Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 148: Memories

Today marked our first day of finals for seniors, which is, honestly a day I've been dreading for the entire school year. Finals means the end...and that means graduation...and that means leaving, and that's terrible. But finals also means that it's my last chance to make a lasting impression on those in the school, and it requires a little backstory.

Throughout high school, I, often times along with my best friend, Megan, have produced a great number of over-the-top projects. We made the Silent Film, The Amazing Chase, which was 8 hours of editing and two days of filming to create what really appears to be a silent film from the 1920's. There was the Les Paul National History Day Project...which is honestly the most stressful project I have ever done, but I'm proud of it none the less. There was our American Bandstand skit...which was just awesome. The Julius Caesar Project and Animal Farm Scrapbook, in which many sophomores still want to hunt us down with pitchforks for. Freshman year, Megan and I dominated in our Public Service Announcements, and our debate was a rift of only one vote between us (she won, but it was still a lot of fun!). And during this final year, while we had less projects, in psychology we were still on top, and our English papers were some to remember!

And so, when it came to my final semester of my senior year, and specifically my final projects, I wanted to keep going. I wanted to create projects that really showcased my hard work.

Now, it gives me great pleasure to share with you the first of my two final projects (The other will be in a blog post this Thursday), Memories. For my final in Creative Writing, we had three parts. First, the memoir I discussed on Sunday, second, a short story we wrote, and finally a collection of three poems. Earlier in the semester we had to write a total of ten poems, but for the final we were instructed to edit and digitally produce three of these poems to present to the class. It wasn't hard to decide on three poems: One I wrote on the Gettysburg Address, another on Google Chrome (Oh, I love thee!), and the last on my memories of Disney World.

But when it came to how to digitally produce each one, it took me quite a while to decide. The first two I created using Animoto, but the Disney one, I wanted to make that one special. My teacher, who I am absolutely and completely lucky to have as a teacher, hadn't seen some of my other projects. Megan and I didn't take the advanced English course our Freshman year, which he taught, due to some interesting circumstances, so I never had him up until creative writing this year, which I took both to have him as a teacher and because the class sounded like a great class for me to take. I spent most of Saturday attempting to figure out what to make for this Disney video, and came up with nothing. So on Sunday, when I was on my computer trying to figure out what music to use....it hit me. Stop motion and the tilt shift video.

If you have read my blog for a while, I have a series of posts on Disney inspired Youtube videos. The first videos I shared were the Disney Parks tilt shift videos for Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Each features a great soundtrack with music I love, and the music from the MK video was perfect for what I wanted to do. So I jumped in my car and went to shopko, picked up a big white board, came back and had my dad set up the camera and lights and went to work on my video.

Here is the finished project:

When it came to presenting it in class, I was a little nervous. My Creative Writing class is filled with a lot of really inappropriate people, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that some of them even politely asked me about how I made it and said honestly that they liked it. But it was the comments from my teacher that made it worthwhile. 

Back in January, during my last finals, a teacher said to me "I don't think it's childish," five small words about my love of Disney that really meant a lot to me. This time around there were more words, but there are few that really stood out. I won't share them all here, but one was that it was projects like this and people like me that remind him why he loves teaching. 

It sounds really strange, but I honestly don't like it when people lavish praise on me, and as I read How to Be Like Walt, it came to my attention that Walt was the same way. He didn't like to have all kinds of praise. He just loved what he was doing. He wanted to make people happy, and as I look back on all my projects in high school, I feel the same way. If I can bring a smile to someones face, often times the teacher, then my job is done. I have accomplished what I set out to do. It's things like reminding them why they love teaching that makes me want to do what I do, and that's hopefully something that will never ever change. 

But along with that, this project opened my eyes to a few more things. It reminded me why I love Disney. It gave me a chance to reflect on why I personally love the company, and it brought me closer to home. It reminded me why I want to become a Disney Employee. And most of all, Memories sums up everything I have done so far, and it lays the foundation for what I want to achieve in the future. 

Here's today's Disney History: 1994: Disney's Wilderness Lodge opens at Walt Disney World. The 728-room lakeside deluxe resort (inspired by the beautiful early American National Parks) features an 80-foot tall fireplace in its lobby. Only a mile away from the Magic Kingdom, the resort is surrounded by 56 acres of oak and pine trees and includes and artificial geyser and hot springs. 

Have a magical day!