Laura Crosby's Portfolio

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A letter from the editor

This semester began with a presentation of all the major projects we would be creating this term. I'm not going to lie, our major projects seemed like a lot of work, using some mediums I was unfamiliar with. This made me apprehensive and a bit overwhelmed at just how much I would have to learn in order to do well in the class. That fear was also coupled with excitement though; I was hopeful that I would walk away with some new skills at the the end of the class. 

As the semester progressed, I found that my experience creating YouTube videos and having a blog was extremely beneficial to my work in the class. Some tasks, like the print to digital assignment, were easier given my existing skill set. Others, like the podcast project, required me to use new technologies to create content in a format I had never created in before. In fact, some of the formats, were one's I never attempted simply because I didn't know how to do them and learning it all seemed like too big a task to take on in my personal time for my personal blog.

For many students, myself included, this composition class was not at all what I was expecting when I signed up for it. Instead of a traditional reading and writing class, composition class proved to be far more interesting and engaging. Learning to compose in a variety of mediums proved to be a challenging but also exciting approach to the subject of content creation. Most importantly, the innovative nature of the class and our projects kept us engaged and constantly learning a new skill. Instead of analyzing literature for symbolism, we were learning technical and writing skills that will benefit us in our future personal and career endeavors. Not many potential employees could say "I know how to create videos and podcasts to level up your companies marketing efforts;"  Professor Cary's students will be able to. 

Learning how to use new technology and software programs was only one part of our projects. The second, more important part of our projects, was learning how to best communicate our message to an audience in different formats. Talking to an audience through a video is much different than through an essay; if you were to read an essay on a video, most people would get bored and stop watching. Learning rhetoric in different mediums was an invaluable skill we acquired this semester.

Leaving this class, I am confident that I have more skills than I had before beginning the class. I am certain they will prove useful in my personal and career endeavors, as I already have an audience and I communicate with them to sell online courses and products. Now I know how to communicate with them in more formats, and how to best keep them interested in each format. This improved level of communication skills will also prove valuable whenever I'm talking to a friend or significant other, not just my online audience. In conclusion, I am glad that the overwhelming amount of work presented at the beginning of class didn't keep me from trying. Professor Cary was extremely personable and helpful in teaching us how to create in each medium, so we had the knowledge to succeed in the class. I would recommend his class over any other writing/reading/literature/english/composition class I've ever taken. 

On this page you'll find an overview and analysis of all of the major projects I did and what I learned along the way. I will also explore how I used the 5 critical skills of rhetorical knowledge, critical reading, critical reflection, knowledge of conventions, and composing process, in each project. Thanks for reading along. 

Kind regards,
Laura Crosby

My Topic

For my projects, I wanted to choose a topic that I was actually passionate about and interest in. That's the best way to make sure I was invested in the research I was doing and the work I was producing. I chose to focus on the importance of body positivity and how we can practice body positivity. 


My Projects

Project 1: The essay deconstructed

Rhetorical Knowledge- Major project one presented a unique challenge for me as far as rhetoric was concerned. I am used to writing in a blogging format and am very comfortable with the interaction and informal aspects to writing in a digital format for an online audience. It's been more than 10 years since I've had a formal writing class in high school. While most students were trying to figure out how to convert their written essay into a webpage, I was actually trying to figure out how to turn my webpage into a formal essay. I tackled the format I was most comfortable with (digital composing) and worked backwards from that to structure it into a formal essay. In this project, changing the rhetoric in a digital format to one meant for print proved to be challenging.

Critical Reading-  I think the most important part of this skill on this topic comes from understanding that everyone has a different viewpoint and opinion on what body positivity is, how we can practice it, and if it's important or not. I chose to read the work of experts in the field as I align very strongly with their view that it is important. I cited all of my sources of information on the subject in project 1.

Critical Reflection- As stated in the rhetorical knowledge section above, a lot of thought and work when into choosing how to properly convey my message for the print medium of this project. For the digital format of the essay, I chose to keep my writing very conversational. I kept the attention of my reader by asking them questions and by using large titles, photos, and videos to direct their attention. In the print format, I had to take a lot of the conversational attitude out of my digital essay and make it more structured to fit a traditional essay style.

