When I started this blog not too long ago, I had no idea what the focus would be. I had no set goals that I wanted to reach through it. Basically, I made the same mistake that had resulted in deleting so many blog sites prior to this one: I started one because I felt like I should.
I’ve spent the past week staring at an empty Word doc, trying in vain to find something interesting to share with the world. I figured going to classes, making overnight oats in Mason Jars, and calling doctor’s offices weren’t really what one would define as “exciting” or “interesting”. But that’s basically all I had. There were plenty of deep, controversial topics bouncing around with those overnight oats and course syllabus in my brain, too. But again, not really the kind of things I would want to dedicate an entire, ongoing blog to.
So I stared at an empty computer screen. Totally clueless.
Then, yesterday, one of my prof’s asked me why I was taking her class.
It’s a broadcasting class. “Pre-Production/Planning Video/Film”. I’m the only Journalism major in the class. The rest are film-focused, mostly fictional film. Our prof was asking us what we hoped to get out this class, and she was especially interested to hear what interest a Journalism major had in a film production class. And that’s when it “clicked”, I guess you would say.
This past May, I went to Nicaragua with a multimedia missions workshop called Storytellers Abroad, through the organization ABWE – Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. (You can read about some of my experience there and see some of my photos on my photography blog.) Each of the participants were assigned a missionary to work with during our time there, and the end goal was to produce a compelling multimedia presentation about our subject and the work they were doing in their community. The main purpose of the video would be to garner more support for these missionaries.
My subject was Alvaro Ramirez. (You’ll read more about his story later on.) For a little over a week, I went with Alvaro to his various outreach programs in his community and captured through video and still image the impact he was making in the lives of the young children in the small villages of Tipitapa and San Benito. I also conducted interviews, and just spent a lot of time getting to know Alvaro and his beautiful family.
The experience served to further concrete my passion for storytelling, and ignited a greater interest in telling those stories visually. Way back when I was just a wee little high school grad, I chose the journalism path because I wanted to meet people. Even as an qualified “introvert”, I loved nothing more than interacting with people. I had a keen interest in learning all about their lives, hearing the interesting tales they all had to tell. As an almost college grad, that passion hasn’t gone away.
In The Winter of Our Discontent, John Steinbeck wrote, “I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.” That quote really hit me when I stumbled upon it, and made me think about all of the people I pass every day on campus, all of the people I’ve stood behind in the lines in the dining hall, all of the people I’ve interacted with in the various groups I’ve been involved in…all of these real-life people with real-life stories to tell, that I had seen as simply another face in the sea of many. And it served as a challenge to me to change that mentality. To actively be interested in those faces as people with names and lives and personalities.
So there you have it. That’s my theme. I’m using this blog as encouragement to be more intentional about interacting with people and getting to know them on more than a superficial level.
It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.