After taking a year off to work after high school, I enrolled at Onondaga Community College (OCC) the Spring of 2010. During that time off I grew increasingly motivated and interested in pursuing a degree in Journalism, something I had wanted since I was a kid. Since there was no Journalism degree at OCC , I chose Electronic Media Communications and later Computer Information Systems, as majors. This semester turned out to be fundamental, thanks to a class called Program Design and Development, a computer science class which taught the fundamentals of C++ programming. It was really a fluke that I enrolled in that class, but I enjoyed it so much that I changed my goal of studying Journalism to Computer Science.
The following semester, Fall 2010 , I got ready to transfer to a four year school where I might study something related to Computer Science. To prepare, I enrolled in all science classes: Physics I , Chemistry I, Pre-Calculus, and another computer science class, Fundamentals of Computing I. After drowning in numbers for an entire semester, I accepted the fact Computer Science wasn't exactly the right major for me. I missed design, art, and theories that didn't revolve entirely around math.
Due to circumstances, I had to take Spring 2011 off. Fortunately, I was able to spend it doing an internship in Ecuador at an independent cinema and production house called Ochoymedio. For 6 months, I served as their Web intern, managing their Wordpress site, as well as their social media accounts. I was also exposed to a lot of independent and foreign cinema. During this time I also began to practice more front-end development and web design, something which I had been interested in and experimenting with since high school.
When choosing SUNY Purchase , I was interested in the New Media program due to it's choices in various disciplines, however I knew I wanted to concentrate on the web. Fall semester I took many of the New Media requirements : Digital Media Studio , Studio Comp I , Video Art I , Intro. To Media Studies as well as Art in the Electronic Age. Out of those classes, the ones that spoke to me most were Video Art I as well as Digital Media Studio. Video Art I with Prof.Hearn was very interesting to me because I had never been asked to push myself so creatively. I had also never experimented with video before and was really surprised at how varied the medium could be. I am interested in pursuing video further, specifically the ways it can be used within the web context. Digital Media Studio with Prof. McKay was also interesting in the sense that it showed me how basic tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, which I had been using for a long time, could be used for more artistic purposes. During Fall semester, I also held an internship with WPSR – Purchase Radio, where I was their engineering intern. For this position, I built and designed a custom WordPress theme for them , which they are currently using.
Overall , the combination of my first classes were an incredible introduction to subjects I had previously never encountered , specifically new media art. Coming from a more technical background, it was difficult and amazing to have to put personal expression into my work. Producing work that is creative and also purposeful, is my biggest challenge within the New Media program. I am looking forward to attempting to overcome this and trying to make it a more vital part of my work.
This semester, I am enrolled in : Design I, Computers and Culture, Creating Web Documents, and Marketing the Arts. I am looking forward to all of my classes this semester, specially Computers and Culture and Creating Web Documents. I am interested in seeing and learning about Computers and the internet from a more theoretical point of view and through this better understanding what working with them can mean. I am also interning at WPSR-Purchase Radio again in order to continue working on the development of their site.
Three days a week, I am also the Design Intern for a company called Animoto. Animoto is a NYC tech startup that through a web app allows users to create a music video slideshow out of pictures they upload. Everyday so far has been a great learning experience concerning not only design but the flow of real life projects as well. It is also great to be part of a company that is trying to re-imagine video content , specifically for users who are not skilled in video.
My experiences so far have been varied, ranging from an interest in journalism, to computer science, to finally web development and design. My next two years at Purchase I am looking forward to narrowing down my interests and bringing them together to produce something useful.
As of now, I am planning on taking next semester, Fall 2012 off. My plan for this is to find an internship during that time which allows me to keep on exploring real world scenarios in which I can use what I learn here at Purchase. However, if I don't find an internship worthy of my time then I will happily return to school next semester. I am hoping to find an internship that will focus on design for the Web, but hopefully something more specific like User Experience Design . This kind of design experience is important to me because the New Media program doesn't offer design specific classes, and it is something that I think is a great compliment to being a front end developer.
Returning to school Spring 2013 , I am looking forward to taking upper level web classes such as Experimental Web Practice and Mobile Media. That summer I am planning on finding another internship , this time one that focuses less on design and more on front end development.
For my Senior Project, I am interested in taking a step back from the technical and aesthetic aspects of the internet and focus on its' effects on society. More specifically I'd like to examine how the internet has changed our ideas about private vs. public life . How tools such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have allowed us to extend our previously private lives into the virtual world for anyone to “follow”, and how it has made voyeurism the norm. Issues that I'd like to analyze more closely are how McLuhan's statement of a medium being “the extension of consciousness” applies to the internet , and how that affects our unconcerned attitude towards revealing ourselves on the same medium. Another question I'd like to consider is how our unveiled internet identities might affect our actual identities, and the difference between the two, if there is one. I'd also like to examine how collectively, our internet exposure can lead to a wider cultural segmentation, or if it actually creates the opposite. For the practical aspect of the Senior Project, it might be interesting to insert myself into the equation,( or someone else who was willing ) to see how their complete exposure on the internet could lead to real life consequences.
These issues are obviously very broad, but it would be interesting to learn more about the subject and have a more focused idea for my Senior Project. By the time Senior Project rolls around I will have a defined idea whether it develops from this or from something else.