Weekly Summary #1

DS106 WEEK 1 SUMMARY

So far, this course has been a whirlwind of information, both fascinating and not. At first, I really struggled with how to tag the TCDs, etc. But, I think that I am starting to get the hang of it now. I know that this particular class does not leave much margin for error because of the small time frame we have. At the beginning of the course, I couldn’t even figure out how to get to the webpage with the appropriate assignments and due dates! It was very stressful, but finally I was victorious. Now, I am actively on my blog every single day!

So far, my favorite part of the course has been customizing/personalizing my blog and doing the Daily Creates! I love that anyone can contribute these small, yet creative, daily activities. A few of them I have been very impressed by and thoroughly enjoyed participating in. My favorite TCDs are all the ones that involve photography because, like I stated on my blog’s “About Moi” page, my passions revolve around traveling and photography. I am very excited to begin digitalizing these passions. Especially so that I can share them with more people!!

I am still have difficulty with the following:
1. Categorizing our posts: Are we supposed to pick our own categories?
2. How many days a week should we listen to Scottlo’s Radio Blog? Every day?
3. Are my photographs protected by copyright while they are on Flickr/WordPress?
4. What kind of commentary counts for participation? How will you know when we write on others’ blogs? Should we keep track of this kind of information on our own?

I have also strayed from the syllabus and started developing my own blog posts with photography I’ve been wanting to showcase for a while. I just did not know of a better outlet than Facebook. I actually prefer the blog because I can arrange and set it up exactly how I want people to see it. That is such a strong benefit of blogging that I never thought of prior to this course. I honestly would never have thought to set up my own blog for the purpose of displaying my photographs– Now, I can’t stop adding photos to Flickr and making gallery albums to showcase my travels!

Daily Creates:

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TDC #1:
http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/picturing-yourself-as-an-image/
TDC #2:
http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/the-dog-days-are-over/
TDC #3:
http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/daily-create-3-poetry-newspaper-and-scissors/
TDC #4:
http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/bonus-for-hippie-aura/

Visual Assignments:

VA #1
http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/visual-assignment-1-shakespearean-lolcat/

VA #2
http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/visual-assignment-2-youre-doing-it-wrong/

Blog Posts:

ds106zone LoDown Post
http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/ds106zone-lodown-001-post/

Gardner Campbell Post:
http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/gardner-campbell-personal-cyberinfrastructure-post/

Personal Blog Posts:

http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/the-reality-of-china/

http://www.hayleyjoe.net/uncategorized/tales-of-heat/

Gardner Campbell: Personal Cyberinfrastructure Post

Review of Gardner Campbell: His Thoughts on Education and His Idea of a Personal Cyberinfrastructure

To begin, Gardner Campbell’s article, A Personal Cyberinfrastructure, brought several problems to my attention, while simultaneously interesting me by his perspective on the failures of education. After reading Campbell’s article and watching his presentation, I can honestly say that, as a graduating senior about to enter the competitive job market, I am concerned that I am not as familiar with digital technologies as some of my friends and classmates. It is VERY true, though. At all of my internships throughout college, I have somehow slid by with a very basic understanding of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. While I am better versed in applications of digital photography, I still think I am part of the population he expresses is lagging behind in their digital proficiency and innovation.

An aspect of the article that jumped out at me was his notion that students’ creativity is stunted by their desire to get a good grade on an assignment, which essentially means “write what you think the teacher wants to read.” This makes total sense and I can relate to it on a personal basis. As an English major, I have written a great deal of papers in my college career. What I can honestly say is that I tend to base my paper’s argument on things my professors have stated he or she believes is true of said paper topic. In our society, academic success comes in the form of A’s and B’s, anything above average. I think Campbell does a eloquent and thorough job at explaining why this trend is dangerous for students entering the professional work world. Teachers should want their students to be ahead of the curve, especially with the growing prominence of technology in our world.

