Thursday, March 25, 2010

CLAM #10: Interviewing and Sound

So for my videos I plan on doing two interviews. The first I plan on doing with a veterinarian here in Aberdeen. I feel like this will make the presence of my future profession in Scotland more real, and talking to a vet here face-to-face will definitely make it more real to me.
The second will be kind of a more laid back and less professional video. I plan on interviewing my friend Suzanne, who is fairly opinionated, about the Scottish nationality video. I feel like hearing from someone other than myself about the issue would give my video a more unbiased appeal, and ultimately give it more credibility.
I have decided not to include an interview in my personal experience video, because I feel like it is supposed to be about, well, my experience in Scotland.
I definitely like the idea of narrating my videos, and adding music. Unfortunately, I hate my voice, so I've definitely experienced some of this "flop sweat" that Prof Nichols talked about in the CLAM Soup blog this week. I don't mind doing presentations and stuff at all, but it's just hearing my voice over and over again while I'm editing that I am not a fan of.
For the next three weeks I'm off for spring break! I have had a lot of assignments due for my classes here lately. I am leaving tomorrow for 2 weeks, then I'll be back for less than 24 hours, and then off again! I'm really excited, but also really nervous (especially because I haven't packed yet and I am leaving in 8 hours). I found out tonight that a plane ticket that I thought I bought 2 weeks ago didn't actually go through, so I had to quickly buy it again (for $100 more than I originally would have paid). So that was really frustrating. Well I'm off to pack and finish (finally, I know) my video that should have been done long ago!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Papers and a Fast Approaching Spring Break- not the best combo

Things have gotten pretty crazy lately. I have my first actual work due this week and next week for my classes. So far all of my academic responsibilities consisted of just going to class and attempting to stay awake while learning about bacterial growth-which is actually really difficult, but doesn’t require any real effort. This Thursday I have a presentation and paper due with my Biochemistry lab group on a paper that we chose about Prion transport, and then next Monday I have a paper due for Microbiology about bacteriophage therapy, which is really tantalizing, I know. And next Thursday I have another Presentation and lab report due for Biochem about the lab that we have been doing all semester involving purifying egg proteins. So yeah, the next two weeks will be great fun, but then it’s SPRING BREAK, which I am really excited about! Here’s my plans for break:

March 26 through 30- Paris

March 30 through April 2-Athens

April 3 through 6- Rome. I’m really excited about this because we’ll be there for Easter and one of my friends is trying to get us tickets to Easter Mass at the Vatican, which would be unreal! Also, some girls from Clemson that are also studying at Aberdeen are planning on joining us in Italy while we’re there which would be great!

April 6 through 8- Florence

April 8 through 10- Venice, and a stop to Pisa for the day sometime between Florence and Venice.

On the 10th we’re flying back to London, then I’m taking a 12 hour overnight bus back to Aberdeen so I can leave on the morning of the 12th with a Forestry class I’m taking to the Lake District of England, which I am excited about because I’ve been told that it’s gorgeous. That will be from the 12th through the 16th, and I’m contemplating going to London for the last weekend of my glorious 3-week long break and staying with one of my friends who is there for grad school. Overall, it’s going to be great. I do love Aberdeen, but it’s a fairly small city, and I’m feeling more and more broke everyday so I’ve been trying not to go out very often and spend my money on travel, which I think is much more worthy of my money anyway.

This weekend, one of my friends Suzanne and I are planning on going to Perth, which is about an hour away I think, and going to “Big Tree Country” and hiking around a bit. I’m not really sure what that is, but how could it possibly not be awesome with that name?

If anyone has recommendations for things to do/see in my spring break destinations, just let me know!

As far as the videos are going, I am trying to import a video from my camera into Windows Movie Maker, but my camera shoots in .mov and I haven't found a converter to avi or something that actually works for free yet, I don't know if anyone has any suggestions? Thanks guys, and happy daylight savings time to you EST folks (our time doesn't change until Mar 28th).

Saturday, March 6, 2010

CLAM #9: Video Attack!!!

So here are my ideas for my final project videos so far:
Personal: I feel like this video is going to be pretty self-explanatory. I want to do a summary of my time here, even though I will still have another month and a half until I leave when the video is done. I am especially excited to show you guys about my Spring Break. We just booked our flights and stuff today. We're doing: Paris, Athens, Rome, Florence, and Venice for two weeks. Then I am taking a forestry class that is the last week of my break in the Lake District of England, possibly the last weekend in London (I know I'm gushing but I just spent a lot of time and money putting it together and I'm pumped!). So anyway, I basically want to summarize my experience so far.
Professional: my major is Animal and Veterinary Science, so I was planning on shadowing a vet while I was here. I'm not sure what the difference in being a vet here and in the US is, but I'm sure that talking to a vet here would be good. I am really interested in finding out what the difference in schooling would be, because I know that already the higher education here is completely different: they only have to do 3 years to get a degree (the 4th year is your honors year, but pretty much everyone does it to be competitive), the class structure is much more intense and your courses are very redundant year after year.
Public Issues: The other day my classmates and I had a break during a lab while things were incubating, so we went to the "Social Space" at the campus of our school. Two of my classmates got into a pretty heated argument about whether or not Scotland should become an independent country. I am ashamed to admit that, before I came here, I thought that Scotland was a country, but it isn't. It's part of the United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. So right now, I kind of want to look more into that, because I really don't know enough about it now to form an opinion.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

CLAM #8: Tropos and Visual Literacy

Okay, I know this is way late, but better late than never??
This week we learned about the tropos of digital images, or the context of them. So first I'm going to talk about the photos that were in my digital photography post from last week.
I'll start with the picture of the frog:

I really didn't want to show where the frog actually was (on the glass door in front of my house in Myrtle Beach). I used the flash and reflection off of the glass door to kind of disguise it some. Originally the frog was in the middle of the frame, so I cropped the photo to make it fit the rule of thirds more.

With the ducks it was all about lighting. I wanted a tight picture of the ducks, but I also wanted to include a good bit of their habitat, I especially liked that you can see the rocks through the water.
In this photo of my TOMS I really wanted to emphasize how worn they've gotten. I wanted to focus on the dirt on the bottom of the shoes. The color of the lighting emphasizes the wear they've been through. To me this photo tells a story of well-loved and worn shoes, and the area of focus, the lighting, and the horizontal composition all help convey this message.

With this photo my favorite thing was the contrast. The white snow against the dark statue is great to me. I also like how his knee closest to the camera is positioned, it gives the photo depth. In the vertical version of this photo there was a lot of tree in the background. This version shows more of the setting that I wanted: the statue in its natural habitat, with the University in the background. The intention of this shot is to show the beauty of the campus and this history.
I really liked the article about Visual Literacy. I think that visual literacy definitely contributes to Cultural literacy. A lot of visual literacy is universal. There was one part of the article that I didn't completely agree with. The article talked about the shift from text to visual literacy, but I think that text is a form of visual literacy. We use visual aspects of text, like size, color, italics, and bold, and then the grammar portion of text, like word choice and style to convey a message with text, and these are visual too. We use them to emphasize words and thoughts and to give our text a certain feeling, just like we would with focus, color, zoom, lighting, etc in a photo.