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A few more Stories

 

 

Here are a few more stories that I wrote this summer. Hopefully all this stuff will help to fill out my portfolio come job searching time… scary thought. Enjoy!

Chris Velan Preview

Basketball Camp

Summer Reading Program

 

 

 

I’ve stumbled upon a remarkable life.

Though my internship is over, I have begun writing freelance for the paper. It amazes me that I am making money doing the same job I was doing before for nothing…. and I get to work from home instead of driving down to Fort Washington every day.

Also, thanks to my father, I have acquired a part-time odd-job: I am paid to watch Gilmore Girls for several hours a day.

Alright, that’s not exactly how it works. My dad’s friend owns a internet-based business (The Twinery) selling baker’s twine. I help him by spinning and packaging it, which I can also do from the comfort of my own home while I watch television.

So somehow, I now have two jobs that I really enjoy, and more free time than ever before. As I said, quite the remarkable life I’ve found. God is good.

And with all this free time, I’ve had plenty time for crafting– one of my very favorite things to do.

Recently I’ve been exploring the world of baking. I don’t get the chance to do it often at school, so when I’m home I go a little crazy. Yesterday, I made cake pops (recipe found here). I was first introduced to these wonderful creations by Rachel Stephens, fellow journalism nerd and baking advocate. Here’s a peek at my first solo attempt:

Crafting, twining and writing. I love summer.

This is the last week of my 6 week-long internship. It’s been quite a ride and a learning experience. I think after this week I’ll have to sit back and process everything to really get a complete understanding of my time here.

I met another Christian at work today. I had mentioned to another intern where I had gone to highschool, and his head popped up from his cubicle and he started talking to me. Apparently, he went to my church years and years ago. Small world! We talked for a little while and eventually went back to work.

(Side note: You know when you’re in a foreign country and you meet someone from America and it turns out they’re from the same town or state as you? There’s an instant connection because although you’re in an unfamiliar place, you found someone who you share something with who understand where you’re coming from. That’s what this was like. It always amazes me how randomly meeting another brother or sister in Christ will build instant bonds of trust, understanding and kinship.)

A little while later, he came over to my desk and said to me quietly, “Hang in there because we need Christians in this business.”

(It did kind of feel for a moment as if we had just discovered that we were both members of some secret group… like in a movie! Ha.)

I was really surprised by his comment though, and it stuck with me. Almost every time I tell someone from church that I’m majoring in journalism, it is usually suggested that I try to get a job at Focus on the Family, Fox News or some other Christian/Conservative media outlet. And I know people mean well, but that has always bothered me.

I know Christian bubble culture pretty well. I went to Christian school from kindergarten to 12th grade, and then I moved on to a Christian University. Almost all of my friends are Christians. I love the community of fellowship we have together. So here’s why I don’t think I should work at a Christian media outlet: It’s too appealing. It’s too appealing because it’s too safe.

So many Christians segregate themselves from culture and then complain when the culture is too “liberal,” which causes them to draw back even more. It’s a shame, and I’m the chief of sinners in this area. I know I love safety too much.

The draw of working at a Christian-in-name media outlet is that I would be able to stay inside my bubble.  After all, I like my bubble. My bubble is safe.

But I don’t think bubbles are even supposed to exist. I don’t think Christians should be content to live so safely because I can’t think of a place in the Bible where God ever calls us to life “safe” lives.

Just some things to ponder. I’ll post next about the conclusion of my life as an intern.

Da Bears…

This past weekend taught me many things:

1. Goodbyes are sad.

2. New Jersey is not entirely a barren wasteland as I had previously believed.

3. Bears are big. and scary. and should never be wished for.

On saturday, I went hiking on the Jersey side of the Delaware Water Gap with my boyfriend. We did about 8 miles on the AT and several offshoot trails, which was both tiring and really fun. It was humid, but overall perfect weather for a day hike.

When we stopped for lunch we saw a sign that said, “This is bear country,” and I said the silliest thing imaginable: “I hope we see a bear!” (Doug did tell me to knock on wood, though I did not heed his warning…) I really did want to see one. I had been in the Smokey Mountains (the heart of bear country!) over spring break and had not see a single one down there. This was my chance!

