Social Networking

One thing from chapter 5 of Rheingold’s “Net Smart” that struck a chord with me was when Rheingold is describing his parent-friend who complained they didn’t know their children’s friends any more simply because they had cell phones and didn’t need to call the house. I can remember, up until I was about 17 or 18, that that’s how things were done. You wanted to talk to your friend or the girl you liked, you called their house, probably talked to their parents or one of their siblings and asked for them. It was almost always awkward, unless you really knew their family. These days, as Rheingold describes, are a lot different. People hardly even talk on cell phones any more because of texting and Facebook. I used to really enjoy it that way because it cut out the awkwardness. At some point, though, I realized vocally talking to your friends isn’t all that bad, especially when a lot of your good friends have moved away, some of them across the country.

I can also remember AOL chat rooms. And if I really wanted to show my age, I could tell you about Prodigy chat rooms as well. I would find NBA chat rooms or Pro. Wrestling chat rooms and chat with random people all over the world. Funny to me, how THAT is even dated now. Are there still even chat rooms? Facebook and Twitter have overtaken AOL and even MySpace which was seemingly the innovative and original giant. As far as I know (I recently deleted my MySpace account) a lot of people still use it, but mostly they’re for bands and movie promoters. Do your friends still use it? Mine don’t.

The Way It Should’ve Been

So for our DS106 assignment 2, I went with a FanFic assignment entitled, “The Way It Should Have Been,” where we were supposed to take a scene from a movie or book that we like and change it. I actually chose a scene from a recent episode of Sons of Anarchy. I know that’s a TV show, but this scene has really effected me over the last few weeks. In the original scene (spoiler alert), my favorite character on the show, Opie is shockingly murdered in prison. I decided this scene was perfect to “enhance.” So without further adieu:

“No!” Opie declared as he head butted the guard, sealing his fate. With one act of defiance, Opie had nominated himself to go into the secluded cell to fight to the death against, God only knows how many gang bangers, hand selected by Pope for his revenge.

Opie was thrown into the cell all the while his three friends, Jax, Tigg and Chibbs looked on helpless, banging on the bullet proof glass that separated their friend from death, pleading with him.

“Keep it interesting, shithead!” ordered the guard.

The main guard tossed a lead pipe into the center of the room. This was Opie’s only hope, but once again, God only knew how many bloodthirsty thugs would be coming through the door on the opposite side of the room.

As his friends, his fellow club members, his brothers, looked on, “I got this,” was, once again, all Opie could mutter. Then a single spot light shown in the center of the room, shining down over Opie, and the door on the opposite wall opened and four large gangsters stalked through the door, surrounding Opie. Opie brushed his hair out of his face and clutched the pipe tightly, taking a swing at the thug number one, shattering his jaw.

A second tried to choke Opie from behind, but Opie flipped the banger over his shoulder and onto the first guy who was clutching at his face, blood pouring from his mouth. Like a bolt of lightning, Opie smashed the pipe over the second punk’s head, crushing his skull, rolling into the corner of the room where his friends could no longer see him through the window.

His back against the wall, Opie charged the two remaining guys hulking in the center of the room, back into Jax’s view, clotheslining one with pipe, shattering his larynx, leaving the guy hopeless on the floor, blood gurgling from his mouth. The man tried to release a scream, but there was just too much blood. He coughed and gagged and rolled away.

Three down and one to go, oddly enough, the biggest left for last. Opie dropped the pipe to the side of the cell and with his hands waved the guy over. This was personal, and so it would end, personally.

The two behemoths traded blow for blow, punch for punch. One of the gang banger’s teeth went flying and as cuts opened, the blood flowed from both men.  At the last second, Opie managed to hit a left hook above the banger’s left eye and the man staggered back. Opie used a right hook to the man’s gut to leave him breathless and as the man staggered once more, Opie quickly grabbed the pipe and, in an upward, diagonal thrust, across the face, ended the man’s life.

None of the members of SAMCRO looking on believed it would be possible.

Opie was left breathless, crouched in the middle of the cell, surveying the wreckage when the same door the thugs originally entered through, opened once more. This time, it was Pope and the head guard.

