Near the finish line!

YAY! So I just enrolled for my senior year classes. Last but not least my first capstone (permission numbers are tricky apparently). So close to being done! Class Schedule F2014

Harry Potter and History of Photojournalism all in the same semester too!

Over the BRRR

I was excited for the new semester I said. I wanted spring I said. It's a new start I said. Only the last of those three statements happen to be true. It has been cold and seems to be eternally in this polar vortex that has hit the midwest. It's awful.

With Columbia Public Schools out for what seems like the eighth day now, I can't understand why it could be too cold for the students of those schools to stand outside for five minutes to wait on the busses compared to the 15 minute walk a college student to walk to and from about one to three classes on average during the day? I know there are other factors that are slightly involved but really? When the temperature is reading as -2 degrees at about 8 a.m. in the morning I still have to go to class, I feel as if something is wrong. And that's not even including when the wind shield made it feel like -20 earlier in the semester.

There are some aspects that I really enjoy about not being in public schools in terms of the make up days and the horrible busses but there are some aspects that I wish were more prominent in our school system. (teachers work day anyone?)

School hasn't made it much more bearable. Don't get me wrong there are days that I enjoy class or moments more like but they do make it bearable in some respects. English is going better in terms of the relative easiness of the class itself but the journalism classes are killing me slowly throughout the semester and we're not even half way through. Editing is being especially difficult. So much grammar is strangling my grade and making me feel very incompetent in my profession. I know it will be worth it and I can't wait for the day that I can make it my b****. That's the goal at least!

Work isn't that bad either. It's just in full swing so I going back and forth during this lovely weather and it's taking its toll. I'm hoping to make this semester a bit more relaxed in the concern to take a step back from work so I have some time to myself rather than just working at every possible moment. I like the paycheck but a chill weekend can work wonders that an extra $20 in my bank account can't always accomplish. So far so good but I know I'm also working the max still which isn't as bad either.

Well, back to work!

New Changes Overload

Well, Hello! Isn't this a pleasant change? Am I actually writing a post for all three of my viewers? Oh, only one? That's okay. I'll take what I can get.

*Disclaimer: This post might be a bit more snarky than what is expected out of big 'ole me.

So many experiences, so many obstacles and the recurring fact that I need to really learn how to exercise is still a reoccurring fact in my daily life.

Well, it's a new semester with the same jobs, same school, same major and same lack of a social life.

So let's start with school. School: the thing that you pay for that is a job but is supposed to get you a job that you want so you can make money to pay back the loans that you took out to pay for school in the first place. Yeah, that.

Today was the first day of classes and the first time to really get my new schedule with work a try. Not that it really went as planned but hey what does on the first try? Starting off at 9 a.m. was not too bad, especially when I try to go to the book store, or excuse me, the Mizzou Store, to buy the last two books that the University Press has yet to supply the class with. While I know this first class of the semester will be harder than most, I also know it deals with the majority of the practical functions that I will need to know to start my career.

Then went two hours that I used to fill out my first internship application! Hopefully, it went well because it encompasses a lot of the objectives that I would want to pursue as a career and it's with National Geographic, so that in and of itself would be an amazing experience.

Then creative writing. Not too bad and at least there are a few familiar faces which I wasn't expecting at all. Once class ended was when it went downhill. I wish I could be literal but it was mainly uphill through my part of campus.

I finished class and was kinda happy about being done early. That was short lived. I arrived with my friend at the Student Center and realize my second coat(it's cold outside, cut me a break) is back in the classroom. On the third floor. With maintenance working on the elevator. Did I mention I need to learn how to exercise? Just thought I'd remind you.

Then we get to work. Work is fun the majority of the time. When it comes to the schedule, that puzzle needs to stay in its box. We are also short staffed so I expected it and thankfully everyone has been extremely cooperative and helpful in finding a way to get everything put together until the new people come on staff, which will (fingers crossed) be resolved by next week.

The other job seems to be fine. Lane Bryant had to cut some hours over the break apparently so they are fitting me in when they can but I can live with that. At least I'm still getting a few and I can focus on the desk a bit more for the time being.

Now. Major time. So many things going on. To start out: internships are one of the most annoying things to apply for. I'm trying to reach out and try to be appealing on paper to at least get me in the door but there's still so much that I feel can't be explained on two sheets of paper. I know the companies that I'm applying for know that and can empathize, it's just stressful. Especially when you know that you need one to get a decent job anywhere and if you don't, you show up with very little hands on experience which is a big deal in this industry. So as far as credibility and reliability go, you need a lot of it.

As far as a social life though, I've actually had more time with friends and relaxing than a while. A good long break was greatly needed, much deserved and well spent so at least now I'm not as stressed as I was towards the end of the semester but I still have a way to go. Maybe that exercise stuff will help with that. Eventually. When I can breathe and after I finish exercising is more like it.

Well, that's all I got for everyone! Or maybe just you...sitting by yourself...with a bed full of Cheetos...

Have a lovely semester!

Well... Boo.

I've been meaning to update for some time now. Let's say for about a week. It's probably been longer but by this point I really am not sure how long it's been. Exhaustion. Deprived. Stressed. Busy. Chaotic. Pressure. You name any of the synonyms to these words, I'm probably feeling them.

Usually, I try to remain optimistic, but at a certain part of the semester, there comes a point where I just feel like I'm about to fall backwards and be knocked unconscious by the calendar that I try to keep up against the wall. I know I am lucky and blessed to be able to go to school, be able to work the two jobs that I have, and be involved with so many people and organizations but sometimes I need to have a soapbox for my first-world, middle-class problems.

I have four weeks of classes left and feel like I am not as prepared for any of them as I ought to be. Everyone will say, "Oh, don't worry. You'll do fine." No. Don't start that. Pity parties have been a forte of mine lately so let me have it out and I'll get back up in a bit.

Schedule:

1. Austen paper/Austen Final. Make sure I have a killer argument about the books that I have read since high school and used to get a 4 on the AP Lit test senior year. Should be okay. That is until I got an email from my professor asking me to change the premise of my paper because I need to remember what a Byronic hero is(a.k.a. Snape/Heathcliff).

2. English Test/Final/Memorization and Paper. Ugh. I just have to keep tabs on reading and making sure I do the memorization so I can memorize more stuff for extra credit. OK. I'll try not to hyperventilate.

3. Intermediate Writing Article. Another Ugh. This class is unstructured in the worst ways possible. I just can't connect with this class and want to do the work. It doesn't help that most of this work is working for outside of class interviews to finish the really only article I have to turn in. Yeah try fitting those into my work schedule.

4. Visual Communications Test/Multimedia Project. This class is the easiest of the lot. YAY! And I have an extra credit event that I hopefully can go to but I still have an A so were good for the time being.

5. History Tests/Final. Easy shmeesy. This class is pretty easy since the professor gives us exactly what is on the tests. I might as well have an A+ in this class as a given.

These are the classes while I am also working with both jobs that think it's fun to pull me in both extremes. When can I sleep? Then add some of the groups that I'm in and no wonder I've been craving chocolate like the cookie monster liking cookies.

I feel like I have a tendency to rant about my busy schedule that I make up myself. I know that I do. Don't worry. You can yell at me for it.

I know also that I like to stay busy. But having a down day is coming harder and harder to come by in the coming weeks. Having an hour to myself to just lay on my bed is a luxury. Hopefully I'll figure out something to manage the ridiculous amount of things I have to complete. :P

sums up my life right about now…

New week! Good Outlook!

Well while last week was exciting, it definitely could have gone better. I'll start with a synopsis of what occurred last week and then go on to why it's better.

Work: I got a new employee to look after! This is slightly good news as we need some coverage at the desk during certain times but little has happened with said employee. I still need to train and move her into the schedule. So that will be something to look forward to in the next couple weeks.

Social Life: I went on TWO dates! With two different guys but hey don't judge. It was definitely exciting but neither really lead anywhere. It felt a bit like prom: it's exciting to get ready for, but the dance isn't really that fun. Oh well, it was worth a shot and I fully realized how badly I suck at mini-golf and bowling.

I at least got to hang out with my friends a bit more this week. Even if it was only between classes or a quick bit to eat on Friday.

