Second semester– another chapter of my life that I’m nearing the end of. Countless pages I have rendered a bit useless (and I regret that) and some more where I have run-on sentences, sentence fragments, and much more. However, all of these, although they might not seem like it, are vital to my progress not only in Mac Lab, but in the real world. I found out that would I did, or didn’t do in Mac Lab, tailored itself to my moods and desires of that day. TAG and the gameification of the education system proves to be rather inciting, and in my opinion was a rather unusual part of the day: where I was given the opportunity to determine my own assignments, and fit my wants and needs to these goals. However, when met with nothing creative, I found I had a kind of… a writer’s block– but for artists. I’ve reflected on this and I have found the faults perhaps associated with AMP and TAG, and I desire to fix them.
1.) Too much AMP time figures itself to be unproductive in my case.
Too many times I have sat here, staring at the screen, scrolling through endless pages and websites for inspiration, and stumbling across nothing of the sort.
POSSIBLE FIX: Limit AMP time to a day a week of some sorts; it is only then that people will appreciate the beauty of AMP for what it is, rather than making no good use of valuable time.
2.) No deadlines means no pressure to accomplish much of anything.
I learn best, and function best when under a little bit a pressure. With no due dates, no nothing– there’s no drive for me to work at a moderate pace, and when I don’t work at that pace, things see to slow immensely down, and I’m more likely to be irritable at my work than anything else.
POSSIBLE FIX: Deadlines that enable people, like other procrastinators to progress far more faster than and further than I’ve gone.
3.) Blog posts are no longer required.
Some faults in this; one being that it does not allow us to mentally think about our goals. If we set goals, there is the drive to do better in order to achieve those goals. The motivation involved with this could easily enable us to easily find what we want to do, and most times finish them. The process exhibited by this thought propels an individual forward with a goal in mind. Also, by not requiring blog posts, we cannot see our mind during our creative process, the slip-ups, the side ideas– who’s to remember a week from now what exactly occurred when you created that picture of Justin Bieber wearing a tutu.
POSSIBLE FIX: Blog posts should be mandatory and reflective. It should show your progress as well as push you progressively forward.
Also attacking the Skocko’s concept that
“All students will begin at Level 1. As quests are completed, XP automatically adds up and new levels are reached. At some point, a new door will open and AMP will kick in. Harder-working students will reach AMP more quickly. These students will also have the choice to continue with quest lines if they want more structure.”
I like the idea of leveling up, and by leveling up, you open doors and more opportunities, but I don’t think AMP should be a part of that process. Instead of having a select few work vigorously hard to get to AMP, I think it would be better to have established days such as the once a week plan that I mentioned earlier in the post. This way, everyone would be able to enjoy AMP, but in moderation. Those that have worked harder than others will also have benefits as well– from what I believe, Virtual Currency will also allow someone to purchase opportunities (and AMP can be a part of that).
So. You’re probably wondering what did I do with my AMP time?
Basically, when I first started out, I was rather excited to come to class every single day, because I knew what I wanted to learn, and what I wanted to do with it. However, when that first effect wore off, I was left in a pool of nothingness. I know, countless opportunities awaited there, just under the move of the mouse and the click of a button. I think my problem with what AMP essentially is (a way to release your innermost creativity) is that there are just too many opportunities. When they are too many choices to choose from, it is rather overwhelming. I would constantly jump from project to project, never finishing anything, and never developing skills. I would basically go to PSDtuts, do the tutorial step by step, and at the end, learn close to nothing from it. Yes, the results would be amazing most of the time, but the result of that mainly emphasized too much reliance on an outside source. What I really wanted to do was learn the foundation, and be able to build upon it myself. The immediacy of instant sources as well as endless tutorials strayed me from this path of self-learning, and now make me realize that I learned far more in the beginning of first semester than I have during the entirety of second semester. I tried to utilize my privilege the best way that I could, but I am nearly certain that what I really want will never be brought into fruition– there is a foundation, yes, but the murky waters surrounding it involves recipe tutorials and in part, is not the entire learning process.
After reading Skocko’s true confessions, I believe that I really do understand his ulterior motive. Digital Arts is not only just Digital Arts, it is a learning process in of itself, and judged by my successes and failures concerning it, I think I’ve progressed further as a cultivated individual. I’ve also learned that just setting a goal, 90% of achieving, will not be realized without the proper motivation, and effort, both of which I had a moderate amount of during this process of ZIM. I’ve concluded that self-learning is not really my forte, but when challenged to get the hang of it, I can do relatively amazing things with it. My frustration with this only goes to show the boldness and strength with which I utilized ZIM, and paved my own way to self-improvement and self-learning.