Reflection

This course has come to an abrupt end, this semester flew by and feels like last week i was anticipating what I would be learning during this course. After looking over my very first blog post I came to the conclusion that this house was in fact fairly successful for me. I really wanted to emphasize and try to learn better skills in three major areas, these being photography, film, and audio. Blog Post 1

I was very successful in learning new skills in these areas and especially in the area of film capture and video editing.Video Blog.

During this class I was able to gain skills that I anticipated learning while also strengthening some others that I didn’t think would be worked on. Soft-skills in particular are some of the things that I didn’t anticipate learning; problem solving, communication, and even working on critical thinking were some things that I didn’t anticipate using. These soft skill will help in any career field in my mind, but particularly for mine I would be able to problem solve easier and be better at communicating with the various people in my field.

I enjoyed the film the most because of the partner aspect and it was a very successful learning experience. I got to things that I was expecting and meet people that I didn’t think I had access to and thats what made that assignment so enjoyable. The assignment I really didn’t enjoy was the journalistic writing assignment, this is because I didn’t think it was necessarily relevant to our class.

If I could go back in time and give myself advice I would tell myself to accept some of the challenges that these projects presented. I would tell myself to embrace the collaborative part of our class and to also avoid procrastination at any cost.

 

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A Day at the Territorial Prison

Archie and I decided that for the our video project we wanted to go to the Territorial Prison State Historic site for an event as they were hosting the 125th birthday of the Union Pacific railroad coming to Laramie. We asked the people at the front desk about they think we should interview so they directed us to Deborah. She gave us a rundown about the environment of the park and why it was important for it to be restored and upheld in such fine condition. We then talked to Darren Westby who is the director of state parks and natural resources. He touched on some of the things that make state parks great and how they try to foster a learning environment in order to continue to spread knowledge generationally.

The thing that I enjoyed most about this project was just the coincidence of it all. Archie and I went there that day not really expecting much just looking to get some footage and sight see some. It turned into us learning some new things and talking to some people that were very passionate about their jobs and were very welcoming. The only thing that I didn’t like about the experience was trying to get B roll shots that had some meaning without looking too creepy or weird.

The thing that I really wish we would’ve done differently was get some different perspectives while conducting our interviews in terms of the angle of the shots. I also would’ve liked us to be able to access adobe premier more easily with apple products. The thing that surprised me the most was how much i enjoyed the video editing process, once we made the switch to iMovie it made the process a whole lot easier and we were able to truly create a collaborative project.

The best part about the video creating process is that you have total control in creating something that you envision. I think that video creation is pivotal for a career in this field, especially these kind of short vids packed with information since every person loses attention so quickly. I could see myself using this for almost any situation and at the very least I could tell somebody that I know how to create a video of some sorts.

 

Adidas Vs. Nike

The purpose of this blog post is to analyze and critique the effectiveness of each major sports corporation social media usage (Adidas and Nike). The reason that I chose these two Corporations i because they are the gold standard when it comes to sport apparel in any way. The other reason that I decided to pick both Nike and Adidas was so that I could look at the way that the two giant corporations utilize their respective social media accounts.

 

adidas

Nike

While both of these brands had a presence in all six of the major social media websites/Apps, the one app/site that was lacking in terms of the social aspect was Linked in. While there was a presence from both corporations on this website, there was a major emphasis the business aspect. Both Nike and Adidas had consistent messages and themes with the content that was posted on each of their social media platforms. Adidas aimed to put on the individuality of the consumer with message like ‘here to create’ and ‘calling all creators’. by using these kind of terms Adidas is able to convey the message of creativity and individuality for the consumer when they purchase their products. Nike had their iconic theme ‘just do it’ conveyed and sowed with their content. Both corporations used their social media accounts to focus on the consumer aspect of their businesses. They also both focused on giving the power to the consumer as they gave the consumer the ability and options to create many of their products.

The first corporation that I wanted to focus on was Adidas. They were highly successful in three major ways that were recognizable to me. They were able to share with their consumer base, they kept a consistent message across all platforms, and did a decent job of interacting with consumers as well. the three main things that I would change would be to interact and keep making ‘friends on their accounts’. By doing this they create a more friendly environment and relate to their consumer more often. I would also try and convey a message or slogan that would be  more consistent. While their message was always the same their slogan would change and think that it would help with brand growth. The next think that I would do if I was Adidas is that I would just keep on grinding, they may never catch or surpass Nike but they used their social media really well.

