October 2010 Archives

Multimedia Project Draft

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Hazard Yet Forward: A Meeting of Past and Future Selves

 The dormroom of Seton Hill University senior Lindsey Andrews. Tomorrow she graduates.  She is seated on her bed with a scrapbook, flipping reminiscently through its pages.

 Voice: We sure have changed, huh?

 One of the scrapbook photos looks up at Lindsey and waves. Lindsey watches the image of herself leap from the photo and off the page.

Retro-Lindsey, dusts herself off: You didn't forget about me, did ya?

 Lindsey: I must be having some type of anxiety induced hallucination. I read about this happening to people.

 Retro-Lindsey, laughs: Maybe. I'm just here to remind you.

 Lindsey: Of?

 Retro-Lindsey, points to the scrapbook: Oh, look! Do you remember English Club?

 Lindsey: Is that Grace and Jeff? Wow. I was so shy at the first meeting.  The group dynamic was great, though.  Because of the encouragement and acceptance I found among those people, I grew confident about voicing my opinions.

 Retro-Lindsey: And look here at this newspaper clipping that recognizes our o-u-t-s-t-a-n-d-i-n-g achievements!

 Lindsey: Yes. I was--am--very proud of my accomplishments.  My classes and teachers have given me so much more than I started with.

 Retro-Lindsey: So, why then are you sulking on this bed looking back at me?

 Lindsey: Well I'm ...  nervous I suppose about where I go from here after tomorrow's graduation.

 Retro-Lindsey: Follow me. I want you to see something.

 The two Lindseys cross to the other side of the room and stand before a framed mirror.

 Retro-Lindsey: When we came to Seton Hill we were scared, just like you are now, but look at yourself.  Tomorrow, you'll step onto that stage and off into a future you've worked hard for. And guess what? You're ready for it.

 Lindsey recognizes herself and smiles. Retro-Lindsey disappears.


*The script is a very rough draft, but it conveys the general idea.

Blogging Under the Microscope, or Portfolio Two

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In order to compose this second blog portfolio I asked myself, Have I improved as a blogger?  Since portfolio one, I've been careful to give proper attribution to all borrowed content. I would have never thought to use someone else's words without attributing them properly, but in the past I was less considerate when plucking images from the web. But, No more! I definitely feel like a more responsible blogger.  I credit this to the remix project, which taught me that the role of copyright extends to the world of easy accessibility, also known as the Internet.  In that respect, I show improvement. I am not perfect, though; my blogs received significantly less comments this time around. One reason may be the titles of my entries. Although I see them as catchy, I realize now some might not be very telling.  For instance, I used the title "Beep, Beep!" for one entry where I talked about impatient parents at my son's school, who beeped for me to hurry as I tried to drop him off one morning.  Beep, Beep! doesn't clearly convey my topic.  Titles are an area I will address in my future entries. I like being able to identify both my strengths and weaknesses. If I cannot see my faults, I cannot improve, and this class is giving me the tools to see.



I mention why I think female athlete's get negative attention on Beth Anne's A Stereotype That I Just Can't Seem to Shake.

I also commented on DJ's Parents - the New 21st Century Idiots



This time around I incorporated some creative writing into my blog. Writing for me is never a shallow process.  One can never merely dangle her feet in the pool. She has get in over her head. So for depth, I offer Penance.



I responded to Jalen's tweet about how all photography today is retouched.

Also on my blog, I've tried to incorporate content (a quote or image usually) at the beginning of every entry that will encourage myself and readers to think deeply.  In my entry Into the Black Hole, Our Words Vanish, I talked to Kayla about why text messaging is toxic to our writing skills.


Outside Material...

For Into the Black Hole, Our Words Vanish, I offer links to various websites that scold poor grammar habits.

In Stereotype Me Not I link to a peers blog and a video about creating stock characters.



I think the way in which I approached the remix project says a lot about who I am, my tendency to approach things in a serious and intimate way. 

Something that I think is also detectable in my entry Beep, Beep!



A tweet that conveys emotion in less than 140 characters.

A creative title that was catchy and informative.






Stereotype Me Not

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"Character is the result of a system of stereotyped principals." - David Hume

I recently commented on a classmate's blog about stereotypes, which got me thinking about how much we actually depend on them.  It's true we depend on these oversimplified ideas about people in order to make sense of the world around us. I don't condone stereotyping people, and I'm not suggesting it is right.  All I am saying is everyone does, even those people most adamantly against it are guilty.  

