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#10 – Final Reflection


Wow, I cannot believe this semester is already over. It seems like just weeks ago I was writing my first post here, telling you all about myself and what my goals for the upcoming few months were. Well, these few months are over now, and I can tell you they sure have been great! I have really learned so much from this English 125 class that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.

Pinterest_LogoWith this final project, the PSA, I chose to focus my attention on the social networking site, Pinterest (as you can see from my previous blog posts here, and here, and here). This was a very interesting project for me and I learned a lot, both about the subject – Pinterest – itself as well as about what all goes on behind the scenes of making a video.

When I first started this project, I had somewhat of an idea on what I was going to be researching and talking about. I knew I wanted to focus on the gender inequality of the site and how different people view and use the webpage. However, I did not know exactly where I was headed with this video and what all it would encompass. As I went, it got easier and easier to see the final product. I kept with the gender topic on how girls and guys use Pinterest. Then I also looked into how Pinterest affects society as a whole, and how Pinterest relates back to writing and rhetoric. This was definitely the more challenging part of the basic project because I was not exactly sure how to tie Pinterest back to writing and what we have learned in this class over the semester. I do think I could have looked into this with a little more detail, but overall I think I got the major point across that Pinterest is, in a way, a form of writing. It may not always be educational writing, but it is a form of literature.

Even more challenging though, was physically putting the movie together. I had no idea that it would take so much time and work to put together the different clips and add all of the extra effects. It took Tiffany (my partner) and I about five hours to shoot all of the footage and then approximately an additional twenty or so hours, when combining all the time, to edit the film and put everything together. Our final video does not even include the majority of what we filmed either. We have probably twenty minutes of unused filming. This taught me that a lot more goes into things, whether it is a video, a different type of project, a website, etc. that one would normally guess.Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 11.51.18 AM

Overall, I learned a lot from this project. I learned an immense amount about videos and making movies (this was the first time I ever made a movie!). I also learned how to conduct my own primary research. We had a reading and talked about primary research, but I had never truly gone out on my own and done something like this. It was fun and extremely interesting to obtain and analyze this new data. This final project also helped me further my understanding of rhetoric, composition, and analytical work in general. I really got to know what each of these terms means and how it applies to the educational world.

I greatly enjoyed this final PSA project and I am so proud of how it turned out. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to take this English 125 class and hopefully I can keep growing and learning as a writer.

It’s been fun! Hope to see you all soon!


PSA Final Project Minutes 2


During this work session, Tiffany and I got a lot of work done. We met on Friday at the Ugli in the Presentation Practice Room that I reserved. Before this, we were at the same point we had left off at the previous class period. We had a basic outline of what we were going to do, and we had started our script and outline for exactly what we were going to say in our video. Then, on Saturday, we met and interviewed seven different people and analyzed our survey results. This was a very crucial part of our project and it was extremely helpful to get done.

Today in class, we took all of the interviews that we conducted and, along with the survey results, analyzed it and put the results into useful words and information. We finished the script for the video and planned out exactly how everything was going to flow in the movie. We also figured out how do the screen captures and get that into iMovie.

Although there is still a fairly large amount for us to do with the project, we are meeting tonight in the Presentation Room at the Ugli again tonight for several hours to do the filming and editing of the entire movie. By the end of the night tonight, hopefully the entire draft of the movie will be done and there will only be editing and small fixes to do after Workshopping on Thursday.

So far this project has gone well and I am very excited to see how everything turns out!

PSA Final Project Minutes 1


Today was a very interesting and productive workday in class for working on the final PSA project. Before the class session today, my partner (Tiffany) and I had very little done. We had submitted our project proposal, I rented the Project Presentation Room at the Ugli, and that was it. We knew approximately what we were doing, but we were not exactly sure in how and when we were going to carry out our plan.

