Time flies. It feels incredible that another semester is about to end. Although lots of unexpected things happened, it was still a great semester overall. And FAA 110 was one of the main factors that made this semester “great”. I remember I registered this course simply for a general education course. However, this is such a great course that brought me much more than just having a few credits.
The semester of 2020 Spring is a pretty strange semester — because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the courses of this semester have to be taken online or implemented through a different approach. Such a situation reminds me of how important the back-up plans shall be, like what we have learned in the course of jour 445.
In the class, Prof.Collins reminded us to have plans A, B, and C for any situations we have encountered, in order to make sure we can produce the videos. I have never expected that what we have learned in the course could be applied in my life so quickly — I am stuck in my home and it has been impossible to produce any work or do anything outside, only trying to produce works inside the room. Such a moment requires creativity, independence, but also a sense of crisis, which means we should always be prepared for the worst.
But still, it is impossible to imagine that the coronavirus could cause such a horrible influence in the U.S., especially in the first quarter of the year, China has provided quite enough experiences and information we need. Even Trump was racketing his nonsense, there has been proof that we could have done better than the situation we are encountering now. But that’s not only his problem, also the journalism industry, because we have failed to inform the public of the upcoming crisis. The media follows to slow, just like the package I have done about the test, too slow. That’s a combination of different packages.
Since the shelter-in-place regulation affected, I have been stuck at home for a long time. Here are some moments for me in the home.
The self-quarantine provided me the most different experience compared with normal days — when people cannot go on streets for stories, the only way they could conduct news stories is through the internet. I surf online news channels every day to keep up with where we are now in the pandemic and also learning the stories of ordinary people. A crisis is a crisis, but one can turn the worst situation into opportunities. It is a great chance for me to learn how to pick information and reorganize them into a story with a more complete format. Besides that, I also have to conduct stories about my roommates or my girlfriend — although it is not quite journalism, only a special method for contingency.
I think the most enjoyable part of this course shall be producing newscasts in a dynamic environment. Like the first show we have done for this semester, nobody would predict the result of the impeachment release. This is a great opportunity to experience a tight working pace in a real TV newsroom.
And the journey we come through this semester, which I believe is quite the same as what other students and ordinary citizens are experiencing now. We are all in self-quarantine in our apartments in a country shut down for the pandemic, while also suffering from the same solitude, pain, and anxiety. Students are suffering from learning knowledge virtually, which actually is impossible, especially for some majors like the design. So do we. We can never conduct news in a small room without real talks to people. Citizens in this nation are suffering from anxiety of losing their jobs and shorts in their pockets — so do we. We, journalism students, are facing a terrible job-hunting season this year because of the great hit on the economy, and also have to stay in apartments without any jobs to get paid. Personally I have lost a couple of hundreds of dollars because the coronavirus has caused cancellations of several part-time working invitations — I’m a part-time photographer.
But to different people, it can be different things. I have interviewed several people for their thoughts on how the coronavirus could impact their life. One of the people, who is my roommate, actually feels not that bad of virtual courses.
I think technology plays a vital role in my journey. Without the pieces of equipment like cameras, mics, and sound recorders, I would never be able to finish my videos. And technology plays an even more important role in my current journey: for working remotely in my apartment, all I could do is relying on my laptop and network. Through my chrome, I reach to the corners of this world. And that’s how I explore the world of journalism in such a difficult time.
And technology also helps me to conduct some videos. I still remembered the hardship I encountered for shooting the drag queen show. It was in Canopy, a local club. It was pretty dark there, and if I used my own camera for that video, that would be a disaster. But thanks to the camera from the College of Media, I could conduct a decent video and capture the highlights of the drag queens’ performances.
I heard about the virus pretty early — since it first broke out in China, I have got plenty of information before it got the outbreak in N.Y.C. At the early stage in China, I was terribly nervous, and I called my parents every day to check if they were ok and followed the necessary self-protection guidance. It was a very horrible disease and I felt very worried about my parents’ safety. But at that time, I have never expected that there could be such a terrible outbreak in the U.S., because since during the two months’ struggle, China has shown the world how we could effectively stop the spread of the disease and how we could stop the disease in a limited scale. Even because of the difference between the two nations’ political system, the U.S. could at least control the disease, but not let it spread like such a terrible condition.
But when I look back at the end of this semester, I felt that something has changed. I would not be so panic about the dynamic reality I’m encountering, and it has been easier for me to stay cool for urgent situations or breaking news. It has also been a great opportunity for me to practice viewing the events in a professional journalism view — for example, like the humanitarian disasters caused by the coronavirus, I could stay calm down and try to cover it in a professional way — I have tried in writing some practice stories of them. Also, I found that I could review the information I got in a more efficient way, like looking for different angles to cover them.
