Thursday, May 13, 2010

Final Class Day Prior to Field Work

Today (Wednesday, May 12, 2010) was the third and final day of Pre-Travel classes for the 2010 Navajo Oral History Project for Winona State University students.

The seven WSU participants had three days of classes to learn something about Navajo culture, to review journalism and visual journalism principles, and to learn or re-learn the audio, video and still photography equipment. In addition, the students used class time to get to know each other and to learn as much as they could about the Navajo Nation that will be their home for the next two weeks.

The students, in groups, researched a category of life on the Navajo Nation, and prepared a presentation during which they educated their classmates (and faculty) about things like: education, law enforcement, healthcare, government, judicial system, and basic demographic information about the Navajo Nation. They made their presentations today to help us all be a little bit better prepared for our time on "the rez."

Right after class, the students assembled their luggage and camping gear and stowed it in the van I'll be driving to Arizona. The students fly to Albuquerque on Sunday where I'll meet them at the airport.

I'm looking forward to a great trip that will meet and exceed our main goals:

Foster partnerships between students

• Experience a different culture

• Develop skills and abilities

• Inform and educate the public

• Create quality portfolio pieces

• Travel, Learn, Have Fun

The students assure me they are serious about two things:

- Doing meaningful journalism that will stand the test of time; and

- Having fun!

I'll update this blog as often as I can to keep you informed of our activities. Thanks for reading.

(Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this blog are by me. Once we are in the field and the students are shooting more, I try to use student-created images whenever possible.)

-- Tom Grier, professor of Mass Communication, Winona State University

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