While people on my social media the night I’m writing this are probably annoyed that I’m trying to double dip on the love for my recent award, this blog post is more about creating something to show my children in 30 years.
A rather grandiose fantasy that, in execution, will make my reference to a small social media post in 2019 superfluous. If you weren’t already questioning the slight absurdity of my future self’s apparent decision to show the children whom I may or may not even have by 2049 — while Replicants are running wild — a blog post about an award I won rather than showing off the physical award.
Though that’s all a little too absurdely analytical for what is essentially a self-congratulatory post.
The Honors Program secretary also sent out our advertisement poster the other day, so I can officially share that sweet piece of digital paper:
I’ll be throwing this puppy out on my social media sometime soon.
Though, again, that won’t matter to anyone reading this 30 years down the line. So…
That’s pretty much been the positive vibe of my day in a nutshell. While I was stuck at school all day for classes and meetings, I found out that I won a pretty huge award! Plus, I made some other kid’s day when he saw my Master Sword umbrella and very loudly exclaimed, “I fucking love college.”
Oh, and on top of that, we also played old text adventure games in my gaming class:
All-and-all, not too much to complain about.
Technically I do actually have something to complain about in a post-post aside.
I’ve been a bit extra spotty on my “daily” blog writing lately, and I just wanted to address that as a result of school really kicking my ass between midterms, honors project writing and internship junk.
Hopefully it’ll pick up again with this weekend hosting a new Fire Emblem banner and my trip to the cinema for Captain Marvel, but if it doesn’t I’ll apologize in advance here.
My piece out in the Daily Titan today is actually pretty serious, so I’m going to skip over the tomfoolery and get straight into talking about what has been happening.
As we approach the end of the Spring 2018 semester, a bunch of the reporters in Comm 471 have been working on a large-scale project about local and on-campus restaurants. It’s essentially a means of getting enterprise points for multiple members of the class, but it has also given us the opportunity to do some heavier reporting.
Given the fact that I’m the most experienced person in that class, our advisor has also made me essentially the project lead on this endeavor. So even though only one part of everything here technically has my byline, I’m going to talk about all of it.
The project has been split into two days, with everything in today’s paper focused specifically on restaurants surrounding CSUF, their health code violations and why those violations are in place to protect the safety of consumers. The on-campus stuff is coming sometime next week.
Three stories were published with the first part of the series:
First and foremost was the ‘headlining’ story, the one I wrote alongside Jennifer Garcia about restaurant violations.
Where do I even begin with this one.
I actually wasn’t even supposed to be credited on it at first. That’s probably as good a place to start the story as any. Originally, my job on the series was to be a de facto project lead next to Bonnie and create an interactive map based on the inspection reports of local restaurants surrounding CSUF.
The restaurant map wound up being pretty easy and fun to do all things considered, and I actually did most of it in one day when I was home sick a few weeks ago.
If you want to see where the 55 restaurants I looked at stand based on their inspection results out of the Orange County Health Care Agency, you’re in luck:
I enjoy how the map overall turned out, even if it has given me many reasons not to ever walk into a couple of places ever again. Plus I’m not very snobby when it comes to telling other people where not to go…
But that’s another story.
While my piece here was finished early on, the other stories meant to go around it had some growing pains. Bonnie changed what the focus of the pieces were going to be and asked me to jump on this story so I could help the writer, Jennifer, incorporate information from my research that was needed to flesh out why certain restaurants were bad.
Eventually that took the form of a story in which we more deeply analyzed the five restaurants that all needed two reinspections following their initial inspections.
From there everything has a pretty straight forward through-line. Talked to the managers of a bunch of restaurants to give them the chance to talk about what we were writing, got in touch with the OC Health Care Agency to find out more about the inspection project, threw it all together and here we are.
Granted production night last night was a bit of a nightmare with me having to be off at class for part of it, only for people to think there were things wrong that weren’t actually wrong despite the fact that I wound up having to adjust the map anyway as we decided to add more into it at the last minute…
But it all worked out in the end, and I’m definitely not sick and tired of staring at any of this stuff.
Written with the cooperative effort of four writers who each contributed various things,
I didn’t actually help to write this story or the next one, so i don’t exactly have as much to say about either as I did for my own piece, but in this case I can at least comment on the photo illustration that was included.
For anyone curious as to how the “Illnesses associated with raw or undercooked foods” illustration came about, it all started with our advisor actually bringing in a bunch of food to the newsroom. Along with our very artsy photo editor Gabe, we arranged the food on a picnic table cloth in the multimedia room.
There were also some goofier items like fake fish we considered throwing into it, but for this kind of serious project we decided against it.
Not all of the food on the image was actually there, however. I’m not sure how noticeable it is, but the raw chicken, sushi, eggs and milk were all added in after the fact. All-and-all I’d say it was done rather well.
