Tag: Daily Titan

My Senior Honors Project debrief

My Senior Honors Project debrief

These graduation milestones are really starting to gear up.

Today’s adventure took me out to Fullerton with my parents so I could officially give my Senior Honors Project presentation.

It has been literal years in the making. After I spent some time reflecting on my novel and compiling the work behind it into a PowerPoint, I was finally ready to cap off my time in the Honors Program by speaking on a panel about creative writing projects.

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Here’s me with Valerie on the right and Stephanie on the left.

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When I attended Welcome to CSUF day four years ago, I was intimidated by the project during the Honors Program introduction. The idea of a year-long, self-driven (for all intents and purposes) undergraduate thesis that had no guidelines was terrifying.

I was able to stave off the fear by remembering the long college career I’d have before it would be a concern, and by latching onto people like Dr. Sexton — who I met that day and would later take his class. Which led to much more.

But the fear of the Senior Honors Project never fully went away.

Even when I decided what I wanted to do for my project, there was a period where I fell behind on my Honors courses because I couldn’t find a mentor. Then Dr. Rizzo came along and helped change my trajectory.

Yet the prep for a creative writing piece didn’t click as easily as journalism, which the recent Comm Awards showed I’m decent with.

However, being at the end of the road has given me hope that perhaps I haven’t been bad at the Honors Project thing either.

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Technically the certificate was from the COMM college, but still.

As I’ve transitioned from figuring out the scope of my project to actually preparing and writing, my fears also refocused from uncertainty and lack of guidance to figuring out how to share my work in a way that really conveys how special it is to me.

I practiced my presentation after the Honors Gala last night and it felt a bit shaky.

But in front of a crowd of my peers and mentors, things went exceptionally well. Mom even got some pictures of me doing my thing:

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She caught some good moments. Me with my characters and my little yellow book.

The presentation went off without a hitch, and I was more than ready to answer a questions from the audience. So it was great.

But once everything was said and done, the post-panel interactions went even better.

I got to introduce both of my parents to Dr. Rizzo (though she met my Dad at the COMM Awards) and had a blast watching them interact.

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It was even more fun to give her the gift I’ve been preparing.

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Surprise, this piece was for her all along!

I had to thank her for all of her help thus far, after all.

She cried. Which was an unexpected, but sweet little surprise.

Dr. Simoes was at the event, which was a great surprise considering a section of my presentation was dedicated to his help finding resources for my imagined civilizations.

So was Tyler Siedentopp — though that makes sense considering he’s the program’s Co-Curricular Coordinator. Turned out to be a nice way to wrap up our time together.

The most surprising attendee was College of Communications Dean Ed Fink. Everyone on my panel was a COMM student, but I was not expecting someone like him to come.

Apparently he had some very nice things to say to my parents after my presentation. Wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that conversation, since it seems like I’ve made a good impression all around campus.

If I have any negatives about the cathartic day of presenting, it’s that I have even more hardware to put on during graduation.

I swear I’ll pass out from heat stroke in the mid-May sun.

But you know what, it’ll all have been worth it considering the kinds of personal enlightenment I’ve felt getting there!

The last Comm Awards

The last Comm Awards

It has been a long 12-hour day, so let’s keep this brief.

Tonight was the Department of Communications Awards Ceremony for the year of our lord 2019.

Last year I attended the ceremony with Mom and had a great time. Won a few scholarships while I was at it.

Only my Mom was able to make it, however. Turns out the Department of Communications likes to schedule their fancy award dinner at the same time as my sister’s Pops Concert at Redondo Union High School, so Dad went with her to split our representation appropriately.

This year we swapped. Which means I got to bring the old man out to Fullerton:

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Apparently I don’t know where the camera is?

Now… I hate to say it. But I think Dad got the better end of the bargain. Sorry Mom.

For my senior year, I stepped things up from just a few scholarships to winning all of these accolades:

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I can’t hold all these awards!
  1. The Journalism Program’s “Outstanding Student” Award
  2. The J. William Maxwell Outstanding Communications Student Award (one of three Department-wide recognitions)
  3. Recognition of my graduation with a University Honors distinction
  4. Graduation with a Summa Cum Laude Honor (in other words, I kept my GPA above 3.90)

In other words — I not only received top marks for my concentration, but also for the department as a whole. While also graduating with Honors. And somehow keeping my grades very high.

