Tuesday, May 21, 2013

First in-the-field Class Day

The 2013 Navajo Oral History project held it's first class on the Diné College campus on Monday, May 20. Prior to this, the Winona State University and Diné College students in the class had only met each other via Interactive Television.

The day started with a walk across the Diné College campus to get breakfast. Because the DC cafeteria wasn't open for breakfast, the WSU group got breakfast from a local burrito vendor.

Photo of Shiloh Gulbranson and Danielle Wieczorek by Darin Strohmenger.

Robbie Christiano and Adam Maciejczak enjoyed showing off Adam's Green Bay Packer shirt to Prof. Tom Grier, who, as a die-hard Minnesota Viking fan, didn't enjoy the fashion show that much.

For the morning portion of class, the WSU students got their DC passwords set-up, and got help from the Information Technology department to make sure their laptops and iPads could connect to the Diné College wireless network.

While waiting for their turn in the Technical Support Center, Madison Duncan, Darin Strohmenger, Laura Humes and Cara Mannino took a few minutes to pet a couple dogs that belong to Diné College staff, and that hang around the building. Happy Dog and Maverick seemed to enjoy the attention.

(above two photos by Elise Nelson)

(above photo by Skylar Ogren)

The WSU students (pictured here are Nik Strand and Danielle Wieczorek) also stopped by the DC Cashier's office to pay their tuition bill for the summer class.

In the classroom, the students met in journalism team subgroups to exchange contact information and begin planning roles and questions for their first interviews with a Navajo elder later this week.

Lunch in the DC Cafeteria included barbecue sandwiches or barbecued chicken, choice of salads, vegetables and tater tots.

After lunch, the WSU group toured campus with Prof. Miranda Haskie.
 (above photo by Whitney Harlos)

(above photo of students walking to the Ned Hatathli Center at Diné College by Elise Nelson)

(above three photos by Skylar Ogren)

The afternoon class included a lecture on the history and social value of Diné College to the Navajo Nation. The class also received a tutorial in video camera operation and then one group did a role-playing interview to ensure the camera and microphones would work correctly for the actual interviews.

(above photo by Elise Nelson)

In late afternoon, the students had time to relax or to run a few more short tests with the journalism equipment. 
(photo by Madison Duncan)

(above photo of students goofing off in the Diné College gymnasium and recreation center by Skylar Ogren)

Following dinner in the cafeteria, a group of the WSU students played a round of disc golf on campus. There's no organized disc golf course, so the players made up holes by throwing the discs to "that tree" or "the fire hydrant," etc. Some had never played disc golf before and became quite proficient very quickly. (All disc golf photos by Adam Maciejczak)

There was a quick run to Chinle, Arizona, in the evening for groceries followed by more relaxing and equipment testing. Most of the group went to bed early. They need to be on the road to the first interview by 5 a.m. The elder being interviewed lives almost four hours from campus.

It was a very full day for the class and everyone seems to be having fun while learning more and more about quality journalism projects.

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