Thursday, January 31, 2008

Things I Love

So I've been tagged by Anna Bergevin (spelling? Sorry if I'm wrong) to write about this, so here are three things I love more than my family, roommates, children, or soda. I don't know how family and children are different, but they are. It's hard when you're not married and you don't have the choice of husband, so you have to fill that spot with something similar...;)

1) Lost parties with my family. Actually, any parties with my family. I know it kinda counts as being my family, but they make me happy, especially when we can all get together and go to San Francisco or Denver. I'd rather hang with my fam than anyone else.

2) Making people laugh. I love coming up with things on the fly and hearing genuine laughter afterward. This happens a lot when Becca and I go off on something random. I love times with her, too, a lot.

3) When teachers validate my life by complimenting me. I'm going to be honest, sometimes it's just not enough to do assignments just for the sake of knowledge. I love every once in awhile to have a "gold star" moment.

I'm tagging Becca, Brandon and Katie McPhelpen to do the same thing I just did.

Senior Seminar: senioritis in an enclosed space

One of the requirements of my major is a class called Senior Seminar, which you must take as a senior, obviously. I don't know if the heads of the department really thought this through before putting this class into play. A bunch of seniors, either a semester or two semesters from graduating...all in class together...early in the morning...

The best part of the whole thing is the fact that we're in groups and supposed to do group things from time to time. Before last night, I have never been in a group where it was blatantly stated that they didn't want to be there and didn't care about the assignment. I've been in groups where the underlying tone was that fact, but I've never had it openly said. Until last night.

Honestly, before our little rendevouz, I had basically wiled the day away with a very long nap and half an assignment. I was still in that mood when it was expressed that no one else really cared, making my mood even worse. It was like an awful cycle of senioritis going round and round in that little newsroom.

I had written partial answers to all five questions we were supposed to answer. We're talking five questions here, people. Five, concise, sucinct, answers -- maybe a paragraph long at most. Everyone was amazed at my feat of academia. Have we really degenerated to things as sad as this when we become seniors? I haven't. Yet.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My profession is going up in flames

Reading the New York Times headlines today was definitely an interesting experience. There it was in the Media and Advertising section: "Editor Fires Parting Shot at His Chain," speaking of the Los Angeles Times editor James O'Shea who got fired because he refused to make job cuts the parent company,the Tribune Company, was demanding.

This has been a startlingly growing trend in the business in the past few years, especially since circulation, readership and advertising have taken a dip and profit margins have gone from 20% to 15% or less. The thing is, a 3% profit margin is amazing, but with huge parent companies investing stock who know nothing but the concept of more, it's too much of a deficit and they've started cutting jobs to make up the loss.

The ironic thing is, the more you cut jobs, the harder it is to make lots of good content for people to read, and the less people read it, which brings advertising revenue down even further. I don't know what the solution is, but I know that large amounts of job cuts will probably come back to haunt big conglomerates in the end.

This is the field I have chosen to go into. I'm sure I'll be fine, but sometimes it's a bit daunting to see what I'm up against: lots of big companies who only know numbers and profit margins, rather than content, ruling the newsroom.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Watching the Comic Frenzy mock show — definitely a foray

So, I checked my name on the list of who made it into the mock show, so the people in Comic Frenzy could make one last decision on who made Comic Frenzy. Aaaand...drum roll, please...

I didn't make it. No big surprise, really. But all the people on the list were people I'd enjoyed watching and playing with during tryouts, so I made up my mind to go to the mock show anyway.

It was hilarious. Almost as good as a normal Comic Frenzy show, although a little unorthodox. By the end, I pretty much had decided who "fit the bill" and who probably wouldn't make it. But that didn't mean it wasn't an awesome time all around.

Especially 'cause the people in Comic Frenzy got to watch and make suggestions, which they thoroughly enjoyed, I'm sure. One was a movie called "Fleece Go" and ended up being about knitted fleece that a grandma made in the attic in 90 degree temperatures. Oh, and goat milk. I have no idea — don't ask me.

Who ended up getting in the show? Three people: Steven Hopkins, a guy we called Old Davey, and Lizanne something or other. I know the first and last name of the first guy 'cause he's a photographer for Scroll and we put their whole names in photo bylines. What a small, small campus, eh? And a funny, funny Comic Frenzy that I'm anticipating this semester. Hope they don't let me down. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day numba two in my foray into the Frenzy

This is going to be a short, somewhat boring post because my second day of tryouts for Comic Frenzy was basically the same as the first day.

Oh, except I did worse. Yet, I had a lot of fun with it. How does that one work? I dunno, but I'm grateful because it means I don't feel like I wasted my time for two hours today.

I was tired yet again, and still sick, and honestly, I didn't really get into it very much. I had maybe one or two funny things here and there, but overall I was just kinda hanging in there.

Oh, and watching all the other hilarious people display their talents, especially people I've known for a little while. I loved it when the people in Comic Frenzy laughed out loud while trying to contain the facade of being the "cool" ones -- that was probably my favorite part. That and laughing so hard it hurt.

From here, there's a mock show of five or six people tomorrow at six, and they're releasing the list for the mock show at 11 tonight at the latest, but I'm just going to go check it when I have a dance class in that building. Don't really have any hopes of even making the mock show, but I'm probably going to go anyway because I already feel a connection with the people I tried out with -- and they're hilarious!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My first day of foray into the Frenzy

I promised to write about my tryouts for Comic Frenzy, and so here I am.

