Journalism in a Nutshell

We have to genuinely be curious.

Sympathetic.

Telling.

Not unfeeling.

We have to be bold and just ask.

Inquisitive questions.

Interesting questions.

Understanding, explanatory questions.

Not boring questions.

We have to be compelling storytellers.

Descriptive.

Informative.

Luring.

Not blabbing.

We must provide instead,

true, engaging reporting.

p.s. Today was my last feature writing class of the semester. It’s been a meaningful semester of writing for me. Thanks to my professor, here’s to journalism as I know it!

 

 

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I wish my grandpa

I wish my grandpa stopped using

because if he had stopped using

he’d be seeing

me

and my sister

and my brother, he never got know.

He’d be visiting my college with my grandma.

He’d be spending time with us for the holidays.

He’d be listening and siding as grandparents do.

He’d be watching me and my sister go across the world

and back home.

He’d see that Jaden looks like him and my other grandpa, too.

He’d be here

if he had just stop

using.

If he wanted to stop using.

If he got help to stop using.

I wish my grandpa

stopped using.

p.s. I heard a spoken word piece yesterday at a Kwanza Dinner program. The poem was about a son who’s mother was HIV positive, and how that same mother was also a smoker. His voice was full of emotion and power. Here’s to helping those people get healthy again. And here’s to you, Grandpa. Missing you.

From Now Into Senior Year

Enjoy the holidays.

Have the time of my life studying abroad.

Create a second-a-day video abroad, and a large video of my highlights abroad.

Land an internship for the summer.

Become a Student Activities Manager again.

Work for the International Student Services, which works closely with incoming international students.

Be a part of the Conversation Partners Program once more.

Maybe be a writing tutor?

p.s. Looking forward to these times ahead! Have a great night!

A Talk with Ali Velshi and Emily Glazer

Right now I am searching for experience. As I get older, experience will become less important, and a runway will become more beneficial– a place to stay, and grow.

Right now, I need to write articles that have some sort of unique angle, resolution, and call to action on those accountable.

Right now, I need to keep meeting people, keep in contact, and keep allowing people to help me and connect me to others.

p.s. I had an informational with anchor, Ali Velshi, and a phone call with Wall Street Journal writer,  Emily Glazer, and it was so fantastic! These conversations made my Friday better. Here’s to connecting with journalists!

 

Remembrances of The sun and her flowers

“I am the longest relationship in my life.”

 

“Learning to not envy

someone else’s blessings

is what grace looks like.”

 

“It isn’t blood that makes you my sister

it’s how you understand my heart

as though you carry it

in your body.”

 

 

“Our work should equip

the next generation of women

to outdo us in every field

this is the legacy we’ll leave behind.”

 

“It’s been the year of hurting so bad but living so good.”

p.s. I found myself referring back to these quotes from the sun and her flowers on Thursday. These are things I needed to read then. It’s what I need to keep reminding myself now. Here’s to the year of hurting so bad, but living so good! xo

Reshooting Video

When you reshoot video,

you have a sense of what went wrong last time,

so you can make it better this time.

When you reshoot video,

this time, the turnaround is much faster.

When you reshoot video,

you have a much clearer focus,

and feel even more motivated to produce it.

p.s. On Wednesday, my colleague and I reshot aspects of our video project. We are looking forward to showing you all our news package on gap years soon!

 

 

Unsolicited Advice

Work anywhere, she said. Take any job. Daily Mail. The Post. Don’t say “No.” You never know what you’re going to learn, or who you’re going to meet. You’ll just gain insight to a whole new environment, she added. Where you 1st work is not where you’re going to stay forever. It’s okay to move around.

p.s. On Tuesday, I went on an assignment with the local news team, WNBC, again!We covered a story about a young woman’s laptop who blew up. Her mom is hoping the company can provide her a new one, although it’s not budging. The videographer gave me all kinds of advice on our way back from the shoot. Moments like these –I will never forget. Here’s to unsolicited advice!

Housing Crisis Abroad

Frankly, it’s been so difficult finding housing in Madrid, Spain for the past month. Not only is Spain 6 hours ahead than New York City, but it’s also halfway across the world.

