Friday, December 13, 2013

Reflection #4

Well the class has finished and I can say that I definitely learned a lot from this course overall. Each style of writing and topic is different to write for everyone. I was not able to get emotion out in features but I was really able to get it out on events. But this class really helped me open myself and not be afraid to talk to people and get the story out. It is very important to get the correct story and voice it to others as if they were there. I am very thankful for this class because it also expanded my knowledge on not only writing but also technology. I would not have made a website for myself had I not taken this class, so for those who read this, It was a great time in this class and I will miss it!

Reflection of what I learned the first week

The first week of class was very difficult. It was like I was pushed into this world I knew nothing about. You see people being interviewed and you read magazines and newspapers but you never know the hard work that goes into it. Learning Indesign was the hardest that week because I had no idea what each affect or what/how to design anything on the computer. With doing mock interviews, that felt like second nature to me and very natural, also with writing. But, the hardest thing to grasp was Indesign, so if any of you are looking to take and computer design or make newspapers, or anything like that take the time to learn that program beforehand.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What I learned #4 - Sean Doty

So the semester is finally over and we have finished with our final issue for the year. Usually I am glad when the semester is over, but this time around I have mixed emotions with this.

I am proud of what I was able to accomplish with this final issue. Although I wish I was able to do more with the artwork and it was difficult to make my story legitimate in the beginning (thank you, Orlando Magic), I was able to make this just as good as my previous story in the third issue. I learned that we are able to use quotes from professional sources through other media outlets, as long as we accredit the original source in our article. I also learned how important it is to pour strong quotes into your article.  Anyone can put a simple quote in and call it a day. But if you are able to get great quotes, especially from credible sources, they can really make your article stand out and shine!

Needless to say this will be the final time that I will be blogging on here and my tenure writing for the Seminole Scribe is now officially over (at least as a current student). I originally went into this class thinking that I would use it to brush up my writing skills and to get an idea of what it would be like to write for a newspaper. However the experience I gained was much more than I had anticipated. From all the guest speakers, lectures and different subject areas we were able to cover during this Fall semester, I can honestly say this class was the most fun filled class I have experienced in my three years at Seminole State College. I would love to participate in it again next semester, but sadly I will be unable to.

I am thankful for the wonderful opportunity that Professor Sheppard has provided for all of us to expand as writers and as reporters. There are not many passionate teachers at Seminole State who care for their students to succeed in the field, but she definitely proved this semester that she is one of the exceptions to that. This class has meant so much to me from a writing and social standpoint. I have met many interesting individuals, worked with many great colleagues and even made some awesome friends. While I spend the next two to four years up in Gainesville progressing further into my journalistic career, I will never forget where my roots originated from and I will always be grateful for what this class was able to offer me.

I hope everyone has a spectacular holidays! I love you all and Go Gators!

- Sean Doty, aka "The Sports Guy"

What I Learned - Carissa May

I learned from this last issue that having a great story and lots of good interview material can actually make writing an article harder rather than easier. First of all, there were so many different story ideas from my interviews, but I didn't have enough time to write them all. Second of all, with the stories I did write it was hard sifting through so much info from my interviews. And when it came to choosing pictures from Haiti, that was almost impossible. There was just too many to choose from and it was hard to decide which ones best fit the story because almost all of them did. Anyways, having more than enough stuff for an article can actually make things harder rather than easier - that's what I learned. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What I learned - Joseph Meadows

I've learned a few things over the course of this last issue but one that sticks out is that I have to work a lot harder at this writing/reporting thing if I'm to be any good at it. And I mean real hard work and practice. There is a reason why the phrases "practice makes perfect" and "experience teaches wisdom" make complete and total sense to me. Like anything in life that's worth doing, you have to put in your time. You're not going to just be better by osmosis, you've got to work at it. And that's difficult but who ever said it would be easy?


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Get a job: Seminole State College host annual Career Fair

The Career Development Center hosted its annual fall Career Fair at the Seminole State College Sanford/Lake Mary campus in November. 

“For at least 20 years the Career Fair has been informing students about career options and providing potential networking opportunities,” Brooklyn Stablile, Career Center Specialist, said.

Mrs. Stabile said an estimated 1,200 students passed through the building-L breezeway at this year’s Career Fair.

A free slice of pizza wasn’t the biggest prize given away at the event. There were more sought after giveaways for students who participated in the Career Development Center drawings.  Showing a resume or dressing professionally offered a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy III tablet or Beats by Dre headphones. 

