I moved my original blog to Hippie Hosting

I exported my old blog to the new Hippie Hosting site, and it will be operational as long as the internet gods are willing! 🙂

I will continue to blog there:  http://blog.neverthesameriver.com/

 

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Final DS106 Movie: Reflection

My last all-nighter project in DS106!!  🙂   I can’t believe it’s over.  I will miss it.  All of it. The community, the friends I’ve made, my team mates. …and Jim Groom, who taught me so much, but above all, who let me see what I’m capable of if I put my mind to it.   The class if over but #4Life goes on. 🙂

 

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The Big Move

I’ve finally moved all my posts over to UMW Blogs.  I wasn’t able to keep the same theme, so I ended up editing almost every post so they would fit into this generic theme.  But it’s all good.  I was getting tired of my theme anyway.  Nevertheless, it was a lot of work.  I’ve been doing this non-stop for several hours tonight, and I need to take a break.

I’ve been putting off making my final movie so I can give it my full attention that it deserves, without the final exams and research papers looming over my head.  So I saved it for last.  And now, I have exactly 1.5 days to make my final movie.  Time somehow got away from me, but I usually do my best work when I’m under pressure, so we’ll see how it goes tomorrow…

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The Biggest of 3 Birds Finally Finished!

Remember my post about killing 3 birds with one stone?  Well, I finished editing our group project, which was to make a 10-minute video about a psychologist who has made an impact on modern psychology.  This movie is about Mary Cover Jones and the influence she has had on behavior therapy.   She was one of the pioneer behaviorists, but not many people knew about her 1924 research until the 1970’s, when Joseph Wolpe named her “the mother of behavior therapy.”  She did not get the recognition she deserved throughout most of her career, because she happened to be a woman working in academia dominated by men at the time.


 

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TDC Week#… (I lost count)

TDC93: Make a Hat + Tiny Eyes photo

TDC93: Hat + Tiny Eyes

TDC95:  Take a photo from behind someone’s head looking at something.

TDC95: Scene from behind the head

 

TDC96:  Make a 5 x 5 video of daily activities, only natural sound:

The first video is what I posted for TDC.   I used the footage from this for my first attempt at using Adobe Premiere Pro in the second video.

TDC100:  Create a photo representing 100th Daily Create

100 Days of TDC Jigsaw Puzzle

 

TDC103:  Take a picture of a word or sign that represents the kind of day you’re having.

Klutzy Day

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Premiere Pro Project #1

I must say, after struggling with the Premiere Pro for two days, I really like it.   It’s all pretty intuitive, I think.  I just have to keep playing with all the different tools and shortcuts.  I do like the fact that I have so much control over every inch of every frame.   So far, I’m loving this challenge.  I just wish I had more time.  Final papers, final exams, etc…  But I did manage to spend several hours playing with this today.

For my first project, I decided to make it short and just get used to some tools.  I just used the footage I took for TDC last week.   I learned how to do the following:

Import, cut clips and insert into timeline, separate audio, adjust volume, add audio transition, add video transition, add video efects, split screen, change video to black and white, add titles, use layers, add more layers, render effects, and export to cue.   Whew!  That’s a lot.   The resulting video is below.  I know.   It’s not much.  But I’m sooooo proud of it!!  Go ahead, you can roll your eyes now. 😉

I used:

  • Video Effects –>Image Control–>Black and White
  • Video Effects–>Stylize–>Posterize
  • Video Effects–>Color Correction–>Fast Color Corrector (I used this to give the last portion an evening feel.)
  • Video Effects–>Transform–>Crop
  • Video Transitions–>Dissolve–>Cross Dissolve & Dip to Black (I actually tried every transition that was available!) 🙂
  • Audio Transitions–>Cross Face–>Constant Gain & Exponential Fade

I also figured out how to export a frame as a still image by using the camera icon as you see below!  I used the still images for the black and white portions of the video. 🙂

 

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New Challenge: Adobe Premiere

I have become fairly comfortable with using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and have been wanting to learn how to use Premiere Pro for video editing (I’ve only used Movie Maker and iMovie thus far) and also Dreamweaver for web designing.  Not only will I be able to increase my creative potential but I can also make myself more marketable for graphic design and/or video editing positions.  I have to laugh at myself, because here I am… ready to graduate with a degree in psychology but finding myself spending most of my time doing digital art and dreaming about doing it for a living.  I blame it all on ds106.  Ha!

I already have two pro bono website building jobs lined up and also crossing my fingers on a possible paid position wherein I am expected to have experience in Photoshop AND Premiere.  I’ve assured the company that I can learn the application within a very short time, so I hope they’ll give me a chance to show them.  Even if the job falls through, I am still determined to challenge myself on this.  And I guess Premiere has now been moved to the first position in line on my bucket list…

In the last couple of days, I’ve viewed countless YouTube video tutorials, as well as reading as much as I can about Premiere Pro CS5.5.  I’m starting to overwhelm myself with too much information, so I’ve decided that the best thing to do is to just jump in and start using it. Everyone has a different learning style, so my way of learning will not necessarily be good for someone else.  But I plan on documenting this process just in case someone out there will find it helpful. 🙂  I found the following two tutorials to be very informative and reassuring.  The videos give a general overview of Premiere and its workspace, which can be extremely intimidating to someone opening it up for the first time.  I think I’m now ready to start a project!!

I do have some psych papers due in the next couple of days, but I hope to have my first video project to showcase by next week.   Kee-dae-ha-shi-rah!  (that means “Expect great things!”)  🙂

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TDC100: Daily Create #100!!!!!

In honor of 100th TDC today, I designed the below image to make a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle at www.jigsawplanet.com.

Perhaps because of the dimensions of the image, I ended up with only 96 pieces, but close enough…

Click on the image below to try the jigsaw puzzle yourself! 🙂

 

 
 

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Re-do: Return to the Silent Era Video Assignment (Highlander)

Video Assignment 376: Return to the Silent Era

Ever since I worked on this assignment (twice) two weeks ago, I haven’t been happy with it.  I had been thinking about how I could make it look more authentic, more like a real silent film.

And then this occurred today, as if someone read my thoughts.  Hmm…   Anyway, from there, I found this article, and then I was finally led to Ben Rimes’ (aka @techsavvyed) brilliant silent-film -ized Back to the Future video.  He was gracious enough to list all of the tools he used to make the video in his comments section on YouTube, and I got inspired.

So… here is my 3rd and final attempt at this assignment:

I think Jim Groom will be happy that Sean Connery is no longer in the video, but that was NOT because I wanted to cut him out.  I just ended up cutting all the scenes where people were talking, and he ended up getting cut.  Oh well.

I downloaded the “Silent Movie Title Card” from this site as Ben suggested.  (THANKS, @techsavvyed!!!!!! for inspiring me!)

I googled and found the font and the music as follows:

 

You can see my previous attempts here and here, but I’d advise you not to.  haha.

 

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d&ds106 Monster Manual [remixed]: Pollock Style – 6 Stars

Remix Assignment 555:  d&ds106 Monster Manual remixed Pollock Style

I took the below image from this post and remixed it.

The Result:

To make this image, I first found this site, where you can make your own Jackson Pollock style paintings on your screen.  Then I came up with the idea to try and paint something that resembles the original monster image.  Let me tell you, it was NOT as easy as I had hoped.  After many trials, I finally came up with something that I was willing to settle for.  Then I saved the painting as a screenshot and imported it to Photoshop.  Finally, I placed the monster image on top of it and lowered the opacity to 20%.  Not bad, eh? 🙂

 

 

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Patty Pioneers [Remixed]: Happy Days – 3 Stars

Remix Assignment 553:  Patty Pioneers remixed with Happy Days card

I took the below image from this post and remixed it.

Result:

It took me a while to find an image of “The Fonz” that would fit in with this Patty Pioneers image.  Then I cut out the jacket portion without the head, placed it into the above image, and resized it to fit.  Next, I cut out the hand holding the cheeseburger and placed it on top of the jacket layer.  I touched up the edges and added a drop shadow to the jacket layer.  It’s not perfect, but I think it’s acceptable. 🙂

 

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[Remixed]: The Opposer – 5 stars

Remix Assignment 503: 

Missing Persons Poster –> [Remixed]: The Opposer

I took the below image from here and created the remix.

Result:

 

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in[SPIRE] Project is Almost Ready!!

HEY EVERYONE!

in[SPIRE] is almost ready for launching!  You’ll be able to start submitting the DS106 work that inspired you in just a few days (I hope!).  Here’s an update on what has transpired so far:

Progress Report:

I know that our ideas have been a little bit scattered until we (with the help of Jim Groom and Alan Levine) finally came up with a plan.  They listend to our ideas and what we were trying to accomplish and suggested that we incorporate it into the main DS106 site.  Awesome!  We then went to work.

