Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Information is the Key

Today is wednesday. Technically we, Dominick and I, were not suppose to be here, but we had to make up our absent days. We started the day a little late. Even the adults were reluctant to come into work at the precise time. But it was okay cause when I was able to write up a new draft of the newsletter that was suppose to of been sent out a while back. Heh, I guess I haven't written it to perfection yet. With Alex's guidance, I'm getting closer to my goal.

When Alex did come in, he immediately put us to work. He wanted us to look for information on how to get information. ... Yeah. Did you pause for a second? He gaves us two sites to check out to help us understand what he wanted. One of the sites was about hypertexts that allowed a person to follow a link to the item inquired. It is pretty much talking about search engines and sites that exsist only to harbor links. It goes on to say children learn more from the net than from educators. I assumed this was because the internet has became a part of people's everyday lifestyle.

We also examined another site called Photovoice. It was a volenteer program that sends recruits as photographers to in need areas. Most of them are children from 16 to 20. Alex wanted to show us how images that send a message to a viewer. Their photos depicted the hardships, sorrow, and endurance of the refugees, poor villagers, and the homeless. It really excited me when I read more about the program, since I have been wanting to get back to serious photography. I might consider volenteering next year.

We went back to Alex to report on what we had interpreted from the two sites. We talked about the power of images, which was basic photo 101 to me. Alex got to talking about oral history. In my head I though, "It's basically letting the speaker talk freely about their past, right?" It is actually more like an informal interview. Alex asked us to look into it on the web, and constantly questioned us if we understood what he said. We did, but the problem was coming up with the solutions to receiving information we need from people. To us there is no other way to ask people other than annoying them with questions. We're nice kids, and we don't want to do that. Anne and Alex tried to explain the concept of oral history to us again, but I didn't quite understood where they were going with it.

Alex gave us a final assignment to find out about the history about Chinatown and the Lower East Side, and brainstorm on what we needed to know for the project ahead. He also gave us a little warning of our future assignment to each get oral histories of five people in the neighborhood. Major gulp.

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