Friday, September 30, 2016

The Golden Camera: A symbol of achievement, hard work & true grit

Kyle Benner: First recipient for Visual Storytelling class
   I came upon a small yard sale while walking down a Columbus, Ohio side street this summer, and stopped purely out of curiosity.
   It is significant to note I am not a yard saler. I don't bargain hunt, clip coupons or window shop. But for some reason I stopped at this one.
    I noticed a collection of vintage camera stuff, so I, of course, did a quick scan of what was being pawned off as other people's treasures. And there, amongst the junk, was the Golden Camera.
    The hollow camera is a gold-plated monstrosity of a thing, and I had to have it! So I bartered, like I hear you're supposed to do at yard sales, and successfully shaved off a few bucks. I borrowed the $3 sale price from my spouse and walked away feeling like I had just bought something pretty special.
    It didn't take long before I realized what to do with it. It would be perfect as an incentive and reward for students in my Owens Community College Visual Storytelling and Wayne State University Digital Photojournalism classes.
    The camera is now presented during class to those who go above and beyond. Each recipient will get their photo taken with it, and it will be posted on Instagram. They then get to keep it for a week.
    So far, two students have had the esteemed honor of being presented with the Golden Camera: Kyle Benner, of Owens, and Wayne State's Ryan Miller.
    This is just one way of giving back to students who work hard to show up to class, follow assignment instructions, turn in their homework on time, and try their best. It is important to mention that the Golden Camera is not about being perfect or flawless, just getting the job done with enthusiasm, and for demonstrating true grit for getting out of their comfort zones.
    So, this is the story behind the Golden Camera. May it be in the hands of many, many, many students for the unforseeable future. 
    It is my little treasure, and I'm happy to share it.
Ryan Miller: Second recipient for Wayne State Digital Photojournalism class