For this final project, my group and I decided to create a video highlighting the different traditions we have on campus. UW is a diverse community that has deep traditions, so we decided to explore some!
We focused on three traditions: Sk8er Guy, The Union
fest, and throwing pinecones into the T-Rex. We managed to get three different
interviews and footage of each event.
I enjoyed the project, even though it was one
of the harder projects we’ve done. Brainstorming our video shots and setting up
were my favorite parts. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the actual shooting
of the video clips. I’ve never created a video like this before, so everything
was very new to me!
The editing process was not as fun. I thought
it would be similar to the audio editing project, so I wasn’t too concerned. I
enjoyed editing my audio file and learned a great deal during that process. I
thought that information would transfer over easily.
It didn’t. We used Hitfilm Express to edit our
video, and it was much different that the Audacity platform used in the audio
project. Although I eventually got a hold of it and contributed to the editing
process, it was a long road and one I’m not so sure I would like to repeat.
I was disappointed how much I disliked editing
the video, because I was looking forward to it all semester. I’ve always been
captivated by film and had entertained the thought of creating videos for fun.
As a visual learner who is easily distracted, YouTube has been my saving grace
in my college classes and hobbies outside of class. I learn everything from
calculus to bike mechanics to how to bake a Galaxy Mirror Cake on Youtube. I
thought it would be fun to give back to the community by creating my own videos
of some sort.
In my future career, creating psychology videos
and even self-help videos would be a great way to break into the market. With the
world becoming more and more digitalized, books may be lapsing out of use. The
internet, video in particular, may start taking its place.
Although I think I will still give video
production another chance, I am definitely approaching it with more trepidation
than before. Google was phenomenal during this activity and was probably the only
reason I finished my portions on time.
I wouldn’t change much about how I approached
this project. The truth was I was coming from ground zero, so I’m pretty proud
of the work I did accomplish! I wish I could have dedicated more time to it,
but between finals and when the interviewees were free to film, we ended up
having only a few days for the editing process.
Overall, this was a fun, informational project
that will inform how I spend my time in the future.
Everyone says that time goes by faster than you think. “Blink and you’ll miss it,” they tell me. It’s funny how I never believe them until I’m standing at the finish line, looking back and wondering where’d the time go?
This semester has been one wild ride. I tried to slow down and enjoy it, and for the most part, I think I did pretty good. It’ll always be a shock to come to the end of something, especially when the end is as anticipated as the end of the school year. (And the start of summer!)
As excited as I am for summer, I will miss this class. I’ve been introduced to a wide array of skills that I could take in any direction. My favorite part of this class was the emphasis on diversity of crafts and applications. I loved thinking of ways to apply the multimedia skills I was learning to my career goals (psychology).
I was truly impressed at how my technological knowledge grew. Before this class, I would occasionally look at Snap chat stories…and that was it. I didn’t even have a twitter or Instagram. And creating a video out of nothing? Uh, yeah that’s a no. But I realized that with the power of patience and google, even complicated video editing can be made possible.
My other huge revelation was that knowledge has so many unique paths it can take to get out to the world. Knowledge is the basis for change, healing, growth, all of it! Before this class, I didn’t truly understand all the different ways people consume information, and all the ways I can utilize those ways to get my point across.
I’m excited now to continue my google exploration and trial-and-error adventures of theses different techniques. I especially loved the audio and video sections, and have tossed around the idea of starting a podcast at some point.
Of course, these skills will be nothing without the soft-skills I’ve also practiced and refined in this class. The ability to work on a deadline, travel to different places around the city, and communicate effectively with other people were all things that I was lacking before this class. I still struggle with procrastination and any form of social interaction, but I think these skills have improved. At the very least, I feel more confident in them.
All in all, I don’t have many regrets with this class. Except one.
I knew when I signed up for Multimedia Production that it would push me out of my comfort zone when it comes to talking to strangers. I was determined to not let that stop me.
