Posted in NJIT (Fall 2020)

What to do once accepted (or not)

So this is the time we are waiting for! We have gotten accepted into our desired programs! With that being said, there are crucial steps to prepare before your first day of class. Below is a list of essentials that should be done prior to your first day of being a Graduate Student!

  • Make sure all materials are submitted
  • Submit school deposit
  • Apply for institution and outside scholarships (GA ship)
  • Meet with Program Director for Advisement
  • Make semester schedule
  • Get school materials together! 

Make sure all materials are submitted

Even though this step sounds like it should be done in Guide to Grad School: Getting your application started, this still can apply to this step as well! Some institutions accept students without fully having all materials.

My experience/example:

I was accepted into my first MA degree without having my official transcripts. Once I was accepted, I had to send the official transcripts to my designated institution. Also, make sure to submit ALL transcripts of institutions that you have attended and/or earned credits from! I attend two institutes for undergraduate, completed courses at the county college near me, while also completing a graduate certificate… you can imagine how many transcripts I had to submit! Take into mind that most institutions charge between $7 – $10 a transcript. Be sure to have your school and money management information together when doing this process!

Submit school deposit

This is one is pretty self explanatory, but still important to mention. There is always going to be a deposit to save your spot in the program, so just be sure to pay that!

Apply for institution and outside scholarships (GA ship) & Financial Aid

Honestly, I should have posted this topic at the beginning of the post, but there is always a method to my madness…. Be sure to have a financial plan even before you submit your applications for grad school! You want to make sure that you will be able to go to school and live a decent life (welcome to broken grad student life!). Below, I will list financial option to help in looking for aid:

  • Applying for FASFA
  • Looking for internal scholarships available in your desired institution
    • Graduate Assistantships
    • Fellowships
    • Department scholarships
  • Looking for external scholarships

Meet with Program Director for Advisement

Here is where the fun really begins! I hope at this point you have taken on the initiative to make yourself familiar with your desired program, and have done a bit of research on the program director. If not, that is totally fine! But at this point, you should be reaching out to the Program Director of your program. You should be doing the following when meeting with the Program Director: 

  • Make semester schedule (this is where you could determine if you want to be a part-time or full-time student
  • Try to start mapping out how and when you are trying to graduate (it is also okay not to know exactly what you plan to do!)
  • Get to know your Program Director, they will be your biggest ally to graduate!

Get school materials together! 

Last but not least, it is time to get your materials together! Depending on the type of program you will be attending, will determine the type of materials you need. Speaking from my own experience, I needed a really good computer to design on; I am graduate assistant and my program focuses on digital writing. Some of you might be fun science folk, so you may need to look into text books. Some advice I would give on that aspect is to look for these textbooks in a digital version so you can carry them anywhere! Trust me, you will thank me later.

With that said, hope these tips and tricks helped you guys and look out for next post!

Posted in MA Thesis

Editing Lit Review: 10/16 – 10/22

For this week’s Thesis Progress Report, I am still sticking to my proposed schedule from Last Week’s Post. I think this method of breaking down task week by week is more efficient and gives me the appropriate amount of time to work on each attribute of the elements in my thesis. Below I will share the following images; All items to be submitted (along with the amount that is done!), the current week I am working on, and a pdf of the current edits to my Lit Review (this week is dedicated to this portion, so I am still making edits :)) ). 

Key Items for Submitted Thesis
October’s Process Schedule
To do for this week: 10/16 -10/22

Here you can find a pdf of the revisions that I have made thus far: Lit Review Edits/Notes (so far!). I will be still making edits until 10/22.

I feel very good in the direction and pace I am going with my thesis process. I feel as though I am now set and ready to finish the rest of the semester out strong! Coincidentally, now I have a set order/schedule for all my work and school life! Knowing this has definitely lifted a heavy load off my shoulders.

