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Zac’s Blog Page of College 2020

A Blog of a college student that is taking on semester as a RA that be put in to different situations that will test his college knowledge to be the best student!


BLOG #1 ABOUT ME

The Inaugural Post.  The first post of many. These posts will assist you throughout Laramie, Wyoming and your time on campus.

I am looking forward to being put in this position.  While reading other’s Blogs, I have always thought, I could do that.  So here, for this class, I have to. I will sharpen my skills learned in my past courses while putting into practice ideas learned.  I hope to become a more confident writer and improve my digital media skills while writing this blog. I enjoyed my photography class last semester.  I felt as though I learned some techniques that will help me with this project.  I want to practice taking shots that tell a story.  

As a kid from Southern California, Wyoming is pretty different- it gets really cold.  As a Resident Assistant, I had the opportunity to stay as a RA over the summer. I got to see and meet some great people from all over the state that came to the University of Wyoming to compete for various things. I hope to have the job again this summer.

​After college, I plan to have a non-office job one that gets me out in the community. Hence a degree in communications. For the purpose of this blog, I am going to assist my Residents in everything they need to know, athletic wise, entertainment wise, restaurants, heck, I might even put a fashion tip in here or there.

I will help those visiting Laramie, Wyoming figure out not only the campus but the areas surrounding it. Where can students and others rent equipment?

I look forward to going on this journey. I am looking forward to learning more skills that will make me a better student and blogger. All skills learned will lead me, hopefully, to a fulfilling career in communications.


BLOG #2 Creative Devices of Photography

Arts and Science Timeless

Photo number one: Timeless. The photo composition rule used is symmetry. I titled this picture Timeless because looking at the picture I took, it looks just like the picture taken in 1936. This is the Arts and Science building on the University of Wyoming Campus. The building looks just as it did almost 100 years ago. The building was completed in 1936. The only difference I see is that the trees are bigger.

I think curiosity draws the viewer into this picture. They want to know where and when it looks like an old photo. The perfect symmetry and clean lines draws the viewer into the photo.

Benjamin Franklin Stands

Photo number two: Benjamin Franklin Stands. The rule of composition for this photograph is Viewpoint. I chose to name the picture Benjamin Franklin Stands because it is not very common to see a statue of Benjamin Franklin standing. Supposedly there are only four statues of Ben Franklin where he is standing. This is because he didn’t like how short he was. This statue stands on the University of Wyoming’s campus.

Viewpoint draws the viewer to look up at Benjamin Franklin, not noticing his short stature.

Cool Bike

Photo number three: Cool Bike. Get it? The bike is actually cold. The composition of photography used is experimentation. These bikes are in front of White Hall waiting for a thaw so they can be ridden again. 

The viewer is drawn into the photo because they are curious as to what bikes are pictured.

Untouched

Photo number four: Untouched, the photo composition I used for this photo was leading lines. There are two sets of lines, do you se both?

I like this picture because many people have no idea what it is a picture of. For those who have never visited the University of Wyoming, knowing what it is might be even more difficult. The snow is untouched, because no one wants to sit on snow. Did you figure out what it is? This is one of the benches outside of the Student Union. Viewers are drawn to the picture by the lines, the curved line and the lines that repeat every inch of the frame.

Unknown Path

Photo number five: Unknown Path. For this picture, the composition I used is Depth. I am very pleased with this picture. This locked staircase is at the back of the business hall on the University of Wyoming’s campus. I have heard that that is where they take the students who don’t pay off their student loans. Viewers are drawn by the depth of this picture, the path does not end. The viewer is also drawn by their desire to know where the path goes.

I was surprised by how much I liked looking at the pictures once I was done. I was surprised how difficult it was for me to decide which photo composition to use for each photo. I liked the element that the snow gave to my pictures and felt like that could have been a secondary element. I wonder if I can use my viewers desire to know where or what the picture is to draw them in in addition to the element of photography? Looking back I should have taken more pictures at night or played with more light. None of my pictures taken at night turned out.

