Digital Media Critique

Well, the semester is almost over which means the end to my last Digital Media class ever.  It has been a really fun class, and I am so glad I ended up taking it.  While I didn’t have much of an option, it did prove to turn out much better than first expected.  I am not a huge tech guru, unlike my dad whose life literally revolves around his computer. But this class has really helped me understand some of the basics of tech which has been great for me, especially as technology continues to grow and evolve.

When the class first started, I really enjoyed it.  I like taking notes and being able to have them to refer back to.  The quizzes are not hard so long as you study and as long as you turn everything in on time, it is near impossible to do poorly in the class.  I really enjoyed this blog.  I know it was a new concept and an experiment, but I think it turned out great and getting to read what my other classmates had to say helped me to learn a little more about them.  I wasn’t close with some of the students before, but I feel like I have a slight insight into their minds because of the blog, and I like that a lot!

My least favorite part of the class, or topic rather, was the First Amendment.  That is not because of anything we did during that time.  I just have a huge lack of interest in history and government of any sort.  It confuses me and I just don’t care enough to learn about it.  The project involved was fine; in fact, everything about that section was fine.  It was a personal problem that I didn’t enjoy that section as much.

Another thing I liked was the movie we got to watch.  Having a week in class or so just to relax and not have to think about anything was so nice and relieving in my busy schedule.  It helped give me just a moment to get lost in something other than school work.  I really loved that.  I also surprisingly liked learning about InDesign.  Despite the fact that our class had devil InDesign for the first few weeks, once we got it right, we actually learned it.  In addition, I increased my knowledge of Photoshop which is seriously an accomplishment for me.  You can ask Katie Waller from Tech I.  She had to either do or show my everything that we did involving Photoshop, but this semester I have learned so much about it!  And know, I’m actually decent at it, or can at least figure it out enough to get through.

All in all, I really enjoyed the class.  Thanks for a great semester Mrs. Huddleston!

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Examples of Bad Graphic Design

Here are some bad logo examples in graphic design

1) Bad Designs

I originally had found only one picture of bad design that I wanted to share, but when I clicked on that picture, it took me to a whole website full of bad designs.  While clearly they are bad designs (and a lot of them semi-inappropriate), they are quite funny to look at.  I don’t understand how people can be THAT careless when creating a design.  I mean they must have thought about it I would think!

2) Haven Works

So, I typed in bad web page designs onto Google, and a picture for this site popped up.  I didn’t think this was even a legitimate page, but I typed it in and indeed it is.  This is a very bad design, and it’s pretty clear why.  It is incredibly cluttered, and the eye can’t find a place to settle.  The type is jumbled together, everything back to back, making it hard to read and confusing as to where new statements start.  The pictures are all way too small even to know what is going on.  This is just a horrible excuse for a web page.  They clearly need to make some changes!

3) Orange Juice

I found this online when I searched “Old vs. New logos” and thought it was interesting.  Tropicana decided to try a new design (the one on the left) and apparently it didn’t go over too well with customers.  I personally agree with the customers!  The old design (the one of the right) is so classic and well-known.  The orange with the straw in it is a familiar and famous icon for Tropicana.  Why change it to something more boring?  The new design is less attractive and just plain boring in my opinion.  Keep it the old way Tropicana!

Thanksgiving

Well, considering I have a new family and this was our first Thanksgiving together, we don’t really have any traditions yet.  But this year, we cooked our food all morning and into the afternoon before eating a late lunch Thanksgiving meal.  Instead of serving for two like I am used to, we were serving for seven, which was a little overwhelming.  We cooked so much food we are going to have leftovers for weeks!  But, it was absolutely delicious.  We had pretty much the classic meal: turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, gravy, stuffing, rolls, cranberry stuff, everything.

Before the meal, we all gathered around the food, took a few pictures, prayed, then dug in.  Surprisingly, I didn’t stuff my face like usual.  No seconds, nothing.  (GO ME!)  Although, the primary reason I didn’t over-eat was the fact that we had 3 pies I had to save room for.  I only ate really small pieces, but I definitely sampled one of each.  I think my favorite was probably apple, then pumpkin, then chocolate, but I really can’t pick one.  They were all absolutely amazing.

Here are some pictures of our Thanksgiving meal!

Food

Rewarming the food right before we ate

Food

The food! Isn't is beautiful? And let me tell you, it tasted delicious!!

Family

My family in front of all the food!

Graphic Designs

For this week’s post, we have to talk about a few great examples of graphic designs that we find or have seen before.

