Tag Archives: documentaries

The Little, Latin Word

 

Hello dedicated readers (probably my parents),

 

My name is Natalie Riordan and I am a journalism student at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. For the next several weeks, my classmates and I will be creating a documentary about immigration. Please think of us in your prayers or positive thoughts as we embark to the border (see Nogales on map below).
Arizona/Mexico Border
For those of you who don’t know, like me when I first applied, Creighton is a Jesuit school. Magis was the first Jesuit value I was taught upon my arrival to Creighton almost three years ago. Magis simply means “more”. While the definition may be simple, the actions to fulfill it are much more complex.

Before I knew that little, Latin word, I felt it inside of me. In high school, I was dedicated to my studies, dance, volunteering and leadership. I was internally competitive, completely motivated and entirely overwhelmed. I wanted to be successful, not for me, but for the parents who dedicated themselves just so I had the opportunity.

I still feel magis inside, fueling me, throughout my college experience. The motivation of magis is why I decided to complete three majors and a minor in four years, why I studied in Italy for a semester, why I’ve had three internships, why I hold executive office on three different campus organizations and why I am going on this trip.

I used to think that magis was measured through a quantitative method; if my planner was not filled, I failed. It is only day one and this trip has already taught me that the philosophy of magis is more about the quality of work.

For the first time, this documentary will be the only responsibility that I will focus on. I want to give more to my classmates, professors and to the people and stories that I will tell. I am excited to go beyond the textbook and experience what it is like to be a real journalist.  I am scared of the unknown and the horrors that I may hear. I am motivated, in a new way, by magis.

More to come,

Natalie

Ugan-duh!

You know, the fact that I’m going to Uganda hasn’t really hit me yet. I’ve spent most of (well, ALL of, really) my life traveling. I’ve lived in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Central America, and many different parts of the U.S. and Canada. I think I’ve become a little desensitized to the idea of traveling to a new destination. Which probably seems strange, but the way I see it: no pre-flight butterflies and panic attacks is pretty awesome sometimes.

A year ago, if you had asked me what I thought would be a new and exciting experience for me, I would probably say this, “God, I would really love to be on my own somewhere in Europe, meet a lot of people, travel a lot, and learn about my roots.” Since this isn’t a year ago though and since I already had that experience when I studied abroad in Ireland last year, my answer to that question is probably more along the lines of “well, I’ve been hearing a lot about East Africa lately…”

But in all seriousness, I think the opportunity to do what I’m about to do is one I’ve been looking for for awhile. In the past few months, I’ve gotten very involved in issues of social justice as well as read up on issues facing different parts of the world, such as the conflict in the Arab Spring, or the ethnic cleansing in the Sudan. Unfortunately, I’ve never had a direct exposure to these kinds of problems, which is something I believe is necessary in understanding how to solve said problems. It is my hope that by going on this trip, I’ll be able to have that exposure I need, while also being able to tell an interesting story through media that others should hear.

Being a Computer Science major, I relish the opportunity to solve complex problems using systems. Being a Journalism major, I’m incredibly interested in information, people, ideas, and cultures. In my mind, the world is one big system, made up of all the people in the world sharing information, culture, and ideas with each other. When it comes to solving problems the world is facing, such as poverty, genocide, economic and social injustice, war, or corruption, I always think that, with such a complex system with infinite potential at our fingertips, why shouldn’t we be able to solve the problems of the world?

It’s my hope then that by going on this trip, I’ll be able to:

1. learn about issues that I’ve read a lot about, but have had no direct exposure to,

2. learn new skills like video shooting and editing,

3. develop my existing skills like writing and interviewing,

4. learn about the people of Uganda and what their story tells,

5. hopefully have some good laughs and good conversation with some interesting people.

Let's hope these people are as fun as this picture makes them seem.

 

As well, I have some other, more personal goals I’d like to share, which will be part of another blog post I intend to write pre-departure.