Upon finally waking from his slumber the man engaged in his ordinary morning routine, with this particular start of day bearing a certain excited-ness within him. For today was the day which heralded the start of a grand adventure. One bound to be filled with writing, designing, filming, editing, socializing, as well as a variety of additional "-ings". Everything which he engaged in that morning, from showering, to eating, to pocket-square-choosing, was accompanied by an air of pure, unadulterated excitement. At 15 minutes passed 11:00 he left from his humble abode, bidding a solemn farewell to his family, fully ready to set out on his new adventure. The man has since tired of referring to himself in the third person. The blog shall henceforth continue in the first. After leaving my house, there begun a small mini-adventure which one often engages n when trying to find a specific building in downtown Tucson: driving around for one billion-gajillion years (not an exageration) down the same street over and over frantically looking back and forth between the paper with the address of the correct building in one's hand and the buildings one is driving past. All while simaltaniously looking for places to park should one find the correct building. There is then of course the inevitable amouunt of time which has to be taken into consideration for when one accidently goes down one road when they intended to go down another. Eventually one begins to develop this sort of feeling:
Anyways, this(no joke) incredibly euphoric experience of checing into my dorm room was accompnanied by a sorting through the various goodies which I had been slated for my use over the course of the workshop including a notebook, pen, calender, glasses cleaner, and a weird unidentified red thing that I later discovered was a nail file (we're pretty sure; it has been the subject of much discussion. Theories have been proposed, debates have been waged. We hope to come to a consensus by the end of the week. Stay tuned). After compiling my new-found material friends into my bag it was time for the next step in my adventure. A step probably rather more pivotal then checking into my dorm. One which would lay the foundation upon which the rest of my experiences over the course of the workshop would balance upon. I am of course referring to getting Chipotle with my Grandmother before it was time for the start of the workshop at the U of A School of Journalism at 1:00 that day. And it was great, as if Chipotle is ever aything but. Once done with that super essential stepping stone on the path to Journalistic success, it was time for the workshop to get underway. Up until this point I hadn't really interacted with any of my fellow students besides my good firend Jane Bendickson (And even she is more of a casual aquaintance if were being entirely honest with ourselves), and I was excited to get to know the people I would be spending the next week working alongside. However, this presented a challenge; one which I had already strugggled with earlier that day. Keep in mind that the dorm rooms are seperate from the U of A's School of Journalism, where we do most of the actual work for the workshop. Yeah, you guessed it: it was FINDING. THE. CORRECT. BUILDING... PART II. THE SEQUEL.
Despite the shortcomings of the cards, I started to build a rapport with two of my fellow student journalists in particular, by the names of Pascal and Brianna. Like me, they have a passion for journalism and are fans of intelligence. Which is always cool in people (I later discovered that Pascal and I have very similar tastes in music, and we sang Rocket Man by Elton John together). Jane, Pascal, Brianna and I soon found quite a bit to talk about including our respective past experiences with journalism and our hopes for the workshop. The party went on for a fair bit of time after that, part of it including a tour of the School of Journalism, ranginng from the computer lab where we would all work on our stories, to the conference room where we would have our daily meetings. After that, we were given a special showing of a documentary film called Donnie, made by UA journalism major Ana Augustowska about a transgender man and his transition and consequent struggles for acceptance. This film proved incredibly inspiring to me; film-making and visual storytelling being fields I've been wanting to explore for some time now. In fact, this film inspired me even farther, to the point where it motivated me to create my own documentary piece. But we'll get to that later. Continuing with my tortuously in-depth timeline, arguably the defining moment of the first day, at least in terms of the academic side of things, was a discussion between the various student journalists, college-level mentors, and the director of the workshop, Elena Stauffer, about what we all wished to cover as part of the newspaper which is produced every year at the end of the workshop, The Chronicle (that should be fairly obvious hopefully; check the title of the website you're on, yah doof).
During this discussion there were many ideas posed, us having been prompted as part of our application process to think of potential story ideas before even coming to the workshop. This discussion was beneficial for a variety of reasons, one in particular being the aformentioned presence of more experienced journalists such as David Del Grande and Elena Stauffer, who, among the other higher-level journalists, both provided a wealth of feedback on our ideas. I went into the discussion with a handful of half-thought-out ideas ranging from a short guide on appplying for college classes as a teenager, to a piece analyzing the current national transgender debate and its effects on the more local scale of Tucson. However it was one of my smaller ideas that I would end up deciding to produce a story on, that one being a piece on the recent Downtown Mural project, organized by the Tucson Arts Brigade in collaberation with the City of Tucson. As mentioned previously, after viewing Donnie by Ana Augustowska I was heavily inspired to produce my own documentary in a similar style. This I decided to do both as a personal challenge as I have never produced anything similar to that before, and, again, because I am heavily interested in the intellectual and
technical processes of creating a film.
The story discussion took a significant amouunt of time and was the main component of the day in elattion to the production of The Chronicle newspaper. The remainder of the day consisted of a myriad of other introductory activities designed to familirize everybody with everyone else as well as with the curriculum and expectations placed upon us as student journalists. Such adventures included taking photographs within the U of A mall, playing charades with Jane, Pascal, and Brianna, and setting up the blog which you are currently reading. In the effort of wrapping this insanely long blog post up, I won't go into detail into any of these events, but rest assured they all played their part in making me more comfortable in my role as a student journalist as well as more excited for what is to happen later in the week. Already my brain is racing with ideas for my documentary and for other blog posts besides this one. This day was the start of a grand adventure, and I am thankful for everything I experienced, and everything I still have to experience. Especially the dorms. Those are friggin awesome yo!
Oh dear that was long. I need a nap. See ya'll later.