Before I went to Ferguson, Mo., to cover the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, a friend who had already been there reporting joked that he was certain that every person in the town had already been interviewed. And sure enough, the media crunch on was intense on West Florissant, the main boulevard that was the site of protests and clashes with the police in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown.
During the middle of the workday, it sometimes seemed like there was a 1:1 ratio between protesters and members of the press. The demonstrators typically wouldn’t come out in full force until the day went on; folks were either at work or waiting out the brutal humidity. Later at night, the people on West Florissant would get younger and rowdier, and it was those folks who were at the center of the skirmishes with the police we all saw on television and on social media.
But Ferguson isn’t a very large town. All those flash bangs and tear gas canisters were going off just behind people’s homes or in front of their small businesses. It’s your typical American suburb, and in many ways, it still was, even with all the clamor going on. Photographer Eric Kayne and I walked around the neighborhood chatting with people while they worked or relaxed, enjoying the last few weeks of summer, even as their town had become the most recent locus for Our Ongoing National Conversation on Race.
Photo credit: Eric Kayne for NPR
An Updated “About Me”
I used to be all about bios, now I don’t even know what I want to write.
I guess I’ll just tell you a few things about myself to give you some context as to why I blog about the things that I do.
As of August 2014, I’m 22 years old, and I live in Orlando, FL, a city that I love very much.
Professionally, I’m a freelance creative. I sometimes work editing short-form documentaries, promos, and films. Other times I’m a set PA for Disney, doing lots of grunt work in the hot Florida sun while avoiding hitting tourists with a crafty cart. Other times I’m designing web applications, or print pieces for adoption books and future schools. Still other times, I’m doing motion photography for films, and also traditional photography. (I got a B.S. in Film from Full Sail University a few years ago).
For a few years, I thought the only thing I ever wanted was to be a cinematographer. That’s since changed. My dream job, right now, is to be a creative director (what an ambiguous job title, I know). I’m just fascinated by art, stories, and how they move people. I’m fascinated with how pieces of art all start as an idea and eventually evolve into something real and tangible, and I want to find a job that encompasses that whole process of beginning to end, all-encompassing physical installations, photography, music, paint, paper cutouts — everything!
Personally, I’m a guy who any given person would describe as full of joy and enthusiasm. I will go great lengths to try and enjoy scenarios I find myself in, and the people who surround me. I enjoy a good laugh. I’m also very much so a peace-keeper. In the midst of that, I’m a feeler. Any given moment of the day or night you can bet that “I’m both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” (A quote from Perks of Being a Wallflower, which also happens to be one of my favorite films, if my film selection is any indication of what resonates with me).
I enjoy films, art, conversations in which I can feel something — whether it’s good or bad.
People (friends) mean a great deal to me — I’d quit every other aspiration of my life in a heartbeat if it meant I could be around those that matter the most to me. I don’t take my relationships lightly.
I’ve kept a personal journal on my computer for over seven years now, amassing over 1200 days of entries so far. I’m trying to get into writing cohesive thoughts, though, through the form of poetry, random blog posts, and, soon, short stories.
You can find some of those attempts on my other blog.
I think that’s about it for now.
"Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runner as featured in the Perks of Being a Wallflower soundtrack.
[There is] evidence that environments, schedules, and rituals restructure the writing process and amplify performance… The principles of memory retrieval suggest that certain practices should amplify performance. These practices encourage a state of flow rather than one of anxiety or boredom. Like strategies, these other aspects of a writer’s method may alleviate the difficulty of attentional overload. The room, time of day, or ritual selected for working may enable or even induce intense concentration or a favorable motivational or emotional state. Moreover, in accordance with encoding specificity, each of these aspects of method may trigger retrieval of ideas, facts, plans, and other relevant knowledge associated with the place, time, or frame of mind selected by the writer for work.
The psychology of writing and the cognitive science of the perfect daily routine – a comprehensive look at the research on how work schedules, behavioral rituals, and writing environments affect the amount of time invested in trying to write and the degree to which that time is spent in a state of boredom, anxiety, or creative flow.
(Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton)
A tree is just a tree. That is, until you put a canvas behind it, turning it into a living piece of art. That’s exactly what South Korean artist Myoung Ho Lee did and we couldn’t be happier with the result.