Everything is going to change now, isn’t it?

Recognize the title from anywhere?  This is a quote by Hermione Granger to Harry (also included in my trailer) that I thought was especially fitting for this blog post.  Each semester, I get in the routine of going to the same classes, with the same professors and seeing the same people.  I am surprised every time finals approach, and when they are over, I am so glad to be done with all the work, but I inevitably miss all the people I see during the schoolweek.  I guess what I’m trying to say is….I’ll miss you guys!  There are certain aspects of this semester which make me excited for it to be over, however.

Next semester, I plan on NOT taking 18 hours.  For that matter, I plan on never sacrificing little bits of my soul to academia through taking this ridiculous course load ever again.  However, the pain is almost over.  In two weeks, I will be on a plane home to Wisconsin ready to chill at home and play with my doggies…sigh. Tis’ so close, yet so far… On a more positive note, assuming the world doesn’t end, I look forward to a 15-hour semester consisting primarily of interesting communication classes.  I’m excited to continue to learn from Dr. Delwiche, as I am enrolled in his web design class and capstone section!  I will be working at Tiger TV and for the Trinitonian next semester, again, as well.  I will also be taking a couple psychology classes, including the dreaded psych stats II.  Looking forward even further, I plan on studying abroad in the fall (2013) in Italy.  I’ve wanted to study abroad since I came to Trinity, and now is finally my chance!

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It’s time to reflect on the semester and the self. And, in the future, what kind of person do I want to see in the mirror?

Beyond undergraduate life at Trinity, I have a general plan for routes I’d like to take.  Ideally, I’d like to get a job writing for…somewhere – whether it be for a newspaper, magazine, or another publication source.  I’m not going to be picky.  I enjoy creating and writing, as a general rule, so I’d like to utilize these skills.  I would also like to find a research internship for psychology, so in a few years, I can go to graduate school, hopefully to obtain a Ph.D. degree in psychology.  However, if these plans don’t work out, I have a few backups.  For example, I’d like to take part in the Oxford Seminar program, or something similar, to teach English abroad.

However, I have to take it one step at a time.  In the here and now, reflecting upon this class, I have learned a great deal.  I greatly enjoyed learning about the design concepts and aesthetic properties of different media, and it was interesting to read about the associated theoretical concepts, as well.  I can now proudly say that I like comics and I can describe the concept of memes.  This class also introduced me to the worldwide phenomenon, “Gangham Style.”  I don’t know what I’m going to do without this class keeping me up-to-date on pop culture!

As far as the readings related to aesthetic properties go, the main text for me was Bernard Dick’s Anatomy of Film.  I never knew so much about different shots, transitions and effects.  Although I did not particularly like reading the actual excerpt we were given, it was definitely the most helpful piece of literature throughout the semester.  It was especially interesting that, by the filmmakers choice of shot, they can convey specific ideas and feelings to the audience that can be intuitively interpreted.  For example, extreme long shots make “the subject part of the environment in addition to conveying the vastness and awesomeness of nature” (p. 7).  Additionally, the graphic design textbook, White Space is Not Your Enemy, by Golombisky and Hagen was very informational.  The most interesting piece of information I took from the book was, by the way you place images and text on a page, you can control the viewer’s eye movement.  Furthermore, you can design movement to be in a circular direction, so the viewer’s eyes end up back at the top of the page, and they are more likely to look at it again.  So cool.

Many theoretical concepts we learned about this semester, I have already somewhat studied, such as psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, deconstruction, etc., in literature courses.  I had already learned about signifieds and signifers, bianaries, and symbols.  However, I discovered so much more about these theories and beyond in this class.  I can honestly say I learned more about these from this class and the accompanying readings than in all other courses I have taken that mentioned these terms.

Contrary to what I expected, one of my favorite theoretical articles was the Freud for Beginners article by Appignanesi, Zarate, and Engelhardt.  When I looked at the description, “43 somewhat dense pages,” I admit that I freaked out a bit.  “Dense” and “43 pages” were the only words that stuck out and made me dread opening the link.  However, I have never learned so much about psychoanalysis, even though I am a psychology major.  It was awesome in the form of a comic, with anecdotes and illustrations that made it enjoyable to read.

Additionally, although I have come to believe Grant Morrison is at least slightly insane, I was very intrigued by the concept of the “tulpa,” he introduced to us in the Supergods article.   To freshen your memory, he says a tulpa is, “a description for a solid object, or person, created from thought alone; i.e., literally and deliberately willed into tangible form from nothing” (p. 17).

Finally, and probably not surprisingly, I did not particularly enjoy reading Baudrillard.  Although I understand why this reading is valuable, and it was interesting to learn about his views on “reality,” I have always thought Baudrillard was pretentious.  It’s bad, but his name even annoys me.   Perhaps this distaste is instilled in me as a result of reading his work in other classes, however.

In regards to the package, if I were Quinn Tulpa (hmm…interesting name…), I would initially be super excited about receiving a big parcel in the mail.  After opening it, the exciement would fade to confusion, which would then transition to shock, perhaps with a bit of terror.  This seems to me like something straight from a horror film.  Someone is watching you…  If Quinn wasn’t paying attention in class, she wouldn’t understand the meanings behind the photos.  However, it seems evident that Johnny B. is trying to send Quinn a message that the world in which we live is a piece of metafiction. Is some greater being writing the story of our lives? Am I a character and everything that happens is out of my control?  If I was convinced I was a character, at this point, I would go in search of my author (although this would also be written by them…ugh).  However, hopefully I would think of this class, recognize the references to the class readings in the photos, and think that it was one of my classmates messing with my head.

Overall, I learned so much from this class!  Thanks everyone.  I am going to miss you all.

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