Collecting Ideas

Design Choices

For my blog, I spent some time deciding on which layout to use. I started on one layout the end of last week. But when I went back to look at it, I decided that it did not fit what I have imagined for my website. The background is an important foundation for the website, so I wanted to make sure I picked the right one. After going back through pages and pages of layouts, I found one that I really liked and thought it would fit the theme of the Holocaust. It is simple, mostly black and white but there are some other colors that make certain things pop out. I liked that because I am incorporating smaller details (like an events area that doesn’t count as a writing piece) and I think it helps put more focus on them even though they are not the main parts of the website. I also liked the layout because there can be a slideshow of photographs. This will help add more history and feelings towards the Holocaust because there’s a good spot for the pictures that are viewable, yet they do not take up the whole space where writing should go. Next was picking one font or different fonts for certain sections. I though the title font looks nice because it gives off a serious tone and it’s all capitalized making it look sharper. I want the look of the website to match what I have in mind and that it also matches the tone of what the website is about. I don’t want any happy colors or writing styles because it is a sorrowful event to learn about, but the neutral look adds to that. 

Writing Styles

I am not a tech-savvy person, so I am a little worried about this next project. It is a little more open ended and you can get creative with it so I think that will be a nice change. I was thinking of doing a blog about the Polish Jews. I would like to add a lot of pictures with that, along with the text. I think it would help with creativity. I would also like to write an article, possibly about a photograph or a specific moment that stuck out to me during the Holocaust. I think it would be cool to make it look like it came from that time periods, around the 1940’s. I was also thinking of maybe doing the Facebook posts because you get a little bit of everything, ranging from modern technology to the newspaper-like article. I think those three will add a lot of creativity to the project. 

MAUS CH 2 

The second chapter of volume two can be a little confusing. The author appears as a human with a mouse mask on. He is sitting at his desk with bodies dumped around him as he tells his story. All of the other humans are also wearing different animals masks, some cats even. None of the rest are mice. Even though his book did so well, Art Spiegelman does not seem excited about it at all. It seems he is very wrapped up in the Holocaust world and can’t get himself out. The bodies represent all of the Jewish killed and he’s just sitting at his desk surrounded by it, like he cannot stop fantasizing about it. This is mainly what the visuals add. He feels so remorseful over his father that he can’t get out of his Holocaust funk that he is in. Spiegelman was drowning himself in Auschwitz so much that he had felt he lived it. He felt like he was a survivor and that his father was not. I think that when he turns human is showing that the mouse was him all along, and that he struggled with writing this story and showed that as Artie, the mouse doing the same thing. 

MAUS

Maus is a lot different from American Born Chinese, even just looking at it from a visual standpoint. It is not in color, which is hard for me to see all of the details. There seems to be so much going on just on one page that I have to go back and reread it and look at everything before continuing to the next page, which is something I did not have to do for American Born Chinese. I think that I enjoy reading this in comic form but it would be easier to read in book form. It uses the visual rhetoric a lot, which if it were a normal book, we would not be getting that same experience.  Since there are so many mice, I sometimes cannot tell one apart from another. The comic adds a twist to the story but so far I do not understand why it has become such a basis for many comic books. Since it is about the Holocaust, I really enjoy the storyline. i think it is more intriguing than reading American Born Chinese more for entertainment. I like that the author uses the mice for the Jewish and the cat for the Germans. I think that the author uses different animals for race, but more than that also. I think that it says a lot about each different racial group. The cats are seen as these scary monsters that could eat the innocent mice at any second, which is pretty accurate to the actual Holocaust. 

Finishing American Born Chinese

Overall, I really enjoyed reading American Born Chinese. I thought it was funny and kept me interested by changing stories. I was confused at first when the stories all meshed together because I didn’t really see it coming. I saw the parallels in all three stories, but I didn’t think that Yang was going to make it all into one story. I was really surprised to see Wei-Chein as the monkey. I thought it was pretty random, but after it made sense and I thought it was pretty comical. I don’t think that this story would fit in any other format besides this but I might be biased towards the comic. I don’t think that I could visualize the story if it were in a book form. The pictures and the small details really helped to open my eyes to the story and i don’t think I would have the same opinion if the it was not a comic. I think that the way Yang threw the three stories together could’ve been a little more clear and detailed, it almost seemed like he wanted to end the book. It flew together well though all in all. I think I am able to fully understand visual rhetoric and all of its quirks and details. 

American Born Chinese

When we were getting ready to read this comic book, I was unsure of what to think about it. I have never read a comic book before so I thought that I would have trouble understanding the humor, what the pictures meant and how to read all of the words. But as I have read American Born Chinese, I have really enjoyed it. I find wanting to read it, and every time I do I end up laughing out loud. In class I like how we discuss it and someone always points out a little detail I don’t notice and it all clicks together. I like that it is bright and colorful and it keeps your mind active by changing to different stories. He also has many parallels that all tie the three different stories together. They are all dealing with oppression and stereotypes that are closely related. i think that it shows an accurate depiction of stereotypes throughout the entire book. The author Gene Luen Yang has a creative outlook on the way he adds details in his book. I like that he sneaks in stereotypes in his drawings, like when Chin-knee moves in all of his luggage is in Chinese to-go boxes. He really opens the reader’s eyes to how often non-looking Americans get criticized for their background and culture. It really makes you think about all of the oppression that people have to deal with just because they look different. 

