At the North Shore Country Day School, each year we have the opportunity to hear many wonderful speakers who expand us and challenge us. Last year, we had the opportunity to have Joe Fab on campus, the producer of Paper Clips. This film was edited by one of our alumni, Julia Dixon Eddy. This year, our speaker was Mike Leonard (http://mikeleonard.pictureshowfilms.com/), whose son, Brendan graduated in 2002. Brendan had a summer series on ABC Family in the summer of 2002. Mike is a news correspondent for the Today Show, and as he shared, he is the only correspondent that they have who is allowed to create his own stories.
His presentation was inspiring. He began by telling us that he was a terrible student. He was uninspired and did not know what he wanted to do. One day, while doodling on his tennis shoes, converting them to faux wing tips, he decided that the only thing that he knew was that he wanted to be creative. When he was a senior in college in 1968, he had the opportunity to save up $1000 which he invested in a movie camera. He began creating films, looking for narratives in the images that he shot. He got married and moved to Arizona, where he worked a variety of different jobs while trying to figure things out. An unemployed friend of his suggested in try to find a job in television. He landed a job at a small PBS station in Phoenix, which payed $40 per week.
It was there that he learned the power in being able to find stories that weren’t big, but important nonetheless. He shared with us his clip, Goodbye to Summer. I have had the privilege of watching a game at the field. He shared with our students that they have to keep the faith and while we are unable to always see the aerial view, that our breaks are just around the corner. They may be one block away or one mile away, but you have to keep the faith and conviction.
What also struck me is the emphasis on finding and telling the stories. In working with the new technologies, listening and planning for the day that I was going to make the leap into the blogsphere, I am always struck by this common theme. Whether it be creating blogs, creating podcasts, Elggs, or participating in other social networking software one of the common themes is sharing our stories. Through the work I have begun at my school and in the K12 Online Conference, I now believe I have the confidence to begin to share my stories.
As I share with my yearbook editors and staff, we are telling the story of the year, documenting via the lens of the theme that we have selected. So I have been telling the story, but within my small community. It is now time to expand the audience.