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Coffee Shop Chats

21 Feb

As I shook off the water from my coat I sat next to a older gentlemen sitting quietly alone. Opening up my laptop I began my usual search. Macs List, Idealist.org, Craigslist, and Google. I’ve been scouring online for internship and job opportunities since the end of December.

Then I hear him ask if I’m in school.

The gentlemen next to me begins chatting to me in a heavily accented voice. He talked intensely to me about his granddaughters and how difficult young adults, and especially young woman, have it today. “It’s unfortunate kids today go to university, graduate, then end up working behind the counters here,” he said. He goes on telling me how he came from Greece and how I closely resemble the Greek. But, nails it with his second guess when he asks me if I have Italian blood.

He made a quip about staying away from boys, and proceeded to tell me I could do anything I wanted with my life and five steps I should follow. Within those steps he emphasized that I should never hold myself back from success or feel I couldn’t dream big. I giggled a bit to myself when he said something relating to how children would ruin my life, but I know he was trying to mean well with the comment.

After multiple recent discussions concerning what I should do next in my life I felt his words came at a very appropriate time. As he encouragingly chatted to me I’m not sure he really knew what the kindness of his words meant to me.

He left the coffee shop for an appointment to have a growth removed. He affirmed me it wasn’t cancerous. He waved goodbye and wished me the best of luck with my life, and I wished him the same.

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New Transition

2 Feb

In my short life I’ve lived through many transitions. I’ve actually welcomed change with open arms.

If you ask me I’ve lived a darn good life so far. Of course I’d also say I didn’t see myself here at this point in life — but doesn’t everyone feel that way at some point?

Well here is to another transition — life after graduation.

I’m currently moving to a larger urban city to hunt down an awesome job in public relations and digital communications. In the process I’ve decided to let go of all the crap I’ve accumulated over the years in my storage unit. From the constant moving I have lost sight of the things I’ve boughten, and in turn, bought more of the same! It’s been a nightmare looking at all the THINGS I have. Everything I pick up I can remember some kind of importance it had on my life at one moment.  But as I browsed I realized no matter how much meaning it may have had during one point in my life it’s time to let it go. Even all those awards and plaques I’ve won (personal plug). I’m in a transition of my life that needs a fresh start, and I don’t need a bunch of things reminding of what was, because I won’t ever forget how amazing life has been.

I’ll be excited once the process of my moving sale is finished and nothing is left to tie me down.

Here’s to new beginnings, feeling free, and getting rid of all this stuff.

Cheers to improving

25 Jan

A friend of mine forwarded a link to me that got me thinking. The link was to StoryADay.org. Of course I love to write, and of course I understand I won’t get better without practice. With a wee bit of inspiration from friends, and my love for storytelling, I’m setting a goal of writing (anything!) once a day for a total of 31 days. Plus I’m throwing in the goal of snapping a photo once a day. I already take enough pictures that this goal won’t be difficult to concur. During this time I want to experiment with new techniques to help better my skill set.

I’d enjoy company on this 31 day quest so if you’re out there and feeling inspired please join me. What do you have to lose? Plus we can hold each other accountable : )

Cheers to improving!

Caution: Work in progress!

16 Mar

Putting out a warning that in the next few days I’ll be working hard on re-building and designing my site. Things could be out of sorts for a short while. Sorry if this causes any confusion!

Goals that have come and gone.

21 Dec

As most feel this time of year you think to yourself how the heck did I survive another year, and what the heck did I do? Is it really that time to rejoice another coming of another new year? Yes. Yes it is. With Christmas quickly encroaching on us all and the celebration of a new year soon to follow I of course must be cliche and look back on this year of 2010.

In January I wrote a blog post, “New Year for Dreams & Goals”, that helped me reflect on what I hoped for this past year.  Now it’s time to reflect on those goals and how, or if, I accomplished them.

My first goal for 2010 just happened to be write a blog post once a week. Well sadly this goal was not accomplished but it’s not a bad goal to strive for in the coming new year too.

Next I had imagined a summer full of travel, and that is exactly what I made happen. Being a passionate traveler I have a difficult time when I’m not on the road or soaring over uncharted land in a plane, and this summer put my ansy free spirit to ease for a short moment (already thinking of where I want to jet off to when I graduate). I was fortunate enough to visit my friend in Jacksonville, Florida but never made it up to Washington D.C. or New York. I also followed through on plans to study Spanish abroad, which I intelligently choose Oviedo, Spain. My time in Spain and traveling this summer was bliss. Things did go aloof at times, but isn’t that the joy of adventure. Spain is an amazing country that easily took my heart. I felt alive and at home. The Spanish take pride in their ability to love life, and I enjoyed every moment learning from them and their culture.

I did not make time for that art class I wanted to take, but I have spent many hours learning more and more about another new camera I picked up over the year: my father’s old Nikon D100. For a belated Christmas gift my father handed over his trusty Nikon sometime in April and since I’ve been snapping pictures like a mad women. It’s been a slow process in learning the little tid bits about the camera but I’m enjoying my end results. Photography class in 2011? I think so.

Okay my finances aren’t fully in order.

