Weekly Reflection #4 (week 6)

These past two weeks had me freaking out again! I was just starting to feel confident and then we were thrown a new curveball. While I feel like blogging is more about working with a set of guidelines, working with wikis felt more like following a set of formatting rules. Working now with both blogs and wikis, I wrote in my FirstWikiNotesJET that I can see the similarities, like linking things, but I think they have more differences in reading and writing.

I won’t lie, I hated the way wikis looked when I first started. I felt like writing in a wiki looks so messy and unorganized, and it drove me nuts how you can see all the formatting codes within the text. After working on my JeannaToninato name page though, I felt a little better about how the “finished” wiki looks. It took some getting used to, but I didn’t mind it at the end of the week…..And then we were given the assignment I knew in my gut was coming and was terrified; editing someone’s else’s wiki!! All of my concerns with the wiki had to do with editing other’s works. I wasn’t really worried about someone “messing up” my work, but I was terrified about ruining someone else’s.

 This has been the hardest assignment yet for me. It wasn’t hard reading and doing the research on the topics we chose (I like finding out more about these things), but synthesizing ideas and added to another wiki was challenging. I am more comfortable being an audience to wikis, but being the author gave me a new role I felt I wasn’t ready for. I wanted to make sure I was following the rules of the wiki and going with the flow of what someone else had before me. Keeping 1st person point of view was hard for me. I have been so comfortable writing about my experience and opinions, that keeping my POV in check was difficult. I did notice though, that after working on the wikis this week, I now type in the wiki way. The stuff I have been writing has been a lot of 3rd person, and bullet lists.

I thought choosing the wiki pages I was to edit would be hard, but I feel like they found me. While I was reading through the SentencesAboutWritingOnAWiki, a few jumped out to me that I felt like I could connect to.

The first one I edited was CreativeActOfSynthesis. I editing some of the writing, I added some new information and changed around the order of the page the way I thought made it look more organized. As I go back and read it, there are still things I know I need to work on:

            – Did I go overboard on students ( should I have made it more general)

-linking out to other websites (too much)

-deleting things (This made me nervous deleting other’s work)

-I feel like it is still not organized right, but don’t know how to fix it

 The second wiki I worked on was AudienceAsFamily. I linked in my first image to a wiki on this! It might be changed, but I couldn’t get that song “We Are Family” out of my head while working on this wiki, so I wanted to add that. Again I had some difficulties. I added new information on the concept of the audience being seen as a family.

-I included a ThreadMode and some considerations that weren’t ready for   DocumentMode

-I also wanted to add both the negative side as well as the positive side to the audience as a family.

The last wiki I edited was WikisAndCredibility. This one I felt the most confident in my abilities to add to. I did my research on this one because I had a lot of questions and concerns about Wiki credibility. I added comments about ethos and how wikis are hard to be seen as credible sources because anyone can comment anything to them. I added information about tools that can protect wikis and the information presented. I added links to other sources about when to use wikis and when not to. I also added a new page, WikiScanner, that is its own entity because I felt like it should have it’s own space.

 I added all these notes to my JeannaToninato page  under SentencesAboutWritingOnAWikiJET.

 This week has been a challenge. I found it extremely difficult not to put my own experiences on it. I’m used to blog mode and less on summarizing information. I wanted to tell a story, and I felt like wikis were not the right platform for it. So far, I feel like I have more freedom with my blog, but I actually am getting used to the idea of collaborating with others to create something new. Once I started editing others wikis, I realized it wasn’t at all as scary as I thought it would be. I also like the idea of wikis being a place where people can learn about and add to the information already out there.

 A side note: I felt so dumb that it took me this long to realize our WeblogsAndWikis syllabus is all on a wiki. I had to laugh when I made the connection.

Weekly Reflection #3 (Week 4)

I found this week’s activities incredibly intriguing. When I first read the assignment about posting a self-portrait, I thought that would have been easy enough; I was wrong. I was surprised that I don’t have any photos of just me. The only photo I could find of just me was my school photo. I don’t like being in photos by myself. I feel too vulnerable and feel like I’m being judged. After I read the readings for the week, I started to understand the power that we have when it comes to our identity (some of it scarier than I thought; did anyone else think of the show Catfish!?)

I knew I was guarded when it came to my online presence, partly because I’m a teacher and I always follow the saying “Don’t put anything online you wouldn’t want your mother to see.” I now have changed it from ‘mother’ to ‘my students’. I just didn’t realize how much I kept out of the view of the public. I connected to Rettberg’s chapter, Written, Visual, and Quantitative Self-Representations, when she said, “Parmigianino used a convex mirror to see himself; today we use digital technologies.” I only post things or photos of me that I find acceptable to share with people. I think everyone is critical of their own image. We see things others may not. I think we are our worst enemies when it comes to pointing out our flaws. I have untagged myself in countless photos or asked my friends to take them down because I thought I looked horrible in it. But it begs the question: Are those things/photos the real me? If they are, why do we hide it?

