Category Archives: Fall 2015 – J215

Multimedia Comes to an End

12189163_126536414373085_406327895107191868_nInitially before the class was even in session I was nervous to see what would come ahead of me. Professor Collins initial email had me worried I would be pilled on with more work than enjoyment. I felt as I had it really cut out for myself for taking up Multimedia and Television 1 in the same semester. However now as we have come to an end I was completely wrong, Collins is one of the best teachers I’ve had at the University, she taught me so much in so little time that had sharpened my skills across the board. Through the semester there were a series of assignments that were completed at a gradual pace, adding one element after another until we combined it all in our final project.  Continue reading

Jimmie’s Year In Review

Time Square

Marching Illini at Time Square

The end of the semester has finally arrived and what a crazy past 14 weeks it has been. I have learned a lot of valuable elements in multimedia reporting. This class has been a lot of fun because I got to see everyone’s work in the class. I liked every week presenting our work to the class and getting feedback. I learned some things from other students that really helped me in the class and also in my TV 1 class. Sharing story ideas and ideas for technical elements really made the course a lot easier. As a part of learning, I now look back at all of these assignments and see some things that I really like, and some things that I could have done better and can improve on. Continue reading

Mastering the Art of Multimedia Reporting

My Multimedia Path 

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Coming into multimedia initially, I was so nervous. Professor Collins initial email had me freaked out. My first thought is wow what did I get myself into. The class seemed very intense. Plus I took both multimedia and TV this semester, so I had not much multimedia experience coming into the beginning of the year. Everything worked out though! I am so pleased with how I’ve grown as a journalist this semester.

Assignment one was the beginning of the journey. I had minimal experience with working with these types of cameras we used this semester, so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. I ended up having a ton of camera difficulties, including focusing issues. My anxiety and stress were so high. Its so funny looking back at it. I’ve learned so much this semester, so taking pictures and video of basic stills is a piece of cake. The quality of my shots have gotten so much better. It’s wonderful to see how far I’ve come between the first assignment and our final project.

Nature still

My favorite nature still!

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment two consisted of the photo essay with and without sound. At this point I was comfortable with the camera, and I enjoyed creating a story line out of my images. I chose to portray a day in the life of my average routine, from waking up to going to sleep at night. I had a lot of fun when it came to actually shooting the images, however editing was a different story. I came to found out that nat sound was needed in all images in the with sound assignment. I thought nat sound should only be used with powerful images at the time. This is when I learn that nat sound is ALWAYS important! Even though I had a few bumps in the road I still had fun with this project.

This is my breakfast, a part of my morning routine

Breakfast: a part of my morning routine

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Multimedia is the most fun and interesting class I have ever taken in the college of media. From this class, I learned a lot of essential knowledge of video shooting, video editing, as well as the importance of team working, At the beginning of this semester, I was shy and hindered from participating in lectures because I’m not familiar with any of the online tools and camera equipment. Now, I’m more confident and skilled in taking videos, editing pages, and design a hopefully decent video product.fangyi

Since I registered multimedia class two weeks later than most of people did, I finished my first assignment with the second one. It was the first time of me using the professional camera while trying to capture the most qualified images. I was stressed studying angles, types of shots, and focalizing.

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For the second assignment, I started feeling comfortable with my camera, recorder and the Adobe Premiere application. I forgot to create an introducing slide with black background in which I should add my name, professor’s name, and assignment title to the video. I realized that there was a lot of stuff I needed to catch up with and at the same time, I should keep up my work. I went through a little struggle to mute down the sound but I figured it out later on. It feels so good to know and handle things I never got in touch with before. The hardest part of assignment 2 was to go out and take videos to form a storyline.

