EL 336 Portfolio #3

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I can't believe we're already finished with EL 336, Topics of Media and Culture: The Book. As this was my first 300 level class, I really wasn't sure what to expect, and I have to admit it was quite challenging. Although the level of blogging was about the same as most of my other classes, the course work and assigned texts were a lot more involved than what I'm used to. However, even though I had a couple of weeks where I didn't blog as proficiently as I have in the past, my last week or so made up for my lack of activity during golf season. 

Take a look at Let's see how far we've come! for an example of one of my most in-depth blogs ever written. I split one assigned reading text into three blog entries, because I had so much to say about the topics at hand, so make sure you take a look at A Case for Libraries and Ebooks are the Future :-) as well. The latter blog entry exhibits my ability to link the assigned text to outside information, specifically to a video of what the iPad's innovation will bring to the table for all future ebooks and emagazines. 

More than anything, this course really forced me to appreciate ancient technology, especially manuscript culture. My Calligraphy creative presentation remains my favorite CP for the whole semester, because it gave us an experience that my generation is gradually drifting further and further away from. From the beginning of the semester, I've argued that digital technology is superior to everything else, but what I've come to realize more now than ever is that it really is all relative. As I proved in my first paper, modern technology, specifically youtube and podcasts are paving the way for oral communication to make a comeback. Having said that, my current paper argues that ebooks are the future for print culture. 

Before the introduction of the iPad, I was still a skeptic concerning ebooks. I briefly owned a Kindle, but just couldn't get into the whole digital-book thing. I still love the look and feel of reading a physical book. As excited as I might be for the iPad, I know that it'll take a lot for me to get rid of my books altogether. This paper's been a challenge for me, because of my view concerning books. It's hard for me to continuously argue for digital culture when I still feel so attached to printed culture. 

I have to give a lot of my credit to Robert Darnton and his Case for Books, because the most recent chapters we read, involving not only libraries but Google Books have given me so much more insight into my paper that it's taken on an even more specific direction than I'd anticipated. What really struck me, and continues to make me ponder was Darnton's comment about Google Book's real intentions with their digital library. Is Google Books a monopoly?

I still don't have the answer, but it's become a serious focal point in my research for the final revision of my paper. If Google Books is indeed a monopoly, will they really be the future of print culture? I'm not so sure, because people might actually rebel from such a practice. As much as I like to own books, I'd prefer hands-down to visit a library to access books than to pay Google to read them online and strain my eyes.

I'd like to take a moment to reflect on our creative presentations as well. I feel like I've really grown as a speaker as well as improved my creativity from these presentations. Looking back to my first CP, I was horrified to present to my seven peers. I really liked the fact that we had so many in comparison to my other classes. Usually, I just have a final presentation or maybe two throughout the semester. By breaking these up into four different, yet specific presentations, we were able to focus more and also have a lot more fun in class. As much work as this class may have been, it was a lot of fun. It was great to see how creative we all are when we really put our minds to it. I really loved Megan's embossing presentation, and Tiffany's morse code activity. We really took a lot from these presentations, because they allowed us to literally apply what we've learned to real-life situations. The creative presentations were probably my favorite part of the whole class. 

I have to admit--I've probably learned more in this course than any of the other classes I've taken thus far at Seton Hill. It's not that I didn't learn a lot of information in my other classes, but this was the first time I've really been able to see a bigger picture than what the professor throws in front of me. I've made more connections and insights in the past 5 months than in most of my college career. 

On that note, I guess it's adios until next fall!

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