Meme Revisited

My Twitter followers consist of U of I students and students at other universities all over the country. My intended audience was U of I students because many of us use the Compass grading system. Five students that liked my tweet attend UIUC. However, to my surprise, two of my followers that do not attend UIUC liked my tweet. They might use the Compass grading system at their University but I’m not sure. Also, for some reason, people who normally do not favorite my tweets favorited this one. I think it is because I do not usually post memes and this meme them internally chuckle. I received seven likes and one reply, of which my friend accused me of not being a true Stranger Things fan, which is somewhat correct.

 

This meme did not circulate; I did not receive any retweets. Honestly I think it’s because my meme is not hilarious or relatable enough. In order to get a retweet, the original tweet must be absolutely hilarious or relatable, and it has to be a tweet that one is okay with appearing on their profile. Additionally, I have noticed that not many of my friends retweet or post memes on their page. They usually retweet funny statements or political posts, so I do not think that memes, as an image and caption, are as popular as memes that are just funny statements.

 

I think my text would have circulated more if I did not include an image and created a funny statement or scenario with a hashtag on Twitter. Another platform might have been more effective, such as the UIUC meme page on Facebook. A lot of students are members of the group and tag their friends in comments on Facebook.

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Memes are life

I created a combination of an image and a text because the memes my friends and I enjoy sharing with each other usually include an image and a text. Since this is being shared on social media, I wanted to appeal to my audience (my friends) so the meme could be shared amongst others. In my opinion, memes that include an image and a caption are the funniest ones because they usually include an over-the-top image with a hilarious text that is often times relatable.

The subject of my meme is student hardship. Almost all my friends on social media are students like me, and I think 99% of what makes memes so popular is that they are relatable. I included the grading system Compass in my caption because the more specific a meme is to a group of people, the funnier it is for that group of people. Additionally, the images presented are of Jim Hopper from the popular show Stranger Things. For some reason this show has so much hype surrounding it. Although I’ve seen both seasons, I don’t think it’s Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad amazing but my friends absolutely love the show, so I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate a show that speaks to so many of my friends. This is all an attempt to make this meme circulate for a short period of time because many times memes become old or irrelevant after a week.

I distributed my meme by tweeting it on Twitter because that is the platform I feel most comfortable sharing memes. This is because on Facebook I have family and people I previously worked with so I don’t feel comfortable sharing a meme that may raise concern for my grades (however I am doing just fine).  I often retweet funny memes I find just so my small group of followers see it (no family or coworkers). I think retweeting a meme is as explicit as it gets for encouraging people to share it as well. It would be unconventional to share a meme while including your own caption encouraging people to share it; I think the only time it would be acceptable to include your own caption is if you build on the caption to make it more specific/relatable for your audience.

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in-class map reflection

  1. The affordances that comes with maps as a genre are that it creates a visual that is almost always informative, and that words and symbols can be used to enhance the map’s features. What it does that other genres can’t is provide an easy way for users to view a certain topic both visually and by making connections between symbols and meanings.
  1. The relationship between a map and space is that maps take a snapshot of a place or moment in time, or over the course of a period of time, and helps give that space some sort of significance. We make sense of these things by using maps as a guide on how we should interpret that space.
  1. It tells me that there is a lot of research and work that goes into creating a map to make sure it is not only accurate, but that it can be read and interpreted by the audience it is intended for. This is also the case for writing, literacy, and rhetoric because people sometimes write for an audience, and when writers do that they keep in mind who their audience is and what they want them to think about when they see/read their work.
  1. I think to give a more narrowed down topic would be helpful. I think that since there are already so many maps available to the public that it was difficult for us to find a direction to turn to. Additionally, I would argue the readings for this unit were not very relatable to topics like C-U or the environment, so it was hard to connect the readings to the project. For example, the Harley article was very historical and spoke about imperialism, whereas the Tyner papers were very technical.

Map Proposal

For this project, we’ve decided to focus our map on the Gulf oil spill (2010) and its effects on biodiversity and surrounding coastal communities. This map will address the nearby states and cities affected and the distance/depth of the oil spill itself. We chose this topic because the Gulf spill is the most detrimental offshore oil disaster; there are still lingering effects, such as a declining local economy and wildlife endangerment. The short-term effects are important to think about as well. Eleven people were killed during the methane explosion that caused the pipelines to burst. There are many political implications as well with climate legislation, causing massive debates regarding offshore drilling across parties.

