The journey of my 8am class: coffee and more coffee

coffee

This class was one of the most challenging classes I have ever taken in my life.  It was basically because of the time rather than the content.  I really did enjoy the materials but waking up before 8am was not fun.  The most interesting part of the class was the project I did on RAs at Fairfield.  It made me feel like a real journalist covering a topic.

As far as this project, I did face some challenges because I previously did not have a Twitter account.  I never found twitter to be interesting because of their history of bullies.  So many incidents have happened with users on Twitter and the CEO has not really done much to address the topic.  With this in mind, I wasn’t really as excited about this assignment as I was the previous one but it came out okay at the end.  I think the key is to avoid certain topics and know when to voice your opinion or just walk away in order to have fun with it.

I followed different kinds of people as a consumer.  From comedians, politicians, musicians and actors.  I did so to balance the content.  I did not want to be overwhelmed with politics so I tried to follow people who post less heated topics.  At the same time though I did not want to just laugh all the time and pretend as if there’s nothing else going on with the rest of the world.  I followed president elect Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders who talked about recent political issues.  Both posted almost everyday and retweeted things that they found interesting. The rest posted more about their personal issues like promoting their work and so forth.  There was a lot of retweeting with this group of people.  There was also a great deal of hashtags with each post so journalists have a way to track different topics.  They are the ones who made Twitter less intense because they also posted fun memes, gifs and so forth.

As a curator, I really enjoyed researching different topics.  I did my story on the issues going on with Standing Rock and because it is still going on right now, it wasn’t hard to find people who talked about it.  I think the hardest part was figuring out what I wanted people to take from the topic because there are so many angles this story could go.  I tried balancing between the multimedia and the written content.  I also tried to finish with one idea, put a visual on it and then move on to the next.  I sort of stayed away from writing too much or have too much visual content.  It was just all about balance and I hope I reached that goal.

The creator part was the hardest for me because I was still very new to Twitter.  I felt limited in a sense but at the same time I like that it was set up that way because people tend to just ramble on social media.  I actually enjoyed the event that I attended since two of my close friends and favorite teacher were involved in it.  I was a bit nervous to post people without their permission but It was an educational presentation so I figured it would be good publicity for them.  The gifs were my favorite but like anything else, I tried not to overuse it @Bennymk21.

As far as how it ties with the article “My 13 Golden Rules of Twitter” I felt as if it failed to reflect a couple of rules there.  I did agree on a couple of the rules especially the last one about walking away.  I think it applies with all social media as far as avoiding arguments and just take the high road.  I did disagree especially with the rule about not being such a think as over tweeting.  I think you can over use the site and just bore people with a lot of unnecessary content.  I personally felt that I did over tweet and was a bit of a bother to people.  I don’t have as many followers there so that made it a bit easy but other than that I felt like it was a bit much.

Overall the experience was interesting and I did enjoy the class.  I am looking forward to more journalism courses and just becoming a journalist all together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Fairfield University’s Residential Assistants (RA)

ra

When it comes to building communities and friendships that last a lifestyle, Residential Assistants (RA) do it best regardless of the challenges the position brings.  

Some of the challenges include “lots of work and paperwork” said Sean Tomlinson 19’ who is a first time RA in Mccormick.  The building placements are random and sometimes RAs end up with their class year as Tomlinson did.

Fairfield University’s staff in charge of the program spend the time required to train its students to be positive role models.  They also have high expectations for them but they do acknowledge that the position can be hard.

Sonya Alexander, the Area Coordinator (AC) at Mccormick hall says she expects the RAs in the building to build relationships with all the residents.  She added that she was an RA herself during her undergraduate years and is still friends with some of her former students.

“You have to make some tough decisions when addressing policies” Alexander added.  When it comes to friends, RAs often have to figure out how to separate their commitments with the program from their personal lives.

Kaadiana Barnes 16’ who is an RA at Dolan Townhouses said that being a role model comes with a lot of responsibilities.  “I feel like I am always watched” she said and that often means that she has to attend parties or events elsewhere to avoid any misunderstandings.

RAs get free room and board that covers a big part of their tuition but they also get to be leaders in their communities and impact change.  Regardless of the work involved, Tomlinson and Barnes both agree that knowing that they made a difference in their peers’ experience here at Fairfield makes it all worth it.

‘The Perfect Guy’ stalks up on the competition

perfect-guy

Viewers always need to see something with a little twist, something that makes one’s body shiver or has you saying “I did not see that coming.” If that’s you, then “The Perfect Guy” is the movie you definitely need to see. 

The plot of “The Perfect Guy,” written by Alan B. McElroy, revolves around a successful woman whose desire to settle down pushes her boyfriend away and sends her right into the arms of maniacal sociopath.

