#3 Interviews

When I had talked to various people in my life about this I had some mixed reactions. This unfortunately didn’t help my decision at all but it did help me know I was on the right track with ideas that can draw people in. I talked mostly with my mom and with one of my friends. It allowed me to get a gauge on what interests most people and what I am interested in. I haven’t chosen one topic yet but I am getting closer with these conversations. My mom and friend both had different ideas on what I should do.

My mom liked all of my ideas that I felt were problems facing Vermont but was drawn especially to the decline in family farming in the state. She comes from a farming family and her family still owns plenty of land. They don’t however actually run a farm like they had used to. So she has more first hand experience with what it is like to feel this decline in a family farming. She was worried that with all of this happening that Vermont could lose some of its younger people because there is no incentive to stay and continue a farm. Vermont could potentially lose a lot of its local food and lose its identity as a farm to table state. This wasn’t my number one choice but to hear my mom talk about it helped open my mind up to the idea again.

When I spoke with my friend we talked about the opiate addiction issue in Vermont. We were reminded of a documentary filmed in Saint Albans called “The Hungry Heart” that we had seen in school a few years ago. This was about the face behind drug addiction and the people who may struggle with this addiction. We both agreed that this was a huge problem facing the state from all angles. It’s not just about the people actually using but the other people around them who could be effected by their addiction. This helped me think about another way I could potentially film something similar to “The Hungry Heart.”

Obviously I still have to figure out what I’m doing for a project because I haven’t narrowed it all the way down yet. But these interviews and conversations helped me understand what others are worried about in our state too. I want to be able to tell the stories of things people want to hear about or learn about.

Eli Rivers

2 Responses to “#3 Interviews

  • Eli, I can see that you have an interest in several topics and each idea seems like it has great potential. Talking to people around you about what they care about is definitely the best way to find out what story speaks to you the most personally. Keep exploring!

  • Laurie Hickey
    7 years ago

    Hey Eli. Hope you’ve had a good week. Sorry I was delayed getting back to you – it’s been a crazy week in the Burlington School District. (Check out any news source if you want to find out what’s going on.)

    I appreciate how you chose your mom to discuss your ideas. It’s interesting how one person’s passion can make you reconsider something. I wonder if you have ever considered that farming is part of your legacy; if things had worked out differently you could be on the brink of a farming life. Perhaps being part of that legacy means focusing on young people like yourself who have to make a choice to stay on the farm or not. What kind of considerations do they have to take into account? What attracts them or pushes them away from the farm? A story like that would bring a protagonist that your audience could relate to.

    Your other story idea of opiate addiction and its effect in Vermont is also powerful. I have taught 16 years; the impact of drug abuse on children alone is evident in our classrooms in Vermont today. There is no doubt there is a story here – the challenge for you I think is to winnow it down to the most compelling and engaging thread of the story.

    To repeat myself (I am a teacher!) keep asking questions about your topics. The winner is going to be the one you care most deeply about and want to live close to for the next seven months.
    Have a great week.

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