It’s Finally Here: Alaska Time

My first step into the Hitchcock Building was on my Admitted Student Day to visit with Dr. Wirth about all the amazing things the JMC department has to offer (being here for two years now, I can tell you this place really is amazing).  As I sat in her office with my mother, we listened to Dr. Wirth rave about the available internships for JMC students, engaging faculty, and forward-thinking classes.  In the meeting she also mentioned a Backpack Journalism project that had previously traveled to the Dominican Republic and Uganda to create documentaries about the people there.

Wait. What?

I tried to wrap my mind around the idea of a Backpack Journalism trip. An image of hiking up a mountain with enormous stuffed backpacks searching for a place to set up camp and the next story to write flashed through my mind.

NOT what we are doing

Sitting in Dr. Wirth’s office, I hadn’t a clear idea what it was, but I knew that I had to find out.

A year and a half later, I was sitting in another meeting in Hitchcock but this time was for the first meeting for the Alaska Backpack Journalism project, a five-week course combining elements of theology, feature writing, and video with an objective of creating a film exploring the life in Bethel, Alaska.

When asked why I want to take on this experience, I immediately think “why not?”

I have always felt an urge to challenge myself with new adventures.

I hope to create something special with a dedicated team of people devoted to telling the stories of the people we meet.  I want to collaborate with my peers and write, write, write.  I want to shoot B roll, learn the workings of the complicated cameras, and utilize the one-thirds rule of shooting.  I want to form friendships with my peers and learn from them.  I hope to leave this unique project with a variety of writing and photojournalism experiences to be applied in future jobs and adventures.  Most of all, I hope to end this project with strengthened lenses as a journalist and for larger world outside of me.

I want to gain so much from this project.  Check back here throughout the next month see if my hopes come true.

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