Well, it did. Not very often, and I’m proud of that fact! But there were still some times where I just wanted to hit rewind and tell past-me lurking in the shadows of an event to just go up there and ask the question.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Apparently, something really bad, because there were at least two assignments (the twitter update and the photojournalism one) where I know I could have done better.
The photojournalism one was the most difficult for that reason. My favorite one was probably the audio story telling. It was a completely new field for me and I was enthusiastic about learning it. The video story telling project would have been amazing, but Final stress hit me hard this year, and it ended up just being another check on my to-do list.
Overall, I am very happy with how this class introduced me to new, exciting fields, and the wide skill base it gave me. I would definitely take this class again.
As for now, I have hiking and camping to catch up on.
As far as social media goes, I’m more on the side of “less is better”. So going into this Instagram story promotion, I had very little experience. It honestly took me ten minutes to just figure out where the “add photo” button was on Instagram.
But, I did it! And I actually really enjoyed parts of it. Using Canva was a lot of fun, and surprisingly easy. It was a fun challenge to find a uniting theme throughout my posts, something I thought was important for building my “brand”.
talked a lot about building your own band, and your business’ brand, in my
Business Ethics class. I thought this was a unique experience to try out some
of the techniques I’ve learned in that class as well as this one.
viability was one of the key points we talked about in my Business Ethics course.
The ability for a post to have life outside of itself is a great way to promote
your work. I strived to do this by asking a question along with my picture. I
invited viewers to read my blog post and then share of their personal experience
in the comments.
didn’t choose a color scheme, because I wanted to allow myself more creativity throughout
the posts, but I did choose a font. I wanted it to be fun and engaging. Most of
what my blog posts talked about was creative, exciting stuff, and I wanted my Instagram
stories to reflect that.
hashtags was surprisingly difficult, although this is probably due to my lack
of experience on social media. Once again though, I was surprised how much I enjoyed
this assignment, even the hashtag part.
In the future, I hope to have published some of my writing. In the publishing worlds- for novels that is- having a strong social media presence is incredibly helpful. Many authors have Instagram they use to post updates and build a following. It is something I’ve thought about getting in to, and now I feel like I have the skills necessary to do so.
Laramie is a small town. There are not many places to eat, let alone places you can go and not spend the hours after a meal keeled over a toilet. When all of your college friends have muffins for breakfast, Jimmy Johns for lunch, and pizza for dinner, is there any hope for us?
For people living with gluten allergies, intolerance, or even Celiacs Disease, eating out may not be an option. But if you find yourself with gluten-headaches and GI problems galore after even a trace of gluten gets in your system, fear not! They may be few, but there are some fantastic places in Laramie that offer gluten free, and even Celiac friendly, food options. Let’s take a look at the top 5.
Turtle Rock Bagels
Faith Liebzeit, a UW student with Celiacs, says that she’d like to see a gluten free bakery open in Laramie. Although that may not happen for a while, there are places to get some delicious gluten-free carbs. Turtle Rock offers two types of gluten-free bagels, and always has cream cheese ready if you ask. You can find their full menu at: http://turtlerockcoffee.com/
2. Corona Village
One of the problems with gluten free food in Laramie, is that you can never be completely sure that it is gluten free. When you have Celiacs, and even a trace of gluten can leave you sick for days, the cross-contamination twice-used pots give can be awful. Corona Village’s chips are ensured to be gluten free, because they are cooked in a pan that only cooks gluten-free chips. Liebzeit mentions she would also like to see restaurants mark their food better so she doesn’t have to guess, and although that also remains a future wish, Corona’s is one of those places that is happy to answer any questions you might have about gluten in their dishes. You can find their full menu at: http://coronavillage.food-places.com/
3. Thai Spice
Thai Spice is probably one of the most costumer focused restaurants in town. They are very knowledgeable about their dishes and which ones can be made gluten free, which ones can be made Celiac friendly, and which ones we should avoid all together. It’s a gluten free foodie’s dream. You can find their full menu at: http://thaifoodlaramie.com/
4. Jeffrey’s Bisto
No, you may not be able to get a Jimmy John’s sandwich, but Jeffrey’s Bistro does offer spectacular gluten-free sandwiches. That’s right- a sandwich. A real one, not a lettuce wrap! The quality of the gluten-free bread they use is high. (Much higher than the rather dismal selection of gluten-free bread at Walmart.) You can check out their full menu at: https://www.jeffreysbistro.com/
5. Alibi’s Wood-fire Pizza
This one may be cheating. Although not celiac-friendly yet, many people with gluten intolerance and allergies find their high quality sour dough bread easy on their gut and amazing on their taste buds. Sour dough goes through a fermented process that changes the gluten protein many people react poorly and it makes it just as digestible as gluten-free bread. I wouldn’t recommend people with celiacs to eat here just yet, an employee said they were working on getting gluten-free dough in soon. You can check out their full menu at: http://alibiwoodfire.com/
Laramie’s restaurants seem to be working hard to accommodate the growing population of gluten-free eaters. They have a long way to go- from marking their food better to lower costs.
