All posts by Brenda

I am currently working at Germanna Community College, but my dream is to become a pumpkin farmer.

Isabelle McIntosh

It is Chicago in the 40s, and Isabelle McIntosh is a young, twenty-something librarian that doesn’t really call much attention to herself.  The only thing that stands out about her is her striking red hair, which has earned her the nickname of Red.    She wears a lot of black and enjoys staying in the background and just watching people.  Isabelle has many friends, but she isn’t really close to any of them.  She is a very intelligent young woman who believes that women can do any thing that men can do.   Her favorite movie is “Strangers in the Night”.  When she isn’t working at the local library she has her nose in a book, her current favorite is “Three Blind Mice and other Stories” by Agatha Christie.  There is nothing that she loves more than a good mystery.   Often when she is deep in thought she fiddles with her favorite four leaf clover pin that she always wears.  It seems to be a nervous habit and her friends know that she is in her own world when she has her fingers  on it.   Isabelle lives alone in a small apartment that is cluttered with books and newspapers.  Currently the only thing she has in her fridge is a few Grape Nihi’s and some left over french fries from dinner last night.  She usually just picks up something to eat after work on her way home.

Noir or not?

When asked what I thought Noir was, my first thought was that it was my first thought, was just dark detective stories from the 40’s but I see now that that isn’t quite it. I read “The Postman Always Rings Twice”, “The Killers” and ” the Shadow” all of these talked about murder and vendettas. All of the stories were interesting but none of them had characters that you would really have much sympathy for.
Cora, in “The Postman Always Rings Twice” is a gold digger who married a very naive Greek man and Frank was a drifter that used people and preyed on their innocence. I was sad to see that by the end of the story he had finally realized how much he loved Cora, but that was the only part of it that made me sad.
In “The Killers” you didn’t really get a good grasp of the characters. The reader does start to wonder what Ole Andreson had done to make him a target for killers, but this answer is never given. You pity him for the position he is in but you also wonder if he has done something to deserve his fate.
The “Shadow” is very dramatic and dark, and you can feel the suspense in the room. You want Dr Evans to be ok, because he helps kids and this makes him a very sympathetic character.
After reading the three of these I still think that “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is a Noir story, not quite as dark and suspenseful, but it has a lot of the same elements that I read in the three stories.

1 down, 15 to go

Hi, my name is Brenda Levoy and I’m working my way diligently thru the 1st assignment, this has been a really interesting process and I am way out of my comfort zone.  I have only posted on Facebook, so all these new programs are really foreign to me.  I decided to start with Twitter, I thought that would be the easiest one.  It was a little intimidating but I sent my first tweet.  Here is my first awkward post

Next attempt was Flickr, it wasn’t really bad and I added my 5 photos.









Next I did SoundCloud, that was very weird to me because I don’t often post pictures of myself and I am sure my voice doesn’t really sound like that, but,  here is my intro to that site.

My last site, and I do think I saved the worst for last was YouTube, I had this great idea to upload a PowerPoint but found out after a lot of work that they don’t let you post a PowerPoint.  I figured out how to change it to an appropriate file, but that sure was a lot of stress.  Here is that introduction.

Last, but not least, what is my impression of Noir.  What comes to mind at first is the old movies with the woman in distress trying to contact the private detective to solve some problem she has.   I watched several of the videos referenced and did the reading.  It seems that it is just a way of presenting something dark and dangerous.  I remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon from when I was a kid, and I had never seen Courageous cat before.  Both of these just had your generic gangsters in them.  I also listened to the “Suspense” video called Ghost Hunt, the music was extremely dramatic and added to the suspense.   It is very interesting to listen to the announcer loose his mind.  I watched the show, “Pretty Little Liars” the Shadow Play episode, I hadn’t watched it before so I am unfamiliar with the plot line.  It was strange how she took the medication and the whole cast moved to the 40s.  The last one looked at was “Nightmare Town”  this was a short story and it is very descriptive and suspenseful.

