Friday, January 30, 2015

Wayne State University student PJ blogs are now up and running

   I'm happy to announce that the photojournalism blogs are now up and running for the Wayne State Digital Photojournalism students. You can also find their Twitter and Instagram usernames on their blogs, as well.
   Click on a name and add to their page views!
Alexander Franzen
Lauren Seago
Melanie Entrekin
Halie Keith
Angelique Harrison
Hope Crenshaw
Michael Ference
Emily Ridener
Allen Jackson
Kyra Johnson
Kaitlin Fazio
Wayne Bussey
Janelle Payne
Ameera Salim Al Souli
Ashourina Slewo
Cierra Anthony

Monday, January 19, 2015

Recapping the first week at Owens CC and Wayne State University

   One week down.  And what a great week it was!
   The first week is always my favorite because I meet new students, and it sets the tone for the rest of the semester.
   Here’s a quick recap:
·      The Digital Photography at Owens has 12 students, and they are already learning the nuts and bolts of their digital cameras. But they won’t get into the specifics of shutter speeds and apertures for another few weeks. But they will be learning how to meter this week.
·      The Owens CRT Digital Video class has 10 students. I’m co-teaching it with a young, bright and recent film graduate from the University of Toledo, Andrew Jex. He brings fresh shooting ideas into the course, which we are designing a bit.
-  They learned the basics of the Final Cut Pro X interface, and went through the first two chapters of the textbook.
-  Throughout the course they will be shooting assignments that include animation and classic storytelling. They will also be shooting an assignment or two for the Owens Outlook student newspaper.  It’s exciting to add video to the online student newspaper. The photo editor, commercial photography major Sean Ferry, will determine what videos will actually make the online newspaper. 
 - The course was also rewarded a $9,000 grant for equipment. We spent that pretty fast. Within a month we should be getting new DSLR camera kits with video capability, Sennheiser mics, tripods and a portable light source.
·      My largest class to teach ever is the Digital Photojournalism course at Wayne State University in Detroit. Nineteen students, mostly journalism majors, showed up Friday morning, eager to use their cameras as another storytelling tool.
Screen grab of Sandra Svoboda's profile on the WDET website.
-       We also had a guest speaker attend the class. WDET radio reporter Sandra Svoboda has given us an offer we can’t refuse. The students will be ‘unofficial’ photographers for the radio station’s website.
-    They will also be doing assignments for the South End student newspaper. Practical experience is the best way to learn, and there is no better way to give them real-world experience.
    Let Week Two begin.

WDET reporter Sandra Svoboda explains shooting opportunities for the digital photography students. (Cell photo by Lori King)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

On being busy, surviving the busyness, and enjoying it as you go

   The calm before the storm. That's how this week feels as I gear up for the start of this semester.
   This will be my weekly teaching schedule for the next four months:
  • Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 - 11:15 a.m. = Digital Photojournalism (Owens)
  • Mondays from 11:30 - 1 p.m. - Owens Outlook student media weekly meeting
  • Thursdays from 5:30 - 7:45 p.m. = Digital Video (Owens)
  • Fridays from 9:35 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. = Digital Photo (Wayne State)
   And this is will be my Blade schedule:
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:30 - 10:30 p.m.
  • Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
   Between classes and work I will prepare lesson plans, grade assignments, and spend a limited amount of free time with my family.
   They say that it's not work if you love what you do. I can attest to that.
   But I'm not alone. When I taught the Teaching Multimedia class last semester, most of the students, who are high school teachers earning their master's degree in Journalism Education, had other jobs: coaching sports and debate teams; teaching college classes; advising student media; raising kids.
   It's absolutely crazy how much we tend to pack into our days. Why, oh why, do I do this to myself?
   That's easy to answer - because I love teaching what I do for a living!
   It's certainly not for the money. Both the journalism field and the college environment are financially suffering. Both are cutting back on personnel and supplies. But both are so utterly and vitally important for our free society.
   Journalism, or the act of disseminating valuable (and sometimes not so valuable) information to our communities, is a civic duty that dates back to the beginning of the human race: think cavemen drawing pictures on cave walls.
  I'm often asked why and how I do it.
  Why? Because teaching feeds my soul. I no longer feel like I need to be the one who produces the work. My whole goal in my seasoned life is to teach others to do it. I am basically teaching the next generation to replace me. I'm proud to be able to contribute to the future of photojournalism.
  And how?  First and foremost, it's because I want to do it. To be able to handle everything, I have to be very organized and I don't procrastinate.
  I always get a kick out of those students who tell me they are too busy to complete assignments on time because they're too busy. Seven times out of 10 they don't even have full-time jobs or kids. That proves to me that success or failure isn't measured on how busy we are, but how we handle the busyness.
  Got that students? Let me summarize:
  •   Love what you do
  •   Be organized when you do it
  •   Don't procrastinate with what you must do
  These three ingredients to success will help you ride out the semester with little or no damage to your GPA or mental stability.
   Now, before the storm rolls in and drowns me in busyness, please excuse me while I catch up on episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show.