Summer

I am super ready for this semester to be over. I have a week and a half left and it feels like it is going by so slow. I can’t wait for summer, but I also dread it. In college, summer means that all of your friends go home and are gone for several months. I am not looking forward to my friends leaving, but I hope that I will make some more friends that live here in Mobile.

I can’t wait to go to the beach everyday and go to bars. Summer is going to be great.

Mellow

I just recently started a job at Mellow Mushroom and I work in the kitchen. I absolutely love it. It is incredible. It can be kind of stressful when we get really busy, but it is so fun. I love my coworkers and putting food together.

I applied and was hired on the spot. I was nervous at first, but now I am excited to go in. I actually look forward to going in to work.

The uniforms are cute and comfortable. The managers are nice and actually care about your well being. I wish that I would have applied sooner so that I could work there for longer. If you have a Mellow in your town, then you show totally apply! You might love it!

CA 260

CA 260 has been one of my favorite classes this semester. I have learned a lot in this. I have learned about coding, websites, blogs, and so much more. One of my favorite things that we did this semester was creating websites.

Websites can be very important in the professional word, especially in the world of Strategic Communication. Knowing how to successfully create and operate a website will be a huge help in my future career. It will also help when trying to find that career. My website is a good way to showcase myself as a serious Communication major and show potential employers my abilities.

My website is http://dbwilliamsphotography.weebly.com/ and I love the way that it turned out. We have to present our websites to the class on Monday. I am excited to see how everyone’s websites turned out.

One of the best parts of the website project was the design part. I enjoyed picking out what design I wanted and figuring out how to put my pictures on the site in the best way. I wanted to seem professional and organized.

The tools on Weebly were easy to use and it was fun figuring out what the tools did. There was one time that the site glitched up and I had to contact the help service because a feature that I added to my page wouldn’t go away when I clicked on the “x”. The help service contacted me back immediately and solved the problem.

I loved learning how to use Weebly.

SEO

This week in lab, we learned about search engine optimization. I had no clue what this meant until I did a little bit of research and found that it is extremely helpful. I always noticed keywords when I searched for things on google and bing. I noticed that it would pull up articles and pages related to the words I typed in the search bar.

After learning about SEO, I knew that I definitely wanted to use it on my page. I will make sure that my titles on my page are specific so that when people search for those terms my page will be one of the many that pop up. Hopefully, people will click on my site and the traffic will increase.

I will also make sure that my site is easy to navigate. According to Google’s SEO starter guide, “Navigation is very important for search engines. The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important (https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf). If my page is confusing then people might leave it without trying to figure it out or even trying. That is definitely not what I want. I want people to be able to find the things that they are looking for with zero trouble.

I will also make sure that my site has quality content and is interesting. The Google SEO starter guide says, “Interesting sites will increase their recognition on their own. Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it.”

One of the disadvantages to SEO is that your competitors will be able to find your site with ease and step up their game to compete with you. More than just a person’s target audience will see it. This may be good at times, but it can also be problematic.

Marilyn

This is my nana. She is the best person that I know. I took this picture on my birthday this past year. She took me to Rock and Roll sushi (my favorite restaurant) and was writing me out a birthday card. She has always given me the sweetest notes and cards throughout my life for every holiday and birthday. I am missing her a lot today. She is still in Birmingham and being four hours away from her is hard.

Today is her birthday. I wish that I was in Birmingham to see her. I would love to hug her and curl up in bed beside her and watch a movie like I did when I was little. I would do anything to be able to be at her house right now.

My nana has taught me so much about being a woman and always seeing the positive in every situation. She has been my light in a lot of dark times. She says that I am her sunshine and, well, she is mine, too. Her positivity and love stretch out and touch everyone that she meets. Her life is full of friends and family. I hope that one day I can be the kind of person that she is. I love my nana.

My Domain

This week in lab we discussed online privacy and the price of free. It was eye opening in a lot of ways. There are just somethings that I hadn’t thought of until that class.  I will now be extremely careful when posting information about myself if it can be used to hurt me. I don’t really care if people know my thoughts and feelings, but my social and bank information is something I would like to keep to myself.

This week we had to read the following:

One of the assignments for the week was to think of a few domain names for my website and then see if they are taken by searching them on WHOIS. The first possible domain name that I thought of was dbwilliamsphotography.com. It is not currently owned. There are other domains that are similar, but this one is available for $12.99. This is the only domain name that I would be interested in purchasing.

I might buy a domain name for myself in the future if my site picks up and I start bringing in business. If it is a failed project then I don’t want to waste money on it. If it is profitable then not having .weebly might make it look more professional. It might then be worth purchasing.

For now I am going to stick to free services because I am a broke college student and have a lot on my plate. After I graduate, if my site is still profitable, then I might pay for hosting. Then I will be able to spend more time working on it and making it a top priority.

