For those of you who don’t know, GDQ is a series of video game marathons where games are played for record times, under conditions ranging from basic 100 percent completion to multi-player races and even bizarre hacks like randomizers.
All to raise money for charity while showing off cool tricks. Definitely worth supporting.
GDQ aside, after breakfast I made my way to Fullerton for the semester’s last CSUF Society of Professional Journalists meeting.
We ate pizza, discussed what did or did not work about our events and elected part of the board for next year. Most of the current group is graduating, so it’s a big old passing of the torch.
My girl Kristina, who is not graduating, will be taking over as President. And I know she’s going to kill it.
Guess I’ll have to update all my social media descriptions pretty soon to reflect all this graduating/moving on from things.
That’s certainly what I started doing last night.
In the meantime, why don’t you go back and read the thing I wrote about my Smash Bros. Cinematic Universe if you haven’t! That was a fun thing to pull together and it could probably use some more hits.https://t.co/F0k6HrkxCe
I’ll get back to that eventually. In the meantime, from SPJ I went to my next meeting in the Honors Center to try and complete a few more graduation requirements. Namely getting my Honors Project title page signed off on.
Which I did:
Now all I have to do is compile the stuff I’ve done so I can officially turn the damn thing in and move on.
While in the Center I had a lovely chat with Dr. Simoes as well. We spoke briefly at my presentation, but today he was more than happy to congratulate me for getting the project through this next step.
He even told me he’ll be buying a copy of my book once it’s published — so long as I sign a first edition for him.
It was very sweet.
After all of that I came back to Redondo and set up a meeting with Michelle to give back that lovely computer I’ve been holding onto. Too bad I never got it to full working condition on account of internet issue, but it’ll be much happier with a video editor where it belongs.
Once that was done, I went to probably my most important meeting of the day:
A meeting with the treadmill.
Because with all of this graduation stress on my shoulders it honestly feels great to go burn some calories and let off some steam.
Highly recommended stress relief, folks. Especially if you can watch some dope GDQ runs while you’re running!
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:
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:
The Journalism Program’s “Outstanding Student” Award
The J. William Maxwell Outstanding Communications Student Award (one of three Department-wide recognitions)
Recognition of my graduation with a University Honors distinction
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 can’t imagine I’m alone in feeling a deep-seeded dread toward the kinds of formalities that mark the transition into adulthood, so I won’t linger on it.
Instead I’ll subvert that fear and anxiety by bringing up my favorite childhood pastime so I can keep my psyche in a place of comfort:
You should all know that I love me some Pokémon. Sword and Shield is coming out soon, and even though we haven’t heard anything since the first announcement, I can’t wait for it to be my obligatory Game of the Year.
Yet, having played the creature collection series since 2000, I’ve never had a reason to justifiably call myself a Pokémon…
After I bought my cap and gown, Mom suggested I dig through my closet to find my other gowns. I didn’t remember holding onto them, so I was a little skeptical.
But then I found them.
And the three-stage evolution is actually incredible:
Over on the left you have a cute little preschool graduation gown. Because apparently my preschool did a fancy graduation.
It’s actually impossible for me to imagine ever having been small enough to fit into that.
Though who knows, maybe if I keep working on getting swole at the gym…
In the middle is my high school graduation gown. All the boys wore red while all the girls wore white, and it’s complete with extra cords and doodads—outside of a wreath made of candy that I remember wearing at the time.
Unfortunately, Cal State Fullerton denied me the opportunity of completing the red, white and blue set by using boring, plain black robes.
Like sure, the sleekness of the black robes is pretty nice. And the fact that it looks so big compared to the other two really completes that metaphorical Pokémon evolution I’ve gone through.
But was any of that worth it if America got shafted at the end?
I think not.
… Also for anyone that might ask, this is not my official “cap and gown picture” or whatever. I’ll probably wind up doing that once I have all my stoles and other doodads.
