Each track title corresponds to that particular Daily Create:
Familiar Object in an Unfamiliar Light:
Too tired for this
Please let me sleep sometime soon
Why did I wait? Fuuuuuuck.
Two Sentence Creepy Story
Finals. I should have studied….
Life In Seven Words
Jinx, why are you such a butthead?
TV Guide Remix
A necrophilic rag doll gets ignored by her dead lover and tries to save a fat man from doom. Said dead lover should have listened and they both save the day. (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Flash Fiction About a Piece of Clothing *for this one, I decided to make it related to my big writing project coming up. So sue me.*
The jacket was a nice, worn black leather jacket probably made for a man. At least, it wore like it would fit a man. It was my favorite. At least I had something to be grateful for, I was wearing it when I died. Because of that, I got to keep here, in this fucked up after life. Maybe it’d protect me from whatever fucked up horrors awaited me. How the hell was I, Annsui Annen, supposed to fight an angel? And live? Aren’t those fuckers, like, incredibly powerful?
My sacrifice, too, had been steep. Love? What on Earth made me want to sacrifice that? To strengthen my chances of survival, I guess. I found that this jacket that Seth had given me didn’t even hold the same value it had when I was alive. It was no longer an item of…sentiment. He was just another person, and the one that I died because of. Sighing loudly, I began to wonder if I’d ever get used to this empty feeling inside my chest. There was just…nothing there. I wanted to miss him. I wanted to pine over him. But I couldn’t bring myself to it. No matter how hard I tried. Now this jacket was just another piece of clothing to keep me warm.
Innovation. That was the key word for this week’s lesson. Naturally, the thought of “have I used this freedom wisely?” and “did I make the most of the freedom granted us during this class?” After some serious thinking and revision of my blog posts and thinking about how much I learned during the semester, I think I can say yes. Firmly.
Innovation is ability to change, for the better. This is the simplest way to put it. George Couros wrote an excellent blog about becoming an innovative learner, which is not limited to students. Teachers should also focus on this, and he says so in this blog. He lays down fundamentals to be an innovator and an innovative learner. The one that stuck out to me was “I believe that my abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed, leading to the creation of new and better ideas.” Open mindedness is imperative in learning, and I feel my personal learning project just exemplified that. My goals were met this semester…except maybe…on the procrastination aspect.
My goals for this semester with my project was simply to improve on my writing, and first and foremost actually gain confidence in myself to share that. I did that. I even shared it with the goddess of writing at our school, Hannah Clark. Mostly good things were said, but advice was given. As an innovative learner, I took all of this advice and actually used it to improve. I have a copy of her edits and the edited piece, and I’m even working on yet another revision of the first chapter of my angels and demons thingy that I don’t know what to call just yet.
As for unlearning? I needed to try to unlearn my self-hatred. This…I did not completely succeed in, but I gained enough confidence to post my writings in public, which was what I needed. Will Richardson discusses the topic of “unlearning” in a way that is kind of unnerving at first to those whose entire lives revolve around learning. “Unlearning” sounds almost as bad as the “fuck” word, that is, until you hear what he has to say. One of the things that stuck out to me was advice that I will be following throughout the summer, and ideally for the rest of my life–“We need to unlearn the idea that learning itself is an event. In this day and age, it is a continual process.” Eventually I’ll learn to love myself and my writing, and maybe I’ll get the confidence to actually call myself a writer. In the process, I’ll unlearn the self-hatred that has been instilled in me since a young age. If I’m able to actually go through with my plans, perhaps I’ll gain enough confidence to maybe one day not hate everything I touch.
As this is still something I am struggling with, it’s still something I need to unlearn. It will be an ongoing process, but I feel like I made a good start. If I follow through with this self-imposed process it will be on here, though this site will be completely remodeled to resemble something of a somewhat actual blog.
