Lights! Camera! ALASKA!

We practiced how to set up all the necessary equipment and did interviews on each other. There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes!
We practiced how to set up all the necessary equipment and did interviews on each other. There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes! Photo by Kari Welniak

“Lights! Camera! Alaska!” is the perfect phrase to describe how I feel right now. I believe that we all are ready to take action and use the skills we have learned throughout this week and fulfill our purpose of this trip. Even though this week of bootcamp has taken a little bit more of my energy each day, I find myself getting even more excited each day. I can already tell from just this week that this will be one of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever had so far in my life which only makes the excitement grow stronger. Everything about this week has been inspiring in many different ways. Each person in our group contributes their uniqueness in a very special way and I can even feel the beginnings of our family. There is definitely something to be learned from everyone in our family! It is almost like we are one giant family going on an “education vacation” (Term coined from Madeline Zukowski’s blog. Check it out! http://cubackpack.org/alaska2014/its-an-education-vacation/).

I am most looking forward to trying new things that will push me out of my comfort zone. I think the first step of my going out of my comfort zone is leaving my home of 20 years, Omaha, Nebraska, and going basically off the grid away from friends and family for 15 days. However, it will be rewarding in the end when I can finally cross off “Alaska” on my bucket list.

To me there is some scary element into raising tough, thought-provoking questions that creates some uneasiness in some people. These questions range from climate change to the effects of cultural domination. However, this week has really inspiried me to feel that it is our duty to raise these questions because it will create more social and conscious awareness not only in myself, but in the people that we talk and show the final documentary to. We have touched on these topics briefly in class this week by discussing and reading articles. However, it will be interesting to be able to elaborate more on these questions by asking the people who are directly affected by it in Alaska. I find this exciting and inspiring because it is a different type of research than what I am used to.

I have also discovered that playing with the camera equipment and iPad minis can be really distracting yet really fun. I’ve already caught myself a couple of times producing little short movies and thinking in the mindset of a filmmaker, “Oh that would make a great film!”. I also find myself using photography and videography terms (f-stop, aperture, ISO, rule of thirds, etc.) when taking so-called “professional” Instagram photos. Is the possibility of a future of a becoming a journalist, director, photography, or producer in my horizon? Maybe i missed my calling when I was little and would produce a family newspaper by interviewing my brothers and sisters (Mom, Dad, Amy, Sara, and TJ remember these?) Who knows! I am still pretty dead set on becoming a dentist, but I think the skills and lessons that I have learned will broaden my view and awareness in our world.

My only minor concern for this trip is the plane. I am terrified of planes! Oh well, this trip is all about going out of our comfort zone, right? 🙂 It probably won’t settle in completely that I will be in Alaska until I am on that plane. Alright, time to start packing!

Peace out, Omaha!

P.S. – How crazy is it that my next post will be in Alaska?!

P.S.S. – To only prolong my packing here are some cool Yup’ik phrases:

Hi. Waqaa.
How are you? Cangacit?
I’m fine. Assirtua.
Thank you. Quyana.

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