Seeing Sideways Final

Posted: June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

     I am a part-time worker full-time student. I am a white male that lives at home even though I am nearly 25.  I make pennies on the dollar and last year I saw 8k dollars.  When I started school I was living on my own with a few roommates and stuck in a job as a janitor for the post office.  Now making $ 11.77 an hour wasn’t bad money for my age, but I was bombarding my body with hazardous chemicals and potential blood born pathogens daily.  I decided to move back to Indiana from San Antonio a year and a half ago and have been going full steam with school ever sense.

            The major difference from then and now is that I actually have a degree that I’m pretty good at.  In newmedia I’m focusing on content creation and exploring ideas of mine to create a digital narrative.  Part of the reason I didn’t drop seeing sideways was the examination of the creative process.  With SS I’ve learned, and expected to learn, my limitations and roadblocks are more psychosomatic than anything.  Knowing this, I have the potential to exceed what I could have created before SS.

One of the limitations I have with school is that I live so far away from it.  Being on 146 it takes me about 35 minutes to drive to school and only making 8k a year most of my money goes to gas. Also since I do work weekends that cuts into time I would have to do assignments, so I’m always trying to get my stuff done and turned in as quickly as possible. I can’t really control where my parents live and don’t have the means to be self-sufficient, but that is something I could work towards.

     If I were to change anything about my path through new media I would probably make the directed study one of the first classes a new media student took.  With directed study it told the scope of my chosen path and showed the time and effort it takes to complete it.  One of the focus of this class is making yourself employable which is the whole reason we’re in college.  Also I would probably have a pamphlet or brochure, maybe even a lecture series that explained the skill set that new media is trying to develop.  That way student has access to which programs to focus their attention on so that when they are in classes they have more familiarity with them.  The fact that we have access to Lynda.com is amazing, also the fact that we get the adobe suite for freakin free is also amazing.

One of the things I’m not getting through the new media track is help with my art skills.  I’ve paired my new media classes with the open art classes in Herron.  It seems the focus of new media is to teach from modules and pre-packaged lessons that self exploration and creativity are limited.  Instead of developing better composition skills through exploration its put widget A here, do a lopp-de-loop, save html file and upload.  Of course on the other side of this it is my job to use the concepts that I learn in these classes, it would be more beneficial if my teacher were to enforce more of a client like relationship where they say what they want, give a few pointers on what to give them, and then let the class figure out how to present it.  Then we as a class would judge on which design best suited the teacher’s pitch.  This would give us more insight on how the real world is rather than the world of academia.

     Of course my critique of the plan is only based on what I’ve had so far. I know nothing of the stress on the capstone.  And even the capstone to me seems like branding.  Also it has been hard to develop student to student relationships. It seems like there is a disconnect.  Each student is their own island.  Part of creativity is sharing your ideas and it has been hard for me to find that person or persons to develop a peer group to best enforce my skills.  So my re-envisioned version of new media would have more clubs and public relations-like things that bring the community together.  The skillsets would be more cut-and-dry to encourage play on those platforms so the students would be more proficient.  And peer-groups would be established to best help students develop their capstones and marketability.

     The final thing I’d have implemented is the right for a teacher to drop a student before the drop date.  From talking to various teachers it seems like teachers know which students are only there physically, while mentally they’ve checked out.  Being able to drop them would lower their class sizes and negatively affect their pay, yes but I believe that the quality of the student should be nurtured not the quantity of them.  Some students are straight out of high school and the learning curve, or rather the work ethic curve, seems to be too steep and it would be beneficial for them to have that burner under them so they develop a work ethic. I know that IUPUI has academic probation, but it takes too long to get kicked out or pushed in a way that you have to reapply.  I know that this would increase the dropped rate, or rather creates a forced drop rate, but simply put. College isn’t for everyone.  I know I was pushed initially into college before I could see the benefits of college. Therefore I didn’t do so well.  Forced drops would help the student grow up a bit and take their classes seriously.  If the teacher became the boss this would shift the responsibility from the teacher being the servant of the students to the student being the masters of their own learning.  If there are real and painful consequences for not taking college a little more serious than I might have taken it serious the first time I went through. I might even be done right now.

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