Volunteer Coach Inspires Special Olympic Athletes

Jackson Seedott, 20, has been a volunteer coach for a Special Olympics floor hockey team, the Mount Pleasant Blue Jays, for two years.  He also attends Central Michigan University as a full time student double majoring in Special Education and English.  Seedott gained an interest in working with individuals with special needs at an early point in his life through his mother who is a special education teacher.

Since working with the Blue Jays, Jackson has been able to see a lot of potential in each and every athlete. He strives to help them realize everything they are capable of and uses a balanced coaching style of pushing the individuals while also supporting them.  This video includes footage from a practice held on November 16, 2012 at Mary Mcguire Elementary school.  The team was focused on preparing for a state tournament the following day.

UPDATE:  The Blue Jays won their state competition on November 17th in Lansing, MI.

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Dr. Saleh in Somalia

This BBC audio slideshow displays how Dr. Omar Saleh, a surgeon working for the World Health Organization, makes an impact on the healthcare system in Somalia. Photographed and recorded by Kate Holt, it is a great example of using various multimedia elements to tell a story effectively through audio and pictures.

-photos should be displayed in a meaningful sequence-

-first photo should provide the essence of the story-

The beginning of the slideshow introduces Dr. Saleh and his purpose for being in Somalia.  The first photograph is of the landscape with goats that quickly transitions to a photograph of a child being held.  Then, another quick transition to a photograph of Dr. Saleh while in the audio he introduces himself.  The middle of the presentation shows photographs of various patients he has had to deal with and how he has helped them.

-last photo should provide a sense of closure-

The slideshow concludes with Dr. Saleh talking about how possible it is to help people with needs such as those in Somalia.  I feel that the concluding photograph is appropriate for Dr. Saleh’s ending views on foreign health care.  The picture of a child looking back while walking with two women wearing traditional dress, one with a basket on her head, adds a visual to his audio about respecting cultures and putting aside difference enough to really help other humans.

-sound and pictures should have a conscious relationship-

The most striking thing about these photos would have to be in the middle when the audience is shown the faces of people Dr. Saleh has helped.  They add a lot to the story because as we see the face of a three-year-old girl who had to get a tumor removed, we hear about how her procedure went.  I think this worked extremely well for this slideshow and was appropriate for the story.  There were definitely a good variety of photos: medium shots, full scenes, detail shots; there was also good use of fading transitions and a few zooms within photos.

-narrative often open with natural sound-

-including natural sound throughout adds an atmospheric dynamic-

The only natural sound was really at the very beginning with the photo of the goats and then of the child being held; the audio is of goats making sounds and a child crying.  If this were my slideshow, I would include more natural sound throughout the presentation.  One example might be in the middle while Dr. Saleh is talking about setting up the medical equipment, natural sound of the surgery tools could be interesting.

-audio slideshows should work well with or without captions-

There were no captions, however, I don’t think it inhibited the understanding of the story.  Many photographs, such as the ones shown while Dr. Saleh is discussing specific treatments, are described in the audio.  Aside from the lack of natural sound, this story was told well as a whole through descriptive audio and interesting photos.

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Working in Campus Dining with Cait Smith

I interviewed Roscommon junior, Cait Smith about her experience working in campus dining.


Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I have breakfast in the Fabiano residential restaurant and she makes a smoothie for me on those days.  I decided to talk to her and find out what it’s like to work in campus dining at Central Michigan University.

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Great Photojournalism Blogs: Joe McNally and Lens Culture

I had the opportunity to explore the world of online journalism and analyze the techniques of a couple of bloggers.

Good Blogging Practices
(Journalism Next by Mark Briggs):

-well crafted headline; specific
-visual; scanable
-has voice/perspective/personality
-short sentences/paragraphs
-post regularly
-allow comments
-links to other sites

Joe McNally

Joe McNally’s blog includes everything from accounts of jobs he’s recently done to a post about lighting setup to a technological field test. He seems to chime in to the comments section every once and while, but not regularly.  When he does, it’s usually short and very informal.

McNally displays the use of many good blogging practices discussed in Briggs and in class. His headlines are always specific to what that particular post is about. When he writes posts, he uses informal tone and has a very strong personality that comes through with his language.  He includes a variety of links in each post when he refers to other bloggers, photographers, or websites.  His blog as a whole is very easy to scan and find exactly what you want to look at with categories, links, and archives.

I really enjoy McNally’s personality that comes through in each blog entry.  I am also fascinated by his photography and lighting techniques.  I love that every post has pictures, sometimes even a video.  I am currently reading his book, The Hot Shoe Diaries, and this blog is a great extension of his experience and knowledge in photography.

McNally’s personality and writing style is definitely a strength presented in his blog.  He is informal, yet provides a great deal of information that is interesting and easy to follow.

The one thing I didn’t like about his blog was his input in  the comments section.  If it were my blog, I would want to communicate with the readers more.  I think McNally especially should have more of a correspondence with his audience by responding more to the comments.  Maybe even have a live chat feed or question and answer posts.

Lens Culture

The Lens Culture blog is sort of a collection of all things photography, posted by Jim Casper. He writes about particular photo essays, portrait sessions, and artist profiles. He includes videos of artists talks and informational links about portfolio reviews and competitions. Lens Culture blog, however, did not have the ability for readers to comment.

Lens Culture had really great headlines because they were specific to the post and quickly informed me of what I was looking at.  The blog was very easy to navigate with the archives, search box, and recent entries links. Throughout each post, links to other sites and artist blogs are included.  Casper also does a really great job of attributing information and photos to the appropriate places.  The posts are fairly regular and are written with an informal tone.  Videos and/or pictures are in every post, with text written in short paragraphs.

I really enjoy the variety presented in each of the Lens Culture posts.  The subject matter was new and interesting, not to mention very easy to find through the archives. Another strength of the Lens Culture blog is attribution.  Whenever an artist, photographer, or another website is mentioned, there is names and links that make it easy for the reader to gain more information.

The one thing I don’t really like about the Lens Culture blog is that there is no comment section.  I think this is a weakness of the blog because it limits the interaction and communication between the blogger and the audience.  I would definitely include a comments section in my blog as well as maybe creating a gallery devoted solely to the photography.  It could allow the audience to find the photos from all the posts in one location, attribute the photographer, and link to more photography.

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I’m excited about my first blogging experience at Central Michigan University!

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