From SoCal to the Midwest: An ASB Workshop Reflection

Meet our guest blogger, Paul Triebel:

As a digital film teacher at a Southern California intermediate school, I think spending time in a room with a couple of middle school kids can be annoying; packing a room with 32 of them is wacky.  Throw expensive film gear into the mix and this is evidence that God has a sense of humor.  I’ve managed to mostly keep the lid on the classroom for 24 years…some successes and a bunch of “well, that didn’t work” moments.  Before teaching, I worked as a news photographer/editor at a CBS affiliate and when I started, clunky ¾ inch field tape decks were standard. 

Below are reflections from Paul about his experiences at the 2019 ASB Workshop.

Southern California school districts do not offer film/broadcast teachers with many workshops.  You would think so but the best help we receive are from our own gatherings and online forums. One forum, the Student Television Network, introduced me to the ASB Workshop. I had known of its existence for a few years. But this summer, everything finally came together for my wife Dina and myself.  We were hoping to pick up a few new skills, meet people, and visit a foreign land…the Midwest.

Take away #1:  Things go haywire for others too. 

Day 1 in the Adobe editing workshop room was hot.  Apparently, the air conditioner was in competition with the heater.  Yes, it was slightly uncomfortable but I felt kinship that there were others like me who have unbelievable, unforeseeable tech issues.  I felt empathy for our instructors.  And to their credit, Brandon and Mehl handled the crisis with cool composure.

#2:  Hopefully I will suck less after Day 1. 

Focus statements are kind of a big theme at the workshop…as they should be.

Our first assignment tasked partners to write focus statements about each other after having just met.  A focus statement….short, specific, and compelling.

Should be simple, but it wasn’t for me.  I wrote an overly wordy statement.  The information all seemed significant but as I learned later, “I needed to kill some puppies.”  As I shared my statement with the class, I realized that while I understood the concept, I just didn’t execute the task effectively.  I needed more practice and that’s just what we did for the rest of the week. 

#3:  There’s no crying in baseball…..er, video! 

“Teacher as student” is an accurate description for the entire workshop and I was constantly trying to remind myself to tap into the student experience.  With each new project, I chose a new partner.  Each person had a different skill set and personality.  Adaptation and compromise was key.  This was experience I could now use to understand my middle school students when they freak out about their group members.  I do have my arsenal of appropriate teacher answers, but now I can tell them I’ve been there.  It’s better than barking, “There’s no crying in Video!” 

#4:  Leadership through service.

The overall theme was unspoken at the workshop, yet palpable.  The material and projects provided by Coach Dave and crew were absolutely beneficial.  However, just as impactful was the tone of the workshop.  The ASB group was modeling leadership to us from start to finish.  They were truly serving us…..or was it Midwestern hospitality?  With multiple behind-the-scene roles to fill, all were busy but never too put out to engage in help or just general banter. They seemed to be enjoying the process.  Thank you Coach Davis and staff for taking us back and forth to the airport, to and from the dorms and to restaurants every day!   For broadcast and film teachers, this workshop is like winning the Powerball jackpot!

DINA AND PAUL TRIEBEL, VIDEO TEACHERS FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, ENJOY SOME HOME-COOKING AT LAMBERT’S RESTAURANT, AN ASB WORKSHOP TRADITION.

DINA AND PAUL TRIEBEL, VIDEO TEACHERS FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, ENJOY SOME HOME-COOKING AT LAMBERT’S RESTAURANT, AN ASB WORKSHOP TRADITION.