I have many tentative goals in mind when I think about my future, but my exact plans are constantly changing. I am fairly certain I will end up with a degree in Biology, a minor in Spanish and potentially a minor in Environmental Studies as well. There will definitely be quite a few more science classes in my future here at Trinity, and I am considering graduate school for either Environmental Law or Biology. I would like to do research at some point with a professor here, hopefully something that involves animals and travelling rather than cells and a lab. I also would love to study abroad if I can fit that in and afford it, but will most likely do that in the summer because of soccer and not wanting to miss out on a semester here! I will most likely end up living in Austin, because I absolutely love my hometown, but I would like to at least try living somewhere else for a few years at some point (maybe California). I can’t wait to get out in the real world after my time here at Trinity is done and see where life takes me!
One of the main reasons I enjoyed reading about the aesthetic properties of media was because as I learned more about the details of how movies are made, or how print media is designed, I began to have more of an appreciation for these things as I experience them on a daily basis. Bernard Dick’s article about film techniques taught me about the different types of shots, cuts and sequences that are used in strategic ways in film, which has caused me to notice these things more as I watch movies. Our recut trailer assignment furthered this appreciation, as I came to realize how difficult it can be to make a bunch of different cuts flow smoothly and coherently. The details Dick included about specific uses for different cuts and transitions helped me decide which were best to use for the genre I was trying to create in my trailer.
In your article about the persuasive characteristics of video-games, I really liked the part that talks about the intense engagement of gamers, and your description of this as a “flow state.” This phrase fits perfectly for the mindset that people often have when they play video-games or do other things like this where they are very concentrated, and I thought you gave an interesting description of this mental state and the implications it has for persuasion.
One of my favorite theoretical readings we did this semester was Blackmore’s article about memes, because I liked how she related them to genes and Darwin’s ideas on evolution. I liked this connection I was able to make with Biology, and it was interesting to learn about this new concept that I had never really considered. I also liked all of Klosterman’s readings, largely because of his sarcastic, witty style of writing, but I also thought many of his ideas were very interesting. He made a valid point in “This is Emo” about the idea of “fake love” that the media portrays, and how most people will never be satisfied if this is what they are trying to attain. My least favorite readings were probably Baudrillard’s articles, mostly because I am such a believer in science and found it hard not to just write his ideas off as far-fetched and ridiculous. I really tried to consider his ideas about how the world could just be one big illusion, but I found it hard to take this idea seriously. I realize that this is pretty much the topic of this class, and I did at least attempt to consider these ideas, but it was hard for me to find much meaning in them. However, I do think that all of these readings made me really consider how superficial our society is and how much of our world has become virtualized.
I think the message “Johnny B” is trying to send with this package of pictures is this same idea that we have discussed throughout the semester about the possibility of our perceived reality not being all there is to the world. The pictures and their captions relay some of the major ideas we discussed from our readings about Animal Man and discussions about the Truman show, both of which are stories about a character who has a major revelation about the world around them and what they had previously believed to be reality. The picture of Quinn Tulpa’s face on a Trinity student along with Animal Man and Truman’s bodies implies that we also could be in our own little bubble of reality, unaware of things we can’t see or aren’t physically experiencing. If this is the case, I don’t think there is much we can do to discover anything outside of the world we are living in, so it doesn’t seem worthwhile to spend time considering what could exist outside of that which we are experiencing. Whether we are living in a world that is “real” or not, all we can do is make the best of the realities we are presented with and live a life that we feel is meaningful.