This week we started, yet again, another project. We got in groups and we had to agree on a book to read and do our project with. We got our own individual roles, which will help us learn how to work together using our own different strengths.
During these past few days we worked on reading our book, while looking at it in different points of view, depending on what our individual role is. As the graphic designer my job is to look at the setting of the book, and to think about how to make a visually appealing website that goes along with the book. My job as the graphic designer is to design a website that really gives the audience the feeling they would get from reading the book we chose, which was The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
So far all we have done for this project chose our groups, novels, and begin reading and note taking. The note taking is going to be different from what we have done in the past, because it is picture note taking. We take pictures of things that stand out to us in the novel, and write notes on them. This can help us to keep our thoughts organized and can help when it comes to actually putting our project together. with our different roles. So we can see specific part of the book that will help us do our part of the project.
Until this year I have never heard of a "Pecha Kucha" presentation. At first when I found out that we had to do a ten slide presentation with twenty seconds for each slide, I was kind of stressed out. I thought it sounded really hard, and as the time for that project grew nearer and I still did not know a whole lot about my topic, I started to kind of freak out.
However, this week we talked more about what a Pecha Kucha presentation really is, and I realized it was not going to be hard at all. Sure, I will be slightly nervous since I will have to present in front of the class, but considering other presentations we have had to do, this should be a breeze. It is going to be fairly short, and it is about a topic that we got to chose, which will make things so much easier. It will actually be kind of fun to present, since I will be talking about something I am interested in.
Going over what a Pecha Kucha presentation really is has helped me to gain an understanding on how to put the project together. I have a better understanding on how to go about even starting the whole project as well.
There are a few key points that I will need to go over throughout the presentation. When I found this out, and I read through what I will have to be presenting on, I felt so relieved. At first I thought the presentation was going to be super hard, but looking at those key points, I feel like it is actually going to be really easy.
Throughout this entire week we were working on our "This I Believe" projects. Monday and Tuesday we worked on our own projects, and on Wednesday and Thursday we watched the videos we had created. Watching that many videos gave me an idea of what a good video looked like.
Sometimes there were boring videos that seemed to drag on forever, and other times there were videos that really caught my attention. Seeing that variety of videos definitely helped to understand what is crucial to making a video that the audience enjoys watching.
First of all, there must be a variety of pictures. If the audience is staring at the same background the whole time just listening to someone talk, their minds are bound to wander. There was a video that I distinctly remember watching that I just could not pay attention and my mind was somewhere else.
Another thing that is important is the volume of the voice of the speaker. If the speaker is talking quietly, there is not going to be as much of an impact on the audience. They will be focusing on trying to hear what the speaker is trying to say, which would take away from the overall experience of the video.
This is something that I noticed about my own video. My voice was a bit quiet, and with a low volume, it could be very difficult to hear what I was saying. I learned that the volume of voice in a video is definitely important.
While we worked on our "This I Believe" projects, I ended up learning that it totally okay to completely restart a piece of writing if I do not like the original. I ended up restarting my paper a couple different times, and even now by the end of the week, I am considering restarting it yet again.
It is totally fine to restart this because if I do not think it is a perfect writing for this project, I can redo it to make it perfect. Restarting papers can be beneficial because it can make papers better.
The first paper I wrote was about how I believe that there is more to everybody than what meets the eye. I believed that I knew exactly how to go about writing my paper, but as I started writing it, it somehow led me to think about what other things I believe in. When that happened, there was one belief that I thought of that I realized it would be even easier to do my project about that.
So I just restarted my paper and began to write about how I beleive that everything happens for a reason. That paper went a lot smoother and faster than the other one. However, after I finished that paper, I read through it and decided I did not like it. So I ended up thinking about going back to my old topic.
After a lot of going back and forth, I decided to go with the belief that everything happens for a reason, and I just fixed all my mistakes from the old paper. If I had just went with a paper that I did not like, I would not be satisfied with my project, and I would not be able to make it the best it could be. So it was perfectly fine that I restarted it a few times.
During this last week we looked at what makes a good story. We were able to chose what video we watched out of six videos, and I watched the first one. It talked about how it is important to tell more than one story.
If only one story of an event is told, then only one point of view of the story can be told. That could lead to misunderstandings. Everyone experiences things differently so if only one story is told, it is possible that someone could have misunderstood exactly what happened and then the wrong story could be told. Also sometimes people will kind of twist the story in their own special way to make stories seem more interesting.
It is important to tell multiple stories so that this does not happen. With many stories, it is easier to pick out the true things from the untrue. You can find the truth from parts of the stories that are repeated in every story.
Telling only one story can lead to stereotypes. That is what was said in the Ted Talk that talked about telling more than one story. The example that was used in the Ted Talk was that the speaker was from Africa and she said that many people just automatically felt bad for her because they only heard only one story of Africa. That story was that Africa was full of starving people living in little huts. However, that is not the case whatsoever. Sure, there are poor people in Africa, but not all people are poor. Also there are cities and not everyone is starving, and living in huts. If they had heard more than one story, they would know that.
Most people do not realize that they are being watched on the internet. There are companies that track every single thing everyone does online, and they could find any bit of information that they want about anyone they chose.
That is something that would most definitely scare the majority of internet users. There are articles about internet tracking and why it can be a little useful, yet an invasion of privacy. That means that it is a known fact that internet tracking is very real.