The second corporation and its social media that I analyzed was that if Nike. Nike is the biggest of the two and has the biggest fan base. In to build such a successful brand you have to do things very thoroughly and pay attention to the small things. That is also the case with Nike and their social media usage. They had a consistent message conveyed across platforms. They made it very user friendly and accessible for their user to get to where they wanted to go. The third thing that they did that I thought was very helpful was that the used video in a creative manner that kept the consumer engaged with their content. While they were very successful there were a few thing that I would do differently that could help be more successful in their media usage. The first thing that I would do is more reasonable and less automated. This has a negative effect and makes things less enjoyable for the consumer. The next thing that I would do to help would be to be less capitalist based, everything is about money and its very recognizable.

All in all both Nike and Adidas had very successful usage of their social media accounts. While it is very hard to try and be more human with such a massive base I feel that they do a well enough job in other areas to make it so that I would only tweak a few things.

Top 5 Ballparks in America

Baseball is something that I have always held close to my heart, I was 3-years-old when i first swung a wife ball bat. And from that day it has always been my favorite sport. the fallowing ballparks are the ones that I believe are simply the best, they can be the best for number of reasons whether it be the view, the food, or the history of the stadium. The audience that I intend to find this post useful would be either baseball lovers such as myself or somebody that is looking into going to a game for the first time.

The first ballpark that is on the list is the world famous Yankee Stadium. there are a few reason to put this stadium on the list despite the new ground losing some of its illustrious  folklore. The new Yankee Stadium was opened in the 2009 stadium and has already seen some very important moments for the sport. The main being Derrick Jeters final game who is arguably the most iconic Yankee of all-time. Johnny Gurzo who is a lifelong Yankee fan has been to both stadiums and said the atmosphere is what makes it special. “You can feel it the second the stadium is in view, its different, theres nothing like it in the sport. The ball sounds louder off the bat and you can feel the energy.” Gurzo said.

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Yankee stadium during a day game in April of 2010. https://www.mlb.com/yankees

The second entry on our list that has similar reasons to being included is the famous Dodger Stadium. I put this one here because it is in the Mecca of entertainment being in Los Angeles and the historic feel of the stadium really provides something that a picture or TV just can’t. But the main thing would be their famous Dodger Dog hot dog as it is easily the best hot dog you can have at a ball game.

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Beautiful Dodger Stadium during a summer night game that truly highlights its historic and old fashioned architecture. https://www.mlb.com/dodgers

AT&T stadium is included on most peoples lists when they talk about stadiums that mean something to not only themselves but to all baseball fans. This is where many famous calls have gone down in folklore as the announcer loses his mind when a ball is crushed over the right-field wall and makes a splash in the San Fran harbor. Karl Vilums who has been a lifelong Giants fan said there is nothing like it. “In my eyes it the best, on those afternoon games where the heat isn’t beating down on you and you get the harbor right behind you to go along with the attractions of a game, its just an experience.” Vilums said. This was also the field where Barry Bonds broke the fabled single season home-run record.

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AT&T park before an afternoon game as the players take part in batting practice. https://www.mlb.com/giants

Progressive field may come as a surprise to many people but not to me. there are a few things that make this stadium one of the best in the country. The first thing that makes this stadium special would be the fact that it is smack dab right in the middle of downtown Cleveland Ohio. The stadium is surrounded by the buildings and the skyline in the background is something that has always caught my eye. the other thing that made me put the stadium on the list was the potential. The Indians are one of the hottest teams in baseball and can be truly special.

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Indians home game at night with the skyline in the sunset. https://www.mlb.com/indians

The last stadium on the list ais the stadium of the Colorado Rockies, Coors Field. Not just because they are my favorite team but because they have the best stadium in the league. Due to the altitude of Denver the ball soars out of the park there which always makes for an exciting game. Rockpile seats are only 5$ which makes the games affordable for everybody and catching the sunset in Coors field is truly an experience in itself. With nothing in life the thing that makes an experience truly memorable is the people that you share it with. “I’ve never had a bad experience going to a ballgame at Coors,” Gurzo said, “smile all around and people are truly sharing the moments with each other, everyone just wants to enjoy their time.”

