journalism

Halfway There

This past Friday was officially the end of my sophomore year.

My mom drove me to the train station on Thursday and told me, “Can you believe you have two years of college under your belt?” And later, on Friday, my friend said, “Madi, you’re technically a junior!”

Oh my, I really can’t even believe it myself! Those people who warned me to enjoy every bit of college were right, it does go by so fast!

I’m trying to absorb everything about college and sometimes sitting down and writing about it really helps. Actually, it’s rather hard because I have to think of all that I have done and what I’ve accomplished.

I was really hoping to make honors and the Dean’s list this year. Last semester, my Trig course brought my GPA down. Let me be frank, I understand I need to be a well-rounded student, but please tell me what journalist ever used parabolas and radians to conduct an interview?

Miraculously, I got all A’s (well, one A- and all A’s) and I am so happy! This hasn’t happened since middle school! Not to mention, most of my classes require a hefty amount of reading and writing, and on top of that, I work about 30 hours a week. Thanks for letting me take a nice break from blogging, WordPressers, you can give me a virtual pat on the back if you would like!

This last semester has been great, but difficult all at the same time. Thankfully, almost all of my classes were major-related, so nothing was a worthless GenEd course (except for Modern History of Western Societies, sorry Prof.!).

The literature course I took was extremely difficult for me. I’ve never been that good at figuring out themes, analyses, or applying outside knowledge to the texts. I’m more of a “give it to me straight” kind of girl. The course, overall, was mostly fun since we got to look at graphic novels and the theme of heroes and villains. You would think it’s all, “Oh yay Batman!” but the course really gave me a whole new perspective on comic book agendas and heroes in general.

I had a news reporting class (seriously, how cool does that just sound to you!) which gave me the chance to meet some fantastic friends in my major. I have convinced a good handful of media and communication students that we should all start working on having a school newspaper, and this summer our advisor and myself will be working towards just that! I do believe my willingness to get this going should make me some sort of editor, what do you think?

Speaking of my advisor, this year I had the chance to really get to know him, and he could probably say the same thing about me. I didn’t want to be another face in the crowd, so I’ve really been reaching out to try to improve things at the college. Our major is really unappreciated, and while I sense a lot of exciting things will eventually happen, it’s hard to keep your head up in the meantime, knowing a lot of people at the school don’t really think of your department as important. That being said, what does keep me going is knowing that all the professors in the English and media and communication department care so much about the students. When I say they care about the students, I don’t just mean they occasionally stay in their office a bit later, or they wait after class for me. I mean they let me text them with final exam questions at 11 p.m., they read my blog, they hand me jobs for working on campus, they mentor, teach and act as a guiding hand towards my success.

Alright, now you may just be thinking I am trying to sweeten them up for a good grade (did it help??) but I’m being completely serious. Sometimes I think about transferring to a school in the city. I really want to try something new, and I think some of the schools in the city are great for just that. But, when I think about leaving the faculty, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Without them, I’m sure I would be having not only a miserable time at school, but I wouldn’t be the student I am right now.

My advisor in particular is probably the reason why I haven’t lost faith in my future career/plans. Reporting changes whenever technology does. It’s more than just being able to write, and I don’t think I knew that until about a year ago. I always thought in high school that because I could write, that would get me the job. My advisor has taught me that yes, I can write, but the fact that I’m driven and I’m able to adapt is what people will want. He’s helped me at all hours, night and day, answer the question I wanted an answer to. His knowledge and experiences has helped me figure out what I need to do to be successful, and I can’t wait to make some changes at the school to make him and the department proud!

The other class I thoroughly enjoyed this semester was my Theory of Writing class. Never have I had a class where at the final exam, a professor would bring in chips and salsa and have us casually sit in a circle and read aloud a final paper. It seems like a fun time, but it was more than that. It wasn’t a professor giving us an easy way out. He wanted us to sit and express something greater than any 12 page test could do. The point of the assignment was to write a series of snapshots (known as crots) that would explain how far we have come with our writing (I will post my paper later!). These snapshots could be anything from theorists excerpts, short stories, poems, lyrics, letters, text messages, thoughts, experiences—heck, you oculdn’ve even used a fortune cookie message. We had about four or five students cry while reading their papers, and most of us were teary eyed listening. What they had written, what we had written, was so moving that only by reading it aloud could we see how expressive we all are. This is what the class had taught me. That through writing, you can do more than just get a good grade or become a person who “writes well.” You can make mistakes and still get your point across. You can say, screw the conventions, and just write a series of blurbs to make an essay come alive. You can make meaning of what you are writing. I did all of that and more with this class, and it’s one that I never want to forget.

"The definition of liable is..."

“The definition of libel is…”

My professor who taught that class is more than just some salsa-loving guy who wants us all to sit around and cry over our words. He wants us to do something greater with writing, and I think we all have learned that. He’s the reason I no longer write with some silly five-paragraph essay, and the reason why I try to write in my own voice and not someone else’s. He also asked me to be a writing tutor next year, and I’m so excited to be a part of that team! It’s great to see my development as a writer is recognized.

