Eyeing A1

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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Video Remix Essay #2: Why I did what I did

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From the very beginning of the video “Remix on Homosexual Relationships from 1950s to Now” I wanted to talk about homosexual relationship. I lead with a pair of hands because I want there to be a surprise first that there are two men touching hands as opposed to a heterosexual relationship. From that point, almost every image focused on same-sex couple of 1940-50s educational videos and contemporary Super Bowl ads.

The images that didn’t focus on same-sex couples reinforced homosexual stereotypes. Specially, the clip of the African-American saying “Ooooweeee,” after a gym teacher says, “Here’s the penis.” Homosexual African-American men have a stereotype of being flamboyant and that clip reinforces that idea as it was shown in a banned Super Bowl commercial ad from this year.

Jim Nantz’s clip of “How ‘bout not,” is used throughout the video as the true voice as what is being said in today’s society. Every free audio clip is used from marriage educational videos about freedom to choose who want to marry and love. However, in 2010, people are still fighting for their right to marry whom they want. Jim Nantz is the white male who is telling them this isn’t actually the case.

There were some difficulties in trying to find the right type of videos for women. Homosexual women are usually portrayed as masculine. Pretty women who have lesbian tendencies are usually just experimenting. There weren’t many videos that showed women together. In fact, the only contemporary clip I could find of two women was dressed in golf clothing in masculine looking outfits. Women don’t seem to be portrayed as just friends as they were in 1950s educational films. As much as we have changed in 60 years, it seems women had better relationships with each in the 1950s educational films than they do now.

At the every end, the quick clips with the different same-sex couples are just to show them as people. Fading cuts in-between each shot give them their own place even for a moment. Each couple deserves their own time just has heterosexual couples get the bulk of the attention.

But, of course, the white male gets in the last word.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

April 29, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Video Remix Essay #1: On technology and relating to writing

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Creating my remix video “Remix on Homosexual Relationships from 1950s to Now” was fun but difficult because I had never used a video editing tool before. Complicate that with that fact that I was using Window 7 and there were a few bug issues with software.

The first thing I had to do was to find a video editor because Windows 7 comes with a watered down version of Microsoft Movie Maker – Windows Live Movie Maker, which wouldn’t do as much as I would need it to do. I had to download Windows Movie Maker 2.6, which worked, but there were will obstacles I had to get my video exactly the way I wanted it.

I couldn’t have three different audio files running at once. WMM allow the clip, the audio from the clip and a second audio file to play at the same time. I used audacity to mix an audio with the music and breakout quotes from the 1950s educational videos. First time I used Audacity as well. I had more problems with this program in Windows 7 than any other because I had to use Audacity 1.3 (beta) with Windows 7 and, too often, the audio from videos did not transfer into the program. I had to convert the video into audio files.

While it was time consuming, I found the process inspiring. I’m used to writing in one medium and that’s words to a piece of paper. Here I was creating a story where I never had to type of a single thing. I found images, quotes and music that told the story. I also found that I had to be very specific in what I wanted to “say” because each image, each quote would be viewed by itself and how it relates to the entire footage. There were no throwaway shots or extra words (as we often do in papers to get the required word count). Every piece of the video needed to have a meaning because if it didn’t, the image would feel out of place and the readers would notice that as well.

In this video, I found that alphabetic text didn’t need to be involved – except for the very beginning of the film as a set up to what the viewers were about to see –  which completely moves away from anything I have ever done before. One place I thought alphabetic text did work was in the very beginning of the film. It starts with a title card “Marriage for Moderns“ followed by “Choosing for Happiness.” Then it follows with same-sex couple throughout, which some people may not have expected (or did based on the title of the video).

I enjoyed creating the video especially because anyone can view it and can get the point. I feel there aren‘t barriers, even language, because every shot has a same-sex couple. There are no images or videos of heterosexual couples. Traditional writing contains a language barrier that video and music do not.

I had an issue with the audio on You Tube because of copyright reason. To view the video without audio, click here. The full version with audio can be found on Vimeo.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

April 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

In the beginning …

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There has to be a start to everything. Basic building blocks. A foundation.

The question has come, though, where do we begin with our children in school? When do we start building the basic foundation to give children the tools they need in order to function in society?

Literacy today is in the midst of a tectonic change. Even inside of school, never before have writing and composing generated such diversity in definition.

Kathleen Blake Yancey states this in her speech Made Not Only Words: Composition in a New Key. If that foundation is shifting, where do we go?

No where.

We just need to change the way the foundation is presented. No matter a person goes, they were are key things they have to learn. Arguably the most important is a way to express themselves whether that is with writing, drawing, speaking or any number of ways.

Children and teenagers are already doing this with Facebook, blogs, Twitter and a number of other social media. Teachers have to show students that composing doesn’t have to be boring. There are ways to use what you are learning in the classroom and bring it to your everyday life.

The learning process shouldn’t be a fight. Student and teachers want the same thing, but it’s a matter of finding the right way to say and use things. Rather than taking a pen to a piece of paper, English teachers could take a lesson from VRMC10. Have the students create blogs where they can share their thoughts. In addition, have other students in the class take part by writing comments and provoking thought among each other.

Within the blogs, the students can find a topic, genre, game, picture or trend they are into and focus on that topic. Not only are the students becoming proficient in their area, but the rest of the class can learn from it as well. This will give everyone a broad knowledge and supply a small base to build on.

This is the foundation.

This is where we start.

The shift Yancey talks about doesn’t have to be as big as it looks. The gap isn’t as wide as it seems. As the students change from year-to-year, so the teachers.

That’s part of education. The old cliché is “We never too old to learn.” That’s something we should all remember.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

February 2, 2010 at 10:06 pm