Friday, September 13, 2013

"What I learned" - Sean Doty

There are three important things I learned while trying to complete this first article for The Scribe:

1. Deadlines are extremely important. They cannot be taken likely, so it is extremely important to manage your time. Especially if you are working within the world of media.

2. Sources can make or break your article. It should go without saying to do the research on your article, but also the people that you interview along the way. Depending on what your article is and who you interview as your "professional" source(s), they can either make your article into an even bigger story or just nullify it completely. If you are not the best of writers "on the fly", then it's recommended to buy a voice recorder (which I will be doing this weekend). It is also important to know the difference between quality sources and the quantity of your sources.

3. Press writing and creative writing are two very different things. It is important that you write an interesting article that will keep your readers eyes glued to your piece, but it is also important that you do not prolong paragraphs or use certain sentence structures that might steer off your readers. Sometimes simplicity is the best option.

There are a plethora of other things that I have learned during this process, but in my opinion these are the most important that I have learned thus far. With that said, it's been a great and challenging start to this semester and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year brings!

- Sean D.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What I learned - Carissa May

I learned that, what I think may be important information for readers to know, is actually what they don't care about. "Short and sweet" is the best way to go even if you feel like what you're excluding could be useful information. And what I thought seemed organized was not organized enough for a newspaper print. Its all about the facts.

George Rivera. What I learned.

I have learned so many new things from just the first two weeks of journalism. I used to not participate in social media much at all and think that much of it was waste of time. Twitter didn't have any value to me, but soon I learned that through twitter I could basically find myself buried in news and I love it.
Journalism itself is changing constantly and for a while I didn't know that, I thought it was something that remained static and I failed to notice the change in media and style. I want to learn more about all the various technologies and methods that journalism takes advantage of and broaden how versatile I am. So I think the most important thing I have learned so far is to never stop learning.

What I learned - John Nunez

I learned to not go drinking the night before editing day. Other than common sense, it's important to go through multiple revisions. By the time you hate your work someone else might love it, right? Right? Oh god I'm a terrible writer.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What I learned

If there's one thing I learned it's that "final draft due Tuesday" does NOT mean what it says. It actually means turn it in 600 times to be edited BEFORE Tuesday. Kind of had to clarify that the hard way. I also learned that I'm actually good at doing interviews. I even did a full interview with no recording because he didn't like being recorded. I thought I'd be nervous but there's this zone you get into and it's like having a normal conversation.
Also- I never realized how many mistakes I have in my paper until Ms Sheppard and/or the editor (Melissa) edit my paper. If it wasn't their job to be picky to make the Scribe perfect I'd probably cry from how much constructive criticism and editing I got.
But all in all, it's to make is better reporters and I appreciate it 100%
The final thing I learned.... even though we haven't worked on it much, I'm not sure I'm really good at design.

What I Learned: Christina Fleming

After writing my first column for the Seminole Scribe I learned so many things I did not expect coming from this class. Unfortunately, I became sick during the first week of school and it managed to set me behind schedule. I learned that it does not matter if I am sick, the story still needs to be written. When it comes time for real life journalism it is not going to matter if I am sick because someone else will not be. That person is going to go out and get the story I did not get because I let being sick stand in my way. I felt as if I kept procrastinating the interviews I had scheduled because I did not want to interview someone while I was feeling under the weather, and then I ended up rushing to school last minute to get it done. When I was rushing to school I got a ticket. Which I am still absolutely furious about! Another thing I learned from writing this story is that things I am used to from Georgia are very different here in Florida. I can say this because even the people have different personalities here as a whole from what I have realized. I think I am going to have to work on my "southern accent" because during every interview and the poll I took everyone pointed out the way I speak!

What I learned

This first deadline was a doozy! It takes a lot of time and hard work to be a good journalist. I never realized how much work and effort is put into creating, writing, and editing a story. Doing my first report on Syria was very difficult. There was always something new developing and I had to  make sure I  was up to date. I've edited my paper so many times I've lost count! Another great lesson I learned was to not rely on one expert. Sending multiple emails when you first come up with an idea is your best bet. Overall I had a great experience meeting new students and professors in the making of my story.