Posted in Electronic Literature

Icarus Needs and The Hero’s Journey

I would first like to point to the appreciation of the simplest navigation that is this game. This genre of literature for this Hypercomics, where the road goes through a narration of webcomics that solely relies on the reader’s navigation. This game took me approximately 27 minutes to finish. After 10 minutes of playing around with moving Icarus, I started to understand the navigation and goal of the game. The up, down, left, and right arrows act as the controls to move Icarus. The piece is set as a narration quest to find Icar’s love Kit. The navigation is pretty simple after playing around with it. 

Outside of the interface of navigation, I would like to go into further depth of discussing the content of the piece. Interestingly enough, while I was experiencing Icarus’ tale, I could not help thinking of The Hero’s Journey. I learned about The Hero’s Journey as an undergrad student, but I was reintroduced back to it just recently by one of the college students I tutor I work with. Since Icarus is on a journey/adventure to find his love, I thought it would be cool to break this piece down within the steps of The Hero’s Journey!

Breaking It Down

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. In the beginning you set up your hero (or heroine) and his story, then you throw something at him that is a great source of conflict and takes him into a whole heap of trouble. After facing many foes and overcoming various obstacles the hero saves the day and wins the girl.

If only writing a movie was that easy…

Below you can find the 12 steps that make up the Hero’s Journey.

The Ordinary World 

We are first introduced to Icarus as his awakening from the floor of the house is on. He wakes up and realizes that he fell asleep playing the game again. From this, we know the Ordinary World for Icarus is house, and the coach (he fell asleep on).

The Call of Adventure

From playing the game, I realize that Call of adventure seemed more apprean than The Ordinary World (since we first introduced our protagonist on the floor). But nethertheless, The Call of Adventure for Icarus is when he realizes he must find his girlfriend, Kit. 

Refusal of the Call 

I would not necessarily say Icarus refused the call to the adventure (I believe he wanted to find Kit very badly!). I would say he was more so surprised where he ended up and that he had to save Kit.

Meeting the Mentor 

Does the little narration voice guiding Icarus count as a mentor? In my perspective, the narration voice asks as a guide for Icarus (in player mood, the voice kind of gives subtle directions on what to do next.). I found the voice very useful!

Crossing the First Threshold 

Icarus is navigated through a common household, outside, under water, in a blimp … I think the threshold was crossed numerous times.

Tests, Allies, Enemies 

I think this attribution of The Hero’s Journey is what made this piece so engaging. Icarus is put against many obstacles and foes, and it’s our job as the readers to help Icarus! The special literary part of this piece is the literature is found through conversation with the: narrating voice, enemies who after Icarus, items that must be achieved, and the search to find Kit. Who said video games can’t teach reading?

Approach to the Inmost Cave 

This portion of The Hero’s Journey is displayed when we are being chased towards the cliff by the angry mob (he stole the mud ball). This where he finally finds Kit.

The Ordeal 

I would say the biggest ordeal at this point in Icarus is when he is falling out of a hot air balloon.

Reward 

Icarus’ end reward was finding Kit (even though it seems as if she is saving him in the end).

The Road Back/Resurrection 

There was not too much of these two portion of the journey that was evident in Icarus.

Return with the Elixir

Icarus finally awakes from his dream and learns… to never sleep while playing the game!

Overall Experience

I enjoyed the entire experience of this piece! I would arguably say that this is my favorite one!

Posted in MA Thesis

Things Are Coming Together!

I am very excited about where my thesis is now heading towards! So I am going to give you all a quick recap on the new direction of my thesis. Unfortunately, I will not be moving forward to submitting my IRB documents to do my research study. But on the plus side, I have a collection of items that I have decided on that I would like to submit for my final thesis contribution! For this week’s blog, I will be sharing more images of items and schedules, rather than writing on and on. Below you will find a list of my elements for my completed thesis, alongside my most updated thesis progress schedule (this is about my 4th time doing this.. But I am okay with it):

I am very visual person, so having this list up helps me keep track of essential thesis items!

