Its the last day of Uptown Summer 2015 and as sad as we all are to say goodbye, we can’t help but look back to the first week. It was spent getting familiar with the recording and editing equipment and learning about how to safely use the gardening tools and what different plants look like and how they’re helpful to the earth and our bodies. It was a lot of information all stuck together.
“I thought I was going to feel stressed out, like a whole bunch of work was coming my way that I didn’t want to do” said Ryan, one of the teenagers working here this summer through the Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment Program, “I really didn’t want to do the media thing, like interviewing people, recording my own voice, stuff like that. And editing stuff, but the editing wasn’t that bad, I didn’t mind doing it” Ryan ended up making some really great pieces here, some of which can be found up on the Sanctuary’s Soundcloud and be sure to keep an eye on mediasanctuary.org for updates on WOOC, where the stories will be a part of the programing.
The link between working with the media and working in the garden was difficult to grasp. “I’m still confused, I don’t get what the media thing has to do with the gardening” Yanitza, age 15, preferred working in the garden when the summer began, but once the weather turned, her opinions on working in the sun did too. She created an incredible story on the lives of local immigrants and why they came to America.
As explained by Sheena, one of the Sanctuary interns, “The gardens helped improve our communities, it will let people know these kids aren’t here just for a paycheck. They grew up here, their families are here. Hearing their stories and seeing their work in the garden shows that people in this neighborhood care about themselves, their friends, and their communities. They understand that everything is connected, that the Sanctuary can’t, and doesn’t want to, exist without the community its a part of.”
We’ve all learned so much this summer, not just about how to edit audio or about the different types of kale, but we’ve learned about each other and how everyone’s life is made up of so many different stories.
As Branda Miller said the first week of Uptown Summer, “Each day this group of people are taking a journey together. Who knows where we’ll go!” and what a memorable journey it was!