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September 30, 2008

EL 405 Inform 7 Basics Screencast

I had done a basic screen cast of Inform 7. It includes errors, developing objects, starting Inform 7, making directions, and categorizing text. I will upload it from Youtube as soon as it is done loading.

September 28, 2008

EL 200: Portfolio 1

Lab Report

Midterm Project Ideas


Spot Political News Ideas

Comprehensive Reading Reflection Blog Entry

September 27, 2008

EL 200: Comphrensive Reading Reflection Blog Entry

Students of EL 200 are encouraged to read The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel. The text, in my opinion, holds a bit of the obvious. What I mean by that is, on page 5, section: The Chronicle of Campus Life reads “A student newspaper should be able to understand and display all dimensions of a campus community, not just student life but the concerns of the university employees, faculty, administrators and staff.” If the Setonian focused solely on student life, the paper would be dull and boring. Of course a newspaper has to open its eyes up to all areas of a college life, even off campus. But, maybe, some students do not realize this.
I do think that it is an informative guide for students who may not know or want to further their careers in the journalism field. In some cases, a journalism student who does not know how to handle an interview may find this appealing, SNSG Chapter 2.
Being a commuter, I do not have a clue as to what is going on on campus, so Chapter 1 of SNSG was something that I had in common with the text. The section on The Role of the Student Press informed me that there is a lot more going on than I knew about, on campus. I just have to network myself and make contacts around campus.
SNSG taught me that a story gains strength throughout campus if it is good enough. Like Kanigel stated in Chapter 3 "If drinking is a major part of life on your campus you could even assign a reporter to an alcohol beat." Going undercover would be a great thing in order to get a story. Maybe get invited to a party, if alcohol is a problem on campus and observe what is going on around the party. Are people binge drinking? Or are they socially drinking underage? That may be a story worth involving yourself.
An obvious mention in SNSG would be located in Chapter 4, Reporting. Yes, it is a process. A reporter does have to multi task. Reporters are no longer needed if all they know is one particular aspect of journalism. So I did find this chapter to be a learning tool on the reporting process.
It always feels good to be a part of something. When a reporter asks an ordinary civilian for a quote, it makes them feel established. Like they have the right to brag to their friends and family that they helped create a newspaper article. Average civilians also feel like they know about journalism when asked to be involved somehow. Chapter 5 of SNSG validate this comment.
I never thought this would have mention in any journalism guide, but it does. Sex is a risque subject that many people shy away from . I have tried blogging about it, in a formal manner, but it failed because of the subject content. Many people misconstrue facts about sex, they think of it more as prevision than anything else. Chapter 6 of Kanigel's guide, The Lifestyle Pages made me feel good that I attempted to blog about sex and what men go through as opposed to women. If it is written in a tasteful way, the reader should not be uphauled by the content.
As I have attempted most facets of journalism, the one I would like to try most is sports reporting. Sports reporting is much like anything else. Write a good story and they will come. Chapter 7 of SNSG dedicated itself to sports reporting. All areas of it were covered in the text. This would prove to be a valuable learning tool for students who write for the Setonian sports section.
Chapter 8 of SNSG was important to me because I liked to be informed about a band coming to town or a new movie that is out in the theaters. I do not want to do this type of arts and entertainment journalism, but I liked reading over it to see what the author had to say about it.
Chapter 9 of SNSG was both realistic and frightening for me. Opinions are something that I have many of. I tend not to say them aloud due to their adverse effects. The paragraph I read on the New York times firing a reporter because he fabricated and plagiarized a story really made me think of how disciplined the world of journalism really is. Why would someone make up a story to get published? And with that, why would they lie about it? Do they not think that anyone would notice?
The other text recommended for EL 200 is The Elements of Online Journalism by Rey G. Rosales, Ph.D. The text, in my opinion, was very informative and helpful, considering that I just took over as the editor of the online edition of the Setonian. Chapter 2 was most vital to me. This chapter, basically, told me what to put in the online version. I sort of had a clue, but this really made claim to it. Chapters 1 and 3 were disinteresting to me. Chapter 3 was more "show" so I really could not make any comments on it that would be helpful. Chapter 1 discussed how the media is drawn towards teenagers that prefer to communicate and shop online. I really did not relate because it did not deal directly deal with online journalism. It dealt with more of the business aspect of the media.
By reading the following chapters in The Student Newspaper Survival Guide and The Elements of Online Journalism, I felt that some of it was common knowledge while the others were learning tools for amateur journalists.

