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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.

The first assignment I remember to be challenging and overwhelming. We had to post on the blog a few sentences about ourselves and post a picture. I worked for hours one afternoon trying to complete this task. I received some help and was able to submit it on time.
Other projects I attempted with the trial and error method. Actually, all of my projects were done this way. For my documentary and final project over half of my videotape clips had to be thrown out because of unsteady taping, wind, bad film, or some various other reason. This proved to be frustrating. I always assumed taping would be easy. All the other times I had done it the tape turned out fine. But then I thought of those other times, all of which had been at indoor parties where I passed the camera off within minutes. I'm not so sure if drunken video-taping counts as media making. And now that I really think about it, I'm nearly certain it doesn't.
For my final video a few of my teammates didn't want to be taped. Most didn't care. It was also frustrating having to switch my project theme from something less taboo to another topic. I learned that film is not exempt from the rules of life.
I learned more things than I can describe on one blog post. But most of all I learned a few things about myself. I'm not one for talking about my feelings, but when you say it one screen it makes it easier to find the words. Not any easier to watch later, but easier to put the feelings out there.
Looking back on how much I have learned and how much I grew, I know that I will take what I have learned in this course and apply it to my life. I plan on making many media projects this summer and posting them on the internet. One of my sisters will be in Kenya with internet access only. I hope to make a few projects for her to enjoy and show to her village. A few of my friends will be out of state also, so I hope to make a few videos with my friends as well.
The biggest this I realized was that videos do last a long time. Like any other project I take on, they will prove to be worthwhile and get their point across. Whether it is to document times with friends, create entertainment, or to send a personal message I now know of another 'practical' project.