Class: Dread! It's at the point in the semester where I just don't care about going to class some days. The halfway mark came and went though which is reassuring but doesn't make it any less daunting to finish the semester. Reading about 400 pages a week is getting old. Even though I can skive off on some of the readings it is starting to become a struggle to read some of the books and authors.

Upcoming for next week:

Work: I get paid. This is essential for any college student and since I worked up the maximum number of hours that I was allowed (unintentionally) I will be getting an awesome paycheck. It also helps that I get paid every week since both jobs have different pay days. So getting about $100-300 per week is always a nice installment to my life with which I welcome with ease. Now if only I can stop buying clothes and becoming more like my little sister that would be awesome. At least she would approve of the clothes I buy and the fact that I get them at a discounted price will please my mom to no end. And the clothes aren't black!

I also don't have to work next weekend at either job, which will lower my paycheck but hey it's my birthday on Friday and I will have no inclination to come in to work no matter what.

Social Life: I TURN 21 ON FRIDAY! That and I have another date that Saturday. :) More of a traditional date than bowling or mini-golf, dinner and a show(there's a musical on campus), but the guy has a bit more promise as in we have yet talked about sports. So hopefully it will be a good way to spend my weekend.

Class: Well, this will always be a pain. I think I have 2 tests through this week and one will be on my birthday. But the test on my birthday should be pretty easy. I scored a 95 on the last test so it was a good outcome without a lot of preparation. At least I can stand going to that class the most out of the others. And then I have my visual communication midterm so hopefully that will go well since there are only two tests in that class. At least I only have to wait about one more week until I start reading Pride and Prejudice in my Jane Austen class! Right after Mary Wollstonecraft.

So, hopefully everything will go right this week and meet my high expectations. If not, well that's why sleep and music are necessary in my life.

Insecure and Sticking with it

There are quite a few things that I become insecure about on a regular basis. My weight, my appearance, my intellect, my job performance, my writing abilities. It happens to all of us at one point of time or the other. Don't get me wrong, I am usually a confident person when I'm used to the situation, like going to work or writing an essay. I know I can accomplish both.

What I get most insecure about is if I've done it to the best of my ability.

I like knowing I did a good job. I like knowing I look appropriate for the occasion or pretty when I try on my outfit. (It's not going to be nice all the time, come on I'm in college, sleep deprived, and not rich enough to buy all the clothes or cosmetics to work with for half an hour in the morning.) I like knowing that I am smart or at least did a good job on the test that I studied my butt off for throughout the last week.

That doesn't always happen though. I've failed a test. I've definitely left my dorm room in sweats or without makeup more than I'd like to admit. I've messed up and made mistakes at my job that might be seen as common sense. I haven't been spit-spot perfect.

I don't really want to be though. While I'm overweight, I still like what I wear and how I look. It might take some time for me to find the right store or outfit but I can still look nice and pretty if I want.

I read a lot of books, but I don't really see the point in reading some stuff that doesn't interest me. I've tried completing Atlas Shrugged for over a year and I still have barely cracked the first 200 pages.

I have a new second job and have gotten told I was doing things wrong. I also have an awesome staff that respect me and are there for me when I need them. They help me in my inexperience and support me in the decisions I have to make to make the desk run smoothly.

I won't get everything right. Sometimes I won't try to get everything right. There is not enough time in the day to really worry about it though. I definitely have worried about it more than I needed to but that plays a part in the insecurity too.

Don't refute insecurity, embrace it. You are better than you know and while it might not always show, you have done your best. I definitely need to remember that more and I hope you will too.

Little Changes Here and There

So I've made a few changes within the last week. I've been looking for a new hire at my Desk Supervisor job. I've asked not to work Tuesdays and Thursdays at Lane Bryant so I can focus on my work. I am working with some awesome organizations to feel good about myself. And last but not least, I am about a quarter of the way through the semester and I haven't flunked out yet. I don't know what it is but life just seems a bit more important than school right now. Don't get me wrong, my classes are great and I'm not doing horribly in them, I just — I guess I'm in a rut. Hopefully I'll snap out of it soon but I don't know just in a funky mood lately.

