Dec 27, 2008

Pictures of the break in the Burrow

Trying to negiotate his path in the snow.

The aftermath of the storm. When it slid off the roof, it sounded like the whole place was caving in.

Keels among the food.

Totally interested in the movie times.

Working hard during a walk around snow covered Salem.

Heated Wii battles. Enter at your own risk.

Wintertime greetings from the Burrow

Someone much smarter than me dubbed the house the Burrow, a la Harry Potter. And i think that is incredibly fitting. Thus the title.

A lot has happened since we let out for the semester. The ice storm blew out power. Luckily Durham got it back Friday afternoon. Ate lunch/dinner in HoCo without power. that was fun. The fire alarm went off in my dorm room when we got it back. Not as much fun.

Despite being electrically challenged, UNH decided to go ahead with the finals. Lucky us. I can't complain, the Burrow was powerless for 37 hours (not that they were counting or anything) and had to deal with a flooded basement.

After the horrors of finals, i went home. No really, like right after. got out of the exam at 9:45 a.m., was on the road at 10. The first of the snow storms started that afternoon. The snow didn't stop till Monday morning. We got about three feet. Had to pave a path for the dog in the backyard. Let me tell you, running after a tiny dog in the snow should be a competition on Paris Hilton's BFF.

The week before Christmas was a blur of baking and cleaning. Then we got a lovely visit from Keeley before she headed west. Highlight was a game of Kings with the guys and Keeley. Too bad no one could remember the rules. That was interesting.

But now the rush is over. The snow is melting (flooding the basement again) and the food is disappearing. But i have to go, the gauntlet has been thrown and someone is going to lose in Wii tennis.

Dec 9, 2008

Mmm Popcorn.

First and foremost, last time i wrote, someone was kind enough to leave a comment regarding my beloved Patriots. My response: low blow, you-know-who, low blow.

Secondly, i am beyond impressed with the viewing. I'm really amazed at the quality the class was able to achieve given the hurdles everyone had to overcome. So congrats, we survived. Now we just need to do, what, like three dozen more and we're right on par with professionals.

Thirdly, thank you to everyone for the feedback. I like the idea of adding a third story but doubt it's possible given time constraints as well as a lack of another person. But i appreciate the idea, nonetheless. Thank you for the encouraging words about the photos and audio. My already oversized ego has grown considerably and I have you all to thank for it. muahaha.

Fourth, (Fourthly?) Dana as TA is the funniest thing because it seems like he cannot just sit at a computer, he needs to be moving around, doing something. Like when Sandy turned around to talk and we can see Dana clicking and randomly highlighting text. So thanks for that, Dana.

Finally, (Fifthly?) Popcorn is good. Possibly great. I believe more should be had. Lesson of the day, nay, the semester, better yet, the YEAR - Popcorn. Is. Good.

Nov 30, 2008

Project update and addition

Hope everyone had a loverly thanksgiving and black friday. IT'S SNOWING!

I thought i'd update the world on my project. Wednesday night when i got home, i ran into a friend of my brother's who is a senior at Worcester State. We got to talking and he seemed perfect for the project. He lives at home and works part time. he commutes to Worcester three days a week as it's cheaper than living at school. He did two years at NECC to alleviate the loans but is still feeling a crunch from the financial times. It helps he's a ham and sounded excited to get his photo taken. He was doing a little bit of work today, so i tagged along and tried to get some engaging photos. I tried to channel Don when i was snapping away. Not as dramatic as i was hoping. maybe i'll try to photoshop them a bit.

Now i'm at his family's house and I'll get audio and more photos. I'm going to work around the game though. Pretty sure curse words will fly but not ideal for the project.

Matt Light's going to play. Here we go, Patriots!

Nov 23, 2008

On Slacking in the Class blog

After much deep and profound brain things inside my head, (Madagascar reference. Anybody?) i figured out why i am such a bad blogger.

