Friday, March 4, 2011

The Marking of my favourite mini movie - Dot!

"Dot - the World's Smallest Stop Motion Character"

I LOVE this video, and I absolutely love Dot! Great example of the "hero's Journey" I mean come on, she faces her fear and knits it into a blanket - you go girl!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How Life at Quest Can Benefit from a Storytelling Call to Action

This review is a response to Michael Margolis's book, Believe Me* - a storytelling manifesto for change-makers and innovators, by Michael Margolis. Margolis addresses important questions about a storyteller’s identity and provokes the reader to question their current storytelling tactics. In this review, I have addressed key philosophical challenges surrounding the Life at Quest website.
Below is the PDF version of my report. Don't have super-sonic small print reading abilities? Click on the document to enlarge!

Telling Your Story: A workshop with Kahli Ashanti

Storytelling Workshop - Day 1:

Yesterday I attended a fantastic storytelling workshop put on byPeer Giving Solutions (the programmers of the Life at Quest website). The workshop was lead by a wonderful, funny and talented man named,

Kahlil Ashanti.

Here’s the take home message from Day 1: If you don’t think that you have a story to tell, your wrong. Stop apologizing for your story and tell it anyway! Find the courage to find your voice. I have a secret for you… You have relevance, and your story matters. For those of you who think someone else’s story is better than your own, you’re wrong too! There is no one in the world like you. Yes, of course there are similar stories, but no one can tell your story like you can. Find a way to make your media matter, even if your mom is the only person who reads it! For those that think, “no one is going to listen to me”… You never know how your words are going to inspire someone else. All right, so we’re not all born storytellers. That’s okay! Start where you are, wherever that is! At least give yourself the benefit of sucking! Be real, be honest and people will respond. People don’t need Shakespeare to get them inspired; they need a story they can connect with. In the words of Kahlil, “Your biggest asset is what you already are!”

Storytelling Workshop – Day 2:

Today was the second day of the storytelling workshop put on by Peer Giving Solutions and lead by Kahlil Ashanti (I am working on getting Kahlil up to Quest to do a workshop with us. He’ll come if we invite him!)

Theme of Day Two: branding your story. Take Home Message: personalize your passion. As storytellers, we need to make people care about our story, build trust and create relationships. When we show viewers a human side, they will react in a human way. Whether that’s sharing our unique experiences, gaining exposure for an issue we care about or raising money for a cause. We are attracted to these causes for a reason. Unless people know what our personal stakes are, they aren’t going to care.

Peel back the layers that are getting in the way of you being human and having a human voice online. In the words of magic school bus teacher, Ms. Frizzle, “Get messy, make mistakes and have fun”. Life is in the mistakes. If you are not afraid, you aren’t risking enough. Be bold enough to be honest with your stories. You never know how you are going to influence people! Be brave so they can be!

Over the past week, Kahlil has been helping me craft my story. It’s a work in progress, but I am excited for the final draft. Sneak peak: it’s a story about a girl who had enough courage to walk away from her “dream” life in order to find herself. She needed to live her own life, by her rules. Her quest to re-find herself has led her on an exciting new journey at Quest University. STAY TUNED!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February Block - Social Media Independent Study

The February 2011 block has started off rather chaotically! It all started by switching out of an independent study, hoping to get into a particular class, ended up in another, ONLY to find myself in a completely different independent study after the block had already begun. PHEW!
This new independent study is an exploration into the world of Social Media. (Exciting and terrifying!) This opportunity came about because of my involvement with the Life at Quest site. For the past 5 months I have lead the amazing student team as the student communications coordinator. It has been an incredible experience. I have already learnt a lot, but I am finding out that I have SO MUCH left to learn. However, I am grateful for the challenge!

Recently my "boss" and Life at Quest site administrator, Barbara Cummings, informed me that she is leaving Quest to pursue other opportunities. Her early dedication to the site made it possible for the rest of us to bring it alive! I am going to miss her a lot. She has been a great resource and a great friend. Also, Her departure means that I will be stepping into her shoes, on top of my current responsibilities to the site, as a student and everything else I volunteer for. (GULP!)

Normally, I would have been hyperventilating at the thought of learning my new responsibilities accompanied by the increased workload for the site ON TOP of my insanely busy life. However, a flash of pure brilliance came to me. Why not dedicate this month to learning about social media and apply that knowledge to Life at Quest?! I could take on Barb’s role, and improve the site – it’s really a win-win for everyone! Luckily, the administration and faculty at Quest are INCREDIBLE and my support system came together in 2 days. I had 3 days to gather all the learning material, online resources and to create a syllabus detailing what I would accomplish over the next month! Double PHEW!

I have just embarked on this journey, but I already know this: social media is here to stay. The world is now connecting at an alarming rate through blogs, My-Space pages, YouTube videos, Flickr photos, Facebook posts and twitter feeds. For those who still think that social media is a fad, check out This Video. The statistics are quite startling. Although Quest has made good headway with our social media campaign, we have barely scratched the surface. Throughout this block I hope to figure out how we can optimize our efforts, so that we can get our story out there. Social marketing campaigns are built on the stories the storytellers tell! I might be bias, but here at Quest we’ve got a remarkable story that needs to be heard – especially since we are on a mission to create the next world leaders!

“The ability to see our lives as stories rather than unrelated, random events increases the possibility for significant and purposeful action”
– Daniel Taylor
Author, Tell Me a Story: The Life-shaping Power of Our Stories

Storytelling Workshop - Day 1:

Today I attended a fantastic storytelling workshop put on by Peer Giving Solutions (the programmers of the site). The workshop was lead by a wonderful, funny and talented man named, Kahlil Ashanti.

Here’s the take home message from Day 1:If you don’t think that you have a story to tell, your wrong. Stop apologizing for your story and tell it anyway! Find the courage to find your voice. I have a secret for you… You have relevance, and your story matters. For those of you who think someone else’s story is better than your own, you’re wrong too! There is no one in the world like you. Yes, of course there are similar stories, but no one can tell your story like you can. Find a way to make your media matter, even if your mom is the only person who reads it! For those that think, “no one is going to listen to me”… You never know how your words are going to inspire someone else. All right, so we’re not all born storytellers. That’s okay! Start where you are, wherever that is! At least give yourself the benefit of sucking! Be real, be honest and people will respond. People don’t need Shakespeare to get them inspired; they need a story they can connect with. They need a story they can find themselves in. People are hurting, and they need your passion – whatever it is! In the words of Kahlil, “Your biggest asset is what you already are!”

That was just Day 1! More to follow next week.

Perspective

Continually, I am utterly blown away by the beautiful scenery surrounding Quest Campus. The other night we were privileged to a spectacular sunset with amazing colours (as you can see in the the picture)! Views like this make it hard to focus on studying! But, every now and then you need to take a break from the books to enjoy the world around you, especially on days like these!