Tag: SPJ

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:

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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.

Roy’s our boy

Roy’s our boy

So I don’t have much of a connection to Roy outside of Super Smash Bros.

Beyond mentioning that his cool Legendary alternate resembles his Smash counterpart, I didn’t have anything considerably flashy to lead this post off with.

That is, until I discovered this introduction page for the character featuring drawings from Princess Sharena.

I just had to share it. Because wow.

If that ain’t the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.


RoyBlazing Lion

  • Dragonbind (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Dragon Fang (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Bonus Doubler (A Skill)
    • Grants bonus to Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance during combat = current bonus on each of unit’s stats independently.
  • Renewal (B Skill)
    • At the start of every second turn, restored 10 Health.
  • Human Virtue (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to any allies that are not beast or dragon allies, grants Attack and Speed +6 to unit and those allies for one turn.

Here I thought Legendary Marth was the dragon slayer!!

Joking aside, I would actually still consider Marth to be a better dragon slayer. His Exalted Falchion and Binding Shield seriously neuter manaketes.

Roy’s special Human Virtue skill is more focused on changing what team you utilize than it is killing.

However that doesn’t mean Roy’s new Dragonbind sword isn’t inherently broken. It’s a power-crept Falchion with distant counter built-in for Christ’s sake.

Dragons can’t attack from a distance, but the sword gives him duel functionality in killing dragons and countering mages/archers. A true double whammy.

That said… His sword is the one thing that truly sparkles about our boy Roy, in my opinion. The ability to give out doubled buffs to non-beasts is nice, but not particularly special in an era of growing beast representation.

Unfortunately, that ambivalence toward Roy extends to his entourage as well.

Also featured on this banner are:

The only units I’m missing here are Legendary Hríd, Halloween Niles and the three Adrift units.

While the first two are units I would like to have… I could care less about the two Corrin alts and Mikoto. So if Roy is one of three units on this whole banner I’m interested in summoning, it really does not seem like my kind of banner.

Though I suppose there is an extra allure to Roy’s potential for growth.

Apparently Intelligent Systems is planning on introducing a new mechanic for all upcoming Legendary Heroes in April that will “provide a play experience that is slightly different from what players are accustomed to.”

Whatever that means.

I can’t tell you whether or not it will be worth summoning Roy to get that vague future benefit, so it’s really up to you how much value is ascribed to intrigue about upcoming events.

For my money, I still won’t be trying to summon Roy too eagerly. I fruitlessly wasted a ton of orbs on the Fates beast banner.

Thus, for me, he will simply serve as a hilarious bit of ironic text in that Legendary Battle Map:

“Humans and dragons should coexist peacefully,” said the man with a dragon-killing sword and an ability that is neutered by teaming up with dragons.

Nice ludonarrative dissonance, Intelligent Systems.


Usually I aim to get these Fire Emblem Heroes posts published the day when banners are released.

However, Pokémon Sword and Shield sucked the oxygen out of the room yesterday and I had to live tweet our SPJ meeting last night.

Was pretty tired after a 6:00 a.m. to 12 a.m. kind of day.

So I figured I could hold off writing about the Legendary Banner until today, when I have nothing going on. It lasts about a week after all.

You know the deal by now. Let me know what you think of Mr. Dragon Slayer — Master of human/dragon unification. Or let me know who else you want to see in the future.

Preparing for the Big Hunt

Preparing for the Big Hunt

Yesterday I slept for about 17 hours. Was real sick when I woke up, enough so that I wasn’t able to make it out to the SPJ Long Beach Post tour. Or write a blog post at all.

Frankly the only thing I’d say I accomplished yesterday was sending a few emails and binging the Emma Stone and Jonah Hill show Maniac on Netflix.

Which was worth watching, but probably a subject for another day.

While I’m feeling better today, I’m still not feeling better enough to go spend a whole bunch of hours at the Finals competition for the RUHS band. So I’m going to have to neg on that promise I made last week. Sorry Aly.

Thus, between bouts of sleeping and tending to a nosebleed, I figured I would finally do something fun and show you all what an obsessive freak I’ve become about Monster Hunter armor planning.

Armor planning in Generations Ultimate fills a very similar niche to Pokémon team creation for me in that it extends a game’s lifespan through a strategic planning task.

There are dozens of skills a hunter can utilize in battle against titanic beasties, each applied by a combination of a base armor piece’s skills, a talisman that can be equipped and all of a set’s supplemental skill decorations.

Building the full armor set for a specific monster yields skills matching their play style. For instance, the ephemeral electric unicorn Kirin’s armor applies Divine Blessing (to occasionally reduce damage) and Elemental attack damage buffs.

