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Freshmen take to Vine to explore self and society

October 9, 2014

Students taking First-Year Experience classes were challenged last month to create six-second videos articulating their sense of self in society.

Students used the social app Vine to express themselves through images, videos and text.
“The basic idea was that students were to make a Vine that represented their take on the FYE’s theme of self and society,” Associate Professor Mark Thompson said. “Individual classes gave further guidance. My students were required to make a Vine that articulated how the past has shaped their self of self in society. Students were also required to keep a journal that recorded their creative process and reflected upon the final product.”
Freshman Kyra Skinner used her Vine to show a historical photo of men working in the fields with the disclaimer “My grandfather’s education.” She contrasted the image using photos and videos of herself at Stephens. “Don’t take your education for granted,” the video concludes.

Hannah Dorey used her six seconds to piece together a puzzle, sans one missing piece.
“One of the worst parts about modern society in my eyes is that no matter what you have in life, how successful you are, how happy you are and how complete you feel your life is, it’s never ‘enough’ for everyone else,” she wrote in her accompanying reflection. “There is always something ‘missing,’ something you haven’t achieved yet, something you don’t have or something somebody else has better. There will always be someone who will find a flaw or an imperfection, and it’s something that I’ve always disliked.”

Janelle Sardis’s Vine shows her transformation from a fresh face to a fully made-up face.
“My video Vine symbolizes self and society because the world has this standard image of what beauty is and often we think we have to look like the girls in the magazines,” she wrote. “It’s important to understand you are beautiful no matter what you look like.”

That was a theme in several of the videos, Thompson said.
“A number of the Vines focused on the issue of burdensome social expectations for women,” he said. “A number explored the idea of what it means to be beautiful.”
Thompson held a showcase of the videos, and students were asked to talk about their Vines.“We were very pleased with the results,” he said. “Students were very enthusiastic about each other’s work.”

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