What we ended up with is slightly different from what we were imagining in the beginning, but it is much more workable, realistic, practical, and still somewhat like what we envisioned.  The brain component sort of got lost in the shuffle, but the following two ideas that made up the DS106 brain concept still remain:

  • Collective Creativity
  • Sense of Community

Rachel and I are more than happy with the results.

We decided that it should be a place where all the best work of DS106 is archived where people can go and browse through the work.  We decided that we should also have the DS106 community itself choose what work should be added to the collection.  This is where Gravity Form came into the picture.  Jim and Alan had been learning about the Gravity Form plugin and the countless ways it can be used to collect and organize data.

I remembered the e-literature piece that Rachel showed me… I had browed through the main site where the piece came from for more info. I suggested that we use that sort of a tiled portfolio format as our main page where all the best work of DS106 gets showcased.  The visitors then can click on one of the tiles and get more information about the work.  Tim Owens helped us find a theme that fits the bill, and we thought it was perfect.  It’s called Mansion by Graph Paper Press.

The Gravity Form is being used to have the visitors enter information about the work they are recommending.  The Views plugin that works in conjunction with the form can compile the data in any format, e.g. list, table, etc. for the administrators to organize and view the data.  Both plugins have so many possibilities.  I cannot go into the details of how it all works, because I myself have only learned the very very basic functions.  But trust me…it’s awesome!  Martha Burtis and Tim Owens have been gracious enough to help us with all the technical details, but some of the coding stuff is beyond my understanding (although I am determined to teach myself CSS and HTML when the semester is over).

So basically, when the site is finally ready, anyone will be able to enter the information about the work(s) that inspires them.  Each submission will become a post on its own, and the thumbnail image they upload will become a tile on the main page.  In this way, the main page will be constantly updated as new pieces get submitted.  It will truly be a collaborative collection that will be driven by the whole community. Yay!

We just have to work out some final details, such as how the posts will look when a visitor clicks on one of the tiles.  The form itself is pretty much set up, and you can go to HERE to preview what we have so far.   Some of the work that currently show up are just test images and not real submissions.

I am still thinking that there should be some sort of a voting feature, such as a “like” button that keeps track of how may people liked the work that has been submitted.

Leave your comments or suggestions below or just give us a tweet:

@linda3dots   or   @rmcguirk

 

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TDC Week 9 – 12

Catching up on posting my TDCs…

TDC 65: My Work Space

TDC66: DS106 is the best thing since…

TDC67: Toes
Toes

 

TDC79: Geological Feature
TDC79: Local Geological Feature

 

TDC80: Glamorize Your Ride
Ghost Train

 

TDC88: Repeated Geometric Shapes
TDC88: Repeated Geometric Shapes

 

TDC90:  Looking through another object
Looking through another object

 

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My thoughts on “Everything is a Remix”

We were assigned to watch the “Everything is a Remix” video series by Kirby Ferguson.

He brings to light some very interesting and important facts, and the following points are basically what I got from watching the videos:

  • Behind every work that we consider original, there are other preceding ideas that it copied from.
  • Progress is made by taking good ideas and copying, transforming, and combining them over and over again, much like how evolution happens.
  • When there is money involved, we become reluctant to share what we think we own, including our ideas.
  • Laws are made to “protect” our ideas from being copied and used by other people.
  • But since there are seldom truly original ideas and since new ideas feed upon the ideas that preceded them, is there one true owner of any idea?
  • The laws end up stifling and slowing down the copying-transforming-combining process, which, in turn, slows down the creation of new/improved ideas.

I enjoyed the videos very much.  They were excellent and made me think.  I would highly recommend that everyone watch them.

I do agree that in order for creativity and innovation to thrive and for us to maximize the human potential, we need to keep the regulations to a minimum and let things take their natural course.  But unfortunately, as long as money remains in the equation, the battle will continue.  The fact that we continue to be our own worst enemy to prohibit our own progress, sadly, is a part of the human condition, IMHO.  However, that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying.  Slowly but surely, we still manage to move forward in our evolutionary track.

And by the way, while I was watching these videos, I remembered THIS VIDEO of an experiment conducted by Derren Brown.  I don’t know the validity of this experiment.  After all, it was made for TV.  I still think it is a great illustration of the concept that even what we perceive as our own ideas may have come from somewhere else without us ever being consciously aware of it.  Watch it.  You will be amazed.

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Killing 3 Birds (Part 2, the Prequel)

Another Video Assignment 445:  (However, this one is a bit different, in that I replaced the video with other images to go with the audio to make it look similar to the other one I made last week.)

So my History of Psychology project (10-min. video) is slowly coming along.

I extracted audio from this video (from 1:22 to 2:14) and made a new video to match the one about Little Peter.  The Little Albert study was done by John B. Watson 4 years before the Little Peter study by Mary Cover Jones.

This is how it turned out:

 

 UPDATE:  You can find the finished 10-min. video here.

 

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Video Assignment – Vintage Educational Video

The skills I’ve learned in DS106 came in handy yet again in another class.  This time, Applied Counseling.  I’ve added the vintage feel for DS106 (Video Assignment 397)

WARNING:  Boring video with terrible acting by me.  haha

Interviewing Skills – Self-Disclosure to a Counseling Client

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5 Movies, 5 Seconds – Dogs in Leading Roles

Video Assignment 448:  One archetype, five movies, five seconds.

Each clip is 2 seconds long, because I thought 1 second was way too short.  Rules?  What rules?  🙂

The clips are from the following movies:

Lassie Come Home (1943)

Turner & Hooch (1989)

Shiloh (1996)

My Dog Skip (2000)

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

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Return to the Silent Era – Highlander

I got the idea for this as I was commenting on this post.

But the embedding has been disabled on these videos for some reason, so you’ll have to follow the links:

I made this. (this one didn’t turn out so well…)

From this.

Here’s a second try. (this one is teeny bit better) 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnTz4k7u108

Still meh…

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Tutorial: How to separate audio from video on iMovie

In this tutorial, I explain how I extracted the audio from the interview of Anthony Hopkins and put it together with appropriate video clips as a part of my video essay on Titus.  This part took the longest time to edit, and it turned out to be much more tedious than I had anticipated.  But I learned a lot, given the fact that I had no idea how to do any of this before starting this project. 🙂

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

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Sentence Length

I found this today.  An excellent advice on sentence length. We could all use it. 🙂

Gary Provost, quoted in Roy Peter Clark’s (terrific) Writing Tools:

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.

What’s funny, though, is that at the end of the blog post, he writes “File under: Music.”  LOL

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Killing 3 Birds

Here’s what you call killing 3 birds with one stone:

1.  Finish a part of an assignment for another class (History of Psych).

2.  Use it as a DS106 video assignment idea submission. (I think this should be 5 stars)

3.  Get stars for completing my own assignment idea.

Why not?  The whole point of my taking DS106 is to help me to be creative in other classes and all other aspects of my daily life.  I think it’s completely appropriate. 🙂

This assignment took me about 15 hours to execute, and it only accounts for 1.5 minutes of the 10-minute movie my team is working on for our History of Psychology project.

First, I had the following information contained in an article:

Briefly, Jones treated Peter’s extant fear of a white rabbit with a variety of fear-reducing procedures. The most successful procedure was that of “direct conditioning,” in which a pleasant stimulus (food) was presented simultaneously with the rabbit. As the rabbit was gradually brought closer to him in the presence of his favorite food, Peter grew more tolerant, and was able to touch it without fear.

Then I found the following image, which immediately gave me an idea for this portion of our movie.

Resulting Video:

After 15 hours of ad tedium, here’s what I came up with based on the above information:

 

UPDATE:  You can see the complete video here.

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Video Essay

Titus (1999)

Video Week is hell.

I don’t know how else to describe it.  So far, video week is hell.  This video assignment has taken me a minimum of 40 hours of work, 5 of which were spent on researching and trying to figure out which movie I wanted to use and 7 of which were used in trying to figure out how to download and use all the applications.  I finally ended up going with a movie that I own, Titus.  I had started this earlier this week, and I’ve been going at it today since 8am.  Being a novice at this, every single edit is taking a ridiculously long time.  Then there is my ever-present (and annoying) perfectionism.  Here I am again at 3am, writing this blog post.  After all that, the video still is not perfect.  But I’m making the executive decision to call it “done.”

—————————————-

…but that was last night.  Today is a new day, and every time I review the video, I have the urge to change something.   I do have two exams to study for, and I’m having a hard time focusing on them, because all I can think about is how I can make this video just a little bit better.

