Posts tagged western journalism
Grrreetings M’Ladypimps and Stud McMuffins!
I’m back from my brief hiatus and hereby do solemnly swear to start posting again daily(ish).
Yesterday was my last day of school. Not for the semester. Not for the year. FOR LIFE.
Okay, maybe not for life – the PhD is always a possibility, I suppose, and I will be taking many a course in the future to upgrade my skills/meet hot professor boys (hello French language training 101! hello intermediate Flash development! hellloooo improv!), but I think that this might be it as far as my “full time university student” career goes.
Whoodathunk that a girl who uses words like “whoodathunk” would land herself a Masters degree?
Today’s been like a sort of weird, hazy dream. I don’t think it’s really hit me yet that the most intense year of my life is over.
I’ve been trolling around the house all spacey-like for the past few hours, tidying things, doing laundry – getting caught up on all of the junk that tends to get neglected during exam time.
Maybe I’m feeling a bit wonky because I was partying with beloved cronies until 5:00am last night… but I think it’s probably more than that.
I can’t really put my finger on what I’m feeling. All I can say is that it’s a terribly strong emotion.
I feel like I should cry, but I can’t. I want to be joyous and celebratory, but can’t feel that way either.
Emotional paralysis. Limbo. I feel so ‘Lauren circa 2006′ writing like this right now. Did you know that I used to be a bit of an emo-kid? A cam-pic happy emo-kid, at that…
*hangs head in shame*
I think that later, I will drive out to the one of the lakes with Deja Entendu blaring on repeat. That always does the trick. Something about driving – especially out in the country – is so cathartic for me. And Brand New never fails to choke me up. One of my favourite bands of all time, for sure. I’ve been crying to this album since I was 17. (I told you I was an emo).
“Coordinate brain and mouth. Then ask me whats it like to have myself so figured out. I wish I knew…”
Ummm anyways, we had to write a “self reflection” about our experiences this year for one of our professors.
I’m not going to bore you with the entire thing, but for this, my very last J-School post, I would like to share my “list of lessons learned” during the time I spent in the MAJ program at Western.
This is list is, by no means, comprehensive – are lists of this kind EVER complete? I was seriously tempted to add “doing stories about homeless people or cripples who do art therapy will land you an A+ at UWO’s J-School” but I refrained…
Lauren’s Life Lessons v. Western Journalism, 2010
• Having good comrades can make even the toughest of battles seem easy.
• The more you kill babies, the easier it gets.
• Stories can be found everywhere once you know how to look for them.
• Nobody is too big or important to talk to a reporter. You never know who you might land an interview with if you just give it a try.
• Haters gon’ hate.
• My nerdy skillset is more unique and valuable in the wild world of news than I had ever realized .
• Blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking and good ol’ fashioned schmoozing can pay off BIG TIME when it comes to making connections and landing jobs. Whoodathunkit?
• Put yourself out there as much as possible. You may eventually be discovered by someone who matters.
• Shelling out $18 for UWO business cards was the best investment I made all year long.
• Never turn down a good opportunity, even if you’re tired and busy.
• The losers are the cool kids and the cool kids are the losers. That’s the truth.
• True friendships aren’t formed over beers at bars.
• I need to be creative and social every day in order to be happy.
• A fun and fulfilling career is more important to me than a lucrative one.
• The best work is produced when one is passionate about what they’re working on.
• Spending a Saturday night playing around with audio can be a lot more fun than going out to a club.
• It is humanly possible to live without cable, but I would never want to do it again.
• Having a car and a blackberry should never be taken for granted. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.
• My parents are amazing people. I would be nothing without their unfledgling support, encouragement, and badass genes.
• TV news is mindless and uninteresting.
• I would rather be known for my words than my face.
• Some people are just jerks.
• Sometimes, I’m a jerk.
• Being yourself will take you a lot further than acting like who you think others want you to be.
• It’s hip to be geeky.
• I’m pretty good at business writing and I like it a lot too. I’m just as surprised by this as I’m sure you are.
• I’d rather be odd but memorable than safe and unremarkable.
• “later” will come eventually. Spend time with those you care about while you have the chance.
• Sometimes, the grown-ups are wrong.
• Sometimes, you need to trust your gut and go for what you believe in.
• Sometimes, you just have to grin and roll with the punches.
• It is possible for stories to be entertaining and journalistic at the same time.
• Deadlines can be blessings.
• London, Ontario is a wicked city that I love and am going to miss very much.
• I’m intelligent enough to earn a Masters Degree
• My right eye starts to twitch uncontrollably when I sleep 2 hours a night for 3 weeks straight.
• Kindness is one of the greatest virtues a person can have.
• I have an “unconventional writing style” for news – but apparently, this is as a positive thing.
• There is always going to be somebody out there who’s better than you.
• People behave in certain ways for certain reasons.
• Consider the source of both criticism and praise.
• Be careful about what you post on the internet.
• Volunteer when you can, but know where to draw the line so you don’t over exert yourself.
• I can produce a rap song AND a rap video, legit!
• Anything is possible if you put the effort forth. It really, truly is.
Love, Lauren O’Neil, B.A. (Hons), M.A.
(amd I promise that you will NEVER see me write those letters behind my name again. Sa-ha-hoooo douchebaggy.)
Finally! Episode Six of the Maker Culture series is now live on thetyee.ca and rabble.ca! Eeeee! Check out DiStef and I hosting up the MEdia podcast here. I’m so insanely proud of the work we all did on this project, and psyched to finally see it go public.
