Review of Bonnie and Rohan’s

The fact that the podcast started with The Office was an automatic plus. I absolutely love that show. I found your podcast very interesting because I learned about what a Mock-umentary was, something that I have been watching for years. I love the style of The Office and Parks and Recreation.It’s subtle humor that produces, at time, a huge laugh. It also has a much more organic feeling in terms of humor.

I feel like there is a new appreciation for the mock-umentary style that officially grew out of The Office. Your example of Modern Family also shows that the Mock-umentary style allows room for both a direct connection to the audience as the character talks to the camera and it also provides dramatic effect in terms of when they are acting out the story. In fact, it’s like a fictionalized reality show (not that some reality shows are completely factual). But, I believe that the Mocku-mentary style humanizes the character in a much easier way than in a traditional dramatic television storyline.

With iconic characters like Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, and Phil Dunphy that have become cemented into the television hall of fame, I applaud the style of Mock-umentary. And I hope, it continues to evolve to make us all laugh.

Great job guys!


Review of Graziella and Maggie’s Disney Project

I always knew that Disney had simplified stories, but I never knew the real stories behind Disney. The fact that The Little Mermaid’s tongue was cut off and every step that she took felt like sharp glass is cringe worthy. I didn’t know that the story was so grotesque. Moreover, I had no idea that Sleeping Beauty was basically a date rape story with attempted murder. How morbid can you get? And my favorite story, Cinderella, is just plain bloody and disgusting. The image of the doves plucking out the sister’s eyes…

All in all, I thought you guys did a great job on the project. I was really intrigued to find out the truth behind the fairy tales. It’s interesting to note that fairy tales were made to scare children and teach them lessons. If I had heard these tales as a child, I would have obeyed without a question.

Its funny how media and Walt Disney recycle these stories and pick and choose the parts they would like to display in their films. I feel like that is a commentary on how creative works based on past works will evolve in the future. Soon the product no longer resembles the source.

Anyways, Great Job guys!

Review of Gianna’s Podcast

From the minute I played this podcast, I was entertained. I thought it was also very informing as well in terms of learning that video games actually make you smarter and that video games actually improve your vision. I thought it had a very original concept in terms of the platform in which it was presented. The different clips joined together and the music in the background made the podcast never have a dull moment. I enjoyed the references to the video games especially Mario. I had no idea that you could have better cognitive skills when playing video games.

This also made me realize that video games allow people to be interactive and to be social with others with online fan bases. There is social interaction. Moreover, there are layers upon layers of symbolic value with video games that include team building activities, problem solving, and the focus of goals. I agree that people often sneer at the mention of video games. But, iI feel that it is sort of digital literature in a way. The story is constantly evolving based on the gamer’s decisions and I know from experience that these games can have pretty intricate plot lines that have countless themes and allusions.

Good job Gianna!


“Comparison is the Thief of Joy”

This past Tuesday, I had to take pictures of Jess Gonzalez, who is the Multimedia Assistant for Plangere, while she did a presentation for the other section of Multimedia Composition. Jess, who runs a very successful food blog that is now sponsored by Kraft Foods, gave some sound advice to students when it comes to creating and maintaining a blog. She dedicated a slide to Theodore Roosevelt’s quote “Comparison isn the thief of joy.” Jess emphasized that you shouldn’t compare your work with others because you will never be satisfied and you will always be afraid to venture out and do what you want. This really struck a chord with me because  in the past I tried to start my own blog. I was always intimidated by the bigger and better blogs out there that look really freaking professional. Why would my blog matter? And now I know that you shouldn’t be  thinking about the potential to be better than other blogs, but how you can out better yourself. With each post and each day your blog will evolve and with time take on the appearance of a professional blog. And with the  final project blogs coming up, this advice could not come at a better time.

Here’s a link to Jess’s awesome site if you haven’t seen it.


The Break-Up Via Facebook

We all know how it goes. After a couple of weeks of cutestatuses, tagged pictures, and the Facebook official relationship announcement, it all turns to crap. The once happy couple breaks up and soon the pictures that documented their relationship can no longer be found. In fact, chances are, they are no longer even friends. And if you are friends more with one than the other, you may also be blocked. It depends on how bad the break-up was. This begs the question: why do  people feel that Facebook either solidifies or dissolves a relationship?

When someone declares that they are in a relationship, they are often met with the question, “Is it Facebook official?” And if it isn’t, then you are in big trouble. You can’t say you are single when you are tagged in a relationship status. In actuality, Facebook (hopefully) should not be the deciding factor of your relationship. That status is the relationship between the two people and no one else. Sure, it’s fun to document your relationship, but I think there is way too much emphasis on whether or not people post who they are dating. And more often than not, once the relationship status is announced, it’s like the “kiss of death.”

In addition, once you delete the pictures and you ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend, it literally changes nothing. It doesn’t change how you break up or how you feel about it afterwards. It just changes the fact that you won’t see their face on your newsfeed anymore. So my message is, focus on the actual relationship, evaluate your feelings, and do not place any worry over Facebook. In the end your account is not you.


Quality Family Time with the Smartphones

Back in late February and early March when my entire family first changed to smartphones, we all sat around on the couch and played with our phones. It’s funny because all of us were together and we were all staring at our laps. I’m the only one who lifted my head up and saw that everyone was absorbed in another world. I don’t think anyone even noticed how quiet it was. And the minute I showed my sister and her husband how to use Snapchat, it was over. Right away, they were snap chatting each other from three feet away. You know the Youtube video with the old people trying to get the computer and webcam to work? That’s basically what happened.

But even though all of us are basically on our phones when we are together, we still make time to put our phones away. One rule that we have is to not use our phones at the dinner table. Personally, I find it very rude when someone is on their phone during a meal at the table. I am all for staying interconnected, but it’s important to stay connected to the people right in front of you, especially if they are your loved ones.


What I’ve Learned in This Class

At the beginning of the semester, I had no clue how to blog, edit video, or edit audio. I didn’t even think I was capable. And I thought I already knew what I needed to know about technology.

But after reading the assigned texts, my view of the world began to change. For me, technology always held an negative connotation. I always believed that the old simple ways were the best ways. But then, when we talked about sites such as Creative Commons and Free Higher Education, technology took on a different connotation. When I think of technology now, I think of the potential to share ideas and how society itself may prosper from those ideas. I also like to see how Marshall McLuhan’s theory that “the medium is the message”can be employed on so many different platforms. And it’s amazing to me that I can add that I have a Basic understanding of iMovie, Audacity, WordPress and GarageBand to my resume.

This class, hands down, has been the most relevant/best class I have ever taken at Rutgers. The learning wasn’t forced; it was encouraged, and I think a lot of college courses lack that aspect. I felt like what I was learning was actually going to play a large role in my future. I’m really glad I did not let the three hour time period discourage me from registering.


The Annoyances of Sakai

Currently, I’m taking Intermediate Italian 132 and it always takes up the majority of my time. Every time I check my email, I get another notification from Sakai saying that another assignment has been added. I am over the workbook pages, the compositions, and lab recordings that are added on friday night and due on Monday at 9:00AM. Why is that even allowed? There should be a feature that instructors cannot add homework past a certain time on Friday night unless it is due at least four days later. I miss the days where if a teacher did not assign homework in class, you were not required to do any. Now it’s open season to assign as much homework that is humanly possible.

My biggest issue with this problem is that there is literally no time for rest. There’s always another assignment that gets posted the moment you finish one. I am not saying that instructors do not have the right to give the proper work load. However, I would like some common courtesy when it comes to being assigned homework. I would like some notice so I can prepare adequately, especially when these instructors require/demand not to be bothered when it comes to asking when our work will actually be graded. I’m supposed to hand in something on time regardless if you give me enough notice, but then I cannot bother you about the timeline of when I will receive my grade? That’s just ridiculous and something needs to change.

For now, the Sakai struggle continues…


Record Store Day

So this Saturday, April 19 is Record Store Day. Basically, it’s a dale devoted to the sale, preservation, and celebration of CDs, vinyl, and cassette tapes. In honor of Record Store Day, my favorite band Green Day released a collection of their demos strictly on vinyl and CDs. It cannot be found on iTunes nor could it be found online until someone uploaded the CD to Youtube. Honestly, I am all for preserving physical forms of music. Yes, mp3s are very portable and convenient (I listen to music on my iPhone practically everyday), but there’s something to be said about buying an album and feeling the physical case, looking at the artwork, and reading through the lyric booklet while listing to the record. It’s an entirely different experience that cannot be had from an mp3. You have to take the time to stop and actually focus and listen to what is being played. It’s the one of the only ways you can truly digest the record.

Despite the fact that my own listening to physical records has gone down and my mp3 usage has gone up, I still make time to listen to physical CDs and occasionally vinyl, especially if it’s from my favorite band. That’s the way I first experienced music and that’s the way I am going to continue to experience music.

So come this Saturday, get out your favorite CD, find your old walkman, and just sit down and listen.


Is Texting Another Form of Letter Writing?

My senior year of high school, I took AP English with a teacher that fits the description of “The Dragon Lady” from the movie The Devil Wears Prada. On one of her many rants, I remember her lamenting the idea that the current generation has no value for letter writing, that the art of the letter is lost.

This always bothered me. Being part of the technological generation, we read and write at a speed that is unprecedented. Information gets passed instantaneously from point A to point B. If you actually research the amount of times we as a society type out a message you would find that according to CNN, Americans send on average a total of 88 texts a day. That’s a lot of writing if you think about it. Sure, it’s not always grammatically correct and it may be abbreviated. But, the reason people needed to pack so much formality and content into letters in the past is because they did not have instant messaging. It took days if not weeks to send and receive a letter. And, honestly, that wait period is just not relevant to today’s culture anymore. The message needs to be sent and received yesterday.

We send 86 text messages a day because we want to stay connected. And isn’t that what letter writing is about–maintaining relationships through word?