1. A Piece of Pierce

This double spread, the picture on the page, not the website itself, is a great example of a good graphic design.  It is classy and simple, especially in the black and white color scheme they used.  The single pop of color really makes it stand out and, at least for me, draws me into the page to make me want to see what they are talking about.  Plus, the small yellow on both pages ties them together.  The dominant photo taking up an entire page paired with the copy of the opposite page really worked well in this spread.  In addition, the two smaller close up photos of instruments compliments the text on the page.  It does not overwhelm the reader as much because it is not all text.

2. Glam to Rock

This spread is very nicely done because of the opposition of the two photos.  It’s a rather simple concept, with the left side being the “good girls” and the right side being the “bad girls.”  The black and white (or gray) backgrounds next to each other contrast well and make the two photos distinctly different.  I was drawn to this spread in a series of photos and I think it is very well put put together.

3. Solitary Theatrics

The photo I really like is the sixth picture down.  The picture takes up the entire two pages, but the main focus is of the boy on the right.  Because it is all one picture, the two pages are nicely tied together, without an awkward break in between.  The writing is not overwhelming , making the audience more likely to read it.  Plus, I really like the bursts of color they added.  It’s fairly subtle, but enough to notice.  With the thin lines around the title, it is colorful and draws your attention to it.  They then later tied the colors in the title together with the rest of the spread by using the colors in the font.  It was an interview, so the questions were in color and the answers were in white.

4. Sporcle

Sporcle is a quiz website that has a variety of different ways to test your knowledge in a timed setting.  There is one quiz that I found fascinating, and it involves different logos.  The concept was that it would show you the very basic “un-evolved” logo and you had to figure out what it would turn into.  I figured I would know some of them, so I gave it a shot and surprisingly, it was harder than I thought.  But for the ones I did know, it is amazing how we are able to tell what something is by a few colored circles.  Logos are so influential in our society and are what keep the attention of their “audience”.  If people remember the logo, the are going to remember the store.  Take the quiz and see how many you get!

 

It is Soup Season!

Fall is my absolute favorite season for many reasons.

A) It finally starts cooling off some from the heat of the summer.  While I LOVE summer, fall trumps it just ever so slightly.
B) The leaves on trees start changing and often create beautiful colors.  Nashville sometimes skips this just because our weather is bi-polar and can’t make up its mind so everything dies in a few weeks, but i love the concept nonetheless.
C) I can finally start wearing sweaters and jackets.  I have so many different hoodies, jackets, sweatshirts, etc.
D) It is soup season!

Both of my parents love to cook and do all the time (which is great for me cause I get to be the taste tester!)  And soups are one of their specialties.  My mom started the soup tradition several years ago when she attempted to recreate the Zuppa Toscana soup from Olive Garden.  It has and always will be my favorite soup ever…and I’m pretty sure my mom makes it even better than Olive Garden does.  It has spicy sausage, kale, and potatoes in it aka pure joy to eat on a cool fall night.  The next soup that was created by my mom was a butternut squash soup.  I’m sure there is more to it than just squash, but that is the main ingredient.  It is simple, yet oh so delicious!  Those are my two favorites that my mom makes every year, but she also experiments with other concoctions that are amazing.  While my mom has never tried to make this soup, the Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi is also another favorite of mine.  It has chicken, gnocchi, and spinach in a creamy sauce.  I highly recommend trying it if you never have!  It is superb!

 

Zuppa Toscana

My favorite soup!

Chicken and Gnocchi

Another fantastic soup

 

I can’t wait for my parents to start making these (and more) soups this year!

Chicken and Gnocchi

Another fantastic soup

Shattered Glass

In our Digital Media class, we watched the movie Shattered Glass about journalist Steven Glass and the discovery of his web of lies.  Glass was a journalist for the New Republic magazine, and a famous one at that.  His articles were strong, full of facts, and funny for the readers.  All his fellow coworkers adored him.  He seemed like he had it all.  But when a new editor was hired and a few employees from Forbes online magazine noticed some misplaced facts from Glass’s most recent article, his world was turned upside down.  His lies were quickly unraveled, and severe consequences soon followed.  The new editor no longer stood by Glass’s side and instead helped discover that 27 out of  41 of his essays for the New Republic had been fabricated either partially or completely.

I really enjoyed the movie aspect of learning this story.  Hayden Christensen portrayed Steven Glass perfectly, mimicking his mannerisms, voice, and actions exactly as he seemed in real life.  As I watched the movie and saw the plot unfurl, I thought there was no way he was going to get away with it.  I mean, his facts were way too sloppy and nothing lined up the way he described them.  Some of the voicemails and websites of some “big corporate businesses” he was around looked sloppily made and sounded like young men.  It just had an air of suspicion around it.  As well it should have.  Glass got mad at his editor for not sticking up for his stories, but I wouldn’t have either!  Everything was just too far off and not realistic.  I feel bad for Glass just slightly for the results of his actions, but at the same time I don’t.  What he did was wrong, and I feel the punishment was just.