During class today, we got a lot done and we figured out a more definite timeline. First, we logged onto CTools and looked at the comments and feedback we received on our proposal. Once we knew exactly all our project was going to contain, we went down Mason Hall and rented the video equipment for Friday, November 30th – Monday, December 3rd. After this, we realized that we were not going to have all of our research and data ready for filming by tomorrow, Friday, so I reserved an additional time slot at the Ugli for Tuesday, December 4th from 7pm-9pm. Then, we created both an interview that we are going to use, hopefully, for about 10 people., and a general survey. We are planning on going together over this weekend and filming these people about their views on Pinterest. For the survey, I created an account on surveymonkey and created a survey that both Tiffany and I posted on our Facebooks, posted online, and sent out via email.

Our plan for the upcoming days is to figure out how the video equipment works over the weekend, conduct all of our surveys and interviews and obtain all necessary data, film the majority of our video, and edit the movie. There is still a lot left to do, but now we have a clearer view on how this is all going to be put together.

#9 – Storyboarding


Hi all! So, the semester is coming to an end soon and we have already reached our last project in this English 125 class. For my Public Service Announcement, my partner, Tiffany, and I decided to analyze the website Pinterest. This is a site where people load different images onto the site and viewers can go through and look at different categories of images (such as pictures of fashion, food, cars, etc). These pictures also come with links to sites where more information about the product is available. What Tiffany and I are looking into is how men and women use Pinterest differently and how Pinterest impacts society. We will conduct surveys and interviews to see how the genders think differently about this. In the end, we are going to relate it all back to text — since this is a writing course after all! We shall see how it turns out, but as of right now I am excited and I think this project will turn out good!

#7 – Commonplaces and Topoi


Today I had to do readings for this English class, just like every other time I have posted a blog. However, this “reading” was unlike anything I have ever experienced before.  Instead of a book or a webpage with several pages and text in lines and paragraphs, this reading was more of a “create-your-own reading”. Ball and Moeller’s Reinventing the Possibilities allowed me, the reader; to click links throughout each mini-reading and it would transport me to another mini-reading explaining a different topic. If this seems hard to follow, you are right. While this type of method was different and refreshing from the normal, average readings that we all do, overall I did not enjoy this or get as much out of it as I would from the other types of readings.

As I read, I would suddenly become interrupted by a link telling me to click somewhere else. At first, I tried clicking on a link whenever I came across one, but then I soon realized that I would never get to finish what I was originally reading. So, then I tried to finish the paragraph I started, go back and click on the link, and then read something else. However, this did not seem to work very well either because I was still thinking about what the link would take me to or I was not able to focus anymore on what I was currently reading. I am a very orderly and sequential person, so this layout did not work for me at all. I feel like I did not get much out of the readings and I did not grasp the different points the authors were trying to make. My attention was more on navigating the page than any of the words or concepts.

Nonetheless, I did somewhat understand the meaning of topoi that was being explained, and I then watch Hugh Burns’ video, Resolution in 60 Seconds. I thought that this video was okay, it got me to pay attention at first and I wondered what it was going to be about, but as the video went on, I quickly lost interest and concluded that there was not a huge point to the clip. It was trying to show that today’s younger generation is the world’s future and writing and literature are going to happen in new ways.  Going back and forth between text, video clips, and so on makes the topoi (form and material) interesting in this video and the message is truly an interesting one. However, the actual method in how it was transcribed was somewhat dull and unenticing.

This is all my opinion though. For those of you who like things out-of-the-norm and like looking at different ideas in a new, non-lateral way, you might enjoy both of these sources. It is time for me to listen to you now. Do you think that it is better to have a fresh and creative way of presenting ideas, even if the points you are trying to make are not expressed as clearly as they would be in a traditional presentation? Was I the only one who did not enjoy this form of literacy – clicking your way through the information? Did you all like it and find it easier than I did? Feel free to answer all of these questions in comments below, but I’m also going to take a quick poll as well!

