Write From The Heart

"Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back."

Visual Studies Seminar Post #11: Final Reflection and Closing the Semester


Part 1: Faculty Presentations

I think I’m pretty biased on this one because Mr. Bryant is actually my History of Games professor, so I do know more context regarding his career and his thoughts about the video game industry. I think he did an excellent job personalizing his experiences while also providing an insider’s look into the industry. He was able to make the presentation emotionally engaging and informational, which I appreciated a lot. Plus, his sense of humor and comedic timing makes him all the more entertaining to see on stage; it adds in a touch of personality that suits the topic.

The other presenters were odd to me, though. First off, I don’t know if they coordinated their presentations to focus on children and development of family over time, but it was weird to say the least. The first, regarding the “downfall” of artistry to motherhood, then back to artistry again wasn’t as resonant to me. There was too little explanation to the current art the presenter makes due to her children’s influence, and what stuck with me instead was how she felt no qualms with blurting how her child was “an accident” and effectively destroyed her career. I appreciate honesty, and certainly empathize with people that have doubts about parenthood, but this is kind of on a whole other level of being brutally honest. It was very distracting, especially during her rants about how cute her kids were in the photoshoots, since I couldn’t get it out of my head that the same presenter a few minutes ago essentially condemned her same infants for wiping out her livelihood and crushing her dreams. It’s too mean-spirited to off-handed-ly mention as she did. None of the art pieces, to me, were able to communicate her change of heart and new creative outlet, however. I don’t know if it’s just not my style of photo-taking and editing, or my discomfort at the beginning of the presentation, but it wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as Mr. Bryant’s was.

The final presenter’s art was intriguing, but, again, there were some points that left me uncomfortable. It’s a nitpick, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the theme of family using a CONSISTENT element of teenage pregnancy and motherhood. That issue has been a huge cause of stress for me, and being unprompted to watch girls younger than me pose for empty, monochrome shots holding their baby made me feel very sick. And it certainly didn’t help that the presenter made a comment about a few of the subjects that looked young being dead now. The photos stopped conveying family over time and instead made me think about tragedy, destiny, and societal expectations. It was very clearly not supposed to be a critique or a particularly sad piece, just an observation of some people over time, but it rubbed me the wrong way that teen mothers were a part of that message and intent. It was very unnerving to me.

Part 2: Final Reflection

This course has been a source for lots of well-needed information regarding Austin and its inhabitants for me! All in all, that’s also how I felt about this semester: I learned a lot about this new city, the new people, and new situations that I would have to adapt to. This course provided some resources to help me fulfill my aspirations in the IGS department to top it all off, too! I got some decent looks into the careers offered by the major, presenters showed what can be accomplished at St. Edward’s in the major, and I was able to have the opportunity to look at the works of local artists.

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