Tag Archives: Student

Week Two as an Intern: New Knowledge about the Grey’s Anatomy Cast; A Revolution, and Regret

By week two I was tired.  The quizzes were not helping me learn what I wanted to learn.  During our lunch breaks, the other intern and I began to complain about this and to secretly planned a revolution that would eventually change the way the internship was going.  I was slightly frustrated, and on top of that I was a bit stressed because I had found out something about two of the actors on Grey’s Anatomy.  One purpose the show served for me was to help me to unwind.  But I could not relax when I found out that two of the actors had a fight and one of the actors made gay slurs to the other.

For the past week that I was off from school, interning and Grey’s Anatomy were my life.  I could not look at the show the same way again learning that two of the actors were in conflict.  This had me losing sleep and waking up tired and unmotivated to wake up in the morning, though I was quite eager to head to the newsroom and listen to “The Editor’s” lectures about his career as a journalist and what he wanted us to learn.

When I went home at the end of my shift, I spent my nights watching You Tube videos of the cast and individual actors of Grey’s Anatomy on various talk shows.  I was happy to hear most of the actors saying things such as they like each other, and that they are pretty close.  Most of the actors who won awards thanked cast members.  I was thrilled to watch a video of Sandra Oh winning a Golden Globes and thanking her coworkers, and Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the show.

With this new knowledge that all was okay, I returned to letting Grey’s Anatomy consume my life when I was not in the newsroom.  And the revolution the other intern and I planned was boiling.  I told her that it was time to face “The Editor.”  We had to tell him that we want to learn Journalism.  We want to interview, write, and edit–not take quizzes on historical figures that we have never heard about.  Don’t get me wrong, I understood what “The Editor” was doing.  I understand the importance of history, and the fact that journalists “have to know a lot about a lot–not a little about a lot,” as “The Editor” would say.  But I felt like he was going about it the wrong way.  We were not retaining anything about those people we had written the 100 word essays on and we probably would not hear about half of them outside of the newsroom.

I thought of things that I would say to “The Editor” as the other intern said she would support me.  But it turned out that it was “The Editor” who initiated the conversation.  Somehow he had sensed that we were not gaining a lot from the quizzes.  He asked us what we would rather be doing and we told him that we wanted to write stories.  We were surprised at how flexible he was because he comes across as a stern person, even he realizes that.

As we continued to talk, “The Editor” began to seem passive aggressive rather than sincere.  He said, “since you guys want to do things your way, I’ll let you do things your way.”  He also compared our behavior to a person who watches a movie and want to leave the theater because the beginning of the movie seems boring and hard to follow.  He said that the movie eventually gets better but we would not be able to enjoy it because we did not watch it all the way through.

He told us for  our first story, we could write profiles, and if they were good, he’ll publish them.  My story was about an organization called FISH, which provides food and clothing to low-income families.  After that, he kept giving us more stories.  However, we did not know if or when they’ll get publish, which was a bit difficult because the people we interviewed called us to see when their stories would get in the paper.

“The Editor” also stopped lecturing us, and it seemed like he stopped talking to us.  He only handed us stories to write–making no eye contact–and responded indifferently when we greeted him or told him good-bye.  He wrote a column titled “Interns Should Be Careful What they Wish For.”  This was not the first column he wrote that included us.  He had written two before, both ranting about how our performance on the quizzes demonstrated the lack of knowledge of young people today.  No one told me public humiliation would be part of the job description as an intern for a newsroom.

We had what we wanted, but we needed to fix our relationship with “The Editor,” who I respect and appreciate for teaching us but disagreed with his teaching style.  I need instruction from him, and I feel like I should have continued watching the bad movie; maybe…just maybe it could have gotten a whole lot better.

Will our relationship with the editor improve?  Only time will tell.

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Filed under College Life, Writing, Writing Life

Solo Student

Solo.

It’s how I have lived most of my life in the recent months of my college experience.  Solo.

I walk from and to classes alone.  I eat  alone.  I sing to myself. 

I have no roommate so that makes living a solo life even easier.  I have not gotten to the stage yet where I am having conversations with myself, but it has come pretty close.

I’s not so much that I like being alone more than I like being with people (although I don’t mind it every once in a while).  It is more so that I have no choice.  It’s what happens when you transfer to a new school.  You have to form relationships all over again, and if you are like me, two semesters in a place where you can’t relate to much of the student body are not enough to do so;  you have decided to give residence life the cold shoulder.

I do not live life in complete isolation.  I visit my family often, call and message close friends from high school and the “ex-college” I attended, and strike up a few hi-bye-how are you? conversations with folks I have developed only superficial relationships with around campus.  When I talk to my friends, I tell them that I am starved of conversation and they usually get that from hearing how eager I am to talk about both the mundane and not-so-mundane.

