Friday, December 23, 2011

Build It Again

Looking back on my last couple blog posts, the vast majority take on a underlying movie or music theme.

This one is a movie I haven't seen, "Machine Gun Preacher," however, the trailer (and the eventual release on Blu-Ray, which I'll be sure to rent) looked captivating enough to use in this blog post.

Part of the trailer shows the main character calling his wife when the opposition blows up a orphanage intended for Sudanese children. His wife's response - "get off your butt and built it again."

From a journalism point of view, I take it as a point of improvement. 750-word news article? Try a 2,000 word feature and when you're done with that, attempt a 8,000 word investigative piece. My thought process motivates me to do better - there is always a higher point.

So as I venture into the new year, I won't settle for covering a concert or writing a basic news story, I want the deadline-crunching, risky off-the-wall feature, which may or may not pay off. One of my first blog posts mentioned covering the 2014 World Cup in Brazil - the goal hasn't changed, neither has any of the other journalism goals I have.

I'm ready to built it again - and much better than the first as well.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

'Yes Man'

I have a (good) problem - I don't take no for an answer.

Dream internship? It'll happen soon. National byline? Already happened.

Like I mentioned with emails before, almost 90 percent of the time I don't receive a response or positive answer, but, when I do, it validates (not that it needs any) the faith I put in initially.

I still have items on my to-do list because I refuse to give up on the idea, goal or viewpoint I wrote down. Its always the email or answer you least expect which makes it all worthwhile. Its the job that may be three or four years down the line, but its there - and I know it is.

I think of the word 'no' in the journalism sense as a prolonged yes. Most of the time its a heavy pool of applicants or "we don't do that," but I'll always ask because there is an exception to every rule.

I'll continue the search for the 'yes.' It seemed like right after I am shot down, I'm off sending another three emails for more opportunities because I'm fueled by the no, it makes me want to become a 'Yes Man.'

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Better Days

I used to loathe Wednesdays, it was always historically report card day in grade school or the stress-filled, nothing going as planned day of the week. However, I treat Wednesdays just like every other day now because it was actually on a Wednesday I recieved the monumental journalism opportunity to cover a music cruise.

When I realized that, I embraced Wednesday's, sent the same emails, took the same chances and worked just as hard. It may sound silly, but I needed the validation. Not every day could be perfect, I realize that, but I have to live life like there is always a tomorrow.

That's why I'd work on my birthday or cover a concert the night before Thanksgiving, opportunity doesn't take a break. I still have a huge to-do list, especially with the semester coming to a close, but I still want to do everything and anything.

I will give my time, effort and dedication to every moment - because its toward better days.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

You Raise Me Up

More often than not, I don't get a reply. What I'm talking about are emails - job applications, general inquiries or anything to improve as a journalist.

However, persistence always pays off.

After eight months of those emails, I am close to landing journalism gigs which will equip me to the point where I won't have any more slots on my imaginary tool belt - a good problem to have.

I want to be able to do everything within journalism and more, have the skills right out of the gate and learn with the guidance of others.

This month hasn't even started in my opinion, I have applications, tests, papers and group projects to complete. Then, there's more.

I have so much on tap for next year, I seriously might have my first six months booked.

However, faith and persistence have always played a role in my success.

To more than I can be.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Seventh Place


Contrary to popular belief, "winning" isn't everything. In fact, one may be better off not winning. No one expects you to succeed, you fly under the radar and increased pressure is no where to be found.

The reason I started this post with the title 'Seventh Place' is because of American Idol. I do not watch the show, but I am always amazed by the artists who do not win, but end up more successful than the one crowned victorious.

Jennifer Hudson finished seventh place on American Idol. Let me say that again - seventh place. One could argue that Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood supersede her in terms of Idol popularity, but what she has done in the last several years warrant a title of its own (both an Academy and Oscar award winner).

So that is why I attach myself to humbleness, even when congratulated or put a pedestal. We should all strive to finish first, but the only thing I could guarantee is maximum effort, whether or not I get there.

As the fall semester winds down, I will continue to push myself harder in and outside of journalism.

First place is nice, but seventh place is not too bad either.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hopetober

Hope resonates from within - it is finding the one story idea which lands me a national byline (has not happened yet, but it will), it is the exception to the rule or an unmet requirement, which was not really needed anyway.