My organizations are really keeping me going. I get to work with awesome people that are really passionate about their programs and want to succeed. They honestly make me feel so much better and feel like I'm not even working. It just feels like we're hanging out each week to keep in touch. Wishmakers on Campus and Anit-MU22 have been the two biggest impacts in my life at the moment and it's awesome to get to share my week with them. If you want any more information on the groups just comment or go their links to find their facebook pages. Their awesome people and will help and work with you to reach your goals through their organizations.

While I have been making a few changes, I still feel the same at the moment. I think just with the hustle and bustle of everything, I haven't really settled in to a good routine, especially when it comes to sleep. Trust me, I take time out for myself just a bit tired once in a while during the week really slows me down.

On a happy note, I turn 21 in a few weeks! Along with my sister but she gets to go to a shmansy pansy high dollar restaurant and the OU v Texas Football game. Which, lets be honest will be epic. :) She'll have an awesome time, I just need to have a plan of my own. Probably let my friends pay for my drinks and sleep in all weekend. At least I'll be happy even if it isn't that exciting.

Well off for food! When am I not getting food to be  honest? At least it will be better than it has been. Until next time!

$4 Million Tennis Story Finally published!

This is a bit late in the aspect that my story was printed about a month ago but I wanted to comment on how happy I was that my biggest struggle finally came into reality because of an awesome reporter. I had been working with this tennis story for over the course of the month during reporting and it was one of the longest assignments that I had the privilege to work on. So many people were involved and had to have time to find the correct information for me to use in the article that I didn't want it to just go to waste without publishing it. Not only that, but it was a big piece. MU has put $4 million into hosting the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championships. That is a lot of money for a program that had a conference record of 2-11 and a 9-12 record overall. Don't get me wrong, a few of the players had amazing seasons but at the same time, our program is very small and, at least last year, was one of the lowest ranked teams in the SEC.

However, it wouldn't have been possible if it were not for the amazing Danielle Renton, who helped finish the story and oversee the editing process with me and Zach in the last few days that I was present. She finished my interviews and asked a few of the lingering questions that were surrounding the piece. It also happened to be one of the longest stories that I had written over the summer and lost very little in the editing process from what I remember. I was extremely proud of the product that Danielle produced a few days after I left and am so glad I could give it to her.

Work, Wildlife and Waiting for the Weekend

The last few weeks have been way too busy for my liking. Working around 20 hours during the school week along with having multiple assignments due, I finally realized I couldn't keep going on like this. This is what my schedule was looking like while working both jobs, being on the executive board for Wishmakers on Campus and taking 15 credit hours from Monday - Friday:

Screen shot 2013-09-06 at 7.34.22 PM

 

Now, taking into account that Monday was Labor Day, I would usually have the same class schedule that Wednesday displays along with a possible Lane Bryant shift in there from about 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. While I can hardly complain about the financial pay back that both my jobs provide. Sometimes there is a breaking point. To finish the amount of homework that I had assigned to me this week, I was staying up well past midnight most nights. I was just plain exhausted after about Wednesday and this was a shortened week. I finally had to tell my supervisor at Lane Bryant about not taking shifts on Tuesday and Thursday for the time being so I could schedule in time to work on the homework that I wasn't finishing at the best of my ability as well as a decent hour. Thankfully I could work with that schedule since we place our availability every week rather than for a set amount of time. 

In other news, that doesn't require listening to me whine, I learned a bit about some interesting critters these last few weeks for a project that I am working on in my Intermediate Writing class. Our professor and Vox — a magazine that is connected but independent from the University — has set up an issue solely based on animals in Columbia, which has been dubbed "Where the Wild Things are." I started off with about four animals: toads, robins, skunks, and deer. Two of the four — deer and skunks — have deemed pretty promising and have actually been providing me with really interesting reading material the last few days. Robins and Toads — not so much. Two of my other classmates ended up with those two as they had some information that could use them for their stories better than I could by using them on my own.

Thankfully, now it is the weekend and while I am busy it is because I am having a tiny glimpse of my social life again and able to relax a bit before everything revs back up again. Hope everyone enjoys theirs!

First week...is...over!

