Today was a sentimental journey back to Talker’s roots.
Here in the University of Rochester’s Rettner Computer Lab, late last September on a cool Fall evening while magazine designer UR senior Karina Banda was in her apartment, I hit PUBLISH.
Afterwards, I confess, I bummed a cigarette from a Lithuanian graduate student, then wandered down to the river for an exultant smoke.
Since, Karina — aka the Saint of WordPress — has graduated and landed a position at Disney.
To help Talker find a “new” Karina, Professor Michael Jarvis, Director of Digital Media Studies, invited me to give a presentation at his professional resource networking session for students in his capstone class.
The capstone program is a year long full immersion experience for DMS students, culminating in a substantial digital project or product. Each intended to have a cultural impact, the project possibilities range from video games to applications assisting transgendered people’s safety and, in our case, building a community magazine. Michael had distributed two blurbs about the magazine.
First stop was a sesame seed bagel and salmon cream cheese. Michael had advised the gathering that the food line is often a prime venue for power networking. Alongside boxes of devoured donuts, I power networked with Yichen Lu and Mingjian Zhong, both CS and DMS majors.
First, Michael introduced the 17 capstone students, and various potential course mentors and resources from the UR and RIT.
Brevity being the soul of wit, I managed to limit my talk — no doubt to your surprise, dear reader — to less than a minute. I discussed the many articles we have done on the UR (at end), as well as the Nazereth College students who have contributed to pieces on the Hickey Center for Peace.
To our pleasant surprise, during the meet and greet session — students were required to meet three new people — eager wannabee Talkers flocked to the my computer terminal.
There I met and greeted Aleem Griffiths from the Bronx. To improve the magazine’s somewhat lacking digital presence, Aleem quickly recommended we use snap chat and very helpfully pointed to the webpages of the four UR classes where articles could be posted.
Holding a “PHD in Partyology,” Dr. Griffs is a disc jockey at both off and on campus events, including fraternity/sorority mixers and parties held by African-American and Latino organizations. Aleem liked the idea of writing a story on how he prepares differently for performances based on the racial and ethnic makeup of each audience.
Actually, the very first talker flocker was Courtney Kuhn, a graphic designer and writer from Chuchville-Chili High School. A natural for the magazine, Courtney leapt in full force. She gathered the names of those in the photos — her with sound design and editing specialist, DMS major, AME minor Carlos Richer from Mexico — and started photo shopping the images. Staying late after class, Courtney and I balanced this essay as a mixture between the light hearted and the more serious.
Another ideal fit, Courtney is in the UR In Between The Lines Comedy Improv Troupe. Noting that she is one of only two women in the club, Courtney wants to write an article on the relative dearth of women in stand up comedy. Courtney will provide theories as to why comedy — unlike other artistic genres — remains male dominated.
But, of course dear readers, our invitation to join Talker extends beyond this University of Rochester capstone class — that means you!
UPDATE: THREE DAYS LATER, COURTNEY WROTE First Timer at First Fridays. At the Hungerford Building with Courtney Kuhn
SEE ALSO ON THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER