Monday, January 13, 2014


Blogging has been quite an adventure so far. I've enjoyed the process of learning the new technique of writing and generally participating in the blogging world, and I've especially enjoyed the weekly search for striking images. I have found images from all parts of the world, both old and new. 

I believe that this is one of my strengths; I stick to my lens and explore different aspects of it. Some of my posts (like my last post, for example), are more related to my own life and use an image that I took. Other posts (like my Tank Man post or my Faris Odeh post) use strong images from far regions of the world that started movements and spread awareness of an important event in history. 

One of my challenges has been finding a photo that moves me every week. At times, I'd search for images in the world news and saw nothing that I could offer a new opinion on. For example, this happened with the blog that I'd posted on December 9th. I couldn't find an exact image that I wanted to write about, but I suddenly remembered that I'd recently watched several videos addressing the effects of media and photoshop on our perception and image of women. Since the purpose of this blog was to address the impact and presence of images in our culture, I realized that this video was completely relevant despite it being a video and not an image. Despite the challenge in finalizing the topic for this blog, I believe that it ended up being one of my strongest.

I believe that blogging in an academic environment is important, because it allows us to step out of our regular boxes and lets us take a look at the "real world" so that we can address a topic that interests us. Rather than constantly focusing on things like literary analysis and other more typical English class assignments, blogging has evolved my English class experience and has made the class more relevant to the real world. Blogging is a relatively new form of writing, and this form of writing is becoming increasingly important in our daily lives. Through my blogging experience, it's become more clear that learning blogging skills is almost essential.

I've quite enjoyed exploring the blogs that my classmates have been working on. I'm used to reading more traditional papers that these people have written, so reading something written by them in a more casual voice has been a both entertaining and insightful experience. For example, Jacob's blog is written through a satirical, somewhat like his own spin on the Onion. This is absolutely true to his everyday personality, and so it's interesting to see him take his sarcasm and create a blog out of it. I also admire Jack's blog, because I find it extremely intriguing to read a blog that constantly challenges my own viewpoint. Taking a look at things from an opposite perspective is difficult, but I believe that it is important to becoming a well-rounded and worldly person, and so I'm glad that Jack has taken this task and formed a blog from it. I also admire his blog because I'm sure it's been somewhat of a struggle trying constantly playing the devil's advocate and writing about things that he doesn't agree with, especially when he's discussing more sensitive subjects.

One goal that I have in the future is to search for more blogs outside of our own class's blogs, and generally to get more involved in the blogging community. I've found several blogs that interest me, but I have not really followed any regularly. I'd like to find some more blogs like the Happiness Project, because I enjoyed that one when I read it.

(Word Count: 630)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chicago and the Polar Vortex

On my trip to Spain over the past two weeks, I received constant updates from friends and family regarding the worsening weather in Chicago and the Midwest. I figured this weather would be no worse than the usual Chicago winter, so you could imagine my surprise when our plane flew right past the skyline and I saw the city under snow as well as a frozen Lake Michigan. Luckily, I managed to snap this photo from my seat that captures just how iced over Chicago became during its encounter with the "Polar Vortex" last week, and I am glad that I can share it with you all.

For anyone not living in the Chicagoland area (or anywhere in the Midwest for that matter), the weather this past week has been exceptionally bizarre. A predicted low of -50 degrees (with windchill) for two days in a row led to school cancellations and statewide warnings. Needless to say, the 34 degree weather that we experienced yesterday felt unusually comfortable.

Stay warm, everybody!