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.

About Rachel C.

www.rachelcrickphotography.com http://www.facebook.com/rachelcrickphotography
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