Is This Real Life?!


I feel like David after taking this class.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this class and really loved the theme of metafiction for the semester. If there is anything I have learned from this class (and no, Dr. Delwiche, I didn’t just learn one thing), it’s to question everything. Even reality. I think I can relate to David after he visited the Dentist (and I’m convinced he took this class too). After being in this class, I really don’t even know if I really chose to live my whole life or if someone else (a higher power of sorts) is controlling every move I make, just waiting for the right opportunity to reveal themselves. This class not only taught me a lot about media and criticism, but also taught me a lot about society and the world I live in. Or the world I think I live in at least.

Next semester I plan on taking a temporary ‘brain break,’ as I am going to call it. I had a difficult 18 hour semester this fall, taking 3 class for each of my majors, so next semester I’m only taking 15 so I can concentrate on golf season more seriously. I also plan to continue my job at the Quarry Golf Club. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. My immediate plans, once finals are over, are to catch up on sleep and eat so much non-Mabee food that I feel like I’m going to die. (I figure since the end of the world is close at hand, I should die on a full stomach.) I don’t have any immediate plans of studying abroad, but I know that I would really love to do the Disney College Program sometime before I graduate.

I learned so much in this class, but some aesthetic concepts I found particularly interesting were from the Anatomy of Film reading and the graphic design textbook. The Bernard Dick reading helped me understand many of the techniques directors use to convey certain emotions or themes in a film, like close-ups and high angle and low angle shots. While I had enjoyed cinematography before taking this class, I never really understood or appreciated it until reading this article. Now every time I watch a movie or a TV show, I analyze why the director chose that shot, that angle, or that perspective. The graphic design textbook taught me much the same thing. Before this class, I was one to fill in all white space and center everything. In other words, I designed boring layouts. White Space is Not Your Enemy taught me that things can still look neat and well done when things are off-center and empty space is left on the page. I am also now prone to analyzing billboards and magazine ads with the eye of a graphic designer. These two readings make me see things in new and more informed ways. As for the theoretical readings, I definitely took a lot away from the Blackmore reading and the Klosterman reading “‘Ha Ha’ he said.” I find Blackmore’s discussion on memes completely fascinating. The idea that movies, videos, books, even people all just imitate other things is dumbfounding and makes me wonder if it is still possible to have any original ideas anymore, or if everyone just copies everyone else. The Klosterman article made me very aware of laugh tracks, to the point where I now find them annoying if the show isn’t that funny. Knowing that the laughter on the other side of the TV is artificial makes the show more artificial to me since I am now consciously aware of the laugh tracks. All four of these readings were extremely interesting to me. While there were some readings I didn’t particularly care for (e.g. Shaviro and Baudrillard) I think this stems from my undying love for Disneyworld so I found the arguments sacrilegious. I can’t say I didn’t learn anything from them, however, because I found their ideas worth learning.

While my first answer for this situation was that Dr. Delwiche did, in fact, lose his mind, I think I get it–and it goes back to what I said at the beginning of this blog post. Is this real life? What if there is someone in California controlling my every move, writing my every word, and planting every thought in my head? How do I know this isn’t all just a big lie? Well honestly, I don’t. The only thing I can do is to continue living the reality as it has been presented to me and hope that I am doing everything by my own choice. While I do have sufficient faith that I’m not being fully controlled by someone else, I do understand the message Johnny B. is trying to send me and it’s very similar to the one Dr. Delwiche has been saying all year. Be open to new ideas. Be critical of media. Look up things. And most importantly, question everything.

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