My blog is tumbling headlong into a history- and travel-themed rabbit hole! I love learning about history and cultures , two things that will always be incorporated into any travel I do. This week was busy as I was trying to catch up with assignments and familiarize myself with WordPress and blogging. I figured out what a pingback is and I just realized I had to approve the Comments left on my posts. This is going to take a while; I’ll learn as I go along. I remember for the GMU class on Virtual Worlds, it took me some time to familiarize with SecondLife; consequently, my avatar had no pants on for a few days while I tried to figure out how to put clothes back on her.
This week’s assignments focused on audio elements, which honestly, I had not paid any attention to.
For the “Learning by Listening to Radio Shows” assignment, I initially chose Episode 503 of This American Life: I Was Just Trying to Help because I was curious to hear stories of people trying to help which resulted in unintended consequences. While the prologue story centered on an attempt by a clerk for a circuit court judge to help out an inmate with paperwork was interesting, it was the story on the GiveDirectly charity that fascinated me. Until listening to this episode, I had not heard of GiveDirectly, but I had heard of Heifer International, the charity to which GiveDirectly was compared. A friend of mine had asked guests to contribute to Heifer International as a wedding gift, in lieu of the traditional wedding registry. I listened to “Money for Nothing and Your Cows for Free” several times. I gained appreciation for how the audio elements incorporated into the narration helped enhance the story. Without any accompanying visuals, the story still took shape and form in my mind though the audio elements. One segment made me realize a personal bias: when Jacob Goldstein, the narrator, stated the name of a GiveDirectly staff member he was interviewing, I had expected a non-American accent because her name was non-Anglo Saxon. So, it surprised me to hear her speak with an American accent.
For the “Commercials as Short Film Stories” assignment, I revisited an old favorite, the original “got milk?” commercial, which I blame for retaining the trivia that it was Vice President Aaron Burr who killed Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Had it not been for that “got milk” ad, I would never even have heard of Aaron Burr. When I revisited the commercial, I also revisited the Wikepedia article on the Burr-Hamilton duel to satisfy my curiosity of the events leading to the duel. More commercials like this, should inspire a deeper delve into history!
I’ve enjoyed reading through Blue Ninjas’ blog posts this week! Similar to my experience, the Blue Ninjas included in their analyses how the audio elements contributed immensely to telling the stories. I realized from reading two of the Blue Ninjas’ posts that I did not include the story spine element to my analysis of the “got milk” commercial. Ooops!