APPLE-11

 

My topic for assignment 3 is how to make guacamole. My friends and I went to county market and got three avocados, one red onion, two jalapeños, some cilantro and one bottle of pure lime juice for the video. To me, the hardest part was editing all the short videos together with the correct sequence. For some clips, I learned that it is not professional and standard to zoom in and out with my shaky camera. After that, I brought my tripod to every event I attended. guac-2

For assignment 4, I went to Asian American Culture Center to interview the Tibetan monks who hosted an art workshop. All community members who are interested in Buddhism and Tibetan cultures were invited. My biggest error in making this video is that I didn’t use the recorder. Since the ambient noise is too loud, it becomes difficult to hear what that Buddha said. After this time, I always carefully check my interview equipment and try my best to get the best shots and audios.  tibetan

For the last how-to pieces, How to paint an old shirt, I have to admit that coming up with a how-to idea and designing the video for audience. In the final project, I made the video named How to make dumplings for international students, which made me appreciate team working process and recognize the significance of cooperation in multimedia industry. By supporting and consistently communicating with each other, we achieved the goal and turned in excellent work. I want to thank my talented, considerate teammates who always give a helping hand when I got in trouble with editing my video.

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Reporting for Off the Shelf and Online, I am Fangyi Liu.

Growing into a Multimedia Journalist

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Stepping into the semester, I was excited for what was to come and what I would be learning over the semester. I had pictured picking up skills that would translate the writing in journalism classes so far into multimedia form and was expected to come out of the class as a knowledgeable multimedia reporter. What I did not expect was the attention to detail and planning that was required for multiemedia journalism that I was also able to pick up over the semester for which I am extremely grateful.
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The Adventures of a Multimedia Student

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Photo of me

The first day of class was the most intimidating day of all. Professor Collins made sure we knew what we were getting into, telling us about how we always need a plan A, B, C, D… and so on. As scared as I was to start learning the basics, I knew I was in good hands with Professor Collins and was grateful for all that I knew she was going to teach us. Once we were all assigned cameras, our first task was to go out and take pictures using different angles. I was so nervous because I had NO idea what a “pan” meant or a “wide, medium, tight” shot. Yes, I was pretty clueless and ended up having to do some research just to figure out how to turn on the camera. I remember sitting on the quad pretending to act like I knew how to work my camera and taking random pictures of Foellinger Auditorium while someone came up to me asking what type of camera I had. I tried to play it off like I knew but he clearly could tell I had no idea. I eventually ended up learning so much and gaining so many new skills that I will continue to use throughout my Journalism career.

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Flowers on campus

Assignment 1 was supposed to be the easiest and at the time I thought it was impossible. Looking back on it now, I laugh at how stressed I was about getting the “right shot.” I spent about 3 hours of my day just walking around campus trying to find pretty places to take pictures at. People probably thought I was a professional but in reality I had no idea what I was doing. It also took my twenty minutes just to figure out how to turn the camera to the video setting. Oh, and getting the tripod out was even more difficult because I couldn’t figure out how to attach the camera on to the top, but that’s besides the point. In all honesty, this was probably one of my favorite assignments because I encountered so many new places on campus that I had no idea even existed. I took one of my favorite shots of flowers on here too that today I am still very proud of.

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Baseball jersey

The next assignment was a photo essay with sound and a photo essay without sound. This was probably my least favorite assignment to do because I had no idea what to take pictures of that would have sound. Thinking back on it now I could have done so many other options but at the time I overthought the assignment which is something that I advise the next multimedia class not to do. I wanted to take pictures of something that expressed a lot about a person and the first thing that came into my mind was clothing. I took a lot of pictures of different clothes I have trying to add in a wide array of patterns and textures. One thing I didn’t really include was a lot of variety. Most of my photos were of the same angle/shot and it was all kind of the same. This assignment made me realize that next time I should step out of my comfort zone because playing it safe isn’t always the best work.

Netflix_Web_Logo

Netflix logo

Assignment 3 was next and that was my video essay. This was definitely one of my favorite assignments! I really felt like I started to get to know my camera and was learning all the different settings to use as well as getting better at using transitions with editing. Although, I did take forever to come up with an idea for this… I really enjoyed my end result. I kept putting this assignment off until the last minute (bad idea) and would get easily distracted my other things like social media and Netflix. I realized that that would be a perfect idea for my video essay! I came up with a couple different scenes of a student getting easily distracted when doing their homework and deciding that Netflix was a better option. I had so much fun with this because my roommate and best friend got to star in my video, which made it much more enjoyable to film. I definitely suggest getting your friends involved in your videos if it’s relevant because it definitely makes it a fun assignment!

