Gateway Portfolio

Well, after a lot of hours spent huddling over my computer and fumbling through the Wix editing interface, I can say I’m done.  My final portfolio was really a unique opportunity to redisplay myself and my work for the semester in a way that demonstrated a common theme.

Throughout the introduction of my portfolio, I present myself as someone who is empathetic.  Empathy is the process of shared feeling beyond understand.  I am constantly reframing situations and my actions through the eyes of others recognizing that individually perceived truth is merely a single perspective in a spectrum of opinion.  For better for worse, my actions are calculated, constantly taking into account my surroundings.

But who I am lead me to take some unique chances in the MIW gateway course.  For both my repurposing and remediating pieces, I chose to imagine what Tinky Winky, the Teletubby who was famously snubbed as being a homosexual, would be doing today.  I imagined him having the attitude of a self righteous and proud actor, whose television lodged in his stomach was now a wide screen due to his large weight gain.  Sitting in a living room as a home entertainment system, I wrote about Tinky Winky realized he wasn’t a improv performer, but more a screen people were looking through.  I know what you’re thinking- yes this is ridiculous, but my interpretation and analysis, stemming from empathy, allowed me to gain real world conclusions from this fictitious case study.

I applied both economic and psychological analysis, along with accounts from past child actors.  My paper gave light to the power of reputation has on well-being, which seemingly transitioned into my E True Hollywood story video of this character.  Overall, all my assignments were inspired by this trait of being empathetic and shaped my semester into a very memorable experience.

My portfolio is organized by the categories: Identity, Discovery, Findings, and Inspiration.  Identity- who I am.  Discovery- what I was trying to learn through class assignments.  Findings- what I learned about this class and myself in general.  Inspiration- what and who in this world inspires to keep searching and challenging myself.

Hope you enjoy my website: http://ryhayes.wix.com/portfoliowriting220

Portfolio

I’ve never created something like a portfolio in my life, so I am excited to see this project come together.  I want my portfolio to show how my writing this semester has shared a central theme.  As my context piece will hopefully display, I am a person that enjoys viewing problems through a variety of lenses.

In both my repurposing and remediation projects, I examined a fictional characters under very real circumstances.  I analyzed the Teletubby character Tinky Winky’s life after the show got kicked off the air.  I touched on economic, psychological and political issues that face child actors like Tinky Winky and how the extended metaphor of Tinky Winky could shed light on very real problems in the industry.  Despite how ridiculous the subject matter was, it was a really cool experience to look at something from a different angle.

So all in all, I want my portfolio to be able to display my desire to comprehend things from different perspectives.  I hope the design and layout will reflect this.

In terms of things that I am trying to figure out for the blog, I want it to be a really dynamic experience, but because I have no technical experience and some templates are reserved for premium accounts, I’m still trying to find the right look. I’ve been trying things out on the Wix.com create a site function, but if anyone has any insight I would really appreciate it!

 

Stuff About Me

Based on the high frequency that I come to class wearing some sort of hockey related hat or sweatshirt, I am going to safely assume that my identity as a somewhat stereotypical Minnesotan is well-known.  A passion of mine that I’ve disclosed from class, however, is my passion for entrepreneurship.

I randomly pitched an idea for my business fraternity to 1000 pitches, and I ended up becoming a finalist in the tech category for the competition.  It was a really fun and eye opening experience.  I can’t code.  I can’t trust myself to engineer a new invention.  But I love to think creatively.

Especially at this stage of my life, entrepreneurship for me is about free thinking.  My ideas have ranged from transparent digital communication between television sets (cable boxes) and smartphones to increase the value and dynamic nature of TV ads to a tablet mouthwash/breath mint to save money on shipping for the company and improve travel convenience for consumers.  Currently, I have been selected as one of thirty University of Michigan students to be apart of Start Up Academy (http://mpowered.umich.edu/startupacademy/), which is a group of PhD, MBA and undergraduate students working together on ventures and learning to speakers.  While none of these products have come to fruition, I am in love of the process of evaluating a new idea.

