Alternative story line: Spy Step-Kids

Carmen and Juni Cortez grew up with their parents separated while the kids were very young, say newborns. The weight of the child births broke the marriage of their parents. Their father took Carmen while their mother took the younger son, Juni.

The two grew up not knowing the other existed, but both followed in the steps of their parents and joined OSS. Not wanting to disrupt their paths up the OSS chain, their parents decided to withhold their relationship from them. Cortez is a relatively common last name, any way.

In training in OSS, Carmen and Juni get to know each other and develop a rivalry and by the time they reach the first movie, are full-fledged enemies. The events of the first movie force the two into working with each other and in doing so, find many similarities between the two of them.

Just before their rivalry shifts into a romantic connection, their parents join in on the mission because they are needed to take down Alexander Minion. As a result, their true relationship becomes clear and the two are grossed out, upset, confused, and angry at their parents.

They get the bad guy and everyone lives happily ever after.


Kurt Vonnegut: please be my dad

In starting to watch Kurt Vonnegut’s lesson on story lines, I was not expecting a refreshing taste of comedy and accuracy. But by the end, I was totally on board with his points.

And to reference Kingsman yet again,  the curve where Kurt described the Cinderella story seemed applicable to Eggsy. Eggsy started below the X axis and worked his way up very high, then came crashing down before ending at an off-scale level of happiness (meaning when he has anal sex at the end *spoiler alert*).

It was a great graph that I hadn’t thought of in a linear fashion yet. I knew most movies recycled the same story-telling methods, but seeing them graphed out made it much easier to relate to movies I have actually seen. Well done, Kurt.

Kingsman: The Secretly Great Movie

I was so excited when I saw Kingsman on the list of movies to blog about. I can honestly say it was the first spy movie that I was fully invested it. I’ve referenced it already a few times in my blog posts, but haven’t gone too in depth on the movie itself.

What sets it apart for me is the action sequences. Whereas most action movies have very quick, choppy action scenes, Kingsman chose the more difficult and expensive route of better shot, longer fight scenes. This makes it much easier for fans to enjoy without suffering from an aneurysm.

The other thing that sets it apart is its ability to make a contemporary spy movie but with classic elements of secret agents. The movie is set in Britain, like many other spy movies, and the main characters sport nice suits. In fact, the suits are made out to be a big part of the secret agent persona in the movie, almost overplaying the suit cliche. But even with these classic, old fashioned cliches, the movie makes it contemporary by slipping in a McDonald’s cameo, mentioning climate change, playing up the cell phone reliance of the world, and having an increased technological arsenal.

Kingsman also breaks the fourth wall at one point, where the big bad, played by Sam L. Jackson, says “This ain’t that kind of spy movie,” and shoots one of the main good guys in the head.

The combination of epic fight scenes, contemporary and classic elements, and humorous cliches, makes Kinsgman my all-time favorite spy movie. 10/10 would recommend.

Week 2 summary – The internet is getting less scary

When Scooby Doo and Twitter at the center of my homework for the week, I know it’s going to be a fun week.

And it was, but I feel like I left a lot on the table. Given better resources, I feel like I could have made the things I made just a little better. (I also missed out on one of the Daily Creates, my bad).

10 Seconds of Thanks

The above post was a lot of fun because it allowed me to learn a little about myself, which I wasn’t expecting. It was really fast and really easy, but put a lot of things into perspective for me and reminded me what’s important in my life. I wasn’t expecting that in a digital studies class, but it was a nice surprise.

I feel like a professional troll

This is one where I feel like I could have been a little more creative, but had a lot of fun with regardless. I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED WHERE THESE FAKE TWEETS COME FROM and I’m so glad I finally got in on the action. I layout my process of making the tweet in the post above.

I’m rather proud of this one (Warning: may threaten your masculinity)

This is another from the assignment bank that was a lot of fun. I like assignments that let me be humorous, and this was definitely one of those. I wanted to be artsy, yet witty, and I feel like I achieved that. I laid out my process in the post above.

This is another where I feel like I could have been a bit more creative. My photoshop skills are VERY limited but after looking at some of the other creations, I feel like I could’ve been a bit more adventurous. I tried to find a picture that really reflected who I am, but went with this one instead. The hardest part about this one was finding a computer with photoshop, which is harder than you think. After that, I had no shortage of photos of my face to choose from, and the rest was pretty easy for a beginner like me.

