Merger would affect current, future journalism students

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I’ve talked before about the fact I attended Indiana University and studied journalism. The journalism school at IU, located in Ernie Pyle Hall, is facing a merger that would result in the school losing its independence and merging with Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences (COAS).

Hearing news of this made my blood boil.

I spent four years, countless hours there. I attended 8 a.m. classes and stayed on campus all day because I also had a 5:45 p.m. class. I took naps on the furniture, read books with the glass doors open overlooking the courtyard, used the computer lab and checked out video, camera equipment. I took advantage of the resources offered.

Provost Lauren Robel announced the proposed merger of the school and several other programs at her “State of the Campus.” This has caused a Facebook page to be formed to save the journalism school and people are encouraged to sign a petition and contact university officials. Robel silenced objectivity by refusing journalists inside a meeting on Feb. 21. The meeting was held in Ernie Pyle Hall, where the Indiana Daily Student is located.

I plan to take action and hope others do too.

I attended mandatory freshmen courses in the dreaded lecture hall and made friends I kept throughout my college career. More than that, I learned. I learned more than I knew at the time and probably more than I realize now. Visual Communications with Claude Cookman, creating a magazine with Nancy Comiskey, war and the media with Steve Raymer, sports reporting with Terry Hutchins, Indianapolis star sports reporter, and magazine reporting with Zak Szymanski were just a few of my classes taught by brilliant professors.

I also worked for a year in the school as a writer for the website and alumni magazine. My boss, editor, Gena Asher was brilliant. I was able to interview professors I never had and learn new things about the ones I already knew.

I met people, talked with people, and learned from others.  I worked on PowerPoint presentations with group members until my contacts were dry and eyes were red. I studied, quizzed other students about subjects we were about to be tested on.

I grew. Indiana University has one of the best journalism schools in the country and to take its independence away is ludicrous. It isn’t just a place where people are let loose without guidance. They are sculpted into journalists. They are allowed opportunities to network and get the careers they desire.

I am outraged journalism students could miss out on the experience I had. Merging the programs and allowing the possibility of someone being lost in translation is a horrible thing to rob future, current students.

The merger would affect future writers, reporters, radio broadcasters, television broadcasters and publicists who will be delivering news all over the world.

I now work at a daily newspaper in northern Indiana and the Indiana University school of journalism and all those in it helped me prepare for it.

Journalism isn’t dead yet, but taking away the school’s independence is similar to shooting the first bullet.

Plans might change, but mother always knows best

Today Marks the beginning of my last semester of college classes ever (fingers crossed).  I say fingers crossed, because after a quick visit to my advisor, I found out I have two credits left to take.  Really? two credits.  There aren’t even classes available worth two credits, only one or three credit classes  (thanks for toying with my emotions IU).

My first  reaction was anger.  Not only do I have two measely credits I have to take, but the credits can’t be in journalism, advertising, communication, media, or tellecommunications, or english.  That means that I can’t take any class related to my major or minor. 

My second reaction was frustration.  Because after trying to fit those two little credits in my final schedule, I found out that I can’t because I am already taking 18 credits.    So I need two credits but I cannot add two credits to my already full schedule. 

My third reaction was panic.  I’ve been applying to internships everywhere for the past three months for this summer.  I had hopes of an internship at a magazine in Indianapolis, Chicago, or New York this summer. 

My fourth reaction was _____.  I called my mother.  This should have been my first reaction.  My mother calmed me down from “if-I-don’t-get-two-credits-fit-into-my-schedule-I-will-fail-at-not-only-this summer-internship-but-the-rest-of-my-journalism-career-and-life.” Yes, I know that was a dramatic thought process, but that’s how I was feeling at the moment. She not only gave me great advice, she made me see that I currently can do nothing about the two credits and worrying about it will only drive me insane. 

My mother informed me that if I have to take a first summer session class at IU, I’ll survive.  First session classes start in May and end in June and I would still be graduating in May.  I also have already paid rent on my house for the summer, which means I have a place to stay and I won’t be losing any money.  She also informed me that it’s okay if I don’t get an internship at the beginning of the summer, I can get one later in the summer or I can get one in the fall.  I already have two jobs, and taking one class in the summer would allow me to have the time to save up some money for when I do move.

Tacking on one more class to my other six, would only ensure that I have zero free time to actually enjoy what’s left of my senior year. So what did she tell me you might wonder? She told me to work hard, but also make some time to do something fun.  She informed me that sometimes I worry about making other people happy (i.e. finishing in May and getting an amazing internship immediately) and I need to focus on myself. Last, she told me to make mistakes and enjoy what’s left of my senior year, because whether I know it or not, everything will fall into place. Thanks to my mother I realized that it might not be such a bad idea to stay around this beautiful campus a  little longer.

The art of letting your hair down

One of those extremely happy couples in love. Snapped this photograph during Spring Break this past year.

Before each New Year celebration I like to (along with the rest of the world) reflect. But before I do that I need you to do me a favor. Can you do that? Okay it takes three steps.  Step one: Inhale deeply and shut your eyes (eye shutting is optional). Step two: exhale slowly.  Step three: relax and smile.  See, that wasn’t so hard.  A lot of the time people get so wrapped up in what is happening in their life (myself included) that they forget to take a step back and enjoy it.   News Years seems like the appropriate time to do just that. Instead of reflecting solely on the things that have happened this last year, I like to think about everything I’m thankful for.  Although I kid around about everyone who is currently in love and display it lavishly during holiday seasons, (check out my seasonal boyfriend article)  I truly am surrounded by so much love from my friends and family.