Evaluating an idea requires one to identify weak market segments to enter, develop sales strategy and assess feasibility.  In its purest form, this act of inspection is parallel to the focus I’ve given in my Minor in Writing pieces.  Both my repurposing and remediation projects dealt with analysis of something that might be taken at face value or even ignored: a Tinky Winky Teletubby.  I love looking at things from a different perspective to identify flaws or unrealized brilliance of something.  The Tinky Winky for instance, when redefined as a member of society, would be an extremely sad story; yet because it has fallen of the radar of the majority of society’s concern, analyzing the implications of that children show ending was never truly discussed.

For my context assignment, I think what be cool is to express my desire to always be reexamining things in new light.  I’m never satisfied with the status quo understanding of what something is or isn’t.  Because progress, in both writing and entrepreneurship, stems from new insight, new ideas and an annoyance of complacency.

The World’s Fastest Man And His Blog

9.58 seconds…  Usain Bolt can run 100 meters in 9.58 seconds.  I was a never known for being a speed demon or a larger than life figure, I’ve always admired Usain Bolt for his boldness.  While my accolades do not really come close to the fastest man in the world, I think Usain Bolt’s wordpress site (http://usainbolt.com) is dynamic .  Usain Bolt, as both an athlete and as a marketable, endorsable figure, embodies a cool and great public idol. His website does a great job capturing the interest and attention, while at the same time acting as an accurate extension of his personality.

In the Minor in Writing gateway blog, the takeaway that I wish to have from Usain’s website is to use dynamic themes and creative displays to translate the thoughts and ideas of the creator to harbor understanding for the reader.

Some of the specific things I like (given that I am unfamiliar in wordpress design, so I don’t know about feasibility) are the large images and the ability to scroll through content on a single page that is otherwise organized in tabs.  I think that in telling my progression through this way given the  past repurposing and remediating projects could be especially powerful.

Overall, the thing to learn from Usain’s blog is that with the right themes and tools, you can display yourself in cool, fun way on wordpress!

 

 

 

 

In the minor in writing gateway, I wanThe site looks to be very complex, having a scroll through content option and multiple title images.

Movie Editing

For my remediation project, I have chosen to present my content through the medium of film.  From the very start, my goal when writing both my original and repurposed piece, was satirically draw attention to the hypothetical issues that Tinky Winky would face after the Teletubby show went off the air.  This process has taken me from writing a poem to a tabloid article/in-depth analysis of the issues facing Tinky Winky through both a psychological and economic lens.  Now, I will try to create a style of video presentation that mirrors the popular television series called, E True Hollywood Story.  The series, as you are probably familiar with it, dives into the lives and tribulations of our favorite celebrities, creating a story arc of happiness and fame crumbling down into shambles.  The segments typically run for an hour of television time (roughly 43 minutes), but in my project, due to time constraints and lack of content, I plan to have a video around 5 minutes.

This process would require voice- overs, video editing and a variety of shots to be taken.  My past experience with making movies has generally been fairly basic, so to pursue this project, I chose to learn up on necessary skills.  I have scheduled an appointment to rent a kodak video camera, portable tripod/stand and microphone from the ISS at University of Michigan.  Additionally, I have independently watched instructional videos primarily from youtube about what is possible through iMovie.

It’s actually really interesting what you can do with this program.  From creating customized intros through a software called Motion to layering audio files and music.  I am way more confident now to create an end product that will look, feel and sound like a professional tabloid documentary similar to one like an E True Hollywood Story.

Additionally to learning about the program via the internet, I’ve asked over the phone to reserve space at the MLB ISS studios that allow for better voice recording.  This will provide a great, unfiltered narration of the content that I try to share.

I’ve been searching for Teletubby costumes online…. so hopefully I find one in the area!

