Monthly Archives: November 2012

Candles and too much vanilla

The week before break I was walking around in my building and got a brief smell of what seemed to be vanilla scented candles. Immediately my head was filled with memories of when my mom made a couple hundred candles for one of her friend’s weddings. A few minutes later I called my mom and we had decided that over Thanksgiving break we would make candles.

This seemed pretty easy at first. All I thought I need was some wax and vanilla oils. I had completely forgotten something to hold the candle, a wick, a thermometer, and the fact that I needed an oven to get everything done effectively. After a quick stop in Michael’s my mom and I were ready to start. We first got one of our pots out that we use for soup and began to put our one pound of solid wax in for it to melt. It needed to get up to 180 so that we could add the dye and then we had to wait until it dropped down to 125 before you could even add the vanilla scent. This took much longer than expected, I ended up waiting for a good thirty minutes to wait for everything to get to the necessary temperature and then I was finally able to pour my hot wax into the containers. In the spirit of the season, my mom and I found some $1 tin cans and mugs at Michael’s that were decorated with snowmen and penguins. We decided on these, got four, and it turns out that one pound of wax would only fit in two of the containers. Of course I had to wait many more hours before the wax cooled off and in the morning I got to see my final result. From a distance, the candles looked cool. They were a light green color and really matched the Christmasy spirit. But once I got near it, it smelled horrible. I had ended up putting too much of the vanilla oil into the hot wax. It ended up giving it a pungent vanilla scent. Anyways, after letting them air out for a bit in the wind, I smelled one again and it was a little better but not great. Anyways, it was really fun to make the candles and it is relatively easy, just be careful when you’re adding your scent!

My fear of iMovie is officially gone!

Before our workshop on how to figure out how to work iMovie, I was kind of freaking out. None of the members in my group knew how to operate iMovie. So after going to the workshop I felt much better. Once I learned all of the aspects of it I became more interested in making the video. Personally my favorite part of it was adding sounds to the clips. I added a frog noise clip while the girl was talking and I thought it was the funniest thing. Anyways, I feel like this project is a great way for us to get more creative with our video capabilities. I mean, we are the generation of technology, so the fact that a lot of us didn’t know how to use iMovie kind of surprised me. I thought I was going to be the only one who had no idea what it was. I think for my group we will be able to incorporate various interviews, while also using images and data from the internet. Also, I think we’ll be able to appeal to the pathos of the audience by simply incorporating some sad sounding song into our video, similar to the Sarah McLaughlin video for the ASPCA. Clearly we have an interesting topic that provides a lot of good information and I think by using iMovie we will be able to get a message across very easily given the tools that are present.

Child Soldiers: a strong topic

With my groups topic being child soldiers there is a lot of ways in which we can appeal to the audience. The first thought that came to my mind was the idea of using a sad song in the background of the video. This would immediately establish a certain connotation with the idea of child soldiers and would also show how it is a controversial topic. Plus, using children is an automatic way to ensure that you audience will be subject to some pathetic appeal. Because, I mean who wants to hear that kids have to fight other kids and even kill them because they do not know better. And clearly, this is a relevant topic as previously in the year the whole Kony business hit the press for a couple of weeks and faded, but it clearly is something that many, if not most, people do not support.  Although the Kony project didn’t live up to its expectations, there have to be other movements out there that are trying to prevent and stop the future of child soldiers. This also would be beneficial for our video. Anyways, our topic is very solid in my opinion and there is a lot of info available because this topic is current and relevant.

Good Old Fashioned Hand Turkey

Frederick the Turkey

As a result of this coming week being Thanksgiving (and the request of some fellow classmates) I decided to make my craft this week Thanksgiving related. Now I know we all miss the holiday parties in elementary school, where you spent the week before break making all sorts of things in art class and in actual class. I figured why not attempt to head back to elementary school and try to make a good old fashioned hand turkey.