I’ve definitely been making more time for myself. After I ended an extremely busy school year in 2010 that consisted of four jobs and a full course load I spent time doing things that I loved. For example I traveled, took my dog hiking every moment I could, attempted to take on only a couple jobs at a time, and tried dating more often. Me time is a good thing.

Writing hasn’t been a part of my life as much as I had hoped this past year. Mostly because my confidence in this department has been lacking. I’ll turn this one around soon enough. A writing course is in my foreseeable future.

Graduation is soon, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Now on to 2011. I’ve so many new goals for the coming year swarming around in my head it will be hard to fit them all in one post.

A Christmas To Record | 10 gifts student journos should have on their list.

10 Dec

It is that time of year again to start making your holiday wish list. For the student journalists out there I have complied a list of 10 items you might want to think about jotting down.

  1. Camcorder | You can find a number of different quality camcorders today ranging from $40 up to $3,200. As journalism moves rapidly into new media it never hurts to have a few extra skill sets in your arsenal. Give a journalist the tools to break breaking news downtown with their new camcorder.
  2. Smart phone | Keeps you updated and in the loop for the fast paced media world. With a bunch to choose from you can decide what is the best suited for your needs. The iPhone has the most apps and has proven to be the most popular choice, but others like Blackberry and the Droid are quality smartphones as well.
  3. Digital Camera | Cameras are great for many things and as a journalist it doesn’t hurt to know how to use one sufficiently, even if you aren’t a photo journalist. As a journalist your job is storytelling and learning to do that with still frames is a wonderful skill. Not to forget most digital cameras today allow you to take video footage too.
  4. Adobe Software | Photoshop is the basic ‘must-have’ program that can help make unique projects plus branch out on editing skills. Having the ability to use Adobe software before heading into the work force puts anyone ahead. I can almost guarantee at some point every multimedia journo will be asked to use Photoshop. Wanting a bit more? Check out Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium, or Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium. Both include Photoshop plus software to design and work fluidly across any form of media. Either Creative Suite is on my wish list. * Remember students also get a large educational discount on Adobe software; gift givers remember this to save a few hundred dollars.
  5. Messenger bag or briefcase | We need something to lug around our masses of notepads, journals, pens and tech stuff. Basically there is always a need for organizing the chaos.
  6. The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law by Norm Goldstein | Whether they are struggling through Composition 101 or writing an assignment at their new internship, this book is always ready to help guide the inner creative genius. It contains a 40-page section on media law, guides for punctuation and bibliographies, and specialized glossaries for business and sports writing, all in addition to its 280-page generalized stylebook. The 2011 edition is available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
  7. Final Cut Pro | It’s the first choice for professional editors and most journalism students are being taught how to use this program in the classroom today, and if not taught, expected to learn. Help tackle all the footage shot with a new camcorder using Final Cut Pro.
  8. Professional Membership | Students could use the help from professionals, other students, and any given opportunity available, such as workshops; make that happen with a membership to one of the many journalism organizations. Society of Professional Journalists, Online News Association (which I currently hold a membership in), and Radio Television Digital News Association are three I recommend checking out.
  9. Digital Audio Recorder | Even diligent note takers might need to try out a audio recorder during the next interview. It can provide assistance when searching for that perfect quote at the end of the deadline when the chicken scratch no longer resembles handwritten notes.
  10. iPad | I’m guessing this may be on quite a few wish lists already. Who could resist this piece of technology that can access email, help throw a keynote presentation together, store a library, and provide a platform to write and create on the go. Take a closer look at the product here.

Bonus: Subscription to a favorite media source | Magazine hoard, movie critic, or fan of reading the newspaper everyday? All media addictions require a subscription of sorts. Budget friendly and it will provide great entertainment for most journos.

A few other great lists for the journalist in your life:

My 2010 holiday gift guide for independent online journalists By Robert Niles.

10 must-have gifts for journalists: 2010 Edition By Mark S. Luckie

Blogging Breakdown

4 May

Along with taking a short break from the internet I took an even longer blogging hiatus. Not that I haven’t been busy blogging, but not for my own personal blog! This post is to get me back up and going.

In the past month I did take a break from the internet but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. Long story short; my experiment of going internet-less was that I had no issues taking time away from my computer. At times I found myself wanting to ‘google’ something but I withstood the urge. I did however run into a problem when I was traveling in eastern Oregon for an Alternative Spring Break and was in a desperate need for a wifi signal for work. I was completely out of luck! Eventually I found a public library just in time to meet my deadlines. It’s easy to take for granted easy accessibility to the internet. In rural areas there simply isn’t always access.

In other news over the past month I was picked up as a blogger for All By Students. A great company founded by students for students. They are continuing to evolve to provide students with free products (including notebooks) that are informative, practical and make our lives as students easier. I look forward to working more with them.

Another note that I’m excited about are the 2010 Elections. I recently ran into this interactive map from The New York Times that shows you a good breakdown of what is going on including: the primary calendar, Senate races, House races, and Governors races. Don’t forget to get out and vote, but learn about the pressing issues at hand in your community first. It’s important to be an educated voter!

Blogging will now commence .. again.