Inhaling ink and machinery (…is this illegal?)

These past two weeks have been so surreal.

Four years ago in June, I graduated from high school not knowing what the hell I was going to do next with my life — and little did I know that four years later til this day I was going to be sitting at my own desk in a newsroom.

(As an intern, at least).

Just days before starting at the Reno Gazette-Journal, I was going a little batty over the littlest things because I was just so anxious to start — my lazy roommates were getting to me as well as the crazies who walked in the planetarium. I had friendships that were suddenly changing, and, ohmygosh, there was the fact that I’m graduating in six more months. But I walked into the RGJ with pride, confidence and no fear. I’d like to thank the Nevada Media Alliance for that — reporting on the legislature on a weekly basis helped me break out of my turtle shell.

I got comfortable in the newsroom the second day. The people who work there are friendly and dedicated to getting their job done. And, I absolutely adore my mentors — I already look up to them, and I know I’m going to learn so many amazing things from them. It’s nice to be finally working in a real environment, instead of one involving an overkill of bias and favoritism.

And I’m working on one of the best topics ever. Digging deeper into Reno’s recovering economy has me enthralled before I’ve even started. I’m already covering great mini topics and calendar events on local fashion shows, business openings, contests, remodeled home tours, and even about a VANS-lovin monster named Shoezilla. But my big debut comes out in Sunday’s paper on June 23, about how local vibrant charities bring a quality of life to the city — as well as a motivation to get others out there to help. This story will be posted on Reno Rebirth as well, followed by a special follow-up.

My classmate from NVMA, Natasha, is also interning at RGJ but reporting on the final and post-days of the Nevada Legislature. She’s a great reporter, too, and has made it to the front page like four times already. She sits right behind me which is pretty cool.

In the meantime, I’ve also moved into my new apartment with my best friend. It’s so perfect because I live right across the street from Wal Mart and other conveniences, and my bedroom is huge with a walk-in closet and bathroom. And I’m gladly to say that I am quite aways from the college (you know when it’s time to move away from that crowd).

The next two stories I’m working on is about the Santa Pub Crawl here in Reno, and if the increased presence of cops hurts or helps the tourist and visitors — and then, as a later story, how Burning Man influences the hip art of Reno.

I hope to live a happier and healthier life from here. I think I’m off to a good start aside the sore back from carrying desks up a flight of stairs.

 

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The Next Chapter

It’s about time I experienced a semi-decent semester at the University of Nevada, Reno – I got to do some REAL journalism work, and I expanded my mind to classes that I hate and will never have to take again.

I got two perfect A’s in Nevada Media Alliance and Data journalism. My KNPB package I worked on with Stephanie turned out wonderfully – I even got an official copy of the episode on a special DVD. You can watch it online at the NVMA siteStephanie, the audio/video maven, narrated the episode as I interviewed our sources about all-day kindergarten in Nevada. I think we both kicked ass on writing the script as well.

Here’s a photo I took of when my team and I toured the KNPB station. On screen, you’ll see our episode getting ready to air! This was on April 19th:

NVMA is a permanent and new addition to the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism. I’m debating whether I want to do it again or not, and I’m thinking I’m should. I’m graduating in December and I would be taking about 18 credits if I joined again, and only 2 or 3 original members who reported on the legislature would return. The topic to report next semester is the reinventing or the rebirth of Reno’s economy. I discovered that covering this topic would benefit me in many ways:

I recently got hired as an intern at the Reno Gazette-Journal to report on their new blog called Reno Rebirth, which covers the recovery of the city’s economy and community. I’m incredibly excited because I’ve been wanting this internship for so long, and this blog allows VOICE in the reporting. I also get to expand my knowledge on Reno’s economy. I officially begin June 4th and I already have some decent story ideas down. Oh, and Brent Boynton, the news director of KNPB said that he would like me and the RGJ to contribute our Reno Rebirth work with KNPB! I’m kicking my feet up in the air as if I were a child who just found out that they’re going to Disneyland for the weekend; I’m so damn excited to be a part of this.

Rejoining NVMA for my next (and last) semester would be definitely beneficial for me because I would I know the subject by then, and I could continue reporting on it. Also, I would get my name out even more by the time I graduate. Gosh, I’m so spoiled!

