MakeUPJCleanAgain – Final Project

With so many interesting projects and blog posts from our journal it was hard to pick what I wanted to focus on for my final project, but after racking my brain for a little I decided to put a spin on my “Alien Invasion,” blog post for the location-based exercise we did for class. In this post I talked about how I wanted the aliens to take care of Earth because majority of people are careless when it comes to keeping this clean, whether that’s your room or the environment there are all sorts of factors to bettering the planet and your overall space.

I made this location based specifically to Pitt-Johnstown, basically documenting the trash found around campus and giving a look to what one would see when just simply Googling the university… hint: there’s no trash on Google Images.  I took it upon myself to make it public how careless or carefree college students are, just littering whatever, whenever they feel with no regards for the place they live. Which is what I talked about in my alien blog post.

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University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on Google.

The pieces of trash did not get there itself, those who littered unknowingly contributed/collaborated to my project and for that I thank you, but pick up your garbage. I walked around campus at random times for a week or so taking photos with my iPhone 7, since the snow has melted and grounds keepers started cutting the grass regularly I was pleased to notice that not as much trash was on campus as there was through the winter months, guess you can’t run over beer cans on a lawnmower.

Obviously, a lot of the trash I photographed migrated more towards fraternity’s such as Sig Tau even though that haven’t had an open party for sometime now the brothers have taken over the trash pile up. With cigarette butts galore outside of their front door, I asked one brother why they don’t use to can specifically for butts right by the bench and he told me about a time when they had a party and there were so many cigs in there that it caught on fire and of course some drunken idiot decided to pee on it in hopes to be the hero of the night. I responded with “I’ll buy you guys a better bucket, with some water in it.” Then there seemed to be a bean bag incident outside of their lodge as well, which I have no idea what happened with that so be creative with what you think happened!

Even though I pissed off a brother in the process since I tagged their location I’m sure they got notified of the photos I posted, but I quickly let him know if was for a class project and I didn’t mean any harm or to be offensive towards them.

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I do have 2 followers, which are both Sig Tau brothers!

As with all of the posts I speculated to what I think happened and how that piece of trash got there. And, before you ask I did pick up majority of the things I came across, but the beanbag beads would’ve been a little difficult.

This final project was a good way to get some cardio in, and see how observant I am when looking around campus. This project also goes to show that not everything online is going to be the same in person, just like Catfish! Here is a link to the Instagram page!

Thanks for an awesome semester Marissa!! (:

Final Project thoughts

Thinking about the final project has given me the chance to reflect on all of the work/blog posts I’ve done throughout the semester. Getting the chance to get to expand one makes it hard to choose, looking back my group (Dan&Eric) and I considered the previous projects we’ve collectively worked on together such as The War Memorial, Remix and our collaborative project. Along with expanding a project we also have to write 5 or so paragraph critical essay on our project.

We are leaning towards the last two options which were both done on Instagram one dealing with the sport remixes and the other upjsexfactorfiction. Each were a lot of fun to do and expanding one of them to create more or make something almost like a sequel to them is a strong possibility. We’d have to add three other characteristics for digital writing like location-based, hyper textual, nonlinear or interactive.

Wednesday in class we came ready with papers of a profile we put together of people whose digital identities we admire to see which characteristics they use and how they incorporate them within posts. This helped me think of how I could add other features to our work and how simple it actually was to do so.

Marissa has given us full creative control to run wild with this final project so I can’t wait to see what we come up with!

Search box suggestions…

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An entry that intrigued me in the Steal like an Artist Journal was to start randomly typing into a search box and write down the auto suggestions. I headed on over to Google and did just that, I started out with the first thing that popped into my head which was “Cats,” the 3 suggestions I got were – for sale – meowing and in the cradle I then got side tracked and spent 15 minutes looking at cats for sale around the area wishing I could adopt them all. Next I typed in “School makes me…” – cry – depressed – want to smoke which was similar with “College makes me” – feel stupid – depressed – cry. I’ve come to the conclusion that school/college just sucks by these searches (just kidding I love college.)

Some other things I typed in were “basketball” – shoes – games – bracket – wives 2017. “Coffee makes me” – poop- tired – poop mug – sleepy. “Pros of…” – the death penalty – designer babies – GMO’s – social media. “Cons of…” – self-driving cars – standardized testing – GMO’s – technology in the classroom. “What happens when…” – you tell siri 000 – you quit smoking – galaxies collide – you tell siri 108.

Fun Fact: telling Siri 108 actually calls 911 (why you couldn’t just tell her 911 idk??) but don’t do that unless there is an emergency!! Also after looking it up a little I think 000 does the same thing.

By doing this prompt it was a little crazy with how many I either agreed with or made me curious so I researched them a little more like the cons of self-driving cars has been gaining a lot more attention than I thought, if you get into an accident with one it’s typically the drivers fault (the human driver) also if you wanted to buy one it’s $100,000+ just a tad out of my price range! There are also Savannah AND Sphynx cats for sale in the Johnstown area they come at a hefty price of $400 each, but there are plenty up for adoption at local shelters with a small adoption fee of usually $25!

