Learning to Tell My Story
- Everyone has a story. It's a cliche, but every cliche has an origin in an observed reality. The trick is learning how to tell your story in a way that
- 1. Attracts the attention of the intended audience
- 2. Helps the author express something that helps the audience learn something
- 3) Allows the author to feel comfortable in telling the story and learn something in the telling
- For my Master's Degree, I participated in INTE 5340, Learning with Digital Storytelling. To be honest, I wasn't sure what I was expecting from the class. As the course began, I was sitting in a hotel room thousands of miles outside my physical comfort zone not really understanding how I was about to test my mental and emotional comfort zones and push myself out onto the web in some scary and exciting ways.
- As a fledgling blogger, I was still fumbling around, trying to figure out what it was I wanted to say and who I wanted to say it to. Because of this class, I had to mentally move beyond my limited understanding of what it meant to engage with my peers, strangers and even myself online. Fortunately, I had some great tools.
Adventures in DS106
- Prior to this class, I'd never heard of DS106 or anything like it. When I first started exploring the site, I was confused and more than a little bit skeptical but I decided to let go and try to enjoy myself.
- My chosen focal theme "There is no normal" came to mind almost immediately. My family has a long history of living outside of what most people would consider normal behavior. I guess you could say that each of us marches to the beat of our own drummer to a rhythm that sometimes works in sync with each other but a lot of times can be discordant and uncomfortable. My promise to myself as I began fashioning each assignment that, as my theme was highly personal and emotional to me, I would have to be equally personal and emotional in my DS106 responses, posts, and blogs.
- The four DS106 assignments I chose to show as part of my portfolio represent my evolution in style - moving from a slightly flippant, self-conscious voice to a more confident self-reflective storyteller who is open to acknowledging her self-doubts and vulnerabilities.
- As you could probably tell from my first post, it was going to be a bit of a wild ride. For me though, my first Visual Assignment post made me nervous. Here I am, sharing a very personal perspective and fears well hidden under a mask of a funny story and a funny made-up word.
- Two weeks later, I chose a Video Assignment that especially challenged me. I loathe being on camera, but saw this as an opportunity to stretch my storytelling skills. My video and the accompanying blog were tough to create. Both pieces forced me to dig deep and open up about my special "talents" that make life enjoying and heartbreaking. When making the video and the blog, it was as if I had to just get the words out of my mouth/head before they choked me up which made this one of the "easiest"assignments for me to complete.
- A few weeks later, I chose a Design Assignment where I created a "motivational poster" from one of the pieces of advice shared to my by my grandmother. Her advice was a unique take on a the idea of not letting failure get to you. This is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever received. Sharing it also allowed me to shared a special moment between my grandmother that is among one of my favorite memories, not only for the closeness between the two of us but also the realization that the abnormal reactions to situations I have are closely linked to what I learned from my grandmother.
- This Mashup Assignment from Week 5 made me take a hard look at myself. A mashup between Sailor Moon and Goodnight Moon, it prompted me to think about the way myself and others in my family had been giving my father a hard time about one of his usual hobbies. In this assignment, I think I had a breakthrough self-reflection of the need to be more accepting of the various personality quirks within my family, including my own.
- For my focal theme of "There is no normal," I wanted to look at a variety of blogs and video stories exploring different aspects of my theme including how society defines normal, the different experiences of people who are also trying to find an understandable definition of "normal," and perspectives on "eccentric" people who live outside of the generally excepted definition.
- I chose to include these posts for two reasons:
- 1. I enjoyed the story and writing the critique
- 2. I learned about myself from writing the critique