Composing Process- My composing process is a multi-step process. First, I had to decide where I was going to begin the project. I wanted to start with the digital format of the essay first, since I was comfortable with that style of writing. Whenever I write a blog post, I first write an outline of all the points I want to make and how I want to structure the post on a piece of paper. I added a step here, and shared my topic idea and sources I would be crediting in our Reddit group. Then, I opened up my webpage editor and started creating titles and writing directly in the webpage. Sticking with a familiar process made the work go much quicker. You can see my outline process in the photo on the right of this text. 

Knowledge of Conventions- Knowledge of conventions was a fairly straight-forward task and skill for me to execute. I already knew how to properly format a paper in APA style and how to properly create a reference or works cited page. Thankfully, technology makes it easy to ensure our spelling and grammar with spell check both online and in Word documents. I try to speak proper English as it is important in most academic and work settings. That way of speaking easily translates into properly written text when writing an essay from one's own point of view.


Project 2: Podcast

Rhetorical Knowledge- Major project 2 posed an interesting challenge to me. I have never created a podcast before or used the lone element of audio to communicate with my audience. I really had to consider what elements I would have to change in order to effectively communicate with them in sound format. I think video is the closed medium to podcast and considered how I would talk to my audience in a video- being very personable and using a method of conversational talking instead of talking at my audience like I would in an essay. One element I had to consider was that podcast doesn't include the visual element that video does, and so I had to figure out how I would keep my listeners attention without that extra element of interest.

Critical Reflection- To properly communicate with my audience in podcast format I had to be sure I focused on a couple of key points. First, I had to use a tone of voice that was authoritative (shows my expertise on the subject.) Second, I had to use a tone that was inviting (upbeat, higher pitch.) Third, I needed to use music at the intro to immediately capture the listener's attention and I also used music to divide the podcast by discussion area; I shared what body-positivity is and why it matters, then I used a sound clip to indicate a transition in focus and delivered my actionable 4 steps to being body positive.

Knowledge of Conventions- In order to inform my listener on the genre of my podcast, I used an authoritative and upbeat voice to establish myself as an expert on the subject of body-positivity. This let them know that the purpose of the podcast was to inform them, and let them know that my approach was friendly and direct. One thing I didn't consider until this moment was fair use of copyrighted material. As mentioned in my composing process, I used a Mean Girls audio clip that was 15 seconds long. I didn't even consider the fact that it was copyrighted and I legally didn't have permission to use it in my podcast. I simply used it because I could access it for free, it was relevant to my topic, and it didn't occur to me that it is protected material. I will have to be more conscious of this in the future. As with my digital and print essays, I used proper English while recording my podcast episode and was sure to annunciation clearly while speaking so my message was easy to understand. 

Podcast

Critical Reading- I read a couple of articles on how to create a podcast and what elements of a podcast make it successful. Then I had to implement those steps when creating my podcast. I had already researched my topic so no addition critical reading was done on my topic for this podcast.

Composing Process- My first step in the composing process was considering what audio clips I would like to include with my narration. I looked on Soundcloud for free melodies that were upbeat to convey the tone that the podcast episode would have. While composing my podcast, I focused on creating as much ease as I could for myself by using the same outline I had already used in my digital essay. I simply took the words from that page (because they were written in a conversational manner already,) and read/paraphrased the information from the screen while I recorded my voice. I used my phone's audio clip app to record my audio, and I transfered the file onto my computer using the Dropbox app. I used the video editing software called Shotcut to edit my audio track. I chose to use a video editing program because I was already familiar with the program and when I tried to use the sound editing software recommended in class, it was clear that it was going to take a long time to figure out how to do the same editing in a new program. Again, I chose the easier roue since this new content format was already requiring a lot of time and effort. At this point, I decided to add in an audio clip from the movie Mean Girls because it related to my message and is widely known so it would likely grab the attention of my audience in case they had started to passively listen instead of actively listening to the podcast. Lastly, I uploaded my podcast to Soundcloud.


