The last interview features Jamie Har, our Social Media and Blog Editor! Jamie is a junior double-majoring in Communication and Information Science. Watch her latest stunning visual poem, “Grammar Resurrected,” and read her article, “Beauty from the outside“!
Zachary Lee (Z): We’re so happy that you’re returning as our Blog Editor—with the addition of Social Media to your role. Last year, you really helped boost our online presence, from showcasing other students’ work to creating amazing visual poetry. What are you most looking forward to about returning? What are some of your trepidations?
Jamie Har (J): Aw thanks! Last semester was a pretty pivotal launching point for Claritas’ online presence, like by redesigning the blog and publishing more consistent and substantial content. We started posting weekly Meeting Notes, occasional updates on Claritas both on and off the Cornell campus, exclusive behind-the-scene interviews, detailed reflections, poetry, and multimedia. This semester is really a continuation of that momentum. I still have some goals for the blog and social media that I haven’t achieved yet. For instance, I really want to expand and develop the types of media we use, including more visual, video, and audio components. I’d also like more people to write creative posts for the blog! All that said, based on our growth so far, I’m very thankful and have a lot to be confident about moving forward.
Z: Do you have any ideas for this year that you’re excited to explore? Can you give us the inside scoop on some projects you have coming up?
J: Hmm I can’t tell you too much in case I spoil any surprises—so you better check our Facebook page and blog for actual updates—but you can expect to see more exclusive content that’s only available online, like interviews with students creating Christian music or other content on their own. We’ve already made some moves with this and want to dive even deeper, like with music. It’s one of those industries that surrounds us all the time and holds so much influence, so it can be really powerful in encouraging evil or good, whether we realize it or not. We’re considering creating playlists of Christian songs in popular genres that might not be well-known, or analyzing songs, albums, and lyrics or poetry. I’d also love to get more visual content, so I’m open to artwork and videos submissions! That visual component has proven to be really powerful so far.
Z: I really enjoy the theme for this upcoming issue: the act of consuming has become so normalized that people no longer consider the ramifications and consequences that come with not controlling your appetite. How do you think Claritas can uniquely contribute to this conversation, and why do you think the presence of Claritas on campus is more important now than ever?
J: Well, you kind of just said it. We all know in our heads that “you are what you eat,” but we rarely pay attention to how. By eating, I mean consuming—food, music, time, energy, money, relationships, and so on. Everything affects everything in some sort of way, but a lot of those impacts are overlooked. I’m not saying we should overanalyze every possibility, but more awareness and wisdom can definitely be beneficial. “Controlling your appetite” doesn’t have to feel restrictive. We’re always making choices anyways, and the differences in each person’s choices are just about how you use discretion. While adding to the ongoing, societal conversation about what is “good or bad” for you—from violence in digital media to healthy vs. unhealthy foods— Claritas is just addressing a daily, human occurrence with a Jesus-centered perspective. In one sense, what we’re doing isn’t unique because the topic is so always-relevant and always-pervasive, always “now more than ever.” But Jesus is the distinguishing point.
Z: We live in a time where, sadly, people are becoming less interested in reading a print publication and solely turn to reading online articles (or just watching videos!) Yet you have done an amazing job with making the Claritas blog and journal distinct enough yet also cohesive, and it never feels like there is competition between the two; what are some strengths that you see of the blog medium?
J: I appreciate the encouragement! I think each has different strengths and “vibes,” if that makes sense. The print issue is more official and full of articles and designs that have taken a semester to perfect. The blog, on the other hand, is more fluid. It’s ongoing with various types of articles that don’t necessarily have to follow the print issue’s semesterly theme and, obviously, can take on various forms of media. The whole point that I see of Claritas is to pervade all parts of life with a gospel-based approach, just like how our relationship with Christ applies to and is central to everything in the Christian life. Each Claritas member comes from different walks, and we want to each contribute our best where we can. The blog is simply one open platform to enable that while remaining unified to the print issue by a Jesus-centered vision. And our social media is like fingers to the blog’s digital arm that reaches more widespread and diverse audiences than our campus’ print issue alone.
Z: Okay last one: if you had a whole 24 hours of free time, what would you do with it?
J: A whole 24 hours? First, I’d worry, because what in the world happened in my life to suddenly give me 24 empty hours? But then, I’d realize that time will soon disappear, so I’d start making plans for things I don’t always get to do. Since this is probably a dream world anyway, let’s say my checklist doesn’t have to be completely realistic: Go to beautiful water and sky viewpoints at sunrise and at sunset; Eat a juicy but well-crusted medium-rare steak, authentic spicy Korean food, and unique flavors of ice cream; Float in warm beach water; Dance, and sing acoustic and crazy karaoke songs with friends; Cuddle puppies and babies; Do something cool to my hair; and Give hugs and handmade gifts—probably edible—to my loved ones.