Primed and Coated

In lack of exhaustion, I began thinking about the principles America was founded upon. One was the right to religious freedom. Then, I began thinking how, in order to be married (not sure how factual this is, just some late nigh thoughts), two individuals must be recognized by the Church. Now, remember, marriage does come with benefits. Government provided benefits, such as tax breaks. So, essentially the Church must recognize a couple as married in order for the government to provide the couple benefits. That isn’t a very good portrayal of separation of Church and state.

We are a country primed with freedom and coated with layers of legalities. Legalities should be just that. Legal, of or pertaining to the laws that are consistent with constitutional rights. Not something based on a specific religion. I am a supporter of equal marriage rights and I am a Christian. Raised Baptist at that. I do not speak of my religious beliefs with family members and have no idea what their opinions are, but I believe if two individuals desire to be married, then who’s to stop them? Yes, couples are happy without marriage, but we are depriving them of the benefits the equally happy, successful couples are given. Is this fair? Then again, does it even matter? Does it actually hinder them from recieving any benefits? Food for thought.

If I am mistaken in any of my claims, please comment and let me know, because these are just my thoughts concerning the topic and what I know, as of now, to be true. I would love to be corrected though!

Blogfolio Numero Uno

This year has been quite the experience! Honors Composition II: Writing in Many Media has given me a wide range of digital experiences! Before this class, I had never even thought of reading a blog. Now, I have a blog of my own; a living, changing entity where I can express my thoughts, concerns, ideas, and beliefs. Having written over 4,000 words this semester, my blog posts have been very connected with my personality and the way I think. I believe that I have grown up in the past school year. As my freshman year of college is coming to an end, I think the best way to finish is to award superlatives.

Favorite Comment: On Twirling Thoughts Is it consuming my life?

Most Inspirational Post: with a tender heart‘s post To This Day Project 

Two Strongest Posts: Intergenerational Computer Center and A Vacation from Technology

Strongest Analytical Writing: Looping Thoughts

Best Usage of Visual Image to Enrich Writing: Positively Positive Thoughts On Thoughts

Best Usage of a Hyperlink: A Vacation from Technology

Most Intellectually Stretching Post: Learning How to Listen

Intergenerational Computer Center

This past week, my Honors Composition II class volunteered at the Intergeneration Computer Center (ICC) on the campus of Oklahoma City University. The fifth graders of Linwood elementary used the program Kerpoof to create a story outlining what they would do if they were rock stars. I signed up for two shifts on the Friday before spring break. Because it was the end of the week, the children had already put the finishing touches and illustrated their story.

They were then given the task to make a short movie clip animating a scene from their story. The instructor showed the kids how to do the basic functions of the program and set them free to create their films. The children were told to use their imaginations and encouraged to explore the program before receiving help.

After a few minutes, we, the volunteers, walked around observing the children working on their movies. It was very strange. Some of the children were significantly more technologically advanced than others. Some would have multiple characters doing different things simultaneously with word bubbles making everything flow, while others simply placed the character stickers and were content with that.

The differences in digital literacy could be due to the degree of exposure to a technology, such as a computer or even an IPhone. It could also be due to the differences in imaginative capacity of the children.

So, after observing this, I walked around asking the children if they were done and if not, what they were working on. Each student was extremely proud of what he or she had created, whether it be simple or intricate. The more intricately designed movies were very well thought out and sometimes quite random. Though a common trait of the movies was the presence of a crowd watching the ‘rock star’s’ performance. Some would make the crowd dance once the music began playing on their skit.

One child in particular simply had the character stickers placed on the backdrop. No animations, no word bubbles, no music, no nothing.  She told me she was finished with her project and offered to show me. Only after praising her for her hard work, I asked her some questions about her movie. I asked if the singer onstage was herself? What kind of music she liked best? Then asked her if she would like to add music to her movie. She said yes and I showed her how to get to the music and let her do the rest. Next I asked her, if you were in the crowd watching someone play really good music, do you think you would stand still or dance? She immediately got where I was going, then smiled and simply said, “dance.” Without another word, she dragged the ‘dance’ animation to each audience group and made them dance when the music started. I asked if we could watch the whole thing again. She started it over and watched her movie again, grinning ear to ear the entire time.

Looping Thoughts

The discussion during class provoked many thoughts on art and literature. Everyone participated in the discussion and contributed many different reflections in response to Plato’s Phaedrus. One lingering question was:

“Are published words [even on blogs or wikis] unreliable sources of the truth, seeing as we can’t speak face to face with the author to clarify questions or to confirm his/her authority on the subject?”

My thoughts on this subject are extremely scattered. I have many thoughts that don’t really tie into each other. So, I’ll just provide a couple.

First, one must distinguish whether they are referring to a published work, such as a book or poem, or a blog or wiki. Published works and visual art are less responsive than blogs or wikis. Blogs and Wikis are living, changing works where, in some cases, the author can respond to a comment or alteration. Whereas, the author is less likely to respond to published works such as books, poems, articles or visual art.