-Ashley Young

What I learned

I've so far learned about the art of brevity. Or something like it. First thing is that giving too much detail can and will divert the attention of the reader elsewhere. Second thing is that if there isn't changes in rhythm and sentence structure, it will be monotonous and boring. It's a process. -Joe

What I learned

Oh, the first article…

Somehow I pictured it a little differently. Nonetheless, I won’t ever forget the experience and what all I learned along the way. I decided to write about online dating. I found out about a plenty of fish party in town the weekend I finally decided my topic. I thought yay… was meant to be. I can get my interviews right away and possibly get headshots and who knows what… NOT. I was so nervous before I got there because I am terribly shy, but I got brave and went anyways because I had to get it done. However, when I got there it sort of seemed like a scam… not to mention it was in a bad area. The guy on the website who said he was hosting was definitely not the guy who was hosting the party in person. Also, everyone was already paired off. Not sure, but to me it seemed like the event was a way to advertise the bar.  I saw an older man who I thought I could interview, but he left and when I noticed, I went out to find him but he was already gone. I was soaked by the rain and had no interviews. Lesson learned here was to have a backup plan and not to let the obstacles bring you down, just keep going…

I finally was able to get other interviews scheduled, but some ended up rescheduling. I ran into other problems. For example, one lady told me she had a phobia about talking to someone she doesn’t know one the phone after we had a phone interview scheduled. Almost everyone tried to have their last names omitted. However, I worked some charm and  in the end all interviews went well. I was so glad for that because that was the part I was most nervous about. Now for my expert interview, I learned NOT to wait on the person… Go out and find someone! ASAP… even if that is the first interview you get. I ended up calling, emailing and visiting the offices of three different professors and nothing. I was all over campus trying to get it done. I ended up driving to Kissimmee for interview because I wanted to experience that in comparison to a phone interview. I was able to find someone in the working field, which I was so thankful for because I was running out of time. This is just the reason why I hate to procrastinate.

The writing was the most difficult part for me. I turned in many drafts, especially throughout the weekend. For some reason, I just couldn’t get it together. I think perhaps I spent too much time on it. I probably could have turned away from it for one day to get a clear perspective. Also, I learned that less is more! Keep all my quotes together and have one speaker speak at a time so it’s easy to read. Organization is the key. I also learned to keep my opinions out of it. It’s just something that happens naturally, but I’m learning to control that. At one point during this process, it made me believe that I am not a good writer after all, but it’s a different kind of writing and just something I need to get used to. This is the first article I’ve worked on, wasn’t the best, but I hope I can apply what I learned on the next article.


Even though I’m sure I may have missed a few things, I do apologize for the length. I had a lot to say… J

Thanks for reading!

What I Have Learned

What I Have Learned

A reflection on Issue no. 1
By: Melissa B. Merkler


It's amazing how much new information can be transmitted in a short three week span. First and foremost, I have learned journalism is not creative writing. There aren't any “I, me, you or they” in journalism. Also, "that" should be used sparingly. These two rules have created a huge dent in my writing style-- one that I am trying to embrace. 

I have learned being the editor of the college newspaper is a huge responsibility that does not earn extra credit or have any monetary gain. In fact, I had to pay for this class. In essence I am paying Seminole State to be the editor! 

Additionally, I have come to recognize that I work best under pressure. And I didn't realize how much I missed being a leader. Since my quasi-retirement in 2008 I've had a hard time figuring out who I am and what I should do next. Registering for Journalism 101 has been one of my better decisions in regards to class selections. Being a cash student, I can step out of the rigid course format and take classes that are enjoyable and otherwise out of reach.

I’m extremely excited to learn how to use a Mac computer, new editing programs such as InDesign, and be part of The Seminole Scribe. I hope I will be able to successfully fulfill my duties as editor and walk away with a smile on my face knowing I made an impact.

