Tag Archives: family

Life in Quarantine

Over a month ago, when COVID-19 ramped up significantly and caused my classes to go online and my jobs to close, I made the decision to go back to my hometown and quarantine with my family. I’m so glad I made that decision, as I can’t imagine how I’d be feeling if I was alone in my apartment right now.

Temporarily moving back home has been pretty weird. The first few days, I just worried about everything going on, but I slowly calmed down and tried to be more positive. I started adjusting to my new normal, and now I’m completely used to living here. I truly never thought I would live with my parents again, but this is a pretty unusual situation, and at the end of all this I will be heading back to Vancouver, although being there will surely feel different.

My initial plan while staying here was to be extremely productive and do everything I’ve never had the time to do before, but I quickly realized that that was not going to happen, and that’s okay. I needed to relax and focus on my mental health for the first little while before I could think about doing “productive” stuff. I watched movies and tv shows, I spent hours on reddit, I talked to friends constantly. It was actually really nice to have a break – I think I needed it. Life has been pretty crazy, with COVID-19, me finishing my last semester of university, and my post-graduation plans being thrown out the window, at least for the time being. I needed to just unwind and take a break.

Now that I feel sufficiently relaxed, I’m ready to start being productive. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself – I initially planned to write an entire novel while in quarantine, but the pressure to do so caused a lot of anxiety that led to me being too scared to even start. I’ve since made my goals a little more realistic, and have subsequently started working out, started reading again, and started writing blog posts again (guess I’m doing pretty well so far). There are a few more things I’d like to do, including video chatting with friends, as I’ve done this once so far and found it much more enjoyable than talking over text, plus I would really like to talk to people other than my immediate family. I would also like to do some creative writing, but this time, I’m not going to put as much pressure on myself – I don’t need to write an entire novel, I can write short stories or slowly start writing a novel without pressuring myself to get it done right away. I think if you put too much pressure on yourself, it impedes your ability to actually get things done (or maybe that’s just me).

Apparently, we have at least another month of social distancing left until things go back to “normal”, and in a weird way I am grateful for that, as it means more time with my family and more time (hopefully) being somewhat productive while I actually have time to do everything I want to do. Nobody knows how long this will last, but it’s important that we all take care of ourselves and our mental health right now and do what is best for us, whether that be accomplishing nothing at all or being super productive. We also need to show empathy to others, as not everyone is lucky enough to relax at home and not have to worry about their loved ones. These are truly extraordinary times, and hopefully when everything is said and done, we can work to make this world a better place.

Stay safe, everybody.

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Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018): Just Another Useless Remake (40%)

The 2018 reboot of The Grinch felt like nothing more than another thoughtless Hollywood remake created with the intentions of capitalizing on an already popular story. The original adaptation, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, was an animated TV special released in 1966. Since it was a TV special, the runtime was approximately 20 minutes and the film was basically just an animated version of the book. It’s a great 20minute episode (my family still watches it almost every year). The live-action version starring Jim Carrey was released in 2000, and it has got to be one of the best Christmas movies to this day! The jokes are hysterical, the costumes are amazing, and the sets and props are surreal! I was super excited about the new film because I love both of the other adaptations, but it was incredibly disappointing.

Unfortunately, the new animated adaptation of The Grinch had very little to offer. It felt like they simply took the extended storyline of the live-action version and stripped out most of the jokes. One of the slight alterations made to the plot was that Cindy Lou wanted to deliver a letter to Santa asking for help for her mother. Her mother is depicted as an overworked and exhausted single parent trying to take care of three children while also working night shifts. In the end, the mother’s struggles feel unresolved and the focus remains on the Grinch and his feeling of belonging.

The new movie had several well-known actors, yet the voice actors didn’t add anything special to the film. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the Grinch, but the film may have been more entertaining if they had cast a comedian for the role. Steve Carell, for example, would’ve been a great pick. Carell actually alters his voice dramatically to make exciting characters (example: Gru from Despicable Me).

There were a couple of laughs throughout the movie, but on the whole there just wasn’t anything special or new. Children might enjoy The Grinch, but I don’t think it’s worth the admission rate. Save your money for better holiday movies coming soon to theatres.

