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Showing posts from 2010

Love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for

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"Love is not a place to come and go as we please. It's a house we enter in and then commit to never leave...Love is a shelter in a raging storm. Love is peace in the middle of a war. And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door. No, love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for." ~Warren Barfield, 'Love is not a fight'
Last night, while pumping gas in the truck, I was approached by aman who offered to wash my windshield for some cash. Everything in me told me to ignore him, to say I had no money and to make any excuse I could to avoid giving this man money. That’s basic travel tip 101: do not give any money when approached by a stranger on the street, as it might encourage them to try for more and even maybe get physically violent. So i tried.
But despite my claims of having no money, he began to wash the windshield anyway. He said he would take some change even; anything. Or nothing. So I dug in my wallet and pulled out a dollar,…

The beauty in the seasons

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October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter. ~Nova BairThe leaves are turning, giving the mountains bursts of color. The air is getting crisp, requiring a light jacket. Fall is upon us.Although I love all seasons, fall is probably my favorite. I love jacket-weather. Maybe that's why I have a slight jacket addiction. When fall appears, you know that winter is around the corner. And, although some find the season depressing, I find winter comforting.Fall and winter are the times when my family mosts gets together. We celebrate major holidays like mother's day and Easter together, sure, but some of my family members are so far away that Christmas is their only chance to be with us. Christmas is the one holiday that hardly anyone misses.However, before you can get to Christmas, you have to celebrate Thanksgiving and experience fall. I think that God gave us these bright colors to remind us that it is a time for celebration. The trees are having a party. We…

Finding our doppelgangers

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"Look we've all been searching for the five doppelgangers, right? But eventually, over time, we all become our own doppelgangers, you know, these completely different people who just happen to look like us." ~Ted Mosby (aka. Josh Radnor) from How I Met Your MotherLife is about rediscovery. If anyone says that they are the same person that they were one, two or 20 years ago, I would say that either a) they are lying to you and themselves or b) they need to take a closer look at their life because something is wrong.Everyday we change, we shift, and we grow. Sometimes, we just don't realize this until several years later.These shifts can occur on a small scale, such as a change in shoes, or on a large scale, as in coping with the death of a loved one.Although some might disagree, I would even argue that the two are equally as important. They have happened and your life has changed a bit because of them. This is an optimistic process. None of us really wants to be the s…

Life's great adventure

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"Adventure must start with running away from home." ~William Bolitho
I'm not sure that you must run away from home, but it does seem that all the great novels involve being somewhere away from your home. Maybe it has something to do with home theoretically being a safe place or because home is where you lead your every day life and adventure requires something out of the ordinary.

Whatever the reason, one must leave home at some point. And that's often the hard part. However, it's also the exciting part.

My brother and his wife recently decided to put their education on hold and start new in South Carolina. This is why my parents and I, along with our two dogs, are in a truck pulling a large covered trailer heading down I-26 with my grandmother, brother, and his wife and their dog following closely behind.

We're off to start their new adventure. And I will soon be starting mine in Knoxville.

Life's funny and full of adventure. All you have to do is open your e…

What's your slide color?

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Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.
~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You

People keep asking me what it feels like to be a graduate. The truth is, I'm not really sure.Graduation was a week ago (give or take 12 hours) and it really hasn't sunk in yet. None of it has. Right now, it still feels like an extra spring break.On the other hand, this has been nice. I'm a girl who truly despises to clean; however, I have to admit that there's something freeing about the process. It's oddly relaxing.Of course, I did a lot of relaxing in the days leading up to graduation as well. Maggie, Heather and I went to the park. We ate, went swinging and slid down some of the slides. In fact, we kind of overtook the playground and accidentally scared some kid…

Do what you love

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Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love
and believe in, and it will come naturally. ~David Frost

Last week was a surprising one.I received the Excellence in Journalism award during our communication and theatre arts party/banquet/get-together (as Ms. Worthington called it). However, that's not all.For me, a big shocker came at the end when I was handed the 2010 Curtis S. Brown Outstanding Senior in Communication Arts award. It completely shocked me.Being a quiet person suits me. I prefer to do the behind-the-scenes work rather than be out on stage. The attention is what freaks me out, I think. In fact, my high school friends and I (the big dreamers that we were) always joked about what job we would have if one of us had the opportunity to become president. Is it any wonder I chose speech writer?Back in our cozy little office is the place where I tend to hide the most. That's probably why I think no one realizes I exist. (This is meant in a good way, as I …

Facing my future

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The future is called "perhaps," which is the only possible thing to call the future.
And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you.
~Tennessee Williams, Orpheus Descending 1957

The problem with this quote is that not allowing the future to scare you is easier said than done. Just ask any graduating senior.This week, I am trying to tie up all the loose ends and make my plans more concrete. However, that is also proving to be difficult, which is perhaps another story. Sitting here, I realize that I have a lot left to do. Why have I left it all to the last...2 weeks? Because I'm in denial.Graduation is this huge, ambiguous thing that has been plaguing me since I first entered here at Cumberland. I've always known it was there, slowly heading toward me. And for a while there, I could ignore it. Then I became excited about it and about getting into the "real world." Then I became a senior.Don't get me wrong. I am excited about the idea. I can&#…

Final presentation!

