Opportunity

This is meant to be a short post.

Many people are stuck in their set ways in regards to interests and hobbies. Personally, I’ve never been any good a math. When coming into college, I assumed I’d be as separated from the math department as possible. In most ways, I am.

However, recently I discovered the wonders of networking among friends and how room for personal growth and practice can bloom from just trying new things.

Graphic design is an entirely new field to me. I have yet to complete a full course in the discipline, and am currently taking two. Yet, I have had the chance to create multiple posters for school so far this semester. First being at my on campus job, and most recently being for the math club. One of my good friends is the president of the math association, who knows my major and interests, and asked me to create a poster for the math association plant sale.

Chances like these only come if you put yourself out there and make yourself, and your intents, known. And so, I got a little more experience using programs like Illustrator, and got to create something I see hanging up around the school. One poster isn’t much, but it’s a start.

PLN Plan

Beginning this Introduction To Interdisciplinary Studies class was not one-hundred percent what I expected. So far, the depth to which we are exploring our intended majors has exceeded my expectations. A PLN, aka: a personal learning network, never crossed my mine.

Thinking into the field that I want to one day work in can be difficult, with so many interests in mind, and only so many credits (54!) that I can apply to my major. I’m stuck between wanting to take marketing and graphic design, or focus more on media writing and graphic design. The first thing IDS has taught me is that the entire course catalog at Plymouth State University is there for me to learn from, and to derive a brighter, happier future from.

For my network of choice, I have decided to use Twitter. I may also create an Instagram, just due to the nature of my digital and visual interests, however I feel twitter is more connected, as it allows more text, and tends to gravitate more to the educational side than Instagram does.

I am beginning my PLN by following writers and designers I enjoy. I also want to look into small, large and self-made marketing firms, along with broad company twitters such as “Apple” and “Google” I feel this will be beneficial to see the way social media managers for those companies interact with their audience, while also viewing the branding differences for small and large companies.

Overall, I hope by the end of the semester I will have gathered a useful tool to continue my learning independently once this course is over.

Be a Cookie: Post #2

Sometimes there are issues in our society that we’re not fully aware of, or that just take a backseat in our mind, and stay as subconscious ideas until pointed out to us. Personally, that felt relevant when reading the two articles. Until now, I was aware that my generation, and of course those coming after me, are going to be heavily rooted in technology for their education, work prospects, and even social life. So, reading articles, “The Web We Need To Give Students,” and “How Public? Why Public?” helped me to think in different terms about what it means to be a student in this day and age. Students of the past focused on hand-written notes, paper portfolios, and discarded most coursework that they physically could not store. But that does not need to be the future of education. 

From the article, “The Wed We Need To Give Students,” the quote, “The kids came in to the class with what I would call fair and average teen tech skills,” he said. “Lots of iPods, iPads, and laptops. Lots of Facebook and Instagram. But none of them had a presence online they were in control of before this.” put into perspective how educated my generation truly is in regards to using the internet and the overall digital world to our advantage. We’re just not quite there yet. Sure, there are plenty of young people designing and coding websites, learning how to work in information technology, and computer science, but a large portion of the generation Z population that I have personally witnessed is not so tech savvy as Cookie from Ned’s Declassified, rather, they have 3,000 dollar macbook’s dedicated to basic word processing for school, and then surfing youtube, facebook and other media sites.  The same can be said for our cell-phone experience. There is a whole viable world of coding, promotional endeavors, and networking very literally on the tip of our fingers, and yet we have extremely expensive mini-computers, primarily used for scrolling through memes on Instagram, and posting on Snapchat. To think that with a generation so able to adapt to rapid changes, as most people my age remember days of flip phones to the modern day face-identification technology, anything really could be possible. So, if more universities, or even high and middle schools, were to follow the approach of UMW, perhaps kids would see their computer as a way to create their own digital world and identity, in order to market themselves to future jobs, or even universities. 

In the arctic, “How Public? Why Public?” the quote, “Even the greatest teachers can’t expect to get things right if they only try them once or twice, and I would not claim to be among the greatest teachers.” really stuck out to me. The concept does not just apply to teachers, but to all of life: you cannot succeed doing the bare minimum, and you cannot succeed by giving one attempt and expecting that to be good forever. Integrating a learning digital portfolio to travel throughout the years of education is not a one and done type of deal. Students will need to put effort in to maintain, update, and market their blogs for all to see. The work, though, will pay off in the future, especially if this approach becomes widely accepted as the norm, as I feel it should.

First Reflection

The first meeting for Introduction To Interdisciplinary Studies felt far shorter than an hour, but was enjoyable. I was pleased to see multiple people I know, who I never knew were interested in the same major as me, show up for the first cass meeting. It will definitely be nice to have friendly faces within my major that understand what needs to be done, especially as our instructor had said: no one will really understand your major, especially because once we’re out of the introduction course, we will be blending majors, and will not be together again until our senior seminar. I’m very excited to begin making my contract, but also nervous. I want to be a graphic designer, but also have a stable background in marketing/communication. I’ve never formally taken a graphic design course before, and look forward to learning skills in this intro class that will help me jump into my new major without much issue. 

I loved that in class today we discussed an IDS student that is the “resident IDS graphic designer”. That was interesting to hear! I would love the chance to connect with her and learn from someone in my major, and in my projected career field. That scavenger hunt we did was interesting! And-I guessed your favorite color before speaking with the IDS office, nice purple shirt!

Back to the contract, I have an idea of what I want to incorporate. I have already taken a few English Major courses, as I came in last year having declared English, with an option in writing, as my major. I do not want to lose those credits, but also am open to putting them towards a minor, as the amount of Interdisciplinary credits were allowed to take is limited. I’m very excited to learn about what everyone is looking to get out of this course! It seems so exciting to be in a room of people who understand that a college major does not need to be a hard, unchanging kind of curriculum. Being creative and making my own path, while also challenging myself to take courses I haven’t considered before will be interesting! 

I met Robin during my Studies In English course last year–she was an English major! I got to interview her with my project partner, who also happens to be an IDS major, Kerian Egan. In that interview, we learned about what it meant to be an English major. Career paths, personal issues, material covered, but it also served to put Interdisciplinary Studies on my radar as an option. So, over the summer, I met with Hannah and switched my major.

I work in the Registrar’s office, so changing my actual major was an easy and kind of interesting process, I actually got to watch my boss go into my file and change my major from English to interdisciplinary studies. 

I am very excited to have this course! I look forward to getting to know everyone, exploring my interests, and working with such an amazing and helpful faculty this year. Also, the image I am attaching isn’t necessarily related to the first class meeting, but it is a part of my reasoning to do IDS: I love art and storytelling, so here is one of my recent digital works that I made for my job at the registrar’s office!