So far, I’ve uploaded 4 different versions of it.  At this rate, I will never get any other video assignments done, let alone all the work from other classes that I’ve been neglecting.  But here’s my view: Better to do one thing well than to do ten things half-assed.  And that’s my final answer.  But seriously, I think I am finally walking away from this one.  Honest. 🙂

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Project in[SPIRE] – The DS106 Brain

Here’s an idea for the in[SPIRE] logo:

And this is the brain idea:

The Brain:

  • The Brain has human qualities:  left brain/right brain – connected by corpus callosum that allows the two sides to interact.

  • Left brain is the technical/digital side (thinking side) – logical, organized, structured, contained.

  • Right brain is the feeling/creative side (feeling side) – wild and uncontrollable, reaching outside the boundaries.

  • The right side continually feeds the left side, and the left side makes sense of the right –> producing results.

The Four Aspects of DS106

LEFT:

  • What

  • How

RIGHT:

  • Who

  • So what? – Vision/Reaching Beyond/Making a Differenc

Have you seen this on 60 Minutes?  If the Kahn Academy is the left brain, DS106 can be the right brain!! 🙂

 http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7401696n&tag=contentMain%3BcontentAux

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The DS106 Brain

After the initial brain-storming session for our final project, we agreed that a circuit board inside a brain would be a good image to represent DS106.  Then I thought it should be half digital and half organic. (See my previous post.)

I finally came up with this design.  I got the background images from here and here and designed the rest on Adobe Illustrator.  I then transferred the design into Photoshop and integrated the other images.  Please feel free to critique it. 🙂

 

Adobe Illustrator image: (It took me all day to figure out how I could depict half human/half digital brain.)

 

Backgrounds:

  

 

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A Random Urge to Design

While my thoughts were going a mile a minute on our final project idea, I had the sudden urge to design something with this concept.  I have no idea how it relates to what we talked about, but here it is:

Note:  The faint red, green, and blue colors on the balls represent RGB.

hmm… now onto ideas for the image of the human/digital brain…

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Thoughts on the Final Project

I met with Rachel today to talk about some ideas for our final project.  Her idea was to do a hyperlink project where we can link the many characteristics of DS106 all in one place, with an image for the home page that will have hyperlinks attached to it.  She was thinking something like this.  The following ensued:

  • After about 30 minutes of brainstorming, we came up with the idea that we should make an image of a circuit board inside of a brain.
  • The hyperlinks can be attached to the various dots on the board.  For the content, we wanted to include:nside jokes of DS106, such as Emre5807 and Kim Droom, Bagman/Allygator debate, Bryan Alexander and cat, etc., so that anyone visiting the site would know why we find these things so funny.
  • Another major focus will be about the community of DS106 – Somehow help the DS106 students from other parts of the country/world, as well as online students, to stay more connected and access each other’s work.
  • Rachel loved my idea of using the word INSPIRE, because it comes from the Latin word spiro, which means “to breathe.”  I was thinking we could do something with the words INSPIRE, ASPIRE, CONSPIRE, and TRANSPIRE, and try to relate them to DS106 somehow, but maybe that’s too much.  We tentatively named our project “Project in[SPIRE]”.
  • So we had the general concept started.
  • We stopped by the office on our way out and met with Jim and Alan to propose our idea, and they loved it and were eager to help us.  Yay! (This thing has the potential of blowing up beyond our abilities, but we decided to go for it.)
  • Jim had the idea of making it a place where anyone can contribute, or link tags to the pages to pull in everyone’s work as they are being done…  the ever-growing sort of a thing. hmm… intriguing.
  • On my way home I thought of the idea of a bilateral brain.  Instead of filling the whole brain with a circuit board, why not split it in half?  Have one-half be the human side, and the other half be the digital side….sort of like left brain/right brain.  The human side of the brain can hold the links about the human connections in DS-106, as well as all of the inside jokes, background stories… you know, all the stuff that makes DS-106 feel like a family.
  • The digital half of the brain can hold the links to the technical stuff, tutorials, projects, etc.
  • Then I re-visited my thoughts on the word inspire and suddenly got the urge to design something.  After a few hours, I came up with one.  You can see it here.
  • Tomorrow, I will start on the image of the bilateral brain.  I’m not sure how elaborate it should be…  I think I will stick with my philosophy of simplicity and see what I can come up with.

Some other thoughts about my desire for the final product:

  • It should be simple and easy to navigate.
  • It should include a section where someone can easily get an overview of what DS106 is.
  • It could include a section with testimonials (we can use the 3/14/12 TDC assignments).
  • It should have a section with all the background stories of the inside jokes.
  • Could it map out DS106 groups and communities within the big community on the image of the circuit board?
  • Those are my thoughts.  Please feel free to comment.

 

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TDC Week 8

TDC57: Reflection

Boxed In

Inside an elevator, Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower), Chicago.

 

TDC60: A circle reflecting how I feel today

wabi sabi day

 

TDC61: A line from a movie in my handwriting

 

TDC62: Looking out

Looking out

 

TDC63: Photo of favorite religious architecture

St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York.

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Making of AMCX Radio Show (Part 2): Kim Droom Interview

This is the final cut version of Part 2 of my crime report:

Hmm… how do I describe Kim Droom?  In a word, he is complicated@jimgroom was gracious enough to agree (on behalf of Kim Droom) to do an interview for our AMCX radio show.  I wanted to interview Droom in order to get an update on his investigation into the hacking incident several weeks ago, shortly after the semester began.  If you are not familiar with the story, you can check out this video.

I had thought it would be a very short interview.  …just a few quick questions and answers.  Easy.  Little did I know about Detective Droom’s tendency to go off on many tangents!  I had written out my questions, but we had no script and went off the cuff.  After three takes, we had three different interviews and three very different varieties of tangents.  They were 8:04, 8:22, and 11:14 in length!!  Here they are, if you find yourself interested in listening to the raw footage:

Kim droom 1 by linda3dots

Kim droom 2 by linda3dots

Kim droom 3 by linda3dots

At first, I was overwhelmed by the amount of material I had to work with, but soon realized that the more I had the better.  I can pick and choose the best responses and cut and edit any way I want!  So I listened to all three takes several times and took notes on them.  Out of all three takes, I picked out the responses that would blend together well to give the interview a good flow.  It was many hours of edit-listen-edit-listen-edit-listen-edit, etc. etc. etc…  You get the idea.

One revelation I should share here is that working long hours on a project and getting to know it intimately is much like developing a relationship with a person.  One becomes very attached to one’s project as one spends more and more time with it.

Surprisingly, I was able to piece together a fun and interesting interview much better than I had anticipated.  But it was rather long –  8:16.  I started out hoping for about 5:00, but I liked it a lot and could not find anymore places where I wanted to cut.  Listen for yourself:

@jimgroom suggested that I try to cut it down to half the length.  In the meantime, I came up with the idea to insert some sound clips that I thought would fit perfectly into several places in the interview, which would add more time.  What to do? What to do…

I took a deep breath and started cutting again.  C….c…ut.  Tears.   C…c…c…c….ut.  Some more tears (ok… not real tears, but I teared up on the inside).  Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut.  I finally got to a point where I just could not cut anymore and ended up with 5:43 that is at the top of this post.  If you want me to cut more than that, you’ll have to do it yourself after you drag me kicking and screaming from my computer.  So there!

The moral of this story?

  • With the raw footage, more is better.

  • With the finished product, less is more.  🙂

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Making of AMCX Radio Show: Crime Report Part 1

Our team’s main idea was to run a political debate between Bagman, Allygator, and Handgela (I could not track down this video), since one of our team-mates IS the one and only, awesome Allygator herself! We also decided that including a crime update of Kim Droom’s investigation into Emre5807 would round out the show very well.

I suggested to my team (Annie and Rachel) that Norm could be a great addition to our show as well, since I was familiar with Norm’s sense of humor and his fantastic voice from other work he’s done in DS106.  Since Annie and Rachel was going to work on the political debate and the commercials, I volunteered to take the crime report segment by doing an interview with Kim Droom and also work with Norm to come up with something interesting to add.

One of the ideas was to include a weather report by Norm at the end of our show.  After thinking about it, however, I thought it would be great for him to play a part in the Kim Droom interview as a guide/guard who escorts me to Droom’s top secret underground headquarters.  Yes!! I thought.  Norm could be the “Gate Keeper” who guards the entrance to the deep dark undisclosed location from which Kim Droom works to fight cyber crimes against our online identities… Perfect!

Norm was pretty much game for anything and eager to help.  He’s just that kind of a guy.  I emailed my idea to him and initially thought we could perhaps record something together via Skype (but in hindsight, it wouldn’t have worked as well.)  That didn’t work out because my internet connection at the time was acting up, so we decided to just use Google chat on gmail to come up with a dialogue between me playing the AMCX reporter and Norm the “gate keeper.”  The dialogue flowed very smoothly, and we got it done in about ten minutes.  Here’s a copy of our chat.