I might even be thinking about some fun pictures to take. We’ll just have to wait and see.
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.
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.
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.
Now it let me add “forum moderator” to the list as well.
For the last few days, the program has been holding Open Forums to introduce students to the three finalists vying to be next year’s Associate Director.
Co-Curricular Coordinator Tyler reached out to see if I wanted to be a student representative and ask some questions, given I already had some clout with the Honors Center as an Ambassador.
I saw no reason why not. Sure there are superficial benefits to the event being résumé filler and something to do on a Friday (slyly for blog purposes), but it also seemed like fun! An extension of personally sitting on panels.
Plus I was slated to run the forum for Craig McConnell, who I know pretty well.
Figured having slightly different pictures to go along with the slightly different messages on each platform would make sense.
Perhaps I could have been more creative… But practice is practice.
Plus, there weren’t a lot of opportunities to get diverse pictures given the paltry audience we gathered on a Friday at the commuter college.
The event was mainly for Dr. Perez (left) and Tyler (unpictured), as they are going to be voting on the new Associate Director soon. Other students were there mostly for McConnell to address and field questions from.
I featured two quotes in those social media posts, but those were drawn primarily from the start of the Open Forum.
We also went into specific ideas for improving the Honors student community engagement (because commuter campus) and the possible role of an Associate Director in helping students figure out their career trajectories beyond course adjustments.
Yet as vaguely self-serving as that was, Dr. McConnell had a good response:
“I think colleges should give students a few years to expand their minds,” he said of his concern that traditional schooling is too tunnel-visioned about post-grad careers. “But I’m also aware that it becomes more important every year for schools to help students find jobs as soon as they leave.”
He pivoted on my question quickly and easily, so I was impressed.
The only line of questioning I was unfortunately not able to delve into was arguably the most important.
I should have asked him what he thought of the Star Wars Episode IX teaser! It dropped about a half an hour before our event, so that would have been a perfect barometer of his cultural absorption.
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.
Here we are in 2019 and that same spelling error is there:
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.
Funny enough, this SPJ meeting was held in Professor Frank Russell‘s Comm 201 class. There was an issue booking the Titan Student Union.
Almost three years ago I first started my Twitter account in 201 because he required it. I’ve come to both thank him because it taught me a lot about social media, but also resent him after spending hours mindlessly scrolling.
Now that I’m about to graduate, it looks like I’m still learning new things about social media with him.
Everything I talked about is great, and I genuinely learned a lot from Therese. But I write the vast majority in ~30 minutes while sitting in the Main Branch Public Library with less than 20 percent battery.
The ticking clock of my power situation, on top of knowing it’s a topic I will return to, led to silly things like stuffing information into a slideshow.
However, in spite of my reservations about the execution, Therese loved it. So much so that (after I made adjustments to inaccurate dates), she shared the piece with Admin.
Suddenly this interesting, somewhat half-assed look at historical goods in my alma mater made my dinky personal blog blow the hell up.
That’s pretty awesome.
I don’t know about you, but when I have a burst of popularity it comes with baggage. Most notably the desire to follow-up with something significant and not disappoint those newcomers.
I’ve been stressing over what to write for a while now.
My first inclination was to write about my recent purchase of:
There’s a bit of a story behind that purchase.
Yesterday, WayForward announced that they are on the verge of releasing the fifth game in the Shantae series — a collection of games that have been around since the Game Boy.
Today we're thrilled to announce Shantae 5! You're invited to join Shantae in a brand-new adventure later this year on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC… AND the newly announced Apple Arcade! Stay tuned for more details! Learn more about Apple Arcade at https://t.co/KwXqXtb2ftpic.twitter.com/SFc1iOswHT
The important thing is that I’ve continued to make adjustments to my novel’s continent Drocux in the weeks since. Namely adding names to every location, but also adding details like rivers and roads for more realistic topography:
HexTML continues to serve me well, and it has been fun writing out lore to explain outlandish names (such as the Xilbalar Canyon above being named after a prominent Elven activist).
