Because experiences & memories aren’t forever, one key way to document ephemeral experiences is through camera. Taking pictures allows us to physically look back the the things/stuff we saw from the past. While our actual experiences aren’t forever, the moments we capture are. That being said, the way pictures are taken makes a huge difference. For example, the assignment we did in class had us playing around with the various items across the bookstore. Without interacting with these objects, the pictures cannot capture the “enjoyment” many of the students had while doing the activity. Documenting scenery versus students’ interactions in the store makes a huge difference. Other than capturing moments through photography, another way to share the experience (especially when others aren’t there to directly share the moment) is via blogging. The words we type place a vivid imagination; and describing experiences can help others imagine the experience. However, while trying to document an event (either through photography or blogging), the action to documenting can actually distance oneself from the actual experience. One cannot be emerged into the live experience if the person is not “fully” there. That being said, experience the moments through a camera or keyboard distance oneself from the actual event.
This week the class turned to “Turning Pages” in which we traveled to both the school library and bookstore. Between both, there were huge differences in terms of the experience. For starters, going to the library felt more “real” than the bookstore. Since we were told not to document anything, the experience itself felt genuine and realistic. We were actually able to grasp children’s books without having to worry about documenting the event. As for the bookstore, the fact that we had to take pictures made the experience “staged”. Although it was more entertaining, the fact that we had to take pictures made the experience a little tedious and fake unlike the first setting.
My overall experience of this activity allowed me to rethink how advancement in technology allowed us to shove textbooks into the shadows of both places. The irony is that although both settings’ main priority are books, the fact that the majority of us thinks of computers and college sweaters when we hear of the term “library” and “bookstore” is quite alarming. Despite that, reading children’s book allowed me to wind down from the college life and taking pictures was quite amusing and really set up an entertaining day. The experience itself allowed me to have a new insight on books. The value of a book is important, and the fact that we allowed to push it into the shadows is sad in some ways. Not being able to use my camera on the first portion of the assignment allowed to realize the many sources & values books has to offer.