Student, photographer, graphic designer, single mother of two, and now the new social media writer for the blog at Volunteer State Community College- I am Margaret Blakemore, you can call me Maggie. Last year, I decided to return to school for my second associate’s degree. My first degree is in Digital Commercial Photography, now I’m studying Mass Communication. Since being in school the past year I have gained a new look on life, mainly due to my international travels that I was able to do through the TnCIS program in conjunction with the Vol State International Education Program.I took the Intro to New Media Class with the Great European Capital Program where we traveled to Paris, Brussels, and then Amsterdam.
During a visit to the American Embassy, I learned about becoming a Foreign Service Officer for the United States; something I never considered until hearing our speaker, a Service Officer, who had a background in communications. Visiting a Parisian design company, I learned how they operate and handle clients as well as their design process, which gave me new ideas for design concepts. I had always dreamed of the city of love and lights I was finally able to see the famous Mona Lisa, Eiffel Tower, and much more in Paris. I now completely understand why the Parisians eat so much bread. In order to climb all the stairs and hills in Paris, one needs to carb-up. I’m sure I dropped five pounds that week.
In Brussels there was less climbing, although there were a few sloped hills, but nothing major. With food consisting of pasta and world famous “Belgian Waffles” I’m sure I picked up the five pounds I dropped in Paris plus five more that second week. I gained knowledge of the European government when we visited the European Parliament in Brussels. I am fascinated how different countries, with so many different languages, set-up legislation for an entire continent. One thing I am concerned with is social problems. While in Brussels we visited an advocacy group for European designers. Their goal is to bring awareness of social issues through the use of the media and design.
Amsterdam, known for its flowers, was unlike any city I have ever visited. During the day it’s quiet and quite friendly with an abundance of canals and bicycles. During the evening, the city lights up; it’s more beautiful than I had ever imagined. During a visit to a flower market, I learned about the flower distribution in Europe. I found the idea of bidding on flowers pretty fascinating. I never gave thought to how much work goes into the flower business. There I met a documentary film director makes films to bring awareness of the social problems that are happening in Europe. Her media group does exactly the kind of thing that I want to do with my life. If was great to meet her and get an understanding of the industry.
This year I hope to bring my new found insight of the world and media to my writing for the blog.