October marks my birthday, Halloween and the appetizer into the holidays. Its a feeling of optimism, hope (again) which allows me to voice 20 seconds on WLRN radio or attain an 100 on a science test, both of which happened in the last week.

Last year it meant a slew of college applications; this year, more applications, but more focus. Applications which involve summer 2012 internships - a possibly segway into the national byline goal.

So as Hopetober, a clever term coined by Miami Seaquarium, continues - I will continue to work harder with each passing day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's my time. It's my life.

Let me start by saying I do not condone or approve of all of Enrique Iglesias' songs. Frankly, the video for "I Like How It Feels" might be his cleanest one.

With that out of the way, since college started, I have seized control of all aspects to my life almost flawlessly - so I feel like the Enrique lyrics I used in my title are somewhat justified.

I just returned from a wonderful journalism outing aboard a cruise ship - covering musical artists every half hour, rotating between my DSLR and HD video camera. And for the first time in a long time, I actually studied and completed my college assignments on the cruise ship.

I am currently in the process of sorting through and editing content - look for a YouTube video link soon.

Everything just seems to be clicking - the balance of work and school, taking on extra assignments with the same quality and even making time for volunteer work.

5 o'clock traffic? No problem. Three-page paper? Bring it on.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A New Day Has Come

I've officially done it - I have successfully managed six classes, three days of work and the occasional movie review/concert in need of covering. (so far)

Despite all my success in the past year, only now I feel like I've been running on all cylinders. Maybe its my severely disciplined time management or the process of a patient adult. (I just need a couple more 5 p.m. traffic sessions)

Whatever it is, its working.

In just the last couple weeks, I have landed an internship at WLRN-Miami Herald, my first venture into the medium that is radio and, as of Thursday, I will be covering my second music cruise as a freelance journalist.

And it would be an injustice if I did not quote the Celine Dion song at the end so, "where there was weakness I found my strength," words that hold true for me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Drive

Alot of meanings here - it could be the lack of my right arm on turns because of my shoulder bruise, my ability to balance college classes or simple motivation.

Despite the first week stress, my college schedule is exactly the way I wanted it to be. All classes are Monday to Wednesday and start in the afternoon. However, I still have story assignments, job interviews and decisions to make in regards to freelance work for the Thursday to Sunday timeframe.

Time management, as I have learned over the last few months, is essential. I have to say ''no" to some journalism assignments and prioritize other aspects of my life.

I will reach all my goals though, because of passion, which brings about a small side note. One of my college professors asked my class if they chose their major for money or passion.

I consider money a bonus -- I work out of passion.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Three's Company

Three workshops in three weeks in three different cities.

Summer 2011 may go down as the propeller that ignites the engine of my journalism career.

I have made tremendous contacts with a variety of news organizations this summer. Even though I have not attained a national byline (yet), my latest short-term goal, intangibles have bettered my writing.

I continue to grow as a journalist and in a few days, I will pull out my pile of notes and paperwork from all the journalism workshops I have completed this summer and grow some more. I was recently asked what I do for fun and I did not have a direct answer.

Journalism is my fun.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I can and I will

I'll be honest -- no air-conditioning in a dorm on the 20th floor with amenities such as sideways running water and rust leads to less than eight hours of sleep and heat -- both stress and sweat filled.

However, the Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop at Point Park University has met my expectations with punctual leadership and tenacity. I can recognize errors in my own writing and question edits with relative success because of the constant level of work.

I have made connections with Pittsburgh Media professionals, attended a Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC park and, for good measure, tried the famous Primanti Brothers sandwich. (Probably my only food purchase more than $11 this year, but it was worth it.)

The rest of the week looks bright and that is not just the 6:45 a.m. wakeup time I am talking about. Today, my story on the The Pittsburgh Courier exhibit at Heinz History Center was selected for the paper.

I still have goals I would like to reach before year's end, but August is hot so far -- the sweat a primary indicator of will.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Casting Call

By now, you should know that my blog post headlines is the theme I'll talk about in each post.

Well, no euphemism here -- I actually took part in a casting call -- for ABC's "Charlie's Angels" today.

I do not expect to become a Academy Award winner, much less an extra on a TV series, but journalism has given me the confidence to try anything. Minus the two hour wait in line, I enjoyed the experience.

