Visual Assignment: Normal to Extraordinary

#2 Assignment for #ds106 is up:

Normal to Extraordinary:

Take a friend and turn him/her from a normal looking person to an extraordinary looking one. Put the shots side by side for comparison.


For my example I used two photos that I’ve taken of my suitemate Karen (she is a #ds106 superstar now, haha):

Creation Process:

Okay so I didn’t actually take these photos consecutively. I took the photo on the right first in a random photoshoot that happened with Karen and Elena( my suitemates) because we were bored. The crazy makeup, hair and wardrobe was done by Elena. Don’t quite remember why we decided to put crazy makeup on Karen, but we got some really good photos out of it! (I may post some of them up later, depends on when I have the time). I really like this photo even though she looks kind of sad and tragic (Karen isn’t the biggest fan because she thinks she looks too “clownish”.) I messed with the colors in photoshop then ran it through the Poladroid maker to get the final effect.

Then the photo on the left was from another photoshoot, this time taken from when it was flurrying/slushy outside. It was cold and we didn’t have a lot of time to take photos although Karen did have time to throw on some more glam clothes that what she was originally wearing. I enhanced the color a bit on this one, but the lighting outside was so good I didn’t have to do much.

I like both of these photos together because I think it expresses the idea of how with a little work (i.e. clothing, makeup, hair) someone can completely be transformed into someone else entirely. Side by side, obviously it’s the same girl in the photos, but in each photo she is a different character. This holds true with most of the other photos I’ve taken of Karen who has a great range of expressions. I like exploring the different personas people can have, which explains why I end up with photos like Karen’s or the Rainbow Brite set.

So thanks to Karen who let’s me create art for fun :)


The Many Faces of Karen:


Design Assignment: Nickname/Catchphrase Poster

I just submitted my first assignment to DS106!

It’s a Nickname/Catchphrase poster: “Make a poster for any one of your friends using a catchphrase that is associated with them. Bonus points if you get them to look super badass!”

This is a poster for my suitemate Karen whose nickname on the UMW  Women’s rugby team is Karnage. I made this poster in honor of her awesome rugby skillz! (Although she currently can’t play since she broke her leg during a rugby game a month ago :/ )



The Creation Process:

Last semester my suitemate  Elena and I were really bored one night and decided to do a crazy photoshoot with our other suitemate Karen (this happens a lot to Karen actually where we make her put on a ridiculously crazy outfit and I take photos). Then after the shoot, I was playing around with the photos in Photoshop and decided to add wings to make her look even cooler.

I decided to add a background to make Karen pop out of the photo because the original background was just a white wall. It looked rather plain just with the black and white and so I decided to make Karen her own poster complete with a catchphrase that makes her seem totally bad-ass.

This debuted as Karen’s profile pic for a while before she decided to change it back to something slightly more professional.

Webstory: Taking over Twitter

So I decided for my firebug webstory project that I am going to take over twitter. I don’t want to reveal too much of the story, but basically it’s going to involve a day in Dr. Zach Whalen’s life when he has to advise two people, “Alaina and Carah”, for their independent study. For those of you who don’t know him, Dr. Whalen is a professor of New Media studies in the English Dept at UMW.

Jim Groom is also going to be involved in this story as well.

Already have written the script with the help of my roommate Elena and so for tonight all I got to do is put it in action! I’m excited. 😀

My Office

Conclusion: Freedom’s 30 Minute Radio

I feel that my previous post and Aliyah’s post about our radio show covered a good deal about our project, but I just wanted to do a few wrap up points:

1) Audio projects are very much solitary work.

  • Obviously we recorded the voices together and discussed what kind of sound effects to use. But then when it came down to it, we each took an equal amount of audio and spent hours on it ALONE, constantly listening to the same clips of audio over and over again until we got it to sound perfect.
  • Part of why I like the Daily Shoot assignments so much is that I can use my friends in them. This way, not only am I creating awesome art, but I get to hang out with my friends in the meantime. With Audacity, I turned into a little hermit hiding out in my bathroom because it was the quietest place in my apartment. I don’t really enjoy turning into a total hermit. It’s just not healthy.  O.o

2) Aliyah is a kickass partner!

  • Seriously, this girl was always ready to work on the assignment and do what it took to get it to be as awesome as it is. She has a very relaxed and calm personality, so even during the stressful times she was like “We can get our stuff done!” I can see how this project would have been a total pain in the ass if you had a crappy partner/ group, so I feel lucky  that we ended up together. 😀

3) Audio projects are super intense

  • More power to the people who do audio things for a living. It is crazy intense and I know that in the long run I wouldn’t have the patience or ear to stick with it.  Major Props to all the people who do the sound mixing on TV shows and movies, like these people who won Oscars for their work.

Overall, a really great experience, but you would have to pay me a lot of money to do this again!

And now my radio show for those of you too lazy to click to Aliyah’s blog post:

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My “Blonde” Moment at the Airport

Last Friday night I was planning on going home because Saturday morning at 6:15am, I had to leave from my house to Dulles airport in order to catch my flight to Florida with my mom.

