The Tellings of a GT Freshman
TIME DOES FLY
Well it feels as if only yesterday I moved into the dorm and started classes here at Tech, but really it is almost the end of the first semester. I can still remember when Dr. Tryon first assigned us our blog assignment. It was an assignment to last all semester. We would be required to write one entry a week, a reflection on something we had been assigned to read. At first I thought the assignment sounded really stupid, and I was not very interested in it. Slowly however I started to enjoy blogging. I was free to express my opinion and it gave me a feeling of release. So blogging went from being a pain to being something I looked forward to every week. I enjoyed it so much I even started my own personal blog
. Even though I was enjoying blogging there were times when it was a struggle for me. Let me recap my semester of blogging introducing you to my best and worst blogs.
For starters I wrote an Introduction blog
that was meant to simply introduce myself to the reader. I think it was by far the easiest blog but an important in creating a connection between the reader and myself. My hope was to make my introduction welcoming as well as informative, and I think I did this effectively. Even though it is an into to myself as I read it now I can see many changes in my personality that have occurred over the course of the semester.
Looking back I remember reading Tom Daschle's blog, and I recall writing my first true blog entry
about what I thought of it. I was not impressed at all by Daschle's travel log as he so calls it. So I decided to voice my opinion, and I did. Calling Daschle out on his use of pathos form of persuasion I tried to make it clear that Daschle was simply counting on people reacting to the sad stories he posted on his blog. Although I was able to see that certain people might react to Daschle's blog the way he had intended for them to I looked beyond the sob stories and found...... well nothing which was my whole point!!!
Another blog of mine I thought was successful was a blog I wrote about pictures
and the purpose they serve. I think this is a successful blog because the topic was something I was very interested in, and that I had mixed feelings on. For these reasons I think that writing the blog came fairly easy to me, and I was able to say exactly what I wanted to. I also like this blog because it allowed me to be a bit more personal and share some of my personality, and not just my opinion.
Now that you have seen a couple of my best blogs lets take a look at a few that were more of a struggle for me. The first blog that comes to mid was a blog I wrote about an essay we were assigned to read entitled "The Storyteller"
by Walter Benjamin. This blog was a struggle for me for a few reasons. First of all the reading was difficult. Walter chose to use a lot of difficult words, and his style bothered me. Another reason it was hard was because I was not interested in the topic. The one thing that saved me was that I completely disagreed with his argument. I simply used my blog to bash his ideas and warn others to avoid his essay at all costs. In hindsight I wish I had put forth a little more effort on this blog. The content is fairly weak and I didn't put the focus where it should have been!!!
Another blog I found I had some trouble with was a blog I wrote in response to an essay by Tara McPherson, "Reloaded"
. While I enjoyed this essay and agreed with many of the points Tara made I still found this blog more difficult. I think this is because there was a lot that could be said about this topic and I was trying to cram it all in one tiny space. At first glance I don't think that the blog appears to be that bad, but when I look at it I am not satisfied. Although I touched upon a lot of good points I feel like I completely missed what I was trying to say. This was something I was aware of while I was writing this blog, but I could not figure out what to do. Eventually I became so frustrated with the blog that I gave up and forced myself to be satisfied.
Overall I think blogging is a very effective learning tool, and a fun project as well. I enjoyed posting to my blog and I was able to experiment with different writing techniques while doing so. At the start of the semester there was a lot of focus on argumentative persuasion techniques and I think that trying to find those in essays and other blogs and then blogging on them myself helped me a great deal in understanding those concepts and ideas. I would recommend blogging to anyone it is great for any purpose, and easy to use.
Well I guess that about wraps it up. I am one final away from the end of my first semester here at Tech, I am finished with Dr. Tryon's class, and I have brought my blog to a close. Thanks for joining me this semester. I hope my blog has been of some interest to you, and that's it......I'm all wrapped up....bye!!!!!!
I personally enjoyed very much getting to create a group blog. I thought It was a very interesting project and really neat to be able to see different viewpoints on certain subjects. It was really cool to see the other groups present and I thought they all did a very good job. I was really impressed with one of the group’s blog
. It seemed to be really together and it had a lot of fun extra things on the site that caught my attention. The group I’m speaking of focused their group blog around comedy movies. Each of the members choose several movies to watch and then write on and rate. I really liked the reviews and AI thought that adding the pictures to their blog added a nice touch! I recommend checking it out. I thought that all the movies they mentioned that I had seen were hilarious and those that I hadn’t seen I am going to try to watch sometime. The group not only summarized the movies but they also analyzed the type of humor in each of the movies. I thought their opinions were very well researched and thought out, and I am eager to see the movies that are on their list that I have not seen yet!
Imagine a world where leaving your home is never necessary. Where your work, your family, and your recreation are all found in one central location. This is the idea behind William J. Mitchell's essay "E-TOPIA". Mitchell theorizes that eventually (probably soon) technological advances will make all the different aspects of our lives converge and all of our responsibilities can be taken care of without ever leaving your home. Much of this is based on telecommunication and the idea that it will allow people to work from home rather than actually going in to work. He explains how with the help of the internet and other technologies people no longer have to run errands, they simply telecommunicate and it shall be done! For some this may seem like the perfect life, but I however must disagree. The first thought that came to my mind was the novel "Anthem" by Ayn Rand.
