While day four didn’t begin with Mr. Richard Craig of George Mason University, I wanted to begin with him as I want to remember his session and how I realized how sheltered I feel in my hometown. Mr. Craig is a very well educated African American male and this proved to start many of our discussions in this session. The kids that decided to come to this classroom instead of the others also really helped in developing my views. This group of inquisitive and educated students had a variety of ethnicities including African American, Asian, and Latina individuals. With the diversity in this classroom, I was able to really see different points of view as we listened to Richard Craig’s take on pop culture influencing the future. Mr. Craig has spent much of this life studying this kind of influence and has determined that today’s media can control the types of stories released in certain areas and as a result, we are shaped by the media around us without knowing. Mr. Craig wishes us to simply challenge the storytellers of today’s mainstream media and to change the message so that all people can be equally educated.

Today was by far the most emotional and insightful day of all. I didn’t realize how heart-wrenching photos could be and Carol Guzy certainly showed perspective. I didn’t see a dry eye around me as the lights went down and we began watching some of Carol’s greatest work. From Haiti, to Sierra Leone, to Hurricane Katrina, and to many unnamed places around the world, Mrs. Guzy knows how to capture the most incredible photos you have ever seen.

Carol Guzy is truly just as incredible as the photos she captures. She shared with us that every time a photographer takes a picture, a piece of their soul is released as they learn to capture views from all walks of life. Mrs. Guzy wants people to understand that while we must “build a bridge of empathy” between photographed and subject, it is important to tell the stories of those who may not be able to do so  she wishes us to keep the inquisitive eyes of a child in order to find these messages and send them to the world. I didn’t want our time to end as the lights came back on and we thanked Carol for sharing her stories, but the life of a photojournalist carries on and I can’t wait to follow her future work.