1. Slightly forgetful. i can't tell you how many times i've written down blog or barefoote or write something stupid on my to-do list. it just never happens. i think it's because unlike an assignment when i can hold the paper it's written on or see/listen to the notes on the voice recorder, i can't physically touch the blog and therefore feel, i dunno, not connected i guess.
1a. (yeah i can do that. it's my blog) assignment mentality. i keep a journal but don't feel like it's a requirement. i write most everyday and if not everyday then at least four times a week. i look at this like it's an assignment, which i guess it is. but because of that, i don't feel as involved as i think i would were it something i was doing of my own volition. in addition, i have conferences with sandy every week where i get to vent/brief/ask about the class. i feel like he's been the main sounding board during the semester where i guess i should have been using the blog.
2. Diary/journal/blog? I've done a bit of research, aka looking at other blogs, to figure out what exactly should go up here. i'm left more confused than ever. I've seen some similar to live journals or diaries, some forums for the writer's (blogger's?) opinion, and other more news oriented. well, what the hell? what should i do? my journal is not for the public, while i have lots of opinions (perhaps too many) i'd really rather not share, and for news, well, there's tnh.
3. lacking a gripping subject. my friend phil is in italy at the moment and he's using his blog to talk about his adventures. kind of saving him the time of writing individual emails to everyone. keeley, another friend, just set up a blog to highlight some of the places she's gonna see during her season. practice for the travel writing she wants to get into. i'm less inclined to use the blog as a soundboard for my whining about multimedia. i whine enough in person, there's no need to pollute the internet with it.
4. Whining it is. in that vein, i am struggling with posting things. i put together a trailer for my project, little 20 second video, but couldn't get it on youtube. it was saved as a moviemaker file which doesn't work, then i couldn't get the compressor to cooperate. so i ditched that idea and fooled around on blogspot to see if there's a way to just upload a video right from the computer but was unsuccessful. if anyone has solved that particular puzzle, i'm willing to pay in coffee and cookies for info.

So there it is. the reasons why i am such a bad blogger. to change the subject, the project is progressing marvelously. i loved talking to don on thursday. one of my high school teachers described the sensation as 'an a-ha moment' and that was what talking to don was for me. i was trying to go large scale, cram everything about the subject into multimedia, which just wasn't working. but he put it nicely, it's not a comprehensive story, it's highlighting one aspect of it. to those that don't know, i've decided to look at the financial crisis from the stand point of a student (it's been narrowed down to just one, barring the ceramics student getting back to me) and how that affects their plans and current situation. don was really great about hearing a few minutes of audio and immediately zoning in on the good stuff, what's going to grab the audience. so now i can sit here and have a very clear narrative in mind instead of being bogged down in the details. the audio track i'm going to use is just about finished too (i just need him to clarify a few things, maybe say something without so much noise in the background). so at the moment i'm just missing a few bits of audio and pictures (i really want a nice portrait, not the fuzzy one i have now.) that being said, i'm going to go knock on wood and throw some spilt salt or something.

Oct 26, 2008

I'm not entirely sure how i ended up in journalism but looking back it seems it is where I've always been headed. That being said, i have a tendency to get bogged down in the academic necessities of getting where I'm going, as the Brad Paisley song goes. I know the information I'm learning this semester is important but recently I've felt a lot less journalism student, a lot more Woodstock from Charlie Brown. Just keep jumping off the top of the dog house, only to fall like the last upteen times.

So the past week was a real rejuvenating one for me. On Wednesday, Dahr Jamail visited and spoke about his time in Iraq. Jamail paid his way into Iraq and was a freelancer for the BBC among others. The BBC is my ideal work place. The expanse of it's reach as well as it's reputation. So the chance to write for them, write important stuff, in such a pivotal part of the world would be just amazing. I was inspired listening to him and reminded why I'm plugging away.

Then on Thursday, I was let out of class early to listen to Susan Mercandetti, ’76 UNH grad and now Executive Editor at Random House. While i have a passing interest in publishing, Mercandetti said somethings that really rang true for me. The first of which was Mercandetti's emphasis on having many different jobs. She said at one point that she wanted to do everything. I believe her words were "so much to do, so little time." She said she's been under qualified for each of her jobs and "fear and panic are my friends. I live for fear and panic." I was inspired again thinking, 'Yes, this is what i want to do and yes it can be accomplished.'

Even while i am back at square one with the project - as in i have no idea what to do - and the studio production class is giving me nothing but nerves at the moment, i remain encouraged. Encouraged this path is what i want and it is possible, even if it feels like I'm braving each and everyone of the potholes along the way.

Oct 15, 2008

Oh ok, I'm not alone

I was really nervous about this. Not to say I'm not now. It's just ... less.