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So if a monster matches the play style you like, or works well with one of the game’s 14 weapon types (like the hammer-tailed Duramboros armor works with a hammer weapon), it’s an easy build.

However, if you’re someone like me that enjoys a challenge and wants to build armor with varied skills for a specific task, mixed sets are the way to go.

As a Hunting Horn main, I made it my goal to create a separate set of armor for every element and status type. The actual in-game armor forge isn’t very conducive for planning, so I turned to armor listings on Kiranico and my phone to generate ideas before wasting the materials.

Here’s my written plan for the horn that would apply a sleep element:

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Some key details to note. There are five armor pieces, one weapon and one talisman for each set. The armor pieces have pre-determined skills:

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As seen in the ‘Skill Tree’ box above.

Talismans have random skills when you find them, so planning out an armor set is partially about luck.

Also, note the asterisks near each piece’s skill listing. Those indicate the number of available decoration slots. Each piece can have up to three slots, and I’ve indicated what decor I’m putting in the slots though the subsection.

Most skills are applied when they reach 10 points on your overall armor, with a stronger version at 15 or 20.

Here’s how the fruits of that planning labor translated in-game:

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Sleeping and bombing at a quick pace!

In Generations Ultimate, a feature called armor transmog was added that allows hunters to put a decorative armor on top of the armor they’re wearing.

That way you can have your cake and eat it too: Make an armor with fantastic skills that also doesn’t look super ugly.

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Yikes.

Sometimes the armor planning process isn’t so simple. Multiple different monsters can give the same skills, and it’s important to balance that with the defense statistic, elemental resistances and the slot count.

For instance, when I recently pivoted to try out the Lance, I tried to build up an armor set that had the Guard and Guard Up skills applied. Thanks to having a few useful talismans, I wound up comparing three potential armors:

 

Obviously the one I wound up with had the most work put into it, as everything just fell into place.

Between those guard skills and Divine Blessing, I aimed to be more defensive for the Lance play style. Plus a status attack buff, considering all of the lances I wanted utilized those statuses: Sleep, Poison, Paralysis and Blast.

Even if Blast does not technically count as a status attack anymore and is only buffed by Bomb Boost. But I still put them together.

Here’s how the final armor came out:

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This one I transmogrified using G-Rank Basarios armor. Its bulky-looking stone armor appeared aesthetically perfect for a defensive set.

Because in Monster Hunter, aesthetics are just as important as powerful skill sets.

Out of all the builds I’ve planned so far, this Status Lance set is probably one of my most immediately gratifying and successful. Having never used the weapon before, coming in with a well-designed set made the learning process pretty painless.

Especially when it allowed me to discover the best killing blow in the game:

That’s a satisfying hunt right there. Even if my MicroSD card wasn’t pulling the video off properly.

I’ll figure that out eventually.

While I’ve built plenty of armor sets going from Low-to-G-Rank status, I still have plenty more planned out that I’m continuing to work on.

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Especially with friends around to help, I should be able to keep the train going for a long time. Unless a game like Pokémon Let’s Go or Smash Ultimate kills my current Monster Hunter addiction.

But I don’t have either yet, so no worries!

Hopefully this pseudo-instructional post on armor pre-planning has been helpful — or at least interesting.

If you did think this was cool, let me know. I’m thinking about also doing a post showing off a bunch of cool armor sets I’ve created that might make an excellent companion piece.

Just not right now. Because I think it’s about time I go back to bed and nurse this cold some more.

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Musings on what’s ahead

Again, life seems to have thrown me a bone with this whole pre-Thanksgiving Break school stuff.

My 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. class tonight was easier than usual, much like yesterday’s class was. Not because of the content of the class this time around, but because we miraculously got out in just an hour rather than three.

Okay well it wasn’t miraculous, I suppose.

The professor for my Visual Communications class is apparently a part of an administrative group set to appoint new professors in his department this semester. Part of that obligation means occasional meetings with the rest of that group.

Including meetings he was not previously aware of. Such as the one that he wound up having today during out class period.

Thus: Surprise! Only an hour’s worth of class before we were let out and allowed to roam free.

It always feels good to get home early on a day where I expected to be sticking around late. Especially when that gives me extra time to do the stuff I need to do, like edit a piece for Gladeo. Or edit a research paper proposal for my Evolution and Creation class. Or help edit an oral history project for my friend Tiana.

Apparently it’s just an edit-heavy kind of night.

After doing all that work I wound up sitting here close to 10:00 p.m. realizing I didn’t have any ideas for a blog post. Yet I didn’t want to just leave well enough alone, so I figured I would hike up my jeans and write… Something.

Anything.