Between the two giveaways, 260 students registered to win new technology devices.

“It was a big event this year, with 76 tables,” Mrs. Stabile said. Fifty-three of the tables were businesses looking to hire Seminole State students, she added.  

In fact, some employers accepted resumes and setup interviews on the spot, Mrs. Stabile said.  

The businesses which participated in the Career Fair are regulars on campus also recruiting students through the Career Link website. 

In addition to free pizza and the chance to win electronics, free pictures were offered to those dressed appropriately. 

“It was a new initiative,” Mrs. Stabile said about the partnership with the Film Club. The purpose was to give students an opportunity for a free professional photo to be used on a LinkedIn profile. 

The Career Development Center advises students to create a LinkedIn account and use a professional photo instead of a “Facebook selfie,” Mrs. Stabile said. 

Nearly 100 students received a free head shot image. 

There are three Career Fairs planned for each year with S/LM being the largest. The Heathrow and Altamonte Springs campuses also host major-specific fairs, Mrs. Stabile said. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What I learned

The 4th and final edition of The Seminole Scribe was published this past week! It helped me learn what exactly I need to work on in the future to continue my journalism degree, and what things I would consider my strengths. I believe working in this field is definitely what I want to d, and having "hands-on" experience with The Seminole Scribe has definitely given me more motivation. I think as a writer my strengths are strong but will improve with practicing AP style. Also, I was surprised with my curiosity for design. I would love to further my abilities with design and possibly learn to advance my skills. Nonetheless, there are things I could definitely improve on. I have a difficult time with language barriers. This made me aware that I need to practice my skills of understand people who have accents so I can properly quote them.
Thus, this semester has been great and I appreciate all that I have learned. I have made many connections I hope to continue to obtain in the future, and I am truly excited for another semester as a staff member.

--Christina Fleming

Saturday, December 7, 2013

What I learned (Leyla Rad)

I know I'm a little late on this one but you know, I've been pondering what to really say that's important! (maybe).
This final paper made me see that when people enjoy what they are doing, it doesn't seem to be any sort of work at all. It's their life calling. I interviewed some girls who are trying to broaden their clothing business and the way they talked about it was so inspiring. Even though it's going to be and has been a lot of work, they were excited. And that's how I feel about journalism. I know it'll be a lot of work, especially getting started with a real career and not one just affiliated with school. But once I've got that down, I know it will be worth it. Because I know that I'm doing what I like despite the many comments of "finding something new" or "become a doctor"
I can't wait for this to take me somewhere, everywhere, anywhere. To travel, to meet people, to have new experiences, to get news across, to broaden minds...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What I learned: Week 4 (Ashley Young)

I might have bit off more than I could chew this round but I'm proud of attempting to complete three pieces. I really enjoyed creating the Will's Pub article. I had a blast playing around with my new Nikon Camera. It was somewhat difficult with the low amount of light in the pub. There were a couple of good pictures but half the time I was trying to keep my finger out of the way! Overall it was a great experience tinkering with my new toy. I have really enjoyed this class and I think the last issue is something to be proud of. A lot of wonderful photography this issue and the cover is my favorite this semester!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Until next time...

Saying good-bye is hard. But the world hasn't seen the last of me! Reflecting on issue no. 4

Writing "until next time" at the end of my editor notes gave me a peace of mind knowing that I had another issue to write, edit and publish. Now, with the fourth and final issue in the hands of the printer I can feel myself filling up with jumbled thoughts and a sense of sorrow knowing this class and the editor position are coming to an end.

Being a journalist is not an easy job but it can be with proper education and a positive mindset. Criticism is going to happen nearly every article. If my articles were perfect I would be the one holding the laser pointer instead of sitting here listening to lectures.

I have come to the realization not every story I write will get published. There's just not enough room. I also have to learn to pick my stories wisely and give myself ample time to produce quality work worthy of reading.

Lastly, the best way to become a great author, writer and editor is to read, read and read some more. Study magazines, online newspapers and even advertisements.

Thank you to my classmates and Ms. Sheppard for making this learning experience one to remember!