It then led me down the questions that Rettberg addresses: Are the things we make public representations or presentations? I think the stuff I decide to share can be both. There are things I share knowing that they will be interpreted, and other times I share things wanting to address the audience. My first self-portrait post was a self-representation, where the audience could look at that photo and try to look for “signs” that would connect them with who I am. I decided for my second self-portrait to present who I am. For me, I think I’m much better getting my point across with writing than I am with face-to face conversations. I thought the best way to portray myself wasn’t through an image, but through words.  I thought the best way to ‘show’ who I am was by giving my inner thoughts.

After posting both, I realized that this still is only the self I want to be seen. Even with seeing my inner thoughts, I still didn’t show every thought I had. You still only see a version of me that I choose to share. But why? Simple Zesty brought up that “It is much less about identity through ourselves, and more about the self through others.” I want to disagree that I don’t do this, but I can’t. If you look at the things I shared, it was only what I want people to know about my life and how I want to be perceived.

My honest opinion: It both thrills me with the thought of all this power of “self” that I have, and at the same time makes me a little sad that there will probably never be a shared photo of me with my unwashed hair up in messy bun, my fiancé’s old high school sweatshirt, UGLY grey sweatpants, absolutely no makeup, with a box of vanilla wafers, and my one too many cans of soda for the day (which is my usual Sunday look) on my computer “working on grading essays” when really I’m procrastinating with funny dog and owl videos, and Googling news on Beyonce’s twins announcement.

Other things I shared this week:

Making Connections: the term “lurking” means something new for me now

Thought of the day: A snapshot of my life that I wanted people to see.

Self- Portrait #2

My thoughts on school picture day:

“Wake up two hours earlier to take a morning shower (I usually shower at night, but my hair will be much more manageable if I shower the day of)”

“Shave your legs (I feel prettier and skinner when my legs are shaved even though my legs will not even be in the chest up picture)”

“Good thing pictures are taken in the beginning of the year (My skin will still be tan and even from the summer spent outdoors)”

“Why does it take me so long to straighten this hair. I should have gotten a haircut; you look silly with short hair; it’s so much easier to deal with though; you can’t wear it in a pony; ok hair, I’m 25 years old and have baby hairs coming in: REALLY?!”

“I haven’t worn makeup all summer! Time to add BRONZER!! (oh boy, too much!!) Why do I do this to myself? Ouch; I hate when my eye lash curler pinches my face! Have I ever put mascara on and not gotten it on the bridge of my nose or the inner corner of my eye!? Does it usually take this long or am I out of practice?”

*Trying on at least five different shirts, even though I laid out my ‘picture day outfit’ yesterday* “My shoulders look like a linebacker in this. This is NOT my color. Woah cleavage, not school appropriate. Does this color wash me out? I wonder what the backdrop will look like; am I going to match it and just look like a floating head?!”

*Getting to the school for teacher in service days in August* “How did I forget it would be 1000 degrees in the school?! I am already sweating!!! What if I have pit stains for the picture? My face is going to look greasy!? Oh God, I can feel my makeup already smearing!”

*Sitting on the chair in front of the camera* “I forgot we had to sit! Do I have any body rolls sticking out? My arm is not usually in such a formal position. Does everyone sit straight up like this? I have terrible posture! I feel like a peacock strutting its stuff. I forgot how to smile naturally! Will my underbite be noticeable? Is my double chin showing? Oh, I think I blinked!

*After the photo, washing my hands, examining my reflection* “Oh good, was my hair this full of static in the photo?! I forgot to get the mascara crud out of the corners of my eyes!! Who cares, no one looks at my school photo anyway”

*Getting my school ID badge* “Oh it turned out pretty well”



Thought of the day 

Since I was young, I always wanted my future husband to be able to cook. I have never been good As for my fiancé, he is always in the kitchen. He loves to cook and try new things, and he says cooking is one of his hobbies. We now cook together (I mostly sit on the counter and drink a glass of wine while looking up recipes on Pinterest, but I have been known to mince the garlic a time or two for him). Tonight as I was sitting down for dinner with him, I was again reminded how happy I am that I can check “good cook” off my list. Dinner tonight: Homemade Pesto Chicken Penne     

P.S. Did anyone else know pesto was made with pine nuts? I also didn’t know we owned a food processor 🙂 

Making Connections

Today as my students were working on their essays, I heard another student say to another,  “Keep your eyes on your own bobber. Quit lurking me.” My students are always coming up with new slang and usually I ignore it, but today I started to giggle. I then explained to them that I was learning about self-representaion and how Rettberg explains “lurking” is not a good thing because we need “active participation” from people in our lives to realize who we are.

Two things came out of that conversation:

  1. My students don’t like that I’m learning “their slang”
  2. My students now know I have a blog, so I will now have to monitor my comments section haha