The Beatific Blog of Barefoot Brittany

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Month: August 2014

Week Ending August 31 Recap

Boy has it been a looong week but I have accomplished a lot (mostly because we were assigned a lot of things haha).

I started off by making my own website. It was a laborious process trying to choose a domain name and since I couldn’t come up with one I thought suited me and was “professional enough,” I decided to just go with my name. My first name and my middle and last initials, that is. It was pretty easy to set up the website. Easy enough for me to figure out. I did watch the video a couple of times but all seemed to go well. I installed WordPress on my blog and that was easy enough as well with the step-by-step instructions on the tutorial that we had access to.

After I set up my website and looked around a little I went on with the list and decided to create all of my social media accounts. I made myself a new twitter first. I did this so it was clear what was for class and what was personal. I also had previously deleted the twitter app from my phone because it was a waste of time for me. Because of this class, though, I re-installed it. I followed the daily create and the professors as well as looking around on the ds106 hashtag to see who else was tweeting about the class.

The other people on #ds106 got me interested in the daily creates. The first one I did was the transformation one and I loved that picture. Here is my transformation picture

Something in transition

I love this picture and these flowers–they are on my front sidewalk at my house in Fredericksburg. The second one I did was the sky one. I didn’t take the picture right then, I actually used a picture from when I went to Florida with my boyfriend and his family in Florida. The sunsets down there are the prettiest I have seen.

After I made my new twitter, I went on to Flickr. Since I had to have a yahoo email in order to make a Flickr (and I did not have one prior to this class) I created a yahoo email. Of course I tried to make everything brittanyns but, not surprisingly, that was taken on most sites. So I made my yahoo email quickly and easily and then I was able to make my Flickr account. I uploaded five pictures immediately as I did not want my page to be deleted because the Flickr people thought it was not a real person. The pictures I chose to put on Flickr are some of my favorites and ones to introduce myself. They are pretty much what make me me. My family, the beach, softball, and my boyfriend. Those are the things I like to spend time doing. I also installed the Flickr app so that it would be easier for me to upload pictures, especially for the daily creates since I will take most of the pictures for those on my phone.

After my Flickr was up and running I made a new gmail account so that I could have a YouTube channel specifically for this class. I haven’t messed with YouTube that much but it was easy enough to upload my video and figure that out. The video that I made was super easy to make. I simply used Windows Movie Maker to make it. I added pictures that I thought would help people get to know who I am and what I’m about and then added a song that I thought described me. I barely had to adjust my picture lengths to make my song the same length as my video. I did  have to shorten my very last picture, but that was simple enough. Uploading it to YouTube was a bit of a struggle for me. I saved the video in the format that the YouTube uploader said to use and I tried that three times or so but it wouldn’t work. I did a little troubleshooting on google and found out that uploading it in an incognito window would work and when I did that it uploaded without any issues.

Finally, I made a SoundCloud account. Since I hadn’t used it before, after I created the account I explored a little. Then I decided to go ahead and make my intro for it. What I first decided to do was introduce myself and then make a mash up of music that I liked. I took the choruses or my favorite parts of a few different songs and faded them in and out. What I didn’t think about–duuuh–was that I didn’t own the rights to these songs so I didn’t have the right to put them up. So my intro was removed. I had to come up with something less creative to do so I just introduced myself by speaking. I used audacity to do both of these tasks and I really like it. I had used it one time before for my softball team so it was not too bad for me to figure out. I had to make sure I hit “export” and not just “save” when I was done with the sound clip in audacity because when I saved it it was only a workfile, not an mp2 or mp3 file so I couldn’t upload it to SoundCloud. I got it figured out though.

I then made a blog post with all of those links on it so this is a bit redundant but nevertheless, here it is.

Between last weekend and this week I was able to watch the first nine episodes of The Wire season 1 as well as watch and read the discussions. And here is what I think and what I like about what is talked about in the discussions.

Episode 1:

Going into this, I did not know what to expect. I hadn’t watched The Wire before, nor did I look up the plot or anything like that. I kind of went into it blind just to see what I thought about it and what kinds of things I was going to be looking for throughout the rest of the episodes. After I finished watching the first episode I saw some themes and things of that nature so I went and watched the discussion and read the blog post and a lot of things kind of clicked for me. How it wasn’t just one of those testosterone-fueled shows was evident from the beginning. I thought it was really funny when Greggs pulled the extra gun out of the car that the guys had missed on their primary search of the car. It was then that I thought I would like the show.

Though I didn’t notice it when I first watched the episode, the parallels between McNulty and D’Angelo are shown all the time. When Professor Groom talked about how McNulty got chewed out and then in the next scene D got chewed out in similar fashion, it made me keen to look for instances of this in the future–and it does happen quite often.