Overall this semester has been so many things, and I don’t think I can say it all in just one post. Technically speaking I can, but I think you all would start to get bored. I’ll just leave it at, sophomore year has been great but I am happy for it to be over with.

My summer is looking great. I have an internship at my college, where I will be working in the marketing and communications department. I will also be keeping my job at the library, I can’t leave the House of Books (as my friend calls it). So again my summer is working 10 hour work days, which is fine by me! I love to stay busy. I also joined a gym so you will be seeing posts about me actually being active. I plan on reading a lot too, and maybe I will even pick up a new hobby! Who knows, life is full of possibilities, and if I learned anything from this year, I can make things happen!

How about I put that on a t-shirt!?

An Award? For Me?

Well I knew I was going to write something tonight, but little did I know that it would be thanking the academy, my parents, and Jesus.  Oh wait, wrong speech…

I am thanking the one blogger who nominated me for this thing called the “Very Inspiring Blogger” award.  Blogger “B” from Rambles, Rants and Raves has awarded me this award.  This concept is new to me, but I am always open to receiving things like gifts, candy, back massages, and virtual awards.  Please check out her blog (I’m assuming she is female because there was one post of Ryan Gosling shirtless…..let’s be serious.) because the posts are witty and easy to relate to, and I love people that rant.

So, there are some rules to accepting this award.  I better follow them.  Whoever is nominated needs to:

-Thank the blogger that nominated you/gave you the award

-Put up the award on your blog page

-Tell the world seven wonderful things about yourself

-Nominate 15 bloggers.  Tell them that you nominated them and how to accept the award.

Decided to put a happy kitty picture (inspiration: B) to set the mood.

Kitty love!

I posted the award at the end of this post.  I just thought it looked better that way.

I need to say seven things about myself.  Well, what to say.

1. I love cats.  Like, if I didn’t have a boyfriend, I would be considered a crazy cat lady.  Actually, it doesn’t really matter that I’m dating.  I am still a crazy cat lady.  But I don’t care, look at my kitties and tell me you wouldn’t be crazy about them. 

2.  I have two jobs, which are amusing and busy for the most part.  I am a “librarian’s assistant” at a library, and at my college, I work in the Marketing and Communications department. Basically, I am surrounded by computers, books, and writing.  Three of my favorite things!

3.  I am trying to be a decent cook, so I have been collecting cookbooks and stashing them in my attic for when I move out.  I have made some pretty okay dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo and Butternut Squash Soup.  My all-time favorite book (that I want to buy) is Martha’s American Food.  Every single recipe makes me go, “MMMM.”

4. I always enjoy meeting new people.  I talk excessively and when someone talks back and shares the same interests, I dub them my friend.  Sometimes that works out.  I met this super spectacular guy at the library.  He always checks out Shakespeare books or classics.  He has a great personality and my night is not-so-terrible when he comes in to say, “What’s up.”

5.  I have a collection of Winnie the Pooh merchandise.  Books, mugs, stuffed animals, a kite, PEZ dispensers, and mini statues.  A.A. Milne would be proud.

6.  I’m sure most of you know the next fact…but I cannot live without my coffee.  House blend, dark roast, light roast, Pumpkin flavored, Hazelnut, French Vanilla, gas station coffee, home brewed, Keurig cups, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks….you name it, I will drink it.  I typically spend half of my paycheck at Dunkin Donuts.  Caramel coffee with cream no sugar.

7.  When I do math homework I don’t understand, I get so worked up that I start to hyperventilate  which also includes me pulling my eyelids and yelling, “MATH IS STUPID.”

There are seven more facts you probably didn’t care to know but read anyway.  Now, for the people I nominate.  These are in no particular order either.

1.  Fed Up Food:  The best blog if you want to hear someone rant about food.  He rants, and gives recommendations about all kinds of food.  Some people don’t really care too much about what they are eating or where they are eating.  Some of his posts really make me laugh, and some really open my eyes to the important world of eating.

2.  Mae’s Beauty Reports:  I love doing art on my nails, and the best way to get tips on how to do so is on Mae’s blog.  She claims to be no professional, but her nail art looks like something you would have to go to school for in order to perfect!  Stop by her blog for great tips on nail art, makeup, and also accessories!

3.  Bucket List Publications:  You know when you sit around with your friends and say how much you want to travel and experience the world?  Well, this blog shows how one woman doesn’t just talk about it, she actually goes out and achieves her “wildest dreams.”  From rock climbing to skydiving it seems to me this woman has done it all, and the fact that she doesn’t plan on stopping makes me continue to stop by her blog.

4.  The Life and Times of Nathan Badley:  This was one of the first blogs I followed, shortly around the time when I started my own blog.  I love his writing because it is about random things that are both funny and relevant.  A recent post about cupcakes really had me “Lol.”