 

True Hollywood Stories: Embarrassingly Addicting

I love our society’s fascination with celebrities and especially their downfalls with drug use, affairs and career ending issues, and honestly, I’ve always found it fascinating.  People that we have no personal interaction with earn a high priority of our concern because of what? An emotional connection with their show? Adoration for idolized people?  Regardless, I’ve reluctantly been hooked to tabloid headlines as much as I try to avoid them.  A particular type of media that captured my attention was the E True Hollywood Story, which are one- hour TV specials that give an in depth overview of actors and other celebrities who were once beloved but now face deep and concerning issues.  The cinematography, the voice of the  narrator and the story telling framework work beautifully to capture interest and establish empathy between viewer and subject.

Here’s an example of beloved child actor Macaulay Culkin.  The star that brought us the Home Alone movies and whose scream cemented a fond memory during our childhoods.

AHHHHH!!! What happened to this guy!?
AHHHHH!!! What happened to this guy!?

But what happened to this famous child actor?  He’s fallen out of the public eye.  His money from his child acting endeavors have been lost.  Want to find out what led to the demise of this perfect kid, E True Hollywood stories gives you the answers:

http://youtu.be/rFIOLpigHe4

In my repurposing project, I chose to imagine a hollywood scandal never talked about: The Teletubbies dramatic fall from grace.  In my essay, I looked at Tinky Winky’s “journal entries” and analyzed his psychological and economic response to being framed as a homosexual, losing a fortune of money and living now as a large television set in a living room (his TV in his belly is the only thing valuable now).  Wouldn’t a True Hollywood story be a good fit for a remediation of this satirical analysis?  I’d try to create the same emotional connection with the audience, while at the same time laying the framework for his demise and WHY it happened.

 

Is it worth it?

Throughout my schooling days, I’ve had many different types of teachers.  From my middle school ex- police officer, evangelical grammar enthusiast to my quirky high school teacher that doubled as a tea drinking, riddle speaking hippie.  No matter what the course and no matter the instructor, editing and writing has feel upon the burden of myself.  Help comes from only those asking for consultations from those I really trust, my mom and my dad.  No matter what the subject, the advise I have received from my parents is always the same, “is it worth it?”

Now, the advice seems open ended, but it isn’t referring to writing itself.  Rather, my parents have encouraged me to look at each sentence and ask, “is it worth it?”  I’ve found this to be a great piece of writing advice, because it has forced me to look at my writing not as a whole paper, but rather, I view every choice I make, semantics and style, with equal importance.

This advice shouldn’t cause you to be constantly pausing at every new sentence, but it should be used to redefine your thoughts and to achieve the ultimate meaning behind your work.  Nothing in your paper should be dead weight.  Nothing should lack meaning.  Nothing should lack purpose.  An essay shouldn’t be insightful insulated by filler.  Ideally, it should be exactly what you want to say, nothing else.

Remove the filler from your writing!!!
Remove the filler from your writing!!!

 

I am of Pixels and Not Playtime

Imagine a tragic tale of a group of actors, once beloved by millions, undertake a historic fall from grace.  These performers performers were subject to public humiliation, accusations of homosexuality and have been removed from the public spotlight for years.  The story-arc that I have described for the most part isn’t completely out of the ordinary, but who am I really talking about?  The TeleTubbies of course.

Last year, I was taking English 223: Creative Writing, and I was asked to recreate a childhood character in a poetry exercise in a new light.  My poem’s goal was to highlight an unhighlighted history of these past beloved children show characters.  I thought of what a Teletubby might look like years after his demise from stardom.   The once physically fit performer with a trim television stomach has now grown fat and boasts a large wide screen on his chest.  In denial of his current situation as a rented television set, the star looks at the eyes watching him and mistakes them for those he entertained years ago.  He is not an appliance.  He is an actor, a visionary.  But one day, he realizes his worth and the reality of the situation he is.  Its over…

Static in their stomachs... Where are they now!?!
Static in their stomachs… Where are they now!?!

