CT101 Final Blog Post

The end of the semester is here. It’s crazy to think about it but we’ve all come a long way from the beginning of the semester. CT101 has been a great learning experience for me.

I enjoyed learning and developing new skills of design and blogging. I seem to have learned how to make these blog posts the most. Embedding memes, images, videos and hyperlinks into these posts. Learning it, grasping it, and becoming comfortable to where it’s super easy now. I’ve also discovered multiple sources for inspiration in design and creativity, such as Giphy, Pixabay, Photopea, etc. 

Not only did I learn to use these platforms, but also create one of my own. Making a website was one of the more challenging projects for me, creatively. More so than other assignments, it gave me a lot of creative freedom to do something that’s completely up to me, with no specific guidelines. This was something I was not used to, but learned to do throughout the course of the semester. Starting off by making my blog posts definitely helped with this. 

I enjoyed that this class challenged me in a way I haven’t faced before. Moving forward, my creativity is something that I’ll continue to develop and allow myself to be in all aspects of life. I’ll definitely carry it with me for a long time. 

My website is something that I’d like to hold on to as well, as it’s a space that allows me to be myself and share whatever I please. I hope to maintain it a place where my creativity flows, regardless of whether it’s seen as unprofessional or not “business-y.” I want it to be a platform where I can be myself completely. 

Looking back at my assignment posts, it’s clear how much I’ve developed my own blogging style. Assignment 1 and 2 were really where I was starting to get comfortable using it and embedding things into my posts. Assignment 3 was where we were able to create our own memes, so I learned how to do that using Make a Meme. Assignment 4 taught me how to make my own gif on Giphy. My post provided a step-by-step on how I did that. 

Assignment 5 was one of the most intimidating. It gave us a lot of creative space to make whatever we wanted. Because it was such a big page and had so many different tools, it seemed like there was a lot to explore. But it also starts off as a blank canvas and you don’t exactly know where to start. Nonetheless, it was fun to create. Assignment 6 was the mid-semester assessment post, in which I reflected similarly on previous posts and evaluated my position in the class. 

Assignment 7 was where we began discussing our websites and sparking ideas for domains. Assignments that followed, 8,9,10, all included the actual design process of our websites and were some of the more difficult ones for me. Trying to figure out how to design my website and doing research on hacks or tips for how to create it. And lastly, assignment 12, we got to explore our classmates’ websites, gave our critiques, gained inspiration, and evaluated each other. 

Overall, this class was a great experience and I hope to carry out everything I learned in the future. If I were to grade myself in the class, I’d give myself either a B- or B. I think there were things I could’ve done better. More participation, more creative blog posts, etc. I am, however, still proud of the work I’ve done. 

Final Website Tour and Description:

Paola’s Blog

My home page is an introduction to me and a sneak peek at what to expect. I added in some personal details, along with a photo of myself. 

My blog page premieres my first blog post on my site. I thought I’d give readers a bit more detail on my plans for the site; what I’ll talk about or share and the sort of content they can look out for in the future. A deeper explanation. 

My contact page includes my socials: Instagram and Twitter, as well as my email and what hours fit best for my schedule.

It’s been a frustration trying to figure out how to make my website more attention-grabbing and fun. But, I will say it was fun trying something I’ve never done before and I hope to continue building it moving forward.

Thanks class.

Assignment 12: Exploring Websites

After reviewing some of my classmates’ websites, I got a good look at how creative they all are. Some of them gave me a lot of inspiration regarding the design of my website, what kind of artwork or photos to use, or even how to format my own website. 

I particularly looked at Stella’s website: https://aquicklaugh.com/ and Duojay’s website: https://madeinyourlikeness.com/home/. Stella’s website is a place to go for a laugh. She has a good structure for the different gifs; very organized, and clean looking. The content itself was clear and fun to read. Overall, easy on the eyes, which I like but also very creative and fun material. My favorite post was Lore of the Memes. 