BLOG #3 Photojournalism

“Bridges in control”- Montorie Bridges won his wrestling match on February 16 and hopes to remain in control for the Big 12 CHampionships on March 7.

Montorie Bridges came out against a worthy opponent, he was able to separate himself from his opponent and wrestle a solid match.

I took pictures at the UW wrestling event on February 16th.  I learned about the wrestling event because I am very connected to all the sporting events at the UW.  I am a Resident Assistant in White Hall which houses the majority of our athletes. I like to encourage and keep up with and support my residents.  This match I specifically went out to show support for Stephan Buchanan. Watching the events is exciting for me and for the viewers. I would get involved in rooting for our wrestler that I would forget to take the shots.  Looking at this picture, I am frustrated that I did not get up and move to try to get the other photographer out of the shot. Trying to edit her out just distorted the picture.   

“Sudden Victory for Hastings” – Hayden Hastings hopes to continue to take down his opponents in the the Big 12 Championships on March 7.

I found the most exciting match of the day was the 174-pound one. Hayden Hastings ranked 11th rallied from five points down in Sudden Victory to beat Billy Higgins 8-6. It was exciting to see in the last half minute Hastings gaine the reversal to fuel his comeback. He was only able to tally an escape in the second which meant he trailed 6-4 going into the final period. Hastings was able to get a point in the third because Higgins’ had a second stall warning.  Hastings earned a Riding Time point to kick the match into overtime. WIth 34 seconds left in the extra frame giving the POKES a 10-0 lead.

“OSU Stopped by Buchanan”- Stephan Buchanan wins 8-6 at the February 16th wrestling match. He hopes to continue halt at the Big 12 Championships on March 7.

Stephan Buchanan stopped Oklahoma with an 8-6 win.  He beat no. 12 ranked Dakota Geer to end his six-match winning steak.  It did not stop there, heavyweight Brian Andrews was able to add to the celebration with a 15-0 technical fall against Austin Harris. 

“Moody is in a good mood!”

After Cole Moody received a major decision over his opponent he was in a good mood.

165 Cole Moody impressive at 165, earning a 13-3 major decision over Jordan Robison. Moody used the strength of three takedowns and a four-point nearfall early in the third to help power his way to victory. Moody also notched over three minutes of riding time in the win.

I took pictures at the UW wrestling event on February 16th.  I learned about the wrestling event because I am very connected to all the sporting events at the UW.  I am a Resident Assistant in White Hall which houses the majority of our athletes. I like to encourage and keep up with and support my residents, specifically Stephan Buchanan.  While watching the wrestling match it is exciting, your adrenalin gets pumping. There are not as many people in the stands as there are at the football games but the excitement is palpable.  

I was so into watching the match, there were times, I forgot to take pictures.  I was frustrated that I couldn’t get objects out of my shot. While trying to edit the figures out of the background, it distorted the image.  The creative devices I used to get the shot was editing and stop motion.

“Tyler at Work” – RA Tyler working. There are more that 84 RA on the UW campus.

I took this picture while roaming campus looking for that amazing shot. Then I saw my buddy Tyler, and I said to myself, there is a story there. Did you know that there are over 84 Resident Assistants at the University of Wyoming? The job is not easy and there is a lot of responsibility that goes along with it. Tyler is pictured here working while others are able to kick it with friends or work on homework. 

Do I wish I would have had some amazing picture, yes, but like I said there is a story here. Many RA’s work while others play. Sometimes there is a feeling of missing out, or isolation. I would have liked to have gone behind the desk and shot the photo with action behind the glass. That would have been great. No special devices were used to capture the shot. I couldn’t decide if I should zoom in on just Tyler at work or allow the story of him being at work at the university of Wyoming be understood by leaving the posters etc. in the shot. Obviously, I went with the more colorful shot because I relate to that story. I think there’s more of a story there.

