Tag Archives: journalism

Sweet summertime

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I am ready to be done. Stick a fork in me and let’s put this one in the books. I am ready for the next seven days to fly by. Well, sorta that is. To put it in simple terms, finals are coming up. We all know what that means.

I have been a horrible blogger. I even forgot my blog existed for a short while as all I have done for the past month and half has revolved homework, tests, reading, hitting deadline, missing deadline, and writing more stories than I remember.

Don’t get me wrong. I love college. Sometimes, I feel like my life goes faster than I can. This is the first time I have sat down and written for myself in I don’t know how long. While some many good things and blessings keep popping up in my life, I feel like I am slowly spiraling out of control. Yet, I don’t want anything to stop.

I am ready to be home for the summer. I am ready to sleep in my bed and have my own bathroom again. I am definitely ready for someone to cook me dinner every night, and I cannot wait to catch up on ten months worth of TV that I missed.

However, doing all these things means making yet again another transition. Another change. I am not fond of change. I love college so much. I love all the friends I have made while being at MTSU. I don’t want them to leave, and I don’t want to leave them. I enjoy having an office to be in every day. Not every college student has an office. I love studying and learning more about writing. Not mention, I simply love work. I never dread it.

But the long days of summer are approaching. I am ready but not. I am making the most of my summer at home as I want to learn to cook the pastry my grandmother always made. More importantly, I want to learn how to cook real food, so I don’t starve next semester. I want to paint, and I want to write, write, write, and write. And did I mention write? I want to read as well. You really should see the reading list I have. It’s huge. It would probably make you think I am the world’s largest nerd. Heck, maybe I am.

I want to camping with my best friends, watch endless episodes of our favorite TV shows, and have long nights laughing on my porch swing. I cannot be at college and home. The two worlds simply don’t mesh. Maybe there not supposed to do that. In fact, I might not love college if they did.

At least while I am home making the most of the time I have, I can begin to get excited about school again. I can even fall more in love with my job as a journalist if that is possible. I am looking forward to the summer. I want to spend time with friends I have barely got to spend time with these past two semesters. I cannot wait to see what my college friends do with their summers. I am excited about the summer and already excited to begin my second year.

But before I do any of that, two finals, one paper, and one presentation stand in my way. May 3 at 3:30 cannot come soon enough.

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2011 Highlights

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There are only six more days until the year 2011 concludes. As usual, the old cliché of “where did the time go?” is on my mind. Because in all seriousness, where did it go? This time last year I was tuning the strings on my new Johnson guitar, and my only responsibilities consisted of nothing except finishing out the rest of my senior year.

Now, life is full of all sorts of responsibilities. College is a completely different world than high school. My life transformed, and it doesn’t seem real that only six measly months ago that I graduated high school in front 3,000 of my closest friends.

The year 2011 hasn’t been a piece of cake. Transiting wasn’t as effortless as I thought. Graduation itself was actually fast, and the last months of high school are all a blur of friends, breezing through homework, and tying up loose ends.

Here’s the highlight reel of 2011. The 12 highlights of the year thus far.

January: Snow days. Two simple words. The white fluffy fun visited Tennessee with a furry leaving me with one option: to play. I had some of the most fun with my best friends sledding down the snow-covered terrain and ramming into thorny bushes. I came away with snow burn and bruises. But hey, what’s a little pain?

February: Not that it will ever really matter, but I got into the top ten percent of my class. I got the 20th spot, too. It will never matter again in my life, and no one except maybe all the other people who snagged a spot will care. I guess it was just one of those accomplishments that will only potentially be remembered at my class reunion ten years from now.

March: The good–learning my newspaper was number one in the state. It was one of the best feelings of my senior year. It definitely is in the top five moments. The bad–the person who loved me, spoiled me through endless pots of macaroni and cheese, and was on my side no matter how wrong I was, passed away. And, I still miss her to this day.

April: What a blur. I did the prom thing. I finished up all my high school duties. In reality, I didn’t do a whole bunch of anything. Maybe that’s why it was significant.

May: I graduated with all the sashes I ever want. I didn’t fall in front of a very large crowd. I celebrated my 18th birthday with my friends. May came and went with much ease, not to mention a lot of goodbyes.

June: I’ll never forget walking on those cracked streets in the Memphis heat as I went door to door picking up children for bible club. Their faces are etched in my mind, and their stories are woven in my heart. I would do anything for those kids. I will go back to serve there one day. I just don’t know when.

July: Like Spongebob, I went stepping on the beach and watched the ocean waves crash on the shore. It’s always my favorite part of the summer. My mom and I always tease that we could be at the beach in eight hours when we feel like running away. One of those days, it will happen. No, I am not joking.

