With finals getting closer and Christmas looming, I am excited because that means I get to go back home, to Italy, for 2 weeks. Comforted by this sweet melancholy vibe, I look back at my first months in America and at Trinity. I had so many different experiences that I could probably write a book, but I don’t have that much time!
Looking back at COMM2302, also known as Media Interpretation and Criticism, I realize that I enjoyed every single lesson of the course; in fact, I highly recommend it to all my friends. As I mentioned in blog post # 1, I was not that enthusiastic at the beginning. As a matter of fact, when I signed up, I didn’t even know what communications actually consisted of, but I had to fill in a Pathways Course. Fortunately, I ended up loving this course. I am even taking another communication class next semester and I am also considering minoring in it. For my major, I am thinking of Art History or International Politics, and communication will add to both of these, but who knows what the future holds…
It is astonishing to think that only two lessons are left for this class. Some other themes I would enjoy exploring more in these last two lessons would be semiotics and “Islamophobia.” I think I might use them in my final paper because I decided to analyze the TV series Quantico starring Priyanka Chopra who plays a young FBI recruit, who suddenly becomes the prime suspect of a terrorist attack.
I knew this course would have a lot of writing being a Writing Composition course for Pathways, but for the readings I was expecting something different and more boring, I have to admit. Instead I encountered a variety of interesting and fascinating readings that accompanied all the different topics of this course.
I enjoyed almost all of them; therefore, it is hard to pick just one as a favorite. My top three were: Ms. Marvel, the first comic book I have ever read, followed by What is Semiotics by Marcel Danesi, and Freud for Beginners, because philosophy was one of my favorite subjects all throughout high school. I really enjoyed Appignanesi’s ingenious way to approach Freud and make him sound interesting through the visual simplicity and clarity of a comic. If I were to pick one, since I am an indecisive person, and I would not make my up my mind, not even before Christmas. I’ll let my patriotism pick for me: I’ll say the Italian Professor Marcel Danesi wins. It was my favorite because I knew a little about semiotics through another great Italian ‘semiologist’ Umberto Eco. I thought that the reading was really interesting and clear, demonstrating all the manifestations of semiotics that we undervalue every day. I really liked that we used this article as a tool for analyzing different media throughout the whole course.
There is no reading I particularly disliked, but if I have to choose my least favorite reading it would be Scientific Methods in Media Effects Research (Sparks, 2013). I remember thinking it was not as interesting as the Klosterman readings that preceded it–which I found really good. To me the Sparks’ article was a bit tedious and too slow paced. However, the article was useful for the first assignment: Quantitative Content Analysis of Teen Magazines. I found this reading useful for structuring my paper. It also defined manifest content as material that is manifest and requires minimal interpretation by the coder, differentiating it from latent content, that is content that requires interpretation or “reading between the lines” before coding.
My plans for next semester are to improve my English. The courses that I will be taking next semester are: Mass Media, Fencing, Art History and International Politics, all of which I am looking forward to. Also I have been waitlisted for Outdoor Studio and The Meaning of Life, an art class and a philosophy class. Hopefully, I will get in into both of these, but just in case I’ve signed up for 20th century American Literature and an MUN class. In addition, I hope I will, as cheesy as it sounds, find my true vocation –what I want to do and what I could be good at and enjoy doing for the rest of my life. Thanks to chemistry, I’m pretty sure it won’t be anything STEM, but maybe I will pursue communication, who knows. Once I have figured that out, I will start thinking of my other semesters here at Trinity. I will definitely study abroad for one semester. Where I will study will probably depend on what my major will be. Although it would be nice to go back to Europe for 6 months and be closer to home, I would also like to visit a place really far, perhaps a new continent, and be exposed to a new culture. When I graduate I want to travel the world as much as possible and be exposed to all its beautiful and unique cultures. Ultimately, I would like to find a job that allows me to use my Italian and my background, that’s why I am considering majoring in Art History and International Politics.
If I were to suggest some new themes for COMM 2302 among the presented list, I have to admit that I am familiar only with V for Vendetta and Vertigo and the themes connected with these two movies seem intriguing. Before taking this class, I was not familiar with any of the readings (e.g. Ms. Marvel). Since you do not need to know the books or movies I would say that surveillance, doubles and infiltrations seem all very interesting themes for this course. Some new topics could be the recent Migrant Crisis and the history of media portrayal of migrant crisis through history; Foreigner as Different not Enemy could be a theme, connecting it to the notion of “Islamophobia,” perhaps reading again Ms. Marvel or analyzing the series Quantico, or something along those lines, and seeing how media has dealt with portrayal of foreigners throughout the history of the United States. Another theme could cover the evolution of Ethnicity in Media and how it has improved over time, being today a bit more cosmopolitan and diverse, but still not as much as the world is. Finally getting inspiration from Freud, this course could analyze how dreams are used in all types of media texts, perhaps starting with Elio Aristide, the first person who ever talked of dreams in the ancient world.
[and yes I’d love to participate in an evening viewing for this course next semester 🙂 ]