This upcoming week is huge -- a possible college decision reversal (if granted enough financial aid), an Orlando wedding and a few journalism assignments.

Then I am off to the Steel City, Pittsburgh, PA for a journalism workshop at Point Park University. It'll be a bittersweet ending, five high school journalism workshops in two summers. I am blessed to have traveled the country and done so much, well domestic journalism.

I may want more journalism work, but patience is key.

I spoke with a photographer at the Sade with John Legend concert last night and I'll end with what he said, "that just means another door will open."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Say what you need to say

It seems like as soon as I turned 18, I was hit with an onslaught of important decisions.

College was a given, but not being able to do every and any journalism assignment took some discipline.

However, had I not applied for every journalism workshop I qualified for this summer, I would not have experienced post-tornado coverage in Tuscaloosa or hearing my voice behind a live radio broadcast in West Virginia.

I even changed my ringtone for the first time in more than a year, it is from a "We're coming back" Alabama tornado video. The song -- London Music Works' "Requiem for a Tower." Now, I'm motivated to answer my phone.

Today, I also listened to my voice on Alabama NPR. I still do not like how I sound, but I had similar quips when I had to write essays and ask questions in elementary school -- and that turned out well.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Extraordinary Measures

Three days removed from the University of Alabama's Multicultural Journalism Workshop and I still want to do more work -- I just cannot see myself doing nothing.

I do not have any imminent journalism related plans until July 30, leaving me more than a month to decide what to do.

Freelance? Work? Both seems more than likely and doable. At this point last year, I was merely touching the surface of journalism, now I'm ready to leap into the driver's seat.

It might be time to try something new; saying that "I love what I do already" could be construed as complacency. I'm ready for the next journalism gig, whatever it may be.

There is always something around the corner, I just cannot see the corner as yet.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who knows what the tide could bring?

I do -- a 783-word story, the good word of a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and being interiewed by NPR Alabama.


When I first arrived in Tuscaloosa, I was hungry (no, not for journalism at the moment, really hungry.) I had just gotten off a 23-hour bus ride, eaten the same foods for lunch and dinner (reheated Greyhound fried chicken) and was tired.


However, when I was driven to breakfast, I saw the "destruction," to say the least. Two days later, in 100-plus degree heat, I took a moment to stop and absorb what my eyes were focused on in front of me.


Rubble, a sense of nothingness and a community trying to rebuild.


I needed this type of journalism, where emotions run high and stories become more than stories. Two news briefs (one published in Alabama's college newspaper) and one extensive story later, I am still learning.


Water has to flow again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Part of the herd

Radio -- I never thought there could be excitement from a solely audio format.

On Sunday, I conducted the entire sports broadcast for a 15-minute segment at WMUL-FM, Marshall University's radio station. Ranked number one in West Virginia by the Associated Press, I received a hands-on tour of the broadcast booth and how writing becomes condensed into a format that makes it easier for the broadcaster to read.

Today I will be visiting The Herald-Dispatch, the main newspaper here in Huntington. I am looking forward to working with reporters/editors and touring almost century old printing presses.




Sunday, June 12, 2011

Katelin Hylton Profile- Marshall University HS Workshop Blog Assignment

"As strange as it sounds, I like research," rising Lawrence County High senior and 2011 Marshall University Summer High School Journalism Workshop participant Katelin Hylton said.

Hylton, a native of Webbville, Ky., has no newspaper at her high school, or even a journalism teacher. However, through her senior anthology class, which is a gradual portfolio of work from her literature classes from freshman to senior year, Hylton's clips include profiles of veterans and slam poetry, which is when a poet performs an original work, usually in front of an audience.

Hylton grew up with four older males -- two brothers and two cousins in her household -- "kind of like four brothers," Hylton said.

She attributes much of her journalism aspirations to this male influence and hopes to major in journalism and communication at Marshall University.

"They have given me more of a drive to stick up for myself," she said.

Marshall University Journalism Workshop Day One

Breakfast for lunch, two flights and a wealth of knowledge.

That sums up day one of this high school journalism workshop at Marshall University. Who knew that "Happy 18th Birthday" was grammatically incorrect?

The five-minute tour of campus as well as the two professor-led journalism sessions will be helpful as I prepare for a core curriculum as a college freshman.

