Probably the most telling part of this freewrite reflection post is this: I did the graphic first. And I didn’t yell or scream once. Honest.
Amazingly, I not only had a very clear vision of what I wanted to do but I thought about the visual part of the reflection as much as I did about the writing. The visual I wanted to create was as much a part of what I wanted to say as my words. And I felt pretty confident from the start about what I wanted to do to create my image.
That’s light years away from where I was at the beginning of the semester. So for all of my harrumphing about the Mini Art School and my feeling ridiculous doing the various exercises, my thinking has definitely been affected by what I’ve learned.
I must say that the other part of this transformation has been the amazing support I’ve received from my classmates. Kenchetta, Amelia and Dennis have spurred me on, encouraged me and inspired me. Even though they all seem much more advanced than I in their comfort level and abilities, I don’t feel like my attempts have been too awful, and in some cases, I’ve felt moments of triumph and satisfaction that I’ve been able to pull off the assignment. I’m more grateful to them then words can say.
For this reflection post, my initial idea had been to find images of a flower budding to play on the whole sense of opening myself up to this new, foreign world. But then, I saw this photo of an opening in a cave that looked out into a beautiful sea and I knew this was the one.
I didn’t deliberately set out to find such an interesting shape, but after selecting this image, I realized that part of what made it so appealing to me was the interesting shape of the cave opening. It almost looks like it could be a country to me and I certainly saw a metaphor there – a new world. Okay, that may sound corny, but that’s what I saw.
There was also the whole play on color – another one of our lessons. Here, in this image, there’s a literal change from dark to light and again, I saw a metaphor there, too in terms of my realization and growing acceptance of these new lessons.
Selecting the words to embed into the image was a fairly easy decision.
I feel that I have been on a journey during our Mini Art School sessions. The words on the left – fear, loathing, uncertain, timid, insecure – represent me at the beginning of the journey, and in some ways (and given the right triggers), in the current part of this journey even now. I am by no means proclaiming myself to be a complete convert or an expert. But I no longer view the whole idea of art and design in the negative light I did previously. The choice of fonts and color (red) for the left side words were also deliberate choices made with our lessons in mind on the messages conveyed by fonts and color. I deliberately used fonts and a color that I thought conveyed tension and friction.
Similarly, I used the same thought process in presenting the visual representation of my transformation with the words – braver, accepting, bolder, assured and confident!. The use of the words braver and bolder compared to brave and bold were deliberate choices. I’m not a finished product or a full convert yet. But I feel like I’m definitely getting better.
Finally, in the middle, I placed the word “open” because if nothing else my mind is now open to new ways of thinking. I was originally going to put open on the right side but thought it would be cool to place it in that open space in the sky. And I experimented with different colors to try and come as close as possible with the palette I had available to the color of the sky in the image.
So what does this mean in terms of my MDMC?
I know that I’m thinking a lot more about these issues and elements. But I don’t know yet how those thoughts will manifest themselves. I admit I’m still grappling with my old school way of thinking about the site I’m creating. I’m still not sure if there’s a place for things like Screencasts or how-to videos.
Then again, after grading this round of midterms, I’m being reminded that despite my best efforts during class lectures, these students do need additional re-enforcement. And I’m reminded too of our readings that talk about how people raised and living in a tech and visually-centric world learn and process differently.
I am opposed to spoon feeding my students. I am old school that way; I firmly believe that as college students they should be able to pick up details and lessons from the lectures and classwork. But some students still need more help and reminders, even though they’re doing the work. It goes back to the different learning styles.
So perhaps this is where I can work in some of these things that go beyond mere words.