When I initially set out to do this project, I had a long list of questions I wanted to answer. The only problem with this list was that, in actuality, I didn’t really want to know the answers to these particular questions. I set out asking generic questions such as: “How does your religion affect your academics?” and “What kind of religious organizations are available for students on campus?” While I was able to find the answers to these questions through interviews and research, I soon found that the answers were not at all interesting or compelling.

After presenting my project ideas to my classmates, along with some problems I had run into, I had an epiphany. After my presentation, my classmate, Matt, asked me a very poignant question: “Well, what do you believe?” And to my surprise, I realized that this was exactly the question I wanted answered, not only for myself, but for others as well. I realized that I had inadvertently been doing some soul searching of my own without even realizing it and this project was just the culmination of that search.

For me, this project was more than just mind opening. I always saw myself as someone who was willing to accept the religious opinions of others without question, but through the interview process, I found some deficiencies in my own point of view. I know that I will continue my constant search for “the answers.” Humans are built to question. It’s just a matter of how deeply and intuitively we choose to question the norms that we typically accept without a doubt.

At the beginning of my fall semester in WRA 417, we were given an assignment to create a project which would represent something we wanted to create in our future careers. I chose to create a short news video about an event going on around campus. Each fall a group of radical fundamentalist street preachers reappear at MSU outside of Wells Hall. As such, they are commonly referred to as “The Wells Hall Preachers.” Thinking that this might be an interesting topic to cover, I began my first attempt at creating a video article.

Over the next two days I spent several hours capturing the preachers’ behavior and conducting several interviews. After the interview process was finished, I put about seven straight hours into editing. It took all night to finish the rough draft of the video, but it turned out to be one of the most fulfilling projects of my semester. I was able to report on the story thoroughly, creating a short news piece highlighting the events of those two days. To top it off, I was able to have the video and an accompanying article published in an on-campus student newspaper. The success of this first project really helped to solidify my confidence, not only in my future class projects, but in my future career choice as well. Being on the scene where the action was, conducting interviews on the spot, trying to negotiate with reluctant interviewees—all of these elements just energized me more for the final project. After the first day’s work I quickly realized how much I love journalism. I realized that I want to film, photograph and document every facet of life, in every way possible. The feeling was beyond words.

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