I am looking forward to more dorm experience, an NBA Finals Game 7 (maybe) and the rest of the sessions here at Marshall.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

There is no stopping you

I recently realized something; I'll always have a to-do list. Even when it seems like I'm dwindling it down, I will add another task.

That's okay though; there are always things that need to be done rather than have to be done, part of my high school graduation speech this past week.

With that said, I really should get some sleep but tomorrow (give or take five hours), I'll embark on a six state, four flight and one 23-hour bus ride trip to two universities for two weeks. First up, a three-day workshop at Marshall University; followed by a nine-day workshop at the University of Alabama.

I am in for quite a road trip and I am looking forward to finally getting some much needed reading done on my Kindle.

There really is no stopping me and when I return I hope that I land an internship in New York that happened to be the slogan in my title.

Double-meaning? Yeah.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On the 'Edge of Glory'

I have interviewed basketball players, movie stars and interacted with some of the best journalism has to offer.

And I still have plenty to learn.

In the last month, I have been confronted with decisions that have taken me out of my comfort zone; away from the "fun journalism," that is travel, sports and entertainment. However, in order to do all within journalism, I have to know all is well.

That is where college comes in. I heard "time commitment" at a recent Honors College Orientation and scoffed at the idea, but journalism actually encompasses more than the math and science I have (successfully) avoided.

I will have to take critical thinking and public speaking classes. I will have to work with other people and not be a one-man photo, reporter, writer, etc. These skills are necessary and require more than just the above average story that I have had the opportunity to cover.

I want to major in journalism but now it might be best to minor, who knows. As summer approaches, the best thing I can do is work on opportunities that I receive now and prepare for a "college experience" in the fall.

That includes improving my writing, communication skills and professionalism when I'm among other journalists; everything really.

I feel like I'm on the "edge of glory," but I have a few hurdles to jump over first.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ten years

The last decade with Diabetes has been a rite of passage for me.

Looking back, I have many people to thank -- family, friends and God.

I recently looked at an old picture of me from 2001 that happened to be in the Neighbors section of the Miami Herald. It was family night at McDonald's; the third grade class at Greynolds Park Elementary School.

May 6, 2011 marked 10 years with Juvenile Diabetes--a milestone within itself. Who knew that ten years later I would be writing for that very same section in The Miami Herald?

I have plenty to be thankful for; writing gives me a voice that encompasses my life. As the school year winds down, I am trying to land a top-tier internship in New York, as well as a couple journalism workshops.

Here is to 10 (and many) more healthy and prosperous years.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The pursuit of happyness


Actor Will Smith said in the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" that "if you want something, you gotta go get it, period." I've been feeling the positive effects of that this week.

It's only Wednesday, a historically sub-par day for me, and I'm jubilant with what I'm about to say.

On Monday, I was in the Business Monday section of The Miami Herald, as I am a semi-finalist in the Herald's Business Challenge High School Track.

And today, I was offered the chance to cover VH1's Best Cruise Ever, which features artists such as Lifehouse, Train and The Script.

I really surprise myself with what I'm able to accomplish at such a young age, its mind-boggling.

I'm not done yet though, when I get back from the cruise on May 2; I have a movie review that same evening.

Will I be tired? More than likely. Will it be worth it? Always and forever (old Luther Vandross song).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Busy as a bee

Well, busier actually.

After a job interview followed by another meeting with my Herald mentor, in two hours, I'm off to Tallahassee for Rally in Tally 2011.

In fact, as I write this post, I'm responding to emails, taking care of housekeeping items and the works.

I haven't made a college decision yet as money is probably the biggest factor.

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Portfolio Published

It took almost a year, but I finally added my portfolio to my blog.

Check it out for yourself.

I should be getting to bed, I'll be on a plane to New York in nine hours.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New York State of Mind

It's been a month since my latest blog post, but what a month it has been.

The last couple weeks I've been hustling getting yearbook pages done, a job well worth the commitment involved. Anyway, I had a couple Herald bylines in Feb. as side freelancing has been a nice plus in terms of money.

On Tuesday, I'll be off to New York for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's convention. I plan to do a little journalism review before then just make to sure I'm current on all the rules and what not.

Other than that, it's smooth sailing from here on out. The college decision has not been reached yet, but there is time, lots of time thankfully.