Secondly, what is “the truth?” Every word, statement, speech, essentially every form of literature is subject to interpretation by the reader or listener. Derived meaning depends on the audience’s frame of reference. No two people have the same frame of reference no matter how much they have in common. Does this mean that every person can interpret a work of art or literature differently? That a work of art or literature does not have a single meaning, but perhaps as many meanings as it does viewers or readers?

Simply because one cannot “speak face to face with the author,” it does not mean the sources are unreliable. Yes, a work is subject to interpretation, but as stated during the discussion, meaning of published words can only go a specific depth. If an author means one thing and a reader takes it as something different, then who is to say it is wrong?

I realize that I have not answered the question whatsoever; I am actually further away than I started from answering it. We have gotten precisely no where with this post. I honestly cannot answer the question at all. But, I can brainstorm the heck out of it!

Bow Wiki Wah-Wah

My title is an attempted playoff from the popular Axe commercial below. Just for funzies!

My experience with creating and editing a Wiki has been quite the rollercoaster. My partner, the author of Patterns to Follow, and I originally chose photo-sharing platforms such as Pintrest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. We were then confronted with the fact that all our examples fell under the topic Social Media and Networking. Social Media and Networking is quite a massive topic to cover in one Wiki, which was a little overwhelming to think about at first. We broke down the Wiki into different sections such as: Social Media Sites that link to other Wikis about each one specifically, Photo Sharing, and Impact on Digital Culture.

Being in charge of the Wiki other people would post their research and  inputs on was somewhat stressful seeing as each alteration other groups made changes the format and look of our Wiki. It was important to keep the same structure throughout the entire Wiki, which proved difficult. Another difficult thing to manage was the process of saving. My partner fixed our edits and alterations at least twice before Wikispaces successfully saved our changes.

Knowing my hard work is subject to change makes me feel vulnerable. It makes me strive harder for perfection because the less edits on our page, in my mind, the better we did. In other cases, editing can be positive and shape a simple thought or statement to be better, more informed and/or deeper. Personally, I hate seeing anything I have written covered in red ink, or in this case red text. I suppose I will have to become accustomed to it eventually.

A Vacation from Technology

I found it extremely difficult to find time to “spend 24 hours without my personal computer.” The week the assignment was given, I had four tests, two presentations, and three meetings while working about 20 hours at my job that was 15 minutes away. I decided to put off the assignment until my school week was over. Seeing that I was going to Galveston, Texas over the weekend, I decided to complete my digital abstinence there. I decided to completely stop using the Internet and any electronics (other than a camera) for all of Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday until about 2 p.m.

There was also an assignment in Honors Liberal Arts Seminar: Campus Legends in which we were told to create a “Miniature Museum” in an Altoids tin. I constructed my miniature museum on the beach at Galveston between 29th and 32nd Street on Seawall Boulevard. The assignment comes from Keri Smith’s book, “How To Be An Explorer of the World—Portable Art  Life Museum.” Each assignment is labeled as an individual exploration numbered 1-59. Exploration number nine had an alternate option labeled “Miniature Museum.”

IMG_2486

The combination of the two assignments made me feel extremely connected to the concept of living in the ‘ here and now.’  It forced me to stop, step back, and smell the roses. In this case, listen to the ocean and feel the cold winter sand between my toes. To simply observe the world for the purpose of observing. Technology makes me feel too wrapped up in things that don’t necessarily concern me. There is so much to be distracted by on the Internet or on a phone. Technology can be a complete waste of time or a vital form of communication and channel of important information. It simply depends on how you prioritize your ventures with technology.

Getting away from it all is unimaginably refreshing. In order to get away and feel confident in being able to give your brain a rest, you must prepare to relax. That may seem like a silly thing to say, but it is definitely something to consider. I had to complete all online assignments due Monday and check and double-check all meetings and upcoming obligations before retreating to my technological fast.

Nowadays, peoples’ minds are being stretched in so many different directions due to the accessibility of, not only the Internet, but technology itself. The use of personal computers and phones with Internet accessibility is commonly taken for granted. I, for one, undoubtedly take my laptop for granted.

Honestly, I don’t know how people manage their lives without a personal computer. I find myself using my own personal computer most when typing essays, posting on blogs, and other school related reasons. I would be fully satisfied if all I had to do was use it for composing Word documents. I would have loved to live in the day of the typewriter! Sadly, computers are now a necessity for numerous reasons. I find it annoying having to constantly check my email, numerous Facebook group updates, d2l postings, bank account, work schedule, OCU account, Google docs used for various classes and other online forms of communication. For me, it was extremely easy to quit cold turkey because I don’t really like using my phone, or checking my email, or getting on Facebook. It is something I could live without for a period of time. I doubt I could live without them for an extended period of time, but it is definitely revitalizing to simply go with the flow. To live as if a child would—not caught up in the social medias or emails, but as if nothing mattered other than the ‘here and now.’

Live the life you've imagined