Until next time,

Melissa B. Merkler

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall 2013 Staff Bios

Hello, my name is Tiffany. I am a major in communications for radio and TV and I would like to know all the behinds of what it takes to get into the radio and TV world. I have taken RTV before and that was fun, but it wasn't for me and now I would like to see where I could get with the writing aspect of the major. This is my last semester at Seminole State and from here I will be transferring over to UCF even though I would really love to go to UF because I know they have a great broadcasting program over there, but unfortunately UCF is closer to home and work. I would really love to intern at either a radio station or a news station and see if it helps out with what exactly I would like to do in that field and hope that I could start my career where ever i intern.
- Tiffany Rosario

I was originally born on the island of Puerto Rico and grew up learning spanish and english at the same time. Eventually the language that stuck to me was english; I soon became fascinated with the language which led me to my love of reading, and then, writing. The little things about english interest me the most, the grammar the structure, and all the different styles out there, but my knowledge of those things have faded and I wish to renew that knowledge with this.
With interest in writing comes my interest in history itself, whether it be past events, present events, or possible future events, because I consider the events that happen today history in the making. Journalism allows me to write what history is happening today whether it be something tiny like a small-town team winning it big in some sports event, or something more along the lines of the Water-Gate scandal with former president Nixon.
I have chosen journalism as a major to broaden my understanding of the english language as a whole, and to better understand the different roles that need filling in journalism; not just writing, but design, social media, political analysis, and more.
- George Rivera

My name is Melissa Merkler. I live in Sanford, Florida. Yes, unfortunately, it has become “that” Sanford. Alas, we will survive and take up our cross and carry on. I love my town and wouldn't change it for anything.
I live on a small farm with my husband, my two year old daughter, 17 year old part-time step-daughter, and my father; along with our many silly animals. 
I am somewhat of a professional student. I really have a love for learning and the classroom setting. I finally received my general education A.A. degree this May 2013. That was a tremendous relief. However, I still have quite a distance to go before my dreams are reached. I have my eyes set on a PhD in Psychology and I’m giving myself five more years to get there.
As for hobbies, I have my hands in too many cookie jars. My passion lies in the arts. I started out with simply drawing, which turned into painting. I have fallen in love with sewing and I think that is where I will plant myself. My daughter has become my muse along with her 18’’ dolls.
There’s one more hobby that I am dying to revive. I refer to myself as a cemetery walker. It might sound morbid to some, but I love to stroll through cemeteries and read the headstones and relish in the history. I had a blog for it, but lost in a Google crash that I was not able to restore. There’s a website called that I belong to. People submit requests for images of their family grave sites. I go out and take pictures and upload them. It’s a nice way to do a good deed and have an excuse to go the cemeteries.
Lastly, I’m active in my church, and my daughter’s preschool. I think it’s important to teach the offspring early about God and simple standard learning. Just this week she impressed me with counting to three and saying “amen” after a dinner prayer!
Melissa Burney (Merkler)