This past year has been filled with many great experiences.  Indiana University men’s basketball team has been playing incredibly well and beat the number one basketball team, Kentucky.  Their current record is 12-1 after the lost against Michigan State yesterday.

 For the past twelve months I have had the pleasure of working at A Total Tan.  Although the business isn’t too glamorous (employers basically clean customer’s sweat off of tanning beds), it has given me the opportunity to meet several people who I never would have met otherwise.

I have recently moved out of the Dreamboat (named sarcastically after its sketchy location, landlord, and foundation) and into a new and improved house on the Bloomington campus.  The new house has had its flaws (two lounge chairs and a grill have been stolen from our porch), but it has proven to be an instant home for all of us.   For the past five months I have been living with four other girls.  Yes, it can be frustrating at times living with four other girls (Some don’t do their dishes or clean…EVER).  However, I laugh everyday and am able to go out to bars with these four girls and wear sweats and watch movies with these girls.

Okay, we don't usually dress up as nerds. I promise it was a themed occasion.

 I’ve attended several events on campus.  I’ve seen several concerts including Bloomington’s local band Main Squeeze, a jazz combo production put on by the Jacob school of Music, and during Little 500 last year, I went to a Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Rick Ross concert that was amazing.  I’ve attended several sporting events including football, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, and swimming.

Many Tuesdays were spent with good friends, good food, and   good drinks at Ami restaurant for 30% off sushi followed by a stop at Kilroys on Kirkwood bar and grill for $2 Tuesday.  I also had the opportunity to take some pretty amazing classes taught by outstanding professors during the past year.  My favorite recent class was a sports writing class taught by The Indianapolis Star beat reporter, Terry Hutchens.  Hutchens came to class everyday and talked enthusiastically about one of the things I love: sports.

Lil Wayne wearing an Indiana University jacket during a performance in Assembly Hall.

All of these amazing occasions were made possible by my parents, who have loved and supported me through every step I have taken.  Of course, my mother still gets frustrated when I don’t balance my check book after every entry (or ever…bad habit, I know), and my father gets frustrated when I come home from college for holiday vacations and leave my items all over the house (I know I left my dirty clothes on the table, don’t you still wish I lived here, dad?).  My parents have financially supported me through college and when I talk about things I want to do after college, they tell me that no matter what they will help me make it happen.  My brother, has also helped me strive to be who I am (even if he doesn’t know it). My brother is stubborn and sometimes a pain and the ass, but he knows what he wants and has always gone after it. He took off four years ago for Wyoming, never previously been there, and became a fly fisherman guide on a ranch outside of Jackson.  I have always looked up to him and hope to emulate my brother’s desire to go after his dreams.

 As the New Year 2012 rolls around (insert something mundane and repetitive about the Earth’s status this year) I look forward to many more memories and experiences with my friends and family.  Through the busy pace and schedule of life it’s hard to stop and enjoy it.  Remember that every little thing that might cause a bump in the road isn’t the end up of the world it’s a time to be thankful for the people that surround you during that part of life.  Personally, one of my New Year’s resolution is to slow down and enjoy my last semester of college.  I hope the New Year brings you much happiness.  I’ll cheers to that.

Cheers.

Here’s to being uncomfortable

A guy friend of mine asked me tonight what my plans were after I graduate.  Something I have been attempting to prepare for, but it’s still strange.  I have been living in the same Bloomington bubble for the past four years.  Going to the same restaurants with friends- La Charreada, Trojan Hourse, Noodles, going to the same bars on weekends- Kilroys ($2 holla), Brothers, and spent several all nighters cozying up with Herman B. Wells (the school library) while writing a paper for a journalism class.

I admitted that I’m unsure of where I want to end up.  I have always been the writer of the family- unlike my brothers knack for being able to quote a history fact verbatim, my mother’s vast knowledge of science, and my father’s ability to figure out a math equation. I would be happy writing for a magazine (ideally) or a newspaper almost anywhere. He was surprised at my flexibility and easiness of talking about how I could end up in Chicago, New York, or Wyoming for all I know.  “Don’t you want to go somewhere you will be comfortable?” he asked.

I thought about that question for awhile before answering him.  “No,” I said.  The past four years have been a blessing.  I have gained friendships, had professors that cared for each and everyone of their students,  and I have truly gotten the opportunity to experience things that I wouldn’t have if I would have stayed comfortable at home.

Home to me is Walton, Indiana.  My house is located next to a farm and is seven miles outside of town.  My high school was surrounded on three sides by cornfields.  I knew everyone that I saw at Church on Sundays and in the crowd of my softball games.  Walton, over 18 years, became a comfort for me.  My family, the community, and the town shaped who I am.  However, if I would have stayed there I wouldn’t have gotten to experience Maine Squeeze sing at the Bluebird, the square lit up at Christmas time, or the Nearly Naked Mile during homecoming.  The unfamiliar territory helped shape me and show me that I am able to adapt well to change if I allow it.

That being said, I look forward what awaits me after I graduate.  Though I don’t know what city I’ll end up in or what job I’ll land, I do know that Bloomington and Walton have prepared me.  Walton gave me a set of values that I hold dearly to heart, and Bloomington taught me I’m able to let my hair down and still accomplish things.  I am able to go cheer on the Indiana men’s basketball team when I have a paper due the following weekend.  As I steadfastly fill out applications and mail out resumes, I look forward to what is to come with high regards.  Although the Washingtonian recently posted “Are Twentysomethings expecting to much” I believe that I am hopeful, but realistic, as a Twentysomething.  So here’s to being optimistic, uncomfortable, and accepting the challenge of whatever might come my way.