#6 – Method


Observations, Interviews, Surveys, Ethics… I now know that these are all critical components in primary writing in order to publish the finest possible essay. Primary research, which is obtaining your own first-hand information that has never been officially published, leads to primary writing, and primary writing can be extremely interesting and innovative. Personally, I have only conducted primary research a few times; but when I have used it, this information almost always tends to produce a fascinating paper. For my rhetorical analysis essay, I definitely used more secondary sources (physical library research) to obtain needed information than any other type of research. However, in a way I guess I also used primary research in a way. While I did not conduct any surveys, interviews, or talk to other people to obtain information for my paper, I used generalizations that I already knew people had about my topic and I used my own general opinions as well to formulate a thesis.

I do think that the way I wrote my paper was effective and it answered the prompt fully and I created a decent essay. However, after reading Driscoll’s “Introduction to Primary Research”, I can see how certain forms of primary research could contribute to my paper even more and help strengthen my writing and my evidence. If I conducted a survey about whether people thought the nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie” was directly related to the Black Plague or not, I might have been better able to support one of the sides better with actual data. Also, I could have conducted either another survey or an interview to find out what people thought each line of the nursery rhyme meant in terms of describing the plague. Again, this would give my paper credible information to help back up my assertions.

Both primary research and secondary research is important and necessary in all forms of writing and other disciplines as well. I am just learning and understanding how important primary research truly is and I am going to try to start using it more to solidify my writing and help me grow as a scholar. Research is what makes the world go round. Without it, nothing new would ever be discovered. Hopefully others agree that research is important!

#4 – (Anti)theses


Issues and controversy are everywhere. No matter where you are, who you are talking to, or what you are doing, there will always be a subject that comes up about which someone disagrees with you. While debate is sometimes frustrating, it is what makes the world develop and progress. For me personally, there have recently been several instances in my courses here at the University of Michigan where issues have been raised. The topic that predominantly comes to mind when I think about controversy is regarding politics in my political science contemporary issues class.

This class, as you could probably guess, involves matters that are very current and relevant, and that both the professor and the students are extremely passionate about. So far, the main subject that we have discussed so far has been the economy and the current recession that the United States is in. My professor and the majority of the students in my lecture are hard-core liberals and they support the thesis that in order to help the economy and progress the United States, taxes should be raised on the wealthier Americans and more government sponsored social programs should be enacted. Several other similar statements and theses have been discussed in class, but I want to talk about this one in particular, as I feel that it is the one that has raised the most debate and sparked the most controversy in my eyes. While the majority of people in my class think that raising taxes and funding government programs would be a positive thing for the country, I wholly believe the opposite.

My antithesis to this is that for the United States economy to rebound and for the country to proceed forward, taxes should not be raised, and should even be cut a little for definitely the upper class, but for everyone overall. In addition to the lowering of taxes, federal programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, must also be cut and lessened for everyone.

I can easily make this argument and lay out this antithesis. However, if I truly wanted to convince someone that I was right (or wrong), I would definitely need some research and fact to back me up. If I did not have any evidence to support my antithesis and prove the thesis wrong, then my argument would seem invalid and most readers would automatically believe the thesis, which has research behind it.

Like Steven Krause said in his essay, “On the Other Hand”, you cannot make everyone believe what you want them to believe. No matter how good of an argument you make or how much hard evidence you have to support your thesis, people believe what they want to believe. People’s opinions are what makes everyone unique and they help make this world so diverse and ever-evolving.

Defining ‘Love’ – What do I Need to Know?


What I Know:

  • My Definition- Love is a deep, personal feeling of attachment and emotion towards a person, object, idea, etc. Love is felt deep within a person’s soul and is unique for every person in each and every scenario. It is a desire and passion above anything else, taking ‘like’ to new levels.
  • Definition- A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection; sexual passion or desire; Beloved person; Sweetheart.
  • Love can bring up feelings of pure joy and happiness, or it can raise emotions of unhappiness and grief. Whether positively or negatively, love has had an impact on every person in the world, and everyone can relate somehow.

What I Want to Know:

  • History of the word love
  • Different emotions and personal meanings associated with the word/idea of love
  • Different uses and interpretations of love — everyday use vs. significant meaning
  • Variation through different cultures, religions, households, etc.
  • Different definitions of the word love