Tag Archives: School

Working Girl: Part II

I graduated in May of 2011, and maybe a month later a piece of paper representing my diploma was mailed to me. (I still have to frame it, but it’s safe in the folder it was shipped in.) I had a graduation party and well intentioned family members asked what I was going to do.

I didn’t know.

I’ve had this dream of being published for so long, I couldn’t quite set my eyes on the short term goal of finding work. I came out of school with great writing skills and a wonderful experience but no idea where to apply the things I learned.

And spending my college life primarily as an English major meant I was:

a)pretty sheltered from the real world since I was discussing books published well before I was born most of the time, and

b)slightly unprepared for said real world.

For three years, my department didn’t tell us about internships, or if they did the emails failed to grab my attention. (I am not laying all the blame at the foot of the department, but I did notice a change when I returned from Germany for my senior year. They did seem to be making an effort to get involved with the Career Center. Too bad it was too late for me.)

Some majors have an internship listed as a requirement, and they will help you get one. One of the things I took away from my four years at Hofstra is that the English department should consider that rule as well. I was lucky to work part time for RecordSetter during my last semester otherwise I would have walked across the stage at graduation with no relevant experience on my resume. Also the book project kept me busy and employed enough during the summer, as I was able to work from home as a freelancer.

I didn’t end up looking for a job in earnest until The RecordSetter Book of World Records was sent to the publishers. By then it was the fall and instead of figuring out what I wanted to do I shifted my goals to getting a job – any job before I had to start paying my student loans in December.

Before Thanksgiving I signed up with a popular temp agency in Boston because I still hadn’t found a job or exactly what I wanted to do. And that way when my family asked me over Thanksgiving dinner what I was doing, I had a concrete answer.

Two weeks before my first loan payment was set to go out, I landed temporary work as a file monkey. That isn’t the proper term for what I did, but it sums up what I did pretty well. I was brought in to prepare files for storage (put them in boxes) and organize files that were closed but couldn’t get shipped to storage yet. I was also tasked with filing papers into active files. It was fun learning, but not exactly in my field. I was there just shy of two months before I landed an editorial internship with a financial news site.

So now I’m taking the first steps in my (I still don’t know what to call it) career. And I’m also going to get back into blogging.

But before I go, here are some (very depressing) links that pretty much sum up the situation I was in for 6/7 months – and if I want to change jobs any time soon – will still be in:

US Jobs Gap Between Young and Old Is Widest Ever – US Business News – CNBC

Today’s Internships Are a Racket, Not an Opportunity – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

Employment Rate For Young Adults Lowest In 60 Years, Study Says

Confirmed: Millennials Are Screwed [Infographic]

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Four Years

Four Years spent at Hofstra University, diligently working though classes, living out my college experience with friends, clubs/activities and the required horrible food. (okay Lackman wasn’t that bad, but it was pretty expensive) I started my last semester with the intention of making it my best, and getting the most out of the time I had left. I also intended to blog more, and we all know how well that turned out…

But I took 15 credits, including a thesis project for one last honors college requirement, and a journalism class to see how the “other side” wrote. Even though I was the only senior in the class, it was still a rewarding experience. I have a flair for journalism and I kind of regret not taking more classes. My GPA this semester is the highest I’ve ever gotten, with 3 A’s and two A- ‘s.

Undergraduate Course work

Subject Course Course Title Final Grade Attempted Earned

GPA Hours

Quality Points

CRWR 190I ART OF REVISION A-

3.000

3.000

3.000

11.10

CRWR 199 HONORS PROJECT A-

3.000

3.000

3.000

11.10

ENGL 292F QUEER VICTORIANS A

3.000

3.000

3.000

12.00

GERM 104 ADV GERMAN LANGUAGE A

3.000

3.000

3.000

12.00

JRNL 011 NEWS WRITING AND REPORTING A

3.000

3.000

3.000

12.00

Undergraduate Summary

Attempted Earned GPA Hours Quality Points GPA
Current Term:

15.000

15.000

15.000

58.20

3.88

Cumulative:

111.000

111.000

111.000

408.30

3.67

Transfer:

15.000

15.000

0.000

0.00

0.00

Overall:

126.000

126.000

111.000

408.30

3.67

Outside of the classroom, I strove to live my life to the fullest. I worked part time, assembling a book of world records. I also worked to get a discussion group started for gay and spiritual topics  and restarted the honors college blog (huhc.wordpress.com) I also got closer to friends I had met the semester before, close enough that saying good bye was not fun. I’m glad we can stay in touch thanks to the internet… 

It turned out I saved the best for last as this was easily my best semester ever. I’m sad school is over; I really did love it. 

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News Values in different medias

There are different news values, and I think different medias emphasize different values in their reporting, because they know what works (what sells or makes a profit) for them. I compared a NY Times article on Israel’s reaction to the situation in Egypt, to content on the English site of Al Jazeera covering Israel as well.

