Friday, May 18, 2012

Final Project! and course review

YouTube is a pain! I never would have guessed how long it would take to upload three videos! My computer is a little crappy, but still it's ridiculous!

First Video: A reading/"writing"/re-enactment of excerpts from the 1855 version of Leaves of Grass and the (at the time) untitled first poem. - I tried my best to tap the younger, and rough neck Walt in this reading, and I was definitely digging the vibe I got out of it. *This video isn't syncing correctly. I am working on uploading it correctly, if at all possible I really hope that it is since this video is more visual/performance based, rather than audio based*

Second Video: A reading/"writing" of excerpts from the 1892 version of Song of Myself - I put on a nice shirt, sweater, and tie, and tried to evoke the Whitman that was in revision mode. Not the savage of nature, but the man revising incessantly. Thus I sat myself down, and tried to really focus on my language/delivery here.

Third Video: Me rambling. About nothing probably. I suffer from stage fright, so I just start letting words mindlessly spill from my brain to my lips. If you couldn't tell before, I'm a bit awkward...

I feel like doing this project really helped me to understand Whitman even further. I definitely got a chance to feel the pain, pressure, and panic of revision. I also felt the constant stress of making sure things were correct and how I wanted them to be in each piece. Even though my original artistic visions weren't able to be realized (due to limitations in both time and my technological abilities), I am proud with what I was able to film. I really liked doing the 1855 version. I found it to be so much fun, like I was acting, rather than reciting poetry. I felt Walt's energy. I really tapped into him for this project. I tried to walk in his shoes and see how I felt in his world, both Walt the man and Walt the poet. I picked some of my favorite passages to read, and I really feel like they went together well.

And lastly, my review of the class!!!

I really liked this class a lot. I feel like I not only learned a lot, but gained a lot out of this class. I learned a lot about Whitman, his poetry, his peers, his America, but I also gained a new appreciation and fondness for Whitman that I never had before. I really enjoyed the structure of the class. Writing blogs was a lot of fun. I didn't care for tweet of the week, however. I loved the topics and the research, just not the Twitter aspect. I felt like it was not completely necessary. I really enjoyed the Thursday class schedule, however, I think that maybe one Tuesday class a month could be beneficial. I really learned a lot in class every day, and I feel like I could have learned more with a few additional classes. Other than that, I really love the Specimen Days assignments. I think that was my favorite part of the Tuesday classes. I thought it was really interesting to get to take some nightly strolls with Whitman and pick his brain a bit. I also really liked the student run discussions at the finale of the semester. I was pushed into learning more about authors that I probably wouldn't have looked up myself, and really enjoyed discovering some new and interesting things. I also enjoyed reading my comrade's blogs. I felt like I learned a lot from their wonderful insights! And last, but definitely not least, I loved your personal insights and knowledge sharing in class, Hanley. When my comrades (and myself) were silent and unresponsive to your questions, you managed to bring everyone back in with anything that you had to bring up about Walt and his time. So thank you for teaching a wonderful semester!

-Todd Ehmke

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