I thought his idea to include snakes was brilliant!  Yam-loving snakes at that!  Hilarious!  Here’s the footage Norm recorded and sent to me that evening:


Using Garage Band, I recorded my lines using my computer’s internal mic and added the sound effects I found on freesounds.org.  I was not completely satisfied with the mix when it was played in class, but it was good enough for a preview.  After that, I decided my voice sounded too soft and muffled, so I re-recorded my lines using my iPhone mic (which turned out to be a much more clear) and then re-adjusted the sound effects.  Here’s what I finally ended up with:

 

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My thoughts on making the AMCX Radio Show

 Our very own @annie_belle1 designed this logo!  🙂

 

What better way to blog about audio week than using audio!  Here are my thoughts on working with my team-mates on our AMCX Radio Show.

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TDC Weeks 6 & 7

TDC43:

TDC45:

TDC48:

TDC49:

Cherry Blossoms

 

TDC53 (A)

TDC53 (B)

 

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Audio Assignment – My first autotune

Here it is!  I learned how to use autotune in Garage Band by watching this tutorial.  It’s not perfect, and I may have overdone the effects, making the words somewhat hard to understand, but I think it’s not bad for a beginner.  Ha!  (but don’t quote me on that.)

The Product:

I cut, copied, and pasted the original clip here, there, and everywhere and played around with various effects to make the following:

The Process:

I found a clip to use for this from the video of Jim Groom’s recent guest speech at Kansas State University. 🙂

Here’s the original clip I recorded from the video using the internal mic on my computer:
Original clip by linda3dots

I honestly cannot explain the process, because it was very, VERY messy and tedious.  But this is how my file in Garage Band looked when I got done:

 

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Sound Effects Story

Ugh! Sound Week!  This was my least favorite week thus far.  I have very little experience with sound editing, and by little I mean none.   Up until now, my assignments took longer than necessary because of my perfectionism, but sound is a different story.  Everything this week is taking much longer because I have no earthly idea what I’m doing.  I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to learn just the very basics on both Garage Band and Audacity.

This is my sound effects story that I managed to put together after many hours of moaning and cursing:

Initially, I posted this version:

Then after getting some suggestions from Jim Groom during class, I decided to spend some more time trying to make it better.  Here’s a new and improved version:

What do you think?  Better? 🙂

I found all of my sound effects for this story on freesound.org.

It is an amazing site where people share their sound files.  I found the following sounds for this story:

Siren:  http://www.freesound.org/people/guitarguy1985/sounds/59864/

Running down the stairs:  http://www.freesound.org/people/mikaelfernstrom/sounds/68721/

Heart beat:  http://www.freesound.org/people/HerbertBoland/sounds/32731/

Open and close door:  http://www.freesound.org/people/fresco/sounds/35617/

Footsteps on floor:  http://www.freesound.org/people/Corsica_S/sounds/44665/

Bomb explosion 1:  http://www.freesound.org/people/zimbot/sounds/120573/

Bomb explosion 2:  http://www.freesound.org/people/Lord%20Razu/sounds/107792/

 

I used Audacity to put the project together.  I found out that the “import” option creates a new layer of sound on the same file, and the “open” option opens the sound in another window.

For the original version, I cut and placed the different sound effects linearly on one layer, which made the transitions sound very abrupt.

For the revised version, I made layers of the same sound with different volume to make it seem more seamless.  I think it turned out great for a beginner… 😉

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Romancing the past…

For our TDC assignment yesterday, I submitted a photo that represented my past career with the FBI.  It always takes me by surprise when I realize how long it has been.  Yet it still seems like yesterday.  I remembered this poster I designed in an introductory digital art class I took last summer and decided to share it here.  The assignment was to design a fictional movie poster that would depict something about your life.

I had to exaggerate the suspense a teeny bit for effect, as you can see. 😉

Working for the FBI was a great learning experience for me; and during the last few years I worked there, I was on a surveillance team with ten other wonderful people.  Our team name was “Alpha,” and my handle was Alpha-10.  The work was very interesting, indeed, but the bond we formed as a team is what I miss the most.

The below photo was taken a few days ago when I caught up with a former team-mate to have dinner with her.  She was on assignment in this area.  I hadn’t seen her in 15 years.  After our days on the team, she went on to become a Special Agent and I became a mom.

I felt a small pang of envy as I listened to the stories from the path she chose, but I wouldn’t trade my last 20 years for anything in the world. 🙂

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TDC Week 5

In the midst of Design Week madness, I managed to post the following Daily Creates:

Monday:

Food being served or eaten in an unconventional way. tdc.ds106.us/tdc36/  I wrote up a separate post for this TDC complete with more images from Korea.

Tuesday:

Toy in action. tdc.ds106.us/tdc37/

Wednesday:

Object that represents how old you feel. tdc.ds106.us/tdc38/

Thursday:

Bird tdc.ds106.us/tdc39/

Friday:

Someone else’s artwork in an interesting way to make it yours. tdc.ds106.us/tdc40/

Saturday:

Most prized possession. tdc.ds106.us/tdc41/

Sunday:

Job tdc.ds106.us/tdc42/

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DS106 Propoganda – Design Assignment

Design Assignment 367:  Time to let out your inner Big Brother! Create a propaganda poster for ds106. Use your photo editing software of choice and write a message to inspire your fellow ds106ers. For example, I took a WW2 poster about increasing ammunition production, and turned it into a poster promoting tweeting.

I witnessed Daniel come up with this design assignment idea, work on it, and reveal his work in real time on twitter (see below), and it was so much fun to share in his excitement!  I cannot express enough how great it is to be part of a community that shares their enormous ongoing creative energy and also feed off of that energy from each other.  Who would’ve thunk? AHHHHH!  and right at this very moment, I came up with ANOTHER IDEA!!  I’m not kidding!

 

Product 1:

 

Product 2:

This one didn’t turn out so well. Font problems…

 

The Process:

I found the propaganda posters HERE and HERE and went to work on Photoshop CS4.  I had the most trouble with the fonts, but after cutting, pasting, matching colors with the dropper and paint tool, I got them to look fairly decent.

Here are the side by side views of before and after:

 

For the “Big Brother” poster, I found the below photo of Jim Groom HERE and edited it as follows:

  1. Made it a little brighter by adjusting the levels in:  Image–>Adjustments–>Levels.
  2. Gave it a posterized effect by:  Filter–>Artistic–>Poster Edges and played with the adjustments there.
  3. Changed it to black and white and added the brownish tint by:  Image–>Adjustments–>Black&White–>Tint.
  4. Added the letters “DS” and “106” on his sunglasses by using “cracked” font and then added the word again at the bottom but larger.
  5. Picked up the light brownish color from his face with the dropper tool and changed the color of the word “DS106,” then lowered the opacity a little by using the opacity lever in the layers window.

 

 

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DS106 Movie Poster – Design Assignment

I came up with this idea while working on the propaganda poster design assignment.

This didn’t quite fit in with any other assignments already there (please correct me if I’m wrong), so I decided to just submit it as another design idea.

Design Assignment 372:  Take a movie poster and change it to depict a movie about DS106. It’s sort of like the DS106 propaganda poster, but this time, it’s DS106, the movie!!

Here’s my submission:

 

I found the original poster HERE.

 

Here is a side by side view of before and after:

 

 

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One Story, Four Icons (x 2)

Design Assignment 358: The assignment is to reduce a movie, story, or event into its basic elements, then take those visuals and reduce them further to simple icons, four of them. Write your blog post up but do not give away the answer, let people guess! The challenge is to find the icons that suggest the story, but do not make it so easy.

 

Story 1:

 

Story 2:

I think they are pretty easy.  Any guesses?  🙂

Clues:

  1. Same writer for both
  2. Both were remade in the late 90’s
  3. There is blood
  4. They are both tragedies
  5. Revenge is a common theme

I thought and thought and thought about this assignment, but nothing special came to mind.  So I moved on to other assignments.  Then after my idea fizzled out on another assignment, I looked at this again.  And Bam!  I got not one, but TWO ideas!!  I searched the Noun Project site for icons, downloaded them, and put them together on Photoshop.  It was a pretty straightforward process, but in the process, I figured out how to draw the outline on Photoshop!   I’ll make a short tutorial for that and post it tomorrow.

 

 

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Change… It’s in the Bag! – Design Assignment

 

Design Assignment 364:  Make a campaign poster for Bagman’s 2012 campaign! You can base it on a famous political poster (Obama’s Hope poster, for example), movie posters, whatever. Minimalist or complex, just make it awesome.