The first thing that I like to tell people is that my last name is Rad. Yeah “that’s rad.” Good one, I’ve never heard that before. It wasn’t originally Rad. When my grandpa moved here from Iran, their last name was originally “Mohyeddin-rad.” At customs in the airport, I guess it was too long and difficult for people to pronounce so they changed it to just “Rad.” If you haven’t guessed already I am middle eastern. I was born and raised here in Florida. My mom moved here from Kuwait when she was eighteen and my dad moved here with his family when he was eight. My family is Muslim. But I’m not. I’m no religion. I believe in spirituality and believing in facts. There might be a higher power, I don’t know. That’s just the thing, no one knows. So I’d rather just believe in what I can prove.
I’ve played the flute since I was in fourth grade and I started playing the piccolo my freshman year of high school. Yes, I was in the marching band. Yes, I loved it. NO, I am not a weirdo band geek. I loved playing music and making beautiful sounds on and off that football field. I loved combining the chords and notes of each different instrument to make harmony that even un-musically talented people would get the chills hearing. Okay, maybe a little geeky but whatever. I like to be in charge and I like the feeling of people looking up to me. So my junior year I became one of the officers of the marching band. I was flute section leader. By my senior year I had moved up to Woodwind Captain and Sergeant, in addition to flute section leader. 
I absolutely love clothes, shopping, and fashion. Which means I needed to get a job to support my expensive habits. I work at a clothing store in the mall called “Tillys.” Needless to say, my paycheck STAYS there. I also like to work out and I think nutrition is interesting.
I love writing, too, but my whole life I wasn’t pushed to do it. I took two AP English classes in high school and also a creative writing class. I would love to move to New York one day and do what I love- to write for a fashion magazine living in a cute little apartment that overlooks the city or Central Park. Maybe the journalism business doesn’t do as well as, let’s say, the medical industry, but if I’m doing what I love then it doesn’t matter what I make, as long as I’m happy. 
- Leyla Rad

A Little About Me:
The name is Alicia. I am generally a soft spoken person and extremely shy. I believe my voice comes out strong through my writing, and that is how I can be heard. I didn't always know what I wanted to study. I have changed my major about four times. I am finally back in school after six years. What can I say?!  It only took me ten years to get a two year degree! However, better late than never.
Why Journalism?
I was going through the job postings after a fallout at my previous job. Then I thought to myself, if only I could work for the Orlando Sentinel or even a magazine... If Only... That thought lingered in my mind, "but I need a degree." So that is when the light bulb went off in my head and I decided to step foot onto Seminole State. I never dreamed that I would return to school, better yet, complete it. This time around, I know I will. I feel it has already changed my life. I strongly believe that if I earn my degree and do something amazing with my life--my four year old daughter will follow in my footsteps and do the same.
My Dream Job?
To be 100% honest, I do not know. I hope to figure it out along the way. One thing I do know is that I am going to chose something that makes me happy. That way when I look back one day, I will look back and smile.
Thank you for reading! :)
- Alicia Gonzalez

My name is Carissa May, I'm 19, and I love photography. I'm taking Journalism because often times journalism and photography go hand in hand, and I decided it would be a useful skill to have. I got interested in photography when my family and I would go on road trips together. We took pictures to make memories, but for me, it soon became a passion. For nine and a half years I lived with my parents and two younger brothers in Papua New Guinea. It's a country on the other side of the world, just north of Australia. We moved back to the U.S. in 2006 and have been living in Florida ever since. In 8th grade, my class took a field trip to the Florida Keys for a week, and I bought my first camera right before we left. that's when I started taking pictures of anything and everything. In my senior year of high school I was on the yearbook staff. I enjoyed writing articles and working on the page layouts. I really hope that taking a class in journalism will help me improve my skills. My family and I have taken several road trips which have brought us to places like Washington D.C., Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park (twice), and various other places in the south and out west. This has given me a love for traveling as well as photography and writing. That's why my dream job is to work as a photographer for National geographic. Hopefully I can get a career in photography that will take me to various places around the world. But for right now, I'm just working on getting an AA degree at Seminole State before transferring elsewhere for a degree in photography. Hopefully my journalism class will get me one step closer to being prepared for such a career.
- Carissa May

John Nunez: I am bad at introductions, my name is to the left of this sentence.
My major is uncertain as so is my career and possibly class choice. I pride myself in staying true to my craft whilst saying I won't sell out (however, I will most likely be the first sell out if the opportunity arises). I enjoy chocolate debaucheries, frivolous conversations and couch spelunking. For a brief time I ran a small blog called Disgruntled Office Workers that revolved around the mundane activities at my work place. This blog consisted of violent rants and illustrations as well as comparisons to co-workers to the cast of the TV show The Office. After the blog had circulated quickly among my workplace I had decided that it was time to put down my blog puppy before my boss (which I dubbed Michael Scott) took offense to it. I've worked mostly questionable freelance writing jobs, ones that for the sake of my reputation are not disclosed here. I wish I would have talked more about dragons in this brief bio. I hope everyone has stopped reading this by now. That is all. I am also sarcastic but only mostly in my bios.
- John Nunez

