See the “News” at Northeast: Booker T. Washington’s visit with George Eastman

See the “News” at Northeast: Booker T. Washington’s visit with George Eastman

wash• February 22, 2013

One of my aims as a Make City Schools blogger is to highlight positive initiatives and projects taking place in the RCSD. One such initiative is the Northeast College Preparatory High School’s MTS (Media Technology Studies) program.

With a high quality computer graphics lab,an array of media equipment, and a top notch faculty with real world production and news experience, students both study and create high level video. In addition, the Advanced Video Production class periodically reports about news and entertainment at the school. For example, one report covered a press conference held by Superintendent Vargas on the Douglass Campus.

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate.

A year ago I wrote a Democrat and Chronicle Guest Essay on a dinner between George Eastman and Booker T. Washington at the Eastman House in the early 1900s.  The next time I was at Northeast, Laura Barstow and her class proposed we make a newscast based on the essay, including an imaginative recreation of the dinner.

So, a few weeks later, tripods and cameras in tow, we made a field trip to the Eastman House where students took shots and where given a tour. Soon after, they recorded me reading the essay, as well as briefly filmed me speaking at an outdoor spot near the school.

All fine and good, but still I fretted. In my perception, the class seemed a little too blase about the project. Were they really engaged, or was I just seeing the studied cool of the teenager? Could they pull it off?

When the video was done, I had my answer. Judge yourself how the kids did.

Booker T. Washington at the George Eastman House


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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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