The main character Leah Vaughn, played by Sanaa Lathan, is tired of waiting for a proposal from Dave Young, played by Morris Chestnut, her boyfriend of two years who is very much afraid of commitment and insists on proposing when the time is right.

Two months after Leah calls it quit with Dave, she meets Carter Duncan, played by Michael Ealy, who appears to be the perfect guy, except that he is mentally disturbed, obsessed and violent.

The pair fall in love and everything is perfect until Carter’s true character comes rushing out, scaring Leah off.

For her safety, she decides to break things off with Carter and finds refuge in her ex, who realized that Leah was the one all along; but, Carter decides that if he cannot have her, no one else will.

Leah explores all resources within the law to get rid of her stalker, but her efforts fail desperately.

As she loses everything, she is forced to face this all by herself. 

The movie was well-paced, which allowed the audience to be part of the story instead of rushing through scenes.

Ealy did a phenomenal job taking on the role of Carter.

He is mostly known for the “gentleman” roles he plays, such as in the movie “About Last Night” where Ealy plays Danny, an everyday guy who falls in love with the girl of his dreams.

To see him play the role of a  villain was very refreshing.

This movie not only celebrates the actors’ unique talents, but starring a predominantly African American cast is a tremendous feat in the film industry as actors of color deserve to be recognized for their work.

The story is very educational, teaching young ladies to be patient and learn to see certain signs in men which could save their lives.

It also teaches us to approach life one step at a time, keeping in mind that not everything that shines is gold.

“The Perfect Guy” reached No. 1 in the box office and has received generally favorable reviews since its premiere, according to Deadline Hollywood. 

David Doorman breathes life back into dance

dancingWhen it comes to David Dorfman, one needs to dismiss from mind one’s views on the art of dance and performance. Dorfman used his unique talent to start the David Dorfman Dance in 1987 with the mission “to get the whole world dancing.” Through dance, music and text, Dorfman and his team have travelled both nationally and internationally spreading the ideas of freedom, life and its struggles by incorporating it into their choreography. Dorfman had always enjoyed dancing, but it was not until the age of 23 that he know for a fact that performing was his future.

On Saturday Nov. 7, David Dorfman Dance performed live at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. From the music, dance, set and lighting, the show was worth the watch. Based on his most recent work “Come, and Back Again,” Dorfman’s performance highlighted mortality and the daily life of the common man, or as Dorfman put it, “about the mess in our daily lives, how we deal with it, the choices we make and how they change as we get older.” In one of the performances, there was a particular movement where he fell on the floor and the younger dancers picked him up and kept on moving. He perhaps did so to say that we are all bound to age and fail to do the things we once did. David also celebrated his 60th birthday on the day of the performance, adding to the notion of aging and placing questions of mortal uncertainty into his work, which made the story even more relatable.

The performance was all about expressions, and how often we feel we fail to communicate. One of the dancers mid-way through the show asked the audience to look at the person to their right and try to guess if they have ever truly been in love. With humor, she proceeded to discuss a formula recently discovered to calculate love, and this created a connection between the audience and the story being told.

Freshman Kayla Craig, a dancer, said that “It was the most heartfelt part of the show. I cannot believe I have just been introduced to his work.” Craig continued, “Where has he been all my life? As a dancer, we need to be exposed to more of this.”

There was so much freedom, yet struggle, in this post-modern dance performance. David Kyuman Kim, a creative consultant for the dance company, talked about how Dorfman shows both the artistic flow and struggle that comes with performing that most performers often try to hide.  Kim stated that, “He uses both to portray the idea that our lives are messy and flawed, but it’s OK.”

The dancers performed with such freedom and imitation that it seemed as if the show was not rehearsed at all. There was an element of surprise in the choices they made as if the events in the stories being told were happening right there.

Putting together this show came with its own set of challenges, Dorfman admitted. His wife, who was to be a part of the show, was injured days prior and needed a replacement. In addition, the group had a new dancer and musician. At the end of the day, they all managed to pull through and give a great performance. Having Sam Race Dorfman (David’s son) as one of the dancers not only gave hope or certainty if you may of David’s legacy continuing, but was also genuine to see them spend his birthday doing what they love.

‘Fuller House’ builds on successes of its predecessor

full-houseSame plot, same setting and same characters, “Fuller House,” premiered on Netflix on Feb. 26, recreates the magic of the classic “Full House, which ran from 1987 to 1995 with the girls from “Full House” now grown and helping each other.    

After D.J. Tanner’s (Candace Cameron Bure) husband dies, she is left with 3 boys and is in need of help. Her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) her best friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) and Kimmy’s daughter Ramona (Soni Nicole Bringas) move in their childhood home to help with D.J.’s three sons.