BLOG #4 Creating a Community Where you can Live and Learn

 Improving students’ living arrangements can improve student’s learning and actually increase the probability of obtaining a degree.

     Research states that students living on campus have better peer interactions and become more involved with their university.  Upperclassmen that continue to live on campus tend to have better relationships with their advisors.

This photo is of White Hall shining bright in the Sun.

University of Wyoming’s Plan

     University of Wyoming is in need of creating new living arrangements for their students. The hope is to keep enrollment, attract new students and make the living experience more enjoyable. 

     The University of Wyoming has a Housing Master Plan that explains the university’s plan to improve student housing over the next ten-years.  The plan identifies three phases which involve demolition, repurposing and new construction.  

     The university has a strategic plan, within that plan one of their goals is to offer a cultivating community of learning, which will inspire collaborative work. Those creating the housing plan interpreted this goal, creating new dorms that ones that will be built to improve student’s residential experience by creating spaces for more shared work or room for team projects within the dorms.  These areas will increase opportunities for learning. 

     Additional improvements will include personal health and growth for all members of the community.  The University of Wyoming wants to enrich and improve student housing because enhancing a student’s residential experience  will help maintain recruitment enrollment and increase interest in the University of Wyoming. The university will accomplish this improvement student living in three phases.

     Phase I will be to demolish Crane and Hill Halls.  They will then construct new suite-style residential housing on the site where Crane and Hill Halls once stood.  Phase II will renovate Orr and McIntyre Halls creating 21st century housing for first year students. Phase III includes improving the streetscape around the Washakie Halls and to renovate the last two halls, White and Downey. 

     “It is hard having to complete group projects when it snows.  The bathrooms are really old, I mean how old is this building?”  said Jacob a freshman living in White Hall.

This photo is of Crane Hall one of the halls that is going to be demolished.

Living on Campus

   The newly equipped dorms along with the newly designed bathrooms will improve  the overall campus experience. The common areas created in each dorm will allow for opportunities of community.  These newly designed living arrangements will make the University of Wyoming a more sustainable place for its students.  The newly designed dorms will make the University more attractive to future students and will make the University of Wyoming a more competitive option for students who are looking at multiple universities.

When students live on campus they are better engaged in their learning.  They have a deeper connection with their peers and their professors. They are able to collaborate and commensurate with their friends socially and academically.  They have greater flexibility when it comes to scheduling times to meet with their peers. A residential and academic community are developed when students live on campus, therefore they are able to maximize their educational experience. 

   “New buildings bring a great deal of excitement to the university and also show that our numbers are up, which is something really exciting for the state of Wyoming.”  Said Taryn Wright resident coordinator for White Hall.

Mental and Physical Health

The dorms offer you a welcoming place to come “Home” to. There are programs offered that allow interpersonal interactions.  Programs are designed around topics that are challenging to students, in hopes of improving awareness on such topics.  A diverse community in the dorms offers interactions, and communication with a variety of people who have differing experiences than yours creating a diverse culture where one can become receptive to other views and beliefs.  

Resident Assistants look out for your well being..  They know the signs and symptoms to look out for. RA’s provide twenty four hour staff support.  They are connected to other school services therefore they have the ability to partner students with the resources they need. Regardless of the need, social, academic or mental they can help you get connected to the resources you need on campus.

To Live on or Off

The University of Wyoming has a ten-year plan to improve student learning by improving where they live. Improving student housing will improve the experience for students already committed to the university. The improved living conditions will retain those students already here and will make the university more attractive to prospective students.

     For more information about the university’s Housing Plan and updates visit http://www.uwyo.edu/studentaffairs/housing-files/index_housing_updates.html.

Resources

University of Wyoming Housing Master Plan Final Report 20 December 2017

https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/the-benefits-of-living-on-campus-in-college/

https://www.oit.edu/campus-life/housing/living-on-campus-benefits-value

Interviews

Taryn Wright, resident coordinator for White Hall

Resident Jacob

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