Accidental Academic #1 - Blue Lab Blog

I’m back at it again with the blog!

So where do I stand after a full year of the 365 Movie Challenge? What kind of blog can I maintain without ending up as just another bearded dude talking about movies and pop culture on the internet? The cinemagraph twist to the challenge at least challenged me creatively, and it totally paid off professionally. How else could I challenge myself and grow from it? Turns out I was overthinking it.

A few weeks a go, I asked a friend for advice on what kind of blog I could create. She ended up recommending I produce something that related to my academic background, which threw me through a loop. As of the writing of this post, I have worked at a university for the better part of 6 years, but have never considered myself as remotely academic or as a type of educator. I mean, I’m just a guy that produces videos for faculty and such, right? I have a COMM Degree sure, but no formal training in education. Still, that little tidbit of potential information led me to do some soul searching, and in the end, I agreed that it would make for an interesting spin for a media blog.

I work here. Took this photo too.

I work here. Took this photo too.


It does make sense once you think about it. I often share the cinemagraphs and the occasional video I produce for work on social media, but I never go into the nitty gritty of my process or what I actually do. At best, I think I’ve mentioned I’m a video producer for the University of Texas at El Paso. That’s about it, and it can mean A LOT of things. So as a challenge, I’ve decided to embrace the academic aspect of my professional life rather than shy away from it. In other words, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

I work as a video producer (Instructional Technologist is my official title, which works as a blanket title for several of us in our team) for Creative Studios at The University of Texas at El Paso. The goal of our team is to enhance teaching and learning through the use of various technologies. We’re a fun bunch of creatives, and we have a habit of rocking the boat (for better or worse) on campus. I like to think of us as a group of creative rebels hehe. Anyway…

I often work directly with faculty to create digital content that is both engaging and educational for their students, which is usually easier said than done. We also act as mentors to a large group of student designers, video editors, and programmers (I guess you can call them interns, but we generally don’t see them that way) and try to teach them as best we can. I have to admit, it’s interesting to compare what we teach them at Creative Studios to what they’re learning in their classes. It’s a huge cause of anxiety for me at times, but I’ll get into that more in later posts.

So essentially, the purpose of this new blog will be to highlight the work I help produce at UTEP, and mix it in with my thoughts, technical processes, and what I hope to achieve with them, both personally and professionally. Along with all that, I’ll be mixing in some movie, television, or podcast related posts (think something similar to the stuff in the 365 Challenge), as a form of personal development to go along with all the professional, as well as updates on other projects I’m working on outside of UTEP. 2019 is going to be a busy and creative year, and this blog will be a one stop shop for it all (totally egotistical, but I feel it’ll help me in the long run)! I might also occasionally post examples of work I don’t necessarily agree with or think are effective along with an explanation, but that depends on what my boss thinks about me doing that (hehe).

Looking forward to all the learning and sharing! MTFBWY!