Tag Archives: students

Because of Backpack…

I anticipated that I would finish the five weeks with new knowledge of immigration, the ability to turn a camera on and other practical skills every journalism student should know. I had no idea that the knowledge would change me. I know, I know that it sounds incredibly cliché, but it’s true.

Because of Backpack… I am a seeker of truth.

Because of Backpack… I am margin traveler.

Because of Backpack… I am a listener.

Because of Backpack… I am a team player.

In my first blog, I wrote about how I am a “Yes Woman.” And even though I found this trip by saying no, it taught me that it is almost always right to say yes. By saying yes to the early morning B-roll, the extra interview, the longer explanation… I have learned so much and gained an incredible amount of confidence. It is Because of Backpack that I have grown as a writer, a film maker and as a friend. Saying yes, even to something that scared me, has been the greatest decision of my life.

Because of Backpack… I am thankful.

 

My teammates. My friends.
My teammates. My friends.

 

So, what is something I can do differently based upon what I learned? I can stop worrying about needing to say no and start embracing my love of yes.

For now,

Natalie

The Realization of Complication

Complicate.

It’s a word that we learned on our very first day in Nogales. One of the Kino Border Initiative’s main goals is for groups to leave with an understanding of the complicated reality of migration. After two weeks on the border, I can’t imagine anyone leaving without complication packed in his or her baggage.

I thought I learned complication from the desert walk, our discussions with people who work on the border, Operation Streamline or the migrant’s stories, but I didn’t understand it until I got back home.

When my family asked what I learned, my mind went blank. I felt like every question, every frustration, every sign of hope was at the tip of my tongue but couldn’t escape; I had so much to say, but no way to say it.

That frustrating feeling was when I truly understood the layers of complication that migration carries. I always knew the layers were there and I uncovered even more during the trip, but to know and to understand are not the same thing.

I think this is part of Kino’s magic; they taught us as much as they could, but left the understanding for a later date.

Now that I truly understand, I am so thankful for the outlet of film.

Even though I often find myself frustrated and overwhelmed with migration’s level of complexity; knowing that there will be an epic film full of b-roll and sick edits, gives me relief.

Credit to CU Backpack
Credit to CU Backpack

More to come,

Natalie

Positive(ly) Privilege(d)

Today was, by far, the most draining day of bootcamp.

It could be that it is day five of our intense training into the documentary world. It could be that I procrastinated on packing. It could be that we participated in an emotional  discussion with alumni of the program. It could be that we discussed heavy topics, such as the guilt that comes with privilege. It could be that we watched a documentary about teenagers who only have the option to join a gang or migrate. More than likely, it is a combination of all of these reasons.

After an exhausting day, I was excited to go home, relax and get some sleep. Well… It is 1:58a.m. and I am laying in bed next to a duffle with a broken zipper and a grocery bag full of Gushers.

I am nervous I didn’t pack the right things. I am mad because I smudged my freshly painted nails. I am cranky that I have to be up in four hours.

Aren’t I annoying? After all I’ve watched and learned this week about the struggles that Mexicans and Latin Americans endure just to enter my country, my biggest problem is that I can’t fit my flip-flops in my bag.

In class, John brought up the point about how easy it is to forget one’s privilege when one is surrounded by people with the same privilege. This documentary is meant to give a voice to the voiceless and make those who are are deaf to the issue hear. He also discussed how their was a John before Africa and a John after Africa

I hope that listening to and telling these stories will increase my awareness of my privilege and put my “problems” into perspective. I hope that I can turn my guilt into inspiration. I hope that I can find the Natalie after Noglaes.

Please pray for safe travel.

Creighton Backpack Journalism crew
The group on our last day of bootcamp.

 

More to come,

Natalie

 

 

Nothing.

“So, what did you learn at school today?”

“Nothing.”

While this conversation was common in my house, I don’t think I would pass Carol’s class with a one word blog post. Not only would it be taking cutting copy to the next level, but it would be a total and complete lie.

So, what did I learn in school today? Or, the last three days I should say.

I’ve learned about shutter speeds, asking open-ended questions, ecclesiology, the rule of thirds, Pulitzer Prize winners, paradigm shifts, boom mics, content management systems, Vatican II, Nico’s sad face, Snickerdoodle recipes, John’s hair history…

These are only a few topics that have been covered throughout the last several days of backpack bootcamp. I could dedicate a blog post to each, but I would lose readers and probably some friends.

So, what have I really learned? That I can do this.

I can shoot video, edit it, and understand that it takes more than a filter to look good.

I can reference brilliant work and use that inspiration to formulate questions, anticipate answers and tastefully seek the truth.

I can educate others on the connection between my faith and an active social justice issue.

Finally, I learned that I have the best group to learn right along with me.

Thanks for the photo, Aly.
Thanks for the photo, Aly.

 

I used to say nothing, now I have everything.

Arizona awaits.

More to come,

Natalie