dream opportunity

There is an MU alum who works for Jetsetter, an online travel guide and membership website whom Liz mentioned her yesterday during my GA shift and showed me her Missourian bio as an example for me. I told her how working for a place like Jetsetter would be a dream and she said send me your resume and I’ll refer you to her.

I worked on updating my resume all night, even letting my roommate look it over (Steph, you’re the best!). I’m so excited to hear back from her and look into this awesome internship opportunity. Working for a travel company or publication has been a dream and to actually know someone in the industry is a blessing.

I am so glad I have gotten to know Liz, not just because of the doors she has opened for me but also because of everything I have learned from her. I think I know now what my main advice to younger grades is going to be when coming into the Missourian: get to know your editors. It may seem scary at first but don’t be afraid to mess up, they are there to help and they will teach you the most out of everyone and everything.

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Hurricane Sandy

If you haven’t heard of Hurricane Sandy, you must live under a rock. During GA, everyone focused on localizing the storm. As Liz said, when a massive storm like this comes in, you start thinking about everyone who it affects. Even if the person is a friend of a friend of a sister’s brother’s wife. It doesn’t matter. But for me, I didn’t have to think of a friend I barely knew. I live outside of Boston and everyone I know is on the East Coast where Sandy is flooding, ripping and shredding up the coast.

While everyone else worked on localizing the storm, I picked today to work on an article about Amy Stephenson, the owner of Get Lost Bookstore downtown. She’s returning to painting by creating an Etsy.com profile. I spent the day talking with her in her shop and organizing with photo to get a shot of her. I am an art-lover so this story was very interesting and fun for me to write. The only thing is: I felt a bit bad writing about that story while everyone else was running around doing Sandy ho-haah. But part of me wouldn’t be able to focus if I were them because the whole time I’d be thinking about my own situation. I’m worried about my house and scared for my friends. While on lunch break, I watched a video from my local newspaper of all the trees down in my town and the rain pouring. I know I may have missed a reporting experience during a super-storm, but part of me feels like I would’ve been biased because I am so personally affected.

Epic observations

At 9:30 this morning, I picked up a photographer and we drove half an hour out to Clark to visit Lauren Byington, who created an all-natural makeup line, Epic Mineral Beauty, with her identical twin Kaylen. In an email, Lauren stated that she lived in the “boonies,” which I didn’t believe until I drove a mile down a dirt road to get to her little blue house.

We stayed two hours, much longer than I had intended — but that was a good thing. I really got to understand who she is, more than just her business. I met her clan of five dogs, explored her Pinterest-inspired interior designed house and even walked through a little bit of her 170 acres of land to a lake where she plans on building a “green” (eco-friendly) cabin with her husband Warren. We talked about the child she is expecting in March and her love of art. All of her makeups are named after inspirational women in her life, like her mother, grandmothers and friends.

I want to write this article so people can feel like they’ve know her themselves. Kaylen lives in Kansas City so I only met her once, but after this, I feel like I’ve gotten to know both sisters better. I can’t wait to write the story and I hope that what I write does the twins justice, they’re both so incredible and I had a blast with them.

Late night reporting

After my productive GA shift, the day still wasn’t over. At 8:30 I went to Broadway Brewery to meet up with a photographer for my story on piano player Zane. That night from 8-11 they were hosting a live improvisation Jazz Jam. I went and observed, took notes about the lighting, the audience, the players while the photographer snapped away.

I know this is a tangent, but I love jazz music. It’s got a vibe, a life to it that other music just doesn’t have. Someone actually asked if I was a singer by the way I was tapping my fingers and humming along. I liked sitting there and writing whatever came to mind. I didn’t have to think about structure or subject. If I wanted to describe the man in the black striped fedora I could. One page of notes quickly became five and growing. When I left, I was relaxed (thanks to the music and the dark bar) and happy with the collection of fluid thoughts in my notes.

two birds with one stone

I love GA shifts that are super long but go by fast because they’re so productive. I got an easy small follow-up clip on a Warm Up Columbia drive setting records. Because of this, I was done by 5:00 when Liz decided to let me and some other reporters go home early. Usually I’m here for at least another hour or two! On the upside, I’m glad I stayed here because an ACE came by and asked if someone would do an obituary write up. I signed up and now, I have two clips on one GA shift. Nice! I was waiting for the ACE to come back from his dinner run to finish up editing and was talking to a few other kids when Liz walked by and asked what I was doing here. I was proud of myself when I responded, “I’m waiting to edit a second story.”

next semester schedule!! WOOT!