While some fans love the idea of rebooting old shows, many others feel like writers can come up with some more original ideas that will also last a lifetime. “It says a lot about our generation’s creativity when we look to the past for good shows,” said Sean Tomlinson ‘19.

Others also feel like they are being forced to like “Fuller House” simply because they were fans of “Full House” as children. “It was funny the first time, I don’t know if it will be funny now,” said Julia Lam ‘19.  She felt that it is unnecessary to continue a show that streamed that long ago and fears that the writing and jokes is bound to be repetitive.

With fan service in mind, the pilot episode brought back all the characters of “Full House” as guest stars to warm up the audience and take them down memory lane.

The sitcom is funny in a predictable kind of way with reference to scenes from “Full House”.  When D.J’s youngest son Tommy Fuller Jr (Dashiell Messitt) cried, the cast gathered and sang the same song they sang for a baby in “Full House”.

Although the plot is the same, there are few differences with “Fuller House” compared to “Full House” such as how family time is spent with the increase use of technology.  Kids in the show  had smartphones or tablets and we see how they learn to spend time together without their devices.

Dave Coulier, reprising his role as Joey Gladstone, guest starred in “Funner House,” the third episode in the season, as a babysitter for the kids so D.J., Stephanie, and Kimmy can go out.

Coulier manages to keep the kids off their devices in a game that he refers to as family-friendly violence, speaking against the overuse of electronics and encouraging family time, a lesson many need.  Overall, just like “Full House” the show was family friendly, the acting was good and it was entertaining.

Binge-Watching culture and American College Students

 

Binge-watchingYou tell yourself “One more episode” and before you know it, you are 5 hours in, all caught up with shows but not so much anything else.  On one hand Binge-watching satisfies viewers’ curiosity but on the other hand, It is changing how American college students approach their school work.

With a lot of things on TV fighting for people’s attention, it is easy for students to take more breaks than they should.  “A five minute break, means two hours of Friends episodes” Lacey Kirton ’19 said when asked if Binge watching has changed how she studies.  

“I tell myself just one more episode” Kirton added and admits that it is easy to get addicted to these shows simply because she can.  Trying to get back to work after only 2 episodes is a waste of her time because “you can’t focus on the work” she said.

This shift has changed the way people consume TV and has benefitted a lot of people, but it also has negative impacts. More and more students say that they fall victims of procrastinating their school work to catch up on shows on Netflix or Hulu.

Six episodes in one sitting is the minimum number common amongst viewers but some students admit to watching an entire season during school time.  Zavon Billups ’18 said he has binge watched at about 9 episodes in one sitting.

Billups believes that the trend prevent students from giving their best.  These habits, he believes takes away from students’ ability to foster good learning habits

In an article with USA Today College, Andrew Goldman, an adjunct professor at the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at the New York University said that college students are more likely to binge-watch because of the flexibility in their schedules compared to adults with families to care for.

Thanks to the technology advancement we see these days, students have access to their favorite shows on their smart phones, making it even easier to get carried away.

In addition to its interference from an educational standpoint, binge-watching is said to have negative health effects.  According to an article with the Guardian, research suggest that binge watching can lead to obesity and diseases such as diabetes from inactivity.  

Further research by Texas A&M study suggest that binge watching can also be tied to feelings of depression and loneliness.  Viewers will often become anti-social and inactive as a result.  

More research needs to be conducted seeing that binging is a new behavior but with recent survey results, the article suggest that loneliness or “self-regulation deficiency” are indicators of Binge watching.

Some students recognize that binge watching is addictive so they avoid TV in general.  Terrie Anne ‘19 says she easily falls victim of the trend so she only starts TV shows when school is out. “You don’t realize how much time you’re wasting, until you’re done “ she said.

Emma Wagner ‘19 does not watch TV when school is in session and would rather go to the movies instead to resist temptation.  

Wagner feels like Binge watching promotes the culture of having everything right away and hinders students from putting in the time required to give their best.  “Some assignments take time, and should not be procrastinated” she said.

Some students however found binge watching helpful in keeping them sane with the pressure of being a college student.  There is usually a lot of reading and each class’ homework takes at least two hours so the break is well deserved, they say.

These students felt that binge watching is a form of an escape for them.  After putting in two hours or more studying, it doesn’t hurt to catch up on your favorite shows.  

“Netflix keeps me balanced” Thereza Kalangala ‘18 said, and feels like people exaggerate the idea of binge watching.  She says she does her homework first then watches TV.  “You can’t just study 24/7, a break doesn’t hurt” she added.