With spring break one week away, we were all trying our best to finish our multi modal projects. My group had to split up and finish our individual projects in order to piece it all together at the end in only a few days. As the graphic designer, I was in charge of making the website look nice and resemble the theme of our book. I used a weebly and found cool images and gifs that I thought would really help encase the theme of "Why Am I Here". Sophie was our writer and she did a really great job of laying out the story to fit with the images and feeling of the project. Lauryn did the same thing but with film and was able to do screen casting and record videos from the perspectives of Santiago and Fatima which was helped by Whitney who did the writing and acting for that.
My group really did a great job working together in order to finish this big project. It helps now that we have had a lot more experience working in groups and that we were all very passionate about the story in general. As we near the end of the year we will start to work on studying for the AP Test and doing our senior projects so this project will most likely be the last story related assignment. I am glad that our last high school English project was spent on a great book and outlining it using our own specific interests.
As my group finished The Alchemist, we knew exactly what kind of angle we wanted to take on the project and the meaning of life theme. While we read we made sure to take pictures of pages that we thought were interesting in order to make slide notes. This turned out to be a ton of pictures because we liked so much of what we read. This made explaining our thought on each page very simple. Our topic centered around how decision making can change your point of view. We thought this made a lot of sense with Santiago wanting to pursue his personal legend. For example when Santiago meet Fatima his point of view on leaving the oasis changed because he is in love with her and doesn't want to leave. This impacts the decision he makes however he still has the courage to go with the guidance from Fatima to find his treasure.
Throughout this week I think I really was able to grow in my ability to analyze text in relevance to different topics of study. I like being able to take pictures of what I was reading in order to go back and analyze what was important to me and find meaning in what was important to the story. I took reasons from the book and reasons from myself to fully understand how and why it was written. I might think about doing the same thing with whatever book I choose to read next and so on.
This was sort of a weird week due to the amount of absences. Mr. Schoenborn was here only one day and I was gone for two of the days. The nice thing about this was that we were only starting a project which means we only needed to read everyday and there was little instruction.
For the multi modal project my group and I chose to read The Alchemist and as the week went on and we kept reading more, we all really came to love the book. We thought it was an easy read and very interesting. We read about Santiago's journey and how he chose to follow his path sent down by God. We thought the book was sort of cheesy since he talks to the wind and to his heart but none the less it was still a good novel. This project would be easy for us because of how great it was to read in the first place. It got us to discuss the book a lot in class and even made us notice signs from the book in our real live, like "following the omens".
The project would also be very easy for us because our skill set was very diverse in order to complete all the tasks for the website we would make. I would be the graphic designer because I have a lot of knowledge in that area. We were all excited to start working and see how our thoughts and creativity could turn out to make something from a book come to life on a screen.
This week was all about working on our Pecha Kucha presentations. My topic that I chose to explore was love and finding a place where you belong. I read Jane Eyre and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I thought each book was pretty decent and definitely had a lot to do with the theme I chose. For the project we needed outside sources as well and I decided to use artwork (the picture above), a poem about belonging, and the book Black Boy by Richard Wright. These all helped enhance the point I was trying to get across. We learned this week that the images we use will really help tune in the audience, how much time we should spend on our slides, and how to effectively get out opinions across in just over three minutes.
I am very proud of the slides I have created. I used pictures that were all painted or drawn for the most part to give it the same feel throughout. I think I am becoming better at designing how a presentation should look. The hardest part was what I was going to say during my time because I felt like I had too much information that I was trying to cram in. Eventually I was able to shorten my thoughts and only say exactly what I thought needed to be said in order for my presentation to be effective.
This week we took a couple days to watch all of the "This I Believe" videos. I really enjoyed seeing what all of my classmates took to heart and it was very interesting seeing what they came up with in terms of video and pictures. Some surprised me because I did not know the way some people felt about certain projects. It was great to watch them all and hear voices from people I don't normally talk to. It was even fun showing my own video in order to show others what I thought was important to share. I really enjoyed this assignment because I was able to use my video-making skills that I have learned through digital media and voice my opinions about breaking stereotypes in society.
After we finished all of the videos we did an intro to the last project we would complete this trimester. From the two books we read over the 12 week period, we were starting to go about creating our Pecha Kucha presentations. We watched a video in preparation on how to create effective slides for an audience. If I am being totally honest, I did not think that the slides in this presentation were very effective at all. I know it is supposed to be informational but the whole thing was boring and her tips on moving pictures to the side with text over white space were horrible. I thought she would be outstanding with her slides because she most likely does this very often.
In working on our This I Believe videos, the class was able to learn a lot of interesting things in order to convey our story/belief. When making a video like this, you have to take a lot into consideration. For example, the music you use can shift the feeling of your entire video. I picked a pretty light-hearted song with a somewhat intense beat that I think goes very well with my overall feel. You also have to think about the images you use. You do not what images that are too distracting, you want to keep your audience in focus of what you are talking about.
A big idea within this project is learning how to be patient. Making something that is very impactful and meaningful takes time and effort. It took me a few days just to make my music and voice over sound good together, creating pauses throughout to emphasize certain parts. I still have a lot of work to do because I want to film some stock footage myself and find pictures of me that relate to my belief. I am very excited to see what everyone else comes up with. I think this is an interesting project that the class is working very hard on to make great.
I am very in to filming, video, and technology in general so this project is right up my alley. I like how all of the assignments have been different in order to allow everyone in the class to do something that they enjoy for a grade and learn a good amount while doing it.
After wrapping up the discussion about online privacy, we dove right into our unit in digital storytelling. We watched multiple Ted Talks about telling stories which was very interesting. I watched one that was titled "Politics of Fiction" which explained a lot about fictional storytelling. The speaker said that fiction should not be what we know, but what we can imagine.
Of course when telling a story of what we believe, it should not be fiction because it should be based off of our real life experiences. However from watching this video, it inspired me to write what I feel to be true and not just something that is structured and boring. When telling a story you have to be aware of the audience and how they will respond to what you are talking about. You also have to put a lot of emotion into what you are saying to make it believable and interesting to listen to.
A good amount of the week was spent on figuring out what kind of story we wanted to tell and exactly how we wanted to tell it. I personally am choosing to believe in breaking stereotypes and being unique in what you like to do. I decided on this topic because I have always thought of myself as different and unique and have tackled with the stereotype that all girls get growing up. Because I want to be an engineer when I am older, I consider that breaking a stereotype. At the end of the week we recorded our voices that we would pair with the video to showcase our "This I Believe".
This week we concentrated on the topic of internet safety and whether or not we thought that the government should be involved. I was on the side of having no government interaction because the harm people think is happening is only potential harm. Usually when there are debates like this in our classes I usually end up in the middle of the spectrum and do not pick a side. However, before we chose our sides I weighed both options and logically thought for myself what I believed should happen with online privacy. I realized that it was pretty fun picking a side from the beginning because I was able to find many facts why I was right and stick with my mindset. Because I had a lot of information for a side that wasn't that popular it actually made it easier to write my persuasive paper.
I usually like to be unbiased in these types of situations because if you always have the same opinions, you don't allow yourself to believe anything else, even if you might be wrong. Although I do think once in a while you should pick sides because at the end of the day, you will have to make a decision about something. In the class, everyone had to decide what they believed at the end. By deciding earlier I was able to have an upper edge on the assignment because I was already thinking of my argument through the entire class period.
This week we finally made it without having a snow day so we were all able to finish up out critical theory papers and presentations. My group put a lot of preparation into this assignment so I was not surprised that we scored a 100%. We all spoke well and knew what we were talking about. We also had an interesting take on Existentialism which all came together for a well done assignment. It was fun working on this and actually having enough class time to fully think about the topic and write a well planned essay.
I think the hardest part about this was figuring out exactly how we should all work as a group in order to make the presentation and paper effective. We bickered a little about "who was doing the most to help" which was frustrating because we all work at very different paces. I think the realization of this helped our group see that it was all going to work out at the end because we are all very intelligent individuals that know what we are doing. I learned a lot of team working skills with this particular group. At the end we had to take everything we wrote individually and make sure the entire paper flowed well. To do this we all had to sit down together and work hard comparing ideas and offering input. Although we do not have a grade for the paper yet, I think it was very well written and our ideas were expressed effectively.
This is the first week back form winter break, so a lot of what we did in class was try to get back into the motion of things and pick up where we left off in our critical theory papers. Continuing with Macbeth and Existentialism, we tried to start our paper and managed to get some good information down. However, I think my group was still a little lost in how we really wanted to go about writing a lot of our paragraphs. Maybe we just did not know how to really go about the topic? I was not sure, but I was getting a little worried that our paper would be sort of a struggle to write.
Thankfully, we had a speaker come in that was very knowledgable on Shakespeare and critical theory and when she came to talk to our group about our project she gave us very useful information and helped guide us in a way that would be better in writing the essay. I am forgetting her name right now, but she told us a lot about how religion was a main factor on why choosing your own fate was a bad thing to do in that culture and era. Since most of society was Christain, people believed that they have a predetermined fate. So when Macbeth tries to create his own path out of influence from his wife, things turn badly and that is where tragedy occurs.
The lady coming in was very beneficial to our team because now we know for sure what direction we are going to take with our paper. Plus the topic we are focusing in is more narrow so we can expand on it further. This is something we are interested in as well, which will make writing even easier.