Today I put in my forms for magazine classes for next semester. I’M SO EXCITED!!! Finally, classes on editing, InDesign and intermediate writing! It’s insane that this semester is really halfway done. I feel like I’m reaching the long haul. October is always the hardest month and even the teachers agree that there needs to be a break in between these long 15 straight weeks. But now that I am signing up for classes I feel like it’s almost over, like I am reaching the end. I have learned so much from the Missourian, but I am so excited for a semester where I don’t have a 3 credit “job” to stress over every single day. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually MISS STUDYING. What?! Yes, I miss opening a book, reading text, and taking a normal test. With grades. Legit. grades. Lately, I’ve been freaking out because in the Missourian you kind of have to take an honest look at yourself and judge what grade you have, otherwise it’s up in the air. They don’t tell you “oh hey, you have a (insert grade here)” like other classes.

This is my Octoberitis talking I know, but everyone has one extra tough month and sometimes you just have to rant about it and look forward to that light at the end of the tunnel.

Four hours later…

This morning after lecture, Julie and I sat in Lee Hills Hall until 3:00, finalizing our project with our TA, Anne. We matched all the photos to the audio, edited, cut and repeat over and over until we finally had a project we agreed about. The funny thing is, as we were finishing up (Julie and I were so exhausted at this point), we couldn’t get the video to save to iTunes as a movie. Then all of our content erased. The two of us started hyperventilating — after all, that was easily 12+ hours of editing we had done. While all of our back files on Audacity did in fact delete, the project had finalized to a movie in iTunes only moments before.

Now, this time we hadn’t done anything wrong. My computer has a vendetta against Audacity and cannot read any of the saved files. I don’t know how to fix it, but I feel like the multimedia TA I had last semester should’ve introduced us to some better program alternatives. Also, I retrospect, I wish my multimedia TA from last semester had taught us better in the first place since there are so many things about cameras and software that other kids know from their classes that my teacher seemed to blank on when it came to my class. The J-school should really look into making sure their TAs know how to teach equipment instructions… it’s much different than just teaching in general.

all night long

From 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Julie and I sat in the student center and worked on cutting down and editing the audio on Audacity for our multimedia project. I was so shocked at how nitty gritty the process was. I have a newfound respect for the people who do convergence for a living. You can spend hours cutting down milliseconds of audio just to make words clearer and more concise. There is so much work that goes into each individual project but when we finally clicked save and finished our audio, we felt so successful and happy that it was finally the way we wanted to present it.

meetings, so many meetings

I had a meeting with Jeanne today to go over my first draft of my Zane piano story. We decided to send a photographer to his next Jazz Jam at the Broadway Brewery next Tuesday night. It’s nice to actually edit with the editor and see what little things they like to change, maybe something that we haven’t noticed in our own writing. One main thing I have learned from Jeanne was how to structure, organize and write better leads. She’s helped me so many times with writer’s block and inspired me to go home, fix it and continue writing. Meetings with editors are really helpful, but they’re even better when they tell you that there’s not much to change (gotta love those pat on the back moments).

Epic Mineral Beauty interview

I met up this rainy morning at 11 a.m. to sit down and have a cup of Starbucks coffee with two identical twins who are starting their own all-natural make-up line called Epic Mineral Beauty. They were so much fun to meet – Kaylen (the nine minutes younger and blond twin) was very urban and loves fashion and marketing. Meanwhile, her twin, Lauren couldn’t be the more opposite – besides her brunette hair. She is very earthy and all-natural. She experiments with ingredients to create the makeup while her sister, who lives in Kansas City, markets it.

I decided not to record the interview but part of me wishes I had because as I was writing sometimes I lost track of who was saying what. The twins often overlapped what they were saying, agreeing with each other and occasionally joking around or bantering. But it was so much fun learning what goes into creating makeup, listening to their childhood and their creative and artistic perspectives. I can’t wait to do more observations on the story.