What the hell did I do to myself these last four years?

Frankly, the only person who stepped on that stage more than I did was Harrison Faigen, who got a whole host of awards AND scholarships.

Showed me, I should have gone for some extra money.

Oh, and his awards were also well-deserved. That guy runs like a truck, and it has been an honor working with him in a number of capacities at Cal State Fullerton. The newspaper and SPJ, primarily. Definitely helped me learn a lot.

Speaking of learning a lot, the event was chock full of professors I’ve had over the last four years. And I tried to take a picture with a bunch of them for posterity!

I only got to Comm Department Chair Jason Shepard and current Daily Titan Advisor Walt Baranger, since people like my Honors Project Mentor Holly Rizzo left like a hurry once the show was over.

But they’re just three of many people I can thank for everything leading up to these esteemed accolades.

Frank Russell, Penchan Phoborisut, Amber Chitty, Emily Erickson… And of course Bonnie Stewart, probably most of all.

But there are so many more who have taught me so many things. Things that I’ll be taking on this adventure we call life as I finally get out of academia next month.

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Get it?

Because the banquet was adventure-themed?

Alright, that’s enough. You crazy kids get outta here.

Tales from a digital voice

Tales from a digital voice

With the end of the semester coming up, we had our last big Society of Professional Journalists event today.

It was another guest speaker: Sonya Quick from the nonprofit Voice of OC.

Plus donuts. But the donuts unfortunately did not get into this Tweet I did:

This talk was slightly less hands-on than our last guest’s discussion of useful apps, but the focus toward online content engagement was certainly just as noteworthy.

Voice of OC has a strong recent history with CSUF and the Daily Titan. My old mentor Spencer Custodio is one of five full-time reporters for their newsroom, and my old News Desk Assistant Brandon Pho is a reporting intern there.

I was the middle generation that missed out on that family tradition I suppose. Gladeo got to me first, or I just might have considered it.

Getting to hear Sonya share some things she’s picked up during her time at Voice of OC, as well as other papers like the OC Register, was great.

One of her first comments was about the importance of being straight-forward:

“I’m an emotion on your sleeves kind of gal. If I have a complaint about something, I won’t hold back.”

— Sonya Quick, Voice of OC

She reportedly has not held back in the past, being responsible for manifestos that encouraged organizations to focus more on digital, and later mobile, reporting as those came into vogue (especially pertinent now, as she says that reporters should think with their phones first).

Yet, she also fielded a question from our Chapter President Harrison Faigen about how to not take editorial criticism too personally.

She said that taking things personally is not a problem unless it impedes your work, because the emotions show you care.

However, even more of an important point — and one that strangely echos sentiments I’ve gotten from my parents — was that the time to get concerned is when an editor does not read or critique your work.

The more effort they put into tearing apart your story, the more they care and believe you can be even better than you are.

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“Our goal is not to impact decisions, but to get people involved.”

A number of other topics were on the docket for our hour-long meeting:

  • She recommended hiring staff “by passion, not by skill,” as she herself did not know much about the digital world before jumping into it.
  • Her two major rules for creating good search engine optimization in stories were:
    • Don’t scam people. Ever.
    • Write content people care about, especially “guide-like content” that can be built-up over time. Much more engaging than daily event stories.
  • When making videos, she recommended editing them down to one minute each and focusing on pre-planning with storyboards to avoid overshooting.
  • While for-profit organizations often only look at whether a reporter’s work garners clicks, she said Voice of OC looks at overall impact through shares, comments and other social engagements.

Then, as any good editor would, she plugged a great piece published that morning with a juicy DUI scandal going on.

There were a few other tidbits that made me laugh throughout her talk.

For instance, when I asked her about dealing with vitriol in those previously noted engagements she said she has had to wade through the “Seventh Circle of Hell” looking at the OC Register comment section.