EL 200: EOJ Chapter 3; Producing a multimedia package

"No time to learn all of them? Try at least Flash and one of the video editing applications." (Rosales, p.7)

This chapter is more show than tell. I really liked this section because this is what I want to get into, producing movies. I went to film school and other institutions studying multimedia. It has been a long time since, so I will require a refresher course. I would love to take my journalism up a notch by making shorts, documentaries, or anything digitally related.

EL 200: EOJ; Chapter 2, Online journalism: Elements of a digital story

"The practice of online journalism is much like cooking on Emeril Lagasse's show- one must kick it up a notch." (Rosales, p.4)
Is this chapter dedicated to me? It seems like it. When I took over the Setonian online, I had no clue what was in store for me. The process is not hard, just tedious. To make it vibrant and advanced, I will have to put more work in it than what has been done in the past. I will have to dedicate myself so many hours a week in order to bring it out of its little shoe box.
After reading this, short, chapter, I have gained a little more knowledge as to what I should do with the Setonian. I would like to animate Daniella's cartoons or do a slide show of the preproduction of the Setonian. There are lots of ideas in mind, I will have to take the next steps in order to execute them.

EL 200: EOJ; Chapter 1, Moving the Media Cheese

"Media companies were quick, at least some of them, to notice the increasing popularity of the Net and wireless communications. They have adopted innovative steps to keep up with the change and to continue to become profitable by attracting younger audiences.Young audiences drive advertising and advertising is the lifeblood of a media company." (Rosales, p.1)

It seems that everything is turning to the digital world. That is where the money is to be made, anymore. I think that people feel comfortable buying items on the Internet. Teens especially are attracted to the wide universe of the Web. I know a lot of, younger, people that make purchases on the Internet as opposed to going out to a store and physically buying an item. I see this with cellular phones, wireless communication has become huge. I do not know one person that does own a cell phone. As long as communication stays where it is at, the Internet will be the main sewer for purchases and communicating. Companies are smart by focusing on teens. They are most vulnerable and prone to make instant purchases without thinking it over first. My mother, on the other hand, wouldn't know the first thing about how to look something up on the Internet or ,let alone, buy something.

EL 200: SNSG, Chapter 9; Opinion Pages

"The New York Times hired its first public editor in 2003 after reporter Jayson Blair was fired for plagiarizing and fabricating stories." (Kanigel, p.73)
The ombudsman serves as a defense attorney. They advocate ethical and moral issues. Representing people who need it. That, in turn, makes for honest and strong opinion stories. Having an arbitrator is like a referee in a boxing match. You put a fabricated story out to the public, you get knocked down; whereas you put an honest story abound, you have people on your side. Opinions are very sketchy, to me.They, usually, end up in conflicts. For example, my freshman year, I had first learned to blog. I had no clue as to what it was. I never did it before entering college. I, thought, I knew what I was doing. A fellow student write an opinion in the comments section. I took it the wrong way and write something sarcastic back. I should have taken a different approach to it, but at the time, I felt that I didn't need any help. That is why I try to keep opinions to myself. I do not want someone to take them the wrong way like I did.

EL 200: SNSG; Chapter 8, Arts and Entertaining Writing

"If an out-of-town band is coming to town, try to interview members a week or two before by phone to give readers a sense of what's in store." (Kanigel, p.64)

Previews are a good. If it weren't for them, no one would know what a particular band or movie is like. It gives the readers insight. To know what is going on makes a person feel like they are part of a particular medium (i.e., music). I do like the Pittsburgh City Paper for their previews. I didn't know certain bands were coming in to town until read the paper. The City Paper, usually, states which band members will be touring with the band, and what songs they like to perform on stage. It is always helpful to read up on a preview before going somewhere. The reader will then have hindsight as to how much? where? when? what time?

