Week 13: Digital Story Critique LORE

This week I’m going to review a new podcast called Lore by Aaron Mahnke. This focus on is telling traditional horror stories but with a knack of making creating a sense of non fiction truth to the stories. The audio digital story “The Bloody Pit” recounts the building of a great tunnel that spanned 5 miles though a mountain and the tragedy that stuck the construction workers.


I feel that great story telling no matter the format will be engaging and captivating but there is something so visceral about horror. I really feel that the more basic emotion we have is fear, that is why a believe the first stories where those that scared the audience. Fear has been with us since the beginning. We were not always that top of the food chain though most of human history we have been both predator and prey. And it is the fact that we were pray is why fear is so much a part of our consciousness. It the emotions that drives us to act irrationally and makes us lock our doors at night and turn on the bathroom lights at night.


Scary stories will always have a place in the story telling world for those reasons. The Lore podcast brings the well researched stories to life in 15-20 minute segments. Mahnke researches the histories of all his stories thoroughly and adds audio effects and music that create an immersive digital story. I was going to just listen one or two stories for this assignment but decided to listen to 6 of his stories and spent over an hour engross in Mahnke’s stories. I highly recommend this format for story telling.

Week 13: Scholarship Response TED Joe Sabia: The technology of storytelling

Joe Sabia is an experimental musical artist and pun champion. In this TED talk Sabia discusses the technology of storytelling though the ages starting at cave painting depicting the hunt of wild beast to the emergence of digital stories on Facebook walls. He believes that good storytelling pretty much remains the same and for the most part most stories are recycled but the format in which we consume stories is every changing. He praises Lothar Meggendorfer, who created a bold technology for storytelling: the pop-up book. For 400 years stories were in book but with this next pop-up technology we began to look at new ways to tell stories. From the pop-up book, to radio theater, to film, to VHS, to DVD to streaming stories that we watch ever day on our computers the format in which we comsume stories is and always will be changing.


The main take way from the TED talk is that we are as humans are always looking for new and better ways to consume content and the delivery system can impact the stories themselves. Books are a slow format the stories in book unfold slowly and are rich in information. However movies last just one and a half hours the stories are fast paced and lack depth. Even his ted talk was a type of performance art story telling. This was all very meta and agree that good stories pretty much remain the same though out history.

Week 12: Self Reflection

I’m continuing to enjoy this class. However I think that the required reading should have more current theory and maybe we can all critique the same digital story.

 Overall I’m feeling a little out of it honestly. After this election my mind has been all over the place. I guess I’m still working though my grief. It’s so weird to think that this is the America we are living in. It makes me feel like a stranger in this land. Over the weekend I saw a lot of people were the victim of hate crimes. What really surprised me was how much hate was directed at Asian people.

 ASIANS we have to wake up, we are not white, we will never be white, stop pretending like we are better than other minorities. For so long we Asian people were the model minority, we did not make trouble and we kept our heads down and just worked. We need to see that although many of us married into white families (Asian women I’m looking at you) we are not considered Americans by about half of this country. This is something that we have to come to grips with. The major shift in our thinking has to be that we will support other minorities instead of putting them down. There is a lot of racism in communities of color, there will be no room for internal fighting and deciding which of us will be embraced by white people, we need to stick together and fight for our rights.

 Ok all that said. I think I know what I want to do with my story telling. Last week I decided that I want to write a digital story book for my son Wolf. He’s only 6 weeks old now but I want to write him stories. I think it will have some images and maybe audio so he can read the stories with me if I’m out of town or God forbid divorced or dead. My mom made a audio tape of her reading books when I was young because she had to go to work. This is something that I really want to do, I just need to get my head out of to fog. Thanks for listening.

Week 12: The 7 Steps to Digital Storytelling

Joe Lambert one of the most influential thinkers in the digital story telling movement once again outlines clearly how to tell better digital stories. The guidance is different that traditional story telling in that the advice is more specific to a more dynamic and feedback oriented story telling format but I believe these guidelines could also make sense in any writing.


1.     Owning your insights: this is one that I completely agree with. Writing needs to be uniquely your own. When I was young I often plagiarized content to be turned in to my teachers, I would mash up other writers content with my own (very post modern) but I would come off and stifled and unauthentic, it was just bad writing. I’m sure all high school teachers can identify a plagiarized piece of writing. Good storytelling must come from true personal insight and that I why owning your insights is such a powerful lesson.

2.     Owning your emotions: This advice is so hard because oftentimes we are not self-aware enough to even know what we are feeling. On top of that our internal dialog might say things like I feel great, I’m so happy. But that comes off as terrible when put down on paper, how can I say I’m happy without say “I’m happy” that writer must dig deep within themselves to convey to the reader that happiness is being self without jus saying it like some fool.