Until next time,

Melissa B. Merkler

What I learned number four, by George Rivera

I really learned how to take charge of a design for multiple pages and take people's feedback and fit it into my own design without stepping on too many toes. There isn't a way to satisfy everyone, but sometimes a compromise will be just enough. I also learned the value of backing things up as the entire design for two of the pages had to be redone at home by myself due to a saving error. All in all I learned more about design than writing the articles, but I think this was the perfect issue to learn more about that since making anything appealing to a wide audience is important in what I want to do.

What I learned- Eric Anderson

This was the final issue that we were able to produce. From the beginning of class to the end, I can honestly say that I have learned so much. In my other blogs I spoke of how difficult it was to go from the story idea to the final print, but in the end I found that as time went on it became much less difficult.

For my final story I had been working on a specific article that was suggested, however it ended up being cut after the first edit. I had to find another story idea and start from scratch. Reaching out to law enforcement personnel I was able to come up with a great story idea that in the end worked very well.

What I have learned - John Nunez

I learned that it’s very easy to hate your work very quickly. I learned a few new illustrator techniques, Photoshop tricks and how simplistic design is much better. Adaptability to a situation seems to be the most important (is anyone even reading this) when I ran into a few issues with my interview results I had to make do with what I had. For future newspaper design, I would encourage students to look at magazines, (Even ones like Game Informer), to see how simple their design and how catchy to the eye it is.

I hope for next semester I can implement more techniques and learn how to hate myself a little less. It's been a great fall.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What I learned - Alicia Gonzalez

For the last issue, I learned a few things like sometimes less is more; especially when it comes to writing about sex. I also learned that writing about something you are interested in can reflect in your work and I am glad I chose to write about sextrology.

When it came to the photography part of my last article, I learned how important it is to set the scene and the background for the picture--and that a picture always looks better when it tells a story rather than just being a pretty picture.

For the illustration part, I learned not to be afraid to try something new. I knew I wanted an illustration to accompany my article and photographs but did not know how to use the program. I watched a youtube video to learn and although it took about two days to finish, I was proud of the ending result.

Thank you for reading. :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Orevwa Haiti - Carissa May

“Orevwa” means “goodbye” in Haiti. I hate to be saying “orevwa Haiti” but we’re leaving this morning. I’ve really enjoyed Haiti a lot. Even though we came here to work, and even though we've done several work projects, this trip has felt like a vacation to me. While the four other team members may have hated the bumpy roads, and the smells and the tropical heat, I wasn't too bothered by it. It did feel a little uncomfortable at times, but nothing that I couldn't tolerate.

What did bother me was the fact that it was hard to take pictures from the back of a truck that had bars on all sides. It’s very hard to put the lens of your camera between the bars and focus on something when you’re going 30 to 40 miles per hour. There were so many things that would’ve made cool pictures. Even the rubble from Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, and the rustic metal gates, and the bizarre graffiti on the brick walls were all very picturesque. But we never had time to slow down, and when we did, it was only for a few brief seconds. So taking pictures has been a challenge, and the fact that my photo opportunities have been limited has been killing me. But the pictures I did get are pretty good and I can’t wait to share them when I get back home.
Well, our team is in the airport right now waiting to board our plane. I've had a great time in Haiti and I'd love to come back again. If for nothing else, then at least to visit with the kids at the orphanage. I'm going to miss them. Hopefully I can come back next year. 
Well, that's all folks. Orevwa Haiti :( 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Greetings from Haiti!: Day 7 - Carissa May

Today was the last full day in Haiti. We leave tomorrow morning. Today was also the last day to visit the orphanage...sadly.

This morning we had church with the people at the orphanage. I couldn't really understand much of what they were saying or singing because it was all in Creole, but it was interesting to watch and beautiful to hear. The only part I fully understood was the sermon my pastor gave. He gave it in English and we had a translator speak for him to the congregation.

After we had lunch we spent the rest of the afternoon playing with the kids. For a while, one little boy would not let me quit holding him and he eventually fell asleep in my arms. The youngest boys had fun fighting over my pastor's cowboy hat, especially one little boy who liked to wear it over his face. Later on, all the little girls of the orphanage had me and the two other girls on our team, Kelly and Becca, sit on the floor while they braided our hair. They gave up on braiding mine because they were too busy looking through the pictures on my camera. I took tons of pictures of course.

