Monthly Archives: November 2011

In-Class Writing: Who Am I?

Last term, we spent a lot of time talking about identity. In class today, you’re going to start working on the voice-over narration for the media project we talked about last term. In the end, you’ll be using Photo Story 3 to combine images, music, and your own voice to create a 3-5 minute presentation meant to convey your identity–who you are, how others see you, and how you see yourself.

Consider all the different angles on identity we discussed last term: the meaning of your name; where you’re from; what activities you participate in; what you watch, read, and listen to; what you buy; what subculture, if any, you consider yourself a part of. Remember too, we’re not assuming that you’re always the same all the time. We’re not assuming that you are the same person now that you’ve always been, or that this is the person you will always be. Think about all these aspects of your own identity when approaching this question: Who am I?

Take that question and just start writing in MS Word. Write it like you’re talking to your viewer, because eventually you’ll be recording it aloud. In the end you probably want about two or three double-spaced pages, but don’t worry about that right now. Jot down notes about images you want to include, or songs you might want to use. At the end of the hour, print it off, and we’ll talk about what you did on Tuesday.

If you get done with this, you can look for PhotoStory 3 under “all programs” (in my list, it’s just after MS Word), and play around with it a bit. But don’t come to class empty handed on Tuesday!

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Vonnegut, The Shapes of Stories

In the short video posted below, author Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions) explains how stories can be charted according to the positive and negative events in the story. Watch his examples, and then do the same for A Long Way Gone. Though Ishmael Beah’s memoir recounts a number of tragic events, consider how they compare to one another when you are drawing the chart. What is the low point for Beah?