This year has been a crazy rollercoaster of responsibility and opportunity. I’m just now recovering from what’s been the busiest school year of my life.
First on the To-Do List… My studio art roommate urged me to participate in the local ADDY Awards this year with her. She suggested I submit the video spot I did on Josiah Vogel and his pyrography, so I grit my teeth together and paid the entry fee, hoping I wasn’t going to have to eat Ramen the next six months for nothing (kidding, guys, kidding. I only eat Ramen…often…ish….)
So this spring when the awards were announced, my roommate and I eagerly looked through the winners’ names, slightly disappointed we couldn’t find our names. We shrugged as we put my laptop aside, trying not to let each other know how disappointed we were.
Then the next day my classmate congratulated me.
“For what?” I asked, slightly bewildered as I gathered my things to leave after the bell. My mind ran through the things she could possible be referring to, but none of the options seemed big enough to warrant a congratulations.
“Your ADDY Award,” she explained, the slightly flicker of doubt crossing her bright eyes. “You did that video on Mr. Vogel, right?” Continue reading →
I had the opportunity to write an article for the Connection Newspapers about three teenagers awarded for their upstanding characters and public acts of service during McLean Day, a community fair held on May 19, 2018. For the online version, click here.
For my Digital Multimedia Productions class, I had to film and edit a promotional video for an on-campus activity, a product, or a self-promotional video. I chose to highlight my college’s literary publication, Fountains, which is written, illustrated, edited, and distributed by the students.
This video was actually a last-ditch effort after I had to suddenly change my previous plan of creating a promotional video for my collegian (PCC’s version of Greek Life). With only about a week and a half to create this, I’m very proud of both my grade and the final product.
I grew up having dyslexia, and as a result, I struggled reading simple words like “cat” because of the dozens of spelling variations that came with it. Though, while I struggled, my mom read every book she could find on the so-called disability and helped me understand that it wasn’t as hindering as people make it out to be. Now I study professional writing in college and hope to publish my own novel one day.
This video was created for my Digital Multimedia Productions class. The goal was to create a one minute kinetic typography video in After Effects explaining a complex topic.
I gained research from my all-time favorite dyslexic experts, Ronald D. Davis, who wrote the book The Gift of Dyslexia. A dyslexic himself and considered autistic, Davis was nonetheless a genius and practically the one who discovered what dyslexia truly is and how to use it to our advantage. Everyone who is either dyslexic or has a child who’s dyslexic should buy a copy of his book!
This video also one an Excellence Award for my college’s commencement contest.
At my college, every year the professional writing and art students come together to produce a literary publication full of stories, essays, poems, and illustrations from the previous year. We call it Fountains.
As a high school student, I remember seeing Fountains advertised in the direct mail we received occasionally, and I determined right then that I would one day be published in PCC’s publication one way or another.
As a Freshman, I submitted a short fiction piece that was too long for consideration (ten pages, I think). But since I hadn’t had any writing classes yet and didn’t know what kind of process the writing went through, I didn’t mind too much; I would get in next year.
As a Sophomore I submitted my short fiction, “Keep Calm and Dinner On,” and hoped for the best. I wouldn’t hear back until the spring of that year, and even if I did make it in, I wouldn’t be published until the year after.
I waited. And waited.
And then Devon Counterman caught me at the beginning of journalism and told me I had been accepted.
Josiah Vogel has been woodburning for a little over a year after a friend of his gave him a woodburned lion as a gift. Intrigued and wanting to try it out for himself, Vogel bought himself an entry-level woodburner and began practicing small pieces in his free time. His first project was of a small penguin, and after that a wolf. As he continued investing in his hobby, Vogel upgraded his equipment, bought multiple different nibs for his woodburning “pens,” and began selling some of his work to the campus’s residents.
Vogel’s most notable pieces include a portrait of Groot from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and a large 4×3 ft burning of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. He is currently working on a burning of Edmund Leighton’s The Accolade, which has already taken him forty hours.
For information on commissions and pictures of his other pieces, visit Josiah’s Facebook page and watch for his upcoming YouTube page.
Third-grade me sat in the back of the class, staring at the scrawled penmanship on wide-ruled paper. More specifically, I was staring at the large, unforgiving red F at the top. Ironically the failing letter grade was the easiest letter to read on the entire page.
My failing spelling grades weren’t just for lack of diligence. Oh, I tried to write legibly, tried to read without stumbling, and tried to pass a spelling class with an acceptable grade—but I struggled with something other kids didn’t: I was dyslexic.
But here’s the thing. Although I struggled with spelling in school, Mom wouldn’t let me believe I was disadvantaged. She determined to share with me the secret of dyslexia: it isn’t so much a disability as it is a superpower.