When people come up to me in the library and ask what I’m working on, they usually laugh. “Oh, I’m reading theories about punk culture.” “I’m editing this footage of Christmas home movies.” “Listening to ‘Uptown Funk’ and talking about cultural appropriation… just the usual.” I have such. a. cool. major. that lets me do really offbeat, funky stuff and exposes me to a really interesting side of academia.
As a Film & Media Studies major, I’m not going to pretend like I do the same kind of homework that my friends do. And that’s a good thing! So here’s the weirdest, aka coolest, stuff I’ve done for homework.
1. Chopped off my hair
For my Media Workshop class, we study different movements and aspects of film and practice them. This go round, we’re doing montage theory. I had a vision of a quick shot of someone’s hair being chopped off. So, I did it myself (and later got it repaired by a professional). It only ended up being about a .7 second shot in the final product. Don’t say I’m not dedicated to the arts!
2. Repeated the word “bat”
Cognition was a low point in my academic career, but it granted me one of the weirdest homework assignments ever. I had to record myself saying short words like “bat” and trace out when each letter’s sound started to change. I was horrible at the class, so I can’t really tell you the point of this exercise, but it was hilarious.
3. Reserved a squash court
Also for my Media Workshop class, we studied photo romans and were tasked with creating one. I wanted to study ~the human body~ and so I photographed Emelynn as she played squash.She worked up a sweat while I laid on the court floor with a DSLR. I also created a soundtrack using only sounds from the squash court, and so the sound of squeaking sneakers became the sound of a shower knob being turned. #justfilmthings
4. Went on a walk
I’m in a sound studies class called Deep Listening, and we’ve spent the last month studying soundwalks, which are kind of like podcasts but more artsy and abstract. We had to create one, and so I walked around my mom and step-dad’s house, which is a farm. I recorded the sounds I heard: crows, bugs, crunchy leaves. Good times.
5. Watched the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Yeah, this was for Theorizing Popular Culture, how did you know? I wrote a paper all about the hegemonic world of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which meant that I had to intently study Adriana Lima in lingerie. But it became kind of a bummer when I realized that they fetishize a lot of things they shouldn’t and perpetuate dominant norms of beauty. Who knew lacy bras could be so dangerous?
Honorable Mentions with zero explanation: Bought donuts; stared at a painting; looked up “chimp sounds;” watched Rope a gazillion times; arranged bobby pins; probably a lot of other things that aren’t weird to me but are weird to every other student at this school.