Sam Still Prefers
Just another St. Lawrence University Blogs weblog
Reflection questions
Posted on April 18th, 2010 at 9:30 pm by sjrodr06 and


A. How did you learn to motivate yourself? What drives you? Competition?
Being the “best” at something? For what reasons?

Motivation for me is hard, because even when I know I *have* to do something, I won’t until I feel like it–or until the deadline’s coming up. Competing may some times motivate me, when I feel confident in my abilities to do something. But if it’s something I don’t feel confident in competition will always make me shy away from the task. I don’t think that I’ve ever really cared about being “the best.” That’s not to say that when someone compliments me on my finished work I’m not proud of it or am flattered though.

I don’t know. It’s a little hard to explain. All I know that there’s only two major things that really motivate me; doing things I want to do, and getting things out of the way so I don’t have to think about them anymore.

C. If, as Pink claims, is it so well-documented that the “carrot and stick” model of motivation does not work, and, in fact inhibits innovative thinking in cases of advanced cognitive processes, then why are people still using this method?

Because it’s easy to, because it’s so engraved in our minds to do it that way. It’s like the world being flat vs. the world being round. There was plenty of evidence to support that it was round and yet no one was willing to accept that at first. From what I’ve seen, generally speaking, people are resistant to change.

D. Perhaps more important to our community, why are educational institutions still using “carrots and sticks,” obsessing over rubrics and assessment methods when industry is scrambling to turn out more innovative thinkers?

Wellll I’d say it’s because educational institutions, in themselves, are obsolete. Today people can learn absolutely anything they want to as long as they can read, have access to the internet, and have a library card. Education is already free. The only thing educational institutions seem to provide anymore, that the outside world cannot, is legal documentation stating that one is knowledgeable in the field.

And if that *IS* the case then of course educational institutions are reluctant to change–if they do and try to adopt the ways of modern society they may be rendered wholly useless. And if not useless then the methods they will now have to use to teach will definitely not be as profitable as the way they teach now.
Then again there are pioneer schools such as Sarah Lawrence that try and go against the grain and be more innovative, but I am not really familiar with them so I can’t say very much about that…

Creativity and Innovation

A. What is creativity? What is innovation? Have you ever been creative or innovative?
If so, how did you know? How do you activate that kind of thinking?

To be creative means that you can take something every day and do something new and different with it. For example, a cardboard box. A cardboard box’s purpose is to store and deliver things, it has no other function. With creativity a cardboard box can become so much more; it’s furniture, it’s a child’s playhouse, it a box car–the possibilities are endless. Creativity takes the mundane and transforms it.
Something innovative is something new. It’s something that the world has yet to see and typically it uses creativity to solve an every day problem. An example of innovation can be seen in the evolution of the wheel. The wheel was first created to move things more easily from place to place. Then with the invention of the wagon, the wheel was used to carry things and people easier from place to place. Then with the invention of the car people and things could move much easier (and faster) from place to place and there was no worry about the use of animals. With each new invention a problem was solved. Who knows, maybe the next innovative idea for the wheel will be an automobile that doesn’t run on gas or–who knows. The thing about innovation is, no one can really guess what will come next until it’s invented.
I’d like to believe that I’ve had my moments of creativity and innovation–particularly in times when there was some sort of problem and such ways of thinking were essential. To activate it though…is tricky. You can’t just stick in a key and turn it on–it takes a lot of thought and, usually, time. In my experience the most creative and innovative ideas come out when you feel like there is nothing left you could possibly do–that’s when it hits you! I think maybe it’s because you’ve already weeded out the bad ideas, learned lessons form the decent and good ideas, and have reflected enough to meld all that you have learned together.

B. Do educational systems help or hurt this type of learning?

Generally speaking I’d say hurt, but it depends on the institution and who is teaching.
In a lot of cases education–especially Pre-college education–teaches simply by stuffing student’s faces with random–seemingly useless–information and then grades them on their ability to regurgitate it word for word.
This type of teaching does not encourage independent thinking. It values old same thinking over new creative ideas.

Some conspiracy theorists say this is done purposely to keep the public dumb, but that’s a different topic all together.
You have to admit though they have a point 🙂

A. What does proprietary mean?

I think it means having the ownership of something be it land, a product, or a name.

