Six Second Art
Find the Activity Here!
This last assignment was pretty self-explanatory, I think. All I had to do was create a piece of art in the span of six seconds! The feature that allows me to include my video normally is reserved for a paid account, so please bear with downloading this short file:
My experience creating this video was also fun! Because it's so short I got to pay extra attention to detail. Naturally, I could not be satisfied with just a six second clip, so I put the "Tools & Technology" category to work. I filmed the clip on my phone (after about five minutes worth of failed attempts), then cropped it using Whatsapp, also on my phone. Then, I uploaded it to my computer with AirDrop. I imported it to iMovie from there and first sped it up by 10% to make it actually six seconds (it was seven and some). Then, I played with the tint and saturation to make the colors a bit nicer to look at. Finally, I added text to indicate the seconds as they passed, found a short jingle to compliment the drawing, and exported it to my desktop. With this, I feel like I've built upon my practical skills with digital tools.
Find the Activity Here!
This assignment challenged me to get a photo and edit it to look like a drawing. So, I chose a picture of my dear deceased cat, Mickey, and immortalized him in a drawn style (as for a credit, I took the picture myself):
My experience completing this activity (besides being SAD) was fun! I definitely used both the "Create & Innovate" and "Tools & Technology" categories in this because of the set-up of this post and the editing of the picture, respectively. I used the slideshow element from this site (something I hadn't previously been aware was there) to neatly include a before and after of the image. As for the image itself, I don't have any formal editing software like that suggested in the actual assignment. after some exploring, however, I found some very simple picture editing tools on Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Apparently, if you insert an image, there's the option to format it, and within that section there are effects you can add to your image like filters. A few of them made this picture look like a drawing, but I thought this one was best, so that's what I went with.
The Way It Should Have Been
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This assignment is one I won't post but that I can talk about. It asks to rewrite something differently than how it happened. Honestly, I picked it because I was way too curious as to what academic assignment I could find in the fanfiction section of the website.
In short, I read a lot of books, and some deaths have emotionally scarred me. So, I picked a scene from a book called Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo in which my favorite character was shot and died in the arms of his love. I rewrote it with one key difference - that they were able to get him help in time, and he was able to live the simple life he dreamed of.
My experience writing this I think helped improve my "Identity & Wellbeing" category again because it was a little hard to write without plagiarizing, especially at the beginning. It also, predictably, allowed me to maintain my confidence in the "Create & Innovate" section, if not very much because all my formatting was done elsewhere. Overall, I found the activity fun, challenging, and emotionally compromising.
5 Second Ending
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This assignment was another that had to do gifs because I felt like improving my abilities a bit more in relation to that. Also, I seem to be problematically attracted to any assignments that let me tell a story. For this one I have to write a quick story, and its ending has to be a five second gif of my own creation. So, without further ado:
"Captain, sir! Captain Ark!"
The captain shielded his eyes against the rain and looked for who was calling him. Gods above, this isn't the time, he thought. If they ran into one more disaster on this voyage, he wasn't sure what was going to give out first: the ship, his men's morale, or his patience.
The trip had been a disaster from start to finish. First, the dead birds - an undeniable bad omen. Then, the food had spontaneously spoiled with no explanation. And now - he blinked the seawater from his eyes - this blasted storm!
Luck this bad wasn't a matter of mere chance; someone on his ship had angered a god (or several) and now they would all pay the price. But that wasn't what he could afford to concern himself with now. Not when--
The ship pitched violently and the captain nearly lost his balance. He roared warnings at his crew when the boy who had called for him earlier finally caught up to him. He grabbed the lad's arm to keep him steady. He looked slight enough for a a gust to carry him off the deck.
"What news?" The captain shouted over the winds. "Speak, boy!"
"An isle! An isle to the West!"
Hope sparked in the captain's chest. If there was shelter to anchor in, they could wait out the rest of the storm, "Can we drop anchor? Is there a cave?"
But the boy shook his head, "No cave, sir! But the barrelman, he saw a temple!"
"Un--" the ship tilted dangerously again and they both stumbled before regaining their balance. "Unmarked, sir!"
Unmarked? Unmarked! Maybe some god had finally taken pity on them. They could pray for forgiveness to any deity at a temple undedicated, and hopefully escape this cursed storm.
The captain sent the boy back below and bellowed instructions to the men on deck. Under the onslaught of wind and rain, time seemed to slow to a crawl. But eventually, they managed to drop anchor near enough to the island. But they would have to hurry; his ship was still taking a beating simply by remaining near the shore.
The captain reached the shore with a small party of his crew and a satchel of sacrificial offerings on his arm. He ordered everyone to stay behind. It was an unmarked temple, yes, but he still didn't know who it was who had offended the gods. Whoever it was, he did not want them with him.
The temple was a short distance from where they docked, and the captain made haste under the pressure of the rain. Once inside, he walked slowly within. There would be a chamber made for placing the items he had brought with him.
Once he finally found the room, he knelt and spoke a prayer. An ominous silence followed that set him on edge - he had to get back to his ship soon.
Hurriedly, he approached the tall chest in which he was supposed to deposit the items he brought with him. He opened it quickly, placing wrapped packages and various foods inside. When it came to the last, and strangest item he had brought with him, he took a breath, readying to bolt, and hoping no god would be offended by the offering.
