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Finally done with my final group project for Anand Rao’s visual rhetoric class! You can find it here. Click on the “LAUNCH” button (or the image above it) to watch the video, and on the photos to enlarge them.
UMW students are–in general–pretty apathetic, except when they get riled up about silly things like this. Most of the “news segment” is scripted, all is exaggerated.
Finally done with the most recent assignment for Anand Rao’s visual rhetoric class. We were asked to create a 30-second political ad focusing on a specific issue, and my group chose Sarah Palin’s stance on polar bears. (She wants to keep polar bears off the endangered species list–and remove them from the threatened species list–to facilitate oil drilling in Alaska. In addition to the more formal legislation she’s tried to pass, you can see her very own opinion piece in the New York Times here.)
So we made a fake Sarah Palin ad:
And then we thought, “What if we change the music?” After about 20 minutes of tinkering, we ended up with this:
We have some theories about the effectiveness of each with different types of audiences, so please let me know what you think!
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It’s been a busy week, what with stock market disasters, presidential nominees visiting campus, and hilarious CBS interviews with a certain governor from Alaska. Normally, I’d say that students here are mildly interested at best (completely apathetic at worst), but there’s been a huge spike in campus political involvement. Much of that may have to do with Obama’s recent visit, but UMW students–like most of the country–seem much more fired up about this election than has been the case in past years. Students here are actually watching the news, debates, and speeches… and not just for class!
The first sign that something was afoot came from (unsurprisingly) Facebook, and amused me much more than it probably should have. I glanced at the ‘groups’ page only to find these two randomly placed side-by-side:
Next up was the appearance of an obnoxiously large McCain banner hanging down the side of someone’s balcony in the UMW apartments, facing William Street. (According to university policy, it’s also a fire hazard. This hasn’t stopped them.) The night before Obama visited campus, someone painted “McCain” on the construction wall across from Ball Circle, where the rally was to be held. Or at least, he tried to, but left out the second “c”, so the lettering read “McAin”. It was soon painted over, though whether it was corrected by an Obama supporter or a spelling enthusiast will probably remain a mystery.
Enmeshed in a lengthy group project (which resulted in the mashup in my previous post) and with no intention of attending the rally, I briefly emerged from my apartment on Saturday afternoon. I was greeted by a line stretching all the way down William Street, around the corner, and along Sunken Road. Curious to see how far it went, I grabbed my camera and started following the line down Sunken.
So at this point, I was practically in the center of campus, because I’d followed the line to its end behind Monroe Hall. I continued along campus walk to see how many people were already in Ball Circle, and ended up standing in a flowerbed taking photos of the crowds.
It was just at this point that the weather got sick of waiting, and dumped buckets of rain on us. I rushed my camera back to a friend’s dorm, and kept waiting. Obama arrived eventually (after a bizarre sermon, a campaign recruiting speech, and several loops of the same irritating playlist), and delighted the crowds with his ability to create elaborate, weather-appropriate metaphors. I saw his arm at one point (between the media tents and the tall guy in front of me) and his whole torso on the screen of a TV in one of the media vans. (Professor Anand Rao, who was lucky enough to snag a spot in the second row, has some amazing shots of Obama on his flickr page here.)
I dragged myself, soggy and exhausted, back to my apartment, where I discussed the rally with my housemates, also soggy and exhausted. Since Saturday, the rally has been covered in various publications, and my new favorite pastime is spotting friends in the AP photos. Campus is still recovering from the 26,000 people who invaded over the weekend, and Ball Circle will likely need reseeding. And I may never break the habit of glancing up at the roof of Ball Hall to check for Secret Service guys.
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…otherwise known as one-half of July ago.
I haven’t been voted Miss Congeniality in the Senate, or managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in a brazen fashion, but I can simplify fractions!
And an orgy
Also, Henry Kissinger: Henry Kissinger.
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This week has been a landmark one for former flower child-hater Jim Groom. After incessant railing against wailing, constant use of “hippie” as a derogatory term, and the occasional misspelled bumper sticker, Jim is, as of this week, a new man. What changed? Under my supervision, Jim underwent a rigorous “Hippie Sensitivity Training” program. In only three days, the results have been dramatic.
DAY 1: Word-image association
As you can see, there was quite a lot of work to be done. However, through persistence and good luck, the final results were spectacular.
DAY 3: Field Trip… Practicum in flora-related empathy
Says Jim, “This is my favorite tree. I love this tree.”