EL 200: SNSG; Chapter 7, Sports Writing

"Sports writing is about sports, yes, but it's also about good reporting and good writing, about observing and describing, about seeing what's really going on and transmitting that information to the reader." (Kanigel, p.56)
Sports are one facet of journalism that I would, eventually, like to tackle. I have always been interested in them, and have played, most, of them throughout my life. It always appeared mysterious to me how writers and announcers are able to be quick witted, calling play by play as they occur. Sitting in the bleachers, I have always been that person that said, "I can do that."
I do agree with Kanigel that sports writing is about sports, but it does show that the writing is a lot more than that. The journalist has to make the story interesting and appealing to the reader. Sports writers are a dime a dozen, so they have to pull their articles apart from the rest, making theirs the best on a particular game or profile on a player.
The role of the sports writer can be a strenuous job. Being on top of sports writing can prove difficult. There are so many games to a particular sport, for instance, football is 16 games plus the playoffs and a Super Bowel if necessary. That is a lot of work to cover in the course of a few months.

EL 200: SNSG Chapter 6

"It's hard to say if Carrie Bradshaw, the fictional columnist of 'Sex and the City', spawned them, but sex columns have become a staple of 21st century college newspaper." (Kanigel, p.50)
Sex is and has always been a controversial subject not just on campus, but off it as well. Just to write an article on the subject, without doing any research, would be distasteful and unsatisfying to the reader. Kanigel was right by saying that researching the subject would make for a better article. If one wants a story on sex, buy a pornographic magazine, that is the medium for those types of explicit articles. An example of this would be, the current spread of herpes on campus, or an article on birth control. While sex is a word that, most, people cringe at or are afraid to approach, the word can be a beautiful entrance to serve educational values throughout campus.

EL 200 Spot Political News Ideas

I really like the idea of spot news. Especially for new students. It gives them a taste of how journalism really works. By putting them under pressure and on the spot with interviews, they pick up on things,that are not normally shown in class. The, current, election is already a staple in the annals of history. By choosing to do spot pieces on the election gives us, students, a chance to be part of that history. But, on the other had, I feel that to much pressure on the student affects them in a negative way. I mean being subjected to face a politician, whether they are local or national, and interviewing them is a big step for such amateurs. One bad interview can disable the journalism student for the rest of their academic career. I do not intimidate easily, so I like when I get the chance to meet people that hold powerful positions, especially in the political realm. As far as ideas go, I would not have a clue as to where us, students, could get their stories from. Word of mouth or possibly asking around campus would help.

EL 200: Midterm Project Ideas

I would like to get an, outside, debate happening in EL 200. What I mean is, have a subject related to the election (war on terrorism in Afghanistan), have two sides of two to three people, one side is for keeping troops in Afghanistan the other is for pulling them out. Have the students of EL 200 sit by, while taking notes, give them a deadline and produce a nice piece about the debate on war, focusing on terrorism. Or else, focus on another subject, social security, medical insurance, or any other global related issue.
I would like to have veterans of the recent conflict in Iraq come in and speak about how they were, once, gung ho (patriotic) about fighting for their country and now are faced with long term disabilities and deformities. How their feelings changed about their nation and their notorious leader.

EL 200 About Self

Recently, the second issue of the Setonian was published. Many students of Seton Hill University (SHU) rushed to the stands to view the latest news going off and on campus. But do they realize how much blood and sweat goes into the production of the Setonian?
A good way to go about this would be to, first, look into the EL200 course. El 200 otherwise known as Media Lab is a course taught by professor Dennis Jerz. The course is designed to teach students, interested in journalism, the production aspect of the paper. Students choose what, they, think they would be best suited for. For instance, Jeremy Barrick, a junior at SHU, recently took over as the online editor of the Setonian, previously ran by Kayla Sawyer. When asked about this position, Barrick responded, “At first it was really tough. Juggling a full-time job and going to school full-time, but time management is the key here. I can do it. I can conquer any mountain that I am faced with.” Barrick has produced the last two issues of the Setonian by bringing them online. He further stated, “I will continue to bring the news online. My future goals for the Setonian is to bring color, games, and whatever else previously students didn’t do to it in order for it to get better recognized.”
Barrick has taken three Media Labs so far. It seems that Barrick is not afraid to get his feet wet when coming to journalism.
When asked about Barrick’s progress on the Setonian, a fellow classmate, Chelsea Oliver, sports editor for the Setonian said, "Though Jeremy's article was unable to be put in this issue, he has worked hard on it and I'm sure that it will only be that much better because of the extra time that is now being put into it. He always comes out with quality articles and I'm sure that this one is no different."
To date, Barrick has produced numerous, colorful articles ranging from restaurant reviews to an interview with UFO enthusiast Stan Gordon. Barrick plans to go on with his journalism career, after school. He feels that relocation is the key objective to obtaining a, decent, job in the field. "Jeremy has learned how to do the online production. He is doing a fine job," said Kayla Sawyer, the news editor. Among his noteworthy doings, Barrick had taken his classmates to the Setonian office to show them the inner workings of the paper. We here at the paper would like to wish Barrick a most successful journey in his path to becoming a career journalist.





September 22, 2008

EL 200 How to Use Tags in the Blogging Process

When I was first asked to "tag" blog entries, I thought to myself, what the heck are those? Blogging, for me, was a culture shock. Before entering Seton Hill University (SHU), I had no clue what one was. Almost three years later, I have developed a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). I knew that I was entering the digital age. Sending letters through the mail, talking on home phones, and watching standard analog televisions were becoming obsolete. Now tagging? How futuristic!
To define a tag, I would say that they are key words that organize ones entries. Tags categorize to make it easier for oneself or any one else to look up an entry.
In the old days, before the digital frenzy of today, people used file cabinets. File cabinets keep files in them. Usually the files lie in manila folders with a tag on them, describing what is in them. For instance, a folder stating "Medical Appointments" would obviously have a person's medical appointments in them. It is sort of standard procedure to use tags in the instances of storing files on a computer or in the blogging process. It helps.
The last issue that was put online are currently all tagged. What I did was read through each one. I found key words that might interest the reader, and then I put those words in the "tags" section.
The Setonian Online is a digital copy of the Setonian paper version. The reason tags were used was due to the fact that SHU has a voice off the campus as well as on. The Setonian utilizes advertising as a way to fund the paper, and also as a way of making contacts and getting a business' name around. So it is important to use tags while keeping the content, writers, and dates current. It is much simpler to use tags to locate an entry online rather than scrolling through each piece. An example of this can be found on the current version of the Setonian Online.
Hopefully this will give you an understanding of how "tagging" works. Just think of the process as cleaning house. At first you have all this clutter lying around. You begin cleaning, putting everything in its perspective place, by the time you finish, you will have everything in its own little section. The next time you go to look for it, it will be where you labeled (tagged) it.

September 20, 2008

EL 405 Interactive Fiction Games

The first game I plated was Punk Points. This game was right up my alley, seeing that I am into an underground subculture. Punk Points is about a boy who wakes up, from a dream, and starts his first day of school, of course he is an outcast. The agenda is to gather up as many punk points as possible. To do this, the player has to do things that a punk would normally do such as flip the middle finger, spit on things, and other obscenities. I enjoyed this game the most due to its contents and the way the game is laid out. I would like to use Punk Points as a template for Rock and Roll Scum.
The second game I played was a bit different. It was called Ray Part 2.
Ray Part 2 was a combination of Flash and interactive fiction. Since I do not know Flash, yet, I will not be using this game as a mirror for my IF game, Rock and Roll Scum. Ray Part 2 was a funny, animated game that reminded me of the characters from South Park. My character was a thug who is sent to do "hits" on people. It was fun, but the novelty wore off after playing it for a half an hour. There was no getting lost in the game because the character was given choices. You accepted or declined them.
I think I will stick with Punk Points. The game may be a little tough to figure out, but once I got the hang of it, it wasn't that bad.

