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thank you, everyone!

to everyone, blogging with you and being with you in class has been awesome. i wish media studies majors had been able to come together like this more throughout our time here. i am really impressed (and entertained *smile*) by everyone's comments and thesis topics, and i'm really excited to hear how they turn out, whether they be about PWT, mash-ups, wikipedia, or digital poetry (and all the other amazing ones too). three-hour classes never passed so quickly before.

i wish everyone a happy winter break and the best of luck with everything next semester. i kinda wish we could keep this blog going to keep in touch, but that's kinda unrealistic. oh well. c'est la vie. it's been fun, and i hope to see y'all around. senior year's halfway over--AHHH!

final thoughts on blogging

soooo, it looks like the blogging adventure of ms 190 is winding down. i have really enjoyed this. i was in the ms149 theory class last fall and did this there too, but it really frustrated me for a while. i did not understand if it was formal or not, how serious we were supposed to be and such. i approached it like i approached the written reading responses we had to do in intro media studies (also with prof. fitzpatrick). those written ones were intense. we were graded very toughly on a scale of 1-10. i remember working sooo hard to get that 10, and it only happened once or twice. i don't think that i'm such a grade-grubber, but i really felt like high quality writing was expected of me. and i wanted to become very articulate in that class, especially because media studies was so new and different for me (as a frosh, coming from a high school with limited elective classes).

new thesis option: scott mccloud-style

so i was thinking. in doing our thesis, we have the paper option and the project option. yet it seems that many of us doing the paper are incorporating project components, whether that be a CD of mash-ups or digital poetry (from people whose new bff is dreamweaver-lol!) mine has a website component too.

all this makes sense, because we want to show it, not just say it. that was the cool thing about scott mccloud and his theory of comic books; he debunked the notion that "truly great works of art and literature are only possible when the two are kept at arm's length" (mccloud 140) by using comics to theorize on the validity of the comic form and its ability to convey complex ideas. well done. he has a chapter on this called "show and tell" (138).

how people read online

in doing research for my thesis, i was looking at web psychology and how using this medium requires fundamentally different mental processes. consequently, people read material online differently than they would if it were in a book. they scan, generally. it's about breadth, more than depth. i was not able to use this material in my thesis work, but i thought it was interesting. here's the link.
the website's summary is itself very demonstrative of the principles it advocates, kind of like scott mccloud, with his don't-just-say-it-show-it kind of mentality.

media in education

as i was watching the "what is art" claymation piece from racinian's recent blog entry, i started thinking about how i miss making creative pieces about theoretical concepts. we did that in high school kind of a lot, but instead of stop-motion we did collages, videos, and some other stuff.

for a literature class, we filmed a version of the show, "the dating game," where the three possible choices to date were portia (from julius caesar), scout (to kill a mockingbird), and veruca salt (willy wonka and the chocolate factory). it was hilarious, but really analytical as well with the comments we threw in. my friends and i had so much fun writing the script and doing the acting. this class was AP and very well-taught, yet still fun.

serendipity

this is sort of related to carter's last article on "why blogging is important." the fact that blogging randomly helped some old high school sweethearts unite after 47 years is awesome-and serendipitously random.

i had my own serendipity the other day, also thanks to technology. i usually delete the digester, but i decided to read this particular one. there was a message from an alum who works at procter and gamble (the company that deals with a zillion different products from pringles to fabreze) and she was saying she was available to help any pomona person looking for an internship or job at her place.

A Rose by any other name

So I just got back from the most entertaining conversation at dinner. Well, it was necessarily entertaining, but it really was thought-provoking and involved three members of our Seminar and one Philosophy major. It started when I referred to the person who will be living next door to me next semester as a "rando", short for "random person" since it was not by our design that he will be living there. This word was not my own invention, but it is one of my favorites and thus I use it as much as humanly possible. We then collectively realized that this is a trend in our contemporary culture - shortening words from their original forms, as in "poss" for "possibly"; "whatevs" for "whatever"; "sitch" for "situation"; "probs" for "probably"; and I have no idea how to even begin spelling the modification for "usual" but I'm pretty sure you know what it sounds like.

Stop Motion Video and "UH OH!"

So, after finals, and after spending like 22810384029 hours on YouTube, I decided that I was going to teach myself how to make stop motion videos over winter break. Don't ask me why, I've always been impressed by them, and claymation has always held a special place in my heart. I know there are some film/photography/art people in the class, and if anyone has done any stop motion work and wants to share some words of wisdom (or cool videos) let me know. Here are a few of my favorites so far:

Amputation
Dialogue Exercise

Will Youtube kill Indie films?

Remarkably, my classes have crossed over. Finally!!! I'm in 3 econ classes right now so it's a pretty rare occasion (i.e. this is the only time it's happened. Ever. I'm nothing short of amazed.) We talked in class about what media executives' biggest worries should be right now -- the falling cost of producing and distributing digital media (e.g. YouTube) or piracy. According to Hal Varian, who Wikipedia calls "a central academic in the economics of information technology and the information economy," piracy is not nearly as big of a problem for media execs as cheaper technology.

Thesis Inspiration

Wow! So we got that first big chunk of thesis out of the way. I am so relieved. It took me so long to completely figure out my interest and how they could all be molded into a coherent, structured argument.

(It ended up being about the relationship between women and the digital biography--past, present, future, and how they are using it for activism, expression, and more. I ended up dropping a lot of that crazy talk from class presentations about how post-postmodernism=feminine=multimedia. It was faulty logic and not practical.)

So, going on now to plan the next stages of thesis, I went to look at some examples from last year. One thesis stuck out to me in particular: Melissa Budinic's "It's a Theme Park After All: Constructing Disney as a Postmodern World's Fair." Because Disney has long been a fascination of mine, and because I find postmodern theory very interesting, this topic appealed to me. It also seemed to be of real interest to Melissa, which really showed in her writing.