Out of their comfort zones

There’s a moment in Backpack Journalism that’s a bit of a tipping point, when the students who have been thrown together on this adventure, traveled long distances start emerging from their comfort zones. In two of the journeys, we have fish to thank.

In Backpack Journalism Alaska, Hannah Mullally took up the challenge of learning how to gut a whole salmon, and soon she was teaching others how to use the Yup’ik traditional knife. That salmon tasted so good. After that, students stepped up to take on roles in filming and interviewing, trekking on the tundra, trying new foods and making the most of the experience.

Two women gutting a fish
Hannah Mullally, left, helps Erin Kurvers gut a salmon during Backpack Journalism Alaska  2014 in Bethel, Alaska.


This time, the fish story involved a wonderful Lake Victoria lunch: french fries and whole tilapia, freshly caught and fried. It was Liz Rudigier who led the march out of the comfort zone as she tried the eyeball of one of the fish. (“Gooey and a little crunchy.”) Soon, Natalie Lynam, Jacob Tilstra, Zach Brittain and John O’Keefe had  a go. It’s a good sign.

(I stayed firmly inside my comfort zone on that one.)

We take up the hard work of filming interviews, learning about refugees and the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service on Monday.

Carol Zuegner

About Carol Zuegner

I am a journalism professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. I teach writing, social media, media entrepreneurship, international mass communication and I am lucky enough to be a part of Backpack Journalism. I focus on interviewing, writing and being Mama Zoogs.

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