Summer Eyes

This week has been so ridiculous in terms of weather that it really messed up my usual schedule of going to campus at night and working on assignments. It’s a lot less distracting to work in an un-cramped space like the ITCC, rather than a silly library cubicle. I have distractions-a-plenty at home, with the added negative of an unreliable internet connection, plus I’m a night owl, so the ITCC has kind of become a bit of a second home. So, the inclement weather has put a bit of a damper on my productivity this week.

Winter’s great. It’s my favorite season. Blankets become necessary, a hot cup of coffee helps soothe the soul and wake you up, and it’s snowboarding season, so it’s full of ineffable joys. That being said, driving around here in the snow is atrocious. Someone’s speeding, unsafely, followed by someone driving unreasonably slow. So, I took that as a reason to stay home. I’ve really got my eyes on Summer, as a result.

I started off the week by watching the weekly video, and was hesitant of group work for the next two weeks. Every other time I’ve been in a group, one member significantly lags behind. That usually isn’t an direct detriment to the group, but it does cause unnecessary anxiety revolving around the missing member’s status. But, this isn’t the case this time! DS106 wins, again!

On group work, I was contacted by two women about joining their group-in-progress almost immediately after watching the video, so that was awesome timing–I didn’t worry for long! By nightfall, the five-person group was formed, and we’d already scheduled our first meeting.

After our meeting, I got to work.

I started by spending a bit of time with the promotional design assignment, with the result featured below. Bumper Sticker

Once that was done, I felt much more confident in my GIMP abilities, as I noted in my post. I’m really starting to feel more willing to try a lot of the features I don’t know much about; taking risks and breaking some of the self-imposed barriers I unknowingly constructed.

After my promotional bumper sticker, I decided to focus some more on Donnie Rawlen. Like I said in last week’s summary, I really want to develop him further.

I had told my group that I would work on a commercial for Noir We There Yet?, so I set out to do just that first and foremost, with the added benefit of applying it as a hint-hint-wink-wink-nod-nod message to Donnie to replace his outdated bowler hat.  I took it as a time to create a fake “fine attire” company, and do a bit of research on hard-boiled slang, thinking it would add a bit of effect.

So, I looked to the Theme Music assignment. “Great!” I thought. I already posted a clip of my singing, which I did so apprehensively, so I’ll take on a different dynamic of the music world that I’m a bit more comfortable with. I ended up with a little acoustic guitar jingle.

It was a lot trickier to produce than I thought it would, as seems to be a recurring theme, reminiscent of Thomas Edison’s often quoted “…one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration”. Personally, I’d argue that his inclusion of the word “genius” just comes off as pompous and elitist, so I removed the “Genius is” beginning of that quote intentionally, since level of intelligence does not imply work ethic, and therefore results.

Anyways, I’ll get off of my anti-pompousness soapbox and move on to the next assignment I completed this week, which was an audio story of a morning routine. Once again, I focused on Mr. Rawlen. Choosing to have him get out of bed, put on his glasses (“not usually pictured”, is what I’ll go with), and get a cup of coffee, and a slice of toast.

All-in all, I thought that was a good deal of fun, and a neat little assignment. I’m definitely going to have to sift through some other the other submissions to get a grasp on how others’ start their days.

Between the creation of the past two assignments I’ve mentioned, I spent a good deal of time attempting the “Being A Music Producer” assignment, which I ended up recording a few pretty decent riffs. But, I was kind of guitar’d out, and didn’t want so many of my assignments to have my dusted-off, shapely box with strings. So, I switched gears to the vocal trio assignment I created during the past audio week. I ended up recording and posting this:

But decided I didn’t really want to double- or even triple-dip on a single assignment, especially one I’d created ad-hoc, so I didn’t do a post about it. This is my weekly summary though, and I spent some time on it, I figured I’d leave it here for anyone passing through. It’s a 3 layered version of me singing Johnny Cash’s interpretation of a song written by Nine Inch Nails’ vocalist Trent Reznor.

So, by that time, I was up to 9 points of assignments, all focused on Donnie, so I started sifting through the assignment bank, listed by ranking, starting from the back, to find something else to push me past the finish line. My eye caught the homophone story assignment, Hear It Here, so I delved into the whirled world of homophones. I ended up making a little short story, entitled “I Guessed I Was A Guest”.

I Guessed I Was A Guest

I had a ton of fun for this assignment. I love homophones, especially inter-language homophones. I didn’t include any of those, but it was my inspiration for checking it out.

In terms of audio, I tried to step up my game this week, and delve into Audacity a bit more. Honestly, though, I really don’t care for effects other than simple fade ins and fade outs, so I didn’t dig too deeply in that regard. I’ve learned a bit more about how my iPhone only stores Voice Memos as MPEG-4’s, though. So I’ve acquainted myself with a valuable multi-use file converter site (www.online-convert.com).

After all of my assignments were completed, I started wrote a quick summary of how my radio show group is progressing. Therein, I conveyed the level of organization of my group members, how we met up on a Google Doc, and that we delegated our responsibilities for the week.

On Tuesday, I tried to comment on a few posts, so I commented on someone’s daily create post, then commented on a 4 icons and a magic card post, and rounded off the day with my third and final comment on a post about fair use, copyright, and the creative commons.

I tried to keep commenting on my mind all week, but fell short until this evening, unfortunately. I was rather distracted by playing guitar, really. So, Sunday, I remarked on an awesome ambient spooky sounds creation, guessed a reversed song, eye-catching radio promo poster, and a phenomenal rhythm-less poem dedicated to a noir character. I continued my comment spree, and found a great lyric reading set to a Lord of the Rings song, and two great soundboard conversations: one for The Breakfast Club, one for Ben Stein and Robert De Niro.

I really liked the comment requirement for the week. I’m actively engaged with the class on Twitter, but seeing pages fill up with comments is really…neat, to say the least. Feedback is important to the creative process, good or bad.  I knew that coming in to the class, but the only real criticism I’ve had of any of my work has really been from teachers, not peers, so it’s nice to have students commenting on students’ work directly, rather than a “what’d you get (on the test)?” or a half-assed peer editing class period, which rarely result in actual corrections rather than stylistic changes.

I tweeted along to mainly Mildred Pierce this week, although I was present for a few of the ds106 radio shows. Those are always fun. That’s when the community comes out.

So, overall, this week was a ton of work. I felt some pressure to get my stuff done quicker, and so I did record the majority of my assignments for the week throughout the week, but saved today for the write-up and posting portion. I enjoy blog-style writing, since I can actually write how I want to write and cite via hyperlinks rather than MLA, APA, or Chicago style citation; those take up much-needed space on essays, and really seem rather outdated at this point in society.

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One Comment

  • Paul says:

    Winter’s great? I’ve been waiting for the snow to stop since November, and there’s still a couple months of it left.
    But seriously, great week.

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