Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Website? Not my thing.

Let me tell you, assisting in making a website is not "my thing." When you're a Communications major, you are automatically offered the social media work of any office. Somehow, they just know - we can maneuver around Facebook better than any other Department. Which, in my case, is just not true. My status updates are few and far between, I tweet once a month (I guess it is better than none) and I couldn't tell you the last fifty Youtube videos that went viral.

Alas, my internship advisor in the Admissions Department asked me to head up the social media for the semester, along with my other job duties. Of course, of course. I'll do my best. She also asked me to manage the "Art blog" that she had started but only posted once. Art blog? Now that sounds up my alley. I check out the blogspot site Admissions has made, nothing but a basic layout and a lone picture of Paul Crouse's artwork was on the page. This was supposed to inspire prospective students? Paul's artwork is incredible, but the blog was pitiful. I spent a few office hours wasting away looking through blogspot templates, without much avail.

At this point, I had decided to make the art blog my senior project. Originally, the plan was to gather student artwork and media and blog about it; write, inspire, challenge and critique. I run to class after my frustrating morning, Senior Seminar, where we are announcing and discussing our senior projects. On my way up to the fourth floor, I stopped at a Communications instructor's office, Professor Kammerzelt, to let him know I had put his name down as advisor, even though we had yet to talk about the project. After announcing my ideas, he said, "how about you help me with my project? We can combine the two ideas." Without much more than that, I left for class, and realized my project had just gotten bigger.

After fleshing the project out more, I said "you know, making a website is a big deal for me. I don't do this." This was coming from my dislike in social media. Why such angst? I do have a blog, after all. Communicating with people in person is important to me. Experiencing things together, relationships require this. Unfortunately, I see a lot of grief and also stupidity on the internet. However, as I prayed, even before I had started the project, God had been revealing to me in many ways how He had connected me to important people through the internet, and how He works through people using these media facets. He is working, even through our emails, our blogs, our websites - because behind these are people. People of faith seeking to show love and truth in every area and place. No, I'll never be on Facebook chat or up to date on my vimeo's - but God showed me His purpose in this website, and that is all I needed.

So, before anyone thinks I'm a prodigy and put this website up on my own, I did not. Professor Kammerzelt did all the site work, and got it up and looking phenomenal in just a few hours after actually beginning. Meanwhile, I was searching for content from students that would be showcased, blogging and trying to wade through the world of wordpress basics. The result is more than I could have imagined, and the work is far from over. Many more students' work has yet to be shown and there are countless thoughts to blog.

Featuring the student work is what I am most eager to do - this is where the idea of the site all started, both of us saw the projects coming out of students and said "why doesn't anybody know about this?" I was stunned when I looked through the Artbook at the beginning of the semester. Such outstanding talent, and who has seen it? These artists create for a purpose, they create for God. Just as God works through social aspects of media, He works through art, through these students - both the process of making the art and the art itself. I want everyone to see the beauty and unique creativity coming from the students at Moody. Students I have had the honor of sharing a classroom with, and students who are my friends. Students I will be able to look to in five, ten and twenty years and see their ministry impacting the world. What they are creating now is only the beginning, and what a beautiful beginning God has created in them.

I'm sure many of you have been directed here via Miz Booshay, but I thought I'd link these here, too, and talk a little bit about how it was birthed.


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