3.     Finding the moment: A writer is always looking for find the moment in time, we do not care about all the moments the protagonist is going though, that’s why in movies we never see people sneezing and looking for tissue or using the bathroom. We know those things happen but what we are looking for is THE moment, we are looking for the moment of action, of change or realization.

4.     Seeing your Story: This is one of the most important ones for me because I’m a visual person, I can see my hero in my mind going through motions. But the truly great writers can not only see their hero but they can see their entire world they are living in and the can tell the reader what is happening in such detail that it was as if the story was unfolding right in front of them.

5.     Hearing your story: I feel very strongly about this one because I consume almost all my books in the audio format. A lot of people look down on me for not reading but to me story are an oral tradition, it’s getting closer to seed of the true story teller. How does it sound when read aloud, I feel that the true test of a good story. It must sound right rolling off the tongue.

6.     Assembling the story: This one is where the works happens the edits and endless reorganization of narrative. This is a time consuming step in the process and possibly the most important one because so many people have stories yet so few people have the patience to assemble their stories.

7.     Sharing the story: I think about this on a lot. Emily Dickenson wrote thousands of poems but in her lifetime she published less than a dozen. If her poems were never read does the mean her writing had any less meaning. She was dead when she truly became famous. The sharing of work is so important but at the same time to me the process of writing is just as important as the reading of the work. I think less than 10% of what I wrote for this class has been read but I still feel that I am getting so much out of this class.

Week 12: Story Critique School of Life “Resilience In Hard Times”

This has been a really hard couple days for me and probably most minorities living in this country. The digital story telling people at the School of life always put things into perspective. In this stop motion video created with Lego the School of Life tells the story of the human condition in a fun and earnest manner.


The theme of this story is that we are all suffering, that we feel rejection and pain on a daily basis. That is the human condition but that does not mean that we have no reason to wake up in the morning on the contrary the author makes the case that the pain we feel is proof that we have found something worth living for.


I’m suffering right now, I did not think that I would feel this terrible about a stupid presidential election but I cannot stop thinking about how rejected I feel as a minority by the White American majority. But this is not reason to leave the country on the contrary this is proof that I love this country and this country is worth fighting for. This digital story is a reminder that the sun will rise and we are all on the same boat just suffering though life trying to make sense of what it all means.

Week 12: Daily Create A Defining Moment? Trump 2016

I really don’t know what more can be said about this election that has not already been said. But I wanted to have a log of this defining moment for my son and myself. I will never for get Tuesday night November 8, 2016. It was the day America elected Donald Trump to the highest office in the country.


As a minority I’ve never felt so rejected by America, I guess to put it better. I realized at that moment that everything we minorities suspect is actually and unfortunately true. That we black and brown people are not welcome in this country by about half of the people who live here. I was speechless and stunned as I watched more and more states drop to Trump, Julie was out to dinner with her friends and I was alone for the first time with my son Wolf. It was terrible timing, I just sat there with him and watched the TV like zombie, I disbelief and sadness. They hate us they really hate us, White people do not want us here. I have no other home.


My family has been here since 1850 and I’m 5th generation American but I look like any other Asian dude (that’s a problem for White people). My father fought in Vietnam for this country, my grandmother lost her fiancé in the trenches of Germany for this country. He was part of the 442 an Army regiment comprised on Japanese American young men. This is the only country I know and I have always loved this country and would die for the freedoms its represents. On this day I have never felt less American. I feel like a foreigner in my own home.


I had friends who were jumped by white men telling them to “Go back to China!”. Do we have a home here under this administration, we are all scared. I know this is not the most well written piece but it is coming from a man without sleep and hope in a week that we all experienced a defining moment for us all.

Week 11: Scholarship Review The power of digital storytelling Emily Bailin

In this TED talk hosted in Youtube, Emily Bailin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Education & Communication program at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City expounds upon the value of digital storytelling. She starts her talk discussing a project called “Where Are You From?”


This project was given to 5th graders and graduate students. They all started will a simple answer I’m from X city or town. But that was not the answer. The answer is much more profound, Bailin was pushing her students to discuss in great detail the environments that shaped her students. The story of “where you are from” in this assignment was more about slam poetry, she had he students write a poem about where they are from. From writing they moved on to spoken word and then from there they moved on to audio and video elements. Bailin believes that the digital nature of the of the poetry encouraged outside the box thinking and better learning and creative outcomes.


The addition of spoken word changed the written word to a more visceral experience the poetry is meant to be experienced. Going into their neighborhood and shooting video and the addition of music and sound to their poems also added new elements of engagement. I learned that poetry can be an even more powerful learning tool and experience if technology and video elements are added. 

