#1 Kickoff: Where I am and What I am Reaching

It was during that kind of summer in which sunlight found its way into every crevice, and every crack of each building in the small state of Vermont, giving the area a timeless, and joyful aura, that I decided to apply for What’s the Story? for a second year.  It was the remembrance of the importance of WtS, the sense of power, and motivation that the program provided, and my passion on the subject that I researched the year before, that really ignited my readiness to join What’s the Story?  for a second term.

Vermont is notorious for being a pristine state. A pot of gold that few have the opportunity to dip into. The entirety of my research and work from the past year have revolved around an issue that contradicts some of the perfect facade that the state has established. The What’s the Story? program, offers an new type of education that I can picture having some of the most positive change on Vermont, but also on us as individual learners.

This upcoming year I would really like to take advantage of the opportunity that What’s the Story? provides to improve my media making skills, and publicize a complex issue in a positive and progressive light. I am a freshman at CVU, and am a returning student. This past year I studied the relationship between the veal and dairy industries in Vermont, along with their dependence on each other. In this upcoming What’s the Story? cohort, I am hoping to work on creating a more influential argument that portrays the same issue I researched last year in a more positive, and motivational light.

I cannot wait to begin working under the guidance of such incredible mentors, and alongside such involved, and dedicated students!


Lena Ashooh

6 Responses to “#1 Kickoff: Where I am and What I am Reaching

  • Lena,
    I was a pleasure reading your first post of the year. You have such a poetic way with language! I love your idea of using last year’s research to develop a more positive and motivational message. This is truly one of the greatest challenges in social justice work: getting people to take action rather than becoming despondent when they become aware of systemic problems. I’m excited to see how your work with the veal and dairy industries in VT evolves throughout the year!

    • Hi Fallon,

      Thank you so much for your response. Last year I really struggled with creating an effective call-to-action, while not making the social issue seem hopeless, and definitely agree that this is one of social justice’s greatest difficulties. I’m excited to begin working on this issue once again!

      Thank you and talk soon,

  • Hi Lena!
    I loved reading this first post. What eloquence! I really appreciate how want to approach your topic in a different manner than last year! Really cool! I am excited to read more of your writing in the weeks to come!
    – Lindsay Beer

    • Hi Lindsay!

      Its so good to hear from you! I hope your first official blog post week went well!! I loved reading your blog posts, your ability to self-reflect, along with your consideration of the many layers of an issue is super impressive. I also can’t wait to see what else your discover these next few weeks!

      Talk soon,

  • Lena,

    I haven’t had a chance yet — but will — to read some of your blogs from last year to get a better sense of your growth as a writer and thinker. But clearly from our conversation at lunch and this blog I can see that this second year will be a good experience for you.

    One of the things to think about — and I think it’s great that you want to dive into the same issue as last year — is what did you NOT get to last year? What were the important things you missed. I believe you told me that it was very difficult for you to find a veal farmer who was willing to talk about why he does it and what he does. Perhaps that will be the challenge for the year.


    • Hi Mr. Gevalt,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I definitely agree that this will be an great year to work on things that I missed in my research last year, and I’m excited to see how my film and argument will develop and change as I learn more about things that I missed or lacked in last year’s argument.

      Once again, thanks for your feedback, and I look forwards to talking soon!


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