Fun fact, originally when we had planned on running this series of stories during Comm Week, the food poisoning story was the only one that was finished enough to be ready to go.
I’m not sure who that fact would be fun for, but hey. In case someone out there was curious about the chronology of all this, there you go.
Though to be fair I suppose you can say that about all of these stories, so I digress.
Again I don’t have all that much to add about this piece since I arguably had the least amount of involvement with it. We had originally planned on holding the vermin story for day two of the package, but quite literally the night before it was decided we were going to include it.
I gave the writers a list of restaurants that had violations cited for cockroaches based on the extensive research I had done, but otherwise the story was completely independent.
Kristine and Jacob did a nice job with it, so I’ve got to give them some credit alongside everyone else who has been working so hard with everything involved in this series.
I’m going to include each part of the food/restaurant series over in my archive on the right, as I figure at the very least I can argue I was an overseer of sorts on the project, but every story credit undoubtedly goes to the individual writers.
They’re all way up toward the top of the news search when you look up the Daily Titan on Google, which is always a nice feeling.
Stay tuned for more coming up, and let me know if you have second thoughts about some of these restaurants based on the work we’ve done. God knows I do.
Apologies in advance if I happen to sound as tired and scatterbrained in this post as I feel in real life. Or in tomorrow’s post for that matter, which I’m probably going to start working on after I finish writing this.
Spoiler alert: It’s Fire Emblem again. Intelligent Systems is on a roll right now.
But that’s obviously a story for another day. Today there are Daily Titan things to discuss.
There’s a little bit of back story behind the article I have out in print right now, but frankly it’s a little too in-the-weeds to get deeply into so I’ll try to make it quick.
There was some confusion last Thursday where people had assumed I would be going to an Academic Senate meeting when in reality I was going to a hematologist appointment that morning and was unaware the Senate was believed to be on my shoulders.
As a result of that confusion, I decided to make sure our page didn’t fall apart on the first day of Comm Week by gathering this piece together post-meeting.
Comm Week, for those of you who are uninitiated, is the one week a year that the College of Communications at Cal State Fullerton invites a heaping helping of guest speakers to come talk about why the field of study is awesome as a way to encourage people to join in and appreciate it.
Basically lots of people with connections come to campus and it would be embarrassing if we had lousy papers to show to them.
While the minutes for each Academic Senate meeting aren’t put out until at least two weeks after a given meeting (as they’re approved at the following meeting), we did have access to the agenda ahead of time.
Based on a cursory look through that agenda, I reached out to the Academic Senate chair and the chairs of the University Writing Proficiency and General Education Committees as those were the groups that appeared to be the most involved in this meeting. Considering it was a Saturday when I began my hunt, I wasn’t expecting much response, so I also planned out a possible crime log-based story as back-up.
Luckily I didn’t need that back-up (as I later found out the University Police Captain Scot Willey was AFK all weekend) because the Writing Proficiency chair got in touch with me.
As chance would have it, she also happened to be the person who led a big presentation on general education requirements following adjustments to Chancellor Timothy P. White’s Executive Order 1100. That, naturally, wound up being the focus of my piece.
So if you’re interested in learning a little bit more about the CSUF Academic Senate’s General Education Task Force, their 34-page preliminary report on the effects of the executive order and all sorts of other background research I’m sure you’re all just DYING to hear about…
Check out my story here. Frankly I’m proud of how this one turned out considering the circumstances surrounding it. Plus I was able to do a cool thing by attaching the full report to the article online as we had somewhat advanced access to it.
You can also see my full archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!
If all works out, I might just have more to share later this week as Comm 471 attempts to roll out some big stories for Comm Week.
P.S. For those curious, the hematologist was good and we extended my between check-up visits window to six months rather than three like we were on. Can’t complain about that.
Yes this is a silly sounding title, but I to distracted and missed a day so I have to catch up now.
Somehow I wound up publishing three articles this week. A breadth of articles for many different sections. It has admittedly been exhausting… But also fulfilling in a deeply personal kind of way.
But also ALSO good for the fact that it fills the coffers of points I need to pass Comm 471. So that’s a plus.
The first story I was working on is actually the second one that was published. Hopefully that won’t get too confusing as I try to lay things out in the order that it all happened.
My last 471 desk rotation was with opinion. Though I haven’t had the most time to work for that desk specifically, I did quite enjoy writing my surfing piece not too long ago.
Because of that I wanted to write another piece before getting switched over to the lifestyle desk. Unfortunately, it took me a while to come up with anything I actually had a serious opinion on that was worth writing… But eventually I came to the idea.