Liebzeit says “The cost is a barrier. Restaurants don’t want to buy expensive ingredients when they might not get used.” She has a point! But I think an overwhelmingly amount of people would say the cost is worth it if it means they can have their cake, and eat it too.
The idea for this interview hit me over spring break, when I was with Lexi in Glenwood Springs. We were staying at her grandparents house and I was struck with how close Lexi was with her grandmother and this town where her mom grew up.
I asked her about it- about the bond between her and these women in her life.
“Well my mom is my best friend!” She laughed.
Interview her! Screamed the slowly growing mini-Journalist I’ve been raising inside me this semester. And I listened to it. We sat down at the kitchen table late that night, just finishing a viscous game of Rummikub with her grandparents, and I attempted to conduct an audio interview.
It was easier than I was expecting, and also a lot of fun. I enjoyed the stronger conversational, unscripted aspect of it, something I found interviewing for a print story lacking. I used the same audio recorder I do for my other interviews, so I was familiar with the technology.
The portrait picture (left) was fun to take. Exploring Glenwood Springs was like exploring a little bit of Lexi’s personality. It was just a matter of time before something special popped up!
Of course, then came the audio editing part. I was nervous for editing, especially after opening audacity and seeing the complex tools. It took me a long time to edit (note: a very, very long time), but I was surprised to find myself enjoying it! Most of my edits took place after Micah Schweizer and Erin Jones spoke in class, and I really took Erin’s advice to heart. I tried to see the audio file as a story, one that I was molding and creating.
As a story-teller at heart, I found this new medium of story telling exciting and full of possibilities. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found the perfect ending dialogue. The technical side was much more difficult, and wrought with frustrations. I stayed mostly in the simple edits of cutting, copying and pasting. (Although I did venture once into the Envelope tool and quickly scrambled for my undo key.)
I honestly don’t think I would do anything differently because everything was a huge learning experience. Yes, I wish I had stayed quiet during interview, or prepared better questions, or maybe not have rushed for that undo key quite so often when I played with the more advanced features of audacity. But, because of those mistakes, I learned a great deal. Even though I know this audio piece isn’t perfect, I’m proud of it! I’ve never done anything like it, and the learning experience was invaluable.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed conducting and editing an audio interview. Enough so that I am excited for the future implications. I’m a huge fan of podcasts, and I think it is still a growing field. I could see myself starting my own podcast in the future to supplement whatever my career is at the time. (Because let’s be honest- I have no idea what will happen.) For example, if I go into the mental health field, I could start a podcast where the main focus is interviewing people who have overcome mental illness.
I hope to continue building on my skills in audio interviewing. It is a unique and growing field that I would like to become more adept in.
A few years ago, students with disabilities faced a long
uphill battle when attending college. Today, it is still a battle. However, students
have more tools in their arsenal than ever before.
