Okay. This is it. My very last blog post. Aka my final exam. This isn’t nerve wracking at all. I thought to myself making sure not to break eye-contact with my keyboard avoiding the cursor at all costs. Something about it just makes writing that much more intimidating but maybe I’m thinking too much. Okay all I have to do is breathe. This is just like any other blog post I’ve written but I’m just wrapping everything up to the viewers. Its my farewell and I wanna make it a good one. How do I even begin to reminisce on the past fifteen weeks of CT 101? I guess the reasonable thing to do is sit back, take a deep breath, put my AirPods on, playlist on shuffle, and get comfy because I’d like to take my time with this. And oh, how could I forget…
If im being completely honest, I didn’t know what to expect from CT 101 but I had high hopes that it would be a fun class strictly because of the name “Digital Storytelling”. While making my schedule, it didn’t seem like the worst option. I like stories and storytelling, and I’ve been meaning to learn more about the digital world anyways. So why not. For a person who makes pretty dicey decisions, taking this course was hands down one of the best decisions I have made in my education career and I say that with zero exaggeration which means a lot coming from me because anyone that knows me knows that I exaggerate a lot. Like. A lot. Though we took the first three weeks or so to write our first blog post, I did not mind taking the time to set up, and get a thorough understanding of the course and what we will be doing so I know what to expect. If anything, my excitement just grew stronger each week. From one to fifteen.
You’d think that you wouldn’t learn much from a class you only have once a week for an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes at most. But that is where you’re wrong. Though the sessions flew by time wise, I still learned valuable information each week as well as learning about myself as a writer, and exploring the depths of my creativity. From week one to fifteen, I have learned a great deal of things regarding digital storytelling and just needed skills in the rapidly expanding tech world. Some of these skills include hyperlinking, embedding videos and various medias into a post or site, creating gifs and memes as well as learning the history behind them, and using sites such as https://mmm.page and https://assignments.ds106.us to utilize different tools and ideas into learning how to create new media whether it was digitally or on paper. Along with utilizing these new skills, I have also gained a new perspective in this class when it comes to topics such as creativity, immediacy and intuition unaware of how much of a role they play in the process of art making and other topics such as “are memes art?”.
After our midterm, we began working on our websites which is when time really began to fly. Setting up our domain names, installing WordPress, and figuring out what our sites were going to be about took about two or three weeks leaving us only another two or three to actually work on our sites. Before introducing my site, I would like to give you a story time of how it came to be. So if you haven’t already, I advise you grab some popcorn, get comfy, and sit back. Because this isn’t an average length post-or an average story….
I’d be lying if I said I was excited to start making our website. I enjoyed the weekly blogging we were doing in class and I liked that I knew what to do. Now that we were learning something new, I already knew I was going to have a hard time adjusting. It’s not that I don’t like learning new things, I just like doing what I know more and going from blogging to making a site was kind of overwhelming to me especially since I don’t have the best track record with working with technology. Any-who, first things first was registering my domain, hosting set up, and WordPress installation. Everything was going smoothly until I saw the words promotion code. Thinking all I had to do was log into my email click copy and paste and yayyyy domain time was the first set of inconveniences. “Why is that?” You may ask. Well, there was no promotion/coupon code in my email. I knew this wasn’t the biggest deal knowing all I had to do was email professor Seslow and ask but when something that is supposed to only take 5 minutes to complete ends up taking much longer, it’s kind of a buzzkill.
I will spare the details given they can be found in this blog post and will move onto building successes, frustrations and an over-all assessment of building and having a website. Though we had very detailed class tutorials on pages, posts, categories, navigation menus, working with widgets, installing and adding plug-ins, and the specifications and potentials of WordPress, it was a while before I had my first success. When it first came to customizing my website, I was really struggling. I didn’t know where anything was, all of my colors were clashing, I didn’t know how to set up my pages, install widgets, add categories, and adjust my navigation menu. I was a mess. I was completely down bad. I continued to do the bare minimum on my site each week just to get our assignment done for class but one week came where I realized enough is enough. I actually have to get my site together.