During the national walk-out high schools across the nation participated in to protest current gun control laws, something that happened which I found particularly interesting was multiple Viacom networks halting their programming during the time of the walk-out in support of the students.
One of those networks was famed Spongebob cash cow Nickelodeon. Now I love Nick. Or at least I have in the past, to be fair I haven’t exactly watched anything there in a while.
But I do love the fact that the children-centric network decided to support children in their political escapades.
Now, that’s not necessarily taking a stance for or against gun control. I do have my opinions on that, but to be frank I don’t feel like I’m knowledgable enough to be able to present a case one way or the other. I just happen to think that we should encourage everyone to be as active in our democracy as possible so it can continue to thrive.
If that encouragement happens to come from a television network, so be it. They certainly seemed to do everything amicably enough.
While I have been working on that opinion piece for some time, part of the reason it did not come out until today was because I got sidetracked doing a different story.
So I sat down with him this week to talk about it. And the information I got actually stood out enough that I jumped into high gear to get out a story that night.
That’s right, once again my sports clubs rabbit hole left me doing a rushed deadline night story. Gotta love the high pressure side of the job, am I right?
Following leads I got from my chat with Vigil in that he was overseeing the clubs and beginning the process to seek out her replacement, I started to reach out all over the school. Both over the phone AND on foot. I wandered around back and forth quite a bit that day.
Eventually I was able to get my hands on the Assistant Director of Student Life and Leadership, the financial chair of the Sports Clubs Inter-Club Council and the Director of C-real — an organization which handles things like external reviews that has a name I don’t really feel like writing out in full here. It’s in the story, don’t worry.
Oh, and did I mention, in the middle of doing these interviews I also got pushed off on a couple of others and got a call from the Cinema and Television Arts professor who I spoke to for some general background regarding my opinion piece.
Needless to say I was exhausted that night, and the exhaustion carried over to yesterday when I had a day packed with classes and Boom events.
So that should make the long story (relatively) short in explaining why I didn’t post about my news article yesterday, and am instead lumping it together with my opinion piece today.
God am I looking forward to Spring Break.
If you want to see my news piece in its entirety, you can check it out here. For my opinion piece on Nickelodeon, look no further than this link.
Or, in a radical twist, if you’re interested in seeing my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan, check it out over on the right!
The last day of the Associated Collegiate Press 2018 Midwinter Convention was a long one. Not only did I do a bunch of stuff before heading to Long Beach, but I was there extra late for the California College Media Association awards that followed the closing keynote of the event.
That late awards ceremony was also the reason I didn’t manage to get this out the night of like with my first two posts, by the way. If you even noticed that weird discrepancy and were curious about it.
But if you did not notice that and don’t want to see my keep rambling on, I’ll just jump right in.
Even though there were a few early sessions I was potentially interested in attending during the last day of the convention, ultimately I decided not to go over there yesterday morning. Other pressing matters presented themselves that needed to be addressed from Redondo.
First and foremost, I needed to take some photos regarding a story I’ve been working on for the Titan. The article is an opinion piece about surfing being considered to become the official state sport of California through a bill introduced by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi.
It’s getting published tomorrow, so if you want to know exactly what I’m thinking about regarding that issue, you’ll just have to wait and see. #Cliffhanger
In my desire to earn extra points for Comm 471, I decided to go take my own photos to accompany the surfing article. After all, I live literally five minutes away from the beach. So why not take my own photos?
Turns out, nature gave me a perfect reason why to not take my own photos.
Seriously, what were the odds that I went out to take photos on one of the rainiest, lousy days I’ve seen in this part of the world in months.
At least there was a nice pier to hide under so I didn’t completely ruin the camera I have rented from Bonnie.
Also, shout out to my Mom for taking this dope picture of me. Even if I look silly wearing a leather jacket out on the beach in hindsight.
On the bright side, we went and had a lovely breakfast together after escaping the torrential downpour.
We both look pretty lousy and waterlogged in this photo, but I think that adds to the charm. It was a fun adventure.
After our beach trip, I stayed home for a while longer to work on some homework. That’s the unfortunate thing about going to a dope conference: Having to keep up with your regular life responsibilities at the same time.
Especially when those real life responsibilities include a Psychology Research Methods paper to write in perfect American Psychological Association document style. That’s the funnest kind of assignment.
I did make some substantial progress on that during my morning time — though I didn’t finish it, and I theoretically could probably be working on it instead of this… But those are semantics we don’t need to get into right now.
Eventually, time dictated my necessity to go to Long Beach. I may not have gone to any other sessions, but there was one I absolutely had to go to.
Covering Milo Yiannopoulos
I think it’s probably no surprise at this point that our biggest story on the Daily Titan in 2017 (for the second half of it at least) was the Halloween visit of conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.