Earlier, I wrote a post titled “Atmosphere of a College Library.”  I talked about the feeling of mutual trust that I have developed with other students in the library.  It is no surprise that the library is the place where I have developed a friendship with someone who although much older, is kind of like me in many ways and share the same love of conversation.  She has even invited me to her graduation party two semesters in advanced, and she’s definitely invited to mine.  But after we pass each other by and have finished our conversations, it’s back to being Solo Student for me.

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When I was Eight: Why Sometimes it’s Better to Enjoy the Present than to be Concerned with the Future

I remember third grade.  I was doing poorly in school and life was like a fog.  On one particular day, I remember playing with my little brother, my two cousins and their dog, Princess.

We were running through the yard and around the house.  We would all line up, one person would take a rag and drag it, and we would all run as fast as we could so that Princess could chase us.  The dog was very attracted to the rag, and we had so much fun out of watching her run behind us and in some instances, jostle us to the ground by snatching the rag as if playing a tug of war match with us…and lick, lick, lick.  Princess was in love with the rag, the game, and with us.  And we were in love with her.

Because I was doing poorly in school, I needed a tutor and it so happened that on that day was my day to be tutored.  My uncle was my tutor and as much as I love him, he was strict.  When he came, all games were over and it was time to get on with work.

On this particular day I was having too much fun playing with my sibling, cousins, and Princess.  He could see it in my eyes, but he was not moved.  No, no.  He was not moved.

We went to the study table.  I brought out my books and notebooks.  I forget what we were studying, but I remember that I kept looking through the window outside at my brother, cousins and their dog, Princess–running, laughing, having so much fun.

My uncle looked at me in the eye and said, “Right now they are having fun, but you will thank me for this one day when you are successful.”  I looked at him angrily and thought, “We’ll see.”

I am a junior in college now.  As I look back on that day, I ask myself, was my uncle right?   Would it have made a difference if I had played with the other children that day?  Would an hour or two of my life away from homework to enjoy being a child in any way hurt me academically? I’m tempted to say no, not because I think sacrifice, study, and seriousness are bad–or not even because I am ungrateful of my uncle’s kind efforts to help me succeed academically.  Sometimes I have to pull a late-night a time or two to finish work which would lead to a good grade, and ultimately to a better future.  But sometimes these efforts can take away from enjoying the here and now.  And living in the moment can sometimes be beneficial and rewarding.

I still remember that sunny late afternoon turning into late evening, and I wish that I could bring that day back.  But I can’t.  It’s not everyday that an 8-year old can just be an 8-year old in Liberia.

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The Atmosphere of a College Library

When I was much younger and a new arrival to the United States, I discovered the library.  The library was a place of books.  Lots of books.  I also realized that the library was a place of silence.  I learned early to be quiet while I was in the library: to whisper, walk carefully, keep food away–far, far away.

However now that I’m much older, the rules of library etiquette seem have become more and more obsolete in certain places.  In the school that I attend, there is a Starbucks in the library.  There is a semi lounge/semi study area where students can bring food and sip their coffee.  While there are quiet areas on the second and third floors, students bring food from snacks such as chips–to meals such as burritos, chicken, and rice.  Most of the time, people chatter in the library with their friends as they study.

The library at my school is a dynamic place.  It is also, not only my favorite place to study on campus, but my favorite place to be on campus.  At the library I can get stuff done, and it’s comforting to know that I do not have to be alone, huddled somewhere in a quiet corner  to do so.  My study area of choice is the second floor quiet area with its long oak-wood, polished desks.  The seats are not always comfortable (they are straight and stiff), but that’s a small sacrifice to make for the broad view I get of the campus as I sit next to the large glass windows that open up to the new Science building made almost entirely of glass, and the ever-so-packed parking lot.

Since I transferred to this school, I do not know many people.  But I still like the communal atmosphere in the library.  I may be studying in the library and another student may ask: “can you please watch my stuff?”  Trusting a complete stranger to keep watch of his/her lap tap, books, notebooks, bag, and other personal belongings.  Of course, I always agree to; others are willing to do the same for me.  Yesterday, a student in my intro to journalism class, stayed in the library for about an extra 3 minutes when I left to get a notebook I had forgotten in my room.  When a girl asked me to watch her stuff and stayed too long wherever she had gone and I had to leave the library, another girl agreed to watch her stuff instead.

This is the kind of atmosphere that I enjoy in the library: mutual trust, and shared purpose that is eduction.  I occasionally see people that I know and may engage in a brief conversation, or simply exchange a handshake.  Then like others around me, it is back to studying and learning.  The library makes it so easy to tune out the noise from the outside, and to spread out your books on the table and declare for that time that you are there that that is your own space, and that you are not in this alone.

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