A Fond Farewell: Looking Back At It All

Dear The One Above All,

It’s been quite some time since I’ve heard from you last. It was an uplifting change of pace to hear from since I wrote to you when you set out to rectify the decline magical statue of the world of Arganee, and I’m glad to hear that it was a success. I’m sorry to hear that you did not live up to the expectations that you set for yourself during all this time, though, unfortunately, I can relate in that area. I had expected to show my skills in a particular class that I am in the process of completing but time just got the better of me. As the saying goes, “expect the unexpected”, and there certainly was a lot of expected and unexpected dealt my way in this short amount of time. There were a lot of twists and turns during that made me uncertain as to what I was doing for said class ad if I was doing it right, and I still have doubts as to whether or not I was performing at the set standard. I’m glad that you were able to achieve your end goal of restoring Arganee, though I cannot say for certain I was able achieve mine. Let me tell you about my adventure up to this point.

What I could gather from this class was that we were expected to implement our variety of writing and technological skills to the best of our ability in digital in a digital setting to craft compelling and eye-opening forms of media. In addition to that, through our own creations we were to attempt to attract attention and connect with those that were interested with our work and  Unfortunately for me, in addition to me lacking in skills in the technological department dividing time between taking care of an uncle, being a fulltime student and working can be quite taxing. Being divided in such manner took away from my devoting myself to my classes, and thus, for this class, improvement in areas that might have propelled me in my attempts at more creative and diversified digital alchemy. If only there were more time in the day, in the week is more like it, I feel so much more could be accomplished. I feel that you can sympathize with me in that area. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t find any excitement/pleasure during my time in this class, as I did have enjoyable moments during a number assignment when anxiety wasn’t looming over me.

Given the number of assignments we were given, both in and out of class, there were a number of which that felt like less of an obligation to complete and partake in versus others that came across as someone difficult given my initial knowledge. For example, the studio visit that I took part in that highlighted on civil discourse within our society was something I particularly enjoyed. Being a part of a sort of round table discussion that invites the input of a number of unique minds regarding a unique topic is an activity that I loved being of because, while I love to talk and give my side of the story, you’re also potentially learning from others in how they see things. I also enjoyed one of the earlier DDAs that we had the choice of completing. The one that I am referring to was DDA#36 where I was given a random prompt to do a short story on, and though I do not remember the exact prompt, I do enjoy writing a unique and original story. Many of the other DDAs that we had the option of choosing from were also enticing, but for some reason they just didn’t stand out as much as this one. Perhaps it was the challenge of a random theme that grabbed me.

What most surprised me about his class was how the input from the both the teachers, outside acquaintances, and the students is what served as the teaching for the the curriculum of this class. The open and free exchange of ideas on the topics we discussed made it so there was no singular source of info, thereby giving variety to the info provided. Honestly, going into this class I  would have liked a concrete mission statement to tell me what I would I would come out of this class with as I still don’t feel like i’m walking away with with much new information that’s relevant to my future. What was most difficult for me was making time to craft audio-based digital alchemy, as working with audio is not one of my strengths. I tried to deal with this by reaching out to Alan both in and out of class, but failed to implement what he advised me on into my work given a number of other obligations that served to deter me. What I learned from this experience is that I need to better sort out my priorities and, as mentioned earlier, expect the unexpected in terms of assigned work. So try and make extra time for assignments that might involve your learning new skills to complete.For future alchemists that aim to take this class, my advice for them would be to learn a variety of ways (more so electronically) in which to incorporate your writing/thoughts into.

I can’t say that I learned much from our interaction with outside sources for class. Aside from taking away from  the occasional studio visits that I mentioned earlier, much of the information that was conveyed during the bus tours and other video chats during class was somewhat general knowledge given the topics that we discussed. I would say the the studio visits that I took part in, including the video records of them, were insightful given their topics. Honestly, no one person really stood out to me as being an overwhelming influence,so that leads me to believe that they were equally influential. I can’t honestly say that I will come back to the community of netnarr or argaanee in the future, as depending on the line of work that I become of a part of, as well as the hours and amount of work that will be assigned to me. Responsibilities are only going to increase as time goes on, so I am not going to make any promises. In addition, aside from possibly creating, dedicating, and publicizing blogs in the future I don’t see myself implementing much else that I’ve used in m assignments in y future, though certain future expectations might change that.

My life has been a quite a journey up to this point, but it has basically been mapped out up to this point, with a minimal amounts of high expectations and repercussions tethered to them, though that will surely change soon, so best get to work on improving on my flaws and building up my skills. Perhaps the field of work I get involved in will bring me back to form of networking, but there’s no way of knowing for sure as there are no guarantees in life. You are not alone The One Above All, we all have our own ruts we have to work our way through and I’m sure you and I will do just that. Until our paths cross again, best of luck to you.

Your fellow alchemist,

Alex  Grimes

Week 10: Change and the Future

I was sad to hear that we could not as a class this past week. I really look forward to meeting with everyone and opening my mind to the numerous potential methods by which to connect and expand both my mind and the minds of others through writing on the web.

In our most recent and last bus trip video chat the discussion nice to hearing how and what people had planned for their lives in the upcoming future career-wise. Ironically enough I was a liberal arts major at UCC before I transferred to Kean. It was surprising to hear how many people were invested in getting a career in the world of business, a field where many people I personally know have abandoned for a number of reasons.  I sure hope that they know what they are getting themselves involved in. It also made me think about where I would be when I graduate, as I have been quite uncertain up to know as to what I want to do. It just feels like a grim reminder of our current  society’s expectations for us all. Sometimes I wish when I was born that I was given a set goal to work and strive and that would be what I do in the future.