Now we're back at the guest house and some of us are packing for our flight home tomorrow. I'm reluctant to start packing. I'm really not ready to leave Haiti.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Greetings from Haiti!: Day 6 - Carissa May

So today was much more relaxed. With a driver, a translator, and a security guard we went sight seeing and bought some souvenirs. We went up the mountain and stopped at a coffee shop on the side of the mountain where we could see for miles and miles across the valley. It was definitely a beautiful view. We then went further up the mountain to see a small museum and eat at a restaurant there. The view of the mountainside from the restaurant was absolutely beautiful. It was hard to get really good pictures because it was bit of an overcast day, but I did my best. Our team was thankful for the cooler temperatures on the mountain; that made our trip a whole lot better. When we came back to the house we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. Now we're just sitting around in the dark, texting, blogging, facebooking, and face-timing friends and family. All around it's been a really nice relaxing day.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Greetings from Haiti!: Day 5 - Carissa May

This morning we gave all the kids at the orphanage balloons. They had a blast. It's fun to see them get excited about something that we take for granted. We also handed out bracelets and they liked that. I took lots of pictures of course.

In the afternoon the kids from the village gathered together with the kids from the orphanage in the church area and sang at the top of their voices. It was neat to see. I took some videos of them singing and some of them had fairly good voices. One of my team members had them act out a Bible story and they enjoyed that. Then we handed out plates of hot food to all the children. Like the elderly people yesterday, the village children haven't had a hot meal in a while. After the meal, as all the children were leaving, we handed out lollipops. We handed out lollipops to the adults who worked at the orphanage too. Everyone wanted a lollipop.

I was able to interview Elizabeth again today and interview Marie again briefly. They have some cool stories to tell about how the orphanage has developed in recent years and how their needs and the needs of others have been met in miraculous ways.

I mentioned in a previous post about the voodoo festival that is going on in Haiti right now. There is a voodoo temple next door to the house we're staying in and for the last couple of nights we've been hearing lots of chanting and singing. This evening we were able to peak through a window and see a table set up with food and objects that looked to be part of a voodoo ritual. It's interesting to say the least.

Tomorrow our team is going sightseeing. We'll be going up the mountain and I'm excited because I can't wait to take more pictures.   

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Greetings from Haiti!: Day 4 - Carissa May

This morning was a longer drive to the orphanage because we had to run a few errands. Thankfully our driver, who is Haitian, is a very skilled driver. I don't mind the bumpy roads at all, but the other members of the team are in pain from the rides back in forth. Despite going over all the bumpy roads at a fast speed, our driver is very skilled. He's a crazy driver, which is a good thing in Haiti. You have to be a crazy driver in order to keep up with all the other crazy Haitian drivers. But I have to say our driver has never put us in any danger, so he's very skilled.

This morning we distributed the rice, beans, and spaghetti that we bagged, along with bottles of cooking oil, to the people of the village outside the orphanage. We had to be careful because some of them would get greedy and try sneak in to get extra. We couldn't let them do that because we only had so much food we could give.

All morning long the Haitian ladies who work at the orphanage cooked a hot meal for the elderly people of the village. In the afternoon my pastor gave a short sermon to them and then we gave the elderly men and women their hot meal, something they have not had in a while. I can't wait until tomorrow when we get to give a hot meal to the children of the village. They haven't had a hot meal in a while either.

Thankfully we had enough time to play with the kids of the orphanage again. They are so adorable! As soon as they got home from school they greeted us with more hugs and kisses. They love it when I take photos of them and they especially love it when I show them their pictures on my camera screen. They'll crowd around me as i'm scrolling through the pictures and they'll point and shout each other's names at every face they see. I love them so much!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Greetings from Haiti!: Days 1,2 & 3 - Carissa May

Hey everybody! Sorry I couldn't update you more recently but I was unable to access the blog until now. I'll just sum up my trip so far.

Day 1 - Monday:
We flew into Port Au Prince, Haiti about midmorning. We met Marie and Elizabeth, the women who run the orphanage that we've been helping out. This was my first time meeting them, the four other people on my team had met her before. The other people on my team had been to Haiti before and knew what the roads were like, and they were reluctant to riding on them again. The bumpy drive from the airport to the house we would be staying in didn't bother me a bit. I grew up in a different 3rd world country for 9 1/2 years and so I was used to similar bumpy roads. Once we got to the house and got settled in, Marie and Elizabeth took us to lunch. Then our team came back to the house and just relaxed for the afternoon While Marie and Elizabeth went home.