September 16, 2008

EL 405 Interactive Fiction: Rock and Roll Scum!!!!

You are the notorious leader of a rock and roll band. You and your band are in a van heading to a gig, located in downtown. Downtown is heavily trafficked and people are everywhere. The van sputters before reaching the crest of town. The van breaks down, smoke is coming from the hood of the van. The band is stuck at this point. The leader had promised his fans that this particular show would be the best one yet. At the club, hundreds of fans wait outside to get in. It is very hot out. Fans have been waiting all day for tickets. The leader of the band has begun swearing at his band. The band cringes with every holler. The leader opens the door of the van and examines the smoke emerging from the hood. The leader opens up the hood, smoke pours out. The leader steps back and runs back into the van. The fans waiting outside the club are becoming restless. The fans have started to divulge into binge drinking and drug usage. This is all occurring outside the club. Back at the van, the leader and his band grab their instruments and start walking towards the city. They are five miles out of town, south direction, in the outskirts, on an abandoned road.

The city is five miles north. The van doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere without gas.
“We have to make the gig by 7pm” says the leader.
Examine van: (contents) empty gas can, packs of empty smokes, sheets of lyrics, and the stench of body odor.
Examine fans: they are frustrated, upset that the band has not arrived yet, one fan Kyle is the younger brother of the leader of the band. He holds vital as to the band’s whereabouts.
The agenda of the game is to make it to the gig without getting stuck, again. There are many obstacles the band has to conquer on their way such as drivers with road rage, conservative farmers, and an angry mob awaiting the band at the gig.
Examine Kyle and he may, with enough persuasion, tell the crowd where the band may be in order for them to get back in one piece.
Hint: Kyle loves hippy girls.
There is a hippy girl in the crowd.
Get the wrong girl and Kyle may find himself in a heap of trouble with most of their boyfriends.
If the band comes back in one piece, they play a successful show, and the reward is a huge post party.
By telling the band, considering they make it back, to play their hit song All good boys have tattoos, will make the show successful.
Telling the band to play: Hard ticket to hell, will bring a surprise to the club, be it god or bad.
The band is racing against the clock for time and their lives. Will they make it?
Play: Rock and Roll Scum

September 13, 2008

EL 200; Chapter 5: Newswriting

"Quotations from sources add human voices to a newspaper story. Quotes capture emotion, offer varying perspectives and add authority to your stories." (pp. 42 Kanigel)

Yes, quotes bring physical characteristics to a story. The Setonian utilizes that aspect of journalism. I agree that it is good to use quotes because why would anyone believe a story unless a physical attribute was added. That puts a narrator into a story. It also makes a fictional story true. Journalists are storytellers. Yes, quotes and sources need validation, but for the most part, we are the ones who convey to the public what is good, what is bad, and when to cross the street. So, in a sense, we control people's lives. By bringing an outsider into your column/story you are letting them feel important for a moment. Andy Warhol made a comment once that stuck in my mind; "everybody gets 15 minutes of fame"
I remember when the Star Wars prequels were released. Revenge of the Sith came out. Excited, I awoke early that morning and headed to the local cinema with my friend. We got out tickets for that evening, last showing, and headed towards the car. A reporter from the Tribune Review stopped us on the way. The journalist asked us why we were there and what our favorite movie was. Of course I said The Empire Strikes Back and I told him the reasons why. He thanked me for my time and went on his way. Afterwards, I felt like I was king of the world. I was the be all end all of the Star Wars trilogies. That just goes to show how quotes make an impression on the readers and the person giving the actual quote.

