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Moving to Movie Maker

Written by Sally Griffin
November 08, 2011

PowerPoint did the job and I collected a number of wonderful pieces over the years. As I worked with students, I found more uses for electronic media, including offering a space for voices that were silent in the classroom. One young man—a senior who was taking the class to complete an elective requirement—sat on the front row with his back to the majority of the students and usually spoke only on Fridays when he was required to deliver a “Golden Line” from a book he was reading and explain to the class why that was a “Golden Line.” He turned in the obligatory essays, poems, and short stories, but did not talk. A number of our “privileged” students also were in that class—girls who spent their afternoons and evenings in the neighboring city shopping at an upscale mall. Often when we shared our freewrites theirs were filled with what they saw as inconveniences they had to endure from the working class. For instance, they resented truck drivers who slowed down or otherwise impeded a quick 35-mile drive to the shopping mall. They seemed to write endless tirades about their aggravations. As they read, the young man seemed to become quieter and his body language indicated a new level of discomfort. His father was a truck driver. I asked him to give a rebuttal and he refused. So I suggested that he write the other side of the road story in pictures and music. “Make some pictures of trucks,” I said, “and let’s try this new technology, MovieMaker, and see how it looks. Here is Derrick’s story.

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