On a typical Monday morning, one would expect to find students reluctantly crawling from their beds, dreading the rest of their day. That was not the case at NSLC this morning. Though surely some of us were eager to leave those comfy dorm beds, we were all equipped with the desire to continue our classes we left off the previous week. For those of us with afternoon classes, we shuffled into the Ward classrooms in the morning to learn about the different aspects of the communications world. My group tackled Media Convergence. For a group of students gathered together in an attempt to learn about how to become journalists, the message of the class seemed a bit ironic: Everyone already is a journalist. We learned about the term “citizen journalism,” meaning each person is a witness, writer, photographer and videographer and at any given moment can surpass professional journalists. The lesson was empowering, not to mention gave us pride in our video-capable phones and music players.

In the afternoon, you may have seen the eager filmmakers migrating from shoot location to shoot location, usually lugging around a huge bouquet of helium balloons or a large container of fake (but edible) fake blood. The shoots took up our afternoons much faster than we anticipated, teaching us a valuable lesson: you may be the director, but your deadline is your god. All the students felt the pressure of the impending final showcase of our work that will punctuate the story of our time here. All the students and staff felt the sleep deprivation when it came to the nighttime workshops. A rousing debate resulted in Clay’s Media Ethics class. The controversial photograph of the vulture stalking a child by Kevin Carter, presented us all with a question that could define us, both as journalists and as people: What is more important, the ethics of journalism or the morals of our humanity? The verdict was mixed and we all felt the significance of the issue at hand. We moved on to what we thought was a lighter note, but ended up an equally serious topic. We watched Datelines’ “To Catch a Predator”  and discussed the ethics of it. We found out that the law and the media are closer neighbors than we thought, and when the two mix, we are left morally and ethically conflicted.

All in all, it would seem this July 12 was just another unpredictable, thought-provoking, humid day on the American University campus, and by Saturday we will all wish these days could have lingered just a bit longer.

Holly B, Norwich, VA