I hated most things about middle school except for one cold, damp Saturday afternoon that confirmed my allegiance to writing. As part of Wyoming Middle School’s Power of the Pen writing team, I competed in a city-wide competition against countless other gawky twelve-year-olds who appreciated word choice, character development and story structure just as much as I did. At the end of the day I shook out my cramped right hand and took a seat in the auditorium for the awards ceremony. Minutes later I found myself on stage holding a third place trophy. The golden pen and paper sparkled so brightly under the stage lighting that I had to squint through my Coke bottle glasses to get a good look at my name engraved on the square plaque. Never had I found myself basking in such glory because of swimming or dancing, and certainly not because of soccer or a choir solo. I stood on stage, waving furiously to my parents somewhere in the crowd, thinking this whole writing thing, this was something I could do. There was no physical coordination or sense for musical rhythm required. It played to my strengths (and weaknesses) perfectly. Now, as a college senior, I hold steady with my commitment to writing and know that it is just a different type of coordination, timing, and gracefulness that good forms of it require.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, carrying small Moleskine notebooks around with me to record my random ideas. Throughout junior high and high school, I was primarily a fiction writer and eventually shifted into poetry and non-fiction, until I stumbled upon a flyer for my school newspaper. I spent time in every position on staff and I was hooked. Now as a creative writing senior, I still can’t resist participating in journalistic endeavors. I love the impact that journalism can have on a community, and as an editor, I love being able to watch and help writers grow into their voices to create into something powerful. The Big Green has been fantastic to me; we have so many wonderful, passionate writers and I am excited to be a part of this magazine for my senior year.
To say I’ve always been interested in writing is something of an understatement. But all throughout high school I was convinced I wanted to be an environmental scientist, even while writing short stories on my computer and being editor-in-chief of my school’s yearbook for two years. Somewhere during senior year of high school I decided that I would rather write about the world instead of research it, and somewhere during study abroad in Australia I decided that I wanted to specifically write about the environment. I’ve never looked back since. There’s something about knowing that you give people the information to make change, and in doing so have the power to make change yourself. Journalists are supposed to be objective, I know, but I also know that there are important issues such as the environment that need to be out in the open, and it’s up to us to do that. And The Big Green is a wonderful place to really creatively explore not only global issues in depth, but also the ones that affect us day to day.
I knew I wanted to be a journalist from a young age when I used to record myself doing radio shows with neighbors pretending I was Danny Bonnaduce on his morning talk show. In high school, my broadcasting and newspaper teachers cemented my love for journalism. It wasn’t until I got to college though that realized I wanted to write for magazines. The Big Green has given me more experience in doing that than I could have hoped for. This year, as Sex & Health editor, I plan to put the “sex” back in this “section” — something it has been lacking for a few years. In May, I’ll graduate from MSU’s School of Journalism and head out into the real world trying to freelance, travel around the world and eventually break into the world of fashion journalism.
I have been writing for my whole life, but my first experience with formal journalism was as a member of my high school newspaper staff, where I edited the Opinions section and spent umpteen hours wrestling with InDesign. After attending MIPA camp here at MSU when I was a sophomore in high school, I became interested in writing in college. My favorite thing about writing is getting to learn about topics that otherwise would have been a mystery to me. When I put together an article, I’m educating both my readers and myself in the process. I love that I get to experience a little of others’ lives by editing the stories in my section. Cultures other than my own and politics are two of my main interests, which is why the Global View section is a good match for me.
I never really had a “defining moment”- one instance in my life during which I decided that I wanted to be a journalist. I didn’t lose my breath and my heart didn’t flutter, but I’m not sure true career-path love is all about that. Even without the butterflies, this is the most sure I’ve ever been about wanting anything.
I turn to good reporting for justice (Kwame?), entertainment, information, and fun. I’m addicted to at least four online news sources, and check them on a daily basis. When my Newsweek arrives (on Tuesdays) I put down everything I’m doing and kick back with columnists who seem like old friends, and features that feel like home.
In any case, The Big Green is one of those publications that has unwittingly captured my heart and mind. Its articles are in depth and entertaining, and I genuinely believe that some of the best writers on campus are right here at TBG. I’m happy to be working with them!
I read Fahrenheit 451 and it scared the bajeezes out of me. I was so terrified of the idea that someone could lie to me that easily. I decided I wanted to be the one telling the truth. Then one day my dad found his .35 mm camera in the basement. It was this cheap Yashika from 1975 that my dad had bought before he was stationed in Germany. It was beat completely to hell, but the camera took fantastic photographs. So, I’ve spent my life since wanting to be like the guys who work for National Geographic. If I get what I want, I’ll be dodging bullets in the Gaza Strip, but as long as I’m helping, I’m happy.
Dressed in a smiley face t-shirt and black velvet pants my ten-year-old self surveyed the room of people at my parents’ dinner party. Noticing that my Uncle Bruce was standing alone I marched up to his side, pulled out my pink Lisa Frank notebook, and got down to business. “Uncle Bruce?”, I asked flashing him a sweet smile hoping to convince him to oblige to my game, “Are you ready for your interview?”
Most kids played video games, hide and seek, or capture the flag. I however spent much of the 90’s filling up my notebook with the answers to interview questions like “if you could go back in time what year would you go to?” and “describe your perfect meal.” While a lot has changed since the days of my so called “interviews,” one thing has not.
Today as a journalism senior and Arts and Culture editor of the best online magazine on campus, I am still pretty much the same as my ten-year-old self. Though my questions have improved, one of my favorite activities still involves me with my notebook in hand excitingly anticipating the answers to my questions.
Except this time my notebook’s a lot less sparkly.