So don’t worry, I will be linking my articles from Reno Rebirth on JOURNALISchick as well as sharing my experiences working at one of Reno’s greatest news desks. I have to write experiences anyway in order to receive three credits — but I don’t mind doing that regardless.

What else has happend? On May 7th, I received the Charles H. Stout Foundation scholarship. I forgot the amount (most scholarship recipients do), but what’s so special about this scholarship is that this foundation helped supported the NVMA to purchase the amazing media tools to make the team who we are today (and obviously, you’ve seen that we’re pretty damn amazing). Although this scholarship lasts for about a year and I have one semester left, I think I might use up the remaining scholarship to take some courses to get back into my old hobbies, if it gets difficult finding a job (drawing, choir, guitar, writing…).

My project about BLMNV and the mustangs for Data journalism came out okay, but not as good as I wanted. It’s a huge topic I’d like to investigate when the topic is hot again — you can click here to check out what I’ve gathered: http://mustangsofunrnv.wordpress.com/

Other than that, my remaining grades are okay – B+ in Women & Lit, B+ in Core Humanities, and I got very lucky with a C+ in Mircoeconomics (eff that class). But it definitely brought my GPA up higher. I’m also moving out of my apartment and moving into a secluded area away from crazy party animals (I’m such an old lady about this).

Before I go, check out the Reinventing Reno website UNR students put together with business journalist, Micki Maynard! I believe this is what the next group of NVMA would be reporting on. One of the writers even earned the Steven Martarano Best Published Article Award!

Up next: 2 book reviews and another update.

Nevada Legislature is firing up

Last Friday, my media alliance and I got the chance to tour our newsrooms in Carson City and Legislative buildings! I’m so happy that I’m going to be learning about local politics, since it’s something my brain desperately needs to learn (I know that sounds super dramatic, but it’s true!). It’s such a great and new fresh start to my journalism career, and I think this project will be much better organized. I can already feel the guilt and nasty spirits from last semester slowly (but surely) departing from my body.

For the past week, we’ve been preparing ourselves to become superstar legislative reporters. I believe tomorrow we’re going to figure out mini groups to go to Carson together, so we all have a chance to cover something each week. We just launched our website Monday and some of us have assigned stories already, like me.

I’m hoping to (and still trying to) cover Assembly bill no. 42 by the end of this week. AB42 establishes the Nevada Cyber Institute throughout the Nevada System of Higher Education. The NCI will provide courses that is going to practice techniques of cyber security. If this bill passes, this institute will be offered throughout most universities, community and state colleges in Nevada.

Since it’s uncertain that this bill is going to pass and since the Nevada Legislature is getting ready to start on February 4th, everybody in the State offices are running around like nuts (or, more appropiately, traveling to cities back and fourth and preapring as well). Therefore, it’s very difficult to get a hold of people for interviews, on top of classes which one of them requires me to read a 39 chapter book by Kate Chopin before Monday. However, my data journalism class is my perfect companion for this project since I’ll be learning how to hardcore stalk and access information. My first assignment a few weeks ago was to acess personal information about a local public figure (our professor purchased an Intelius report for each student in the class!).

So I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps right now, possibly feeling a hint of failure because I was unable to speak to my sources before the end of this week. However, I will put a band-aid on this temporary fail, and see what the hell I can do about it tomorrow.

Since I’m back into the swing of things with writing essays and serious objective articles, my mind is trying to resist to use my voice in my writing since it’s, like, FORBIDDEN in most school work…

I’m just sitting here on the thrid floor of the library, taking glances at my phone, hoping  somebody will at least return one of my calls. I’m sitting in between two people who are studying, possibly annoying them with my loud typing skills. So with the weekend coming up, I have so many plans and so many things to complete and cover. Eventually, I get where I want to be with this blog. No way am I giving up!

-Molly

A Buffet and My Dead Body

I’m so sorry for not keeping up this week! What a disappointment. It gets a little hard controlling certain priorities when you’re planning your funeral, writing your obituary and living will. During work hours, I’m also afraid to bring my computer back because I don’t want some old lady smacking the top of it with a brochure, telling me to pay attention.

It also gets difficult when you have to get up at 7:40 a.m. every morning (for a college student) and take a midterm in the middle of the week about death. Coming up next is a 10 – 15 research paper (luckily, I’m at 6 pages right now).

