Tuesday was majorly eventful. Classes started, I met the best Professor ever, and I started work again. Oh yeah, and a new President.
My schedule this semester includes: English 102 Intro to Comparative Politics America and the World Cultural History of the NYPD and Intro to Digital Photo.
I went to one of each of these classes, before deciding that I hate the TA teaching Intro to Comp Politics. He assigned us three textbooks, which would cost me nearly $300 used. He also told us about some major assignments we would have to do, and he had the most boring voice.
Now, my America and the World professor, on the other hand, is quite possibly already in my top five favorite teachers ever. She's technically a Dr of Political Science, she obviously is passionate about it, and she's funny. And she gave me a special permission code, so I'm switching into her Intro to Poli class. I attended one of her classes later in the week, and it was filled with students who were older and knew their way around the department.
It turns out that I had met my English professor before, when I interviewed his wife for a story on student ambassadors from Syria. He seems okay as a teacher so far, but mandatory freshman writing is boring, so I hope he'll try to make it more interesting than last semester.
Cultural History of the NYPD is already shaping up to be the WTF course of the year. Though there have been a few books written about the NYPD, there are no textbooks, so the professor made two of them from hundreds of articles he wrote and found. The problem: instead of putting them online, he gets them bound by a copy shop. $130 for them. But he makes up for it by teaching a very interesting class. Later this year he will do a walking tour of NYC, pointing out places of violence, riots, and other things of interest to a police department.
Finally, Intro to Digital Photo. This class will be very little "How to use your camera" and very much "How to make pictures look better in Photoshop. Of course, this is cool with me. I know how to do a little in Photoshop already, mostly from messing around at newspaper and from playing with paint.net and Gimp.
Oh yeah, and I started working again, 16+ hours a week. And newspaper. And I attended an RA interest meeting. BUSY BUSY BUSY.
To be honest, I'm not thrilled with my coverage. I didn't have the time or space to cover it properly. http://media.www.rutgersobserver.com/media/storage/paper822/news/2009/01/20/News/Violence.In.Gaza.Sparks.Worldwide.Protests-3590482.shtml
And I'm less than thrilled with the rest of the paper. I miss working with broadsheet. Tabs are ugly. Layout is cookie-cutter, with massive pull quotes instead of art for most stories. Seriously, I'm compiling my ideas, and then I'm going to pitch a redesign.
ALSO: FOR SOME REASON WE DON'T RUN STORIES ON PAGE ONE. THIS BUGS ME SO MUCH.
The new semester technically does not start until tomorrow, but I'm already exhausted.
I returned to campus on Wednesday, and hung out with Greg and worked on the Observer. It wasn't until last night I realized how much I missed doing layout. Maybe I should revise my career goals.
I went into the office at eight, spent about a half-hour getting my stuff together and another half-hour working with my photos, then marathon laid out the news section. I was done before midnight, and was pretty satisfied with the results. Sarah, my EIC, said she liked them too.
The hardest part of my position so far was having to make an entire page from scratch when some of the writers didn't produce, in 12 hours. The second hardest was, after deciding that the page will be about Gaza and the protests around the world, summarizing the conflict into three paragraphs, especially after not being exactly up-to-date on what was happening. Hooray research!
I received a thin cardboard envelope in the mail, with the news that I had been selected as one of the Free Spirits 2008.
I set up a facebook group about three hours later.
Today, I got a message from the male Free Spirit from Delaware, asking about the conference. I can no longer remember the whole trip, but so much came rushing back. Crosswords on bus 2, WWII monument in the rain, Betty Baye- "In the dark, he looks like Denzel Washington, turn the light on and he's Flava Flav!", Matt Rist- "I look like Denzel Washington in the dark.", shaking Tim Russert's hand, the Gala, dancing on the boat until the lights downstairs flickered, "Giant Panda", ME Katie and I putting the green team ahead, only to lose every round after, accents, and finally realizing that I was so over high school.
A lot has changed in a year, but the Free Spirit conference cemented one thing in my head: Free Spirits will change the world.
For Christmas, my dad gave me a copy of The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. The thing I took most to heart? "Blog your passion."
Too bad I'm not feeling particularly passionate at the moment. People who know me well know that I absolutely love trivia. Any kind of mutinae, no matter how useless, is interesting to me in small doses. This makes it really, really difficult to choose one thing to focus on for too long. I'm considering following in the footsteps of A.J. Jacobs and reading the Encyclopedia, just so I always have something new to talk about. By the way, look at his books: The Know-It-All, about him reading Encyclopaedia Britannica, and The Year Of Living Biblically, which is exactly what it sounds like. Both are interesting, humorous, and introspective stories about his quests to find something.
I go through stages in my life where I obsess over something, learning everything I can. Ask me trivia about Harry Potter, Monty Python, the Beatles or King Arthur. I dare you.
So I'm not sure what to blog about, other than the random stuff I am already doing. I'm thinking about a series of reviews of the web comics and serial novels I read, or possibly posting a serial novel of my own.
1. I will post in this blog more. And I will post about more serious things. 2. I will maintain at least a B in all of my classes. 3. I will not miss deadlines for the paper. 4. I will post in my new photo blog Looking Glass Lens at least three times per week. 5. I will see the Free Spirits again.