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Rule Number 2

I have finally, fully embraced the First Rule of ds106: break the rules of ds106.

It’s that pesky second rule, what I like to call the Miss Frizzle Mantra, that caught up with me this past week. Ugh.

Miss Frizzle and ds106 have a lot in common: they both encourage, nay, demand students to “take chances, make  mistakes, and get messy!” My problem this past week was that I got freaked out and scared and stuck my head in the sand instead of diving into a new, unfamiliar method of creation and allowing  myself the freedom that goes hand in hand with the Miss Frizzle Mantra.

Last week sucked for a lot of reasons, and that bled into my attitude toward my ds106 work. I guess somewhere along the line I ran out of energy and the idea of just MAKING stuff, of experimenting and playing without worrying that it was all going to come out perfectly. Instead I panicked and put off the experimentation and learning I should have done early on, leaving me with way too much to complete by Sunday night. The most galling part was that even with the setbacks I encountered, the work wasn’t all that hard—it was just my own inertia that kept me from doing my best. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.

Even so, I did manage to produce an altered version of a Goodreads recommendations page for the Storytelling Within the Web assignment, and in doing so learned that coding websites isn’t impossibly difficult! I’m sticking it on my list if “stuff I want to learn more about,” especialy as I continue to pursue edtech as a possible career/continuing education option. There’s a lot of stuff in the code I worked with that ended up being pretty intuitive once I understood how the pieces fit together, although I was working within the bounds of a completed stylesheet and wasn’t tinkering with the real mechanics of the web page. Despite the massive freakouts this assignment caused me, I’m grateful it was assigned, and glad I completed it, because I’ve realized that for years I’ve held this little niggling belief in the back of my head that because I’m bad at math, and yeah, because I’m a girl, there’s  no way I could ever gain useful coding skills. Doing this assignment made it abundantly clear that, while coding might not be a skill set I have right now, it’s absolutely one I could learn given enough time and practice. Pretty scary how those harmful gender stereotypes creep up on you, isn’t it?

The Three Wolf Moon assignment was significantly closer to my comfort zone, although again, the type of humor used in a lot of the sarcastic Amazon reviews tends to be written by guys more often than not. In fact, comedy as a whole is fairly dude-dominated, although both online and live-media dynamics are changing with increasing pressure from ladies, as well as guys who realize it’s kind of crappy to exclude women from comedic spaces. Weird how I’m only seeing it now, but that might have also been one of the things that made me reluctant to attempt this assignment—I knew at the moment that I wasn’t really confident about my ability to successfully participate in that style of comedy writing, but hadn’t sorted out why beyond the idea that I kind of suck at being intentionally funny. If it was a factor in my web-week panic, I think it was probably a small one, but it’s interesting enough as food for thought that I think I’ll leave it here. Regardless of my misgivings, I pulled off my story well enough that my review has been marked “helpful” by over 80 people and generated two other silly reviews on top of it (thanks to Ravelry, where I advertised the assignment, for most of that traffic).

To fill up the last star for Web Week, I translated a foreign web page into English with Google translate, adding yet another layer of weirdness and mystery to the occasionally bizarre Studio Gainax.

Last but certainly not least, the Brick House Radio Panel got four out of five stars in  my review for clear audio and too few sound effects.

And… that’s that. I’m done. I am going to crush the everloving snot out of the video project if for no other reason than I want to prove to myself that this is a pattern I’m capable of breaking. LOOK OUT DS106, I’m… going to sleep. But tomorrow is going to be better.

Heck, I even managed to keep the power in my apartment till this whole dumb thing was finished.

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