Warning: array_key_exists() [function.array-key-exists]: The second argument should be either an array or an object in /home/kenharper/webapps/wp_establishareconnectorg/wp-content/plugins/wp-code-prettify/wp-code-prettify.php on line 117

What We’ve Done

December 7, 2014  |  Inspiration

For my final inspiration of the semester, I think it is necessary to look back and appreciate what this class has accomplished over the past few months. There are many talented people that were in our COM 117 class. Different people were good at filming, editing, pre-production, interviewing, and effects, that made it a great experience to work in groups like we did. Since COM 117 is a required class for all Newhouse majors, we got the opportunity to work with people in every major in Newhouse, not just your own. Therefore, every group for every project had a unique group of students for creating a story.

I was able to get a unique perspective and inspiration today while watching every group’s music video. Each group had its own unique song genre as well as a unique style that they filmed their story. From an iPhone ringtone remix to a slower, love song, each group had a unique aspect that could only be created by combining so many different areas of study into one group. Even with my own group, I found it very useful and beneficial to have different perspectives and different backgrounds when creating stories. That allowed last-minute changes or alterations to the story or filming that ended up working out better than the original. Newhouse is a very unique place. Classes like COM 117 combine all of these unique perspectives and it can really inspire everyone to do their best work and to work together to create a great story together.

Look How Far We Have Come!

December 7, 2014  |  Inspiration, Inspirational

To think this was the first ever video project that we had for this class.  Create a PSA with DPS that informed students about safety on campus.  I am not going to lie, this project scared me.  I have never taken a video before and I had no idea what I wanted to show.  This project exhausted my creative juices, but it turned out a lot better than I thought.  The collaborative projects in this class really taught me how to work with others to communicate an idea and coordinate a message to an audience.  FinalCutPro is not as hard as it sounds, it’s kind of like riding a bike, or actually anything, practice makes perfect.  The more hands-on opportunities that I had, the more I learned.  One of the more memorable moments of this class (besides getting shot) was when Danielle, told us get a camera, find a story, film it, edit it, you have an hour.  It was exhilarating having a deadline.  The pressure really pushed us to the edge to find a story.  (Unfortunately we spent a good 30 minutes of our time just figuring out how to initialize the camera) We eventually went with an interview of ESF students on their opinions on the relationship between their school and SU.  I learned so much from this class, not just filming and editing but how to tell a story with more than just words, but now images.  Here at Newhouse, a lot of us are words people, so this class really diversifies our talents.

100 Years of Beauty in 1 Minute

December 7, 2014  |  Inspiration, Inspirational

The other day, I saw a video on YouTube that I found really interesting.  It was a video showing all the hairstyles of the past few decades, from a 50s bob to the intense hair of the 80s.  The video went decade by decade detailing the hairstyles that marked that decade or generation.  This more than just a visual of the progression of hairstyles throughout our history but also told a story of how our hair defines the gradual changes in our culture as well.  As the decades went on, the less conservative the styles became, which allowed for freer expression in how we present ourselves.  It illustrates the beauty standards that have defined each decade and how they have developed into what we have today.  But something I found interesting was how the 90s-Present decades doesn’t have a designated hairstyle that I feel encompasses the whole decade.  One thing that this video illustrated about the current decade (2010-present) is how selfie-obsessed our generation has become.  What was inspiring about this video, is how they used a time lapse to tell a story about the development of our beauty standards and culture.  This is something that I am interested in studying.  There are so many different interpretations of whats beautiful in our world.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,  but who’s eye controls our culture?

Storytelling with Style

December 7, 2014  |  Inspiration, Inspirational

As my the semester ends,  my editors at Jerk Magazine, Kelley and Michelle, have come up to me informing me that I will no longer be the freshman intern next semester.  They want to promote me! They felt my talents were being wasted away as the freshman intern.  Was I ready though? Am I ready to take a section editor position? And, which one do I take?  Over this semester I got to get a sense of each different section of the magazine to see where I fit in or what I liked.  In the beginning, I thought the “BITCH” section was so badass, to be able to just give your opinions on any topic, ranting away.  Or did I belong on the Digital team, posting quick sassy articles?  To my surprise, the “GAWK” team really peaked my interest the most.  That’s where I hope to end up next semester.  The “GAWK” section covers fashion and style, they conduct all the photo shoots in the magazine.  Over the semester, I have gotten the chance to fact-check all of this semester’s photo shoots, and I got first look at all the different images.  I really just enjoyed how they were able to tell a story through their images.  That is something that I really learned this semester, whether it was through COM 117 or through what I have done at Jerk.  Storytelling can be told through more than just words, visuals tell a story too.  Like they said, pictures can say 1000 words right?

