December Retreat- Why You Should, Why You Could

I came into this retreat excited because I had finally figured out that instead of targeting 4 or 5 groups of people, I’d now only be focusing on one. This change had given me an overflow of ideas and energy, and this retreat helped me to direct that energy. I have now started to figured out multiple aspects of my project, and I know exactly what I’ll work on when I leave Common Ground.

When I learned about b-roll, I practically exploded with ideas. I could do so much with this. Emily and I were talking, and I thought it would be cool if I were to take a time lapse of the Nexus room (the name of the alternative learning program i’m in) for a couple hours so you could see people collaborating, having lively discussions, working on their projects, etc. Then, I would ask a teacher if they’d be doing anything more traditional in the next week or so, and ask them if it’d be okay if I were to get some footage of their class, just to see the difference between the two extremes.

In addition, I’ve started to figure out the structure of my documentary. What I mean by that is that I’ve started to figure out a couple things I want to include in my film and how I want to document them. After I did this, I started to figure out how they could fit together and what would be the most powerful. During work time today, I sat down and wrote what I want to get out of each group of people that I interview, and some questions that could get me there. For example, I want to interview multiple different principals because I want to figure out what their students currently have available for them in terms of having more control over their education, and to talk about future potential. This part is not done, so that’ll be the first thing I work on when I get back home. After I complete this, I then want to do some research and pick out specific people that I want to get into contact with to interview. For this, I plan to go over the list with my mentor so we can revise if necessary before moving forward.

The December retreat allowed me to come up with a plan, and made me more excited about this plan than I thought possible. I feel that for me, this has been the point where What’s The Story becomes more than a class, and transforms into something you need, and something that you want to spend all of your time working on.


Maddie Parker

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