Week 11: Digital Story Critique First Prize – My Iligan

This week I viewed a digital story by Michael Lagcao who won first prize in a digital story telling contest in the Philippines open to high school and college students. Lagcao tells the story of moving from the big city of Manila to a provincial town. The story is one familiar in a way clichéd; it’s the story that so many city dwellers romanticize, the story that you will find peace and meaning in a more simple life. He does not glamorize his life in the small village but rather gives and honest and stark portrayal of life in country side, describing and filming profound poverty and drug addiction.


This piece is important to me because for some reason I have been thinking about the plight of the Philippines a lot recently. I have many Pilipino friends and they post all sorts of crazy things on Facebook that is happening right now. People being arrested protests, drug users being murdered by police, and a strange fascination and love for their new despotic leader Rodrigo Duterte. This story is a reminder that there is life and beauty in the Philippines and people just trying to live their life like any other country in the world. But it is also a reminder that we here in the United States are so blessed to live in this bubble and most of us do not experience the suffering of deep poverty and economic copse. The end of his story is the story that so many poor people tell themselves that wealth should not be measured in material possessions but rather how one lives their lives. That is a nice thought but does little to further education, health care or freedom.


I really enjoyed his Lugcao’s story but I would not say that it should have won first place. It’s a little cheesy a the video editing was a little crude. The audio levels were a little high but more important than the technical issues is his message. I agree with what he said and it was so earnest that I felt real compassion for the author.

Week 11: Daily Create Write a Short Story About Animals (The Young Wolf)

Once upon a time there a lived a wolf family. They snuggled together in their warm cozy wolf den, mama wolf, daddy wolf and baby wolf. One autumn morning the family was awoken with a “Bang!” then cold silence then “Bang, Bang, Bang.”

 “Stay in the den.” Daddy wolf warned his family.

“Becareful my love” mama wolf replied.

Baby wolf just lay there trembling.


Daddy wolf had only one eye but was still a formidable wolf.  With his one eye he surveyed the woods and saw nothing for a long while, and then out of the mist emerged a lone figure like nothing daddy wolf had ever seen. It had long gangly arms swinging from side to side, pink furless skin, it stood upright and held a long shiny stick. It was the most hideous thing daddy wolf had ever witnessed. Daddy wolf crouched silently behind a gray log, as the monster approached closer to the den. White mist cloaked the beast’s face with every breath. Daddy wolf could no longer control his fear and leaped from his hiding place at the colossal creature. The beast lifted his stick, Bang! Bang! The thunder rattled his teeth and the hot sting and warm blood dripped down his rear leg. In shock and fright Daddy wolf ran and ran and until clasped next to a small creek waiting for the inevitable.


Back in the den mommy wolf and baby wolf huddled together shaking with terror. When mommy wolf heard the thunder and daddy wolf’s yelp she could not longer hide. She too emerged out of the den into the cool misty morning, it was not long before the beast spotted her from a distance, she could see the monster approaching the den, she knew she had but one chance to save baby wolf and ran through to a wooded grove attempting to lure the brute away. But he lifted his stick and with a clap of thunder she too disappeared in the fog.


Baby wolf lay in the den cool and dark when suddenly and fleshy hand reached for him and grabbed him by his neck. He yipped in pain and clawed and bit the air ferociously. The beast had him. But to Baby’s surprise his beast had a gentle touch and caressed his head softly and baby wolf calmed.


Over the next year baby wolf and the beast lived together in a warm sunny cabin. He would join his new master on daily hunts in the woods. Baby wolf grew to a great size and he felt safe with his new master, they would eat dried meats together and sleep in the same bed. Master and the young wolf quickly became best friends and they would adventure together along the mountain ridges and game trails.


By the following winter the young wolf was full grown and stood half a man tall. He would accompany his master to town to collect goods at the market where children would stop to pet him. The young wolf enjoyed the town’s folk for they gave him many treats and scratches behind the ears.


The following autumn the young wolf now 2 years old joined his master on an elk hunt in the woods north of the cabin in the darkest part of the forest that trailed a small creek. They had crested a minor ridge when suddenly out of the darkness emerged a great beast bearing its teeth. The young wolf leaped him front of his master instinctively, snarled back and bristled. The monster leaped at his master and the young wolf intercepted the creature in mid-flight knocking it to the earth with a dull thud, hissing and snarling they tangled in a storm of tooth and claw. The master could not get a clear shot and feared shooting his best friend so he could only stand there watching. The young wolf growled and snapped as fur and blood flew. With a decisive bite he crushed the throat of the beast as the blood ran into his mouth. The beast let out a final gasp of life as the young wolf held his crushing bite.