5.  Sarah Smiles Awhile:  Also another hilarious blogger.  I love her humor and her usage of lists in her about me section.  I too, love lists!  I think I always smile when I read her post, and I know you will too!

6.  The Urchin Movement:  I really enjoy reading the posts of the Urchins.  They provide a topic of conversation for any ordinary human being.  Their categories range from politics to art.  Stop by if you want something a bit more serious.

7.  Misanthropology 101:  First found this blogger because he had a post about his cats.  As you know from my seven facts above, I love cats.  So therefore, I love this blogger.  Okay, that’s a stretch, but his posts are amusing, and he writes about some of my favorite things (I am talking things other than cats).  Check out his blog because I feel like I am not doing his writing justice.

8.  Disphotic:  He uses photography and writing on his blog.  His writing includes a variety of topics, and I enjoy the fact that he is a photojournalist.  Stop by his blog and prepare to be amazed!

9.  Canadian Hiking Photography:  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  This guy has a passion for both photography and hiking, and you can see some pretty magnificent photographs, and even purchase some (which trust me, you’ll want to).

10.  Vintage Vicar:  Another thing I love is fashion.  I am always trying to find funky outfits to wear to school, or work, or for whatever! I really enjoy this fashion blog.  It is apparent she loves clothing of all kinds, and I like to look at her posts when I am need for something different to add to my own outfits.

I only listed 10 blogs instead of 15 because I am getting tired and I am lazy.  I apologize to the Blog Award Cops.  Please don’t arrest me.  Perhaps I will add on the other five at a later date.  My laziness reminds me that I really need to start blogging every day.  I am sure the bloggers I nominated above are more determined to post everyday, whereas I am not.  I use these bloggers for motivation when I am feeling down-in-the-dumps.  Sometimes you can’t look toward your Facebook friends for inspiration.  The true passionate people are the ones on WordPress.  They blog because they have a passion for something, whether it be fashion, food, writing, or photography.  Keep on writing friends, thanks for the inspiration!  And thanks again B for my first ever award.  I’m glad my goofy rants and attempt at motivational posts are good enough for someone (other than my cats)!

Hooray!

 

 

In Loving Memory…

It was a cloudy, rainy day, and I was at my college’s library wasting time on Facebook.  As I scrolled down my news feed, looking at the pictures posted and comments being made, I found a strange post.  It was from a newspaper I am subscribed to, called The Souderton Independent.  Some of you may be familiar with it.  

The post was about some “Celebration of Life” service that was being held in honor of the web editor.  As I read on, it discussed the web editor’s contribution to the newspaper, and how she was loved by all.  I was extremely confused at this point.  Was the web editor giving a speech on life?  Was she leaving the newspaper and going to another company?  

As it shockingly turns out, this service was a memorial service for her.  She died “after a freak accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike when a flying road sign crashed through her windshield” (abclocal).

I reread this over and over again on Facebook, and then the news.  It just could not be.  Certainly somebody that I knew could not have died.  

How did I know Morris, you may be thinking. 

For my senior project at my high school, we had to do a huge project that would determine if we could graduate.  It had to be related to our future career.  I chose to shadow a reporter and to see what it is like working for a newspaper.  

During my project, I had contacted many newspapers, asking if I could please shadow somebody.  The only editor that responded to my email was Morris.  She had worked with me from day one to try and figure out what I wanted, and what she could offer.  She gave me more than I expected.  

I had the oppurtunity to shadow a reporter on a story, which was a great experience.  I got to sit on a casual meeting, where they discussed what stories they should write.  I also had the chance to interview a reporter from the newspaper and talk about her experience working with a newspaper.  These experiences that I had allowed me to make a monumental decision in my life.  This decision was to pursue media and communications in college, shooting towards my dream career of a reporter.

If I was not given this opportunity, who knows where I would be today?  Maybe I would have followed a different path, and opted out of chasing my dreams.  I have Morris, and all of those who helped me at The Souderton Independent, to thank for sending me in the right direction.

This year, I had reconnected with Morris, to see if there were internships available at The Souderton Independent.  While they could not offer me an internship, Morris was glad to hear that I was pursuing media and communications, and offered to help me look for places I could intern at for the summer. 

I never got to email her back, and thank her for everything she had done for me.  

It makes me sad that somebody so young, healthy, and a good head on their shoulders had to pass so soon.  My thoughts are with her family.  

This makes me realize, that while our lives are destined to be long, they can end shorter than expected.  Our lives are precious.  We should live them to their fullest.  More importantly, we should let our loved ones know how important they are to us. Even if you receive the smallest act of kindness, let the person know how thankful you are.  

Rest in peace Emily Morris, thank you for everything you did for me.  I hope I can serve the community as you once did ❤

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8624245

http://www.montgomerynews.com/souderton_independent/