Monthly Archives: January 2015

Photo Reflection

I take a decent amount of photos. Granted most of them are selfies of me and my friends but I also like to take pictures of places I go and things I eat. (I am guilty of instagramming food a lot) I don’t have a particular approach of taking these pictures mostly good lighting for my selfies and making sure I capture what’s most important in front of me. I like to take photos of things when they seem to be at the calmest. Especially after I go hiking or on a nature walk I like to admire the nature around me in its most pure and simplest terms if that makes sense. I think I am successful at attaining this feeling after taking pictures for at least a couple of minutes. I know I won’t get the perfect shot right away but it’s in there. I am also really into taking panoramic shots of different places I go to. I think that’s because when I look back at a picture I like to see everything that was going on at that time. The most useful resource I found was the video by Jason Eskanazi. He said photography is a lot about what the photographer leaves out and how we are all left wondering what they are trying to tell us in the picture. He said the mystery of not knowing what exactly a photo means is what tells its story. It is up to the person that is viewing the photograph to determine what this photo means. I really liked this concept and want to apply to my photography in the future. I mentioned how I take many panoramic shots of places and things around me because I want to show everything that was going on during that time. I feel like maybe leaving out some parts of the photo won’t be a bad thing but actually a chance to for some mystery!

Weekly Summary; Week 2

This was week was all dedicated to noir and I finally think I am understand the concept. (yay) As I mentioned in my Noir readings post some of the readings were a little challenging to understand at first but the more noir I read the better I understood the concept.
Link: Noir Readings

Furthermore, my character Jeffrey Davidson was fun to develop as well. I have an overall idea as to where I want to Jeffrey’s story to end and there are still some details I need to work out but I am excited to see where his character development leads me. I think the most challenging part of creating my character dossier was figuring out under which ideal type of character I wanted to Jeffrey to fall under. I felt as if his character had a lot to offer and couldn’t just be boxed into one archetype but I finally settled with “the jerk with a heart of gold”. I don’t think in my story I expanded enough on Jeff being a jerk but I definitely focused on the good things he did to help his community. I also introduced the femme fatale in the piece Elisa. I wanted her to be the distraction for Jeff and the reason why he gets off track and gets in trouble. He was so taken back by her beauty that after almost after 22 years he let his guard down. I am excited to see Jeff develop as a character over the course of the class.
LINK: The rise and fall of Jeffrey Davidson

I think the part I enjoyed most about this week was the daily creates and writing assignments. Although noir is an interested concept to explore it was nice to get a break from it every once and while to focus on something else. My favorite daily create was the yodeling. I had fun recording my own and I enjoyed listening to other peoples. I also completed the eye selfie, and a collage of your day. When I uploaded my eye selfie on to flickr almost an hour later it still had not posted. I was freaking out just a little but the next day my eye was there! It was also cool to see that some of the daily creates were created by old ds106 students, turns out I actually knew some of the students that created the creates!
Link: Daily Creates

The writing assignments also helped with flowing my creative juices. I completed the Apps Galore assignment for my character, What’s in A Name, Onion’d article, 10 seconds of Thanks, and the alternate ending. I enjoyed What’s in a Name the most. It was interesting to look into the origins of my name and learn more about myself.
Link: Writing Assignments

Overall it was hectic and busy week in ds106 but it was fun packed with a lot of different things. For next week I want to work on building my participation and talking to more fellow classmates. Can’t wait to see whats next :)

Writing Assignments

Apps Galore- 3 Stars

Apps for Jeffrey Davidson

This writing assignment required that one visualize what phone apps would a fictional character have on their phone. The fictional character I used was Jeffrey Davidson my character dossier that I made for class. Jeff does not have a lot of apps on his phone mostly because he does have a lot of friends and family in his life. When he left California following his mother’s death the only things he brought to remember her by were some pictures they had taken when he was growing, hence why he has a photos app on his phone. Next he has the WhatsApp app on his phone because Brian, (the individual that helps him making some additional cash) asked him to get the app because he often travels abroad and can’t be reached on a US number all the time. The next app he has is the spending app, he uses this app to track all the money he has made so he doesn’t waste his money. As I mentioned in my character dossier the additional cash the Jeff was making he was giving to students that couldn’t afford to go to college in the high school where he worked part time as a janitor. He uses the spending app to make sure that he is budgeting his money and doesn’t run short on any expense. He also has the calculator app to help him determine how much he can spend at any time. He is not present on social media because he wants to stay as off the grid so people from California can’t find him.

What’s in a Name? -2 Stars
For this writing assignment you had to write something about your name. When I was born my name was Maryam. When my family came to American almost 16 years ago the spelling of my name was changed to Mariam and to this day I don’t know exactly why and how it was changed. My dad said it happened because my kindergarten teacher thought that Mariam might be easier for me spell but anyway now I am stuck with Mariam on all my official documents so I can’t go back. Although the spelling was changed it still pronounced the same so it doesn’t really bother me. My father was the one to name me and said he picked Maryam because Maryam was the mother of a prophet in the Quranic text and she is known for her devotion and kindness and he thought it was a very pretty name. One day I wanted to look what Mariam meant in a non-Islamic manner so I looked in a baby name book and it said Mariam meant the sea of bitterness. Not sure exactly if I like that definition but it was interesting learning what my name meant in a different context.

10 Second of Thanks- 2 ½ Stars
For this writing assignment you had to time yourself for 10 seconds and write down what you were thankful for during that time. I wrote down I was thankful for my family, friends, health, and for being in college.

