Sunday, February 13, 2011

Visual Story Map

The High Costs of My Pursuit of Higher Education

Included is the visual portrait story map, which is the first step in an autobiographical story, The High Costs of My Higher Education. Story mapping allows a visual rough sketch of the main parts of a story, based on Joseph Campbell's, "The Hero's Journey," as adapted by Jason Ohler and described in his book, Digital Storytelling in the Classroom. The Visual Portrait Story elements include: 1) The call to adventure; 2) the problem; 3) the state of expectation or tension; 4) the solution; and, 5) closure. (Ohler, 2008).

The process of story mapping helped me distinguish the story core (the way in which my life changed and I grew personally and professionally as a result of the challenges presented in a particular experience), as well as determine the details that would advance the story without boring the reader. ( Ohler, 2008). The process of story mapping represents an excellent critical thinking exercise, and one that can be used for many different disciplines.


Ohler, J. (2008). Digital Storytelling in the Classroom. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Who I Am

"The more that you read, the more things you will you know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss

My e-portfolio story began with my educational foray into the Media Psychology program at Fielding Graduate University. Teaching Advertising and Advanced Business Writing Communications at California State University, Fullerton I wrongly assumed myself to be a "media expert." Now, I know how much I don't know, how much I have to learn, and the depth of my passion to learn.

My life roles are numerous: wife, daughter, aunt, sister, step-mom, advisor, professor, and dog-mom to name just a few. But people are so much more than the roles played, the jobs performed, and the paths followed.

The decision to pursue a PhD at Fielding stems from my passion for learning and love of words. The media impact of visuals and words has been profound; my fascination for the combined power of pictures and words knows no bounds. The stories that all forms of media develop, enhance, and inspire, whether positive or negative to the human experience, stimulate my curiosity to understand the hows and whys behind the story.

My love of stories began very early, partly because I could command my mother's entire attention when she read one. However, I soon learned that stories were not "read on demand" so as a result, my fascination for books and the stories contained within fueled my desire to learn to read at an early age. The first book conquered, Hop On Pop by Dr. Seuss, developed an intensity for the story that continues today.

Essential to any culture is the story which binds together a shared existence so that the knowledge of the past can/will positively impact the now and the future. Stories provide hope. Stories perpetuate the need for a shared human experience. Stories show what was and what can be. Stories preserve, inspire, and augment our overall understanding of ourselves and our world. Stories heal and incite; prick our conscience and help us understand. And mostly, stories help make sense of what cannot be understood.

Here within is Carrie's story; her journey of self-discovery through pursuing the digital medium. Hopefully, you enjoy the ride and your own understanding of the art of storytelling increases.

"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." Muriel Rukeyser