Several days in, and only 2 left to go, and the intimidating socialization factor of this conference is finally beginning to loosen its grip on me. I’ve yet to entirely act as the goofy, stupid self my closest friends know me for, but today marked my true feeling of belonging among my group.
Having remained on campus for the entirety of the day and, with the exception of our breakout sessions, been left to mingle with our group, I found myself enjoying our absurd conversations and jokes. Smiles passed with ease and new, joyful discussions arose from our interactions. But, onto the actual substance of the conference.
The first speech and slideshow by Carol Guzy was beyond moving and brought me, like many, to tears. Heaps of emotions, combined with intensive pictures that fully projected Guzy’s passion, reduced us as an audience to a melancholy state. As Guzy struggled to stay outwardly composed as she recounted these stories and her own, the general consensus seemed to be the desire to give her a hug and share in her pain. She truly showed how emotional and influential the power of pictures journalism is in the modern world.
The other two speakers, Charles Bramesco and Kevin McCarthy, both also brought unique perspective into the world of journalism. McCarthy’s energetic aptitude and stories gave me insight into the exciting and unpredictable world of film critic and the world of cinema. Meanwhile, Bramesco’s much more factual yet still relevant speech and responses to questions assisted in my understanding as to the importance of creating connections and how this form journalism differs from the standard format.
But perhaps the most impactful and memorial part of today’s span was, to me, the breakout session, in which I was present to Richard Craig. An extremely intelligent and genuine human being, he managed to intrigue my interest the entire time. His involvement of the group and overall simplistic explanation of his research allowed for me to entirely grasp what he was saying and opened my eyes. To truly understand how inspirational he was to me, I went as far out of character as to personally shake his hand after most had left and thank him for his session.
As a whole, I must conclude that today’s conference routine was, so far, the best and most encouraging in my shy mind.