There’s no need for me to go into detail about every single story we wrote on the subject, so just check out the Daily Titan tag to get the gist of it if you’re behind.
For our purposes here, know that I was essentially the project lead on our Milo coverage since I broke the news that he would be appearing initially. That’s the magic of having connections with the club that was inviting him.
Because of the extensive work behind our Milo coverage, Bonnie got us a slot on the ACP convention schedule to talk about everything that went into it. Not only was that an awesome opportunity, but I had the honor of essentially leading the talk because I led most of our efforts!
That included everything, from the creation of a PowerPoint:
Of course I wasn’t the only one talking, if the pictures above didn’t make it obvious enough. I was joined by current Sports assistant Kathryne Padilla (left), Opinion editor Sophia Acevedo (middle) and News assistant Breanna Belken (right).
Our talk was pretty popular too, I’d say:
… I know it sort of looks like a half-empty room in this picture, but I took it toward the end of the session. There were more people there early on and a few trickled out throughout.
But there’s no need to try and overcompensate or whatever, as just the fact that we got to speak to anybody like an expert in the subject was an absolute joy!
Probably my favorite part of it was the fact that people stuck around after the talk ended to ask extra questions. Specifically from me! Seriously, they staked out the room and hit my up after I left to find out a bit more about how I was able to stay objective with my reporting on the guy.
It’s a pretty significant confidence booster to see people want your advice on how to handle something.
I may be wrong about this, but I believe it was UC Santa Barbara students that stayed around to talk with me after the talk. So shout out to them.
But if I’m wrong and you just so happen to be those guys and you’re reading this, just let me know and I’ll correct it. I feel bad about not being 100 percent sure, there was just a lot that happened after we talked.
The Ending Keynote: Dirty John
The Los Angeles Times took a chance in late 2017 by publishing one of their larger investigative stories in tandem with a series of podcast episodes. That podcast, called Dirty John, has been downloaded 10 million times since it was put out in October.
Christopher Goffard was the reporter and narrator for the print story and the podcast respectively. He was also the keynote speaker for the last day of the convention.
I was already pretty hyped up for his talk after Steve Padilla, an LA Times editor, advocated for the keynote and encouraged me to go see what he had to say. Luckily, I was not disappointed.
Goffard ran through the ten lessons he learned from working on a podcast:
The story always comes first.
You will eventually grapple with some kind of ethical issues.In his case, deciding whether or not to include certain sound clips to enhance the emotional connection of the story.
In a hyper competitive podcasting space, experience with prior reporting will offer an advantage.
Having the right equipment is important.
You will never know what words you have been mispronouncing your entire life until you have to say it in a professional space.
Even if your podcast can reach more people, use it to draw attention to print.
Always think about the cat (or whatever other noise obstructions there might be).
Your work shouldn’t be about you, as interesting as you may be.
Stop saying ‘uh huh’ during your interviews on tape. Learn to nod your head.
You will not be murdered if you fail. Only staying in your comfort zone will kill you.
After getting through his points in speed running fashion, he spent a long time just answering questions from anyone and everyone in the audience who wanted his advice. It was super cool and useful, and after it ended I was excited to start listening to the podcast on my daily drives to-and-from Fullerton.
Pardon my dumb late-night repetition of ‘excited’ too many times.
The rest of my time at the conference was spent at two different awards functions.
The first bled right into Goffard’s talk. A part of the ACP convention is a ‘Best of Show’ competition, where schools in attendance had the opportunity to enter what they considered to be their greatest work in various categories.
The Daily Titan entered one of the Homeless in OC-centric papers for ‘Best Daily Newspaper,’ the special Milo Yiannopoulos coverage reprint for ‘Best Special Issue’ and the Milo multimedia accompaniment for ‘Best Multimedia.’
We won first place, third place and fourth place respectively.
The banquet was pretty great for a number of reasons.
First and foremost: The food.
It was all as delicious as it looks.
Dinner was almost comically on-point by offering us the opportunity to have both the meat AND the fish course, alongside some salad, mashed potatoes and cauliflower.
Then there were a number of desserts served throughout the night, and I was able to get my hands on a tiny tiramisu and a small thing of custard with gold-colored chocolate shavings and a coffee-ground base.
Though the food was delicious, putting it as my ‘first and foremost’ choice is honestly a bit of a joke.
Really, the coolest thing about the banquet was getting to see a bunch of old friends from the Titan who swung around to get awards!
Namely, my ex-co-editors Sarah Wolstoncroft (Twitter not included) and Megan Maxey, Ashlyn Ramirez and Kaleb Stewart came back into the fold to pick up various accolades. Bryant Freese was also supposed to be there to pick up his first place award for the sports story that got a coach at CSUF fired, but unfortunately he blew a tire on the way over (poor guy…)
Our ads department also won a couple of awards alongside the writers who were in attendance, with the most striking award featuring an amazing typo.
