Despite any shady "look" that Professor Lowe may or not throw at students when they walk into a classroom too close to the time that the class is intended to start, I felt nothing but good vibes as I took my seat among a rockstar group of students for our first day of our journalism capstone course.
Looking around at familiar faces and other faces that I have heard nothing but good things about, I felt optimistic about what we would be able to accomplish together over the course of the next few months. When we learned a little more about what the semester would consist of, the positive energy in the room only seemed to increase. I was thrilled to hear that we would be taking it upon ourselves, with the help of an online course, to become better at using data to tell stories in a visual and/or interactive way. No matter how each of us plans to use storytelling going forward in our lives, data visualization will only continue to play a more and more important role. The potential subject of our work was also greeted with a warm welcome. The 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Marches in Milwaukee is a historic landmark that is deserving of every ounce of attention it receives over the next year or so. I am fascinated by the stories of the marches and the way that housing policy has shaped this city I call home and am excited to work to make information about the significance of these events more accessible and interesting to the average Milwaukeean. Also, Fr. James Groppi is one of my absolute all time heroes, so any excuse I have to learn more about him is an always appreciated opportunity. (And yes, Professor Lowe, it will also be cool to win a trophy.)
In order to embrace this challenge and to hold ourselves and each other accountable to the kind of growth we would like to see and high quality pieces we are expecting to produce in this capstone, we took an honest look at our perceived strengths and weaknesses during the first class period and discussed them with each other.
I can't wait to see the ways that we improve and the awesome projects we will create.
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I am a senior studying journalism and international affairs at Marquette University. I am a Milwaukee-dweller and a storyteller passionate about exploring the intersection between community-building and communication. I'd love for you to learn alongside me!