While this was a short week, I don't think I really ever stopped going. Starting my new job, scheduling out Wishmaker's activities and going to class will make or break me this semester. It was a good week but one that will take some getting used to. As for this weekend, it will be one of relaxation. I have to work twice at Virginia Avenue but they are small shifts and later in the evening. I started off by going to Dobb's (because who doesn't like doughnuts, sausage and biscuits and gravy for breakfast?) and went back to sleep when I had some grub. I wasn't hurried to do anything and could go at my leisure.  It was awesome.

After I woke up from my "nap," I set up a time for my project with Wishmakers. We are hoping to run a Wish Week event to raise money for our wish kid. I have a few ideas that we can tie into the week for funds we can raise but I'll talk them over with Kristen, my partner in the event planning, before I release the information on here.

Next plan: DECORATE! I have been on campus for three weeks and I had still not decorated my room. I officially used all the available push pins to put up pictures on my bulletin board, posters on my wall and schedules of events around campus that I might want to go to like movies, football games, and Rec hours. Not too shabby, I must say. I still have to pin up my schedules for the semester but I'll wait until payday. That way I can make a big trip to Wal-mart while I go get some more push pins.

Don't worry, I'll get to studying sometime tonight/tomorrow. 100 pages of "The Italian" and preparing for a presentation will definitely kick me into gear at some point this weekend. At least I can be comfortable for a bit before the hectic schedule revs up again.

I think the class I am most worried about is, my english classes. It's not that they are hard classes but they just have a lot of reading that go along with everything. Reading certain authors multiple times has a great advantage though. One of my classes is surrounded by Jane Austen, who's books I have read multiple times. So at least I will be aware of some of the context that the teacher wants me to understand. The other english class I am more unaware about the authors and readings. I have read three or four of the authors and their assigned readings but I am just not as familiar with the works in that class. Thankfully, the classes are taught by the same teacher. While it wasn't really planned that way, at least she knows who I am and will be able to understand my writing style and comprehension level between the two classes more than a student in either one. At least that's what I hope happens through the semester.

Well, I should clean up a little before going to an early dinner. Everything has spread around after my time decorating. Have a good weekend!

Finished with the prerequisite to start them all

So I finished up with my reporting class about a week and a half ago. While I miss it, I am so glad it is over. Staying in the newsroom from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday and then the weekend shifts were brutal. I had a few good occasions where I was really proud of my accomplishments but at others I just felt like, why? I was glad I could expand how I wrote though. It was probably one of the best things that I expanded on within the class. I felt like I at least expected myself to learn how to make alternative writing styles apparent through the semester. It was really hard to get out of a mold that I set for myself but it was worth it when it turned out well. One of the best pieces that I had was a piece on the Show-Me State Games over miniature golf. It was so much fun to write and the guys that were depicted in the article were so much fun. Sometimes the story really does write itself. Now that my reporting class is over, I can now start the rest of my sequence. Up next is intermediate writing. I have no idea what to expect for this class but according to MU grade distribution, my teacher is fairly good and I can possibly get an A this semester. Let's just hope that everything will work out and I can do well and can expand my writing skills even more!

End of the Semester — for me

This semester has been crazy. There is very few alternative adjectives I am able to convey about this course. I have met so many new people in terms of my semester that I hope to keep in touch as I finish at MU. My table-mates — Lakshna, Danielle, Nicole — have always been open to talk and have been very helpful in voicing their opinions about what we are experiencing in the newsroom and outside of class. I feel like I really connected to those three this summer and I hope that we will all be able to keep in touch through the semester.

To Liz and John, I'm glad I have at least two followers for my blog. Despite how trivial my concerns, worries and jubilations were, I always knew Liz would probably mention it every once in a while that she actually had read what was going on in my life rather than just count the number of times I blog per week. She's probably hating that this is my third before the night is out as well. Sorry! Either way, I was really grateful to spend time with you both no matter how much I wanted to pull my hair out about whatever was bother at whatever point. You guys definitely made everyone feel helped and encouraged through your help.

In terms of my own progress through the semester, I think it is mainly internal. I think a lot about this semester has been about expanding where I see news, how to follow news well, and to just be more open to people. I think the last topic was the one that I expanded the most. I am generally really quiet and non-intrusive. I like to observe and write, which came in handy on some occasions but couldn't cut it for most of the things that I covered.

