Week 9 Journals
“Hearing the impact”
This week I am finishing up the final 2 podcasts that highlight certain aspects of Myles’ story. For me, this has been one of the most enjoyable parts of this project. The sound editing can be tedious, but being able to hear the emotion in Myles' voice as he describes some of his most difficult experiences while serving in the military, is an experience all on its own.
The specific words that stuck out to me were, “I couldn’t do it,” which Myles said when describing how he dealt with losing a friend who was killed in action. There was so much defeat in his voice; so much struggle. That must have been the most difficult thing for him to tell me; maybe the most difficult thing for him to remember about his tours. The bond he had with the soldiers in his unit was one of the most prevalent aspects of his story. The idea of them losing one of their own must be earth shattering.
This week I am going to get all three of my podcast done. I had the first one done with music added and everything but it was a little too short and Grace wanted Adam to read his quotes instead of using the ones from my interviews. That way it sounds better because you don’t have all the umms and likes. I re recorded myself on Wednesday in class. When I went to cut and edit my podcast I sounded very quiet and there was a white noise and echo so I went to record again in the studio in Polk 7 on Thursday before one of my classes. Grace was not in her office and there was no SD drive by the microphone so I decided to just stop back on Friday. That worked out just fine because I ended up just going to the computer labs on campus and worked on cutting the lines Adam read for me. I didn’t want to mess with her things on her desk or end up erasing something very important. When I back in on Friday I recorded all my scripts for the podcast and when Grace went to put them in my folder again my voice sounder very soft. We went in by the microphone and Grace noticed that I never turned it on. So I recorded myself again for the like sixth time. Finally I can cut and edit everything and add the music to all my podcast. I am going to get up earlier than what I usually do so that I can get these podcast done and then I can use my nights to work on different homework for my other classes. These last two weeks are always hard to juggle all your homework because so much is due for all my classes.
I feel like I’m so close to finishing this project! It’s cool to look back at the whole semester and think about everything that we did to compile all these stories. But there is still a lot to do. I finished all three podcasts, which is good. The first one was challenging to figure out how to put it together because it was my first time using Garage Band. I thought that the other two would be just as hard, but I was able to put them together pretty quickly. Once I got the hang of Garage Band, it was pretty simple.
I think I’m basically done with my story. I just have to meet with Warren to go over it. We’re planning on meeting next week on Thursday. I’m a little bit nervous for that. I’m worried that he’s going to read it and tell me I misinterpreted the things that he told me. Or that I got his story wrong. Or that I told it poorly. But I like the anecdotes that I included in it and I hope he does too.
Just when I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out it was only a hallucination. I can’t get anything right. Apparently, I’m supposed to add so much more information to everything I already have and it’s starting to drive me nuts. I’m ready to start pulling my hair out. What more do you want from me, Grace? I know you’re a perfectionist and I know you’re only trying to help, but come on! I thought I got all the “inside his head” information you wanted and now you’re saying you want more? It was hard enough just getting the little bit he wanted to give me. I’m pretty sure Michael’s starting to get sick of me and all my questions. Now I’m supposed to get a hold of him again and ask him more questions? I will be glad when this is all over!
A lot of Dustin’s stories were serious, but he also had some goofier ones.
He told me the story of his platoon firing non-lethal rounds at a younger member of their team. It was funny for them at first, but the rounds bounced back at them.
Dustin said him and his friends were covered in welts, and that the guy they had shot at was pretty much fine.
I found this interesting because of how similar this would be to a college prank in one of the dorms. I think we forget that soldiers are the same age as most college students sometimes, and don’t think about how a lot of their free time is spent in very similar ways.
A Black Hawk helicopter, like those featured in Zero Dark Thirty, flying over Baghdad; Courtesy of Mark Maurer
This past weekend my friend and I watched the newly released film Zero Dark Thirty, which focuses on the black ops mission to capture/kill Osama bin Laden. While watching the movie, I realized how much I have learned from getting to know Mark’s story. This process has allowed me to get a glimpse in Mark’s shoes, and now I when I hear stories about the war or war veterans, watch surprise homecoming videos that have gone viral or watch movies like Zero Dark Thirty, I see them from a whole new perspective. They have become more meaningful and personal. I appreciate what these men and women in the military do so much more now than I ever have before.
This photo shows the leftover wreckage of a Hesco barrier, a sand-filled baricade used to protect soldiers from explosions.
The semester is getting into what my father would call “prime time.” With only a few weeks left a few projects are converging on deadlines.
It isn’t such a big deal, but with work picking up and me hitting a lazy streak, it has been hard to avoid procrastinating. Tonight I am forcing myself to at least get a few words on the page for the story behind the story. I also decided to attach a horrible picture of me in my class A uniform.
My first move was to stare at the screen for a few minutes. After a story didn’t start writing itself, I decided it is vital for me to see the video from the Waco, Texas. After I watched that, I moved my clicker to the Facebook icon. I had a notification that was pressing.
Why is it when time is tight we waste the most?
I met with Nick today to go over the story with him and get a photo release form signed. There were a few factual errors that had to be corrected and I still hadn’t found all the “Nicks” that had to be changed to Brewer. There were also some quotes that had to be cleared up with Nick. He had said some things that I interpreted differently than he meant so we had to reword some parts of the story to keep in line with what was actually meant. After fixing the factual errors with Nick I went through the story a couple more times and I think I finally have a finished product. I got the story down from 4,000 words to just over 2,000 and managed to get the story to Grace’s liking, at least I hope I have. I am almost done with everything, I only have two podcasts left to make and photo captions to write. I am definitely cutting it close with my deadline, fortunately I’m much better with podcasts than I am with writing.
Today Kat and I got together in the studio to do our final recordings for the podcasts I need to complete. It went really smooth. We only had to record each section twice, and one of the times was because we were laughing in between sentences. After today we only have four more scheduled class periods that we will meet and discuss what to do next. Other than that, I have to really stay on track. I wrote down each and every thing I need to do by the end of the semester so I can check off each assignment as I go. This project is really starting to come together. I never thought I would be able to get all of the requirements done in time. I’m not done yet, but I have a final draft that I need to get signed off. I’ve recorded all of my podcasts, and I only need to complete one more journal entry. I’m so close. The end of this semester is going to be so rewarding. I am going to skip and sing the whole walk home.
I’ve so far had two drafts of my final story, and I’m happy because Grace seems to think that I’m going in the right direction. After a draft or two more, I should be done with the final draft! Then I need to go over it with Aaron, to make sure that there are no errors in spelling or facts. I can’t wait to see all of our stories get published and put out for the world to see. I think these soldiers deserve the recognition that they will be receiving, and I can’t wait. I’m also excited to read the finished drafts of everyone else’s. I’ve heard bits and pieces, but it will be wonderful to read from start to finish.