Tag Archives: college journalism

I’ve Become a Sissy

ambulance

Tonight seemed like any other night, minus the fact that I had the urge to get out of my apartment and take part in some physical exercise.

I started my run towards the neighborhood behind my complex when my sister called in, which then became my excuse to stop running and just chat away to catch up on life.

I had done my loop and finished sharing with my sister the dream I had about attending Kanye West’s birthday party with my parents when a sweet couple walks up to me and asks for help.

“We don’t know what to do, he isn’t well,” they said as I pulled out my headphone and looked at the black vehicle that seemed parked on the side of the road.

They took me to the drivers side and there sat a man slumped over in a position that no one in a heathy state would be in. That’s when my heart began racing and all I could think was, “This man is dead!?”

I worked in newspaper for six years doing the crime beat so this isn’t the first dead body I’ve seen. But for some reason this was the first time pure panic crept over me.

I couldn’t touch him, all I could do was yell at the rolled down driver’s window, “Sir! Sir!”

I asked the kind man who pulled me aside if the man felt cold to the touch. He said yes. Then I asked if he had felt for a pulse and his face contorted a little when he said no he hadn’t done that but he had already called 9-1-1.

Obviously, touching his neck to feel for a pulse wouldn’t save his life, but it would have brought clarity. But try as I might I couldn’t bring myself to do anything beyond yelling sir and asking if I should call 9-1-1 again.

While we were waiting another neighbor came up and asked about what was happening. We then asked if he would like to feel for a pulse and unlike us sissys this man went for it – but the man in the car’s body was too contorted to get to a pulse without moving his body.

That’s when the man in the car moved a little. I don’t know if it can be described as a jerk – but it was more than just his body falling further down. He was alive!

That’s when the other man helping noticed the car, which was running, was also in drive. Somehow the man passed out in his car with his foot wedged on the break – by the grace of God alone.

“We need to put this in park,” the man said.

I felt my pulse quicken as I realized the four of us were about to device a plan to reach into the car to make sure it didn’t suddenly start rolling away adding more to the already scary situation.

But just when I thought some action was about to be taken the beautiful sound of sirens began coming closer and closer.

Shout out to the Orange County Fire Department for the quickest response time. They immediately pulled in and rushed to turn off the car and get the man out. Loaded him on the stretcher and began making efforts to get him back to.

Unfortunately, I won’t know the end of the man’s story. He had a weak pulse and was whisked away to the nearest emergency room. The kind couple can rest assured that if he lives, they are responsible.

I, however, walked the rest of the way home realizing that the hardened journalist who was quick to jump in the car at the sound of possible death is now a big sissy. I couldn’t even touch the guy!

Geesh. What have I become.

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The Hunt

I’m from a southern town where most of the boys favorite thing to do is hunt.

Now, I’ve never found the idea of sitting in a cold wooded area early in the morning waiting for a creature that I can take the life away from all that appealing, but I think I may know how it feels.

I’m looking for a job, but not just a job. I’m looking for one that I will actually enjoy. I know, I’m a recent college graduate who wants to be picky about her next job when the unemployment rate is the highest it’s ever been.

Call me optimistic.

So I’m on the hunt. Seeking the perfect job for me, wherever it may be.

But the hunt is not as exciting as the word implies.

First, there’s the waiting. Like an old man sitting in a chair deep in the woods I am sitting at my computer just waiting for Careerbuilder, Monster or JournalismJobs to get back and tell me that they’ve found the perfect job for me.

But that’s just the beginning.

The hunt is about finding that perfect 10 pointer and similar to the boys wearing green, brown and orange peering through the thick to see the deer I am peering into the thick to see who’s hiring and who will take me.

I’ve applied at American Cancer Society, Zimmerman Agency, countless newspapers and written several companies about freelance opportunities. Now, I just need the deer to show.

When the time comes for the kill, or the interview I’m waiting for, I need to be ready.

Hunters wait for hours for an instant chance to get the deer. Those of us unfortunate enough to be unemployed are waiting for that one interview, the one chance to show that you are the one thing their company has been missing and if we blow that one chance another might not come.

Then comes the best part. That part where everyone walks by my fridge and sees the deer in my hand.

Let me explain.

I have a friend Meagan who loves hunting, possibly more than all the boys. While checking around the kitchen for food on one of my visits to her house, I saw the most disgusting picture ever taken.

Meagan is grinning from ear to ear holding her massive deer, blood dripping. When I asked about the picture she proudly told me all about her hunting experience.

When it’s my turn to get my deer, I’ll tell everyone all about my hunting experience.

In the meantime, though, I’m enjoying what hunters would deem as the waiting portion, what takes the longest.

I’ve decided to enjoy this time where I am unemployed, out of school and out of responsibilities. I’ll be volunteering with the cancer society, teaching a Vacation Bible School class, preparing for a mission trip, heading to New York, Utah and Louisiana.

For those thinking, “You’re unemployed!?! Why are you traveling the world with no source of income?”