Oh, and you know when life is hard when you cut yourself with a cooking knife while dicing red peppers for meatloaf (wonderful recipe for it here — check it out!).

Speaking of meatloaf, I’ve actually had time to plan out my funeral, have I told you that already? Right…

If I die between now and the next 10 years (or 20, I guess), I want food at my funeral. LOTS of food.

In fact, make it a buffet. The food should arrange to pasta and Italian dishes to comfort food like avocado, cheese and veggie sandwiches, tomato bisque and hummus dip. I want everybody to stuff their faces and enjoy the food (because I sure as hell would!). Maybe a mixture of dishes from my mother’s homemade recipe and my favorite restaurant in Reno, Süp.

Drinks should be a variety of sodas, wines and water. And put a dark chocolate fountain on a different table next to my urn (yes, I want cremation please).

Although it may seem impossible, I don’t want everybody mourning at the time of my death. Maybe for like an hour to say their words and memories and shit but seriously, just go eat some food. Somebody should bring a live rock band to perform. Then, play some recordings of some sick Steve Vai solos and switch it to Opera. Provide a game console and play video games. Do some of the comforting things that I used to enjoy.

After the memorial, I want 7 grams of my remains to be shot up into space and a good amount along the coast of Maldives. For the remaining ashes, feel free to do whatever – put me on a shelf for years, put me in your necklace, use me as ink for your tattoo (I’m doubt I’m that special)…whatever.

But if I were to die between now and the next 10 years, what would the cause be? From a gun shot? From a vehicle accident? From choking? From the stupidity of today’s society?

Whatever happens, happens. Sometimes I feel like I don’t care when and then there are some days that I do.

Anyway, congrats to Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers for their win tonight!

Again, sorry about the lateness of this post, but I will be sure to shoot more next week!

-Molly

Merry Christmas, I’m obsessed with owls.

I know it’s not Saturday, does it look like I care?

You can never get too old for Christmas, especially when you’re in my family. I don’t think anyone celebrates Christmas anymore like we do.

On the Eve of Christmas, we exchange “gifts-from-the-family” to each other; gifts from Aunt Pat, Uncle Ben,   Poppy, Brother John, ect…

My family and I always get nice gifts from them such as gift cards, jewelry and other accessories. All together, I think my brother and I have about $220 from gift cards.

On Christmas morning, Santa fills up our stockings and we enter the living room with delight. Presents all shapes and sizes paitently wait for my brother and I under our glistening Christmas tree.

Of course, Santa always knows what you want every year. In my stocking, I found a set of Hello Kitty cards, a smelly gingerbread marker, a blue hair extension that glows, owl ornaments and a flat wooden figure of an owl (I’m putting this on my door when I return to my apartment). Last but not least, I found at the very bottom of my stocking a fresh grapefruit. Like the days during the depression, this grapefruit made me appreciate the small things, especially since the Wal Mart in Reno isn’t carrying them right now.

Leaving fruits in a Christmas stocking is a family tradition on my mom’s side. My great-grandmother gave my grandmother a fresh thing of fruit every Christmas during their times in the Great Depression. Nothing was a clean and fresh as a fruit back then, and it brings the magic of appreciation. My mother decided to pass the tradition on to us, whether the economy sucks or not. I think I’ll pass it on as well, if I decide to have children someday.

Along with the gifts below, I got a plastic pan to make chocolate owl lollipops (or popsicles for the summer). My brother got me a lovely owl bracelet, followed by a new video game to add to my Xbox collection: Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL. 

Check out the other cool things Santa brought me. My Christmas was also very “journalisticky”, too.

Merry Christmas to all, and have a wonderful New Year!

Adventure Time glasses - A gift from a friend

Adventure Time glasses – A gift from a friend

I have another stuffed owl named Ellie - what would be a good, enchanting name for this one?

I have another stuffed owl named Ellie – what would be a good, enchanting name for this one?

Owl ornaments for next year and an owl "woodie" for my door!

Owl ornaments for next year and an owl “woodie” for my door!

My close friend gave me a plush Hello Kitty...wearing a Nevada shirt!

My close friend gave me a plush Hello Kitty…wearing a Nevada shirt!

Finally, I can get back into my creativity...for a while ;)

Finally, I can get back into my creativity…for a while 😉

...and Merry Christmas to all! :)

…and Merry Christmas to all! 🙂