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Coors Field in Denver Colorado as the evening shifts to night. https://www.mlb.com/rockies

These were just a few of the ballparks that I thought would provide the best experience for people that are either lovers of Americas pastime or are just trying to experience something new and are looking for a quality experience. The sights, sounds, atmosphere, people, and the food are what make baseball games special and these stadiums showcase that.

 

 

Audio Interview

I really enjoyed this audio portion of the class, the experience itself was a little awkward in itself. I decided to take this opportunity and ask one of my roommates to do this with me and told him that I wanted us to talk about something that we hadn’t ever before. Because of this it was a little awkward as we took almost an hour to record one 5 minute interview, we would either both start laughing as he told me stories of him growing up or we would get interrupted. One of the things that I noticed especially during the editing process was how well my phone would pick up noise, any time I touched the phone during the interview it would pick up the rustling and any other small noise such as movement on the couch. It felt weird at first because of the general presence of the recorder itself, that was the main takeaway from using it was that the recorder was almost a barrier to what the speaker actually wanted to say.

The editing process itself was a little painstaking but I managed to get somewhere that I wanted in a couple of hours. Along with class and some youtube videos I came to the conclusion that Audacity is a very user friendly program. The biggest issue that I had was trying to cut and move stuff when the words were so close together and then they would almost merge into each other, then after cutting one piece the two would be choppy so I would then have to move more stuff around to make it more cohesive. If I was listening to something other than a persons voice the editing experience itself would be something that I could find very relaxing.

I wish that during the process I could’ve included my questions or maybe it would’ve been better if the assignment was based more around a conversation style because the final end product felt like an awkward monologue and it was very difficult trying to get the story to flow together. But then agin I could’ve spoken up more to try and guide my speaker better.

As a journalist I could argue that an audio recording device is one of your most essential tools at your disposal. The main use I think would be when you are conducting an interview you jot down important topics and include timestamps to go back to. I think that audio will always be an essential piece of communication because you are able to keep your hands free and with the help of audio programs like Audacity the actual infrastructure of the process becomes much easier than what people think it is. All in all this was another portion of the class where I learned a very useful tool that I will be able to carry with me long after I am finished with school.

An Amateur take on Photojournalism

Photo 1:

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The Laramie River just off the green-belt in West Laramie

I took this photo because it was a location I was familiar with, this was one of the first places that my grandpa took me fishing when I was a kid. This opportunity arose when I was dog watching for my uncle and it started dusting when I was on the greenbelt walking his dog. Some of the creative devices at work in the photo are rule of thirds and focus. The mouth off the mini waterfall is right in the middle for the rule of thirds while the water is in focus and the background isn’t as its blurred from the shrubs and the lite snowfall.

Photo 2:

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A resident of Laramie starts to make the journey across the footbridge located in downtown Laramie.

I took this photo when I was walking around downtown one afternoon on a Saturday. The main creative device at work in this photo is leading lines as the bridge and the railings lead directly to the woman walking across the bridge. This was also an example of framing as the woman is framed in the distance by the railings and the overhead of the bridge.

This is an example of a feature as I think that was a fresh view of an everyday walk that happens across the bridge. I didn’t ask for her name as she was wearing headphones and didn’t want this shot to seem staged.

Photos 3 & 4:

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For the third part of the assignment I really struggled finding differing perspectives on a similar topic from all the photos I took. I featured this as I tried to capture the different ways that people were spending their time with their dogs in the cold winter. In the first picture there were few creative elements at work. The first being framing as the man on the right is framed by the telephone pole and the tree branches. rule of thirds is also at works the subjects of the photo are split into the three sectors. I also think that color was an element here as the sky is a clear “sky blue”.

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In this second picture people are entering a dog park in West Laramie.

For this second photo I tried to focus on more of the social aspect of taking your dog to a dog park as its a different approach to caring for your dogs exercise needs in the winter. The creative devices here used are rule of thirds again at the dogs and their owners are in the center of the sectors. Also background was one that I thought applied as the people and their dogs were meant to be the focus but your eyes are drawn to things like the tower in the background.