Sitting on a computer, emailing back and forth with a housing agency representative is not ideal.

I even got on a Skype call with the representative, and while I received more information about how booking and paying would work, I still couldn’t find a place I would be happy to live in.

First off, I want to live with just  students who are females. I want to live with others my age. I want to live with a combination of other international students and Spaniards. But options are running out, as time is running out, because my advisor here at the university was unclear about when to book exactly –no matter how many times I called the office, met her in person, and emailed her my concerns. Residence on campus is no longer a option for exchange students, either.

Secondly, I want to live in a place only 30 minutes-1 hour away from my host university campus. Yet, the website does not provide me any addresses. How can I book without an address? How do I know where I’ll be staying? The neighborhood? Any trains around? Any shops?

Thirdly, I want the price to match what’s on the budget sheet. Students were told that options should be about three grand for 5 months of housing. But that’s not happening either. All the “affordable” housing are taken already.

That being said, I must change my game plan.

I began texting friends and family members who have friends in Spain if they could help me.

I told my parents everything, and they helped with research and even called my university’s international program office.

5-7 of us still do not have housing at this point. It’s December. We are leaving in January.

I looked into other resources, too. Idealista.com EasyMadrid.com etc.

I changed my plan–live with someone you know, and stay with a host family.

p.s. Here’s what I realized last Monday, after I got a minute to breathe. You have to take action. Research. Email. Reach out. Call. Anyone and everyone to help you. Be patient. Pray. When an opening opens up, jump on it. Have the money to pay. Just do it. Everything will work out. Make sure it has wifi, and heat, too!

Rupi Kaur’s the sun and her flowers: Giving You “All the Feels”

The sun and her flowers is a collection of poetry by #1 New York Times bestselling author, Rupi Kaur. It is the sequel to her 1st self-published book of poetry and prose, milk and honey. Both free-verse collections have illustrations within them—all created by Kaur. She is originally from Canada, and has performed her poetry all across the world. milk and honey, alone sold over a million copies, was translated over 30 languages, and was best-seller for the New York Times every week for a little over a year back in 2014.

Similar to milk and honey, this sequel has lines and stanzas wrapped in meaning. It is a book that allows readers to make friends with the character, who is Kaur, herself, exposed. The language is simple in some ways, yet so punchy in other ways, sometimes making readers reread just to regain clarity. She has illustrations on almost every page, which depict what she’s describing in her poems. The signatures, such as “-human” for example, are at the end of her poems, as well. They read almost like a hashtag or a postscript in a letter, giving context, credit, and reference to the topic, concept, place, person, or feeling she’s alluding to.

This collection is broken into five parts: wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. The first two sections, wilting, and falling, naturally have a sad, morbid, moping tone. These sections, and rather, themes, have a negative connotation to them at face value. For this reason, Kaur’s poems in wilting, are very much about losing herself in the midst of trying to make her partner happy, and yet, not being happy with herself, her relationship, or her life. In falling, Kaur blames herself for letting someone else who she thought was “the one” truly turn her softness into roughness in all the wrong ways. She struggles to pick herself up from this pit, and stays stuck on the image of a man she once knew.

These sections will most likely touch people who have gone through this experience. It will provide understanding to someone who knows another person who has experienced these intense emotions. It will speak truth to and affect those currently intertwined in what implies, self-destruction.
The following chapters: rooting, rising, and blooming, are conversely, much more positive—much more inspiring, than the ones preceding. These are stanzas wrapped in meaning specifically for women. These poems will inform them about self-love, self-care, and self-worth.

These lines will teach them that on this earth, women go through womanhood together, yet separately simultaneously. These words will evoke emotions and memories about what it is to be a woman, a wife, a mother, an immigrant. These lines will teach young women to love and appreciate their mothers, and remind their mothers and mother figures to start living life again.
These messages will at best rejuvenate the mind and soul for women, and at worst, make them think differently, as Kaur subtly refers to the political climate America is in today.