Personally, I am quite glad they included the flashback scene at the end of the first episode. If they hadn’t I may have been lost. I usually pay very good attention in shows like this but I guess with it being the first episode and there being so many faces to remember, it slipped my mind who Gant was. After reading Groom’s post about there not being anymore flashbacks like this I made sure to pay more careful attention in future episodes.

Episode 2:

One thing that I noticed right off the bat–especially after reading about the parallels that Professor Groom talked about in episode 1–was that right after McNulty and Daniels and the team got their new “office” in the basement, D’Angelo was talking about how the guy who invented the chicken nugget was probably in the basement of McDonald’s not making any money. This parallel was interesting to me because McNulty seems to be the only one in the Baltimore Police Department who is actually doing police work and trying to get to the bottom of the issues while everyone else is just corrupt yet he gets stuck in the basement. I saw it as the guy who invented the chicken nugget was McNulty.

Another parallel that I drew between McNulty and D’Angelo was that when they heard information that people higher than them needed to hear, they would tell them. A difference, though, is that McNulty doesn’t seem to be scared of the judge besides the fact that the judge can tell people that McNulty told him information, getting McNulty in trouble. D, on the other hand, is scared of his uncle and he withholds some things that he is thinking even though you can tell that he wants to tell Avon.

Two themes that really stood out to me in this episode were seniority and corruption.

Seniority is a theme both in the drug ring and in the police department. In the drug ring it is apparent when Bubbs calls his white friend “green” like he does not know the ropes yet. D is obviously low in the pecking order but he is kept around because he is Avon’s nephew. In the police department Mahone also pleads seniority when he tells someone that they missed a spot while mopping. When the three police officers get in the car to go to the terrace at two in the morning the young guy opens the front door but he gets bumped off to the back door by the older guy because he didn’t have seniority.

Like Groom talks about, corruption in the police department is a serious problem. The three officers who went to the Terrace at two in the morning and terrorized those guys and blinded the fourteen year old were out of control. The fact that Daniels told them to lie when they were questioned about it further accentuates the role that corruption plays in the police department.

Episode 3:

Bond and Groom talk about it in the video and I noticed it too but D talking about chess and how the rest of the pieces have the king’s back, but the king stays the king. D also talks about how even pawns can move up in the rankings–like he is telling the kids that they can move up if they do the right things.

Another thing I noticed is that hierarchies can be good, but hierarchies can mess things up too. Though they seem to be in place for a reason, sometimes listening to your superiors can mess up what you are trying to accomplish. For instance, when Daniels came down and told the team that they had to make drug arrests rather than looking for Avon just because the guy above him wanted some kind of quantitative result RIGHT NOW instead of waiting for a bigger arrest.

McNulty bucks the chain of command by telling Daniels that he won’t go on the drug bust with the rest of the team–this shows how sometimes the chain of command doesn’t work. Sometimes someone is going to do what they want to do despite what they are told to do.

There is also more corruption in this episode when the cops beat up the guy who hit the cop rather than just cuffing him and putting him in the car like they are supposed to do. Also when they elude to the fact that Daniels is being dirty but that there was never anything done about it.

Episode 4:

The things that Paul sees in the episodes that I don’t is amazing. I guess that comes with watching the episodes several times. But the cut from the janitor’s bucket the police coffee cup is an interesting parallel. It’s showing the similarities between what the police are doing and the janitors are doing. They are both doing “dirty work,” one could say.

A couple of scenes in this episode made me laugh. One was when they were all trying to move that desk and then they figured out that they were going the wrong way with it. I thought maybe their inability to move the desk was an illusion to their incompetence as cops–it may not be, that’s just what I thought of. I also thought it was funny when McNulty goes “I been thinkin’–it’s a clear violation of orders, I know.” I guess it kind of shows the corruption in the department but it shows it in a funny way.

The fact that the cop from Boston apologized to the grandma after they came busting through her door cursing and all that really surprised me. It came as a stark contrast to the way that the cops normally act. I thought it was very out of character but kind of shows that the cops aren’t only bad guys, they can be nice guys too if they feel like it.

I also love Freamon’s character. He really comes into his own in this episode in particular. I kind of drew parallels between him and McNulty because they both do what needs to be done, whether they are asked to or not.

Episode 5:

There are many allusions to hierarchy in this episode, as well as an allusion to how you can’t seem to move up in the hierarchy, as hard as you may try. Stringer Bell tells D how to run things at the Pit. I thought this was weird, though I guess I shouldn’t have. I thought maybe D would know how to run things at his own place since he has been so successful but Stringer tries to tell him to change things because of some problems–caused by the cops–that have been going on.

