Friday, December 23, 2011
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Monday, August 8, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
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
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
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
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
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
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.
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
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.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
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
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
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
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
As the end of high school approaches, I've been thinking about regrets, memories and above all, how to go out with a bang.
Monday, January 31, 2011
It's late, but I'm on a healthy stream of consciousness that usually results in good writing, so here goes.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
I liked 2010.