As for the video, I found Campbell’s presentation to be a bit baffling. It was a large amount of information, concepts, his scattered thoughts, and tech terms to take in in only 50 minutes. Like I’ve said before, I am new at this. What I did take away from the lecture: Campbell asserts that the way to progress past the “digital facelift” is through the education of our society’s young people. The components of education he emphasized were 1) narrating, 2) curating, and 3) sharing. Narrating, meaning the involvement of students and teachers actively thinking aloud, or blogging. By “curating,” he means the way we arrange our thoughts, questions, and information for the public sphere. Campbell also emphasized here that he has often found that many students don’t believe they are truly doing anything of value with their school work. I thought this was really interesting because I often feel like I am just going through the motions in school. For example, there is only one RIGHT way to organize an academic paper. You must present an intro with a thesis statement, several body paragraphs with supporting points, maybe a paragraph of context for the thesis, and then, a conclusion. It is all so cut and dry I feel like there is little opportunity for me to be creative in my classes- EVEN AS AN ENGLISH MAJOR! As for Campbell’s third solution is sharing. This term accounts for how you choose to get your word out there for people to hear. Campbell kindly pointed out that someone may find what you think valuable! I love how he called this the “unmet friend.” Every under-appreciated English major’s dream.

I genuinely want to be part of the technology generation that makes complete use of the opportunities current digital provide us. Campbell convinced me to at least try. I don’t think 22 is too late to learn.

ds106zone LoDown 001 Post

Thoughts on Scott Lockman’s Scottlo Radio, Episode 1

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I am typically a kinesthetic learner, so the concept of listening to a podcast multiple times a week, without any sort of visual aid or representation, sounded quite dull. Despite this, I began listening to Scottlo’s podcast with no expectations whatsoever. This is because I had literally never listened to one before. My initial thoughts were that Scottlo’s demeanor was very casual. I guess subconsciously, I might have thought the setting would be a bit more academic? I’m not sure. It did not feel like a professional outlet, just a man expressing his desire to help ds106 students succeed. Which, in all honesty, I prefer over dry lectures that require little to no engagement.

The number one thought provoking idea that I took away from this podcast was the notion that it is easy to obtain your own podcast and/or be on the radio. Very cool! I am not familiar with how radio stations start up and what that process requires, so this made radio seem a lot more manageable to me. I thought Scottlo laid out his role for the course very well. I agree with one of the first comments on the page- he has got a great voice for this. I’m sure his contributions will end up helping us all progress through the audio portions of the course. I think these segments sound like a great idea, especially because they will be on the shorter side. Again, this makes the process more manageable (to me). When it comes to ds106, students are obviously going to be at different level of proficiency with the technologies we are using in this class. Therefore, it is great news that we will have someone to aid in our understanding of the audio assignments and subsequent media assignments.

Visual Assignment #2: You’re Doing It Wrong

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Plain and Simple: You’re Doing It Wrong

This photograph just so happens to be the perfect image for this visual assignment. As a senior, planning to graduate at the end of this second summer session (if all goes well with ds106!), I have done PLENTY of things wrong. For starters, I am beginning the lengthy process of moving my belongings out of my townhouse on William Street. After being a tenant for several years, I have accumulated quite a bit of stuff. While most of it is junk that I do not mind parting with, I REALLY wanted to keep the couch that I felt symbolized college for me personally. It didn’t quite make sense, but I didn’t care. That couch, it was a sanctuary of comfort and had been with me since my sophomore year of college.

As you can probably tell, this first attempt did not go well… Neither did the second, third, fourth, or fifth attempt. It became apparent after several hours in the humid, Virginia heat that we were not going to accomplish getting the couch out of that small doorframe. Reluctantly, I allowed my guy friend, Chris*, to give up, ONLY TO DISCOVER that the couch was legitimately stuck, suspended in the doorway. What does one do now? Well, nothing, but wait for someone with actual upper body strength to stumble across our idiotic situation.

Luckily, my next door neighbor received a package, delivered by a hefty, tall, broad shouldered, big armed UPS delivery man. And in exchange for a glass of iced tea, that wonderfully strong man managed to shove the couch safely back into my townhouse. Not to say we didn’t damage a great deal of dry wall, because we certainly did, but for some reason the whole event felt like an utter success, even though we had failed. I couldn’t find a better parallel to describe my college experience. What I mean by this is: I failed a lot in college. I failed at relationships, certain math classes, etc. BUT, now as I reflect back on my experience as a whole, I view it as a beautiful success– for my failures changed my perspective and ultimately shaped who I am today. Denzel, the couch, will be missed, but never forgotten!