My name is Christina Lori Fleming. This is my third year attending college; however, due to being a transfer student I am registered as a sophomore at Seminole State. Before Seminole State I lived in Atlanta, Georgia and attended Kennesaw State University. My intentions are to receive an A.A degree at Seminole State as a communications major with a concentrate of journalism and media studies. Then I intend to transfer to the University of Central Florida and receive my Bachelor’s degree. Experience I have within the journalism field starts back in high school. I was the lead photography editor of my school’s yearbook for two years, and this is when I learned my passion for journalism. I was also a reporter during this process. It helped me learn the basics of an interview, how to process InDesign, manage deadlines, develop copy editing skills, and improve upon my photography editing. I also attended a journalism convention in Washington D.C. during this time period with the other journalism students at my school. This exposed us to the new ideas and structures that were being developed at the time encouraging us to expand our creativity in stories, web design, and alternatives copies for our yearbooks, newspapers, and magazines. Throughout college I have taken several classes that have permitted me to enhance my skills as a reporter in journalism. The classes I have taken are: Human Communications, Public Speaking, Writing for Public Communications, and Visual Communications. These classes have broadened my prospective as a journalist, and have allowed me to practice submitting information before deadlines, guided me in the basics to writing in AP style and to work efficiently with my peers in group affiliated presentations and projects. Outside of school I am a bartender at the World of Beer. I have a strange obsession with my dog Luna, and I enjoy activities such as hiking, kayaking, music festivals, and traveling.
- Christina Lori Fleming

My first love in life is music.  First impressions of it were singing hymns with my father in church.  I started playing music formally at the age of ten and it's been an obsession and love affair ever since.  I've performed in over thirty states, Canada and all over Europe.  I'm currently involved in three projects locally: a reggae/ska/rock band, Paddington Ambush; a soul/Motown style band called the Sh-Booms; and a New Orleans-style brass band which has yet to be named.
My second love in life is travel.  Being born and raised in Nowhere, Florida, I was eager to get out and see the wider world around me, a world full of wonderment and excitement.  Since I've been bitten by the "travel bug", I've been to Europe almost every year since 2000.  My personal favorite spot in the world to travel is Barcelona.  Wonderful food, artwork (see Gaudi), architecture and people make it a truly international city with tons of flair and panache.
My third love in life is food.  I've told many friends that "I love everything, from nacho cheese to foie gras."  I'm constantly curious and amazed at the ingredients and techniques involved in creating great dishes.  To me, it's a well-forged ally between science and the arts.  Creativity meets technical abilities.
These are my passions.
- Joseph Meadows

I am one of the few.  The proud.  No, not a Marine, but an Indiana Pacers fanatic.  I'm Joey Metych and I happen to probably be the only Pacers fan you'll ever meet (we're really an endangered species).  While Pacers pride seeps out of my pores, I love many different teams across various other sports. 
I have had quite a few articles of mine published online ranging from mixed martial arts to sneaker care.  While this is my first actual journalism class, writing has always been a passion of mine and something I have excelled at throughout my life.  My hope while working on The Scribe is not only to improve as a journalist but to increase the quality and notoriety of our school's newspaper.
Well, that's enough about me for one day but don't worry: you'll be reading me in the near future.