 

I just HAD to do one of these. 🙂

BAGMAN FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!

I’m getting behind on writing up my process for the projects.  I promise I’ll get to them soon!! 🙂

 

 

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Animated Forrest Gump: Design Assignment

 

Design Assignment 313:  Pick a movie poster and animate it. You can see an awesome example and quick explanation by Michael Branson Smith here.

 

 

The Product:

 

The Process:

It took me only a few minutes of contemplation to come up with this idea, but the execution was a lot more involved than I thought.  That always seems to be the case, though.  When I see my idea in my head, it always seems very easy and simple.  No problem.  But when I start working on it, it’s a whole new ball park.

More to come…

 

 

 

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Iconic Me – linda3dots

I was in the middle of this assignment when I came up with my idea of new design assignment, and I just submitted my idea.  So where were we…

Designment Assignment 54: Create an iconic image/design for your own site that somehow represents you.

 

 

I often use the handle “linda3dots” for my online activities.  I came up with this icon for this assignment:

 

I used Photoshop CS4.  Brush tool, ellipse tool, and also added an inner shadow via “fx” in layers.

 

 

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Minimalize Your Philosophy: Design Assignment

Design Assignment 365:   Pick your favorite quote OR make up your own phrase which describes a philosophy that you try to live by.  It can be about love, friendship, family, education, culture, health, charity, etc.  Design a minimalist poster depicting the concept.  Extra challenge: Try to include a unique element that makes it YOU.  Don’t forget to explain your thought process. 🙂

 

The Product:

SAPERE AUDE (Dare to think)

The three dots representing ellipses…  linda3dots is my handle that I often use online.  It signifies thoughts in progress.  Again, what could have been a very simple project turned into hours of laboring over the size, color, placement, adding shapes, subtracting shapes, etc. etc. etc.   I finally ended up with this final version.

 

The Concept and Thought Process:

The dark and gray portion on the left represents a box and the absence of thought, then the dots emerge out of the box and get gradually get brighter as they move to the right.  The shadows behind the dots connect each dot to the next, suggesting the idea that each new thought is connected to the previous thought.  I wanted to communicate that the process of thinking is sequential, and the dots are gradually transformed rather than popping up on their own by accident.

I thought about just having the circles touch each other or overlap each other slightly, but neither design looked interesting enough.  So I thought of adding the drop shadows that would connect the dots.  Then I also wanted to add the idea of thinking outside the box.  I played around with many different shapes and positions but finally decided to just divide the background into two sections and have the dots emerging out of one section into the other.

 

The Tool:

I used Photoshop CS4 and used only the basic ellipse tool and the rectangle tool.  The drop shadows were added to each layer by selecting “fx” option at the bottom of the layers window.  I would be happy to share anything else you many have questions about, so just leave me a comment below. 🙂

 

 

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This Old Doctor: Really (not) Reality TV

Designment Assignment 342:  Really Reality TV – Follow this formula to create your own reality TV show for the ds106 Network.

This assignment sounded like a lot of fun and a good one to start the design week off with, so here we go!  Onward with design week!

The Product:

The 100-year-old doctor still makes house calls.  He must, explains Dr. Fred Goldman.  That’s where the patients are.  “If they’re sick and can’t leave home,” he said, “I go to see them.”

Remember, it’s your body; choose wisely what you put into it. Also, find a good doctor to partner with who will cooperatively address your health care concerns. And, take responsibility for your personal wellness by being an awesome, proactive patient.

 

Don’t miss the premiere of “This Old Doctor” and watch him in action.  Follow the Doc as he makes house calls to restore youth to his aging patients by treating them with his mysterious preserves of unknown origin.

You’ll have to read to the end of this post to find the inside scoop.  Muhahahahaha.

The Process:

I got the following name of the show from here.

Then I googled the name to get the fifth and tenth search items.  The fifth didn’t work out, so I decided to go with the 6th instead.  I used the first paragraph of the 6th search result and the last paragraph of the 10th result for the show description, then made up the tagline.

Images:

I had the hardest time finding the images:  I searched for and found the following Creative Commons images in Flickr.  The links are attached to the images.

Found these with the phrase “this old doctor”:

Then I found this with the term “surgery”:

I played around with the “fx” in the layers window to add inner shadow and outer glow to the two images on the left side of the ad.

 

After that, an idea started brewing, and I searched the term “canned fruit.”  I will use these to depict preserved human organs.

 

The Concept:

An old surgeon who has performed hundreds of surgeries throughout his career has preserved all the diseased organs and other parts removed from his patients.  He discovers that these fermented organs are a miracle cure for aging.  And the rest is hist…I mean, a reality TV show. 🙂

 

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Street Vendors of Korea

For today’s Daily Create, the assignment was to take a photo of food being served or eaten in an unconventional way.  I immediately thought of my 10-day trip to Korea in 2010.  I chose the first image below for my TDC, but I decided to do a whole blog post featuring a series of these photos.  It was my first trip back since my family moved to the States in 1976.  I was very excited when I got this chance to go back and wanted to remember every moment.  I took pictures of everything and posted a daily set of photos on Facebook at the time for my family and friends to vicariously experience the trip with me.  I only had my Canon Powershot back then, but I still got some great shots.  In looking through them today, I remembered that I was infinitely more interested in the hidden nuances of my home country that you would never see in the travel brochures than other usual attractions.  I took these photos of the street vendors in various shopping districts and outdoor markets.  I picked out several to share with you here.  I don’t know if other Koreans would be particularly proud to show this side of Korea.  They are funny like that.  But I was incredibly proud of and fascinated by these hard-working people. 🙂    You can see in their faces that they all have their stories to tell.  I wish I would have asked them…

I posted this one for TDC.  It’s my favorite among the group.  These are vendors in Myungdong shopping district in Seoul.

 

Another vendor in Myungdong.  He’s making a Japanese snack that tastes similar to baklava.

 

Her business is called “Grandma’s Soon-dae.”  She sells Korean blood sausages at the outdoor market in the city of Songtan. U.S. Air Force has a military base in Songtan.

 

Vendor on the streets of Songtan.  This is a stand where you can buy Korean style popcorn.  You can find all sorts of popped rice snacks here.

 

This was taken at the Namdaemun shopping district in Seoul.  These are one of my favorite Korean snacks, pastries filled with red beans.  They are only good when they are freshly made, so you have to eat them right there on the spot. 🙂  She was not too happy about getting her picture taken, but she reluctantly allowed me to take this photo after I explained to her how much I love these snacks.

 

Another one taken at the Namdaemun shopping district.  She sells steamed corn and sweet potatoes, as well as an assortment of uncooked beans.  …and why is that office chair in the middle of the street?

 

Another one from Namdaemun.  This is one of my favorites.  I thought she was so cute with her leopard print coat and her pearl earrings.  Can you imagine sitting there and roasting chestnuts all day?  And what is that down in the lower left corner of the photo?  It’s dried and pressed octopus!! eeeeek!!!

 

These ladies are making meat buns in the food court at the Shinsegae Department Store in Seoul.

 

 

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Just for funsies: After-the-fact visual assignment

…and a shameless display of a mother’s pride in her son’s good looks!! 😛

This was Visual Assignment 66, which was to find a celebrity look-alike for someone you know, and I came up with this.  But being from the Korean culture where it’s a faux pas to brag about yourself or your children, I had decided not to post it.  I struggle with my cultural tween-ness all the time, which gets extremely annoying.  It’s like getting a brain whiplash from jerking back and forth between two different mindsets.  But this was sitting in my finished assignments folder, and I finally thought why not?  So here it is.   I have not tagged it, since it’s after-the-fact and past the due date, and I already have my 10 stars.

You may not know this celebrity, but his name is Daniel Henney and he’s a huge celebrity in South Korea.  My friends are always telling me that my son looks like him.  Ha!  This photo was taken just before his performance in his high school production of Hair Spray, the musical.  He was Link Larkin. 🙂

 

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TDC Week 4

My daily creates will be compiled and posted weekly from here on out. (And the first three are repeats because I didn’t decide to do the weekly thing until the middle of this week). Also, I’ve completed a total of 12 stars in Visual Assignments (in case you lost count, @jimgroom. ;)).

Monday:  TDC29 – Make a photo of something upside down that is never seen that way.

Tuesday:  TDC 30 – Share an image of a place where you lose things in the house.

Wednesday:  TDC 31 – Create a photograph that represents the happiest or most memorable moment in your life.

Thursday:  TDC 32 – Make a photo that represents something you aspire to do or be one day.

Friday:  TDC 33 – Take a picture of confusion.

