Smiles and positivity are contagious…


This semester has been a whirlwind of new things!  I learned how to take better photos, learned how to use an audio recorder and I learned how to interview people. I had a really fun time in this class!

My favorite project this semester was the individual soundslides project; STOP sexual violence. I really loved editing the audio and putting it together with the pictures. I really loved how I intertwined music in with the audio interview. I thought it was really neat to be able to combine all of the things I have learned in this class into one project. One top of that, I really enjoyed getting to know Jules and the topic was fascinating!

I really learned a lot about how to combine photography, audio and reporting all into one form of media, which is an essential skill in the field of communications.  I am really grateful that I got a chance to experiment with html formatting and the dreamweaver program. I believe that I will use all of these skills in my future career.

I see myself doing public relations in the future but since I am an International Studies and French major I am hoping to do public relations for an international company or organization. I am thinking about traveling abroad next year teaching English or doing a mission trip, and I feel confident now that I could blog about my experiences because of this class. I also am more confident in my photography skills and I think this skill could really aid me in my travels, which will hopefully be a part of my future career.

I wish we had gotten more time to learn about HTML formatting, but that’s ok and I realize that there is a class where you learn more advanced website formatting skills. For the most part I have really enjoyed every skill I have learned in this class.

This class has proven to be a huge learning experience! I have really enjoyed all of the projects we have done the entire semester!

STOP sexual violence!

This week I got to do an individual slideshow project and it was so fun! I interviewed Jules Arthur, who is the STOP violence program coordinator here on UW’s campus. She is leading a new program so she has only been here for three months. I thought it would be interesting to get to know her a little bit more, so when I heard that Panhellenic had invited her to speak I jumped at the opportunity to do my project on the STOP violence program. I also interviewd Megan Haigler, president of Panhellenic, the governing body of sororities on UW’s campus.

Taking the pictures and recording was interesting, but it really worked fine. I really enjoyed working by myself because I know that if I mess up something, it’s my own fault and I am affecting only myself. I think it relieved a little bit of the pressure for this assignment. It was also very easy to talk to Jules Arthur so that made the project go more smoothly as well. It is fun to work with a partner just because each person offers a different perspective, but I really enjoy working by myself as well.

It was really fun to capture the audio at the speech. Going back through the recordings later was a blast! I could hear people laughing in the background and it was just a really good audio clip in general. I enjoyed being able to put her interview and the pieces of her speech together. It was also really fun to get Megan’s perspective because she brought in Jules Arthur for the Panhellenic community event. Luckily, all of my background noises were minimal. So it was very clear to get their interviews.

Photography was a little bit more difficult for this assignment. The speech didn’t yield that many creative pictures, but I think with the attributed photos helped with the project. A lot of times, getting shots of a speaker is hard so I was excited with the few I got. I wish I would have been a little bit more creative with my photography.

I didn’t have as many struggles as I did with the last project. I am actually pretty pleased with how smooth the process went. I think after doing the audio and the photography a couple times now helped a lot. It is annoying to hear the audio that many times, but that is all a part of the process.

I would definitely take more pictures, and maybe I could have caught some girls after the speech to ask them why they thought the stop violence program is important. I think there were a couple of different angles I could have gone, and I wish I would have experimented a little bit more! But overall I am really pleased with the project, and I cannot wait to show Jules!

SoundSlides Critique

This week our class did SoundSlide projects. I critiqued three classmates’ projects and here they are:

Cody Hess and Patrick Pajak: 2011 Wyoming Cowgirl Volleyball Team:

  • Great job! I thought it was a very cool topic, and like you said in class it is awesome to give them some publicity. I liked the ambient noise a lot. I thought the cuts were smooth as well. I thought the voices flowed really well and it was nice to hear coaches and players perspectives. The photos did correspond to the audio. My only critique is that the pictures were a bit tinted yellow, but I thought you did a great job capturing action and passion.  I’m glad you shot pictures of the fans, players and coaches. I thought the pictures were diverse and you captured the action very well. I thought you captured emotion
    very well in your photos. I thought the end and beginning of the audio flowed really well and made a clear ending.  Great job!