Before reflecting, I have to first give credit to my friend who sent me the video from which I made the gif and gave me permission to use it.
Now, my experience with this activity I'm more satisfied with. Because I definitely used the "Create & Innovate" section skills by writing the story and designing the post, but I also worked in my "Tools & Technology" knowledge by replicating what I did last time with the gif, and also making sure its timing was right. Additionally, I managed to improve the "Identity & Wellbeing" category, I think, by familiarizing myself with how to go about properly using a clip that isn't mine in a way that doesn't upset anyone - so by asking permission and providing the desired attribution. This, in turn, also helped me improve my "Communicate & Collaborate" section, since I did have to contact and work with my friend in order to get the clip at all.
Find the Activity Here!
This assignment (from the animated gif section) challenged me to create a gif and make a story around it/perfectly describe it. I made a gif of my cat, Pepper, who learned how to open the fly screen of our kitchen window. For context, he is an outside cat. He should not be letting himself inside - and especially not into the kitchen where we sometimes leave food out. Here's the quick story I came up with:
My sister and I are making lunch when a loud "MEOW" breaks the silence of the kitchen. We look up, and at the same time she groans I beam.
"Pepper!" I say, walking over to the window. "How are you, Mr. Cat?"
Predictably, he answers with a meow. I nod as if this makes sense.
"Don't let him in," my sister says. She finds him too troublesome to tolerate as we try to do anything in the kitchen. I can't really argue, though, after I once caught him sitting on a chair and eating someone's unattended leftovers. But still...
"Don't," my sister says, probably guessing at what I want to do. "let him in."
Obviously - in the way of sisters - her firmness in her desire to keep him out just makes me want to let him in more. But, being the lovely sibling I am, I decide to heed her words.
"Okay," I say. Rightfully, she is suspicious of me and looks away from the food.
I start to tap on the edge of the window screen.
"Heidi!" she shouts.
"What?" I ask, still tapping. "I'm not letting him in!"
I find the lack of amusement on her face in this moment infinitely amusing. Again, in the way of sisters. After all, I won't be letting him in. But, Pepper is a smart cat. As I tap, he looks down intently. And after a few seconds--
"Ugh," my sister complains as Pepper starts to bat at the screen, because we both know what's coming.
Bat - Bat - Bat - Kshhhhhhh
One paw comes through the window, flailing wildly, then a fluffy snout. One more push, and he wiggles his way inside and onto the counter with a meow of pride.
I beam at the same time my sister groans.
This activity had a bit more to do with the categories I was lacking in. While it also included aspects of "Create & Innovate," it also had to do with "Tools & Technology." This is because I'm not that well-versed in more than basic technology, but I was able to figure out how to create a gif from a 39 second long video. I also found a way to include it in this post, which gave me a bit of trouble since I didn't see a "Gif" element that I could easily add. What I ended up doing was cropping and sending the video to myself as a five second gif on whatsapp, then emailing it to myself as a file I could upload. I found that just regularly saving it just made it a still image.
I don't often have the need to use gifs outside of Whatsapp, but this activity showed me a bit more related to the file format and how I might properly transfer it to other devices. So, I feel that helps me improve in terms of "Tools & Technology."
Snapshot of a Story
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This activity was the first I came across because despite my intentions to improve my weaknesses, I was drawn to the writing section. This assignment challenged me to write a haiku about a myth, legend, or other folktale.
One of my favorite myths actually happens to be the story of Eros and Psyche, and my love for it was rekindled by a book I recently read (East by Edith Pattou) that was heavily inspired by it in terms of plot. The haiku I came up with was from Psyche's point of view after she sees Eros' face. Since he has been hurt by the wax from the candle she used to look at him as he slept, Aphrodite, his mother, becomes enraged and forces her to undergo impossible trials in order to be worthy of him again:
I dropped wax on him
His mom went berserk but still
I will earn him back
My experience writing this was pretty brief but very fun. I'm not a very accomplished poet, so the more rules there are to its structure, the easier I find it. It was quick to write, and in terms of my attempt to improve my digital literacy skills, I think I ended up playing to one of my strengths. Writing the haiku and creating this post for it falls under the "Create and Innovate" category. However, I would also argue that customizing the text as well as adding, editing, and captioning the image falls under "Tools and Technology" section, which could use some improvement.
Skills vs Literacy Article Reflection
With regard to the article, I think it brings up a lot of good and undiscussed points. There's a distinct difference between skill and literacy, but most of the time we're only taught the former. It's really strange considering how vital the latter is when it comes to communicating with the rest of the world. The how is important, yes, but the why is as well. It's something we need to know although it's often overlooked.
Keeping this in mind, I think my digital profile may leave a bit to be desired. While I'm capable of navigating all the sections, I could be more efficient. As I understand, I am somewhat lacking in the how of some categories, specifically the Tools & Technology, Identity & Wellbeing, and Communicate & Collaborate sections. That said, I think that going forward, I should try and tackle the remained of the how I am yet to learn simultaneously with the why that should accompany it. As such, I decided to choose the Tinkering path in this project to try and build up where I'm lacking.
For this path, I chose 6 activities from this website. Here are my thoughts on each experience! It was like a choose-your-own-adventure type of thing that I really enjoyed. I'll have a post for each activity after this one.