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ft a 1984 pun

the point of this assignment is to explain an important event or memory you have, and then describe how it changed you. I decided to take just the tiniest bit of creative license, and explain a memory of the principal character in George Orwell’s 1984, Winston.

This was my favorite assignment of the week, i had so much fun completing it and then reading it with my Serious Important Things Voice- which i don’t get to use NEARLY as often as i would like to. To start off, i had to decide what memory of Winston’s to choose; and whether i wanted to speak as Winston the free-minded or Winston the Brainwashed. Even though I think Winston the brainwashed would certainly be a really interesting and fun perspective to take, the amount of thinking and reflecting that would take just was Not It this week. I chose to speak on the newspaper incident because it’s something Winston carries with him throughout the book, something he uses to remind himself of his sanity, and something he uses in his fight against big brother. My biggest challenge with this assignment was getting all of the information i wanted included to fit into 2 minutes, but i made it! Overall a really cool assignment and i just really like 1984 by George Orwell.

hope youre doing Or-WELL! -liz

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under the chestnut tree

this assignment said to do a dramatic reading of a poem, and then turn that poem into a story. I decided to take a little bit of creative license with it in order to better serve my purposes for the upcoming radio show, but the essence of what i did remains the same. I took a bit of a song from the novel 1984, a song that appears twice in the novel, read it out loud, then analyzed it and its importance.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, partially because i love me some poetry, and partially because i love me some 1984 by George Orwell. As far as technical skill required, this assignment did not require much, but i did record & edit this in audacity. Most of the time for this assignment was spent thinking about the poem and its implications and symbolism within 1984. I am a little bit unhappy with a bit at the very end of the recording, where i say “it juxtaposes quite nicely with…” this was a dive into analysis, and i usually love the word juxtaposition & its offshoots (hence why I used it), but i don’t think it fits quite right with the rest of the recording. Overall, however, i think it went very well.

don’t be shady, -liz

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dear diary

so the goal of this assignment was to be Super Open about your past & share a diary entry from when you were an angsty teen. However! in light of our current radio show project! i decided to dramatically read snippets of Winston (from 1984)’s diary! And honestly? the end result is really really good, if i do say so myself!

So what i did was open up a free online pdf of the book (interested?) & use the “find” feature on google to look for whenever the word “wrote” appears. This led me to all of the times in which Winston wrote in his diary. I copied them all into a word document with the intention of reading all of them for the upload. However, upon attempting a dramatic reading of some of the longer entries, I realized that it was a little bit boring and irrelevant. Thus, I decided to pick and choose the entries that i thought showed Winston’s progression through the novel, from a man full of rage with nowhere to put it, to a critically reflecting outcast, then to an ideal member of the party machine. Once I decided on the diary bits i wanted included, I took a couple takes in the vocal recording booth & spliced and edited into a final product that i’m happy with.

Overall I think this turned out really well, and I liked trying to show Winston character development through just tone of voice and words. I did struggle with figuring out what to cut, however. For example, the very first entry in Winston’s diary is a monologue of a war movie he saw, and I think it encapsulates how, at the beginning of the novel, he was A Little Different from everybody else, but still pretty heavily conditioned/under Big Brother’s thumb. I realized I had to cut it, however, because it was a very lengthy entry that just didn’t contribute enough to the progression to be worth keeping.

reflect critically on authority, -liz

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this glorious bath

so i’m a big fan of john green’s podcast the anthropocene reviewed. its a brilliant podcast, i HIGHLY recommend giving it a listen. In one of the episodes, he quotes a friend of his (Amy Krouss Rosenthal) “Death may be knocking at my door, but i’m not getting out of this glorious bath to answer it.” That quote has stuck with me for since I listened to that episode, so when I saw this assignment, tasking us with making a minimalist poster of a quote we really like. So I chose that quote! and voila, la produit finale!

So. I realized upon starting my write-up, that the instructions specify minimalist. And I was going for minimalism, I really was, I just forgot approximately halfway through when I noticed that STICKERS existed and went a little bit cuckoo. I think its adorable and really cute, and I do like the presence of the stickers! I started adding them as little reminders of the glorious things present in this bath, fish and flowers and the color yellow and all the rest of the colors too and all of everything else that makes life here worthwhile. Its called creative license! However, since Canva is ridiculously user-friendly, here is the de-stickered poster!