Duojay’s website was a fun one to explore. I loved the artwork in the background; it really looks like an artist’s website. Simple and easy to navigate as well. There’s also great and interesting content. I specifically enjoyed reading, “The Farthest Star Has Just Been Discovered.” I’m looking forward to revisiting and seeing what more I can learn from it. 

The third website I looked at was Niko’s: https://nikobalkaran.com/. Niko’s website is really business professional. Pleasing on the eyes, and looks very organized. He also has a great layout. I hope to do something similar to my own website. 

Overall, everyone has been doing a great job and I’m looking forward to more blog posts and reviewing the critiques of my own!

Assignment 10: First Blog Post

Hey guys! I just published my first blog post onto my website. Here is the specific post: http://paolaacsta.com/uncategorized/hello-world/.

As I’m on this journey of figuring out how to customize and build my website some more, I thought I’d give readers a bit more detail on my plans for the site; what I’ll talk about or share and the sort of content they can expect from me.

Honestly, it’s been hard trying to find ways to be more creative with my site. I want to make it more attention-grabbing, but it’s definitely a work in progress. Please enjoy what I have this far. Way more is to come!!!

Here’s a video I’ll be using to help me:


Assignment #9: WordPress Customizing

This week I got started on customizing my WordPress website. Starting off with my home page. But before doing anything else, I made sure to switch over to the Twenty-Twenty theme or template, as I knew it’d be better for me as a beginner.

After activating the theme, I quickly got started on customizing the sample page. I looked and clicked around to figure out where everything was and the things I was able to change. First, changing some background colors a bit. I want a sort of clean-cut design on my website, something that isn’t difficult to look at. So, I decided to change the original fuchsia pink color to a more pastel/light pink.

Then, I began working on my title or header. As much as I tried to think of a cool name, I decided to stick to something basic for now and as I gather inspiration along the way, I can go back in and change it.

I also added in my own text and introduction to my website. Adding in some facts about me and what type of things I’ll talk about in my blog posts. I also added in one of my favorite quotes by Alan Watts and his book The Wisdom of Insecurity.

“The mystery of life is not a question to be asked or a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

As some of the final details, I decided to add shortcuts to my Twitter and Instagram. Added my contact email and a photo of myself as part as the introduction for the viewers.

I have a lot more work to do regarding my website and customizing each page, but WordPress has made it super easy to do and I’m excited to push forward. You can visit my work in progress here or by clicking the image above. Please let me know your thoughts or any tips you think would help me!

Assignment #8: Creating My Domain

Creating my domain on Reclaim Hosting was super easy!

Upon opening the sign-up portal, I quickly got to work on checking the availability on my domain. As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted my domain to stick to my name: paolaacsta.com. Pretty simple, and clean. I had a feeling this would be available just because my name isn’t so common, and I was right.

After getting approved and filling out the information, I verified my email and quickly installed WordPress, through C-Panel, following the steps and tutorial provided by Professor Seslow. (Of course, this isn’t WordPress itself but the open source version of wordpress.org.)

After easily finishing up all the steps, I got a first look at what my website looked like, even though it is the sample template used for everyone!

My overall experience was smooth and simple. From creating my domain, to setting up my web hosting account, to installing WordPress. I can’t wait to begin my design and get working on the cool projects on my website.

Assignment #7: My Domain

To be quite honest, choosing a domain name for my website will be quite easy as I’ll most likely stick to using my real name. I want something that’ll be easy to use and type, looks kind of professional, and will really sum up everything that my website will be about: me.

So I’m most likely going to stick to:

  • paolaacsta.com

But other potential ones might include:

  • paolamarie.com
  • paolasdailyblog.com
  • paolasencore.com
  • mypaola.com

My goal with my blog is to share and talking about anything from books to music, politics, social issues, journalism (as that is my major), fashion, movies, etc. These are things that I’m very passionate about and can definitely go into detail about on my blog.

Some of my favorite websites include Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube. All of these create a space for anything to be discussed or shown. Different ideas, topics, opinions, and that’s also the kind of platform I’d like to create on my website.

Something that I worry about, however, is figuring out the kind of design I want to do on my website and how the lengthy the process might be of creating it. I want it to look appealing to viewers; vibey and pleasing to look at to really draw them in and I think doing that will be hard to achieve.



