First Week of the Spring 2016 Semester.

First Week of Class

It is Friday as I write this post and it has been a long, weird week. On Sunday and Thursday, the world lost David Bowie and Alan Rickman respectively, both 69 years of age and both to cancer. Weird, sad coincidence. In addition, this was the first week I had back to school. I am taking three classes this semester, all of which run from 7–10 p.m. So this week has consisted of me trying to get used to this weird schedule.

If there’s one thing I can predict about this semester, it’s that I will be very busy. All my classes appear to be pretty demanding in terms of reading. The class I decided to take as an elective (Creating Interactive Media) actually seems like it might be the most difficult of them all, which is a major bummer because I was lukewarm about it to begin with. I’d like to talk about these classes in more depth, but to be completely honest I’m still not 100% sure what they’re all about. My favorite so far seems like it will be my Monday class: Digital Textuality.

I’m hoping to stay on top everything this semester, so that I can read and blog without guilt or stress! I already have a substantial amount of homework to get done and I’m hoping I stick to the reading schedule I’ve designed for myself and it works out. After all, I still have other things I want to do!

Textbooks

This semester, I only had to buy three books. But two of the (most expensive) books are for my elective class (Creating Interactive Media) which is a class I have a feeling I will either end up loving or hating. Earlier today I placed an order on Amazon for the books I will need this semester, including:

Understanding-Comics-Scott-McCloud           about_face_the_essentials_of_interaction_design-alan_cooper-25327055-3770658108-frntl          large_9781592537563

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud.

This book is for my Digital Textuality class. The big project for the semester is a portfolio in which we select a story and translate it into four different modes: text, image, video, and sound. So I guess this Understanding Comics book is to get us to think about how the images/text of comics work in a way that will help us think about different modes.

About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper.

Since I don’t know exactly the point of this class or what we’re supposed to be doing, I have no expectations about this book. Hopefully it will end up useful in the future.

Universal Methods of Design by Bruce Hanington.

I have a feeling this book will be more important for the class because the instructor emphasized it in our first meeting this week. Since I’ve never taken a hardcore design class before, I have no background knowledge helping me form expectations about research in design beyond what little I picked up from my technical communication classes last year during my undergraduate studies at ISU.

future purchases…

Last summer I applied for the Amazon Credit Card because it seemed like a smart thing to do given that I shop on Amazon so much throughout the year and using it to buy things I’d buy anyway I could save up points to use towards Amazon purchases. Anyway, I have about $22 worth of points saved up that I almost used, but I’ve decided to save it for my birthday coming up in February.

I’ve not bought physical books in such a long time, since early October and, although I don’t need to, I’d like to treat myself soon! I already know what I think I’d like to buy: The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkowski in hardback. After the cover change scare that rankled the book blogging community a couple of weeks ago, I was so glad I hadn’t invested in the paperbacks (the way I normally do). And although I have my issues with these books, in particular the first one, I think the covers are gorgeous and I want them purely for vanity reasons!

Reading Update

Last weekend I ended up finishing two books! I didn’t read much over the break, so I’m really happy to have finally read and get this new year off to a good start. First, I finished Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton, a book I had started on New Year’s Eve I think. It was a pleasant read (★★★). It was very much reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice and that regency time period and had a very unique world (filled with civilized dragons). I only found it a little slow because of the way it was written. Also it ended all a little too conveniently for me.

Then I read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, which I picked up from the library last Friday along with a few other books. I had actually read the first couple of chapters before leaving for Christmas break, but hadn’t had enough time to finish it. It was beautifully written but poorly plotted (in my opinion). I had several issues with it, leading to merely a ★★★-rating. 

I struggled deciding what I wanted to read next after two unique fantasy novels. So I randomly decided my next read will be Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. I think it will be a contemporary novel with some magical realism to it. I like magical realism so hopefully this is a pleasant read. My friend Ely from Tea & Titles enjoyed it so that’s a good recommendation!

Thank you for reading!
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