I’m not usually a huge believer in FATE or LUCK, rather, looking at these as gestures from a kind mixture you create for yourself using opportunity and preparation, to which I think comes from a Roman philosopher Seneca when talking about perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I think variants of these are gambling or the like, but when referring to my own life and personal experience and relationships, I genuinely believe that the mistakes and work you do behind the light of praise and acknowledgment results in perhaps views from others as “Lucky”. This mentality is what drove me to reflect on a decision I’ve recently made, and give attention to detail of the experience I’m having and will have, in choosing this class I’m currently undertaking, “Advanced Seminar in Media and Communication”.
I want to take you on an Auto-Ethnographic journey starting from week 1, and leverage this platform to showcase how I’ve decided that not only can you reflect on work and effort put into a particular outcome, but you can value the experience along the way. This was showcased to me when asked to think (spontaneously) about an event, in which I’ve mentioned I undertook study in a subject I assumed would be theoretically too advanced for me and something I perhaps didn’t need to finish my tuition.
I’m in my final semester of studies. I have enough “Credit Points” to attain my degree without this subject. I’m quite busy in terms of extra-curricular activity. The course description screams academic writing and honours. But I decided the challenge to myself is to keep diving deeper into my studies. The value I’ve upheld since starting this new degree (transferring from a B. of Performance in 2014) is that of never become comfortable, because thats when I fear I’m getting left behind. It got me thinking throughout the class of the successful nature this opportunity gave me.
Looking back, this value I hold to myself of making the most out of relocating for further studies, it’s not the first time I’ve taken on a decision with zero momentum carrying me through forcing me to learn a completely new field. My first year, second year and consequently where I am now in third year have all started with me taking a risk with literally no idea how or why to start. The drone influence I’m trying to push on a hesitant public stems from my desire to build one in my vision for a particular purpose. I have zero engineering skills and even less attention span, which lead me to use a series of YouTube videos on how to build one as quickly and painless as possible. It’s something that has subconsciously driven the majority of my university success and something I’m now passionate about when asked to speak to students coming through the university setting worried about creating “good projects” or not having any ideas.
What I’m really impressed about in my decision to choose a subject I believed was a professional practise and not something I could offer a lot turned out to be something I’m really excited to apply my own autobiographical stories and experience to further reveal the complexities in a fast-paced changing trajectory the completion of modern media studies has to offer.
I had my first Anime viewing in my Digital Asia class today, and it was nothing I could have prepared for. I don’t exactly know what it was I was expecting, but initially my engagement with this genre was new and difficult. I often found myself trying to skip dialogue to work out what the characters were, and therefore missing points in the storyline. It’s nothing against the genre of anime, I think just my lack of exposure to its conventions made me have to really focus in the first 10-15 minutes. This being said, for a “cartoon” feeling film I found myself deeply engaged in the sound detail, perhaps slightly left field of what I should have been paying attention to, but still something I found a respect for.
As the film progressed I did eventually pick up on a storyline that I stuck with throughout. Within this, i was able to really appreciate the involvement of digital based combat and ideas. The idea of a man vs. machine storyline really captured my interest and the cyborg argument that arose of “is the cyborg human?”. It provoked my understanding of “cyborg” as an extension of the human body, and all the ideas I had when creating a prosthetic limb. The idea that people could enhance themselves to become greater in their own way wasn’t so new or original, in fact this film explored the possibilities of that. I could appreciate the artistic nature of the film, as well as the parts (though I didn’t fully understand context) that had emotive feeling attached to them. Yet somehow as I watched the film my mind wandered into the conventions of machines and how it seems to be a common path of humanity to one day be immersed in a machine world, for better or for worse.
The class discussion at the end of the film was probably the most beneficial part of my experience as i was able to listen in on those that have prior anime experience and perhaps slightly more engagement with the film which were then able to recount and make points about it. This is where I was able to make connections and ultimately understand the film in its entirety. I believe that if I was to re-watch the film after having the class discussion I would be better suited, as my interest would be heightened knowing the overall plot and character positions.
The Ghost in the Shell I believe was a great first anime film to experience as it’s so closely linked to my curiosity into a digital world. Although my understanding of the entire plot and genre as a whole, it was indeed a pleasant experience and one I know will only develop with more content.