B L O G — N O T I C E

*THIS BLOG WILL NOW BE TRANSFORMING INTO A BLOG ABOUT THE DIFFERENT TRENDING FASHIONS AROUND THE WORLD*

There will be four posts weekly. The first will consist of a short reflection of what I have learned from an exemplary blog of the topic I am writing about. The second and third posts will consist of a conclusion of what I have learned of the fashion trends of two different countries (different countries each week). And the final post will consist of a comparison between the two countries’ fashion trends.

 

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Did Somebody Say Signal???

 

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Who here is old enough to drive and actually has their license? Good, that means you know what it feels like to be raging at the slow driver in front of you who is going 10 miles per hour below the speed limit. Drivers over the years have become more and more lackadaisical on the road, not even caring to use their signal to let other driver know what they are doing. Similarly, writing has become just as relaxed. From the analysis of, “Annoying Ways People Use Sources,” by Kyle D. Stedman, we realize the connection between drivers on the road and writers on paper, allowing us to see the ways imperfections in writing are both good and bad. 

Just as drivers don’t use their signals while on the road, or follow other guidelines of driving, writers don’t correctly use sources. There are several wrongs in the writing world such as, dropping a quote in without introduction, starting or ending a paragraph with a quotation, using too many quotations in a row, failing to integrate a quotation into the grammar of the preceding sentence, no connection between the first letter of a parenthetical citation and the first letter of a works cited entry, and dropping in a citation without making it clear what information came from that source. These are all examples given by Stedman. Each makes logical sense, but some are somewhat subjective. Sometimes dropping in a random quotation adds emphasis, and then you explain it later in your writing. Or you begin with a quotation and discuss it throughout your entire paper, or a specific paragraph. The wrongdoings in driving, such as not signaling are similar to writing mistakes, but writing “mistakes” may not be as bad as the author, Stedman, believes. 

As much as I agree with Stedman on that some writers do not know the rules of the paper, just as some drivers do not know the rules of the road, he has some points that make me question if I truly do believe in what he was explaining. My most valid point against believing in what he has to say, is that sometimes people drop a quote randomly without introduction or commentary after it for emphasis. This does not necessarily mean they are a naive writer and ignorant to the rules, they just may have chosen to place that quote there strategically. After writing that, I realize it is my only point opposing what Stedman had to say. The rest of his points, as I had previously stated in the paragraph above, would definitely anger me if I was reading and came to one of those mistakes, just as I would be angered by a driver pulling out in front of me with no signal. 

In brief, the connection between the drivers on the road and the writers on paper helps us to understand the frustration we endure by seeing others use sources incorrectly. I both agree and disagree with the points of Stedman, of the “annoying ways people use sources,” and hopefully from the information shared, you can decide for yourself whether you agree or disagree.  

Photo: http://www.bertsperling.com/2012/09/13/drive-95-miles-per-hour-save-12-minutes/ 

 

Notes: “Annoying Ways People Use Sources”

Key Terms and Main Idea: 

  • Driver >> a person who drives a vehicle
  • Source >> a person who provides information or a book or document used to provide evidence in research
  • Preemptive >> serving or intended to preempt or forestall something, especially to prevent attack by disabling the enemy
  • Rhetorical >> language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content
  • Annoyances >> a thing that annoys someone; a nuisance
  • Citation >> a quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work
  • Quotation >> a group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author or speaker

Main Idea: The main idea shown throughout this article was that people who do not correctly cite and use sources are like drivers on the road who do not follow the rules of the road; both are annoying, yet both are able to be fixed. 

