Well, it’s been a great semester writing for The Comment. As of last Monday, my images and article are submitted and it’s up to our editor, Shraddha, and our faculty sponsor, Ms. Waldman (who we are now allowed to call Phyllis) to put it all together and make it look amazing.
As a film production student, I was the only writer on staff who was studying for a Masters in Fine Arts, instead of an MA or MS. So, my background and goals were different from everyone else’s. When I applied, I wrote in my cover letter that I wanted to learn more about my medium by writing about film “in a setting that both provides structure and demands creativity,” and, by researching filmmakers making names for themselves on YouTube, I certainly managed to do that (though I did choose an article about breaking into the industry for slightly selfish reasons). I just hope you all find my topic as fascinating as I did.
Anyway, I think I’ll leave you with a developing story about one of my subjects. YouTube filmmaker Patrick Willems has gotten himself involved in an amusing mini-controversy the past couple of days. On Wednesday, he uploaded his weekly video, a fake trailer for a mumblecore film on IFC whose dialogue consists entirely of lines from Kanye West and Jay-Z’s collaborative album, “Watch the Throne.”
Anyway, apparently The New Yorker and Prefix Magazine didn’t pick up on the joke, and ran their own story about the new film on IFC, much to the chagrin of commenters and bloggers. That’s one way to make a name for yourself. Next week’s video: a trailer for Michael Bay’s remake of Citizen Kane, starring Nicolas Cage.
Well, today was the last official meeting of The Comment staff. We ate pizza and cannolis (as well as red velvet cheesecake), and now I feel like I need to be rolled everywhere.
As far as the meeting went, we started by discussing our photos to go along with each person’s story, when the photographer was to arrive for our quick photo shoot, and then wrote our quick contact information for any final edits over the winter holidays.
Then we got down to real business. We talked ethics, movies, homicide, and whitewater kayaking. Overall, the group’s “let’s get down to business” mentality melted into a happy fun time as we saw each other for the last time this semester. In four months, our stories will be published into a graduate student magazine for future students to enjoy. Right now, our stories represent a gaggle of goofballs that simply love to write and communicate.
A video clip from CBS’s The Early Show hosted by BU alum, Erica Hill, highlights some of the pros and cons of travel technology. I’ve attached the video below, which I reference in my article. I’m on the side of Peter Greenberg.
How Tech is Changing Travel: March 12, 2010 6:17 am
“Travel expert Peter Greenberg and CNET’s Natali Del Conte discussed how technology is changing the way we fly and vacation.”
How Tech has Changed Travel
Between my first draft and my second draft, I’ve essentially written two different stories. The first story was hashed out a number of times, got to where it needed to be and then people realized it may not exactly fit with the rest of the magazine pieces as a whole.
Sooooo…I started over from scratch, adding only one paragraph from the first story. This one apparently went another direction, and I get to start over again. Through my frustration, I heard the co-director of the science journalism program say, “Make sure you have an actual outline and pitch letter for your story so they can look at THAT and decide if it works. If your editor gives you just an ‘idea” and you run with it, they’ll change their minds many times as to what that ‘idea’ is, and you’ll have to work a whole lot harder in the end.”
Then another professor’s voice came into my head, saying, “We’ll tell you a whole lot of does and don’ts and mistakes to avoid, but you’ll never really understand until it finally happens to you.” Both those and many other quotes collected through the past two and a half months reeled through my head like a family slide show I can’t walk out of.
Being a graduate student is basically paying the university gobs of money to insert multiple professor personality disorder, and at only one semester into this 18 month program, I’ve got it bad. They also had conversations in my skull the whole meeting today, which helped me get through the frustrations with a smile by the end.
Writing isn’t easy. I’m sure many people would agree with that statement, but it wasn’t until this year that I truly understood. I’ve spent a lot of nights (and afternoons and early mornings) staring at a blank computer screen. I was discouraged at first, but then realized the whole point of graduate school is to become better at what you’re already good at. So here I am, with only a few weeks left, a little bit humbled and a lot more inspired.
My biggest challenge has been combining my “bloggy,” colloquial narration with specific, point-proving facts. I think I tell good stories and I think I write good feature articles, but right now I’m trying to pull the two together without sounding whiny (ahem!) Another lesson learned? Not everyone has the same sense of humor. And that’s okay. I’ve been able to step back and see all of this from a very different perspective.
As challenging as this process has been, I do have a high hopes for the final product. We are all good writers, but with such different personalities and skills, and I think the result of that will be something pretty special.
With the help of my inspirational team of writers, and a boat-load of Dunkin’s coffee, I landed on a topic: resumes.
I know, that sounds terrible. We all hate resumes, let alone an article about them. But we can’t escape them. It’s a heavy piece of paper and it’s got some issues, the main one being that I think our generation is here to kill it.
The trick is to pick the right 1,500 words to describe the whole situation. Expect to see words like “resume-sourcing technology,” “billboard resumes,” and “ResumeShirts.com.” After doing some quick research, I think the article has some real potential.
So what makes me qualified? My resume is attached.
I’m 25 and I had three years off before starting grad school. I had a sobering amount of trouble finding my first job. I’ve used staffing agencies and professional resume editors. Aside from that, I’m relying on research. All kinds of research. More research than the average bear. Hopefully, that will render me capable and give me enough insight to steal 12-15 minutes of your time.