Just a few thoughts…

I thought I’d like to write a few comments about this writing seminar before starting my winter vacation (because when vacation begins it begins and all thoughts about school are over until the next semester).

Last summer when I was searching through the writing seminars at Vandy (I was actually dreading taking one because I am no fan of writing) I came upon this one and knew instantly it was what I wanted. I knew it wasn’t going to be any crip course (this is Vanderbilt…) but at least the class would be on something I was interested in… namely World of Warcraft. Well it turned out the name was false advertisement =P and instead of studying WoW in class it was mostly bashed, but that’s ok I still had a great time and I learned a lot.

I loved the classroom that we held class in although the walk to the commons was a little long some days. The oblong table was perfect; it promoted the feeling of a seminar based discussion classroom than just a lecture class (and the chairs were comfy). Also the technology in the room was amazing ranging from the electronic drapes to the smart board to the projector that allowed us to project anyone’s laptop onto the big screen.

I did not think the reading was too much, we had only an average of a reading each week I think. Most of the readings I do not remember but there were a few things I enjoyed a great deal. The three books we read, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Snow Crash, and the third book of The Faerie Queene were AWESOME. I had already ready LOTR: FOR twice before but I still liked talking about it the third time around. I have always been a sci-fi fan but I’ve mostly read old stuff and so Snow Crash was new to me. I loved reading the novel; it was very interesting and a great choice by the professors in our discussion of remediation and other themes. I also really enjoyed reading The Faerie Queene although a lot of my classmates did not. For some reason I have always been fascinated by classic literature such as The Odyssey, Beowulf, The Canterbury tales, and now The Faerie Queene. I think the key to reading The Faerie Queene for us freshman novices was to read it out loud. Pronouncing horribly misspelled (hehe) words helped A LOT I think and I would definitely recommend to the future students of this course to read it out loud. Reading out loud helps immensely in understanding what Spenser was saying in the vernacular of his day. Of the readings we did from select books I don’t really remember many of them. There was one though, actually it was the very last reading, about role-playing games and D&D in particular that I thought was fantastic. For some reason the author really held my attention and it made me very interested in playing D&D. He definitely captured the excitement of playing a mostly imagination based game.

I thought LOTRO was an interesting game but I think the main reason I was not as into it as some other of my fellow students is because I am so invested in World of Warcraft. Almost three years of playing a game kind of makes you attached and a little wary of change J .

At first I didn’t like doing the blog entries each week but I started to enjoy it because it gave me time to respond to what we had been doing in class during the week or to something else I thought was interesting. Although I am not a fan of writing, it because easier to type my blogs throughout the semester. I really liked that our three papers were all due before thanksgiving break. I always dread writing papers and it was a relief that 2/3 through the year I didn’t have to worry about them anymore.

I also think Faerie Queene Online was an interesting experiment and I can’t wait to see how future classes change it.

Well I guess that’s it. I hope this class prospers in the future and I’d like to thank Professor Hall and Professor Clayton for teaching me this semester.



Farewell. . .

           This semester has ended in blazing glory as Fairy Queen Online became available to the masses and each student left his mark forever in the Worlds of Wordcraft legacy- I’m sure some of our now numerous readers will check it out and be incredibly impressed ;D                                                                                                                             So it was 4:30 a.m. and I couldn’t sleep. And I thought to myself “Why not post a blog? Those hundreds of readers have been deprived their pithy Freshman blog content since November. And I’m bored.” AND HERE WE ARE!!!                                                              But I’d really like to take a look at where we’ve been. . .Which was freakin everywhere in my opinion. From classical literature to Tolkien ‘s allegory to Sci Fi- media ranging from our dorm TVs to playing LOTRO on the projector in our classroom. Seeing the phenomenon of remediation from so many perspectives has really changed MY perspective on story telling as a whole; while I still WoW to PvP with my friends and play only Guitar Hero on my Wii, I truly appreciate the narrative elements existent in all entertainment experiences, especially video games. I realized that these have allowed me to have interactive control of my narrative journey, an epiphany that I believe was the true aim of this class, and indeed the aim the First Year Writing Seminar experience: a new perspective.                                                                                                             Especially from the game DESIGN viewpoint have I seen the angles and depth required to remediate that which can go unspoken in literature or hidden by camera angles in cinema. The interactive experience, if you let it, comes so much closer to making the protagonist’s journey YOUR journey, and therefore the lessons learned all the more tangible and apparent (i.e. incorporating “chastity” into our FQO gamespace, that was interesting).                                                                                                        Yea so. . . tryin to sum up a semester’s experience. . . learning the importance and utility of narrative interactivity was the WHAT we learned. . . and more accessible experiences and therefore a sense of adventure and lessons were the WHY. . . video games were the HOW. . . and a jousting plain, a forest and a castle were the TO WHAT EXTENT 😛                                                                                                                                                                         Damn fine semester if you ask me.