I began rewatching the lectures from previous class sessions where I was following the professors instructions to the best of my ability. I’m not sure what was going on in that specific moment in time but all I know is that nothing was working. The only thing I successfully did was change the background image and color which was also the only thing I knew how to do so I really didn’t make progress. Though there was a little body of text for my welcome page, I couldn’t even remember how I did that so I was really feeling hopeless. I feel myself to be more patient on some days than others which is why I chose to try to figure out my site on a patient day. I had the lectures on a consistent loop from three pm to ten pm, switching tabs, and taking a break here and there.
It wasn’t until around ten forty five at night where the universe decided I had enough and magically directed me to what I like to call “the main page”. Here I found out how to add my categories, alter my navigation menu, install plugins, and finally changed my background picture and color to something I liked. Though I made all of these changes the day after since it was so late, actually figuring put how to do everything from adding pages, categories, and customizing was my very first success and the biggest one by far. Some other successes I had with my site were my first blog post and setting up the home page which I found quite fun. Prior to my successes were my frustrations were mostly getting things started but another frustration I had was the formatting of things. When creating a page, I format everything to my ;liking but when I would press publish, the format would change. Though I didn’t figure out the issue, it’s a work in progress.
Building and having a website is definitely an experience. That is the best way I can put it. However, it is an experience I enjoy having and do plan on keeping and maintaining my site for the year that I have it. I am unsure about after though. I feel like maintaining my site would be a good opportunity to “get discovered” and just great for myself to get my thoughts out and share movies and recipes with those who may be interested. There is still so much to learn and build on for my site which is just another set of experiences and I am a firm believer that life is all about experiences. Although they may not all be good or the most enjoyable, the outcome could be great as well as the things you learn from it.
Looking back. I enjoyed this class in the whole but I’ll get into detail because why not? Some things I really enjoyed were the creative freedom, the weekly blogs because I feel as if it’s a good detox in a sense, and working on different sites such as mmm.page and the ds106 assignment bank. I enjoyed the lack of deadlines because I am a firm believer that that deadlines stifle creativity. I enjoyed the various forms of media we learned about and utilized in our weekly assignments. I enjoyed learning new skills such as creating memes, gifs, and learning about panoramic storytelling as well as learning how to take panoramic pictures to tell a story. Those were the things that stood out to me most this semester. If I’m being honest, I cannot see myself using any of the new skills I learned in the real world YET unless it is for a job. But that does not mean I will not utilize them in time because I am one hundred percent sure that I will. Until then, I plan on maintaining my skills as well as learning more through building and maintaining my site.
To be honest, I feel like I am doing fairly well in CT101 for a variety of reasons that being I comment on my classmates’ posts as well as respond to the professor and feel like I hit every requirement in our weekly blog posts. However, that does not mean I couldn’t be doing better because I can. I could be doing more to get the full experience out of this class whether it reflects back on previous blog posts more, utilize the tools shown to us during class in my free time, and not put off the suggestions given to me for a later time. I think that when I am going through my comments and replying, I should be editing my posts at the same time. I think I have earned an average of 4-5 points a week. Grade-wise, I believe I earned an A or A minus. I believe that I earned this grade because although my blogs and site could use some extra work, the effort and potential is there which one can see. In addition, I have always felt like I put extra into this class not for the grade but because I genuinely enjoy doing this-blogging and building a site and putting my interests, voice, and point of view out there which I believe adds an element in a sense. You can tell that I dont just write these posts to get them over with or see it as an assignment but as a part of my day that I enjoy doing.
Before I do the big reveal, I would like to share a bit about my site where everything is genuine as possible and 100% self-expression is the only requirement. On my site, everyone will be able to share their food for thought and those overbearing thoughts we are victims of from time to time-hence the name over thinkers anonymous. Not everything will be on the dark side because I believe balance is key. There will most definitely be space for positive emotions as well as one’s imagination to roam free whatever it may be and lead to. I hope that viewers/users will find comfort in this site. There will be posts regarding literature, movies, comfort foods/recipes, and art of all kinds. I am aware that my site will not suit everyone’s personality/“aesthetic” but I am hoping it appeals to at least a few.
Phew. Okay that was kind of a lot…
BUT WE’RE NOT QUITE DONE YET…
Without further a do, I present to you http://overthinkersanonymous.net