Trans*cending

December 7, 2014  |  Inspiration, Inspirational

I am the freshman intern at Jerk Magazine this semester.  With my position I was able to edit and fact-check all the articles that went into the past few issues of Jerk Magazine.  One of the stories this semester that really stuck out to me was in our most recent issue, the December issue.  We covered an exhibit at the ArtRage gallery on Hawley Avenue in Syracuse, run by Rhys Harper, a trans* man.  This photo exhibit featured numerous portraits of people within the trans* community all across the country.  Harper, hoped that this exhibit would humanize the trans* community in the eyes of the public, showing them that they are just normal people like everyone else.  He hopes to continue his campaign by tackling discrimination against the trans* community.  Jerk Magazine, gave a statistic from the Anti-Violence Project, that said in 2013 two-thirds of the victims of LGBT homicides involved trans* women of color. For change to occur, Harper believes that society must change systematically.  In an interview with Jerk Magazine he says, “We have to have conversations about racism and privilege.  I think those are really hard conversations to have.”  The reason Rhys Harper is inspiring to me is because he wants to tell the story of the trans* community in a humanizing way.  I want to see that more in the media, highlighting our similarities and illuminating what makes us all human, instead of polarizing the country based on issues.

Protest While Filming.

December 7, 2014  |  Inspiration, Inspirational

The other day, me and my group were filming our music video for our COM 117 final when a rally against the lack of indictments in the deaths of both Michael Brown and Eric Garner started.  In a second there were swarms of people there rallying, documenting everything from their phones.  It’s interesting to see people rallying behind such a cause, not just on campus but all around the country.  The decision has sparked a movement across the country, resulting in forms of protests varying from the regular chants to the new addition of “die-ins.”

What makes this even more interesting was the fact that while the protests were under way outside Hendricks Chapel, inside an ESF graduation was being conducted.  The juxtaposition of protesters and families in celebration made a really interesting sight.  What was disheartening to see was how some of the students from ESF were acting towards the protestors.  One parent actually got into a verbal altercation with one of the protesters.  This Daily Orange article has more info on what took place.  http://www.dailyorange.com/2014/12/students-protest-lack-of-indictments-in-deaths-of-michael-brown-eric-garner/

What made this inspiring to me was how people of different backgrounds rallied around an issue that has been going on for quite some time now.  The racial tension has been building in this country and the series of unfortunate and unnecessary events that occurred this semester were just the catalyst for the boiling point.  Its nice to see how different students can rally behind an issue here at Syracuse.

Die-In

December 6, 2014  |  Inspiration

10393155_10202684242461919_7092446049580364250_n

One of the greatest inspirations in my life, a very close friend of mine is very active in the protesting surrounding the recent issues involving the police and people of color. She is so passionate about it and her drive is such an inspiration to me. She makes me want to believe in something and just go for it.

She’s been protesting, speaking at events,  and doing everything in her power to get the word out about the lack of justice for these fallen black men who have faced brutality from police officers. It’s just interesting to me because I feel like we’re watching history in the making. My peers are starting up protests, my peers are a part of the media, my peers are making history and it makes me really excited but nervous at the same time.

Change won’t come if we don’t take action to fix the situation. We can definitely see that from history. It makes me happy that the people of my generation are brave enough to stand up for what they believe in. What makes it weird is that we’ve always just read about these things in school, but now they are real. These things are happening to us and we’ve been dealing with it. It’s frightening.

I hope some sort of resolve is reached through all of this. I know this won’t happen over night. I know that it will take years to fix, I just hope it doesn’t get any worse.

