Writing with new media has allowed me to explore differing forms of media, diversify my rhetorical methods, and create using mixed methods. My final project was inspired by my passion of running track at Dartmouth. I often find myself thinking about the purpose of what I do and wanted a wider sample of opinions. The first step in my project was searching online for interview clips and video samples of track and field. I wanted to understand how Ivy League track and field was portrayed in the limited forms of media available. Sampling from the Ivy League Digital network and track content provider www.flotrack.org I found some incredible footage of the human body at work. However, I believe these videos did not adequately capture the essence of Icy League cross-country and track. Flotrack is a highly male centric website and the majority of video content from the Ivy League is interviews and highlights from men’s races. In the past several years the site has worked to change this fact by hiring female interviewers and adding more women’s content but it has yet to trickle down to the Ivy League. The video content I used from online was a combination of interviews, promotional Dartmouth videos, and race footage.
The story and argument I wanted to tell was unclear until I interviewed several coaches and athletes. I decided I wanted to make my video a celebratory promotional video of Dartmouth women’s track and field. My team has had many tangible successes and I felt it was necessary to share these along with some sentiments from people who are on the team or understand the sport more than my individual knowledge and opinion. When I began the interviewing process my rhetorical goal became clear: tell a brief story about why do cross-country and track at Dartmouth. Each segment of my video is outlined by the words spoken by people who care greatly about the sport. In many portions of the short film I had voices over video of people competing. I believe my choice of which portions of the interviews to include strengthen the argument of the importance of female sport in the Ivy League.
Lastly, I believe the choice of music adds an essence of joy and intensity to the video. It celebrates the female body and displays feats of track and field. Setting the mood of high energy and passion allows me to tell the story about Dartmouth cross-country and track. By media different video clips, music, and interviews I believe that my video is interesting and entertaining. In my opinion, this short film could be used as promotional material for the team. My favorite part of the video is the transition scene of showing the historical photographs of the women’s track team. It is incredible and interesting to see the progression and history of a sport. In a second addition of this video I would love to interview more Dartmouth female athletes. Coach Ford-Centonze when looking at the old images began to tell many stories about the athletes who have competed for the big green. There is so much more of the story to tell and I believe my video is the opening piece in a large story.
Social media to me is a way of sharing my life with people that I do not connect with on a daily basis. For example, my mother is my number one Facebook fan. My relationship with my mother is open enough that I want her to see everything that I am doing at school. This use of social media is effective. However, I find that social media is highly distracting. This past week I broke my iphone and was left without communication for several days. I learned that I reach to check for my phone constantly. I truly hate that I have become so attached to a singular piece of technology. A world without social media to me is one that moves more slowly. The week before school starts my cross-country team travels to the college grant in Errol New Hampshire. Errol has no cell phone service at all and the cabins we stay in have no electricity. During this week I feel like the group is more committed to staying together. A person cannot ventured off and send a text about their return. We stay as a unit and our connections are simply with the people we are around.
All of the social media channels that I use frequently all allow me to send a bit of connection instantly anywhere in the world. I find social media fundamentally entertaining and short-lived. The channels of social media I use today will not be the ones that I use in ten years. Social media connections are brief and only last if you stay up to date with the technology. Regarding rhetorical skills, I believe social media requires one to understand the context behind a post, image, or message. There is no sarcasm font and words often cannot convey emotion like a facial expression can in person. I only believe social media has strengthened my rhetorical arguments with people I have formed a connection with in person and understand the purpose behind my posts.
Communication is often difficult to gain with acquaintances. I am a prolific poster with photographs of people on Facebook. My method of posting has allowed me to connect with people I am not particularly close with and start a conversation in person. My social media communication is inline with the way I like to communicate with people in real life. I love to meet new people and am not the type of person that strays away from saying hello to any and everyone. My social media presence is not much different than me in person.
Lastly, regarding my social online persona I believe each social media channel represents a small part of me. My Facebook is a timeline of my life in photographs, instagram is where I follow accounts about my hopes and dreams, snapchat is great for a fast laugh, and twitter is set up if I ever become a professional athlete. Dana is the medley of all of these online personas and cannot be defined by one. Our online personas are the part of our self we want the world to see. In private we have emotions, dreams, thoughts, and activities that we do not want the world to see. Many people hide behind their social media streams and only display the parts of them. If one wants to find out about a person via social media they must explore all channels online and off.
