Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fear Factor Part 2

I suppose I should go ahead and describe the experiment I did in class, just in case anyone who reads this wasn't there.  I had two fears in mind as to what I could do: one was the fear of drowning, and one was the fear of judgement.  I ended up choosing the latter because, quite frankly, revealing and talking about that one to the class scared me more than anything else, and so, that's why I felt like I needed to do it.

I got up and talked to the class about my fear, about how I'm terrified that everyone will judge me, and how I constantly lie to make it to where people can never actually see the real me, because I am afraid that if they do, they will abandon me.  This is perhaps the most honest thing I have ever said, and it was terrifying to say it in front of so many people, especially people who I didn't know intimately.  As I was talking, I passed out notecards and asked the class to write down on them what they honestly thought of me and then give the cards back, they were allowed to put there name on it or remain anonymous, whichever they were more comfortable with, because honestly, I wasn't sure which terrified me more: knowing who thought what about me, or knowing the thoughts but not knowing who thought them.

It took me a long time to get around to reading the notes.  A really long time, I was terrified of seeing what they were, but I did eventually read them.  I'll include them below (or at least some of them, the interesting ones)

I'll include some of the thoughts that interested me/troubled me the most:
- "I do not know you very well, but from what I do know, you are a person I would want to know."
- "Awkward."
- There were two cards that were completely blank ... which troubled me more than it probably should have.
- This one was a list but I'll include the interesting parts: "socially, the class clown ... potentially a leader ... self-depreciating humor."
- "I had a hard time believing you wrote novels."  ... I might just have to link my novel here or something.  I doubt anyone will read it, so I might just include it to see what happens.  We'll see how frisky I'm feeling when I get done with this blog post.
- "I think you're lying about being scared of your presentation because you said you were a good liar." ... If only that were the case, no I was terrified.  But then again, I kind of walked into the classic paradox of 'if a person tells you that they're a habitual liar, do you believe them?'
- "People will respect you more if you tell the truth." ... I know that, but it doesn't make telling it any easier.
- "Someone I could hang out with an have a drink ... needs more confidence."
- "Dope as hell." ... Not sure what this means, but cool.
- "I think you're very attractive and a nice dresser.  From what I've seen in class, you are also very intelligent and I read what you wrote for the partner assignment, and thought it was very well done.  I'm glad you opened up.  I relate to your fear a ton."  ...This one perhaps hit me the most.  Mainly because I didn't think anyone would bother to read my story, let alone enjoy it.  Also being called attractive is always nice.  So thank you person!

There were several more, but I don't want this blog post to turn into a novel, so I'll leave them off for now.  I might add them later.  Anyway, if you are reading this and I didn't post yours, it's not because I didn't read it, I did, I just got tired.  Thank you for writing and participating.

Well, reading over my original hypothesis ... it was kind of really vague, so I guess I was correct in a way.  I thought that some people would understand/go along with it, and some wouldn't (which the blank cards proved.), so I guess I was right about that.

However, I think I got a lot more out of it than I was expecting.  I have honestly never been so terrified in my life as I was getting up and talking about all that, especially admitting that I was lying.  I've never done that with anyone, and only recently did it with my counselor.  It's hard for me to admit to people, hell, it's hard for me to admit to myself that I'm a liar.  I don't know if it felt good to get off my chest or not, but it's out there now, and a class of twenty-some-odd people know about it, so there's that.

I worry about how people will see me come tomorrow (last class).  Maybe they will have forgotten, at least, that's my hope.  Writing about all this is actually pretty hard, and it's making me tear up a little honestly.  Damn you for that Beth (just kidding, I think the assignment was a good one, and something I needed to do, even if I didn't want to.  My counselor also agrees.)

Changes I would've made to the experiment ... I don't know, I think that it went pretty well, like I had hoped it would.  Maybe I could've worked on my speech a little bit more, because I know I was awfully shaky up there as I was talking, and I don't think I made eye contact with anyone the whole time.  Otherwise, I think that it worked out well.

I think the anonymity was a nice touch to the cards, so I might have changed it to make it be anonymous, as the cards with people's names on them seemed to be a little less honest, and a little more polite.  Not that that's bad, but I think that it would've been better to have had everyone wear the mask of anonymity so they would know that no matter what they wrote about me, I couldn't judge them back.

Which would've been strangely poetic, don't you think?

Also, to the nonbeliever out there (who will probably never read this post), here's my novel, read it and weep:

(I guess I was friskier than I thought I would be.)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fear Assignment Part One


“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

- Frank Herbert

I use this quote because every time I think of fear, it pops into my head.  Fear is the thing that freezes you, it drops every human being from an intelligent being into a creature that knows only instinct, knows only "fight or flight".  It is the awful thing in the pit of your stomach that prevents you from doing anything at all sometimes.  

Fear is a useful tool, it keeps us alive, it keeps us safe, it makes us stronger and faster by releasing adrenaline into our bloodstream.  However sometimes we fear things that we can do nothing about, and that is when fear hurts us, paralyzes us, prevents us from accomplishing what we need to.  It is that one portion of our life that we seemingly have no control of, it's the thing that slowly creeps up on us as we lie in bed in the dark, trying to sleep.  

