Saturday, December 29, 2012

My New Year's Resolutions 2013

Here's how I feel about New Year's resolutions: They are a really nice thought. 

Who doesn't want to improve themselves? I'd love to be a little less snarky, eat a little healthier, and spend a little less money on clothes. However, I don't think that telling myself, "Starting Jan. 1, I am only going to eat vegetables and never enjoy cheesecake again," is really a sound way to get healthy and change my life. (Let's be honest, I'm NEVER giving up cheesecake. It's too tasty.) Maybe that works for some, but I certainly don't function that way.

This year, I'm going to work to be better for other people and here are my resolutions for doing so:

1) Be a better leader.

One of my biggest leadership roles is as the Online Media and Communications Coordinator at St. Michael's College. I run the SMC Blogs program with the marketing and admissions offices. At any given time, I have up to 30 bloggers to coordinate with. Lucky for me, they do a great job 99% of the time and are easy to organize. However, the nature of blogging is anti-social. I'd like to be better friends with the team by seeing more of them in person even if it just means more "hellos" as we all run back and forth across campus. It's tough because we are also so busy and fabulous, but in the new year, I'd like to be able to get to know each of them a little better.

2) Be a more supportive team mate.

Racing in the St. Lawrence Carnival 2011
Ski racing is a funny sport. It's about the individual skier, but at the end of the day, they rank us as a team. I was captain of the team my sophomore year and while I am no longer captain (and happily so) I try to be a supportive teammate and leader without the title. (Note to student-athletes: Being captain is an honor and also a big responsibility. If and when you are voted in, remember that its no longer all about you.) What you may not know is that the alpine and nordic ski teams are under the same umbrella. We share a ski room and our results effect each others rankings. I hope that this year we will be able to get the nordic and alpine teams to hang out a little bit more and support each other. I am also going to make a concerted effort to cheer for everyone one of my teammates at the races even if it is cold outside.

3) Spend as much time with my friends as possible.

Sarah and I (as goofy today as we were freshman year)
(Okay, this resolution is a little more selfish.) Sometimes I feel like a broken record, telling you about how amazing my friends are and how we've known each other since day one at St. Mike's. It's all true and I hope that everyone has the experience that I have had.  My goal this semester is to spend as much time with those friends as possible because, in May, we will be going our separate ways. While most St. Mike's grads will be on the east coast and relatively near each other, I intend to go farther away. At a minimum, I plan to be in Los Angeles. At a maximum, I will be at NYU Abu Dhabi, working as a fellow. (I'm praying for the Abu Dhabi fellowship. My heart literally races every time I think about it.) This semester, I want to go skiing with my non-ski-team friends because I haven't skied with them since freshman year. I want to have a ton of socials with the Acabellas.  Now is the time for me to do all the things I've wanted to during my time at St. Mike's.

4) Leave a mark.

My favorite quote is: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson

I have spent the past four years trying to live what I believe is the meaning of the quote. I said, "I'm going to college. Time to go big or go home." I didn't come to college to have an average experience and simply graduate with a degree. I wanted more out of my fours years. In May, I'd like to know that I've left a mark on the school in some way. I hope I have inspired someone, encouraged someone, helped someone, or changed someone. I think we all fear being forgotten and I hope that 2013 is the year I leave an indelible mark on St. Mike's.

I hope you all have an amazing New Year's celebration and that 2013 is the year you change the world.  I'll talk to you all next year. If you have any questions about St. Mike's or me, feel free to ask anonymously on Formspring


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Letter to the @SaintMichaels Class of 2017

Dear Class of 2017,

    Welcome to the family. You've probably heard that before and you'll hear it time and time again. I just want you to know that even though we may never have classes together or be in the same club, the St. Michael's family extends beyond the barriers of orientation and graduation.

Meet my immediate family at St. Mike's. I have lived with
two of the girls pictured and I ate dinner with two
other girls nearly every night freshman thru junior year.
This is us in September of freshman year before the
Highlighter Dance.
    We all know the pros and cons of families. There are the crazy uncles, the obnoxious siblings, the parents who have an opinion, the grandparents who always ask if you are dating, and the cool cousins who are almost too cool to talk to you. One of the bonuses of being a member of the family that raised you is unconditional love. The con is that you don't get to choose your immediate family. At St. Michael's, I can't promise that you'll like everyone or that everyone will like you. I can't promise the love you have for your friends will be unconditional. However, you will get to choose your immediate St. Michael's family. Like siblings, you and your immediate family members--whether you choose your floor mates, teammates, or fellow club members--will bicker from time to time. What you will find is that you can work through most of the arguments. Your immediate family at St. Mike's is the family that you go to when you need to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. My immediate family hardly ever lets me live down my embarrassing moments, but they also never fail to pat me on the back and support me when I need it.

