You’re a mean one, Mr. Trump

You’re a mean one, Mr. Trump

“I don’t think they have American citizenship and if you speak to some very, very good lawyers–you’re going to find out they do not have American citizenship.”

–Donald Trump on babies born in the United States to undocumented immigrant parents

Like everyone across the United States, I’ve been inundated with images of Donald Trump spouting hostile warnings to the American public–if you don’t elect me president and let me transform immigration policies, the Mexicans are going to take over this country. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve grown not only disgusted with his red hat and squinty eyes, but disturbed that the lowest common denominator in the United States is finding inspiration in his vitriolic ramblings.

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J’s story, on the precipice of hope

J’s story, on the precipice of hope

Conservative politicians like Donald Trump have recently thrown around the term “anchor babies” to describe children born in the United States to undocumented parents as though they’re more burden than human being. What struggles do the teenagers with birthright citizenship have? As a Chicago Public Schools teacher that serves many immigrant students, I want to explore the many struggles of immigrant teenagers as they seek a bright future for their families.

Since I made my first podcast this summer, I’ve wanted to tackle a heavy issue that faces the city. Teenagers’ stories often go untold and thus hold an impact on the public that might be unaware of the current struggles of youth. For this reason I created an assignment in my Journalism course where the students were told to e-mail me their “life stories.” I was amazed at the result; the students faced challenges that seemed insurmountable, and none more insurmountable than J’s.

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Nicholas Senn’s Coding Club: A Video

Nicholas Senn’s Coding Club: A Video

So much of my most recent video came easy to me, and I feel like I’m finally getting it. I was able to use J and L cuts in order to transition in and out of the interviews. I incorporated B-roll effectively. But most importantly, I told a story with my interviews. Each one transitioned into the next and played off the prior information.

Of course, the video wasn’t without fault. My B-roll was far too long in parts, and the audio was too low in the mix. I’m not sure if I should have scrapped the portions of Mr. Cihlar speaking to the class since he wasn’t mic-ed, but, if nothing else, I should have cut them shorter.

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Interview with Hanlin Guo

Interview with Hanlin Guo

The most challenging assignment thus far in my Digital Storytelling Masters program has been my interview with my classmate Hanlin Guo about her life-altering moment. Though I was able to do the real work that the professor required: have an interview with her, transcribe it, and pare it down to its essential core, I struggled with technical difficulties that made my final product suffer.

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My First iMovie

My First iMovie

Having gotten started editing video in Premiere Pro, I couldn’t believe how easy and intuitive iMovie was to work with. My students in Broadcast Journalism won’t have access to Premiere Pro, so, on a lazy Saturday, I set off to learn iMovie in order to support them. Piecing together the video clips with title screens was as simple as it gets. The program is designed with storytelling in mind, so the producer can edit without much expertise.

After a few technical disasters with Premiere Pro, including some quirks that don’t make much sense, even to my professor, iMovie was relief. But it’s limited in what the user can do. I can’t divide audio between two tracks, can’t get as precise a cut, and can’t do much of what I’m sure I’ll learn on Premiere Pro. But it’s easy and it makes for a fun, stress-free weekend project.

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