Nice to meet you Dana Giordano. You seem to be a happy-go-lucky kind of gal!! Wow oh wow from first glance my eye caught that bright Dartmouth green uniform. From the depths of a blurred background emerges a power pose. Has she started? Is she finished? What on earth did she do to earn 425 likes on a single photograph… I don’t think I could name 425 people in one sitting if you asked me. Back to Dana. Must be winning something, right? Losing people don’t post pictures like that. Maybe she is vain super super vain. Let’s all not like the picture because her vanity is seeping through the picture and bleeding all over the happy, go big green, caption. They must have all just liked that photograph because it was on a photoroll. What is a photoroll you may ask? Similar to a snowball, the first bit of packed snow is tangible but when you roll that thing all over the ground it picks up whatever snow is near it and locks it into place. Liking must work a similar way because there is no way all of those Princeton athletes would have liked that photograph if they knew their names were going to be the select few noticeable ones. You seem to be good at something Dana how about you only bother us with track pictures a couple of times a year. That goes for you too Sue Josephson Giordano!!
Nice to meet you Dana Giordano. From the looks of it you have attended the party of the term. I hope you liked that dress because I couldn’t tell from the 50+ of you of yourself and other various smiling white people. You had a hat, you took it off, the hat was ugly, the end. You don’t have a single photo of yourself at the party next door in which you proclaimed “this party is so much more fun than mine!!” It was kind of awkward when all of your sorority sisters all knew the same but said nothing. I hope the party was a fun as it looked like. My invitation must have gotten lost in my blitz mail box.
Nice to meet you Dana Giordano. You seem so normal in person, maybe a little chatty and opinionated but not as intense as those actual running photographs. Do you even attend school? In the past year alone all of the trips (New Mexico, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, Oregon, California, and Arkansas) have been highly documented. I’m just putting it out there that I’m a little confused sometimes if this page is a fan page or a personal page. The Facebook version of you does not attend any classes. I think I saw you doing something in the engineering department once, but I lost the page.
Nice to meet you Dana Giordano. I like that you like all of the things!!!! What an active Dartmouth citizen. You must be such a good friend for going to all of these Dartmouth events all of the time. I don’t know how you find time for anything else really. Ah and a sports fan to boot! The Facebook version of you is throwing out likes for candy when in real life I know you are pretty picky and difficult to impress. Simple, simple, simple is what you always say but this array of likes screams I’m into so many different things. This Facebook version of you looks like you have a lot of time on your hands to attend all of those events you respond maybe too. There is a little mystique about Facebook Dana with a lack of information but then you click photos and you will know about her life dating back to 2008. DON”T CLICK BACK ON THE TIMELINE. We all know that is a mistake. Mistakes happen but pre puberty should not be on the Internet. Shame on you Facebook Dana. Hope the real life version of you is a little bit more real. Emotions other than happy are okay.
I greatly enjoyed this remediation assignment. When I first considered the topic of a speech I felt it was a highly concrete subject matter. Would editing a speech change its original meaning? Would having another person read the speech add or destroy its value? Our group choose Fredrick Douglass’s 1852 speech The Hypocrisy of American Slavery. Douglass, a former slave, was a leader of the abolitionist movement and gave powerful speeches his entire life. Our group wanted to maintain the purpose of his speech while adding a visual component that would support his primary argument. The audience of our speech remediation was tailored towards viewers of today. We added the words #blacklivesmatter, which is highly culturally relevant today. The goal of our project was to compare Douglass’ words with images that people today could understand. As for mode, we decided to hand draw the image of an American flag on a chalkboard with descriptions of specific lines encased in cutout circles. The group made a decision to use a chalkboard to draw images instead of using video or pictures because we wanted to maintain some of the historical integrity of 1852 speech. I personally feel like the chalk drawing is an effective mode of communication because it allows to viewer to intently focus on each and every word Marcus is speaking. Which brings us to delivery; Marcus was our talented narrator and brilliantly articulated the words of the speech. He brought a similar passion to the text similar to Frederick Douglass. The serious tone of his voice attached to the animation piece brings energy to the piece. Lastly, we decided to edit the speech down to a small amount of lines. This idea was inspired by a YouTube video I watched where the orator skipped past many lines of the speech and the original integrity was still available.
Like all forms of digital media we were also constrained by the affordances of membership, community, and personal expression. Malcolm parks describes the affordance of personal expression as “visual images [or other mediums that] express individuality and open users to more specific mechanisms for expression”. We were constrained by the text of the speech and its purpose when making our video. The primary goal above all was to maintain the integrity of the speech while adding our own personal expression to support it’s meaning. Affordances of membership and connection were also considered when making rhetorical choices but not as important as personal expression. In America today there is no longer slavery and no one is a member of that group. However, racial inequality still exists in America and there are millions of members of that group. Digital media in itself is constraining because of the medium of technology. Our inexperience in editing, drawing and transforming limited our options of what images would be the most powerful. In the end I believe each symbol we placed in the circles push upon the affordance of membership. Whether or not a person resonates with an image determines their membership within the context of the speech.
