The Week I Lived Without A Phone

Photo by Petras Gagilas via Flickr
Photo by Petras Gagilas via Flickr

I noticed a change in my behavior that weekend in the woods. I had noticed the crisp air and the clear pale blue sky that sat above the tops of the tall green treetops. I had seen every lizard that hid in the dark cool cracks on fallen logs where dead trees gave way for new life to live and find shelter, and I could truly appreciate the thousands of dazzling white lights that nestled themselves against the black abyss that was our camp’s ceiling. I would look at all that surrounded me, and when I glanced at my fellow campers to discuss nature’s wonder, I saw faces glued to iPhones, eyes looking at front facing cameras, and fingers tapping impatiently as their owners waited for Wi-Fi.

I noticed that I had missed out on so many Snap stories that weekend, and realized that I didn’t really mind as much. I was in the woods, and not having a phone with me kept my focus there. I realized that the best time to have your phone stolen was right before a camping trip in the woods. Continue reading “The Week I Lived Without A Phone”

Why I Choose To Write

I was recently asked to discuss why I choose to write. This was my answer.

writing-penI was admitted into the architecture program at Cal Poly Pomona, one of the best architecture schools around, and switched my major to English with a minor in Journalism after the first year. My family, friends, and classmates thought that I was insane for switching out into such a “doomed” life path, but I wasn’t worried—that much.

I knew that if I chose a path that I was passionate about, and that I could look back on when I’m lying in my death bed, and think that with this choice, I’ve contributed to a life that I am happy with, then it wasn’t insane.

I have a passion for story telling in every medium of writing. I enjoy the conversations and information that comes out of something that I have helped to create, and I believe I can do all of this and much more through writing. Continue reading “Why I Choose To Write”

In the Defense of Journalism

As published on Uloop.

Facebook, Twitter, videos uploaded from iPhones to YouTube; information comes swiftly speeding all over the globe to reach those thirsty for information. It’s amazing how, within seconds of some major news event, anyone with complete access to the internet can be updated with the knowledge of that event’s existence. Today in our internet age the consumer is incredibly fortunate to be able to acquire information at the tips of their fingers in an instant, but while the digital age is booming with new possibilities, journalists are becoming concerned about their own futures.

As young students of journalism, naturally, they’re thinking about the future and whether it’s a waste of time to go into such a field that, to a large amount of individuals, seems so up in the air. With the amount of uncertainty that exists during a time when tuition costs are high, jobs are limited and student loans still need to be paid back after graduation, journalism seems less appealing to those attempting to make a career out of it.

So why not just give up on journalism and let the non-journalists on the internet do all the work? Well, the journalists of today are retold over and over again as to why journalists still exist and why they will most likely continue to exist in the future. Continue reading “In the Defense of Journalism”

A Tale of Investigative Journalism

I really wasn’t supposed to take any articles other than Opinion’s pieces at my school’s newspaper, The Poly Post, this quarter, but one of the other writers had nudged me to pick up a small Lifestyle piece on a LGBTQ themed art gallery. I figured that I would take the extra story along with the Opinion’s piece that I already had. My classes weren’t giving as much work as they normally would have and so I left the meeting with my digital recorder and note pad in tow.

I walked into the Bronco Student Center on campus searching for the art gallery that I believed was to be held in room 2325. “Now, Then, and Always” was supposed to be “an informative atmosphere of respectability, inclusivity, and support of the lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexual, and ally community,” and I couldn’t help feeling excited to see a room filled with its beautiful and artistic representations from Cal Poly Pomona students.

I must have walked around the entire top floor of the Bronco Student Center passing a small hallway displaying some artwork five different times before I stopped and asked for directions. I knew that I had to have been close seeing as there were a few pieces out in the hallway by the Blood Drive that was going on, but when I did manage to ask someone in the Associated Student Incorporated office for help and I was surprised to find out that that the hallway I had passed so many times was the gallery.

I was a bit confused. Why was the art gallery confined to a dark and unnoticeable hallway? But I brushed the thought aside and blamed it on budgetary issues instead. It wasn’t until I had gained a rapport with one of the artists from the show that she let me in on a little secret. Continue reading “A Tale of Investigative Journalism”

Wandering Thoughts About Steve Jobs

“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. It’s very fortunate if you can work on just one of these in your career… Apple’s been very fortunate in that it’s introduced a few of these.” –Steve Jobs

Although I’m a PC girl, the first ever computer that I used was a 90’s version of the Macintosh when I was five years old. It was the latter half of my Kindergarten year that I had discovered computers and first plugged into a strange and digital world.

As I moved into the world of adolescence, I grew even fonder of music and expanding my limited tastes, but it wasn’t until one innovator came up with the crazy idea of everyone being able to carry around their entire music library everywhere they went that I became a music junkie.

The iPod entered my life sophomore year of high school and it has never left. Till this day I keep one in my purse or pocket so that I can listen to my music everywhere I go, and it’s all because this guy had a wonderful idea and made it happen.

I think Steve Jobs became an icon because his life sort of represents what the American dream is really all about. He went from a college dropout to CEO of a major company and the head of a well loved graphics group called Pixar. He managed to touch the lives of so many people by the things that he created and the products that we all use.

I realize even more so now that he did change my life for the better, although I may not use all of his products. I’m just grateful for the LSD taken and all that he’s done, because without it my life wouldn’t have been as much fun.

EnCOMpassing My Life

I woke up this past Tuesday and barely rolled out of bed when the alarm on my phone went off.

Why was I up this early? I don’t have class till 3p.m. I had thought to myself and slowly climbed back into bed. I woke up a few hours later and happened to look at my note pad.

Go to COM day and sign in for extra credit.

F#ck! I forgot about COM day! was the phrase that coursed through my mind.

I ended up high tailing it onto campus to listen to at least two speakers (I really needed that extra credit). I dropped in on Matt Prince’s hilariously witty lecture about how he made it into the business of communication.

I jotted down his blog and was generally interested in what he had to say, but it wasn’t until I listened to Steve Lopez’s story that all my swiftly changing thoughts just clicked.

Lately I have been trying to find out what I wanted to do with my life. I was in the typical English Literature major’s dilemma. What the hell was I going to do with this degree?

I loved writing and telling absurd and random stories to any who would listen, but I realized no one will pay you to just sit down and type out a novel. I definitely needed a day job that was similar to my inner most and deepest desires.

In comes Steve.

Steve Lopez, a columnist for The Los Angeles Times since 2001, spoke as the keynote speaker for the event.  He talked about the importance of education and never passing up on a potential good story, and then he told the story about The Soloist.

Lopez wrote a series of columns about his relationship with schizophrenic bassist Nathaniel Anthony Ayers which inspired the film The Soloist. Lopez has written The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music along with several other novels.

Steve managed to pull off what I actually would love to do—make a living off of telling stories to the public and then finding that great story worth telling which eventually gets spun it into a book.

Genius.

I left COM day with an epiphany. I think I need to change my minor into my major and pursue Journalism.

Right now if I did go through with it, I would have generally the same amount of classes left to graduate as I did before the decision, I would graduate nearly around the same time, and I would have a general clue of what the hell I was doing.

It just made sense.