All for JAWS…

One of the best things about this class is finding out just how much we all have in common with each other. Case in point: someone has already linked to the “Reflection” song from Mulan! Just jealous I didn’t get there first!

As I think back to the first day of class, I can see why I decided to brave it and stay for the semester. When I registered for the class I pretty much thought I was shooting myself in the foot. What do I know about computer science!? With a pessimistic outlook for the semester, I arrived at the first day of class and was, well, enlightened!

In the same way that the movie The Social Network had nothing to do with Facebook and everything to do with friends, so to was this class something quite unexpected. Although the course title puts ‘Digital’ in front of ‘Storytelling,’ I soon realized that at its core, this class was about storytelling. The ‘Digital’ part was simply the medium we would be using to tell our stories.

Admittedly, I took this class to fulfill a general requirement for performance where something is created. I wasn’t really sure how it would fulfill anything, but I soon understood after about the first week just how much we would be creating… a LOT.

Honestly, I was hooked in with our JAWS discussion of the first day. But as each of the early assignments progressed, I began to question my judgment. We still hadn’t started our projects and all we did was read and comment about Web 2.0! Just as I was beginning to get anxious for what the rest of the semester held, we did the “Film in 6 Frames” assignment and all my fears were allayed. The class momentum really picked up after the Daily Shoot, and I don’t think I was the only one to feel a little blue to say goodbye to that assignment.

The assignments really stepped it up after that, and I honestly don’t think I was really ready. (Maybe I was still mourning the loss of the Daily Shoot.) I think I kind of dropped the ball a bit on the “Uninteresting Story” and I think that was simply brought on by a total lack of focus working at home. I still liked the idea for the story, but dissatisfied with my own final product. The video commentary proved to be a bit frustrating for me, but I blame my computer.

Honestly the idea for that project is one of my favorites, because I’m always the one watching all of those movie extras with directors’ and actors’ commentary. After using the Ultimate Mac of all Macs to solve my commentary problems, my assignment was finished. Thinking back, I think I would have chosen a different movie to comment on; despite my fondness for it, I don’t Dead Poets Society was the perfect choice for this class. The Mashup was, well, challenging. I’m certainly glad I did it, and don’t regret my choice, but this was the first time I felt truly limited by my own technology. Upon completion I felt good, satisfied even. However, after viewing and commenting on everyone else’s videos, my video felt, well, amateur. (Which makes sense, because that’s what I am!) Still, I’m glad we did something so challenging, and it gave me a newfound respect for artists like POGO. I loved the idea of the “View from the Street” assignment, and I’ve shared the technology we used for that assignment. But in the end I didn’t feel like we had enough time for that assignment, or maybe I just didn’t have the time. The fan fiction was certainly fun, but I had difficultly seeing how it connected to the rest of the semester. I think it would have done well  being introduced earlier on.

The only assignments I can really look back with any degree of satisfaction, is my semester project. My semester with the Korean exchange students was a blast, and I hope this showed in my Tooth posts. (Of course I took any opportunity to fit sharks into my blog.) I’m also really grateful that this class offered an opportunity for me to record my thoughts and reflections during such a meaningful semester.

Despite the overwhelming workload, the hours spent riddled with frustration and anxiety, and the persistent urge to hurl my laptop across the room, I would definitely take this class all over again.








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