Yet I mulled it over a bit and couldn’t come up with anything substantial. At least nothing I was willing to try to scrounge together in the next two hours.

Figured it would work to do one of my patented ‘deflecting my responsibility to write now by writing about the things I’m going to write about in the future’-type posts and call it a night. Get some Monster Hunter in or something before having to go to bed for my hematologist appointment in the morning.

Speaking of, that’s probably what I’m going to be writing about tomorrow. Not really because of the hematologist stuff in particular, since it’s just my (at this point) quarterly check-up.

Instead I think I’m going to write about a somewhat tangential point: My weight loss progress.

I haven’t checked my weight since my physical a few months back, so it’ll be good to see whether or not exercising regularly has helped out. Or it’ll be bad to see that exercising regularly has not helped, which will potentially completely demoralize all the progress I’ve been trying to make.

So that’ll be fun.

The day after that I’ll probably have a post about a tour at the Long Beach Post that I’m going on with the Fullerton SPJ chapter.

That should ACTUALLY be fun, hopefully. Not like the sarcastic fun I just joked about.

Once the weekend hits, I’ll see about finally hitting Toby Fox’s Deltarune. Maybe write something about that. The momentum of the weekend could also help me finally hit on a Monster Hunter-related post, regarding my current obsession with armor planning perhaps.

Next Tuesday I have a mandatory internship orientation. There might be something good to glean out of that for a blog post?

I don’t know, I’m kind of grasping at straws by this point aren’t I?

I’d rather not keep you all here for some random bs I’m cobbling together. So I’ll let you go free with a hopeful “come again soon!” like some kind of 7/11 exit sign.

Yeah okay I’m just rambling now. Good night, everybody.

Editorializing

Apparently I’m such a good Daily Titan employee that even after leaving the staff I’m still winning awards and getting copy filled in print.

Is something I would say if I were being self-serving and full of myself. Because yes, I am here to talk about how I technically have some sort of byline in the Daily Titan today.

It’s just a bit more complicated than that. So this post is going to be dedicated more to me figuring out exactly how I want to classify this than it is just talking about what it is in detail.

However I can’t just be vague and dance around things forever, so here’s some context.

The president of Cal State Fullerton’s Society of Professional Journalists chapter whipped up an editorial to run in the paper regarding President Trump’s anti-press rhetoric in the aftermath of events like the bomb threats last week.

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The editorial was meant to coincide with a statement put out by the national SPJ President Alex Tarquinio a few weeks back. Pretty much everyone on the board for our SPJ chapter got to read over the piece, comment our potential concerns and sign off on it in the end.

It’s hard not to argue that President Trump’s rhetoric has caused or at least perpetuated some issues for members of the press as well as the general public, so I was plenty willing to sign my name to the statement. Overall it actually made for a cool little coming together group moment that I haven’t gotten a lot of thanks to my asymmetrical schedule compared to the rest of the board people.

I’m just not entirely sure whether or not I can now take the statement and use it as an example of something I was involved with as an SPJ board member. Technically yes, my name is on it and it’s a statement by the board as a whole. But I didn’t really do a lot of work for it.

So if I put the editorial in my list of published stories, would that be weird? Should I make a separate category for things I’ve done as a part of SPJ and include this as a part of that page?

I’m not entirely sure what the proper etiquette would be.

Honestly I don’t think it matters all that much either, but these small issues always seem to be what stress me out the most. See my prior post where I talk about trying to come up with a ‘working title’ for my Honors project in spite of the fact that it literally didn’t matter.

I won’t bore you all much longer with my meaningless internal debate about whether I can credit myself for being part of a group that does a thing.

To end this short post off, I also wanted to give a quick shout out to this issue of the Daily Titan as a whole. While I’ve been reading their stories on my own time, I obviously haven’t put as much energy into promoting the paper as a whole since I’m not on staff this semester. That doesn’t mean the story quality is any worse however, and they’re still worth giving props where it’s due.

For instance, I really like the Midterm voter guide this semester.

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This first page has a great infographic map about voting locations around CSUF, and there’s more details within regarding the congressional races relevant to Fullerton and little blurbs on each of the California propositions.

It all looks really nice and is way more simple overall than some special issues I’ve been a part of in the past, which I would argue is really effective.

So… Yeah.

Support your local papers everyone. They’re important.

Fall 2018 First Impressions

I may have another day of travel to Fullerton tomorrow, but as of 6:00 p.m. today I have officially experienced all my new classes for the semester. So, as promised, I’m going to take my blog post today to run through my first impressions of all five courses I’m taking.

You know, outside of the general little factoids that are just a part of every new semester.

Like parking being garbage.

Or the fact that I’ve probably spent more on gas this week than I did over the entirety of the summer.