It is obvious that D feels like he is stuck at the bottom of the totem pole when he says “Hard as you try, you can’t go nowhere.” Even though he is making good money and is able to take his baby mama out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and everything, he wants that upward mobility and he doesn’t feel like he has it.

The ladder gets more slippery the higher you go seems to be the right definition of hierarchy in this show, both in drugs and the department. Moving up when you are closer to the top is less about what you do and more about who you do things for.

I also saw the paranoia in this episode like how Avon wants the phone lines taken out of his apartment simply because someone called but hung up before they said anything.

Episode 6:

This is kind of hierarchy but is also kind of just Freamon being Freamon but I love the scene where he tells the detective who is complaining about what he  has to do as part of the case to shut up and do it. I love how he just says you have to do what you have to do. That is kind of a theme of the show in and of itself. You have to do things even if you don’t think they’re right or you don’t want to do them.

I thought it really showed the corruption in the police department when McNulty is at the scene with the kid that Avon’s people killed and one of the detectives said he would give back half of his overtime to fix the corruption.

Hmm, something that I didn’t think about until I watched the discussion video was that when Groom said the kid was laid out like a deer across the front of the car. Avon and his guys were talking about how white people are allowed to shoot deer and throw them across the front of their car and drive around town but you can’t do that with people you kill. I assume that was planned but I didn’t put two and two together until I watched the discussion video.

There are some interesting–to me–contrasts in this episode. First you have Wallace who made the call about the kid who Avon’s people killed. You show his home life and how he has to take care of a bunch of kids but he is also the one who made the call about where the guy was so they could kill him. It is also an interesting contrast when D is talking on the phone to Stringer but right before and right after he is throwing a football with the kids. And then he is talking about killing and a kid walks up and he gives the kid money to get D a ginger ale and tells the kid to get something for himself. It is a contrast between the brutality of what they are doing and the real world and the fact that there are kids in it.

More corruption, of course. Everyone ignores the cop that comes in to work drunk on a regular basis except Daniels who finally says something after the guy being gone for several days in a row. Rawls is trying to get a murder charge just for the stats even though he knows he can’t indict anyone on it.

One thing that finally shows up in this episode is a bit of camaraderie. Daniels puts his butt on the line for McNulty’s gut instincts and drive to finish the case.

Episode 7:

Corruption is rampant in episode 7 when Rawls is blackmailing Sanangelo into getting bad information on McNulty by saying that Sanangelo isn’t doing his job the right way. Sanangelo goes to a fortune teller to try to get help with a cold case. The judge also tells McNulty that he wants to have sex with Rhonda and is showing favoritism toward her.

Corruption in the drug ring is shown when the kid who is running from the cop’s friend tries to distract the cops one time but after that they only watch him like he is in some kind of video game that they are playing or something. They seem very detached from the whole situation.

An interesting scene for me is when Greggs got Bubbs’ friend out of jail. Some may view that as police corruption while others may see that as her actually having a heart. I thought that one was different because it could go either way depending on the way you view it. I don’t personally like that she got him out of jail because I like Bubbs and the only thing his friend is going to do is get him into more trouble and get him back into drugs.

I thought it was cool when Omar said something about having some kind of morals. That they all don’t just go around killing anyone who gets in their way. I also thought it was interesting that Omar and Bunk knew each other from way back when. Kind of shows that there are links between people in the department and people in drugs. Also shows how you can go one way or you can go the complete opposite way based on who you run with and what you do with your life.

Camaraderie is finally starting to form between the guys working the wire case. The sense of camaraderie began when SanAngelo decides to tell McNulty what Rawls is up to. Even McNulty and Rhonda are being sensitive toward each other, rather than purely sexual.

Episode 8:

I thought it was interesting how in the last episode Orlando tries to get D to sell drugs for him. In that episode you don’t know whether or not D will tell Avon. In this episode you find out he does and Avon is NOT happy with Orlando about this. I am kind of surprised that D didn’t keep it to himself because it could get him more money and more clout and possibly move him up the ranks like he wants to happen. He doesn’t want to be stuck at the bottom forever.

Interesting how a sense of camaraderie is starting to form between the drug boys too. They go out to lunch and actually laugh and have fun with each other for the first time that we have seen. Then they invite D to a party. At that party he finally realizes what kind of crowd he is running with. It does not look like he is happy when he sees that dead girl.

Omar says, “You come at the king, you best not miss.” Interesting because Avon was the king but now Omar is saying he is the king. He said this after he injured one and killed one of Avon’s men.

Episode 9:

I love Freamon’s plan to find the front companies for the drugs. And I also love how he is teaching the young, crazy boy how to do all the things that he does. He is training the future.