I like it with the stickers more! But nonetheless, onto the process! Step one! Look through your notes app for your list of Good Quotes ™ and decide on the one that starts by talking about death. Then go to Canva and mess around with poster background until you come across this cute starry night one, then add a filter so that its a little more subdued (& minimalistic!). Then go to the noun project and search up bathtub and find a good one. From there is was just inserting the different pieces and formatting so that it looks all cute, the discovering and adding of an abundance of stickers. Then delete the stickers for the sake of ds106 :(. et voila! two lovely cute posters with a lovely little quote!

I chose this quote because it serves as a reminder to myself that even though things heavy suck sometimes, and even though it seems like everything bad is knocking down my door, there’s still a glorious bath full of lovely amazing things and people that make it all worth it and that outweigh the knocking. I like the sense of control it gives me; I am not going out of my way to get out of this glorious bath to help the bad come in. Inevitably some of it will make its way in; thats a part of being human bby, but that doesn’t mean i have to help it. Also I just really like saying i’m not getting out of this glorious bath, the syllables are Nice.

treat yourself soon, -liz

the bathtub: bathtub by fix project from the Noun Project

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girls just wanna have fun!

this assignment was pretty straight-forward, and i didn’t have to edit any photos! giphy? much more user-friendly than gimp! the goal of this assignment was to make a gif out of something pop culture. I decided to do this one because what better way to incorporate our theme of 80s pop culture than with a gif! I decided to gif a music video, so I did some basic research and came across this article, which detailed some of the best 80s music videos. Although I wasn’t born in the 80s, the song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was a huge part of my childhood, so I watched that one (because I had never actually seen the music video).

I immediately decided I wanted to gif Cyndi bopping along the street dancing, because mood. And its just really iconic, and seems like something that would be meme-d if it came out in today. So as well as being an iconic 80s song, its also now an iconic reaction/personality gif! ur welcome.

Animated GIF

The process for this assignment was pretty straightforward. Research some iconic 80’s music videos, watch some iconic 80’s music videos (I also considered Thriller, Walk this Way, and Take on Me). Once I decided on my video and gif segment, I logged onto Giphy & put in the link to the music video for Giphy to find. Once they found the video, I used two different sliders to format the gif, one to determine the length (2.7 seconds) and one to determine the start time.

Like I said earlier, I chose Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” because it is an iconic 80’s song, and a Little Bit nostalgic for me. Additionally, the segment of her walking along is just big vibes and I love it! Also, her style as she going along feels like an accurate, not Extreme-ized representation of 80’s fashion, which is Cool.

have fun out there! -liz

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heathers again? shocker!

In a completely unforeseen turn of events, I’ve decided to theme another assignment around the 1985 move Heathers! The goal of this assignment was to make a minimalist movie poster! I decided to go with the KILLER (in all senses of the word) movie Heathers because it both fits the 80s theme of our class and gives me permission to think about the MUSICAL which is a brilliant work of art. Much like my minimalist poster!

the tag below the gun reads “Created by Dama Adhikara from Noun Project”

so i feel like a more apt label for the style of this poster is “minimal-ish”, because I am not, and have never been, prone to simplicity. So although I did my best, and I believe I was mostly successful, i would call it true minimalilsm. However! I used gimp again and it wasn’t a four hour painful process (like this one was). I actually started out my creation in Microsoft Paint, where I created the color block for the background (red, green, and yellow, because each of the three Heathers wears one of those colors throughout the film). Once my color block was finished

