Wow, What a Semester!- Kerndl

Hey, that’s me!

All good things must come to an end.

It is so incredible looking back at the growth I’ve made and amount of work I’ve done for this class.  The relief I am feeling to be writing this final reflection blog post is indescribable.  I can not begin to explain how happy I am that the semester is finally coming to a close.  I have most certainly learned a lot from this class, and my progression is apparent, as shown below. 

People walk through the Quad on an overcast day.

Know Your Camera

This assignment was a little nerve-racking to me at first.  We got our cameras and were introduced to Adobe Premier and already had an assignment to complete right away.  I felt overwhelmed to say the least.  I waited until the last minute to do our “getting to know your camera” assignment, of course.

I got some decent shots of the Quad.  I actually kind of enjoyed completing this assignment.  I didn’t have as much a hard time shooting as I did editing.  Adobe Premier has given me a headache from day one, and continues to! Eventually it gets easier with time and practice, thankfully.

Local residents march in protest of President Donald Trump’s immigration orders at the University of Illinois Willard Airport on Sunday, January 29, 2017.

Photo Essay

A little girl holds up a sign during the march at Willard Airport on Sunday, January 29, 2017.

I thoroughly enjoyed shooting our second assignment.  I work in the photo department for the Daily Illini, so I was especially looking forward to working on our photo essay assignment.  At first I was worried about what I would do- how would I be able to capture and tie together all four emotions: afraid, fearful, excitement, and hopeful?  I knew it would be challenging.  I wasted no time thinking, but nothing came to mind right away.  Mind you, this is always the hardest part for me- deciding what my story will be about.

Then of course, we hear news of President Donald Trump’s  executive order and travel ban on Friday, January 27, 2017.  A protest would be held at Willard Airport.  I figured this would be the perfect event to attend to capture an array of emotions.   I felt comfortable getting right in there and shooting.  I found so many there, from excitement as people were chanting things they were passionate about and marching together, but also fear for the future in some people’s eyes.  I immediately began clicking away with my camera.  I got tons of photos, and loved so many of them that it was really quite difficult to pick and choose only ten.  I am very satisfied with how this assignment turned out and the flow of emotions I was able to display in my final photo essay.

Jenna Diers prepares for her 400m dash at the Armory on Sunday, February 5, 2017.

Video Essay

Now for the video essay! This event I covered seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to start learning how to shoot video.  While I’ve never really done any video work other than with my cell phone, I was really looking forward to shooting at this high school USATF track and field meet at the Armory.  I have covered several track meets through Milesplit Illinois, so I felt right at home.  I decided to cover one girl in particular- Jenna Diers.  Not to my surprise, she was an expert at being interviewed, so that was a relief.

While I had absolutely loved the shooting and interviewing processes, the video editing was a nightmare, per usual.  Adobe Premier still seemed so foreign to me, and I was convinced no matter how hard I tried, it would never become easy to me.  After lots of confusion and many questions asked, I was able to put the video together.  In the end, I believe the final product turned out rather well.  Of course, I learned some things along the way and carried them with me to the next assignment.

Marija Kosanovic holds up a Trump sign at Murphy’s Pub on Monday, Feb. 20.

Audio Package

This assignment was probably one of my favorites.  I decided to cover an event hosted by the Illini Republicans.  At first I was a bit intimidated, would they really want to share their thoughts on our new President with a student journalist? To my surprise, the members of this organization were more than happy to help.

Timothy Kilcullen adds his thoughts on immigration to the discussion on Monday night at Murphy’s Pub.

I had originally planned to interview each person separately, but as it turned out, the event at Murphy’s was more of a discussion in which I facilitated.  I had plenty of topics in mind to bring up and it worked out nicely that each person got to share some of their opinions.  I ended up staying a while longer than expected because I was so interested in hearing their different points of view.  At a university like this, or any university for that matter, it seems to be made up of mostly very liberal people, so I thought this was an amazing opportunity to hear the voices of students I normally would not get to hear.  They were not the scary rightists I am ashamed to have imagined.  They were all so friendly and more than willing to help me out with this assignment.  In fact, the Secretary of the organization, Jack Johnson thanked me afterward for being a fair and prepared reporter.

While I had gotten so much great content, it was a kind of a pain to sort through it all.  There were so many COOL soundbites I wanted to use, but only had so much time allowed.  I believe I chose the best soundbites wisely.  I think my script was well written also.  Overall, I am very proud of how my work turned out.   One thing for sure that I know I still need to work on is my voice in the voice overs, so I sound more confident and professional.  Overall, I am so grateful I had the opportunity to meet the people I got to talk to.  Without this assignment I may never have gotten to hear from their perspective.