John Czerwinski & Andrew Joannides: Cowboy Football Interview

  • Good job! I thought it was a very colorfu presentation and the idea was very creative. The voices were really clear, which made the project easy to understand and easy to listen to. I liked the picture of the guy and the water bottle. The color was very nice, especially in the new generation brown and gold pictures. Both guys speaking were very clear and very passionate about their topic so that was really great. I loved the picture with the three different types of helmets. You really captured diverse angles of the football team, which was cool.  The story did correspond to the pictures, which I think helped the flow tremendously. I thought the ending was nice; he ended on a nice quote. Really great job!

Zak Bolender & Justin Trygg: Wish Upon A Zombie:

  • Very cool! I really liked the story project and I thought the entire thing was very interesting to listen to. There was background noise during the first audio portion but it was recorded in a gym so I thought it was very clear for being in a gym. You could hear the wind in one of the audios but it still worked. It kind of portrays Laramie’s true nature, so I thought it fit. Anna’s part was very clear so I thought that was great! The running pictures were really awesome; I thought you captured a lot of expression.  I also thought you captured the different aspects of the zombie run very well. The pictures were wonderfully correlated with the audio. I thought the end was a bit abrupt but overall I think you did a great job! I thought the voices flowed really well and the story was told interestingly. Great job!

For this SoundSlides project, Ashlee and I got to interview people about the UW Geological Museum. It was cool to be able to talk to people about this topic, especially Morgan Churchill, an employee of the museum. We learned a lot about the Geological Museum that I didn’t know before which was really interesting as well. We got to take pictures and audio record in order to create a SoundSlides project. I thought that was fascinating because we got to combine both our photography and audio recording skills.

Working with Ashlee is always fun! We had a great time coming up with questions, interviewing people and then working on the project afterwards as well. It was really funny when Morgan got up to show us his fossils because he was behind a desk so we couldn’t really move the recorder with him. We were nervous that the sound would be weird, but it turned out ok. It was also kind of difficult taking pictures of the museum just because there were a lot of distractions in the background. Interviewing Mary was also funny because the lawn mower in the background would not stop making noise the entire interview! But again it was just another obstacle we had to overcome.

SoundSlides was not my favorite program to work under. The picture editing was totally fine, but saving and exporting was really
difficult. I could not figure out how to access my project if I exited out of it because there were so many folders but each one of them opened a separate part of the project.I think using a new technology always has its ups and downs but in the end hopefully it worked out. It serves as a teaching lesson for the next project.

I would give myself a lot more time for my next project. It was kind of stressful having to pick an event and the times, and then edit the audio as well as photoshop. I would have preferred to have all of that done so that I could have worked in class on SoundSlides because then I could have asked questions. Next time I will hopefully leave myself more time. Overall it was a really fun and interesting experience, and it was pretty cool that we got to learn something new and different about UW.

Ashlee and I will be doing a soundslides group project about an event or program on campus within the next couple of weeks! Here are some of our ideas!

1)      Mike Dilbeck with Campuspeak: We would gather sound clips from his speech, as well as from the conversations that happen at the dinner before his speech.  This story is important because he talks about bystander behavior and leadership on campus, especially within the Greek community. Bystander behavior is a huge problem within this age group, therefore it would be interesting to get his perspective. Three possible sources could be Mike Dilbeck himself, Kate Steiner (Greek Life Coordinator), and Megan Haigler (President of the Panhellenic community).

2)      Story about Campus Activity Center and the events they put on: The campus activity center puts on events on Wednesday nights. This Wednesday night, October 19, 2011 from 8-10pm Kelly Taylor, a comedian, will be performing. This would be an important story because it is important for students to get involved on campus. It could be a great way to show support for the activities that our student fees go towards. We could interview Anna Rader, who works for the CAC, we could also collect sound clips from the Kelly Taylor as well as we could talk to the Aztec workers who handle the sound for these events. All of those people would give us a different perspective on the story.

