Travel Log 13: “Connecting Rites of Passage and Digital Storytelling” by Steven Schnittger Venice, Italy

In terms of Rites of Passage, I agree with the authors Blumenkrantz and Goldstein that, “In the absence of meaningful community-based rituals, youth will define and create their own marker events based on peer or media values, many of which may be destructive both individually and communally.” When young people have nothing to strive for they either become lazy or mischievous. When there is nothing to do, and no person around to guide you to do something you will think of something on your own and these things are seldom constructive. When considering what kinds of people usually end up as criminals they usually had a poor upbringing that involved an absence of family and involvement. This is why I think parents should push their kids to get involved with extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, religion, or hobbies. It gives a sense of purpose and goals to work toward.

This is why I am happy that my parents always pushed me to be involved with the Boy Scouts. Although there were certain times that I no longer wanted to be involved because it seemed like too much work I am glad I did what I did and met the people I did. I truly look back on scouting with the fondest memories of any other portion of my life. Constantly having another hurdle to overcome with my friends really gave a sense of doing something even if a good portion of it is arbitrary.

The three Elements of Rites of Passage that I picked are all potential themes for my Digital Story. First is, you can only bring someone as far as you have been yourself. I think one of the most valuable things that people can do is share their experiences with one another. This entire time abroad has been one huge experience that I can share with friends, family, coworkers, bosses, interviewers, and a whole slew of other people. The amount I have grown and got out of my comfort zone has been huge for me and given me new ways that I hope I can inspire people. The second is silence. I spent lots of time during study abroad quiet and observing people. It is important to realize what the people around us are doing so we can act accordingly but also to see if anything they are doing can positively change us. And that brings me to my final theme which is, Giving away one’s previous attitudes, behaviors, etc. This has been the biggest change for me although I am not sure how to completely express it through a digital story. I have always quickly jumped to conclusions about people and decided very quickly whether or not I would write them off. What Switzerland and Franklin in particular have forced me to do is to take a second look at people and value them more for what makes them good people, rather than look down on them for something that may rub me the wrong way. Looking at Swiss people in particular, it has taken me awhile to get over the fact that very few people smile when they walk past you, yet if you stop to talk to them they can open up and give you a different opinion than the first one you formed.

Daniel Raza’s digital story was the one that resonated with me the most. Him talking about living with a family and biking to school a half an hour every day was something that I could not imagine. It really made me respect the comfort that I had back at school in Lugano where I had been complaining about the air-conditioning not working and the road outside being a little bit too loud. I think he did a great job at expressing what his living conditions were like so that when he went home people could understand a bit of the transformation that he underwent. I really respect him for doing what he did and coming out of it with such a positive outlook.

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