Reflection:

This assignment was quite the challenge for me personally as I was more drawn to more of the aesthetically pleasing photos that I took for this assignment. Having people be your focus was hard as it makes you think about photos in a different way. I have a nice canon DSLR camera but i found out quickly it became a hassle to lug around with me so I used my phone for a few of these, I really struggled with juxtaposition photos as I missed a few event opportunities and then my hands were really tied when I was selecting the photos. I also tried to take most of my pictures outdoors to utilize natural lighting  but then scraped almost all of them at the end. Looking back I wish I would’ve been more courageous and prepared for some of the events I was at. It wasn’t really that difficult talking to people even though i didn’t include any in my final sections. The main thing is that I want to continue to work on this craft as this was my first real shot at photography.

 

Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson: “A man about the hustle”

Jason Thompson has been an associate professor in the english department at the University of Wyoming for 9 years now. And he has embraced the struggle every step of the way.

Thompson who grew up in Tacoma, Washington was the first to get a college degree from anyone in his family. And this was no easy feat as it was always on himself to get his own bills paid. He payed his way through college, accepting any job that came his way as he continued to work towards is first degree in literary composition.

“I worked many many jobs when I was in college, if there was money involved I would be up for it. I worked as a janitor,  had work study and did tons of work in the food industry. I was always about the hustle,” said Thompson.

These jobs were just the beginning of his path to obtaining his degree. He was also a tutor, a security guard at night and built log houses during the summer in the woods of Washington State.

“It is one of the things that I am most proud of. Putting myself through school and being able to tell myself that everything that I have is because of me. It gives me confidence in overcoming other obstacles that I have faced in my life.” said Thompson.

Fatherhood and Izzy

While putting himself through school gives him a great sense of pride it is’nt the thing that he is most proud of in this world. Thompson is a single father and has learned as much from her as she has from him.

“Getting my daughter in the divorce, raising my kid and the little rituals that we have created together along the way is what I am most proud of. Learning with her and teaching her, all while surviving the politics of my job,” said Thompson.

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Jason and his daughter Izzy. Photo credited to Thompsons Facebook.

The everyday rituals that he shares with Izzy and the day-to-day experiences are what he enjoys most.

Jason Thompson wakes up everyday just like the rest of us. It starts with a loud too early for this alarm and a few pondering minutes if why today. But just like with the rest of us reality starts to kick in and the day must be started.

He wakes up his 10-year-old daughter Izzy and gets her ready for the day. A quick breakfast and they are out the door.

His days are filled with teaching and writing while he also has a shared interest in woodwork from one of his many “hustles”.  Him and Izzy often do homework together and make dinner, sometimes ending their evening with a ride on Jasons’ motorcycle.

Getting to know his students.

Throughout the course of his teaching career Jason admits that he has learned as much from his students as they have from him. Over time he has taken pride in being able to see his students for what they are… people, people that are trying to figure everything out just as he once was himself.

“I have always taken pride in trying to have a very open atmosphere within my classroom, I always want my students to talk and collaborate with each other. I know a lot of professors say this but it really is my favorite thing about teaching,” said Jason.

Reinvention 

While Jason is a professor and has taught at other schools outside of Wyoming he has always tried his best to find value in things that he himself does not know. While he has lived in Wyoming for almost a decade he is just now in the process of getting his hunter safety permit.

“I want to be curious and humble about the things that I don’t know. I admire what people know, and at the same time what I don’t. I have even just started getting my Hunters safety. Its something that people do around here and I thought that I would like to learn how. Something is very valuable because I don’t know it,” said Thompson.

Throughout his life Thompson has overcome the challenges that he has faced, getting multiple degrees, being a single dad and continuing to learn have all been a part of the process. Doing all of this as not come with such ease though.

“Staying locked in and avoiding the drama that comes with the job that I have, have been some of the toughest things that Ive dealt with during this journey. But thats all part of it, I just try to stay humble and be there for Izzy,” Thompson said of the obstacles he has faced.

10535771_10202238879913295_595022159894439513_oJason his daughter Izzy shortly after their move to Laramie, photo credited to Thompsons Facebook.

Thompsons Facebook

Wyoming English Department