The End of the Beginning
With the semester coming to an end and therefore required blog posts coming to an end, I am pleased to announce that it will not be the end of “Bloggings of a Madwoman.” The semester has been a hard one, things have been crazy. I’ve been up and down with bouts about myself and the world about me. It’s a thing. If any of you keep up with my posts, you’d see that the required blogs have almost always been late, albeit done, and the ones about writing pop up sporadically. Well, that is about to end. The required blogs are going to disappear, but the writing will continue.
Words, Words, Words
Going through my blogs from the beginning of the semester was a long, tedious process that took quite some time. With a majority of my blogs I found that I either wrote too much or wrote the bare minimum. There’s no in between for me, it seems. As my Personal Learning Project revolved around writing, I had posted a few blogs that contained some of my writing exercises which was a difficult thing for me to do.
As most of my blogs were pretty lengthy, it took quite a bit of time to get through them. I am pretty proud of the fact that I was able to put out this much material given the time we had. I don’t know why, but I feel pretty proud of the giant walls of texts that I created. However, with length, there comes a price of how many readers you can attract. Many people who follow blogs look for short tidbits of advice or blurbs on personal lives. My blog consists of lots of words interspersed with random pictures and attempted humor.
The content was spot on. I conveyed the message that I needed to convey, even without the intent of going into teaching on a K-12 level. Much of the content I find that I am able to apply to myself, and I will more than likely be using many of the techniques I learned about in this class in the college classroom.
There are a few different types of blogs that I have been keeping. The first type of blog is the required blogs about the reading done for class. I found these sort of fun sometimes, and other times it was hard for me to pump out four hundred words. For a lot of these it was simply bringing about my opinion, which I do often anyway. In many of these blogs I tried to pull out some creative analogy and add a bit of humor (which I thought was funny, dunno about any of you), but eh, I tried. I guess, I wanted to make something even more interesting. However, as I’ve been a digital citizen for quite some time now, I found that I was able to relate to most of the topics, particularly the topic of having an online alter ego. I found that it wasn’t that I was hiding from anyone, I was simply playing my character who I proceeded to write about. To some, I’m Gwendolyn Sah’rit. To others, I’m Sirawyn Firestrider, and still to others I’m simply just Fish. I found that I was able to relate a lot of the topics to gaming in some way, shape, or form, and this is largely due to the fact that a majority of my online citizenship is held there, in Final Fantasy XIV.
The second type of blog was about my personal learning project. I gave updates as to what I was doing in my writing, and not all of it made it to the great blogosphere, though it sure as hell tried. These updates were mostly complaining about editing and updates as to word counts and what types of writing exercises I was taking. The writing exercises usually involved things like “Write first person past tense something or other.” While these were definitely useful, and will probably go under my “personal” category when this blog goes under a complete and total make over. Scheduled for Sunday.
The third type were the actual writing exercises performed. Not all of them are included in the blogs, only the ones I feel were adequate made it. This was the most difficult thing for me. I’ve always loved writing. I’ve got journals upon journals of stuff written and compiled since I was youngster (you can ask Jeff, poor man had to help me move it). However, I’ve never felt the need to share it with anyone. It wasn’t that I thought my shit was too good to behold or anything…It was just a matter of the fact that I didn’t want to disgrace anyone’s eyeballs with it. I never thought my shit was good. Choosing this as a personal learning project for me has helped leaps and bounds. If Dr. Ellington had plans for actual improvement on our personal lives with this, it worked. Thank you, Dr. Ellington.
Tweeter, Tooter, Twitter
The Tweets were honestly the hardest part. I’m a wordy person and one hundred forty characters is dang hard! We had twenty of these babies to write out every week, and I’m not gonna lie, I did try to make things interesting. I included pictures, videos, anything I could to get the Tweets out there. I did notice an evolution of my Tweets after the PLN and feeding your PLN units. I started including tags and branching out beyond the class. Following different authors and publishers, I also branched out into my hobby: collecting spiders for those of you who haven’t noticed. Spiders have been a general theme, along with gaming, for my Tweets, blogs, and sometimes even comments on others’ blogs.
One could say I’m a little obsessed.
It’s kind of scary really. Where normal people threaten to burn the house down if they see a spider, I try to hold it to bring it outside where it can actually find food. Where others see disgust, I see a small animal that is horribly misunderstood and is just trying to survive this gods forsaken planet just as we are. But, I’m getting off topic. I guess what I’m trying to say here, is that if I didn’t include pictures and stuff, the Tweets felt a little forced if that makes sense.
I think I lied about the Tweets being the hardest part. Commenting on the blog posts were the hardest part because it was hard…or impossible…to add a creative spin on to it. I loved reading what the others had to say, and I could definitely tell who gave a shit and who didn’t about the class. So it wasn’t reading others’ blogs, it was commenting. Almost all of the comments I felt were forced…so eventually I started seeking out those who posted things that I didn’t necessarily agree with. I wasn’t trying to start arguments or anything, I just wanted something to write about. It’s difficult to post comments when you agree with literally everything said.
That Being Said
I would say this class was a success. I walked out of it a better person. I can’t lie, there were times that I struggled, but most of it was with timing. Not the course itself. I feel like I learned a lot. Frankly, I wish all of my classes were like this.
Here’s my very own digital story! Kinda!
Alright. So to all three of you that read my blog, you know that I am horrible about procrastinating, even if it’s something that I love to do. Our Digital Literacy class is no different. We were granted the opportunity to choose anything we wanted to learn about, and do it. Despite this, I found myself waiting until Sunday night to do it most weeks, and if I actually did do it earlier in the week, I wouldn’t blog about it until Sundaynight. But, you know what they say, “pressure makes diamonds.” And in my case, that’s actually….almost accurate.
I am proud to report a complete and utter success with my project, which was writing. Even after this class is finished, expect to see this blog still up and going with updates on the novel that I’m working on as a direct result of this class. It isn’t very far yet, but this summer will provide me with much more time. I’ve got ideas coming out of every pore in my body, and I ache to let it flow through my little fingertips. But! This is a message to let you all know how the project went:
was actually pretty gruelling at times. As those of you poor souls that know me in real life know, I have little to no self-esteem, and putting anything I create out there is probably a no go. Mr. McFarland is helping me get over that. It is this same person who was my tutor in my writing adventures. It started out with small assignments. He would give me a format as to how he wanted whatever I did down, such as first person, past tense, blah blah blah, you get my point, and occasionally would give me a topic, such as my happy place (which was loosely based off of a scene in How to Train Your Dragon 2. Because. Dragons. It’s also a way good movie).
I went wherever the hell I wanted with these assignments too, as he was expecting a non-fictional piece of writing. That….didn’t happen. Even a little bit. I spent much more than the two hours given a week doing these assignments because I was constantly second-guessing myself and going over the debate as to whether or not to share my shit. Which I did. Eventually.
was probably actually the hardest part for me. I knew eventually I would have to share what I did in order to prove that I was actually doing the assignments, which I actually was doing. So that was one thing I wrestled with. A lot. I did not want anyone reading my shit under any circumstances. Ever. I knew this would have to change if I wanted to improve. I’ve got a few binders/notebooks full (okay, maybe more like a hundred) full of my old writings from when I was a kid and whenever I could lock myself up in my room to write, but I knew that it was all pretty shitty. So, I refused to share it.
But how can I expect to do well if I don’t put it out there?
I can’t. That’s how. I needed other’s inputs. And that’s where this magical place called the Internet comes in. I eventually broke down and decided to start putting up a few of my exercises. Not all of them, mind you, but the ones I thought were part way adequate.