August: I finally left the little town that I have known all my life. It’s not like I went very far either, just thirty miles up the road. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to go further away. Nonetheless, I found myself walking the sidewalks of MTSU not knowing my place among all the people. Maybe I never will.

September: Only eight days after my first article published in my college paper, I managed to wind up with cover story. It landed in my lap. It was a God-thing, serendipity, an accident. I don’t really know what to call it, but it happened. I wrote the cover on an upcoming band that toured to our campus. It was the biggest story I’d ever done, and I got the entire band to sign my copy of the paper backstage before their performance.

October: Every girl deserves one perfect day out of this 365 day of the year, right? I don’t know what it was, but I had the perfect day in this month. My best guy friend from Bryan College came to visit. I managed to get all the work I needed to do that day, and I went with one my new good friends to an awesome worship service. I had the best interview of my life, and it was just an incredible day.

November: Two things: All Time Low concert and Thanksgiving Outreach. I finally got to see the band I had dreamed of seeing for the past four years. I had the best mosh pitting experience, and I held the lead guitarist’s hand (even if it was for just five seconds). I delivered meals to people who needed them, and I got to share the love of Christ. And of course, I couldn’t have a good adventure without getting lost along the way now could I?

December: This month is finally coming to a close. I finished my first semester of college. I got promoted to associate news editor of my college paper. I successfully lived on my own, and now I am back in my small, little town with all the same people. Christmas came and went. The wrapping paper is torn and already thrown away. I watched two of my new friends get baptized, and I had the blessing of helping with Operation Christmas Child. What more could I ask for?

As I ring in the New Year with my several friends in a week, I wonder what the new year holds. There’s no telling what God can do.

The Little Things

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Sometimes, I think God puts people and for lack of a better word “stuff” in our life to prove a point. Perhaps, it is even to get our attention. So over the past couple of days I am pretty sure God has gotten my attention by two things: losing/finding my debit card and through interviewing a genocide war victim.

I went home for the weekend because it’s fall break. Saturday was one of those perfect fall days, and I was blissful. I hung out with some of my best friends, and I didn’t have a care in the world.

My break was wonderful until Monday afternoon I drove up to the Starbucks window. I reached into my backseat and grabbed my purple wallet to get my debit card. As soon as I unzipped it, panic took over my body. Where was the gray piece of plastic that held all the money to my name?

I immediately went into my own form of panic. I was having all sorts of weird panic sensations, and when I reached the window I told the barrista, “I’msorryIcan’tpayforthisdrink Ihavelostmydebitcard.” . I freaked out. There are truly kind people in this world because the man just smiled at me and gave me my order.

I had other stops to make and errands to run, so I just decided to push it out of my mind. I had just run to the bank, and all my money was there. I reasoned no one had stolen it. I had simply lost it. I eventually returned home, and in a calm manner I searched my backseat and went through all the clothes I had worn in the past three days. However, it was in none of those places.

My best friend suggested I call the place we were Saturday to see if it was there. The entire time I was looking for the card, I was praying out loud. I kept telling God he had to help me find this debit card. He obviously knew what would happen if I didn’t. Luckily, the restaurant we were at had my card. I apparently dropped it on the way out, and the family behind my friends and me turned it in.

God got my attention Monday for certain, and he got my attention today. It wasn’t as little as my debit card (well, that is probably important actually, but still). I am doing an article for my college newspaper on the Holocaust/Genocide Studies Conference here this week, and my path crossed with a victim who survived genocide in Rwanada.

I barely talked during the whole interview. Nothing I could say or ask could contribute. I did simply ask if anyone had told her story before or at least written an article on her. She humbly said no, and I told her that was about to change. Her story needed to be shared, and I wanted to be the one to share it.

I am not going to go into detail about what she went through. When I write the entire story, I’ll definitely share. Point being, though, I am blessed beyond measure. I didn’t have to go through the horrific experiences she did. God never placed any trial of that size in my life. Who am I to even complain about anything? Compared to that, I should be perfectly content knowing I can live in a country where I am free. A country where no one is chasing me or my family. A country that is for the most part entirely peaceful.

Francesca Battistelli sings in her song “This Is The Stuff” one of my new favorite lyrics about in the little of our mess, we usually forget about big we are blessed. I am guilty of that on a daily basis. I get in small panics about little stuff, and I forget God’s even in the picture. Today showed me God is in everything. Big stuff or little stuff. Most importantly, God is blessing me beyond measure, and it would be silly of me to ever forget that.

So this is what it feels like?

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Success is the strangest feeling to me especially since I am a perfectionist. Perfectionists are never truly satisfied, and they rarely think whatever they have done is good enough. That changed today though.

I am happy, proud, joyful, ecstatic. There are not enough positive words in the world to convey how I feel right now.