Visual Assignment #1: Shakespearean LOLcat

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The Kittens That Best Exemplify Shakespeare (And Why?)

A very well-known and popular Shakespearean quote, paired with two adorable kittens playing in a ambiguously green, outdoor setting. The story behind this image begins with the chilly Fall evening when I found three young kittens walking timidly around the dumpster behind the restaurant I used to work at. My best guess for their age was between 3 and 6 weeks old. Their eyes were still a bright blue hue, symbolizing their adorable youth. The kittens’ mother was nowhere to be found. I remember checking on them periodically throughout my 8 hour shift, always skittish when I tried to approach them. Once the bar doors had be closed for the night, I returned out back to see if the mother cat had returned for her babies. She had not. I assumed the worst, and could not leave these three bundles of innocence to die insignificantly behind a pile of trash bags.

I used a large fleece that I had stowed away in my trunk as a blanket and gathered the three kittens to bring home, into the safety and warmth. It look me about 15 minutes to catch all three of them. They kept scurrying around the dumpster, looking for their mama. At best, she had simply abandoned her babies. At worst, she was dead and would never return.

The kittens cried and cried the entire 4 minute drive to my house. I tried to comfort them, but my efforts were rendered useless for the car ride. Once we were in the house, the kittens enjoyed exploring the downstairs for several hours while my roommate and I set up a sleeping area for them, researched kitten food, and picked their names, based on our first impressions. As a result, three new, little roommates were added to our home; McGee, Lucy, and Boris. (Pictured below)

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The next day, I took all three bundles of fur and tiny meows to the nearest veterinarian. There, I was given shocking news. All three kittens were very sick. The vet speculated that they had been on their own for multiple days. McGee, Lucy, and Boris all had fleas and parasites, most likely from eating the rotting food in the dumpster where I had found them. The vet said it was a minor miracle that they survived and were not victims of the natural elements.

The next part of this story breaks my heart. As a 20 year old college student, I was not even close to being able to afford the care all three of these kittens required. I was given a few options: 1) the vet’s office could take them off my hands and transport them to the SPCA or local animal shelter (where they would likely die); 2) I could pay the hundreds of dollars in veterinary fees out of pocket (I couldn’t afford it); or 3) I could quickly find loving homes for them with owners who could afford such a financial burden. I chose to find homes for them myself.

In the meantime, I bought a week’s worth of the medication, posted Craig’s List ads, and e-mailed everyone I knew. After my efforts seemed fruitless, I went to check my e-mail on the sixth morning I had the kittens. I had five new e-mails, but only three of interest to me. FINALLY, I had heard back from three responsible families that were all interested in taking one kitten. It broke my heart to split them up, but none of the families wanted to take on the responsibility of three baby kittens. I tried to empathize, but I admit, I cried. I cannot even begin to describe the weight that was lifted off my shoulders. I cried out of happiness as well, the kittens were going to survive.

To make this long story short, my visual assignment’s quote reflects the attitude I like to believe the kittens had. They fought to survive by the dumpster, they fought to survive against many odds. I feel lucky and very happy to say that all three kittens are now healthy, full grown, and happy with their loving families. McGee went to my brother’s best friend’s mother, Lucy went to my roommate’s best friend’s mother, and Boris went home with my roommate’s older sister. This worked out well for all of us, especially since in the weeks I spent with the kittens, we had become very attached to one another. I cannot be sure, but I think that they all thought I was their mother for a period of time. Either way, I am just incredibly content knowing they are all alive, safe, and happy. I look forward to receiving Christmas cards and e-mails from the families who adopted them. We stay in touch, and in an even more beautiful event: the kittens remember me.

My Process:

I found the image on Google and used photoshop to add the text. The quote I chose was from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It was simple, but I want to become more advanced with the program and learn how to utilize more of their very useful features.