Some of my opinions here may seem more aggressive or more mundane than I’ll actually feel by the end of the semester, but that’s just the nature of first impressions isn’t it? Being probably a little too far on either end of the spectrum?

Frankly I’m not even sure why I’m giving this long disclaimer. It’s a personal opinion post on my personal blog that may or may not be played more for comedic value if anything else.

That’s basically what America was founded to facilitate.

So yeah let’s get into it.


Mass Media Ethics

I decided to go in order of major classes, minor classes then honors classes for this small listing even though it isn’t the order I actually have those classes throughout the week.

Thus we begin with my first Comm class, Mass Media Ethics. It’s a bit strange starting with my two classes that are one-day-a-week, three-hour blocks… But that’s just how things wound up this semester.

Despite those seemingly long, arduous class periods, I think these two Comm courses are probably toward the top of my positive first impressions. Mass Media Ethics specifically started off in a good place because it was my first class this semester where I had a friend.

Tim, who was a social media assistant on the Titan last semester, is in that class with me on Tuesday. Funny enough Chelsea, the other social media assistant last semester, is in my Visual Comm class on Wednesdays.

But that’s a topic for later obviously.

Mass Media Ethics was also interesting in that it presented me with the first time a professor knew who I was before I knew who she was. The professor was an ex-Daily Titan advisor, so we already had some common ground, but it also turned out that she knew my name from an SPJ newsletter announcing my having won that scholarship this summer.

I don’t exactly have too much to say about the class itself since we mostly utilized our time to get to know one another and read out the syllabus. But just based on that alone, the air of support and camaraderie amongst those of us in that small room was already pretty great.

Plus, the one actual ethics thing we started to look at was a debate about publishing the name/picture of a mass shooter from around the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting a few years back. So there’s definitely some interesting stuff coming down that pipeline.

Yet. The most interesting thing about that class, hands down, is the fact that it isn’t in the basement.

I know that sounds like a joke, but literally every class I’ve had in the Comm building before now has been in the basement and this one wasn’t. So it’s already an exciting change of pace.


Visual Communication

I’m fresh off of this class, given the fact that it’s my 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night course. Honestly the only thing separating me from writing it on-the-spot is my hour-long drive home.

Even if I had a little more time before writing this, I’d still say the first impression for this class was strong.

My professor here seems far more energetic than just about anyone else I have even in the face of a 230-person lecture.

Oh and I mean 230 people. Because he took attendance for every single one of them today. All 14 pages of his roll sheet.

Granted from here on out he said he’ll just be utilizing a sheet we’ll pass around, but it was still interesting watching that whole experience happen.

Especially since we also talked about the syllabus right after that, so probably close to the whole first hour of the three-hour course was just introductory stuff!

But like I said, he was so energetic and fun about it that that wasn’t even a problem.

Then our first broach into the subject included, amongst other things, discussions about Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code, Ridley Scott and Blade Runner, Harold and Kumar go to White Castle and other various and sundry movie-and-pop-culture-stuffs.

So, as I said in a tweet during the break we took:

Well said, me.

Also every exam is online only. ‘Nuff said.


Learning and Memory

Alright, these next two classes are my Psychology minor block. Learning and Memory specifically is actually the first class I took this semester since it’s my earliest Monday/Wednesday session.

It’s also probably the class I’m most divided on now that I’ve had my first two days of it.

On the one hand, my professor seems like a nice, old man. Which isn’t just a derogatory ‘lol he’s old,’ I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised to find out he’s one of the oldest members of the department.

It’s great in my opinion. More experience = more knowledge to impart and all that jazz.

Though an unfortunate side-effect of it is the fact that his voice doesn’t travel very far. So it’s a little harder to fully gather everything he’s saying in what is already a quickly escalating lecture course.

Also there are certain ways the class is constructed that baffles me and that I will openly complain about regardless of who may see this.

Like every other class, we’re required to write a paper sometime during the semester. For this class, it’s going to be a paper analyzing the similarities between what studies have found regarding operant conditioning practices in animals and in humans.

Pretty interesting stuff, in my opinion.

The problem is… According to our syllabus and his discussion of the paper…

We’re not allowed to quote or paraphrase anything in the paper we right.

So.

We have an analytical research-driven report that requires us to discuss specific experiments that have been conducted in the past using very specific detail to demonstrate various given vocabulary words.

But we can’t actually directly reference any of the experiments we’re utilizing within the text of the essay.

This and a few other things scattered throughout the course bewilder me in how nonsensical they seem to be. I suppose I’ll just have to see how it all turns out.


Sensation and Perception

Out of all the classes I’m taking, I probably have the least to say about this one. Which is ironic considering it’s the subject I’d argue I’m the most excited to learn about coming in.