Today was the 2011 Tennessee High School Press Association awards day. This would be my last time to ever attend since I am a senior.

It meant an immense amount to me since I am the editor of the paper that was being judged for competition. I was on huge emotional roller coaster  the minute I sat down in my seat. I came expecting the worst.

I prayed about this day for a long time. Maybe you think that is selfish. However, this competition just meant a lot to me. I wanted to do so well because writing is what matters most to me. I did not want to fail or disappoint anyone.

Until I stepped into Lipscomb’s auditorium, I had felt this uncanny peace. Generally, I am nervous about something like this days in advance. You know that nervous. The nervous the grips your stomach because all the butterflies in there hatched out of their cocoon.Yeah, that’s the kind of nervous I usually am.

Yet, I didn’t ever feel nervous. I was just anxious. Anxious every time they called out a different category for our newspaper medium. It was hard to sit there and wait.

I watched as other members from our staff got individual awards which made the waiting much easier. It was fun to watch some of their facial expressions and cheer them on. After all, they worked hard too and they deserved to have their talent recognized.

After what felt like a small eternity, the ceremony finally drew to a close. Our award was last which made it even more painstaking to sit there. I must have slid almost to the floor in the chair I was sitting in by the time the reached the top three. I was about to implode.

Before they called out first place, I was about ready to cry. If they didn’t call us out, it meant I would failed at the thing that matters to me the most.

However, I didn’t cry. Well, I almost did. I almost burst out into this huge mess of tear because we won. The EDGE was named the 2011 Best Overall Newspaper in Tennessee. I almost combusted.

All of the deadlines and staying late after school finally paid off. All of the printing fiascoes finally paid off. All of the stress, worry, and hectic days finally paid. The hard work all of us put into this newspaper finally paid off. And it showed we were number one. 

God blessed me with this newspaper, and He certainly didn’t have to at all. He blessed me with a wonderful staff and an awesome adviser. Most importantly, he blessed with the opportunity to just be apart of this for the past four years of high school.

Even though hours have passed since we were awarded this, I am still happy. I am just simply thankful that this happened.

Success feels different, and it actually feels weird. I get to share my success though, and I couldn’t think of 18 other people I would rather share it with.

Dream girl

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My dreams are sorta like a McDonald’s meal when I am really hungry. My dreams are super-sized. No, I am not talking about the dreams I have when I fall asleep even though those are incredibly insane. I am talking about the dreams I think about constantly. The dreams that represent who I want to be in this world.

As of today, graduation is 110 days away, and that thought completely boggles my mind. When I graduate it means starting over again. It means I have to find my niche and exit my comfort zone completely. Just the thought of it scares me. It scares me a lot; however, I am slowly beginning to feel excited about it.

I guess this is what growing up is all about. Stepping out of your comfort and discovering what the heck you are supposed  to do with the life God gave you. Nonetheless, despite all my fears, I like thinking about the fact that I am one small step closer to my dreams.

When I was younger, I wanted to be so many things. I wanted to be a hair stylist, a teacher, a vet, and a writer. I started my hair cutting career when I was four, and it ended when I was five as I chopped off my bangs before my cousin’s wedding. As for the vet, that dream halted once I realized that not every animal I would work on would live. Once I came to this startling revelation, I crossed it off my list.

Teacher and writer though? I always penned my own short stories. Short stories that always and I mean always involved some sort of murder. I probably shouldn’t have grown up watching Law and Order, Murder She Wrote, and CSI, but it at least provides some inkling of reason as to why a third grader would write short stories with murder as the major detail.

However, I never knew until I started my journalism class that I really did want to be a writer. I wanted to change the world with my words. So starting my sophomore year of high school, I wanted to be a teacher and a writer. I wanted to write my own novel in high school. It was my goal starting my sophomore year of high school. A goal I told no one about. With a 110 days left, though, I don’t think I’ll make it considering I never got past 50 pages with any idea I tried.

Now though, I still want to write a book one day. I know I want to be a journalist. But the thought of being a teacher always tugs at my heart. I love high school. While most teenagers loathe it, I love it. I enjoy buying school supplies every year, and when August 3 or 4 rolls around, I am always ready to go back to school. I guess that means I am a true nerd or a dorkface as some have called me. But nonetheless, I am not sure what I want to be.

Scary isn’t it? Not knowing exactly what you want to be. The important element, though, is I know who I want to be. I want to be someone who changes my world for Christ especially with my words. I want to be a light in a dark world to those who need it.  If it means writing 30 novels then yes I am up for it. Being a journalism teacher for half my life? I am up for the task no matter how hard. And if God wants me to be the next Erin Andrews, who am I to say no to that? God knows what we are going to be. It’s up to us to follow Him in order to figure it out.