Category Archives: Assignments

Nebraska Poet Ted Kooser

I was watching this interview with singer/songwriter John Prine, which is wonderful in itself and I recommend watching it. But the host of the Prine interview was also so familiar. Who is that guy? I wondered. Then at the end of the interview, John Prine says, “Thank You, Ted Kooser.” Of course, I know who Ted Kooser is.

Years ago, I read a book by Ted Kooser about writing poetry. I even tried doing it for a while, but I didn’t keep it up. But this morning I wondered where is Ted Kooser now? In searching for the answer to that question, I found his homepage with this short documentary video about Kooser and his life and work.

Ted Kooser says a great deal about the creative process in this piece. Every day, he gets up at 4:30 am each day and works until seven. A part that really struck me is his statement,

Once or twice a month I come up with something that was worth my time—the rest of the time, I’m failing.

I was drawn to the video because I often give my students the assignment of making a mini-documentary about someone interesting. How can you introduce someone to the world through video? Do it like the video Passing Through from Straw Hat Visuals on Vimeo.

Audio Tweet

Why didn’t I think of this? The Audio Tweet?

I was already using the tools that Scott Lo uses to make audio tweets. It is pretty simple. Use Voice Record Pro app to record an audio message 2.5 minutes long or less. Add a catchy graphic and background music. Save the recording as a video to the camera roll (photos) on the iPad. Post the video to Twitter. Call it an Audio Tweet. So simple!

The one missing piece for me was adding in the desired graphic. I did not realize how simply done this is. I have made videos out of the audio recordings and posted them to YouTube. Below are a couple of such videos I have made. But I used default graphics, not realizing how you can “roll” your own graphic such as Scott Lo did in his tweet.