I don’t think anyone got a picture of it, but essentially they gave the Daily Titan Ads Department staff an award for their advertising package, which was a “The Daily Californian” production from 2016.
So we technically got credit for something that UC Berkeley did I guess? I don’t know, either way it was pretty hilarious.
What’s most important for my purposes, however, is the award I received.
Megan, Ashlyn, Sarah, Bryant (who as I mentioned was not there) and I won third place in the News Series category for our work on the “Homeless in OC” stories that were produced as a part of Bonnie’s Investigative Journalism class last year. It’s a super huge honor, and I’m so proud that we were able to get that important work recognized!
Gotta give credit where it’s due, to all my hardworking peeps on the Daily Titan staff, past and present.
After the awards ended, we all stood around and took photos together, then made our way home.
After three days of fun and learning in Long Beach, the convention was over. By 11:00 p.m. when I got back to Redondo, I was ready to pass out.
And I did.
That’s why this is coming out so late into Sunday instead of Saturday night. Because I fell asleep, then had to get up early to take beach photos again (this time more successfully) and have been doing my Daily Titan shift for our weeklong issue before half of our staff goes to New York for yet another conference.
Still kinda wish I had the opportunity to go to New York with them, but after my experiences in Long Beach I suppose I really can’t complain. I had an amazing time with some of my friends, got to share my expertise with a national audience, learn from a number of professionals and won some awards.
See Walt is teaching Public Affairs Reporting this semester, and a part of that class is going to be a series of trips meant to help students understand the breadth of how systems in California work.
Because he couldn’t get enough people from that class to sign on for the trip, he also invited members of Comm 471 to come along. I decided to come along, since it sounded like a really cool opportunity.
Fortunately, it turned out to be an even cooler experience than I was expecting, which made it worth moving my exam originally set for this morning to yesterday morning. Even if having to do that was a bit of a nightmare.
The reason the event wound up being so worth it was because of how personal it became, which I wasn’t necessarily prepared for. Though we weren’t able to take any pictures inside unfortunately, so words will have to do.
Our trip started with a one-on-one sit down with a District Attorney. One-on-16 or so technically, but who’s counting. She told us all about the role of a DA in the courtroom and the general process of moving a case through the system, along with a sense of the large range of cases a place like Orange County generates. But she also brought in her own experience working on sexual assault cases before transferring to the OC Superior Court to start working on misdemeanors.
She also let us know that Law & Order was one of her favorite shows because it’s pretty close to reality. I thought that was pretty funny, thus a post headline was born!
Once she had to go work on a case (given we were essentially cutting time out of her day), three Deputy Sheriffs took her place. Together, they talked to us about their role in the system, both in terms of protecting the judge and attorneys — with an impressive range of weapons I might add — and in terms of patrolling the local area and making potential arrests.
After all, it turns out they work police patrols just like the boys in blue out and about. Who knew?
I mean obviously some people knew. But I did not.
They also showed us a bunch of interesting weapons they had come across in the past. For example, they had a small wall covered in a number of them, including a number of ninja stars, a hair comb that had a knife hidden on the part of the handle that attached to the bristles and a walking cane with a hidden knife inside.
Courtrooms have to deal with a lot of knives apparently.
Once that part of the tour was done, we crossed over to the other side of the large U-shaped building, went down three floors and got to see an active traffic court. Hell, not just that, the judge himself stopped in the middle of his proceedings to talk with us about his job and give us advice to not wind up in front of him.
Listening to his advice and seeing people come in front of him for various things made me far more weary of my driving, honestly. God knows I don’t want to wind up with a $900 fine for not having my insurance, or a different substantial fine for being caught driving solo in the carpool lane.
I’ll also probably never forget this thing he told us: “Driving is a privilege you can lose fast.”
After traffic court, we passed by collections and made our way back up to where we started, where we got to sit in on part of an active court case regarding a domestic violence accusation. When we arrived, we got to watch the prosecutor thoroughly question an Anaheim police officer who was called to check on the two involved parties arguing outside Disneyland.
It was pretty fascinating to watch, but even more fascinating was the way the judge called a 10 minute recess in the proceedings so that we could talk with the prosecutor and public defender. Seriously, not only did they give us a little behind the scenes look into the case they were working on, they also let us ask whatever we wanted to know for a time.
Pretty awesome stuff, not gunna lie.
That case picked up again soon after, but instead of staying to watch more we got another special treat.
Off in a large, quiet courtroom on the third floor, we got a personal session with a Felony Arraignment Judge. He was easily the most fascinating person we met all day, mostly because of how personable he was.
