Learning Essay


Throughout both quarters of taking this class, I have learned a lot about new ways of writing as well as my own style of writing and how it has changed. When I originally enrolled in the class, I had no idea that it would entail writing and designing websites, and it was extremely intimidating at first. However once I learned how to do it and really put in some effort, I created multiple websites that I am very proud of. Though at times it was a time consuming and frustrating process, I feel accomplished with the work that I have done throughout both of the quarters.

The first website that I created in this class was about Interfaith Marriages, and was a personal subject because my parents are in an interfaith marriage. It was my first time ever writing a hypertext, and it took me a little while to adapt to that style of writing. Our next website that we were assigned was easier to do because I knew how to use Dreamweaver and how to write a hypertext. This website was about high school girls, and peer pressure and physical appearance. My final project for the first quarter was definitely the work that I was most proud of from the class. I wrote about the sexual harassment of teenage girls employed in restaurants. The subject was very interesting to me, so I thought that I did the best writing because I enjoyed doing the research and finding about more about the topic. I also thought that my website design improved a lot, and the color schemes and layout really fit with the message I was trying to convey. After creating the website, I felt as though it was something that other people would actually read and find interesting and beneficial.

Going into the second quarter of the class, I felt a lot better prepared, but also nervous for what was going to come next. The first assignment was a regular hypertext just like the ones we had already created. My site was based on the messages that Cory Doctorow portrays of teens, rebellion, technology, and politics. I talked about how teens transfer their feelings of rebellion into political action through the use of technology. It was a really interesting topic, and I realized how much power teens really do have now with the accessibility of technology and what a big difference they can now make in society. Teenagers have a lot to offer to the community, yet in the past they have not been given the opportunity to contribute. I analyzed Doctorow’s point of view on this, and discovered that through the book he is trying to empower teens to use technology and make a difference in the world.

Our second major assignment of the class was to write a script on a theme from Little Brother. I chose to write a script portraying the point of view of Marcus’ friend Darryl while he is in prison with the DHS. I showed the relationship between Darryl and his father, and how the two of them cope with being apart throughout the entire situation. This was the first screenplay that I had ever written, and it was really cool learning all the formatting and how to write an actual script. I put a lot of effort into my script, and when I was finished I thought that it was well written and could really see it becoming a movie.

Once our scripts were complete, we were put into groups with a chosen script in order to make a machinima movie. We had an extremely limited time to create the movie, so it was a stressful week, but I learned a lot throughout the process. I was the director in our group, and after discussing the script, we came up with a lot of great improvements for it, which I went back and edited into the script. I felt really confident in the script that we had, and was excited to start making the movie. It was definitely a learning experience, because we had many technical issues and problems with our group. The major thing I learned was the significance of camera angles in a movie, and how much time you have to work in order to capture good and interesting angles. The editing process is also extremely time consuming and difficult, but I think it is very helpful that I now know how to use iMovie.

Finally, our last project of this course was to choose a major theme from the book, and turn it into either a song, poem, newspaper or other form of media and incorporate it into a hypertext. I decided to create a blog in which people can write about their stories of how the over-surveillance of the government has negatively affected innocent people’s lives. I made up different stories of about how a policeman stopped an innocent person, which ended up revealing a secret that they had been trying to hide. I had a lot of fun with this project, and once again incorporated my new skills of hypertext writing.

Overall I learned a great deal throughout this course. Knowing how to make a website is a valuable skill, especially in the business world in which I hope to be a part of in a few years. I was actually doing interviews in a business class, and the professionals were very impressed that I knew how to make a website and had several of my own published. Learning how to make movies was also another skill that I found very useful, and for my Women and Gender Studies final project, I actually made a movie about feminism and disabilities. Though this class was definitely a lot more work than I expected and was often times frustrating, I definitely think it has been beneficial and will pay off in the future.