Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Alex Roadmap

I'm not sure if this is done correctly but...

My Roadblocks:

Obsessive Compulsive, Distractions, Money, Human Race, Time, Media, Anxiety, Opinions, Knowledge


Imagination, Relaxation, Brainstorming, Feelings, Mutation. Expression, Growing

Who? Why? What? How?

I'm 23 years old, female, Caucasian, no children,  from an upper middle class household. I still live with my parents until I finish school next year, and I live in the suburbs (near Castleton). I've worked all through college because I do not receive tuition assistance from my parents, so on top of classes I work teaching piano after my classes are done for the day. I cross my fingers every semester hoping I can register for classes that don't extend past 4 pm. When I began school I took education for granted. I was at a University in Canada and I was receiving a renewable scholarship every year but lost it because I did poorly in some of my classes the first year. Moving out of my household into dorm life (especially in a different country) was distracting and I didn't balance priorities. I think every semester after that I worked a little bit harder. For the past few semesters I've received mostly A's and it came with realizing how you need to make the most out of your education. It's a competitive world out there and I should take advantage of the help my teachers are offering. I've become more organized, more efficient and overall a harder worker. 

First and foremost, I chose this class to help fulfill my New Media concentration required in my Music Technology degree. I had no idea what this class was nor what we might be doing in it. I didn't drop this class because I knew after the first class that this is something that I needed in my life right now. I believe I get so caught up with the routine of my daily life that I don't have the time to explore my feelings. During many discussions in this class I realized that there are other people in the world like me that feel the same way about certain things (fear assignment) or suffer from the same problems I do. It also helped me gain perspective. I'm in the Music Technology program because I'm passionate about music. I have played the piano since I was six and it's something I've always loved and was good with. I did not want to go into a performance, composition or education so I decided on Music Technology. I would be able to get a partial music education and still learn to record. I used to think the people that dropped out of the program just couldn't handle the workload, but now I think they were pretty smart. It's disorganized on the technology portion (last two years of the program) and we in turn have suffered. I'm still here because I have a handful of required credits that won't do me any good if I change majors. I'm going to get my degree but take advantage of the independent studies I've been apart of (that have helped fill in the gaps of what I'm not being taught in class). This is the field I want to go into, I love making music and working with audio, and I'm going to make the most of what's given to me.

I did not expect my program to turn out the way it did. We were given a lot of hype before the program began as to what we'd be learning. We were also told that they had been working on this program and organizing it for the past eight years. I think a lot of the teacher's are more concerned with what's going on in their own life academically and teaching comes second. We lack all the equipment we need to be successful, microphones, speakers, our computers are old and they don't have the processing power to handle the programs installed on them. They also don't get wiped clean every semester so there's files three years old on them and many of the hard drives are full.  The computer's are also dusty and gross. I'm mentioned to teachers in the department that we need a day of cleaning where everyone cleans their stations and after that there are "touch up" kits available to use. The computer's haven't been cleaned in years. We're due for new computer's soon, so hopefully that will take care of that problem. Second the technology portion needs to be organized. There's three semester's focusing on just technology and there should be a clear syllabus to be followed for each class with a clear understanding of the progress being made each semester. So far the department hasn't even been sure as to who will be teaching these classes much less what we'll be taught. If it weren't for my independent study I would still know very little about audio. 

In my ideal world our program would have began with two years of music theory as well as a class dedicated to ear training, sight reading, etc (the main class was piano emphasized, piano majors should be excluded). A little bit of music history as a requirement would also be nice. Very little was discussed. The program should be twice a week instead of five days. I would have had the technology portion be better organized and build every year, say for example, the same syllabus used in Introduction to Sound from New Media for the first year and a half of the music program (since for the first two years technology only meets once a week for an hour and a half) and gradually go into what is being covered in intermediate as well as advanced sound design by the end of the degree. Even if this doesn't seem like much it's more than what we've learned thus far. All I'd like to see is organization and a clear track as to where we're going. I also think having an audio "mentor" similar to our private instructors for our instruments is a good idea. Having one on one time is very beneficial.

-Real World-
Unfortunately our department doesn't have the required budget for the equipment we need to learn. They are apparently in the process of building a recording studio but no work has yet to be done on it. And it's worthless for the first couple graduating classes because we will never get the chance to use it. This should have been built prior to the beginning of the program. I still don't understand why there isn't a clear academic plan for the technology aspect of the program but I'm sure it has to do with them still "figuring it out". I think things can be re-organized and done better it's just the matter of them wanting to deal with the work involved.