I opened it in gimp, where I made a few changes. First, I cropped the image so it was just colors. Then, I rotated it to be vertical stripes, because I feel like that emphasizes the poster aspect more, as well as nixing any sense of hierarchy that comes with the colors being on top of each other. Additionally, I decreased the saturation and contrast of the block to make it more subdued like the Heathers’s clothes in the film. After that, I went to the noun project, where I downloaded a few files to complete the poster. I used a headstone, a couple embracing, and a gun to try and embody the main essence of the film, and then scaled and moved them around as need be. After all my icons were settled in place, I realized I wanted to add in another color, blue, because that Veronica’s color in the musical, and I figured having a really bright blue in there could make for some nice contrast. So I chose a nice blue, and then used the paintbrush to go for a kind of airbrushed vibe behind the embracing couple (JD and Veronica). My initial thought was to put the blue under the headstone, but the implications of doing so are Not in line with the plot of the film. Finally, I searched around gimp for a nice font to put the movie title in, and stuck in vertically down the side. I did this because I think it evens the poster out nicely, and I’m a sucker for vertical words.

Overall, I really really like how this came out. Its a little reminiscent of this creation that was literally the first thing I ever made for this class! My gimp skills are coming along slowly but surely, and I like the minimalish approach that I took; it helped me remember that I don’t have to throw ten thousand things at a piece to make something fun to look at.

gimp on, -liz

bibliography & attributes!

kissing image: Love by Luis Prado from the Noun Project

gun image: Gun by Dama Adhikara from the Noun Project

headstone image: gravestone by Andrejs Kirma from the Noun Project

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imagine how is touch the sky

i tried using gimp again! am i supposed to introduce gimp with an article? i hope not! regardless of the answer, my affinity for both no caps and random caps For Emphasis should alert my fair readers to a certain. nixing of traditional grammatical structure in favor of ~Aesthetics~. but back to gimp! the prompt i undertook called to “take an existing image & change the concept in where you are at & what you are doing” the phrasing for this assignment confused me a little at first, so i looked to the examples for confirmation. and it was there that i found the work of fellow umw ds106 Kyle! def rec checking out his creation here!

Spider Man Reaction GIF

so without further ado, here is what i ended up with!

so theres a lot to unpack here, but lets start with basic process. i started with this photo

which i took on one of the actually pretty & not freezing days we had last week! so my immediate thought for this photo is TIGHTROPE, because the way im hanging on to the tree there is reminiscent of an unskilled tightrope walker! so! i googled tightrope, the skyscraper tightrope, because dream big, right? & thus decided i liked this photo

i like the way it has an actual tightrope person on it, i like the contrast. From there, i put the first photo, the one of me on the tree, into gimp & started erasing the background. learning gimp pt 1. i couldn’t figure out how to make the eraser bigger and with harsher edges, so i googled it! eventually, through a mix of google and clicking around, i found the modify your eraser tab & did just that! However, the first thing i actually did was google how to merge to images in gimp, & watched a video that told me i had to put the nixing background image on an alpha channel. so i did that & THEN, after modifying my eraser, i zoomed in and out of my photo to try and nix as much background as possible. then i added the skyscraper photo into gimp & essentially spent an hour playing with dimensions and trying to get both of them to be on the same screen on top of each other. i had this Very Weird thing that kept happening in which i would open the me as a layer on top of the skyscrapers, and then when i dragged me on top of them it created a blank space rather than a photo of me. i shouldve snapped a screenshot but alas yorick (& does anyone have any idea what and/or why that was?). alls well that ends well however, because i eventually got some good dimensions and good placement and ended up with a pretty funky fun final product!

oh yeah dancing GIF

gimp, as i have mentioned NUMEROUS times in previous posts, is really really hard for me to work and figure out, so even though this is Clearly Edited, i’m really happy with it and proud of myself for not giving up! a few things i do wish i could have thought through better do exist though. For example, since a tightrope is much thinner than a tree trunk, there is a good chunk of my leg and arm that is missing from the photograph. i tried shaping what leg i did have to seem naturally hidden behind the other, but i’m not sure how well i really did on that bit. additionally, i gave myself a little bit of a haircut rather than go Crazy stupid on the background erasing between literal strands of hair, but i don’t think that’s as noticeable.