Before I could start my turkey I had to invest in some extra supplies. So I went to the bookstore and picked up a booklet of construction paper. Then I grabbed some scissors and tape from my room and went to work. I first drew the circles for the head and body and cut a small corner off of an orange sheet of paper. I then traced my hand on 3 pieces of paper (orange, red, and yellow). After cutting everything out, I was able to put my hand turkey together. Also, you can either use black paper for the eyes or just take a pen/Sharpie and draw little black circles. At first I thought to myself “This can’t be rocket science” and boy was I wrong. Apparently my patience in elementary school was better than it is now. When I realized how long it’d take me to cut everything out I began to cut corners. But I’m not going to lie; I’m pretty impressed with how my turkey came out. It was nice to be able to do something so simple though. This week has been mildly stressful, and I think seeing this turkey (whom I named Frederick) around my room will make me feel much better. And I might even be reminiscent of elementary school. Everyone should definitely do this, or something that is a cut out, it’s a lot easier than I remember (minus the painful cutting out of things). I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving! Now go make your own turkey that’s not for eating!

Support your men’s basketball team!

This past week the Men’s Basketball team had their season opener against St. Francis University. I had been hearing about the basketball team since I got here. I feel like their PR people are really trying to get the job done. They have been in the HUB for a very long time. I feel like all of their attempts to get people to attend games are a perfect example of rhetoric. They were selling seasons tickets religiously for about two months now. They even had Coach Chambers come in and try to sell tickets to students. They also were handing out free posters for a very long time. All of this was clearly an attempt to get kids to attend the games and support the team. And even last Friday some kid was sitting at their booth in the HUB yelling “Freshmen get in free!!!” This last attempt to get people to come to the games was what caught my attention.  Later that night my friend and I ran out of things to do and decided to check out the game. And to say the least it was mildly disappointing. The team had gone to all the efforts to spread the word about the games, and very few kids were actually there. I had gone in expecting an atmosphere similar to football games and it was nothing like that. I felt bad for the team because it made them look like the shunned step-child next to the football team. It was just unfortunate that their rhetorical efforts went unnoticed.  Personally I just wanted to go to see Coach Chambers in action, having him in the HUB was enough to get me interested. I’m not sure if people start showing up more religiously when they are playing Division teams, but everyone should definitely make an effort to attend a few games. It’s actually really fun because you can enjoy the pep band, be around some rowdy fans, and watch a good game. So I definitely encourage everyone to go see the men’s basketball team play before the season is over to support your Basketball Lions, because they deserve the support too!

WIP Public Controversy

So this week when my group met we brainstormed a lot of controversial topics. All of them ranging from the passage of laws allowing the recreational use of marijuana to child soldiers around the world. I feel like all of the topics we discussed were great and potential things for us to address. This assignment is definitely going to turn out to be very interesting. I think every group will approach a topic in their own way and this will make everything cool.  My only concern with this project is the incorporation of iMovie. I’ve never worked with it before, and I guess I’ll have to figure it out before I have to work with my group. Anyways, I think my group is really focused on the controversy of child soldiers. This is clearly a topic that many Americans are sensitive too. If anyone remembers the whole Kony thing that came out of nowhere, people started an uproar for a short time period, but then it kind of died out. Anyways, it is definitely something that people do not approve of here in the states, but I imagine we could also approach the view of those who use the child soldiers and see how they look at the situation. Not only is the situation controversial, but the views of those in charge is also controversial. I feel like we would definitely be able to make a video that meets the time requirements because there is so much information on this subject. I am really looking forward to what other controversies people pick and how they approach their videos. I personally liked the State Patty’s Day video a lot, and hopefully my group’s project will be just as great as that one!