“The stigma around certain conditions have gone down so more
of students with those conditions enrolling has gone up,” Amanda O’Brien, the director
of the Disability Support Services (DSS), says. To support the students chasing
their dreams despite less-than-ideal odds, the University of Wyoming has revamped
their disability support system.
Legally, the DSS fills the requirement set out by the American Disabilities act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both acts fight to prohibit discrimination based on disability and gives more rights to people struggling with a disability. O’Brien says recent amendments have granted her team newfound power in creating a universal learning environment.
“Our hope is to provide equal access for people with
disabilities. That can be physical, mental, emotional, cognitive. Anything that
significantly impairs a major life activity for a period of time can be
qualified for a disability,” O’Brien says.
Working with academic accommodations is the bread and butter
of the DSS. Traditionally students were limited with their choices for academic
aid. However, O’Brien says in the past five years, new power given through the
amendments has allowed the DSS the room to think creatively with students and
“We make it work. It might be thinking creatively. It might
be asking other departments to help chip in for it because it might be
something that benefits all of their students,” O’Brien says.
She explains making classes universal would benefit
everyone. The DSS has helped the university meet UDL standards (Universally
Designed for Learning) for anything from constructing buildings to installing
“We see a lot of students coming to college who use to maybe
not feel comfortable coming,” O’Brien says about the diversity campus is enjoying.
It is a diversity reflected in the range of disabilities the
DSS is now able to help. From an Autism Spectrum Disorder or Social Anxiety to
crippling Migraines and surgery, if a student as the proper paperwork, the DSS
will do their best to find accommodations. O’Brien jokingly says they always
know when ski season starts because there is a surge of students who ask for note-taking
The Psychology Clinic
For years, the Psychology Clinic has provided affordable mental health assessments and therapy for UW students and the community. Run by graduate students, the clinic offers hour-long counseling sessions for five dollars. They are excited to begin promoting new groups and teams designed to address a broader range of disorders.
“Oftentimes, it’s just really nice to have someone in your
corner,” Ryan Kozina, the Graduate Student Director of the Clinic says.
With new faculty recently hired, Kozina says they are now able
to offer expertise in eating and sleep disorders. They’ve also added a team to
address the growing need for relationship and marital therapy and revamped
their ADHD training in the fall.
“I think it is very important and a lot of people don’t know
they have these options,” Kozina says.
He stresses that if money is a barrier to getting help, the
clinic is happy to work out a plan. They do their best to accommodate every student,
but with limited time and staff, resources can be stretched thin and priorities
have to be made. The idea of hiring a staff psychologist has been passed
around, according to Kozina. For now, the clinic focuses on seeing as many students
as they can while recruiting more staff and graduate students.
Kozina also advocates for students to call in if they are on
the fence about seeking help.
“There’s no real negative outcome that could have,” he says.
“It works like a library,” says the Occupational Therapist
at WIND, Ryan Rausch.
Students can loan AT for free or close to free. Unlike the
DSS, they don’t require documentation. It’s partly for these reasons that the
DSS and Psychology Clinic will write referrals to WIND when the need arises.
So, what exactly is AT? Rausch says its main goal is to make
the world more accessible for people with disabilities. AT maximizes a person’s
participation in academics, social life and general functioning. Many students
find use in the rows of technology they can check out.
One program WIND is hoping catches on is Zoom- a telehealth service
that could reach the many rural places of Wyoming.
“With Wyoming being so large in landmass and far between,
it’s one way we can connect to rural communities,” Rausch says about the
program. “I would love to reach out to those small places.”
With the growing support for disabilities, a universally
accessible Wyoming may not be far away.
As a rule, I try not to use my phone when I’m out and about. Exploring on my own, talking with friends and family, or going to a planned event is always more rewarding to me when I see it through the eyes of a participator. This week, I tried something different. I tried seeing the world through the lens of a photojournalist.
