Posted in Summer 2016

Making is Wonderful, Rhetorical, Critical

Picture taken by me at The Ohio State University.

After the many months of excitement leading up to it, the first day of the 2016 Digital Media and Composition Institute AKA DMAC did not disappoint. Though today has been a long, packed day of meeting many new (fantastic) people, learning some tools, software, tips, tricks, making a “Soundtrack in 60” project, and celebrating the day’s successes, I continue to feel energized to do more and look forward to the continued challenges and growth to come from this institute.

Some of my key highlights and takeaways from today:

  • Learning about and wearing interactive color communication badges to show differing levels of interaction comfort (brilliant!) for the duration of the institute (definitely going to be using this concept in other future planning)
  • “DMAC runs like a train in Switzerland” – And they mean it! I am so impressed by how on top of things the graduate student staff and leaders (Scott DeWitt and Cindy Selfe) are about staying on time, task, and breaking down and assisting with tools and software.
  • Focus on PEOPLE first, before technology.
  • We’re a maker culture. It’s a wonderful thing to make things, but also rhetorical and critical.
  • A few vocabulary words:
    • Provenance: the history of how something came to be.
    • Tone v. Mood possible working definitions -> Tone = how we communicate (author); Mood = how we’re feeling (interpretation)
    • Tone = composer’s attitude toward audience vs. Mood = composer’s attitude toward subject matter
  • “Everything we think about as a disability is an ability.”
  • “One of the affordances of print is that you can process it at your own speed”
  • “Save here, save there, save now, save later”— Scott DeWitt on the importance of saving your work (spot on!)
  • That experiencing and understanding frustration is important for our pedagogy and development – these are feelings students will likely experience when we assign them multimodal projects, so it’s important to always do/make before we teach
  • Mad Mex:
    • a great Mexican restaurant with excellent service
    • killer margarita and food specials (all you can eat burritos for $6 anyone?)
    • worth going to if you are ever in Columbus, Ohio
  • Also thankful for the one-on-one time at Mad Mex with Cindy Selfe who gave me fantastic feedback on some of my research ideas and future goals in the field ❤ among other great conversation.

Today we were tasked with learning how to use audio/video recording devices and capturing some sound, which we then learned how to edit using Audacity (open-source sound-editing software). The assignment asks us to edit, revise with music and a narration to produce a 60-second (no more, no less!) audio track surrounding literacy, composing, or multimodality.

We were asked to do our sound recording over lunch, so I explored a bit of OSU’s (massive) campus. I was enamored by all of the sounds of birds amplified through my headphones via the sound recorder and tried to capture those sounds as much as possible, but became quickly frustrated by the seemingly immediate interruptions by construction, airplanes, and (loud) gusts of wind. I chose to focus my soundtrack in 60 surrounding those issues as my argument.

I am proud of what I accomplished today, despite some frustrations getting files to transfer from the audio recording device onto my laptop and then cutting and putting working with 21 different audio files (instead of recording two, two-minute clips, I chose to do several shorter clips for variety) to produce a 60-second soundtrack, I feel successful and have learned A LOT that I will continue to integrate in my own work and pedagogy. To celebrate further, I want to share the audio file I made (this is the latest draft):

The first day of DMAC has been so enriching and fruitful. I can’t wait to continue exploring and see where this journey takes me next.


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