it’s not you, it’s me. on breaking up with ds106

My first thought before taking Digital Storytelling was “An Art Process class. Are you kidding me? I can’t even draw a stick figure!”

My second thought was, ” Oh, good. A class where I don’t have to draw or act. I got this.”

Little did I know, I would have to draw on every ounce of creativity that I had.

I did not do this nearly as much as I should. I got overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do. I hit a point in the semester where I thought this was even more un-useful than knowing how to differentiate an equation. (I heard that term from my roommate and vaguely remember that word from when I *actually* took math classes.) Why do I  need to blog? Who really cares about what I have to write? The question I asked the most was: How in the world do I do this?

Throughout the *hundreds* (okay, maybe I rounded up a bit like Mina did in class)  of assignments, I often found myself having no clue what to do. Not just lack of knowledge with the technology, but lack of creativity. It takes a long time to think of what to write, what to say, and what to do. I did what I knew how to do first, which often happened to be my other classes.

I would try to blog when I was bored of doing other work or when I didn’t have anything else to do. The assignments came crashing in like an avalanche.  Both in this class and my other classes. I have a class every semester that is my class that I put the least effort into; this semester it just so happened to be this one. Spanish was only one step higher, and sometimes it was even lower.

When I did *finally* do the assignments, I didn’t put as much effort into them as I could. Someone in class last night said something along the lines of it taking as much time as the quality of work you want to do. I guess I just wasn’t concerned about quality. I’m not trying to do this for a living so I didn’t feel like putting as much effort into mashing, editing, creating, and telling.

One thing I had a real problem with was the lack of a syllabus. Or one that gave an outline with the assignments we would have to do throughout the semester. If I knew what I had to do all semester, I probably would have been more prepared/willing to do things. I had a class last semester where we would get seemingly unanticipated, even by the professor, assignments. It was annoying. I had so much other stuff to do that I had already planned when I was going to do it and if I knew about all these extra assignments, I could have planned accordingly. The assignments we did have were not horrible and extremely difficult, but frustrating. More details in advance would be useful and very helpful.

I’m not saying I hated this class. I really didn’t. Maybe it would have been better if I took it a different semester when I had less classes, less practicum, and less stress in general. But honestly I don’t know. I don’t particularly enjoy anything about making my own media. I don’t mind blogging, but I don’t see it as something that I could do regularly ever, or at least in the near future. But who knows?

Suggestions:

1. More detailed syllabus.

2. Maybe combine the assignments into the Digital Story more. It might be useful to say at the beginning of the semester that you will have to incorporate these assignments into the Digital Stories and list what the assignments will be so that it may be easier to plan the story. It also might make everyone’s blog look cleaner and more organized. This might not work for some assignments, but others it would work great.

3. It would have been nice to have a day where we met each other again. Maybe after we proposed our Digital Stories. It would be a good way to get to know each other’s faces and not just the layout of the blogs.

My Digital Story:

This did not happen nearly as much as I had imagined. Once it got started, I realized it wasn’t really working how I had planned. Mostly, I didn’t like Head Start as much as I thought I would. I was burnt out on Head Start. I’m writing my final paper for Sociology on Head Start, I was in Practicum there, and I was going to blog about it. Bad idea, if there ever was a bad idea. I feel like I did teach the class something with the posts that I did do. I also learned a lot along the way. I got to the point where I was so far behind on my story and so far behind on my assignments that I just gave up. It almost felt like I was in 2 classes.

My final words to ds106:

“Farewell to the world of Digital Storytelling, I got what I needed out of you. An Art Process credit. It’s not you, it’s me. I may come back to you sometime in the future and knowing that the web is, in fact, not dead, you will take me back. Right now is just not the right time.”

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