Below is my update these progress schedule!

Posted in Electronic Literature

Motions & Connected with Pieces of Herself

The Emotions Experiencing Motions

For this week’s blog post, I am going to share my experiences of the elit piece: Motions. I will first talk about the navigation of the site:

Navigation

This elit piece was pretty easy to navigate through. I used my laptop to navigate through the piece, so I only needed your arrow keys to go back and forth through each page. The audio was a great concept in putting sound to setting. The audio was uncomfortable and kind of weird (alongside the images). The text itself was pretty easy to read and follow along, like a narrative. The way the images would appear in an order then in the next page with no order, puzzled me at first. But as I navigated through the rest of the site, I began to understand its purpose. The story is portraying the “journey” into child sex trafficing, the unknowning of where it will lead the children to.  

Emotions felt throughout the experience

Even though the multimodal were great to experience, the general message of the piece is a sad reality. Throughout the piece we are given snippets of different ways on how human trafficking circles, internatioanlly. Sadly, many people are given false hopes and dreams that by living in that lifestyle, you will be able to survive. The image below snapped for the elit piece really hit home because I truly enjoy getting my nails done. Obviously this does not apply to every person of asian descent that does nails.. But this short passage makes you take it into consideration:

Connected with Pieces of Herself

Navigation

The navigation of this site was really cool and interesting to mess around with! The drag and drop option of the pinup doll reminds me of the online game dress up I would play as a 10 year old (I can’t quite remember the name of the game)! But nonetheless, it was really fun to go through the day-to-day routine of feminism. It took me about four pass-throughs of the site to completely understand the navigation of the click and drag option (oh the fun of discovering/experiencing elit!). The navigation takes you to several day-to-day settings of the average person (but with a fminism/female perspective). 

Emotions felt throughout the experience

I was able to personally connect with this elit piece, as sharing the commonality of identifying as a female. The most interesting aspect that took to me was during the scene of the church. The music that played in the background alongside the baby fetus (that was a bit creepy). But the song that was playing is a song I would sing to my residents at the nursing home! Interestingly enough, I am just realizing this song is addressing the aspirations of a girl dreaming to be a beautiful housewife. Below is a youtube video of the song:

Overall Experience

My overall experience of this piece is that it was great to interact with this piece; audio, click and drag, multimodal. It was also interesting to experience as a female and comparing/contrasting my day-to-day life of what the interactive piece presents.

Posted in NJIT (Fall 2020)

Getting your application started!

Now that you have decided on the type of program you would desire to apply for, it’s time to get applying! If you are not quite at this stage yet, I suggest take a look at my last blog post (How to choose a school) to get things in order. With that being said, I am going to give you guys some tips, pointers, and my own experience on how to narrow down the important aspects of getting your application done!

General Checklist

I am a firm believer of speaking AND writing things into existence. When it came to applying to my first MA program, I was pretty much oblivious to the whole process of what materials and items I needed in order to get a completed application. Of course, all programs clearly state the criteria and materials you need to be considered an applicant, but the process of doing it can be quite difficult. It was not until I applied for my grad certificate and second MA that I realized the beauty of checklists. So here is my quick tip: 

General Checklist:

Even though each institute may ask for different things, they all have the same items that will be needed for the application. With that said, below are two checklists that I found on google (for free!). I would print them out and store them in a PhD binder (also pictured below!).

Institutions Checklist

Like I started earlier in the post, each institution has their own specific set of critters for a completed application. Here are the application materials needed for the MA in Digital Media Design and Marketing program (the next MA I will be attending in Fall’2021!). Also below I have snapshotted a snippet of the site as well.

Remember:

  • See if any of your undergrad or previous grad program credits can be transferred over to another program. It saves you time AND money!
  • If you are an international student, be sure to check specific criteria you may need to complete.
  • Be sure to answer the specific question they are asking you to write or submit. Nothing is worse than submitting a bland personal statement that can fit any institution. 
  • Ask for those letters of Recommendation very EARLY! Most professors may agree to do it, and figure to actually do them (they are very busy and very gumane too!).