He himself addressed the fact that courtrooms are intimidating – by design, if anything. So seeing how casual and… For lack of a better word, human he was made things so much cooler when we got to ask him whatever we wanted.
What we wanted to know pretty much ranged from his personal interest in justice and what got him to where he was to the newest changes to the bail system in California to the mechanics behind dealing with cases of rats going against gangs or mobs.
Just fascinating stuff, frankly.
But the trip didn’t end there. When the judge went back to work (since he said he sees 100+ cases a day in his position), the Court Administrator who had been giving us the tour got everyone involved in a role-playing scenario. There was a court case set up that we got to play the roles in!
Getting to embody courtroom positions while sitting in a real courtroom was about as awesome as it sounds.
I was one of the witnesses in the case of a woman who was believed to have stolen a car when she claimed she was returning it to the rental shop’s owner. Specifically, I got to be the California Highway Patrol officer (that’s Officer Wright to you) who pulled the defendant over and started the whole thing.
It was a blast, even if our jury decided the defendant was not guilty despite her being guilty in the real life case it was based off of.
Walt actually got pictures of us acting out the case, but I reached out to him to ask about getting my hands on some and he hasn’t gotten back to me. So… I’d say expect another post sometime in the near future with some dope pictures.
The mock trial was an awesome wrap-up to the day, which took about 3 hours through and through. From there I went to Fullerton and trekked through the rest of my day: The long meeting, the class, the exam and the work I had to complete after.
It was a long day, but a fulfilling one. I had a great time in the courthouse, and I have Walt to thank for it. Hopefully I’ll be able to go on more cool trips like it in the near future!
But for now, I’m just going to enjoy a little bit of time off since my class got cancelled tomorrow. I’ll look forward to some extra sleep after three days of getting up early and running hard.
I had another pair of articles published in the Daily Titan today, which is frankly a pattern I’m liking so far this semester. Based on the chart Harrison has been keeping, I’m at the top of the newsroom’s byline record so far, and I’m happy about that.
I’m a little bit busy at the moment between doing some homework and preparing to cover Academic Senate again, so I won’t spend an exorbitant amount of time writing about these recent articles.
For the most part, they should speak for themselves.
The first story holds the very special distinction of being my first ever piece of journalistic writing for a sports desk. Of any paper.
As I’ve mentioned before, part of my experience in Comm 471 will involve trying out different desks through a rotation. Given that sports has been my first stop of the semester, it makes sense that I’d have a story out for the desk eventually.
What I wrote isn’t necessarily anything flashy. It’s a preview for two men’s basketball games happening this weekend, only about 300 words or so and entirely based upon research into some team-related statistics. There aren’t any interviews for the story because it was originally supposed to have quotes siphoned from an interview someone on the sports desk was going to do, but that interview was cancelled.
So… No quotes.
It’s also a little more jargon-y than I had originally written. After all, I’m clearly not a sports writer, so there are bits of terminology I would not have picked up on by myself that our desk editors had to implement so it could be more natural for their regular audience.
Even so, my buddy Jared told me he was really impressed by the information I was able to pull together and said the edits were very minimal, which I’ll take as a big win for my first sports article.
If you want to check that out, you can see it here. For my fellow non-sporting persons out and about, I assure you it’s a short read.
My second article of the day is a little more involved.
At the Academic Senate meeting two weeks ago, one of the subjects brought up by the body’s Graduate Education Committee was their support for a new database being created to house the theses and dissertations written by graduate students.
I thought that sounded interesting, so I started to do some digging.
Very quickly I found myself a bit more over my head than expected. I first spoke with Mark Bilby from the Pollak Library (who, serendipitously, I met last semester at the Pollak Library’s holiday party). We had a 30 minute conversation about open source data repositories.
That was a joy to transcribe, let me tell you.
Perhaps that sounds a little harsh, as Mark was actually a pretty good communicator of technical issues. He’s one of those people that can make something complicated sound sensible for non-technical people, which is something I’ve found with others I talked to for Gladeo. But that’s a story for another day soon.
I then talked with two members of the Office of Graduate Studies, the current interim director (who started about three days before I spoke to him) and faculty mentor Sandra Perez, who is also the Director of the University Honors program.
Retrospectively, I was at fault trying to include information from Dr. Perez considering it’s a bit of a conflict of interest to talk to someone I know in that fairly personal sense. So everything I had included from our talk was cut out. While that’s a shame considering I liked some of the stuff she said, it’s something I can have someone return to in the future now that I know about some discussions she has been a part of.
Even with that said, I think the article turned out really great. It was re-arranged a bit to emphasize some points, but otherwise all of the stuff sans Dr. Perez that I had included was kept, so I feel good about how I was able to take a rather complicated subject and make it easier to understand for a wider audience.