Saturday:  TDC 34 – Take a photo that emphasizes the detail of a human hand.

Sunday:  TDC 35 – Photograph your own or someone else’s cool tattoo.

 

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Averaging Concepts – Visual Assignment (3 stars)

Visual Assignment 13: Averaging Concepts Using Flickr – Take a concept, one word, and plug it into Flickr and take the first 50 images and average them using Photoshop or similar program. Step by step instructions available at http://is.gd/ku3UF

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this assignment and decided to do 3 of them. 🙂  The above listed tutorial was perfect and very easy to follow.  I am floored by how amazingly well these turned out.  I can’t stop staring and getting lost in them…

VALENTINE

Since Valentine’s Day is in two days, I decided to search the word “valentine,” and the resulting image is amazing!

 

PSYCHOLOGY

For this, I searched the term “psychology,” and the resulting averaged image is mysterious, dark, and mesmerizing… I think it sort of symbolizes how our thinking tends to be structured and boxed in, but there’s a much bigger world outside of it.

 

SPRING

I wanted to see if the word “spring” would give me a much more colorful averaged image than other words. It certainly did! This one turned out lovely. 🙂

 

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Tutorial: How to add a drop shadow on Photoshop CS4

For my “Fat Cat” visual assignment, I got the images from here and here.

I think most people know the various ways to select a portion of one image and copy/paste it into another.  So I decided to post a tutorial on how to add a drop shadow on the pasted image to make it more convincing, which some of you may not know how to do.

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Visual Asignment Tutorial: How to make animated .gif on Photoshop CS4

In this video tutorial, I did my best to address all the little bumps I encountered while doing this visual assignment that can be seen in this previous post.  I first followed @cogdog’s tutorial to import my images into Photoshop as follows:

(In hindsight, I guess I could have just quickly told you these few steps on the video… but go ahead and check out Alan’s short tutorial in its entirety, because it’s very informative and helpful.)

Let me know what you think of the tutorial.  (I had to redo it several times because I kept running out of time.)

 

 

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The Train! The Train! – Visual Assignment (5 stars)

Visual Assignment 347: Photo It Like Peanut Butter

Rather than making animated GIFs from movie scenes, for this assignment, generate one a real world object/place by using your own series of photographs as the source material. Bonus points for minmal amounts of movement, the subtle stuff. See a bunch of examples at http://cogdogblog.com/2012/02/10/photo-gif-peanut-butter/

I DID IT!!!!!!!!  Here are my very first animated gif project(s)!!

The Train

 

Then I tried another idea.

The Station

I set this to play only once.  I wanted to keep you from getting dizzy.  🙂  If it fails, then I’ll reset it to loop.

It didn’t work.  I guess it won’t play unless I set it to loop.  Just scroll this one up out of the way to read the rest of the post. 🙂

It still didn’t work very well.  I had to cut out more than half of it. It was originally supposed to be a 360° view.  You may still get dizzy with this one.   Oh well. I tried.  It worked in my head when I had the idea…

At least the train worked.  🙂

I’ve had these images for several months now, and I’ve been wanting to do something with them.  I didn’t even know what an animated gif was until yesterday, when Jim Groom talked about it during the broadcast of the DS106 class and showed us some.  Then I became determined to figure out how to make one.  So I first read this and this and this.  Then I found THIS, and it was very helpful, although I had to figure out a few things on my own.  I will try to follow up with my own tutorial tomorrow. 🙂  I posted the tutorial HERE.

And…

Back by popular demand…

This is the other version that I had decided not to post because it made me nauseous, but I’m putting it here because I think maybe you wanna see it anyway.   I get motion sickness very easily, so it could be just me.  Let me know what you think . 🙂

Full 360° view

 

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The Fall of Man…and Cat – Fat Cats Make Art Better (2 stars)

Visual Assignment 334: Using this site: http://fatcatart.ru/category/klassy-ka/ as a platform for ideas, and using Photoshop (or something like it) as your tool, place a fat cat into a photo of a classic art piece. The goal is to make it convincing: make the art become on with the cat.

I decided to try the fat cat assignment.  I got the images from here and here.  Hahaha.  I couldn’t stop laughing while doing it.  🙂

Here’s a bit of Michaelangelo for your enjoyment.   Tutorial on how to add a drop shadow can be found here.

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Video Tutorial: Splash the Color

This is my VERY FIRST video tutorial.  It was scary, but I was inspired by others in DS106 who were brave enough to put themselves out there!  This is how I ended up with this finished product for the Splash the Color visual assignment.

This is a little sloppy, but I tried my best… Let me know what you think. 🙂

 

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Berry Splash – Splash the Color Visual Assignment (2 stars)

Visual Assignment 340: Splash the Color – Color splash is a technique to emphasize details- you remove all color from a photo, and then restore original color to a single object, e.g. a green apple on a table. Think of the Girl in the red dress from Schindler’s List.

I LOVE berries.  I love all fruit in general (except a few that I’m allergic to).  I think the splash of red in this image gives it a very yummy effect, don’t you?  The link for my tutorial is below.

 

And… I made my VERY FIRST video tutorial!!!!!!!!!    May be a little sloppy, but I tried my best… haha. 🙂  Check it out and let me know what you think!

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TDC 31

TDC 31: Create a photograph that represents the happiest or most memorable moment in your life.

Assignment: Create a photograph that represents the happiest or most memorable moment in your life.

I have many pictures I could have used for this assignment. But I wanted to challenge myself to create a new photograph. It was difficult because I’m not very good at saving sentimental mementos other than my photos. But after a frantic search, I did find these footprint cards in a box containing some documents.  I think they sum up my happiest moment(s) perfectly. 🙂  I adjusted the hue/saturation slightly in Photoshop to make it a little more interesting.

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TDC 30

TDC 30: Share an image of a place you lose things in your house.

I lose things once they get filed in my filing cabinet. Maybe there’s a flaw in my filing system?  And I also often lose things somewhere en route to the filing cabinet… Go figure! 🙂

 

 

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TDC 29

TDC 29: Make a photo of something upside down that is never seen that way.

I was fresh out of ideas, but my son (my usual sidekick) helped me out. 🙂

.
TDC29 Which way is up?

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Another Web 2.0 Story

I used this tool to create the following visual phrase… 🙂

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TDC 28

TDC 28: Without saying any words, make a 10-second ringtone with only your voice.

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More Thoughts on What is Web 2.0?

Image credit (if you get a chance, read the artist’s comment under this photo in flickr. Funny. The Matrix anyone?)

 

I was just over at Gray’s Gray Matter blog reading his response to our reading for this week.  He had some good points and made me really think about what the word “web 2.0” actually refers to.  I decided to share my comment as its own blog post here. 🙂

Me:

“I never took the word web 2.0 literally to suggest that we have a whole new web. Yes, technology changes very rapidly all the time, and it has from the beginning. My old brain has a very hard time trying to keep up with the new things happening online constantly. It IS a vague and nondescript term, since there is no tangible “thing” that it refers to. But I guess you don’t even have to use that particular term. We could call it anything we want: shift, change, evolution, transformation. The way I see it, the concept of web 2.0 refers to the change in us more so than the change in the web. And like you said, it makes sense that it was always intended to go in that direction from its inception. But that’s just the point. I think web 2.0 is really about the change from intention to reality. The fact is that 20 years ago, we would not have missed out on too much by not owning a computer; but today, we are so dependent on the web for communication that without it, ….well, we would be completely devastated. My father-in-law is nearing 90, and he’s on Facebook. How crazy is that?”

…and it keeps on changing! 🙂

 

 

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Combined: Web 2.0 Reading + Web 2.0 Story – experiment

My (short) response to the readings this week is included in the video. This week has been very draining, and writing is difficult at the moment. However, creating other stuff is still energizing for me, and I’ve experimented with some Web 2.0 storytelling tools today, as suggested by Alan Levine (aka @cogdog) in his article. I used three different tools, used iMovie to put them all together, then uploaded to YouTube.  … I changed my mind.  The combined version on YouTube ended up fuzzy and muffled.  So I will embed each one separately below:

People mentioned in the videos:

Danielle’s Web 2.0 post  – ITeach blog

Annie Belle – Barefootwandering blog

Alan Levine’s 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story

Xtranormal

Web 2.0 and Digital Storytelling (1:30)
by: linda3dots

 

Jing via Screencast uploaded to YouTube

I’ve upgraded to Jing Pro (cheap – on $14.95 per year :)) so I can upload the videos to YouTube and also edit them in any video editing software.

I’m realizing that using this method, I have to keep the message very very brief and also think and type really really fast, otherwise the audience might get bored.  Maybe I should just leave it to the experts (i.e. the Q of J) 🙂

 

PhotoPeach

A Day at the Marine Corps Museum 8/09 (revisited) on PhotoPeach

With this, I basically just wanted to see how the application works. I’m sure I’ll use it again in another project.