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Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) photo. Credit to BodyWork Associates at University of Illinois

I started to get really stressed once assignment 4 rolled around, also known as the audio package. Each week was getting harder and required a lot more time to complete all of your work on time. I was worried I wasn’t going to finish this assignment because I could not find anyone that wanted to talk to me. I asked about 10 people at the ARC if they would take ten minutes of their time for me to ask them a few questions, but no one wanted to do that. At that point I was about to quit or just decide to do a different topic but I didn’t want to give up completely. Finally, after countless hours just sitting at the ARC, two people were more than willing to talk with me and I got my interviews finished! This was the biggest relief ever and I felt so accomplished at the end of the day. The next part was almost just as difficult when I realized I wasn’t finished at all and still had to go through all the editing and voiceovers. Figuring out which soundbites to use for my audio package was even worse. I honestly didn’t really have a “story line” for my package yet and didn’t really think anything out before I went on my interviews. This is not something I would recommend doing next time and I definitely learned from it. Overall, I think my audio package turned out alright but next time I would approach it in a different way.

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Credit to history.com

Next was the video package and I can tell you right now that this was the hardest assignment of all. I literally had no idea what to write a story on and thought of an idea completely last minute, although it was pretty timely, which is always a good thing. I was on the verge of tears during this whole assignment and even my friends could tell I was super stressed about getting all the interviews and footage I needed on time. Luckily, my friends decided to come with me on my interviews because they knew how much anxiety I had about this assignment and wanted to make sure I was doing well! I also continued to call my mom everyday that week and tell her that I couldn’t do it but she convinced me that I was overreacting… she was right. This assignment taught me a lot about making sure to never procrastinate on your work, especially in the journalism field. Editing this assignment was fun and I really enjoyed getting to see how my work came together. That was the most rewarding part about this class, getting to see how all my hard work paid off.

McCormick Guacamole

Courtesy to McCormick

The How-To was the next and it was definitely the most fun of all! I’m not generally good at cooking so I decided that I would try for this assignment. College students are always looking for an easy meal and I thought that doing a How-To on How-To make Guacamole would be a great hit. It was super fun because I convinced my friends to help me in exchange for having some of the guacamole once I was all finished. This was a totally stress free assignment and I had fun doing the entire video, from filming to editing.

The last assignment was the group project and this was by far the best experience I have had in any journalism class. In the real world you’re going to be working in teams and having people that you must rely on to finish their work on time. That is exactly what this project was all about, being able to work as a team and put all your work together into something that is truly amazing. Of course this was during a time where I had a million other group projects to complete and I was totally stressed about getting everything done. I started my part of this project a little late and wish I had more time to make it into a piece that I could call amazing. Our topic for this group assignment was disabilities on and around the UIUC campus, which was really neat. We all were so into talking with people who have disabilities and telling their story in the best light possible. I did the How-To portion of the project and couldn’t quite figure out how to link it to disabilities, which was my major issue for the whole assignment. My teammates were really great in helping me decide what to do and in the end I think that our whole project turned out to be really neat. Creating the website was one of the best parts because we got to see what it would really look like if the story was actually published. All of our stories were posted and it was such a fantastic feeling to see that all of our effort and hard work turned into creating something really great.

Finishing up the semester I feel like I am way more experience in the multimedia field. I would highly recommend this class to anyone, especially Journalism students, because it definitely prepares you for the real world. The skills that I have acquired in this class are going to help me throughout my career and I can’t express how thankful I am that I took this course. I know I will achieve great things in the future with broadcast journalism because of the new concepts I have learned throughout the semester in Professor Collins course.

Time FLIES when you’re having fun!

I cannot believe my time in Multimedia Reporting is over! Well, I know it is not the end for me with multimedia, but the semester is sadly over. I am so happy and blessed to have been able to have had this experience. Specifically because I now have all of my work documented! Which I will definitely be using as I continue to apply for internships.

Picture of me

Picture of me

I remember coming into the course and getting all of the camera equipment. It was SO cool. It was exciting to carry around the big backpack, and I could not wait to start shooting. But I was definitely nervous. The photo essay  was a great way to get me familiar with my camera. I was very proud of the beautiful shots I got outside by the quad and right outside of my apartment.

Night time still shot

Night time still shot

For assignment 2, I was toying with different options to document, but then I realized a BEAUTIFUL rainbow was outside of my apartment one day. I got creative and documented my roomie looking upset (because of the rain). Then looking out the window. And finally of him outside the apartment taking pictures, himself!

