Daily Creates-Unit Two!

I have taken quite a lot of time on this unit, mostly because of work and all other things requiring my attention, probably what makes this course great I guess, being able to do things at my own pace. However, I didn’t want to feel totally left out so I did my best to keep up with the Daily Creates, and in this post I share some of them with you.


Life's Key

My first daily create in the second unit was the 6 word hashtag memoir. The task was to find 6 words that meant something to you and either research some things related to those hashtags or write them out as hashtags. I picked 6 words that I feel define me as a person and to some extent are sort of the standard by which I live my life.  #Attitude-because much like the saying I really do believe that “attitude is everything”. Your attitude in any given situation will determine how far you go and even when an outcome is not to your liking, with the right attitude you can still walk away with a smile on your face. #Simplicity was my second word because I feel the little things in life matter most and little things are usually very simple things. A life lived simply is usually a very happy life. My third word is #Laughter and this one is sorta self explanatory. I mean who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh, and I am fortunate enough to have hilarious family members, so there’s almost always something to laugh about. And of course #Love had to be on my list of words, the world does revolve around it, at least my world does. I’m not sure who it was that said, “Hatred is too great a burden to bear, therefore, I have decided to stick with love”. When you actually think about it everything boils down to love, and I am in love with love…not quite sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but oh well. #Happiness is the fifth word on my list because I decided to make everyday for the rest of my life with the aid of my first 4 hashtagged words. And lastly #Life a word which pretty much sums up everything on my 6 word memoir. What I was basically with this daily create is that life should be lived simply, filled with lots of love and laughter as well as the right attitude if one wants to be happy.


I'm a little country

The goal of the daily create was to come up with meme image with a cowgirl in it. We don’t have cowgirls or cowboys here in Zambia, we may occasionally dress up like them, well at least I do because I enjoy experimenting with fashion like that. Anyway, since we don’t have the western genre in any form here, we know about it and follow it through movies or music and we have fun with it. I’m a huge fan of country music, I first really fell in love with it when I heard Cowboy Take Me Away by the Dixie Chicks, I had listened to country music before but none ever captivated like that song did and I’ve been a huge fan of the music genre ever since. I love music generally, one of my friends in college used to call me a walking songbook because I know the lyric to too many songs. I can sing, but my voice wasn’t built for country music and I guess that’s why my cowgirl meme turned out the way it did.


Home on the Range

This particular Daily Create was and still is hilarious to me, reason being I misunderstood the instructions of the create. The task was to a verse from the song “Home on the Range” and tweak it a little and make it your own. My understanding however, was that we take a verse from the song and share an image that represents that particular verse and that’s exactly what I did. The first verse talks about a home on the range where buffaloes roam free and I picked an image from one of the national parks here in Zambia that shows buffaloes and elephants in the wild. It was was only when someone mentioned something about lyrics and I checked out other people’s daily creates that I saw where I sorta missed it. But I had fun in the process of doing, and I learnt a new song.

My daily creates for this particular unit were plenty, but I’ll only share the above three to avoid boring everyone with lengthy text and lots of pictures. I’m now on to the next unit… YEY!





Fast Cars… Catfight!

Wow, Unit 2 has been rather demanding and my job has been too lately, so my blog and my DS106 progress has suffered a little, but I’m back! This is my first Gif assignment, although technically, it’s my second Gif, my first one was a daily create but I’m sure you already knew that. Anyway, the quest was to make a Gif of my last seen movie or one of my favourite movies and I did just that. I am a huge fan of the Fast and Furious movie franchise, so for my Gif, I picked a scene from Fast and Furious 6 which is my favourite of them of all because I feel it was very funny. The last one was too sad for my liking because I love happy endings. I’ve attached my Gif link below, wish the image was showing here but hey, we cant get everything we want. Enjoy!




Maybe I Missed It…Then Again, Maybe Not!

Unit 2 and I’m feeling lost all over again. No worries though, I followed the rainbow and found a bag of gold at the end, lol, but seriously though, this whole cyber-infrastructure thing had me a little confused initially, mostly because I’m a visual and musical person, and by visuals I mean movies, pictures or art, so listening to someone talk for that long was a bit of a process but I made it to the end and it was extremely insightful. Most of what was said by Gardner Campbell was very thought provoking especially when he pointed out the fact that “Any technology gradually creates a new human environment”, I had honestly never thought of it from that perspective but it makes so much sense. It got me thinking of the cyber world that is there today, how it has its own language and slang terms most of which are incorporated into the real world but its totally a new human environment.

However, and I could be wrong, to me it came across as though he was saying its mandatory for everyone to have a cyber-infrastructure or there’s something wrong with those that question where you get time for bags of gold and my reasoning is simple. Firstly, a personal cyber-infrastructure is exactly that ‘Personal’. Shouldn’t it be my choice whether I express myself or not, as well as where and how I choose to express myself. Hasn’t human expression always been there, the only difference is we now have more platforms on which we can express ourselves thanks to technology, but even with all that technology in place, we still decide whether we are going to make use of it to express ourselves or not. But not expressing yourself on cyber platform doesn’t not mean you are not expressing yourself at all. Think of the bag of gold as  tools to build a house and they’ve been made available to you and the person next to you. You decide to build a Castle, while the person next to you decides to build a little cottage. Of course, we are more likely to notice the castle and think wow, and ignore the little cottage or think there’s something wrong with that person because they built a cottage instead of a castle as well. Different modes of expression and yet one is believed to be better than the other and  to some extent doesn’t viewing things from that perspective defeat the whole purpose of expression, isn’t not expressing yourself an expression in itself? I mean we both see the bag of gold but we place different value on it, therefore we use it differently or not at all in some cases and shouldn’t that be ok?

