A Semester in Review- Li

I can’t believe that I am writing my last blog post for journalism 215 class. To be honest, I was really nervous when I registered for the class not only because multimedia reporting sounded complicated but also journalism classes have always been intense. However, this class is by far my favorite course at U of I and it makes me sad that it has come to an end. I love my classmates, Professor Collins and my equipment. I am not ready to say goodbye but I am happy that I’ve done and learned so much in this class. 

Texture shot for the “Get to Know Your Camera” assignment.

For me, the first assignment was the most stressful one. I play with my own camera a lot before coming into the class so I have no problem using it for the first assignment– Get to Know Your Camera. However, it was the editing process that drove me crazy. That was the first time I had ever edited a video and I realized that I was not a quick learner when it comes it editing. Due to the fact that professor Collins went through the instructions pretty fast, I had to pick it up on my own. The video ended up fine but that’s when I told myself that I need to do better next time.

Participants playing games at the Chinese Lunar New Year Event hosted by Taiwanese Student Association.

Assignment 2 is to produce a photo essay. I was excited that I could cover the Chinese New Year Event for this assignment. Chinese New Year is very important for Taiwanese and Chinese people and I would like to share this aspect of Chinese culture with my classmates. I took a lot of pictures for the event including people eating hotpot, playing games, getting excited to find out who wins the biggest prize. The pictures capture a lot of emotions and they look good when I put them together in the photo essay.

Eating brunch with friends at The Bread Company

Assignment 3 is to produce a video essay. I did mine on a day of a college student. Basically, I took the camera with me and filmed what I usually do on a daily basis. The video essay included clips of me eating brunch with my friends, taking the bus, getting ready for class and studying. It’s kind of like a vlog but a shorter version. I had fun shooting the assignment because I know these routines will be missed once I get out of college so it’s good that I have them recorded.

Students are enjoying their time at the Bridges Rocks event hosted by Bridges International, A Christian organization on the U of I campus.

Assignment 4 is to produce an audio package. I spent a lot of time picking the topic for this particular assignment because nat sound is required. While I was still figuring out what to cover, one of my friends asked me whether I want to go to a rock climbing event with her. Did I say yes? Of course, I did. Just Imagine how much nat sound I can gather at an event like this! The rock climbing event was hosted by an on-campus Christian organization called Bridges International and it serves as an opportunity for international students to interact with domestic students outside an academic setting. It was cool because I got to rock climb and meet different people from all over the world. Not to mention I was able to gather great nat sound of people yelling and cheering for the climbers.


Kimiko Gunji, a professor emeritus of Japanese arts and culture, at the U of I is standing by her work on March 4, 2017.

Assignment 5 is to produce a video package. My story focuses on the ikebana event at the Japan House. Ikebana in Japanese refers to the arrangement of flowers and it is an important element of the Japanese tradition. While I was browsing the event calendar to look for an event to cover this assignment, the ikebana workshop caught my attention. Thus, I had the opportunity to see how ikebana is done and to cover it for assignment 5. I enjoyed the shooting and the editing of it but I should have chosen a quieter place to interview my sources due to the fact that the nat sound was too loud.

Homemade matcha crepe cake made by Emma Li on March 25, 2017.

Assignment 6 is to make a How-to video and I did mine on “how to make a matcha crepe cake.” I would say this is my favorite assignment because we got to be creative! Rather than doing a makeup tutorial, my video is about making food! Chi, my Vietnamese friend, is really good at cooking and making desserts so I thought it would be fun if I can do my How-to video with her. Because we both love match (aka green tea), matcha crepe cake has become the highlight of the video. The shooting process was fun because it didn’t feel like I was doing it for a class. Also, how cool it is to have an assignment like this in college.

Poster at the exhibition that presents the on-campus student protest during 1965 to 2011.

The last but not least, the final project on UIUC’s diversity and Inclusion. First, I want to shout out to Nate and Malec, my awesome teammates, who help put this project together. U of I is considered as one of the diverse universities in the U.S but our team wants to find out how diverse it is and how people think about the issue. We faced some challenges when doing our project but we managed to overcome them with courage. For instance, we ended up putting Professor Salo’s perspective in our project because we thought it would give the story a balance. In other words, we want the audience to see the two sides of the story as one side being excited and cheerful about the sesquicentennial celebration and another side being critical and careful of not forgetting the struggles that students experienced in the past. As journalism students, we want to speak for the voiceless, we want to balance our story and but want to minimize harm when it comes it reporting. It’s been a pleasure to meet with people from Hear My Voice and Professor Salo. It is you that make our project objective and inspiring.

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