When the Spring Quarter finally arrived, I felt like I was a lot more prepared for this class; however, I had no idea that we would be conveying our ideas through forms of new media.  I was able to express my opinions fully, and I enjoyed creating comic strips, screenplays, and most of all, the movie.  I think I went into this quarter with an expectation that it was going to be tedious, and it was, except it was much more rewarding than the first quarter.  Overall, I am much more impressed with the work I created this quarter than the last.

In comparison to last quarter, this quarter seems like it was much more about taking time to slow our work process down and revise.  I feel like last quarter was more about learning how to get down the basics of hypertext writing, while incorporating multiple sides of a conversation into our work.  We still used the techniques from the first quarter, but we managed to think more critically about the problems we were trying to address.  For example, a lot of this quarter was about addressing the central themes in Little Brother and remixing those ideas using new media, while constantly revising the concepts.  Our projects were so much different than this quarter, and I'm glad that we were exposed to more types of social media.  

On a side note, I really liked that Marc constantly contested the, "Why do you care?" idea.  Marc knew that we were going to be exposed to the same book (all quarter), and he wanted us to be sure we wanted to do what WE wanted.  Plus, having a connection to the projects and remixes made them much more enjoyable and less painful when it came time for remixing.

Looking at each project that we used, I found that I made a steady progression to that A grade. I wasn't sure, in the beginning, how much remixing we were supposed to do in our first Bitstrip.  Because of this, I didn't make a comic that was strongly connected to a theme.  Still, this comic was my first, and I feel like it was a good start to my remixing.  It makes fun of Marcus' arrogance, and it emphasizes on the feeling that Marcus has when he thinks he is being followed. I made this much more dramatic by having multiple people following him instead of two.

The next project that we worked on was the Comic Life comic.  I really like the comic I did for this one because we were forced to use pictures to create this comic.  I took the theme of privacy and checkpoints and put it into the Mario Kart scene.  I found it to be extremely appropriate, and I felt like it worked very well.  I saw an immediate jump from my first comic, and I was impressed with the look of the overall cartoon.  When my classmates read this cartoon, they told me that it was very original but still got the message clear.  Also, I noticed that, in not just my cartoon in Comic Life, but everyone's was much more original, in terms of how much remixing we did. Here is Page 1 and Page 2 of the comic. (Couldn't insert)

Next, we did another Bitstrips comic.  In comparison to the first Bitstrips comic, this one was much longer and more centralized on the theme of privacy demonstrated in Little Brother.  I really like the way this one came out because I was able to remix the concepts with the scene with Jolu and Marcus at the beach.  It was effective, yet it didn't lose the connection to the book.

Also, we compiled a web poster on Glogster. This was super fun, and I thought it was a very innovative way of creating posters. It helps students evaluate their work in a new way, and it helped me emphasize certain areas of my theme of privacy. I think it's a great way for kids to get involved with new media, while still creating valuable and effective material.

The last mini remix we did was our choice.  I chose to do a remix rap of the privacy theme presented in the book.  I found this to be fun and hard. It has a good sound to it (if I were to sing it).  I think the freedom in the remix allowed a lot of people to sort of do what they wanted in the media that they found most appropriate.  

After the mini remixes, we moved on to our analytical hypertext.  This hypertext, similar to the analytical hypertext done in the Fall Quarter on Low Wage Waitresses, required me to take a theme from Little Brother, and it would be an interpretation and extension of the novel.  The theme I chose for this hypertext was the same as the theme I used for my previous remixes - privacy issues.  Specifically, I chose to base my hypertext on cell phone tracking and the way that it influences different groups of people.  This hypertext came bearing weight because of the constant revision we had to do.  I started getting annoyed with this because Marc kept making me focus my topic, but in the end, I came out with a good result.  Once I was focused, I had to critically analyze Doctorow's position on the subject.  This was hard because it wasn't specifically reflected back into the novel, but I had to claim what I thought Doctorow would say based on what information we were given from the novel.  Overall, the design of my website was very interesting and the best I've ever done.  The content is the best hypertextual writing I've created.  This project was tedious, but I'm really impressed with how I've progressed in hypertext writing.