Who knows? Maybe you'll find yourself working in West
Hollywood, CA on Sunset Blvd and walking your first
red carpet like I did this summer!
   With such a great support system in place, I encourage you to see the possibilities for your own success. As an incoming student, I was 100% set on becoming a broadcast journalist. It was my be-all, end-all career. I'm not going to lie. I still aspire to be a Ellen-Oprah hybrid down the road, but I find that as graduation approaches I have a slightly overwhelming number of options because of the skills that St. Michael's provided. I am currently applying to positions like "Social Media Editor," "Digital Media Coordinator," and "Marketing Assistant." I never expected to get into marketing as a first-year. Even now, a semester away from graduation, I am rethinking the possibilities. I've discovered I love to teach, so I am applying for a writing fellowship at NYU Abu Dhabi, where I will get to work with first-year students as a writing coach, pursue my own work, and travel. I hope that you will keep an open mind throughout your four years here because you never know where you might end up and the adventure you might go on.

So whether your a little "carpe diem" or a little "yolo," I encourage you to embrace the St. Michael's experience, your new quirky mismatched family, and the awkward (definitely embarrassing) moments you'll share during your first year as a Purple Knight.

I look forward to meeting some of you this spring on tours and at Accepted Student Days. If you have questions, please ask me questions on VYou.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Finals Week Wrap-Up: DVD Portfolio, Little Bellas, and the Acabellas Concert

The great thing about the media studies department is that you create work that you can use in a portfolio. In fact, in the course of your time in the program, you'll create web portfolios and potentially DVD portfolios. The idea is to a) test the skills from particular courses and b) give students portfolios that they can give to potential employers.

To the right is my portfolio cover for my DVD. Within my DVD, I included videos, photos, and pages from the Defender. I market myself in the DVD as a photographer, videographer, and writer. I'm rather happy with the way it turned out. As you can tell, I designed the cover to match my blog. I think my personal brand should be consistent. Someone told me they thought the navy, white, and calligraphy was pretentious, but I think it is classic and simple.

One of the videos on my DVD is for the Little Bellas, a non-profit in VT (and going national) which strives to get more girls on mountain bikes. Embedded is the three minute cut of the film. There is also a 10-min cut if you are interested in watching the full length version, which I had to create for Adventure Film.

Let's be honest. Creating a DVD portfolio is NOT the worst way to spend finals week. I could have had a *gulp* exam.

On a more fun note, the Acabellas had our winter concert the Saturday before finals to a large crowd in McCarthy Arts Center.

We premiered some new music including "Zombies" by the Cranberries, "Some Nights" by Fun., and "One Fine Day" by the Chiffons. The video above is "Some Nights" and, in my opinion, it was the best song of the afternoon.

Now, I am going to enjoy the couch and make my dad watch "The Holiday." (Yes, the one with Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Jude Law. Sorry I'm not sorry, Dad. <3 p="p">
Happy Holidays! xoxo

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What It Means to Study MJD: An A to Z Guide

Here at St. Mike's I am a proud, 4-year member of the media studies department. Bergeron has been my second home and the professors have been stand-in parents. (Okay, the parent thing is a bit extreme, but they do look out for me.) Here is a comprehensive A-Z guide to the Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts department.

A - Awesome. I had to say it. The MJD department is small and tight-knit, meaning students get one-on-one teaching from professors; hands-on experience in media whether it's journalism, marketing, or videography; and a network of students and alumni who want to help each other.

B - Bergeron. Bergeron is the media studies building. Located next to the tennis courts, it is a one-story building with computer labs and the professor's offices. Talk to most majors and they will tell you this is their second home. Talk to most students and they'll have no idea what Bergeron is.

C - Competitve. I don't mean cut-throat, Hunger-Games competitive. I mean that students within the department and within classes push each other. With each project, news article, or presentation, students are raising the bar.

D - Design. Part of the Digital Arts section of the major includes design projects for both print and web using programs in the Adobe Design Suite. The major gives you knowledge of platforms such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Premiere.

Courtesy of the SMC Defender
That is the Fall 2012 Editorial Staff.
E - Editing. If you choose to take on the addition of journalism (It is five extra courses.), you will take Publication Editing and Design. You will work as an editor for the paper and not only edit the writers in your class, but you will work reporters in Investigative Reporting.

F - Fun. Sorry I'm not sorry for being corny. Through all the hard work and late nights, I have so many fun experiences. This department teaches courses such as "Adventure Film Making" and "Media and American Politics," both of which have incredible learning components outside the classroom.

G - Global Communications. In school you hear horror stories about particular professors, certain exams, or even some classes. Within MJD, Global Comm (as students call it) is one of those classes. I will promise you this: It's not that bad. It's a few big web design projects which require analysis of global media paired with a discussion-based course. I actually looked forward to attending this class.

H - Hectic. I tend to tell really bad jokes on tours. One of them has to do with me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Now I'm not saying I'm always stressed and crazy. I will say that sometimes I procrastinate and my life gets a little hectic. Just prepared to learn time management.

