Amy's Whimsical Musings
The video in question:
While this bit of footage is undeniably poignant and a perfect analogy for persistence and stick-to-itiveness, what struck me is the very FACT of the video.
Yes, I am going to get
(bear with me I dig wordplay)
The fact that the cameraman (now probably affectionately called “Elk guy”, Austin Stonnell) stopped from his daily hustle and bustle (as much as that can happen in Montana) to not only wait out the herd crossing (what else could one do?) but film the entire episode on what I can only guess was a smartphone…well, that says something to me. He could have very well been agitated due to the inconvenience. He could have slammed on the accelerator as soon as he realized that last elk was not crossing any time soon. He could have refrained from archiving it altogether, for goodness sakes.
What this screams is our new sense of what I like to call
We’re all familiar with wanderlust- it’s quite honestly a feeling I’ve been plagued with my entire life. When I get lost driving I even tend to speed up! Lingerlust is about finding “white space”, living in the question (like Keats’ “negative capabilities”) and yes – taking time to smell the roses.
It’s what we all need for creativity, certainly, and most likely for ultimate happiness. Our lives are frenetic and our minds preoccupied. We rush from place to place, job to job, even yoga class to juice bar (ironically). Many blame our hyper-connected society but in my view one can never be one-sided about anything.
This impromptu cinematographer made a conscious decision to stop…to wonder…to linger. And, in doing so he found a story. And what a story! The Little Elk That Could! So evocative that it at present has reached 2,856,668 views! The democratization of media creation and our participatory culture have enabled – no FORCED us – to pay attention to the mundane beauty of the world. We can experience our environment like an artist would. In fact, we can take the next step and become artists!
One of the best activities I ever did with my students was called the
I asked them to go out in teams and shoot footage around campus with their smartphones. We were studying sense perception and knowing in our Theory of Knowledge class, so they were challenged to focus on sensory experiences. Some chose one sense, like sound, and others were more thematic – “Nostalgia”, “Decay”, “Leaving a Mark”, for example.
What I noticed was that students in general had a photographic eye. I didn’t have to tell them to shoot from a bird’s eye or bug’s eye perspective, or use slo-mo for impact, or get macro..they just knew. I reasoned that perhaps this was because they had this incredible tool with them at all times and were constantly being exposed to captivating media via their Instagram, YouTube, and Vine feeds. Beyond consumption, they were creating constantly and learning by trial and error – the point of practice.
Try to harness student experience – for example I made a special poster in my room for student curation of creative apps and people. It was called
That way, students feel empowered and you don’t have to do all the work (my favourite kind of teaching!)
My challenge to you is to cultivate lingerlust, take more wonder walks, and
*on a side note: something that did bother me a bit was the uncomfortable silence of the video – I kept wanting to overlay some Wagner. But that’s the thing- we are so used to hyper-produced Hollywood extravaganzas we forget about this quaint pause-for-a-moment style so popular with European films (for example I just watched Deneuve in Repulsion and it’s totally like that).
(I couldn’t decide so choose either!)
I love this dystopian film starring Christian Bale. In this scene he is a bit off of his emotion-numbing drugs and is investigating the horde of some “Sense Offenders”…and hears Beethoven for the first time.
Those of you who know me know I speak a little Swedish, love my Viking heritage and REALLY love Antonio Banderas. This scene depicts how Ahmad ibn Fadlan (court poet from Baghdad traveling with some Norsemen) learns their tongue.
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