Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Final Trailer Video

I figure I should link to Mikhaela's blog so you guys can get to the final trailer any way you please.


I'm pretty happy with what we came up with.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Looking Back on the Semester

Somehow this semester has managed to be both long and short. In any case, it's time to evaluate myself against the learning outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

  • History, Context, Genres and Themes, and Ethics

    Explain the historical and literary contexts, genres and themes, and ethical dimensions of Shakespeare’s representative works. From learning together about the educational context and history in Love's Labor's Lost to personal learning about the nature of the relationship between Jews and Christians during Shakespeare's time, I think this one is covered.

  • Secondary Scholarship

    Develop familiarity with key secondary scholarship about and critical perspectives of Shakespeare's works. As tempting as it was to always go straight to JSTOR, I learned to use other databases and ways of looking at Shakespeare. Some (like the academic articles) were formal, and others (like fellow bloggers) were less so.

  • Scholarly Research

    Perform scholarly research on Shakespeare’s works by identifying and evaluating appropriate research sources, incorporating these sources into a well-documented formal academic paper, and formulating arguments based on those sources. I've got an entire blog post dedicated to my annotated bibliography for my research paper. I also incorporated scholarly research into my repurposed project (as seen in my "Rethinking Repurposing" post). These sources often proved to be more of jumping off points than the evidence for my points, which suited the project well at times.

  • 1. Gain Shakespeare Literacy
    Demonstrate mastery over fundamental information about Shakespeare’s works, life, and legacy
    a. Breadth (knowledge of a range of Shakespeare’s works)
    b. Depth (more thorough knowledge of a single work)
    c. Performance (stage and screen)
    d. Legacy (history, scholarship, popular culture)
I read a range of Shakespeare's works, even if some of them didn't get put into my final work. I looked at The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, All's Well that Ends Well, and Love's Labor's Lost. I focused more on The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew for my research paper and repurposing project and accomplished the depth requirement. I saw different adaptations of both of these plays, as well as seeing the live performance of Love's Labor's Lost. In the process of making the debate video with Mikhaela for The Taming of the Shrew, we looked into the history of scholarship on both sides of our issue, and even came across some newer content that was similar to ours.
  • 2. Analyze Shakespeare Critically
    Interpret Shakespeare’s works critically in their written form, in performance (stage or screen) and in digitally mediated transformations. This includes
    a. Textual analysis (theme, language, formal devices)
    b. Contextual analysis (historical, contemporary, cultural)
    c. Application of literary theories
    d. Analysis of digital mediations
I did several character and theme analyses during the semester, most notably in my lead up to starting my research paper with The Merchant of Venice. I also wrote performance reviews for the live shows we saw, and some other digital versions of Shakespeare (like the claymation version of The Taming of the Shrew). The contextual analysis I enjoyed most was in The Merchant of Venice when talking about views of Judaism.
  • 3. Engage Shakespeare Creatively
    a. Performance (memorization, recitation, scene on stage or video)
    b. Individual creative work (literary imitation, art, music)
    c. Collaborative creative project
The first of my attempts to creatively engage Shakespeare was when I made my Merchant of Venice fake facebook wall. I also created several videos, one a debate with Mikhaela, another as my own project (a presentation to abuse counselors using Shakespeare). I contributed to our final collaborative project.
  • 4. Share Shakespeare Meaningfully
    This includes engaging in the following:
    a. Formal Writing. Develop and communicate your ideas about Shakespeare clearly in formal and researched writing and through a format and medium that puts your ideas into public circulation.
    b. Informal Writing. This mainly means through regular online writing
    c. Connecting. Share one’s learning and creative work with others both in and outside of class.
I engaged in formal writing for the research paper, and publicly shared my process through my tweethis and rough draft, as well as my blog. A lot of my informal writing took place in my blog.
  • 5. Gain Digital Literacy

    Students use their study of Shakespeare as a way of understanding and developing fluency in 21st century learning skills and computer-mediated modes of communication. Those skills are grouped under the following categories.

    a. Consume - Effective and independent selecting, searching, researching,

    b. Create - Producing content that demonstrates learning and which can be shared for others to profit from.

    c. Connect - Engage with other learners within and outside of the class to develop thinking and share more formal work.

