Remember the Aliens?

As finals week quickly approaches it’s pleasant to be able to take some time out from studying to reflect on what was learned throughout the course of this semester. This class is especially appropriate for that, although I’ve got to admit that sometimes I was overwhelmed with schoolwork and had to “power through” some of the readings for this class, when time allowed me, I really enjoyed reading some of the assigned texts and reflecting upon them. In class, it was really entertaining to watch movie clips and then critically analyzing them, and with our final class scheduled for this upcoming Monday, it would be a good opportunity to watch a couple more. But most importantly, I hope we make use of our last meeting to go over our final project assignment to make sure there are no loose strings or concerns, so we can all focus on giving our best effort in writing this final paper. Moreover, I hope our last class can also be a time for reflection and to quickly go over the themes and topics we covered this semester, perhaps we could all vote on the highlights of this class and the least favorite moments. It would be interesting to see everyone else’s opinion.

If I was to pick my favorite readings for this semester, I would have to choose Klosterman’s articles. Although I wouldn’t classify most them as “scholar articles”, they were usually pleasant and entertaining readings, and I especially appreciated the fact that Klosterman covered recent events and talked about American popular culture. His “This is Emo” essay was a very light and easy read, and was probably the one I liked the most – which doesn’t mean it was the most useful or important reading of the semester. “Freud for Beginners” was to me the most useful reading, simply because I always wanted to understand more about Freud, but never allowed myself any time to study his ideas in-depth. On another note, I know that the topic of this course was “conspiracy theories”, however, for as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get my head around Saucer Country. Although I get the idea that comic books can be more than entertainment (that they can actually be very insightful and complex), I failed to see the bigger relevancy of these two readings (volume 1 and 2) for academic purposes. There were some interesting passages in Saucer Country, however. The whole “we are all aliens” speech delivered by Governor Arcadia was an obvious political critique on the issue of immigration and other contemporary issues concerning the current American political scenario.

Freud's take on castration, one of the interesting topics we covered this semester

Freud’s take on castration, one of the interesting topics we covered this semester

With next semester being my last as an underclassman, I’ve registered, mostly, for common curriculum classes (I’m trying to take as many as I can so I can later focus solely on classes for my major) as well as two Business classes. When I first arrived at Trinity I was interested in studying journalism, but I have more recently decided to peruse a degree on International Business as well as a major or perhaps a minor in Communication. I’m not taking any Communication classes next semester.

This class was quite different from what I thought it would be when I registered for it. When I thought about “interpretation and criticism” I thought we would mostly be doing in-class readings and analyzing them in an old fashioned (not to say boring) way. It goes without saying that I was pleasantly surprised with how the course was set up, although I still don’t know how I feel about the whole “conspiracy” theme, I really liked the fact that most of the readings where posted on line and I especially liked the Trailer Remix project. For next semester, I think the idea of having two classes with antonymous topics is a great one – It would be very interesting to see how being influenced by opposite versions of a story would shape student’s reactions. Still on that topic, although perhaps a little more complex, it would be interesting to see the same format being applied to politics – for example, have one class watch pro-American propaganda, while having the other class watching videos that criticize the  government and American society in general (perhaps watching movies such as All the President’s Men, or even Supersize Me). Also, as I previously noted, I really enjoyed our Trailer Remix project, and I hope the next COMM 2302 classes have even more opportunity to work with digital media – knowing how to work with digital media is a skill that is often overlooked, but it’s quickly becoming vital in the work place.

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