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Be sincere; be brief; be seated. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt, on speechmaking As I have said many times to anyone who listen, I hate giving presentations. However, I know that they are sometimes a necessary evil.This past week, I gave my final presentation for my internship class. And it was a short one. I put Roosevelt's words into action. This particular presentation was on blogging and was given to the Intro to Journalism and Public Relations course that I am also enrolled in. Mainly, the point to was to give these students certain tips on making their blogs more audience-centered and interactive. One thing that I figured out, which I suppose is something that has taken me four years of college to learn, is that the more you give speeches and presentations, the better and more comfortable you will become. I've always been told this but never believed it. Maybe I'm a slow learner in some ways.Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours. ~Richard BachDespit…

Working together

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret MeadeTeamwork. The greatest of groups have either survived or failed because the of the efforts of the members to work together. As one team.This is what I believe makes for a successful newspaper as well. At least, this is one of the things. Working at The Patriot, I have witnessed teamwork in action. Sure, there are times when one or two pull the weight more so than anyone else, but later the situations are often reversed. That's what makes a good team. Being able to help your coworker out and carry some of their load when things are too heavy for them. Because in the end, it doesn't matter who did what job, what matters is that the job is finished.Or, in our case, the paper is out. This is something that I believe Kaitlin, and the rest of us executive staff, have been able to achieve this year. We finally found our pattern and method. …

Growing from criticism

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. ~Winston Churchill
Last week, I was referred to as selfish. I think that was the first time that I can truly remember someone telling me that to my face. And it stung. Perhaps I was being selfish, perhaps I wasn't, but that's the way he perceived it. And as I have learned many times over the past four years in my journalism and communication classes, it doesn't really matter what message you are sending in the world of media. What matters is the audience reception of it. Not to mention, he was a prospective employer. Meaning that he was correct in his judgement. I may not agree with his assessment of me, but I'll admit that he was justified in making it. I even see how he could have taken my actions as being selfish. The irony is, I wasn't trying to be selfish. I was trying to think of a way to not be selfish …

Seeking my dream job

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All our dreams can come true,
if we have the courage to pursue them.
Walt Disney We all have those dream jobs. The ones we think we could never have in a million years that we ponder on as teenagers or young college students. At the top of my list would have to be a job where I get to write, photograph and travel and it's all paid for. Another one of those top-of-the-list jobs would be working with CNN. Fingers crossed, that might actually happen for me. Last month, I applied for a CNN summer internship. It's not paid or anything, but it's CNN. That alone would pay for itself later on. It could lead to a job in the company or probably open the doors to other jobs. To me, a job with CNN (or even certain other reputable news organizations like it) would be like the best thing for a journalist. After all, they are "the most trusted name in news." So, last week, I had my first interview. To be honest, I was really nervous. See, my future plans are rather vague. I'm sti…

Presentation number four!

There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave. ~Dale Carnegie

So I hate giving speeches, a fact which is well-known to those who happen to be around when I discover that I have to.

However, I want to graduate and in order to that, I must give five speeches about something in the field of journalism for my internship course. Here it was, presentation number four.

This time, I was given the opportunity to speak in an insights class to some of the international students. The topic of the class was ways for students to get involved in campus activities and featured people from various campus groups. I, of course, was speaking on the newspaper and how they could join the staff.

Despite my fears and expectations, it seemed to go pretty well. The group was receptive and friendly and I even stayed and participated in some of their games!

I'm not saying that this will convince any of these students to …

Changing the world

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When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world. ~Author Unknown

Much of my posts lately have been about change. Life changing before me, mainly. Last week, I wrote about taking a chance and creating change. After that post, I met Ms. Connie Howard.
For a little while now, we in the newspaper office had been throwing around the idea of profiling Howard and how we wanted to do a feature on her. So, I volunteered to write the piece, thinking it …

Change yourself

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"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

~Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Perhaps it's because I'm getting close to the end of my undergraduate years, the start of the real world or maybe I'm just antsy, but for some reason I have needed change in my life.
Last week, I colored my hair. Red. Okay, the red actually came out slightly pink in my hair, it faded out pretty quickly and it was only in two small streaks. But still, for me, that's a big deal.
I'm the girl who rarely does anything that could be considered wild. I've never gotten any tattoos or odd piercings. I was never a party girl. I think the worst things I've ever really done involved my few car wrecks and perhaps staying out past curfew.
I'm not saying I want to change that much and become wild or crazy. But I needed something and I figured that coloring my hair was probably one of the least destructive choices.
What I actually found out, was that it was …

Telling life's story

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"Life, you'll notice, is a story. Life doesn't come to us like a math problem. It comes to us the way a story does, scene by scene." --John Eldredge

John Eldredge begins his book, "Epic," by talking about how each of our lives is part of a much bigger story; one that has been going on for many years.I found this quote, from that book, last week while I was reading. It stuck with me. To me, this makes sense. I don't see things in numbers, I don't find mathematical solutions to problems, I tell stories. More importantly, I tell other's stories.One of my favorite shows is "How I Met Your Mother," which airs on Mondays on CBS. The main idea behind this show is that a father is telling his two teenage children the story of how he met their mother. Pretty straightforward, right? It is now in Season 5 and continues growing in strength.