“You done pretty well for yourself, son,” said Pope. “I must admit, I’m quite impressed with you Sons of Anarchy. Perhaps we can work out a deal and end this misery between us.”

Just then the door that Opie was pushed through was opened and Jax and Opie were reunited face to face. Jax was as shocked as the guard and Pope.

“What’d you have in mind?” asked Jax.

The scene ends as Jax and Pope shake hands and Opie is reunited with his brothers.

TIBDMC

Thurs. 9/6: Today I started my “This I Believe” essay. I felt like it was imperative to start the essay first to try and get my ideas down on “paper.” I found, as I started writing, that ideas would start popping into my head on what to do for possible video ideas. Ie- pictures and music I would use.

Mon 9/10: Tonight I finally sat down and started to finish my “This I Believe” project. Once I had written out my essay I recorded myself reading it aloud using Garage Band. From there I imported the audio file into iMovie and added different images from Google, my own collection and a couple of websites, based on the timing of my voice. More often than not I used images that were fitting for the words I was speaking that emphasized my points further. I used a couple of techniques for editing that I discovered via YouTube help videos. I also added credits that cite where I found my pictures. I didn’t think using MLA or any formal citations were necessary as it was not for profit and neither would any students of mine be, either.

This just in- just uploaded my finished video to YouTube http://youtu.be/iMUhoZ9HC-Q Check it out if you want.

Overall I thought this was a really fun project. I had some (very little) experience creating vlogs using iMovie… “Teaching Using Wiki’s…” was very helpful in the process too. The parallel composing process helps, especially if you struggle as a writer, because reading aloud can help you discover minor errors in your writing that you may have missed previously. The parallel is also a great way to motivate students who may not enjoy writing, providing a “cool” way to write or topic to write about. It’s a fun project. If a student knows they have to record themselves reading their essays, it will motivate them to write better simply because they’ll want their voice to come out not only in the audio/video, but also in their writing. Furthermore, this is a great way to help students discover their “voice” in their writing.

Essay:

I believe in professional wrestling. Most people laugh or make a strange face when I tell them I am a professional wrestling fanatic. They say, “it’s fake, how can you like that?” There is a largely misunderstood majesty that is involved with professional wrestling: superior athletes, legendary figures, and larger-than-life characters. From the time your favorite wrestler’s music starts, they walk down the aisle and climb into the ring, fireworks go off or maybe the lights go out, and the crowd, typically filled with 20,000 people, erupts into cheers or boos that can make your arm hair stand on end.  Much like reading a novel or watching any other television program or movie, the art of sports-entertainment tells many stories, often at one time. There is a beginning, middle, and an end. You wouldn’t watch a Harry Potter movie and say, “that magic isn’t real!” because that’s the whole point.

I have been a fan since I was five years old. That’s over twenty years of enjoying a misunderstood art form that most people assume is just for children. Twenty years of jumping out my seat, whether I’m at the arena in person or sitting at home on my couch. Twenty years of seeing my favorites parade around the ring in battle. Twenty years of heartbreak and loss. Twenty years of triumphs. Believe me, all fans have their favorites. There are heroes and there are villains. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the villains.

        Sure, the outcome is scripted and they don’t really punch each other in the face (usually), to me, that’s the most important thing. Great wrestlers make you forget that “real” fights wouldn’t happen that way. The athletes are often overlooked as anything but; they utilize basic psychology and sheer athleticism to make the fans “ooh” and “ah.” In spite of the script that you know is looming nearby, good professional wrestling suspends your knowledge of reality. From a Randy Savage flying elbow to Shawn Michaels’ “Sweet Chin Music.” There is always that moment where reality drifts out of the window, when I stand out of my chair anxiously waiting for the referee to count, one, two, three.

Ryan’s Comments

Uploaded TIB Essay to NPR: confirmed
Process Log: Go ahead and post the essay in the log. Then mark any changes you made between the written and the DMC. Also, don’t forget to respond to the reflection prompt.
DMC: Good work. Credits are tiny for the screen resolution you offer. Just FYI.

 

Check out my This I Believe DMC.