“I’m not worried at all. If the people in Egypt want to kill themselves,” he shrugged. “You write in Al Jazeera that Ron Chayek said ‘a good Arab is a dead Arab’.”

Ron Chayek, a 35-year-old website manager

This quote from the Al Jazeera page sums up one of the huge differences between content from the two sources. While NY Times did get quotes from people in Israel, they were either officials, or academics. Al Jazeera, on the other hand, collected and published several quotes from regular people in Israel, who don’t say the same thing. Mya Guarnieri worked hard to include quotes representing many different reactions and opinions, even the minority ones.  I think Al Jazeera is large enough that with their 65 bureaus – one’s probably in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem  – it would be easy for their staff to go out into the streets and actually ask passerby what they think of Egypt. There’s a sense of intimacy and reality, that is almost absent from the Times article, which says at the bottom has contributing reporting from Jerusalem.

But perhaps the differences really just boil down to a space and/or resources issue. The Times article was one of the front cover stories for 1/31, but it’s just over 1000 words so it feels short. On the other hand Al Jazeera has plenty of space for its coverage of the Egypt situation that their website so they have two articles on the Israeli situation, one that is manly the quotes from the people and the other reporting on the government. I don’t think the Times had time or room to pursue both sides of the story so they chose the more official government spin. Which for the casual reader in New York, is a fine angel, but for the more invested follower of the Egypt situation, I think they would be more satisfied with Al Jazeera’s coverage.

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Centennial Post

I’ve had this blog for over a year. September of 2009. After the fall semester, I admit that I never got back into a regular posting schedule. But this semester that is all going to change. I am taking a Journalism class to learn how the journalists write. I figure the best possible outcome is that I will learn so valuable skills that will make me more marketable as a writer.

So look for the tag JRNL 11 H for my journalism class posts. I’ll be writing news stories as well.

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Hello Hofstra! again…

Just one more semester. Repeat whenever there’s a speed bump, hardship, et cetera.

117 days until May 22nd. That’s when I graduate.

Things are as up in the air as ever but for once, I don’t mind as much. I’ve come to terms with where I’m going and what I’m looking for. I guess it helps that I…

..got an editorial internship with Universal Record Database. There are tons of videos on the site of records (made up by the users) and I’m helping by turning that into a book. At first it sounds corny, but their principles are pretty cool. Anyone can be a record breaker. All you need to know is what you’re good at and turn that talent into a record.

So right now I’m about knee-deep in email correspondence. My job is to email these record breakers to make sure there’s a response and that it’s okay to ask questions. But there will be other tasks added soon because this book project is running on a tight deadline of 1/31!

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2010 Grades.

I has them.

Semester GPA: 3.71
Cumulative GPA: 3.64


Department Number Section Credits Grade
CRWR 191F 01 3 B+
ENGL 115 01 3 A-
ENGL 145A A 3 A
ENGL 195Q 01 3 A
GERM 153 01 3 B+
HIST 129 01 3 A

That History class in the last row actually counts for my English Major. It was a fun class, studying the Reformation and Counter Reformation. History of the Christian Churches, part 2. The professor wished I wasn’t graduating in the spring or I could take the part 1 next fall. Personally, I don’t know if learning about the orthodox split and the early church before that could be as interesting as learning about Luther and everyone after him. I did a presentation on the Born Again Movement where I got to research the modern mega-churches, Billy Graham and Focus on the Family. I got to show clips from Jesus Camp. Scared my class.

Next semester I’m going to take more English Classes. I have two empty spaces that are going to be filled with Intro Journalism, so I get some experience writing hard news. I don’t really enjoy that kind of writing, but I’m hoping to learn some skills in case I need to report hard news for a job. Also taking another German class. The grammar hasn’t quite stuck yet and I’m making stupid mistakes.

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Book Post Revisited

Over a year ago I wrote about a prep school giving up it’s library of books and switching to a digital library. As a Bibliophile, I was offended.

Now, Boston Globe revisited the school to find all of its students suddenly using the library and loving the change. They did retain couple book stacks. But the students come into the library to do homework, to research on computers (the teachers also started using e-books in class to make the transition easier) or just to hang out. Before the switch no one seemed to use the room of books, but now the school had to hire another librarian to help with the increase demand.

Big picture wise, this is good for the students because they are ahead of the game in digital literacy. But since the school had to remove so many of its books in order to switch over, does that mean these same students will loose valuable skills in researching from a traditional book? I don’t claim to have the library of congress classification memorized, but I do know how to find a specific book with relative ease among the library stacks.

Sacrificing one side of the coin for favor of the other is not a good idea. Librarians have had over 10 years maybe even 20 years, to integrate the digital world with the world of books. Schools should let them do their job to educate students in BOTH worlds of  literacy.

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