The Grande Finale

Like Leaves

Like leaves
Your life can be vibrant
Experience every second with wonder
Don’t let life get complacent.
Life is too short to live mediocre

Like Leaves
Change comes with the breeze
Life’s turbulences can leave a scar
Exposing only the branches of your trees
But only then do you see who you really are

Like leaves
Color the world around you
Let the wind scatter what you have to offer
Show the world your hue
It’s your life, you’re the author

Like leaves
Change happens fast
If you don’t look up, life might feel redundant
Feel the joy around you and move on from the past
Live life in the present abundant

Like leaves
Show how beautiful it is to live life colorfully through change
Change is elusive to control, something society tends to idol
Take time to see the magnificence of change although it may be strange
Turn change into a revival

-Kylie Jackson

Meaning

The first stanza is about living life uniquely and to the fullest. The time that leaves are bright and full of color, is very short, and they make the most of those few days by being as brilliant as possible. Likewise, our lives are too short to live in fear or worry, emit light in your life through joy and wonder every chance you get. Brighten other peoples’ day through your happiness and positivity.

The second stanza is about how life’s struggles can be difficult and leave us nothing but ourselves. Like wind blowing away leaves, hardships can strip from us what we love and material things that we surround ourselves with. Then, when all of the external things are pulled away, you can see your true nature and find out more about yourself.

The third stanza is about sharing what makes you you with the world. Like leaves in the fall, they scatter through the air and all over the ground, spreading little flakes of color throughout the world. You should do the same. Share your attributes, your talents, your spark, your story with the world. If everyone does this, the world becomes so much more colorful.

The fourth stanza is about how quickly life passes by and the cruciality of taking the time to enjoy every second. Change can happen so quickly or so slowly that you won’t even notice it if you do not stop to absorb what is going on around you. Life is too short and passes too quickly to dwell on the past or even worry about the future. Live fully in the now.

The fifth stanza is a conclusion to the theme of the poem. Change is often scary for many people and in that fear, people try to control it, but as you know, change is virtually impossible to control. It just kind of happens, a cycle that we get caught in, pulled in the circular motion. This poem emphasizes the idea of taking time to realize the beauty of change and to realize that good things that can come from it. Change can happen quickly, so make the most of it. Instead of trying to resist the pull of the natural current of change, go with the flow, and keep your eyes open for new avenues to spread joy and learn more about yourselves.

Process

When we were told the prompt of our final project, “What is the story you want to share with the world?” I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted my story to be. All I knew is that I wanted to somehow incorporate the idea of taking photos with the forward-facing camera pointing up. The idea was to share a story from a unique perspective, but the question was what story? As the leaves on the trees began to change color in the beginning of November, I thought of taking a picture of a tree every day as the leaves changed would be cool. I still didn’t know what my story was, but I figured I might as well start somewhere.

I found a beautiful sugar maple along College Avenue, and everyday for two weeks I placed my phone to the right of this specific root and snapped a picture of the leaves above. I tried to do it around the same time frame every day, usually between 1:00-3:00 pm. At the end of the two weeks, I had a wonderful spectrum of photos showing how the leaves changed and gradually fell. Then I realized, my story could be about change, but it needed something more than just a slideshow of photos. Therefore, I decide to write a poem. Last week I said I would read the poem while the video played, but then I remembered how much I disliked recording my own voice so I decided to include the poem within the video.

I spent over two hours writing this poem, trying to figure out what I wanted to include and convey. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do but no details, and usually when I wrote poetry, I go in with a bunch of ideas so this was a long, drawn-out process. Nonetheless, while sitting in the HCC until 2:00 am, I finally finished it. In the morning, I had my English major roommate read over it to see what she thought. She liked it!

Then came the video making process. First, I tried to redownload the iMovie app on my phone. However, I have been running low on storage so it wouldn’t let me download it, so I spent about thirty minutes trying to figure out how to free up space. I was finally able to download it and then I uploaded my photos. The iMovie app cropped the pictures, making them hard to focus on and didn’t quite capture the wholeness of the photo, so I deleted that draft and edited all of the photos to change the orientation to hopefully help the cropping issue. I reuploaded the photos and iMovie was still being difficult, so I decided I would just use some sort of software on my computer. I transferred the pictures from my phone to my computer and then went to Vimeo. I spent about an hour putting together the beginnings of a video, but then all of the sudden, I got a message saying that I had to pay a monthly fee to continue. Frustrated, I looked up to see if there was an iMovie software for Windows. There was! I downloaded it and opened the software. It had so many different features and functions. I was very excited. I spent hours putting together the video. I started by uploading my photos and adding text. The text was difficult to see and it took away from the photos behind it, so I decided to alternate between photo and text slides. I adjusted the timing between each photo and slide, so photos showed for about three seconds and text showed for about six seconds. Then I added transitions between the slides and added fading affects to the text to create smooth transitions from photos to text slides. I added a title slide and then music. At first I wanted to use the song called “An ending, a beginning” by Dustin O’Halloron, but when I played it while recording on my computer, the sound was choppy and awful sounding. Therefore, I just had to stick with what music was on the software.

The video was finished and put together but when I tried to export it, it said that there would be a watermark over my video unless I paid this extra fee. I spent hours putting it together so I did not plan on restarting, so I am just accepting it as is. I hope everyone is okay with it. I did try to screen record with Vimeo through the software before exporting it without the watermark but when I hit the record button, Vimeo made a super weird noise and the screen glitched so that obviously was not the answer. So this is what I’ve got and even though there is a little watermark in the way, I hope you can still see how much work and effort I put into it.

Purpose

I decide to tell a story about change because it is something that is either welcomed with open arms or avoided at all costs, and with this project, I wanted to show those who avoid change that it can be welcomed with open arms. It doesn’t have to be threatening or intimidating. You can use any situation and turn it for good if you just simply look for the positive rather than the negative. If you do this, you will find change to be quite exciting in fact. Change brings new opportunities for not only new experiences but also new ways to learn more about who you are.

My project reflects the theme of this class very nicely by showing Bob Ross’s encouragement to accept things as they are and turn something that might have been an accident or a dark part of your life into something new and beautiful. I also incorporated his ever-so famous saying “happy little trees” by basing my project off of trees. Bob Ross is truly inspiring when you are in need of help to see the silver lining in any situation, and I feel like this project does the same. It encourages people to see the good rather than the bad or to see what good can come from the bad. Additionally, creating art sometimes requires change. If a mistake is made or you are inspired by another source, and like Bob Ross, this project shows that is good to embrace change because it can make for an even more beautiful painting in the end. Change brings uniqueness and life.

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