Summary: In short, the article was of a person expressing anger toward those who do not follow the rules of using sources and citing them, and also reveals how they may be fixed. Jk kind of lol. The author, Kyle D. Stedman, began his article by expressing how sloppy driving is like sloppy writing in two ways defined by the explanation of why they are sloppy. 1)  Drivers don’t know that the generally accepted practice of high- way driving in the U.S. is to move to the right if an upcoming car wants to pass and writers  don’t know the generally accepted practices of using sourc- es (especially in academic writing) in the U.S. OR 2) Drivers know the guidelines but don’t care and writers know the guidelines but don’t care. He then moves on to describe several annoyances, 6 to be exact. One of the annoyances was “Armadillo Roadkill: dropping in a quotation without introducing it first” (Stedman 244). He explains that without introduction, the quote just stands as a road bump in the journey. The fix, though, entails “…signaling that a quote is about to come, stating who the quote came from, and showing how your readers should interpret it” (Stedman 245). The other examples were similar to this format, consisting of a problem and a fix. The author concludes with saying that 

Analysis: This article seemed to be quite tame at first, but once I thought about it more, all I could see was an angry man who over thought the world of using sources. The world has changed and so has our writing styles, as he mentions. Those who actually do not know how to use sources and just plop a random quotation in their writing are annoying, I agree, and if they do not use any commentary to support the use of that quote at all during their written piece, then I think Kyle Stedman should have a little chit chat time with them. From this article, I learned the rights and wrongs of using sources. As much as I agree with what Stedman wrote, I also believe people have different writing styles nowadays. He mentioned that sometimes people drop a quote without introduction for emphasis, and talk about it later, but there are other things that the world now does. The world might drop a quote just to make you think a little bit harder, not because they do not know what they are doing. 

Notes: “…and by islands I mean paragraphs”

Key Terms and Main Idea

  • Island >> a piece of land surrounded by water
  • Subterranean Vapours >> underground, diffused matter (such as smoke or fog) suspended floating in the air and impairing its transparency
  • Vulgar >> lacking sophistication or good taste; unrefined
  • Iron Age fort >>  hill fort; meaning,  a type of earthworks used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage
  • Bristol >> a city in england

Main Idea: The main idea in this article (a bunch of mini paragraphs), was to show a reader that writing in a way that allows the reader to engage in the activity they are reading about is an okay thing to do to get your point across, which is exactly what The author of this article thing did. 

Summary

This was the most interesting article, text, written piece (whatever you want to call it) I have ever read. I could see no path for the plot except for that the information given was just explaining different chunks of things about different islands. In that mood, I will summarize my experience of this. When I first opened this article, I was surprised to see really no words, except for the title. I then scrolled down as I normally do to find the written text. Little did I know the whole page would shift in a whole separate direction. Honestly I was confused. And then I found some words and started reading. After about 5 seconds, the words shifted and I no longer knew my place. Again, I was surprised. Nothing occurred as it normally would have, so I came to the conclusion that this written piece was given to show us that a writer doesn’t always have to conform to the ideal structure of writing. 

Commentary

My opinion of this article was pretty much given in the summary above, but I will elaborate. I opened the page and didn’t know what to do. I eventually gave up until class, and Bonnie Robinson encouraged our class to take another look at the articles. I did, but still found it difficult, yet interesting. I read a little more the second time around and found that the author was seriously talking about different islands, giving specific facts above each. His title of, “…and by islands I mean paragraphs,” shows that the words he was writing were about islands, but the way in which they were presented, reminded us of islands. After I had realized this, I wondered if the title also went further in depth by meaning the words he wrote about in the paragraphs showed how to write in such a way to engage the reader by writing as he did. But nope. He simply spoke of different islands. Although this article represented how should use the reading like a writer technique, I am not sure if it had any other meaning than that lol. 

Notes: “How to Read Like a Writer” (RLW)

Key Terms and Main Idea

  • Les Miserables >>
  • Read like a writer >> you work to identify some of the choices the author made so that you can better understand how such choices might arise in your own writing
  • Architect >> a person who designs buildings and in many cases also supervises their construction
  • Carpenter >> a person who makes and repairs wooden objects and structures
  • Genre >> a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter

Main Idea: The main idea of this written piece is to teach the reader a new technique of reading, that allows one to learn even more. 