Well, on the last mile or two of the hike, we were talking and walking with eyes fixed on the ground due to the rocky, downhill terrain. I heard a noise, looked up and saw something black move through the shrubs. I thought it was a dog a first until I got a better look and realized it was actually a bear cub trying to climb up a tree! For whatever reason, my immediate mental reaction was “aww!” until a second later when I saw a large black head pop up from behind a fallen tree. It was a 400-or-so pound mama bear, and she was about 10 feet in front of us.

We backed up quickly and started walking back up the trail as quietly as we could. When we were far enough back, Doug took a few pictures and we rehearsed our bear encounter etiquette. Eventually, the bears crossed the trail and moved farther into the woods, and we were able to continue down the trail unscathed.

I was terrified, but we didn’t die. (We had conjured up a make-shift plan in case of mauling, but I’m glad we didn’t need to use it.)

In non-bear related news, my little (not so little…) brother left for the Air Force Academy on Sunday morning. He will be missed!

Also, here are a few more stories:

http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2011/06/18/north_penn_life/news/doc4dfba1878a31c811908972.txt

http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2011/06/14/ambler_gazette/news/doc4df768c11452b586929633.txt

http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2011/06/15/entertainment/doc4df79d041bff6998358596.txt

Pomp and Circumstance

Last night I covered the Upper Dublin High School graduation as my first freelance assignment.

First of all, the school is under construction, so I had to park at the nearby elementary school, march through the baseball fields, navigate my way through the main school building and fight though the mob to get a decent seat in the bleachers at the football stadium. And once seated, I sat through at 30 minute processional as I was elbowed and jabbed from every angle by my neighbors. But it was a job, so it was wonderful!

I tried to stabilize my hand as I recorded video of the various speeches, though there was some shakiness after the third or fourth mention of Elton John. As soon as the first graduate was handed his diploma, I was out of there. I transcribed the speeches in my car in the parking lot of a McDonald’s and wrote up the story this morning.

That’s the job of a local reporter, but I’m not sure it’s for me.

This internship has been a good experience in showing me exactly what a reporter’s job is like. And so I’m glad I’m here, and I’m glad for the experience, even if it has given me a bit of uncertainty.  I know I can do this job. I’ve been prepared well for it. But do I want it? I’m not sure.

I stop at Wawa almost every morning on the way to work ($1.44 for 16 ounces of goodness made possible by a gift card someone gave my day, which was then bequeathed to me.)

The stop usually ads about 3 minutes to my commute. But over the past few weeks, those 3 minutes have turned into something more than a coffee stop: they have become my 3 minutes of social experimentation.

That probably sounds a little strange, but let me explain. There a plenty of reality shows that “dress down” beautiful people and place them in everyday situations, just to see how the people around them will treat them. Or you’ve probably seen something like this before: a beautiful waitress gets in a fake argument with customer, and other customers step in to defender her. But when the overweight waitress gets in the same dispute, no one rushed to her aid.

My version is a little more basic: I can usually anticipate how I will be treated by others based on how I’m dressed.

Today, I dressed up for work. Heels, nice clothes, etc. And sure enough, every door was held open for me and people said hello to me. Even as I was leaving, two random men waited (with doors held open) as I walked toward the exit, even though they were farther ahead than traditional door-opening courtesy would extend.

When I go to work in a t-shirt and jeans (usually with hair up and minimal make up on), rarely do I come across such caring strangers.

I’m not judging Wawa frequenters, I just find this terrible fascinating. It’s not a new phenomenon (humans have always been notoriously bad about looks discrimination), but it does make my morning commute a bit more interesting than it would be otherwise.

Freelance?

Today I was asked to cover a local high school graduation– my first freelance assignment. Granted, I may only make enough to pay for the gas to get me there, but that doesn’t matter.

In the world of unpaid internships, a freelance assignment is a big deal. Yes, it might mean that someone may not have felt like covering yet another “boring” event… and yes, it might simply mean that everyone is swamped and doesn’t have time to cover the assignment. That’s probably what it means to them. But to me, it means I am trusted to handle covering an event on my own. For an intern, that’s a big step.

Hopefully it goes well! And hopefully there will be more freelance assignments for me in the future.

Also, here’s another story I wrote.