As the end draws near, I’m met with bittersweet feelings. This class was equally practical and fun! There are three main takeaways I’ve gotten from this class, namely:
how to create media (gifs, memes)
customizing my website to reflect my interests (photography + writing)
allowing myself to feel comfortable sharing my content & thoughts
In the first week, I remember feeling intimidated by the idea of having to create our own website, nevertheless, here it is. If it weren’t for this class, the potential my website has, would have remained untouched. It is still a work in progress but thus far, I’m content. Moreover, there is evident improvement in my first blog, in comparison to this one. Admittedly, I did fall behind in assignments but managed to catch up. Keeping these in mind, my grade for this class ranges in the B’s.
Moving forward, I do intend to maintain my website. It provides a platform for me to post bits of myself and I’m all for creative nurturing. All in all, this class was refreshing because it enabled me to be imaginative, unlike other classes I’ve taken in the past. On an ending note, thank you to my classmates and Prof. Seslow for fostering a welcoming classroom environment!
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” -Winnie the Pooh
In a nutshell, copyright is right to copy. An idea or creation (often musical, artistic or literary) is deemed intellectual property and with copyright laws, it prevents replication. In the digital world, copyright laws are paramount. While a creator’s work may be used for inspiration, some often plagiarize it and get the credit. Growing up, I would see the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning (pictured below) but was never cognizant of its significance.
Laws that Choke Creativity…
“These tools of creativity have become tools of speech. It is a literacy for this generation. This is how our kids speak. It is how our kids think. It is what kids are, as they understand digital technologies and their relationship to themselves.” -Larry Lessig
Communication has the ability to instantaneously occur, especially with the emergence of social media. In these contemporary times, it is odd for an individual to not have a social media account of any kind. With that being said, technology has permeated every facet of life, from professional to personal. Within younger generations, technology is second-nature. In concurrence with Lessig, creativity should not be regulated. However, acknowledge the boundary and don’t cross it.
For my website’s second post, it was similar to the first. They both include a little bit of poetry along with a photo I’ve taken within the course of a year. The second blog’s photo is from Coney Island Beach. As the weather gets warmer, I’m excited to be making more visits over there! Also, I definitely feel more confident in blogging and navigating the little icons.
The first website I visited were Bazan’s. Not only were her stories intriguing but the website’s layout was pretty neat! It had a minimalist aesthetic, which matched the tone that her writings. It was also cool that she linked her Tumblr.
The second website that I visited was Anju’s. The homepage was inviting and the content was equally informative and engaging. My favorite post was “the world through the eyes of animals”.
As I was brainstorming ideas for my website, I wasn’t sure about what I wanted it to reflect. Ultimately, I decided to stick to the original plan, which was posting pictures I’ve taken (usually something scenic) and some poetry to accompany it. It was fun to personalize the website and make it reflect me. It was mind-blowing to see how simple the process was.
The style I chose for my website can be described as mellow. Also, since I love sunflowers, I wanted it to be a component I included somehow, which is why I used it for the tab icon and in my description. 🌻 I wanted to use it as a background image but it would overpower the post and just be chaotic. On the site, I want to focus on personal posts and used the Commons for class-related ones.
Honestly, the fact that I’m doing this mid semester evaluation at the end says a lot…Nevertheless, better late than never!
What have I learned the most? What is my greatest learned asset in this class so far?
My greatest asset from this class was confidence in online creation! In social media, memes and gifs inundate our feeds and with this class, I feel more confident making my own.
What skills have I developed , cultivated and displayed regularly in my posts?
This class was the avenue I needed to learn how to confidently create things digitally. In reference to my first blog, I wasn’t sure how to add hyperlinks, but now I can. Not only that, but as I mentioned earlier, my newfound comfort with online design can and is considered a creative tool that I have under my belt. Furthermore, maneuvering through the CUNY Commons is another essential skill that this class taught me.
Do I see my weekly blogging work expanding creatively? If so, please explain – or am I stuck in a loop where my posts seem to look the same most of the time, how will I change that?
My weekly blogs have not been consistent, due to the twists and turns life presents. However, in my earlier posts, I do see improvement. For instance, as I mentioned earlier, understanding how to hyperlink and overall, just making my posts more visually appealing. All in all, the regularity of my posts is lacking but through blogging, there is a period of self-reflection that transpires and for that, I’m grateful.
Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) was a computer genius, dedicated to making the Internet a free and open place. He helped pioneer the Progression Change Campaign Committee, which was a group dedicated to liberal causes. Swartz wanted to dismantle gatekeeping platforms like JSTOR and Thompson Isi. Being a force to be reckoned with, Swartz specifically went after JSTOR and downloaded the academic journals. Consequently, he was indicted on multiple counts of computer and wire fraud, which would account for 35 years in a federal prison.
What did I find intriguing?
Apart from Swartz’s numerous accomplishments at a young age, another quality that amazed me was his ambition to enact change. In one of his earlier publications, the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, he writes that “information is power, but like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves”. He was truly a genius, focused on the disruption of democratized information.
Initially, my reaction about Swartz in the documentary was similar to Spongebob’s…until it became Micheal’s.
It’s about to be a year since online began and I’m sure that I speak for the majority of you when I say that this has certainly been overwhelming. Fortunately, in Professor Seslow’s class, we don’t need to be robots and the left side of our brain gets a mini break because we’re allowed to be creative.
Nowadays, gifs, memes and emojis are a part of digital communication because they’re funny and effectively convey tone over messages. The trio truly is the internet’s language because it engages the audience. It’s no surprise that we have short attention spans and memes/gifs are able to capture and maintain our attention effortlessly. Another reason why I love memes and gifs is that our assignment for class is literally about them!
Thus far, I’m loving this class because forces me to be creative instead of regurgitating information. Additionally, I’m exposed to this platform that I would’ve never otherwise used.
During the quarantine, I discovered this Instagram page (@catanacomics) and that’s what has kept my boyfriend and I entertained. The illustrations are so relatable and not to mention, cute. Another reason why this page makes me happy is that they often include their pets in the drawings and online posts. I love their art so much that for Christmas, I got their Snug book. Below, I’ve attached a couple of my favorites and hope you guys enjoy them as much as I do.
I’ve also attached this link that shows the drawing process and the faces of the artists behind this great comic. Feel free to check it out!