Paper Monuments

Today, in our last class meeting, we folded hope.

We folded the hopes of the men and women who came to work at the Alfred P. Murrah Building 17 years ago.

We folded their stolen aspirations and their pilfered dreams.

We folded the idea of freedom: from fear, and from pain.

 

We folded these things, and they took on the form of a crane.

 

Our cranes will be sent to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, stored alongside the cranes of people from all across the nation. There, they will stand as tangible symbols of ours, both of loss and of life. Image

 

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Thank you, OCU.

Dear OCU,

I want to let each and every one of you know how welcome and at-ease I felt while I was with you. Everyone I met was exceptionally kind and open to our endless questions, which was so necessary, let me tell you. I regret not being able to meet everyone, but the people I did spend my time with were incredibly knowledgeable and just as incredibly patient. I had a fantastic time with you. I’ll be sure to try Bobo’s Fried Chicken the next time I’m there.

To Dr.Hessler, I want to specifically express how great it was to meet you, and how you’re nothing like all of the terrible stories Professor Woodworth tells us. You don’t look remotely like a balrog. My biggest regret is that we weren’t able to spend more time with you and your students. That’s likely the only thing I would’ve changed. Perhaps next time.

The trip to Oklahoma City was an absolutely amazing experience from start to finish. It was a healthy balance of culture-shock and absolute reverence for such a beautiful city.

And I can’t wait to come back.

Thank you again for being such a warm and receptive host.

Thank You, Director Nobles

I’m here to tell you that our trip did exactly what you hoped it would.

Travel across the country did change me for the most part in several ways. I met extraordinary people I wouldn’t have otherwise met, I ate spectacular food that I would’ve have otherwise eaten, and I investigated and explored, getting out and being active in a way I may not have otherwise done. Travel brought out the curious side of me, and I found myself better for it.

But it was just as much travel to another place is it was travel to another time. Our experiences at the memorial and the museum effected me greatly, despite having very little knowledge of it beforehand. The images, the writings, and the people around us all seemed so very fixed on that time and that date. It very easily could have been April 19th every day of that week.

I feel enlightened and informed in a way transcendent of trying new foods or viewing contemporary art.

So, I think it was successful. I’m a new person now, and that’s really all we can ask.

 

 

I’ll leave you with this:

My Line

I am from a scattered mind.

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Voluptuous Veggies

 

This trip has been a phenomenal culinary experience. I’ve had the chance to try so many delicious vegetarian dishes that, honestly, just aren’t available in Montgomery. 

The trip really began in Dallas where, at Au Bon Pain, I had my first black bean burger. It was spicy, but absolutely fantastic. Very different from other veggie burgers I’ve had. 
The second great experience was at The Red Cup: the greatest restaurant I’ve ever been to. Since becoming a vegetarian, every dining experience has been marked by the arduous struggle to find something I can eat. Being in a place where I can literally eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING? Mind-blowing. 
And I made sure to buy a shirt. 
Most recently, we made the trek to Kaiser’s, famous for their icecream and their buffalo-meat burgers. 
That being so, they offered a simply phenomenal PLT (Portabella, Lettuce, and Tomato). It was awesome. 
 
And that’s pretty much the state of my palate two days in. 

Voluptuous Veggies

 

This trip has been a phenomenal culinary experience. I’ve had the chance to try so many delicious vegetarian dishes that, honestly, just aren’t available in Montgomery. 

The trip really began in Dallas where, at Au Bon Pain, I had my first black bean burger. It was spicy, but absolutely fantastic. Very different from other veggie burgers I’ve had. 
The second great experience was at The Red Cup: the greatest restaurant I’ve ever been to. Since becoming a vegetarian, every dining experience has been marked by the arduous struggle to find something I can eat. Being in a place where I can literally eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING? Mind-blowing. 
And I made sure to buy a shirt. 
Most recently, we made the trek to Kaiser’s, famous for their icecream and their buffalo-meat burgers. 
That being so, they offered a simply phenomenal PLT (Portabella, Lettuce, and Tomato). It was awesome. 
 
And that’s pretty much the state of my palate two days in. 

STHU SOPA

Clay Shirky

I am radical.

I don’t want sharing to go away, and, rather, I’m open to having it more prevalent.

Maybe I’m idealistic or deceived (as the two are always so similar), but I’m of the opinion that innovative, creative people will be supported regardless of whether we share their content. Models such as this have proven to be effective–look at Spotify. For free, you can listen to almost all of the world’s recorded music. You can share it with friends, track them, etc. And it’s entirely free.

Bring on the sharing.

Naturalism

I’ve had a little sparkofinsight recently. I don’t know where it’ll lead me, but who ever does?

I’ve been tossing around inside of my head the idea of collecting flowers, grass, rocks, sticks, and leaves from places and attaching them to where they were found. I love the idea of the map being a collection, and this connects the viewer directly to what they’re looking for. It becomes more personal and infinitely more tangible.

I’ve been hiking alot, recently, and I think that’s where I get the inspiration for the idea. I’ve become enraptured with the beauty of nature and seclusion. It’s been an eye-opening experience, and I think this is one of the best ways to connect viewers to that. Just as a map acts as a way for tying all of an area together onto a page, through line and color, so too does collecting bits and pieces symbolically, and literally, tie together an area through proximity.

 

It may end up being a terrible idea, but that’s okay. I don’t know where this spark will take me, but no one ever does.

Break

 

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It was one of the most refreshing weeks of my life.

 

As you may be entirely unaware, the people that I live with are unbearable at times. Very often, they frustrate me to which point I have no other choice but to lock myself in my room. 

 

But they were gone last week.

 

Spring Break gave me the freedom that I so strongly wanted, allowing me hours of naps on the couch and blasting music from my speakers without repercussion. I was able to watch movies and television without having to worry about hurting their feelings for not including them. It was a profoundly healing week.

 

But though the bandage can mend the wounded soles, the feet must trod the jagged path again.

 

Last week was everything that I needed, and nothing that I expected. It brought with it the relief that can only come from hours of laziness. It brought me closer to people that I wanted to be close to, and distanced me from people that I wanted at a distance. But it’s over now. Again, I have to go through the motions of school. And again, I’m reduced to the isolation of my room. Which is okay, I guess.

 

I feel better.

The Big Deal

I’m at a bit of a loss for this big project. I have a lot of ideas, and it’s hard for me to try to make it all make sense. But, I mean, does it reallyhave to make sense? Questions like this keep me up at night.

My first order of business should definitely be what it is I want to map. Local artists, civil rights monuments, restaurants, and personal places will definitely be key. But, of those, I do want to focus on the personal places–the places I have stories tied to. The map, as a memory palace, will hold my personal memories and will act as a guide to what makes me myself.

Accompanying these points will obviously be doodles, sketches, and other illustrations. As an artist, these things are essential not only to how I present the information, but how I am presented to the viewer. The map’s appearance, just as that of a blog or essay, holds it’s own connotation. It’s overall aesthetic is an element in itself. As such, I want to include as many hand-drawn pictures and fonts as possible.

 

Overall, by including these fundamental decisions, the viewer gets a sense of the map’s intended purpose: the glimpse into me, as a person. A spark of insight.

 

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