Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Compilation Blog 1-6

Well here I am. Last semester here at Seminole State. And somehow slipped my mind to blog! Talk about breaking Journalism rule number one! Well, here we go, I made a Compilation of blogs about my articles 1-6. Enjoy:)

Article 1
My financial aid story was based upon my own interest of the struggles students at Seminole State faced. I wondered if I was the only one. Apparently not. Hopefully Seminole State will look into this article and the difficulties that are put upon students trying to enroll for financial aid. There are a lot of gaping holes the school doesn't talk about with students to better prepare themselves. 
As for my own personal struggles with the article? I am more of a writer, so in my opinion it's never enough. I had my professor cut at least half of what I wrote. At first I was a little offended, but I realized that it wasn't needed. People need facts. Not a drawn out story. Writing too much is going to be a little personal struggle. But I like the challenge. BRING IT.

Article 2
My article on International Students was also a personal one. I had family that were international students, and I had always wondered about the issues they faced and what made them feel comfortable at Seminole State. I had connections with a few of the students and a few I met in the office that I used in my article. The director of the international students department was a big help. She really made me think of things that I could do around the campus to help make students far away from home, feel welcomed. I ended up having a gathering at my house. We cooked BBQ, danced, played the WII, and so much more. Through this I made long lasting friends. 
Again I wrote too much. But it's a working progress:)

Article 3
The bookstore article was quite informative. I realized how many students had issues with the bookstore and  financial aid (Again with the financial aid issues? Some students use financial aid to pay for books). It was about how long students were waiting for their already purchased books to be delivered. Some were taking longer than a month to come in! That's a big deal when your teacher bases her lectures, quizzes and tests on the books for the class. My article apparently hit right at home. I received a "mouth full" from a few leading people on the board. But hey, my job is to get the facts and let my fellow student body know them. You better believe I stuck up for that right.
My interviews basically wrote my story. It was quite interesting.

Article 4
This article was more of a blog. It was Spring Break and my plans were elsewhere, so I received permission to do an article of my experiences. I really liked this form of writing. I felt like it came more natural for me. My goal was to let everyone know the hidden adventures of Ft. Lauderdale. It was a success! Perhaps maybe I should look into this form of work. Like a travel blog or something similar to that. This class is definitely showing me my skills exercising them too. It's a great challenge.

Article 5
This article was about scholarships. I feel like this is a hidden gem in Seminole State. Something not taken advantage of. I was completely surprised to find out that only 1 out of 15 people I talked with knew about the scholarships that were offered at the school. It raised questions for me like, why is the school not raising awareness about the scholarship programs that are available to them? What triggered me the most was that students don't have to be A and B students. Students can qualify for scholarships with even a C average! What an awesome advantage! I hope this article was informative for students. It was even an eye opener for me!

Article 6
So here we are. My final article, and my final semester. What a tear jerker! I think the biggest concern in this economy is finding a job after graduation. This is a HUGE issue not just for Seminole State students. So I thought it would be a bit clever to write an article on how to get a job and using resources like the career center to help out. I was stunned that a lot of the students on campus didn't really know we had a career center. TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE! You'll need it when you get thrown to the sharks! Hopefully his will be on the first page. Considering graduation is right around the corner, I think students could benefit from the information provided.
I thoroughly enjoyed Journalism class. Miss Sheppard was such a huge help, and she really cares about the success of her students. Making us have an online presence and helping with articles and resumes shows this and more. I am so thankful to of had her, and Seminole State would do well for themselves to keep a much needed professor like this on campus. I'll miss the deadlines, interviews, class gatherings, etc. It has been an awesome ride filled with sweet memories! :) Thanks Miss Sheppard!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Final Blog (Bryan Hohns)

Well this is it; here we are. Issue 6 is done, as is the Seminole Scribe.

It all feels like it happened so fast. And I mean this.

I remember first coming to class, thinking about what I would write for my first article and reading my textbook after lunch. I never wrote anything like I had imagined I would; pieces that I thought would cover personal interests such as gaming and technology never came to life. Instead, I found myself attracted to the role of an event man.

Ultimately, I kept things simple. Every article I have done for this class has been an event recap of some form or another. I question my merit as a writer and student in this class, despite the occasional accolades I have received for taking two stories.

Assuming both my stories for Issue 6 pan out, I will likely finish this course with an A. But I I really deserve an A for my efforts?

Personally, I would say that no, I do not. A "B" would be more appropriate. While the sheer volume of my work was impressive, I was not a very adventurous journalist, as I stuck to a single format for months. In addition, just about all of my extra work was done to repair damages caused by myself early in the semester for missing a deadline (I didn't truly miss it; I just submitted garbage quality work).

Still, I have learned a few things in the course, despite my journalistic cowardice. For one, I know that I'm not the most curious or investigative person; I have my own narrow interests, and I have trouble covering material outside of them. I also realize that I am blessed at filler, and I can translate basic notes and figures into a serviceable story without all too much effort. This is how I interpret the majority of what I have done in this course.

I will not be pursuing journalism as a career after this course. Instead, I will be heading to UCF in the Fall for a degree in Marketing, which I may or may not stick with.  Regardless, it was fun; I have been curious about writing for years, and I owed it to myself to test the waters of journalism. If I had to do anything in this industry professionally, it would be editing, as my attention to detail and grammar is probably my greatest strength as a writer (that and my typing speed).

I'll conclude this messy bit by saying that while I have my regrets with this course due to how I handled it, I blame no one but myself. And while my choice of format was lazy towards the end, I still got to talk with many interesting people who I never would have otherwise even noticed. I covered an NAACP event with smooth jazz, was interviewed for a documentary, got to tinker with Windows 8 and even did my own photography at one point. When I focus on what I actually did, rather than lamenting what I could've done, it is clear to me that, cliche happy endings be damned, what I did was solid journalism.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Horror and history for the final article!