It was difficult, a little exhausting, and entirely uncomfortably. I decided I am much happier typing at my computer in sweatpants with a steaming mug of tea than I am asking a stranger their name and if I can take their photo. But, I also discovered the unique beauty of seeing a potential story and potential shot in every scenario. These are the 5 shots I have deemed worthy (or, acceptable) to be viewed by you all.
It was snowy, cold and after a long week, I really just wanted to see the movie a friend and I decided on. Half way to Studio City, she asks if I would mind stopping by the Art Reception real quick. It piqued my interest, and I figured I should stay true to my vow to see the world through a photo-journalistic view.
It was inspiring to see the crowded art museum. The lights were warm and friendly, and the happy chatter pulsed through the room with life. Seeing the student’s pride as their art pieces were called out and recognized one by one gave me a sense of purpose as I took my pictures. These were students who deserved to be recognized.
I wanted to photograph the energy of the room, so I manipulated the viewpoint by backing into the far wall and snapped a few action shots.
My photojournalist viewpoint was first tested during a rather impromptu family trip to the tiny, isolated town of Klamuth, Oregon. We decided to drive down to the Lava Beds just into California’s territory. Lava flowed over the landscape about 100 years ago and created a diverse landscape of caves and earth bridges. It was frigid and snowy, but it didn’t stop curious hikers from exploring.
I was entranced by the beauty and otherworldly landscape, made even more prominent by the falling snow. A man standing on one leg to get a better view of the structure didn’t seem out of place at the time. I found it difficult to get a sports shot, from lack of skill or simply an untrained eye. Fortunately my phone was out at this point, so I snapped a picture before he could walk away. Because it was a reactionary shot, I didn’t really have time to set up any creative devices.
The smell hit us first as we walked into the small barn. Animal, hay and the mud people tracked in permeated the air. Yet it was strangely homey. It was endearing to see the pack animals and their owners, so excited to show them off. The animals, however, were not so eager. They rarely came close enough for the people crowded around the edges to pet them, so when one finally did, I snapped a quick photo.
It doesn’t make use of any creative devices, and the positioning is awkward. Honestly, it’s not a great photo, but the opportunity was so rare and the gentleness of the act makes it a worthy photo.
Perhaps it’s bad form to feature more than one photo of the same event, but it’s alpacas.
Towards the end of the walking market, one enclosure had 7 alpacas in it. None of them wanted to be touched, but they were charmingly close to each other. My thoughts when taking this were how alike they were from a human ‘pack’. Just from the few minutes I spent trying to pet one (a failed expedition), I could tell which ones were the overprotective leaders, the anxious but loyal ones and the chill, independent ones. You could see the same personalities in the crowd around them.
In my attempt to capture this similarity, I thought the girl in front of me had hair the shade close to an alpaca’s. I tried using balancing elements to give both alpaca and human the same space in the frame, and highlight the pack-animal nature both species share.
Call me an uncultured UW student, but I have never actually had lunch at the Rendezvous cafe. It was more chaotic than I had thought. There were more people hanging out and actually taking a break than what I was doing- scarfing down bites in between textbook readings. It gave it a bright, cheery feeling, which I tried to capture by letting the light in through the windows. I used the Contrast to bring more attention to the people in the photo.
My time as a photojournalist was short lived but eventful. The next time I try capturing stories in pictures, I’ll try to be a little braver. I wish I had singled out more individuals and asked for their name and permission to take a photo. Instead, I stuck mostly to crowds. It worked in some instances, but not so well in others.
Creative Devices are tools photographers can use to create the best picture possible. Here, I demonstrate the use of 5 different creative devices and how they are used to evoke emotion in pictures.
Most of the pictures used are from the UW conservatory. Check their website here.
I used framing to draw attention to the unique graffiti. Framing makes use of the already interesting contrast between grey, cold metal and the brightly colored art. The metal beams and dirt below draw viewer’s eyes to the art. Since the graffiti is already colorful, it adds to that Wow! factor.
If the shadows weren’t so bold on the art, color would be another creative device used. As it stands, the red paint has been dulled because of the shadows.
