As the most stressful time of the semester ensues I would like to look back on the great times of this semester. As a freshman I truly did not expect what was thrown at me. The work load is harder than one can imagine, the time management skills ones needs truly develop, but most importantly the experiences one faces in college are amazing. This is an environment where one is suppose to mess up, screw around, and find themselves. This school supports you in your choices and gives you a sense of home, right when you’re needing it the most.
This week the University Union released the official documentary for Juice Jam 2014. I found myself looking back on that day and remembering how big a day that was for me this semester. Juice Jam just isn’t about the parties and the singers, as a freshman Juice Jam was the point in which I finally felt like a part of this University. That day you get a sense of the type of people go to this school and you realize that you are surrounded by some of the best people you will ever come into contact with.
While watching this video I found so much inspiration in the techniques of the video as well as the event. It makes me so happy that our school holds events like this. In such a large school one can feel lost and alone, but with events like these it brings the entire student body together and creates a family. I will never forget this amazing day in such an unbelievable first semester here at Syracuse University and I am so glad that I will always have this video to go back to and remember why I chose this amazing school.
As first semester comes to a close, I’ve realized how fast time really moves. Everyone always tells you that things happen in the blink of an eye, but I never understood what they meant until now. I am one semester away from being halfway done with my college experience, and that scares me. Syracuse has come to mean so much to me. My friends here have become a second family, and this campus has become a second home. I know now that I need to appreciate those little moments, those times that I’m up all night laughing with my friends, watching the Syracuse sunset as the weather gets warm, or walking through campus as fall turns the leaves yellow and orange and red.
This semester has taught me a lot. It has taught me to take people’s words lightly. It has taught me to manage my time between my schoolwork, my friends, and myself. It has taught me to make an effort, to put myself out there, because if I don’t, I will never know what I’m missing. As sad as I am that I am leaving in a couple of days to go back to Philadelphia, I feel fortunate to have found such an amazing place and such amazing people and I can’t wait to return in a month.
Professor Harper has always had a way with saying inspirational things in really awesome ways, so I figured I may as well make one of his quotes a topic of a post. Harper was able to give us one of the biggest takeaways of his class in only four words. “Fuck fear, be awesome.” It’s one of the things that he’s stuffed down our throats more than sequencing or shot variety: to believe in ourselves and go for it. Giving it everything that you’ve got gets results, and Harper has emphasized that the things we do in this class should be both fun and a lot of work or else we aren’t doing them right. I’ve appreciated the way that Harper teaches and carries himself from the first day of class. He makes things extremely educational while at the same time making COM 117 my favorite class of this semester. He’s fun and laid back, but is able to recognize when it’s time to get serious. I’ll miss having him as a professor and will hopefully at least see him around Newhouse.
For the past few months I’ve been writing for a site called oreangefizz.net, a sports site that covers Syracuse football and basketball. When I came to Syracuse I had no interest in writing of any kind; I was a Broadcast and Digital Journalism major and I was gonna act as such. The university has given me plenty of chances to step outside of my comfort zone, and I couldn’t be happier that I chose to take this one. I’ve always known that my writing was at least decent, but through writing for the Fizz I’ve learned that I even enjoy doing it when I’m writing about something that I care about. I never got the opportunity to write in such ways before Syracuse. In short, I found it easier to write about Saturday’s game than the themes of Crime and Punishment. I love sports; not just the games themselves but the way that they bring people together and provide a relief from the everyday stresses of life, and I want to pursue a career in the field because nothing would be better than playing even the smallest role in that process.
I’ve never been a fan of when politics flows over into the sporting world. Sports are supposed to give people a break from the politics of the real world, and the two should be kept separate. With that being said, I love Jackie Robinson. The man was so much more than a baseball player, and even more than just a black baseball player. Robinson was an inspiration and one of the major figures of the Civil Rights Movement. Sports figures are idolized for their elite physical abilities, and they’re put on a pedestal that makes them appear larger than life. For the longest time, this status was reserved to only whites, and blacks, or any minorities for that matter, were banned from even watching sporting events. To have a black man among the ranks of the supernatural did arguably more to kindle the fight for equality than any other single event, and the fact that Robinson was one the best of his day helped. Sometimes, the issues of the outside world are too significant to be ignored by anyone, and Jackie Robinson confronted the issue in front of him head on.
The UAB football team was shut down a week ago. Due to financial issues with keeping the team, there will no longer be any football at the University of Alabama Birmingham.
In one of the most emotional videos that I have seen in a while, a UAB player throws all of his anger at the university’s president. The player speaking is 27, one of if not the oldest on the team. For athletes, their sport is a part of them. Many of these players only think about football, and most of them don’t know how to function without practices and work outs in their daily schedules. None of them came to UAB expecting to have the rug pulled out from under them. When I was playing sports in high school, it never once even crossed my mind that one day it might just be gone. The things we value most often go unappreciated, and you have to know what you’ve got.