Frustration

December 6, 2014  |  Inspiration

question-310891_640

I’m having this… Internal struggle. I’ve developed this friendship with this person over many many years. We got unbelievably close, we basically lived at each other’s houses, our families spent every holiday together- everything. Long story short, that all ended in flames a couple months ago,  just before we graduated.

Without giving too much away, my relationship with this person was so complicated. This person has treated me really good and really bad. I’ve given this person chance after chance. I’ve laughed with this person and I’ve cried with this person. You can say that I’ve invested a lot of time in this person. So to watch it all just end and so suddenly was very difficult for me.

Anyway… A lot of time passed, and I told myself that I was okay with everything that had happened, that i had moved on, started college and I was just over it. I ended up rekindling a friendship with a childhood friend at college, who happened to ask me about this person. My friend said “You seem angry.” And that really got me thinking about if I was handling this as well as I’d thought.

I talked with my mom and a couple close friends and I did some self reflecting. I realized that I wasn’t handling it as well as I thought, but I also realized something else- time makes it easier to deal with hard things, but I think I’ve been holding on to a lot of stress and I’m ready to just let that all go. My only fear is that I’ll end up in the same boat as last time.

Here’s my Dilemma

December 6, 2014  |  Inspiration

drama-masks

I’d say that I’m a pretty selfless person. When I make decisions I really try to consider everyone involved and how my decision will effect everyone. I think my mom raised me to be somewhat ethical. So now I’m faced with this decision where I know the right thing to do is to be selfless- but I want so bad to do this one thing for me.

I’ve always had a passion for performing. It’s the only thing I ever thought I would do. So at my high school, I was very much involved with the theatre program. My director and I developed a great friendship throughout the years and he asked me to come back and help out with the shows with the kids. He asked me months ago if I would choreograph the spring musical for him because he doesn’t have a dancing bone in his body. Of course I agreed, I mean, I love my theatre babies and I want their show to be the best that they can be.

Let’s back track some more. Months ago, when I was still looking into colleges and trying to figure out where to go, my mentor told me about this group at Syracuse University called First Year Players- especially designed for first year students who aren’t theatre majors. At this point I had already decided that I would not go to school for theatre, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to be in a large scale performance while in college! It really would be my only chance.

So I went back up to the high school to see their fall play, and my director pulled me to the side to ask if I would still choreograph the show. “Of course” I said. And he made me promise that I would because he is solely choosing this show because I’m going to choreograph it. Once I got home, I got to thinking… These two shows, both spring shows, are going to conflict with one another. I can’t be in two places at once. So I found myself facing this decision- either keep my word and choreograph the show for my old high school, or be in a show, doing what I love because I’ll probably never get this chance again.

Decisions, decisions.

Roses and Customer Service

December 6, 2014  |  Inspiration

10157298_744836972217895_8548165023788415967_n

I remember working at Regal Cinemas at Destiny USA. I absolutely LOVED that job for the first maybe….four months. Then I began to hate it, but I love getting paid. Anyway, working at Regal made me realize just how difficult customer service can be. Every single day involved handling difficult, rude, and undeserving customers. I learned A LOT of patience working that job.

Going through my phone, I came across this image. I remember this day as clear as day. I was working the box office, again, dealing with rude customers all day. I remember seeing a group approach the box office and what was interesting about this group was that they were all casually dressed except for one guy in the group. He was dressed in this really nice suit, and he was carrying about two dozen roses. I thought maybe he would be asking his girlfriend to prom or something along those lines. Anyway, he came up to my window, pulled a rose out of the bunch, handed it to me and said “here you are, beautiful.”

I was so pleasantly surprised! That had been the sweetest thing that a stranger had done for me in a very long time! He smiled at me and just walked away. I spoke with one of the women who was in the group with him and she said that he was just in the mood to give out roses today. Now why can’t we have more people like that in the world? Who just feel like putting a smile on someone’s face- just because. I don’t even know his name. He didn’t do it to get credit, he was just in the mood.

That guy inspired me to do more to make other’s smile. Whether it’s just holding the door a little longer or paying for someone’s coffee. I think we could all do more random acts of kindness and restore faith in humanity.