On to the Next

This blog had been used for my journalism class in the past semester, but now I feel like it’s my duty to keep on postin’. Not to mention, I enjoy it.

So to get on with it already, my first post in this new chapter of my blog is still going to sound like me, I’m still going to offer my opinion, whether it’s asked for or not, but it will not be focused on journalism. The topic of journalism may come up every now and then in the course of my blog, but now I will be writing about more general and varied topics. I would even appreciate people asking me to write about a certain topic. If I have no idea what your topic is, I will say so, and research it and form an opinion based off of that research, but there will be a post about it regardless of my initial knowledge of the stuff. So feel free to bombard me with your inklings, I should enjoy to expand my horizons.

This first topic I’m discussing is coming from my dear old brain. I have had quite a year. A year that has tried my patience, my endurance, and my sanity, but enough with the melodrama, I have yet to spontaneously combust. This year has proven to be one of the most emotional in my sweet, young life. My mood swings challenge the most obnoxious pregnant woman and the most steroid-pumped athlete. Let’s just say I change my mind, A LOT. Needless to say, I’ve reflected a lot on my own. A word that keeps flashing in my mind is this: loneliness. I’ve felt lonely about as much as any other person I imagine, something seems missing, even though you have friends around. But in my crazed emotional state this past year, it’s an emotion I’ve felt more frequently and more intensely.

I’m not exactly sure why I’ve felt this way. When I start to get in a slump I’ll admit, I talk to myself. I tell myself of the friends and family I have. I think of how nice it is to not constantly be around people like I am at work. To have some peace and quiet is a nice thing. I used to be a bit of a loner. I had the best time reading by myself, walking and hiking around outside by myself, even watching a ton of movies by myself. I still do these activities, but now they’re accompanied by more than just peace, they’re joined by vacantness. All of these thoughts got me thinking, is this normal? Does everyone need distractions from everyday life?

I wonder as I imagine a lot of people wonder- about our significance, about what it really means to live a good, happy life. But there’s a question I’ve had burning brighter in my brain: Why are we afraid to be alone with ourselves? Think about it, a lot of the waking hours are spent thinking about the past and the future. I plan ahead for practically everything, and I look forward to things. When I’m not anxious for my life to get started, I ponder things that happened in the past. Things I would have changed, things that could have lead to something grand, fond memories I want to relive, just everything except the present. If I were to erase the past and the future from my current thinking, I would be left with what was before me-myself. Who wants to spend that much time thinking about themselves? We all have faults we’d like to correct, emotions we’d like to hide and fears we’d rather keep in the dark. I know when I have nothing planned, nothing to look forward to and all the sweet memories are too hard to recollect, I sit and stare at the space in front of me. Sometimes it makes me feel calm, other times it makes me sad, almost as if my life is a disappointment to what it could have been. But what’s worse is not being able to place the sadness. It feels ridiculous when there’s no cause. I have friends, family, education, entertainment, good health, etc. What more could my selfish self ask for?

I used to not be afraid of my own thoughts, so what changed? I’m still trying to figure it out. When I read Virginia Woolf this past semester in my Brit Lit class, she reflected on how much time was spent in the here and now. When free association could just crop up and not be batted down by plans and regrets. It really touched me that she sensed the same thing that I did: that we are all creatures living anywhere but the present. Maybe it’s too scary to think that we could change things in a moment, and that moment is now. It’s too sudden and we’re very deliberate people. Hell, it’s what we’re all taught, to make decisions based off of fact, research, and lots of thought. But what is all that thinking for, if it never leads to action? I pose a lot of questions, I know, but that’s something. Maybe I’ll eventually act on my brain siftings.

Toodles….for now.

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So Long! Farewell! Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye!

Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you! Okay, I’m done singing…for now. Yes, another semester has come to a close, the final projects are in and the final study sessions crammed with snacks, late night slap-happies and notes upon notes have commenced. As with all journalism classes, there is no final test, just a project that makes us apply what we learned to a real story. There’s a practicality in it, considering this is probably what we’ll be doing in our future professions (unless if you’re strategic communication and don’t plan on reporting at all). Plus, it makes the classes a lot more interesting. I would much rather be out in the field collecting audio and taking photos than studying a textbook about the ethics of journalism. (Does it make me a bad person to say that?) The hands on aspect of this course (J2150) really appealed to me. I also got to choose the stories I did, for the most part, and got to choose them based on their visual appeal as well as their story worthiness. As excited as I am to end the semester and have a carefree, sunny summer, I will miss this class.

Now for those of you that think I’m just typing these praises because I’m trying to get a better grade, you are sadly mistaken. If I don’t think something is right, I have the stubborn ability to dig my heels in and shout, “B.S.!” Just ask my parents, I’m far too opinionated for the general public to think that I’d suck up to anyone, just because they’re in a position of power. But moving on from my character analysis, I actually enjoyed this class. Being a visual person who wants to go into photojournalism, this class was a godsend after J2100, which focused entirely on writing without opinion and going to meetings about things that I honestly didn’t care much for. They certainly weren’t aesthetically pleasing stories where it would take a major natural disaster to pry me away from taking more photos. But in this class, visual appeal was key. It was all about how certain angles and framing works better for some situations rather than others, how lighting could make or break a shot, and what kind of mood different visuals with audio would create. That is right up my alley.

I’ve stated in a previous post that I wanted to have a job where I could take photos, video, audio, and just post it on my blog with my own opinion or viewpoint involved. This obviously works well with my desire to ramble about my take on the world without anyone telling me I’m being too personal. I like to be personal, I like that people can get a feel for who I am and comment on what I’ve done either with contradictions, alterations, or agreements. I’m a big fan of discussion about the world and its issues, and I think there needs to be more of it. If I were to have a job where I could foster debate, state my opinion (politely) and take all kinds of photos/videos/audio (and on top of all that travel!), I would be incredibly satisfied.

I wouldn’t know how to create and edit videos/audio without the help of this class, so I’m incredibly thankful that this class has helped me with what could be my potential career. That’s what I love most about my major, I learn all of the things I could ever need to know about my future job before I graduate. This practical knowledge will stay with me forever. And even though they taught  a certain way of doing things, I still have room to be innovative. It’s a great relationship, and I’m sad to see it end.

The Missouri Atlas

Created by Katie Bell

The Asian American Association had their annual Asian Street Market Tuesday, April 17, 2012 on Lowry Mall. The event is a part of Asian American Awareness Week hosted by the association. Members of AAA volunteered to serve food from different Asian countries, provided by Okii Mama and Taj Mahal. To get a plate of free Asian cuisine, participants completed a quiz that tested their knowledge of each of the countries represented in the food served. AAA provided information on each country on posters colorfully designed to help people complete the quiz and receive their ticket for a free plate of food. They also taught people how to use chopsticks by picking up gummy bears. They did however provide spoons for those who wanted to use more western cutlery.

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