Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Work, Vocation, Career

   To me, work is what you do to make money. It doesn't necessarily mean something you like, something that you studied for or even something that makes you a lot of money. Work can mean anything from mowing lawns and babysitting to being a lawyer or CEO. Work is what pays the bills. I worked as a grocery store cashier. I made barely more than Wisconsin minimum wage, worked less than full time and it sucked and I hated it, but it put gas in my car and funded the fun things I did

   A career is what you've studied for and have plans to do for a much longer time. A career means you know you're good at it and it something you are successful with. Careers generally require some form of education. Whether it be studying air conditioning or getting your masters or PhD. I want to go into education as a career, but I want to get a masters in school administration and a degree in political science and work for the board of education. The difference between this and work is that where I worked I didn't have a goal or real possibility for promotion. I was briefly trained but never had to study for it. With my career I have goals, a plan to move ahead and back ups. I know it's something I will be doing for the long haul.

   A vocation is something you are called to do. I always associate this with God and religion. I've always heard it used in that context. But it really just means your purpose. This is not a job or work or career, but why you're on this planet and how you're meant to make your impact. I like to think that I am here to make a difference in the American education system. That is my purpose and what I believe I was called to do. Your vocation can factor into your career or work or it can not. My vocation factors into my chosen career, however, a man who works as a manager at a company may find his vocation is to inspire people through art he does in his free time.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Analyzing Posters

In the last poster on this page we see Harry Potter and Voldemort facing each other against a foggy blue background. There's a flame-like red and orange texture at the bottom and between the two characters is the Elder wand. The only visible text on the poster is "IT ALL ENDS 7.15".
I think there are some important design choices made here, specifically relating to the text. It does not say the movie title, I believe this is because this is the poster for the 8th movie in the Harry Potter franchise, which is in reality an extension/pt. 2 of the 7th movie. So it's aimed towards people who have seen the other movies and recognize the characters on the poster. We can deduce that there will be a fight based on the intense stare-down on the poster. The wand dividing them not only shows the 2 divided sides,but also the end goal, to have that object in the end. The blue foggy background gives an intense feeling and mixed with the orange, it gives the overall idea of action (action movies tend to have orange/red and teal/blue backgrounds both on the cover and within the movies themselves. Furthermore, red \/orange and blue are not quite opposite on the color wheel but far enough from each other to create a striking contrast, adding to the idea of opposite sides and a "good vs. evil" battle.
When looking at the two characters on the poster we see they are both dirty and bloodied, suggesting violence and struggle.
The text "IT ALL ENDS" suggests that this is the end , the last movie, the final battle. We see who will come out the victor.
The poster is simple and almost minimalist but shows an aura of intensity and emotion.

What is a day with anxiety like?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


In hindsight, this was actually a very interesting project, which is interesting to me because I had no desire to do it at first. I'm one of those people who thinks "Just give me a paper to write!". Despite being a creative type, abstract ideas and creative projects have never been my strong suit. They tend to be structured enough to take the fun out of creativity, and abstract enough to be difficult to create. This project, however, was fun for me and allowed me to express a part of me that is difficult to express often times.

At first, I had planned to do a very indignant photo essay on the misconceptions about millenials (my generation) by the media and earlier generations. I soon realized that, despite my passion for this topic, I had no idea what the hell that meant in terms of a photo essay. So I decided to go with my back up plan which was the anxiety of college. It included things like "lack of sleep" and "increased caffeine intake". I concluded that this was boring, but, it was the best idea I had so I went with it. It wasn't until I heard from my 8 year old sister, who was having a meltdown at school, that I realized what I wanted to do with this project.

As for some background, my sister has a form of anxiety called Sensory Processing Disorder. This means that a lot of stimuli, things that would be mildly upsetting if at all to other people, such as a loud pattern or a crowded party, are extremely upsetting to her. When she was very young, things as small as spilling her milk at the dinner table would cause her extreme panic attacks. Even now that we know and we can help her control it, and despite the incredible strides shes made in dealing with it (as an 8 year old, none the less!) people's reactions to her meltdowns and her lashing out are still "she's choosing to do this" and "she just needs stricter rules and harsher punishments for her actions". As not only her sister, but someone who also has anxiety and sees her struggle every day, I can assure you, she is not choosing this. It's very difficult for her, and hard on us as her family to see people who just don't, and often times refuse to understand. So, Sophia, thank you for inspiring me to teach people about our struggles.

Once I decided to talk about the struggles of anxiety it was mostly smooth sailing. I rewrote my narrative a few times before deciding I needed to tell Sophia's story to really convey my message. Another issue I ran into was how to portray some of the things I was discussing. I don't feel like I accurately portrayed panic attacks. How does one portray the feeling of drowning, the immobility and the inability to breathe, mixed with overwhelming feelings of guilt and fear? I did what I could with what I had, but I don't feel I did enough. Same with how to portray the impact of "small stuff".  My friend and model, Nicole, inspired that one, actually. The day previous to us taking pictures she called me over to her room, crying and panicking because she couldn't find one of those stupid, rubber band, rainbow loom bracelets her boyfriend had made her. To a lot of people this would be disappointing but not panic worthy. (Not to worry, her roommate found it not long after.)

