Scratch That.

As I’m often prone to do when working on papers or projects, I ended up completely shifting the topic of my video narrative. As I was playing around with the different video manipulation tools, such ad iMovie and Animoto, I stumbled across a lot of fantastic photos and videos clips from my summer job as a camp counselor.

My story suddenly seemed really obvious. Not only had I been working at Virginia Tech, at a camp based around writing and digital media, but I’d also had my own run in with the importance of multimodal communication.

No, I’m not making this up, and I don’t know how I didn’t realize it before.

Now I’ve laid the rough draft for what I’m calling, “The Story of Michael”, which is my retelling of an experience I had with a shy camper who felt his writing wasn’t strong due to English not being his first language. Eventually Michael is able to break out of his shell when we discover he loves to communicate through drawings and comics.

Although I’m not completely satisfied with the video yet, particularly in areas like matching the audio and video zooming, I am happy with the final direction I chose to take my project.

Ten Things I Know to be True

In working on my video narrative assignment, I found inspiration from one of my favorite spoken word poets, Sarah Kay. In a 2011 Ted Talk , she touched on an issue that I ran into as soon as I began thinking about what story I wanted to tell through my narrative. She said, “Sometimes, sharing a poem (or in this case, a video) can be really scary”. It’s incredibly true.

As someone who also writes poetry, and has taken several creative writing courses here at Tech, I completely understand the terrifying feeling of sharing a piece of your work, a little sliver of your life, with someone else, for their judgement. This video narrative is no different.

But Sarah Kay continued to inspire me more. She spoke about how, as a creative writing teacher to high school kids, she encounters resistance to sharing work all time. “So I came up with lists,” Kay said. “Everyone can write lists. And the first list I assign is ’10 Things I Know to be True’”.

This got me thinking. As Hokies, we have our own lists. We have our own ideas of what makes up Virginia Tech, and while some of them are universal (#10: Always bring an umbrella), others are a bit more personal (#4: The math empo is where your soul goes to die).

It’s interesting. Even though we all go to the same school, our lists are bound to be different. And although I’m not sure how I’m going to capture the 10 things I know to be true about Virgina Tech, I’m excited to share my list, and hopefully inspire people to create their own. Kay wraps up her speech by explaining the beauty of sharing lists:

“ And here’s what happens, and here’s what you would discover tooif we all started sharing our lists out loud.At a certain point, you would realizethat someone has the exact same thing,or one thing very similar,to something on your list.And then someone elsehas something the complete opposite of yours.Third, someone has something you’ve never even heard of before.And fourth, someone has something you thought you knew everything about,but they’re introducing a new angle of looking at it.And I tell people that this is where great stories start from –these four intersectionsof what you’re passionate aboutand what others might be invested in.”

The video narrative assignment is all about telling a story that relates back to the VT community. Sharing my list, and encouraging others to share theirs, seems like the perfect way to do this.