Sharing is Caring
Fully aware that the Internet is a dangerous place to put sub par things into, I decided to go through my editor. One piece in particular I was really proud of, and that was the demon piece featured a couple blogs back. The concept is fun to write about, it actually gets people wondering about themselves. Which is perfect. Naturally, I wanted some of those folks who are close to my heart to read it first. Mister McFarland was the first of these options, but he suggested going a step further and had me show it to a Miss Clark, who is worshiped as a goddess in the literature department.
Oddly enough, she loved it.
She wanted me to continue writing it, and I enjoy it enough, I think I’m going to.
The results were as anticipated. I grew as a writer. There’s no denying that. I got by with a little help from my friends, but that’s the way to do it in the writing world. You can’t improve unless you know what exactly it is that you’re fucking up. The way that I write my blogs, for instance, is not at all how I would write my stories now. It didn’t used to be like that.
I was very repetitive.
I was very repetitive.
And I learned to break that. I also learned how to form sentence structure to where it wasn’t exactly how it talked. Putting my voice in there doesn’t necessarily mean writing exactly how I talk. Though, I’m not gonna lie, my blogs are exactly like that.
Actually sitting down to write was hard too. I couldn’t just wait for inspiration. I had my times where I had to sit down and actually force myself to write. And it worked. It created diamonds. I’m actually very proud of where this project took me. And I don’t intend to stop.
And now. The weather.
The Internet, as I’ve mentioned before in several of my prior blogs, is full of all sorts of things that can actually be pretty useful. Not only can it be used to aid you in your job/studies, but you can also use it to cultivate an incredibly rich learning network full of peers in your same study, and can also be used to create things online and share them. The latter is something we just talked about in Digital Literacy.
I’m not going to lie to you. When Bitstrips, and other creation tools along that same vein, became popularized, I thought it was stupid. But, I made my own little character anyway. I didn’t really get what the hubbub was all about.
That has Changed
I made myself a character when Bitstrips had first become a thing, but never really went super far with it. Mostly, because I was annoyed at everyone else having one, which is a stupid reason, I know. But, having had to make a few for class, I can kinda see exactly what the hubbub was about.
Here’s a bit of what I made, as a reflection on my Personal Learning Project, which is actually going swimmingly believe it or not:
It’s actually going a bit smoother than the bitstrips suggest, though it is pretty hard to get me to actually sit down and do it. I have the attention span of a potato.
So How Can This Actually Be Used?
Well, as I’m wanting to a professor, a teacher of sorts, though not on the elementary level, I believe that it can be used in the classroom to promote creativity mostly. Students when creating themselves in this alternate “universe” so to speak place themselves in these situations in which they can really get creative. I messed around with some of the other options given, though Bitstrips seemed to me the most user friendly.
To be honest, I kinda still wanna mess around with it. I think it’s really a fun idea, and I didn’t realize how in depth you can go as to changing up the scenes. You can change everything from who is doing what to body positions, to even altering already existing faces (if you’re doing this on the computer. The phone app doesn’t have this). Basically, I thought it was hilarious to make Jeff the bad/actuallygood guy in my comics, and I think it worked out well. Now, just imagine what the students would be able to do with this technology!
Starting to do the Daily Create Challenge and as I’m a bit behind, I’m going to do it increments of five until I catch up to the 12th. Which is today. So.
Decide to do random daily creates from the archives. So here goes nothin’!
Grab the 5 nearest books around you. (Novels or textbooks, whatever story you’re wanting to make.)
Create a story from the following:
The first sentence on p. 1 of the first book.
The seventh sentence on p. 5 of the second book.
The first sentence of the third paragraph on p. 20 of the third book.
The fifteenth sentence on p. 47 of the fourth book.
The last sentence on the last page of the fifth book.
The End of a Mother Daughter Relationship
Anda, wake up!
I squat on the cliff’s edge, screaming, cursing the day I was born, wishing my biological mother had drowned me at birth.
How strange it is that I don’t even know how old she is.
They had the evening run to make, and that meant they would sleep planetside.
