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!!!