Dissecting My Brain (Metaphorically)

I’m writing this on Tuesday night. It is 7:45 P.M., and in twelve hours I will be buttoned up into my Sunday best and on a bus to attend a City Council meeting and present the documentary Pilar and I made. In twenty-four, I will be greeting the hordes of family members, friends, documentary subjects, and mentors that will (hopefully) attend our final documentary showcase. I specifically picked this night to write my final blog entry for the MISC blog all the way back at camp because I thought I would be full of things to say, either summarizing the program or looking forward to tomorrow.

Yet here I find myself, staring at my computer screen with no idea of what to write. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about – I’m just so overwhelmed with emotions, memories, and lessons that it’s difficult to isolate any one to spend my final blog entry on. Let’s look at how I’m feeling at this exact second:

Not to resort to the clichéd listicle (except for Carinna’s was revolutionary and great), but let’s break this chart down.

Nervous – 10%

Like I mentioned, I’m speaking at the City Council meeting and also at the event tomorrow night. Even though I do well at public speaking, I usually get nervous the night before. I have two big hopes: one, that I convey what I need to convey (I’m intentionally being vague right now to avoid spoiling either event), and also that people actually come tomorrow night (and like what they see/hear).

Excited – 40%

We’ve worked so hard, and it’s finally about to pay off! Hooray! Plus on Thursday we’re going to go to Mirror Lake. This will be the first time I swim this summer, and as long as I don’t get a horrific sunburn it’s going to be great.

Nostalgic – 10%

Ever since I was little, I’ve had a tendency to get nostalgic over events that may or may not even be complete yet. This summer is no different. I’ve had such a fantastic time and made so many great memories that I can’t help but replay them over and over in my brain as I make new ones.

Sad – 5%

Currently trying not to think about how I only have two and a half days left in Portland surrounded by these awesome people…

Empowered – 20%

I’ve learned so much throughout this program. Before coming here, I knew very little about radio and my video portfolio was limited to school projects and a high school YouTube channel. Now I have a radio piece and video documentary under my belt, both of which I’m very proud of. I feel very ready to take the skills I’ve learned this summer and apply them to new projects back in Minnesota. And don’t get me started on the professional skills I’ve learned. Interacting with actual media-makers, learning how to write the best resumé possible, and figuring out how to present myself professionally have been such fantastic experiences. I’d do the program all over if only for these things.

Exhausted – 15%

Pilar and I have been pulling some long days editing and getting our film ready for viewing. I’m allowed to be tired.

So that’s how I feel right now. But after this rush of emotion passes and the program ends, what comes next? In the short term, the answer is a five-hour flight to Missouri on Friday morning. I will then have several weeks off and move back to Minnesota for college. There, in addition to getting back into the worlds of Greek literature and organization leadership, I plan on continuing work that I started here in Portland. I interviewed seven women for my radio piece about the Intergenerational Outreach Choir and only ended up using two voices. This seemed like a travesty to me, so I decided to edit each interview into its own story and create StoryCorps-like pieces for these women (that either I or the choir will publish). In addition, I want to come back to Portland over my fall break to collect more of these women’s stories. Crystal, the choir director, seems to like this idea and I’m already looking forward to being back in Portland. (Just saying, how funny that I came here specifically to study film and am leaving with such a deep interest in radio…) This project, school, and the media I will hopefully produce next semester will surely keep me busy.

All in all, it’s been a fantastic seven weeks in the Summer Documentary Program. I know this because of how strongly I feel about the prospect of leaving, and how inspired I am to continue to tell stories with radio and film. Thank you, dear reader, for following along with us.

Valete (that’s “farewell” in Latin),