Bye Bye Digital Media :(


I have briefly stopped crying to tell you some very sad news.

Digital Media…….is over.

(But don’t worry Mrs. Huddleston, you still have approximately 1.5 years left of me.)

So once you can get over this sad and shocking news, I have an assignment I must accomplish.

This semester in Digital Media has truly been so fun. The best part was I liked everyone in the teeny class (and Mrs. Huddleston) and we all had a good time together. The fact that Mrs. Huddleston isn’t scared of my sense of humor makes it much funner for me, and hopefully the others got a few laughs out of it.

The projects were surprisingly fun also. The prom project was an awesome chance for me to express my creativity and gave my a good excuse to spend hours in Michael’s…which I do anyway. But I also liked this project because it wasn’t extremely hard or complicated. Everything was outlined in Mrs. Huddleston’s super-organized and helpful way, which made it so much easier to make sure I had everything (which I really hope I did. OH MY GOSH I better have done everythign aklsf;alekjf!!!!) But alas, I understand not everyone is a crafter or enjoys using the paper cutter in the mail room in the office. So for them, this might not be the best project. But you can’t please everyone!

I could go on and on about everything I liked about Digital Media, but that would just tire you. I loved watching everyone’s wonderful 1 in 1000 projects, I appreciated the quiz prep talks two days before the quizzes, I loved the leeway on deadlines, and work days were soso helpful. I loved Digital Media and I wish I could take it again next semester and forever and ever and ever!!!!!!!! (I know how you love exclamation points Mrs. Huddleston!!!!!!!!!!!!)


…the Bad, and the Ugly (part 2 in a design critique)


This just makes me sad. First of all…the name makes me sad. Second, the odd greenish background behind the logo makes me sad. AND the odd little picture show near the bottom makes me sad. So by now basically I’m crying. And to top it all off, the colors are just plain ugly and the navigation isn’t any too sophisticated and the annoying travelling “Mama’s Menu” on the side is nearly unreadable. The worst part is that this is a small business of crafters who I know need all the support they can get.

Mama's Cheesies..which as far as I can tell has nothing to do with cheese.

This website doesn’t make me want to cry, it makes me want to scream. Really loud. Forever. There are BUTTERFLIES flying everywhere. Butterflies scare me. There are about 1,000 different things to click on in 2309482309 different fonts in different colors and so many irrelevant and unconnected messages going on- click here for puppies! Stop illegal invasion!  He is risen! And the most baffling of all: a smoking support banner? This website is just completely odd and looks like it was made by a child with conflicting and strange interests. This website is supposed to be about dogs!

The Horrid Website from Hell

I guess when compared with the last one, this website is refreshingly plain. But since it is not all relative, this website is also very sucky. The maroon and yellow colors are fine, but the blue color of the links is nearly unreadable. But I literally have no idea what is even going on here. Pay attention to picture at the top of their storefront. Yeah, it’s not real. What is this even a website for? Ah, but wait. We can click on some buttons and go to an even uglier website that shows me everything at their auctions!

The World's Most Confusing Plain Website

This one is one of the worst too. The black and neon contrasts hurt my eyes! There are so many pictures and boxes around words that it’s hard to tell what’s what. I can’t even tell if it’s balanced because there are too many colors and it’s just confusing me! I really hope they didn’t pay anyone to make this website, because it really wouldn’t get them any business. (Man, I’m BRUTAL tonight!!) But they did get nearly 50,000 visitors, so that must count for something. They could be a really good business, but their poor website is making them seem very unprofessional.

This is just odd.



And this is what happens when you use drop caps without thinking.



Thanksgiving in my family has been the same since…forever. Every year except for one single time we have gone to my Great-Aunt Faye’s house in Crieve Hall. She is my mother’s aunt, so that side of the family gets together and we eat the same things at the same time every year, and I couldn’t love it any more. The tradition is what means the most to me, and I’ll be heartbroken when it comes to an end. But for now, I’m cherishing the memories and I am so thankful I have so much loving family in town to celebrate with. After a late lunch at Aunt Faye’s, we’re completely stuffed to the brim and I have to ride home with my pants unbuttoned (TMI? Oops, too late. ) After what I hope will be a successful downtime, we will travel another short distance to my dad’s parents’ house in Green Hills. This time, we’ll eat a very similar meal to the one from just hours before, only with different people. My grandma has already decorated her house for Christmas this year, and no one does Christmas like Doots (…yes that really is what I call her.)

**NOTE FOR MRS. HUDDLESTON** The following paragraph involves in depth descriptions of delicious food. Do not proceed if fasting.