Getting materials in as EARLY as POSSIBLE!

Please, please, please! If you can not stress this enough, please be sure to get your materials in as early as possible. The reason for this is that you may lose out on scholarship, fellowships, grants, etc that can aid your grad finance. Graduate school is pretty expensive; from registering for courses, to trying to buy your 5th cup of coffee for the day. What not try to have your education paid for? Be sure to check with the graduate admission counselors and application to see for these scholarships and important deadline dates.

Staying Positive

 Even through all of this very much busy work, be sure to always stay calm and recreate yourself. There is nothing wrong with taking a step… grad school (all the process of it) can be overwhelming. Be sure to take some me with me.

Posted in MA Thesis

Here’s How It Went!

Today’s thesis blog post will be a reflection of my presentation from last class. For those who did not have a chance to view my presentation or just want to look back at it, please feel free to review it: My time to Shine. So with that being said, let’s jump right into the befores and after my presentation.

Emotions/Thoughts Before Presentation

To be quite honest, I was both excited and nervous about showcasing my work to my fellow thesis writers (I truly value their feedback and opinions… you will see this in the latter part of my blog.) As stated in my presentation, I have been working on my thesis, or so the idea around my thesis, since the Spring 2020 semester. From both my Research Methods and Information designs class, I have been able to make both moc versions of my Research Proposal and eLearning site (I will eventually have these items available, once I earn my Masters officially)! But, of course there is a nervous part to this point in my research….

As I stated, I have been working from Spring of 2020 – until now; and yes, that does include the entire summer. So with that said, I have been at this project pretty much… non stop. So much to the point that I felt that my thesis was the only thing I felt like talking about. With that being the case, I also felt that no matter what I did, my thesis would be nowhere finished by time I had planned. So with that in mind, let just into a quick snapshot of my presentation!

Presentation Takeaways

Here is my new (self designed) Little P animation!

Overall, I think I did pretty well! My presentation targeted the most important aspect of showcasing the essential elements of my thesis. It was a pretty cool feeling walking through my eLearning site with my fellow thesis writers! Thank you so much Linda for adding to the creative portion of my thesis work. For the meantime, I am going to sticking with the format of using Bitmoji and Canva designs. But please be sure that I am currently learning how to make my art turn into animation to incorporate an advanced version of me eLearning site in the near future! Maybe we can make a learning site together one day! I would also like to thank Karel too for insight on the navigation and target audience for my eLearning site. It has made me reconsider the structure of my inquiry statement. Would also just like to thank my thesis cohort as a whole in giving me those good positive vibes and encouraging my ambitions and goals.. You guys are the real MVPS!

Dr. Zamora’s Worldly Advice!

Have you ever had someone that does no wrong in your eyes? Well in my academic world, it is Dr. Zamora. She knows how to give the right advice, at the right time. Dr. Zamora suggested I bring my research goal a bit down. She 100% believes that I should continue to do research with the children, but only document the behaviors. She wants me to establish a vocabulary using Ground Theory. She also reassured me that my research was far beyond this Masters degree… even PhD worthy! With that said, I am kind or relieved that I spent all summer working on this.

So What Now?

I think this is where the extra interesting part is going to happen! I will be attending the IRB webinar on Monday, to see the next I should take when submitting my documentation. Lucky enough, I have also been assigned my after school students, who will be participating in my research project. Also, for the next class meeting, I will have a bit of time with Dr. Zamora to see my next steps… Monday will start The Adventure of the Writing Process. I look forward to what this week brings!

Posted in MA Thesis

My Time to Shine!

Hello fellow thesis writers! Below you will find the an image the will direct you to my presentation. Please feel free to look at it before our class conferencing tomorrow.

Click this image
Posted in Electronic Literature

Breaking Down Bots

Hi fellow lit scholars! In today’s post, I will be targeting Kevin’s assigned text  “Bots”. This electronic literature is from Volume 3 in the Electronic Literature Collection and is primarily made up of a mini collection of pieces centered around setting of Twitter. With that, I decided to break down my blog in the format of a series of questions presented in Dr. Zamora’s last class blog post. Below you can see the break down of how I answered the questions:

What are some of the significant textual elements?  

Some significant textual elements from BOTS is the use of the social media handle twitter. Even though each mini collections has its own theme that makes it unique, 

How did you choose to navigate these texts?  

I choose to navigate through each piece in the mini collection by opening up the live twitter action made by each BOT. I did not go in any particular order, I just clicked and looked most interesting to venture into.

What visual, sound, interactive elements left an impression?  

Since there are 12 different parts of the mini collection, I am going to do a quick breakdown of the ones that were most intriguing to me!

@TinyCrossword: The visuals that left an impression on me was the crossword images. The main aspect of the crossword puzzles tweeted is that the answers are simple and easy to find. This is a great interactive tactic to connect people (I actually started following the account!)

@everyword: This one is particularly my favorite due to it be something like the “twitter encyclopedia”. The project is done between 2007 – 2014 and has a book that you can buy a alongside the tweets! http://www.instarbooks.com/books/everyword.html. The imagery within the site the host book is very playful and bright (two things I really like).

What overall effect do these texts create?  

Twitter in itself is such an engaging communication application, so seeing it being used in this manner is pretty easy to navigate. The tweets within each mini collection has their own theme of the text (bots being the main controller of the tweets).

What themes and symbolic language emerge in navigating the text? 

The themes I see in the emerging language is the use of bots in twitter feeds. As I said before, the navigation was pretty simple, due to twitter being one of the main mediums being used within my MA program.

What is literary about the text?

I am not sure exactly how to answer this (seems like this my theme for every #elit blog post), but isn’t that what electronic lit is all about? The literary aspect I see in this Elit is the language being used to distinigsh each account from one another. Again, I am not to confident in my answer.

Posted in NJIT (Fall 2020)

How to Choose a graduate program/school

In this week’s blog post for A Guide Through Grad School, I will be discussing the first topic: How to Choose a graduate program/school. I will be breaking this down into three crucials steps when choosing, while also providing my own experience and feedback to how I approach each step. With that said, let’s jump into it!

How to choose a graduate school

  1. Know the type of program you would like to dedicate one  + year to! Graduate level degrees prepare students to have a deeper understanding of specific fields, while also preparing to contribute knowledge to the field. With that being said, you should decide what you would want to further your understanding in. You should take the following into consideration:
    • Are you continuing the same field of study from your undergraduate degree?
    • If you are not, what prerequisite courses do you need to take before applying?
    • How will it take you to finish? (This does not mean that you need to finish this degree in record time).
    • Will you need to relocate for this degree?

My experience

  • I decided I wanted to further my understanding within the English Discipline: but English studies has so many branches under it, so I decided to stick with writing studies because I like to write academic papers! I had to narrow my search, which leads me to the second step:

2.) When in doubt, Google it out!Google is a great search engine to see different programs and their institution. Try using keywords that relate to your study. Google will show you All the options available. 

My experience: I would copy and paste all the programs I found interesting onto a google doc to keep track of them all. I tried to aim for all schools in driving distance from my home because I was not ready to relocate.. yet!

  1. Once you have a list, time to do more research!
    • Look at their program overview
    • Look at the curriculum
    • Look at the staff
    • Reach out to the program director!
  • Oh yeah, be sure to look at tuition costs…
  1. Be real with yourself
    • Just because a school sounds/looks good, does not mean it’s for you
    • Explore ALL options and be open to trying different experiences… That’s what higher education in general is all about!

I hope these little guideline were helpful to you! Please look out for my YouTube video on this topic.