I too am rethinking the project. I wanted to do something with the compost but am having a hard time making food look good on film. That, and its hard getting good audio when you're gagging in the background. Go figure.

While i still like the idea of food, maybe doing something with preparation in a dining hall or documenting a whole day at one of the stations in HoCo.

A second idea: I'm taking a class in studio production in Nashua. There is a whole TV Station in Nashua South High School. Seniors produced and directed the TV interviews with the presidential candidates for the Telegraph. The teacher used to work in TV and he's really cool. The angle then would be kids learning broadcast and being able to essentially handle profession assignments.

As multimedia, both these projects would show, not tell the part of the story most don't see. The pictures would show a HoCo worker making dozens of batches of cookies at one time or someone at stir fry handling three different orders at once. A track audio would be them talking about the work, what they like/don't like about it, etc. B track would be people talking, the noises of stir fry, the sounds of HoCo.

Or. Or the pictures of students handling the cameras or directing, holding the boom mics or manning the switch board. A track audio is Jim Phieffer, the teacher, talking about teaching the students and what it takes to learn TV and make a profession out of it. Students talking about what interested them in that and how they like it. B would be a filming, student director giving orders or Jim teaching them.

On another note, I'm with Bobby and Jon with the technology frustrations. I have studio class on Wednesday where I'm irritating the more knowledgeable high schoolers with my endless questions, ultimately getting mad because there is a lot i don't know. Then Thursday where I'm usually equally lost and just ready to quit. But i figure if i passed three science classes and a math, I can handle this which really interests me. It just might take well into the next semester or two.

Oct 9, 2008

Wicked fight with technology

I fought with several inanimate objects. And lost most of the battles.

Instead of the audio slide show i wanted, i have instead the photos (out of order) here and the audio on my voice recorder.

I don't think i can talk about it just yet. i have battle wounds to nurse

Oct 1, 2008


This was fun. I didn't have too much trouble with the camera tho clearly i don't have the steadiest of hands and was surprised to find mid-shot, the point-and-shoot doesn't zoom when it's in video mode. other than that it was okay. i knew what i wanted out of each shot ahead of time as well as a working knowledge of windows moviemaker so that wasn't too bad. now if youtube would just stop editing the page, i could upload it. still waiting though. i think next time, i'll bust out a digital video recorder. i know i can zoom with that plus add some effects. it's bigger which i think works out for steadying the camera

i read in a few other blogs people commenting on the guest speaker. I think it's a cool idea. I'm a Woodstock learner (you know, the little yellow bird on Charlie Brown). That is trial and error. So for me class time as discussion works really well. I thought it was great to hear from someone who has done it and hear what he's learned. I actually would have liked time to pick his brain a little more but oh well. Looking forward to tomorrow's class.

Sep 24, 2008

Smile big

I cheated. I should say that upfront. This weekend i was invited to my friend's place near Boston and I couldn't pass up the opportunity. So the landscapes are cliched skylines. In the North End, there was a loading dock or sanitary plant, something with these really cool intertwining lines from bridges and i wanted to get that. The light wasn't cooperating though, so it's not quite the scene i wanted.

i had fun with the portraits. for the most part i knew what i wanted for each and then just got lucky. It's my dad playing his guitar and i wish i had gotten a more dramatic angle but i was kind of pushing it by even taking the picture of him. the other two are of the same girl but i liked them both. the flowers was impulsive. we were actually just walking around and she stuck her nose in a tree. i got her to hold it and it worked out well. the sleeping one was another happy accident. we were "studying" in the mub when she just dozed off in that position.

the college life collection - the guitar playing slob, the boys playing, and the girls at the china buffet - were similar chances. The slob lives down the hall, heard him playing and asked to get the picture. I was feeling self conscious so i didn't take enough pictures but i wish i had gotten a better angle. or at least got him playing. i really like just natural shots so the china buffet was just us at dinner and i got their funny expressions. for the boys, they didn't know i was taking the shot (they actually objected to it before) so that is why the chair is in it. i didn't edit it because the cropping thing on my kodak software is on strike. ideally i would love to cut out the chair but alas the technology wins this round.

i love walking around with a camera. i think it's fun. a little challenging as i feel i'm always on the look out for a good shot. i realized most of my photography up to this point has been very specific - places or people i want remembrances of, not necessarily images.

it was tough getting people to understand where the pictures would end up, if they would. definitely tricky to get the courage to go and ask someone to stand still while i snap away.

ultimately i used three different cameras - the journalism point and shoot, my own nikon digital, and an slr rebel from the new hampshire office. funny enough the fancy-shancy one from tnh gave me the most grief. i took photos as an intramural game under the flood lights but they weren't coming out. the battery was crapping out and the zoom isn't too impressive so that might have factored into that.

good fun overall. looking forward to doing more.

