07 May 2010

This is the End, My Friends

Not really. This is just the ultimate post for the semester! Throughout the semester I have attempted to keep this blog going, but it certainly suffered a bit from an overwhelming amount of work and obligations in March and April. That said, I do plan on keeping this blog going. I have really enjoyed having the outlet to put thoughts/ideas/videos/and one-offs that I can't really figure out where else to put. Also, if nothing else, I need a space where I can track the prolific amount of films I intend to consume or re-watch in anticipation of my dissertation.

My blog, I believe, was mostly of an academic nature (barring the last surge with Redd Foxx's wildly vulgar antics). In retrospect, this blog feels right, mostly, but some of the more academic work is uncharacteristically dry (in prose). I think it is because, as opposed to a written paper, I feel less obliged to be creative or humorous when I can post videos, links, or songs. Funny how that works. I did try to keep some humor in there, but for some reason the creativity I feel essential to my critical work was(at times) put on the shelf in favor of "smarts." Then again, my favorite things for the "Visual Research Methods" class--the video essay and my final digital story--are on here, and those were appropriately creative and fun.

I particularly loved doing the digital story, and though it shifts between font sizes, styles, and outlay (a true sign of my amateur grasp of all things digital), I have was happy to be able to put down something about my curious thoughts regarding memory, Christmas, and Halloween. Frankly, I'm not sure where else I could have too, which is another reason I'm so thankful for this class.

There are two other reasons I think it is essential, for me at least, to keep blogging: (1) it keeps me sharp on my written skills, particularly when the summer ennui attempts to settle in, and (2) it provides an outlet to catalog the papers I need to write, films I need to watch, and thoughts I need to start connecting. NOW, the hard part is actually doing it, but I think it's doable. The one thing I need to forfeit, however, in that process is style and a dedication to tidiness. Not everything will be stylistic or perfectly in order, but that will bother me less if I consider this blog as an extension of my notebooks.

The final thing I want to comment on, and this really came out in Professor Juhasz's comments about my digital story, is the personal nature of this blog. For my digital story, I felt it was necessary as I was grappling with something highly personal and specific (yet, as I noted, that has far-reaching possibilities and connections with others). Otherwise, I am always squeamish about the worse possible qualities of digital media seeping into my blogging; I'm thinking of the Facebook or Twitter "What I ate for breakfast" updates. I'm always afraid, as someone who has kept journals sporadically throughout his life, that I'll confuse the medium with an online journal, and lose some of my critical edge in the pursuit of tailoring everything back to myself. This is something I will consciously struggle against, maybe, but I think more likely connecting the work I do here with the work I will continue to do at CGU will help.

In parting, all I can say, is:


aljean said...

Mike: I think your reflections on the personal voice in our academic work/life on line resonates for each of us. Its a question that doesn't go away; one keeps massaging it. However, I thought your final project hit that note in such a strong way, that it might make you want to reconsider your choice to run, screaming. PS Can;t get that video to play. what is it?

Mike Petitti said...

Thank you! I'm really curious to keep exploring the possibilities of digital research and scholarship--I particularly loved doing the video essay and digital story (as I've said, but it's worth repeating!). The video is Big Star's "Thank You Friends." It's really great, if you can get it to run--beautifully filmed.