The Practitioner’s Hat

Hello there. My name is Georgia Iris Salvaryn. I am a junior transfer student at Montclair State University. I am majoring in Journalism and minoring in Chinese. On my spare time, I write poems, short stories, and enjoy drawing and photography. With my hobbies and career goals in mind, I hope to become a successful writer and/or artist. Whether I become a newspaper/magazine journalist, a freelance photographer, and/or publish a book of poetry and prose, I am equipped and ready to create the text my career demands.

Being a college student means having to set academic and professional goals. For the last two semesters of my college career, I plan on learning the tools and developing the skills I need to become a successful, well-rounded journalist. I hope to become a fluent speaker in Mandarin Chinese. I believe being bilingual (or multilingual) will benefit me in my career, especially if I plan on working in the news business. My professional goals are pretty obvious. I want to become a newspaper/magazine journalist or freelance photographer, eventually work my way up to becoming an editor within my profession, and publish a book of poetry and prose on the side.

In my professional career, I will be creating many texts that will communicate ideas and influence my audience to think, feel, and do things about the events that occur and environment that surrounds them. I hope that my texts help opens the eyes of my audience to things that they have never experienced before or experience something through a new perspective. The texts that my aspirations will produce are news articles, photos, and poetry and prose.

The news articles that I hope to create will be based on fact and truth. I plan on writing news articles that show different and multiple perceptions on current events. My goal is to open people’s eyes to new ideas, new perspectives and stories that are yet to be told. The photos that I hope to capture will be raw and clear. I plan on taking pictures of people and events that express emotion and messages that cannot be put in to words. My goal is to tell a strong, visual story about someone or something without having to explain a lot in words because pictures are worth a thousand words.

This semester, I took a Theorizing of Communication and Media Arts course. This theorizing course helped me realize that all texts have multiple meanings and messages, both obvious and hidden. With the knowledge that I have gained from the Theorizing of Communication and Media Arts course, I will apply the theories I have learned to the texts that I create in my profession. By applying these theories to my own texts, it will help me interpret and understand the meaning and messages of my texts, as well as someone else’s texts.

The one theory that I will use and apply to most texts is Althusser’s theory. Althusser’s theory is a new view of Marxism that sees ideology as a web of beliefs but also as a system of representations. Althusser believes that all men and women have different ideologies and, therefore, apply their own ideologies to their reality and everyday life. This theory can help me understand ideology through Althusser’s view and symptomatic reading.

Althusser believes that someone’s experience forms their individual ideology that either accepts or rejects the dominant ideology, unlike Marx, who believed that there is only one ideology that defines society. While looking through this lens, I can learn to focus my text on the dominant ideology within a group and help expose different ideologies of other groups. By exposing a group to different ideologies, I hope to open their eyes to new philosophies and open them up to a different world or viewpoint.

According to Althusser, I can understand ideology through symptomatic reading of a text and uncovering the problematic. Althusser explains that finding the problematic in a text consists of double reading: understanding the manifest text and the latent text. The manifest text is, in simple terms, the obvious message of a text. The latent text is the hidden message of a text that can be interpreted in different ways. The latent text can sometimes reinforce a stereotype or the general public’s idea of something. Through this lens of Althusser’s theory, I can carefully create my texts while keeping in mind the direct message I want to send and the indirect message that I want to be found.

Althusser’s theory can help me create the texts that my profession demands. While looking through Althusser’s lens, I can take into consideration the manifest text, the latent text and the problematic within my created texts. This theory will help me see the direct and indirect message or meaning of my text. It will also help me understand what kind of messages or meanings I want to send to different groups of people with different ideologies. And finally, Althusser’s theory will give me the ability to figure out the best way to communicate my texts to my audience.

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