Posted in Electronic Literature

Letter to Lunis: My Doubts as an Elit Scholar!

This week, I will be focusing on the elit piece, Letter to Lunis. This week’s post might be one on the shorter side, I did not quite grasp the concept of this piece. Even though the navigation and language within Letter to Lunis is very clearly and simplistic, there is still some self doubt in my true understanding. So without further adieu, let’s jump into Letter to Lunis!

Overview of the readings

To be quite honest, this week’s reading has me completely stomped. From the overview descriptions of Letter to Linus, my understanding of this piece is that it uses a hypertext cube as a navigation. The poetry appears in random orders, depending on which part of the cube you are choosing to click.

Deeper Reflection

There was not too much deep reflection due to my misunderstanding of the piece, or the lack of understanding all together…. I wanted to take time to reference one of my fellow elite scholars, Amber, in her experience with this piece:

“My experience of Linus was certainly one of disorientation. The order I followed from the beginning resulted in, “Away the sun, shut off language, lock up the revolution, blow out the public, break in your feelings, and cut down resistance.” After I reached the end, I went back through a few times to see if rearranging the order would help me understand any better, but I feel I was left with more” 

I felt a little unsure about my own understanding of this piece, so I decided to read Ambers and see what she has to say about it (FYI she is very intuitive about a lot of our elit readings!). Seeing that she had the same questions and ideology about this piece, I do not feel a s bad. But I am looking forward to what Sun has to say about this piece when she presents tonight! 

Some of the significant textual elements

The main textual evidence that was apparent to me is the use of the hypercube as the digital medium of hosting the poetry. I was bit curious about what exactly is a hypercube, so I decide to look up the definition:

“In geometry, a hypercube is an n-dimensional analogue of a square (n = 2) and a cube (n = 3). It is a closed, compact, convex figure whose 1-skeleton consists of groups of opposite parallel line segments aligned in each of the space’s dimensions, perpendicular to each other and of the same length.”

From this definition brought me to wonder… I am really that lost on the concept of this piece.   

How I choose to navigate this text

I choose to navigate through this piece by simply following the instructions in the opening of the piece. Like I stated early, this piece was pretty simple to navigate through. There was no specific order that Letter to Lunis required us to follow or figure out (at least to my understanding).

Posted in MA Thesis

Editing Research Proposal

In this week’s update on my thesis progress, I can definitely feel the express train of getting things done! I have also picked up some new digital tools that will help me further develop the student site version of TAWP. I recently did a one time app purchase for GoodNotes! I like the design of the digital writing interface, as it seems a lot more inviting and familiar with students who are used to writing on paper (alongside the actual notes I took within the application). With that being said, I will give you all a sneak peek into one of my tutorial videos for TAWP Student site! 

Alongside this discovery of another useful application, I have been sticking with my thesis progress schedule. This week I decided to double up on the load of work, this can be seen below on my working thesis calendar. Alongside the calendar are small specific notes as to what each week details (of course I have to double back and put dates next to those too!). I will be embedding pdf versions of my notes I wish to share (limited access!). Even though this is the most tedious part of the thesis so far, it feels good to get through it!

Most recent version of thesis progress calendar
To dos for the week!

Also here is a limited access of the notes I took to edit my Lit Review from last week and the most edited version of my Lit Review! Also below is one of the videos I will be adding to the TAWP student site:

TAWP: Intro

TAWP: Understanding The Assignment

Just because time is quickly winding down towards the end of the semester, I decided to make this fun little countdown as a boost to keep going towards the end!

Posted in Electronic Literature

Aiding Alice

Exploring Inanimate Alice

Inanimate with Alice was a lot fun to experience! From the engaging design of the interface to the actual literary aspect of the piece, Inanimate Alice is another favorite I would chalk down in my elite collection. With that said, I will be breaking down this piece to give different aspects of how I experienced it!

Overview of the readings

Inanimate Alice takes us on the adventures of 14 year old Alice. From the extended version of the elite title, Inanimate Alice (episode 4), that this is not Alice’s first go around! But for this particular episode (which is also the first time I am meeting Alice!)We follow Alice in her new life in England. Through images, audio, clickable activate text, and the conversation we have with Alice. The center point for this piece is watching Alice impress her friends and almost falling to her death! Typical antics of a 14 year old.. But let’s jump into the deeper reflection of this piece.

Deeper Reflection

The deeper reflection I have with this piece is the connection I can make with Alice. Moving to a new area and finally feeling comfortable is such a reassuring feeling, and we get that through the way we interact with Alice. I am trying not to talk too much about the media yet, as I wish to save it for the other aspects of this post. As a 14 year old, the need for consistency and friendship is an essential part of growing up. Alice talks about this as we navigate through her world and the new adventures that she is going through. This piece is kind of like that come of age, in the case of doing the most ridiculous things to impress friends. I choose to skip out on going through the “teacher’s edition, so that I can connect with Alice even more (glad I did that!)..    

Some of the significant textual elements

To be quite honest, all the textual elements were very significant for me in this piece! From the audio, clickable polaroid pics, and the interactive game element had me hooked. To go into further detail, I was a bit curious about what this gadget was that held a vast part of the information. So guess to be more specific, the textual element that I truly enjoyed was the gaming aspect. The first half of the piece gives a back story and walkthrough of Alice’s life. I am assuming there are great details in the previous episodes that also give these details. Having that information was useful and engaging, then being thrown into this kind of navigation game to get Alice out the creep factory safely definitely defined the experience with Alice.  

How I choose to navigate this text

Like I stated previously, I choose to navigate through this piece by choosing to regularly navigate through (sorry for the word jumble). I enjoyed that this piece was both a “traditional piece”, if that is a thing, and a game interface. 

Current Feelings

I just wanted to vent real quick on my current status for this current semester. Even though this has nothing to truly do with the elit piece, I thought this would be a good humanistic feeling to share with you all. This semester has definitely been one of my hardest. I wanted to share this with my fellow elit classmates/audience to shed some light on this feeling, just in case any else is feeling like this. I believe that I am doing my best and trying to produce the best work I can. So this little rant is for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed.. You are not alone!

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!