|Photo courtesy of forumespirita.net (found through creative commons)|
I believe it's so important for us to share what we learn from our experiences, but it can be really uncomfortable or awkward to do so. That is why writing can be such a great tool in sharing our experiences. As I watched the videos, I noticed that several students seemed to feel awkward, which was perhaps due to being camera-shy, but the subject of their topic could also have made them feel hesitant in sharing. I particularly liked one girl's video and essay, where she talked about attending the funerals of her grandmother and father only nine days apart. In her video, she explained that her essay contained a lot of raw emotion. In reading her essay, I found the raw emotion everywhere, but it was also interesting to note that the event occurred roughly 10 years ago. I think that writing her experience out helped her understand herself a little better, even though it wasn't a new experience. It felt very real to me and it is amazing how much readers can connect to authors that they have never met as they share times of growth.
Many of the personal essays took a story format, which I found very engaging. The essays that were more hypothetical ideas or not a specific story were harder to connect to, perhaps because they lacked imagery and the deep emotion of a personal experience that is often hidden under the surface. I found that the video introductions supported the essays by making them feel more personal, like a friend that wants to tell you a story that is very important to you. As for my personal essay, I would like to make sure that I can connect it to a larger audience. A personal essay should be inspiring and help people to want to experience things on a deeper level.