Warming up: Week 2

This second week, honestly, felt a lot less intense than the first week. I think it was because week 2 focused more on polishing and continuing what we laid in place last week; but nonetheless, I enjoyed it.

One item that we focused on this week was redesigning our blogs so that they were more to our liking. I had never used WordPress until taking this class so it took me a while to figure out how to configure everything the way I wanted (I still forget sometimes). At first, I had used the theme FabMasonry, which did the job of helping me learn where things were since it was a simplistic template, however, I found the lack of customization options disappointing and often frustrating so I sent off to look for a new theme: Gridzone.

I wanted to keep it similar to how I wanted it before in terms of colors but wanted to fine-tune it so it was easier on the eyes. I settled on a darker green background while keeping text boxes plain white (don’t have to go to each box and select the background color now). The blog posts look cleaner and the navigation bar at the top makes it feel sleeker and more put together.

I kept the red pandas [per my icon]

I’m a lot happier with how it looks now. I may change the theme a bit in the future but for now, I am very happy with it.

Daily Creates

Another topic this week was working on Daily Creates, and Creative Assignments. It was really cool to see everyone’s creations and to get feedback on my own. I have a lot of fun doing the Daily Creates; each day the topics are interesting and it’s really cool to see people take it and turn it into their own unique product.

For my first Daily Create, I was prompted to share a story about a time I broke something that wasn’t mine. When I was younger I used to get into a lot of trouble so it didn’t take long for me to come up with a story to tell. The story in my post, about the golf cart, was the first one to come to mind. Now I did say I get into trouble, but I don’t break things often(mainly injure myself ^^’).

The second one was fill in the blank for what you personally consider “the best medicine”. I can think of a lot of things that help me out in tough times; my cat, my friends, my stuffed animal, sports, etc. But the one I decided to settle on was music because, frankly, I listen to music a lot. For pretty much every moment I can, I find myself listening to some form of music. Now, I don’t know anything about music but I love listening to it.

My third and fourth were also very simple. For the third, I shared something that I often daydream about. I shared a bit about my daily routine and how my boyfriend is across the country finishing graduate school. I daydream about simple things since my life is so busy, hence the sleeping in on Sundays. The last one for this week was to share a song from the 80s that may not be well known anymore; so no Michael Jackson or Queen. I settled on Hall & Oates because I remembered the song Maneater (a personal fav to listen to from the 80s).

Maneater VEVO

A person named Bill Genereux from the ds106 community actually replied to my Hall & Oates tweet with some insight into the duo’s musical careers and how the internet helped revive it. They also sent me a link to a super cool documentary called Daryl Hall & John Oates Behind the Music which further explains their point.

Creative Assignments

This week we were given the task to complete 3 Assignments, and have at least 2 of them relate to our class theme (the 80s). I was super excited to do these because I love creative challenges. I was impressed and quite happy with the selection there was to choose from–a lot of which I decided to save for future weeks. The three I chose to do was: to create a gif, tell a story using gifs, and to create my own 8-bit image.

Now for this week, we were also given a list of movies and to choose one to watch and connect to the theme of our works this week. I chose Heathers right away. I’d seen that movie many times and am addicted to the soundtrack of the Broadway show. So for two of my three assignments, I created them using the characters from Heathers.

The prompt for my first assignment was to simply select a scene or moment and turn it into a gif. I had done things similar to gif making before but I had never collected the footage for it completely on my own; luckily it’s a painless process and was super fast. I had a few classmates comment on how they also had seen the movie and shared their thoughts on the scene I chose.

My gif of Veronica and JD

My second assignment was to tell a story using only gifs. I don’t know a lot of well-known stories that could connect to the 80s, so I ended up telling the story of a Greek god. I had never heard of the story before I read a webtoon called Lore Olympus (It’s free to read). But I enjoyed the story and wanted to retell it. It was challenging since there were more than two characters (who played important roles) and some people were confused, but after sharing the story it made more sense to readers.

And last but certainly not least, was another Heathers themed assignment where I created an 8-bit image of Heather Chandler using pixel art. I had never meddled with pixel art before so I was super excited to try it out. I have seen some insane works of art that people have created out of pixels; it’s gorgeous. I got a lot of compliments from some fellow classmates on how they thought it turned out well and how they felt inspired to give it a shot, which made me happy; it always feels nice to know you helped further a desire to try a new skill.

My 8-bit Heather Chandler

This week also gave me a chance to interact more with classmates and the ds106 community. Melody created a super awesome mash-up poster of the class’s creations as one of her assignments (I’m still impressed by how well it works with everyone’s different works), and Blue Butterball (Kollin) did a great job on an assignment that I had looked at but ended up not doing. The assignment challenged you to splice 2 images to create one picture. After seeing his work I wish I did it because it was super cool!

I also got to know some people a bit better through twitter and by commenting on their blogs. I was able to meet and talk to some stellar people who have similar interests to me.

Overall it was a great week to begin to build up our blogs and community for the semester!