But things happened and instead,I decided to stay at my apartment and just wake up early Saturday morning and drive home. I ended up getting 1 hour of sleep and then left around 5am to go home.

The roads are nice and clear at 5 in the morning, but I still arrived home with only ten minutes to finish packing before we had to leave for the airport.

I had already packed a duffel back at my apt, but I decided it would be easier traveling if I used a rolling suitcase.  I wanted to use my red carry-on suitcase so that I wouldn’t have to pay more $$ to check a suitcase under the plane (I planned on putting my toiletry kit in my mom’s suitcase), but my red carry-on was no where to be found.

In my search for it, I wasted about seven minutes and now had only three minutes left to pack before we had to leave.  I ended throwing most of my stuff in a random purple rolling carry-on and put whatever else didn’t fit in it, into my mom’s suitcase and my backpack

My family was rushing me out of the door and so in my haste I grabbed my backpack and ran to the car.  My sister and dad drove us to the airport and the whole way there I was quiet in the backseat because I was feeling grumpy and tired.

We pulled up to the airport and got out of the car. My sister helped my mom with her suitcase in the trunk, but I didn’t see mine anywhere.

“Hey, where’s my suitcase?!?” I ask, starting to feel panicked.

Blank faces. My mom asks, “What do you mean? Didn’t you put it in the car?”

“NO! I thought you did! You guys were the ones rushing me out the door! @$&$ &$*$ #(@#!!” I yell so loudly that everyone nearby turns to look at me screaming profanities.

My family started laughing and laughing at my stupidity while I got pissed off because I had no clothes for the next four days in Florida except for  traveling clothes I was wearing and random items I had shoved in my backpack.

We didn’t have time to go back to the house to get my suitcase, so that meant I ended up going on a shopping spree in Florida.I love getting new clothes, but I rather not get new clothes at the expense of having a total blonde moment…

Morals of the story:

  1. Get more than 1 hour of sleep a night
  2. Don’t wait until the last minute to pack
  3. Check to make sure suitcase is in car before leaving!!
  4. Don’t scream profanities loudly outside an airport. It makes people nervous and they shoot you funny looks.

Woes of the 5 Minute Show


Can anyone explain how in Audacity you can put together mutiple audio tracks easier? For example, if I had a track of me talking and a background track of music that I then wanted to add to something exactly like that, how could I do this without cutting and pasting 2 tracks? Is there a way to do it all as one track?


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So Aliyah and I really started working on our radio show last night although we had a we had a good idea about what we want to do for the thirty minute radio show.

We decided it would be fun to go back to the old school day of radio which is why for our project we are re-creating the radio play “I Saw Myself Running” by Anthony Ellis which Aired Feb 22, 1953.

We even managed to get my suitemate Elena to help record some voices for us. She has a great acting voice and it’s a lot of fun to get more people to help us out as it is just the two of us (POWER DUO!! [Aliyah picked this song, hahahahah :D)

It took a lot longer than expected to record and piece together all the audio we had. We ended up working on it from 8pm until 12am and that was only to get the 6 minute section of our show up D:

We ended up using an extra song because while we were originally going to have 1 oldie’s song play, the way that the timing worked out, we would have less than 5 minutes of audio. We didn’t have time to work on another segment of the mystery audio, so hence the song for tonight.

But Aliyah and I have plans to work on it tomorrow before break and during break as well.

Audio Info:

1st Song: Elvis Presley “That’s All Right Mama”

2nd Song: Bill Haley and the Comets “Rock around the Clock”

#1 Music for Audio Bumper –> Script we based our #ds106 bumper off of

#2 Radio Show Intro Music – Horror

#3 Creepy Ambiance  Music


Found this the other day when I was surfing the web. Love how someone took something so simple as Legos and used them to create old school album covers, seems like something someone would do for #ds106 :)

Also, this guy, Nathan Sawaya created lego scupltures, pretty badass! I just don’t have the patience for that kind of thing.

Wonder how much Nathan has spent on buying legos, he probably gets a bulk discount O.o

Bilingual/Bilingüe: a Poem by Rhina Espaillat

On Monday I was helping someone in the Writing Center with her paper analyzing the poem Bilingual/Bilingüe which is a very structurally interesting poem. Notice that the Spanish words are closed off from the English words until the very end. What does that say to you about the poem?


by Rhina P. Espaillat

My father liked them separate, one there
one here (allá y aquí), as if aware

that words might cut in two his daughter’s heart
(el corazón) and lock the alien part

to what he was–his memory, his name
(su nombre)–with a key he could not claim.

“English outside this door, Spanish inside,”
he said, “y basta.” But who can divide

the world, the word (mundo y palabra) from
any child? I knew how to be dumb

and stubborn (testaruda); late, in bed,
I hoarded secret syllables I read

until my tongue (mi lengua) learned to run
where his stumbled. And still the heart was one.

I like to think he knew that, even when,
proud (orgulloso) of his daugher’s pen,

he stood outside mis versos, half in fear
of words he loved but wanted not to hear.