Sensation and perception was actually a large part of the reason I fell in love with Psychology back in high school.

Just based off our first class session, it promises to deliver on the cool brain stuff. We’ve already discussed why everything tastes like chicken, for example!

The professor is also pretty chill and prides himself on a sarcastic sense of humor. Yet that sarcasm isn’t so pervasive that it overshadows moments when he comes to the front of the room to tell a story, or when he asked me to stay back after hearing I’m just a Psych minor to make sure I felt okay with the style of essay we’d be writing coming in.

That’s all pretty sweet.

I just don’t have a lot to talk about beyond that really. Seems like it’ll be a good time.

Actually, if I did have one more thing to discuss — what is it with upper-division Psychology classes this semester asking me to present evidence that I’ve passed the prerequisites?

Both my Learning/Memory and Sensation/Perception teacher made out first assignments presenting some kind of proof that we meet the requirements to be there. To which I say… Wouldn’t the computerized system prevent us from taking this upper-division class if we didn’t pass its prerequisites?

I would think so.

But oh well, it’s easy points for me in the end.


Evolution and Creation

My only honors class this semester, given the fact that I didn’t finish with my Honors Project proposal last semester, is Evolution and Creation. An examination of the two differing world views on how we got here.

It’s actually a course that I’ve been looking to take for years now. It always sounded like a fascinating subject to examine, but my schedule has never allowed for it. That’s just life when you have four nights of newspaper production a week.

But this semester I don’t have four nights of newspaper production a week, so I actually had the opportunity to take this class I’ve always wanted to take!

As an added bonus, it’s a class being taught by a professor who I’ve had a couple of classes with in the past, so I already know I like the guy.

The only thing I can really think to complain about in that perfect storm… Are the chairs in the room.

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For some reason. This tiny ass room in the bottom of the education building. Is the one place I’ve ever seen these bizarre alien chairs.

Not only are they on wheels and roll around like bumper cars, but the chair piece and the desk piece both independently swivel above the black piece.

It’s honestly like sitting in a chair meant to distract anyone with a semblance of ADHD.

No idea how anyone can learn in them, but I suppose I’ll have to figure it out.

On the bright side, they’re easy to move around the room. So we’ll be able to gather in circles for all of the discussion-oriented portions of the semester.


That just about wraps up my first impressions of my classes this semester. For the most part I have a lot more positives than negatives, and the extra time I’ve built for myself really opens up more work opportunities and the option to keep up with my time in the gym.

So if anything, I think this might just be one of my better, healthier semesters overall.

That said, how are all of you faring if you’ve just started school again for the year/semester? Let me know all about it in the comments down below!

Receiving the Carl Greenberg Scholarship

At first, I figured today was going to be a day where I would talk all about the trailer that was dropped about the upcoming Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu & Eevee games.

But something much more important came up after I started writing that which feels like a better conversation topic for the day. So sorry Pokémon, you’ve been sidelined.

Today I received word from the Scholarship Chair of the Society of Professional Journalist’s Los Angeles branch that I have been awarded the Carl Greenberg Scholarship for Political and Investigative Reporting.

Frankly, that’s pretty kick-ass and I’m excited about it!

According to the SPJLA website, the scholarship is “awarded to a college student pursuing investigative or political reporting,” named after a LA Times political reporter “famed for being singled out by Richard Nixon as the only reporter who covered him ‘fairly.'”

So not only am I excited about the fact that I won something I applied for kind of out of the blue — mostly as something to do early on in the summer when I was sitting around — but I’m also humbled at the fact that I’ve been recognized to sit in a pantheon which sounds so prestigious. Helps give some perspective to the work I’ve had the pleasure of doing, and all those other clichés that must be expected from an awards acceptance speech of sorts.

Though to be completely honest, the $1,000 that comes with it certainly helps pique my interest.

What can I say, prestige is nice and all, but so is food and gas when you’re a broke college student.

As are plenty of new video games coming soon, but don’t tell the nominating committee that.

In celebration of my award, I figured I would throw out this short post as both a way of logging the fact that I earned this recognition and as a way of slyly promoting myself.

You’ve all seen those articles out of major newspapers that showcase stories which received accolades. Hell, I even wrote an article in that vein for the Daily Titan at the end of the Spring 2018 semester.

So consider the bottom of this blog post one of those for me. I submitted three articles alongside my scholarship application, and I’m going to link out to each of them here.

Before I do, I just wanted to thank the SPJLA Scholarship Chair Richard Saxton, who helped let me know what I needed to do to apply, and all the other members of the Scholarship Committee for this awesome opportunity. Here’s to many more hopefully coming in the near future!


