Week One (of the Rest of My Life)

The first week is always an interesting one. Some will claim it’s the easiest week where you learn the least and can pay very little attention, but I’d like to challenge that idea. I typically prefer to take the first week pretty seriously and actually really engage with the content and try to understand my professors and classmates through introductions, syllabus, and other online content. Not to say I go digging deep on Facebook to learn about classmates, but I pay attention to what people have to say about themselves whether it be in blog posts on personal websites or in discussion boards on Canvas. I also find it incredibly important early on to get a good feel for what to expect from the coming semester. I always want to start off on the right foot, providing high quality work at the beginning with the plan of carrying it through all the way to the end.

To start off this week, I browsed through emails from Professor Bond and perused the ds106 website and tweets with #ds106. I got a taste of what some of the work for the class may look like by sifting through blog posts from others enrolled in the course. I was instantly a really big fan of having blog posts from all different students centralized in one area, as I enjoy staying organized and figured this would be extremely helpful for me to stay on track in class and keep up with other classmates.

When getting started on work for the week, I admit I was a bit overwhelmed. Instead of letting it get the best of me, I took steps to break down everything I had to do to get a better idea of how much work it would actually be. Ultimately, it wasn’t too much and most of it was actually pretty fun! Though creating accounts for many different platforms can be a hassle, once I had finished that, it was easy to get the ball rolling. Thinking of creative ways to introduce myself to everyone was a blast, and I’m hoping across the different sites and media sources I was able to portray an entertaining and honest image of myself. I was also able to learn a bit more about using these sites. For example, I was having a lot of trouble (and getting a bit frustrated) trying to figure out how the heck to use Flickr, but eventually got a hold of it and felt quite accomplished. I had also never really messed around much with SoundCloud, but was able to figure it out with a bit of fiddling around. Here’s the portion of my introduction I did through SoundCloud:

For most classes I take, I like to sit down and map out my goals for the semester and make a plan of sorts for myself, so doing that for an assignment was like second nature. I mentioned in the blog post about this topic that I want to gain more than a surface level understanding of things and don’t want to treat this class as “free” credits. I’m in college to learn, and that’s what I would like to do in this class, especially considering it seems to cover things I’m quite interested in. Click below to read more of that blog post!

The last assignment I took on this week (other than this one) was watching a Bob Ross episode and responding to his stories, lessons, and creative remarks. This experience definitely took me back a few years, back to a time when Bob Ross was the highlight of my summer, helping me find bits of positivity in life. While viewing season 10 episode 4, about halfway through the episode I realized I had definitely seen the episode before, but was completely interested in watching it all once again. I feel like I learned a lot from Bob Ross back in 2017 and when taking an even more introspective look this time around, I certainly learned even more. I’m pleased with my analysis of the episode and the things he had to say, and you can read the whole thing here.

All in all, this first week feels like I’ve been set off on the right track and have a good understanding of what is to come. Getting into the groove took a bit longer than I had anticipated, especially as I picked up the class a little later than others, but I feel that it didn’t really hold me back or impact the quality of my work. I can only hope that from here on out my work will only get better and that I will get even more comfortable creating in this online space.