Map: noun, a diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features (Merriam Webster). This definition is appropriate to me because it allows for a sense of creativity in creating a map. It does not have to be accurate, perfect, or helpful. A map can be any representation of sorts of a larger area. I decided to map my experience of running at Dartmouth. The Hanover that I have had to privilege to explore extends far beyond Pine Park, rip road, and safe six. Some of the runs on my map are over twenty miles long (disclaimer I have not attempted some). The goal of my project was for the audience to have access to the trail network around Hanover without having to move and explore themselves. The map serves as an inspiration for other to want to find the story behind each run. For example, sound of music is a normal long run for cross-country runners. As you head into Norwich you begin to travel beyond the small hustle of Hanover and off the highway. Back, back into the woods you will adventure and have to make a decision of the length of route you would like to take. Right and you miss the gorgeous view. Straight and you need to muster the strength of a seasoned traveler. Left and you get the best of both worlds. Up and up and up and then breath. You have reached the top of Bragg hill. Perhaps you will not be compelled to sing sound of music but I bet you will want to. Each simple typed word on my map has a deep meaning and the stories of thousands of running steps.
The medium I decided to use for my map was traditional letterpress printing. Each of the words was set in New Caslon 24 point lead type, rolled with ink, and pressed with the over 100 year old letterpress. At first I was disappointed that the words looked as if a computer printed them, but then I realized it was not important due to the presentation of simplicity I created. Some of the maps we observed in class were textured and highly altered. I played around for a while with having pine needles connecting each of the trails. Eventually, I decided to scrap this idea because it interfered with the simplicity of the piece. The type on the top of the page, which reads RUN! provides a comedic element to the piece for me. As a runner I have been trained and am accustomed to running 8-9 miles a day. For the average person this task is daunting and the phrase run! is intimidating. I enjoy the contrast the large type brings to piece because it is also the only source of color. The ink ended up looking like a camoflaouge pattern, which is representative of the outdoors with me having to actually had physical nature to my piece.
This map requires a lot imagination and interpretation of the area. The scale is off and many trails were not placed on it as well. I used the trails with my favorite names, favorite stories, and favorite locations. This map means different things to different people as any map does. However, the experience of running at Dartmouth and for Dartmouth is an exclusive privilege and those within the in-group are able to understand a deeper meaning than most. I recruited several runners to help me with this map and I am sure that the final product will cause several different reactions. The goal of my map was to condense a highly complicated space into one large piece of paper allowing the viewer to fill in the blank spaces left all over the page with memories, tribulations, and plans for the future.
For my podcast (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8bk9SByIeI6YnRBeTRaT2h2aWc/view?usp=sharing) on the sounds of spring) I decided to search for a candid perspective about what students thought about when asked the question, “what do you think of when you think about the sounds of spring?” To introduce the topic in my podcast I focused on my own person vocal delivery. Personally, when I think about the sounds of spring I think of birds and warm wind. I wanted to channel this emotion into my vocal tone when presenting the introduction to my podcast. In the style of This American Life I attempted to speak slowly and calmly to introduce my project. I wanted my voice to be high in breathiness to make it sound airy and pleasant. Listening to ones own voice is not a pleasant task and do not know if I achieved my goal.
The next segment of the short piece was introduce with a musical transition. In this case, the music was a soundtrack of birds humming and chirping. I had to find a bird song recording that was high in quality and was not highly distracting to the human voices that I was interviewing. The most difficult part of this assignment for me was the transitions. I wanted to seamlessly shift from conversations about birds to the green to pigstick to softball. I attempted to use the fade device in garage band to make the piece seem less staccato.
Humor and positive affect were devices that I wanted to play on in my piece. This short podcast is a snap shot a weekend segment at Dartmouth and I wanted to display the happiness of students doing what they love. I believe this was the most effect in my segments about pigstick (an outdoor party with a live band) and intramural softball (coed league). I incorporated some generic country music to assist in mood creation to display the glee and joy at softball (McKee). The sound bite from pigstick was of much higher quality but was a direct interpretation of the event in a short clip.
The purpose of my conclusion was meant to be an appeal to pathos about what I believed the important information about the sounds of spring. I wanted to follow an integrated approach to create my podcast. The podcast used quick interviews of friends to ask about what their thoughts on the topic were. By mixing music, human voices, and animal sounds I believe my podcast effectively communicated sounds of spring at Dartmouth.
