Tag Archives: j-major

The Main Reason

courtesy of Reinventing Events

courtesy of Reinventing Events

Sometimes, in the midst of pursuing a dream, you lose sight of why you dreamt it in the first place, until something reminds you. For me, that ‘something’ came in the form of a StrenghtsQuest test.

About a month ago, I had to take an online StrengthQuest test for my school. At the time, I just wanted to get it out of the way. Little did I know that taking that test would lead me back to journalism (as everything seems to do in my life, haha).

At the end of the Clifton StrengthsFinder test, you are given your “top five talent themes” along with a list that explains what those “themes” mean. My top five were: Restorative, Individualization, Belief, Analytical and Responsibility, but the one that stuck out was “individualization.”

The description says:

“Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person… You hear the one-of-a-kind stories in each person’s life…”

There are numerous reasons why I want to be a journalist. Writing. Meeting people. The adrenaline from deadlines. Traveling. But when it all comes down to it, I chose journalism because I thrive off of hearing other people’s stories and thinking of the best way I can share them. To me, journalism is really all about the story. The story is what makes the connection; it’s what make an article or newspaper more than just columns of words.

Even breaking news revolves around a story. Yes, initially when a terrible natural disaster strikes or a tragedy hits, the news media focuses on keeping everyone updated on the facts in the midst of the chaos. However, it is in these crises that stories are made as the random stranger becomes a hero and that timid guy in the office rises up to lead everyone to safety. This is why I love journalism. Each and everyone of us has an untold story with the potential to expose a stronger and unique side of us. Think of all the stories that are yet to be made and discovered.

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It Takes a Village to… Run a Paper

While the beginning of this semester was filled with unexpected changes, there was one major change that I had all summer to prepare for — no longer being editor-in-chief of my university’s newspaper. Now, when I say that I “prepared for” leaving this position, I really mean I had a lot of time to reflect over my experience.

Little did I know that when I joined The Collegian, I would not only gain journalistic experience, but I would also learn many life lessons along the way. And to keep it exciting and interesting, a majority of these lessons came out of the most peculiar sources, from rotten pumpkins to secret menus and everything in between.

Of all the lessons that I’ve learned from my time at The Collegian, there is one lesson that surpasses them all: You can’t do it alone. Both in life, and definitely in a newspaper or magazine or whatever you’re trying to produce, it all won’t happen without a team.The moments I tried to do everything on my own, I found myself burnt out and stressed. Thankfully, I was blessed with a loyal team, or rather, family, who kept me sane and made the stressful times a little more enjoyable by either lightening the mood with some random outburst of song and Russian accents or lightening my load by being so ready and willing to help wherever needed.

(Most of) the people behind the paper. This was taken in Austin when we took a staff trip to attend the 2014 ISOJ conference.

(Most of) the people behind the paper. This was taken in Austin when we took a staff trip to attend the 2014 ISOJ conference.

Looking back, I know that, without a doubt, the biggest take away I got out of my time as editor-in-chief was realizing that I can’t produce a paper by myself. I know, that sounds like it should’ve been obvious, but in the midst of all that is deadlines and breaking news, it is easy to forget how much I needed and relied on my fellow editors and writers. I don’t think I expressed my gratitude enough while I was editor-in-chief, but these people really made my experience what it was.

Thank you, Collegian family!


The Hidden Chapter

13808443545_80d8a868b2_zAs I sit here devouring a pint of chocolate peanut butter cup gelato (Talenti‘s to be exact) I am at a loss for words (I know, that’s ironic) when I think about what just happened in the last two days. I created this blog to document my “journey to journalism.” That said, this post not only falls under the criteria of “stuff I need to blog about” but it is centered around what is arguably the biggest and most extreme decision I have made since coming to college.

You see, Monday was the first day of my junior year at HBU. After a long, tough summer as a camp counselor, disconnected from technology (which is why I haven’t posted in what seems like forever) I was extremely excited to be back. I bought my textbooks, unpacked my stuff (that took a while), and got ready to continue with all the organizations that I was involved in last semester. Little did I know that tomorrow, (Friday) I would no longer be a student at HBU and would begin the process to transfer as a full-time, online student at Regent University (as a government major). 

If you told me on Monday that I would be back at home in Hawaii next week, I would think you were crazy. I love HBU and even though I miss my family, I have such a great support system here. Plus, I was going to see my family during Christmas break. Why then would I make such a drastic decision to leave?

I don’t know if I ever posted about this, but my “college plan” included doing a study abroad Washington Journalism Center semester in D.C. and ideally, graduating early. This was something that I had been thinking about since before I came to college, and as my time here unfolded, it looked like I would be able to finish up my journalism classes through that program in D.C., come back to Houston, take summer classes, and graduate as a “baby senior” next August. Then I met with the dean of my department and he informed me that if I were to do the study abroad semester, I would have to pay my school’s tuition along with the full tuition of the program ($15,000 not including food and transportation). In other words, I would be paying two tuitions for one semester.

Obviously, that left me with a huge financial problem, but that wasn’t the only issue. Most of my journalism classes were supposed to be covered by the credits I would earn in D.C. so my plan to graduate early also went out the door. On top of that, my school’s School of Fine Arts, and more specifically the journalism program, is going through a transitional stage. I’m not going to try to explain it all, but simply put, there isn’t really a program for those who want to go into reporting/news media. When I took all of that into consideration, I felt, in terms of my education, I had hit a roadblock.