Day 2 - Tuesday:
We drove out to the orphanage in the morning. The orphanage is near a village outside of Port Au Prince. It's a 45 minute drive both ways and the roads are extremely bumpy. It was very hard to take pictures from the back of a truck that had bars on all sides, but I did my best. I got to tour the orphanage for the first time. The other team members had been there before, but they got to see new additions to the orphanage that weren't there last time they came. We did an assessment of what our schedule would be like for the week, then we spent the afternoon putting rice, beans, and packages of spaghetti noodles into bags. Once the children of the orphanage got home from school, we took time to play with them and, of course, I took a bunch of pictures. I was amazed that almost all the children immediately came and gave me a hug. They knew the other team members from before but they didn't know me. That didn't seem to matter though. They gave me hugs and kisses anyways. Unfortunately we had to leave them to come back to the house. I couldn't wait to see them again.

Day 3 - Wednesday (today):
Unfortunately we didn't get to see much of the kids today. We spent the morning painting the walls of a room and varnishing wood shelves. In the afternoon we finished bagging the rice, beans, and spaghetti. Tomorrow we will be handing out these bags of food to the village people. Can't wait to see the happiness in their faces when they get them. I was also able to sit down with Elizabeth today and interview her. She's a sweet American lady who really loves these children. She tells an amazing story about a break-in at the orphanage that happened last month. It's amazing how she and most of the children remained unharmed. Only a couple of the boys were injured, but they're okay now. Hopefully this story will make a good article. I can't wait to interview Marie, who is Haitian, about how she started the orphanage in the first place. I didn't get to spend time with the children, unfortunately. But hopefully I can tomorrow. On the ride home we got stuck in traffic, which is also an interesting story but I don't have time to go into detail. Let's just say that the traffic situation in Haiti is horrific. It's amazing that we haven't seen any accidents yet. Tomorrow is the start of the Voodoo festival in Haiti. As I'm writing this, there is some chanting and singing coming from the Voodoo temple next door. And it's getting louder. has been interesting.  

What I Learned - Carissa May

This is a little late but I was unable to access the scribe blog until now. What did I learn from issue 3? Well, to sum it up, I thought profile stories would be a little easier, but they weren't exactly. I also learned that feature stories are way more interesting. And for someone who has a lot to say, why ask a lot of questions? Just let them talk and you'll probably come across something more interesting than what you had in mind in the first place.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What I have learned - Sean Doty

Comparing this most recent article I did to the very first issue, I would say I have come a long way as a student journalist. I now have a solid base for what needs to be done to have a successful newspaper story. I have been using many more quotes to go along with the statistics I am able to provide with my stories. I have finally got a handle (somewhat) of how to use InDesign, even though I know there are many more tips and tricks I need to figure out in it. Finally, I finally see how a picture or pictures can really make a story pop out. Unlike my previous two articles, I was finally able to use some sort of photo to go along with my story, even if it's only for the background. I cannot wait to see what's to come next for this final issue!

What I learned-George Rivera

This issue I learned most about perseverance. I nearly had to kill my idea for the paper, simply because one woman was afraid to speak to The Scribe, and so I kept on with the emails attempting to earn that interview. It never came, so with Ms. Shepards help, we changed it to an editorial and I learned about that. I learned how to plant my opinion within the paper while supporting it with details, but at the same time I had to know how to be careful not to insult the wrong people and cover my all my bases. It was an amazing experience and I am satisfied with the article and the design itself.

What I learned - Joseph Meadows

Wow, issue three already here and gone! Can't believe it. This semester is definitely flying by and I'm enjoying it very much.

Anywho, the main things I've learned with this issue are all about the art of the interview, which I'm no where close to mastering or getting right. I'm guessing that it's all about experience and as with everything, the more you do it, the better you are at it. Experience teaches wisdom.

I had the distinct honor to interview Hakan Özoğlu, Ph.D.,  Director of Middle Eastern Studies at UCF. And seeing how history and especially Mid East history is one of my favorite topics to discuss, I knew I would get a lot out of it, but only if I prepared. Which I did.

I honestly thought that, even though I'd prepared, that this guy being an expert would blow me out of the water with his intellect and degrees and I would look like a/an (explicit).

This was not the case at all. He was genial, knowledgeable and the discussion was thoroughly enjoyable and I learned a lot from it.

So what did I learn from this experience?

Be prepared, ask good follow-up questions like "what do you mean by that statement?" and "could you explain your point?" and always engage in a conversational manner as to not put off the interviewee.

