The Best and Worst Class: Reflecting on a Semester’s Worth of Work

Alicia Lee 


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Five months ago, coming into this class, I was very excited. Up till now, the only journalism classes I have been taking focused on the written part of journalism. The inverted pyramid, the history of journalism, storytelling, etc. were the only things I knew of journalism. This was my first class that exposed me to a new medium of journalism: multimedia. Multimedia journalism helps the viewer not only read the story, but through video, photography, and audio, be able to see and hear the story.

Before coming to this class, I had little experience with photography and no experience whatsoever of video and audio. Editing video seemed as complicated as computer coding to me. However, through this class, I was able to learn all of these things and make complete video projects. Although the beginning assignments were a bit rough, little by little, I saw myself progressing and I obtained skills that I never thought I would obtain. With the help of Professor XXXXX and my classmates, I was able to go make it through to the end of this class.

Assignment One was about getting to know your camera and the equipment that came along with it. I remember freaking out because my memory card was unable to be read by the computer (which happened again in assignment 8), so I had to go out during class to retake all my pictures and video.

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I was able to shoot and edit everything in time to present the next day. Most of my shots are shaky, unfocused, and probably gave my class motion sickness. However, Professor XXXXX always told us to empower ourselves, and through the first assignment, I was able to understand what that meant. Here is my first assignment.

For Assignment 2, we were told to produce a photo essay with no sound. For this assignment, I produced a photo essay following a day-in-the-life of a UofI student.

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From waking up to getting ready, going to class, and watching Netflix, I was able to outline a day through just pictures. Here is my photo essay.

Assignment 3 went alongside Assignment 2. On top of the photo essay that we just produced, now we had to layer sound on top of that. Layering natural sound on top of the photos really added a sense of being there. It gave the story life and even sort of a mood to the story, especially when the sound of the rain comes in. Here is my photo essay with sound.

For Assignment 4, we were assigned to create a video essay. For this assignment, I chose to do a profile story on my friend Rachel Chen who is also a Youtube beauty guru/blogger.

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The video essay gives a short insight on how she came to create Youtube videos, what she likes about Youtubing, etc. My favorite part of this assignment was getting the B-roll. I included a clip of her first Youtube video, a shot of her putting on makeup, and a shot of her taking pictures. Even though it was a short period of time to do a profile on somebody, I think that I did a good job. Here is my video essay.

Assignment 5 was probably my favorite project because I got to eat it after I was done. We were assigned to do a How-To video. Did you know that the #1 reason people go online is to find out how to do something? Anyways, I did a how-to video on how to mak5e pumpkin bread. It was perfect timing because fall was finally coming. My boyfriend made the bread for me while I shot video. This video was particularly difficult to edit because of the time. I had to fast forward many parts so that it would fit inside of the time span of 1 minute and 15 seconds. Here is my how-to video.

Assignment 6 was our first time we had to focus on just audio to tell a story. This scared me even more than the other assignments because I didn’t have any radio experience, and I was not confident with my own voice. I chose to focus on technology in elementary education. I got the opinions of a teacher, parent, and elementary student to try to encompass all the perspectives on the issue. This was the first assignment that seemed like an actual news story to me. It showed me the importance of good sound bites and also the importance of my narrative. Check out my audio package on technology in elementary education here.

For Assignment 7, we were assigned to do another audio package. The theme for both Assignment 7 and 8 was inclusivity. I chose to do my angle on inclusivity regarding students with disabilities. For my audio package, I focused on the Illini Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team.Going to their morning prCanon EOS REBEL T4i077actice was tough because they practice everyday from 6:30-8:30 a.m., a time where I would still be in a deep sleep. The head coach, Matt Buchi, was extremely kind and helpful. The guys on the team were extremely kind as well. They welcomed me and it made me even more eager to get to talk to them. Here is my audio package on the Illini Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team.

Assignment 8 was the nightmare and probably the most stressful time in my college career so far… Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Filming, interviewing, getting b-roll, all of that went great. Editing was also going great until on the morning the assignment was due, when I went into edit the last parts of the video, my memory card became corrupted, and my files were lost. I woke up extra early to try to finish editing, but for the 7 hours before the deadline, I was trying to save my files using a computer software. However, time passed, and I missed my deadline. I was so helpless, lost, and I thought I was doomed. I was expecting to get a F on the assignment and in the class. I was already thinking about my future semesters’ schedules to see if I could fit in and retake Multimedia Journalism again. I cried so hard that morning… However, after Professor XXXXX announced that we could have an extension till Friday, but with a deduction, I was incredibly happy. I worked so hard this entire semester and I had done pretty well. I didn’t want my grade to go to ruins just because of this one final assignment. So the next day, I re-shot and re-filmed everything. From B-roll to pictures, interviews, I re-did everything. Right when I got home, I backed up everything to make sure that the same thing wouldn’t happen again. After that, I had one last interview with a disabled student named Tim Nagel. I interviewed him before, but after I told him that everything got erased, he gladly agreed to reshoot his interview. So we shot the interview and everything went well until I got home… I put in my memory card into my computer, but the memory card reader kept going in and out of my computer. That caused my memory card to be corrupted. At that moment, I really thought that the universe hated me. However, I didn’t lose hope and empowered myself just as Professor XXXXX always says. Instead of using Tim Nagel’s interview, which was a video, I used a previous interview I had on my recorder. Although the sound bite isn’t exactly what I wanted, I tried my best with what I had. After all that suffering, and re-doing 3 weeks’ worth of work in just 2 days, I finally finished my complete video package. Along with the theme of Inclusive Illinois regarding disabled students, I focused on a campaign called “End the Awkward” launched recently by a charity group named Scope. While talking to disabled students indownload wheelchairs, I found myself bending over because I thought that was the polite thing to do, or asking if they needed help when they could easily do it themselves. It wasn’t because I was trying to be rude, but because I was undermining their potential of what they could do for themselves. Through this assignment, I learned a lot about how to deal with situations when I am with a person with a disability. The main lesson: Treat others how you want to be treated. Although the video isn’t exactly what I wanted it to be, I am done, and I am proud of what I have completed in two days… Here is my final video package. If you’d like to read the actual story with the audio package and video package, click here! 

Although the semester ended kind of on a rough note for me, this was one my favorite classes so far. I have learned so much in this class that I feel that I could actually take into the real world. I have learned skills that I could put on my resume, I have produced projects that I could show to the world, and I have learned resilience, endurance, and empowerment just through this one class. I thank Professor XXXXXX and all my classmates for helping me through this journey.

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