The Middle of a Journey

I saw a billboard on I-40 West in the spring of 2012 that featured Elon’s Interactive Media program. At the time, I was a visual artist teaching, selling work in shows and making custom work (when the stars aligned). I was also working a temp job that was going nowhere. Interactive Media sounded intriguing, so I found the website and started exploring.

My next move was an email to Katie Williamson. Intrigued, I came to an open house. Then I made a campus visit. At this point, I was ready to sign on the dotted line. Katie encouraged me to go ahead and put in an application, so I did. Within weeks, I got the wonderful acceptance letter! This was October 2013.

Fast forward to July 2014, and I am in boot camp. What a wake up call that was. My interest in iMedia stemmed from my writing and visual background and the fact that my tech skills were woefully out of date. I had heard about boot camp, but had no preparation for the level of intensity that followed. As a former PC user, I struggled to navigate the Mac, among other things. My 20/20 hindsight now shows me that I should have been catching up on programs like Illustrator and Photoshop, specifically. At the very least, I would have been familiar with the Adobe suite and the layout commonalities of those programs. The production section was especially troubling—I was trusted with a very expensive camera. My hands shook almost every time I picked it up. And my video was simply awful. The subject was “About Me”, but I just wanted to hide. I made it through, though!

The semester started, and I still felt very nervous about every single class and new situation.  As an “older” student, I didn’t feel very connected to my fellow classmates. (So apprehension stayed with me, and getting the class assignments done was like working a 12-hour shift.

However, by the time fall break came, I was still there and making connections with everyone.

Just before fall break we got our Fly In assignments, and I’m headed to Costa Rica. I’ll be the writer for my team. Every week we meet to go over preparations. I’m doing a crash course in Latin American Spanish on Rosetta Stone. As the writer, I am tasked with being the cultural expert and to learn functional Spanish. I’m trying my best not to sound like Peggy Hill, but an accent is hard to erase.

It’s almost exam time now. I just finished a video for our production class, and not only did I not shake when handling the camera, but I even set up and used a shot gun mic. Who knew that would happen?

My favorite shot!

My favorite shot!

There are many projects to complete over then next couple of weeks. Everyone feels the crunch, but we are all in an iMedia boat together. It’s crazy, but I just might make it.

paula macLeod

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