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June 26, 2008

LRE

Here, at long last, is the finished version of my video portrait. It's about my friend Hilary, and it's called "LRE." I would love to hear any feedback or criticism you guys have. Thanks! -P

Continue reading "LRE" »

May 14, 2008

If You're Reading this blog...

This blog is a course blog for GWSS 3390: Feminist Media Making, in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, Fall 2007.

The course has ended.

Please feel free to browse the site, and remember blogs happen in reverse chronology, so if you want to start at the beginning, click HERE and scroll to the bottom, or browse the links on the right-hand sidebar.

If you'd like to start at the beginning of this page (which is the end of our course), you will be reading reflections on our course journeys, then viewing final media projects (posted with final paper reflections).

Enjoy!

Reflections on the Semester

When I walked into class on the first day I barely knew anything about media making. I had never used any programs like iMovie or Final Cut before. Come to think of it, I hadn't even figured out how to use iTunes yet.
I'm not technologically inclined. I'm from a farming community. We had dial-up for the last few years of my stay there. None of my friends had hobbies that involved computers. I never took a computer class in high school, instead I took woods, welding, and other 'practical' courses.
There were some days in this course that I wish I had taken at least one computer class. The fact that the closest I had gotten to reading a blog was reading my older sister's hand-written diary when I was in grade school was an embarrassing fact that I chose to keep to myself. I had never "YouTubed" I enjoyed videos that others made, but always told myself that I didn't have the time to do a project like that. I'm a pretty practical person. If I am going to take the time to work on a project it must get good use. Constructing a piece of furniture has always been a worthy project, but a media project? Never!
At the beginning of the course, and even half-way through I never thought that this opinion would change. I didn't even see the change coming, and was shocked when I realized it was here.

Continue reading "Reflections on the Semester" »

May 10, 2008

Thoughts

My feminist media journey has been one of self-doubt and panic followed by empowerment and self-realization. One of the hardest parts of the course was figuring out how to take the risks I wanted to in my work, balancing my relatively low skill level with the messages I wanted to get across. In the end, I’m satisfied with my work and I know that my values as a feminist and as a journalist (member of the media) have been upheld.

To my peers, I would like to say that you all did an excellent job of creating meaningful stories, even out of topics that might have seemed a bit boring on the surface. I hope that the experience in the class will encourage us all to keep having a voice as media makers of some kind, because we all have valuable viewpoints.

I’ll take the lessons from this class along with my personal journey and use it to keep myself strong, even when others might not believe in what I’m doing. I know that I’m smart enough and thoughtful enough to keep putting ideas in to the world that will help make it a better place. It’s clear to me now that the most important thing is to have faith and confidence in my ideas and my values. I hope to have a career in journalism, and I think that what I’ve learned about my own abilities in this class will provide me with the confidence to be an innovator.

May 9, 2008

final thoughts

This class proved to be an incredible wealth of information for me. While at the beginning I was very frustrated with the lack of actually creating we seemed to be doing, in the end, I did discover a lot about myself and my media making abilities.

Continue reading "final thoughts" »

final thoughts

My journey in this class has been both hard and inspiring. I have been struggling this semester with life stuff and taking on more than I should, and it's been hard for me to fit everything I've been wanting to do into the time that I have. It's been good for me to take the time and space in this class to reflect, and to make media. Making media has been a humbling process for me - I have had to start from scratch and learn from the ground up, and figure my way through technical and other difficulties along the way. It's also been empowering to know that those tools and knowledge are something that I can use and teach other people as well.

My classmates inspired me so much. I really appreciated everyone putting themselves out there to tell their stories, especially the really personal ones. I feel that I've gotten to know everyone through the course of the semester, and even though we can have really different life stories, dreams, and interests, I feel like I can relate to a lot of the stories that people have told. It's been beautiful to be going through this process of frustration and creativity with everyone. I'm also in awe of how hard everyone has worked and how dedicated everyone has been! You should all be proud of what you've accomplished, for real. And I've learned a lot from you.

I'll be taking the praxis and lessons I learned from this class into the world I live in and the community I work in. I doubt I'll be making any more digital stories, but the technical skills I've learned in making and editing digital media will be very useful in making propaganda and in doing other projects someday. The inspiration that comes from everyone's commitment and dedication to self-exposure and voice, as well as the great advice I've been given in the process of going through this class, are things that I will take with me throughout my life. It hasn't been an easy journey, but it's been a very instructive one, and I will take it into the future with me. I hope to live up to it someday, and I will be working to do so.

