institute for documentary studies

{Week 15: Writing}

Week 15: Writing

Salt is over. Or at least, we had our gallery show and wiped our desktops and received our Salt certificates and handed back our key cards. I have left Portland am on my way to New York City, to catch a bus to Philadelphia, and then a train back to Boston, and on and on, and so my peripatetic life continues.
For me, “Salt” is now something I season my potatoes with. The topic of my daily conversations has shifted from “subjects” and “peaked audio” and “the reveal” to talking about jobs and employment rates and this strange concept of “weekends.” Having only two days of class, on Tuesday and Wednesday, has shifted my understanding of when a week starts and when it ends.
The last week at Salt was surreal. We kept asking each other–is this really happening? Is it really over? Although, it wasn’t really over, because we still had teasers to write and videos to upload, and late nights or early mornings in front of my all too familiar computer screen.
By the time the gallery show came around, it went better than any of us could have imagined, and it felt both strange and thrilling to see subjects walking the halls of Salt, pausing to look at photos of themselves, or asking questions at the end of a multimedia viewing session. I was too nervous to ask my own subjects to come, but after seeing how much everyone seemed to enjoy the evening, I really wished that I had.
While many graduations can feel uncomfortably ritualistic or tediously long, Salt’s graduation was perfect in its length and lack of formality. As my mother said, it was hard not to feel welcome. At the end, we formed a large circle, held hands, and raised our glasses.
So, I suppose, Salt is officially over. But really, it isn’t, because I just exchanged emails with two of my teachers today, talked on the phone with one of my classmates, and pitched my final piece to a literary magazine. The program has come to an end, but the connections I have made with my classmates and teachers are just beginning to grow.