B. What role can you imagine the notion of proprietary information playing in the act of creativity?

Well watching that talk made me think of the difference between American and Japanese copyright laws, I think this should answer the question. Anyway, in Japan people put out ideas all the time, but (as far as I know) there are no strict copyright laws. So, you’ll have anime (for example) that was put out and then a person, or group, or company will take the characters, the story, or whatever and do their own spin on it. Stuff like this seems to happen all the time in Japan with people just constantly building on new ideas. The worlds of Tenchi are a pretty good example of this
Whereas this happens all the time in Japan, in America we just don’t do that. Someone’s idea is someone’s idea and we don’t really believe in sharing–in fact, sharing is severely frowned upon. If you can’t come up with something on your own then it’s no good. This way of thinking is kind of hypocritical when we look at who and what we value as important. Shakespeare for example was so renowned in his time not because he came up with new and different stories but because he was able to work with EXISTING stories so creatively.

I think we need to go back to our roots.

C. How has the notion of authorship impacted the arts? Is this linked to ideas about “property”?

It’s definitely censored a lot of things and discouraged people to try new things because nobody wants to deal with the law and all the things the law says is wrong or right.

I cheated cus I suck.
Posted on February 16th, 2010 at 1:48 am by sjrodr06 and

Here are my textual propaganda pieces. Not drawn. Cus I’m lame and am easily frustrated by drawing text–especially when I feel I can get more satisfactory results by not drawing.

Drawing 1 – Incomplete
“Natural Lives are overrated.
Turtle Energy makes life all that it’s meant to be.

Wouldn’t you like to have time to work more, play more, do more, see more? Turtle Energy has been proven to cut the need to eat, sleep, and waste completely gradually over a span of 5 years. So what are you waiting for? Start living your life to the fullest today!”

Drawing 2 – Physical. (Photograph later maybe? Don’t really like it…)

Drawing 3 – Incomplete
“Starving kids in Africa have the right idea.

Food = Waste

Stop eating, save your planet. Turtle Energy can help.”

“Drawing” 4
Propaganda Exercise 4

“Drawing” 5
Propaganda Exercise 5

“Drawing” 6
Propaganda Exercise #6

“Drawing” 7
Real #7

“Drawing” 8
Propaganda Exercise #8

Senior Project Preparations
Posted on January 19th, 2010 at 3:35 pm by sjrodr06 and

There is something holding me back from doing this. I don’t know if it’s just pure laziness or something emotional or something supernatural, but there is a barrier in the way of me getting this work done.

And frankly it’s pissing me off.

I have to push my timeline back already because I left my camera at home.
I may still be able to make the March 4th deadline I set for myself if I get everything else I need to do done. Then it’ll just be a matter of splicing in the additional footage. It’s workable.

Thing is though. I know what I NEED to do. I just don’t WANT to do it. UGH. I mean, I want to do it, but…I don’t know. Something is getting in the way. For example, I’m going through the narrative right now trying to plan out what pictures I want where and how I want it to look etc. But I can’t get through it. I have this overwhelming urge to just cry and run away and maybe that’s why I keep distracting with facebook and other crap.

Something in me just doesn’t want to DEAL with this. Something in me has NEVER wanted to deal with this and has always run away and got busy with other things; created new drama to avoid the drama at home.

That’s to freaking bad.
Because I’m going to do what has to be done.
Even if it means me bawling on my keyboard D:


Follow The Stray
Posted on January 12th, 2010 at 11:04 pm by sjrodr06 and

The image kinks at Follow the Stray have been worked out…except that my flash didn’t load on the website properly >_o. It’s aight. At least it’s working. My old domain ( will be used as a serer for my images and stuff 🙂

Now for things to do. (Most of which I can’t until I get back to SLU)


– Fix up flash, add a loading bar.
– Set up a splash page on to redirect to


– Put up Resume
– Set up Portfolio
– Set up Etsy Site
– Fix up Layout

Preproduction Materials & Installation Notes
Posted on December 26th, 2009 at 5:06 pm by sjrodr06 and


What do I want to do?

I would like to learn from my mom the real story about how AIDS was introduced into our family and lives–all the things that were kept a secret from me when I was a child.

Why do I want to do it?

I want to do this because as I get older I learn more and more of the minute details. They have begun to take a toll on me, so much so that they have warped my perception of my parents–in particular my father. I want to see my parents as flesh and bone human beings like me instead of the symbolic gods all children, I think, make their parents out to be.

What effect do I hope it will have?