My post spring break plans include two new projects, one journalism and one diabetes related. You did not expect for me to take it easy, did you?

Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lasting legacies


As the end of high school approaches, I've been thinking about regrets, memories and above all, how to go out with a bang.

I've realized that the best way to do that is to leave high school the same way I came in: full of confidence and ready to take on the world.

Just look to your right for example, that is a picture of Brian Delancy, a basketball player on the number high school basketball team in the state. Had I not taken the journalism initiative to try to shoot Sports Photography, I would have never have gotten such a great photo.

It has the rule of thirds, the right aperture, shutter speed, focus, etc. Last year, you might have been speaking Greek if you were trying to describe those things to me. Next year around this time, I hope to be producing multimedia packages like how I write articles(all the time.)

Anyway, this week is very important. I have another newspaper meeting on Friday, but on Thursday I am going to try to create a social group of young people with Diabetes. I could be sleeping that afternoon or leaving early(like most seniors) but the time to act is now.

On that note, I have an AP English test to study for.

So stay tuned!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Diabetes


It's late, but I'm on a healthy stream of consciousness that usually results in good writing, so here goes.

I'm a Type 1 Diabetic. Diagnosed May 6, 2001.

I probably have never mentioned this before, but it's 2011, and with the 10 year anniversary on the horizon, I have decided that it is time for me to open up, help and do whatever I can to guide people with the disease.

As a journalist, it would surprise you to know that I'm reserved and quiet(a rebel to the journalism industry I know). When I wrote the story about my life through diabetes for my school newspaper last year, I teared up a bit.

I manage well, but everyone is different. With that said, this year I want to touch at least one person who has diabetes. New diagnosis' crowd the Joe Di Maggio Hospital(where I was diagnosed) in Hollywood every week and it doesn't get easier.

If I'm not writing a story, look for me at something Diabetes related; soon.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The best week of 2011...so far.

Normally I wouldn't have a VH1 related picture as part of my blog but the best way to describe this week is to label it as "The Best Week Ever," or in this case, what the title says above.

With only three school days, two three day weekends and the NFL playoffs, the bar was set very high to start the week.

On Tuesday, I had $150 seats to the Heat vs. Hawks game. Instead of getting wrapped up in the overtime loss(Bosh was out), I was focused on networking. I met Eric Reid and Micky Arison, with little(alot at first) hesitation when walking up with my business card to meet them.

Then Thursday to Saturday would start a jam-packed three day stretch. Thursday night I covered the Linkin Park concert for Outloud, Friday I had a Columbia College interview, and today, well, was another Heat game.

Tomorrow will be a grand finale, the AFC and NFC Championship games. Like I said before, I'd like the Bears to win and the Steelers by default.

Stay tuned!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Journalism, college interview and mid-terms


Thanks to Dr. King,
I have a short week this week. Although that's besides the point, this week is very important.

Despite another three day weekend that starts Thursday afternoon really, the last of my senior grades that count will be Tuesday and Wednesday. Although I don't hope to catch the "itis," as my English teacher calls it, it will be somewhat of a relief to not have the burden of grades laid down on me.

Thursday also starts probably one of the most enjoyable three day stretches of this year. I'll be covering a concert for Outloud on Thursday, followed by a Columbia interview on Friday and a Miami Heat game on Saturday. The NFC and AFC Championship games are just an added bonus as well.

I will be rooting for Chicago because their quarterback is diabetic and because of Devin Hester and Greg Olsen(UM Alumni).

Until February (two important college admission decisions), stay tuned!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's resolutions..or not


I liked 2010.

Certain actions and decisions made me a stronger person. Oh, the signing of LeBron James was also nice as well. Not for the newspaper or the city in the picture to the right, but it certainly had an adverse effect across the NBA.

My favorite moment of 2010 was my summer. Three journalism workshops in eight weeks was mind-boggling but helped me determine my career path. I was tempted to take a job over winter break, but decided not to, I might have over-stressed myself, if that's possible.

2011 looks bright. High school graduation, impending dream college (cough..UM) acceptance and the transition into another portion of my life.

There could be many lasts this year, or not, depending on where I decide to go to college.

Resolutions don't usually work but I'd like to swim 20 laps every day. In other news, for those that have been reading my articles, thank you.

This month I should be in full gear with manageable commitments and I am looking forward to it.

Stay tuned!