Secondly, isn’t learning a two sided process? Shouldn’t teachers and learners contribute equally to the learning pool? I’m fortunate enough to have been exposed to three systems of education, one from my home country Zambia, the other is the American high school education system when I was an exchange student in Michigan and the third is the Malaysian system of higher education when I went off to college in Southeast Asia. In all three systems I noticed that most if not all students had the same attitude, we all went to school as an obligation that society had bestowed upon us and we studied for exams in order to pass and move on to next stage instead of studying to learn. However, it was only in my home system of education that I told and learnt that learning is a two way process. Students and lectures are suppose to meet each other half way or even better is an open education system where students are way ahead of their teachers or lectures  in terms of thinking and utilizing the bag of gold and their lectures just build on what they already have or better yet learn from them. We can’t blame educators alone for not utilizing that bag of gold, students ought to do it too and it shouldn’t take getting into a higher system of education to know that. The bag of gold is available to both educators and students, how they make use of it is entirely up to them, matter of fact, Gardner Campbell is living proof of that. He made a choice to think outside the box, to research and read up on some things and expand on the existing knowledge of a personal cyber-infrastructure and how it can function in our societies and be beneficial in societies to come, where as his colleagues choose to take a different route, and probably some students will adopt his method and thought line while others won’t. Same bag of gold, but we all place different value on it and therefore use it differently or not at all but either way we have expressed ourselves which is really what it should be about.

I know I’ve talked too much so I’ll close by saying this, digital face-lifts aren’t so bad when you think about. Stretching something or giving it a face-lift affords us the opportunity to look at it from a different angle or perspective, and I’d like to think that different perspectives are baby-steps towards change.


Made It Through Boot Camp (Unit 1)

I made it though week one, ‘YEY ME!’. Doing this course kinda makes me feel like I’m back in high school or college rather, only this time around, there’s no lecturer to guide me through things, just a set of instructions and a great ds106 community to help me figure my way through things. I have to say,  Unit 1 feels like the first day of school after a long semester break, everyone is still in holiday mode so they don’t hit you with too much work. They nicely ease you into the program and I like that.

The week has gone by fast but it has been memorable. The videos are unbelievably helpful. For someone who isn’t social media savvy and new to most of this stuff, the boot camp videos are super insightful. The initial video by Neil Gaiman is by far best motivational speech I’ve ever listened to. Not only does he tell it like it is but he does it artistically and humorously but he makes it memorable.  People rarely encourage you to make mistakes and beautiful ones for that matter and above all to learn from them. And I guess in some weird yet obviously possible way, all the videos in my opinion bring out the same message which is to make mistakes and that mistakes make good art as they are raw and show creativity, ” Disruptive Wonder” as it was eloquently put by Kelli Anderson. Matter of fact, my first daily create was a beautiful disaster I feel, I had no idea what I was doing but I had a daily create to make and I remember in the advice from previous students page, and the student said, “when you get one idea just, just run with it no matter how crazy it seems”.

My First Daily Create

My favourite answer to the question what is art came from the ‘Good Mythical Mornings’ video and they defined art as “Something that has purpose and is intentional and it sparks some kind of response or a reaction”.  That definition got me thinking of when I took a sculpture class back in 2006 and our trips to museums in Chicago. Every sculpture has a story or thought behind it and  most if not all us had some kind of reaction to every art piece we saw.

All in all, its been an insightful first week. Unit 2 here I come.


Spaghetti Westerns

So I recently got a job… and you can imagine my excitement, way to kick off the new year I thought to myself. On my first day, I’m told I have to take an online Digital Storytelling course so I’m well groomed for the job, to be honest, this was music to my ears, I mean how hard can it be? An online course, I live for this kind of stuff… but boy was I was wrong. In my opinion the Ds106 site isn’t very user friendly, I find that instructions seem to be a little all over the place and that makes it kind of hard to know whether you’re progressing or no. And so I PANICKED!!! I was about ready to grab my little bag and say thanks for the job offer boss and for the vote of confidence but I think this course is best left for the geniuses. Fortunately for me I didn’t grab my bag, instead I watched the Neil Gaiman that’s at the beginning of unit 1 and it really helped, some of his words actually echoed and got me thinking Adidas’s tagline “Impossible is nothing” and I managed to picked myself up from there.
Yesterday I took part in my first daily create task on Ds106 and it was extremely insightful. Daily create for those that aren’t familiar is almost like a daily challenge found on the Ds106 daily create sight. The challenge for the day could be to create a a video clip or write a short story based on a picture or edit something fun and create into your toast like I discovered from past archives. So my first daily create task was to do some research on Spaghetti Westerns which until yesterday I didn’t know was a term that existed to refer to Western movies with more of a Spanish influence and after doing some research post a video to the Ds106 daily create tweeter account. So after doing a little research I found a 1966 of the movie Django (which I didn’t even know existed) and I was only familiar with 2012 Django Unchained version of the movie, which is way different from the original. Unfortunately I have not been able to find an English version of the original movie on YouTube, I would have been nice to see the contrast between. On the plus side though, having watched at least one version of the movie helps one get a bit more creative as it allowed me to play around with the lines from the movie I knew and sort of apply them to the older version. Those who’ve seen Django Unchained which is the 2012 version of the movie will immediately pick up on the fact that I titled my daily create video with a line from the more recent version of the movie, I guess you could sort of call it a marriage between the old and the new.
My video clip isn’t out of this world amazing but I enjoyed making it. I had never used giphy.com before but it’s so easy to use, even an amateur like me got it right. I feel I’m slowly getting a hang of the course, and hopefully I’ll be a digital storytelling pro by the end of it all.