I do not like how Bubbs is getting back into drugs and all that just because his buddy is out of jail. It actually kind of made me happy when they found out that they were shooting baking soda and not able to get high.

I find it ironic when Omar is whistling for he’s a jolly good fellow and other childrens’ songs and talks about the three little pigs. It is weird and really creepy for me.

It seems like the young guy who has been working with Freamon does not know about all of the corruption in the department. When McNulty said a guy was on the roof when he clearly wasn’t and the young guy argued but McNulty made him be quiet and he dropped it.

I like how the director played out the thing with the money being missing. You automatically assume that they stole it just because of the corruption in the department but then when you find out they didn’t it kind of restores your faith in them.

Hello to the world of #ds106

Hello World Wide Web, this is Brittany coming at you from #ds106. If you’d like to get to know me better you can watch a video of me through the years (minus the embarrassing middle school years, of course) below:

For more recent (or not) events in my life, you can look to my flickr. These two pictures were taken on my family trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in July. This one is just a cool picture of the sun through the palm trees that I really like

Punta Cana, DR

And this one is a picture of my “framily” as they called everyone at our resort. It includes my immediate family (plus my boyfriend and my sister’s boyfriend) in red, my mom’s sister and her family in bright yellow, my mom’s brother and his family in pink, and my grandparents in navy blue. My grandparents’ longtime friends are in magenta, their daughters and their families are wearing blue and orange. The final family is my uncle’s family, in purple. All of the families in the picture have lived in Virginia for most of their lives. Now, however, the light blue family lives in Missouri and the Orange family lives in Atlanta. In case you don’t feel like counting, we had 29 people on the trip, the most out of anyone we talked to!

 

Family

We went this year because it was my grandparents’ 50th anniversary, their friends’ 40th anniversary, my aunt and uncle’s 20th anniversary, my 21st birthday, and my sister’s 18th birthday and high school graduation.

The main reason I am at Mary Washington, not a bigger school (with a football team) is because I play softball. I was recruited by Coach Conway and was accepted into the school. It was not, however, my first choice. I really wanted to go to Roanoke College in Salem, Va. I loved the area, the mountains, the people, the accents, the coaches. I loved everything about the school. Nevertheless, it cost $48,000 a year and climbing. Even with my $20,000 in scholarships, it was still more expensive for me than UMW, thus I ended up here. Am I disappointed in my experience here? Absolutely not. I love it here. I love the people, my team, the fact that I live close to my boyfriend, and close enough to home that I can go whenever I please without having to drive forever to get there.

As a team this past season we did about the same as we normally do, despite having half of our games cancelled on account of rain or snow. Anyway, here is my headshot from this past season, my third and most successful (as an individual).

Jr Year Softball Headshot

Finally, the last two pictures I have on my flickr currently. Me and my boyfriend. We have been going out for almost three years. In case you don’t want to do the math, that puts us at starting to date right as my freshman year of college started. Some people say you shouldn’t date in college but I disagree. If you find someone who is committed to you and who you are committed to for the long term, it is better to date one person than to date around. I’ve never been the girl to date around though. As a matter of fact, Ryan is my first ever boyfriend. Hard to believe, I know, in this day and age. But that’s that. He makes me a better person, he makes me happy, I love him, and I love spending time with him.

This picture is from when we first started dating. In November (I think) 2011. I had just gotten down out of a tree stand and showered. A girl I have known since middle school took the pictures for us–she wanted “models” for her photography business that she has yet to do anything with. But anyway we got some good pictures out of it.

Me and Ryan

This picture was taken last July (2013) in St. Thomas. Ryan, who is SCUBA certified, was SCUBA diving and decided to come up to see me as I was snorkeling. We were swimming with sea turtles, which was AWESOME and one of the  coolest experiences of my life (next to skydiving, of course–yes, I have been skydiving). Anywho, I really like this picture for some reason, so here it is.

Snorkel/Scuba in St Thomas

My twitter intro is a little less intriguing. Though interesting for me because I have had a twitter for some time but recently deleted the app from my phone so as not to waste an insane amount of time reading people’s unimportant thoughts. So this is a brand new one just for the class. Aaaand here is my not-so-grand re-introduction to twitter

Finally, my introduction on SoundCloud. This is one of the sites (along with flickr) that I have yet to use. I don’t usually mess around with audio files besides listening to them on my phone or computer. I have, however, messed with Audacity one time before. I don’t know if you have heard the Miracle speech before or the better version by a little boy but we did something like it with my team and I edited it all together.

Anyway, Audacity is what I used to record this because I know I can do multiple takes with it. Here is my intro!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me!

Brittany

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