The thought behind that book is that all individuality has been removed from society and people do not make chocies, instead their lives are decided for them. The two topics may not seem to relate, but the do to me. In the book people communicate by television and they live in small uniform communities. This concept is how I imagine society going wrong under the conditions Mitchell speaks of. I think that somehow technology (or the people creating it) would seize power over the population and people would becomes puppets to "society" AKA technology. I am not worried about this too much however, because I think people are responsible enough to control technology and not let it control us. At least I hope this is the case!!!!!
Tara McPherson's Reloaded was an interesting article that discussed the internet and television and the roles that they each play in society and how two things that appear to be closely connected are in fact two very different things. My response to this is that I agree that they are two separate things. There are a number of differences. Television is definitely more restrained and more structured. Normal people have no say in how television is organized. They must fit teleision into their lives by working their schedule so that they have free time to watch their favorite shows. The internet is quite different on this level. The internet is always available and the material placed there is bound to be available for an extended period of time so that you can look at it at your own convenience. There is also a lot more variety present on the internet. There is information on any topic you want to find, and you can even create your own webpage. When you use the internet it's almost as if you are entering a whole new world. There are other people to connect with unlike TV where you are simply there to watch a structured show. Through chat and e-mail people are able to contact one another and use the internet as a tool for connecting poeple. This article was interesting and evokes a lot of thought. If you get some free time you might look it on the web, I doubt that there will be a TV show about it anytime soon!!!!
After reading selections from Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida I am pleased to admit that I am intrigued by many of his thoughts and ideas on photography. There were a number of times I had actually had the same thought myself, and it was interesting to know other people, or at least one other person had thought the same thing I had. For instance, when he began talking about the picture of his mother and how he recognized her but that it was not the mother he knew, I understood exactly what he meant. I feel that way every time I look at a photograph of someone I know that was taken before I knew them. I have even had that feeling looking at childhood pictures of myself. I know they are pictures of me but I do not remember those times and it is so hard for me to connect to the picture and see it as me. I also related to his section on posing and becoming an object in pictures. I think that pictures are meant to capture something special. Something beyond faces; a moment in time, or a feeling. Whats strange to me is that although I think this way I prefer posed pictures. I like the sense of order and getting eveyone in the picture to look their best. I'ts a strange conflict that I struggle with. I think Roland even struggled with it a bit himself. He talked about how he posed and knew that he wasn't himself in photographs, but yet he always posed and became an object despite his knowledge. The selections were what I think of as a series of thoughts. I found them to be quite interesting and mentally challenging. I reccommend this reading to anyone who is looking to think a bit deeper and question things for a while.
EARLY FILM whats to be gained from it???
Movies are a very popular interest among people today. There are movies made to entertain every age group and personality type. Today a lot goes into making movies. There are extreme special effects, twisted plots, make-up artists, costumes, well-trained actors and actresses, and entire crews of people that pull the whole thing together. But it all had to start somewhere. That somewhere was a place where movies were mere minutes long, without color, sound, or special effects, the sets were small and the make-up and costumes were at the bottom of the priority list. It might sound really boring to a person who is used to the way movies are today, but if examined properly there is a lot to be gained from early films and they are actually very interesting. When the first movies came out they were limited and the topic of the film had to simple and suitable for a wide variety of people. They themes usually dealt with popular interests of the time period and a lot can be learned from examining these themes. For instance there were many early films that focused on women and placed them in unusual often "forbidden" types of story lines. Film alone was fascinating, but the controversy that would come out of certain films was intriguing in its own way. Movies have become extremely important due to the controversial issues they cover and I feel they have had a major impact on society by educating them in a sense and also by bringing forth sensitive issues that might otherwise have gone ignored. There is also a lot to be said for the creativeness that early movies were created with. Because they were so short the entire story had to be told in mere minutes and often without the use of words but with actions alone. There was also a lack of technology and any special effect had to be created using the simplest means possible. Looking at all of these things it is obvious that there is much to be gained from early films; a sense of the social climate during that time period, knowledge about the people and interests, and above all an appreciation for technology and the time it takes to develop and improve it.
Last Saturday I went the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia where there was a exhibition of works by Cheryl Goldsleger an artist from Georgia. Her works focus on and are inspired on the work of women architects. Her artwork was created on many different types of media and she used a variety of different architecture styles from various time periods throughout history. The Museum had cleared out all of its regular works to display only Cheryl’s work for just over a month. Although all of her work is focused around architecture the way she uses mixed medias and different viewpoints makes each piece unique and beautiful. Her work comes in many different sizes as well. In her smaller works the detail is incredible and her use of texture and lines makes every piece have a unique feel and meaning. My personal favorite piece was a series of five blocks that were designed to recreate a building from the 18th century. Each block contained an new level of the building so that you were able to dissect the building floor by floor. Her entire exhibit was amazing and devoted to representing women and the greater good of society. To add to that last comment each separate work was based on a building that was home to a social reform group or a building donated to underprivileged people. Overall her work was very inspiring and I recommend you check it out.