Friday, November 2, 2012

Dumpster Diving: Night 3

Fragrant dumpster roses. 

Food presumably unfit to sell or donate to shelters. 

Autumn scoping out dumpsters behind a large plaza

We left those... 

Keeping it classy with the dumpster roses.

Last night was one of the longer trips largely because we went so far, to so many places and had very little to show for it. 

After shadily driving behind a gigantic plaza to check out the new Trader Joes's for a while, we moved on. Mall security kept patrolling and the place wasn't closing down in the back. We checked behind every other place we could think of but most places had trash compactors. 

One bakery had a bag of eight loaves of fresh bread in it, we pulled a new heater out of a farmer's supply dumpster, and another location of a grocery Autumn usually hits up was slim pickings (but not as slim as when I scoped it out on my own the other night and spotted another diver pulling in after I left). 

After finding those chicken bones, Autumn said, "Just wait. Next we'll find a body." Honestly, that actually happened a couple years ago when I lived off Monroe Ave. in the city. A man's body was found in a dumpster behind a gas station a couple blocks from our house. 


On a personal side note, after being the TA for a photo class I was in two years ago, I suddenly felt like a complete failure. This project on dumpster diving is so relevant and pretty unusual. After perusing CPOY where the real competition is for college photojournalists, I felt like this story has serious potential if for no other reason than it's different. There's no drugs, death, transvestites, natural disasters, military ceremonies, or athletes involved. Everyone in the business tells young journalists to "shoot what you know" and that rarely happens. Maybe too many students spend their time getting wasted or doing these fantastic (in the truest sense of the word) stories that are removed from them. It's so much easier to shoot when you've been in the dumpster, experienced the rush of approaching sirens, the stench of dumpster. I'm sure the same goes for everything else. 

But after that class, I felt so defeated- again. Shooting lost all appeal when I was in that class. A friend of mine is helping me get my shit together for a website, and my multimedia class is the most fun I've ever had for college course. So one minute I'm like, "Yes, this is so awesome!" And after that lecture, "I'm a failure and hate my life." C'est la vie some days. This is still really fun and I'm spending most of my time on it at the expense of other classes. 

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