Let me back things up a bit to give you a little bit of context…
Last semester, my j-school cronies and I took an online journalism course. All 30 of us got to take it together because it was one of those mandatory “everybody has to take this class” classes (and with good reason, I would say. It’s no secret that the news industry is changing – some might even say dying – and the internet is playing a huge role in this transformation).
Anyways – a major component of this class was our term project – and what a freaking project it was…
It was such an intensive, all consuming project, in fact, that the very name of this project came to replace the name of the course among j-schoolers. We weren’t taking “online journalism” anymore – we were taking “Maker Culture“. Thursday was “Maker Culture” day. Professor Wayne MacPhail was “Maker Culture guy”. Soon, we were having Maker Culture weekends, Maker Culture conferences, Maker Culture road trips, Maker Culture panic attacks … near the end of the semester, the print room, radio room, TV studio (and the hallways in between) became the Making Maker Culture Workshop. Maker Culture Land.
Makerculturemakerculturemakerculture. It was THE buzzword around the department Fall semester 2009. Hell, it was the buzzword around our LIVES…
“Sorry mom – I can’t make it home for Thanksgiving – I’ve got to work on Maker Culture…”
“Maker Culture? What’s that?”
Funny thing is, nobody really even knew what the heck it meant for a while (I’m still not entirely certain). Eventually though, most of us ended up getting it at some level – some of us even got INTO it, becoming makers in our own right (more on that later).
One thing’s for certain – between the 29 of us, we created some insanely good work. Podcasts, videos, feature articles, photo galleries – you can see it all (and the behind the scenes methods to the madness) on our class wiki and project blog. I highly recommend that you check them out.
You’re probably waiting for the beat to drop eh? Enough of the build-up, you say! TELL ME WHAT IS THIS MAYKER KULTCHER PROJEKT NAOW!
For twelve weeks in the fall of 2009, 45 students Online Journalism students at Ryerson University and the University of Western Ontario, under the direction of rabble board member Wayne MacPhail, worked together to document the evolving Maker Culture community.
Maker Culture? That’s coders, fabricators, foodies, artists, educators, activists, citizen and even scientists grabbing the Do-It-Yourself ethic with both hands and changing our world in the process.
These are people who aren’t just making things, they’re making a point of sharing what they’ve learned, what they’ve made, and why. Often, for free. Makers are responding directly, locally to globalization,commercialization, copyright and central command and control.
And, they’re everywhere: building printers that can print themselves, mashing up music, doing science at home, changing their cities and countries, even imagining how we could print out our own organs. And nearly four dozen students caught up with the movement as it grew. Sometimes they even helped it grow. You’ll see.
Each episode will contain a podcast on the rabble podcast network, video clips on the MakerCulture You Tube channel and a feature story right here on rabble.ca and, for the first time, co-published by our friends at thetyee.ca. Look for new episodes each week over the next three months.
This a feature series that is a series of firsts: The first time Ryerson and Western have worked together journalistically, the first time rabble.ca and thetyee.ca have co-published and the first time journalism students have used social media tools so completely from the very beginnings of a story.
Yup. In a nutshell – that’s the makerculture project. My group (Daniela DiStefano, Brittany Seki, Laura Schober and Isabella Ssozi) was TEAM MEDIA. We tackled the DIY indie media scene in Canada and abroad – and had a blast doing it (for the most part). We took a road trip to Toronto one day for Canzine, another roadtrip to Windsor for a 48 hour film festival / visit to Broken City Lab, and a whole bunch of other cool things.
Highlights for me include talking to hilarious artist Jacob Borshard, writer Hal Niedzvecki of Broken Pencil, and Stephen Chao – CEO of wonderhowto.com (and former FOX Television president who created COPS and America’s Most Wanted. Yeah – he’s a big deal.) I also got to play guest panelist in a test run for the Education group’s live streamed Edupunk conference, and that was fun.
But my biggest contribution to the project was probably this video from Canzine that I produced. I know I’ve posted it before, but hey – I’m proud of it… sheet, I worked DANG HARD!
Oh – and as previously alluded to, over the holidays I sort of “took things into my own hands” and became a bit of a maker meself! I wasn’t exactly aiming to “stick it to the man” by crafting my own gifts, but I did make a conscious choice to remove myself from the cult of Christmas consumerism this year – and that’s makery… I think? Does it matter if my choice was motivated by the fact that grad school has made me dirt poor? Let’s just say that it doesn’t. My name is Lauren O’Neil, and I’m a maker because I made…
CANDY SUSHI for my bff’s Holiday Bash!
Mario art for my Brother’s wall:
(which I guess isn’t much of an affront to consumerism since it was designed in Photoshop, printed at Shopper’s, framed at Wal-Mart and features a character created by the Nintendo corporation. Whatever.)
A Mouse Pad, custom letterhead and jar labels for my mom’s (DELICIOUSLY FIERY AND SOON TO BE SUPERFAMOUS) hot peppers):
And… well, I caved and bought the rest of my gifts (I can’t exactly make my own “University of Western Ontario Grandma” mug, or a copy of a Best-Selling novel that my dad wanted. I mean, I could… but it would take a really long time.
I felt really good about these projects though. Making these gifts made me feel like I was crafty or something. Like an inventor
I’ve already got a couple more 8-bit art projects planned (nintendo coasters, HOLLAH!) and I bought myself an entire book dedicated to the art of making monster plushies. And this magazine, too:
Maybe I’ll start… in 56 days, when I graduate