But the really important takeaway would have to be what she said of being a reporter, in reference to many college students with Communications degrees leaving the industry early, or not going into the industry at all:

“You work long hours, you get little money and you get shit on almost constantly. But it’s awesome! And you have an impact!”

— Sonya Quick, Voice of OC

If that isn’t true love for one’s occupation, I don’t know what is.

Giving back

Giving back

Happy Homestuck day!

The phenomenon may have ended a few years ago, but my friend Juan‘s adjustments to our group Discord server shows that it’s still a holiday we celebrate.

Amazing how much of an impact that webcomic has had even…

Ten years later?

God I’m old.

Okay, let’s move on before I lose my mind.

It’s rare that I come to Cal State Fullerton on a weekend since I left the Daily Titan, but somehow I managed to get myself here two days this weekend.

Yesterday I was doing some work on behalf of the Honors Center. Today I was doing some work on behalf of SPJ.

It was Welcome to CSUF day! An annual event for incoming freshmen and transfer students to visit campus and check out different clubs and organizations.

I have some pretty strong memories of my welcome day four years ago, speaking of getting old.

It was the first time I met Bonnie, the recently retired Daily Titan advisor, and her sweet little doggo in a stroller.

Talk about a good first impression for an upcoming three-year stint on the paper!

Thus I know the event works.

So now that I’m the Secretary for our campus’ SPJ branch, I figured it would only be right to give back by telling new students about what kind of experiences the journalism program offered me.

… Especially since it got me a little more gif practice:

I was stationed on the lawn between the Education and Engineering buildings, standing in the sun alongside Kat Abando, a fellow soon-to-be graduate who I’ve worked with on the paper.

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Looked a little flushed after all was said and done, even though we had a large tent for all the Comm organizations to stave off the heat.

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More gif practice, baby

That harsh sun wasn’t enough to keep new students away however.

A ton of people were admitted for the upcoming year according to the school’s Associate Vice President of Student Engagement, which means there were a whole lot of bodies wandering campus.

By the end of the day, SPJ had at least 20 signatures from people interested in joining the club. Not a terrible haul, and everyone I got to talk with personally seemed really interested!

Especially after I humble-bragged just a little about awards I’ve gotten thanks to my on-campus engagement.

To be fair I was usually just explaining stuff that Kat was suggesting as examples. So it wasn’t like I was being entirely self-serving of my own accord.

Though it did feel good to see people impressed as I told them about stuff.

So that’s pretty cool.

A lot of my time was just standing around talking, so I can’t say a whole lot of interesting things about the experience in retrospect.

However, it was definitely great getting to see the generation coming in right as I’m on my way out.

There was a passing of the torch kind of sentimentality to the whole affair, and while I continue to be stressed about the whole graduation, seeing a strong brood on the way made me feel a lot better.

So here’s to the next generation.

Pay your Copy Editors

As of tonight, I break away from classes to celebrate Spring Break 2019.

It promises to be more of a workation this year. Not to say that I’ve ever been the hard partying Spring Breakers type in the first place, but I usually chill when I can.

However, 2019 is throwing all that out the window.

While all those peers I don’t know are off in Cancún, I’ll be at home writing my novel and racking up Internship hours.

My regular schoolwork has left me a bit behind on those projects, so the extra time is a godsend. For Gladeo, I have a bunch of work stored up that I just need to sit down and finish.

Editing a piece, completing my own piece, planning a video shoot for later and transcribing the interview I’ll be conducting, and more.

No idea whether my blog post tomorrow is going to be about that interview or the Fire Emblem Heroes banner that’s dropping.

Or I might do both. Who knows!

For tonight, all I know is I’m going to relax and write a nice, easy post.

At the end of writing about the SPJ guest speaker last night, I noted seeing an echo of things from my time at CSUF.

Today I’ve noticed a few other things. Including my love affair with Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links back during Spring Break 2017. 

It defined my life when I started back then, but I’ve completely abandoned the game after a nearly two-year streak.

I blame a combination of exhaustion with the gameplay and a distinct lack of time to pass around.

