Friday, October 3, 2014

MJD On and Off Campus

At Saint Mike's we like to say nice things about each other!
Wow, is it really 5 weeks into the semester already? I can't believe how quickly time is moving. I think it definitely has to do with the fact that this is senior year, but also because my friends and I have all been so busy!

Last time I told you about my housemates and how we all have these really cool and different things going on. Cait has a major role in the Student Association and just started a blog for her Animal Rights class. Merrill is working hard with an off-campus internship. Alex just completed her LSATs and is now focused on different aspects of her business major and her role as our Blogging Coordinator. All four of us are constantly running around to get things done, but the best parts of our days are in the morning when we get ready together and at night when we can gather on the couch (or the bed in whoever's room we choose to crowd in for the evening) and discuss everything that happened since our woman-empowered dance party that took place in the bathroom that morning.

So, what have I been up to? What have I NOT been up to might be a shorter list!

I'm taking five classes this semester, although two of them are half-credit. Three of those courses are MJD (Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts), but only one of them is actually required for my major. That's my Senior Seminar class, a half-credit course that helps me prep for my project next semester. Senior Sem is a little bit different in MJD than for other majors because we work on it all year, whereas most students complete their projects in one semester. This semester, we focus on doing research and planning out our projects. Next semester is all about the execution of the project and producing the book, website, or documentary that will be the final product of eight months of work. My friend Sheila and I are currently working on research for a documentary we want to make regarding ageism (and many things related to this broad subject, but I'll leave you waiting in anticipation for now).

My other two MJD courses are electives, and so far they're definitely taking up most of my work time. However, they're super cool, and I'm glad I chose to take them for a number of reasons--most importantly because they get me off campus and practicing what I've learned in the "real world," much like I did last semester in Morocco.

The first course is called Digital Film and TV ("Digi-film" for short). In this class, Professor Hyde teaches us about film and all of the techniques that go into making them. We're learning how to use Adobe Premiere to edit our own short films. Our first project has encouraged us to find someone off the SMC campus who has some sort of creative passion that helps them "escape" into another world. I had a little trouble finding a subject at first, until one day when I was out on Church Street watching all of the buskers. I came across a young woman playing an accordion and singing, and I was taken aback by the way she threw herself into the music. She'd stomp her feet, close her eyes when she belted out a high note, and throw her whole body into the accordion as it expanded and collapsed. I immediately knew that I wanted to make my documentary about Laci, and since that day I've been having a blast filming her in interviews and street performances. Not only do I now have some experience of what it's like to film in public, but I have a great new friend with an incredible talent!

The second course is my internship class, instructed by Allison Cleary. Though a full-credit course, it only meets once a week because the rest of our time is filled with working on-site at our internship locations. In class we get together and discuss how our work is going. We also learn how to properly represent ourselves on social media outlets like LinkedIn and touch up our resumes. We took a Myers-Briggs personality test with Ingrid Peterson from our Career Services office. I just had a mock interview with Ingrid the other day as an assignment for class as well, and I was really happy to get some feedback on where I can improve my interview skills (I've got to work on my handshake!). Overall, the class itself is a great way to collaborate with my MJD friends about how to carry ourselves in a professional setting and how to resolve issues that may arise during the learning process.

In class yesterday, we went out to the Word Garden and chose two words that describe our experiences so far. I chose "roam" because I've been enjoying walking to my internship site in the lovely weather we've been having. I've found that it's good to walk and let my mind wander before going to sit at a computer and focus hard on it for hours at a time. I also chose "enthusiasm" because while I may not do everything right, I do it with enthusiasm!

Professor Cleary led the class in our Word Garden exercise.

My site location is at the Emily Post Institute. I'm their Web Development and Marketing intern, and so far the experience has been great. I'm learning a ton about web maintenance and I have one huge web project that will take a good deal of the semester to complete. So far, I'm in a nice friendly environment where I can truly learn and grow from my supervisors and coworkers.

In another class exercise, we went around the room saying what we thought each others' strengths were. My classmates and professor had such nice things to say about me!

I'm definitely loving my off-campus experiences so far. It's showing me that I can apply everything I've learned here to a larger setting, and I appreciate the feeling of knowing that I will be just fine after graduation!

No comments:

Post a Comment