Was the Seminar Useful?

At the end of first semester when I began enrolling in second semester classes I was given the option to enroll in this one credit Comm seminar. At first, slightly skeptical to the unknown of what the seminar would consist of, I decided to enroll on a whim. I wasn’t sure if this seminar would serve me any purpose at all aside from an extra credit or if it would help me better understand concepts from my Comm121 course that I was simultaneously enrolling in. Now, as we are rapidly approaching the end of second semester I find myself quite satisfied with my decision to enroll. I am currently working on a group video project for my final in my Comm121 course and the key concepts and knowledge that I have retained during this seminar is proving useful.

The very first seminar speaker we had was a PhD student, Rachel Thibault who spoke about Film Censorship, History and Ideology (Film Study). Throughout her presentation she discussed the censorship of films and how this creates some risky business for creators because they are responsible for the films content.  Second, she touched upon film as a social practice which is a way we make sense of ourselves and what society values. Film is very different from text because it does not stand along and it is constantly circulating and causing different reactions to arise based upon audiences. This ties into the current process we are going through to make our video because my group and I are using my knowledge of censorship and film to filter through what we want the content of our video to be. Since these videos are being made with the intent to distribute we must take into consideration what goes into them in order to make sure they are appropriate for a majority of audiences and politically correct when touching upon different social identities and cultural differences. Next, when looking at film as a social practice we must think about what we want our movie to portray about society and ourselves we live in today taking into consideration that people will have different reactions in different places and that these reactions will constantly be circulating. An in class example of this is when my Comm118 class read the short story the Buzz Buzz Boom. Not only has this been a constant reference for my Comm121 class but also we have been working with the classes’ reactions of this short story in order to help construct our video.

“Communication is never this transparent easy process” said Benjamin Bailey as he discussed cultural differences to my seminar class the following week. This quote has been in the back of my mind as I contribute to constructing this video because it reminds me that the message that we want our video to represent doesn’t have to be blatantly stated but it can be complex, raw and challenging. It can cause the audience to really watch the video, analyze the material and focus on the communication so they can communicate their own message out of it. Also, this quote is being used as a caption to provide more depth and complexity for a certain scene.

The beauty about creating a video is not only the fact that you are in control of what people are watching but that you’re also in control of what issues you raise awareness to. Jan Serves, a faculty member for Communication for Sustainable Social Change not only spoke at a seminar but, helped me realize the power of voice. Throughout Jan’s presentation he touched upon the “Narcissim Epidemic” which is the new up and coming epidemic for my generation- the Millennials. Also, he discussed influence in media, the NoH8 campaign and different Communication courses pertaining to social change. As we construct our video we are coming across these decisions of what to bring awareness to, if we choose to show both the negative and positive aspects of something or just one. My group’s video is working with the use of technology in society and how it affects not only the world but also our generation- the Millennials. We have been working with raising awareness in this video and how it then will affect the social change after it is released.

So for our final we are given a prompt and a list of criteria consisting of the bare minimum of what our video must have. But with that information where do you begin, what do you focus on, how do you make your video effective? Well, that is where Chris comes in. Chris was the documentary guy; he came into the seminar and introduced us to PAM however PAM isn’t a girl. PAM is a mnemonic device of how to construct a successful and efficient documentary. P-urpose A-udience M-essage and then the “A” triggers the call to action or what you want the audience to sacrifice due to the viewing of your movie. This simple little rubric saved our video because it is very easy to comprehend and consists of a basic set-up that allows you to lay out all of your ideas and separate the crucial from the useless. PAM and I are great friends since the start of this project.

However, there is still one more very important aspect- the audio. But have no fear because Zach Mcdowell was here. Zach came into our seminar and talked about fare use, sharing, mixing and remixing finals. He broke everything down from what is legal to do with music to what is illegal to do with music and all of the fine lines in between. This was and is extremely helpful throughout the process of constructing this video because we are more aware of how to select music, what we can do with it and how to site it in order to properly credit the proper people.

Looking back, choosing the seminar was a great decision, not only for all of the general knowledge I gained but because it intertwined with everything I’m currently doing in other classes with my major. Everything just crashed into each other and meshed into place and because of that our final video can be produced the best we can.

In a Digital World…

I second that…


wow, we have sooooo much comm homework, i didn’t even realize it. #LbLLP

From a home computer, individuals are able to complete banking transactions, shop, pay bills, take an online educational course, check electronic want ads, engage in political discussion, register their child for the local Little League, e-mail a government official, and access local bus schedules

Media Society textbook for Comm121

Will society eventually stop leaving their houses?

Is technology eating us alive?

Unknowingly and uncontrollably, we are all born into a society of predetermined norms and ways of life. In addition, as much as we’d like to believe that the human race is the center and most important element in a successful society, it is not. The center and main component is mass communication and then from that stems all of the frameworks that tie in together to create a working and successfully functioning community.

Growing up, I was slowly but surely conditioned to the ways of the world and as I grew older the progression of technology grew too. Up until recently I overlooked how drastically technology and communication has evolved. Starting out in elementary school by learning lessons on a chalk board, to progressing to a white board, then a smart board by high school and now it is considered an abnormality if course curriculum is not posted online. In college all assignments are relayed through online communication, social networking is no longer just a past time but curriculum requirement and checking email, twitter, facebook, tumblr, wiki and SPARK are necessities to have a successful day.

My name is Demi Foley and I don’t just experience media, I live through the media, I am required to be if I want to succeed in life. Starting high school with not one social networking account, I am now an 18 year old freshman in college with nine different social networking accounts; ten out of the eleven are required for academic success and full completion of school assignments. Prior to this year I would have said you could not pay me to have a twitter account never mind a tumblr and, in the past 2 hours I’ve tweeted three times all related to school work and am currently writing this in order to blog on tumblr for my Comm121 course. Just yesterday I changed cell phones in order to receive free internet to avoid falling behind in communication for my classes; constant internet access is vital.

Throughout the course of the day I have logged into facebook over 4 times, have spent an hour on YouTube, checked my emails over five times, blogged, tweeted and studied via SPARK. I used to never check the news due to laziness of not wanting to read the paper or watch on TV, now that is not an issue. I have three applications on my cell phone and itouch feeding me constant news updates and every email homepage has updates of the most recent current events. “We no longer search for the news, the news finds us…” And as time passes social networking and communication is starting with younger and younger generations; I logged into my first internet account at age fourteen my younger sister logged into hers at age eleven. Communication and technology is rapidly growing and taking over, not waiting or stopping for anybody to catch up. In order to stay in the loop, in order to be caught up with society, in order to live- you must keep up. However it is not a matter of if we can use the media and technology but how well we use it. Media isn’t just what I or what we do- it’s who we are.

Media and technology is eating us alive. There is not one person on my floor who doesn’t own at least three different electronic devices, one being a laptop and it is a rarity for someone to leave their dorm room without at least one- their cell phone. Looking around you see massive amounts of people on campus, cell phones everywhere, texting extensive amounts of words a minute. It is to the point, that our society even needs laws to prevent car accidents due to the usage of technology. However, the irony of it all is that while we are trying to keep up with life through media we are missing out on it at the same time. While we are tweeting, emailing, texting etc. in order to find out information, we are missing out on the information around us and the lessons be taught to us. However if we fail to accurately communicate we fall behind; so how do we decide which information is vital to obtain or not obtain? Communication and media; we can’t live with it, yet it’s impossible to live without it.


How has facebook affected you?

Social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate