Dec. Retreat: The rule of thirds, you attitude towards a disagreement, and the Plan

I came into this retreat  very excited about the progress that my team and I could have. I had a larger understanding of what it was going to be like since we have done on in November. I knew that I was going to miss the beginning of Saturday again, which I was disappointed about. I knew I was going to have to get caught up a bit. I was also excited about learning about interviewing people and how to create story. Interviewing is something that I have never really learned about, and I did not know that there were so many different things that you had to think about. I did not realize that there was an art to interviewing people. During this retreat I also learned about the attitude you have to present when trying to persuade someone. Which I know will come in handy later in life.

The hours I missed in the beginning on Saturday was when the group was learning about interviewing people. Luckily my friends and teammates filled me in. I learned that when you are setting up a interview scene you have to think about the rule of thirds. The interviewees’ eyes’ has to be in one of the top corners, and the other side the interviewer has to be sitting and the light has to be coming from that side as well. I got their right as my team was looking at the film that they just shot. They thought that they exaggerated that rule a little, and next time when we go to interview someone to put them not to far off to one side.

After going through some footage, I also got a quick look at our media kit and what was in it. My teammates were showing me what each tool was used for. I recognized somethings that I have worked with before like the camera and the snowball recorder. There was also things that I have seen on TV, but never really got to see up close, like the little micro phone and the larger micro phone. I am so excited to use them, and see how well they work!

Before Dinner we were watched a video that was called “How to Construct a Compelling Story” that talked about the important parts of an interesting story. The main parts that he mentioned in the video were; motion/action, stakes, reflection. You have to have motion and action to keep the story going and have interesting parts. It is important to have stakes because it compels you to keep listening or engaged with the story. Reflection is like the behind the scenes of the story, like how the character is thinking after the big climax. In that reflection to have something every one can relate to is very important as well. It connects the story to something “bigger than itself” and more people can relate to it and are interested in it.

After dinner we watched a ted talk called: The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives. It talked a lot about how to persuade other people to agree with you. The biggest thing I got out of that video was that you have to come in with the right attitude. You can’t go into an argument of a interview thinking you are right and any other opinion is wrong. Being able to see the other side of the story, and other opinions is very important. If you don’t do this is backfires on you. If you are very firm with your beliefs and you force them to agree with you, it might make them even more passionate about what they think. It will never work. That being said you can’t be to much of either way. You can’t just agree with what everyone says, but you can’t only just think your opinion is the right one. Our group talked about going into the interview as being able to empathize as people together, but professionally disagree. In other words look at it from the different point of view and find the right way to show them your opinion. I thought it was really important piece of information that we could apply in many different situations.

Sunday morning we were checking into the learning scales that we have been looking at for the past few months, and refreshing them with current thoughts.

Before lunch we got together as a group and talked about the plan for the up coming months. We talked a lot about what the calendar was going to look like, and what interviews might look like, and what information we wanted to gather. Looking back on the past few weeks, we had decided to keep the same scheduled for google hangouts. As a group we also agreed that we would have a blog post whenever we felt necessary. If their were weeks that we did not do much, then we did not have to wright about them. Though, their might be weeks that we decide we want to have 2 blog posts because we interviewed 2 different people and got a lot of information.

The next few months are going to be very busy for my team and I. It turns out that most of our group has contacted our is going to contact people in Winooski to look at the programs they have in place for ELL students. So, we decided to all go together on a school day and interview students, teachers, liaisons, and possible parents. About what they think of the programs, and to get some B-roll footage of the school. Right now we are connecting with our Winooski contacts and looking ahead to find time that we go over. Our group also talked about trying to get in contact with the Burlington schools, because we have heard they have a large majority of ELL students as well. So we are keeping an eye out for possible contacts to interview or talk to. Like we learned in the retreat it would be valuable to have the opposite opinions to look at too. We hope that we could talk to people that disagree with us.

This week we planned on finishing up contacting people, and looking into our schools and seeing if we have any programs that are in place. Information about our school’s programs, could be interesting to compare to Winooski’s programs or any other school’s program. I am going to try to email my principal to learn more about ELL programs in our school, and possibly set up a pre-interview to talk more about it. I look forward to the day at Winooski and the first interview’s!

Petra Kapsalis

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