Project 3: Composing with Video

Rhetorical Knowledge- Creating an engaging video for your intended audience takes some forethought. Initially, I was planning to talk freely and in a conversational way, without much regard to structure. However, I quickly rethought this when I realized I easily get off-topic and I didn't want to water down my message or create an extremely long video that would require even more time to record, edit, and upload. After this consideration, I chose to use my recorded podcast sound and add video to it to create my video. To establish familiarity and gain the interest of my viewer at the beginning of the video, I recorded a new introduction video clip where I was talking directly at the camera. 

Critical Reading- This project required a little critical reading on copyright laws surrounding video. I wanted to be sure I was including free stock video clips in my video, that were free from copyright laws or monetary royalties. Like the previous project, critical reading on my topic wasn't necessary as I was already well informed on it. 

Critical Reflection- Because I used the sound clip from my podcast, my video project didn't require to much critical reflection on how I was going to talk about my topic to my audience. I did however have to consider the unique visual aspect of video and how I wanted to proceed in that department. I knew I didn't want to be talking directly to the camera for the reasons listed above in the rhetorical knowledge section. I also decided that I wanted to limit my face time on video because I didn't want to message or video to be about me or watching me, I wanted my visual clips to align with my auditory message. To do this, I chose to use free stock videos that aligned with the things I talked about during the video. For instance, in one part of my video I talk about how it's important that we have meaningful conversations with our friends and family and we don't put down our bodies or other people's bodies when talking to people. To reinforce the auditory message for the viewer, I included a video clip of friends hanging out and talking with one another at this point of the video.

Composing Process- The first thing I did when considering how I would tackle this project was decide if I was going to be talking directly at the camera for the entire video and if I was going to add a conversational element by having a guest interviewee in the video. I decided that I didn't want to have a guest, 1) because it required more work, 2) because it could water down my very intentionally thought out message which I had already perfected, and 3) because all my friends and colleges in this area of interest were busy during the time frame we were doing our video project. As stated above, I also intentionally limited my own face to camera interaction during the video very. Once I had decided on using mainly stock video clips to overlay with my audio recording, I researched stock video usage laws and selected which stock videos I wanted to use for my video. Then I used the Shotcut video editing program to put together my video. This task proved very challenging as I was familiar with editing video where sound was already embedded in the video recording, but I had to learn how to overlay separate audio and video tracks to create this project. Then I saved it to my computer as a mp4 file and uploaded it to canvas. 

Knowledge of Conventions-  As mentioned above, a lot of consideration went into deciding the correct or appropriate way to create this project. Because I wanted to create the most effective, intentionally designed video I could, knowledge of conventions came into action when choosing the style and layout my video would have, as well what graphics I would be using in it. An extra element that had to be considered in both the podcast and video projects were how to properly and clearly convey a message in audio format. Because things like punctuation aren't visually provided in these formats, I had to be sure to speak in a way that conveyed the end of a sentence with short pauses, to speak with an inflection with that let the listener/watcher know if I was asking a question, providing a statement, or enthusiastic about a particular sentence. I also had to use longer pauses and directional language when switching between the organized catagories of information I was providing like what body-positivity is, why it's important and how to do it.


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Additional Work Done in the Class

In addition to our major projects, we also did other assignments in class to further explore and learn about our 5 main learning objectives; rhetorical knowledge, critical reading, critical reflection, knowledge of conventions, and composing process. Here are some of the additional assignments and work I did outside of class to supplement my experiene creating the major projects.

The Identity of a Writer- In this assignment, we flexed our critical reflection skills with considering what kind of a writer we are. I had to think about how I write, when I write, and in what format I write. I found that my identity of a writer is linked to my identity as a blogger on this website. I write in a conversational and personal way when I'm not writing academically. My writing is also women-focused as my topics and message are about being a woman and topics that strongly affect women.

Writing Genres and Situations- In this assignment, we had to watch three commercials for three different television shows and determine what genre they belonged to. This required us to practice our learning objective of critical reading and understanding rhetoric. Here is the work I did for that assignment-
Commercial 1- A family rides in a convertible over the San Francisco bridge. Two girls practice soccer together with their family at a park. The family goes to the grocery store together and eats meals together. Unusual family dynamic with several daughters being raised by 3 men. They seem to spend a lot if time together and enjoy that time together. The music is upbeat and has a message that family will always be there for you.
Commercial 2- A family at home. Son cleans car, grandma reads a magazine at home, mom plays piano at home, kids play at home, daughter works at a diner. They live in a city and seem happy together but also independent and shown as individuals. The music is upbeat and has a message that there is a lot of love in family.
Commercial 3- Wisconsin family goes to a theme park. Huge family walks together, they seem excited. Mom seems overwhelmed but happy. Kids play carnival games together and eat popcorn together. They ride roller coasters together. The music is upbeat and has a message that the first time didn't work but the second time will be better. Maybe a blended family of two previously divorced parents.All the commercials show very large families that may be considered non-traditional by tv norms. Daughters being raised by 3 men, a multigenerational family of color with grandma living at home, a blended family from previously divorced parents and stepchildren and children. The message seems to be that families come in many forms but are large and happy.
I would call the genre "Large, Happy, Nontraditional Families."

Your Writing Process- In this assignment we had to share what our writing process is like which was meant to grow our critical reflection and critical reading skills. We then had to provide a theory on writing. This is what I did for that assignment:
"Writing is the act of getting words out of one's mind and into the world. Sometimes I write in a digital format and other times I write in a physical format on paper. I use it to talk to my audience, to inform them on certain topics such as body-positivity, self-love, and creativity. I use writing to process my own emotions through the act of keeping a journal. I also use writing to make a plan of action, writing out all the goals and dreams I have and organizing them into clear action-plans to get to where I want to go.
Writing is both an inward and an outward act for me. As mentioned above, I write for myself to process emotions or plan my future sometimes, and other times I write for an audience. Specific examples of my writing can be found on my blog www.laurarahel.com/blog. I've also written for other blogs, bigger companies, college, and for personal projects. All of my online courses I create start with writing out ideas and content for them.
Writing helps me organize my thoughts, connect with others, and bring value to my audience. My writing process is to just write, and it looks different every time. Sometimes I write in a journal or planner. Other times I open up the evernote app and write out blog posts. Sometimes I just go straight to my blog and start typing. The process for me is to simply write, in any format."

What Writing Is- In this Reddit post, we had to discuss what we thought writing was, or provide a unique perspective on it. I provided the following comment and link for others to consider.
https://seanwes.com/podcast/289-why-you-should-build-a-writing-habit-and-how-to-get-started/  I really like this podcast and episode about writing and why it's important. This entrepreneur suggests that everything should start with writing. All videos, podcasts, books, blogs, classes, etc. He goes on to talk about the importance of creating a daily writing habit."

Rhetorical Situation- In this Reddit post, we explore rhetoric. Because we had already defined rhetoric in class, I decided to contribute to the conversation by providing another viewpoint on effective rhetoric that I found online.
"This Ted Talk video on rhetoric is awesome. He says you can write the perfect text but how it's delivered and received may be completely different than how it's intended when written. He also gives 6 awesome tips for delivering a strong message for people who want to be leaders. awesome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGBamfWasNQ"

Genre Studio- In this assignment, we focused on sub genres and how many genres there are, as well as why we think genres exist. I contributed three valuable comments to this Reddit conversation
"I love this take on niche which is very specific to entrepreneurs and artists. - https://seanwes.com/tv/071-4-reasons-you-dont-need-to-be-afraid-to-niche-down/ 
It's all about picking your genre and then once you've picked it, you need to narrow it down EVEN further until you can't possibly be more specific. Pick one thing to do and do it incredibly well. Your audience will be smaller, but they will be far more aligned with your strict brand message, more likely to purchase from you, and a far more loyal follower. I like applying this to genre. It's not enough to be a rapper in music. Think about Eminem, lil' wayne, t-pain, and Fetty Wap. They are all super successful but also incredibly niched down within their genre. They aren't just rappers who rap in any style about anything.
Eminem- always raps about his children, his ex wife, his mother, and Detroit. His message is always the same, Detroit and his kids are amazing, his ex-wife and mother suck. He has a lot of passion when he raps and delivers with a lot of inflection, almost always sounding angry and assertive. He is niched down.
Lil Wayne- All of his songs have similes and metaphors in them. This guy is is the king of hilarious similes. They are like his "hook," his "catch," his "thing." Here are a few of my favorites- "Tell your girl like Doritos, that's nacho cheese." "I'm at yo face like Lancome." "Cause Wayne win, and they lose, I call 'em April babies, cause they fools." And those are just a few that aren't totally inappropriate to list here lol.
T-pain is an awesome singer but that wasn't enough for him to stand out. So what did make him stand out? When he niched down to be only auto-tuned. He always raps auto-tuned. It's what he's known for, it's something other rappers don't regularly do.
And finally Fetty Wap- Fetty Wap is known for his upbeat songs. All of his hits have been really catchy, feel good, songs. They all have similar instrumental backgrounds, tempo, and delivery of his words. He does an entire song about a girl who cooks drugs for him and yet when you hear it, it sounds like the funnest, coolest thing ever (not illegal or hard,) (Trap Queen is the song.) All of his hits are like that- feel good. Which is something not very many rappers do!
Success in delivering a message is all about your consistency. Pick one thing. Once you have a genre, narrow it down EVEN further. That's the key to major success within your field. My take on genre. :)"
"Wikipedia has this super awesome list of genres and sub-genres that I found fascinating. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_genres There are a lot of things I would consider a genre (like romantic comedies) that are actually considered sub-genres (romantic comedies are a sub-genre of comedies, go figure.)" 
"I don't think it exists for us to pick things, but it certainly useful to consumers and creators to pick out what they want to buy and what they want to create. I was curious after reading this and did some googling on the subject. Apparently it was created for marketing reasons. To be able to get advertisers! Although then you consider time before radio and tv and there were still genres of things- for instance, tragedies (Shakespeare.) It's a curious subject. "The first appearance of music genres goes back to right after World War I, in the USA, when the industry of selling recorded music and marketing it to radio stations began. (At this time, radio stations were exclusively broadcasting live musicians playing in the radio studio, because there were not yet many record companies sending them records to play on the air. Furthermore one radio station would generally broadcast a wide variety of different styles of music that appealed to many different kinds of people, usually rotating the styles of music they played in blocks of several hours at a time on certain days of the week.) Genres were created and clearly delineated by the record companies, the radio stations, and indirectly by the economic pressure from the companies who paid the radio stations to run advertisements for the products they sold."

Literacies- In this Reddit post, we explored what the word "literacy" means to us. This is what I wrote. "Literacy as it's most commonly used in our country refers to a person's ability to read and write. Or if they do not have that skill, illiteracy. While people in our country are profoundly privileged to have this basic skill, there are many places where the majority of people are not literate. Here's an awesome article highlighting some great charities trying to improve global literacy rates.- https://www.bustle.com/articles/126582-12-amazing-book-and-literacy-charities-that-are-changing-the-world"

Linguistic Diversity Studio- In this Reddit post, we talked about how language is different in different cultures and subcultures. I added the following comment. 
"Communication varies by individual. Between and among people of different cultures, religions, geographical regions, languages, dialects, ideologies, genders, ages. There are countless variables that effect language. I've found it extremely helpful in my adult life to realize that what I am intending to convey isn't always what another person hears or reads from me. This allows me to be very clear about the message I'm trying to send. It's super interesting when you look into how linguistics vary between and among groups of people. Here's a cool article about some of the common hand gestures we make in the USA that are inappropriate in other places. It's not just our word selection that matters in linguistics, but our tone, our hand gestures, body language, eye contact, etc.https://matadornetwork.com/abroad/10-common-gestures-easily-misunderstood-abroad/ "

Everything is a Remix- In this Reddit post, we talked about remixes and creating original content. Mostly, we asked the question "is anything original?" I contributed to the conversation in the following comment. "To remix is one thing, but often I find that ethics fall into a grey area with any "new" creations because they are almost always a derivative of something. When I found out that Disney's Lion King was a rip off of an original Japanese tv show, I was so surprised. It's strange how things are conveyed to us as completely original when you can find huge parts of any creation in something that came before it. It's the same with fashion, music, poetry, architecture.... any form of creation is a remix whether or not we realize it. Because all of our knowledge and experience is knowledge learned from others or experiences others have had. It would be impossible to create without influence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimba_the_White_Lion#The_Lion_King_controversy "

Approaches to Inquiry- In this Reddit conversation, we explored our own ability and tendency to inquire (or to not.) I replied to several people's comments and added this personal viewpoint; "I tend to follow my natural curiosities and just google things I want to know more about. If I have a question about something, want to fact check something, or just find something interesting, I often google it. Finding a reputable online source of information can be challenging, but the fact that we have this technology to begin with is amazing. My approach to inquiry is to inquire about whatever I want to know about and to usually do so online before trying to find sources like books or people I know."