The young wolf released the massive creature only when his master approached and commanded he free his quarry. The master cocked his rifle and shot the beast twice to ensure that the monster was indeed dead. The young wolf examined the beast and noticed that it was missing an eye.


Master slumped on a stone next to the young wolf patted his head gently and said wearily. “Good Dog.”


The End

Week 10: Self Reflection of Learning

I continue to enjoy this class and was happy that we took the time to do the midterm gallery walk though. It really gave me the opportunity to write about other students work in more depth. Like I say every time the self reflection comes up I really feel like the consistent practice of writing is making me a better writer. 

So often we lack the time or incentive to sit down and think and then put those thoughts onto paper of screen in most cases. Writing has evolved in the workplace to email writing which in the UC system doesn’t even have to address the person, the email sometimes just comes up as a bulleted list or starts mid-sentence. It’s very odd that writing has changed into such a informal practice and style has taken a serous backseat to pragmatism. I sometimes look as old civil war era letters or just letters that I got from my grandmother and they were so different. People would take hours to write a letter and think about what they were going to say and then put the pen to paper and think about their penmanship. Today I just shoot off half intelligible text messages to friends that have the poo emoji as often as I use adjectives.

So in a way this class has been therapy for me to get closer to what my writing can be and should be if I just put a little thought into it. So my big take way is that I need to slow down and write but at the same time write in high volumes to get better.

I’m heading back to work next week after a month long paternity leave. I thought this month I would fall behind in my school work but I always found a couple of days a week where I could leave home and head to the UCLA library where I feel I can focus on my writing in a very quiet and aggressively intellectual environment. I wonder how I will be able to keep up with the writing when I have to work 40 hours a week and take care of my newborn. It is a struggle that most parents feel at some point. I mean being stretched thin in time and money is one of the clichés of parenthood I just hope that I don't start resenting my wife and the people around me for circumstances that I 100% signed up for when we decided to have this baby.


Week 10: Visual Assignment Civil War Baby

Hi Class,

Here is my submission of a Civil War era photo. I used photoshop to make this picture aged. The photo turned out pretty good but my main issue is the patterns of the baby's bed. They are just too modern, I should have used a old towel to lay him on but he was too comfortable and i did not want to move him. This assignment made me think about all the old photos and now people seemed so much more serious back then but then I remember the exposure time was like 10 seconds so it would have been really hard to hold a smile and not move for that long. it also got me thinking about all the photos that I have of my son, they will never degrade like the civil war photos, they are made of pixels on a digital format they will never age they way civil war photos do. I wonder if that means his children will see much more modern looking photos of their parents than I have.

Week 10 Digital Story Critique: Toby Morris Comic on Privilege

I first saw Morris’ comic on privilege on Imgur.com an image sharing site. Imgur is a sub community of Reddit meaning a majority of the users are White college aged men. The community of Imgur has been changing over the years and it has helped me keep a pulse on the collective consciousness of millenials. Since turning 30 and getting married I find myself more and more distant from what young people are thinking about. It's been a very easy transition out of the young world and into a more adult or routine based existence. The highs are not as high and the lows are not as low. I can see why over time most people choose to settle down and in a way give in to their age. But I digress; the point of this story is about how these young people are thinking about their own lives. I have seen the Imgur community change from a more opened minded and progressive community to one of greater division especially with the up coming presidential election.

Like I said earlier the Imgur community is mainly young White men who are in college or recently graduated with debt. In the past year or so I’ve noticed then become more hateful and aggressive toward women and feminist rhetoric. They have stopped supporting African Americans and have begun to vilify them saying things like, “Wow, look a group of black men breaking the law.” And that comment is getting hundreds of up-votes. I still follow Imgur since I’ve been a part of the community for almost 8 years. But the culture is changing and I believe it’s not just those young angry men but also an entire swath of America who feel they are being left behind.

But Imgur still provides some deep insight into what people are thinking. The comic Privilege on a Plate by Toby Morris so succinctly sums up privilege in a clear and understandable way. It’s something all people born without of feel instinctively, they know deep inside that the game was not fair from the onset. I will admit that I was born into privilege but it was not until college that I realized how privileged I really was growing up. UC San Diego was the fist time I went to a public school and my of my friends there grew up in much harder conditions than myself. They overcame the odds and got good grades and ended up at UCSD, I on the otherhand was pretty much handed everything but I came to acknowledge that fact. The comic argues that not only is life so unfair but the most dangerous part of privilege is last frame of the comic where Richard says the key to his success is, “Less whining, more hard work I say. I’m sick of people asking for handouts. No one every handed me anything on a plate.” Richard and people like him truly believe that they did this on their own. It seems the more successful you become the more you believe that you earned it and are less likely to be generous and support policy that help the poor.