This is the link to my original YouTube video (1:30 min)

 

 

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TDC 25

TDC25: Record the sound of something that gives you comfort or makes you feel safe. (in light of the recent hacking event)

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TDC 24

TDC 24: Make a creative photo silouette by aiming the camera into bright light.

Because my blog was down because of the hacking incident involving emre5807, I ended up doing two TDCs today. 🙂

 

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TDC 23

TDC 23:  Make a photo that freezes or isolates the motion of an object.

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TDC 22

TDC 22: Take a photo of two related objects of drastically different size

 

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What doesn’t kill us makes us… hate hackers

VERY FUNNY, emre5807!  You thought you destroyed us.  But you’ll see… We’re coming back better, stronger, and smarter because of you!  Grrrrrr……….

This past week has been an emotional roller-coaster due to the hacking incident.  We were just getting the hang of the DS106 thing, and bam! out of nowhere, we find ourselves right in the middle of a hacking crisis. I felt like my beloved child of 2 weeks had been snatched away in the blink of an eye, and I felt helpless.  So. much. work. had already gone into getting the blog up and running…

I almost went into a deep depression over it, although my blog was only 2 weeks old.  Can you imagine if it had happened later in the semester? Yikes!

Even when I could get back into my admin page after we were put on a new server, I was having trouble getting my blog back to its original state. I kept getting an error message whenever I tried to upload a theme, and I’m not a woman of a lot of patience, nor do I like to waste a lot of time trying to fix what’s broken when there are clearly other options. Call it a personality flaw, but I usually have no problem letting go of the old to embrace something new.

The following are the steps I took to restore my blog.  This is NOT a “how-to” tutorial.  It’s just a documentation of what I chose to do.  I learned after the fact that @cogdog does not recommend it, and there were other (and probably simpler) ways to skin the cat, but this is working out okay for me so far.  I may live to find out why this wasn’t a good idea, but that would be an opportunity to learn a new lesson, n’est pas?

1.  Created another subdomain called “blog2” and created another WordPress blog. (Because I’d never done this before, I wanted to have some kind of a back-up system in place before I deleted my blog. This was my insurance just in case the transfer didn’t work)

2.  Exported my blog content via wp-admin–>Tools–>Export. (This allows you to export and download the content to your computer.)

3.  Imported the content from my computer into my newly created Blog2 (wp-admin–>Tools–>Import).  This went very smoothly and my back-up blog was now in place.

4.  With my heart pounding, I deleted my blog (cPanel–> Fantastico–>Wordpress), as well as my sub-domain (cPanel–>Subdomains).

      

5.  Then after my orginal subdomain was deleted, I recreated it. Perhaps this delete/recreate was unnecessary, but I thought maybe it would give me a clean slate to start over.

6.  I went back into Fantastico and tried to install a new WordPress blog again.

7.  I got an error message saying that it cannot be installed because of wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes folders are already there for account with that name and to go delete the files manually.  So I went to the files and tried to delete, but even after I deleted, the files kept showing up over and over again when I refresh.  Wha??  Uh oh.  Now what?

8.  hmmm… decided to change the file names to something else, i.e. adminwp1, contentwp2, includeswp3. Then it can’t tell me that the same folders already exist, right?

9.  Tried the install again, and voila! It worked. I now had the WordPress blog up under the original URL.

10.  I imported the content from my computer, and I had my blog back!  …minus the images, but I’m willing to work with that (so please excuse the broken/lack of images for the time being.) So far, so good.

11.  I then tried to upload some themes to my “public_html/blog/wp-content/themes” file in cPanel, but I still kept getting error messages. I was at my wit’s end at this point. So I went into wp-admin and tried directly uploading the zip files into “themes”.  It worked. I know that we were warned against doing this, but until someone convinces me exactly why this is so bad, I’m going with what works.

Whether I took the right steps or not, it works for now. That’s good enough for me. I also decided to take this opportunity to look for a new theme, although I worked so hard learning my other one inside and out. Time for a change, because new means new. Why? Because I can!  (update: I tried some other themes, but nothing was better than what I had before…. *sigh* The search continues.)

I’m also in deeeeeeeeeeeeeep thought about our digital storytelling assignment for this week.  I need to come up with an idea fast…

 

 

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Web Assignment: Revamp Your WordPress Site

I decided to choose this as my first assignment because I was going to do it anyway, so two birds with one stone, etc…

It took me a while to find a theme that I liked.  I still don’t have that much content on my blog, with only 13 posts so far.  I consider myself a minimalist, although you will knever know it looking at the current state of my desk.

Anyway, after lots of searching,  I found this site.

I looked at through the themes and narrowed down my choices to two themes:

Journal Crunch

 

and Fresh and Clean

 

I decided to try both and followed Annie’s excellent instructions shown here.

After playing around with the themes and switching back and forth several times, I finally settled on the Fresh and Clean theme.  I think it’s perfect for my blog for now.  But I will continue to be open to other themes.  If you know me at all, you’ll see many changes in the days to come.

Once I downloaded the installed the theme onto my site, it took me a while to figure out all of the small details, such as the size of the images for the slider, how to insert the images for the thumbnails, how to get the tabs to show up, etc.  The most challenging part of it all was the header.  This theme gives you the option of inserting your own logo into the header, but not clear cut instructions on how to do it.  So I will try to post tutorials on the following topics in the upcoming week (or so).

  • How to size the images to show up properly on the slider and the thumbnails.
  • How to make your own header image to fit the space on your theme using Jing and Photoshop.
  • How to upload your header image into your theme.

 

So… in the interest of avoiding TLDR, that is it for now. 🙂

 

UPDATE:  Ah, but only if it were that easy.  Two days after I posted this, our server got hacked, and…  stay tuned.

 

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Stream of consciousness unleashed: My thoughts about the Bag of Gold and Personal Cyber Infrastructure

Image credit

 

I have not had much sleep this week, and I cannot begin to organize my thoughts in a coherent way.  So I decided to just unleash them and see where they go:

Gardner Campbell’s essay, video, and guest appearance in class the other night left me with much to think about.  The way I understand it, his vision is to change the education system in a way that all students and teachers can be globally connected, constantly generating and sharing ideas.  His ideas about educating the future generations to be their own systems mangers for their own online presence is wildly intriguing and very imaginable.  However, I think it will take a long time before his vision comes to fruition.  Not because it doesn’t work well, but because we’re dealing with our society that we know all to well. It would be ideal if things worked out the way we picture it in our minds.  But is it realistic?  Sometimes we forget that not everyone shares the same perspective.  I tend to think that there are more people who resist change than those who welcome it. Change could happen so much more quickly if everyone agreed and worked toward it, but in my experience, that is never ever the case, as frustrating as it is.  What ends up being the ultimate motivator is always the same thing.  The bottom line.  When there’s money to be made, then there will be change. Forward thinkers can visualize the potential and run with it.  But most people have not the capacity to look forward. They drool over the food on a plate or even cash in hand, but they cannot see the value of the “bag of gold” being offered to them. I personally think this is a brilliant vision and something worthy of a fight. Having been in DS106 course for 2 weeks, I can already get a taste of what Gardner Campbell’s vision is.  Let me ask you, though, what percentage of the students enrolled in this course currently have even a fraction of that enthusiasm and passion for sharing their thoughts and ideas openly? Has there been any statistical data collected from previous students?  How many of them are still actively maintaining their own space? I don’t mean to sound like a downer, really.  I do hope with all my heart that this change takes place sooner than later. I am a student, as well as a parent, and I am and have been frustrated with the current education system for a very long time.  Learning has become something dreadful that one must reluctantly endure so they can move on to a job that will potentially make them rich. How many students in this day and age actually go after what they WANT to think about and create rather than what they feel they HAVE TO think about. I came back to college because learning is fun for me.  …because thinking and creating is fun for me. …because I love to learn as much as I love to eat.  But in the 3 1/2 years that I’ve been back, the system has sucked that energy out of me and I can hardly remember what it was like to learn just for the joy of learning. I see infinite possibilities in this model unlike anything else I’ve experienced in college. Oh, to think of a world where every student is in charge of their own education and be excited about learning! My question is, what will it take? How do you effectively “market” the idea and vision to the larger public, as well as the administrators? How can we provide the right lens for everyone to see the true value in the bag of gold? We live in a society almost paralyzed with the fear of the big bad wolf who will gobble us and our children up and steal our identities and our innocence. How do we get past that enough to take a chance on what we do not yet see? I hate the present education system. I love the possibilities of this model. Nevertheless, I remain skeptical.