3)      The new STOP violence project on campus: The STOP violence program is a new program this year that educates the University on how to end sexual and relationship violence on campus. Sexual violence is a huge problem on campus, and a majority of the time it is swept under the rug. So by doing this story we could help educate people on the project itself, while promoting safe sex and safe relations. We could talk to Jules Arthur, program coordinator, we could also talk to the Albany Safe Project to hear about other perspectives on healthy relationships, and we could also talk to the counseling center in order to provide information on the resources available on campus.

Audio Interview Critiques

Megan Elliot:

I liked how personal it was. It was interesting to learn why Sara decorates her house so wildly for every holiday (or practically any holiday). She told very personal, funny stories that made you imagine that you were there with her family. I thought Megan did a great job of capturing why the holiday decorating is so important for Sara. There was one clip that wasn’t as clean as it could have been, but really other than that I thought it was a great audio clip. I didn’t think there was any background noise, so good job!

Andie Knous:

I liked how easy the audio story was to listen to. Jessica’s stories were engaging and entertaining, especially the story about the guy who got bucked off of his horse! Even when she laughed it was professional. I thought it was more personal that way and I really thought Andie did a great job in order to capture those moments.  I didn’t hear any kinks or weird noises in the background which was great! I thought all of Andie’s edits were clean. There is one point where Jessica maybe leaned away from the recorder and you can hear the voice a little farther away but it fixes almost immediatly. The clip kind of sounded like it was in a tunnel or something, but I thought Andie did a great job overall!

More thoughts…

Through listening to my classmates’ blogs I learned that people have interesting things to talk about! Everyone has a different background and learning about other people is really fascinating! I thought it was really cool that we got to capture people’s personalities on audio.

Personally, I learned so much about myself through this process. Through listening to my own interview (by Ashlee Oslund) I learned that I want to cut out my “ums”, etc. I also talked really, really fast, (probably because I was nervous!) So as an interviewee it really helped me to become a better interviewer. I think knowing how the interviewee feels will help me to empathize with the needs of my next interviewee. I also learned through interviewing Ashlee that it was better to prepare the questions in advance, this helps you and your interviewee. I am really excited for my next interview because I think I will be better prepared so I can do the project to my full potential.

So this weekend I got to edit my first audio interview! It was really exciting because I was learning how to use tools that I will probably use in my future jobs. I love learning practical uses for the information that I receive in class. It was really fun editing the profile overall. I think it gets annoying to listen to one spot over and over again until you think it sounds right. I think I now have the interview memorized. But in the end it was a fun and worthwhile experience!

I learned that Ashlee was an awesome woman to interview because she spoke so well into the recorder. She spoke clearly and confidently, which made my job a lot easier. I also learned that asking
questions that force the other person to reply using the question words made
editing the audio a lot better. I feel that if the interviewing session is productive, the editing session will be as well.

I really enjoyed the control z function; “undo.” It made my
job a lot easier because when I messed up the cut or the edit, I could just hit undo instead of having to start all over, or completely messing up the project. I did not like when I didn’t leave myself a space in-between her comments. It was really hard to edit when the voices were so close together.

It surprised me how fun it was and how easy the tools were to manage. I think learning a program is often the hardest part, and audacity has proven to be very efficient, which has made editing fun instead of frustrating.

I really had a great time with this project; the only thing I would have changed would be to leave myself space in-between comments, and to get some background noise from the place we interviewed. After last week’s lecture I realized I had not done that and I wish I would have. I did not necessarily need it for this project, but I will probably need it in the future so it is a good habit to start doing.

*Picture taken at the Recruitment Leader Retreat for Sorority Recruitment 2011.

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