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Monthly Archives: December 2015

As they approached the final days of the project, it was time for the Tilden High School team to reflect on growth and learning.  While some students worked frantically to put the finishing touches on their pieces, they solicited last minute advice from their peers and the digital mentors.   Students who thought they had completed their projects shared their work and inevitably changed a few things because of the feedback they received from peers.

Meanwhile, as the students reached that final step, some were pulled to the side and asked to reflect on what they have been doing over the last five weeks.  When asked what he enjoyed most about the program, Larry responded, “Working with these guys.  Everybody was getting along. . . It’s a beautiful thing.”  Brenda said she was surprised by the fact that, “I was really interested in what this old guy did.  He makes me want to listen to people because he listened to everybody.”  Crystal enjoyed developing new skills.  As she put it, “My selfie game has improved 100%.  I really know how to take pictures, now.”

The common thread to all the interviews was the students explicitly saying how their new found skills would translate into the classroom.  All of them are looking forward to being able to use these skills to produce better products to show their learning or teaching their peers how to use Garage Band, Photoshop, and cameras.

Paid a visit to the ChiArts students on Tuesday, July 28. Was able to see their almost completed projects. the Tree of Personality was basically done. All the bar codes were attached. I was able to scan the bar codes and pull up biographies and excerpts from interviews right from the phone.

i did did not get a chance to see the video project since it was out for editing. I know that that the kids went downtown and did brief interviews with people in Millenium Park.

The students were putting the finishing touches on two more presentations-one on Division Street past and present. It was very interesting to see how the area has changed over the course of the decades. Another presentation involved candid pictures of the students and inspirational quotes.

The music for the presentations varied-one was more of a jazzy beat and the other clearly had hip hop influences. I was really impressed with the mixing of the sounds and spent some time talking to the composer about how he put it together.

I was really impressed by the work and the talent of the students involved.  even though the teacher made it clear this work was not her field of expertise, she was able to help the students create excellent work!!!

I was interested in Studs Terkel interviews on racism. I listened to several recordings but the one that caught my attention the most was the one with Maya Angelou. She discussed the way of how her Racism not only affected her personally but the world as well, and how she used her experiences in her literature. She stated how her uncle was “triple discriminated” against for his color , his knowledge of discrimination, and disability. This intrigued me because whites tried to keep African Americans unaware of the world and to believe the torturous treatment they were getting was “normal”. They wanted to keep the Black Man oppressed and uneducated but Maya knew those days were long gone and change would occur! Studs actually took the time out to analyze these stories and expand past general questions and statements in order to get to the bottom of the root of the problems and issues that associate with racism.


Jessica T.

“Music is a source of knowledge”-Harold Taylor

This recording is about, how that a way teacher teach  can be the differences between a student passing a class or  falling a class. The teacher must have a positive outlook with the students or the students will fail. The attitude the teacher brings to the class matter to outcome the student will have.

Sometimes the teachers give up on the teaching because they don’t have the motivation they need from the school, parents, and students. Most teachers become teachers to help out and/or a  make change. When teachers actually get into the field of education they begin to realize that you just can’t teach you have to play a political game.  That realization makes makes the teacher want to give up on teaching or the idea of making a change.

Khadjiah B.

Harold Taylor talks with Studs Terkel on WFMT ; 1965/08/08


My project is about beauty and feminism and what beauty means to girls. The women I’ll be interviewing range in age from 14-40 years old. we will be exploring their views on beauty and feminism. I’ll be presenting this project by having a portrait of the girls and women with a bio of themselves and a audio recording. The reason why I choose this topic is because a lot of females feel very insecure about themselves. So I felt like I should bring back confidence into the world again.

Last week was my introduction to the young people and their projects at YouMedia in Harold Washington Library. I feel totally embarrassed that I had no idea this space was here and I want to share it with everyone.  Listening to the students describe their understanding of Studs as a fixture of Chicago’s culture, and their ideas for sharing him with their peers, with you, are amazing, and you should follow their work as it progresses.  I can’t wait to get started. We need their voices and a this is a perfect place to share them.

photo 1


On 7/22/15, I spent time with the students at ChiArts working with the Studs Terkel radio archive. The amount of technology they are employing is quite impressive. Students were divided up into groups and had particular tasks to do. One young man was typing up biographies of famous people Studs interviewed. Another student was mixing music to accompany their project. Two other young ladies were selecting images of Division street from the past and the present.

The ultimate goal is the production in the middle of the class was something referred to as the “Tree of Personality”. Attached to a real tree trunk was a collection of wires, Christmas lights and decorations. The students explained that the tree was the culminating project. They were planning to create QR Codes and attach them to the tree. If a user scanned the code, they would be directed to a website that would pull up a web page with a biography of the interviewee and audio of the actual interview.

While I was there, students were also working on video taken the previous Saturday at Millenium Park. Students had conducted interviews and were cropping them for use. I guess I will find out more about them next week.

I was really impressed how all the parts came together to create the culminating project. Students were using their strengths to assist in the project and had the opportunity to learn new skills. One of the students even taught me how to create QR codes!

“You need to listen because I can’t really explain it.”

I arrived at 10:00 am today, and I was struck by how quiet the room was.  The students were all in their zones, heads bent over keyboards, heads bobbing to music I could not hear.  I approached Jezekiah and asked what he was doing.

“You need to listen because I can’t really explain it.”

As I put on his headphones, his words echoed in my mind. “You need to listen.”  As original composition started and Studs Terkel’s words begin looping in my ear, I could hear Jezekiah saying, “You need to listen.”  I wanted to listen not, just with my ears, but with my mind and my heart.  Jezekiah wants to be heard; all of my babies want to be heard.

Brenda sat down next to me and begin to talk.  My first instinct was to tell her to be quiet and focus on her work, but I heard Jezekiah saying, “You need to listen.”  So, I did.  Brenda gave me a little gossip, then abruptly turned the conversation to the task at hand.  “Ms. Holmes, I’m like Studs.  I just want to put my words out there and want people to listen to what everybody else has to say.”

Hearing that statement made me want to drop the mic and walk out the building. My work is done.

I heard about New Voices On Studs when it was about to happen. My mother contacted me as soon as she got the email. My mom told me that it is a great opportunity to meet new people, show how I am and what I can do, but most importantly learn about who Studs Terkel really was and what he did. I’ve learned how to express my creative side in this program because I’m use to getting told that being yourself is a waste of time. I can be me, and learn about this awesome, curious, and intelligent man who inspired many lives. I never heard about this man because in this society caring about other people and being optimistic, and kind is called being weak. When I heard about him he really touched my heart because he really cared about other people, he made them feel comfortable about themselves. That is something we really need in this world today.

New Voices on Studs has so far been a wonderful opportunity. There are a few Studs Terkel inspired projects that we are working on for example Studs did a Division Street project so we are re-making it with quotes and pictures from 1969 Division Street and 2015 Division Street. Another one is a collection of quotes from Studs and people in the different classes and campuses. I believe this is a great chance to expand the horizons of young artists my age younger or older. I am meeting a variety of people and it has opened my eyes to the world beyond what I had been living. I am really enjoying this experience and i think it is highly beneficial.

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