading those in which I came to a revelation. I also would like to comment more in order to give my new group the same positive feedback that I received over the past 5 weeks.

Write about something else writing related.

So last night I wrote my second essay for my creative nonfiction class. When I say last night, I mean into the wee hours of the morning. And then up again in the slightly later wee hours of the morning. I slept for about 3 hours, and created one of the worst pieces I think I have ever put my name on. In fact, my name isn’t even on my paper–that’s how embarrassed I am by it. I don’t think that I would feel this way if it weren’t for one thing. My professor chose one student to be the first to be peer critiqued in class, and I was it. I honestly have no clue why this was. I wanted to ask, but I never did. This imposing pressure to create such a strong paper really threatened me. It means a lot when there are going to be a lot of people reading a paper of yours, especially about your personal experiences. Not only was this a paper about me, but it had a specific theme: mysteries, investigations, and experiments. When in my life have I ever solved a mystery? The answer: never. When have I solved an experiment? Simple. Never. Not even in a fifth grade science class have I utilized the scientific method, created a hypothesis, etc. This comes across in my paper. I even stated it in there: “I guess this is more of an anti-experiment, huh?” Well.. sorry to disappoint the entire English 325 class, but writing was definitely NOT on my mind last night. Sorry y’all have to read such a pathetic paper!

Intonation

Intonation: the pattern or melody of pitch changes in connectedspeech, especially the pitch pattern of a sentence,which distinguishes kinds of sentences or speakers of different language cultures (dictionary.com). According to Ong, actors must work on the intonation of their words in order to properly express the meaning of the passage. However, she sends a very short time explaining this in relation to her main point of that section. She does so in such a way that I don’t know if I even fully understand the relation she is making. In a way, to be a great actor, you must also exhibit the skills of a great writer. You must be able to deduce the meaning of an article, passage, speech, to the fullest extent, or risk the meaning being lost forever. This is the test that most writers work on for their entire careers. As an actor and a writer, I know that neither of these occupations or hobbies come easily, and the intonation is in fact very important. I do not, however, think that either is better or worse or requires more skill than the other. In my experience, it has been easier to get my point across on paper than it has been on the stage. However, while I have been writing this article and losing my train of thought and overall purpose of this post multiple times, maybe the opposite is becoming true…