Summary

Mike Bunn begins with a story about how he used to be a graduate living in London, working at the Palace theater, and he describes a realization throughout this time. He created the concept of reading like a writer (RLW). He then goes on to explain what reading like a writer means (you work to identify some of the choices the author made so that you can better understand how such choices might arise in your own writing). The technique of reading like a writer is described, such as it is similar to a carpenter and an architect. There are many pieces that go in to creating a piece of art (whether that be a building or a written piece). He explains how reading like a writer is different from normal writing, meaning you gain more information and insight by using RLW than you would by just reading normally and understanding content only partly. He expresses why this type of reading is very much so important, similar to how to read like a writer. He gives examples of questions to ask before you begin reading, such as who is the author and what is the intention or genre of this book. And he ends with a clear example of what reading like a writer looks like, incorporating each of the parts listed above. 

Analysis

I believe that what Mike Brunn describes in his article is partially correct. He is quite passionate about what he is speaking about, I see that, but I don’t necessarily agree that you don’t gain as much from reading normally and that reading like a writer is superior. Reading normally and RLW each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Reading normally allows one to get lost in thought in what the author describes in their careful words. This allows the reader to gain a better understanding of the author and his/her purpose by simply getting lost in text. From this technique, you gain an understanding of the content, purpose of the other, and plot. Reading like a writer allows the reader to understand the purpose of the author a little bit more, but it is different than reading normally, because you are physically analyzing the choices that the author made. Reading like a writer, though, doesn’t allow one to feel as deeply connected to the text as when you read normally and let yourself get lost. Each technique has its pros and cons, but neither one is better than the other, as Mike Brunn suggested. 

Reading Like A Writer

Soooo SO many different ideas running through my head. Shooting back and forth as if there are fireworks exploding throughout. How do I want my audience to feel? What do I want them to know? How should I write it so they may understand what I am thinking????

“In my first memory, I am three years old and I am trying to kill my sister” (Picoult 1).

Each and every writer has the same thoughts, just as Jodi Picoult surely did while writing her famous novel, My Sister’s Keeper. Now, imagine trying to unwind the thoughts of writers as you read along their novels, articles, memoirs, blogs, etc. This is what reading like a writer is all about. It allows one to take a step further by comprehending the many different options the author had, and analyzing why he/she chose the path they did. The article by Mike Bunn explains that reading like a writer is how “you work to identify some of the choices the author made so that you can better understand how such choices might arise in your own writing” (page 2). From this reading technique, we not only gain the understanding of the overall content but the reasoning behind writing, so we may better understand our own writing.

The content throughout the reading like a writer article and the …and by islands I mean paragraphs reading uncovers several unknowns of reading. Each of the articles makes one realize that reading is not just done to read meaningless words on a page (unless you choose that life), as referred to in “The Mechanical Bride.” They show that there is so much more behind written pieces. The author must choose between a series of never ending choices while writing, mostly having to do with how they want the reader to feel and what they want the reader to know. The technique of reading like a writer is described as looking at writing as if it were architecture. There were so many items that went into designing and actually building something. Choices also have to be made while building, such as which material to use for the flooring. The …and by islands I mean paragraphs article shows complexity in the writer’s mind (the choices) as well as the journey a writer would like to take you on. Most do this through words, but I enjoyed the variety and surprise of this article. Each article shows that there is deeper thought behind writing and that the author seeks to engage the reader constantly. 

Shifting back to the book written by Picoult, “My Sister’s Keeper,” arouses one’s adrenaline throughout as a young girl is forced to provide for her sister, so she may live. The scare of death looms over each and every chapter. Although this is a short explanation from an amazingly put together book, we understand why Picoult chose her first sentence. She  wanted to foreshadow the underlying fear of death that is incorporated into the complete book, all the way up to the ending. This is sure one of many choices Jodi Picoult made, and many others have made as well. Through the reading like a writer technique, we learn more about what the author intends for us to understand, and overall, gather a wider picture than before. 

The Selfie Post

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SELFIE

Who here takes selfies? Honestly, that is not even a question… I know literally everyone has taken a selfie or takes them on a regular basis. Selfies are way for us to self-express, self-represent, self-author, as well as see ourselves. We do this on social media, blogs, other things on the internet, and for ourselves. It shows people who we are and what we aspire to be, and allows us to feel good about ourselves when the pictures are taken at the best angles.

