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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Meagan McGinnes at 11:51AM   |  4 comments
Meagan McGinnes, Ithaca College 2014

 Coffee. Facebook. Lecture. Test.  Paper. Repeat.

I like to consider myself an academic; but in my role as a student, I sometimes find a feeling of emptiness after leaving class. The stream of information heavily flows in one direction. Our academic system forces students to become sponges: absorb everything we can to be “rung out” in those exact words over tests and papers. And then we move on to memorize and recite the next set of facts we are expected to know.

Though this conundrum is not as troublesome in college as it is at the high school level, it still is clear our brains easily are turned on autopilot as soon as we enter that lecture hall.

Coffee. Facebook. Lecture. Test.  Paper. Repeat. 

I believe my generation in particular is uncomfortable in a discussion-based environment because in this classroom setting we are not always encouraged to think outside of the box.  We do not have the opportunity to speak our mind—or if we do, the professor- student power pressure causes me to censor myself out of fear of sounding stupid. Has anyone else ever felt this way?

The environment of FLEFF greatly differs from this repressive environment of a classroom. FLEFF is all about scholarly discussion, encouraging inquisitive ideas and new perspectives of looking at the world. At FLEFF you are not solely in an environment of peers, but a diverse group where power in a discussion is distributed equally. This ties back into the idea of FLEFF being its own microtopia. The community it builds allows for an environment where curiosity flourishes and relationships form.

Do you agree with the environmental differences between FLEFF and the classroom? How will you use your voice to join the discussion at this year’s festival? 


I agree that students in our generation are less comfortable with classroom discussion. I think this has something to do with the prevalence of social media-- we feel more comfortable posting something on our Facebook than we do saying that same thing out loud and in person.

While FLEFF does utilize social media to generate discussion, (this blog, for example) I think the festival is really fueled by face-to-face conversation. What is more memorable: a stimulating in-person conversation, or a passive comment left of a status update?

Kelly, I 100 percent agree. Though social media may help make initial connections, long lasting relationships and impactful discussion truly flourishes in environments outside of the cyber world. Have you ever had an interaction with someone that was hindered because of a lack of interaction in the "real" world? How do you think this type of communication ties into the idea of a sustainable community?

Couple of points I enjoyed about this post -

First, your 'Facebook' hyperlink went to FLEFF's Facebook page. Very sneaky, I like it ! :)

Second, I found the article you linked to on 'edutopia' very interesting, in fact I took time out of reading your post to read it! Very fascinating. Interesting that it also has to do with a 'topia', much like our Microtopias!

I was very impressed by this post, this site has always been pleasant news. Thank you very much for such an interesting post. Keep working, great job! In my free time, I like play game: What about you?

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