Tag Archives: one of those moments

From WJMC to WJC

As soon as the plane landed, I looked out my window, saw this and knew that I was here at last. My home for the semester.

As soon as the plane landed, I looked out my window, saw this and knew that I was here at last. My home for the semester.

Staring out my window looking at the Capitol, I think back on all that has happened and can’t believe I’m actually here in Washington D.C. The last time I was in the nation’s capital marked the beginning of this blog and my “journey to journalism”…and what a journey it has been! Before the craziness that is living and studying in D.C. begins, I figured I would use this downtime to recap all the major events that led to this very moment.

WJMC

Like I said, this blog, and consequently this journey all started almost four years ago when I was invited to attend the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC). This program gathered high school seniors from around the nation who had one thing in common – we all wanted to pursue a career in the media. That week in D.C. gave me a glimpse of the world of journalism and provided me with amazing opportunities such as hearing from successful professionals in the field from the Today show’s Hoda Kotb to film critic Kevin McCarthy. Since it was more of an academic driven program, we had some assignments and one of them included blogging about our week in D.C. Thus, my “Nothing But the Truth” blog began.

I can’t really remember if this is exactly how it went down, but I’m pretty sure I was looking up more information about WJMC when I came across something called the Washington Journalism Center (WJC). They offered a semester-long journalism program where we could take classes and intern just blocks away from the Capitol. It seemed like the perfect opportunity, but it was offered to juniors and seniors… in college. I was still in high school, so that got put on the back burner until a couple years later…

An Unexpected Guest

In my sophomore year, my journalism professor invited someone to speak to my Writing and Reporting I class. The special guest was Terry Mattingly who just happens to be the director of, yep, you guessed it, WJC. Okay, so the director of the program I was looking into two years ago comes to my classroom. That must be a sign, right? Well, at the time I honestly didn’t think so. You see, when Mattingly came to visit my class, I was in a love/hate relationship with journalism. I still wanted to pursue that major, but I was second guessing whether the hard-hitting, fast-paced, deadline news scene was right for me. No doubt, there were certain things that excited me about being a journalist, but there were also things that overwhelmed me, especially after I started realizing how much social media has changed the dynamics of journalism. I even started to consider ways I could use my degree in settings other than the newsroom. So, when we had the director of WJC visit our campus, I didn’t flood him with questions like I would usually do. I took the flyer and that was basically it. Little did I know, his visit watered a seed that grew into a determination to attend WJC no matter what the costs were… and boy, was there a cost.

The Big Move

After telling my professor about my intentions to apply for the journalism semester, I started what I thought would be a normal application process. At the beginning, everything was going well. I had started my application almost a year before it was due so I figured I had a lot of time to work out the little details along the way. However, summer of 2014 came and since I was working at a summer camp, I didn’t have much access to my computer. This put the WJC related communications between me and my school on hold. When I came back in the fall to get all the school forms signed and submitted, there was an unexpected financial issue that surfaced and, to make a long story short, there was no way I could afford going to WJC through my university. So, the first week of my junior year, I transferred to another college that had a more cooperative school policy, and moved from Texas back home to Hawaii where I took online classes for a semester. Four years and two schools later, here I (finally!) am, back where it all started. I have no idea what to expect of this semester, but after all those ups and downs in getting here, rest assured, I intend on making the best of it!

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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. 


The Walter Mitty Syndrome

11712079046_eb6e6bff9bIn continuing with my movie theme from my last post, I have officially diagnosed myself with what I like to refer to as “the Walter Mitty syndrome.” As I watched the movie in theaters earlier this year, I found myself identifying with the main character, played by Ben Stiller. The deeper I get into journalism, the more I am affected by this “syndrome.”

For those of you who haven’t read or watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it revolves around a man who works for Life magazine (which already stuck out to me as an aspiring journalist). Working around so many stories and pictures of wild adventures and breathtaking sceneries feeds his bouts of daydreaming. Mitty will see something or think of something that triggers an action-packed adventure… in his head.

Well, with the constant brainstorming of possible news stories, I too drift off and, like Mitty, I often find myself tuning someone out in a conversation. I could be talking to a friend, eavesdropping…I mean, listening to those around me, or even sitting in class when someone will mention something that happened to them or something that’s coming up and immediately, my mind starts to go down the perilous path of “could that be a news story?” As I construct the whole story, thinking about possible sources, and trying to come up with a thought-provoking or innovative take on the story, I realize that I have completely phased out of reality. This is not good, especially when it happens in the middle of a professor reviewing for a test (sorry professors).

Just last week, I was going through lifeguard training and the instructor was talking about how water was considered a weapon, and that there were around 74 water related deaths in Texas in 2013. When he said that, I remembered that my school has a pool without a lifeguard on duty. I started to think of the possibility of doing a story on the amount of emergencies in the pool or maybe find out more about what the facility’s plan of action is in case of an emergency. Then I realized that the instructor had been continuing to talk the whole time… and I had no idea what he had said after the “74 water related deaths” part. Not a good thing to do when being trained on something like saving someone from drowning. I need a cure.

P.S. Yes, I wrote this post while listening to the Walter Mitty soundtrack the whole time. Just thought I’d let you know.


From Journalist to Stalker

So, quick story. I had to do a short online article on my university’s new library hours. Since everything obviously looks more appealing with a photo, I wanted to take a picture of some students working in the library. But that was the problem, they were actually all working and I didn’t want to disturb anyone.

To make matters worse, I only had my phone for a camera. As I was trying to hold my phone up and take a picture without anyone noticing, I felt (1) really embarrassed and (2) like a stalker. I mean, what would you think if you saw some random person using their phone to take a picture of people in the library without them noticing. And then, this picture happened… 

Image

Now, if this doesn’t look stalker-ish I don’t know what would…haha

Yes, I’ll admit it. I did resort to taking pictures from behind bookshelves. Hey, it was worth a shot, right? Anyway, in the end, I decided to go without a picture, but I got a good laugh at myself as I discovered another unexpected thing (stalker) this major has turned me in to. I guess it’s all part of the job.