I was absolutely thrilled to be doing this project. This is exactly what I love doing and is the main reason I became a journalism major, to hear and share people's stories. I am a firm believer in everyone having a story to tell, and people should not be first appreciated at their funeral. As my excitement was looming, so were my ideas on who I could possibly interview. I wanted someone who I did not know on a personal level, because just as I want the world to hear everyone's stories, I am probably the most curious one of all.
Ideas were coming to me left and right, and then it hit me. I wanted to do an international student studying at Marquette. Last semester, I went to South Africa, through Marquette's Service Learning program, and experienced first hand what it is like to be an international student. In my high school, we always had at least 30 to 60 international students, so the concept was not new to me, but experiencing it for myself opened my eyes and understanding of the international students here in the States.
I went to the Office of International Education and asked if there was an international student who would be willing to be interviewed for this project; Sophia's name was mentioned. Sophia is an international student from South Korea and has been studying in the States since the end of her junior year of high school. I met her at the front desk and she gave me her information. After emailing a few times back and forth, we finally met up so I could interview her and take some photos.
Sophia and I hit it off immediately. We started making connections of mutual friends and were shocked that we had never met before. It feels odd to say I "interviewed" her because it was such a natural conversation that I happened to be writing down. We scheduled a few times to take pictures at her work and then at her apartment where I met her roommate.
It was fun learning more and more about Sophia and her life in the States and about her family and friends in South Korea. She was so open about everything and willing to let me come back as much as I needed.
Throughout the semester, our journalism class swayed in a different direction working on other projects. We all became busy, yet Sophia and I still stayed in communication. During this time, we really bonded as friends. From talking about boys and fashion to ordering chinese food and watching a movie, we made the night I recorded the audio into a fabulous girls night.
There were a few more nights where I went back to get some photos of Sophia and her apartment and each time was such a blast. While editing the audio, I loved constantly hearing her personality and spunkiness. Going through and choosing the photos was also a great time, they are all so colorful and each one felt alive.
One the project was finally done and produced in Final Cut Pro X, I could not believe it was finished. Sophia and I had plans to study together that night and I could not wait to show her the final project. As I held my breath, she watched the video and read the story. When Sophia finished, she looked at me with wide eyes, a huge smile and said, "Ohmygosh I love it!" I was relieved I portrayed her story in a way she was proud to share as she showed a few friends sitting by.
This was a great learning experience for me with my journalism and hey, I gained a close friend! One more story was told in the seven billion out there.
Take a look at the multimedia package here: One at Marquette: YunJung (Sophia) Lee