I consumed a lot of others' work with Shakespeare. Not only did I develop preferences for certain of my classmate's blogs, but I also was able to search for media and information outside of our classroom. During our social proof focus especially, I learned a lot of different ways to search for others' ideas. I created content that could be shared. After my research paper, I made a video presentation using Prezi (which I learned about during this semester) that I could share. I connected with students inside the class and outside with other professors and peers at BYU.

So that's just about it for the semester. I've really learned a lot in this class, and not just about Shakespeare. I've probably learned more about making my work interesting, and making it matter to more than just me and the professor paid to grade it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Repurposed Content

Here's a link to my final repurposed content.


Using Professor Burton's software it was surprisingly painless. (So P.S. Thanks a ton.)


You could not believe my frustration right now. Everything is done. Really. Presentation, complete. I've even typed out exactly what I'm going to say since no one's seeing my face. I wrote in slashes when I need to switch slides so I don't have to think about it.

Prezi hates me. Or perhaps my computer is the issue. In any case, it is all moving so slowly (huge lag) during the show that the video will just look ridiculous. Maybe I can do it on someone else's computer (maybe Professor Burton's?) tomorrow. But right now it's 2:30 am, I've been trying too long, and my sleeping roommates are problems sick of me making strangled cries of irritation.

And my last post sounded so happy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Comparable Sources

I'm the queen of finding and doing things and not posting it. (Just in case anyone was wondering.) As I was finishing up my repurposing I thought I'd post some of the things that influenced it.

I was looking for material that would be comparable to what I'm doing, which is proposing a different (ish) approach to therapy for abuse victims. A few people suggested that I look at the BYU counseling center. I started just by looking through the faculty and their specialties. Luckily, fairly early on I came to Michael D Adams. I noticed in his list of specialties/interests/theoretical leanings the phrase "narrative therapy." Could it be this perfect?

Yes. It could indeed. So I started researching narrative therapy. First, of course, I got a general Wikipedia overview. A relevant section:

Narrative therapy holds that our identities are shaped by the accounts of our lives found in our stories or narratives. A narrative therapist is interested in helping others fully describe their rich stories and trajectories, modes of living, and possibilities associated with them. At the same time, this therapist is interested in co-investigating a problem's many influences, including on the person himself and on their chief relationships.

By focusing on problems' effects on people's lives rather than on problems as inside or part of people, distance is created. This externalization or objectification of a problem makes it easier to investigate and evaluate the problem's influences.

Then, I started looking at articles through the library. I found two interesting ones:

Narrative therapy for women who have lived with violence


Partner abuse group intervention - Lessons from education and narrative therapy approaches


I especially liked the first one about women who have lived with violence. Here's the abstract.
Narrative therapy is proposed as a possible treatment approach for women who have had multiple experiences of sexual violence and abuse within the context of their intimate relationships. Narrative therapists elicit discussion of unique outcomes, which are moments of strength, autonomy, and emotional vitality hidden in life stories that are otherwise saturated with suffering and oppression, to open up possibilities for constructing new life narratives. Examples of such unique outcomes revealed to the author by individuals participating in a research project concerned with women's responses to sexual violence by male intimates are given.
So, it's about looking at complex situations in complex ways, and finding insight in stories. Ta-duh! So is my proposal. The difference is that I want to use Shakespeare instead of just people's own life stories. It fulfills the same objectives, and is especially useful in the process of externalization described above. I'm feeling pretty good about it. I'll just make a few modifications to my presentation based on some more information, and bam! Done.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rethinking Repurposing

I’ve been rethinking my repurposing a little (lots of “re” in that sentence). The more I thought about my original plan the more it felt weird. It felt a little fake, to be honest. As well meant as it would be, I don’t really feel right posting in the kind of forums I’ve been observing, especially with my topic and angle.

In all honesty, I think this topic is better angled toward counselors, who may then direct their patients toward different therapeutic routes. So I’ve been leaning toward a narrated presentation. And hey! Even if other people are doing it too, I totally suggested it first, right? Right? Working on it as we speak. As I type this? Right after I type this? I’m obviously a little out of it.

Our (Mikhaela's and my) Video Interview

Mikhaela and I decided to film together since we take opposite sides of the same issue.