Robin Scherbatsky, played by Colbie Smulders, is a main character in this show. Scherbatsky is a television ne…

Facing the monsters

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There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them. ~Andre Gide

The last four years have just flown by.

Some days, I feel incredibly old. I talk to guys from band who seemed so young back then and are now halfway through high school. It seems time passed quickly.

Other days, I feel like I should barely be out of high school. I half expect my mom to walk in and yell at me for the state of my room. She does that on occasion when I'm home, however, it has been quite some time since we really fought over that sort of thing.

The rest of the time, when I am not thinking about the past and I'm trying to ignore my present life, I start daydreaming about the future. And it scares me. The closer I seem to get, the more freaked out I begin to feel.

This week, I realized that I have to stop being afraid. Granted, knowing and doing are two completely different things, but admitting you have a problem is the first step. (Or so 'they' say).

Talking with my friend and co-work…

A test of madness

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“You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." --Robin Williams
During my work on the “Still” journal this week, I discovered this quote at the beginning of one of the articles I was reading. It struck me as quite a comical concept. However, the more I thought about this, the more I discovered the truth behind it.

I have long said that we must all have some bit of insanity within us, otherwise we will go completely crazy. This quote seems to explain what I tried to in much simpler language. However, I also believe that we must be able to maintain that sanity (or insanity) throughout this balancing act we call life.

This past week was a week of firsts for me. I was forced to make serious steps for my future.I finalized my first graduate school application this week. I completed my CNN summer internship application this week. I edited my first online journal this week. I gave my first presentation on AP Style this week.
My madness was tested. I like to thin…

Hope for Haiti

Note: This is my newest editorial, which appears in the January 27 issue of The Patriot newspaper.Turn on any news channel, read any newspaper or open any web page and much of the information found is related to the tragedy in Haiti. Everyone has a connection. News organizations and journalists are scrambling to find someone with a friend or relative there or someone who is making an effort to raise funds or provide supplies or services. The world is waiting eagerly for reports, footage, and the latest news. Especially news of hope.While watching the Today show early in the week (the first hour with Matt, Ann, and Meredith, which I rarely get up in time for) I heard about how searchers were still looking for bodies. It was almost a week after the horrific earthquake struck and rescuers were still finding people who were alive. People who had managed to survive for a week under all the rubble. Over the course of the past century, there have been many events, man-made and natural, that …

The creation of a blog name

As you may see, my blog now has a name.
For days I struggled with creating a name for my blog. I know, that almost seems silly, putting so much pressure on such a small part of it. But a name is a big deal.
Humans must categorize things. I think that's part of why we insist on naming things. It's part of who we are; we can't not name things.
I was constantly asking friends for assistance in this venture. Everyone asked me the same question, over and over again (well, after they got over the surprise that I had a blog). It was always "Well, what's it about?"
Every time that was a question I dreaded.
To be honest, I'm not 100 percent what my blog is going to be about yet. I think it's a work in-progress. Writing is a major part of it, but who doesn't think that about their blog. It deals with my life, so travel is going to be a key element. And I wanted it to be something clean and simple.
Several of my friends have told me that seeing and hearing abou…

Why journalism?

Part of being a journalist is the unknown. There is a certain mystery that goes along with the field. Not the job description itself, that’s pretty straightforward; journalists are there to tell a story.

The mystery is the journalist themselves. We are required to be silent and not get in the way of the story. Yes, journalists present the story, but mainly, they stay silent and out of the way.

Another mysterious aspect of being a journalist is the details beyond the basic definition. There is no guarantee from day-to-day. That’s what makes it such an interesting job. One day, there may be a story on a tragic wreck. The next hour, the story may be a human interest piece on a family. There is an element of change and surprise.

I can’t wait to start my career. The prospect of hearing and sharing people’s stories interests me. It’s what makes life matter, knowing and caring about others and sharing that knowledge with the world. I’m an optimist and a dreamer. I imagine myself being one of th…

Why start blogging?

So I've had a blog for almost a year now. However, I haven't been using it, well, at all really. It was just this thing I made for a class one time. But this week I began thinking about it and I realized that it was crazy.

I claim to be a writer. I spend hours upon hours on my computer. Sometimes I'm writing. Usually, I'm facebooking. The limited writing I do tends to be classroom-related or newspaper-specific. Which is sad.

Thus, I'm truly making use of my blog. I hope to use this to help with my writing and how often I write. Hopefully, it will help me prepare more for my future in the field of journalism.

Right now, it is simply going to be entitled "Kendra" however, my suitemate has a different idea. I'll consider it.

So here goes, my first blog entry that isn't required for a class. I probably won't write every day, but hopefully every few days or every week. This is my challenge to myself. Come up with a topic every week. More often than tha…