akoym17's blog

VIS 218 Process Journal Week 11

Long Story Short: "no excuses needed" was held on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Participants were invited to a private Zoom call via a Discord message to join in their own time. The event lasted for about four hours, with attendees coming and going at an informal pace.

The Nitty Gritty: This past week my thesis was due, so I knew I wanted my gathering to happen on Sunday so that I could rest and recharge before hosting. I put a lot of thought into what I wanted the purpose of my event to be even though I came up with the bare bones of its structure early on. What I settled on was this- my event would be a space for underclassmen in my eating club to gather and form new bonds based upon similar entertainment interests.

I chose this purpose after talking to some sophomores and realizing that they still did not really know each other despite being in the club for about two months now. I hoped that, through my gathering, the sophomores would be able to find somebody with similar interests to their own or who introduced them to something interesting, both of which makes somebody more memorable to you and makes you more likely to approach them in the future. The seniors and juniors were also invited to the event, but I had less hope that they would attend due to thesis and junior paper deadlines.

I feel that the purpose of my gathering lent itself to a connection with my gathering, so I reflected that in its name: "no excuses needed" to follow up "excuse my enthusiasm." This name was selected because I thought back on my own sharing of my obsessions and found that I was not sorry in the least about sharing with people what I've enjoyed lately. I wanted this feeling to transfer to the participants of my gathering as they shared their own entertainments.

I ended up going with Zoom for my event due to logistical reasons. Discord would have been a great platform for us to gather, if not for the fact that its voice and video channels are subpar quality. I knew that my event would need separate rooms/channels with different genres to discuss a form, and Zoom could handle that workload.

I had a loose schedule for the event, as the different forms of media would take different timings to get through. Plus, I knew that a Sunday night event would need to be flexible as people finished dinner, took a study break, relaxed before the week ahead, etc. When somebody entered my main room, I would welcome them and invited them to join any of the breakout rooms. Shorter entertainment types, like the music room and the other room (which ended up being mostly YouTube), had a quick pace and participants could join these rooms for a light commitment in staying. The longer forms, in my movies and television shows rooms, required a longer commitment to stay and had a lesser turnover of participants visit. By about 10:40 p.m. EDT, I noticed that people had stopped joining and those who had stayed were slowly but surely trinkling out. I ended up closing the empty rooms and had the others wrap up their activities so I could end the call at 11:00 p.m. EDT.

If I held this again, I would change the start time of the event to a “weekend” night, so Friday or Saturday after dinner instead of a Sunday. Beyond that, I think I'd love to do an electronic guest book of different media so that the individual interests are recorded for the participants afterwards. As is, I had a Google form a few filled out that serves as my guestbook for this first gathering. The form was simple, asking participants to simply answer, "What [media] have you been enjoying lately?" with their answers falling into these categories: music, movies, tv shows, social media, books, games, or other. A visualization of these responses can be seen on my Are.na at https://www.are.na/share/puUVNzL.

Overall, I am glad I hosted "no excuses needed" after I completed "excuse my enthusiasm." Talking to the underclassmen was a great way to reset my perspective after thesis and gave me some new media to check out in my PTL. The gathering was very chill to host and required not a ton of effort, which I really appreciated, but was successful in bonding participates, which they appreciated.