- Joey Metych

Lately I’ve found myself much like any other person in their early twenties: confused, directionless, and poor. Through my trials I’ve discovered a few things, even if there often are more questions than answers. I could tell you exactly when a man’s had too much to drink. I could tell you who you shouldn’t trust to drive behind the wheel (Chad. It’s always Chad.) But if there’s one talent I’ve discovered within myself, besides being very adept at being snarky, it’s been writing.
I first discovered my propensity for writing when I was in high school. When I went to Lake Howell High School, they imposed upon the students a new style of grading our writing style: having us type out an essay prompt before unthinking, unfeeling, careless , machines and seeing what we could produce. Our essay prompt for this was somewhere along the lines of “a friend who’s helped you.” I quickly discovered that this system had no ability to detect proper nouns or really validate the absurdity of any story submitted. And thus I devised a story about me and my personal best friend: Santa Claus. Santa Claus and I fought in Vietnam together, where he took out hordes of Vietcong forces. I related the tale of how his suit was originally pure white before it was drenched in the blood of his enemies. Now, this was back then I had long hair and a love of rebellion, so it didn’t surprise me when I caught the attention of the teachers. To my surprise, my teacher, rather than being appalled, informed the whole class of my art before forwarding it to many teachers around the campus. I’d become a minor celebrity, as students I’d never even met recognized my work. It wasn’t art, but it was a start.
Now I’m entering my third year at Seminole State, where once again I’m struggling to find ways to make it through another math or science course, but am hoping to find some solace in something where I’m at least mostly gauged upon by my writing. Thus far I have taken English, English II, Creative Writing, and Creative Writing II, and have befriended several of those teachers. It seems that my main skills lie within satire and opinion-based writing, as well as the borderline absurdist…although once I did write a mean Lovecraftian tale.
“Who do I want to be?” is a question that I often ask myself, and then the answer is obvious: Robert Downey Jr. Seeing as I lack any sort of acting skill or the man’s charisma (which I’m fairly certain that he sold his soul for,) then I’m forced to set the bar a little lower. After striking off “dictator,” “sexual deviant”, and “nothing”, I’ve found where my more practically-based aspirations lie: an editor for my favorite informative humor website,, or anything that lets me go to Europe. I’d also love to be Hunter S. Thompson. I haven’t the drug habit that that man lavished in, but damn it, I have time.
I thrive on controversy. Controversy is the main driving force behind dialogue. When someone says something that you don’t like, you have to sit and think about it, then argue a counterpoint. That’s how issues get discussed, and that’s how things change. I love controversy, which is why I’ll likely get in a lot of trouble in my future (hey, you’ve been warned.) But hey, if I don’t end up being able to make it in the professional world, I can always become Hunter S. Thompson.
- Michael Brown

My name is Sean Doty. I was born on Pearl Harbor Day in 1991. I have lived in Apopka my entire life and I graduated from Apopka High School in 2010 (Go Darters). Aside from being a Journalist for The Scribe, I am also a bartender at Orlando International Airport and a seasonal employee at Universal Studios. I am a major sports fanatic and I am a diehard Florida Gators fan. I enjoy all sports, but my main favorites are football, basketball and auto racing. Since I could start processing information as a child, I’ve always considered myself to be a competitive person. Whether it’s completing an assignment, pushing myself in the gym, or even a pickup game of football, I’m always determined to be the best and beat the competition. I guess you could consider me a science fiction nerd as well, since I consider Star Wars (original trilogy) to be the all-time greatest set of movies.  I have always had a love for writing, whether it is essays for school or just as a hobby. I had always envisioned myself doing commentary for a news station or writing for a national paper, but it wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I decided to pursue a degree in Journalism. I have dealt with many obstacles recently to get to this point of my life. From dealing with the emotional trauma of losing my father last year to overcoming a former obese lifestyle, it has not been the easiest road traveled. To this day however I have managed to shed nearly 100 pounds off my figure to get myself down to a healthy weight, I am currently taking on the “Insanity” challenge and I have recently earned my Associates Degree from Seminole State College. I have developed a new perspective on life and during my time working for The Scribe this semester, I hope to encourage others to follow their dreams and to never give up on them. I intend on transferring to the University of Florida in 2014 in hopes of earning a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications. My goal is to one day be a sports analyst for ESPN or to be a global reporter for ABC News.
- Sean Doty