This article has arguably been one of my proudest achievements as a journalist thus far. That could be said for most of the stories in this small list alone, sure, but there’s so much history to my coverage of Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to CSUF that I consider it a saga.

Kicking the whole thing off was an article that was weeks in the making. It began as simple rumors that supposedly there were plans in the work to bring the conservative provocateur to campus based on a petition online to keep controversial figures off campus. Based on that rumor I talked to a myriad of sources and eventually put out this fairly large piece covering the entire process of how one can bring a speaker to campus in light of the confirmation that Yiannopoulos’ visit was in the works.

And that isn’t even going into all of the coverage of the Canin scandal from the semester prior that helped build my relations with the College Republicans Club enough to help them trust my reporting.

Even during that initial coverage I knew the plan was to bring the man to campus on Halloween. At the point this initial piece was published, however, I kept that to myself in case the reporting of that information changed the plans at hand in any significant way.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Our semester was thus far filled with coverage of Yiannopoulos’ visit from any conceivable angle from myself and other members of the news desk staff. Eventually that culminated in a massive three-story package of a paper that went on to receive a special edition reprint, got me a talking head spot on NPR’s ‘Take Two’ and earned a number of accolades at the most recent LA Press Club Awards.

Plus Milo himself said on Facebook that he liked how balanced I was with the story on his speech. Never would have expected that, but it’s something I’ll take on as a badge of pride considering I didn’t get that praise while also upsetting the other side of the aisle.

I could talk about this article all day, but then we’d be here all day. Nobody really wants that.

So check it out if you haven’t, and see all of the reporting that emerged as a result while you’re at it.

My coverage of Project Rebound goes back a ways. Multiple semesters, in fact, unlike the one-semester shots of the other articles on this list.

I was the person who covered the story when the program, which helps offer previously incarcerated individuals an opportunity to earn their degrees and avoid recidivism, first came to campus. At that point I made friends with the program’s director, Brady Heiner, and its brand new coordinator, Romarilyn Ralston.

At least once a semester I try to go back and see the Project Rebound folks because, despite obviously being objective in my reporting, I do feel the cause is an important and righteous one.

The story I used for this scholarship application is my most recent piece about the program: A profile of its coordinator, Romarilyn.

It started as an assignment for my Multimedia Journalism class, and the actual meat of where it originated comes in the form of the video I produced alongside the written article. It’s embedded within the story if you haven’t seen it, and it’s probably my most proud achievement in a multimedia realm.

Though that being said, her story is also incredibly powerful, and certainly one of those stepping-stones that I would argue got me more invested in the idea that Features are a powerful tool for telling other people’s stories more than they are extra avenues of reporting.

Another piece stemming from my work with the Daily Titan’s advisor as a part of her Investigative Reporting class, the homeless coverage I was a part of is another ‘saga’ in my reporting experience thus far that I remember fondly.

Certain specific events, like our coverage of the Point-In-Time count toward the beginning of that semester, are things I’ll never forget.

However, the coverage of Mercy House I did alongside Roxana Paul is another thing I’ll always hold dear. It fits into a similar vein as the Romarilyn story I talked about above, as it gave a hard news-focused kid the opportunity to do slightly more Features-based coverage by actually going out and talking with some of the homeless population in Orange County.

Yet it was also a story steeped in hard news, covering the numbers with how much help is available in the County and talking to the people who provide the aid on the ground.

There are plenty of other elements I could dive into regarding this story. It was one of the first time I took pictures for my own article, it had graphics and other multimedia elements, it was part of a wonderful series put together by a group of really talented reporters. On top of that, it helped me out further last semester when I assisted with the coverage of Santa Ana clearing out whatever homeless population was living along the riverbed.

It’s another story I would consider one of my most in-depth and powerful. So read it if you haven’t, and check out the other Homeless in OC coverage the Titan did as well!

Whipping out the Wallet

Whipping out the Wallet

I’ve been on a bit of a cleaning kick lately. Getting the house straightened up tends to be one of my first big summer projects, as we’re coming fresh off the busy end of a semester/school year where things tend to become a pig sty and I feel a little bad about how little I’ve been able to contribute.

So far I’ve hit part of our main living room, the kitchen and the downstairs bathroom. However, I took a bit of a distracted turn when starting to look at my room.

While clearing off my desk (which you can see in a fairly clean state through this post I wrote the last time I straightened up around here), I also decided to clean out my wallet to make room for a few extra cards and such I now want to carry around with me.

I thought the state of my wallet when I started was interesting as some sort of example of my “constant carry” mental state, so I wanted to take the chance to run through exactly what I found.

Who knows, maybe it’ll be interesting to compare that to whatever I carry in the future.