Yes, I know it’s ridiculous… but the word reality when completing this poem stuck with me.  I was fascinated diving into the world of hypotheticals in analyzing these child stars, yet I think I can go deeper.  For my repurposing project, I plan to write an essay that offers both a socio economic analysis and psychoanalysis of these characters and the effects of their demise and homosexuality, under the assumption if they were humans and real.

The end result, ideally, will be an essay that completes and satisfies my crazy analysis of these fuzzy children show stars.

 

A Belief in Perfection

Every time when my hands rest on a keyboard or when pen meets paper, I gladly embrace ignorance.  I let myself disregard the growing contradicting evidence piled before me, and I try again.

I try to write.

I know the hilarity of that statement, but I’m not hinting at illiteracy or inability.  Believe me, after years of elementary school cursive lessons and countless classes, I’ve never questioned the process, but the end result, what I’m left with, has always carried an unsettling taste of being unfinished.

I believe in perfection.

Perfection is a misdiagnosed case of insanity, and while it is the same force that drives me insane as I decide whether my writing is finished or not, it is my enduring belief in this forbidden fruit that keeps my writing.

I view my thoughts and ideas as fluid, similar to water in that I can feel them, but if I try to grasp ahold of them, their true essence dissolves in shared comprehension. Writing is the transmission of consciousness into a very real thing, something that can be understood by others.  Every time I write, I continue to reach for this undefinable personal truth and show it to the world, but without fail, perfection’s essence is lost in translation.

Writing without the belief of achieving this ideal exchange of consciousness to communication would destroy the appeal that causes me to strive for an unreachable limit.  It’s the unsatisfying, torturous feeling that I feel when writing my seventh draft, writer’s block and staring into the vast whiteness of a blank Microsoft Word document.  The feeling that what I truly know can not be shared.  I write because I refuse to believe that it’s impossible.

I write because I believe in perfection.

Tantalus is a myth about a man who is tortured by a thirst and hunger that can't be quenched, yet he tries forever to quench his desires.
Tantalus is a myth about a man who is tortured by a thirst and hunger that can’t be quenched, yet he tries forever to quench his desires.

 

Interesting Blogs: Inbound Marketing

This past summer, I worked as a Market Development intern for a Silicon Valley based start-up company called Give To College.  In the pre-launch stages of its interactive alumni-giving software, one of my jobs was to implement the framework and foundation for Inbound Marketing.  Inbound Marketing is a new way to acquire sales by attracting customers more effectively by using self created content to decipher between an average individual and a buyer.

hubspot

 

The process of creating and understanding this new technique was a great, but it also transformed my perspective of what blogs can be.

I can honestly say that I had never really followed a blog before this summer.  I viewed the countless number of people typing away into the internet as a personal journal or litany of opinions. Why should’ve I been interested?  What was their purpose beyond entertainment? What made them better than official articles in print, on the radio or television?  My first experience with reading blogs occurred when I was on the clock, but my revelation has kept me reading.

During my internship, I was drawn to Hubspot’s blog, a company that sells and specializes in Inbound Marketing, in order to gain advice and an understanding of this practice.  Blogs, like social media, are being created at an increasing rate, making it all seem hard to navigate.  With the help of Hubspot, I quickly learned to look at the internet’s sea of content as an uncontrollable body of water.  Like water, content has the ability to resist force and control, but it can be shaped and used to our advantage.

The advice was beyond effective during my internship, but I have continued to read and follow Hubspot’s blog long after my job ended.  The style of the blog was informative, instructive and clear in showing new strategies and how to implement them, constantly organizing post content with numbers and bullet points.  To increase understanding, the blogs were filled with imbedded links within the text, providing more information if the viewer was interested.

In the weirdest way, it was a blog that was purely for business that has showed me the power and value of this medium, and I hope to explore more in the near future.