This digital story is important because if sums up so beautifully and major division in our society. As the rich become richer they are more likely to see the unfortunate as those who were not given a good opportunity but rather people who deserve to be poor for lack of effort.

Week 10 Response to Course Reading: Joe Lambert

The excerpt “A Road Traveled” follows Lambert from his youth in Texas through his live on the road as a digital storyteller and leader in the new story telling community. His story reminded me a little of Jack Kerouac’s novel “On The Road” except Lambert had much more vision. The carefree nature and opened mindedness of Lambert was so refreshing, his honest portrayal of his difficulties and successes drew me into his story.

He talks a lot about his political beliefs and he is definitely a progressive character, he does not hide that fact from his criticism of Texas Culture to his dismay of George Bush 2 being elected president in 2001. I feel like his up brining with his beatnik parents and his exposure of leftist radicals and folk singers impacted his life view of authorship and digital storytelling. The thesis of this piece is believe can be summed up by this quote in his writing:  

Digital storytelling is rooted fundamentally in the notion of the democratized culture that was the hallmark of folk music, reclaimed folk culture and cultural activist traditions of the 1960s. Women and people of color began writing with citizen-centered authorship.

Growing up in the 60s be tool that progressive attitude with him throughout his life and ended up in on of the most progressive enclaves in the country the San Francisco Bay Area and UC Berkeley. He was like the Johnny Apple Seed of digital story telling Lambert had a profound believe that permeated through all aspects of his life including job, ethos, music, politics and storytelling and all people should have a voice and often time be most worthy voices and those that are unfiltered and human based not academically based.

I loved that in the end he felt that he had exhausted his ablity to impact the medium within the academic setting and moved to more community outreach and began work with domestic violence and veteran storytelling. Lambert is a true pioneer of the digital storytelling format but the very idea digital stories and ever changing and evolving nature of the medium have overtaken his influence. I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to learn about Lambert and his influence in this field. His life story is one that I too aspire to live; he lived with a vision and brought that vision to life through much hardship and sacrifice.

Midterm Gallery Walk Presentation


Hi Class and welcome to my Gallery Walk though. I will start this presentation with a little about myself, and what I have learned in this class thus far. When I signed up for this class I was not really sure what to expect but I have always had a fascination with stories since I was a young boy. I remember I had a toy dinosaur that was mouth moved and I called him the Story Teller. My friends would sleep over and we would dim the lights and I would bring out the Story Teller and I would craft a scary story about demons and ghosts. I continued to write and tell stories though high school but somewhere along the way I lost interest in telling stories and like most people began to just consume my stories in books and audio format.

This class has taught me to love writing again. The sheer volume of writing for this class has engaged a dormant part of my brain that was dedicated to stories. I have learned that not all stories are written and that the future of story telling is different than the past. But at the same time the principals of good story telling not matter the format must be engaging and unpredictable and keep the audience guessing what is going to happen next. 

I have learned that technology and digital story telling is changing the way we both tell and consume stories. The future stories are much more participatory. Often times when I read a news story I read just a few paragraphs before I scroll down to the comments. This shows today the thoughts of the audience are often times just as important as those of the author.

I have also learned that digital story telling can working better than traditional story telling for students and children with learning disabilities. Often times students with LD have a very hard time with planning, revising and completing a traditional written story. Digital story telling including audio and video format give those student with learning differences more options that might be better suited to their learning style allowing them to excel and tell their stories. 

My goals for this class are becoming a better writer and learning to tell better digital stories. I hope to learn to create a story telling format that works in higher education. Something like an interactive or branching video. I also hope to learn more about how technology has influenced story telling formats and how we might leverage technology in order to tell better stories at the same time not over doing it like Hollywood.

Work #1

The first work I would like to discuss is Louiza KonDilis’ scholarship review of “Let’s redefine disability and difference”. Louiza bought to my attention the very immediate and important need for people with disabilities to be able to tell their stories. In the article she reviewed the author discusses a project where people with disabilities are given a platform to tell the about their experiences living with disabilities. In America roughly 1 in 6 people is living with some sort of disabilities it is a travesty that we marginalize this community both politically and culturally. In our image obsessed society people with disabilities need to be given a platform to tell their stories to inform the rest of us how they feel. They discuss bullying, depression, eating disorders and a general lack of empathy people toward other people with disabilities.