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Tutorial: Finding your Google Analytics tracking code again

Here’s my first tutorial.  It almost seems like a no-brainer, but it certainly took a little bit of searching for me to figure it out, so here it goes! Someone may actually find it useful…

It all started after I installed Google Analytics plugin following the instructions on this video:

After that, I thought I was all set.  But then when I checked my analytics the next day, everything showed up zero. 🙁  Aha! It turns out that I needed to also paste the tracking code from my analytics account into my theme. I remembered seeing the embed code when I signed up for the account, but I didn’t know where to find it again.  Not only that, whenever you change your theme, you have to embed the tracking code all over again into the new theme.  So… I decided to post this short tutorial on how to go back and get your tracking code after the fact.

First, you have to open your established Google Analytics account which looks like this:

 

You’ll see the “settings” icon that looks like this on the upper right hand corner of the page (I know. It seems silly to point this out, but there are people like my husband who may think it’s just a flower design for looks, so bear with me.)  Click on it.

 

When you see this page, click on the “Tracking Code” tab.

 

Then you will see the tracking code that looks like this:

 

You will need to copy the code and paste it into your theme.  Each theme is a little bit different, but my current one has this box in “settings” where I can insert the tracking code.

 

There you have it!  Please let me know if you think this tutorial was helpful, confusing, irrelevant, or just plain dumb. Go ahead. I can take it. 🙂

Still to come:  My adventure in installing a new theme.

 

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TDC 20

Assignment:  Take a photo where movement of the camera creates an interesting blur effect.

 

To be honest, I had taken this set of photos previously while driving home one night, but I thought it was okay for me to cheat a little today since I’ve already done 3 other TDCs this week. 🙂  What’s amazing, though, is that I was already searching through this set of photos to use in another post before I even saw today’s TDC assignment.  *cue Twilight theme music here*

 

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Progress Report: Week 2

The second week came and went so quickly that I’m still trying to catch my breath.  My other classes are definitely suffering as I had anticipated.  Sleep deprivation is also wreaking havoc on my brain functions as recent research on rats as well as many other studies have shown.  But back to DS106…

I don’t feel that I’ve done as much work as I should have from my OCD perspective, but judge for yourself.  These are the things I’ve done this week:

  • Installed Twitter Tools plugin – I’m still trying to play with the different settings. It is pulling in my tweets to my blog, but my new posts are still not being tweeted automatically.  I’ll keep you updated on how I get this resolved.
  • Installed Subscribe to Comments plugin using this easy tutorial. It worked like a charm.
  • Realized Google Analytics still was not picking up traffic to my site, so I had to go back and get the analytics code to paste into my site. (I’ll post a tutorial on how to get the code later today.)
  • Searched for, downloaded, and installed a new theme as my first assignment, as suggested by Annie Belle.  Thanks, Annie Belle, for your excellent tutorial! (I will write a separate post about this also later this weekend).
  • I downloaded and installed Jing, which makes capturing images and videos of your screen a breeze!  You have to try it.  Merely talking about it doesn’t do it justice. I LOBE JING!! (refer to my TDC19 joke) 🙂
  • Made a decision to post at least 5 comments on fellow DS106-ers’ work every day. (at least make my best effort to do so)

Still to do:

  • Write a post about my reaction to Gardner Campbell’s talk and essay.
  • Write the tutorial that I mentioned above.
  • Write a post about installing my new theme.
  • All the other crap… I mean life stuff… that I must do outside of DS106.

 

Ciao for now! 😉

 

 

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TDC 19

Assignment:  Record a video of yourself telling a joke. Don’t read it – tell it.

There it is! That is the first video of myself that I’ve posted online.  I recruited the help of my son so I could talk to him instead of the camera.  The expression on his face and his dry responses were cracking me up.

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TDC 18

Assignment:  Record a short video that shows an object in motion.

This was my first idea.  Then I thought it was too lame/corny, and I came up with what I thought was a better idea, which was something completely different.  But after spending too much time on it, it didn’t pan out.  So I went back to my original idea and here it is.  And to think, I could have finished another assignment during all that time I wasted!!

And did I mention that I JUST LOVE JING??  Ever since I installed it a few days ago, I’ve been using it every chance I get.

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The curse

Here I am again.  I have to leave for school in 40 minutes. I decided to write a post in lieu of washing my hair today.  THIS. my friends… is the curse of DS106.  I wish I was a little more knowledgeable in the world of tech so I don’t have to search every other unfamiliar word that comes up, which makes for a verrrrry slow progress.  Akismet? Never heard of the word before last week. Plugin? I thought it had something to do with electricity…  Oh wait!  Aha!  I have an idea for a tutorial!  If I don’t get sidetracked, I’ll work on it and post it in a few days.

It’s a new week in DS106, and so far this morning, I have accomplished the following:

  • Activated Akismet on my blog- It was already installed, and I followed this link and instructions therein to get the authorization code.
  • Installed Google Analytics plugin following instructions from here. (After I followed this, I also had to embed the code from my analytics account. You may have an easier time following this tutorial.)
  • Searched for a new theme that would fit me and my blog.  I think I found something, but I’ll have to play around with it later tonight.  Kee-dae-ha-shi-rha!!!  (That’s Korean for expect great things to come!) 🙂

Oki doki, then.  I’m off to class!

 

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TDC15

Today’s TDC Assignment:  Make a recording of the most lively laugh you made someone do.

This the first time I’ve used Soundcloud.  I know my product is pretty lame, but I wanted to see if I could figure out how to do it.  And I did!

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First Week of DS 106 – done.

Wow.  I jumped in, and the water IS fine.  And just the right depth too – deep enough to keep my arms flailing for balance, but shallow enough to keep my nose above water if I remember to stand on my tippy toes. It’s so refreshingly challenging!  And to think that I contemplated dropping the course before it even began!!  I’m so glad I decided to give it a try. The only bad thing so far is that I can’t seem to stay away from it. It definitely brings out my inner OCD.  To help with time management, however, I did download a new daily planner/organizer app and reorganized my “to do” list.  It made me feel much better about putting those things off just a little bit longer.  😛

DOMAIN, WEB-HOSTING, AND THE BLOG

The process of getting the domain, web-hosting, and blog set up and then linking them all together went much smoother than expected.  The only complaint I have with Cast Iron Coding is that I could not find  any contact info on their site.  As far as WordPress, there is still so much I have to figure out.  But for now, I know how to add new posts, so I will play around with the other features and learn them slowly as the course progresses. My #1 goal is to keep my blog simple, fun, and readable.

DAILY CREATE

Nothing like the Daily Create to get the creative juices flowing.  We only have a 24-hour window to complete each assignment, so it really pushes for the NOW.  I love that. Today’s Daily Create (above image) was to post a pic of an obscure shadow, and I think mine may be a little too obvious but I still like it. 🙂

 

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TDC13

TDC Assignment:  Compose a photograh that includes a “finished product” and at least one of its “raw materials.”

This is only my first week of DS106, and already, I’m hooked.  I love the constant challenge of creating something and solving problems.  I thought the daily assignments were going to be too overwhelming and hard to keep up with, but I’m loving it!  This is quickly becoming my escape when I’m avoiding assignments from other classes.  I’m in big trouble…

Anyway, here’s my second Daily Create:

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TDC12

Assignment:  Create a 30-second “breaking news” update about something that happened to you today.

My very first Daily Create!!!!  Yay!  This is actually supposed to be a “breaking news” video, but oh well…  I did my best.  It’s also my first iMovie project, and it turned out pretty good, don’t you think?

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Impostor Syndrome

This page I found online defines Impostor Syndrome as:

a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true.

It’s a common psychological term which I am intimately familiar with.

This is my first post on this brand new blog, which is a part of the first assignment for a course that I decided to brave this semester – Digital Storytelling 106 (DS106).  I’m taking it for elective credits through my university, but anyone (yes, you too) can take it online for free.

So… what does all this have to do with impostor syndrome?  Well, let me give you a brief rundown of why I think I’m an impostor here:

  1. I don’t speak the lingo. I feel like I’ve just landed in a foreign country.
  2. No one else in the class seems to be panicking as much as me. I feel so technically challenged.
  3. #2 may have something to do with the fact that I’m older than most of their parents.
  4. It took me two weeks just to come up with the perfect domain name, which is worthy of a tutorial all on its own at another time.
  5. What was the question again?

I think that pretty much covers it.  I definitely feel overwhelmed, but I haven’t run away yet. I’m still here.  I’m up for the challenge.  What’s the worst that could happen?

Our first assignment was to sign up for a domain and web hosting and start a blog.  I followed this tutorial step by step, and here I am!!

So far, so good…

 

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