I’m a Journalist?

I always identified as a poet. I love the imagery and artistry of crafting careful strings of words to paint a picture. I still do. But now, I do a different kind of writing most of the time–I’ve accidentally become a news writer. Thanks to a friend’s suggestion that I apply for the Trail, I have fallen in love with journalism again.

I carry a bright red notebook with me almost everywhere. In it, I scribble down what’s happenign around me and the words of the people that I interview. When I get home, I pore over the notes I’ve taken, and then I turn those notes into stories, typing like mad. But they are different stories than I am used to writing, because these stories are true. And they’re so very important.

Since I started at the trail, I have covered issues of diversity and inclusion on our campus, financial aid (and when it’s not enough), Take Back the Night, and more. These are things people in this community need to know about, need to take action regarding. These are things I need to know about. By writnig about them, I learn about them.  M interviews are an informal classroom, and I am an eager pupil. I have access to our administration in a way I never would have imagined possible. I have spoken to so many incredibily smart and interesting people just because I told them “I’m a trail reporter, ” and for that, I am grateful.

I wrote for my high school newspaper, but I never called myself a journalist. It was something i did, not something I was. But now, I feel differently. Journalism has given me the chance to be the conduit for stories that need to be heard. I didn’t create them, but I shared them, and shared them with the dignity and the care that they deserve. And that means the world to me. It is a special job, and I am lucky to have it.

I’m still a poet, but today, I’m a journalist too.

Look for my byline in the Trail sometime.

Confessions of a Fraidy Cat

There was a time when I was younger, before October of my sophomore year, when I didn’t know I was a fraidy cat. Then I went to the Phi Delt haunted house and I discovered that it scared me out of my wits. There were times when my friend had to hold my arm and drag me through. I am not the person you can use as a human shield when it looks like the skeleton is about to jump out at you. I am the person who uses you as a human shield. If necessary, I am willing to pick you up and move you so that I can do this. This year I decided to try the haunted house again to see if it was less scary with more people. I went with two of my suitemates and I had planned to walk in the middle with one of them in front of me and one of them behind me. The only problem was that one of them also wanted to be in the middle. So I grabbed her and put her behind me. In my defense, my legs started shaking before we even went in whereas she was cool and collected the entire time.

Afterwards, she said that we probably made a bigger spectacle than the actual haunted house. Part of this was because, as I said, I was willing to physically make her change positions with me. The other part was because when I get scared I like to punch things. As I was moving through the haunted house, I was throwing punches and kicks at the frat brothers jumping at out at us. Or at least I was throwing them in their general direction. I hope I didn’t actually hit anyone. I probably looked like someone in a very surreal kickboxing video. This made me feel calmer and more comfortable. I’m not sure how the frat guys felt about it.

In the end, it turned out to be a great stress reliever (once you got out) and I highly recommend it. I even learned a few new things about haunted houses. 1) The people doing it pick on the person in the middle because they know they are the most scared (so maybe my strategy wasn’t so good after all). 2) My friend who I remorselessly moved to the back was right; it’s best to just keep moving. And 3) If you’re going in a haunted house with me, you may want to stand out of punching distance, just in case.