The Valuables

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Here’s the stuff I won’t outright show you, but it’s the stuff you’ll expect to see no matter what.

Boils down to this:

  • My Driver’s License
  • My Cal State Fullerton ID
  • My AAA Card
  • My Family’s Health Care Card
  • My Family’s Vehicle Insurance
  • My Debit Card

Pretty generic stuff. Just don’t expect me to be silly enough to post pictures of my numbers and such to be abused by whatever internet trolls are lingering around.


My Lucky Coin

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In a complete 180 degree turn, here’s something that isn’t vital to my survival, but also isn’t something I tend to part with very often.

I can’t tell you exactly where or when I got my hands on this Lugia-printed silver coin. I can’t tell you why I wound up putting such high praise into it.

All I can tell you is that it will always be sitting right behind my Driver’s License in its special outward flap. For luck.

It’s goofy, but what can I say. I’m a superstitious guy when I want to be.


My SPJ Card

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Probably the most recent addition to the cast, here’s my membership card for the Society of Professional Journalists.

Though I’ve been interested in joining the organization for some time, I decided to wait way too long for some reason and didn’t get my hands on this until a few months ago.

Considering I’ll be aiming to get myself more actively involved in the CSUF branch of SPJ going forward, it won’t hurt to keep this sucker around.


My Library Card

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If my SPJ Card is very recent, this library card is very old. I’d argue at least 10 years, but the plastic itself doesn’t actually indicate how long ago I first got it.

All I can tell you is it’s at least old enough to warrant my mom having signed the “for anyone 18 and younger” parental signature space.

If nothing else, digging this sucker out has made me think about just how long it’s been since I used it.

Perhaps I’ll take a trip down to the Library one of these days, just to hang around and study if nothing else.


A single GameStop Gift Card

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How much money is still on this thing?

Why am I just carrying it around?

Who gave it to me?

What is making me put so much thought into the damn thing?

All of these questions and more linger as I gaze into the sleek red-black-white physique of this particular card.


Some Membership Cards

There’s a bit of a “Tale of Two Cities” deal going on with these cards, for as random a combination as they may be.

The Men’s Warehouse Rewards Card is the more bizarre of the two. I’ve really only used it once back when I needed to get a suit for my high school graduation.

Didn’t even go to Men’s Warehouse when I needed a suit for the Comm Awards a few weeks back.

On the other hand, I actually use the Which Wich Rewards Card all the time. Way more than I probably should, honestly.

What can I say. There’s a Which Wich right next to the newsroom, so it’s one of the three or four restaurants that are constantly in my circulation of places to eat.

So whether or not I’m going to carry this with me


Too many Starbucks Cards

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Okay, look people. I drink Starbucks pretty often. Like more often than I probably should – a pattern apparently.

But this is ridiculous.

Obviously most of these cards were gifts from others, but what sick delusion broke its way into my head forcing me to keep all of them in my wallet at the same time?

Actually, that’s not fair. Not all of them are in my wallet.

I also found three or four Starbucks cards sitting on my desk hidden under piles of junk.

Seriously what is wrong with me? I literally spent a good 15 minutes today just jotting down Card numbers to throw them all on my digital account for ease of access later.

Did I really think it was more beneficial to just carry all of this extra junk?!

Sighs…

Sometimes I’ll never understand past Jason.


Punch Cards

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Probably more interesting than the plastic rewards cards I pointed out earlier are these punch cards I’ve decided to carry around for some reason or another.

The one on the left is for a local car wash right around where I live, one that actually does a pretty nice, thorough job not only cleaning the outside but the inside of the car.

However… Fate can be a cruel mistress. I’ve only had the chance to go once, hence the one stamp on the card, because the back window on my car is still broken.

Haven’t been able to get the thing properly washed in months. So that’s great.

The card from the ice cream place is a bit more interesting to think about why exactly I carry it around.

I’ve only gone to that place a few select times as well, with probably my only visits coming from times I’ve hung around the Del Amo Mall with my friend Samantha.

There’s only two stamps left till we get a free dessert, so I guess we’re going to have to hang out again soon whenever she’s finished with her semester over at El Camino.


Last but not least…

Good old Washingtons.

Er… Washington.

Only have one dollar on me right now. So I guess it’s a good thing I decided to stay inside and clean rather than go out, huh?


That really wraps it up for my wallet excursion. Like I said, perhaps I’ll check back on this post in a few years and see where I’m at in my life based on the contents of my wallet.

Though in the meantime, I am curious to know if any of you have anything particularly bizarre or special in your wallets/purses/whatever it may be.

If you do and you’re interested in sharing, let me know in the comments!