Kaur gives the audience—women, poetry lovers, book lovers, young adults, and anyone else interested in taking a stab at reading poetry, life lessons. In just a couple of words, lines, or stanzas, she invites readers to keep reading. Her writing reminds readers of Hemingway in that way. Short. Detailed. Powerful. Scenic. She cuts to the chase, and toys with our hearts—the way her past lovers have—with her words in a stimulating way. Many lines will become favorite lines. Readers will thus, feel connected, even rooted, to Kaur’s experiences.

The honesty of the stories, and the rawness of the no-filtered language embedded throughout the poems, give readers that gift of identifying with the main protagonist, and best-selling author, Kaur. Though milk and honey focuses on the sweetness in the bitter parts of hurting, loving, breaking, and healing, the sun and her flowers gets into the nitty-gritty details of truly wilting, and falling as if the sun doesn’t shine anymore. But then, naturally like nature, the book picks up, and truly blooms, as readers progress through the story.

This collection of poetry very much contains the five-point story arc. The exposition is wilting, and we see the conflict at its root, which exposes Kaur’s toxic relationship with love. Then, the rising action occurs and we visualize her completely withering and wilting with words and illustrations. Then, rooting reveals how she garners her thoughts, goals and dream once more, despite all the heartbreak. She is finally healing. This is the climax. This is the change we want to see for her, and within ourselves. Page 193 sums it all up, and is cathartic for anyone reading it. Rising becomes the falling action, as the sun begins to come up again—a new, real love is on the horizon. Here, Kaur further reflects on the hardest year of her life. She also offers gratitude to people, places, writing, and things who’ve helped her rise. And blooming is the greatest gift to the reader—the resolution. The sun and her flowers are no longer wilting or falling.

The sun and her flowers is poetry that will intrinsically give readers “all the feels,” a phrase used in pop culture which signifies positive vibes. It’s a reading experience that will also get readers “in their feelings,” another pop culture phrase which indicates someone’s feelings are hurt, and hurt bad. It’s a collection of poetry that evokes feelings and moods, shaped in stanzas, wrapped in meaning, and illustrated in honest depictions.

Kaur is the sun herself. She shines so bright throughout this collection, and succeeds as a poet, writer, woman, and human once again. She is instantly likeable. The timing of this sequel is also agreeable.

Now more than ever in America, we need more women empowering women. We need more humans paving the way for their successors to succeed in ways their predecessors didn’t. We need more men to understand women. And Kaur gave us those bitter-sweet reminders in the sun and her flowers, through her eyes and her voice.

p.s. I wrote this review last Sunday. I recommend reading this book for anyone. It was a wonderful reading experience. Both milk and honey, and the sun and her flowers will warm your soul.

Profile Snippets

p.s. Last Saturday, I worked day and night to create a 1st draft for my final article this semester. I hope these teases make you want to read my final version of a profile I’ve been working on for over a month!

Dirty blonde with blue eyes and black rectangular-framed glasses, Olscamp quickly became a face of New Paltz.

“You have your whole life to be boring.”

The summer turned to fall, and now it was time for the main course: East Africa.

She even remembers Mama Oslcamp, Moira, saying, “I’ll be happier when you get back…Once you’re safe and back at home, then I’ll be excited that you got to do all of this.”

A hike in 104-degree weather, and two water bottles later (saving the other two for her walk back home), she made it to a less privileged, and much poorer neighborhood of Livingstone, but that didn’t matter to Olscamp.

She took a four-day safari to three national parks, and camped to the island of Zanibar as well, witnessing a predator capture its prey.

A leopard hunt and kill a baby warthog.

After East Africa, she returned home to Rochester, New York for the winter, and stood home for five months.

Even while being rooted, she could not stay planted.

She visited friends in different places, and made a pit stop at New Paltz, her alma mater.

And in September of 2017, she was offered a job as a Freshman Admission Advisor at SUNY New Paltz.

So naturally, she planted her feet right back at New Paltz—the neighborhood she saw herself running around when she committed late spring in April 2012.

Paige Olscamp literally traveled the world after graduation and came right back—this time with a full-time job.