Interviewing is definitely a major work in progress for me but I think I did pretty well with my first face to face. 

No need to rest on my laurels!

What I learned -- Christina Fleming

When thinking back to the third article I wrote for The Seminole Scribe this semester I realize how far I have come from the first article. I feel as if I have been able to study AP style which allowed my writing to turn out clean and organized. I like that I was able to catch my own mistakes, but I also enjoyed reading over my fellow classmates articles as well. I believe this allowed me to expose myself to different rules from the AP style book that I would not have necessarily needed in writing my own piece. I also learned that being a journalist is not a part-time job ever. Being a journalist is going to require someone who is willing to completely drop what they are doing to go interview someone at any given point in time, and someone who is always looking out for another story. Journalism is not simply getting a story and writing an article--in fact, it is so much more than that. Being a journalist is going to be a lifestyle. If someone really wants to commit their education to being a journalism major they need to be prepared to commit a large their life to journalism as a whole.

What I Learned- Eric Anderson

This is the second article that I had printed for the Scribe. What I have learned from the first to now have been a tremendous amount of information. As I have said in all of my blogs the amount of knowledge is incredible. The amount of time that is spent on one article is mind blowing.  Edit after edit correction after correction and then you end up with something that is ready to print. In a standard English class you write a paper and you turn it in, the professor reads it, marks it up in red, and you get it back with a final grade. In Journalism you write the story, turn it in, get it back covered it red, and this goes on over and over until nothing but black and white are present. Quite a contrast to anything that I have ever done, but in the end I always feel satisfied that I have accomplished something good.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What I learned- Ashley Young

I really enjoyed doing this third article. The people I met at the dog parks were really interesting and gave great quotes. Sometimes it's uneasy going up to people you don't know and asking them if they wouldn't mind answering a few questions, but I enjoyed meeting new people with this article. I wish I had a better camera to capture the parks, but overall I had fun with this one. I thought Miss Shepard's idea of getting rid of the paragraphs really helped the piece flow. I learned a lot more about Indesign this round, especially with picture editing.

What issue 3 taught me- Melissa B. Merkler

Writers block is setting in like a cold winter storm. I can't seem to shake it no matter how hard I try. Perhaps my personal life has been a distraction or maybe the subjects from issue three were just overwhelming and drained me mentally? After all, rape is a tough topic to talk about.

What I have learned this go around is that I have to manage my time and accept the fact that I can not cover every event around campus or in the community all by myself and expect to write about and squeeze it all into one issue. Maybe I should publish my own magazine. hmm...

I have also learned that to be a good editor I have to read the same boring story over and over until it's print-worthy.

In addition, it is important for journalists to write interesting and eye-catching headlines and titles which is the first thing a reader sees. This will determine if they get reeled in and read the article or continue skimming until something else catches their attention. 

Lastly, I have learned that some people have a natural gift for writing in journalism style while others have to really work at it. I'm still trying to figure out where I am on that spectrum. 

Until next time,

Melissa B. Merkler

What I Learned- Tiffany Rosario

When I thought doing a feature was going to be my specialty, it turned out to be one of the hardest things to write about. It was hard to write a piece as if I had not been there at all but yet describe the whole conversation as if I was there. It was a very difficult battle. But I have learned that interviewing is one the most easiest and most fun things to do, unless it's about a negative topic. Other than that, I feel like there is something to always learn, but for this article, those were the battles I faced.

What I learned - Alicia Gonzalez

For this article I'd say the most important thing I learned that in order to keep the article from people anyone to sleep and less boring is to bring up good quotes in beginning of the story. I also learned that it's important to have opposing views from different interviews that I conduct. It's also helpful to interview someone who is unfamiliar with the topic I am writing about; in order to show varying opinions on a matter.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Haiti Bound - Carissa May

Hey guys! I'll be going to Haiti this week with four people from my church. There will be a lot in store for the five of us and I can't wait! Basically we'll be doing a few work projects and handing out food to some people in a village where there is an orphanage that we'll be helping out. So excited! Depending on what the wifi is like down there, I'll try to blog every night. If not I'll talk about everything when I get back. Right now we are getting ready to drive down to Ft. Lauderdale where we will spend the night. We leave for Haiti tomorrow.

