WJI Blog 2022, May 27 AM - Video Screening Day

  • 31 May, 2022

This morning I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. We were scheduled to watch our video projects today that we had poured over for hours and hours. Even though I enjoyed this project, quite literally broadcasting yourself on a gigantic screen for everyone to see is nerve wracking.

The butterflies soon fluttered away as we began to watch everyone’s projects. It was interesting to see how we all covered the same story, and yet 28 different stories were created. You could see all of the hard work and hours spent on them shine through.

It is a very rewarding feeling to be able to face a challenge head on and see yourself come through to the other side. As we wrap up our first week, it is amazing to reflect on how much I have learned in such a short amount of time.

A week ago we all arrived as strangers, and just a mere week later we are anything but.

- Paige Taylor

WJI Blog 2022, May 27 PM - Loosening Up

  • 31 May, 2022

On Friday, almost a week into WJI, I found myself in an enjoyable rhythm of interacting with new friends, learning from stellar professors, and having challenging projects on the horizon. I particularly enjoyed Les Sillars’ lecture on “Journalism and the Moral Imagination.” Dr. Sillars touched a lot on the importance of recognizing a created order in our approach to journalism, and how story shapes the way we understand ourselves in the world. We discussed the “personal essay,” as well, and had a chance to write our own pieces and share with the rest of the class. Several people mentioned they were grateful for a writing exercise that allowed for a bit more freedom and less technical demand. Dr. Sillars concluded the lecture by saying, “You just have to relax. That doesn’t mean you get sloppy or lazy, but you just have to write.”

We went on to learn more a bit about recording podcast profiles with Paul Butler and got a little bit of experience with the relevant software. That was new for me, but I enjoyed learning yet another storytelling medium.

Overall, Friday afternoon was rich both in the substance of the lectures and in the opportunity to write a bit more personally on our life experiences.


- Peter Biles

WJI Blog 2022, May 25 PM - Malls, Editing, and Dutch Dancing

  • 31 May, 2022

It's day five but I only know that because someone told me. Twelve-hour days and homework at night, broken only by short lunches and dinners, gives time a warped feeling, blurring all the days together.

Today, thankfully was a bit different from the mix of lectures and writing projects. We were dropped off in the middle of Sioux Center, Iowa to practice our observation skills.

It was fun to get off the campus and explore the little town, from its homey coffee shops to tiny mall and Dutch bakery. It’s a Wednesday afternoon, but the mall and surrounding shops provide plenty to watch, little children munching pastries, teens buying clothes, and a group of old ladies chatting in the café. After we have filled our notebooks, we head back to Dordt to write them up and share with the class.

Then were headed to the media room to go over filming and getting ready for our own stand-ups for tomorrow. Many people skip dinner or eat quickly to get back to the media room and start pulling clips for their package. Editing movie clips is a long process, heighted by our inexperience and the fact that there are twice as many people as computers. Thankfully the room is open 24 hours, so we should be able to make the deadline, at least that’s what we are told reassuringly.

After dinner, we have news games, and then Lee Pits comes in and gives us a demonstration of Dutch dancing in the full traditional attire, wooden shoes and all. It’s become a tradition for Pitts to introduce the night’s assignment in a fun costume and intro, last night he was Robin (from Batman) and before that Mr. Rogers. It’s a funny bit that almost makes me forget how long the day has been and how much I have left to do. After the dance Pitts gives us a speech in fluent Dutch translated impeccably by Les.

Then we split into groups to edit our Tulip Stories, then its free time for the rest of the night. It’s about 9:27pm and many head to the media room to work on editing clips or take their laptop and go over their script for the morning.

I take my laptop and start this blog post which is due in a few hours. I don’t like this ending but the lights in the room and hallway are shutting off and I still need to head to the media room, and memorize my script, so this needs to end. I’m hopeful that I’ll have more energy tomorrow for the long day and night. It’s unlikely, but who knows, I might even remember what day it is.

- Katelyn Rafferty

WJI Blog 2022, May 26 AM - Time to Move

  • 31 May, 2022

Today was one of the days I thought would be more stressful, but it was actually the opposite. Filming my stand-up went well even though I don’t have any TV experience. It was easy to memorize, and I didn’t feel nervous at all. I really enjoyed editing my piece. I wish we could spend more time in adobe premiere. I even wanted to edit other people’s. Doing the editing was relaxing. Even though I don’t think I have the best stand-up here, I think it’s good for my level of experience. I learned a lot.

The best part of the day was definitely finding the gym with Peter and Jack. We spent all day sitting around and stretching our brains and it was really refreshing to get moving a little. Getting some air and blood pumping refreshes your brain. I wish we could take a break every afternoon to run around or go on a walk. By the end of most days, I’m on information overload and my brain feels cooked. Now that the stand-up stuff is done, I feel confident about the rest of WJI especially if I get to radio. Let’s just hope my interview contact emails me back.

- Aiden Trimble @gmail.com>