Throughout this week, we looked at a couple different articles on internet tracking and what it really is. Each of us formed an argument as to whether internet tracking should be allowed or not. We went through each article looking at evidence to support our claims. A debate was held between the ones for and against internet tracking. The debate activity allowed us to see both sides to the argument, which then forced us to make a comeback to really back up our claim.
That strengthened our skills with counter arguments. Seeing what the other side had to say about the subject of internet tracking gave us an idea of what some counter arguments might be, which could help us with a paper about internet tracking. The debate definitely helped us to figure out how to support our claim. It forced us to come up with information that would back up our claim in a short amount of time. If we were able to come up with reasons as to why our claim was better in a very short amount of time, we would definitely be able to include some good information in our writings.
In class for the past few weeks, we've been working on critical theory projects. In those projects, we had to write a paper connecting our critical theory to whatever play we chose to work with. My group in particular chose to connect the critical theory of deconstruction to the play King Lear, by Shakespeare.
Writing our group paper was a bit of a challenge, since there were four people writing one paper. However, we managed to pull it off. We each had a paragraph or two to write, and when we finished writing our individual thoughts, we looked at them all and tried to tie them together so that our paper would look like the paper had one author and had a nice flow to it. It took teamwork to make one paper with four people, and I think our group did that pretty well.
Like our paper, our presentation would not have had a nice flow without teamwork and communication. In order to have our presentation look like one presentation and not just four different presentations in one slide show, we had to make group decisions on how our presentation was going to look. Whenever we were going to make a change to the presentation, we talked about what we all individually thought about the idea. We did not talk about every single little edit that we were going to make, since that would be quite unnecessary. We just needed to communicate our ideas with each other, and discuss any big changes in the presentation. With our communication and teamwork, we managed to pull off the difficult task of making a group presentation, along with a group paper.
This week we worked more on our theory projects. My group chose to do deconstruction, and we chose to look at Shakespeare's "King Lear". On Thursday, a guest speaker came into our class and went around talking to every group about their plans for their projects.
When she came to my group's table, she helped us understand more about what deconstruction is. She told us how we should focus on the word "nothing" when deconstructing "King Lear". It was really interesting to hear what she had to say about deconstruction. It was a little different from what I originally thought deconstruction was. From the start I new that deconstruction meant taking something apart, so we were going to look into the thought processes behind the actions in the characters in King Lear, focusing on Edmond.
As the guest speaker talked to us, my group realized that deconstruction was not just about breaking down the actions that took place in a story, but it was also looking more in detail at the language, and how that affects the story.
We talked about how the same word or phrase could be interpreted in completely different ways. For example, in "King Lear", when the king asked his youngest daughter to tell him how much she loved him, she said there was nothing she could say. She meant that nothing could describe how much she loved him, because she loved him so much. However, the king took it in a totally different way. He thought she was saying that there was nothing she could say to him about how much she loved him because there was no love to talk about. Of course that is not what she meant, but that was how King Lear took it. Because of that different interpretation, everything fell apart. So really, "nothing" is what destroyed the lives of many people in "King Lear".
public.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/decon.htmlThis week we pretty much spent all of our time watching plays that were written by William Shakespeare. We could either chose "King Lear", or "Macbeth".
It did not involve simply watching the play, however. First of all, we were asked to form a small group to work as a team. Then we had to chose a play and a critical theory to apply to the play. So, we had to think about how we could apply our chosen critical theory to the play as we watched it. We took notes during the movies to help organize our thoughts as well.
My group chose the play "King Lear". To go along with that, we decided to choose the critical theory of deconstruction. We found that particular critical theory to be a little difficult to understand. It is basically the reverse engineering of a story. It basically breaks down why everything happens.
This theory can easily be applied to "King Lear", because we can look at why the two older sisters played along with King Lear's plan, and why the youngest daughter would not play. It is possible to look at the reason behind everyone else's actions as well.
Not only would this theory be interesting to apply to "King Lear", but it would also be intereseting to apply it to everyday life. It can help people to understand why people to what they do, and what affects their actions have.
Throughout this past week, we looked at two different poems. Those poems were "Sonnet 146 (Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth)", by William Shakespeare, and "Ozymandias", by Percy Bysshe Shelley. We looked at how these two poems were similar and different from eachother in what they were saying about death and legacies.
"Sonnet 146" was basically saying, why waste time on earthly things when none of that matters? The author was also talking about how our bodies will die, but not our souls. In that case we should stop trying to improve on our things, but instead we should try to improve ourselves.
"Ozymandias" was talking about how even though something may be a big deal on earth at one time, eventually that importance will die out and never again will that thing be important. The author used a broken statue to describe something that was once powerful, but means nothing anymore.
Both of these poems have a theme of impermanance. So that was basically the theme we discussed in class this past week. We talked about nothing lasts forever. In "Ozymandias", the question of "What does the title of the poem add to message of impermanence that the speaker describes?". We talked about how know one knew the name of Ozymandias, and therefore, nobody cared. That showed how nothing lasts forever.
This week we also had a fourty minute essay to write about these two poems. It was easy to compare the two pieces of writing, since they were quite similar in the way that they were practically saying the same thing. However, it was a little more on the challenging side to complete the essay within that time.