The food itself deserves its own paragraph. And while I can’t exactly convey to you the unbelievable goodness of the food we Shanks (and my mother’s side as well) know how to make, I can do my best. First of all is what I look forward the most because I only get to eat it once a year. The macaroni and cheese. And I’m not talking bright-blue-box “the cheesiest” junk, which I also happen to love if it’s in shapes of cartoon characters. This is crazy-good and not a typical food for me to like since it involves interesting and somewhat stinky cheeses. This is one dish that my mom makes that she can’t force into her own mouth, but I love it because of the oodles of cheese and greasy awfulness and the crunchy-buttery bread crumbs on top. Next is my mom’s most famous dish- her mashed potatoes. They are unlike any other mashed potato you’ve ever put in your mouth…that is unless you’ve already had them before. It’s like someone got a potato and some magic fairy dust and put it in the world’s best mashing thing to make the silkiest form of a potato you’ve ever seen in your life. My other favorite dishes include my grandma’s famous biscuits, and any form of vegetable as long as it’s not cooked in meat. The broccoli cheese rice casserole that Doots (yes, I realize it’s still funny to you) makes is to die for, especially when she makes a whole pan just for me without the cream of chicken soup.

So I think I have probably sufficiently bored you talking about food and going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house.  Look out for some other possible blog posts: part 2 of my design critique, nail polish, the weird things I said as a kid, or maybe even my apparent love for parenthesis. Which I didn’t know I had until I started blogging.

Some of the few Thanksgiving decorations we have. Which will soon be replaced by Christmas.

The Macaroni and Cheese. (Before bread crumbs)

Hanging out with Justin Bieber at 1 in the morning...we don't even like him.

The Good…(part one in a design critique)


1. This is an example of a clean and simple design. Because of the clean lines and plenty of white space, it is pleasing to the eye. The alignment of text makes it easy to read and follow along in the order you are supposed to. The color scheme is subtle and soothing.

2. This is an example of graphic design that was created with the reader in mind. The font and images used define what the company is all about. While I wouldn’t ever use this design in my own life, I think it perfectly fits with what these people were going for. The line of spray paint draws your attention down to the forms of contact, and the address on the envelop follows the “golden ratio.” On the top, the letterhead is balanced. Once someone types a letter on the paper, it will be perfectly balanced!

3. This is another example of a really clean, simple design. The alignment of the letterhead makes this very balanced, making it aesthetically pleasing! The red pops against the white and black, making the accents stand out. The red bar at the bottom of the page balances the bottom with the top of the page. The font is very clean and simple and goes perfectly with the theme.

4.This design, created for a Jazz instrument-lessons business, is very similar to the last design. It is simple and clean, and there is a good use of white space. The colors in their logo are complementary, which is another plus, and the fonts go together nicely because they are both sans serif and similarly thick.

5. This is a good example of a layout for a poster. The items that are most important are bolded and larger than the less important details. There is a nice use of italics and boldness that draws your attention to key pieces. The heading really stands out because of the darkness and size of the bar that it is placed on. The colors and the picture in the background are subtle and don’t take away from the main message that the poster is conveying.

Siblings- Gotta Love ‘Em.


Having some fun taking a Christmas card picture.

Carroll Dean, William Carroll, and David Carroll Shanks.

My brother, Will, was born on April 28, 1992. Being my parents’ first born, we have millions of pictures of the cute baby and little boy that he was. When he was two and a half, I came into the picture and the attention was slightly deviated, but he was a good sport. My brother, surprisingly, adored having a baby sister. Unlike most first-borns who ask for their new sibling to be sent back to the hospital, my brother loved having me.

My brother’s name comes from a combination of men in our family. His first name, William, comes from my maternal grandfather’s name. His middle name, Carroll, always surprises people because it is typically a woman’s name. But no, Carroll is actually my paternal grandfather’s name which has been given to multiple males in the family, including my own dad.

The only really interesting thing I can think of about my brother is that when he was a little boy, he used to model. He was so cute! He was in multiple magazine ads and on shopping bags, and acted in a Coca-Cola commercial that never aired. My parents tried to make me do the same, but I was (am) the most stubborn person there is and I did not want to do it! But my brother had a lot of success as a model and we have the pictures to prove it.

My brother has a pizza obsession. Literally. He loves pizza. All the time. Every day. That one food makes up 95% of his food pyramid (or food plate? I hate that new thing.) He also likes playing video games and sleeping. In other, simpler words, he’s your typical teenager! He also has a nack for getting hurt in very odd and painful ways. He’s nearly ripped off a toe and the infamous Rope Swing, broken an arm skateboarding, and broken his pelvis after walking out of a barn while sleepwalking (yes, that’s actually what he told us and what we’re believing.) Fortunately, he now has a job at McAllister’s deli that keeps him busy, and he is literally ALWAYS with at least one friend. And they’re usually eating pizza.

These days, my brother and I don’t play games or run around outside like we used to, but I think that is just a part of being older. I am 17 and he is 19, and we have different interests and schedules. He’s a night owl and I’m an early bird, and he has his job and I have school. Occasionally, I’ll watch him play old-school video games like Zelda or we’ll go out to eat (to a pizza place) with our parents. Sometimes, I wish I had a sister to braid my hair or paint nails with, but in actuality I can’t imagine having anything other than my older brother. Who else would pick me up from school in their 1994 Jeep Wrangler with holes in the ceiling or watch 1990s Nickelodeon episodes with me? No one I know!

