Editor's Note: The final element of the Unfamiliar Genre Project is the student's reflection on the experience of researching and working with the genre they selected. After writing his article "A Walk in Catholic Mount Angel," Luis Trujillo offered this reflection.
Final Reflection Unfamiliar Genre Project: Art Review
My choice of genre for the Unfamiliar Genre Project was to explore an art review. I think that the overall experience of working on this project has been enjoyable and expanding to my academic skills. What I mean by academic skills is I revisited academic skills learnt throughout my career of studies such annotating works, notetaking, reading the newspaper, working with MLA, interviewing, and working on conciseness. In addition I would add taking pictures and editing them, something I had never really had time to do.
I have learned to be more concise in my writing, as well about as MLA formatting and punctuation. I learnedd to work on good titles, implementing people and verbs. Along the same lines, I learned how to better use quotations in an effective way. An example might be to help make a point for me instead of writing it out. I do not think its possible to leave out the elements of good journalist ethics by Kovach and Ronsenstiel and how they apply to our duty as writers and as readers.
I have learned that I went into a couple of different genres. While working on my project the first one was in the category of art, and the second was in the category of photo review. This was because my project consisted in the reviewing of artwork and taking pictures that encapsulate the interest of viewers. From the art reviews I read I learned that descriptive information as well as critique is what makes up most of the review's content. In art reviews I also learned that the artist and the location of the piece are always represented in the review. Art reviews are at times very enthusiastically written, especially if they are displayed at an exposition. In the photo reviews that I was able to read, I learned that angles, shading, and location of whatever is being photographed are key components. Most of the photo reviews are very short and are mostly pictures with concise informative headings or captions. I believe that the biggest part was actually putting research in practice; it was a temptation to stick to reading just one newspaper as a source. I ended up reading from the news, subscribing to blogs, reading magazines, and researching on the web.
I finished my project as a hybrid of the two genres, photo and art review. I used techniques I saw in many of the art reviews which gave a tour via review in different locations. Popular reports came from the recent visit of the Pope to the United States, which caused great awe. I was able to read reviews of the places he would be celebrating mass in like the Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. and even the furniture he was going to be using.
My overall experience is that I was able to take a big concept and in a creative way include two genres. In my project I went from having a review of all the artwork in all the chapels of Mout Angel to focusing it to the heart of the journalism class, which is focused on the students and staff of Mout Angel Seminary. I am overall happy with my finished project
I think this project taught me about community life in many ways. I was able to get an overall understanding of the attitudes and responsibilities of a good writer and how to be responsible with my audience. I think that also plays into the other projects we had in class like writing the news briefs and the profile and even the obituaries. More specific to my Unfamiliar Genre Project, I would say that because my project had me interview and visit different communities it taught me about different levels of living in community as well as some of the spirituality particular to them, not to mention the history of their order and residence.