Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Why do I do it?

Pin It People have asked me that many times.

Why do I spend hour upon hour making videos for the school I work at? Most people don’t know that a video such as the one I create for the sixth grade graduation usually takes me between 15 and 20 hours to put together. But why? Why would I want to spend that many hours of my life on something like that?

I’ll tell you.

Tonight I received yet another reminder of why creating something like this is so important…

I had come home from work a bit later than usual, grabbed a quick bite, and then had planned to leave when there came a knock at the door. Thinking it was my friend, Gregg, or perhaps my sister, I opened it and instead found myself facing two high school-aged boys, both about seventeen years old.

“Hey guys, what can I do for you?”

The first boy started to talk. “We’re wondering if you’d be interested in trying out the Daily Herald for a month—free.”

I really wasn’t interested in this, but I was trying to be polite. “Well, to tell you the truth, I usually read the news online, or listen to the radio in the morning when I am getting ready.”

One of the boys looked hard at me and asked, “Mr. Z?”

I looked at him…I had no idea who this kid was.

“It’s me, Ryan…I went to SSV!” I strained my memory to remember just who this kid was…he didn’t look familiar to me at all. I mentally tried to peel away the years from his face; trying to see the sixth grade boy there. Then I saw him.

This boy hadn’t been in my class, he’d been with one of the other sixth grade teachers. The other boy added, “I’m Coby.” Once-again, I tried to mentally turn back the effects of time from the young man’s face; trying to see the student who’d once walked the hallways of my school. He was harder to place, but as both boys talked, I began to remember.

As these young men stood on my front steps, they both began to reminisce about the “good old days” when they were both elementary-aged kids, and spoke of the programs we’d had for them: the all-night read-a-thon, the BYU Mentor Program, MountainQuest, Red Rock, Phase, and on went the list with both of them interjecting comments about their fond memories about elementary school.

One of them said, “I never did want the MountainQuest DVD when I was a kid…I just didn’t care. I really regret that now because I want to remember it all better.”

I mentioned that I’d made the DVD and had the master copy. “Do you want a copy of it?” I asked. A few of my friends and I were getting ready to watch a movie, but we turned on the MountainQuest DVD instead. All I can say is I received yet another reminder of why I do this. To watch their expressions and how they would both say, “Do you remember so-and-so?”

“Boy, they’ve changed so much!”

“I was so little back then!”

This was so rewarding.

It wasn’t long before these two former students left, however, I couldn’t help but find myself deep in thought long after the boys had gone. I thought about the many hours I’ve put into these videos and realized that it was all worth it in the end. Not only did it help me to remember, it was also a vehicle which helped both of these boys look back through the conduit of time, and more easily remember how it once was for them.

At the end of the MountainQuest video I’d put the phrase, “Childhood is brief, but memories last a lifetime.” I now see the truth in that simple, little statement I’d written nearly six years ago.

Oh, and by the way, I will be getting the Daily Herald for a month…


Julie said...

Thank goodness for the memories! I am so glad that you have taken the time (and I know that it has been a lot) and used your talents to produce videos that others will enjoy for years to come...including me. What a fun experience to happen tonight(even if now you have the paper for a month)!

{cari} said...

My boys (even Jake) still watch the many movies you made for them. Thanks for helping keep their memories alive.

Kris said...

You Rock! I hope my kids have those favorite teachers.

Emily said...

I love your movies. And I'm not in any of them. Your multimedia projects are such a wonderful way to remember those things that fade over the years. [Remember how hot I looked in those photos on your website? hahaha]

Thanks for the call. Your hard work is really worth it!! :) Let's do brinner sometime!

Teachinfourth said...

Jewels - Ah, the benefits of moviemaking...free papers!

CariHou - I'm glad to know that students and parents appreciate them...it makes it worth it in the end.

kris - Those teachers are out there.

Emmy - Anytime, just name it.

annette said...

You were one of the inspirations for me to make movies w/my own students. I didn't think I could do it and you helped me through it, showing me how to edit and everything. I know they are far from good, but my kids love them. We enjoy looking back and seeing how they've changed.

The DVD's that you put together for A&A bring back wonderful memories for us. They are precious to me.

You're right, it is a lot of work- but so worth it!

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