 

Reddit Activity and Contributions

When we were told that Reddit participation was a large part of our grade this semester, I was apprehensive. I had never used the app or website before and I also try to be intentional about what social media platforms I use and how much time I spend on them. Because intentional social media use is important to me, I focused on contributing our class Reddit in an an intentional way. Instead of liking every comment and posting replies like "I agree," I chose to participate less but in a more impact way. To me, quality of contribution is far more important than quantity. I wanted to make sure than any time I commented, I was sharing valuable information or viewpoints that were worth reading. Still, I contributed approximately 70+ comments in our class Reddit this semester. I also liked several comments and posts from other people. A lot of my lengthy and valuable contributions have been linked and shared above in the part of my portfolio where I share what class work I've done this semester. Here are a few other favorites I have commented that weren't shared above.

Thinking About Remixing- "Taylor Swift's new song has gotten a voice of approval from the Fairbrass (lead singer of Right Said Fred,) who performed "Too Sexy For My Shirt." Taylor's "Look What You Made Me Do," chorus is in the same melody as "Too Sexy For My Shirt." Luckily it's not an issue of ethics as her collaborators where from the band who originally created the "Too Sexy" song and they got approval from other members and the record label before remixing it. Not only does Fairbass like Taylor's remix, but he's mentioned that royalty payments on it have been great too. Awesome for everyone involved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tmd-ClpJxA"

Disaster Relief Services- "I personally chose to donate money to the Austin Pets Alive nonprofit during Harvey. They had posted a YouTube video of them rescuing all these dogs and cats during the flood and I felt super compelled to help. I knew I couldn't adopt another animal so I donated money to them. A lot of organizations ask for money as opposed to supplies in times like this too. They may not have space to hold supplies. They are more in need of money to rebuild homes and buy appliances, pay for evacuation hotel costs or buying a new car after theirs was lost in the flood. Fema and the red cross have ensured they have water and food. Now they need volunteer construction workers and money to rebuild their communities and homes." And this comment on the same post- "Well the United States has refused to give up their claim over Puerto Rico despite them trying to gain independence every election. So if we won't give them independence, it should be a requirement that our government protect them and provide them with disaster relief since they are a part of our country."

Video Composing Tools- "Windows movie maker was discontinued earlier this year. People who already had it get to keep it but no one can download it now. Very sad. They are rolling out with a new version at some point, but for now, there's nothing. It was my video editor of choice and then when I replaced my laptop I tried to download it and found out about the discontinuation." And this comment on the same post- "Yeah it was the easiest program for me to learn too, I was super bummed when they discontinued it. Not only did I have to find another alternative, I had to learn the new program which wasn't as user friendly." And those are just comment replies, I also added my own comment about using the Shotcut program which is linked in the above section already.

Copyright Laws Changed and You can Thank Disney- "I totally get it. If I were a creator, I wouldn't appreciate my ideas and work being stolen and used for profit. But like the video said, it's very hypocritical because none of Disney's ideas are original either. They are all taken from elsewhere, some are even strongly influenced by other tv shows and movies in other countries. Although I think it's hard to really say what is "inspired" by a copyrighted/trademarked character and what is stealing. It's a fine line. One could argue that any dancing and singing mouse was a rip off of Mickey, even if the two characters were nothing alike. It gets into a hazy part of the law where it really depends on the interpretation of whoever is ruling on the case."

Podcast Research- "Much like pod casting, adding outside voices can make things more interesting for the listener and add another perspective to the work. However, this also means there's an increased chance that whatever message you're trying to convey get's watered down because of difference in opinion and how conversation tends to flow to different topics throughout natural conversation. A lot of podcasts that are done interview style get off topic. They'll title the episode something like "Tanya Walker teaches us how to nail an interview," when that part of the episode is only 5 minutes out of an entire hour long podcast. It's important to make sure whoever you're interviewing only contributes to the value of the work and the strength of the message. That they don't distract from the message or get off topic to things that don't add value to the audience."

Putting the Pieces Together- "I think integrating writers into the movie making process, particularly when based off of books, is very important. Take Harry Potter for example; the entire series is fairly cohesive (thanks to a consistent cast and a very involved author,) despite having 4 different directors throughout the course of 8 different movies. However directors are really important too. For example, the first two Harry Potter movies are by far the most magical and delightful in terms of being introduced to exciting new worlds and magic. The first two movies were directed by Chris Columbus, who is known for fun, family movies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Home Alone. He brought that sense of fun and family into the first two movies, everything seems magical and exciting, even when the dark lord is involved. After the first two movies, the series got continually darker and although there were some moments of fun where we got to see new magic, nothing was ever as light-hearted and magical as the first two movies. I accredit that not just to the story-line J.K. wrote, but a large part of that is because of the direction the director chose to take while filming the movies."

Further Thoughts About See Something, Say Something- A reply to a comment about invisible handicaps. "I didn't know this was a thing until I was an adult and learned about people with chronic illnesses. I have a friend who looks able-bodied but has to have a service dog to lean against when she walks because she often doesn't have enough energy or breath. And then two years ago I got sciatica and it killed to walk from the parking lots to class on campus everyday. There were many days I missed school because I couldn't walk.
Sometimes you don't know until you ask, or until someone educates you. Try not to take it personally but as an opportunity to educate others on the issue. That's my mindset since I grew up with a severely autistic sister and often got looks or comments if she had a meltdown in public. It was as easy as me saying shes autistic to shut someone up who was being judgmental about me letting a 5 year old throw a temper tantrum in the store. And now in 2017 autism is something most people are familiar with, though back in 2001, it wasn't! Educating like that is what helps bring progress to societies understanding and acceptance of people who are different than them."

Cool Video About Organization- "I love bullet journaling and have one myself. Although for the weekly calendar, I prefer to use Google calendar because I have a lot in my schedule, more than just classes, and putting it all into google calendar as repeating each week is much simpler and saves time every week not drawing and color coding a calendar in my bullet journal."

Why Podcasting- "Writting for a Podcast is similar to writing for an essay because in both formats you are usually trying to persuade or educate your audience and you write for that purpose. Podcasting is different though because it usually needs to be a little less stricter and rigid. You have to infuse some personality in there to get people to listen. You're also allowed so much more freedom in structure because you can talk directly to your audience, asking them for feedback and questions, while you're podcasting."

Digital Text Project 1- Giving feedback on another student's work they shared; "This sentence reads a little strange to me- "Many have mentioned about how likely it is for the U.S to automatically take down any type of projectile that launched by North Korea that heads toward America, this may be true, but if it fails it could lead to dire consequences." I would reformat the sentence. Maybe something like "Many news sources have speculated that the U.S. would automatically take down any kind of projectile launched by North Korea towards America. This may be true, but if it failed, it would lead to dire consequences for the U.S.""

9/11 Article Review- "My idea of success in writing is that I show up and do it. For various outlets, like blogging, marketing, academic work, etc, my view of success in writing is that I showed up on a consistent basis and put the work in. Did I write every day I intended to? Great. Even if its garbage, it was successful. Plus I go by the 10,000 hours to be a master theory, which means I can't expect to be good until after I put in all the work. So putting in the work, is essential to ever having success in writing by other peoples standards (being published, getting an "A," etc.)"

Composing Through Distractions- "This reminds me of an entrepreneur I follow- Seanwes. He and his podcast partner often talk about the importance of writing distraction free. They wake up early before the rest of the house, sit down at their clean desk with an app that only allows them to type, and they have to write for 30 minutes. Regardless of where their mind goes, if they are uninspired, etc. Its a practice. Many successful authors also talk about the importance of showing up and doing the work regardless of distractions, lack of motivation, etc."