A film I think would be considered Noir is “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, I don’t know for sure, but after viewing all the movies and videos it is the first one that comes to mind.  It is dark and mysterious at times and seems to follow a lot of the Noir style.

My weekly summary would be a really frustrating one, it has been a long week of confusion and questions.  I think I have just about everything figured out now and I look forward to this Bootcamp ending.    I think the hardest part was figuring out how to do this blog.  I have never blogged before and it has been a frustrating experience.  I really feel that things will better from here on out.



3 down, 13 to go

I started this week learning more about photography and how it can tell a story.  This really something I had never thought of before.  It really changed what I saw when I looked through the viewfinder.  Here is that written assignment

“Visual Storytelling”

This has been a great week.  I never realized how much I enjoyed taking pictures, especially black and white photos.   I really enjoyed the photo safari, here is the link to  that assignment.

Noir Safari

Here is a picture that I took while working on this assignment.  I was so excited on Wednesday morning when I saw the beautiful sky through my bathroom window.  I rushed and finished getting dressed and ran out the door and snapped some pictures.  I was so happy with them.  I finished getting ready for work and I got in my car and drove to work.  The picture below is what I saw when I got to work that morning.


I think maybe, just maybe, I got a little too excited when I saw that beautiful scene.


The next assignment I did was watching a few Noir movies.  They were all dark and pretty disturbing, but I think I got a good sense of the genre.    I watched, “The Man Who Wasn’t there”, “Killers Kiss” and “Chinatown” I tweeted to get help for the assignment and received a few answers.  I realized that there are people out there just trying to get you to download their software.  I went to the link in the DS106 Handbook and that was perfect for me.  I need to check there whenever we do an assignment  because I don’t know what I don’t know until I need it.   Here is my post for that assignment.

Reflections on Noir

I worked on my 10 stars, it was easier this time, I enjoyed putting the posts together.  The first one required me to photograph what was in my 1940’s character’s bag.  This took a lot of thought, but it helped me to understand my character more.  Here is that  3 point assignment.

“What’s in the bag”

For 2 points I did an acrostic picture.  I’m getting better at this because I have mastered this by putting my pictures into PowerPoint changing it to a jpg and saving it to Flickr.

“Acrostic” Picture

For 2 more points I did the “Make-up your Pet” assignment.  I don’t wear a lot of make-up and so I went a little crazy putting some on my cat Madison.  I used “Paint” to do it, I found that if I zoomed in to 800% it was really easy to add the colors where  I wanted them.  I think she looks a little cheap, but I needed the 2 points.

“Make-up Your Pet”

I earned my last 3 points doing the Visual Assignment “3 Frames of Love”  This was easy because I just used pictures from my life.  I love my family very much and these pictures show the beginning of my family all the way to a family trip we just took in May to Universal Studios in Florida.

“3 Frames of Love”

I did my 3 Daily Creates, they were harder this time.  I kept skipping the ones I didn’t think I could do and that got me into quite a pickle.  I need to attempt to do them daily and not be so intimidated by the unfamilular assignments.

First I did the 2048, this took me a long time, I kept trying to put pictures in the squares, but I couldn’t get them to load. I ended up loading JPEGs and it worked great.   Luckily another student in this class helped me figure it out.  Here is that assignment:


Next I had to find a household item and explain how to use it.  This one I did in PowerPoint and it wasn’t too difficult and I got a great tasting loaf of banana bread in the process.


My last daily create assignment was to draw a picture without lifting the pencil.  I am not very artistic so I decided to draw a tree.  I took a picture of my drawing and posted it on Flickr, this process is getting pretty automatic and I’m feeling more comfortable with my ability to complete this class.

“Drawing without picking up your pencil”

Lastly I updated my category list.   This was pretty easy, the hardest part was changing the current category’s of the existing posts.  I figured out that if I title my links and then link the URL it give a lot better looking link.  I really feel that my knowledge and skill have increased greatly with the passing of this week.