“Hate, hate, hate. Hate, hate, hate. Double hate. LOATHE ENTIRELY!” -How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

 

 

ESSAY 2

The process of creating a blog was much different than what I anticipated. I thought that it would be a fun and straight-forward process. And while the process was fun and exciting, it was also confusing, frustrating, and sometimes aggravating. One of the main things I struggled with was finding a purpose for my blog. The amount of freedom that I was given in this course was foreign to me. I think the current education system has conditioned me into thinking that there is always a right or wrong way to do things, and this mindset was really difficult to overcome when I started blogging. After reading Gardner Campbell’s (2009) A Personal Cyberinfrastructure, I realized that the amount of freedom afforded in this course was necessary in order for students to learn the ins and outs of cultivating an online identity. Campbell (2009) notes that by building a personal cyberinfrastructure, students will “acquire crucial technical skills for their digital lives … [and] engage in work that provides richly teachable moments” (para 7). Therefore, it is only through a hands-on, self-driven approach that students may be able to fully explore and understand the intricacies of the online realm.

Overall, while I learned how to blog in Pub 101, I also learned about the “so what?” and “why?” questions underlying what is done online. Similarly, while creating blog posts, I want to leave my readers with an impression; one that makes them feel special. In explaining the online exhibition effect, Suler mentions how “as you move around the internet, most of the people you encounter can’t easily tell who you are” (Suler, 2004). Because the online world is such a vast space, identifying one’s personality through it can be difficult. With regards to my audience, I try to talk to them as if they were physically present with me, because I feel like a more direct approach is personable and allows my audience more room to engage with me as an individual. Even when designing my blog posts, I strive to use relatable pictures or other methods to make them more interesting. In addition, I want my audience to have the opportunity to grow with me on my journey, even through my lows and highs since the human experience is so complex for every individual.

I did not have a distinct audience in mind when I created my blog. Instead, I followed Warner’s (2002) suggestion to “put on a show and see who shows up” (p. 82). Unfortunately, I failed to understand the importance of defining my audience. Now, however, I realize that keeping a potential audience in mind is an integral component of the blogging process. At the same time, this is a personal blog first and foremost. Therefore, my decisions are mostly informed by my personal preferences, and my imagined audience is a secondary consideration. I decided to stick with a minimalist theme because it is trendy and easy to navigate. This is ideal for my target audience because I expect that most individuals in their late teens or early twenties are comfortable with a clean design. With regard to my content, I kept a casual tone and tried to include personal anecdotes where possible.

Pub 101 has inspired me to do a better job of linking my existing social media accounts to each other. In class, we learned that the medium we use can ultimately influence what and how we post. Thus, I think that transmedia integration is an effective way to provide my followers with a more nuanced and comprehensive look at my online self. To be honest, I do not think that I will continue with this blog. Admittedly, this blog is a bit of a mess. But, at the very least, Pub 101 has equipped me with the tools that I’ll need to clean this mess up.

REFERENCES

Campbell, G. (2009). A personal cyberinfrastructure. EDUCAUSE Review, 44(5), 58-59.

Suler, J. (2004, June 01). The Online Disinhibition Effect. Retrieved April 08, 2018, from http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

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Warner, M. (2002). Publics and counterpublics. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4). 413-425.

Peer Review #3

For this week’s post I will be doing another peer review of my classmate Christopher Dang’s website www.homslicedang.com. Focusing on the visual aspects and presentation of the site. The visual exposition of the website is very neat, organized and easy to navigate. The all white and black colour theme of the site creates a simple yet elegant vibe and gives off the impression of a very professional site. As you enter the site there is a photo of Christopher with the title of his website going across the photo. I feel that this is a very creative way to connect with your audience as it slightly shows who you are before they read or start to have opinions about what you write. Moving along down the intro page, you can see that there are more photos of Christopher as well as some images of black marble and other forms of black and white patterned photos titling his prose. Although this creates a trendy look, I found this slightly distracting as I couldn’t really relate his writing to the photo. I really like how he used his site to create another persona. This is a creative way to think out of the box and interact with your audience. You can tell that the audience Christopher is trying to engage are young adults who are interested in fashion and the latest trends. The way Christopher writes I find very intriguing and informative especially to me, a young adult who is not as fashion forward as him. His advice and thoughts helped me a lot and made me view fashion in a way I did not before exploring his site. Christopher did a very good job connecting his visual theme of the site with the overall theme of fashion, intriguing his target audience which I took into appreciation. One thing I would do differently is perhaps incorporate some music to add some liveliness to the site. Although the black and white theme is visually pleasing, it gives off a cold impression. Personally making me feel like an outsider. Overall, from the visual presentation of Christopher’s website www.homeslicedang.com I can tell that Christopher is a fashion forward trendy person, who values organization and cleanliness of his website. I very much enjoyed reading his thoughts on fashion items as well as his honest review of my website.