Google Map Project

At first when the assignment was given, I was nervous about making a google maps because I am not very tech-savvy. After we were given examples in class, I started to feel a bit better about it. I think that it was a nice and different learning experience. It was easy and quick to figure out which was surprising as well. I liked that you could be more creative with it instead of just writing an informal paper. You can even add pictures too which makes it even more visibly enjoyable and helpful. The only problem I had with the google map is that I feel like I couldn’t figure out how to get each different location to flow through the next. It was difficult to make it seem like a paper instead of just describing the location. I don’t think I added things like an introduction or a conclusion but instead just described what happened at each place. I do think that using the google maps made it more personal and more eye catching. It is visual rhetoric which steers away from the traditional story telling paper. I think that everyone seemed to enjoy the project more as a whole and didn’t feel as pressured because it didn’t have to be this paper with rules. It was more flexible and easy going but yet still interesting.

Visual Rhetoric

Visual rhetoric uses forms of communication through visual contexts. We use visual rhetoric every single day without realizing it. It has become an important part of modern day communication and culture. It first started with things like ads and posters, moving to the radio and film. As we read through the daily newspaper, we see visual rhetoric there through the pictures and the captions underneath describing the picture to form it all together. Since we have become a technological based community, we see visual rhetoric every time we log onto a laptop or look at social media on an Iphone. it comes in handy pretty often, especially when we are trying to use a more artistic way to express feelings or thoughts. We have the ability to use pictures to do so while adding words or captions to explain further. We can also use logos from visual rhetoric. It adds to articles in magazines for example. A lot of the time, if you are reading an article in a magazine, you will notice that there is some type of picture there to go along with it. You will see that it can add some helpful information or just add emotion to the words. Film is visual rhetoric based since everything is played on a screen. You follow the entire story using visual rhetoric. It is even in small details around, for example ads hanging around Panera have pictures of bread as the background and that week’s newest menu choice. We are constantly using visual rhetoric and it is important to learn about. 

Friday’s Assignment

HOLOCAUST IN POLAND

 1. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, was a major center for Jewish life. It was a city of over 1.3 million inhabitants and constituted over 30% of Poland’s population. It is located on the Vistula River and has become a very global city in Europe. On September 1, 1939, Poland’s biggest city, Warsaw, was bombed and attacked by the German troops. The Germans would start attacking from the north, south and west parts of Poland, killing thousands of individuals. Just a few weeks later, Warsaw would surrender to the Germans and the troops would start to invade. This was the beginning the Holocaust for Poland. The Germans would start to make the Jews where the white armbands with a blue Star of David, this helped the Germans be able to recognize Jews quicker in any part of the country. They closed the Jewish schools, confiscated Jewish-owned property and forced Jewish men into labor. 

 2. On October 12, 1940 the Germans would establish the first ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. This required all jewish reisdents of Waraw to move into a designated area. There were about 400,000 people crammed into one ghetto that was 1.3 square miles and an average of 7 people per room (Holocaust Encyclopedia np).  The ghetto was completely covered in barbed wire and closely guarded. The people living in the ghettos were struggling to survive. There were some organizations that would try to help within the ghetto by attempting to keep people alive. The people living there were suffering from starvation, exposure and diseases. The food given to the Jews did not meet the need of being able to have a sustained life. About 83,000 people, including children, starved to death (Holocaust Encyclopedia np). People were trying their best to smuggle helpful items into the ghetto, but Germans made it near impossible. 

Civil Rights Movement: MLK Death

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most moving and brave men in our history, was shot to death in Memphis, Tennessee. He was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel by James Earl Ray from Missouri. There was a search for Ray, and finally two months later he was found and thrown in jail, where he would serve for the rest of his life. Many people, including Dr. King’s family believed that Ray was apart of a conspiracy that involved the US government. There have been many cases to try and prove this theory. Dr. King was used to the death threats that were constantly being thrown at him for his beliefs and for the way he fought for peace for the African Americans. Dr. King’s entire movement was based around using nonviolent ways to make a change that would be positive for everyone. After, people started to open their eyes to the violence and some other black leaders would try to use nonviolence acts. After his assassination, Robert F. Kennedy gave a speech for Dr. King. People were hysterical, and the government was afraid that people were going to start breaking out in riots. But the people that were working with Dr. King called for nonviolent reactions to the assassination, mainly for respect of Dr. King’s beliefs. Two days later, his funeral would be held and 300,000 would gather to mourn the loss.