Creating this project was more difficult than the previous two because of the editing process. I found that many sound clips that I previously thought would be effective had to be thrown away due to issues with quality and non succinct answers. I had to ask the proper questions in a way that would have the interviewee restate my question so I did not have to use my own voice. The voice is extremely effect in communication – it just has to know what to say and how to say it. Not exactly the easiest thing.
Writing about diversity is a difficult task because it involves deciding what you believe diversity to be. When I began this assignment I had to look up the definition of diversity because I did not want to misattribute my previous perceptions of Dartmouth with an invalid definition. After a quick search on Merriam Webster I took a snippet of the official diversity definition “the condition of having differing elements”. Do I believe Dartmouth is diverse? Does Dartmouth fit this definition? I answered yes and yes and began to brainstorm all of the ways I believed Dartmouth to be a diverse place. Aided by the Dartmouth College flickr account I began to see visually all of the clubs, teams, groups, fundraisers, outdoor activities, shows, and things that Dartmouth offers. For a small college in the middle of the woods there is an immense amount of respect for culture and celebration for difference.
The task at hand to create a visual argument that represents in five short slides was a daunting task. Over 7,000 images of Dartmouth activities are on the flickr alone. After spending far too much time stalking the account back to 10X photographs I decided that I would need to create my argument as a counter to stereotypes of a non-diverse Dartmouth (please note these are my personal opinions and my individual Dartmouth experience). A un-diverse Dartmouth to me is a white male wearing Nantucket red shorts and sperry shoes, a blonde Kappa carrying a monogrammed tote, a football player sitting on the dark side of foco, or a DOC member sitting on the robo steps eating with a spork. These images of Dartmouth are highly superficial and are combated by hidden side of each of these stereotypical characters. One cannot judge what a person is based on literal appearance and one cannot judge a school by taking a small biased sample. In my powerpoint I wanted to convey with typography and imagery the common goal of Dartmouth students (to get an education), the different things students get up and do, Dartmouth culture, and the viewer’s place in that diversity.
To convey this visual argument I used iconic Dartmouth images. The Dartmouth D on the first slide along with American Typwriter font is crisp and pulls the reader in to the question. By using one word with the Dartmouth D I was able to ask if Dartmouth is diverse with out directly saying it. Another technique I used was defining diversity in the same font over the next three slides. This attaches the reader to my primary argument that Dartmouth is a condition of differing elements. Finally, the last slide is of a whole Dartmouth class with the question “can you spot it?” I added these four words to ask the reader if their previous conception of diversity at Dartmouth fit in with what I just displayed. I believe looking at an entire class of 1,000 students smashes stereotypes of homogeneity and creates a solid rhetorical argument for diversity.
When creating with images and not sound it often difficult to find the harmony that matches all of the pieces together. I personally struggled with this assignment due to an internal dilemma between faces and scenery. Usually I am drawn to faces. Each part of the face can display a different emotion: a squinted eye, furrowed eye brows, flushed cheeks, downturned lips, or a wink. As a psychology major, I attempt to processes emotions in a contextual framework searching for the reason behind the squinted eye and the flushed cheeks. Candid facial movements explain feelings like no words ever can. I know the sparkle in someone’s eye is simply light refracting off the lens is a certain way but, there is something special about the eyes of someone experiencing raw emotion. Faces are an incredibly complex subject to work with.
However, for this assignment I felt compelled to work in an opposite direction to work with static objects that conveyed different emotions to different people. My piece begins with track numbers counting down to a coffee cup. This opening is representative of the beginning of a new day. Bright shoes contrasting worn numbers draws my interest and hopefully the viewer’s as well. I used a combination of panorama photographs and stills of Dartmouth iconic imagery (primarily libraries) in order to tell a story about a day in the life of a Dartmouth student. The prompt for this assignment was to take ten photographs daily for three days of things that we see in our daily life. I choose to focus on the detailed beauty of Dartmouth’s architecture and design.
I believe my short video is memorable because it allows the viewer to appreciate the beauty of Dartmouth imagery. The transitions and effect assist in fluid transitions between images. This video could be strengthen by higher quality photographs and well as a pairing with sound. Non-video slideshows, in my opinion, are fundamentally weak until they are composed to a beat. When I created my video I listened to the song Hero by Family of the Year. I then eliminated the soundtrack and I found the transitions seemed far more natural than the first time I curated the video. This photo series could easily be elaborated on with more Dartmouth imagery that is representative of a student’s daily life.
I personally had a lot of fun taking pictures all day of anything I found interesting. My collection of photographs is scattered and random but by focusing on Dartmouth non-living imagery I was able to sort through my photos. I hope you enjoy the short video.