Examples and examples

Today I had a meeting with Scott Macklin about finding my way through the MCDM.  It’s only been a few weeks since I started this journey, and after today’s meeting I’m more excited than ever.  It was an excellent conversation, giving me much to ponder. We spoke about multimedia storytelling, and he gave me example after example of journalists and film makers using forms of digital communications to tell stories that stir the soul.  (Here’s one example – Mediastorm)

We watched as a twelve minute video that took three years to shoot played out on the screen in front of us.  The story of a New York artist’s apartment that became home to junkies, and addicts.  The photographer used images and words to tell the story, and it was heart wrenching.  We saw a young man perform spoken word behind a veil of graphic design, detailing his poetry through black and white drawings of his words.  Story after story and what excited me was that there are so many more stories just waiting to be told.

Scott and I also spoke about opportunities, events, workshops, internships and independent studies. Some of the projects that the MCDM have coming up are so exciting to me that I had a hard time sitting still while Scott was describing them.  I’m not sure I can speak on them, so I’m going to keep them to myself for now, and when the time is right – drop them on you.  I’m really looking forward to attending some workshops that the UW Department of Communications offers on digital storytelling.  I’m also going to try to start working with Flip The Media – the MCDM blog, in an effort to hone my writing skills.


I took the photo posted below, as I walked into my meeting with Scott.  The reflection of the building in the puddle caught my eye.  I liked the way the leaves scattered on the ground looked, and how the puddle held the reflected image like a frame. 

The most important thing that I left with from this meeting, is that finding my way through this program is not just about which classes to take, it’s about growing as a person – finding and developing new opportunities and relationships.  Stepping out of the frame that I have put myself in, and creating goals for myself that are  harder to reach.  Taking the time to be a part of as many experiences as I can, and truly digging into this program and getting the most out of that I can. As I walked across the fallen leaves scattered across the UW campus, I felt really happy to be a part of this amazing program, what a blessing it is to be part of something that when I’m done, I will have the opportunity to make a difference.

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Orientation for the MCDM happened over the weekend of September 25th and 26th.  As we went around the room introducing ourselves, and talking about the origin of our names and why were in the program, I was impressed by the many different cultures and backgrounds of the people in the program.  A man named Brian after a football player who’d died of cancer. A woman who has several siblings all with the first name Chin with subsequent numbers after ‘Chin,’: Chin One, Chin Two, Chin Three, etc.  Another woman whose name translated to “Cute Bamboo.” People with family names, and names based on culture and values.  There are people in the program from Finland, Thailand, Brazil, and Peru.  And from all walks of life – “refugee journalists,” art critics, activists, librarians, and film makers.

Stressed throughout the orientation was that the program is dedicated to convening community through story.  Scott Macklin‘s talk on Community Scholarship was a highlight of the orientation for me. The term Community Scholarship was dissected and debated – with the general agreement that the definition comes down to “We’re all in this together.”  Our obligation to the community is  to tell stories with members of the community, and not about them.  To suspend our own stories in order to go into someone’s story.   Scott spoke about the “Four R’s” “Relationship, relevance, rigor and  results.”  Four principles I’m ready to infuse my life with as I start this journey in the MCDM program.

We heard from the non-profit organization “The Common Language Project” This presentation got me.  They are doing what one day I will be doing.  There website says they “tell stories from the bottom up, emphasizing the voices of people actually affected by the issues.”  Based in offices on the UW campus, they work hand in hand with the MCDM, and I am so excited about the possibilities of working with them.

MCDM students are being given the opportunity to work with Angee Linsey of Linsey Careers.  Angee will be offering career development workshops, and career counseling as we go forth in the program.  Workshops range from topics on finding career paths, to resume building, to searching for a job, and interviewing.

Workshops, events, seminars, festivals – as a student with MCDM we are given a multitude of opportunities.  Lunch Box Talks – Resources for Digital Storytellers, and Pocketmedia Film Festival – What is the Story in your Pocket? Are just two of many events I’m looking forward to attending/being a part of in the near future.

This morning, my daughter arranged some of the magnets given to us in our orientation package, into a sentence on my fridge. It reads “Hanson flip fans status said I saw facebook with twitter tweeting all like web social mix.”  I think that pretty much sums it up.

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