I - Impressive. I am constantly impressed by the work that students produce within the department. We have extraordinary talent in both students and professors. More importantly, the people with talent are willing to help all of us.

J - Journalism. The MJD department was previously known as Journalism and Mass Communications. In my sophomore year, the deparment transitioned. Majors are now Media Studies and Digital Arts majors and can opt into having an emphasis in journalism. I am one of those people and highly recommend adding it on.

K - Knight. MJD students may live in Bergeron, but it doesn't mean we are seperate from the rest of the school. Unlike many schools, students at St. Mike's move between departments across campus. I take theater classes and political science majors take media classes. Above all else, we are Purple Knights.

L - Law. You probably weren't expecting this one, but law plays a huge role in our rights as journalists. We are the ONLY profession protected by an amendment. There are also many rules in terms of what is libelous and how far can we push.

M - Media Studies. Media studies means studying how the human experience is changed by media including how we interact with technology, social media, ect.

N - New Media. New media is now known as Digital Media, but the class hasn't changed. This is one of the intro level courses all MJD students take which teaches you the basics of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver.

O - Observation. Part of the senior research proposal is observation. We are required to observe events, meetings, and people relating to our chosen topics. Observation is a key way in which we can draw new conclusions for our projects.

P - Possibilities. The MJD department opens up a world of opportunities for students. Just because I came into the department sure that I was going to be a broadcast journalist doesn't mean the classes wouldn't open my eyes to my potential in marketing and public relations. This department is about more than just journalism.

Q - Question. This is simple enough. As a reporter and student of the department, you ask alot of questions both of professors and sources. Don't be afraid to ask about what is on your mind.

R - Revolution. Media revolutions is an introductory media studies course that all majors and minors take. Like a history course it looks at a media timeline and discusses its effects on society.

S - Sensationalism. In our writing classes, we are constantly learning to walk the line between engaging journalism and sensationalism. It is part of the ethical battle of being a journalist.

T - Technology. As an MJD major, you have access to some very cool technology including video cameras, DSLR cameras, waterproof cameras, and helmet cameras.

U - Undervalued. I believe that the potential of the MJD department is extremely undervalued. Without this department, I never would've become an intern in Los Angeles, competed in a film festival, produced a paper, or become an adventure film maker. I now see the potential.

V - Vicious. Admittedly, that's an aggressive word choice, but I use it here to describe the passion of the students. Students are willing to pursue their passions with furver. We all want and expect big things from ourselves and we can be our harshest critics.

W - Winners. Our school always puts together a team for the VT International Film Festival "Sleepless in Burlington" competition. We didn't win this year, but maybe you can be on next year's winning team?

X - ..... Well, this is awkward, but after looking through the dictionary, I am finding no appropriate words that start with "x"...

Y - Year. It's amazing what you'll learn in a year in this department. At the end of your freshman year, you could know how to create entire websites and design logos. Now, those skills create some possibilities.

Z - Zany. Every department has their quirks. We have a lot of them, but maybe we just notice them more because we spend more time together than in most departments. I love the program and all the people in it.

Now you've heard our ABC's. I hope you join MJD.


Questions? or

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Media Events in the 21st Century - Analysis of Social Media and The Way We Watch TV (Book)

an analysis of media events in the digital age with emphasis on social media
That's the title page of our proposal

Hello Everyone! Happy Holidays!

If you haven't heard, I'm writing a book with my good friend, Liz Murray, and on Thursday night, we turned in our 31-page, 16,000 word proposal.

We have been working towards our final proposal all semester and it is a relief to have it done. Now, of course, we actually have to write the book.

Now without giving too much away, I want to share some of our working arguments we are addressing.

  1. News events, under particular circumstances, can qualify as media events in the digital age. 
  2. In order for something to be called a media event, there must be a conversation about it over social media.
  3. Television still remains the primary medium for media events, but people are more often having a multiple screen experience when viewing media events. 
  4. The viewing experience of media events has gone from a reality-based community to a virtually-based community. 

Oh my god, Santa!!
To be honest, I need a break from media events and research. What I need is a holiday! In less than two weeks, I'll be home in Lake Tahoe and I can't wait. I do have a few things to finish up in the mean time.  For example, this weekend was the Alumni, Faculty, and Staff Christmas Party. Founder's Society members volunteer to help out with crafts for the children of the school community. The best part is that Santa made an appearance. In fact, one of our fabulous admissions counselors, Jeremy Brown, played Santa.

Also, today I laid out the last Defender of the semester. That's right! Issue #9 is going to be printed on Tuesday. To be honest, I am really relieved to be done with full time Defender. It is really rewarding to put together a paper, but it is also exhausting and occasionally stressful. 

Despite that I have decided to stay on next semester as a Multimedia Editor, meaning I get to take photos, video, and audio. I'm doing it as a 2-credit course and it should be a lot of fun. At the very least, I get to do a lot of fun projects next semester. 

Now, I am off to McCarthy Arts Center for an Acabellas rehearsal. Have a great night! 


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