So I just wanted to check in and let you readers know what the story is. Hopefully you'll be checking to read about my trip (assuming we'll have wifi). So excited!!! Can't wait!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Celebrating Dia De Los Muertos- Orlando style

By Melissa B. Merkler

It was a fun night in downtown Orlando at the 4th Annual Dia de los Muertos & Monster Factory Exhibit & Block Party. Smiling faces painted morbidly to resemble a human skull lined a section of Pine Street in downtown Orlando to celebrate and remember lost loved ones.

The purpose of my adventure was to interview an art student for a cover story. Being part of the sugar skull celebration was a welcomed byproduct of the evening that led to meeting some fun and interesting people. 

Theresa Becker helped organize in the past but this year she is "just having fun."
Ms. Ferrante with Blue Betty vintage travellin' style.

Jaime Torraco, owner of Kittens of Industry said this was her first time to the Monster Factory event.
She sells pen and ink original art
A friend "hanging out" with Jaime from Kittens of Industries.
Performers on stage bringing giant puppets to life.
A scene from the live performance by Phantasmagoria.

Natasha Schaidt and Tre at NV Art Bar
Read Natasha's interview with The Seminole Scribe here.

And just to prove how much I really love Dia De Los Muertos, check out my blog and see my costume from 2011. 

Until next time,

Melissa B. Merkler

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

College Night at Seminole State College

By Melissa B. Merkler

Everyone knows the first rule of Fight Club is you do no talk about Fight Club.

Well, my first rules for journalism is don’t just write one story. Get out there and cover as much as possible.

Practice makes perfect.

Slacking gets you bad grades and a lack of respect from your peers.

Tonight at the last minute I loaded up the truck with my two-year-old daughter , threw in my voice recorder, notebook, some Seminole Scribe newspapers, camera and stroller and headed to Seminole State College's College Night.

Seminole State opened its doors to 100 colleges and universities to local high school students so they could meet and greet with future educational choices.

The parking lot was full of cars and the gym was full of excited teenagers on the hunt for free stuff and college pamphlets.

I don't know who was more nervous, the kids or their parents walking sheepishly behind them. The kids probably saw a good time and the parents saw dollar signs.

It was a fun night. I'm glad I went. My daughter and I made some new friends and learned about schools I had never heard of before.

Interviews to follow.

Andrew Wang, student at Lake Mary Preparatory School, visited College Night to weigh his university options.
Photo by Melissa B. Merkler 

Building blocks to an educational future: College nights

College Nights
By Melissa B. Merkler
This is a follow up to my original college nights blog posted in October

Building blocks to an educational future: College nights

The the soon-to-be remodeled gymnasium had one last noisy night of excited high school students fluttering around searching for free stuff and brochures. 
“I’m just browsing the selection to see what the big vending machine of life has to offer me for the right price,” Adult High School student Adam Avellan, said at the 2013 College Night hosted by Seminole State College.

The parents however, looked less amused but instead slightly anxious, probably only seeing dollar signs and babies leaving the nest.
Tables covered in mascot colors formed aisles of information allowing passersby to grab candy, pencils, stress balls and ask questions about what a particular school had to offer.

At International Academy, for instance, three main core programs are offered: massage therapy, cosmetology and barbering, which all involve one-on-one human contact. 
“We can come to a fair like this and feel confident because every person has a different need,” Susan Pirolo, Event Planner at International Academy, said. 
Some may look down upon technical colleges but Ms. Pirolo said “on average” graduating students can make $25 to $30 an hour before tips. 
For other students, International Academy is a stepping-stone, Ms. Pirolo said.
“Some people get a massage therapy certificate and go on to become physical therapists,” she said. “We teach people skills not just technical ability.” 
The importance of human interaction, Ms. Pirolo said, is increasing since the millennium generation is growing up with “i-devices.” 
“We have lost some of our social skills as a result, so it is really important to teach people how to engage with other human beings, and that’s something they are forced to do when they go through our programs,“ she said. 
International Academy also offers discounted services to other students. Just bring a current student ID. 
Seminole State College sits in the backyard of many future and current students.

Gabriella Nicholas, a paid tour guide and full-time Seminole State student, said she chose to go state because it has a “stronger student life.”

Some high school students have no idea where they want to go or what they want to do. So attending College Night was a first step in making that decision for Lake Mary Preparatory student Andrew Wang, which had Florida Polytechnic and University of Central Florida pamphlets in hand.

There’s no doubt about it, whether going to Seminole State or another college, pursuing higher education is definitely a goal most local high school students have.