Overall, I enjoyed this project. I felt like I really got to express something about me that I generally try to hid and that was important to me. I hope people get the message I attempted to put into it.

Purpose Statement and Design Plan

Purpose Statement:
If I could present this essay anywhere, I’d like to be a presentation to college students, parents and professors. These are the people I believe could most benefit from it. I feel that anxiety is widely misunderstood and I want to help people understand it. My goal is to break anxiety down to the basics and explain them in a way that helps foster positive attitudes about anxiety and positive ways to help. I hope to help people with anxiety get the help they need, professionally and from the people they love and who love them. I want to eliminate phrases like “get over it” and “some people have it so much worse than you”. I want to help people understand that people with anxiety can’t help that they have anxiety or panic attacks or irrational worries, and that to deal with this, they need the help of those around them.
I spent a lot of time hiding my panic disorder because it seemed like it was a burden on people who didn’t have anxiety or didn’t know much about it. As I began to understand it I began to teach and help the people in my life understand it as well. Though I still struggle with my anxiety every day, I am also learning more about how to manage it and how to help the people in my life understand what it is and what I need from them.

My photo essay shows pictures of my friend, who has mild generalized anxiety, showing what the daily life of someone with anxiety may look like. It includes things that people may not know about daily life with anxiety, such as how it affects motivation, eating habits and even sleep. My biggest hope for this project is that it broadens the view of people, both with and without anxiety, so they can see and understand the struggles of day to day life for someone coping with mild, moderate or severe anxiety.

Design Plan:
My purpose for this essay is to clearly define what I think are some main characteristics of anxiety disorders as a whole, basic things all people should recognize about people with anxiety. As well as, to educate people on how to help people with anxiety and how to help themselves. I want to help people understand how to help people with anxiety and why ignoring it or minimizing the situation won’t help.
The mediums I will be using are pictures and text. My pictures will describe the 8 major things I want people to understand about anxiety and panic disorders: the irregular sleep and eating habits, depression and motivation, panic attacks, the social aspect of anxiety, the huge impact of seemingly small things and I want to close with things people with anxiety are sick of hearing. I have asked my best friend, Nicole, to help me by being the model for my pictures, as she has anxiety as well and can accurately understand and portray the feelings associated with the 8 things I listed.
I will show ethos by explaining my own history with anxiety in my narrative and by using my friend, who also has anxiety for the pictures. I hope to come off as someone who understands because I’ve experienced, rather than someone who knows because they’ve researched it. I hope to show logos in a similar way. By providing my own testimonial and that of the people I know who also have anxiety. As for pathos, I want my essay to convey understanding and my desire to help other understand.
I want to arrange my essay in a way that will take the viewer through the average day, while including the variables (ex. motivation vs. lack of motivation), so I will start with sleeping and the difficulty of getting up in the morning. I want to end with things people with anxiety are tired of hearing and include some resources for people with anxiety or people who want to know more.
My friend Nicole and some of my friends with and without anxiety will be my testers. They will go through the essay and let me know if it conveys both the average day with anxiety and how a friend or ally can help.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Writing and Design: A diagram

If we were to make a Venn diagram of writing vs. design, we would see that the circle for writing falls entirely inside the circle for design, but does not fully encapsulate design. By this I mean all writing must have an element of design, but not all that has design is written. Music has design, art has design, even nature has design. To effectively communicate we must utilize all of the elements encapsulated by the design circle, written and otherwise. With the technology we have at hand it would be foolish to simply do the age old, black and white design of writing past. We see that our world has provided us with a means of communicating through color, FONT and size. Even links, pictures and music.

When we realize we have these tools for written communication, we realize we have a whole new design element to work with, and to be a part of our own time we must use it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Intimacy of Blogs by Michael Snider Questions

I think blogs are a useful piece of written work for the 21st century. It is something that is different from previous forms of communication. Where before could we share our lives world wide simply by writing a bit and hitting "share". It's not as exclusive as Facebook, anyone in the world can get to know you through a blog and yet its not as inclusive as YouTube. You choose what people see and know about you. A blogger could be anyone from a 13 year old girl talking about middle school to an 80 year old man describing ticking things off his bucket list. Anyone can blog about anything. I follow blogs of all sorts. They give me news updates and updates about communities I'm a part of, as well as answer my questions, inspire me and keep me entertained. The blogs I use personally have been for classes and entertainment. For example, I love lipstick and follow some blogs about lipsticks, and post to some with critiques, comments, and new products I've found. I also have a general purpose blog I use as a diary of sorts. In all I think blogs certainly have their place in modern communication.