I teach First Year Writing courses at St. John’s University, and for the first time this semester, I assigned what we called a video essay. I’ve previously asked students to create short documentary films before, but I decided to make the video essay an option after the work I saw on the website StoryCenter.
When writing incorporates some combination of text, images, links, sound, and video, it is called multimodal writing. I ask my students to do digital multimodal writing because of the degree to which their reading, writing, and thinking happens in conjunction with the screens of their devices. I think the less students read and publish in digital spaces, the more they are likely to be manipulated by them.
screenshot from Jessica’s video essay
If you’d like to see the directions I gave the class for the video essay, you can click here.
Two of my students gave me permission to share their essays. I think you’ll really enjoy them!
Here is Jessica’s essay about relationship goals:
And here is Jisan’s about anxiety:
Thanks for taking the time to check out some of what we were up to this semester!
Thank you for stopping by the Torg Stories site. I’m an ex-basketball coach and English teacher turned writer, filmmaker, podcaster, and professor. Originally from a small town called Winamac, Indiana, now I split my time between Asheville, North Carolina where I live with my family and New York City where I teach First Year Writing at St. John’s University in Queens. Torg Stories have found their way into the world taking many forms including…
Pat Conroy called The Coach’s Wife, “One of the best books about basketball and coaching I have ever read with a love story so complicated and wonderful it will have book groups talking about it for years.”
Thanks to Pat. I learned a lot about writing from reading his work and was a big fan. May his soul rest in peace!
Horseshoe is Midwestern Gothic collection of stories with themes about love, sin, guilt, and redemption.
In Love on the Big Screen, Zuke is a college freshman whose understanding of love has been shaped by late-80’s romantic comedies.
The Mushroom Hunter is about my father and his buddies’ passion for hunting morel mushrooms.
Click here to watch “The Mushroom Hunter” free online.
Get entered for a chance to win one of these books. Read over the descriptions and by way of comment to the post, let me know which one you’d choose if you win. Comments must be left by Sunday 8/26/2012 / 3:00 PM. That time gives my daughters and I time to make a video to announce the winner.
Southern Gothic steeped with Midwestern sensibility stirs the waters of the Tippecanoe River that embraces the town of Horseshoe and its inhabitants. A novel-in-stories, Horseshoe intertwines revenge, regret, murder, adultery, and insanity through the lives of the outwardly ordinary citizenry. Although the ideas for the stories have come from all sorts of places real and imaginary, the setting is grounded in my hometown of Winamac, Indiana.
Love on the Big Screen
In Love on the Big Screen, you’ll meet Zuke. He’s a college freshman whose understanding of love has been shaped by late-eighties romantic comedies. The story is set at a fictionalized version of Olivet Nazarene University and while creating the story, I reflected on my own romantic life and special obsession for films such as Say Anything and Sixteen Candles. My adaptation of this novel won the Grand Prize of the Rhode Island International Film Festival Screenplay Competition.