When we finished the hypertext, we moved straight into screenplay writing.  To prepare us for writing our scripts, we did worksheets to help us get to know our characters and plot points.  I feel like this helped a little, but I don't believe it was necessary.  When we got to write our scripts, I felt really excited.  I was able to write in hopes that my script would get chosen to be made into a film using Second Life, and it did.  I was very fortunate enough that Marc chose my script.  My screenplay involved parents having to decide whether they should do the right thing.  Marcus' parents turn him in when they find out what he has been up to with the DHS.  When we got ready to make our movie, we got into our film groups.  My group consisted of Kelli, Austin, Mike, AJ, and myself.  I loved the group I was in, and we all gelled and worked to our strengths.  We had to pick preproduction, production, and post-production roles.  The filming was hard, to say the least.  We had to make sure everything was not only to Marc's standards but to ours.  Kelli doctored up my script great, and she made it seem more realistic in terms of a film.  Austin led us in creating the film, and I know that it wouldn't have looked as great as it did if it weren't for him.  Mike created flawless characters, and he did a very good Mr. Yallow voice.  AJ pulled through with Marcus' voice, and he was clutch when we needed someone to find a location fast.  Overall, I was fortunate to see my written work turn into a Youtube video.

Looking beyond the scope of this class, I find that the tools gained in this class could be applied to my other courses.  For example, in Ethics, I think making a movie of a specific philosophy standpoint could be critical to learning.  It could take that standpoint and put it into an applicable situation.  This could be helpful in that the components to the understanding would be evident, as well as the application. Another example could be taking a History class and remixing a piece of that history: whether it's the perspective of the story or a change in one event that affects everything, one can see the impact that could have.  A way to do this could be remixing the Bible, which is already a remix in itself.

I believe that hypertext can be connected to what I know about professional conversation.  With the help of the analytical hypertexts, I think it allows one to jump in on the argued conversation, which consists of many sides.  I think hypertext allows us to see the connections that some professionals have in the big conversation, and it also allows us to see what professionals disagree with each other.  Overall, hypertexts are essentially big maps of the conversation, and sometimes, it's only some of that conversation. New media, in general, also helps create opportunities for representing the professional conversation.  With Youtube, comic strips, blogs, etc, we are able to take all types of media and piece together the conversation.  Also, I think having all these forms of social media is analogous to the complexity of the conversation.  

Similarly, as aforementioned, I believe there is a relationship between knowledge and hypertext.  Professional thought hasn't so much as changed but accelerated due to hypertext.  Hypertexts cut the time for professionals to shape their conversation, and it allows the knowledge to be right at someone's fingertips.  Hypertext also allows knowledge to be traced back and cited, and this is major plus.  Writing has changed a lot because it's networked.  People are able to feed off what other's write, and enhance the overall conversation.  Blogs, mostly, give people the opportunity to speak through writing.  When I first thought of blogging, I didn't really get why people didn't just write in journals or diaries.  Now, I understand that it's their chance to jump in on the conversation, and networking allows people to do that because the conversations are somehow connected.  Hypertext really has changed a lot about the way we think, write, and believe.  

This class and the tools I've gained from it will be extremely useful to me in the future.  I'm sure that Graduate School will be rough, and I'm sure that the research that is to come will force me to know how to jump in on the professional conversation.  Specifically, I know that the use and knowledge of new media will help me a lot if I make it into the FBI.  Social media and new media in general are key to cases that are being solved every day.  I think this class has given me an upper hand, and I'm glad I've learned how important it really can be.

As we can see, new media is on the rise.  Young kids are carrying around iPads and texting, while updating their Facebook status.  They say that kids are the future, and for the ones fortunate enough, education won't be a problem.  Education for the fortunate consists of true education for critical thinking is involved versus its imposter - information download.  Education gives people the chance to think and understand, whereas information download spoon-feeds students information, in hopes of them spitting it back.  This is not education at all because what true learning is there?  Marc brought this to our attention in the first quarter, and I wasn't so sure about what he was saying.  Now though, I totally agree.  Most of us have experienced the information download technique in our lives, and from that, I can say I don't really remember any of it.  It's sad to see that this is what will be happening to the less fortunate, as it's already happening now.  Still, the point of true education is not only to practice in goals of becoming good but to practice to become a participant.  It is one thing to understand the conversation, but participating in the conversation is where true education.

Overall, this course has been very insightful, and I enjoyed it.  Some parts of the class seemed never-ending, but looking back, I'm impressed with my progression.  I personally think I should get an A because of this progression and because I've given much time and effort into all of the assignments.  Thanks Marc for a good two quarters! :)

P.S. You should stop by Casa de Fruta! :)