Work #2
The next work I will discuss is much more light hearted and was created by Ashley Padilla. She created a video of a fieldtrip she took with her students to a farm. I liked this video for it’s simplicity and general theme. Living in Los Angeles I rarely see farms and the students of LA never see them either but we all eat food. I believe that agricultural education should be mandatory for all elementary school students. My mother grew up on a bean farm and I recently inherited that farm, and I hope to pass down that farm to my son one day. The farming lifestyle and the importance of responsible growing is more important than ever as water shortages and lack of crop diversity is potentially going to cause a massive self induced disaster. I believe a video like this can be used as a possible virtual fieldtrip for students who do not have access to farms.


Work #3
This particular piece by Robert Piper captivated me because of the haunting sound scape he was able to produce just walking around a city in Korea. The sounds are like any other city but have a distinctly Asian-feel. I lived in Japan for 3 months and was always taken by the background chatter of the Japanese language. There is just something both mesmerizing and frustrating about living in a country that you cannot understand with people are saying. This piece by Robert Piper brought back those memories for me. There is rawness to the audio and at the same time a familiarly of city life that I have grown so accustomed to over the years. I really enjoyed just listening to the city he lives in and it made me think about his life and my own.


Work #4
This video by Haley Cristea entitled “3 Things that Made Me Happy Today” made me think about how dispersed we all are but at the same time are a all struggling with making ends meet. She opens her video with telling us about how she is working two jobs and is a full time grad student who is getting very little sleep. We are so caught up in our own lives that we often forget that we are all suffering though this thing called life. We see such a manicured facade though the lens of social media that we forget that we ourselves are not the only ones who are struggling. Her opening lines were refreshing and honest. From there he video discusses an up coming vacation to Europe, a place I’ve never been. Haley is looking forward to her vacation and seeing a Romanian Fountain, Cat café and soccer match. It was really uplifting to hear about this vacation. I really hope that she enjoyed it. Her video reminded me that we are all in the same boat and it also made me feel happy that she had such an amazing vacation planned.


Work #5
Lisa Fish’s critique of the podcast “Serenity for Working Moms” reminded us that we need to slow down and prioritize. Lisa opens her blog by telling the audience that she was having a hard week and that she was feeling overwhelmed this is not uncommon for people in this program since most of us are working full time and we are students. She discussed the podcast “Serenity for Working Moms”. In the podcast she found like most working mom’s there is more activities in a day than there are hours. She discussed the need to prioritize family and at the same time having high expectations for work and career. This really hit home to me because my wife and I just had a baby two weeks ago and I know that after our paternity and maternity leave we are entering a world of pain that all working parents know. My main take away from this blog is that it’s ok to mess up and not be everywhere at once. And that it’s ok to realize the limitations of both time and money when raising a child.


Work #6
The last piece I would like to review is one by Heather Schlet and her review of “A Portrait of Lotte”. In this piece a parent videos their daughter regularly for 16 years for show the audience vividly the experience of aging from a new born to a teenager. This really spoke to me because of my new son just born a few weeks ago. The piece tells a story a profound and human story about aging, time passes so slowly in day-to-day life we are often blind to change, but when 16 years in condensed to 4 minutes it’s a very vivid reminder of our own mortality. I have seen a lot of picture a day videos on youtube but this one was so much more real because of how quickly Lotte changed from frame to frame. It made me think about her relationship with the parent and how that must have changed over the years yet they kept it up. But to what end? Is this a video for the daughter, I’m not sure I would want this video online. It made me think about Lotte and her rights to her image and how much young people are exposed by their parents in social media, don’t they have rights to control their own image?


I’ve really been enjoying this class. It has made me a more prolific writer and I has brough be out of my comfort zone of just watching videos and stories I enjoy. The class has challenged me to rethink what stories can be. I have really enjoyed reading and looking at other people’s work in the class, I have felt a sense of community even though we have never met. I look forward to the second half of this class and learning more and seeing more of you work. Thanks for all your feedback and help this semester thus far.

Week 8: Digital Story Critique “Le Grand Content”

I first watched Le Grand Content in 2008 and it was one of my first exposures to digital story telling in the form of stream of consciousness. The video was written and created by Karo Szmit and narration is by Andre Tschinder.  It tackles major themes of life and loss in the power point format. There is a sad comedic value in the story as the narrator expounds on all the reasons why people feel unfulfilled in their life in ridiculous pie charts and graphs. The entire movie makes you feel that you are watching something that can be quantified into numbers but you realize that the author is talking about the human condition.

 Thematically Szmit makes an augment that life is full of regret and unfilled promise but at the same time he’s not making any point at all. It’s possible that the entire piece is a stream of consciousness taking place in the shower. As viewer at first you think that this is such a deep movie but over time you realize that it’s more likely a piece of comedy made to poke fun at the power point culture and the arm chair phycology that prevails in our culture.