Melting Crayons for Art

This week my craft is something that I’ve been looking forward to doing for a while; I just needed all of the right supplies. And the best part was that it was as easy as it looks. To be quite honest I’m not completely sure what to call it, maybe just melted crayon art. Anyways all you need for this craft is a clean canvas, a box of crayons (and not just a small box, you need a lot of crayons), a hot glue gun and a blow dryer. You start by gluing the crayons onto the canvas. If you do this you should make sure that your crayons are secure as this could cause problems later down the line, as it did for me. I let it sit overnight so that the glue could dry properly and so that the crayons would stay in place. The next day I just took my glued on crayon canvas to the bathroom with the blow dryer, turned it on high, and let the wax do its business. As soon as the wax started to melt, it began to fly everywhere because of the dryer. I hadn’t even thought about this, so after I was finished I had to go and clean up the bathroom sink because I had gotten wax all over it. So I definitely recommend placing some paper towels around the surface on which you are melting the crayons, because if you don’t you will be there for a while scratching the wax off of the surface. And let me tell you that is no fun. After you melt the crayons you can move the dryer in various directions in order to create the paths you want. Once you are done with your masterpiece you just have to let it dry, which happens relatively quick. I have to say I’m pretty impressed with this week’s craft and I’ll probably try to pawn it off on someone. Anyways everyone should try this craft because not only is it really fun to melt the crayons, but you end up with a really awesome piece of art!

Cell Phone TED Talk

So this week my sole focus has been on my speech. At first I thought “How the heck am I supposed to give an interesting talk on cell phones?!” But after racking my brain for a while I decided to give a speech that brings light to societies growing dependence on cell phones. The first way to demonstrate this that came to mind was comparing my mom’s usage of her phone, to my own. Quite frankly, I thought this captured the differences between generations. My mom was born in 1954 and is a part of the Baby Boomers. While I am part of Generation Y. I used this to show that technology fueled my generation’s dependence on phones, which then made it a widespread ideology throughout society. I mean, Generation Y got to experience firsthand this major shift, as it grew up our very own noses and we were a main reason for its growth. I then decided to focus on how most new outlets and newspapers now have apps for phones. The companies have seen that cell phones have grown in importance and therefore have altered their publication methods in order to survive. One of the companies that did not survive was the Rocky Mountain News. In 2009 it had to close its doors because of a decrease in newspaper sales.  I’d imagine that if they had converted to a mobile format they would still be in business today. My next point is that idea that politics has also morphed into a mobile sensation. You can now receive texts from politicians, emails on your phone, and they have various apps that make themselves sound better. Even Vermin Supreme has his own app that supports him. This technological shift has changed how people receive their news. Now it is accessible everywhere at any time. And this was definitely not the case about two decades ago. My last topic is the increase in texting and driving, and how this has led to greater deaths and injuries in people. Societies addiction to texting has landed itself on the road. And because of this people are not only endangering themselves, but those around them as well. Anyways, my speech at this point  is about 5 minutes ( but knowing me I’ll freak out and spit out 100 words per second, resulting in less time taken). Hopefully everything goes as planned tomorrow.

Election Day Observations

With this past Tuesday being Election Day it is kind of impossible for me to not have something political in my RCL blog. I have to apologize for the constant inclusion of politics, but that is my major so I can only say that I am obsessed. As the results were coming in for electoral votes for each state, Twitter progressively blew up. I saw tweets complaining about both parties. And once Obama won Ohio everything was blown to hell, to say the least. My republican friends began whining and using the #tryingtostayoptimistic, and the democrats of Twitter had tweets of victory. Who would have thought that Twitter would have been a place to find rhetoric of any form? Well, I guess I did because I’m writing about it, but that’s beside the point. Anyways, people on Twitter were using rhetoric without even knowing it. Their simple 100 word tweet provided much insight into their thoughts and opinions. Another place where rhetoric was used was outside of the polling place. Many supporters of the various candidates were standing outside of Alumni Hall making their last push to get voters to choose their candidate. Many were handing out fliers, others stickers. The League of Women voters were handing out free donuts. And someone else had candy. One of the lesser known candidates was even walking around talking to kids who were standing in line. All of this symbolizes rhetoric in some way. And it was very interesting to watch it all unfold right before my eyes.