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.