Adieu...

It has been such an amazing class! I started the class getting a little overwhelmed with theory and praxis, but at the end of class I really feel that I have learned so much. I really enjoyed this class because I got to exercise my photography and video production skills, and really learned a lot about editing and other technical aspects of media making.

Continue reading "Adieu..." »

Final Thoughts

This class has been a real eye-opener for me. I decided to take it because I thought it might be a good link between my theatre major and GWSS minor. I didn’t expect it to be something very unique to what I’ve learned in either department or something that I would enjoy so much. I was always just interested in all the topics I’d learned about in GWSS classes, but now I feel like I have an outlet to actually be involved in the dialogue about the issues and the issues themselves. I’m glad that I have a media knowledge that will allow me to contribute to the community in my own way, and allow me a creative outlet that stage managing for theatre simply doesn’t. All the organizational aspects of my “job? are so rigid and structured I was so glad to find an environment that allows me to play and be creative and feel like I am being heard, rather than the invisibility of being backstage during a show and the rehearsal process.

Continue reading "Final Thoughts" »

Media Making Reflection

I came into this class hoping to merge together my former love for editing and filming with the my current love of gender studies and I really am happy the way things turned out. I was a communications student at my first college and in high school I edited, filmed,and hosted our student television announcements, a senior citizens television program, and was the advertising director for our school store. I used to LOVE making media. Then I got to college and hated it. I also got into the sports communication department which made it worse. I got a lot of hands-on work at our school's tv station but the classes were meaningless. That's why I was really quite nervous for this class. Since I knew media making was something I loved, if the class was bad I would hate it even more. But I can honestly say that I appreciated all that I learned throughout this class. The assignments had a purpose; I wasn't in a meaningless public speaking class or boring communication research methods class. I felt like I was going somewhere and doing something practical with what I was learning.

Continue reading "Media Making Reflection" »

Final Thoughts

This course was actually pretty well-timed for me. It stressed the bejesus out of me every time I had to do new project, but when I finished, with every project I did, I really was proud of myself. I also feel like it was the first time I actually got a chance to study foundations of feminist art. To me, when I think about “feminist art? Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party? is actually one of the only things that comes to my mind. I’ve never thought about constructing anything of my own, either, simply because it seemed out of my realm of capabilities. I’m proud of everything I did. I really did learn to make a statement, I think, by the final project. That was my real attempt to say something political.

Continue reading "Final Thoughts" »

May 8, 2008

Reflections...

The power of media was a brand new concept for me. Granted I wasn't completely naiive when I started this class, but this was definitely an eye opening class. I was taught that my own ideas can be incredibly powerful if I put my theories into practice. The more knowledge I acquire, the better it falls into place. I learned a great deal about the struggles women have faced for too long in this society, and am proud to say that I am using my own voice to speak out. My feminist media making journey brought me to new ideas and concepts that I don't think I would have experienced without this class. This class enabled me to use creativity that I didn't even know I had. I had the opportunity to meet Beth who spent a few hours just talking to me. She instilled the idea that "the journey is just as important as the goal". This seems to be very true in every aspect of my life. I also got to learn about my own family and the history that built me as a person. I gained knowledge about where my mother came from and realized that sometimes the strongest people in the world are closer than you think.

My peers were amazing. They were so insightful and helpful that I felt that there was constant encouragement coming from the entire class. This class had a certain sense of reality that none of my other classes have. My peers in this class were so unique and intelligent that I have become very thankful for each one of them. I learned that it's impossible to be comfortable unless you are comfortable with yourself. I learned that it's important to put yourself out there because there are experiences and ideas that are individually unique and could be very insightful for others.

The lessons that I learned in this class will be applied to my life. I now have the skills and knowledge to create media, but more importantly, I have the mind set to do it. I have the confidence and motivation to do it. I learned that the work that I put out there shouldn't just be for me to view, but it should be to get other people thinking and inspired. Again, it goes back to giving life to ideas and theories and moving them from the mind into reality and sharing it with others. It helps that I am now familiar with both iMovie and Adobe Premiere and am enabled to create my own thoughts into pieces of media. I will hopefully evolve in these skills and use them for future ideas and projects.

