…But not necessarily my last post (we’ll see how many I actually have tallied up by the end).
As per my instructor’s instructions, I’m being asked to answer a series of questions and reflect over the semester. I’ve decided to leave the questions on the page so it actually looks like a Q and A session, instead of my own ramblings. I’ll pretend like I’m being interviewed by some True/False representative.
1. What moments come to mind quickly when you think back over the class: good moments, bad moments, perplexing moments?
This was probably my favorite class this semester. I liked the hands-on approach of checking out cameras before class and working with them in the lab, instead of just taking the online quizzes or reading from a textbook. I liked how technology-based it was, because I got to use my new laptop and Photoshop programs (shiny new toys…), as well as the Macs in the lab. Also, I was finally able to figure Twitter out and have become pretty proficient in tweeting. I guess I could get better at looking things up on Twitter, but baby steps. Baby steps.
There were also several perplexing moments when I realized that an assignment was due and I had yet to even get started on it. I didn’t like the whole ‘learn a new media and create something professional-quality… in one week!’ format that we were
subjected to asked to do. It made me think that ALL multimedia has to be completed in five days or less; oh, and here’s this new program to learn, too. Scary stuff. I think I (mostly) survived.
2. What do these moments tell about you as a student, about the course, about the teachers?
They tell me that the teachers are eager to have us learn as much as possible. That’s good, but when you consider a course like this that is a pre-requisite for entering the J-school, you have to keep in mind that students MUST keep their grades as high as possible or they won’t be accepted, their dreams will be crushed, hearts will be broken, etc. So maybe it would be better if your grades weren’t riding on assignments that are so frantically paced. Maybe your entire grade should depend on the final project (which will no longer be a group project) and what you do with that- if you do well, then the teacher knows, “Oh, good for you! You’ve been practicing your skills all semester. Way to go, baby journo!” But if there are certain aspects of your project that aren’t up to par, the teacher can honestly say, “You’ve been slacking off this semester. Well, sucks to suck.” Just a thought.
3. What are you most proud of about your own efforts and accomplishments in the course?
I’m proud of the fact that I went from absolutely no journalistic experience- no interviews, no audio recordings, no filming, no photos, nada- to producing some pretty decent stuff. I definitely have the confidence now to take a camera out and be like, “Let me get some photos of you”.
4. What has been your greatest challenge?
Deadlines. I’m not a deadline person- they terrify me. I actually take a deer-in-the-headlights approach to oncoming deadlines; if they’re too close, I freeze and let them hit me rather than make the effort to do something about it. I’m not sure why this happens, but it’s pretty detrimental. I think deadlines are actually emotionally crippling. It’s probably pretty common among students to struggle with multiple deadlines, but I take it pretty hard. I don’t want to be one of ‘those people’, the one ones who can’t be counted on to do stuff on time. It’s definitely my biggest struggle.
5. What are you not satisfied with or what do you want to work on improving?
I want to work on using the video camera. I’m terrified of it and I don’t know why (I also don’t know why I have such strong emotions about all this technology- that’s not normal). I have some traumatic childhood memories that involve being forced to film the unwrapping process on Christmas, so that could be a factor. At any rate, I’m extremely suspicious of it. Using the shotgun mike just confuses me, too- when I did my 5 shot sequence, I had to contort like a Cirque du Soleil performer in order to get the mic out of the shot. Maybe I can learn to be creative and disguise the mic in a vase of flowers or as an ice cream cone. That would be easier on my back.
6. What have you learned about other than media making– perhaps about yourself, or about people, about learning or about storytelling?
When I was little, I journaled a lot, and then moved to fiction. I thought that storytelling always involves a ton of creativity -and it does- but it’s not always as overt as creating your own characters. There’s multiple ways to tell stories, and in journalism, the creativity comes from choosing the right sources or subjects. You can’t make anything up. You can’t be very artistic, because the premium is on truth; “What did you see? What did they see? How did it look?” You have to provide your audience with the experience of actually being there. It’s a lot more like my five-year-old journal entries than it is any preteen fiction account.
This isn’t exactly the kind of storytelling I had in mind when I signed up for journalism- I did think there would be a lot more overt creativity involved. But as I learned at the True/False Festival last February, every edit is a lie. You take something out, you put yourself in. You change things. I don’t have that freedom in journalism- my role is just to be a conduit between the truth and the public. It’s actually a little boring to think of it that way. But it’s absolutely vital.