Well, the beauty of degrading myself to moving back in with the folks means I have money saved, no rent and groceries in the fridge. The best part, my parents are being incredibly supportive with the idea of taking my time to find the job I will love.

In the meantime, I’ll hunt for the small deer that will give me just a little dough.

Last First Day

How bittersweet are the times that go by so quickly.

Well not really, today was my last first day of school and I am so glad, but it is sad in some ways.

I will never have a class full of new possibilities, no more looking at the classroom door to see the new people you will be sitting by and trying to make small talk with to develop an actual relationship and no more little butterflies that I may not find my class and be late.

Fifteen years of schooling have come and gone, and now I can’t believe it’s almost over. The fact is it hasn’t hit me yet.

Within three months I will become a certifiable adult, no more classes or studying in the law library. The days of hanging out with all of the friends I have made are quickly passing because these times I have right now can never be replayed.

It seems so strange how quickly the years have gone by, mom was right, as usual, it does go by too quickly.

I am very excited about the last two classes I will be taking though, I have an 8 a.m. class of macroeconomics, which may not seem exciting but the teacher is excited about the subject and that is motivation to think that the class will be fun and interesting.

My other class is children’s literature, which is the class I am most excited about. We have Dr. Seuss’sGreen Eggs and Ham,” “Winnie-the-Pooh,” and “Velveteen Rabbit” on the list of required readings.

Our final project is what I am really looking forward to, we will be making a scrapbook of our families folklore. I am supposed to research the tales of the McCurdy and McMullen families, gather photos and find out about traditions.

I think that these last two classes will really help me end my undergraduate education with a bang.

First Day on the Job

I started at the High Springs Herald today.

My first assignments are to write an advance for a biotechnology fair and do some research on an accident that happened about a week ago that killed to girls.

I finished my calls for the advance on the biotech fair, and I am sitting waiting for the Florida Highway Patrol PIO to give me a call back.

I have to go back home this weekend for Mother’s Day, a promise to my mother that will haunt me the rest of my life.

I am trying my hardest to finish my assignments before the weekend, so I guess I will just continue to wait for that phone call.

Crunch Time is here

It’s that time of the year again, everything is piling up, especially the stress.

I have to finish building my Web site, study for three exams and write a court paper.

Well the court paper shouldn’t be too hard, I went to the Clerk of Court today and found a case that had been pleaded out today.

I looked through the file and decided to write about this DUI case that was pleaded out for the maximum amount of fines and a list of other contingencies that go along with it.

My Web site is coming along. I finished looking up the quotes from “Fight Club” and I found my little niche to make it pastiche. I have decided to integrate my love for journalism with the project.

A lot of the issues in the book are issues everyone faces, so I archived several articles written about similar subjects and am putting up quotes and pieces of articles onto my site to make it pastiche, but in my own special way.

Ethics is almost done.

I wrote my last decision memo yesterday, ahead of time.

We had to decide what to do if you are the editor and one of your reporters comes in with a politically offensive article they had written, what would you do?

I decided to sit down with the writer and make sure that every point they make has a purpose and a reason, and the reader can decide whether or not to take offense, it isn’t my right to pull the article without letting the reader see it and take a viewpoint.

That’s all for now, but I’m sure within the next week and a half something else will come up.

Ethics!?!

I should be doing homework.

I have an assignment in my ethics class to write four journal entries that put me in an ethical dilemma and then I have to choose an ethical rationale to decide what to do with the dilemma.

I have written three out of the four: re-victimizing, how to report on suicide and how to deal with the line between advertisers and the paper.

I have learned quite a bit about the situations that can put turmoil in the heart of a journalist by doing this exercise.

But strange enough, I found out what I would do in these ethical dilemmas, not always what I would think I would do honestly.

I find myself to be more conservative than the typical 21-year-old girl. I like to go to bed at 11 p.m., read for fun and think that playing Wii at someone’s house until 1 a.m. is a crazy night.

But when it comes to news decisions I don’t always think like a conservative, which I never thought I would do.

Maybe it’s the liberal college breeding that I have been subject to for the past three years, or maybe that stereotype is wrong and college has allowed me to find my own voice.

I am no longer in sync with my parents opinions, but decide things based solely on my own opinion.

Weird.

I think that being a journalist can be challenging and the situations that they get put into can be scary and tough to handle, but the more and more I think about it the more excited I get.

I mean I have decided 10 decisions already in written format, what else could possibly stump me now, so bring it on.

Internet Literature

Ever heard of internet literature?

Me neither.

I thought it would be a fun English class where you read poetry online .

I was wrong.

It is reading crazy books about art and making websites out of those books. I never really know what I am doing, but the professor seems to like anything and everything as long as we make it sound smart and arty.

Well we are entering phase 2 of the semester and now I am beginning to work on my second Web site. I have decided I am going to “pastiche” the book Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. An amazing novel about materialism, isolation and relationships.

I am starting to gather some thoughts and ideas about what I want to put on the Web site and what special affects I want to put on the site.

So far I have character synopsis, writings on materialism from each characters perspective and the loss of identity each individual character feels.

Things are still in progress, but I am chugging along.