Assignment #6 – The Mid-Semester Assessment Post

As we make our way through the semester, it’s important to reflect on the work we’ve done and what we’ve learned so far.

CT101 has been my favorite class this semester, as it’s the one that creatively challenges me the most. Learning new skills and aspects of design has made assignments more fun and engaging. As far as assignments go, I’d say I’m doing pretty good at following what exactly the assignment is asking while also making each post my own. Whether that’s with the memes I use or the content I make.

What I seem to have learned and retain the most is knowing how to make these blog posts. Embedding memes, images, videos and hyperlinks. I’ve become super comfortable with it, along with learning how to tell a story with my posts. Using memes to express emotions or depict an image of what I’m trying to say. As well as conveying a beginning, middle, and end on my posts. Explaining the overall context of the assignment in the beginning, the actual content and explaining the process of what I made, and concluding towards the end.

These are things that I’ve displayed regularly in my weekly posts. Before taking this class, I really didn’t even know how and where to create a blog post or any resources for memes or photos like Giphy.

Assignments 1 and 2 were really where I was starting to get comfortable using it and embedding things into my posts. Assignment 3 was where we were able to create our own memes, so I learned how to do that using Make a Meme, which was really fun. Assignment 4 taught me how to make my own gif on Giphy. My post provided a step-by-step on how I did that. And finally, assignment 5 was by far the most intimidating. Out of all of them it gave the most creative space to make whatever we wanted, in my opinion. Because it was such a big page and had so many different tools, it seemed like there was a lot to explore. But it also starts off as a blank canvas and you don’t exactly know where to start. Nonetheless, it was fun to create.

Upon reflection, I do find that I can be expanding more creatively with each assignment. I think I can definitely get better work done if I just allowed myself to think more freely and be more willing to experiment.

As far as my grade in the class, I think I’m doing pretty well because I haven’t missed any assignments and I do comment on my classmates posts, as well as responding to comments on my own posts. However, I do think I need to participate way more in class. Ask questions and communicate more with the Professor and my peers. I’d say I’m at about an B+ or atleast I hope.




Assignment #5: Digital Art and Creative Immediacy

The ability to develop fresh and unique ideas, connections, and solutions to problems is often referred to as creativity. Even if they aren’t aware of it, everyone possesses some level of creativity. Small events in life demand fresh thinking or unexpected answers. Transforming your ideas, thoughts, and ambitions into reality is what creativity entails. You can detect hidden patterns and draw connections between things that aren’t generally connected.

The capacity to gain knowledge without resorting to conscious thinking is known as intuition. It is a feeling in your gut that tells how to act and behave towards certain situations. Using your intuition helps you make faster, more accurate and more confident decisions.

And immediacy: a state of being. A state in which the mind is able to make decisions quickly and cognitively. Together these three things work together to reason, plan, solve problems, create, learn, and doing so quickly.

Being conscious of these abilities, I was able to create a page on mmm.page that represented two things I love most: travel and music.

While browsing through images on Pixabay and searching for inspiration, I came across this photo in Japan. I got reminded of my dream of visiting the country some day and experiencing the culture for myself. From there, I dedicated my page to a travel-to-Japan, dark, nightlife-like, scenery with music.

My page uses some Professor Garley’s gifs, along with others I found on Giphy to fit the vibe and aesthetic. It also includes more images from Pixabay, and I embedded a Spotify button that plays Love Tonight by Shouse, a song I thought further creates the experience for viewers. mmm.page was super easy and fun to use. The space allows for any creative options and gives you the freedom to choose whatever you want while also providing several templates that spark inspiration.

Using platforms like this allow for more creative space and being able to grasp a new skill set when it comes to designing. I hope to use it more in the future.

Assignment 4: Digital Storytelling Project Flexibility

After scrolling through the ds106 assignment bank, I saw a couple of interesting assignments to look through but ultimately chose this one as one of the those I had the resources and skills to do:

As a huge movie fanatic myself, I figured this one would be fun to do and it’d be great practice to learn how to make my own gifs. It took some thought to choose which iconic movie scene would fit best as a gif and what better scene than the infamous stair dance in Joker.