Ciao!

When I decided to take this class, I really didn’t know what to expect. All I know is that this class has exceeded any expectations that I could have had. I have learned so much from this class. Not only have I learned how to create media, and how to interpret feminist theory, but I have also learned some new things about myself. I have learned how to use feminist media making to deal with my own personal struggles.

Continue reading "Ciao!" »

My Journey

This class has taught me many different things and i have tried my best to demonstrate those skills into my final project and I hope that everyone sees that as well. Content, context and form are the main features to begin any story and to me these three are the basic tools that help shape the entire story.
I also, got to hear my classmate’s ideas and thoughts about my ongoing projects, which I thought was very supportive and honest feedback that I have ever got in any class. Moreover, I also learned about their stories and their media making experience, which makes me, realized that we were all in the learning phase. All the blog post and videos that we created was just too good to watch because each and every single person used different ways to tell the story. Some chose to bring the personal aspect of it and some were for the educational purposes.

I also learned the technical aspect of the media making such as holding a camera in a proper position and when to take an eye level shot vs. when to bring the shot from the bird angle. In addition to that, I learned about the various feminist media makers such as Judy Chicago and her personal take on media making. It was fascinating to see how motivated she was toward her work and she can be call as an inspiration for many people. I personally, liked her take on the feminist media and how one should go beyond to achieved the desire goal. I will take all of this aspect of theoretical and practical tools further in my future work. In addition to that, I will continue to make videos of my family and my personal experience in life. When I made the videos for the class it gave me a sense of satisfaction and achievement and I will continue on this journey throughout my life. Although, I wish I could learn the Final Cut as well but I guess there is always a next time.

May 7, 2008

Rachel's Reflections on our Journey

To all of the students of GWSS 3390's first-ever section of Feminist Media Making:

Thank you for such thoughtful and critical engagement with the theories and practices of feminist media making. I greatly admire and appreciate your honesty, thoughtfulness, and willing to commit. Many of the stories and aspects of your lives that you chose to share were courageous, powerful, and important. Thank you for trusting in me, in our class, and in the process. I hope you feel proud of your accomplishments, I do!

I am proud of the way that you all respectfully engaged each other, viewed each other's work, and offered constructive feedback throughout the class. From the first day of "feeling exposed" (the recording of the digital storytelling v.o. in front of each other) to the screenings of your final projects, you created a community of learners/media makers that worked to build each other theoretically and technically. I believe that this class was a true community of learners, where each of you inspired the next.

As a feminist media maker and teacher/mentor, I worked to help each of you articulate your theoretical frameworks, and give you the practical tools (technology) to achieve your vision. I tried to balance the "hand holding" type of teaching with active learning strategies to push you to reach your goals.

I am committed to making feminist media, and will continue to expand my body of work. As a teacher of feminist media praxis, I will continue to develop lessons, exercises, handouts (I think basics of editing handouts will really help), and will work on grants to get Final Cut on every station. I think that starting on iMovie forced you all to think about structure and storytelling in a shot by shot way, but many of you surpassed the capabilities of iMovie after the first video project. I know many of you didn't like the personal blogs, but it was a way (for me, and I think each of you who read other student's blog) to see what interests you, informs you, and sparks your creativity. I do think, however, that in future classes, I should find better ways to integrate the personal blog into classroom time. I would also like to do more group work (discussion of the readings, peer reviews, and other exercises), so that you can have more time connecting with each other in our classroom community. I must say that teaching in the computer lab provides some great benefits (especially for the technical workshops), but is frustrating when you all are clickety-clacking during lecture and discussion time. I worked to resolve this with the "turn your monitors" approach, but it felt a bit high school to me... I think I'll use both the FMC space AND more of the lounge/conference room space next time.

Again, I thank you all and welcome course feedback on the blog and via email.

Best to you all & I hope you continue on your journey of feminist media making, both in theory and in practice!

Best,
Rachel

May 6, 2008

Final Assignment!

Post: Category 7. Final Thoughts

In a few sentences, phrases, word, bullet point, images, or whatever will best express what you are thinking and feeling, please leave your final thoughts on the following:

1 - your feminist media making journey

2 - thoughts for your peers (things you learned with/from each other)

3 - where you will (or at least might) take the lessons you've learned from this course (theory, practice, tech skills, inspiration...)


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