I’m not going to say I regret the decision necessarily. Plus it’s still on my phone, and can be reopened at any time.

But the timing felt poignant on the eve of this anniversary.

However, the more stand-out example of a recurring college experience happened when I stopped to get gas on the way home. Because I won’t be at that Shell station I use during my commutes for at least a week, I was thinking about how I might not have to use it much longer.

But don’t worry, I’m not actually getting sentimental about a gas station. Only a specific story related to that gas station.

About two-or-three years ago when I was News Editor at the Daily Titan, I found myself looking for things to drive our Copy Editors Kyle Bender and Ashley Haley crazy.

My favorite discovery was a completely misspelled word in the gas pump digital display. It was very obvious, and given the high traffic through that station I expected it to get fixed quickly.

But no.

Here we are in 2019 and that same spelling error is there:

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“… come indise and check out monthly specials.”

It’s astounding to me that this is still there. I’m 100 percent certain they’ve changed out all the pumps since I saw this the first time, yet nothing has changed.

This is why we need Copy Editors, folks. Otherwise these mistakes live on forever.

That’s all I had to say. Go pay your copy editors.

In the meantime, I’m going to go start whatever semblance of a break I have.

Messin’ with the curriculum vitae

Messin’ with the curriculum vitae

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.

This afternoon I discovered that the story I wrote with Jennifer Garcia about restaurant health inspections around Cal State Fullerton won first place in the “Non-Breaking News Story” category for schools with 10,000+ students at this year’s California College Media Association Awards.

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Wow!

That’s a mouthful!

Because this was the big enterprise piece I co-wrote for Comm 471, featuring the interactive map I was incredibly proud of creating, I’m very happy to see it get the recognition it deserves — he said post-receiving the award.

This is actually the second year in a row I’ve had the pleasure of receiving an award from the CCMA ceremony, though I wasn’t invited to the event this year. Nor did I find out from the DT staff in attendance on March 2.

Which is odd, but I’m willing to chalk it up to being disconnected from the team running the paper right now.

When I loaded up the ol’ résumé to update it with a brand new award, I discovered there were a few other places left unfurnished on my October 2018 draft.

For instance, some actually substantial information on the kinds of things I’ve gotten to do as the SPJ Secretary at Cal State Fullerton:

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Might also add that my name was included in a published editorial through the Daily Titan, but I haven’t quite decided on that yet.

More importantly, I finally added in a brand new section for event planner, as I have been not-so-subtly teasing my intension to do in recent posts.

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The Honors Program secretary also sent out our advertisement poster the other day, so I can officially share that sweet piece of digital paper:

Network Panel

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…

Yeah.

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.”

Quite reminiscent of me during Freshman or Sophomore year seeing some kid walk around with the Pokéwalker peripheral from Pokémon Heartgold and Soulsilver.

Oh, and on top of that, we also played old text adventure games in my gaming class:

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Colossal Cave Adventure!

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.

Arts & Crafts with Jason Rochlin

Arts & Crafts with Jason Rochlin

Before you say anything, I know “name tag” is spelled with two words and not one. I was just trying to better emulate a traditional forename/surname structure.

On Valentine’s Day last month I talked about my current stint as a University Honors Ambassador. Essentially putting together an event for Honors students to enjoy alongside a fellow member of the program and the Co-Curricular Coordinator.

Something, something insert another joke about adding ‘event planner’ to my résumé again.

Even though that’s not really a joke.

I’m 100 percent adding that onto my CV.

Since I last talked about the event, we’ve done a sizable amount of work putting it all together. After securing the Career Center representative that I talked about in the last post, we’ve also gotten a journalist, a visual arts teacher and the associate editor of a psychology journal confirmed to come to CSUF on March 20.

On top of that, we’re also going to have a representative of the Alumni Association come in to talk about opportunities that students can use after they graduate.

Which is something I should actually pay attention to at this point. Pretty scary.

We also have a plan in place for some food to have at the event and there’s possibly going to be a networking-theme game involved.

I’m not personally sure how that’s going to work out, but my partner has an idea in mind. So we’ll see.