Think of it in fictional terms.  What is a stock character? Answer: A stereotype. The jock.  The mistress. The loner. We have ideas about what these personalities will look like and how they will act. The practice of oversimplifying in order to draw a point of recognition is common in fiction, and it is done to help people make sense of the themes and motifs in a story.  Now a stock character is never a central figure in fiction, but even the protagonists have stock qualities that enable us to recognize them. The best way to rationalize this tendency is to recognize we are predisposed to stereotypes from an early age.  Think of every fairytale or biblical tale you know because writers manipulate our familiarity with them to create their fiction. 

Think of it as a way of identifying.  Remember the persona we created in Writing for the Internet.  We chose images of people we knew nothing about to portray a target audience.  My group chose a picture of a young man that we "thought" looked athletic and upbeat.  We have simplified, long standing ideas about what certain things should and should not be.

I have no resolve for this post. I am simply considering how much a part of life stereotypes are. Does their abundance somehow necessitate them?

Into the Black Hole, Our Words Vanish

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© 2007, millicent_bystander, Black Hole Sun


by James Merrill

u cn gt a gd jb w hi pa!

So thinks a sign in the subway.

Think twice when letters disappear

Into Commodity's black hole--

No turning back from that career.

This counterspell may save your soul.

Quite an interesting lil' snippet, wouldn't you say?  It's provoking in its assertion.  To me it suggests we should all think hard about the deterioration of our language skills. 

I have compiled something of a counterspell below.  The following websites are devoted to righting grammatical wrongs and dispensing lingual awareness.  

My hmphs 



It's Your Language


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"I saw a dream which made me afraid, and 

the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my 

head troubled me." - Daniel 4:5

A hazy, overcoming sense of fear mingled with panic pervades the air--or is it dissolution?

I run down blackened stairs.  Meeting the last step, I stumble.

(Get up, Child.)

Down a vacant hall a hollow doorway waits. A familiar threshold that always brought me into a hospitable space.

Dropping onto newly tattered knees, revelation finds me. I am not welcome ... not permitted to enter.  There is as well the sudden sensation I'd expected rejection.

I grope at an invisible barrier, concrete with resistance.  Tears slip from infant eyes. I beg, forceful at first.  "PLEASE!"  Until, lament becomes no more than pitiable whimper.  

A fate had been chosen--by me, alive in the dark, content among unseen evils.

I muster another bout of enthusiasm for my cause.  Aware I deserve no better.  "Please, I didn't know. I didn't...." Rasping sobs escape in unbreakable sequence.  Shame is overwhelming.  Fear debilitating.  Punishing regret bruises my soul, and then

the intangible partition dissolves.

I dart to the farthest recess of the opened room.  Comfort I welcome, but peace does not follow. The crippling presence left outside taunts on.

(Quiet now. Hush.)

I am humbled, embarrassed by the fall, a descent acknowledging an inadequate estate.

I cradle the fear that this redemption is but temporary.


Beep, Beep!

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©2007, Official Star Wars Blog, Beep!

"Patience and fortitude conquer all things," said Emerson.

I believe I possess the first but am without enough fortitude to pacify my desire to verbally ream the impatient parents at my son's school.  Monday thru Friday I deliver my child to the place where learning occurs. And the lack of common courtesy demonstrated by fellow parents astonishes me.  People who, mind you, ought to posses the virtue of patience.  Parents are, after all, the very figures children model themselves after.  Allow me to describe the behavior these children witness - and are being taught indirectly.

School begins at 8:45 and students must arrive by 8:40.  A faculty or security person will assist the children from the vehicle and aim them in the direction of the building.  Important if the child is younger.  I normally drop James, my son, off around 8:25, a little early.  At that time there isn't always someone waiting to help the kids exit the vehicles. 

This was the case last week when I got out of my car to help James.  I'll add that James is never quick about anything.  He's 6.  Nothing is so dire as to make him feel a need to rush.  Frankly, I wouldn't wish him otherwise. Time is of no consequence when you're young.  That said he fiddled a bit before slipping his backpack on. It was also raining some, so I took a second to pull up his hood.  Then, I waited until he walked into the building. The whole process took, oh, 3 minutes. Three minutes! In those 3 minutes, the few vehicles in line sounded off at least a beep per minute.  This was absurd to me. Did they expect me to shove my kid out of the car, speed off and not look back?  Is that what they do each morning? I wondered.

I later shared this story with my own mother.  She had the most simple, perfect advice (as mothers always do).  She said, "Next time that happens, April, you just smile and wave."  I will smile next time.  It's the polite thing to do and is certain to infuriate them, which makes me smile on the inside too.

I bet you have your own stories about impatience, or just plain rudeness.  Feel free to vent them here.  I'd love to hear.  Or maybe you think me too sensitive?  Do tell.


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