Another one of the Daily Creates. This one was fun because I had no say in my nickname and I think the internet did me a solid on this one. I used a site I used for another assignment, Canva, to make the “business card” and instantly thought of the catch phrase from “Kim Possible” and combined it all to make a badass Hardass calling card. I used the black and white theme of the spy cliche and added a magnifying glass for some context.

What really challenged me this week was creative thinking. With so many options to choose from on the internet and inspiration all around, it’s hard to pick out that one, perfect idea when given an assignment. I think I got used to it by week’s end, but it was still hard. The funnest part was customizing my web page, which I probably am not done tinkering with yet. Once I figured out the different ways I could change the main page, I spent an hour changing it around without even realizing the time that had passed.

Until next week, this is Agent Hardass, signing out.

I’m rather proud of this one (Warning: may threaten your masculinity)

This one wasn’t easy, despite having only two stars. Finding the right photo was hard enough, but finding a good quote was even tougher. Even though it’s not a very well known spy movie, the movie “Spy” (clever name) had the best quote I could find, which came from Melissa McCarthy. I chose my favorite spy character, Eggsy from “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and a spy to attribute it to that wasn’t James Bond, because that’s too predictable.

I chose Canva as my source of putting the text on the picture. It’s a very easy website to use with a lot of creative options for free and works well for the technologically challenged, such as myself. Once I found the pieces I wanted to use, the actual creation of the graphic was easy and fun. Choosing a font that was fancy to contrast the vulgar quote was 100 percent by design, and I’m proud of that. Why the quote itself may not be common-place in the spy community, I hope that one day this graphic will help bring to it the attention it deserves.

I feel like a professional troll

For a while, I’ve wondered how people so expertly create fake tweets from celebrities, most recently being Donald Trump. I found this in the assignment bank and was instantly drawn to it. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to apply our spy theme and came up with what I thought was a pretty funny tweet.

classtools (1) file:///C:/Users/Chris/Downloads/classtools%20(1).pdf

I looked through some older examples of fake tweets for an idea of what to do. The site, Twister, is a lot of fun and easy to use. It even laid out some instructions for me, which made it a lot easier. I bounced around some different ideas in my head but went with James Bond to fit into the theme. I wanted to use a well-known reference from his movies and also maintain his rugged attitude, which I feel like I accomplished in the tweet.


10 Seconds of Thanks

Below are are of the things I could type in 10 seconds that I’m thankful for. In hindsight, I should have added Joe Biden’s dank memes, but those 10 seconds went by too quick for me.

  • My health
  • my girlfriend
  • my family
  • dog
  • running
  • coaches
  • teammates
  • UMW

This was a fun and interesting mission because I learned about myself during it. I cleared my head before I hit my timer so that what came to my mind was real and authentic, not rehearsed. I pulled up a Word Doc to make it faster to jot down ideas and I think this list is pretty indicative of my life and what I’m thankful for right now in my life.

Week 1 Summary: So. Many. Passwords.

I’ve always had difficult with Google, in the sense that it is so integrated into everything on your computer. I use Google for other roles in my life as well. For example, I am the editor of the school newspaper and have two Gmail accounts associated to it, so adding a third was not a simple task. But once I got through the barrier of setting up my different accounts for the platforms I wasn’t already familiar with, the rest was pretty simple and fun. I already begin to feel as though I have an identity on my social media platforms.

Below are my WordPress blog posts so far. Setting up my domain was probably the hardest part of the week. When I first tried, it appeared as though my past self already made a domain, but I didn’t remember it. Eager, excited, freshman year Chris probably jumped on it and never returned. But after a while of fiddling, I went to the DKC and they set me up in a flash. I left very confident and with the world making much more sense. I’ll definitely be going back throughout the semester.

Thoughts of the class theme: TOP SECRET

Reading summary: a “listicle” I actually loved

Testing, testing. Is this thing on?

Below are the different media that I created this week. Some of these were a piece of cake and others were very foreign and probably not very good. I’m hoping that by the end of the semester I can close that gap by a lot.

For this Flickr post, I chose one of my favorite pictures on my computer. Not only do I look fast as hell (which I’m not), but it’s a pretty solid representation of my running career. I’m holding a baton, which means a relay, which means teammates. I’ve always seen running as a team sport, even though it’s not and this idea is very important to me. This was also during my sophomore year, which was the peak of my college running career.


Next is my YouTube video. With my lack of digital skill and available resources, I decided to do something simple. I wanted to give the ds106 folks a look into my personality and decided to give a tour of my room, which accomplishes just that. I started by laying on my bed to show off my laid back personality. Some of my most prized possessions were shown off in the video and give a good glimpse of who I am.