The only thing that’s still mostly on the back burner right now is advertising the event. We already have a poster put together, but because Honors students are our only real audience so most of the messages are only going out to them through the program’s official channels.

As we’ve been meeting every Wednesday during the lead-up period, every week I’ve had a different task to accomplish.

For our meeting tomorrow, I was tasked with putting together name tags to place by each of the members of our panel. I decided to do a test name tag first, and I’ll bring that in to show everyone.

I wanted to talk about it here before I do.

In part because I had nothing else to write a blog post on today, and I’m really scrounging the bottom of the barrel trying (and failing) to write something every day while all of my school obligations kick my ass.

But also because the method I used to make these name tags are personal, in a way.

As my social media stinger said, don’t believe it when someone says you won’t use anything you learn in school.

In all three (four? I lost track frankly) of the classes I had with the now-retired Daily Titan advisor Bonnie Stewart, she made us create our own name tags. Even if she knew us for years.

They were simple. Just fold a basic 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper in half vertically, then fold the two ends into the center line.

Finally, fold the sides together for a quick, easy and cheap triangular name tag:

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Hope you enjoyed arts & crafts with Jason Rochlin. My brand new, impromptu category of posts that I’ll probably never repeat on purpose.

Figured it would be worth a post to thank Bonnie for everything she taught me — even if the useful stuff is as simple as name tag folding.

Unorthodox historical documents

Before you get too far into this, I’m not actually talking about serious historical documents. I didn’t go digging into libraries or brush up on family photos or anything nearly as reputable as that.

I guess we did talk about a lot of interesting Supreme Court precedents in my Comm Law class tonight, so I could talk about some of those. Like Virginia v. Black or RAV v. City of St. Paul — both dealing with burning crosses, funny enough.

Or… Not really funny, I guess. Since we were covering dangerous forms of speech like incitement to violence tonight.

But you know what, that’s all boring legal junk. I have a much more exciting topic than First Amendment protections.

See after Comm Law tonight, I made a stop in the latrine on my way out of the education building’s basement. Normally I’m not one to talk about what happens in the bathroom, but I think I need to make an exception just this once.

Written on the stall wall next to a urinal, I found this actual for real historical document:

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“Pornhub is free – 2/14/18”

I probably would have totally overlooked this if not for the fact that it’s a year old in literally two days. Looks like smut makes for a happy Valentine’s Day!

The fact that I just so happened to find it so close to the one-year anniversary of what is being advertised was so funny to me that I felt a mighty need to share.

Plus, I guess I may as well be a shill for Pornhub at this point considering I wrote an entire post about their site analytics last semester. Something about that website in particular can’t escape my orbit.

I would consider this chance encounter something serendipitous after not too much exciting stuff happened throughout the day.

… Though right next to it was another quote saying that, “bitches ain’t shit,” attributed to the great foul-mouthed wordsmith Robert Frost. So I suppose you can take the cosmic underlying interest in my finding the timely vandalism with a grain of salt.

It was just bathroom wall carvings, after all.

Frankly I was just happy to find something more fun, entertaining even in a stall in the Education building — even if it’s only entertaining to me from some purely meta-textual sense. Last time I was in that building looking at wall carvings, it was some kind of vaguely threatening “don’t come to school on X day” message a couple of years ago.

Can’t seem to find my photos or any sort of Daily Titan story on that, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure we wrote a thing about it. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Either way, you’re definitely getting the much more fun story.

Spring 2019 first impressions

Spring 2019 first impressions

Alternate Title: “Last Ditch Effort”

Last semester I started what could be considered a tradition by writing about my early class impressions.

Granted that “tradition” was started literally one semester before the end so it doesn’t mean THAT much… But hey.

Traditions.

Given that it is my last semester at Cal State Fullerton, I actually have a pretty strange class layout. I’m taking seven, but only four are on campus.

Oh, and one of those four on-campus classes doesn’t meet every week.

As a result I’m essentially at CSUF two-and-a-half days this semester.

I’m not sure how I managed to achieve that while taking seven classes, but I guess that’s the nature of being a near-graduate.

