Thursday, May 7, 2009

Editorships and scholarships

I was passed over for the summer editor-in-chief position at the Arizona Daily Wildcat. It went to Justyn Dillingham.

I was also passed over for the fall art & features editor position at the DW. The position also went to Justyn.

When combined, these facts may lead one to think that I may be feeling bitter about the results. Yet I'm actually a little relieved to not have both positions. It has given me the chance to take some much needed time off. I've been in class ever since I began my study of nutritional sciences, and it's nice to have the opportunity once again to travel or work at a better-paying job.

My best friend Matt invited me to visit him in Boulder, CO, this summer to attend a Death Cab for Cutie, Andrew Bird, and RaRaRiot concert, and I'll be able to do that for once.

Of course, I'd like to continue to work at the DW. Where else can I get journalism training without taking the classes? Where else can I meet people doing journalism because they want to do it rather than because they have to do it for a journalism class? Where else can I see journalists out in the field working to get stories that have a direct impact on UA students?

This isn't to disparage against the journalism department since they have, so I'm told, some good great professors with strong backgrounds in journalism. But the classroom is a safe environment where someone can shoot herself "testing" 3 different tequilas while wearing a low-cut dress and claim it as an investigative piece into the various brands of Mexican tequila in a crappy YouTube-style video. (Sadly, this actually happened in a journalism class. I'm not sure what grade that person got. The sad and annoying part is that she didn't even get any tequilas that aren't readily available in the U.S.! How informative can that be?)

Questions I've been asked by others regarding my work at the Wildcat: why are you doing this? Why write for them? Why not work at a job more related to nutrition like diet tech or assistant at a RD's office? First, I missed the hectic environment from my days at the Oberlin Review. Second, I didn't really develop my skills as a journalist while at Oberlin aside from my work as a copy editor and manager. Third, I think developing these skills will be helpful in the future. I'm adding to my writing portfolio and stretching out my resume. I'm also learning more about the Tucson community and what it has to offer by way of its food and arts. Though the latter may not be as important to a dietitian, it's vital to know what local food resources are available so that clients can used them to their full advantage.

As it stands, I've already done a lot for the Nutrition Club this year, which was one of my and the officers' goals. It was enough to earn me the club's scholarship. I've also been elected to be a club fundraiser, and my goal next year is to raise enough money for at least two scholarships again. Hopefully, I can exceed that goal with our new officers.

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Lauren LePage said...

I'm disappointed in your comments about the University of Arizona's School of Journalism. I don't think it's wise to judge an entire school/department because of one woman in one class, especially considering you have not taken any of the journalism classes. I've been in the department for five years, and I assure you that the majority of our professors work very hard, teach well and reach out to students. The Daily Wildcat, though useful for on-the-job training and an exciting newsroom environment, cannot replace solid education from journalism professionals. We have Pulitzer prize-winning journalists in our department. I cannot speak highly enough of them. Your post disappoints me, Steven. I was really sad to read it.

Steven Kwan said...

Lauren, if you read my post again, my comments are aimed at the student's conduct and attitude, and not at the department or the professors. My point was not that the journalism professors weren't doing their job or anything of that sort. (I hear compliments about the professors all the time.) My point was that this student seemed to be treating this particular journalism class as a joke because it was just another class to her when it should be taken a little more seriously, especially given the knowledge and training that could be gained from the experience.