Eruditio et Religio

Confession: I love my classes! Every single one of them. Granted, I’m probably wearing rose-tinted glasses since I’m only two weeks in to senior year…but altogether they are helping me develop a vocabulary for my artistic vision, compass, and trajectory. I’m learning how to tell the story that I am living, and it feels really good. This post is dedicated to why I value each class and the driving questions they’re helping me answer.

AMI 499S: Capstone, Arts of the Moving Image Certificate
A space to discern the story I want to tell, to practice, and to share my own story. Already, I have gained some clarity about my values (e.g. being real, team art) through our Show & Tell exercise: share 30 minutes of original or inspiring media. I also can’t get enough of our first reading assignment (this and this by Errol Morris), which likens the filmmaker to the brain, as both integrate different views into a meaningful narrative. What’s more, our weekly homework assignment is to BLOG our creative process and thoughts. Perfect, right? I’m very thankful for this unexpected source of accountability to keep writing and reflecting. Look out for those posts under #capstone!

AMI 336S: Documentary & Policy
What defines influential documentary? How do films successfully effect real-world change (policy, attitudes, and actions)? What can I learn and apply to my own decisions as a filmmaker who wants to share impactful stories? I’ll be looking for answers to these questions as we watch documentaries on a wide range of topics: national identity, activism, racism, mental health, capital punishment, government accountability…yup, I can’t wait!

MMS 272: Marketing Across Borders, Cultures, and Demographics (though it should actually be Psychographics)
How do I identify and deeply understand my audience (the consumer)? How do I do communications research? What makes effective brand strategy, and how do I want to brand myself? I think our projects and discussion are mostly contextualized to product brand management, but the principles definitely apply to anything I want to communicate.

EDUC 363: Educational Leadership
How does education develop leaders? What kind of leaders does education need? What kind of leader am I? Where can/should I lead? I really love the readings we’ve discussed so far, and I feel myself applying the principles and ethics I’ve read about to my leadership roles on campus, as well as my college education. Of the three purposes of education I read about recently, I reckon I approach my education from a democratic equality perspective because I’m interested in classes and experiences that shape me into a conscious citizen who thinks critically and creatively (the purported aim of liberal arts, anyway).

MUSIC 218: Musical Theater Performance
So I actually dropped the class after the first week because of schedule constraints, but as someone who’s physically uncoordinated and theatrically untrained, I loved the push to know my body – not to fear or be ashamed of it, but to be in touch with it and learn to control what I communicate with my voice and body language. Hopefully another opportunity like this will open up in the future!

And that’s my academic lineup for this semester! Feeling quite in line with Duke’s motto, Knowledge and Religion. My goal is to faithfully discern the stories I want to tell beyond Duke professionally, and I think my classes will support my discovery. I’ve definitely grown the most outside of my classes in general, so it’s refreshing to be this excited and expectant for the classroom!

Photo taken at the Mr. Brainwash Pop-Up Gallery in NYC.
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