Sep 20, 2008

Erica flying

Sep 16, 2008

First Multimedia Project

I wrote this but completely forgot to post it ... whoops.

who: the dishwashers in Holloway Commons

what: a look into what they do, how they do it, and a little bit about who they are, these lovely people that pick up after us

when: after 9, when they close down and are finishing off the dishes

where: Holloway dish room with a little, i hope, in hoco

why: these guys do work hard for us, probably for not a lot of pay, and while unh dining isn't at the top of people's favorites lists right now, i don't think these guys had anything to do with it and would like to share their story.

how: stills of them working, audio in the room (i know it'll be loud). i kind of want a video from a cart when they wheel stuff out taped to the front, just to mix it up and see a little bit of what they see.

so what? why is this news?: Again Hoco is not getting a lot of love right now and i imagine a lot of the workers there are feeling some animosity from the students. but what i hope the motivation behind watching this will be is curiosity - hopefully people are inherently interested about what goes on in that little room and who the people are that work there.

Sep 9, 2008

Blog Number Two and It's Creative Title

My mom would have killed me. She absolutely would have taken a blunt object to my temple then my body to the shed, if I was pregnant at 19. I was curious to see how Matt and Melissa Eich handled young pregnancy.

The slide show with video did absolute justice to their story. Starting with her voice over still of picture eventually cutting to her talking to the camera was a brilliant visual lead. The stills are captive enough to draw you in, the video enough to hold you. While she did wax a bit of religion, he seemed more tangible - real language, real actions. He says at one point something along the lines of wondering if you're going to be a good parent. good husband, or if you're going to fuck it all up. Again the use of video there helped to solidify the reality of the story. You can actually watch him debate over whether to drop the f-bomb or not. Then at the wedding he toasts with the camera. A light, silly touch.

The frequent cuts to video helped, for me at least, to establish Matt and Melissa as real people instead of stills or models. The slide show moments were really good. At least twice the pictures were changing in tune with the music which I thought was cinematic and cool. The sound quality wasn't the best - that first video sounded pretty fuzzy - but i think that added to the whole theme of they're normal people going through something big. Loved the simple acoustic guitar bits. Definitely storing that idea for later.

Kind of getting nervous watching these bits. They are really good. Definitely going to be interesting trying to even remotely try to match that ...

Sep 4, 2008

Digital Cameras

JP had a basketball tournament somewhere and instead of sitting in the gym, I opted for the car where i played with my mom's new digital camera. Giant, beastly thing she loved to death. I discovered built in templates and how to view the picture before hand on the screen. I ended up using it enough she just gave it to me. That was 1999. I've been playing with cameras ever since from old Kodak instants to disposable and now digital cameras. I don't edit much - usually basic Photoshop when I want something out.

Haven't really gotten into video too much other than taping a brother's basketball game or another brother's theater shows. I know that is the next step and I'm looking forward to playing some more with that medium. I imagine like everyone I have ideas for funny little videos but haven't had the desire to put them into action yet. It's kinda tough when you're easily distracted by Youtube.

Sure we use the Internet to stay connected to distant loved ones or find new loved ones, for business or news. But one major benefit is this wondrous Youtube. What started as an underground media movement has turned into a worldwide sensation. I can watch videos from Hong Kong at the same time as I check out the latest rugby highlights. And, really, where would we be without the endless videos of movie parodies or some ill fated soul attempting the gallon challenge. Yes, the Internet has made the already lazy students worse with information - true or not - available immediately at our fingertips. Yes, we are more vulnerable to scams, crooks, and pervs. Yes, we may be collectively more stupid as people use more and more text message lingo in face to face conversation. But, c'mon, who doesn't get a kick out of the Evolution of Dance?