Overall a fun assignment and i enjoyed taking my pic out of context and making me seem Really Cool and Brave. Although using gimp was difficult, i ended up actually mastering a few of the tools thanks to perseverance and hard work (& this youtube video & this youtube video & this website page & this website page). i did a lot of googling :).

ill see you on the tightrope, -liz

Image result for imagine how is touch the sky
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talkin to myself

this was delightful! I had a lot of fun with this assignment, of which the goal was to record a phone conversation with myself, but to try and make it seem like its two completely different people! Here’s the final product!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, but also in the spirit of you don’t need a significant other to be valuable and important, I decided to focus my conversation on plans between friends for a Valentines lady hangout sesh! I start it off with a little bit of a monologue from the more valley girl type character, and then it devolves into planning and goodbyes.

Although I might be taking the listener out of the setting with my use of the word galentines, I tied this assignment to the pop culture theme by looking up the most popular slang of the 80s and absolutely INFILTRATING my dialogue with it. Additionally, the bagel bites and crystal light bit at the end is based in research on popular 80s snack foods! lots of cereal on the list, which seems Kind Of Odd. Nevertheless! The next step in my process was the purloin the vocal booth to record everything. Regarding the order of recording, I decided to record each gal seperately so that they would be on two different tracks, thus making it easier (I think) to maneuver their parts around and make it seem more conversational. Once everything was recorded, I went into audacity and first changed the pitch of each part so that it sounded more like two different people. Then I moved everything around, added and removed silences to make it sound more natural and gave it another listen through. I decided after that, that the valley girl voice (the second one to speak) would be better suited to a faster speaking voice. So I sped up her voice by like 10% and then had to readjust everything to fit again :(. It was worth it tho! The final step was to add 20 seconds of telephone ringing to the beginning in order to establish that its a phone call, which I got from- you guessed it- freesound.org. I am really happy with how this worked out and I think its Hilarious, especially with the Very Stereotyped 80s and valley girl slang.

This was just such a cool assignment; I’m quite happy with the final product. I really enjoyed just playing around with audio and sounds. Also slang has always been something I’m super interested in, especially and specifically current slang, but seeing the history and old slang terms was super cool too! I think I certainly went a little bit heavy on the slang, but honestly that amount kinda tracks with how much current slang I feel like I use in (non-professional & non-academic) speech, so mayhaps not!

gotta motor! -liz

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marius pick up your phone

This assignment had me leaving a voicemail for a character from some sort of media. I decided, in keeping both with the 80s theme and with my personal interests, to leave a voicemail for Marius Pontmercy regarding his shirking of his revolutionary duties. Give it a listen!

This was really, really fun to make, I really enjoyed pretending to chastise Marius because he just Always Does This when he’s “in love” and this time it just can’t fly because the Revolution is Starting!

To create this, I started by recording myself a few times in the vocal booth, in different pitches and with different emphases. I ended up settling on the last take I took, in which I used my normal speaking voice, rather than a deepened, surfer-dude type vibe I had used with the others. I chose this because it was the best take regarding how and what I got out, but also because then I gave myself the opportunity to play around with audacity and the effects! So I did thus! I copied all my audio into audacity and then deepened my pitch so that I sounded less like a lady. I then started messing around with the bass levels, but I don’t think that had any real effect. It might have made me sound less like a bad cartoon villain with a voice modifier, but not that much because I still sound like a cartoon villain with a bad voice modifier. After I was happy with how my words and voice sounded, I inserted a phone ringing and answering machine sound from this website! and then, a few minor cuts later, my masterpiece!

This was just so much fun because I love Les Miserables and even though theres negative chances of Marius having and answering machine and of his buddies having phones, playing like they did was a fun modernization. I also had a lot of fun with the references to the musical, like calling Cosette “closet” and quoting “Red and Black”. I really wise I had figured out how to make my voice sound more realistic and not Obviously edited, but there’s only so much one can do I suppose.

do you hear the people sing? -liz

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a face made for radio

thats a really mean thing to say and i don’t mean it in regards to anyone including myself its just the most clever title i can currently think of for my ds106 RADIO BUMPER!

This was really cute! a nice one take shot to get me into the groove of using audacity. Also helps that I proceeded to listen to the ds106 radio show that night, so I heard a couple of them in action; which was super funky fun! I had a really good time using my voice to its fullest extent with this assignment; because the lack of visual stimuli means I need and want to compensate with Super Interesting Voice Tricks!

rest easy -liz