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

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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.

Exposure To Digital News

All the latest news in 2 minutes
with graphics that match the script,
found on online sites specifically for images the department can pull from,
filmed at one time in the morning, and aired later on in the day,
filmed at another time in the afternoon, and aired the following morning,
breaking news added in if need be prior to air-time, or for the following day’s script
a couple of people working on editing via Adobe Premiere
a couple of other people working on the writing for each segment
a couple of other people working on finding graphics
a couple of other poeple working on finding video
a couple of other people reviewing the script for content and clarity
all within a 8 hour day
all on Snapchat

p.s. I had a blast spending time with the digital news team last Friday. Their team is 30 plus young individuals doing their best to hit that demographic as an audience as well. They were so excited to meet me, and I felt like I fit right in. Here’s to digital news! #StayTuned #NBCU

p.p.s. An article all about it: http://adage.com/article/media/tv-s-quest-recapture-lost-viewers-snapchat/310536/

Baptism By Fire

p.s. Last Thursday, I read this article, and gave insight on the text throughout my discussion post for Feature Writing. Hope you enjoy this read, as well as mine!

Here’s the article: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/22/nyregion/rookie-new-york-firefighter-faces-first-test.html?mtrref=undefined

I read “Baptism by Fire” because my cousin is a firefighter. I was curious about how exactly someone could be baptized by a flame, and now I am wondering if my cousin has had this experience. Baptism is a religious ceremony in catholicism. Therefore, I was intrigued with the idea that an experience with fire— an inanimate force that’s usually associated with the ‘devil’ — could somehow be associated with a spiritual and rejuvenating experience for a firefighter, like Sullivan.

What appealed to me about this story is the number. Firefighter Sullivan had been patiently waiting for a fire, almost wishing for a fire. After 96 days of being in the job, he had not been able to test what he had been working part of his life to do— put out a fire. His colleagues teased him often. His day would come, but he and the others had no idea when. Fires are unpredictable, and no matter how much training one gets, some fires win, too, as Kleinfield noted in his vigorous report.

In the exposition, Kleinfield tells us who Sullivan is, his profession, and why he is special to this firehouse. He’s a probie who still hasn’t had his first fire yet. But everybody knows he’s itching for this experience because this is something you never forget. Here, we get a sense of the work culture, as well as the humor and irony of a firefighter not being able to fight a fire.

The rising action discusses all the false alarms and tasks that has nothing to do with fires—broken elevators, cats stuck in trees, etc. More details are given about jobs Sullivan has had in the past, and how watching the twin towers fall from the roof of his Brooklyn home, pushed him to become what he is now.

The climax seemed to arise in multiple places. I first noticed a change in the principle, Sullivan, when he first applied to become firefighter and did not get it. There is obvious tension and disappointment. Then, another change happens. A lawsuit in 2009 declared that the fire department entrance exams in ’92 and 2000 had discriminated all Blacks and Hispanics. These former applicants are then offered another opportunity to retake a new exam, and have priority in admittance post exam review. This is the point where Sullivan becomes a firefighter.

Then, the biggest scene, we as an audience have been waiting for, as well as Sullivan himself, is his first fire. His first fire is even more of a special moment because he even gets a grab, a rescue. The moment Sullivan feels a diaper, is the moment he has an almost lifeless body he needs to save. And he does—wall by wall, he gets out of the thick smoke, and suffocating stench, and saves this baby boy.

The falling action happens when the baby is rescued—his constant sirs, his sleepless night due to the jitteriness, etc. We are soon going to come to a close, as the main event, the first fire, has passed. In between these story points, are reconstruction vignettes about more of Sullivan’s background and firehouse traditions.

Furthermore, the resolution talks about Sullivan’s humbling experience of being able to hold and save an infant. He felt and feels baptized—closer to something bigger than himself. He is so excited that he breaks a firehouse rule of no personal calls. He tells his dad that he found a baby. The next morning, after TV stations get a word with Sullivan on his entire experience, he sweeps the firehouse floors, just like a probie, a meek probie with a grab, would. This anecdote speaks volumes of his character, and gives us the gift we’ve been awaiting- a simple, happy ending.

Interviews

Professional journalists go from one headline to the next breaking news.

From one tease to the next conversation.

From one guest to the next reporter.

From one question to the next concern.

From one package to the next commercial.

From one interview to the next phone call.

From one set to the next location.

From one production to the next film.

p.s.  Last Wednesday, I felt like a real journalist. I was booked with reporting and starring guests for my package one hour after the other on different places with different people on campus. It was a great field day. Looking forward to the finished product. Here’s to feeling like a professional!

This Nation

Between

sexual allegations in Hollywood and News,

and North Korea’s missile strikes not too far from Hawaii,

and tax reform confusions,

and health care concerns,

and all the “Russia Stuff,”

and the natural disasters in people’s homes,

I think we all have to start over

in a new place

far away from all this hate.

-Where will we go?

-What will will do?

-Who’s with me?

p.s. LastTuesday, I spoke with my supervisor at MSNBC about all the news. Glad I got to hear his take on it all. Here’s to this nation getting better, soon.