I am not the only person in the world who has had to watch their family members struggle with a disease while I remain healthy. Though this story is about the disease it is coming from my perspective, the perspective of the “lucky healthy one.” This perspective is rarely heard but I think it ought to be. I hope that my finished work will provide support for those like me–letting them know that it is great to be strong, but it’s OKAY to hurt too. It is our fight too.


Open with narrative and credits, images/illustrations of what is being talked about fade in and fade out. Initial mood of the piece is very light and happy to reflect the tone of the narrative. As the narrative gets darker, so do the images; more saturated, fading in from black slowly fading out into black slowly. Illustrations used to depict darkness. Contemporary photography/photoshopping may also be used.

Narrative ends, title screen comes up on black, go straight into audio of me explaining project to my mom and starting to ask her questions. Title fades off into black, slow fade into video of my mom talking which will also fade into the title of my first section. Audio will fade out as well.

Each section will address a part of the story. I would like the piece to work in chronological order as much as possible. I will end each section with a video blog styled clip of my own reflection.

The sections will continue until the story is complete. These are my assumed sections, though they may change as the piece grows. (These are not the titles either, just the subject matter)

Parents before meeting

How my parents met

When they had me

When they had my sister

Move to Florida

Finding out about AIDS/My brother (? – Not sure of the order in which this happened, to be clarified later)

Puerto Rico/move back to NY

Father’s illness taking hold/death

Life after his death

Move to Manhattan

SMART’s growth and the like (this isn’t exactly in order…)

Life leading up to now

Pictures will be used in the most part to illustrate everything. Video will be used sparingly. Illustrations will be used to show the illness, feelings, mental instability, anything that cannot simply be SEEN, only FELT.

After the story is completed I want a special section on just my family’s reflections to end the piece. Now that the audience knows what we have been through I want to leave them with some insight on how we are doing.
My sister’s reflections may be used for last to end the piece.
Fade out.
Dedication to my Dad and to my grandfather.
Roll credits with additional pictures.


Audio Interviewing process to take place Jan. 2
Photographs and other such materials are in the process of being collected and cataloged. More pictures and video are to be taken throughout the production process.

All interviews and family pictures must be COMPLETED by return to school Jan. 18.


Audio Recorder
Digital Camera
Final Cut
Tablet & Tablet Pen
Adobe Suite (for illustrations–particularly Illustrator and Photoshop)


(I’m not sure what the

Materials collected and Footage done by Jan. 18
All materials scanned and sorted by Feb. 1
Editing and such….
First rough draft of documentary due by March 4
This way when I return from Spring Break I can focus solely on revisions, working out the kinks, troubleshooting, etc. All with a fresh eye 🙂
This may be a bit ambitious though sooo we’ll see how it goes.
Final Product completed by April 15
I’m debating about whether or not I want to show it in the Winston Room or have the viewing wherever my installation is, but I want the viewing to be Sat. April 17th if I can get it all done in time OR Monday April 19th if extra time is needed, though the weekend is preferred.


Note: I am thinking of this in terms of the small gallery just to get the concept down BUT I am flexible and am willing to do this anywhere. Putting it somewhere in Johnson might actually be sort of cool for example, and somewhat appropriate since my project does deal with illness/medicine/etc. Anyway….

On the far wall I want the documentary to be projected as big as possible across it. Surround sound in the room.

In front of that door in the back will be a giant vein like sculpture twisting from the ceiling of the gallery and stretching across the floor. I wish I could remember the installation I saw that inspired this idea, but I’ll explain more about what I want to do with it.
The vein will be made of red, pink, white, and a little blue fabric, yarn, soft material, etc. Twisted up in it will be the artifacts from my life/childhood. It will appear to have torn through the ceiling and stretched across the floor, rooting itself in away. I can imagine it stretching as far as the center of the room. I want it to be as rooty and vein like I can possibly make it.
On the vein I want some sort of black substance it “pollute it.” In order to make this pollution seem more dominant I may have include some black materials in the vein as well. If so I’m think vinyl or some other sort of shiny or slimy or plasticky, non-organic material. I was also considering some sort of black paint (maybe vinyl paint) to swirl in my decorative way across the vein BUT this might be very messy. Wire could be used as an alternative in my decorative patterns to dominant and pollute the vein.
If possible I would like to stencil and cut out my own black vinyl stickers to put on the wall of the gallery, growing from behind my sculpture and spreading out across the walls–not quite reaching the entry, maybe only getting halfway. If I’m able to do this I would like to project my documentary on the right hand wall instead of the far wall so it is not obstructed by the vinyl patterns.
What I would REALLY like to do instead of vinyl however is PAINT my patterns on the wall in black paint–but I don’t know if this would be an option. I know cutting the vinyl the way I want is going to be very difficult considering the intricacy of my designs, but I like the idea because it is easy to maintain and I like the plastic look. However, paint is more appealing to me because I can have more freedom in my design and have more options–such as a dripping effect which would be perfect.
On the walls I would also like to scan and clip out entries directly from my journals and paste them on the wall. I haven’t decided exactly how it should look it–but I know I don’t want them all neatly posted. I’m thinking that maybe the darker entries can appear to swirl through the black mass I put on the wall. The happier entries can be placed in a neat and structured pattern across the untouched areas of the wall.
I liked the idea of connecting the artifacts in the vein to various places in the room so I think if there are any entries of or relating to the artifacts there should be a vein like/web like connector between them.

