Liebestraum

In my preteen/middle school years, I was very into classical music. Like any middle schooler, I was frequently confused of what was going on in my life. But, unlike most “normal” 13 year olds, I can honestly say that I was plagued with anxiety. From what exactly, I can’t ever…

In my preteen/middle school years, I was very into classical music. Like any middle schooler, I was frequently confused of what was going on in my life. But, unlike most “normal” 13 year olds, I can honestly say that I was plagued with anxiety. From what exactly, I can’t ever remember. Possibly the idea of failing, the idea what I wouldn’t be good enough, the idea that no one truly liked me for who I was. I was a 13 year old girl who struggled with her self-image, who did not have one confident, healthy minded bone in her body. Classical music was used as a way to soothe my nerves, to allow me to set a moment aside to breathe. While I never played any instrument or knew what I was even ever listening to, the sounds of piano concertos soothed my ears and mind, helping me sleep when sleep would not nip at me, helping me focus when it was dire. Classical music offers so much to the ear; there are perky melodies, where the pianos jumps and sings, where the piano releases sounds of spring and summer, chirping, allowing you to look forward to your day. There are songs where the piano hums softly, soothing the listener, allowing sleep to cover them softly. There are songs that will break your heart to pieces, the pain and lament behind every stroke of ivory. The period of my classical music listening in middle school was short, but it was memorable.

Now, in college, I find myself turning more and more to classical music. I find myself tense, full of anxiety over this paper or that paper, over what a certain professor may think of my work, over the grade I will receive at the end of the semester. Sleepless nights are common now. There are times where my mind does not rest until 1 or 2 in the morning, and that’s if I’ve got no work to complete at home. Some people are ashamed of admitting their mental illness. I believe that admitting and coming to terms with it aids with learning how to get better. In the past few months, I’ve once again started to attend weekly therapy sessions. Talking to a professional helps, of course, but he sounds of piano aids me in learning to calm myself, to bring myself to a still moment where my thoughts don’t race so quickly, so anxiously.

One of my favorite composers is Franz Liszt, though, ironically, he came after the classical era in music. Liszt was part of the Romantic period of art and music, and his works are testimony to that. His music is amongst some of my favorite. There is one song, though, that I frequently go back to, no matter the mood. Liebestraum No. 3 is the most famous of the Liebestraum trilogy by Liszt. The song’s title translates to “love dream” or “dream of love” and the song truly shows that. It begins softly and slowly, strokes of the keys gentle. The song carries into a romantic melody, the piano singing to the listener, both lifting and breaking the heart. Liszt understands art, understand the soul; he wrote a piece that has the opportunity to bring the listener to tears if they are broken enough. He also gives the listener an opportunity to become still, to listen, to watch all beautiful things that happen around them. I have listened to this song a multitudes of times, and every single time I notice something different about it, something different about the way I feel about the song. There is never a moment where I grow tired of the song, never a moment where I wished I hadn’t played it. It heals just as much as it breaks; Liebestraum soothes me like nothing ever has. It drives me to breathe, to calm down, but it also drives me to work. When I play it, I feel calm enough to work my thoughts out, to finish the work I have been given.

Liszt is a gift to my work ethic. His songs, in all their variety, give me soundtracks to live to. Scherzo and Marsch is a hoppy tune, something I listen to when I desperately need to get work done. Consolation No. 2 is a gentle sound, the sound of the city as the sun rises, as life wakes from sleep to greet the morning. Un Sospiro is, quite literally, a sigh; it floats over the body, weaves in and out, fills you with relaxation and serenity. Feuille D’Album is the sound of the city at it’s height; when the sun is high, and the people are out; the piano sings to travelers of all types, counting their steps, the jogs, the dashes across streets and from train car to train car. These pieces are gorgeous in every right, and don’t even scratch the surface of the greatness that Liszt has composed. He was truly a talented man, and I am one of many that adore his work.

Copyright’s Affect

  According to Wikipedia, Copyright law in the United States encourages the creation of art and culture by rewarding creators with a set of exclusive rights. When something of yours is copyrighted, that means it’s your creation, and that no one else can claim that work. You have the right…

 

According to Wikipedia, Copyright law in the United States encourages the creation of art and culture by rewarding creators with a set of exclusive rights. When something of yours is copyrighted, that means it’s your creation, and that no one else can claim that work. You have the right to reproduce, sell, display or perform your work on your own accord, because in every aspect, it is yours. Copyright laws are imperative to any artist, especially artists who work primarily online. Artists who post their work primarily on the internet can be easier targets of copyright infringement; anyone on any part of he internet can find and repost anything they’d like. If your work is copyrighted to you, then if someone was to reproduce your work in any way, shape or form, it would be considered illegal. This is called copyright infringement. Copyright infringement, in it’s simplest definition, is the use of works protected by copyright law without consent. The use of any work without consent infringes on the exclusive rights that the creator of the work has. As stated, doing this is illegal, and can be disputed in court. Once a creator has published something under copyright law, no other person is allowed to recreate, repost or use in any way that certain project without the consent of the original creator.

