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 9: Writers and Their Tales

Personally, I did not contribute any of my own unique work this week for one reason: Most of the stories I write are long in length and I am too tasked as it is with school and work to come up with something that wouldn’t be too long-winded for you to read. I like to be detail oriented in all of my work if I am able to, so I’ll be thankful I wasn’t forced to contribute.

To begin, I liked how the focus of this week was actually writing. How we contributed through small posts, listening to the immense level of talent that a number of individuals in or class possess and analyzed the writing of our more recent generation of writers. In all honesty, listening to the people that spoke during our last class, I felt as though I was put to shame. Most of the readings were poems, that is an area that I never excelled in and school has never had a problem telling me. I excel more in writing lengthily and descriptively, may that apply to articles, research papers, or short-/long-stories. I always like to think that I never assume about someone that I don’t know to a degree, but I feel like I underestimated the potential of a good amount of people in our class after hearing the stories/poems that they shared. Had time not been a factor I would have like to share one of my works.

Regarding this week’s video meet so much was said, and of course I would have liked to have heard more but the time constraint, again, always seems to put an end to things when we’ve all gotten comfortable enough to speak amongst each other without holding back. I was surprised to hear that the Young Writers Project site has amassed 400,000 posts and comments since 2006, it says something about one’s courage and determination to have their voice and talent heard. It was fascinating to hear that among all the people who were a part of the video, Adelle, someone who is home-schooled just came upon it by chance versus all the students in the video who were obviously given a formal introduction by their teachers. I found it funny how some of the sixth grade children in the video were more willing to share their work on Young Writers Project than share their work openly among others. Perhaps that lack of physical presence and ignorance of immediate judgement is what draws the line for them. I can’t know that for sure, but that is often the case for many individuals who are self-conscious about their work. With what Alan asked regarding how people create a story and/or how it affect one’s process with writing, I would say it all really depends on how confident and head strong an individual is when it comes to writing about something specifically. With what Geoffrey had to say about one’s creative voice, I agree with what he said in how school somewhat stifles people from conveying themselves in their own creative way. That earlier along the line in school your teachers make you believe that the formal framework they are told to teach is the only way in which things should be done, or written in this case, and over time it’s just something that stay with some people.

Overall, this week gave me a lesson as to the many different ways in which people think and write and it was all quite influential. It was nice to hear such compelling passages straight from the respective sources’ mouths rather than just reading it for a change and it has motivated me to expand upon how I write. I hope in the classes that we have left together I will discover more about my peers as well as other sources of untapped potential for my viewing pleasure.

Week 8: This Noise is Shattering Me

Let me just say that what was expected of us this week made for the most unpleasant week of the semester thus far when regarding this class. All of these audio assignments that we were expected to complete for this week were just too much for me without any prior experience using the using this software and tools. I’ve worked on editing videos before, but that was back in high school for my TV and radio elective class, and and we were given tutorials and walkthroughs as to how to us everything. I am not the most technologically-inclined individual, and this served as quite the obstacle for me. An obstacle that, considering the added workload of my other class obligations, got the best of me. This was the first class assignment that I have not completed up to now. I thought that I was at a point in this class where all the content that we would have to grasp regarding how to convey writing electronically would be simple enough, but I guess I was wrong. I’m almost losing faith in myself to get a satisfactory A or B+ in this class with the way things are going.

I know that my failure to complete these audio-based assignments correctly and by the end date can be blamed on me, but the fact that we were given very little instruction regarding the tools that we would be using doesn’t really help in the proper execution of this task. I’m both relieved and saddened that there were others that experienced similar dissatisfied outcomes regarding this assignment, but that just shows that we do not possess the skills required to properly complete this like our professor might have assumed. I believe in performing at a certain standard and I admit that I did not have the proper knowledge to craft what my teacher expected of me, that is both their and my fault. All I can say is that I hope that the upcoming assignments pertaining to this class do not deviate too much from the element, otherwise prior to undertaking assignments similar to this week’s should be introduced with some instruction.

Putting aside the train wreck of an experience that was trying to accomplish these audio assignments, I have enjoyed reading these a select few entries that I have found on Young Writers Project. I feel as though some of these kids are beyond their years in terms of creativity, at a level I wish I was at earlier on in my life. It’s nice to see such a lack of restraint, no limits placed on the writing these individuals send out for the public to read. It’s nice when you stand by what you have to say and it’s well-spoken, when you open yourself to the judgmental minds of the general populace. I look forward to the later readings and challenges that come up on the site.

Anyway, i’ve recently had my ups and downs with the class thus far, but I’m hoping things will get better. That’s all I can hope for, and that’s all I can really do. Wish I had a little more tug -and-pull in that area.