That’s all the ideas of the installation I have so far.
So here’s what I need to do.

Figure out the skeleton of the sculpture so that it will hold up in the gallery (Amy I will need your help with this definitely). It may need to be supported by the wall/door which is okay with me but I don’t know if it’s okay with the gallery.

Find out permissions for wall painting/stickering so I can plan accordingly.

Collect needed materials to create the vein. This will most likely require a budget. I don’t know how to go about proposing one, but I can start looking up prices and such of the materials I think I will need.

My artifacts and journals are already collected so that’s all set.

Uhm let’s see…timeline.

The Vein will probably take the most time. Once the skeleton is figured out I think I will need to dedicate a month to putting it together–although how we’ll move it into the gallery is another question entirely.

The wall painting shouldn’t take very long at all if I can just paint it on. Maybe a couple of hours. 4 hours at the most I think.

Scanning and clipping out the journal entries shouldn’t take much time either though I’m not sure I can estimate how much time.

Installation done by April 17th, April 19th at the latest.

I’ll scan some sketches when I return to school in January.

Posted on December 17th, 2009 at 1:34 am by sjrodr06 and


UGH –the images ONLY WORK when I’m logged in, I didn’t realize until I got here >_o

Header by ~Chococat101 on deviantART

This isn’t exactly as I wanted it to be because WordPress is actually quite frustrating to work with, to be quite honest. There isn’t much flexibility in building a wordpress website unless you are a programmer and are willing to chalk up some extra dough for programs to run the site.

Needless to say, I am not so willing when there are so many cheaper/free alternatives.

This has been a learning experience for me. I’m happy with my flash header at least, though my hours of frustration with trying to create a website to put it on were less than joyous, haha.

I’m going to keep trying though…I’ve given up on wordpress and am looking for alternatives to turn to. I was reluctant since I had already paid wordpress but…I officially hate them 😀 so I no longer care about my ten dollars.

Final Crits Checklist
Posted on December 13th, 2009 at 11:32 pm by sjrodr06 and

This is more just a reminder to my self and sort out what I need to do before critique.

Finished Posting majority of work.

Have not photographed or posted:
– pasties

Will not post:
– some gifts
– works in progress

Need to finish: (maybe)
– Christina’s arm warmers
– Devil bean doll
– Gargoyle plushies (may become patches instead???)
– Recon Dress

Need to start:
– Other recon work
– crochet bracelets (maybe)

Digital Media
– Finish Flash Header
– Find a way around stupid wordpress restrictions OR another host
– update SLU website with new header
– create/edit wordpress layout

Final Product Proposition
Posted on December 10th, 2009 at 2:55 pm by sjrodr06 and

For my final project I’d like to create my own weblog layout with a (somewhat) interactive flash header for the page.
I have a few idea about how I’m going to do this, I just hope I can finish it in time D:
Posted on December 10th, 2009 at 1:33 pm by sjrodr06 and

My website

It’s kinda worthless right now, but I’m just happy I have it up. I might transfer over this blog to it once I graduate….Iunno…we’ll see.
I’m think while I’m home over break, since I don’t have a webcam (unless I use my sister’s laptop), I’ll track my thoughts on my documentary there.

Gotta dress it up first though. Right now it’s fugly D:

Random Flash Exercise
Posted on December 8th, 2009 at 9:05 pm by sjrodr06 and

Random Flash by ~Chococat101 on deviantART

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