Confidence Through Creativity
Confidence Through Creativity
When I added an English major to my UNC agenda last semester, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I had a lot of old, dense texts ahead of me, and a lot of paper-writing. When I signed up for ENGL 150, I still was not sure what to expect, since the topic of the class was not entirely disclosed; I was pleasantly surprised.
When I discovered that our section was a multimedia class, I became really excited – but also nervous. I am, historically speaking, quite inept when it comes to technology, particularly computers. The idea of creating projects on the computer was quite daunting and nerve-wracking to me.
However, I discovered myself thoroughly enjoying the creative process. I have always enjoyed arts like painting, playing guitar, and drawing, but experimenting with various forms of media encouraged me to explore various modes of expression. My perfectionist nature made it difficult to finish anything, but the actual creative process was very enjoyable and relaxing to me. Finding the perfect song to accompany a scene or mixing audio and visual elements was like solving a puzzle. Figuring out how to translate text into visuals and audio presented a challenge, but it was rewarding.
Through this class, I have not only gotten more comfortable with working with various forms of media but feel more in touch with my creative side as a whole. I am more confident in my creative capabilities and, looking forward, believe this class will help me as I pursue my Journalism major.
After taking ENGL 125 (Intro to Poetry) last semester, I was very pleased that we started off the class with a poetry assignment. This was territory with which I was already pretty familiar.
I chose to write about “The Rabbit Catcher” by Sylvia Plath because I enjoy her poetry, and we discussed this particular poem at length in my previous class. I also decided to put Plath’s poem in conversation with “The Rabbit Catcher” by Ted Hughes, which was written as a direct response to Plath’s work a few decades later. I thought it would be interesting to put these two poems in conversation and explore how each illuminates the other.
Considering one of my favorite Sylvia Plath poems for this upcoming paper!!! ~prepare for gloom~ ~and despondency~ #ilit
— Kaitlyn Green (@kgtarheels4) January 21, 2016
First Draft: I was not really sure what approach to take while analyzing my poem(s), so I elected to explore Plath’s depression, which both permeated her poetry and took a toll on her marriage to Ted Hughes. Though I found this interesting, it was very difficult to incorporate into a poetry essay, and I was not particularly happy with my product.
Analyzing literary dialogue between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes - "The Rabbit Catcher" is a great example of poetic conversation. #ilit
— Kaitlyn Green (@kgtarheels4) January 26, 2016
Final Draft and Revisions: After getting back my first draft with some comments from Professor Anderson and my classmates, I decided to take my next draft in a different direction. Instead of exploring how Plath’s depression affected her marriage, I decided to explore the concept of analyzing confessional poetry as real life. Confessional poetry is deeply personal and may provide an intimate portrait of the poet’s life. However, drawing conclusions from confessional poetry can be dangerous; many people were very angry with Ted Hughes after Plath’s “The Rabbit Catcher” was released. I enjoyed exploring this topic and was much happier submitting my final draft than I was turning in my original product.
I was really excited to make my e-poetry video, and had a few ideas for how to translate “The Rabbit Catcher” to screen; however, after thinking it over for a while, I decided I wanted to do a different poem. I was talking to one of my friends about poetry one day when he recommended reading some of Mary Oliver’s work.
After looking at a few of Oliver’s poems, I decided I really liked “Where Does the Dance Begin, and Where Does it End?” Not only is it a poem about nature, but it also includes a lot of imagery portraying nature as a dance, something that immediately interested me. I thought that this imagery would translate well visually, and decided to use this as my poem.
First Draft: The original video took longer than anticipated to create, because my perfectionistic nature kicked in. Though making the video was more fun than I expected, I couldn’t move on from a piece of the video until I was perfectly happy with it, and it took me a few weeks to really fine-tune everything. However, unlike with my essay, I was extremely happy with my first product.
Walkthrough: With this video, I got to explain my creative process to my classmates, which was so exciting. I had put a lot of time, thought, and effort into my video, and this was a way to show that to people.
Citation Video: Upon a first glance, I thought this video was very much like the walkthrough. However, my walkthrough ended up being much more formal and edited, while this video was very relaxed and done in one take – just me talking about my choices. While the walkthrough was an analysis of my creative process, this video was more of an explanation of the thought put into the individual pieces of my product. I enjoyed this video a lot, because it allowed me to be myself and share some of the personal reasons behind my creative choices.
Revisions: I had put so much time and effort into my first draft and was so pleased with it that I did not make too many subsequent changes. I adjusted the volume of my music in some sections, because the song became really loud at times and I realized it distracted from the texts. Other than that, I just smoothed out some transitions and tweaked a few more minor things to produce a more polished final product.
Despite my own perfectionism, pickiness, and procrastination throughout the creative process, I'm so proud of my e-poem! Fun project! #ilit
— Kaitlyn Green (@kgtarheels4) February 25, 2016
So excited to get to see everybody else's e-poems, too - I hope everybody had fun showing their creative sides! #ilit
— Kaitlyn Green (@kgtarheels4) February 25, 2016
No Country for Old Men
After reading “The Road” in high school and really enjoying the writing style of Cormac McCarthy, I was very excited for this project. I actually did not know much about “No Country for Old Men” and had never heard of the success of the movie, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story.
Watched "No Country for Old Men" with some friends tonight and HOO BOY was it intense. Definite parallels between it and "The Road!" #ilit
— Kaitlyn Green (@kgtarheels4) March 7, 2016
Like “The Road,” this book was very dark. I felt a similar sense of hopelessness while reading; the storyline contains an overarching sense of futility, from the relentless pursuits of the horrifying Chigurh to Moss’s anticlimactic death.
I really enjoyed this book and, as a result, this project.
Film Review: I rarely say this, but I actually think I enjoyed this particular movie better than the book. The book was phenomenal, but this movie was the best movie I’ve seen in a really long time; I was on the edge of my seat and stress-eating my Chinese take-out throughout the silent parts. As a result, I had a lot of fun putting together my film review. I tried to use both clips from the movie and a PDF of the book I found online to show how the original text was translated to film. I was very pleased with my finished product of this assignment.
FilmReview from Kaitlyn Green on Vimeo.
Finally wrapped up my Film Review last night and I am pretty proud!!! "No Country For Old Men" was such a great movie!!!! #ilit
— Kaitlyn Green (@kgtarheels4) April 26, 2016
I am probably one of the few people who had never heard of “Watchmen” prior to this class and this assignment. I had no clue what to expect, and I am not very well-versed in superhero stories in general, either. However, when I mentioned it to my comic-loving friends on my hall – people with good taste, might I add – they were ecstatic that I was reading it for class.
I will admit that this book gave me a hard time. Never having really looked at comics or graphic novels, I felt like I was just bad at reading them. I found it really helped when someone in class mentioned viewing it as frames from a movie rather than still images on a page.
I enjoyed the storyline of this book because of how it wove together the stories of the characters. “Watchmen” is beautifully complex, and highlights both the best and worst of humanity.
Though trying to figure out some of the projects for this class was stressful at times, I could really feel myself getting more comfortable with the process of creating. This class forced me to stretch myself and experiment with forms of media with which I wasn't familiar, and I think it stretched me creatively, as well. We are our most creative when we are forced to try new things and be inventive, and with the help of classmates and professors, college enables us to try these new things and hone our creative sides. Though these projects seemed daunting and intimidating at first, completing them has given me a newfound sense of confidence in my creative side.
Powering through this portfolio!!! Last assignment of the semester - and I will be halfway done with my time at UNC!!!! Happy/sad!! #ilit
— Kaitlyn Green (@kgtarheels4) May 2, 2016
Notes to my Classmates: