As I am gearing up to go back to Duke for my sophomore year, I’m finishing editing my film component to my project this summer. I’m really proud of how it’s come together, and I’m excited to share it soon. I expect the finished 3-part video series along with an approximately hour-long abridged version to be completely finished by the end of August. To conclude my letters this summer, I want to thank all of the fantastic people who have helped contribute to my project and research this summer and what I’ve learned from them.
The collage I have attached as my picture for this week includes all of the people who I interviewed and who will be in my documentary in the order I mention them here.
To Shirley Bolinger for letting me into your past and showing me that it’s okay to change your mind on the way you think about a particular issue, and to always keep learning, growing, and having an open mind;
To The Honorable Tick Segerblom for showing me that politicians aren’t all just talk and for being unapologetically vocal about what you believe in, even when there are many outside pressures that might normally influence others to change, such as the case of voting to pass a bill;
To Daniel Chaney for helping me recognize that not only we as people change, but also the world and our environment, and the importance of active listening when engaging in conversations;
To Dr. Joe Thallemer for allowing me to step into your daily life as mayor and learn about what goes on behind the scenes of running a city, and for giving me a glimpse into the microcosm of politics that seems undervalued in a society caught up in large-scale government;
To Dustin Collins for showing how important it is to stick up for yourself, your values, and what you believe is important, as well as the 3 “P’s”: Pause, Paraphrase, and Probe;
To The Honorable Judge Jerome Tao for emphasizing the importance of staying unbiased and focused on your job, especially as it pertains to a non-partisan candidate running for office, and for being a role model of professionalism and eloquence;
To Assemblyman Elliot Anderson and Suzanne Bierman for shedding light on an infectious problem in politics where politicians often times value the opinions of people who bring in a bill and not the people whom the bill will affect, and for sharing strategies on how to avoid temptations like this;
To Brad Bolinger for pointing out that recognizing how the world has evolved over time and looking at moments throughout history can help us better understand why things are the way they are today;
To Jake Argo for allowing us to become closer through our conversation where I was able to learn about how living with hemophilia has impacted every day of your life, and how you recognize your own biases and deal with them as you are entering adulthood;
To David Sykes for being honest about a topic you don’t normally like talking about and communicating that sometimes it’s not only okay to take a moderate stance on a political issue, but to feel comfortable in doing so;
To Carolyn Huynh for having a conversation that goes beyond our friendship and into a topic that, as you mentioned, for the sake of trying to “keep the peace,” is often avoided on a college campus in settings where there are people with varying political opinions;
To Bob Turecky for talking about issues of political differences among family members and strategies to employ when faced with political conflict and confrontation, and for proving me wrong about preconceived notions I held about your beliefs;
And to The Honorable Justice Michael Douglas for humbly sharing your wisdom from your many years of practice, for conveying the importance of equality in court, and explaining challenges such as when your personal values conflict with written law.