And the last article is done! Is the final stretch on this semester and for the last article I wanted something fun, and sort of easy to write since statistics class was stealing all my free time. I wanted to write about something that I enjoy, something that people are going crazy for. I didn't have to think long... zombies!!! I'm a fan of zombie movies and thanks to 'The Walking Dead,' and many documentaries I've seen, this was the perfect article to end the semester with. But I didn't want to talk only about the show or movies, I wanted to get deeper into what exactly is a zombie, where they're from and what makes us like these horrific creatures so much. I found a great documentary from the History Channel and a very interesting book by Jeffrey A. Kottler called 'The Lust for Blood,' which gives an idea as to why we like horror so much.

Starting the article was not as hard this time, it was how to organize it that gave me headaches since I had so much information from different sources. The quotes were easy since everyone knows about zombies thanks to 'The Walking Dead.' I talked to a girl while we were in line at 'The Mummy' ride in Universal. I talked to high school students and my sister's friends. It was entertaining to see how many people like the show and/or Zombies in general. Their faces light up as soon as I say the word 'zombie.'

Thanks to George Romero's films and other movies, I thought I knew a lot about zombies...I was wrong. While researching, I found out a whole lot of other things I didn't know, like for example,zombies first appeared in one of the oldest works of literature, “The epic of Gilgamesh;" that's like thousands of years old!

All in all, I think I wrote a variety of articles this semester, some serious, some interesting and some, like this one, fun. At the end, after all the rewriting and editing I had to do on this article, I think it came out great; informative but entertaining...two words that can also describe my thoughts on this semester at Seminole State College.

Sorangel Santiago

Belated Blog Posts

Because it inconveniently slipped my mind that I was supposed to do a blog post after every article, here is a compilation of my thoughts for the 4th, 5th, and 6th articles -- all wrapped up into one neat little package

Article Four: Banned4Life
For my fourth article, I decided to take a look at one nursing student's attempts to shine a little light on the FDA's ban on men who have sex with other men donating blood to blood drives and the Big Red Bus that camps out on the school grounds every now and then. You can read the article for all the details, but writing this article really just taught me a lot about using public resources such as Facebook for information and media. As it was, this article was written over Spring Break so setting up a time to meet with my professional source (Blake Lynch, founder of the website) proved to be a bit more difficult than I anticipated. The interview was conducted over the phone and even that wasn't much help---he basically told me to find everything I needed for the article online. Quotes and all: So that's what I did. He gave me permission, so much of my information came from his website. Media came from Facebook and I had to reach out to people who aren't students to get decent quotes, including a student from a school in Tennessee and a Gay Rights Activist I met at Publix. Overall, this article taught me how to use what's available when you don't have much else to go for and how starting an article early and allocating time for rewrites really is the best way to go about this writing thing.

Article Five: News At School
Article number five (why did I just think mambo number 5? Anyway) really stretched my interviewing skills. And I learned about something that all journalists must learn at one point or another: do not use leading interview questions. It all started out harmless enough, I was sitting at the Heathrow Campus when I over heard someone complaining about the news shown at school and went from there with my article, trying to work out if students wanted the news constantly playing or if they wanted something else. My interviewing led me around the Heathrow Campus, asking for various opinions and eventually I had to talk to Jay Davis, head of Media Relations at the college. I e-mailed him some questions and was unceremoniously reprimanded by Jennifer for asking leading questions. Still, the article was done in time and the questions were answered and I ended up with a great article. But I did learn how to ask questions and I learned that face to face interviews tend to be a little better than e-mail correspondence (Even if the recordings of the interviews accidentally end up on one or two music playlists on my phone)

Article Six: Connections on School Campus
My final article, I have to say, was one of my favorites. Because, at this point, I had figured out what my voice was: pissing people off and making them think. After my previous article, I got chewed out by a couple of students who thought the news being shown at school was great and that the higher ups do listen to the student voices. At first I was shaken, but then I laughed (manically? Possibly. But you weren't there, so maybe it was just a harmless little chuckle) and figured that my voice was questioning what was being said and making people think---Is this REALLY what they meant? Taking that into consideration, I tackled the next story with the angle of why is the school blocking the use of programs like Spotify and World of Warcraft. Only after a little research did my article change. I e-mailed the people in charge of the wireless connections at the Sanford Campus and received an interesting bit of information 'Budget Constraints'. And guys? After I heard that, I packed up and went to town and probably made an enemy or two along the way. I asked the questions people didn't think of, got some really nice quotes from some frustrated students and proved against my professional source why some of the things said were just a little bit...nonsense? Something to that effect. The end result was a great article that required no edits. None. (alright, I did have to change the lead a bit but I didn't get my draft back with 50 red marks on it). I definitely think this, along with the article that came before it, are my two favorites simply because I figured out exactly how to write.

- Ashley Collier

Vodka & Marshmallows

My last story of the semester was inspired by my grandma. She always had silly home remedies like drinking warm watermelon jello...yuck! To this day, I STILL cannot have any watermelon flavored candy. Thanks, grandma!

Growing up I knew about the jello technique, but I was curious to know about other home remedies and if they actually worked or not.

If you have any vodka, marshmallows, lemons, olives, vicks, pencils or any other household objects, try to see if there is a home remedy to help you save money. Who needs antibiotics for silly colds or smelly feet anyways?

It's a little strange not having anymore stories to write for the newspaper, but I'm excited to start my online presence! I've taken baby steps towards it, but I'm ready to take a big leap!

I can't wait to see what is in store for our final 2 weeks of class.