Overall, copyright laws are so essential in the life of any artist, who performs art in any form; musicians, fine artists, artists who make their art with a mouse and computer program. These artists rely on these laws everyday, and these laws help them rest easier, knowing that their work is protected, and that in every single right, it belongs to them.

Catching Up

It is so easy to get lost in college; not in the physical sense, but more the non-physical. There are so many things happening all around us, with all of our different classes, work from each of those classes, and even things that go on outside of the school environment.…

It is so easy to get lost in college; not in the physical sense, but more the non-physical. There are so many things happening all around us, with all of our different classes, work from each of those classes, and even things that go on outside of the school environment. It’s easy to get caught up and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Sadly, this has happened to be the past few weeks. I’ve been very caught up with other things and I have fallen behind a bit with my CT 101 work. Looking at the work I’ve missed, I know that it is not a lot, and can easily be done, but it’s the getting started part that seems to be hard for me. So, what I plan to do during the rest of this class and throughout my break the next two hours is throw on some classical music and get to work; I’ve got posts to write, stories to tell. It is not easy to get caught up if you’ve missed some work, but the consequences of not getting caught up weigh more than a few hours of writing blog posts.

When 2 hours = 3 seconds

It is so easy to be intimidated by photoshop. You load the program, and when the screen pops up, you are overtaken by buttons and tools that have so many uses, it’s easy to confuse them.

When it came to the project the class was to do, I was a bit apprehensive. Just like everyone else, I can be overwhelmed by new things easily. The project was to take a photo and use photoshop to edit it and make it animated. When it came to doing this, I was completely lost, so I decided to look up a video on YouTube.

The video I decided on was Animate Photos in Photoshop – Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts. This video was extremely helpful in helping me with the project, because it was exactly what I wanted to do- I had an idea and I knew I had taken a photo a few months before that would fit it perfectly. So once I found the tutorial and my imagine, it was easy to get started.

Annnd I found that it was no so easy to do. I got mixed up with a few of the photoshop tools and how they work, so it took me a bit to even get started. Once I got started, I went back and forth between the video and my workspace, mimicking the steps that this online teacher (of sorts) took.

The entire process took me two hours. My finished product was 3 second long. I can honestly say that I have never spent so long doing something for such a small result; I was proud, confused and a little bit bitter all at the same time. But every time I see the little animation I made, I feel pretty happy with it. Next time I do this, I know the things I could do differently, and hopefully that will help me cut the work time in half.

 

Theme Gardens and Such

Customizing something is no doubt the best part about anything, ever. Think about it; when you receive, say a new phone or laptop, the first thing you do is go through it and set up passwords, backgrounds, etc. The same stands with social media sites. The first thing I do,…

Customizing something is no doubt the best part about anything, ever. Think about it; when you receive, say a new phone or laptop, the first thing you do is go through it and set up passwords, backgrounds, etc. The same stands with social media sites. The first thing I do, without a doubt, is go through and see what I can and cannot change. That does not guarantee that’ll I’ll change the look from head to toe, but that I’ll be prepared if I feel the need to.

Trying to customize my WordPress site was both an easy and slightly frustrating task. Easy, because I’ve known how to customize a blog for years. I’ve spent about four or five years of my life on the blogging site tumblr, and that is where I learned how themes work. Even though I have this knowledge of how themes work, I have it only for one site. While the same idea might be there, every site works differently. This is where the challenge begins.

I know what I want. From my experience with blogging on tumblr, I know that when it comes to themes, I like something that looks clean and is easy to navigate. When it comes to my social media, I am a minimalist. As stated, I love the face of whatever site I’m looking to be clean and easy to read. I don’t like when sites have too much going on, I tend to feel overwhelmed and overworked. So I knew that when it came to customizing my site, I wanted it to sleek and crisp, yet not too robotic. I want my website to feel human and inviting. I want people to feel at ease as they click through my pages and posts, because there is nothing worse than visiting a site and feeling as if there isn’t a human being behind the work.

To get started with customizing my site, I simply googled ‘customizing your wordpress blog.’ Gotta start somewhere, right?

Following that simple google search, I clicked on a few links. The two I deemed to be acceptable were Beginner’s Guide to Customizing WordPress: Learning WordPress and 15 Best Free WordPree Themes. I cannot truly say that I read every single word in both articles, but I did skim and pick out the information that was useful to me. From there, I was able to find myself on the WordPress site, where I came to the Theme directory. This is where the search started.

As I had an idea of what I wanted, instead of choosing theme after theme and test driving them out, I chose a few that really caught my interest and took advantage of the provided “tester site.” These sites have no real content, but are used to display what the theme might look like on an active, functioning site. I chose the best fit for me, and simply applied it to my site. Since it was free, there wasn’t much tweaking I could do, but I love it all the same.

While I did not have to do too much work to get my site to look the way it does, it was still tedious, but I am very happy with the way to came out. My experience with working with themes definitely aided in the process, and for that I give myself a tiny pat on the back. I look forward to checking back on the theme directory every now and then to see if there’s anything new and exciting, but for now, I’ll revel in what I have done.