My first Soundcloud “like” was a song that really caught my attention. I started by scrolling through my favorite genre, indie rock. The title of the song, “idk love,” caught my attention because of it’s informal and simple nature. It had a nice beat to it and was really catchy, I just wish it was longer because it ended very quickly.

Twitter, as opposed to the other media above, is something I am very adept to and enjoy a lot. I’ve tweeted almost 10,000 times, which honestly sickens me, but that also means I have a certain identity on Twitter. Therefore, I wanted to give my audience a heads up that for the semester, I would be using my Twitter for my class.  Yes, there’s a typo, and I left it on purpose because I’m notorious for having typos in my Tweets. I normally delete them, but I’ll let this one stay. I say “rediscover myself” because I want to hopefully find a stronger online identity by the end of the semester.

Overall, I had a lot of fun working on this assignment, once I got through the mucky part of actually setting up the accounts. Hopefully my work becomes more flashy and creative as we go along and tie into the theme more. With my handy notebook of passwords and usernames at my side, the mission should be swiftly executed.




Thoughts of the class theme: TOP SECRET

I’ve never been in a class with a theme, but I’ve never bee in an online class either so I guess it comes with the territory. With the last name of Bond, I’m surprised Professor Bond hasn’t already used this theme before and channeled his inner James.

I’m not a huge secret agent movie fan. Action movies have too many car chances and explosions for me. My favorite, however, is a relatively new secret agent movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service. Starring Taron Edgerton, Colin Firth, and Samuel L. Jackson, it’s a great cast with a unique take on the idea of secret agents. The filming is much easier to follow than traditional action films.

If that movie could get me interested in action spy movies, than I can get behind the theme for the class. In high school, I worked on our yearbook, which of course had a new theme every year. We practiced ways to incorporate the theme into the pages of the book, so I understand the practice of incorporating a theme and am looking forward to the creative freedom that will come with it.

I like using cliches just for the sake of using cliches. I find a humorous irony to using them on purpose, and I feel like there are many cliches derived from spy movies. When I think of spy movies, I think also of a lot of creative visuals that are associated with it, such as explosions, color themes (red and black), sunglasses and suits, all that jazz.

With a picture of it in my head, I can see how this theme can be pulled into my online presence. Whether or not I successfully implement those ideas is a completely different discussion. For that, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Reading summary: a “listicle” I actually loved

By Chris Markham

I’m a journalism guy. It’s my major and it’s one of the things I would like to do with my career. As it relates to sports, I want to write articles and tell stories about athletes, games, teams, etc. I have a fine appreciation for articles and journalism as a whole.

My first thought when I opened this was “Oh God, another listicle. If this is Buzzfeed, I swear.” Although this was a “listicle,” I loved it a lot. I love pieces that drive home a point and are motivational or inspiring in a way. Buzzfeed talks about cats and Park and Rec.

One of the points that Kleon makes that stuck with me the most is “Teach what you know.” I’ve always been a fan of giving back, and other than being a sports journalist, I would also love to be a coach. I know the sport of track and field, I’ve done it for a long time. To teach young people what I have gained through my experiences would be the privilege of a lifetime. I think Kleon is also referring to teach from the heart. If you know something and know it well, then it is most likely a passion of yours. If you aren’t passionate about something, then those you are teaching would become disinterested or resentful of the subject.

Another one I LOVED was “Learn to take a punch.” I think people my age right now are way too tin-skinned and expect the world to fall into their perfect image of it. On this day, the inauguration of Donald Trump as our President, that idea is on display more than ever. While I am no Donald Trump supporter, I think it’s important to accept what we cannot control and adapt to it. Taking punches is more important than avoiding them. That is how we grow and learn in life.

The last one that hit home to me was actually the last one, “Stick around.” This made me think of a quote from The Office, “You don’t know you’re in the good ole’ days until you’ve left them.” Sticking around, whether it be a job, a team, a friend group, what have you, allows you to build a legacy, make memories, and develop relations. There were times where I thought about leaving the cross country and track team at UMW, but I didn’t because I thought of the regret I would feel if I reached senior year and wasn’t a part of that family any more. Finishing anything you start is so important. It weeds out bad habits and develops good ones.

I really enjoyed this article and plan to use elements of it in my daily life and for this class. I was surprised by the simplicity of the topics but also how well it relates to the work we will be doing for this class.