After doing some quick research on how find video and make my gif, I headed to Youtube to find the actual movie scene. I decided to use Giphy as it’s quick and easy to use.

Giphy allows any videos or clips to be used from multiple websites, such as Youtube or Vimeo. So, I simply pasted my Youtube URL in and got to work!

I trimmed down the video to 4 seconds and chose the time slot I wanted for the gif. After making some simple adjustments, I posted and saved. Here’s how it turned out:

One thing that I’d like to learn how to do is to photoshop any image onto another. For example, this assignment asks for you to photoshop yourself into a historical event like in the movie Forrest Gump.

Photoshop, overall, seems like a great skill to have in graphic design and becomes really useful when it comes to creating eye-catching media or content. These skills can be implemented into so many different work fields like marketing, web design, photography, etc. and it enhances career opportunities.


Assignment #3: Why Memes Are Art

While some believe that meme culture is not an art form, I argue that it is. Boomers and Karens argue that memes and its uprising culture offer no real symbolism and are void of emotional impact.

But that’s exactly what they do. They are symbolic and target an emotional impact.

If you Google the definition of art, it says ‘Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas.’

Memes alike are creative and require imaginative talent to express emotions or ideas. We can even argue that memes are indeed beautiful in their ability to make people laugh and build a relationship based on relatability. Memes connect people that relate on certain topics.

They are highly praised in Internet culture as we know it and have become a staple of communication. Not only are they cultural ideas but they’ve become an inside joke of society. Memes can refer to topics from anything like politics to cultural experiences and even to random distorted images with no context that are somehow still funny.

These are some of my own:

Learn more here:





Assignment 2: Narrating My Thoughts with Gifs

What did you think on the first day of the CT101?

On my first day of CT, I was excited but skeptical about what to expect of the course. While I have heard about the class before, I was worried that it wouldn’t be fun and would only involve the boring parts of technology. My feelings changed rather quickly.

Did you like hearing about the course and its creative content? How did it make you feel?

Upon joining our first Zoom session, I loved learning that the course would involve doing fun and creative assignments. It definitely gravitated me more to the class and made me look forward to upcoming projects.

How does CT101 compare to some of your other classes?

Compared to my other classes, CT is way more chill and exciting. Other classes don’t really require much creativity and individuality. Working to make something cool for this class makes homework time much more compelling. Otherwise, I find myself scrolling on TikTok all day.

What are the potentials of this class?

This class can not only teach us a lot about how to use technology for design, but it can help us tap into the more imaginative aspects of ourselves. I can speak for myself when I say that it’s not something I do often or is encouraged of me in school or work, which is why I don’t think I’m very creative. So, I appreciate the opportunity this class gives me.

How do you feel about learning new skills that use Internet tools?

Learning new skills that use Internet tools is super important in our day and age, as technology seems to be consuming all of us and it’s needed more and more everyday. Especially with social media, such as Instagram and Twitter. Someday, I do see myself working in digital media whether it’s in journalism or something else. It’s good information to hold on to. So I’m excited for what’s to come in the course.

Assignment #1: Happiness on the Internet

This week, one of my favorite podcasts came back after some time off. The H3 Podcast host, Ethan Klein announced the comeback of the show on Twitter. The show had taken a break for the winter holidays and after Ethan and his wife, Hila welcomed their new son, Bruce.

Ethan and his wife/co-host Hila, came back on Monday with a Valentine’s Day special where they and their crew played the newly-wed game to test out who knows their significant other best.

Of course, it was super funny and entertaining to watch as always. The podcast is mostly known for their takes on pop culture subjects, political and societal issues (which they poke fun at and make light of), and ultimately the lives of Ethan and Hila. They also do the show live on Youtube which allows fans and watchers to interact with them as they do the show. It’s always a fun experience and one of the highlights of my week.

To anyone interested in watching here’s the Valentine’s Day segment from Monday’s episode.