Photo of James before he experiences the rainbow

Photo of James before he experiences the rainbow

When we could finally add video, it was right around the time of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish holiday. I wanted to document this beautiful holiday that I celebrate. I ran into trouble when Hillel would not let me go into the room where services and dinner were taking place. Electronics were to be put away on this holiday. I still wanted to document the traditions, so I improvised and still made it work. Here is my video essay

Apples and honey for Rosh hashana

Apples and honey for rosh Hashanah

And now… the REPORTING. I decide to attend the IJEA, Illinois Journalism Education Association conference. This conference caters to high school students, and I had the opportunity to document their experience. I learned to hold the mic closer to those who I interviewed and I learned to nod instead of respond “okay, okay” to every response. This made for bad audio. I also got to utilize sound cloud, check it out!

Image from IJEA conference

Image from IJEA conference

Up next was the full package. This was great. I went and covered a breast cancer awareness event which was going on. Not only did I enjoy getting the video, audio, and images, but I learned a lot. About what Colleges Against Cancer does and how they affect the lives of students on campus in regards to cancer.

Adorable image of dog for THINK PINK week

Adorable image of dog for THINK PINK week

My favorite assignment of the semester was the HOW- TO piece. I chose to do “warming up your voice.” This came easy to me because I sing! It was a lot of fun. I even got my a cappella group involved!

Piano necessary to warm up voice

Piano necessary to warm up voice

Last, but most definitely NOT least was the final project. This was a very interesting experience. My group struggled at first. As all group projects usually do, we struggled particularly because we changed our topic half way through. We were all very supportive of each other though and helping each other brainstorm etc. if anyone was stuck. I am glad I went to speak with professor Collins when we needed help because doing this allowed me to have a clearer idea of what to do and how to go about it. I covered a full package of the Tunnel of Oppression.  Our entire groups project can be located here. Our overall topic was “shining light on what was hidden.” A lot of times we shelter the thoughts and feelings we as a society experience in regards to Alzheimer’s and oppression, so our job was to shine light and bring something positive to it.  I absolutely LOVED that professionals were able to critique our work at the end too. I thought it was very helpful and extremely cool that they took the time to do that!

Courtesy to Jasmine Dinh

Courtesy to Jasmine Dinh

 

Reporting ONE last time for Off the Shelf & Online, I am Lizzie Jassin.

~I had a great time, and thank you for following 🙂

 

 

Finding a different way of success

On the first day of class back in August, I was terrified. As a broadcast major, I had been in front of the camera a countless number of times. I love taking photos and have put together high quality videos for both of my brothers’ weddings. But I had never produced work from behind the camera for a grade. Of course, my family and friends praised my work, but it’s very unlikely that they would have say something negative about my work even if I asked them too.

Me!

Me!

Though I was nervous, I looked forward to the class. Taking a multimedia class provided me with the opportunity to critique the skills I already possessed and learn new skills. It challenged me to come up with story ideas that were not just interesting to read about but also provided visual and audio aspects.

When our first assignment was given to us, I all but forgot how to take a picture on a camera, which was not great considering it was a photo essay. Our photo essays were really for us to get familiar with our equipment.  Looking back, my stress level was much too high for such a simple assignment. If I was to be given this assignment today, I could do it without any hesitation.

Newman Hall

Newman Hall

I decided to make Newman Hall the topic of my photo essay. We were required to take photos and videos of wide, medium and tight shots from different angles and different light settings. I live at Newman Hall this year, and I lived there last year. I’ve always thought it was a nice place to live, but I never fully appreciated the building itself from the outside. This assignment forced me to view this building from a different perspective. It made me more aware of things around me. Even the smallest aspects of my life can be produced in an art form.

The second assignment was very similar to the first in that we had to take wide, medium and tight shots from different angles. The difference this time is that we were adding natural sound. I made Grange Grove the topic of this assignment. I took my photos in the early evening when the sun had almost set. This was probably my favorite assignment because I had the most fun with it. I am one who loves absolutely everything regarding Illini athletics, so spending time capturing photos of one of my favorite places during a time when I was the only one around was extremely peaceful. Because it was something I cared about and enjoyed doing, I think my photos came out even better than if I had picked a different setting.

