The final “exam” for CAP 105 with Professor Adrienne Wallace involved a bit of a scavenger hunt on Grand Valley’s campus and the internet, and required us to use the skills we’ve learned in class to present our results. Here’s what I’ve gathered and what I have to say about it all.
Our Team Logo
Nathan, Taylor, and I formed our team and decided to use our initials to create our team name. “TAN” stands for Taylor, Ashley, Nathan. We chose a sun for our logo to play off of our acronym, “tan.”
Group Photos on Grand Valley’s Campus
Team TAN visited some famous locations on Grand Valley’s Allendale campus. Below are some photos of us and a little info on each iconic spot we visited.
Taylor, Nathan, and I had a lot of fun recreating these classic internet memes on GVSU’s Pew campus in downtown Grand Rapids. I got to use my Photoshop skills to add some special details in the last two.
Video Tour on Campus
Turns out it’s tough to give an informational tour in 30-45 seconds! Here’s our goofy little tour of Henry Hall on GVSU’s Allendale campus. It’s easy to forget the cool little details in a building you’ve walked through so many times.
My Favorite Outdoor Sculpture at GVSU
My favorite outdoor sculpture at GVSU is “Heaven and Earth” by James Clover. It’s located in the plaza between all the “Lake” buildings on the Allendale campus, and just outside Zumberge Hall. I have always loved this sculpture because of its simplicity, despite all of the motion it conveys. It speaks to me because it seems to imply an ascension toward greatness, but there are all these precarious balancing acts that lead to that achievement.
Here’s a photo of me in front of “Heaven and Earth,” and some fun effects I applied to the picture using Photoshop.
Internet Research – Giving at GVSU
The infographic above shows that $13.3 million was given to GVSU from private donors in the 2016 fiscal year. This is less than half of what was given in 2010, which had the largest dollar amount of private donations at $28.4 million. I am surprised that giving in 2010 was so high, considering the nation’s economic recession, though the infographic shows that private giving has been lower in the years following the recession. However, the 2016 Annual Report mentions that 2016 saw an increase in new alumni donors, and if that trend continues, future annual reports might show an increase in total giving.
Internet Research – Favorite Meme
Since I couldn’t think of my absolute favorite meme while working on this portion of the scavenger hunt, I decided to do a Google search to see what’s out there. It did not disappoint.
You may have heard of the botched restoration of a fresco of Jesus, “Ecce Homo.” The original was beautiful. The “restored” image, affectionately referred to on the internet as “Potato Jesus,” is featured in my new favorite meme, a take on the “Do Not Want” theme:
Now that’s funny.
I think an entire dissertation could be written (and it’s possible multiple already have been written) on why memes are important to the internet and social culture. There are so many different types of memes. Some memes are better suited to some situations than others, and some memes are downright inappropriate. But memes have a way of connecting people, when individuals with so many different personalities can find the same video, gif, or picture with words on it to be funny, ironic, or relatable.
People frequently post memes on social media as a way of representing how they currently feel, or in response to what someone else has posted. Memes can provide a way of communicating without coming up with your own words. This practice, of course, has varying degrees of success and can be severely misused. However, when used well, memes can make the audience laugh and feel connected with the person who posted it. Since the internet can be such a scary, cruel place, the laughter memes bring is pretty important to the online world.
One quality I especially enjoy about memes is that they re-contextualize the original image to give it a whole different meaning or reference, as in the “Ecce Homo” meme I shared above, or this lovely Medieval Macro meme that makes my little Star Wars geek heart happy:
That’s a Wrap!
I’m so grateful for the knowledge and skills I’ve gained from this class, and that I had this chance to show my work.