Friday, February 29, 2008

The Greater Good

Last year, I worked for Let’s Go Publication as part of a small team of students who together published a travel guide of various destinations in the United States. I traveled for two and a half months covering the Southeastern states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida. I independently researched destinations I wanted to write about and included my findings for budgeted accommodations, food, and outdoor/ indoor sites. In order to honestly write about these sites, I tried out all the locations I planned to recommend. I was the sole person examining these places in the team and I had to cover everything as accurately as possible.
Weekly, I was responsible for submitting a rough copy of the write-ups of all my research and new findings. I worked very hard on my first copy batch, spending many hours perfecting it. I planned to submit an immaculate copy for my editors and those in my team. As I was about to hit the send button, my computer crashed. I restarted my computer but all my files had been erased including my entire copy batch, which was about 70 hours worth of work. I immediately contacted my editors and told them what had happened. My writing editor who was also new to the business was flabbergasted and told me to contact their IT department. I contacted the IT department and after several attempts was unable to retrieve my test copy. Knowing that everyone in the organization was dependent on this information, I then contacted my brother, an IT specialist for Microsoft.
Even after that attempt, my copy batch was completely gone. I had a moment where I doubted my own abilities; I felt that if this happened to the first copy batch what else could go wrong for the next months of my traveling all alone to a foreign states. I decided to take a small walk to gather my thoughts. As I walked, I realized that I was part of a team depending on me and I must ensure my contribution to the organization. Realizing that I was working for the greater good of the team really helped me put things in perspective.
I contacted my editor and told him that I would need a couple of days to rewrite my copy batch. He agreed that this would be the best idea. Since I knew that my team relied on me I stated that I would consider my time working on the rewrite as part of my days off. I spent 14 hours at a coffee shop for two days rewriting all my work. Luckily, I had taken extensive notes on my research and much of what I had written remained fresh in my mind.
I submitted my copy batch in exhaustion, but accomplished. I was very proud of myself for accomplishing something crucial and not letting down my team. My route was finished on time and the book was published on time. We all endured various struggles but we persevered and ultimately we produced a one of a kind travel guide.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Beginnings in Journalism

New Beginnings in Journalism

I always enjoy Shakespeare. I am fascinated with how he can describe complicated relationships in a simple manner. Studying how he put the intricate details of life into the written word is what led me to become an English major at UCLA. I was driven to learn more about this ability. It took me as far as Stratford-upon-Avon, the town Shakespeare had lived and wrote, where I could see firsthand how he developed as a writer. It was amid the excitement of learning about his life that I realized something. Although Shakespeare's universal themes may be timeless, his work was written for the people of his time and lacks the contemporary focus which makes him appeal to the people of today only as a form of high art.
Once I had that realization, I had to understand what appeals to a contemporary audience. I changed my major to American Literature and Culture where I felt I could learn more about how literature has evolved in recent times. I was drawn to the subject by the passion that my professors and fellow students had for certain writers as I have for Shakespeare. I took a class about Emerson with a professor that was fervent over the subject matter. After class had ended, I would often ask her about her own personal interest in Emerson. These conversations with the professor and watching her interpret passages from his writing are what I enjoyed most about the class. Talking with other professors and students about what interested them, I had similar experiences. I enjoyed investigating the human element behind literature and the arts and how that can make people feel and act.
It was then that I discovered journalism. It combined my love for writing with my need to talk to and learn more about people. There was only one journalism class at UCLA and they were very selective who they let attend it. In order to get in, I had to submit an entrance essay. I wrote it about why I felt journalism was a good match for me and they must have agreed as I was accepted. The class turned out to be much more than I had hoped for. It was taught by a professional journalist and author who showed us what it takes to have a career in journalism and the practicalities behind it. He mentored us on finding our own inner voice and techniques to lead conversations down the paths you need them to go. The true test came when we received an assignment to do a local celebrity interview. I interviewed Lisa Kudrow and it was a success. After that, I was confident that journalism was the right career path for me. My professor was so impressed that he found me an internship at a local entertainment magazine where I got to experience what life would be like as a professional journalist.
Now that I am confident that I have found the career I want to pursue, I wish to hone my skills further. I enjoyed studying it in college but it was all too brief and I feel I need more time to gain experience. I want to learn more about the field and evolve as a writer before I enter a journalist career professionally.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cold Haiku

I will shake this cold.
My secret weapon aids me.
It's Emergen-C.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

This Valentine's Day

I have one true passion and drive in life and that is to travel.
To see the world, and experience new destinations. I am celebrating
Valentine's Day with my true love of traveling in mind. It is time to make
my dreams come true... and book some flights!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Last Weekend.

Yesterday, was a very busy and pleasant day.
In fact, this whole weekend was really nice and on-the-go. Saturday night,
I went down to the North End (Italian section)
and sipped on sambuca. Then went to a party in the oldest and
wealthiest neighborhood in Boston called Beacon Hill. We didn't know
the person who lived at the apartment and was invited by a girl in my program.
We played trivia while some dudes were playing guitar and violins.
This apartment was so fancy, and it had its own elevator! It had a dazzling rooftop
view of the city. I'd never seen an apartment like that before.

Yesterday during the day, I went to this funky craft store and made cards out of fabric. It soundsreally bizarre, but they came out pretty neat. This woman from Brooklyn, who is an author of a retro sewing book guided us through the art project. I felt
like I was in first grade, cutting the fabrics and playing with glue.

Then I went off to a super bowl party at this really small apartment. I again didn't know anyone there, except for a friend of a friend. Even though the game was awful for the
Pats, the party was fun. I don't watch football or care that much about it, but it was really painful to watch. The defense was horrible. I wonder if it was rigged. On our drive home we saw so many riot police with their night sticks out after the game. I've never seen so many cops in one night. Luckily, no riots broke out.

Tomorrow, I have a job interview at this animal rights organization called NEAVS. I would get to write, edit, and update their website. Its kind of ironic, everyone in the organization is vegan and its right above a McDonalds.

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Goals

I'm applying for a bunch of interesting jobs that make me so excited just thinking about them. They are all over the map, but I don't care I'm allowing destiny play a role in what job chooses me. I applied for a communication job at NEAVS (New England Anti-vivisection Society- This job entitles updating the website, writing, and fact checking for an animal rights nonprofit. I applied to Bloomingdales, a really kitschy modern craft store, and a job in technology and sales at Harvard. Fingers crossed with all other superstitious acts... I hope I get a great job soon!