Grange Grove

Grange Grove

Our third assignment was a video essay. This assignment was given to us during my brother’s wedding week. I took this opportunity to use my homework assignment to not only have fun but make a nice memory for my family. My brother had a videographer at his wedding, but he didn’t have anything for the rehearsal dinner or time leading up to the wedding, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I thought this assignment was the kickstart to my love for the class.

Kevin and Lizzy toasting at the reception.

Kevin and Lizzy toasting at the reception.

The next assignment was an audio story. I loved this assignment because it involved using skills that I already had learned to love, which is reporting. I reported on the Illinois student population’s opinion of the McKinley Health Center. The best part of this assignment was reviewing our scripts with Professor Collins. I have written plenty of audio stories before, but I have never actually gone through a script with someone and have them critique it with me. Reading my script out loud with Professor Collins and listening to her critiques caused me to come up with new ideas of my own, which I think made my story even better than I thought it could have been had I completed it without going over it with anyone.

The McKinley Health Center

The McKinley Health Center

Following our audio story, we had a video story. We needed three video interviews. Since I am already extremely comfortable interviewing people, the most important part for me with this assignment was the video shots themselves. Making sure that the setting was quiet enough was a bigger problem than I thought. Another important aspect was using lower thirds to make the shot look nice. We also needed plenty of b-roll. This assignment was the most different for me because I had never done anything like this before, though I hope to produce plenty of more assignments like this in the future.

Credit to parking.illinois.edu

Credit to parking.illinois.edu

After that was our how-to assignment. I showed how to make a green vegetable smoothie. I thought this was a good topic because it is something that I make all the time. I was in my video, which if I was to do it again, I probably wouldn’t have done that. I preferred my classmates’ videos in which they used mostly tight shots to physically show what they were doing in each step of the process, where as in mine it was mostly me telling my audience what to do.

This photo of two green smoothies is from thelifechest.org

This photo of two green smoothies is from thelifechest.org

Our final assignment was a package consisting of an audio story, a photo essay, a video story and a how-to. We chose to focus our package on disability. My part was the photo essay. I took photos of the Illinois Wheelchair Track team’s morning practice and wrote about the team itself and the McFadden sister’s journey to success. I loved this assignment. Though we each had our own parts, we all helped each other out in different ways. This way, we all were able to learn from each others’ approaches to journalism and share our own ideas. Overall, I thought our assignment was a success.

The wall of the practice facility for the Illinois Wheelchair Track team.

The wall of the practice facility for the Illinois Wheelchair Track team.

While preparing to write my reflection, I went to look back on reflections from last semester’s multimedia class. The first post I read was Brett Lerner’s. His post was ironically titled, “In the Blink of an Eye.” This post hit me hard because Brett was a friend of mine and was taken in a fatal car accident on his way to work earlier in the semester. Brett was what I like to think was a perfect example of what a good aspiring journalist should be. He was passionate, devoted and would do anything to get to the top. Brett had so much potential to be successful, though his life came and went in the blink of an eye. When we lost Brett, the whole world lost someone special.

From that point on, I decided to dedicate every piece of journalism that I produce to Brett. To future students who take this multimedia class or any journalism class, do not take this opportunity lightly. Life changes quickly, and you may never know when that is going to be. When you do something, anything, do it the best you can. If you don’t try your hardest to succeed for yourself, do the world a favor and succeed for Brett.

Making the Impossible, Possible – By Jazmine Reynolds

Selfie by Jazmine

Selfie by Jazmine Reynolds

So, I was both excited and nervous when entering multimedia. I read the syllabus and welcoming letter that was included and I thought to myself, this is going to be a great class. And, it was. Multimedia was, by far, my favorite course since I’ve been at Illinois. It pushes you to go out and make things happen in order to meet a deadline, no matter the circumstances. It drives you to look within yourself and make what you may think is the impossible, possible. In other words, the course assists in molding you to become a responsible, reliable journalist so you’re ready to face the world.