I think the articles that I feel most proud of this semester are the VW Bug and Bus Bash, mini-golf for the show me games, Daffodil Township, and (when it's up) the tennis story. I think that these have moulded into my experiences at the Missourian. They have made me a much better, well rounded reporter and have taught me how to extend past the obvious.

I really enjoyed this semester, despite that I am glad I am finished. :) I hope everyone has an awesome last week and can't wait to smile when everyone in the fall is complaining during class!

Hiroshima

Me and Lakshna got to this event and were not looking forward to it. The event was hosted by the peace coalition which we covered for a rally earlier in the semester. The people could just get very disorienting at times. They would give us a bunch of numbers and facts that we didn't really want to know in accordance for the event and topic. They were mostly ok minus a few exceptions but not all that bad today. We also had to do this on another deadline. It was more that we thought we had to get back to the dorms by a certain time and that was not the case. Thankfully we found out our miscommunication on the way back to the dorms. We were thinking that we would be locked out!

This is one of the last pieces that I am writing for the Missourian so I guess it is really cool that I can come full circle for this condensed semester.

Multimedia

So in addition to this event, I moved into my permanent dorm for the semester and worked with Youngrae to complete our multimedia. I was really nervous about what we had for our multimedia but it was actually really good and worked really well. Youngrae is really good with the technical and visual concepts for the video that we have. We have a few more footages to gather this weekend and I think it will turn out well. I also have to commend Youngrae for finding our subject for the piece. I thought it would be really stale but Richard McKeever was very cool and easy-going. He definitely made it interesting to work with him. I can't wait until I see the finished product all put together!

Tennis

The one word I have grown to dislike throughout the semester here. I have almost everything done after talking with John yesterday. I've asked Daniel if she would like to complete the project. I think she could do it too and get the rest that needs to be done very quickly as she already has made contact with many of the same sources for the stadium story. Zach looked over the story Saturday to see if anything else would be needed and to clarify things on it. It was pretty solid and he thought we could get it out by Tuesday or Wednesday. Yay!

Super excited that this will be done and finished. Sad that I won't be able to finish it but that it is completed seems more important.

Bullying Film Story

So the "I Am One" story... I was really nervous about this story, if it wasn't apparent already. I think the fact that the filming was going on and everything on the sources end was very hard to get in contact with at times, made it even more stressful than normal for me.

I think this was very similar to the "Big Band" article that I wrote earlier. I felt like there could be more to this than what I originally reported on but I still think I did an ok job. I just wished I could have more of an in depth experience with this story.

I really did enjoy the subject matter though that they were touching on. I am really emphatic with bullying situations just because I have had them as well. I think a major issue that is going on right now for children is being bullied and not being able to handle it in healthy and successful ways.

Almost... There...

Ugh. Home stretch blues. The one time where you need to be productive as possible and all you want to do is go home and sleep. At least I don't have to deal with moving right now. So I have Daffodil almost done. Needing a few more accuracy checks and content checks and we'll be good. I really liked working with Ms. Kogut though; she was a really interesting and wonderful person to work with.

Tennis should be done as well momentarily. I just need to hear some information from a person dealing with construction from campus facilities. Other than that it will depend on accuracy checks as well.

Then there's the peace coalition on Saturday with that I'll be working on with Lakshna on Saturday. I think that will end up okay especially if we are able to talk to the speakers beforehand.

Then there's multimedia that me and Youngrae are finishing up. I think that it won't reach my expectations but it will end up being okay in the end. We'll see.

So much in the queue! But at least it's almost done.

Feeling so much better

I love it when I have a good amount and sound sleep. It makes everything seem so much better even when things might not be so great. Especially when you have 12 hours of sleep. Short story was that I was exhausted. I was really disappointed last night after me and Liz had some miscommunication issues. I knew it was my fault for not asking/telling information. I just don't like putting that sort of discomfort on someone as a lasting impression on the day. The story is almost done so at least it won't be in anyone's hair much longer.

I do really enjoy the topic that this story was able to bring out. I have my own problems with bullying that I have dealt with but it was really cool how they were addressing it. Like they have mentioned, the creators of this have been taking a new vantage point that not many people take into account. I would be glad to see this short film when it comes out!