Picking Up The Ashes

General observances about everyday issues. Commenting on the issue before, during and after the dust settles.


Ashes to Ashes   Ask me anything  

Tailgating is a time old tradition among football fans of all backgrounds and universities. I wanted to do a ritual video on this tradition to show how families and alumni as well as students join together in support for their team.

I used the Exponent handycam to record the morning ritual. What I really liked about the video is the groups that I came in contact with. The first group was fun and excited about tailgating especially since they had been doing it for 15 years. It was also interesting that they had met tailgating years ago and every year since then, they have met up as tradition. The other group I spoke to were a combination of Wisconsin and Purdue fans. I thought it was fun to see their experience together and their friendly rivalry.

Production was fairly easy as this is the third video and I am pretty excited about the way the video turned out.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.  Maria Robinson

Here is my nature montage of Horticulture Park at Purdue University. I have to say I enjoyed this video assignment more so than the others because it was less time consuming and I didn’t have to worry too much about the audio and struggling with getting interviews.

However, that being said, I did not enjoy the two or more hours spent in the rain filming. It was cold and way too damp for my liking. Although it was calming and I did get video footage that worked well, I am a bot disappointed at not getting any video of any animals. But unlike me, they did not stand in the rain, nor did they want to.

Editing the film, I referenced the CBS news link and spent some time figuring which transition I preferred and where to place the sound that I got so that it flowed easily. I used The Exponent’s new canon video cameras and a microphone to get better audio which since I was in the rain, I had to wrap both in saran wrap to protect them.

What I like About

What I like about the Badger Herald’s website amidst the trudgery of campus newspapers is simply its online look. It is neatly organized into categories for which students can browse. The newspaper also allows viewer comments and suggestions for each story, even showing recent comments and most commented stories. Having the most commented stories available is a bit confusing as the headlines are the most eye-catching however, if one looks closely at the dates, they would see the stories are at least a year old. Viewers can also submit letters online.

The use of blogs in the internet world is quite astounding, even the J &C of Lafayette has its own campus blog that students or employees use to comment on the goings-on of campus and in the community. The Exponent does not have a blogging personality nor does it has that option on the website. I think this could be a beneficial add-on to the online issue of the paper but I think it can simply be an extension of the opinions desk.

Blogging does give an interesting view into several topics and research should be required which gives the idea of broadening the opinions desk to more columnists who can both write in the paper but also expand on their ideas on a blog. It was also be something to have viewers able to make comments and interact with others on campus. (liability might be an issue and of course there would be a need for the opinions editor to sort through submissions and add them).

The staff of the Herald is encouraging social media in its online distribution by utilizing photos, videos and social media sources like Twitter and Facebook. In fact the staff has its own Twitter feed so viewers of the site can see what each of the staff members are doing or thinking about. I think this is interesting.

As I continue to browse their website, I will be commenting on the news they cover, which is campus, city as well as state news. Also, the amount of staff and the unique positions they have created I believe has allowed them to do this. But on this later :)

Photo Gallery Review

So the process of making a photo gallery was not as complicated as I thought it would be however, I did feel afterward that had I used iMovie or another similar program, it could have been better. I used windows movie maker which was easy for me to do because it is a program that I have on my own computer and I was unable to to get on campus and use the campus computers (a lot going on).

What I did like about this assignment was the opportunity to take photos. Kind of seems like a minimal accomplishment but I liked trying to find those key moments during the night that I thought would help my gallery. It was much easier than a video camera as I did not have to worry about shaky video or sound quality.

I almost lost all of my photos because I had not properly formatted my sd card but remembering what Carney had told me earlier in the day, I did not succumb to the stupidity of a wanna be computer person/photo person. So I simply just uploaded the pictures another way and saved myself from the drama.

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. A. A. Milne

This is my photo gallery on Election Night coverage. I used Windows Movie Maker. I will write more on the process later tonight.

Student Newspaper Coverage

It is interesting to see college newspaper taking a forefront on the election polls. The Exponent has taken upon itself to delegate the newsroom into groups and have each group cover different races. It’s teamwork in action, an action that worked very well I think. We had photographers, staff reporters, editors and videographers. There is so much information about the election that it helps provide those who did not participate or know much about the election, participate in the experience.

The Indiana Daily Student covered a variety of topics however, most of the articles focused on prior to the election and the issues being discussed by candidates. I couldn’t find any election results anywhere on the site or who was running for which offices. I also looked on The Badger Herald’s website to see if they did any election coverage but noticed there was only one story taking about going to vote and candidates trying to get last minute votes. The Daily Illini posted a developing story on the Senate and Governor races as they are the biggest and most watched races in Illinois right now.

I personally like how The Exponent has managed to cover the races nationally, state-wide and locally for the students whether or not they truly care. It’s just nice to see what is happening and how there has been a shift from Democratic to Republican.

One suggestion I would say for the student papers is that there should be a up-date on the poll numbers every now and then and also a reference to who is running and for which race. Just so people know.

Tippecanoe County Elections

I am one of those people. The people who sit in front of the t.v. watching a favorite show. Sounds pretty awesome until the dreaded, “we regret to interrupt your programming for an up-date on election votes.” Yeah, I am that person who angrily gets up, turns the t.v. off and gets my computer to watch old episodes online.

Tonight, however, I couldn’t be that person. Instead I, along with 17 or so Exponent employees, was in the middle of the political circus known as Election Day. I watched as candidates filed into the County House to watch poll numbers and mingle with other candidates. I visited Chumley’s and Sgt. Preston’s (local bars) to meet with candidates as they set up party headquarters at the respective bars. The Republicans in the John Purdue Room at Preston’s and the Democrats settled along the wall at Chumley’s. It was interesting to see the candidates looking normal. Without the garb of professionalism and camera faces. I saw candidates drinking beers and celebrating with friends, I saw families gathered in support, and of course, spoke with election officials who unlike the candidates, had to work.

It was interesting to see this side of an election instead of from my couch in front of the t.v. I spoke with candidates about their feelings, reactions and plans. I got answers to questions I would not have otherwise.

Like Andrea, I thought it was awesome to see the Exponent workers come together to get the paper done. We worked together - delegating tasks, interviewing, and writing. In fact I made the comment that tonight felt like a real newsroom, in that the energy was high and we were getting things done and watching results. Everyone was on task and knew what their part in the Election coverage was.

When I am looking for election results I usually use Google news or CNN to get my information. In fact, when I got home tonight I searched for the results for Illinois Senate and several other positions. I was excited to see Jesse White win Secretary of State and Mark Kirk win Obama’s highly controversial Senate seat. The race for Governor is tight with Pat Quinn winning with 47% and Bill Brady trailing closely with 46%. I will be watching closely.

VJ2 Reaction

After battling the Indiana weather conditions to finally record my video, I managed to meet with Carol Shelby, director of environmental health and public safety. She spoke with about the smoking policy and the decisions that went into making the final decision.

Interviews were not horribly difficult but I found many people giving me strange looks and unwilling to speak to me, even for a class project. I admit, I might be hesitant too if someone approached me with a video camera.

My main problem with the video was the audio. I was fighting against the wind and some of my audio was not really usable however, I salvaged most of it by editing it in iMovie. I do wish I had more b-roll - but alas the weather caused some drama.

I learned that in doing a newspiece I need to approach and carry it out just as I would a news article.