- First Place & People’s Choice Award:
The judges’ decision as explained by Nicholas Felton:
It’s odd because every year someone will request that I make some sort of online tool that will allow others to make annual reports that look like mine. But what’s great about all of your entries is that the design of them is just as communicative as the data.
That said, I do have my biases for clarity of communication, and I was impressed by the submission of Iain Campbell. But it’s not just the polish of his entry that I admired. I appreciated how he focuses on the areas that define him, and I am reading a great story in his entry.
- Second Place:
The judges’ decision as explained by Paul Williams:
A collection of deeply personal but highly interesting data, that was developed into truly thought provoking design. Mixed typography colour, size and font with coloured graphical highlights really worked exceptionally well with such muted and clean backgrounds. The themes of indecision, travel, change and hope all intermingle to give this year in report form give a priceless insight into Sameer’s personal journey this year. Overall the fun really stands out in this entry, snapshots of moments that transport us on a path of discovery about music, and friendships (both new and old). Outstanding was the cry from this judge.
- Third Place (tie):
Arthus Erea &
Category: my annual report
We’re waiting for one more judge to weigh in, which is cool, ’cause he’s had his hands tied up with his own annual report until recently. After that we’ll summarize a few things and close this one up until next year.
Until that announcement, here’s some miscellany I wanted to put out there:
The Faculty Room
Just for the dy/dan completists. I’m a contributor over at The Faculty Room, a blog run by Grant Wiggins, who I guess is kind of a big deal. It’s like a LeaderTalk for, uh, well, um, well just what the hell demographic are we over there?
I’m gonna keep it up in spite of the motley company simply because Meg Fitzpatrick’s writing prompts bring the heat every time. This week’s was especially solid and kinda got me going on two familiar fronts:
Stephen King once said of writing, “I don’t believe writers can be made… the equipment comes with the original package.” Is this true of teachers?
You can find my response here:
If any deception was ever perpetrated upon the teaching community – particularly upon its new and preservice members – it’s the lie that teaching is an art, when, in fact, teaching is equally, if not moreso, a profession deeply rooted in the scientific method of try, fail, adjust, and try again.
The 36 Exposures Contest
Great contest prompt. Great ethos behind the prompt:
In the analog era, when we had to pay to see what we shot, we were more careful when we took photographs. This forced a discipline that is hard to imagine today. In the words of Stephen Shore, “[Today] there seems to be a greater freedom and lack of restraint … as one considers one’s pictures less, one produces fewer truly considered pictures.”
So File magazine accepted 100-word story submissions. They sent one 36-exposure film canister
The contest ends January 31. I imagine you’ll find a link here once the winners are announced.
Best Media Artifact Of My Year
This being my first full year with a reader, I know I’ve consumed more media than in any year previous. I wish, then, that I had done a more dutiful job cataloging the good and the great but since I haven’t, I’ll dispense with a comprehensive year-end list
It’s an MIT production from 2006 (linked up in 2007 by David Simon) called “TV’s Great Writer,” a moderated Q&A with David Milch, who wrote for Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, Deadwood, and John From Cincinnati, most recently.
His shows feature some of the most unapologetically immoral characters on TV, but theirs is an extremely complicated immorality, one that doesn’t reflect a lack of moral fiber but rather a rejection of it
Milch walks that line with tremendous balance, enough to have won the Humanitas Prize – the Catholic Church’s prize for film and TV writing which “seeks to promote the full realization of humanity” – three times.
Two segments of this interview worked me over every time I heard them.
- The first (length: 2:17; beginning at 19:14 and excerpted here) details his contempt for and eventual reconciliation with the same priest who awarded him the Humanitas prize year after year.
- The second (length: 7:57; beginning at 1:49:47 and excerpted here) is a nuanced description of America’s indiscriminate tendency toward TV and how that tendency basically doomed public perception of the war in Iraq from its onset.
This media criticism comes, of course, not from a clucking, self-appointed cultural critic but from a master of that media.
I’m writing this while my kids sweat my final exam, a semester-end rite-of-passage which, over the years, has seen a steep decline in the weight I give it, both in my head, and on my students’ grade sheets. This sucks because they’re no less cumbersome to administer.
This being my second year of blogging, I’m noticing some cyclical themes to my output. For example, from Finals Fever!, posted almost exactly a year ago:
Now they’re a nuisance. My exams are worth a paltry 10%, simply because I’ve already assessed my students so much.
I know what my students know about Algebra and Geometry. In fact, if any grade out of any of my three classes rises or falls by a letter grade or more, I’m buying drinks for the entire blogosphere.
There are better ways to spend this time, I’m positive. Better ways to end a semester than this.
Great show. We received as many entries here as in the first contest in spite of a significantly steeper learning curve. You people have heart.
- Enjoy the entries. Please direct specific feedback to the linked blogs and general observations here. The judges will get back at you Wednesday, January 16, with their thoughts.
- Submit your candidate for People’s Choice Award. E-mail dan [at] mrmeyer [dot] com. Set your subject to “People’s Choice.”
The judges have ponied up a second prize (same subscription, same great magazine) for the candidate the crowd finds most deserving. The polls are open for 24-ish hours, until 23h59, Monday, January 14, Pacific Standard Time. One vote per person.
For your consideration:
I look forward to constructive feedback. I’m still not too sure about the colors.
Do you think the judges will notice that I have five slides in a four slide contest?
I’ve had sketches for a week and the deadline’s in two hours. Sneaking it in before getting the last grades in and getting some sleep.
My four slides represent the connectedness I’ve found through my blog; some of our home electronics; a quick snapshot of my school district; and, always at the center of it all, my family.
I liked this contest because it made me think about the year in a way that I hadn’t before. I think that is what we are always trying to do as teachers anyway.
I considered not posting my entry here because it takes a, shall we say, whimsical interpretation of the subject.
In an act of sleep-defiance unwise before an exam week I stayed up to make my annual report for Dan’s contest.
here is a more post 9-11 color scheme for the same graphics
I may not be the best entrant, but I’m guessing I’ll be the only to have actually done work on an annual report for a Fortune 500 company.
I will say that the more I do, the better I start to see ways to improve presenting what I want to say.
I choose to create an annual report about my media consumption.
The idea came together when I was miles above the earth somewhere over Siberia.
Initially, I was going to compare my running and watching habits. “Maybe there’ll be a pattern,” I thought. “Surely my running and watching are inversely proportional.” A few graphs later, that didn’t pan out.
It’s the result of a few days pondering, and more hours with photoshop than I would care to mention – or can really afford at the moment …
It was also inspired by A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario”.
Anyway, it really made me think – some parts I think turned out OK and other parts I know are as dodgy as can be.
I was amazed by how little I track what I do and, often, how little access I could get to my own data (which I know the companies are tracking).