Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Fall quarter is finally coming to a close.. almost.

I haven't posted since October 22nd. Ahhh! This quarter has literally swallowed me whole. Between Front staff, law, and photojournalism (which is easily my favorite class), I've been crazy busy. Add in work and a little bit of a social life, and goodbye, blog.  Sorry!

I've learned a lot this quarter, about both journalism itself and what it's like to be a journalist.  Writing can be hard, but there are certain aspects to being a journalism major that have its perks.  Likewise, there are also bits and pieces that totally suck.  But like most things, the good outweigh the bad.

What I have for you lovely readers today is a compilation of the pros and cons of being a journalism student.

I'll start with the bad, so that I can end with the good.

LOTS of outside work.
While being on the school newspaper, you're expected to put out a lot of work, which is again expected.  It is a real newspaper.  You're held to the same professional standards as other newspapers.  Sometimes I would be working on multiple stories at a time, which is a daunting task when working with features.  (Features are the longer, insightful stories and profiles inside the newspaper.)  Photo J was a lot of work as well, but not nearly as much as Front staff.  That was work I enjoyed a little bit more when I put my head to it.

Talking to people.
At work, I can find a random person and talk to them about what fabulous deals we have at Forever 21 at any given moment, but when it comes to interviews, talking to strangers is a lot harder.  When I would be out shooting photo projects, I would have to go up to random people, talk to them, ask them their name, age, phone number, and some questions— luckily, most people are willing to be photographed, but photographing strangers is no easy task.  Most people make some self-depreciating joke, and you have to figure out a way to make light of it ("oh, don't get below my shoulders! I don't like that to be photographed!"- how do you reply to that!?) 

Not being able to be creative.
If you've read a newspaper, you know that there is a very particular kind of voice that reporters have when writing.  All of the stories can kind of sound the same after a while, and you have to be super precise with your words/AP style.  This is tricky for me because I like to write like I talk (well, you are reading my blog.) 

Meeting new people, and learning new things.
While it was really hard talking to new people, the experience was like no other once you got to meet them.  I met an 86-year-old woman who had lost two husbands on the same day (years apart), and a fellow student who was trapped in a snow cave for 24 hours and managed to survive.  I also got to meet some faculty quartet members, Miss Seattle and so many other amazing personalities who I wouldn't have met otherwise. I also got to learn about Paganism, a forgotten Bellingham author, and so many other things that I wouldn't have known existed otherwise.

Seeing your stories published.
This is potentially the biggest 'pro' of them all.

Through all of the hard work and time invested into this major, there's nothing better than picking up a newspaper and seeing "By Allie Holzman" (or something else. Or Allie Holzman if your name is also Allie Holzman.)  

My first story! You can read it HERE
Definitely not my best story or hair day but that's beside the point.  I was so stoked to see my name in the paper that day.

Read this story HERE!

The first story I wrote that made front page sneak peek! This one was probably one of my funnest ones to write as it was about a fellow Western student who is phenomenal at Humans vs Zombies, and it gave me a newfound respect for the players of the game.  I could actually kind of tell you how the game works now, too. See? Learning. Plus this was a better outfit and hair day, AND it was right before my birthday. Good day, right there.

Finally, in the last week of the quarter, I got my first double truck.  For you non-journalism people, that's just a two-page centerfold.  THAT was a good way to end the quarter.
If you don't have super sight, read what I wrote about Hanukkah at Western HERE. 

Well, that's it for now. 

I'll post again during break, when all I'm doing is working and sitting at home.