Monday, June 3, 2013

Class - Work - Dinner

The work for the 2013 Navajo Oral History project suddenly got very real.

All the interviews are done. Nearly all the video has been gathered. Photos have been reviewed and in some cases cropped and edited, and audio has been transcribed.

The groups are digging in to their projects determining a narrative structure-- usually chronological or thematic-- and starting to write a script including narrations, voice-overs, title slides, etc.

This is the hard work of journalism. The students would agree. It's fun and challenging work to be out in the field shooting photos and video. The hard part happens when they must review the raw material collected, make sense of it and make it fit into a framework that will be interesting, informative and engaging as a documentary film that also maintains historic accuracy.

The students met in the morning for class, during which each group reported on their projects and their thoughts for the story concept, organization, and how they plan to handle transcriptions, narrations and editing.

During the second part of class, Prof. Tom Grier presented a workshop on voice and articulation for narrating. The class heard samples and then practiced telling a story through narration rather than reading a script.

After lunch, the students were sprawled out throughout the dorm building to work on their projects.

Robbie Christiano

Jolene Kuisle and Prof. Miranda Haskie

Madison Duncan

Nik Strand

Brett Gustafson and Madison Duncan

Cara Mannino and Tom Hays

Darin Strohmenger

Darin Strohmenger and Nik Strand

Elise Nelson

Lorencita Willie and Laura Humes

Miranda Haskie, Laura Humes and Darin Strohmenger

Tom Hays

Later, several students went to the Diné College Gymnasium and played a pick-up volleyball game for relaxation and exercise. Many of the WSU students have been to the gymnasium several times since the group has been here at Diné College -- this is the first time the blog editor has been able to get there with a camera.

Adam Maciejczak

Brett Gustafson

Brett Gustafson and Shiloh Gulbranson

Danielle Wieczorek

Laura Humes

Skylar Ogren

Whitney Harlos

For dinner, Madison Duncan generously offered to cook a family meal for the whole class. She made a grocery run to get all the supplies and then spent time in the kitchen preparing one of her specialties: eggplant parmesan and  chicken parmesan. Maddie got help from Cara Mannino and Lionel Harvey.

The dinner was a huge success. Many non-veggie people tried the eggplant parmesan and really liked it. The chicken parmesan was also delicious as was the desert-type fruit salad that Lionel brought to the dorm.


During dinner, a couple of the guys got the NBA basketball game on the TV, but had a tough time staying focused on the game.

After dinner, Lionel Harvey gave gifts to every member of the WSU Navajo Oral History class group and said very kind words about everyone being welcomed into his family. There were tears and lots of hugs, partly because the groups will be going their separate ways very soon as the WSU group prepares to fly back to the Midwest on Wednesday.

The Diné College students have made the Winona State University students feel welcome and valued.

The faculty for the class are pleased with the progress. The students will continue to work the next few days on the projects, including showing a draft in Tuesday's class and receiving constructive feedback.

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