Waterfall by Jazmine Reynolds

Waterfall 

As I look back at the past semester, I realized how much each assignment prepared me for the next. Assignment 1 was easy, yet still a challenge. Professor Collins assigned us to take a combination of picture and video shots in order to get to know our camera. The assignment was fun, and the quality of the pictures was amazing! I really felt like a photographer for the day. I also felt better about using my camera for future assignments because it I knew more about how to hold it, zoom in, zoom out, etc.

One Saturday Morning by Jazmine Reynolds

One Saturday Morning 

For the second assignment, the class was assigned to shoot two video essays. One video essay was with natural sound, and the other was without. I decided I could get interesting shots shooting the activities I do while waking up in the morning. So, I took shots of my breakfast and shots of the first things I see when opening my eyes. I shot from the angles I would see things in the morning. What I learned from this assignment is that you can take pictures of just about anything to tell a story. It’s all about the flow of the pictures and the story you want to portray to the audience.

U of I's Arboretum. Courtesy of Google images.

U of I’s Arboretum. Courtesy of Google images.

The third assignment was a video essay, and my favorite assignment to shoot. I took advantage of the beautiful summer weather and shot the University of Illinois Arboretum. The shots were gorgeous! I wanted viewers to take a trip with me through the garden and admire the beautiful flowers the way I did. However, I missed the most important element of the essay: telling a story. It’s important that the photos are arranged in an order so that viewers can feel like they’re taking that journey with you.

U of I's Business Career Fair. Courtesy of Google images.

U of I’s Business Career Fair. Courtesy of Google images.

Next was the audio package. We were finally ready to interview! The audio package was a nice assignment because it gave us a chance to show our journalistic side. We went out, recorded interviews, and then edited them while narrating our own voices around them. We needed natural sound, so I chose to cover the business career fair that was taking place that week. I enjoyed interviewing students and editing the package, but the best part when putting it all together. The finished project is always the gratifying moment for me.

The next assignment was where I hit a bump in the road. It was the full video package. It wasn’t my first time putting together a video package, but I felt as if I was on a time crunch to get all my interviews, edit, narrate, and then put it all together. So, I missed the deadline. Though I still completed my package, my late work could not be accepted. Professor Collins wanted to discipline each one of us to plan ahead, and it was such a learning experience for me.

 

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

Last, but not least, was my how-to video. I definitely enjoyed both making my video and watching my other classmates’. I made scrambled eggs with cheese, a simple yet essential part of any breakfast. It was fun placing the camera at an angle that captured just what I was doing. I also took advantage of using another program called Final-Cut Pro to edit. I think the finished project came out well.

Shining Light on What's Hidden. Courtesy of Jasmine Dinh

Shining Light on What’s Hidden. Courtesy of Jasmine Dinh

The final group project was, by far, the most challenging. My group members were awesome to work with and very flexible when we hit road blocks, and we definitely hit a few. Our original topic was covering Alzheimer’s. We planned to profile a lady with Alzheimer’s and show the audience a day in her life as well as cover topics on how to care for someone with the disease or events that informed people about it. However, when we couldn’t schedule a time to meet with the face of our topic, we were forced to go on without her and create a different topic, Shining Light on What’s Hidden. We were on a time crunch, and stress levels were at an all-time high! We did a great job pulling it all together. I was so proud of my team. We covered issues that are important, yet hidden in society, like oppression, Alzheimer’s, and depression. I specifically covered how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. I was very pleased with the finished project. Take a look for yourself!

Overall, this was a phenomenal semester. If I had to recommend one class to any Broadcast Journalism student, I would recommend Multimedia with Professor Collins. Her teaching techniques drive you to impress not only the professor, but to prove to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. I learned so much about myself, and I enjoyed being given the chance to push through, even when I thought there was no way. I learned to make what seemed impossible, possible. And for that experience, I am grateful.

For Off the Shelf and Online, this is Jazmine Reynolds signing off.

Onto the next one

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A picture of myself.

In all honesty, I am terribly sad to be done with multimedia. Also in all honesty: I never necessarily thought I would say that. After getting the 15-page syllabus this summer and coming to class the first day in August, I was extremely intimidated by what I thought I was getting myself into. I didn’t know how to work a camera, and I had absolutely no idea how to edit my work using programs that I had never used. However, it wasn’t long until I realized how much I was learning with each assignment, and tracking my improvements each week felt really cool.

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