If you want to see that article in it’s entirety, check it out here.
You can also find the full archive of my work for the Daily Titan over on the right!
It’s a rare occurrence I know, but frankly observing sports is a rare occurrence in my life in general, so it makes sense.
I have been known to enjoy a good Dodger game with my family or watch the Lakers on T.V. on occasion, but I’ve never proclaimed to be a sports nut in any respect. In fact, the Women’s Basketball game I went to tonight is the first sport game of any kind of that I’ve gone to during my nearly three year experience at Cal State Fullerton.
I’ve only been inside the Titan Gym only one other time before this, and that was after I first committed to CSUF. It was one of those “welcome to our school” pep rally sort of deals, but I don’t admittedly remember very much about it other than the fact that it was held in the gym.
Probably the only reason that sticks out in my mind is because that was my only experience in that gym up until now, since I’m thinking about it…
But that’s getting a bit too into the weeds on unnecessary information.
What is important right now is that I was in the gym for an actual for real game! As part of Kyle and Sarah’s new design for Comm 471 this semester, all of us staff writers are being required to cycle between the four main desks as dedicated writers for a couple of weeks at a time. That means for two week run times, each of us are going to be a dedicated part of the News, Opinion, Lifestyle and Sports desks.
It figures that an anti-sport kind of guy like me would get Sports desk first and foremost in that rotation.
Actually, it is a little funny how things worked out. Out of the seven or eight people in my rotation group, I’m the only person who isn’t already a sports junkie. So it’s a bit more of an uphill climb for me to get used to everything that’s going on than it is for everyone else in my group.
The nice thing is, getting used to things involves trying stuff out that I otherwise never would do on my own. Like going to a basketball game.
Hell I arguably got a cooler experience than most because I got to be credentialed for the game:
Plus I got to be court side at the game and sit in on our sports editor Jared’s interview with a couple of the players and the coach afterward in the conference room.
Really, although it was cool to check out a game and see some of the inner workings of writing a recap of a sporting event, I think I got a pretty clear understanding of why sports aren’t exactly my forte.
A good chunk of that was the predictable not-complete-comprehension of all the specific statistics and lingo involved with following sports for a living.
Seriously look at how many of these box score readouts they give out to the press. Not only are there a metric ton of them just for one game, but I honestly have no idea what I’m supposed to be gathering from any of them. I think I can figure out a little bit of what they say here or there, but until I get more used to reading them they mostly just look like a jumbled mess of numbers to me.
However, the reason that stuck out to me the most during this experience of physically being there was just… Generally how little I felt like I was focusing on the game itself compared to everything happening around it.Like yes it was engaging watching the players move back and forth and fall all over each other to an extent, but even so I seemed to be more curious about the people other than the players.Like for instance:I was watching and listening to the band quite a bit, both to essentially live tweet what they were playing to my band geek of a sister but also just to figure out exactly what they were playing and why we needed the live band if there was also going to be other artists DJ’d on the speakers.
I also found myself paying quite a bit of attention to the auxiliary cheer and spirit accompaniment. I had no idea they just sat at the side of the court waiting. What are they doing when they aren’t doing a routine? What are they thinking about? How do they keep themselves entertained if they aren’t sports lovers like myself and don’t want to watch the game?
Plus don’t even get me started on the person in the Tuffy mascot costume. I can’t even look at that thing without remembering my friend Harrison’s story about a Public Relations person trying to convince him that the mascot was a real elephant that didn’t have a person inside.Also watching the referees having to run back and forth all night alongside the players was pretty hilarious to me, honestly. I don’t know why, but I was thoroughly entertained just watching them and the people who came in whenever a player fell to sweep up and polish the floor again.
Then beyond that I was also doing some work on my phone at the same time, section editing stories and such, as I was listening in on the radio announcers sitting next to us who were talking live over the whole event. It’s always baffled me how they can follow a game and talk over it the entire time. Though I suppose that’s the same thing as half of the gaming YouTube personalities I watch… So I shouldn’t be that enamored by it.Anyway, I think that’s enough rambling for now. Long story short, I went to a sports game with the editor who’s a cool guy, had a pretty nice time and let my mind wander to all the extra things going on that I never would have noticed due to my general apathy.Should be an interesting couple of weeks as I try to figure out exactly how to cover something I have next to no experience with.Until then I have two articles getting published for this upcoming weeklong paper tomorrow, and a bunch of other work adjusting to all of my classes. So I’m going to head home and get started on most of that.Peace Fullerton, thanks for giving me the opportunity to get some insight on something new, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.
I have been meaning to do this sort of thing for a while. However, even though I’ve had a number of weeks off during Winter Break to edit my stuff before this, sheer laziness has been a hell of a driving force in keeping me away from doing even this simple task.