I think fear can inspire us and hold us back in equal measure.  Another author I read Chuck Pahlaniuk says, "Write about what scares you the most.  Write about what disgusts you, what makes you uneasy.  Those thoughts are what makes art."  I have to agree, as many of the best songs, movies, and books play with the idea of fear, or toss around various concepts of fear, but at the same time, it can be extremely difficult to confront fear head on like that, and not everyone is able to.  

Quite frankly, I'm not entirely sure how I will be with this assignment, presenting it and whatnot.  I guess we'll see.


As to how I think people will react to my experiment, I'm not entirely sure.  I'm afraid that some will not understand what I'm trying to do/won't go along with it, and I think that some people will enjoy it and go along with it just fine.  I'm really not entirely sure, as this class is interesting.  I am worried that it might hit some people kind of hard, which I really don't want, but at the same time, I'm interested to see who is okay with the concept and who is not. 

I think it will make some people think very long and hard about themselves and about what my topic is, which unfortunately I can't talk about here.

What the Bleep?

While not a bad movie, I'm not entirely sure if I agreed with everything presented in the film What the Bleep? that we were presented in class.  They did present some very interesting truths, such as the whole idea of you can force yourself to feel better and become happy just by essentially pretending to be happy, this process is sometimes labelled "fake it until you make it" and is quite often used in self-help books.  It's funny because the whole mind over matter bit does work for quite a few people.

However they continued to explore this idea and did something which I considered a load of complete crap with the water experiment, when they took water droplets, said words like "love" and "hate" around it and then froze it, and the good emotions created beautiful crystals, but the bad emotions created not good looking ones.  I could almost see this working if every time they used a specific word around the water, it would freeze in a specific way, but that was not the case.  Beauty is entirely subjective so saying one is more beautiful than the other isn't particularly scientific to begin with.  Also, the fact that water, when frozen, will create a unique pattern every single time leads me to believe that if the process were repeated thousands of times, eventually the good words would create ugly crystals and vice versa.  

Overall though, I did think the movie did a decent job at simplifying and explaining quantum mechanics in a way that almost anyone could understand, and showing how at the quantum level things begin to react with entirely different rules than what we are traditionally used to.  It's fascinating stuff really, particularly the idea that the vast majority of the universe consists of nothing.  Just simple void.  It's hard to imagine, but it's true.  It's even more interesting that everything we see, react with, touch, etc. is merely the outer layer of electrons, nothing else.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Class Take Away (11/11)

Unfortunately I was not able to be in class due to some personal issues that arose, so I really can't comment too much on what I took away from class.  At the same time though, I didn't want to not turn anything in, so I decided to send this little blog post in, hoping for the best.

I am looking forward to the fear assignment though, I think it might be one of the most interesting assignments I'll have in any of my classes, so I am quite excited for it.  Also a bit nervous, but I suppose that is to be expected saying its supposed to be what you fear the most.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Class Take Away (11/4)

I thought the Bliss assignment was rather interesting overall, especially considering how differently everyone spent their three hours, and all the different kinds of "happy places" we all had.  Personally, for me, I think the Bliss assignment went rather well as it led me to think about what kind of state I do my best work in, and what things I enjoy the most: which are high energy experiences like punk rock shows and the like.  After the fact, I feel so energized that I feel like I can take on anything.

This feeling I think really helps me creatively as it allows me to force my way through some of the "blocks" that I hit, it also gets me in the mood to do something, which I think is the first major step that needs to be taken to be creative.  Apathy is what kills it and my "happy place" forces me to not be apathetic at all.

The whole thing was definitely an interesting experiment and I enjoyed it quite a lot, especially when I got to explain to my roommate and friends that I was going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show for class, which was totally worth it.

Vision Board

I've always sort of thought that vision boards were essentially a load of snake oil.  I mean, seriously, the whole concept is silly in my opinion.  The universe doesn't care what you write down on a board, it doesn't really care what you want either, it just ... is essentially, so the whole concept doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

I think that they fall under the whole "paradox of self-help" that exists.  Essentially the idea is this, you get a bunch of self-help books, you read them, you understand what you need to do to make things in your life better, and then that's it.  You stop there and you think that knowing what is wrong in your life is magically going to make everything better, it's going to make everything work out.  Except that it doesn't, you need to take some form of action to change things, knowledge, while important, doesn't change the world, only actions taken due to the knowledge you have change the world.  I hope that makes sense.

This vision board assignment was rather difficult for me to be completely honest, because like I said, I don't really agree with the idea fundamentally, but I think I found a method that works for me.  I made a sort of business card thing that allows me to keep track of what I'm doing, and helps me record the habits I need to work on and fix.  I don't know if it counts as a vision board per se, but I think that it will help me more than a normal vision board will.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Getting to Know You

For this project the person I got was Corey Harris, who said that if he had to describe himself in one word he would use the word "loyal".  Well, my brain, when I think of the word "loyal" instantly goes to knights, because, well, I have always liked knights, so I decided to try and do something along those lines.

I ended up deciding to do something a little different, a little less focused on the things we learn in New Media, and ended up writing a relatively long story about loyalty and friendship.  The two things Corey said he really valued.  In class, he didn't give a whole lot to go on, so I created a situation that I could see him in and ran with it.

Overall, I think it's pretty good sort of.  I'll bring a print of it in and post the link here in case people want to read it.