-Other aspects-
This has taught me that you have to make the best out of every situation. Also, sometimes if there is a plan around you that isn't working out or you are constantly surrounded with disorganization, coming up with a solution and presenting it may actually work and you may may be acknowledged.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fear pt. 2

After examining the situation I decided to change my assignment to fear of bugs. I thought it would be interesting to bring in some live bugs (the nasty kind) to see how people would react. My prediction beforehand is that some people would not mind at all while others may not be able to even hold the jar. I thought that some may even be opposed to me jarring up some bugs. 

This experiment sparked a long discussion over everyone's experience with all types of bugs. I believe there is a common fear of odd (not everyday) bugs such as centipedes, millipedes, etc. There were some amusing stories of how everyone has reacted to bug situations. Many tried to kill or trap. It'd odd how so many people have a fear of something so small.

My actual outcome was very similar to my hypothesis. Everyone in the room was able to hold the jar, some reluctantly and some with ease. One girl however scooted her chair back with disgust and absolutely would not touch the jar. 

One main thing that needed to be changed in this experiment is live bugs. My bugs were all put in one jar which was a mistake, and most were completely dead by the time class came around. Next time I'll leave some air holes at the top of the jar. Live bugs moving around freely would have more of an effect. 
Another thing I think I would change would be the bug selection. A friend of a friend owns a tarantula and I would have brought it in and maybe let it loose for a little bit, this may have caused a better reaction since there would be no glass separating bug from person. 

I believe the project I reacted to the strongest was the guy would have the tumor on his back. I have a case of hypochondria so I am constantly worried that there might be something wrong with me or I might get sick. This guy successfully battled a tumor and became cancer free. It's a real eye opener that these things can happen to anybody. I admire how he's handled the situation and I can see how this is his biggest fear. Situations like this make my fears seem so mundane. His fear is a lot closer to reality then others I have listened to and that's why it stuck out in my mind. 


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fear Pt. 1

What is fear? Fear is a sensation, just like many others we experience. Bliss, sadness, jealously, irritability etc. It's something we experience when our specific person feels threatened. This is followed shortly after by fight or flight. I believe many people who experience fear flee because we don't want to face with what terrifies us. Many of us don't have to face it; we are given the option to step away from it. This unfortunately isn't always the case. People need to understand why they're afraid (the cause) and how to overcome this particular handicap.

I've given a lot of thought into what terrifies me. I've thought about death, pain, millipedes, tapeworms, disease, expired foods, undercooked meat, losing sight, hearing, limbs. None of these really scare me more than heights. I become paralyzed with fear when it comes to thinking about being on a ledge of a tall building. I've had dreams of falling off of the second floor of my house since I was younger. I think a lot of this has to do with riding the Tower of Terror when I was younger at Disney's amusement park. I was eight years old and my sister took me on it. It absolutely horrified me, they don't strap you in as tight as other rides and it was a long continuous drop in a small enclosed space. I have never enjoyed amusement parks after that time and to this day will not go on a rollercoaster or anything that spins or drops. I pretty much just avoid all amusement parks. I think some people love the feeling of letting go and having no control, but I  can not stand it. Not too long ago my boyfriend took me to the top of the parking garage near the campus center at IUPUI and wanted me to stand in the window and look down to help me overcome my fear but I wouldn't do it, I just got extremely pissed off.

From everything I've ready about fear of heights, the one thing people have said to do is get used to being up high. So I have broken down this into little steps.

Step 1- Go to the parking garage at IUPUI and stand in that window and look down. Maybe 10 minutes or more.
Step 2- Go to the Hyatt hotel downtown and ride the completely glass elevator all the way to the top floor, stay there, and look down for maybe ten minutes or more.
Step 3- Ride a hot air balloon (if available)
Step 4- Go to an amusement park and ride a roller-coaster.  

I know if I associate this fear with something I love, it will make it much easier on me. I was told once to somehow bring music into my fear of heights. I'm still evaluating this.