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Location-Based Exercise

Location is key, no matter what you’re doing where you’re physically at will have some type of impact on your environment. For example, I’m typing this in the library if I was at my apartment I probably wouldn’t be able to focus, the library is where I focus best. So, while I was flipping through my “Steal like an Artist Journal” I kept trying to consider what locations I could pick for each entry and when I flipped across the “The world is ending. Leave a message for alien explorers.” I thought it was perfect, I got very environmental with this piece.

Recently I was scrolling through Facebook and came upon a video of people cutting a net wrapped around a helpless whale, my heart breaks a little every time I watch things like that so I decided to let the aliens know all the don’t’s when they invade earth. I hoped there would still be beautiful mountains, skylines, lush forests along with beaches for them to enjoy, but to make sure they took care of them because we do not.

I would let them know that they should fix up/help some of the cities that are run down with abandoned buildings, to try and do something about all of the pollution in the air. I told them to care about the animals who are in danger of extinction and to keep the trash out of the oceans. There are 270,000 tons floating atop of it right now, that is sickening. Some of the places I would want them to visit Texas, New York and California along with Nevada, just because these areas are highly populated resulting in higher air pollution. Another thing they should do is take care of EVERYONE do the opposite of how we were because people in Flint, Michigan were going through a water crisis, which should not be a thing in a developed nation such as the U.S.

Enough of my rant (: This exercise helped me pick locations that had a significant meaning to me and places I should let the aliens know to take extra special care of, but also a few things that they should enjoy and preserve. It was interesting to see how many I could think of off the of the my head, we have one earth so we should take care of it and I hope the same for the aliens when they decide to take over.

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Interactive Narratives

For this project in Writing for Digital Media we set out to take an excerpt from our “Steal like an Artist Journal,” and run with it to expand on the idea to create an Interactive Narrative. I chose the prompt “10 Questions you have” for some reason the only questions I could think of were serious and a little depressing like… What do you think fuels hate? Why do you think bad things happen to good people? and vice versa, Why do the good die young? Questions like that were heavy on my mind along with a massive amount of work from the other courses I’m taking I couldn’t handle all the seriousness of my original idea.

So, I decided to have some fun with this one! I saw a quiz on Facebook titled, “Are you Smarter than Patrick Star?” from SpongeBob and then are you smarter than a 5th grader came to mind so I started rolling with it. I found/thought of 10 questions, some that I didn’t even really know, but wanted to find out. I was almost taken back that half of them were actually elementary school questions because some of the 1st grade ones I looked through I had no clue what they were which made me laugh and question how I made it this far in college.

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My completed Interactive Narrative is 10 “basic” elementary school questions ranging from 1st to 5th grade, with the help of my wonderful little cousins who are in 3rd and 5th grade they aided me on some of the toughest things they learned this year and insisted I added those to my project so how could I say no? I sent the link to them as well, they thought it was so cool and giggled at the pictures I added to it. It was actually a bit surprising how much I had to think about the questions or just didn’t even know. This definitely turned into a fun project for me that I enjoyed doing!

Here is a link to my finished product!–>  Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?

 

 

Favorite Book Quotes

This week in my “Steal like an Artist Journal,” I picked the entry ‘Copy a passage from one of your favorite books. Write as slowly as you can stand.’

The writing slowly part was a little tough for me because I’m use to just breezing through while writing, but when I did slow down it made me think more about what I was writing which led to different interpretations than I previously thought. Also, instead of passages I picked some of my favorite quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

To Kill a Mockingbird, book & movie, is my all time favorite. Atticus Finch is very intelligent and for that time period had very modern views that people today don’t even have, I think everyone should at least watch the movie and really think about the situation going on.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch.

Atticus gives this simple piece of advice to Scout when she had a hard day ad school and says she’s never going to return. He encourages her to see things from others’ perspectives. Which is a valuable lesson.

“Best way to clear the air is to have it all out on the table.” – Atticus Finch

In movie & book Atticus is an advocate for truth and justice, he stands up for what he believes in even if it puts his own life at risk.

From The Great Gatsby I chose two quotes that always stood out to me since I read the book, I don’t even remember how many years ago I actually did read it. The first above is straight forward, it reminds readers to seize the moment and not let opportunities slip away because you may regret it later. You don’t live forever.

“Let us learn to show out friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”

Another straight forward quote from the book that always hit me deep, we should show how much we care about our friends while they are around/with us not after you grew apart with them or after they have passed away.

Each quote I discussed has a valuable lesson inside of them whether it takes a little digging or is straight forward I think both of these books are masterpieces although I definitely favor To Kill a Mockingbird more. The remake of The Great Gatsby still sits iffy with me, just because I’m a firm believer of original works and a lover of old movies no matter how long they may be.

