Monday, May 08, 2006

My final portfolio!
I really didn't know anything about blogs when I first began this class. To be honest, I didn't even know that it was a blogging class until the first day. And I wasn't that excited about it. The only exposure that I had to blogs were the journals that some of my friends kept online, and I couldn't understand why anyone would want to post such personal things online. My initial reaction to blogging was a kind of confused one-I didn't really know what it really was and I wasn't sure if it was something that I wanted to participate in. But I had to do it, and the experience ended up being up being much more positive than I initially thought it was going to be.
A few good posts...

Despite the fact that My 4040 blog is amateur, there are some posts that I am proud of. These are posts that I feel reflect my personality and voice as a writer. I think that these posts are effective because they are personal...but not personal in that "wow, listen about how drunk I got last night..." kind of way I wanted to avoid at the beginning of the semester. I also considered a post to be better than average if it provoked comments from other class members.
I hate cell phones
This was one of my earlier posts, but for some reason I really like it. In this post, I was able to use something that really happened and by talking about it, show a real side of who I am. I was able to inject some of my personal ideas while also managing to keep the post light-hearted and humorous. It was also a post that other class members could relate to.
I had an extremely panic-filled moment today...
This was another post that I thought that other class members could relate to. It is another example of how I can really let my personality shine through when I write about the thing that is really on my mind at the time. To me, this is a post that I can look back on in twenty years and be able to see who I was in that moment. It is good example of my voice; I was able to express myself in the way I would if I was simply talking to a friend. In my mind, the best writing is when it is natural and honest.
This post is probably my favorite. Although it didn't get a huge number of comments, it got a positive reaction from Donna, which of course made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Also, I was writing about something I cared about, so I put more thought into the post...which usually leads to a better final product. I was able to show another little piece of myself and put an important memory out in the open.

Very bad posts...

Well, maybe not very bad...but these are definitely the posts that I would consider my weakest. I categorized these as "bad" because there were the posts that I put the least feeling into. They're kind of boring, and I don't think that my true personality shines through. They feel kind of forced, like I was just writing to get it over with. Which obviously doesn't lead to a quality product. Plus, there are no pictures or links, which is pretty lame.
Blast from the Past This post is just really boring to me. I could have said so much more about what happened, or made more connections to the subject matter that I was writing about. The topic is something that everyone can relate to, but I was unsuccessful in making it a worthwhile read.
This is basically one of those "I don't have anything to write about today" posts. I think I had the opportunity to make it like the cell phone post, but it was too blah. I could have talked about so many other things in relation to television. So again, this could have been a good topic, but the execution ruined it.
Spring Break
Boooorrring. I could have gone into more depth about my family, about the stigma relating to spring break, about being at home...basically I could have spiced up this post a lot more. And there could have been a opportunity for pictures, but obviously there are none, so that's no good.

Becoming a part of the blogosphere
We talked a lot about blogs as a community, and I think that it is a great tool for communication. I've realized that blogging is a effective way to find meaningful connections with other people. I was able to actively participate in this community by commenting on other people's blogs, and here are some of my comments.
Here's a comment I made on J L's post about underage drinking. I think in this comment I was able to show my opinion in a thought-out way and get my point across. It was a good discussion topic, and something that many people our age talk about. I almost wish that I had used this topic to create an entirely new post.
Here is a comment I made about hannel's post holy roller novocaine. This is an example of how blogs can connect people. I may not personally know hannel, but I can still create a meaningful connection with her about a similar thought that we both have.
It feels like we've only just begun...
I can hardly believe that the semester is almost over and that this class is over. I feel like I could have been a better blogger and more involved in the blogosphere, but I still feel like I've learned so much. I've learned :
1) what a blog is. Not that there is any one solid definition. There shouldn't be. My narrow perception of what a blog is has truly been changed by this class. As cheesy as this may sound, I have a a newfound respect for blogging.
2) How to be a better writer and how to relate to readers. I was able to see what kind of writing got a reaction. By putting yourself and your work out there, as scary as that might seem, you learn so much about what works and what doesn't. And being in the practice of writing several times a week helps form the writer's voice.