As a result of that weird schedule, the degree to which I can talk about my classes varies. But it’s about as good a time to do so as any.


Cognitive Psychology

This semester we start with my only multi-day class and the end of my journey into a Psychology minor.

I took Cog Psych on the recommendation of a friend from my Sensation and Perception class. She had taken this course before and figured it would work out well for me considering my previous experiences.

Based on the curriculum so far I can’t really argue, even though I have a different professor.

In the two class periods we’ve had, the early subjects have all overlapped with things I previously learned. A third of the semester will even be focused on Learning and Memory, which I took last semester.

So if my general knowledge keeps up, I might just be ahead of the curve.

My biggest complaint is nitpicky, tying into how the desks are randomly dispersed and require students sitting in the same column to have to enter from different aisles.

Aesthetically annyoing, but harmless.

As far as my professor goes, I do like her thus far. She’s apparently a semi-recent immigrant from Egypt, which makes her an intriguing character with a slightly thick accent. Seemingly new to teaching, which could be good or bad depending.

However, considering I came in so positive about my last two Psych professors and got burned hard, I’m cautiously optimistic.

Guess I’ll just have to see.


Communications Law

Working for the Daily Titan may be the capstone course for the Journalism program, but Comm Law is considered the cream of the crop in terms of difficult classes.

Whether or not I succeeded in saving the work-heavy class for an ample time depends on your take regarding my ‘seven classes versus two days on campus’ debate.

Even though I don’t have the usually lauded Journalism department head as my professor, I still got the impression I’ll be very interested and engaged just from our first three-hour class.

My professor is plenty energetic and casual about the subject in a way that suggests her breadth of experience and all-encompassing love for it.

My one trepidation is that she seemingly decided to start winging it in the middle of the first day, shifting course to more of a traditional lecture style instead of a reversed classroom, video lecture style.

I’m not sure how much that will actually change things, and I think I prefer the sound of what we’re doing now, but it’s hard to inspire too much confidence when the immediate impression is “let’s wing it.”

Though maybe that ties in well with the casual air I like about the professor. So it could all mesh together quite nicely now that we’re past the initial civics recap.


Gaming and American Culture

In case you missed it, I wrote a post yesterday more or less discussing my first impressions about this class in service of a larger debate.

So I’ll keep it brief here and thank myself for the foresight.

Despite the fact that I apparently didn’t bother to fact check myself on the course’s name, I think this will arguably be one of the best things I’ve decided to do with my college career.

We’re reading great books, watching great movies, playing Dungeons and Dragons, analyzing video games (and board games and sports) and at the end I might even get to record my own pseudo-take on a Let’s Play.

It’s quite literally 15-year-old Jason’s dream class.


Senior Honors Colloquium

This is the class that I mentioned will only happen on certain weeks.

Ironically, this week was not one of them.

Because it’s taught by the Director of the Honors Program, she needed to be at the Welcome Back event held that same afternoon.

As a result I really can’t say much about the class itself. My friend who had it on a different day said the experience was pretty chill.

All I know is that it’s essentially going to be a bunch of planning to finish our Honors Projects, culminating in the conference of presentations at the end of the semester.

Shouldn’t be too bad.


With that, I’m all out of on-campus classes.

The remaining three are kind of similar in that they’re independent study experiences.

One is my Comm Internship class, where I just need to log 120 hours doing Gladeo-related stuff and turn in a few reflection papers online. Nothing too crazy.

The other two are Senior Honors Project Blocks, one of which is scheduled with my mentor Dr. Rizzo. They’re more or less the actual work half of the Colloquium class. I’ll be meeting with Dr. Rizzo on a weekly basis, possibly doing some outside meetings with people and going over my novel.

That about sums up my semester.

I’ll have two-and-a-half days of classes, with the rest of my four-day weekends being devoted to homework, work-work and writing.

A strange culmination to my schooling experience, but one that makes sense as a denouement for three converging threads of study.

At this point the best I can hope for is a more fun experience than last semester, which drained the life out of me by the time it was through.

Smooth sailing to graduation here we come!