Love Handles performs Wednesday night at UIUC’s ISchool for International Women’s Day.

Video Package

This assignment was also pretty fun to cover.  I decided to go to an event in honor of International Women’s Day.  This was the start of a great relationship I’ve developed with the Assistant Director of the Women’s Resources Center, Molly McLay.  She is also a member of the feminist band Love Handles.

I thoroughly enjoyed attending this event.  I loved getting to hear such an amazing band perform.  I’m also glad I got to hear some very passionate people’s opinions on feminism and their thoughts on the important role women play in today’s society, as well as general thoughts on International Women’s Day.  I overall am satisfied with how my video package turned out.

Vegan banana bread fresh out of the oven.


Okay, so the music choice was off, but aside from that I think I absolutely nailed this assignment.  The lighting was great, I had a variety of shots, the editing was well done, etc.  I’m a big time foodie, so I was looking forward to shooting my How-To on one of my very favorite recipes.  Overall, I am very happy with how my how-to video turned out.

The Women’s Resources Center is located on the second floor at 703 S. Wright St.


Final Group Project

At first, I was very concerned with how this assignment might turn out.  My group wanted to do our final project on sexual assault in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  I was very hesitant- would this be too challenging a topic, I though.  But after going to each event, I was feeling much better about how the whole thing would turn out.  Our focus was less on the depressing truths of sexual assault, but more on educating people on the serious issue of the matter and what they can do to help ultimately end sexual assault on campus and everywhere.

My team has spent the last month shining a light on the serious issue of sexual assault.  We hope that all of our research can help and prevent sexual assault.  Let’s work together to end this problem.

Without exaggerating, I easily spent close to 30 hours on working on this assignment.  One all-nighter, ten events attended at the Women’s Resources Center, and countless hours at Greg Hall sorting through and editing content, and it’s finally all over.  Thank goodness!

The WRC held an event called Resources & Reporting Series: Sexual Misconduct Investigations on Campus on Thursday, April 1 as part of a series of events in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to have met some of the amazing people I met.  I developed a friendship with the Assistant Director of the Women’s Resources Center, Molly McClay throughout the semester.  It started with my International Women’s Day coverage.  She was so helpful to me throughout the semester.  The Women’s Resources Center felt like my second home by the end of this assignment- I was there so often, attending so many different events.

We didn’t know which events would be worthwhile for our final project, so we went to just about every event for sexual assault awareness they had to offer.  That was one of the biggest setbacks we had, however.  We just had so much content to work with, it took so long to go through all of it to decide which pieces to use.  However, I am so proud of the work we produced.  I had such a wonderful time working with my group and thought we all brought our unique strengths to the table for this assignment.  Our website with corresponding video and audio can be found here.  I hope you enjoy (and learn something new)!


Final Thoughts 

Throughout the semester I have developed numerous valuable skills.  At first, I was very nervous, terrified in fact, to present each assignment and have each viewed under a microscope.  At first, I absolutely dreaded getting up in front of the class, even though I only had to show my work to 13 people at a time, max.  While everyone’s comments were extremely respectful and helpful, I felt a huge amount of pressure to perfect everything.  I would consider myself a perfectionist, so that is not the best thing.  I would spend countless hours working on each assignment trying to perfect everything, yet still never having each assignment be quite right.  Although it may sound bad, I would have to say I took some assignments far too seriously.  In the end, I found myself more and more confident each time I got up to present my work.  I found it easier to take criticism at the end, as well.

However, I have spent more hours stressing in this class than I could have ever imagined.   As bad as it may sound, take this class seriously, but not too seriously.  A lot of the stress I went through was completely unnecessary.  Get the work done, but don’t wait until the very last minute, like I did way too often.

Throughout the class, I have made some great friendships with students in the class and people outside the class as well.  Additionally, I have never had a professor like Dr. Collins.  Her passion for multimedia and teaching were evident right off the bat.  Her willingness to help, but also willingness to let us go off on our own to learn things for ourselves was great.  Her positivity was also so uplifting.  I have learned so much in this class, not just with technicalities, but about myself that I will be able to transfer to future classes and careers.  A lot of classes I have taken here, it seems that there was not much I can take from and apply to work in the future, but this class is certainly an exception.

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