After the movie, we watched an interview with the real Steven Glass, and what I saw was rather disturbing.  Glass did not seem remorseful in the least for what he did.  In my opinion, he committed a large crime that would result in my million apologies.  But, Glass’s voice just seemed monotone and straightforward, no emotion, no sadness, no remorse.  I’m sure he has been talked to a lot about what he did, but still.  It just seems unacceptable to have hardly any emotion.  He literally just stated the facts, admitted to what he did (very matter-of-factly), then moved on.  He then proceeds to be upset that no one believes what he says most of the time.  Well I wonder why?!  I don’t think I would trust you either.  I mean having lied so in depth for so long…that takes talent, it really does.  We talked about it in our class, but I must agree.  After having seen both the movie portrayal and the actual Steven Glass, I would not doubt if he had something mentally wrong with his brain.  He is a pathological liar.  Most people would not go THAT far with their actions.  While everything that he did was completely wrong, and I am not trying to defend him, but I must give him props for creativity and style.  Being able to create story after story, fact after fact, event after event of all information that was made up takes talent and skill.

Auditioning is Hard Work!

American Spirit

I got to watch some of the company dances before I auditioned. They were amazing!

Last weekend, I flew to Oklahoma with my mom to audition for the Oklahoma City University dance program.  I flew in on Friday morning, then relaxed until the audition on Saturday.  This audition was an incredibly big deal for me because this is the school of my dreams and where I have wanted to go since 6th grade.  So finally getting to see the school and dance in the classrooms was amazing in itself.  Saturday morning, I woke up early and got ready.  I had to put my hair in a tight bun, wear lots of make-up, and dress in appropriate dance clothes.  I then drove to the school where I went and checked in.  I had to fill out a few forms and go get my height, weight, and body fat measured…talk about intimidating!  After that, all the dancers went into one of the studios and got to watch some of the Dance Company perform numbers from their Christmas show.  It was amazing to watch!  They are so together and the steps looked really hard.  It just made me want to go to OCU even more!

After we watched the dances and were introduced to all of the teachers, the 79 “auditioners” were divided into three groups and the day began.  Each class that we took was an hour long, filled with learning combinations and performing them.  My group started with a ballet warm up where we stretched on the barre and learned some of the combinations for the ballet portion of the audition later.  It felt good to start dancing, but it was the first time I saw my competition, and some of them were really good!   But, I kept smiling and did my best.  The next class we took was tap.   Our teacher was an incredibly fast tapper, so it was hard to keep up.  I knew all the steps, but because they happened so fast, it was hard to remember what came next!  For the most part, I felt decent about tap.  My mom said my smile looked terrified; while that might be true, it’s not exactly what you want to hear from your mom after your first class.  I was expecting a “good job, honey!  you’re doing great!” nope…not my mom.

After tap, we had an hour lunch break.  All the students met on the bottom floor and mingled for a little before heading back up for our next class.  My group had jazz next.  We started with across the floor combinations before moving onto learning an actual dance (which I can remember perfectly).  I did well on the across the floor stuff, but she taught the combination so fast, it was hard to keep up.  The first time we performed it, I completely blanked and literally was tripping over my feet trying to remember what came next.  It was bad.  I looked at my mom and she and I both made a face that said “ehhhh…that wasn’t your best.”  But, I redeemed myself the next time we performed it, getting all the steps right.  I think I remember it so well now because I couldnt remember it then.  Go figure.

Last, we had ballet.  That was probably my best class because it was slower and we had already learned the combinations so we were familiar with them.  I did my best to smile the whole time in ballet, which is really hard for me because I am not a big fan of the style.  I noticed once as I was going across the floor that Jo Rowan, the head of the dance department (aka the cutest 80 some odd year old Russian ballet teacher who makes you moo in class) leaned over and whispered something to the other teacher then smiled at me.  So, whether she was talking about me or not, I’m going to pretend she was, and that it was great!

At the end of the day, we only had one thing left to do.  Our thirty second solos.  I was number 39, so I was right in the middle of everyone.  But, my turn quickly arrived and I went out and “strutted my stuff.”  I had a really good time, and while it was nerve-racking to perform solely in front of all the amazing teachers, it all went by so fast!

All in all, this whole audition was a great experience for me.  I had a great time and loved getting to dance at my dream school.  Even if I don’t get it, it was worth it to go meet some of the teachers and get to take classes from them at least once.  BUT, lets hope that wasnt the last time I’ll get to see them. 🙂

Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management

This is the beautiful building that I would be spending 95% of my time in college in.

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