Anderson Silva is on of the greatest fighters to ever live. He’s strong, tactical, and intimidating. In short, the man is a badass. Most professional athletes point to other athletes when it comes to where they get their motivation from, Mike Tyson or Muhammed Ali perhaps. Silva, however, looks to Peter Parker.
Silva has been known as “The Spider” for a while, and Spider Man has always been his favorite super hero. Silva uses Spider Man as part of his motivation to be better and recover from the broken leg he injured against Chris Weidman in UFC 168.
Inspiration can come from unlikely places. Hell, gravity was discovered because of an apple. That’s one of the things that I’ve been able to learn from this class. I’ve gone in to projects and shoots within projects thinking that things would go one way but then end up entirely different. I’ve learned to not be married to my initial ideas because I can be inspired to do something better during the process. Like with Anderson Silva, inspiration can come in any shape and size, and you have to be open to anything that comes your way.
This past Friday, I went out on a limb or two, and allowed myself to be coerced into a mosh pit. I had been looking forward to seeing one of my favorite local bands, Conroy Blanc, dancing a little, and maybe engaging in some interesting conversation towards the back of the room. Of course, there I was, standing next to my good friend, Ian, who had apparently taken note of my enthusiasm for the music. A veteran mosher himself, I guess he felt that it was a comfortable enough environment for me to begin my own moshing career. There I was, jumping around to the music, when I feel Ian’s hand push me forward. All at once there was some slamming and pushing, and I was definitely kind of scared. However, when it cooled down, I realized that I had not in fact died, as I had predicted I would. In fact, I felt kind of awesome. I took the lull in tempo as an opportunity to set my purse down, take off my earrings, and flip-up my nose ring. As I walked back towards the front of the small crowd, Ian turned and raised his hand. As we shared the highest of fives, I told him to never pull something like that again, but that I was totally ready this time. I moshed that night, the following night, and all things willing, I will mosh again in the future.
As someone who does not have a history of enjoying the mildly-violent physical contact of strangers, being sweaty in public, or really just taking risks in general, I would have to say that both experiences felt like exposure therapy. I was genuinely surprised at how quickly my anxieties went away once I just accepted that there was nothing I could do but try to enjoy the experience. While I am not by any means suggesting everyone go throw themselves into a pit, this experience has inspired me to try more things that I would have never considered ever doing in my life, and to expose myself to things which on first instinct may seem scary, but afterwards are less threatening in their unfamiliarity.
But come on, how could you not want to jam out to this music? :
Hip-hop has long been a way in which the artists are able to tell a story. Although rap is stereotyped as a genre of music in which many of the artists are obsessed with wealth, women, violence, and drugs, many rappers chose a higher road and explore how they can use their music to make a difference in society in a more political or social sense.
One of the stronger examples we have seen in past years has been the artist Macklemore. Macklemore, being born in the northwestern city of Seattle, has fairly liberal, west-coast, progressive views that he often expresses in his music. In his song “Same Love”, which was released on his Grammy Award winning album The Heist, he creates a sort of anthem for marriage equality, critiquing American society and their homophobic views.
Artists have taken up a strong stance now with the issue of police brutality and racism. After issues in Ferguson Missouri, several artists joined in on the protests around the country, Macklemore being one of them. Rappers like J Cole both were at protests, The Game released a song after the shootings, but most notably Andre 3000 created a wardrobe to protest the shootings. The Outkast superstar had already begun to start protesting other common issues in America by wearing black jumpsuits with certain messages on them, so he wore a certain one to protest Ferguson.
Although Andre’s jumpsuits critiqued shallower issues like our obsession with social media or expressed one of his lyrics, this specific one took a direct shot at society not only in America, but worldwide. This is what I believe to me musical activism at it’s best.
Last year I took a class called Creative Writing in which I learned how to tell a story, any story I wanted, through the written word. I wrote my own play, several poems, and even a short story. This year, in this class, Multimedia Storytelling, I learned more than I did in a year’s worth of Creative Writing. I was introduced to a “new” medium. Video has never been one of my specialties, as some can attest to, but that only means that I got that much more out of this class.
We began with a mini-project that got our feet wet, but dove right in to our PSAs after. My PSA was a sight. Let’s not revisit it. It suffices to say that I’m proud of it for the perseverance it took me to get through it. I enjoyed my non-fiction and fiction both exponentially more. The non-fiction was a fun one, and our protagonist was more than interesting, but it was this project that made me understand that editing can be fun in addition to a necessity. Te fiction project, thankfully, was the best yet. I enjoyed each and every aspect of it, the filming, the editing, and the final product is something I am extraordinarily proud of.
Finally, I want to throw out some love to the entire class. In all honesty, I disliked COM117 in the beginning. As the semester went on, and as I gradually understood how to use the equipment and FinalCut, it got better, but our screening today made me realize how much I will miss being in class with all of you. Thanks for a fun and worthwhile class! I wish everyone the best going forward.
P.S. Since my favorite project exceeds the maximum size to upload, I guess we will revisit my PSA. Have a good laugh!