First off, I was exhausted and had a pile of things to do before going to bed tonight, so I was tempted to just skip the whole thing. Then I remembered the promise to myself and to all you people, and I walked right into that there Kirkham building and wrote my name down on a piece of paper and a name tag.

It was an interesting crowd. You know how you have a certain idea of what kind of people are funny in your mind? Almost none of the people I looked around at fit the bill -- and then we started playing.

We warmed up our brains a little and then split up into two groups, one to work on music and wit, and one to work on character and scenes. I worked in the music and wit group first.

I thought that one of my strengths would probably be the musical stuff, so I kinda had a chance to see just what kind of stuff I could do. In one of the games my problem was that I was bald, and I couldn't think of anything that rhymed with bald. So, I made up an animal called a "fald". Yes indeed I did. I waited like 30-40 seconds to come up with "fald". Oh well. At least I stayed in the 7-5-7-5 pattern. That was a plus.

Then we played a game where we each had a part of the song to write, which was interesting. We started with tennis, and somehow polar bears got in there and never were resolved. I got to sing, "It's all about the skirt" extremely high during the chorus. That was fun.

We had about 15 minutes to do wit/pun stuff, wherein I learned that I have none of either. Basically they're popout games where an idea is presented and if you have one you step forward. I thought of a couple for the "Waiter there's a _____ in my soup," but puns aren't my thing really. I also thought of a couple for the movie blooper game, which was fun. "I will at a time come back to this present place" for Terminator. Overall not that impressive.

Then we went upstairs to do character and scene stuff. We did scenes where the first person in the scene established a person and the second person established the where. It was pretty fun, although there were times when I didn't know if I just thought I was funny or if everyone else did, too.

That was the bottom line of the tryouts, actually. I had some moments, but for the most part I was with some really amazing people who could develop characters and keep something funny going for as long as it was necessary. I just don't think I have that extra oomph to make myself noticeable and wanted. Oh well.

I did have an okay character moment, actually. In a character-sketch type thing, I decided to be one of those people who sings all the time and tries to match pitch to voice, and I said I had perfect pitch in seven countries. And I didn't laugh afterward, either! I'm still amazed at myself. :)

I promised Becca I'd see it through to the end, so I'm going tomorrow, too, to day two of tryouts. Let you know how that one goes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Inadequecies on the first day

I never thought that going to two classes on the first day of my last semester would make me feel so inadequate, but here I am wondering what I'm doing and going to do with my life.

I walked in late to my first class, Money Management, and one of the assignments was to write down my revenue and expenses for the month of January. I realized pretty quickly that until January 21st, I have about $6 to my name, which counts pretty much everything, which was a bit embarrassing. Whoops. Good thing I'm taking the class, eh?

Then I set off to Human Relations and Leadership, a class for my minor, and on the syllabus there was an assignment to write a five year goal. It was then that I wished I was a sophomore or junior because then I'd at least have two or three years taken up with, "Finish college." I'm finishing my bachelor's in April, what I consider, for now, "finishing college", and it hit home just how much I have no idea what I'm doing afterward -- not in the first year, much less the fifth.

I'm sure most people have eventual plans in the back of their minds. Things such as, "Write a book" or "start a garden" or "climb up the career ladder and eventually own my own business or become CEO" but I don't have anything like that right now. I have the ambition of a fruit fly. Possibly less.

I DO have a goal to get a career, but I don't really want to move up in it. I'm going to be one of those people that people talk about at the water cooler. A possible conversation about me follows:

"So, how long has Barrus been here?" --random ambition-full cub reporter who wants to move to a big town as soon as they've paid their dues.
"It's a pretty small town and small town newspaper. I'm surprised it's kept her happy. I mean, I guess a population of 3,000 is big enough to keep some reporters occupied, but she's been here 50 years. What else is there for her to do?" --Owner of said paper who has worked less time at the paper than I have.
(Enter Amy)
"Oh, hi Amy." --Cub reporter and Owner
"Hi guys. Have you heard about that fourteen-year-old stealing from the lemonade stand her younger sister started? Should be pretty hot stuff." --Me
(Exit Amy)
"See what I mean?" --Owner
"Wow--that's sad." --Cub reporter

I'm sure I have SOME ambition. Somewhere. Let you know if I find it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Feeling of triumph

I just finished sending my first issue of the paper for this semester -- all with a staff of about eight or so. It was an incredibly interesting experience.

As managing editor, I'm in charge of the front page design and all other page design in the newspaper. I thought it would be a daunting task, and to an extent it was, but if you learn something as a journalist it's that deadlines are king -- when it becomes deadline whatever you have is good enough. That's a plus when you have 24 pages, four days to finish them and eight staffers to do it all- including yourself.

Designing the front page was a bit nerve-wracking, but with a little help from the newspaper adviser and the fact that I got tired of it, I sent it off without too much fuss. Everyone I talked to who had been managing editor before said you got used to it after a couple of issues, but I'm used to it now, I guess.

I wasn't stressed very much over anything, in fact. Even at the very end I wasn't pulling my hair as much as I thought I would. We got the paper sent by 5:41 p.m., which is the earliest it's ever been sent since our newspaper has gone to tabloid format. I'm still feeling pretty good about that five hours later.

So, what does that mean? Am I far too laid back for my own good? Do I need to stress a little more? Or should I just keep taking life and the paper with a cool, calm composure?

For now, I think I'll stick with calm. Worrying has never gotten much of anything done, in my experience.