I wanted to review this piece because it spoke to me for many years, I still think about this digital story 8 years after first watching it and thematically it still love it. I love and piece of story telling that delves into what it means to be human to be mediocre in a world so full of expectations.

Week 8: Scholarship review “Digital Storytelling for Students with Learning Disabilities”

Dr. Haddad PHD argues in this article that for some students with learning disabilities digital story telling can facilitate better learning outcomes than traditional story writing. As someone who has struggled though out my life with the learning disability dyslexia this article hit very close to home. Haddad explains that students with and reading and writing LD often struggle with traditional writing formats there for digital storytelling which can include visual, audio and interactive elements can help these students formulate better stories because they are not bogged down in the traditional model of “planning out their writing piece, revising their work, and completing the piece of writing to meet requirements.” 

Using a smart phone or computer a student with LD can just start talking and telling the story orally then way that most stories were formulated throughout most of human history. It always helped me when I was young to speak aloud my ideas before putting them down on paper. Today by using technology LD students are more engaged with the content and according to Dr. Haddad “students with LD are better able to concentrate on the delivery of content, formulate sequence, and provide other elements to storytelling without being hindered by an overemphasis on writing.”

As a person who has a learning disability and some one who promotes the rights of students with disabilities this shift to digital story telling really excites me. Far too often students with LD are left behind by faculty and other students for them think they are unmotivated on top of slow, but the reality is that we must alter our curriculum to better suite different learning styles rather than for one single model on to all students regardless of learning differences or styles.

Meeting the needs for students with different learning styles, LD and autism is going to be an important challenge for educators in this century as more youth are diagnosed with those disabilities. Our perceptions of narrative and storytelling must evolve along with the modalities that we consume the stories and the technology. This change will likely help students with learning differences and the more fluid model to story telling allows for more variety of intelligence to shine.

Week 8: Daily Create “I’m a Real Boy”

When I was 7 years old I decided I wanted to be a White American boy.  I grew up in the working class suburb of South San Francisco. A lot of people think that when I say South San Francisco I mean the southern edge of the city of San Francisco. That is very much not the case as anyone from the San Francisco will attest. South City (pronounced Sow-City) as we locals call it was an Industrial town dominated by paper mills and chemical factories manned by working class Italian and Irish families. So-City in the 80s was a very different place than it is today, we were the only Asian family on the block and I was often ridiculed and taunted by local boys.

It was in those moments of weakness and misguided dreams that I decided to be White. The first order of business was to stop eating Chinese food and all Asian food for that matter. When my family would go out to our weekly Chinese food dinner, I would refuse to eat and would insist that my mom and dad went to McDonalds to pick me up a hamburger and would ignore the Chow Mein and steamed fish. I would speak English loudly and clearly in front of White people so they knew that I was a White American boy disguised as an Asian Boy. I rejected the Asian Markets my mom would enter and look away from the Chinese immigrants walking the streets shaking my head wondering why they did not learn English and blaming them for my mistreatment.

This obsession with converting over to the White race ended within a year or so but haunted me till college when finally truly embraced my Asian heritage. But till this day I muse about what my life would be if I were a White man.

If I were a White man I would feel secure every morning looking in the mirror knowing that today was going to be a good day, I will not be judged by the color of my skin.

If I were a White man I would not fear the police, I would call them and embrace them knowing that they are good men here to protect and serve my community.

If I were a White man I would speak up in a meeting and people would listen to me, they would think, hey this guy is really bright he has a lot of great ideas.

If I were a White man I would go to a restaurant and when I’m not seated I would not wonder if they did that because of my race.

If I were a White man, women would look at me and think here’s a handsome man, let me give him a chance, he seems so masculine and tall.

If I were a White man I could be a Republican and look down on minorities for their failure to assimilate and learn English. I would pride myself on my hard work and pulling myself up from my bootstraps, I didn’t get any handouts. Hard work and dedication is all it takes to succeed in this country. Oh man that would feel so great.

If I were a White man people would love me, they would see me for my virtues not my skin color.

I think that’s enough imagination for now. It felt really great for a moment to feel white. I think about it a lot, I think all minorities do. That’s the really odd thing about the white people I talk to about race. They just don't think about at all. They don’t see race, it’s so crazy to me. But I guess that’s the biggest advantage of being in the majority, it’s a privilege to not see race.

Now that I have a son of my own I wonder if he’ll have to go though the same self-hatred that I experienced as a youth. I really don’t think so, I’m optimistic that this world has changed in the last 30 years and that my son will hopefully not see race either.

