Rites of Passage: Connecting Rites of Passage and Digital Storytelling, Madeline Eldredge, Cork Ireland

A rite of passage can have many different definitions depending on who is being asked. It may be an event such as a graduation or a religious ceremony. I find this article interesting because it outlines the various thought processes of why people choose their “rite of passages.” I have many friends who view their first communion as a rite of passage but I also have friends who viewed getting their driver’s license as a right of passage. In my opinion, a person can experience as many rites of passages as they wish depending on what is important to them. The absence of community-based rituals may make it difficult for the global community to truly understand their basic ways of life.

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I chose this image to encompass the mixture of feelings we all encountered upon arrival and how we’ve all overcome them in different ways.

I think the main purpose of a digital story is to show family and friends the internal struggle that we endured while adjusting in another community and how overwhelming it may be. From the article, it shows the paradigm shift, the community values and ethics, and adversity and personal challenge. We needed to learn about the culture in order to become genuinely, and respectfully, accepted into it. For many students, this may be their first time leaving the country for an extended period of time. For others, it could be a walk in the park. It will be interesting to compare each of our digital stories to see how we all dealt with the personal challenges.

The story that left an impact on me was definitely Rachel Cox’s digital story about her study abroad experience in Paris, France. I thoroughly enjoyed how she assimilated and metaphorically used the blossoms in reference to how she figuratively grew and became a stronger, more aware person. She critiqued her mistakes and, most importantly, left her zone of comfort, which allowed her to meet new people, try new things and broaden her overall Parisian experience. Rachel Cox reached a concise articulation of her experience by not adding too many various details and only using the details that she felt meant the most. The way her voice changes as she tells how she felt she changed during her study abroad experience pulled me in as a viewer and I could wholeheartedly understand everything that she explained. Rachel refers to the blossoms on the trees and around her apartment building when stating that as the blossoms opened up, so did she. She became more aware as a person to the small details encompassing her life and feels that she became a stronger person because of them. Rachel seems like after all that she experienced, she has developed into a more, well rounded human being in the global community. She created a communitas with those surrounding her and was caught in the liminal stage but, thankfully, “blossomed” and met her neighbor whom she will never forget. Although I thought Rachel’s digital story presentation was amazing, I think she could have used more of the terms outlined in our course objectives and course discussions. An overwhelming sense of emotion engulfed me when watching Rachel’s digital story. I can completely relate to everything she encountered and we tackled our struggles similarly.

image from: http://blog.exchangemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/178956871-e1424039522241.jpg

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