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Ask Somebody to Coffee

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Ask Somebody to Coffee. Afterward, write down everything you remember about the conversation.ap550x55016x121transparentt

Tuesday, April 28, I asked my roommate to Dunkin’ Donuts after our 8AM geography class. I told her I would pay if she drove, which I mean who couldn’t resist that offer? Off to DD we went, we were both a little groggy so early in the morning so we weren’t too talkative in the car on the way there. Once we pulled into the parking lot I made a comment regarding how cute an elderly couple enjoying their coffee & donuts in the window was, she replied by saying “goals, I can’t wait for little moments like that when I’m old” which then sparked a conversation about both of our boyfriends (like usual) and we gossiped about them for a little while.

Dunkin’ was unusually crowded, but since it was still early in the morning and not late afternoon when we usually go we officially declared ourselves as apart of the morning crowd now too. The cashier was new too, I ordered my usual medium mocha iced coffee, no cream just sugar and since it was Fat Tuesday I decided to through in a chocolate sprinkle donut as well, and my roommate tried a new drink, I think it was a brownie batter iced coffee which was super brownie tasting when she got it, but she enjoyed the chocolatey yumminess of it.

“Girls your coffee is ready!” We said thank you, got our straws and left.

I’m kinda surprised with how much I remember of this conversation and my surroundings because usually I wouldn’t pay much attention to things like that. This was a fun journal entry to do since it made me more aware of everything and I made it a point to remember everything, I had to write things down as soon as I got home since I’m not too good at recalling things like that. We both literally ran on Dunkn’ that day.

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REMIX

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This week my group and I set out to do a remix project. After discussing all of the different options we all decided to incorporate sports and memes, really how much better could it get? Memes are a classic of our generation and no matter what time you log in to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram chances are you’ll see at least one meme while scrolling through your newsfeed. We also got the chance to showcase our work and get/give feedback on projects before they were due, this let us clean up any issues we had with photos or different ways we could improve our piece.

To begin we took recent sports headlines and paired them with an appropriate yet humorous photo! This was a fun project that we all enjoyed creating. We consider our project a mashup since we took two existing pieces, and let them speak to each other which allows the reader to interpret the mix however they wish. Our piece would also be selective according to “Remix,” by Aaron Angello. This means that we incorporated outside source material into an existing work so putting the headlines on the pictures and creating the memes suffices of this.

I know memes don’t seem like they’re hard to create, but there were definitely some difficulties while going about this. I scrolled through ESPN countless times searching for interesting headlines, usually they’re so serious, but once I came across one I knew I could jazz up with a funny photo it all fell into place. Our group made 10 each giving us a total of 30 memes, everyone did a great job at adding the perfect amount of humor!

 

 

 

#UPJREMIXED

(Even though I missed classed due to the stomach flu) I got to lay in bed and make some memes!

Memes are by definition a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users. This was a perfect example of what a collaborative project with unknowing participants is like although everyone in class new our tweets were going to be used in some way.

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My classmates and Marissa’s blog kept me up to date on what happened in class today. Over the weekend everyone in class was suppose to tweet lyrics, a photo or even something overheard from a conversation accompanied with the hashtag #Remixupj I did mine backwards with #upjremix, but same thing.

So, Monday in class the next step was to steal someone else’s tweets or photos and mash them together to create our own memes! I personally get a kick out of memes, especially the super clever ones so I was a little skeptical when I saw this which left me thinking how I wasn’t going to get anything too clever or funny. But I was wrong. I got some that made me giggle and oddly inspirational, and after looking at what my fellow classmates got as well I’d say they all did a great job!

 

Here are some of their examples that I liked:

 

Sit & Listen

The passage I chose in my “Steal like an Artist Journal” was to sit at my desk and listen which comes from a longer quote by Franz Kafka who was a German-language writer of novels and short stories who is widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th century literature. He was best known for exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt and absurdity. After reading up on him a little, he seemed like a daring man, always writing something new and interesting that other people wouldn’t imagine writing about during that period.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” -Franz Kafka

I was in Blackington sitting at work and decided to take a break from my other tasks to get my blog done, as I was flipping through my journal this one caught my eye and I went for it. I really had to turn my brain off for a second to just sit and listen, I was calm for the first time all day, sitting quietly while the hustle and bustle of the office was still in full swing. Some people were leaving so I heard their zippers being brought up to keep out the cold, someone else was making copies which seemed like forever, I overheard a side conversation between two girls who were trying to decide what to get for dinner, some last minute strokes on the keyboard from other people who were finishing up their work, good-byes being exchanged as the chime on the door went off every time someone left, that background fuzzy noise you hardly ever hear from the computers because your mind in too busy racing, the heater making a clicking noise (me secretly hoping it doesn’t blow up) and lastly surrounding doors in the building closing shut as people leave.

By doing this passage I was forced to sit back and relax, which I am not use to at all. But it made me realize maybe I need to start to more often so I don’t go insane. Once I left work and reflected on everything I jotted down I realize how I rarely ever hear half of these things like the copy machine, zippers, keyboard clicks or that computer fuzz sound. It got me wondering what else I block out on a regular basis, I guess selective hearing is one of my specialties!

fullsizer(rose credit goes to my boyfriend)