There is no privacy on the internet.

I don’t even need a hacker friend to let me know that. It’s just the way it is now. If someone is determined enough they can find a way to access your personal thoughts on a blog, the rowdy pictures on your facebook, and sometimes even your personal information such as your address, phone number, and social security number.

It’s scary, but knowing that your thoughts and personal details are broadcasted across the interwebs (often by your own choosing) doesn’t have to be terrifying. You just have to be aware. So by admitting that you self broadcast or have friends/family/foes that have broadcasted you, you’re that much closer to understanding the true reality of things: the internet is becoming the reality.

Employers use the internet to see who you are outside of an interview. Family uses it to check up on you. And some lonely souls use it to see if you would make a decent significant other. The age of the “online persona” is passing. People see your profile before they meet you in person, but that doesn’t mean they’ll only judge the “in-person you” by what they see in-person. First impressions last, it doesn’t matter if they’re cyber.




While it’s not an actual disease, it sure seems to dig its claws into you like one.

My first bought of senioritis back in high school (man I feel old), had the typical symptoms: laziness, desire to be anywhere but here, and an overabundance of daydreams in place of studying. I had a friend tell me in high school that she wanted to skip straight from senior year to being elderly. At the time I thought that was ludicrous, but now I see that it wasn’t youth and productive years she wanted to skip, it was the stresses of figuring out who you are as a person, and what you’re going to contribute to this world.

This time around the disease has mutated a bit. It has given me a serious itch.

By itch I don’t mean a physical sensation to scratch my body; I mean it more in the sense of how it’s used in the novel Bellwether, which I read for my online Religion in Science Fiction class. It’s used to describe a feeling of discontent, confusion, and just an indescribable displacement. I tried explaining it to my roommate, and it just came out as, “sort of….itch?” So thank you Bellwether for giving me a word to describe it.

It’s not that I don’t also have a strong desire to daydream rather than study, but I also have this looming question that seems to hover over a lot of people in my station of life: Who am I and what do I stand for? Where is my life going to lead?

I find that wandering around at night, just taking in the stars and remembering that first and foremost I am a human, settles me. It’s easy to forget that fundamental thing. Before I’m a photojournalist, a student, or even a woman, I am a human being. And taking time to appreciate that and the world itself is the best therapy available. I can speak to the trees and the ground and the sky without having to physically form words.

Although talking to friends and family also helps. But it’s the world’s listening ears and my slightly labored breathing as I hike over hills that put me right again. I’ll probably be visiting the great outdoors a lot this year. We each have our own medicine.

Rock Bridge State Park-Winter 2012.

Rock Bridge State Park-Winter 2012.

Like a Rolling Stone

It seems I’m everywhere and nowhere at once recently. How does that work out? It doesn’t. I say this because I’ve really only been in Missouri for the past 14 years of my life, but these past 14 years have contained the most defining periods of my life.

I feel as if I’ve been nonstop since I entered college, more specifically the Mizzou J-school. I’m particularly invested in the Missourian at the moment, since I’m taking the dreaded News Reporting class. Usually dark clouds form over people’s heads as they talk of it. I can’t say I’m any different. I’m in the photojournalism sequence, and therefore I am not particularly interested in covering daily news with a pen and paper at length, or with a laptop nowadays. My strength is in the visuals. I like writing, but only as long as I can express my opinion. I know, I’m picky and childish that way, but it’s hard for me to be objective. My parents have instilled too much confidence in me.

Dreaded or no, I’m required to take the class before Staff Photojournalism so here I am! I’ll be reporting about my various moods and experiences through this dear blog, which has been repurposed many a time with patience. I spent my summer at Missouri Life and blogged about my experience there on this blog as well. When I went into my internship, I thought that keeping busy over the summer would prepare me for the Missourian. I think I was quite wrong in that assessment.

Missouri Life’s deadlines aren’t nearly as strict since they only publish every other month and plan out their stories practically a year in advance. I also did less immediate news reporting and more photo gathering and long story forming. It was a set up I liked, but alas it has ended. I just hope I don’t have to cry miserably every week, because it seems a strong possibility with all of the obligations I have. Keep me in your thoughts throughout this semester, because I’m probably going to need it.

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.

A Blog About Blogging-Why Not?

Blogging seems to be the next trend when it comes to journalism. I think it’s a grand idea, it offers a wide array of subjects to be perused at the reader’s convenience and with the ability to limit the content to one specific subject, there’s always a niche for everyone’s interests. I personally have ventured into blogging before with a very specific niche: satire.( I’ve grown to really enjoy satire with media outlets like The Onion and The Colbert Report, both of whom make fun of the subjects they cover, and the journalistic processes as well. I’ve always appreciated when someone can poke fun at themselves or laugh when someone pokes fun at them.

Blogging also allows just about anyone to get their voice out. It’s great for showcasing writing, artistic, and design talents without much of a cost. Every journalism professor nowadays tells students to have a least one blog going consistently to send with resumes and cover letters to potential employers. And since blogging allows for a more casual setting, a person can really relax and show who they are. The “anonymity” of the internet makes a person more daring, and more willing to publish than if they had to run their posts through several editors. (Not that they shouldn’t examine their own work with a discerning eye.)

A blog that I came across when browsing through the students in the capstone class caught my eye. Most of the others looked exactly like the templates on WordPress (and I know what they all look like now, trust me), but hers was very unique and inviting. On top of that, it made me want to read one of her posts. (  Her writing seemed to match the fun style of the layout, and I think it’s important for a blog to be representative not just of the content, but of the person who’s managing it. It’s a lot more personal than writing articles for a local paper or magazine. It’s designed and written by solely you. You are editor-in-chief, reporter, web designer, and photographer all in one. And blogs are generally opinions, so the blogger is really putting themselves out on the line for others to view straight on, instead of through a lace curtain pulled around them by a large publication or organization. Blogs are both easier to publish, and ballsier in my opinion. There’s the magic word, opinion. And now anybody on the internet can come across this page and comment with their own opinion. It’s beautiful, I tell yah.

Blog at