As annoyed as I get by that question when I see it on my Newsfeed, it’s been a reminder this week in terms of the work I’m doing for this class. In particular, I just can’t get remediation project out of my head. I think it’s because a lot of the people I’ve been photographing have such interesting opinions on higher education and why or why not people should go to college that it makes me wonder a lot about my own personal decisions to attend school. Granted, I don’t think it’s a mistake that I decided to attend U of M, but I do think it’s fascinating that so many of my friends are having such dissimilar experiences in comparison. For example, one of my friends went to college for a year before dropping out and pursuing a music career. She posts videos on YouTube and plays at various venues around Chicago. When I took her photograph, she kept talking about risk. She knows the path she’s chosen is a risk, but she is taking it anyways.
Despite these questions reeling in my head, I have really been enjoying photographing people. There’s definitely been an itch to photograph that I haven’t quite been able to scratch thus far in college, so I’m glad this class–and this project in particular–has given me the opportunity to do so. I’ve loved playing around with angles and lighting to get the perfect shot. I’ve always noticed that some of my friends have become more open to being photographed, which is pretty fun to see! It’s definitely going to be a rude awakening when I have to take classes without so much creative freedom. I think I’ve gotten so used to making my own decisions that I’m interested to see what it will be like not to have this creative outlet next semester.
As always, with so much creativity comes numerous challenges. I’m struggling to continue taking photos of people with different experiences. I’ve noticed that the majority of the people I’ve photographed are my friends, and they have relatively similar points of view on stress and success that I do. This week, I’ll be pushing myself to ask people I don’t know if I can speak with them and potentially photograph them, just in the hopes of getting more diverse answers and experiences. This process has made me start to appreciate even more the Humans of New York account as well as other blogs interviewing and engaging with people. It’s hard work! Not only does the other person have to be in the mood to talk with you, but you have to be in the mood to listen. That’s one skill that I’ve definitely gotten better at since beginning my remediation. I can listen to people for hours on end now, with no loss of enthusiasm. If I gain nothing else from this project, that will be the most meaningful skill, I’m sure.
There’s also this aspect of not wanting to say goodbye to my remediation. This is definitely going to be a piece of work I continuously revisit and tweak because, like people, their stories will be ever changing. I’m looking forward to looking at my remediation year after year at the minimum to see how my friends opinions have changed or stayed the same. It’s a little bit of history I’m creating, which is exciting for me and I think for them as well.