Goodbye Security

This time next year, I’ll be heading into my last semester of college. It is both daunting and exciting. I cannot believe how fast time has gone by, and I am nervous. However, after applying to and getting my first interview this year, I have to say I think I’m ready.

You come to a point that I never thought I’d get to. You’re over the parties and the homework and the all-nighters and you’re just ready to start a career. I can’t wait until I have my job and know what I’m doing and where I’ll end up.

This takes a huge leap of faith, however. It’s going to require me going out of my comfort zone. I may have an internship over the Summer that’s somewhere I’ve never been before, like California. But I’m finally at the point in my life where I truly believe I’m ready.

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Our latest project was an Ignite style rapid-fire oral presentation. I have to say, though I was petrified after watching examples, actually presenting my topic to my whole class was actually really fun. It goes by fast, and while you’re up there you barely know if you’re speaking English. But, I guess I was, since I got good feedback on my presentation.

I find this method so much more efficient than long, drawn out, individually timed PowerPoint slides. It forces the presenter to say what they need to say and nothing else. Talking that fast leaves little time for “um”s and “like”s as well, which makes it more enjoyable for everyone. It also forces the audience to pay attention. They know it’s short and face paced, so attention span isn’t an issue.

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Pecha Kucha…still have trouble pronouncing it, but I love it.

We’ve been watching some rapid-fire oral presentations to help us get a feel for how they work, and I came across one that I absolutely love. This presentation, which I’ll link at the bottom of this blog post, caught my attention on the featured home page of The image that came up was a stunning portrait of a young girl. After watching this rapid-fire presentation, not even being able to see the presenter, I realized that I love this style of presentation. It cuts out the BS, essentially. It keeps you focused on getting out what matters and ignoring what doesn’t. It takes out the awkward pauses and silences. It’s just a great way to keep an audience interested.

Besides the fact that the topic of portrait photography is something that I’m extremely interested in, the presentation was so successful because it taught me a lot of things I didn’t know, and fast. The presenter also included the perfect amount of humor to make the presentation enjoyable on top of educational.

I highly suggest you watch it if you have any interest in photography. Here’s the link! :

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Back to Reality

The past week has been awesome for me. Having basically no work in all my classes has lead me to be so much less stressed. I wake up early, I have more energy during the day, and I save a lot of money by not stress eating and consuming copious amounts of coffee. It was a slice of heaven. I was able to do whatever I wanted during the weekend without feeling guilty. But now, as I sit here in the library completely unprepared for my Management exam that is tomorrow, I realize I am back to reality. Why do professors pound us with so much work all at once? Every student knows about the dreaded “Hell Week” before a chunk of exams. Can’t professors realize how well we function under a healthy amount of stress, not an overload? Writing this blog post has given me time to procrastinate even further, but now it’s time to get back to studying. Ugh.

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Coding for Designers

The professor of my Graphic Design class has brought up the subject I have dreaded for quite a while – coding for web design.

A lot of the students in my year decided to take the Web Design course this semester, but I refused. I am simply too scared to start coding. I want to be a print designer upon graduation, I think, so I see no real need for me to take this course. However, that’s where the money is, so I probably should learn the basics of coding my designs.

Our professor in Graphic Design is currently showing us a way to learn the basics of coding through a website called Aquent Gymnasium. Wow! It is really breaking it down to the basics. These simple video tutorials have taught me a lot in just a couple of hours. The task seems a little less daunting now, and a little more fun! For anyone who wants to learn Coding for Designers, the lessons are completely free, and even come with a little joke certificate at the end showing you are a seasoned code designer! I’ll drop the link below. Happy coding!

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Tapestry Love

Since uploading my Unit 2 project, my tap essay “Everything You Need To Know About Life”, I haven’t tweeted or posted it on Facebook yet. However, I still have gotten a lot of love on Tapestry. The staff has featured my tap essay in their Featured section, which makes me feel pretty great about my essay. I keep getting emails of people “loving” and “subscribing” to my stories, however I can’t seem to figure out just how many “loves” or “subscribers” I have…just another flaw in the Tapestry system.

Either way, I’m pretty excited to share my tap essay with my blog, followed by my Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook followers.  I’ll post a link below, and would greatly appreciate anyone showing some love on my story!

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Social Media Keeps Cropping Up

Before I began my Writing & Digital Media course this semester, I rarely thought about social media and its impact on the world–That sound’s kind of dumb, but I just didn’t. I accepted it as part of life and didn’t really question it. Since we’ve been talking about how much it impacts communication, however, I’ve started thinking about it more and more, and it keeps popping up where I’d least expect it.

Today was Virginia Tech’s Fall Open House. As a Hokie Ambassador here at Tech, I am a tour guide who’s required to give Open House tours. This meant that I had to wake up and be decked out in maroon and orange, smiling and happy on the steps of Burruss Hall at 11 am this morning. I had to give tours for three hours, which gave me time for three tours. Throughout the course of these tour sessions, I found myself talking a lot about social media. A college campus tour isn’t really where you’d expect to find so much talk about social media, and yet here it was coming out of my own mouth.

“You can use Facebook as a tool to find a roommate before you get to Tech!”

“Someone will create a Facebook event and everyone will head out to the Drillfield for the big civilian vs. corps snowball fight every year!”

“When I’m in the library all night, I’ll just tweet where I’m sitting in hopes that friends bring me food and coffee!”

The icing on the cake for me was when a girl asked me to take a picture on her phone of her and her parents in front of Burruss. The camera she handed me was already equipped to post the picture immediately to her Instagram account.

You just can’t escape it anymore.

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Thoughts On My Digital Narrative Thus Far

Our first project is a digital narrative, and at first I was definitely nervous to start the project. After deciding I wanted my story to profile the Armory building on campus and our first semester as freshman art students here at Tech, I knew the majority of the video would be spent interviewing my friends and hearing their memories of that semester. I was not, however, prepared for how nostalgic doing these interviews would be. I set up a black backdrop, a spotlight, and my tripod and hit the record button. I didn’t even have a formal list of questions written out to be honest, I just had my storyboard in front of me for a general guideline of what I wanted to include. Then, I just asked them to talk. We talked about the old stories we all remembered and thought of what a good time we had freshman year, despite all the deadlines and stress.

As far as the actual editing goes, I had a lot of fun chopping up the interviews into one big story. It did get tough at some points. Someone would say “um” or “like” too many times, or things just didn’t translate well between different interviewees. For the most part, however, it came out as I had hoped. I still need to work on a view transitions, and my intro and outro, but that’s what this next week of workshop classes is for! At this point, I’m really excited for the final product.

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