Archive of ‘It’s What I Do’ category

Photos and videos: How visuals complement writing

Complementing her writing with striking visuals, Pulitzer-Prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario demonstrates how blending text with images not only proves to be effective, but also a great way to convey her message throughout the piece. With that said, Addario’s photos are simply stunning; it’s difficult to select two of the best from the book. However, I would have to choose the photos on the 18th and 28th page of photos after page 210.

These two photos particularly stuck out to me among the others, because they capture the extremely fragile, delicate, helpless state of a human being. Seeing these two photos, which capture a child individually and a mother among other compassionate children, evokes a true sense of empathy. With the child’s face covered in bandages from wounds, piercing eyes filled with tears and fear and a mother holding onto her child with limp arms, it’s difficult to avoid the emotional connection and response that the photos elicit.

Recognizing how influential the photos are and how they contribute to the meaning of Addario’s writing, incorporating images and videos throughout my blog posts would benefit their quality. At the end of the last two of my posts, I added photos that were related to what I described in my writing. I thought that a visual representation of my ideas would better connect my points and allow my audience to have a better understanding of what I was describing.

However, I hadn’t thought about incorporating videos in my posts. My school district has a YouTube channel called NPTV, so I could easily embed videos from their channel in my posts. Videos definitely have a unique way of capturing moments that greatly different from the concept of a photo. Seeing motion and action and hearing voices or other sounds allows the audience to live the moment vicariously through the video.

How sharing conflict plays a role in Addario’s novel

Throughout “Part III: A Kind of Balance” in It’s What I Do, Addario demonstrates how she is conflicted about the way she lives and the work she does. Despite her years of struggling to be a successful photographer and finally feeling a sense of fulfillment and security, however, Addario proves to be especially conflicted “about making money from images of people who were so desperate” in Darfur (Addario, 146).

By acknowledging the reason behind making money off of these desperate people, Addario ensures that the audience is aware of the inhumane behavior that her job involves. However, she justifies her actions; her income as a photographer will be put back directly into her work to prevent people from ignoring war. In doing so, Addario connects with her audience in a way that will allow more understanding of her overall goal.

While my conflict didn’t involve wartime photography, I had a similar conflict in my life when I was applying to study abroad in Spain for my junior year of high school. My best friend Nolan was applying for the spot, and I didn’t want my applying to convey the message that I didn’t want him to succeed and achieve his goal of studying abroad. However, in the end, Nolan and I were both selected to go, and my worries ended up being unnecessary.

While I think highlighting conflicts throughout my passion blog may be difficult given the fact that I am focusing on expressing my appreciation for North Penn School District (NPSD), doing so could show how I have benefitted from a conflict at NPSD. For example, I could talk about how failing my first test not only showed me that not everything in school can come easily, but also demonstrated that I did not master the content.

Writing strategies: how and when to apply them

Throughout pages 93-97, Addario’s writing about a near-death, life-changing experience as a conflict photographer demonstrates her adept use of writerly strategies to draw in her audience. Utilizing foreshadowing, imagery, emotional appeal, and blatant honesty, Addario conveys the severity and danger of the situation in which she has placed herself. In addition, her writing exposes some of the aspects of a war that one may not be aware of as she recounts the gruesome, cold details of the scenes.

With that said, Addario sets the scene before, during, and after a car bomb explosion in an anti-American area. Her vivid description of one of the most compelling, influential experiences in her career as a photographer allows her audience to truly understand how passionate she is about her career as a photographer.

As I write about my passion, I think I could use several of the strategies that Addario employed in the scene that I identified. For example, emotional appeal would be a great writing strategy to take advantage of when I want to express my appreciation for the staff in the North Penn School District that shaped me into who I am today, guided me throughout my educational career, and encouraged me to pursue my passion for education. Although it may be difficult, I could put my feelings into words about these influential people in my life, so my audience experiences and recognizes my genuine appreciation.

In addition, I could adopt the use of imagery when I discuss North Penn High School’s (NPHS) classes, clubs, and organizations. Because NPHS offers such a unique academic experience, someone who were to read my passion blog that doesn’t or didn’t attend the large public school might not understand why the three things listed are so important to me if they cannot picture what I am discussing. For instance, through the use of imagery, I could describe the most influential features of a classroom that provided me with the most enriching, memorable learning experience.

Thematize your passion

Regret is an unpleasant, strong feeling that seems to hang over our heads for hours, days, weeks, months, and even years. Such an unpleasant feeling is illustrated through Addario’s story regarding her Nana’s missed chance in love, which she uses to support her reasoning for following her passion. Knowing that the story has been nagging her Nana for years, Addario concludes that she does not want to make the same mistake as her Nana.

With that said, Addario conveys a clear message: pursuing her passion is a main priority in her life. Proving to influence her life greatly, Addario’s passion for photography is obviously established throughout the memoir. Addario thinks of her passion as her calling; she has a duty to serve the world as a photographer, even if it means endangering herself or risking her own life.

With the story of Addario’s Nana in mind and how it relates to thematizing her passion, I can’t help but recall one of the most empowering moments I experienced as a student, which served as one of the paths that led me to discover my passion for education. With an idea for a fundraiser to be led by the anti-bullying team that I was a member of in middle school that would benefit a district affiliated organization, a team member and I pitched the proposal to our advisor. After gaining his approval, we needed to propose the idea to the building principal, who, supported us and, ultimately, allowed us to execute the fundraiser.

As a student in middle school, I remember feeling so empowered by having the opportunity to propose, execute, and lead a fundraiser. When I think of the roots of my passion, I always come back to this story. If it weren’t for this opportunity, I don’t know if I would ever have come to discover my passion for education.

Education: Passion blog ideas

Whenever I hear, read, or write the word passion, education immediately comes to my mind. From the moment I became aware of the fact that one of our assignments for this course would be keeping a passion blog, I knew that mine would be focused on education in some way. Ever since I discovered my passion for education in middle school, I promised myself that I would never lose sight of my goal to pursue it.

As a student in the North Penn School District, I always felt excited by the atmosphere of the school that I was in. Not a day went by that I didn’t look forward to going to school; I was always eager to attend class, complete my assignments, participate, work with and meet new people, and build relationships with the staff in the building. I feel like I belong in a school; I feel the need to take advantage of my passion, put it to work, and share the excitement that I have for education both inside and outside of the classroom.

Through education, I not only discovered myself and my passion, but also realized the importance of gratitude and positivity. Such ideas have enabled me to illustrate and have the confidence to pursue my passion. With that said, I hope to incorporate those two ideas throughout my passion blog.

Now that I’ve established what the general idea of my passion blog will revolve around, I want to brainstorm how I will structure the posts. To incorporate gratitude, my first idea was to dedicate each post to where the roots of where my passion for education stem from. The second idea I had was to compare the differences between high school and college in a way that it would serve as a guide for graduating high school seniors that intend to continue their education in college.