Man oh man, what an interesting semester it has been. I’m not going to lie, I was absolutely dreading taking this class. I hate writing and the course title was “Advanced Composition- Media Writing” so you can see where I’m coming from. However, this has been one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken at Graceland. I got to deeper explore something that I love and share it with a class full of people. My topic at the beginning of the year was music, more specifically Electronic Dance Music or EDM. We did a lot of different assignments dealing with multiple social media platforms. The first one we started was the blogs and I think that those were my favorite out of all of the assignments we did. My first blog talked about why people would want to go to an edm show. This blog talked about my personal experiences and why I think people need to go to shows more often. I discussed the impact of meeting all sorts of people at shows and festivals alike. The community within the edm scene is something I’ve never really experienced before until I went to my first show. Interacting with all the different people really opened my eyes and showed me how accepting and caring most people are in this scene. My next blog was a little different as it talked about what to do and not to do at shows. This blog was fun to write because I got to talk about the social norms that go on in these venues. For example, offering water to a stranger is very common and acceptable in the edm scene, however I’ve never seen it happen at non-edm concerts I attend. The don’t list was more fun to make because I finally got to write out and vent about all of the shitty things people do at shows. My third and final blog was about social media’s influence on edm. Social media has allowed fans to connect all across the world and build friendships online. It has also allowed for artists to spread their music across the globe which has encouraged people to start producing. Because of this more and more people are making electronic music.
Up next in the class were the twitter essays. The twitter essays were slightly challenging because you only had 140 characters to get a point across. The first twitter essay I wrote was about how the edm scene grew from underground warehouse raves to giant festivals that bring in upwards of 100,000 people. I also tweeted about how the creativity that goes into the fashion aspect of festivals as well as the PLUR lifestyle. The following two essays weren’t related to edm but rather about That 70’s Show and a micro essay on social media as a whole. I also did an Instagram essay that is on my storify along with my twitter essays and I really enjoyed that project. I kept with my theme of community and took 20 original pictures that I have taken over the past couple of years and combined them all to show community instead of just talking about it. By using pictures I was able to really show what I meant when I talked about community because a lot of the pictures were ones with people I had met at shows, festivals or online. While it was a difficult assignment, I really enjoyed how it turned out. The last big assignment I did was a podcast with Corey. In our podcast we discussed the similarities and differences between edm and classical music. Through this podcast I learned a lot about classical music, more than I think I’ll ever need to know. We were able to discuss how people make money in their respective genres, concert etiquette and the way to become a popular artist.
Throughout the semester I’ve learned a great deal about all different kinds of music, but especially edm since it was my topic I chose. When looking for sources I had to constantly scour the web looking for articles that would fit into my blogs. Since I read so many articles trying to find the perfect one I learned new things about the genre. I also read a lot of personal stories because I wanted to relate them back to my very personal first blog entry. In doing so, I kept reinforcing the accepting and loving community because every post I read had a very similar story to mine. Almost all of the posts went something like this; they were nervous about their first show, they then met people at a show or online, they started branching out and now they are as deeply connected to the music as I am. Over the course of this semester these assignments have actually instilled a little more courage in me to interact more over social media. I now follow and talk to a lot more people online as well as in person and I think that’s awesome that a media writing class actually did something for me in real life.
The best part about this class overall is that we didn’t have to write a traditional term paper which I loved. As I said in the beginning I hate writing and writing papers is the best way to make me cry. However with this class we got to explore the different ways writing is used to communicate that isn’t traditional in any sense. The blogs allowed me to open up and talk about things that I thought were important, not what academia finds important. While traditional papers are important, so is learning how to write something not as formal. The world is changing faster than ever and who know, maybe in 20 years traditional papers will be a thing of the past and people are going to be taught how to blog instead. Another thing that I liked about the way this class was set up was the fact that we actually got to examine the ways of using twitter in a professional manner. The twitter essays were difficult to do but they were very useful. I always knew that twitter was used by select few to actually talk about things other than cat memes, but the essays allowed me to actually use them in a way that talked about real topics in the educational world.
I really enjoyed this class and the various things I’ve learned throughout the semester. I know now how to communicate efficiently with others over social media as well as make a statement in what I’m writing. The blogs were fun to write because I got to talk about something I enjoyed and in turn it made me work harder on them than I would on a conventional essay. The twitter essays taught me how to condense what I’m saying to only what is needed and the Instagram essay showed me that pictures can be just as if not more effective in telling a story than writing is. Lastly, the podcast showed me how much more difficult it is to do than it seems because of all the background work you need to do in order to make one. Overall, I’m very happy I ended up taking this class as I really enjoyed and learned a lot from it.
Below are links to all of my assignments throughout the semester excluding the podcast because I don’t have it on my computer.