So it's the end, and I guess the big question is if I will continue to blog. I think the answer is yes. I have never been the kind of person to keep a diary or journal; I've tried many times and I always end up abandoning it. But I think this is different, and I think blogging will always be a great tool in my life. It not only lets me get my thoughts and feelings out, but it lets me connect with others. I feel like blogging has somewhat become a part of my life, even if I don't write everyday I have become a "lurker" of other blogs, such as waiter rant. I hope to continue blogging, and I hope to continue reading all of the blogs of my classmates.
And that's the end folks!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's really surreal that it's almost over. I still feel like I'll be moving back next August and going to all my new classes...but that won't be happening. Instead I'll be in the "real world" - whatever that is. For the first time in my life, I have absolutely no idea what I am going to be doing next month. And I really have no idea. Everyone keeps asking me what my plans are for after graduation and I have to continue responding with 'I don't know." I mean, I've applied for several jobs but I haven't actually gotten one yet. For some reason, this doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. It's kind of nice for once in my life to not have a plan, to not be tied down to anything. It's a strange feeling, but it's good.
And it really is almost over. I really don't have that much schoolwork left. I only have three actual classes I have to attend. All the work for the capstone is done, all it has to be done is to present the finished product tommorow (which I AM really nervous about, but just because I hate public speaking.) I have one paper, which should take about an hour. I have this portfolio, which should take some time but probably will be kind of enjoyable. And I only have one measly final next week, in a elective class that I am having no problems with.
It feels weird, being at the end of the line and not having 500 things on my plate at once. It feels good. I'm OK with not knowing exactly what I want to do with my degree or where I want to go. Because do we ever REALLY know what we want to do? My Mom says that no matter how old you get, you never have it all figured out, and that you have to enjoy the things you've got in the moment. So, instead of worrying about what I'm going to do in a month, or what path my career is going to take, I'm just going to enjoy these last few weeks with all of my friends. It might be the last time we are all together in the same place at the same time. I have plenty of time to find some kind of an answer to the dreaded, ever-present question "So what are you going to do with your life?"

Monday, May 01, 2006

My portfolio (draft)

I really didn't know anything about blogs when I first began this class. To be honest, I didn't even know that it was a blogging class until the first day. And I wasn't that excited about it. The only exposure that I had to blogs were the journals that some of my friends kept online, and I couldn't understand why anyone would want to post such personal things online. But I had to do it, and the experience ended up being up being much more positive than I initially thought it was going to be.
My 4040 blog is still an amatuer blog, but there was some entries that I thought were well-done. I thought the following entries were good generally because of the response that I got from them.
I hate cell phones
I had an extremely panic-filled moment today...
I think that these posts are effective because they are personal...but not personal in that "wow, listen about how drunk I got last night..." kind of way I wanted to avoid at the beginning of the semester. In these posts, I feel that I might have been able to get some of my voice and personality across.

Of course, there are definitely some posts that I'm not so proud of.
Blast from the Past
Spring Break

To me, these posts were kind of boring and could have delved further into the subject matter. They seemed a little rushed, and I don't think they really showed who I am as a writer.

I still need to link to comments-having difficulty finding them
And relate this post to readings etc. from class

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I really liked the photo presentation that Steve did for his technology presentation, so I decided to make a little one of my own. Click here to see.