Week 7: Self Reflection

As we approach the half waypoint in this class I feel that I have become a much stronger writer. I think that the main issue with my writing was that over the years I had become too accustomed to writing short emailed of bulleted lists and in the writing style of the University of California. In our culture we write a lot of short emails sometimes not even in complete sentances. This class has taught be to slow down that think about what I’m writing but also write in great quantities.

I did speak about the idea of just writing regularly to get better at writing in my last self-reflection a few weeks ago. Today I would like to talk about the course content.

I was watching a educational video about a university in the Netherlands where student can choose their own learning goals and curriculum. I feel that this class with it’s wide range of topics has allowed me that breadth to explore topics that I feel are important to me. It class really is about allow the learning to learn rather than the model of the learner only learning from the faculty and what that particular faculty thinks is importatnt.

I have been in higher education for almost 8 years and this is the first class where I truly see the learning choosing that learning path. It’s refreshing but also a little scary. In the beginning of the quarter I was a little lost and wanted Lori to give me more specific guidance on what I should be doing on a daily basis but now I am so thankful that I took this course and I have learned to build my own learning path.

I feel that the theme of me becoming a father is something that I will touch on more and more as the semester continues. My son was born last week and now I have much more fodder for narrative rather than just an abstraction of what it might be like to raise a son.

I also really appreciate that we are using my blog for the course it’s finally filling up with interesting content.

Week 7: Video Assignment Brag Video

I’ve seen a lot of youtube videos in my day and strangely a lot of content is just some one in front of there computer talking about things sometimes there are rants sometimes they are teaching you something but often time where is a sense of self obsession and importance to all their videos of a talking head.


I cannot say that I’m a totally humble guy since I find my life to be pretty damn good. But I try my best as most Asians to be humble about it and keep my mouth shut when things go well or you will get what Japanese call “Bachi Gataru” which roughly translates to divine retribution or punishment for being a fool or braggart. Pretty much what karma in the way we western people think of karma. So even making this video was hard for me and it’s very existence is asking the gods to punish me for my arrogance.


By anyways here it is. In the assignment bank I was drawn to it because it was something very different and it gets my head into a space that is uncomfortable for me. But after shooting the videos I can totally see why people talk themselves up, it felt great, I really did feel better after shoot the video. 

Week 7: Scholarship review of Social Learning, ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’, and Building Platforms for Collaborative Learning

This week’s reading, “Social Learning, ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’, and Building Platforms for Collaborative Learning” by Colin Lankshear delves into the profound changes that are happening or rather should happen in education in the 21st century. The biggest take away from this reading is that the push method of education needs to be changed to the pull method in order to meet the educational needs of students in the digital age.

The push method of education works under the 20th century assumption that educators can anticipate the needs of the students order to become productive thinkers and intellectual contributors to society. Since the advent of the internet and the ever changing landscapes of society John Seely Brown sees this ethos of education as grossly insufficient for today’s young students. Brown believes that the pull method of education where instructors equip students with the ability to think creatively and meet the immediate needs of the community and ever changing society, “[Pull models] help people to come together and innovate in response to unanticipated events, drawing upon a growing array of highly specialized and distributed resources. Rather than seeking to constrain the resources available to people, pull models strive to continually expand the choices available while at the same time helping people to find the resources that are most relevant to them.”

This “Pull” method of education will be a major shift in the way Americans are educated. I cannot speak for other countries but in America I feel that there is such a profound attachment to standardized exams and learning outcomes that we cannot see the bigger picture for our students. The bigger picture is that we cannot forsee the issues and challenges that will face us in 20, 30 or even 40 years when these young students will be running the world. In the ever changing geopolitical and technology driven world the idea that we can push information down their throats is completely misguided, we must groom them to become thinkers that are adaptable and intellectually curious. They must be the Wikipedia of thinkers, constantly improving and ever collaborating and not the static and dated encyclopedia Britannica.

Changing our education system to the pull method of education will require to retrain faculty and K-12 teachers to embrace and new model of instruction where they are not longer the sole source of information but rather they become the facilitators of creative and constructivist learning, giving the students to tools but not the information and allowing them solve the problems that we cannot even see.

My son Wolf was born last week Friday and I think about what kind of world he will grow up in and possibly raise his own family. In 30 years the ice caps will likely be melted, water shortages in California will become the norm; the politics in the Middle East are likely to become even fiercer and there are so many problems that we cannot even foresee; who will we turn to solve these deeply troubling issues? We must turn to the youth, unless they are fully equip with the ability to think in this ever changing world we are possibly screwed. The education system must be improved and we must foster the pull method of education if we are to have a future.