In the article that we read, “Deeply Aggrieved”, I really liked the theme of the article which seemed to be how certain standards, may they be academic or otherwise, affect how people’s progress and in turn their progress in life. These lines of text, “Institutions that refuse to move—not into the future, but into the present—are enacting a masochistic nostalgia. Things are not the way they were, and to isolate our philosophies in an historic moment is to condemn their practicality. Just as perilous is to assume the academy exists in a safe vacuum, where political tensions that light the nation on fire will not penetrate the halls of ivy-grown intellectualism and rationality”, really spoke to me. It says a lot and I booth agree and disagree with what it conveys. Change is a constant thing, nothing stays the same forever, especially within the realm of advancing societies, and to deprive individuals of inventions that help us progress in our own way, in a potentially universal way, is just unjust.

I’ll be the first to support the idea that we stand still in terms of progress, because change is scary, especially when said change eventually incorporates itself into standards that spill out into society and the workplace. That change sometimes feels like an obligation as opposed to a choice. Regarding the article/post I could not agree more that it is a school’s obligation to integrate a degree of change into it’s framework regarding how things are run or how they allow their students to undertake assigned goals. I have suffered due to some of my professors refusing to accept certain present means of doing things. To be more specific I don’t particularly like every aspect of change, but when someone refuses to keep up with the more basic and widely accepted standards it infuriates me. I can understand that there are certain reservations when it comes to accepting numerous forms of technology into a classroom setting, as technology can sometimes serve as a distraction depending on how one uses it. Though when such a tool has been proven to improve upon the progress that an individual makes in an academic setting, especially when applied to an individual with a cognitive disorder, a teacher should be willing to alter upon their set standards. As much as we would like to think, we are not all born equal, and knowing this we owe it to ourselves to try and make for more equal settings in multiple sectors of society, academic especially. This teacher mentioned in the article was was preventing the child with dyslexia from making progress in their class just because they refused to change themselves by accepting the change that has been occurring within the society they are immersed in.

After watching the bus trip video and reading this blog I have been prompted to think more about what he future holds. What will become of my life? Am I operating in my best interests? How will impending change affect how we operate and see things in the days to come? So much to think about. The same applies to the upcoming days of class that we will have. What will change now that we are done with our bus trips? Hopefully I can get behind it.

Week 5: Concluding on Sound Alone


I can honestly say that this class is gradually becoming more interesting each time we get together. The topics of discussion seem to be slightly more grounded in rationality and less abstract and that is a quality of work that I can appreciate. I like it when our lessons and discussions are straight to the point, not so ambiguous.

Admittedly, this is not the first time I have been given an assignment where I was asked to craft images an my mind on sound alone. It’s something I’m accustomed to doing. For the task of attempting to ascertain what kind of environment a certain scene from one of my favorite movies, which jokingly enough is Good Will Hunting (as it was referred to near the beginning of this assignment post that correlates to this) it was easy to tell that the scene in question took place in a bar. Aside from the fact that one of the characters said that they were in one, I listened and I could hear music, basketball shots being made, there was also the aspect of open discussion amongst a number of people, which made me listen even harder to to which I could distinguish the uncertain sound I was hearing in the background was more chatter. I thought to myself, “Where do people gather and have open discussion and possess the other aspects mentioned earlier. Only thing that could come to mind was a cafeteria, but bar sounded more accurate, as people usually walk up to people in a cafeteria for discussion.

When it came to time listen to a Truth podcast, I chose Drop in the Ocean and I was an enjoyable read. Although, again, it was made apparent by one of the characters in the story story that they were in fact in a submarine, it could have just as easily been ascertained by the mention with the repeated mention of the word “sonar”, “ping” and “hull.” All things that are commonly associated with a submarine. You could easily visualize that the atmosphere was intense with constant tone of the people being anxious about being discovered by the Russian submarine, being afflicted by the contagion/infection that was going around that was making most of the people eager to leave the sub, someone believed one of their comrades with a russian spy that wanted them to stay in the sub so that all would be infected even though they were prioritizing the mission they were given. I felt that the story might have been taking time during WWII with all the references that were aimed at the Russians that came with the times. Overall, it was a very mature and fear-driven story.

I felt somewhat limited in what I could present regarding the blackout poetry session, though I suppose that was the purpose of it. Something meant to spark and forge some creative thinking from all our unique mind sets. I do feel like a somewhat lengthy story could be put together combining a number of the completed black out poetry pieces, though they might come across as conflicting and uncertain in what it’s intended message is meant to convey. depending on the poetry that each individual worked with there might be conflicting genres that make for an unusual compilation of sentences with words that don’t seem like they belong in the same story. Whether or not we mix works from the one poem that we did in class or our own selections I would actually have to compare them side by side to give you an absolute answer about their potential cohesiveness.

Regarding this week’s tuesday session, which focused on the topic of fanfiction, I found it bit insightful listening to what everyone had to say. My initial preconceptions about fanfiction were were shattered after listening to this conversation…in a good way. I found it enlightening to hear that fanfiction need not simply revolve around a book, series (novel or television), or movie, but that there is fanfiction that is based off celebrities. Aside from that everything that I heard on the topic on fanfiction was info that I was already aware of.