As far as the reaction from the class, I think that most people will think my ideas are a reasonable way to face my fear. I'm sure I will be given some input about this situation that I did not consider as well as some ideas to add to the list. I may even get a whole new perspective on the situation and completely change my formula.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No Limitations

My entire life I've always been curious as to how things work. I need to know every detail and if I feel like certain things are beyond my comprehension (i.e. astrophysics) I get extremely frustrated.
This is why I want to be a Timelord. This is the same timelord referenced from the Doctor Who television series. It would be my dream to have a non-linear perception of time, being able to see everything that was, is, or could be at the same time. Timelord's travel thorough time in a Tardis and they're key role is to prevent time from being abused. 

Benefits of being a Timelord:

-Unlimited time, able to understand much of the universe that I don't now know and everything in between.
-Immortality- A timelord normally takes the form of a human, if it's body becomes ill and has to die a timelord is able to "regenerate" and take the form of another.
-Having a not just a purpose, but one of great importance.

This solves the problem of feeling like I can never master as many subjects as I want to, plus a few other perks.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My little Habanero

It's that time a year again when the weeds have to be pulled and flowers and plants need to be planted! When I walked out into the garden today I had to cover my ears because of the yelling and screaming that greeted me. Oh the little plants that remained out there were excited to finally get something to drink and they were looking forward to seeing their new friends that would be coming in to greet them later in the day.
I had quite a few stubborn weeds not wanting to leave the nice home they had settled in over the past six months. They come in to just to try and make friends with the fellow flowers but unfortunately the flowers do not like them at all. It's sad sometimes removing the weeds but hearing the flowers cheer always makes it worth it. 
As I descended into Menard's today to pick out some flowers I was struck by the unpleasant atmosphere that was given off. Many of them felt like they were going to die in the pot they were currently put in with those around them. Many of them felt used and could not believe they were being violated and sold when they should be free to grow where they please. I informed them however that they will be very happy with where they're going and I was going to give time to talk to the other flowers about what it's like living in Le Garden. 
During the visit today I had a very interesting moment where I was strolling down the vegetable plant aisle. Many of these plants are lot more "forward" than the flowers, and they strut about with obnoxious confidence as I pass them by. One little habanero pepper plant however, was weeping softly in the corner. So I asked the plant "What is wrong little habanero?". He answered "all these other plants here make fun of me, I haven't grown as much as them". So I said, "don't worry little plant, I have a spot for you in my garden where all the other plants are very accepting of who you are". He cried and thanked me and off I went with little habanero. 
When I returned home the current garden plants had prepared a party for the newcomers that included plenty of watering cans and fertilizer! They had even invited the local bee's and butterflies! There was an audible gasp with many oo's and ahh's as little habanero made his appearance. They had never seen such a fiery little pepper before! The most of a vegetable the group had become friends with was Tommy Tomato. They were very interested in what it was like to be a pepper and what he would bloom into in the next few months. Little habanero smiled at me and thanked me, he had never been around so many welcoming plants, a big change from the cool atmosphere of his previous habanero brothers. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Perception and Awareness

My boyfriend and I have bonded during our time together over our small discrepancies with the habits of society around us. This list begins with driving. I'm am extremely aware of my surroundings while I drive. I think if there was a competition of "which vehicle is best at four way stopping" I would win. It's an instant certainty of who was at that stop sign, when, down to the second. I had an instant today where I was at a four way stop. The person to my right arrived at the stop sign about two seconds after I did. By the laws of four way stops I should be allowed to go first. This person however did not accurately calculate the amount of time it took them to stop after my car did, and continued to drive before me. This is quite common and bothers me.
Scenerio number two that comes to mind was today at Kroger. To give a proper illustration of the entrance to this store, there is a main entrance that is exposed to the outside weather and two seperate entrances inside. Both of these seperate entrances tilt in toward each other, so I can see how people may get "confused" with which side they want to enter, despite the signs above them clearly stating which is which. Today my boyfriend and I entered through the "exit" sign with a cluster of people around us. I looked up at the sign that was too small and clearly not noticed by many. I looked over at my boyfriend and said "Does it bother you that we just entered through the exit sign?" He answered, "I try not to think about these things".
The third thing that comes to mind is something a bit more obvious in my everyday life. I'm a piano teacher and my job besides teaching music and technique, is to observe what my students have been working on to see if there are any noticable errors. A few times today I had a few students play rhythm incorrectly and they had absolutely no idea. They truely believed that the incorrect portion of their piece should sound exactly like how they had been playing it. So my perception of what was being heard compared to what was written in that situation was much different than theirs. Although sometimes how they play it is much more interesting than what is written and I hate having to point it out!