9/11: The Reckoning – A Reaction to The Sky Cowboys

The New York Times photo-documentary, “The Sky Cowboys,” is one that works well due to coordination on all levels of the piece to work together.

The images, black and white in color  evoke a tranquil duality, in contrast to the stories that the Sky Cowboys are sharing. The stillness of the photos allow for the audience to engage with the images being presented and  to really take on the full depth of what each Sky Cowboy describes.

For instance, one of the men describes what he does in the moments that he has an opportunity to rest. He talks about how he seizes that moment to look over and into the city and the Empire State Building. Making this a moment that the audience can really connect with, as the visual is a photo of the worker staring out into what seems like the boundless skyline of the big apple.

Alongside visuals, the audio quality is quite pristine and truly captures a sense of place. The listener is able to envision the day of the workers: the sound of walkie-talkie communication, hammers banging, tools falling to the ground, drills humming, shoes walking and workplace chatter.

While these elements are very simple and basic in nature, they add complexity and texture to the story and aid the listener in an auditory journey through the experiences of the Sky Cowboys, and what a day on the job is like for them.

Combining these auditory and visual aids into one piece allows for the audience to be captivated and engaged in the story that is going to be told. These tools leave the audience with a desire to learn more about these incredible people, whom essentially build New York City, from the ground up.

Gratitude and Empathy – How to make the winter a little less harsh

Most of us don’t really think about struggles that aren’t affiliated with our lifestyles, take for instance, not having a car in the dead of winter, in Western Massachusetts.

Now imagine that you have to go grocery shopping and rely on public transportation, even worse, add children into the equation and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

I’m fortunate enough to have a vehicle, but due to the high cost of on campus parking (and a handful of parking tickets), I park off campus, which on a day like today is pointless to try to access.

I decided to take the bus to the store to buy my dorm essential groceries for the next two and a half weeks. I had no clue of the harshness I would soon encounter upon leaving my room.

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Students celebrate Super Bowl victory in unprecedented manner

Super Bowl Sunday was celebrated in what has now become a traditional fashion at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, where students convene in the South West residential area to celebrate or “riot”, depending on whether or not the local favorite wins.

There was something a lot different about this post-game celebration though – new policies, new measures of crowd control and new student attitudes toward law enforcement.

Between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. students from all over campus rushed to the South West courtyard to gather, chant and converse about the miraculous victory the Patriots had just achieved. Local news outlets and student media were present on the scene and on social media.

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