But I’m still adding new ideas almost every day, and if I’m going to deep dive into my EXTENSIVE LORE, I would like to do so with the complete product.
Thus, two ideas have been struck down.
And I couldn’t come up with a decent third.
By the time I combed through possibilities, I was home and had my magical encounter with the InstaPot in my Featured Image.
The rest, as they say, was history.
Hopefully you newcomers don’t feel like this was a waste of time — or get too annoyed at my somewhat blatant attempt to throw a lot of my old posts at you. All I needed to add was something about my journalism awards to give the full flavor of Jason.
Speaking of, tomorrow I’ll probably have a more serious post about the next Society of Professional Journalists meeting.
Assuming I don’t change my mind, I’ll look forward to possibly seeing you there.
As the Secretary for our chapter, I figured the least I could do was help us get a tour at a professional newsroom. Luckily it was a successful venture!
I got to Studio City pretty early and had the chance to look around at the entertainment side of the house first.
That included a whole host of fancy-looking lots as well as named buildings, street signs and more.
But more importantly, it included a lot of brief looks at areas where different TV shows are currently being recorded.
The one that stood out most to me was Last Man Standing. Not because I watch the Tim Allen sitcom, but because of where the show was:
The home of Seinfeld? Now that’s a sound stage that could tell some stories.
Even if most of those stories are technically supposed to be centered in New York.
Here are a number of other discoveries I made, all lazily compiled in a slide show because I’m pretty tired after a number of hours on the freeway.
However, arguably the most important discovery I made was off the lot:
Don’t know if this is a business officially affiliated with CBS, or if it’s just some business owner with a lot of ingenuity to capitalize on the major job provider in the area, but either way I’m a fan.
After my little self-driven tour, it was time to head back to the broadcast center for our official tour!
… Except traffic was apparently not great today, so I was the first one there and had to hang out for quite some time before the rest of the group arrived.
Gave me a lot of time to look around at the big stuff in the lobby.
It was actually a lot of fun watching folks wander in-and-out, usually stopping by the security desk to see what was on the news with the guard.
After Dan arrived to take us around on the tour, I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures. Got caught up in just checking everything out.
So the best I’ve got for visuals in this stage are the couple of pictures we took as a group that got posted on the SPJ account:
Obviously, that’s where I got my featured image from. I love the image Harrison got of us all looking into a news camera.
We found out that the area where we took that picture is going to be reworked soon for a new project CBS is working on to get live news broadcasts to mobile phones easier. All with the hopes of attracting that young audience that doesn’t watch traditional TV anymore.
Then we got a look around the newsroom, everything from the assignment desk to the online story stations and editing bays.
Afterward we checked out a couple of the shows currently recording, or preparing to record, during our tour.
Fun fact, this weather update was actually what we watched her record. Live. It was pretty cool, and she took some time to chat with us afterward!
The most interesting thing about watching the news broadcast was the fact that those two were the only people on the entire set. Everything else was fully automated.
I can’t help but feel it would be disconcerting to record an entire broadcast like that with nobody else around on a big sound stage… But I suppose it’s the kind of thing that Internet personalities do all the time in the 21st Century.
It was kind of cool to see how much technology has advanced I suppose, even if it wasn’t a great sign for getting jobs in the industry.
It was pretty amazing watching almost every screen in the room change to show the President’s face, both for the CBS channels and their competition.
While we were checking out the fully automated sound deck beside that control room, another one of my Dad’s old friends showed up. Bob and Dan got to talking, which led them to telling our tour group about how much they enjoyed working with Dad and missed him.
Which was a very sweet thing to see.
But that was pretty much all there is to say about my CBS tour. It was really cool, especially on the verge of graduation when I need to start thinking about things like work more avidly.
… Plus, I got to write it off as networking with reporters for my internship.