April 30, 2018 Article Published

So fair warning, this story feels like it’s probably the most self-serving thing I’ve ever written and I don’t have too much to say about it.

As I’m sure anyone who follows my exploits on this blog knows, I spent a good amount of time this weekend at awards banquets (the Comm Awards and SPJ for those who missed out). That time I spent was actually just the tip of the iceberg as far as what the Daily Titan has seen this year in terms of awards, however.

Despite the fact that I would argue the whole exercise of having someone write an article about awards who has been involved in said awards seems a bit conflict-of-interest laden, we were inspired by papers like the New York Times who always point out stories they’ve won awards for and decided to do it ourselves.

Naturally I was thrown the piece on deadline since I was the news assistant on shift.

Overall it wasn’t a difficult story to write. The really difficult part was compiling the list of every award we’ve won over the last year or so. Forty is the magic number, for anyone curious.

Yours truly is involved in a number of them.

However the stand-out award was easily the Hearst that our former Sports Editor Bryant Freese won for the story on a former women’s basketball coach that he essentially got fired for being bad. While you’re over on my article please check that out, it’s definitely worth the read.

I say that genuinely too. It’s probably one of the three sports stories I’ve read in the last… Seven years of doing journalism.

Anyway though, that’s enough plugging someone else. I’m here to plug me.

If you want to see me fellate our newspaper and talk about things I’ve won and things my colleagues have won, you can check it out here. It’s actually pretty worth it to see the list of everything, which my editor Amy and I used as an opportunity to link out to all of the stories involved.

You can also see my full archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

Awards Weekend part two

Awards Weekend part two

I’m not looking to necessarily toot my own horn or anything, but my resume did get a good bit beefier these last couple of days.

Today was the 2018 Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 11 Conference. Technically it started yesterday but that was pretty much just for regional directors, so I’m considering this the starting point.

Members of the Daily Titan staff were nominated for a number of awards by our advisor, and those of us who were finalists (alongside general members of SPJ) got to come up to sunny Universal City and spend the afternoon at the Hilton near Universal Studios.

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It really does feel like I was just up here… But that’s beside the point.

Personally, I was nominated in the Breaking News category alongside Amy, Brandon and Breanna for our Halloween coverage of Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to CSUF.

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Not pictured above: Brandon. He somehow managed to miss our group picture at the Comm Awards too.

Even though we didn’t win, just being finalists in this kind of competition is a great honor given that we made it far enough to get to the luncheon (which, sorry CSUF, was much tastier than the Comm Awards. Though points off for lack of Del Taco).

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The keynote speaker at the luncheon was Stephen Galloway, the executive featured editor at The Hollywood Reporter who frankly did inspire me a bit to go finally finish this profile I’ve been sitting on for a long time.

However, what he didn’t help with was meal etiquette:

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Seriously I wasn’t expecting this thing to be quite as fancy as it turned out to be and many of us were lost trying to figure out which silverware to use when.

My formal training has failed me in that regard, apparently.

But hey, who needs a formal training in old time-y meal etiquette when you can get jelly beans?

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That’s right, we got jelly beans in a cool silver tin that I promise I haven’t been sponsored by.

I just really dig it, okay?

Anyway though, if you feel at all bad for us not winning in our category, there’s no need to fret for two reasons.

For one… Well, nobody from the Titan won in our categories. Just being nominated was cool yes, but in the face of defeat at least we could all be losers together.

Secondly, there was a bit of a skewed power dynamic to the whole event. Just about every award went to USC, UCLA or the Walter Cronkite school.

They’re pretty much the heavy hitters you would expect to win everything, so the fact that we got nominated as much as we did next to them is a great achievement in its own right.

However, even beyond that, the truly nice thing about this event wasn’t the awards, naturally. It was getting to spend time with friends at a fancy event.

Especially considering many of the people who came are graduating in the next few weeks, that made this an especially bittersweet time.

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Here I am with Kaleb, one of the coolest dudes in the room and my best wingman.
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The best selfie with me, former Editor in Chief Zack (his badge said so) and my old news editing partner Megan.

Not pictured above: Pretty much everyone else that was there in the big group shot.

I really do work with the best team in the world, and I’m not sure how we’re going to carry on with so many heavy losses next semester.

Okay I mean I do know how we’re going to carry on. Because that’s just how life works.

But you all understand my sentiment.

Though now, with this quick life update out-of-the-way, I’m off to go work on some end-of-semester stories and projects I still have to get done.

Luckily I’ve got a nice venue to do it in today.


Oh and P.S. – For those of you wondering about the featured image, it’s a picture of the ceiling in the ballroom where the awards luncheon was. I thought it was artsy and cool so… Yeah.