Yet after working on a wide-range of content across the board of organizations I split my time between this week (including a bi-weekly Gladeo meeting, ) I finally feel a little bit of that laziness melting away in place of the inevitable strung-out workaholic nature I tend to slip into during school semesters.
In an ironic twist, I decided to take a break from that job productivity I’m finally feeling to instead do something personally productive by updating my blog. Does that defeat the purpose of being productive by acting as a glorified variant of procrastination?
What can I say, sometimes it helps me gain traction in one realm of work if I find that I can be productive doing something. Anything, really. Even if some people might think it’s just a distraction.
But I’m getting a little too deep in my mind’s weeds at this point. After all, this is basically just meant to be a signpost to advertise that there are more things to look at on my blog. So, what new things are there to look at on my blog?
Basically that encompasses the entire change. Until next week, when my first two articles of the semester are published, it shouldn’t see too much more activity.
Second, I added a new page to serve as an archive of my involvement with BOOM California. As an assistant for BOOM a lot of my current work involves simply copy editing pieces that are slated to be published on the organization’s website, since there are no longer print publications being put out. Those edits don’t get explicit credit, so what I primarily focused on was adding links to the larger magazines that were printed and have my name attached.
Third, I added a second new page to serve as an archive of my involvement with the Gladeo League. While pieces for Gladeo have a relatively slow roll-out, and I had a lull of writing for them as I went through my personal medical concerns, I stayed on with the group and will continue to work on profiles for them going forward. Thus, I decided it was about time to create a dedicated place to store everything I write. So far I have two highlights up, but there are two more I’m working on as of right now.
These new pages are available to check out now over on the right alongside the rest of my experience databases. The only thing I haven’t been able to figure out is how to properly adjust the categories in an order I’d prefer to see them in.
For some reason the default is alphabetical order, and for the life of me I can’t seem to reorder them in any other way. It’s a small logistical thing, but it bugs me. Even if I’m sure it doesn’t bug anyone else.
That said, as I mentioned before the spring 2018 semester begins next week. Though I suppose I didn’t quite write about everything I had looked to thanks to my aforementioned laziness – my feelings on Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon comes to mind – I did do a good amount of housekeeping that I’d wanted to over the break. In my opinion, this is a good capstone for that.
So as the semester begins, for anyone going back into the trenches with me, I wish you all only the best of luck.
Before I begin, I’d just like to take a moment to reflect on the fact that I told myself I would do a full week of blog posts to start off the new year and promptly dropped that burning ideation after one post talking about cleaning my room.
Nice going past Jason, your conviction astounds me endlessly.
That’s about enough self-flagellation for one day. This post is actually supposed to be at least somewhat congratulatory after all.
Today was the first day of training for the Spring 2018 semester of the Daily Titan, which means it’s time to begin the cycle anew.
This semester that phrase takes on a whole new meaning as I quite literally return to my DT roots. Like I’ve mentioned before I’m going to be taking Comm 471 this semester, and as a result I did not sign up to be an editor again. Instead I’m going to be an assistant because it offers me the opportunity to still be on the editorial board and cut down my work requirement for the class without being as big a time suck.
While I had been gunning for an assistant position at a desk like Lifestyle where I could get some more varied experience during my shortish break, we’re apparently somewhat short staffed this semester and as a result I was asked to help the news desk with my longtime expertise once again.
Though I’m admittedly a little disappointed at being pigeonholed to an extent, I really can’t complain about being well known enough for doing good work at my passion that I’m asked to go back and help out. The same thing actually happened last semester too when I was passed up for Managing Editor because of the lack of experience at news, so it’s at least nice to feel trustworthy.
On top of that, I am still going to be working with a great team, so it’s also hard to complain about that. I’m going to be an assistant alongside Breanna, who was one of my assistants last semester, and Brandon is coming back as the desk editor alongside Amy, who’s stepping up from being an assistant last semester.
Even though I’m apparently going to be on my own for part of every Tuesday shift thanks to certain scheduling conflicts, with that kind of team under the direction of Kyle and Sarah, it really does sound like it should be a good run of the paper.
I’d say the only thing I’m genuinely disparaged about is the fact that I’ll no longer get to experience that satisfying moment of switching the news desk email notifications off for the semester. Guess I’ll have to deal with incessant messages for just a little bit longer…
But that aside, I am ready to jump in again as we gear up for the semester starting in a couple weeks, and pretty soon I should update my archive here to reflect my different position. Today is only the first of three days of training I have this week (which compared to the five days editors have to go through is quite the blessing), so hopefully by the end I’ll be more prepared and back in a working mentality.
Which hopefully in the long run will encourage me to actually go back and finish more of these blog posts that I have sitting in my drafts.