 

At this point, our main argument is that coastal communities and keystone species are suffering at the cost of an accidental incident. We can include the coral reefs, fish, and birds that are widely affected today. There are many insect species as well that have been in decline because of the oil spill.What this says about space, is that because of the location of the oil spill, it’s important to study how each sector has been affected as we do not know the long-term consequences for biodiversity and toxins that are affecting local communities just yet.

 

The medium we plan on using is pencil and paper because it is the most user-friendly option for us. By drawing out the map, we can pinpoint the regions that are mainly affected by biodiversity loss; it is also easily manipulable since we can fix any mistakes we make along the way. An affordance is different writing/drawing utensils, such as colorful pens or a Sharpie to trace our map with.

 

I imagine our intended audience to be citizens in affected areas and policymakers. Our audience will benefit from this map by gaining insight into the multitude of ways their communities have been impacted by the oil spill and how they will continue to be affected unless some progress is done on a larger, political scale.  It is reasonable to demand a call for political action; almost a decade has passed and politicians are still going in circles with offshore drilling policies.

This map will require research on current species being affected by the oil spill. Additionally, we want to avoid our map from having a wide array of topics because that might be overwhelming for our audience. We can get around this by narrowing down our map to a specific coastal city that is continuously being affected by the Gulf oil spill. We have doubt in our drawing abilities, so we will use a mapped out image of a coastal city and the water nearby, and then write on top of that.

Reflection ~

1 . Humans working with audio/sound make it unique in that it is easily manipulatable and in some ways makes it easier for the audience to grasp the message the artist is trying to communicate. Other modes such as a video would not allow, for example, our audio manipulation project to work in that it would be very choppy and uncoordinated.

2 . The relationship between audio and space is a tricky one since many times audio is simply ignored if presented in a situation where people are distracted, for example, someone playing the piano at the Illini Union. However, with the right audience and with a permitting location, audio can have a huge affect on the atmosphere of a place. If I go to bar I want to hear music I consider to be easy to dance to, whereas someone else might find it obnoxious to listen to.

3 . I think the editing process of audio shows the progression of technology, but also how humans always feel the need to change something about a preexisting piece/concept. In terms of writing, literacy and rhetoric I think that it shows that there are many constraints with using audio programs such as imovie, garageband or audacity but also using these manipulation techniques reach across audiences.

4 . I actually really like the video reflection because I had to improvise some parts and I feel like that would not have gotten across to you had I written this statement (a pro of spoken word!). I think that imovie is 100x easier than using audacity and that we dedicate time showing the class how to use it.

Accessibility and WAM

 

This course is “multimodally inhospitable” for students who suffer from social anxiety. Much of the course material revolves around discussions and projects that require presentations and interaction with other classmates. Kerschbaum states “…multimodal texts and environments can frustrate participants’ ability to effectively engage within a variety of kairotic spaces.” Since participation is part of our grade, it’s important for students to speak up in class or in groups. Although students might participate out of necessity, what they say may not actually be developed or truly what they think. I also think it is necessary to participate because this class builds off of the comments and thoughts of students; WAM is such a broad topic that by talking in class we narrow each topic down to its fundamental ideas. It is difficult to tell if someone experiences social anxiety and honestly it makes sense that people with social anxiety choose not to share this with others. Many times it is discounted as a personal problem and as an easy fix when this is not the case at all.

 

A redesign for this course would be to modify projects to focus on the writing aspect of WAM. As an advanced composition course, the one thing students should take away from this course is how to effectively communicate through different media. Communicating through writing is an absolutely necessary skill in basically every field. This would mean making all reflective statements written, but also to incorporate written components for each project. Additionally, grading could be graded heavily on writing rather than participating in class. The reason this does not qualify as a retrofit is because it does not serve to accommodate people with social anxiety. It is a restructure of the course to foster effective communication through writing, and people with social anxiety might find writing much more effective in communicating their thoughts. This will also motivate students who find speaking to come more naturally than writing to strive to improve their writing skills.

Kerschbaum, Stephanie. “Disability and Kairotic Spaces.” Multimodality in Motion, kairos.technorhetoric.net/18.1/coverweb/yergeau-et-al/pages/mod/index.html.