Personally, I tend to take pictures of the side of my face and my eyes. Just as the eye allows us to see ours and others’ selfies, it also serves as a basic structure to define our thinking while taking a selfie. In studying the model of the eye, I have realized the many reasons behind the selfies I take on a normal basis.

There are many parts to the eye, but each is vital in allowing us to see, and each part of the eye also connects to taking a selfie. I will begin by describing each part forming the structure of the eye. The first layer of the eye is the cornea, which serves as a protective layer of the eye as well as an entry of light into the eye. The next layer of the eye is the anterior chamber filled with the aqueous humor. It is the space between the cornea and the lens and the aqueous humor is a clear liquid inside causing the refraction of light. The next layer of the eye is the iris, which is a colored muscle that determines the amount of light received by the eye (changes the size of the pupil). The next layer is the ciliary body, which can be associated with the iris. It is an extension of the iris, produces aqueous humor, and holds the ciliary muscle, which changes the shape of your lens. When focusing on a specific object, your lens has to change shape so you can see that object based on whether it is near or far away. The next part of the eye is the pupil, which is the black hole you see in the eye, allowing light to enter the posterior chamber. The lens is the next layer of the eye, which is ultimately a clear, curved ball that focuses light onto the retina. The next layer of the eye is the vitreous humor, which is a clear liquid, like the aqueous humor, that fills the space between the lens and the retina, allowing the eyeball to keep its shape. The last two layers of the eye are the retina and the sclera. The retina receives the light projected onto it by the lens and converts that light into neural signals sent to the optic nerve. The sclera forms the white of our eyes, which is a tough fibrous tissue protecting the entire outside of the eye. Just as there are many layers of the eye, there are many actions to take a selfie.

There are sooo so many specific components that allow an eye to see, just as there are many tactics and reasons to taking selfies. The paragraph above is a lot to swallow, but connecting it to taking selfies will make it more understandable. The protective layers of the eye, the sclera and cornea, are like the protection we hold for ourselves. The world is a scary place and the people in it are even scarier, holding judgments against others. As we take selfies, we do not show the world exactly who we are; we show the world what we want them to see, which is protecting our inner ego from the hurt of judgement of our true selves. The supporting layers of the eye, the aqueous and vitreous humor, allow us to see by supporting the structure of the eye. In a way, the editing we do to our selfie photos is like these substances. It gives our photos a certain structure that would not be upheld without editing. The iris, ciliary muscle, pupil, and lens all work together to refract light and project an image onto the retina. This relates to our preparation of the photo and the decision of whether to post or not to post. It may also relate to more editing of the photo if we are not quite fond of what we see, such as adjusting light exposure. The last component to allowing us to see is the job of the retina; it changes light energy into neural signals, so our brain can comprehend what we are seeing. This connects to the actual posting of our selfie image. It happens quickly, but it takes a few seconds before it is posted and seen by others, just as it take a moment for the energy to be transformed from light to neural signals. From then on, we must wait and comprehend the reflection given by others, as they understand the selfies we post in their own way.

I would finally like to take all the information I have just shared with you and relate it back to myself and the images that are shared along with this post. I chose these specific images to represent the type of selfies I tend toward. I usually take pictures of the side of my face (as shown in the collage above) and try to capture one of the most important aspects of myself, MY EYES. I PROTECT my ego by taking selfies of the side of my face, and by not showing the world my entire, vulnerable face. I do, however, feel confident about my eyes. I do edit a lot of my pictures, such as using snapchat filters in some of the images in the collage, which underlies the STRUCTURE I add to my photos. I also PREPARE my photos by deciding what other filters or editing I should add to the image, and whether or not I should post it to allow others to see. After much debate, I usually decide to share my photo on whichever application I am currently using. The PROCESSING of my image is a bit nerve racking. Wondering what feedback I will incur and whether or not people will like it.

The overall structure of the eye relates significantly to reasons behind taking selfies along with the editing and debate we inflict upon our photos. Not only does the structure represent how we deal with selfies, but it represents the most valuable thing I represent in each and every selfie I take.