Leading lines draws the viewer’s attention down the road and into the sunset. It creates a sense of journey and action in the picture, like the viewer is actually walking down the path to the sunset beyond.
Framing and viewpoint are also seen here. The sunset is framed by the bushes and the road, making it appear bigger than it actually is. The viewpoint is unique because of how close to the ground we are. It makes the road appear bigger and- to an extent- more desolate. It evokes a silent type of awe.
When most think of plant they think of smooth, green leaves. Maybe some have a rough exterior. This photo demonstrates texture by revealing the fine hairs that cover the plant’s leaves. It looks almost fuzzy and is at odds with what most people assume a plant is. The curiosity for the unknown makes this photo memorable.
Rule of Thirds can also be seen here. The plant takes up the two right most ‘thirds’. In this case, the rule of thirds simply makes the picture organized and pleasant to look at. There is nothing particularly jarring about the placement of the plant in the photo, so viewer’s attention can remain focused on the strange texture.
This photograph uses Balancing Elements to give a unique and almost jarring viewpoint on a sculpture. The green plant and bronze sculpture are immensely different from each other, yet they take up the same room on the photo. This produces a strange picture that captures viewer’s attention. The differing aspects balance each other out to create a visually appealing photograph.
This flower is an excellent example of color. It stands out against the monotone green with bright yellows and reds. The contrasting colors makes it pop and adds to the depth of yellow and red.
It’s amazing how the little, seemingly mundane things can become extraordinary with the right creative devices. Human emotions play a huge part in the success of a photograph. Creative devices are the tools in which to manipulate them. An empty road becomes a yearning for adventure, or a plant evokes curiosity.
Next time I take pictures, I’ll be sure to focus more on the emotions that the picture is creating and how to use creative devices to manipulate those emotions.
I like to tell myself that anyone can change the world. Too much weight is put on talent, or the aptitude for talent. Especially within writing circles, too many people put down their pen because ‘it wasn’t for them’, or ‘there’s better competition out there’.
I call BS.
Talent will get you through High School and maybe Freshmen year, but after that, passion and hard-work take the spotlight. I believe this is true for most majors, but in writing especially.
The world is constantly changing, and because of that, talent will get you nowhere if you can’t adapt. I’m hoping this class will teach me not only how to adapt to the roaring tide of Journalism, but how to ride the tide to a successful career. “
There are two things I hope to take away from this class.
How to tell a story using media that is not strictly written articles.
How to reach a larger audience.
I’m the first to admit- I’m not good at getting people to pay attention to me. As a natural introvert, I shy away from the spotlight. So this class will be instrumental in teaching me techniques to build my brand and broadcast that brand for the world to see.
As I said earlier, I believe anyone can change the world. I also believe the most efficient way to make an impact is to go to the people you’re writing about. Human interest stories have always interested and moved me.
My career inspiration is Brandon Stanton, author of the Humans of New York blog. Stanton started his career trying to honestly capture the people of New York. His project was so successful he now brings attention to social justice and human rights movement all around the world by interviewing the people most directly impacted by it. He’s covered wars in Iraq and famine in Africa, just to name a few.
In a previous class I’ve interviewed nonprofits in Laramie, and even had the opportunity to talk with a client of the Interfaith Food Pantry. Good journalism cuts to the heart of issues in society, and I believe people are that heart.
I hope to continue interviewing sources that are close to the issue at hand and ask them about their personal experiences and hopes. Organizations like the Laramie Foster Closet or Feeding Laramie Valley are possible sources. I have a lot of interest in the mental health field, so I also hope to use the Wyoming Association of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers (WAMHSAC) as a source.
The last possible source I am excited to look into are the guest speakers the university brings in. Events like the Days of Dialogue are excellent opportunities to talk to unique people.
I’m not sure where this class will take me, or what I will learn. I certainly have a lot of room to grow, so wherever this path leads, it’ll only be up from here.