Journalists Today and the Challenges They Face


This week in Digital Media we watched the movie Shattered Glass, which is now one of my new favorites. It is centered around a young journalist, Stephen Glass, who goes to extreme lengths to get front-page stories. I want you to see the movie yourself, and I don’t want to give too much away (but chances are if you’re reading this you’re in my class or you are Mrs. Huddleston,) but the things he does seriously hurt his reputation as a journalist. It was based on a true story, and is really intense and fantastic!

This leads me to this weeks topic, which is: What are some issues journalists face today that can seriously compromise their ethics and integrity? The first one that pops into my head is lying. Fibbing, stretching the truth, fabrication, and dressing up a story are all forms of lies. In yearbook, it would be so easy to just make up quotes for all the annoying and rude  busy kids who I’m sure don’t have time to respond to my multiple messages requesting a meager few lines of text. But I know that this has been done in the past, and the error was caught by the student, who was very offended. Therefore, I can’t do that. Plus, lying is just bad so we won’t go there.

Stories in magazines and papers require one thing: interest factor, which leads to the article being read by potentially thousands. Interest factor is found most often in controversy, which is hard to write about as a journalist. Not only is avoiding editorializing very hard, but if the editor you work for asks you to write from a certain angle that you disagree with, that would definitely compromise your integrity and values. For example, let’s say you write for a traditionally liberal newspaper, and your next piece is on abortion, which you are vehemently against, but your readers generally support. Still, your editor wants you to write this piece despite knowing your opinion on the matter. And it’s front page, huge news, read by a million people. Do you write it? You can change the situation and reverse it or change the subject matter to make it relevant to your life, but the question remains the same. If you strongly disagree with your article, do you write it just because it will make you look good as a writer?



Scars are something most of us have, and many of us regard as imperfections. I think of scars and milestones, memories, or battle wounds. I would never choose to use a scar-fading cream or get an expensive procedure done to remove and of my scars, because I think they are special. And while I didn’t get my scars from an ancient African tribe ritual or from a car accident where I was miraculously spared, my scars still mean something to me, no matter how silly the stories are to others. Plus, they make me look really tough and are great conversation starters!

The first scar I ever received and one of the most noticeable is the one below my lip. It is a very small, raised, white scar that I got when I just turned four years old. My parents and brother were going to an FRA open house, and I was staying with my great aunt and uncle. I didn’t want to leave with my mom when she came to get me, and I climbed up on a chair next to the counter in the kitchen. Then the counter turned into a death trap, and I hit my poor cute baby face on the sharp counter. We met my pediatrician (who was at a bar mitzvah) at a parking garage and decided I needed stitches, so he called Vanderbilt. Being the stubborn person that I am, I downright refused to get stitches (lots of tears.) Instead, they glued it up with “Barney glue” which was just purple glue stuff that wasn’t too fun either. But at least I got to watch cartoons, which was fun.

The second very noticeable scar fits like a puzzle piece above my first. It is completely unrelated to my very first scar, but it looks like they could have been gotten at the very same time. I got this scar on New Year’s Eve in 2006 (or was it technically 2007?) I was playing Wii with Ellen Crouch, when it was her turn to “bowl” I went to cuddle with my cat, Cutie. When I went in for a harmless kiss, I was met with a bite. It didn’t really hurt, but it was one of those I’m-so-shocked-I-have-to-cry situations. I ran into the nearest bathroom and looked at my face, and a trickle of blood was making its way to my mouth. Next, I ran downstairs to the small party my parents were having, and I told them in between tears what happened. Since Cutie is an outdoor cat who eats who knows what, we were worried what kinds of germs could be in her mouth and decided to go the emergency room. We got there, and all they did was clean it up a little with alcohol. My mom bought me Mederma for it, which has never been used.

Other scars of mine include one on my toe, my stomach, my thigh, and two on my arm. I cut my toe on the door of a boat, which bled more than you’d think. As one of those kids who has never broken a bone or had a serious injury, I was obsessed with this little cut on my toe. When I got home, I wanted to doctor it up with an Ace bandage, which served no actual purpose. The scar on my stomach is pretty pathetic and possibly inappropriate and incredibly similar to the one on my thigh. I was taking my shirt (in my thigh’s case, it was my pants) and my fingernail just completely sliced my skin. It looks like I had some sort of plastic surgery. Which I haven’t. The scar on my upper arm came from a middle school P.E. locker, which was stupidly designed to be opened from the bottom and lifted up. I opened it, and dropped it right on my arm, and I still have a faint dark mark in a funky shape. One of the “scarier” sounding scars came from an innocent-seeming endeavor. I was outside, at my old house, like always, when my friend came over and asked me to go see this dog with her. It was just down the street, and in my old neighborhood, you could go anywhere with any other kid and have fun. I went to this house, and that’s when the dog attacked me. I honestly don’t remember (because it was so long ago) if it was a true attack, or just a bite. I do remember falling down and being completely terrified, but as a young girl, anything could have frightened me. The scar near my wrist is a little white circle.

Scars for some people are scary or ugly, but to me, they are actually cool. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t ask for them, but I love telling stories about them and asking others about theirs. Next topic- near death experiences? 😉

This isn't a picture of my scar, but it is kind of similar in severity to mine...not too bad.


An example of "ritual scars" in an African tribe.