The Onion’d Article- 2 Stars
For the writing assignment you had to take a serious article title from the Washington Post or New York times and convert into something you would see in the Onion
Original title: King Abdullah, who sought to modernize Saudi Arabia, at 90 (The Washington Post)
Onion’d: King Abdullah modernizes Saudi Arabia. *Changes do not apply to women, non-Saudi and anyone who isn’t a Saudi Arabian national.

Alternate Ending
Frank and Cora fake Nick’s accident and they get away with the murder. They don’t get any jail time and are never even suspected. They start to live their lives away from the craziness that happened with Nick. They had their ups and downs and it was mostly due to financial instability but overall both of them are happy. After being together for a while Cora becomes pregnant. They are both ecstatic and believe that the baby is sign that despite all the struggle and hardship they have faced they should be together. Cora gives birth to baby boy named Jonathan. The baby is spitting image of Cora and does not resemble Frank. After a while Cora and Frank want to have another child but are unsuccessful and finally consult the help of a doctor. The doctor tells them the due to Franks infertility he can never have kids. He confronts Cora about his condition and she told him when he had left she and Nick had sex just once because she didn’t want him to suspect anything. Jonathan hears Cora and Frank arguing and he also hears what they had done to his actual father. Despite not being his child Frank always treated Jonathan as his son. One day Jonathan is driving Frank somewhere and he kills him just like the way he had killed his actual father, Nick. Jonathan who ends up in jail says his fathers death had finally been avenged after killing Frank.

The rise and fall of Jeffrey Davidson

Jeffrey was born in Los, Angeles, California to a single mother. Growing up it was just his mom and his father was not in picture. Growing up Jeff was very distant. He did not have a lot of friends and did not talk a lot. People often took his silence as a sign of him thinking he is better than the people around him. The only person he was close to was his mother. When she passed away when he was 15, he was completely devastated. After his mother death he lived with his uncle. When he turned 18 he left his uncle house and never looked back. He left California and moved to New York. He barely completed high school and did not have the means to go to college. But he knew when he arrived in New York he had to get a job. After searching for a while he was able to get a part time job as a janitor at a local high school. But he was barely making ends meet, so he decides to take a job as a bartender. One day a customer named Brian comes in and asks him if he is interested in making some extra cash on the side. Although Jeff was making a decent living with both his jobs he thought a little extra cash would never hurt. Brian said he’s leaving a package at the bar and he is to make sure that when a young man named Alex comes to the bar he gets the package. He slipped Jeff $200 dollars cash and left. Alex eventually came in to the bar and picked up the package. This went on for months and there was never a problem with the exchanges although Jeff had no idea what was in the packages. One day a beautiful lady named Elisa comes into the bar and she said Brian had sent her to drop off the packages today. Jeff weary of this stranger was skeptical but could not stop admiring her beauty and took the packages. They continued to see each other and ended up falling in love. Jeff had always had a hard time opening up to anyone but with Elisa it was different for him. He felt extremely comfortable around her and often let down his tough exterior. But to his disappointment Elisa was not in this relationship for the same reasons he was. Elisa was in fact not sent by Brian and had been lying to him to the whole time about who she is. She was actually married to a cop that was involved in an illegal drug trade. They used Jeff to exchange drugs at the bar and he had absolutely no idea. When the police started to question what was going all the evidence pointed towards Jeff as being the leader of the illegal drug trade. Jeff took the fall for a crime he did not commit and spend 10 years in jail. In actuality the extra money that Jeff was making from these exchanges he was giving to poor students at the high school he worked at who like him could not afford to go to college. He didn’t want these students to fall into the same cycle of poverty he had lived through. Ultimately although he had good intentions he took the fall for the crime.

Noir Readings

Last week the concept of noir was a little fuzzy for me. But after this week’s reading I have a much clearer overall picture of what noir is. Especially after reading The Postman Always Rings Twice piece the themes of noir were highlighted very well. I enjoyed reading this very much because I felt like I always on my toes because I was unsure what was going to happen next. Overall the readings were a little difficult for me to understand because of the wording so I often found myself re-reading parts in the reading assignments. I also felt that the when new characters would be introduced into the stories without really being introduced. Characters would just arise from the background and become an integral part of the story and you had to pick up quickly that the character is significant to the story. Also the detail in these pieces are so vivid about the location and the description of a person that you almost feel as if you are there. Along with these pieces being difficult to read, I started to notice the racist language that was mentioned earlier that we would see. In the postman always rings twice Cora kept telling frank she was not a mex and she was insisted about it almost as if being a Mexican was inherently a bad thing. With these readings I also had to consider the time they had been written and why that would have affected how the writer wrote the piece. Also all of these pieces have a great amount of detail but they often omitted some key information and one is left assuming how it connects to the story. I think what I learned to best understand noir pieces you have to take the piece as a whole. One part of the text may say something but you need to interrupt it as relating to the whole story and sometimes you don’t understand the whole story till the last line of the piece. Also throughout reading these pieces I sensed a type of darkness the equated with some of the main character being extremely unhappiness with their current life circumstances. Also another theme that I noticed in the readings was that the people that were committing certain crimes were not inherently bad people. They didn’t set out to do hurtful things to other. I think this really helps with trying to connect to the characters. I think often we equate good and bad to being black and white. If you do something bad you are a bad person. But I think these stories bring in a interesting perspective in which an individual can do a bad thing but still be a good person. Love is also a reoccurring theme in these stories, especially forbidden love. The characters act on this feeling and in some instances it does not end well for them.