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!