Great job Christopher! You’re a super cool dude:)

Process Post Week 9

A world without Facebook…..

Honestly, being more of an Instagram person myself, I don’t think it would be the end of the world if Facebook were to disappear. Although, I do know some avid Facebook users who would be very upset. Before, Facebook would be where I would get all different forms of information through, but now a lot of different forms of social media has that feature as well. Thinking back, I find myself leaning further and further away from Facebook as I get older. Facebook I consider would be the most versatile form of social media when it comes to age out of all the different forms or social media. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter are all forms of social media that I find younger generations are more active in. However with Facebook, almost everyone has it. If Facebook were to disappear, I would assume that there would be more of a division between older and younger generations.

 

Peer Review #2

Here we go! Another peer review!:) This week I will be reviewing my classmate Joanni’s Blog called Milktea for the Seoul. First of all, I have to say that the layout of this blog is the cutest thing ever. From personal experience, although putting a blog together is not like rocket science, it is also not the easiest thing in the world. The little clip images that Joanni added in her blog fits her theme well and ties the whole look together, creating a fun, feminine vibe. Her blog title immediately grabs the viewer’s attention as it is creative and original and leaves the viewers wanting to find out what her blog is truly about. I like the colours she chose for the outlook of her website as it goes along very well with the theme. Another positive part of this blog is that the content varies. She not only talks about her interests, but she also makes suggestions as to what kind of music she likes and why the piece is relevant to her weekly writing. Her tone of which she portrays to her audience is casual, genuine as well as intelligent. Just from reading a couple of her weekly posts (not posiel), I can already tell that Joanni has very good incentives and is very observant. Her description of events, people, things, ect.. are very detailed leaving the reader to use his or her imagination. Her posts make me feel like I am there in the moment with Joanni and that I am experiencing, feeling, and or doing whatever she is doing at that moment. I also really appreciate the photos and music she incorporates into her posts as it gives me a clearer idea of what kind of person she is and her interests are. It also expands my knowledge of different kinds of music and allows me to see what my likes and dislikes are. The photos are very helpful to add a visual representation of what Joanni is trying to convey. It makes it easier for viewers to relate. If I could give Joanni a suggestion on how to improve her blog, it would be to maybe try adding a few videos to the posts. This is a fun way to incorporate the audience and see how they feel about the posts the blogger is posting. I would also incorporate a poll like system to see what the audience likes reading/viewing and dislikes. I feel that this an greatly benefit Joanni as it creates a direct interaction with her audience as well as displays her drive for improvement and shows genuine personal interest towards her followers. To Joanni, you did an awesome job on your blog and it was my pleasure to review this! I love how cute this is and your writing is so fun to read:)

Process Post Week 4

On this post, I will be doing a peer review on one of my classmate’s blog. The blog I will be reviewing is called Sam’s SFU Publishing 101 Blog. Sam’s visual aspect of his blog is very simple and classy. He uses the three main colours of black, white and yellow as well as some navy blue to extenuate the cleanness of his theme. This look is very easy on the eye, and it does not take away from his writing which I find is a very important factor. His site it very easy to navigate which is very helpful as a viewer. It makes me want to visit his site again as I had a pleasant experience. His placement of his pages are very strategic as it is easy to find and does not cause any confusion or frustration for his audience. In Sam’s blog, Sam presents himself to his audience as a friendly, easy going, fun guy who communicates with his visitors in a personable way. He uses sarcasm and jokes that are not confusing and as a viewer, I genuinely appreciated his outlook and his tone of speech. It made everything less serious and more like I was coming to talk to a friend. I also appreciated his sense of realism. I could tell through the screen that Sam was not putting on a “face” for his audience. Everything that he wrote I could tell was from the heart. He was not trying to impress anyone or try to sound cool in any way. This is a very important factor for me as a reader. I want to be able to trust that the person putting forth the material cares what he or she talks about. The creator should be able to portray a sense of realism that readers can see through the screen, and Sam’s blog does exactly that. I also like how light-hearted Sam’s blog is. It is almost like a mini get away from reality that viewers can escape to. His sense of humor is funny for all people and none of the materials he puts forth are offensive in any way. If I were to give Sam some suggestions on how to improve his blog, I would incorporate some music or photos into his blog. I feel like this could really personalize the blog and make it even more fun for the audience to enjoy. Great job Sam!! I look forward to reading more of your blog:)

A Winter Story

All the reasons to love winter for those who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder):

    

Please dismiss my childish artistic skills. I just want everyone to try and look at winter more positively! I definitely didn’t cover all of it either. What are your favorite things about winter?