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Notes: “Seeing Ourselves Through Technology” Chapter 3

Summary

The entirety of chapter 3 consists of everything having to do with selfies. Most of the chapter reflects the history and evolution of selfies from way back when there was no smartphones or social media. The emphasis of selfies chosen for most of the examples was the chronicling of one’s face. One major example was Szucs portraits of herself. She began taking pictures of herself in 1996, before Instagram came about. But during this time, people were sharing their lives online. Another form of this self-authoring and self-expression was presented by Frank O’Hara, who took a little time out of each of his days to write a little, many compared it to micro blogging. As more media has become available, people have been creating time lapse selfies, in which they take pictures of themselves for a long while and then gather all of the pictures and create a sort of video out of them, where differences are noticed over time. Ahree Lee, Noah Kalina, Karl Baden, Tehching Hsieh, and Rebecca Brown have all done this in one way or another. One of the last subjects presented, was automatic photos, or photo booths as we know them. You go into a little booth, close the curtain, hit the button, and then your picture is take in a series of photos one after the other. There is no time to change position or figure out what to do with such little time in between, so people’s natural emotions are withdrawn from photo booths. This was an earlier example that lead into the idea of self portraits and time lapse photos. 

Analysis

The main point made in chapter 3 was that selfies are a form of self-representation and self-narration that has been around, in several forms, for many years. I definitely would have to agree with this point, as I  have had experience with selfies and social media. Instagram, for instance, allows one to create an image to his/her liking. Filters and a ample amount of editing can be added to make us portray ourselves in a way we would like to be seen, which is our self-expression. At the bottom of an Instagram picture, though, we may add a caption; a description of what is going on, how we are feelings, a joke, etc. This would be self-authoring; choosing who we are and telling the world who we are. Self-authoring  takes place on many other social media applications and other resources, such as blogs, twitter, Facebook, VSCO, articles, diaries, etc. We always portray ourselves as who we think we are to the world. 

Making Connections

I think most of the generation I am a part of and younger can say they are able to make several connections to this chapter as a whole. We have grown up with technology and social media. It has been all around us for our entire lives, so we most definitely have a connection with the subject. Just as I gave the example above about Instagram, I was thinking of myself. I take a photo somewhere and utilize the filter and editing components of the application, and then take a long while to think of a caption. For one of my photos, I captioned it ‘”couldn’t be happier.” If I had not written that caption, I am not sure if people would have realized my happiness, or on the flip side, realized that not my entire trip to Florida was spectacular. We choose how we want the world to see by our descriptions of ourselves. 

The Filters of Society

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F I L T E R.

How many of you first think of a coffee filter when I mention that word? How many of you think of an Instagram photo editing filter? A technological filter on Twitter, such that you are limited to typing only 140 characters? Any of which would be viable ideas that pop into one’s mind when thinking of the word filter. From the purposes of the second chapter of, “Seeing Ourselves Through Technology,” by  Jill Walker Rettberg, we are able to find three types of filters (literal, technological, cultural), allowing us to see a deeper meaning behind our actions and the mechanisms we use to portray ourselves.

The first major filter recognized in chapter two was the literal filter. The precise definition of a filter is a porous device for removing impurities or solid particles from a liquid or gas passed through it (Merriam-Webster). A coffee filter, a strainer, paper towels, refrigerator water filters, etc. are all examples of literal filters. They do their job as filtering out unwanted substances such as coffee grounds, chemicals on grapes, sand in water, and impurities in water. There isn’t much to expand on for a literal filter except to say that is what it is. From the basic denotation of a literal filter, though, the deeper meaning of technological and cultural filters are found.

The second major filter identified was the technological filter. These types of filters may include anything restricting or giving on a technological basis. The allowance of only 140 characters per Twitter post, limits the amount of creativity one may have (restricting). This limit restricts people from portraying a certain creativity, and, in turn, people view others as different than what they truly are. The limited amount of words does not give enough space to express who we are to the world and everyone in it. The addition of an Instagram filter would be giving the photo certain enhancements to your liking (giving). With these photo editing filters, we are able to change our photos to our liking, or what we believe everyone will like. Many of us choose these certain actions of adding filter enhancements to photos because we try to be something we are not… stripping us of our uniqueness. Technological filters mostly have to do with social media and any other online application or site, such as our blogs. There are prearranged limits and prearranged enhancements we may follow and choose, and from those, we understand the meaning behind our actions.