Lullaby

One of my favorite books that I have read is “Lullaby” by Chuck Palahniuk. It has been a while since I’ve read it so I don’t remember a lot of the details. I do remember, however, enjoying it from the time I picked it up to the time I finished it. Mackenzie is reading it and so that sparked my interest in the book yet again. (SPOILER ALERT)

It was a very interesting concept. The death lullaby is what drew me in at first, but it also has a lot of less obvious undertones in it such as questioning the conformity of society. The characters were complex and fun to read about. It was a story that I enjoyed following and I was very curious to see how it ended.

All of the spells were cool and I was hooked. The ending is so good. Oyster is the worst character in terms of personality and morality.

I read online that there was a kickstarter page created so that there would be a film adaptation of the book. Apparently they reached their goal. The link to the kickstarter is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/footsteps/chuck-palahniuks-lullaby if you would like to check it out for yourself. I am excited for the movie if it actually does happen. It was a great book and I think that the movie will be great, too.

Privacy

I am not exactly sure what we did in lab this past week because I was sick and couldn’t go. I am excited to be going back to class tonight and catch up on my work. I hate missing class. It always makes me feel so guilty even though I’ve done nothing wrong.

This week we had to read the following:

And watch this video:

I am always very careful with what I post on social media. I take a minute to think about the post/picture and think about whether or not it might haunt me in the future. As a future communication professional, the issue of privacy greatly concerns me because I don’t think that people actually have privacy. Just because an account is private doesn’t mean that people can’t see it. I know people who use other people’s accounts to look at my account because I am not friends with them on Facebook.

These posts can come back to affect my work/career. I am a teen and therefore do teen things. I might think what I am doing is cool now, but if an employer sees a picture of me doing it then it might make me seem like I am not employable. You have “to be careful about how you represent yourself on social media” (http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/social-networks/what-does-your-internet-profile-say-about-you-3474750/) because employers are always watching.

Changes in the way we view privacy has a huge impact on democratic society. Privacy, in my opinion, seems like it is becoming less and less of a given. People have to go through a lot to keep what they post on social media private.

 

Shell Island

Every year, my family takes a vacation to Panama City Beach, Florida. I have gone every year since I was 2 and therefore, can’t imagine a summer without going. We stay for a week and do your typical family things: eating out, swimming, beach days, blah, blah, blah. Well, for the past three or four years we have been doing something that was new to me and still continues to be exciting.

Now, every year my family will rent a boat and we will take it out to Shell Island to go snorkeling for the day. We see dauphins, jellyfish, stingrays, crabs, sea urchins, blowfish, and so much more every time we go. It really changes the way you think about the ocean. There is just something about actually swimming with these incredible creatures and seeing how they thrive in the wild that gives you a new appreciation for it.

After snorkeling for several hours, we will take the boat to the island and get off. We walk about a quarter mile to the other side of the island. The island is covered with tall grass that blows in the breeze and is only broken by one trail that leads to the other side. The sand is pure white and so hot you have to practically jog across. It always leads to a fun race between the adults and children.

Once to the other side we all just stop running. We stop running, talking, laughing and we just look. I’ve been several years now and I still find the beach mesmerizing. It is almost always empty when we go. Maybe once or twice has there been another small family, but they are usually so far away that they are reduced to just little figures dancing in the sun.

The ocean is cool and refreshing after the walk across the island. Its pale green waves welcome us in and seem to call us. The large waves carry us up and down and the curious fish come to see us. We spend the rest of our day here and enjoy having the ocean to ourselves. It almost feels like we have the entire ocean to ourselves.

Then we take the boat back and watch as the dauphins chase us. The sun sets and we finish off the day with a movie, singing, dancing, and laughing.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

I recently read “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King. I had mixed feelings about the book. I went back and forth between liking it and not liking it. (SPOILER ALERT)

The book starts off and is pretty interesting. It held my attention for a while as King discussed her home life and her love of the baseball player, Gordon. I was extremely excited as I started to read the parts about her being lost in the woods. It was very interesting. My mind raced as I tried to figure out how she was going to get out and get back to her family. I could not put the book down for two days.

However, it quickly turned after she was in the woods for a few days. I grew bored of her routine. The book seemed to drag on. It was very slow after a while. King did something, though, that saved the book for me. He included some weird creature getting closer to her campsite and she eventually sees it.

The parts with the creature were exciting and I looked forward to seeing what the creature was and why it was so interested with her. The scene where she comes face to face with it is my favorite part of the entire book. It was very well written and had my heart racing. After that, the book took another slow turn and the ending was not my favorite.

The book had some parts that I did not enjoy, but I think it was a good book overall and I would probably read it again if I had to.

If you enjoy stories about woods, survival, creatures, and hope, then you should check out this book.