He said, obviously jinxing himself.

Saying Sayonara to 2018

Saying Sayonara to 2018

I’m sure most people would agree that 2018 was a maddening political clusterfuck, no matter which side of the aisle or where in the world you sit.

While I can’t help but agree with the hope of moving past that in the new year… At the same time, I sort of disconnected myself from the news-y world in 2018 and focused a lot more on myself.

Overall that wasn’t a bad decision. A lot of nice things came out of the more chill personal year!

For instance, all the video games I played. Did my big splurge on that yesterday so you don’t have to be bogged down with it here.

This post is more about my actual life and times.

Seemingly the most poignant place to start charting out my year is with my health. That feels ironic considering the first week of Winter Break was spent dying in bed, but I’m talking about the grand scheme of things.

A sizable chunk of my 2017 year in review was devoted to finding out about my blood disorder, ITP, and crazy things like the hospital stay that resulted from our early attempts to treat it.

It’s kind of insane to think that we’re more than a year out from that now, especially since so much of my stress at the time was getting better enough to cover Milo Yiannopoulos at Halloween.

Equally hard to believe I spoke at a conference about that coverage this year.

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He’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Tangent aside, this year I never had a big medical scare. In fact, the whole incident inspired me to be better to myself, as this summer I started regularly going to the gym for the first time.

Even lost a little bit of weight in the process. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if a few weeks of holiday eating and falling behind while sick reversed that progress.

The summer was also significant to my personal growth this year because I started my Summer 2018 Initiative: Writing something here on my blog every day.

My drive to force myself to become better at my craft each and every day persisted past the summer and into the fall semester. Then my buddy Spencer encouraged me to try to be concise with all of my posts for the sake of practicing, which has definitely helped.

You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve cut an extra 500 words off of these since.

Speaking of, 2018 was when I turned 21 and got to enjoy some of the perks of that! Like going to comedy shows at bars. Or meeting up with friends at bars to celebrate things.

Sure, I may have found out I’m not a fan of drinking, but a whole new world of spending time with people has opened up.

Back to the original point though. Putting more effort into my blog has proven fruitful, because as it turns out posting something every day really drives up that website traffic:

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Can’t wait to see how big that bar gets in 2019 when I hopefully get a whole year of pseudo-daily posts out!

Also on the media front, I finally caved and got a few new gizmos to play with this year. Instagram, Paypal, LinkedIn, Discord…

I don’t know that I’d say any of them have significantly impacted my life per-say, but Instagram and LinkedIn have been interesting insights into the world of photo-based and work-based media.

Ah, did I say the dreaded “w” word? Guess I should talk about that too.

2018 was a bizarre transitional period for work. The spring semester had me stepping down as an editor at the Daily Titan so I could focus on writing for the journalism capstone class.

Some really great articles came out of that, including fun reviews, covering the Sports Clubs Inter-Club Council and this soon-to-be award-winning piece about restaurant gradings around campus.

However, I decided not to return to the paper for the fall semester. Gave more priority to my major and minor classes, knowing graduation is slowly rearing its ugly head.

Quicker than I thought it would be at the beginning of 2018, I should say. A really happy part of the year was finally finding a mentor for my Senior Honors Project and working things out with the program director to graduate on-time rather than needing an extra semester!

On top of that, I won a pretty huge scholarship over the summer and followed that up by receiving a promotion at Gladeo to head the reporter-interns. Not only did I get to do some really cool interviews and stories, I also got to start working on management outside of the school paper.

Also I covered Obama for Boom.

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Enough said.

I suppose that really caps off all the big things I can recall. Sure there were some smaller things like going on my first real date with a girl, cracking open my old desktop and finding some wonderful things and finally shaving my beard for the first time since 2016.

But otherwise that seems like as much fellating myself as I can handle for one year.

So! Here’s hoping even more great things happen in 2019, where it seems I’m slated to finally move past my schooling days and enter the workforce full-time.

Yikes.

Let me know about some of the great things that happened with you this year, with all the negativity buzzing around on TV I’d absolutely love to hear why 2018 was great for people!