These are just a few pretty recent pictures of my family. My family is extremely important to me. I consider myself very blessed to have them. My parents were strict growing up, which I hated, but now that I am older I am grateful for it. I see how some parents don't care enough to really discipline their kids. I also am lucky because I am one of the few whose parents pay for their college expenses. I will graduate with zero debt, which is an amazing thing in this day and age.
And it's not even so much the money thing that shows how blessed I am. My parents, and sister, are there for me no matter what. I can call my parents up crying tears of frustration, sadness, or joy and they are always there to talk to me. I can't count the many times that I have called my mom at 6 in the morning because I am freaking out about school or something else. I talk to my parents nearly every day on the phone, and though that might sound weird to some, I really do feel like they are two of my best friends. I can pretty much tell them everything.
I also feel blessed because they are not my biological parents- they adopted me when I was about a month old. The fact that my I was lucky enough to be found by people as amazing as my parents. It reminds me that, as many things that go wrong in the world, some things turn out right.
I guess that this might sound kind of sentimental and cheesy, but my friends and I were talking about our parents last night, and I guess it was just on my mind. My relationship is a big thing in my life, because I know some people haven't been as blessed, and I am thankful for what I have.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Well, I've been absent from the blog for awhile. Last week was an extremely stressful roommates spread some kind of chest-cold sickness on to me and I was pretty much down for the count for the week. Except for the fact that a substantial amount of work in my capstone was due at the end of the week, so I was feverishly working on InDesign during the hours that I was awake. Why does it seem like all my other senior friends get to go out every night while I am stuck in a computer lab every night?....arg.
Anyway, it really stinks being sick while you are at school. I know, I have been here four years and I should be dealing with it like a grown-up, but it really does suck. It's just nice being at home and having people around to take care of you. I have my roommates and other friends to bring me medicine and stuff, but it's not the same as good old Mom.
I remember when I got chicken pox in the first grade. It was the best week of my life, seriously. At first when I found out what I had, I cried because I didn't want to miss a week of school.'s funny how things change. Anyway, I had a really mild case, so I basically felt fine, even though I was contagious. My mom had to take the week off work to stay at home with me, and all we did was play all day long. I "helped" her clean the house, and I got to watch all my favorite PBS shows like Zoobilee Zooand Reading Rainbow, shows that I usually missed while I was at school. I remember my mom bought me popsicles and ice cream and pretty much let me run the house for the week. Ahhh, when sick days were fun. Now, feeling sick just means having to do work while feeling crappy and missing participation points in class.
Being sick when you're a kid doesn't always pan out though. After my little bout with the pox, I gave my sister a horrendous case, which she ironically got on Christmas day. She was too sick to open her presents. Fifteen years later, she still hasn't let me forget about that Christmas "surprise."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Well, I have an eight-page paper due tommorow that's worth a good deal of my grade. I've exhausted all of my usual procrastination outlets, so I decided to write a blog. I'm already halfway done with the paper, which is pretty good for 8:30 at night. Well, at least for me. I wish I could blame this on senioritis, but I've always kind of been a procrastinator, and I do my best work under the gun.
I don't actually have too much to say. Something that has been freaking me out on campus...the bees.

Well, this photo turned out a bit larger than I expected...but it kind of fits because the bees are HUGE! At least to me...has anyone else noticed this? Or am I just going crazy? I've been hanging around the J-school for 2 years now, and I have never felt like the area was this swarmed by bees until now. And I'm scared of bees; I've never been stung before.
Another weird thing- I keep seeing the exact same purse everywhere on campus. It's this turquoise blue hobo bag... I saw it at least five times today, being carried by five different girls. I know because I counted. Ok, yes, I am crazy. But originality, people!
So, this post was basically pointless. Purses and bees...I guess I should finish my paper now.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Today's news discussion was really interesting, and really challenging. I'm not into science fiction, but it was fascinating hearing everyone's thoughts. The thought of putting computer chips in people's brains kind of freaks me out, although I don't think that this scientific advancement will truly become an issue for years.
I guess what it really made me think about is how much should we tamper with what we were born with? This goes along with the whole question of if we are becoming over-medicated as a society. Although I don't agree with Tom Cruise's nutty views about healthcare, I do think that medicine, like Zoloft and Ritalin, is far overprescribed. Many do need this medicine to live their lives, but many don't. I think our society goes towards "quick fixes" more often than not, and instead of dealing with problems and living life, with all the good and the bad. Life wasn't meant to be perfect, pain and challenge free- that's what makes it life.
Now I'm reminded of a conversation in Garden State-

Andrew Largeman:
..... And I'm not gonna take those drugs anymore, because they have left me completely fucking numb. I have felt so fucking numb to everything I have experienced in my life, OK? And for that... for that I'm here to forgive you. You've always said that all you wanted was for us to have whatever it is we wanted, right? Well, maybe, what Mom wanted more then anything is for it to all be over, and for me, what I want more then anything in the world, is for it to be OK with you for me to feel something again, even if it's pain.
Gideon Largeman: Well, you're going against your doctor's recommendation, that a pretty weighty experiment to take on, don't you think?
Andrew Largeman: This is my life, Dad, this is it. I spent 26 years waiting for something else to start, so, no, I don't think it's too much to take on, because it's everything there is. I see now it's all of it. You and I are gonna be OK, you know that, right? We may not be as happy as you always dreamed we would be, but for the first time let's just allow ourselves to be whatever it is we are and that will be better. OK? I think that will be better.

I understand the need for scientific improvements, and it's hard to draw the line of when we are going too far. Why shouldn't we just be? If a child is born mentally challenged, who are we to say that they need a mental chip to make their lives more valuable?
Hmmm...I don't really know exactly what I think about this. It's definitely an interesting topic of conversation, but a frustrating one as well.