About Seven or Eight

The mid-term hiatus has ended, with everyone at DS106 gearing up for the second half of studies. As for what I did over the break, I completed seven Daily Creates when I was only asked for six…

The Penrose Triangle

Bash at the Beach

…earned seven-and-a-half stars for my Audio Assignments when I was only asked for five…

…and had quite the hectic week getting “Wacky History” off the ground, when I had only suspected that it would be on par with a cut-and-paste operation in terms of simplicity.

This week, I learned about one of life’s darker inevitabilities, both in and out of DS106: the missed opportunity. Say what you will about the bad ideas that make the front page of your local newspaper, but at least someone had that idea, and took advantage of it. This week, however, I learned about what happens when an opportunity presents itself, and you can’t find the time to seize it for yourself. All chances to make your life better are sacred, and to ignore one of them, much less several, may not seem like much, but there’s a reason why Ebenezer Scrooge needed assistance from four ghosts – including the spirit of his former business partner – to properly change his ways. In a class that celebrates the creative mind, in all of its forms, any excuse to stifle it is, ultimately, a bad one to make, regardless of the ramifications to follow, and I hope to never take my opportunities for granted, long after this class has dismissed for the final time.

I also did several projects involving the use of my Audacity account, in which I learned about the difficulty that comes with being a sound editor, both for your voice, and for the people, places and things going on around you. While my segment on wedding rings had the most effort put into it, like an episode of Radiolab, I think that the better option was the minimalist, “shoot interview” style from This American Life, which I used for my dentures epilogue. While I still acted over-the-top, yet eloquent, in both takes, I prefer the latter of the two because it contained a more down-to-earth, human approach, with only the DC Metro humming along in the background, compared to my full-length report, and the overabundance of noise and sound effects, almost like a radio play directed by Michael Bay. Either way, my final entry may have been the weakest of the bunch, because I had so little time left to do anything, and the subject I was left with was so bereft of anything befitting the title, that I felt like a chicken with its head cut off, or the cook who invented potato chips when a customer of his complained about the cut of his fries.

Suffice it to say, I felt that working with audio, like all of the other forms of media we’ve been juggling all semester long, would’ve been an easy thing to pull off, and, to an extent, it has. My earlier drafts of my “Wacky History” segment are both worthy of my favorite assignment of the week, because it allowed me to use my creative freedoms to tell a story with what I had, by making everything come together in a way that I think everyone could’ve enjoyed. Audio editing is definitely one of the highlights of this class – for now, at least – and I am duly grateful that sites like FreeSound and SoundCloud, and software like Audacity, exist to make this experience even more worthwhile.

With that, my mid-term period draws to a close, and we return to our regular schedule this coming Monday. I’m Mitchell Eubank, reminding you that to be history, or to make history, isn’t as simple a choice as some of us think.

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