Week 2 Digital Story Critique – Work-Life Balane

For my second digital story critique I choose something similar to work-life balance. This is an area that raises my interest. I thought this digital story was interesting because it dealt with work-life as a soldier and how his personal life suffered. I am an Army brat and this was personal to me. Our soldiers pay a price to secure our freedom – their own family.

https://storycorps.org/listen/ernesto-rodriguez-and-sebastian-rodriguez-160617/

While he loved life in the military with the security and stability it offered, and welcomed the opportunity to put his training to use, being at war limited his contact with his family and he missed them immensely. Having seen other service members watch their children “grow up in pictures,” he was determined not to let that happen to him. Returning home, he found the life he arrived to was not the same one he had left behind before going off to war. His children barely knew him, steady employment was difficult to find, he and his wife separated, and for a period of time he was homelessness. His life was in a tailspin.

The assignment was to critique a digital story by selecting three traits from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits:Digital Critique. The three traits that I selected were: 1) Story, 2) Flow, organization and pacing, and 3) presentation and performance. I decided to select these traits because I wanted to see what Ernesto had to say about his family vs. military life.

Story: This is about Ernesto and his son Sebastian, who is eleven years old. This is an opportunity for both of them to talk about Ernesto going off to war and Sebastian being home. This story captivated me because of the loss between both Ernesto and Sebastian. This story is reality for many of our soldiers and what sacrifices they make to serve our country.

Flow, organization and pacing: The flow was great and the organization of the story kept to the point.This story was so different than my other work-life balance digital story. This is a hard work-life balance for soldiers. When they agree to join the military then their lives are in the hands of other people. They have to finish their “tour” and then they can go home. This was a good story of how a deployment affects both the soldiers and the family. It was interesting to hear both sides of the coin.

Presentation and performance: This story grabs the audience because of its content. A father wanting to serve his county (remember it’s his job) and a son who didn’t grow up with a dad around. The questions to each other helps the audience to realize how this service has impacted both of them. Ernesto comes home and it is so different than his other “home” in the war zone. He comes home and loses everything because he can’t cope with the “real” world.

I felt that each of the traits I selected was successfully present and utilized adequately in the story. It was helpful for me and I learned some things about how a war affects many people, not just the solider. It is a great sacrifice our soldiers make to serve our country, even if they don’t agree with their deployment, it is their job to perform to their ability. As noted in the story, sometimes children grow up in pictures because the father/mother is deployed and not around while they grow up. I am sure it is hard for a child to understand obligations – they just know that their parent isn’t home for them.

I wished the story was live and you could see both of them while they had the discussion. I think this story would have been better if the viewer was able to see both Ernesto and Sebastian. The ability to see both of them while they were talking would enhance the story and the emotional part of the story.

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