The third major filter exhibited was the cultural filter. Like technological filters, cultural filters follow certain guidelines and “rules.” Norms, expectations, attitudes, and ideas of society represent all of what cultural filters are. This type of filter goes deeper than any other. It shows the major spot of weakness in all of us, the inability to stray from societal opinion. “What will others think?” is the question circling our minds at all times, whether that be known or subconsciously placed. Some examples of cultural filters include the “rule” of waving to every boater you pass while on the lake, walking on the right side of the sidewalk, not wearing extremely estranged clothing, keeping to yourself in a quiet place, etc. If these are not followed, you would be subject to judgmental looks and comments, which is why we never stray… for fear of discernment. Cultural filters have been around for a long time, changing and molding to the modern peoples of time, shaping the world around us.

Now what do you think when I say the word filter? Is your mind going to many different places? Good. One should know the extent of the word filter, and to what ends of the earth it reaches. Filters may be the typical, literal filter in which items are separated from each other, technological filters in which things are restricted or given, and cultural filters which are the “rules” our society follows. Each type of filter finds its way back to the denotative explanation, but are expressed in different forms in the world.

Photo: Instagram Filtering

NOTES: “Seeing Ourselves Through Technology” Chapter 2

Key Terms and Main Idea

  • Algorithmic culture > refer to the the ways in which computers, running complex mathematical formulae, engage in what’s often considered to be the traditional work of culture: the sorting, classifying, and hierarchizing of people, places, objects, and ideas.
  • Filter > a porous device for removing impurities or solid particles from a liquid or gas passed through it.
  • Norms > something that is usual, typical, or standard.
  • Normative discursive strategies > a standard norm of digressing from one subject to another with specific strategy.
  • Terministic screens > the terms in our language through which our understanding of the world is filtered.
  • Cliche > a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.

Main Idea

The main idea throughout the entirety of chapter two is the idea that there are specific filters placed on us and society, including literal, technological, and cultural filters, along with other mainstream views of the ways “filters” affect the society.

Summary

The author begins by describing filters in general, such as social media filters, and then actual literal filters. The definition of filters given said, “To process or reformat (data) using a filter esp. so as to remove unwanted content.”  Things such as coffee filters, water filters, oil filters, air filters, and paper towels are all examples of the literal filters described in the definition stated previously. This literal meaning is where the societal views (filters) conception was derived. This leads into the technological and cultural filters, which the author describes a bit later in the text. Technological filters are able to change writing technique, picture quality, and change others’ perspectives of ourselves. This includes Instagram filters, the limit of 140 characters on twitter, photo editing apps (such that you can make your teeth brighter or your skin tanner), and so many others. Cultural filters are ideas, perceptions, and pressures of society. These cultural norms tend to define the actions of people in a society. The author later explains the aestheticizing, anesthetizing, and defamiliarizing of filters, what technology can do, and the genres of filters, which I thought of lesser importance in the main idea. The overall idea throughout chapter two deals with filters and what their effect is on society.

Analysis 

The main point and idea that I found throughout chapter two, was the separation and comparison between literal, technological and cultural filters, and filters in general and their relativity to society. There were points that stated that filters (whatever they may be) can help and hurt us. An example given in the text was the baby book and its filter on us. Baby books are typically prearranged, giving us a format of what to document about a baby, such as its first tooth, first birthday, first steps, etc., but that does not include any of the negative moments that make us who we are. It filters out the bad and creates an image for others to perceive as an only happy and content upbringing. This baby book works just as Instagram filters do; allowing us to create an image that we want people to perceive in a certain way, such that we have perfect skin tones and/or perfect, white teeth. I believe many of the points made by the author are valuable, and relatable to mostly everyone in this world.