Today’s Daily Create task involves talking about how happy places come with ugly undersides. In short, we need to name a place where we feel we truly belong, and then, in an ironic twist, name something about that place that isn’t as good about it. Since the assignments we’re doing this week must form a coherent story with each other, I decided that today’s edition would tie back to a child’s imagination, essentially justifying how most people, especially in their youth, create their own little world, in order to escape the troubles that constantly plague them on a daily basis.

University of Mary Washington

Whether many of us like it or not, schools and colleges are necessary for people to learn about the world around them, and how it works. The books and databases provide the available information, the tests and quizzes gauge the students’ memories of the past few weeks and months – something that is a key necessity to one actually keeping their job – and the interactive portions of each school day allow the class to make some friends, and figure out who they want to be when graduation occurs in four years’ time – or three, if you live in Japan.

Unfortunately, not all life lessons are learned in a classroom, and the older the students become, the less likely it is that the faculty will be able to hold them back from saying, or doing, something they’ll regret. While many hot-button topics during a student’s development are going to be superficial in nature, not all of them fit that particular mold, and some of them must be dealt with in manners that are, for all intents and purposes, foreign to the victims of the piece. This is especially true when the lessons in question hit extremely close to home, like teen pregnancy, or school shootings.

In a perfect world, the class would be able to talk to someone about the situation – preferably someone who went through a similar trial in their lives – and see what to, or not to, do when the same thing occurs in theirs. Nowadays, the media talks down to its audience, instead of directly; they do this by sensationalizing these kinds of stories, especially if the damage being done happens in, or near, a local area, like Virginia Tech, following the shooting spree that took place there, eight years ago.

It’s gotten so bad that MTV, once again polarizing their audience by being “hip,” “trendy” and, above all else, “relatable,” has produced two reality television shows that chronicle the lives of high school students who pay the consequences of unsafe sex, and the rise of Internet users spouting catch-all terms, like “social justice warrior,” to defend blatantly offensive behavior like this, have blurred the lines of outer-most reality and inner-most delusion, to the point that we don’t know who needs help more, if at all.

The truth of the matter is, our heritage is based on hatred, and fear of the unknown, as a whole, much less the “others,” in general. Until we stand up and admit that this is not the life any generation, let alone this generation, should live, we will have no choice in the matter, because no one truly knows everything, and no amount of research, or development, will ever be able to counter this fact of life.

As for the storyline I’m developing for this week’s special assignment, I now believe that the all-powerful king is, in fact, a young adult who is traumatized by the goings-on at school, creating life on a whim using his imagination to calm his nerves, knowing of the possibility that what happened before him will likely happen to his followers, subjects and children. This is also why he wants to find someone to love as badly as he does: He knows of the risks and rewards that come with this revelation, and even still, wants to share his wealth, and knowledge, with someone who will love him back, not for what he has been, or will become, but for who he is now. In short, the king requests to “be here, now.”

I would like to thank the Daily Create’s Twitter feed, for publishing this essay.

Posted in Daily Create, Digital Storytelling (#ds106) Tagged with: , ,