So, here I am. Realizing that the older you get, the more frequent and extreme unexpected situations and changes become. In a sense, I’m learning to get used to it and make the most of it, but here’s to hoping that I won’t have to make a decision like this again in the near future. Apparently, this week marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life, except I did not see this one coming. 


They Speak, We Tweet

First off, yes, I know it’s been almost a month since my last post! I have officially failed as a blogger, but if it means anything, here’s another new post.

Over the past month, I have been to two journalism conferences, and I was amazed, yet again, by how much social media has impacted this field. In fact, the name of the first conference was actually called “Reporting, Writing, Tweeting it Out: What is Journalism in 2014?” and the second conference was the International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ) which focused on journalism in the “digital age.”

What probably amazed me the most was how many mobile devices/laptops were being used during the sessions. Not to mention, both of the conferences had a hashtag created specifically for those attending to tweet about the sessions as they were going on. Also, during the Q&A sessions, there was a live Twitter feed at ISOJ where you could see the latest posts of those tweeting about the conference.

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My view of the live Twitter feed at ISOJ overlooking the screens of all the laptops and iPads…welcome to the 21st century.

As a millennial, I am not too shocked about this whole push to tweet and go digital, but it is still a little weird. I can remember the times when it was considered rude to have your phone out when someone was talking, much less be on your computer. Now, as Jim Brady, editor in chief at Digital First Media said at ISOJ, “I see more Apples in here than an orchard.” If you don’t have some smartphone, iPad, or laptop out during a session, you kind of stand out. Between almost every session, the conference coordinators would keep encouraging us to get out our mobile devices and tweet away. After these two conferences, I must say that I’ve learned a lot about tweeting and I’m getting more used to it, but…

 

Is it effective? 

Maybe I just haven’t mastered the amazing multi-tasking skills of journalists, but a lot of the times, when I’m trying to construct a concise and accurate tweet around something a speaker mentioned or brought up, I miss the next 5 minutes or so of the session. I also noticed that the other people attending the conferences were not just on Twitter during the conference. Some were researching more on the program or article that the speaker would mention, while others were writing articles or making final touches to their powerpoint presentations. I can definitely see this as being a useful tool to look into something right as the speaker talks about it as opposed to waiting until you get home to look it up, but doesn’t that serve as a distraction from the session that you paid money to attend? Where is the line drawn between a mobile device serving as a supplementary aid to listening to a session verses a distraction from the speaker?

 


Reason: History in the Making

ImageA little word of advice: Don’t take a huge break from blogging/writing if you don’t have to. I’m finding it hard getting back into blogging because I’ve gotten… well… lazy from my break. In fact, this break, it was pretty easy to brainstorm things to blog about but the hard part was actually typing it out :P. However, Christmas break is coming to an end and so must my procrastination. 

That said, as I was watching Hoda Kotb (who I kind of “met in person”) and Kathie Lee Gifford host “A Toast to 2013” on New Year’s Eve, I was reminded of one of the many reasons why I decided to pursue journalism. As the journalists and special guests reflected over all the big events, surprises and trends that have popped up this past year, I realized that they were able to recall it so effortlessly because they played a huge role in each and every tragedy, viral video, natural disaster, and headline. 

While they obviously didn’t cause or experience most of the news they covered firsthand, journalists have to research, interview and really dig deep into the stories they cover so that they can serve as the link between the public and the big moments that happen each year. That’s what I want to be apart of. 

Sure, with deadlines and the fast-paced world of social media, it is hard to just sit back and enjoy the moment as a journalist, but on the other hand, by having to cover so many stories and events, journalists get to be a part of the moment. The stories that were at one time assignments and more work to do, eventually become our record of history. 

I really don’t think I’m doing this justice. I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time explaining it in words (told you not to take a break from writing!). Anyway, it just amazes me to look at these people who bring us the news and think about the huge role they play in making history. 


Roadblock: My Portfolio

I’m going to start a sort of series of the different challenges or “bumps in the road” so to speak that come up as I learn more about what it takes to be a journalist. A huge part of learning is realizing how much you didn’t know in the first place and I’ve had way too many of those moments when it comes to journalism. So, whenever a new challenge arises, expect to see a new post with the title “Roadblock: …”

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A glimpse of my “portfolio–in progress”

The first “roadblock” has to do with putting together my portfolio. As I have been collecting clippings and newspapers that contain an article that I wrote, I realized that I am having a hard time determining how to keep track of everything. I haven’t officially learned how to put a portfolio together but I know that I need to be collecting my work now and keep a record of what I write.

When I was in high school and opportunities to write for a magazine or newspaper weren’t so common, it was easy to keep track of my work. Also, when I did write, that’s all that I did–write.

Being a part of my university’s school newspaper, as an assistant news editor, I am starting to realize that keeping track of my work is a lot harder than I anticipated. As journalists, you take pictures, blog, edit, produce, write, design, illustrate and work with film. I am not really sure how I’m supposed to document all of that in a way that I can present to my (potential/future) employers.

This made me question: how do journalists keep track of everything they do? Unlike most other careers, I feel like journalists are always adding to their portfolio daily. I started my portfolio in a binder, now I’m thinking I’m going to need a file cabinet!