EL 405 Process

You know, it all makes sense now. A process is a series of steps. In order to produce, one needs to take the proper steps. A basic understanding of the fundamentals of a particular subject. A general learning of what one is taught. One might call it a theory. I call it a lesson. To be completely honest, I thought that Blender was pretty complicated, but once I learned a few functions, it didn't seem that tough. Enough to be proficient? No, but efficient in basic navigations. I am, sort of, awaiting the other software tools to be taught this semester. A challenge worth while.

September 10, 2008

EL405 Practice Screencast Tutorial

In my presentation, I am doing a general navigation through Blender. I have watched many tutorials, so I am in a way blending them together, to create a simple walk through. The CamStudio project echoes what others have done in their tutorials. I have not become to efficient in using Blender yet, so my agenda is to show the class that I have basic skills in CamStudio and Blender.
* Click on box, press Delete (disappears)
* Press Space bar-Add-Mesh-select object
* Press Tab (keyboard)-switches from Object mode to Edit mode
* Select Views (toggle with the different views)
or press 1, 3, or 7 numbers on the keyboard for views as well
* To Zoom-use the center wheel located on the mouse
+ or - Zooms also
* Shift key (keyboard) and the center wheel of the mouse moves the object up and down
* Press 0 (zero) is the Camera mode
getting out of Camera mode, go to Views-choose a view besides "Camera"
* The 4, 6, 8, and 2 are the orbits the object
* Control key (keyboard) and selecting 4, 6, 8, or 2pans the object
*Getting familiar with the basic skills in Blender will make navigating much easier
Enjoy!

September 6, 2008

EL 200 TSSNG Chapter 4: Reporting

"Liberate the animals! Liberate the animals!" ( p.31 Kanigel)




Reporting is a process. Jobs given to journalists are expected to be multi tasked. Research an event, take or record good coherent notes, and write the story. That puts a lot of responsibility onto the reporter. I would not think that a job, as a reporter, is for cowards. One has to present themselves to the public and make them feel comfortable. Make temporary friends in order to get a story.
Observation is an important aspect of journalism. Seeing is believing, I guess. Watching an event or situation unwrap can be rewarding in the field of journalism. Paying attention to specific details (ex. what color shirt, if the male involved had a beard or not, blood on shoelaces) can give the reader a whole new perspective on a story.
Novelty "Out of the ordinary events get people talking." I like this because I try this as well, in my articles. Adding some humor to a serious situation can, sometimes, gain the reader's interest. It also lightens up a depressing story (ie, "...77-year old pursuing a bachelor's degree" For example: why does the 77-year old need to go back to college at their age? Is it because his/her family is starving? Or they just felt like it? Judgment is important. Gauging a situation without all the details leaves readers in the dark. Questions cannot be answered without proper information.

EL 200 Chapter 3: TSNSG. Covering a Campus.

"If drinking is a major part of life on your campus you could even assign a reporter to an alcohol beat." (p.20 Kanigel)




While any college campus may seem lame, they are breeding grounds for news. A reporters job is to find that news. A college campus goes about its business in a casual way. When the two worlds collide, the reporter finds their story. For example: a student is shot on campus. The call goes out to the police. The dean is notified. Reporters are on the scene. An article is written about the incident. The story gets published in print and online (in some cases).
This is a perfect example of how journalism works. It is a trickled down effect. An incident occurs, the authorities are notified, then the media becomes aware of the situation.
I like the aspect of gorilla journalism. Get in and out. Write the story and get it published. The fastest, most effective way of getting to the readers.That, in a way, coincides with the section on Developing a Beat System. Grabbing a story wherever one is planted while looking for the next one. It keeps the journalist interested and alerted to new ideas as well as stories. As for the newspaper, it does not suffer from dry, drab articles. The journalism game is about keeping the reader interested. If one looses their audience, they are left with nothing.
Readers want a story. They are media hungry. Readers will absorb anything that comes their way. When they do, it becomes the talk of the town. Making its way throughout the area. The story, much like a hurricane, gains strength, until a new situation occurs.
So, yes, colleges are (most of them) small communities filled with stories.