There have been many things playing a role in leading me to success for my assignments. Individually, I believe the key element is the skills to catch the opportunity — for example, when I was shooting a story of the author corner in the bookstore. There was a lecture done by guest speakers. I happened to catch a chance for shooting a video of the authors — there were plenty of people and hard to find a position to set up my camera. The other example would be the experience of shooting the story of tax assistance. In the beginning, I thought it might be just a VO, but when I got there I felt that there could be a chance to turn it into a package– only if I can catch subjects for interviewing as quickly as possible. And finally, as you can see, that was a good package.
Self-confidence also plays a vital role at such a moment. We need to persuade our subjects for interviewing that we could offer them the best opportunity to tell the public their stories and endeavors. This request a great self-confidence that we believe what we have done is correct, is helpful and is worthful. For so many times I thought that maybe skills and talents are the most important characters we have, but after times and times that I was cast into challenging situations, I found that self-confidence is the last threshold I have to keep moving on and achieve something I want. And that helps me to finish the project about the Spring Festival Gala. The cancelation of the Spring Festival gala was pretty distressful for the Chinese student community. It was good news, but there happened to be many difficulties to finish that story, including tech issues. However, thanks to the self-confidence, I had a sharp and clear mind and finished that project.
I would bring what I have learned from this class to my future professional practice in journalism, including the confidence of our works, the vigilance of unexpected situations, and what’s more, the belief in the cooperations. All that we have learned in the journey to the end would enrich me in understanding the dynamic society, also provide necessary skills and faith in overcoming challenges upon the road.
In the end, I would say I’m pretty proud of the works we have done for the class. It is the crystal of our cooperation, endeavor, and sacrifice. The proudest part for this semester would be the team we have, that we have come through many unpredictable situations, handled breaking news, together walked through a hard time of coronavirus, and finally achieved to the end of our undergraduate life. I would remember all the people I have met in the class, all the moments we worked together, and I will bring what I have been guaranteed in this class to the future.
FAA is the best class I have ever taken! I really enjoy our in-class discussion and wonderful performances at Krannert Center. By taking this class, my understanding of art is deepened and this class opens my eyes that I experienced different cultures through those fantastic performances. Although we canceled 2 performances due to the COVID-19, the online performances provide a good experience to me and it is no exaggeration to say those performances are the lighthouse for me during the bored self-isolation at home.
I started the semester not knowing what classes I would take so I just looked for classes that filled some gen-ed requirements. I found FAA110 which I thought was unique and the professor reviews on “rate my professors” were amazing. I decided to sign up for the class and in all honesty, I have never had any professors that were so generous, passionate and supportive.
In terms of the class, it was pretty straightforward and the syllabus was on point. I went into the class thinking it would be like theater class that I took in high school because for that class we had to go to the theater shows almost every week and we would just talk about the history of theatre. However, It was nothing like my high school class it was more about our experiences, what we enjoyed, share our thoughts about live performances and discuss arts that we never think about. Such as the architecture of your house, and think about things that you never cared about such as nanny cams.
All in all, I learned a lot from this class and helped me find a passion I never would have discovered otherwise. I am really grateful that I had the opportunity to take a class with professors that are so humble and down to earth. I will continue going to Krannert shows because it gives you the opportunity to forget everything going on around you and just enjoy a couple hours in heaven.
Some of the events in Krannert that I had the pleasure of attending.
UI Symphony Orchestra
UI Jazz Band
Book all carols performed by the choir during the 2019 carol concert.
A semester filled with music, dance, performances, and laughter has finally come to an end.
Back in high school I was always interested in the arts and humanities, and I wanted to make sure that I continued to cultivate these passions of mine in college. Unfortunately, during registration day I found that the majority of courses that were interesting to me were already full. So, on a whim I decided to register for FAA 110, a course that not only completed one of my general education requirements but also was held just downstairs in my residential hall. Given only the description “Exploring Arts & Creativity”, I was unsure if I would enjoy this class mainly because I had no idea what it entailed. I had the premonition that FAA 110 would be another art history that was tolerable, but not particularly exciting; fortunately, I was incredibly mistaken.
When I found out that the main curriculum of FAA 110 required us to watch performances and write about them, I was pleasantly surprised. As a student who was involved in music and theater, I have always enjoyed watching live performances and was extremely eager to see these events on a larger scale. My excitement was not unwarranted; in general, almost every event I went to for FAA 110 was memorable in some shape or form. Certain snapshots of plays or songs by musicians will always be remembered in my mind, along with the emotion that it evoked within me. Here are just a few of these special moments:
Overall, this class gave me the opportunity to experience events that I would never even think of attending. It allowed me to expand my perception of the idea of performance and what constitutes as art. I loved each and every performance, and I can proudly say that through all the singing, dancing, and acting my passion in the arts has been revived. I will forever be grateful to have experienced all these memorable events especially with such a wonderful group of people.
It is that time of the semester where everything is coming to its end, and as a senior in her last semester, it is truly ending.
Reflecting back on the semester, this class was a breath of fresh air and I am glad to have taken my friend’s recommendation to take this course. I had never before had taken advantage of the Krannert Center on campus, and I am incredibly pleased that I did so before graduating.
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. Continue reading →