I shiver, and hurry from the square, as the darkness of the city closes over me, like canal water or the grave.
1. “In Real Life” by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
2. “Shadowfever” by Karen Marie Moning
3. “A Jest of God” by Margaret Laurence
4. “Dragonsdawn” by Anne McCaffrey
5. “Death The Deluxe Edition” by Neil Gaiman
That’s how that played out.
April 2nd–Flaws in Urban Landscape. I decided to take a picture of an alleyway in down town Chadron, and put someone I love in it to make it beautiful.
April 3rd— Windows on the World.
As I’m not particularly good with photoshop, nor do I have it…I decided to just take a picture. I’m using some of my friends in this, because I want to show them to the world.
April 4th— Draw your favorite part of the past week. Chose a walk with Jeffy.
Aaaand April 5th–For this one, you need the link. You can find it here.
I decided to take my pet human, Gerard, on a drive today. He drives reasonably well, but there are times that I wish he’d focus on the road instead of me once in a while. I mean, I Felix of Sharnwick, am a very handsome dog. I mean, I can only imagine how amazing my ears look blowing in the wind. I told him to take me Dalhurst, where I can meet a friend of mine, a houndess by the name of Matilda. It’s a quaint town, and she has humble beginnings. But what kind of hound was I to complain? She may not be purebred, but purebreds have too much incest going on, if you ask me. She’s got the best nose on this side of the Lingmell. Why, I’d take a thousand car rides with Gerard to see her. I…really should train him to drive better.
Well. As you all know by now (hopefully, I mean, you’d be incredibly unobservant if you don’t), I love Final Fantasy XIV. I love it even more, when my beloved boyfriend is dungeoning with me and we get to kill shit together. It’s a nice bonding time, and when we actually did it (we don’t anymore. He discovered Bloodborne), we would dungeon and listen to “Welcome to Nightvale,” the single greatest podcast of our time.
Basically, it sounds like a typical run of the mill radio show of a…normal…town. That is, if normal involved unknowable libraries, floating cats, amazing hairstyles, a rivalry between the obviously inferior and desolate wasteland known as Desert Bluffs, forbidden dog parks, and teaching illiterate spiders to read is normal. I mean, we need to stop the madness and actually teach these spiders.
Digital Storytelling comes in many formats, not just podcasts. They can be done with stories, posts on your favorite social media sites, literally whatever you’d like. I live and breathe for stories…if you hadn’t gathered yet. So, needless to say, digital storytelling is something that I’m already familiar with. In prior posts, I had mentioned rps and I already share some of my own stories via this here blog.
As for the classroom, why not spicen things up a bit with some digital story-telling? Introduce students to the wonderful world of story telling through a medium they already know and understand (whether you want them to or not, it’s part of the culture, baby)–technology.
As we’ve already covered, it’s a wonderful tool if used correctly, and can be a wonderful instrument to teach our kids to be creative. What if when students were playing on their phones and tablets, they were actually creating something? Think of it–writing stories, encouraging critical thinking by listening to stories imagining what’s going on, and even better–sharing their work with others to critique so they can improve. The anonymity of the Internet provides honest critiques if you form your right PLN, and if you teach your kids how to actually use the technology at their fingertips, they will have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM.
I don’t really understand the reluctance behind this. Studies have shown that students who are more interested in their work do better. It’s proven already. On several different mediums. So get to them on their level. Not all students are like me. Not everyone wants to sit down and read Of Mice and Men and cry their hearts out for about three days. Some students want to see what modern people or even better, students like themselves are creating.
However, the Internet can be a dangerous place. So, I can see how some parents would be leery of it. BUT, there is hope! Private forums and groups are a thing. It can be monitored, though I would suggest against it, at least on the parental’s front. That would probably keep the child from reaching full potential, unless the student decides to share her/his work. There are so many opportunities out there, why not reach out and take them?
And now. The weather.