Spring Break is Finally Here!

Whether one is headed to the beach, mountains or just a relaxing week at home I think every student can agree they are ready for spring break! With the week just around the corner many students are ready to start the vacation they have been planning since last semester.  Although some would say their bodies are not in the best shape for swimsuit on the beach, most agree their mind could use a couple days rest from schoolwork.   However, a lot more planning goes into spring break than one would think.  You not only have to pick a location, but decide on your choice of transportation and book a place to stay all while staying in a tight college budget.  While this might seem like a slice of cake to some people, it can be complicated for a first timer.  Some of the more recent college “hot spots” includes:

  • Panama City
  • Golf Shores
  • Destin
IMG_3272 by melbGuySpring Break Panama City Beach Florida 2010 The Sandpiper Beacon (113) by Sandpiper Beacon Beach ResortSpring Break in Panama City Beach by panamacitybeachcvbSpring Breakers huddle up in Panama City Beach by panamacitybeachcvbPanama City Beach by heytampaSpring Break Beach_0519 by i_shoot_a_d7000Spring Break 2012 Pensacola Beach Florida April 1 2012 by worldstreetphotos.comSpring Break 2012 April 1 Pensacola Beach Florida. by worldstreetphotos.com


Although each of these places sound like a great retreat anyone that has been would agree you’ll need your party hat on.  The shores of these beaches are consumed with crowds of college students for most of March when Universities all over the country have their spring break.  Also the large amount of people that fill these sandy beaches are generally under the influence of alcohol which reaffirms the acquisitions of big party.  But for a college student what sounds better than that? Before anyone is ready to head on their trip there a couple things to think about:

  • Exercising:
    • Who wants to go on spring break out of shape?  Go to the gym and get your body in shape for a swimsuit or site seeing! Even if it’s just a small workout getting your heart rate up burn calories.  Plus going to the gym makes you feel positive about yourself.
    • Dieting:
      • Eat smaller portions; this can be easy by choosing a smaller plate for your food vs. a large plate because you are forced to get less food.  Also eat healthier things, you can’t just eat junk food and expect to shred the pounds.  Maybe instead of choosing a bowl of ice cream for dessert have a cup of fruit.  Choosing to eat better will pay off when you want to look good in your spring break clothes and it will also give you more energy.
      • Planning Ahead:
        • Just because you get a week off school does not mean you can blow off school.  Its important before you leave to think through the homework you are going to have when you get back from your vacation.
          • This especially applies to those of us in the Journalism 2150 class.   With all the projects we are assigned to work on we really need to start early.  The week we return from spring break we have the TV news style video due during our first lab.  Since the date is such quick turn around we need to have thought through and potentially started the project before we leave.   This can be hard to do since the due date is far away, but important if you want to have a good project to turn in.
          • Although I used journalism as an example this rule applies to all areas of studies.

If you want some help planning your spring break you can also check out the below websites.  Each of the websites gives information about booking spring break for a large group of people as well as finding the best location for your trip.  Although you will still have to put in a lot of work yourself, these websites will help you get started:

However, crazy spring breaks are not for everyone.  If your not the partying type, it might be a better fit for you to go on Alternative Spring Break.  Alternative Spring Break is an organization that takes college students from universities all over the country, to a community in need.  Over the course of the week students are able to provide assistance to those in need including things like building houses and schools, working with kid or handing out medical kits.  This opportunity is awesome because you are not only able to have a fun spring break and meet a lot of people, but also give back to a community in need.  Although I have not been on alternative spring break I have done several similar mission trips and understand the reward you feel when giving back to those less fortunate than yourself.  To learn more about Alternative Spring Break and how to apply check out these websites:

Alternative Spring Break 2006 by Lesley UniversityAlternative Spring Break 2006 by Lesley UniversityAlternative Spring Break Volunteers by vastateparksstaffAlternative Spring Break Volunteers by vastateparksstaffAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversityAlternative Spring Break by hofstrauniversitySpring Break in Appalachia by Saint Anselm CollegePomona College Alternative Spring Break at Heron's Head Park by metroblossom

No matter where your spring break destination may be make sure you keep your social media classy.  As we learned today (3/18) in lecture what you post on social media can leave a trail that follows you the rest of your life.  Businesses and companies all over the United States are scanning social media sites before hiring potential employees, and you would not want something you posted to affect you being hired.  Therefore make sure you are smart about the pictures, statuses and tweet you chose to post so this scenario never applies to you.  Here are some things not to post:

Our Drinking Buddies on Orient Beach after Dark by Steve EgglestonDrinking On the Beach by twonjoshdrunk girl on beach by arslion

Spring Break 2003 by mikeedesign


Weather Changes

The recent fluctuations in the weather from week to week are starting to get on most Columbia, MO residents nerves, especially the students.  Although college students all over the world face the challenge of dragging themselves out of bed and walking to class, cold weather does not help the cause.  In the past two weeks, University of Missouri-Columbia students have faced several issues, because of the snow, such as three snow days and power outages.  While missing a couple days of school is a nice reprieve for both the students and faculty it starts to become a nuisance when tests, quizzes, projects, and homework have to be rescheduled along with other school related events.  However, changing the due dates on a course syllabus is not the only issue the weather fluctuations have caused.  Many students have caught sinus infections, the flu, strep throat and mono, including myself.   Therefore many people have found the student health center and local urgent cares to be their most recent “hang out” spot. 




Due to the amount of illnesses spreading around campus I did some quick research about what causes them, how/if they spread, and how to treat them. Some of the results include:




Sinus Infection:

  • Congestion and discharge
  • Caused by weather changes or allergic reaction
  • Symptoms: Bad breath, fever, headache, coughing, and sneezing
  • Treat with antibiotics and over the counter drugs such as Clairton and Advil Cold and sinus
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001670/Image

Strep Throat:

  • Viral Infection
  • Contagious
  • Caused by person to person contact with fluids from the noise or saliva
  • Symptoms: loss of appetite, sore throat, headache and nausea
  • Treat with antibiotics and pain relievers such as cough drops
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001663/Image


  • Viral Infection
  • Contagious
  • Caused by person to person contact
  • Symptoms: sore throat, congestion, coughing, discharge, sneezing and fatigue
  • Treat with antibiotics and other the counter drugs and pain reliefImage

            Although things will probably not change overnight, it is important to see a physician once you start to feel one of the above infections coming on.  A doctor can then write you a prescription to treat your symptoms instead of you further infecting yourself or someone else.  Also because we have already missed a couple days due to the weather you do not want to fall even further behind.   As we have heard the past couple weeks in lecture, Journalism is a hard degree.  Therefore, it is important to stay ahead in your workload, especially in this multimedia class! Since all of our projects are dependent upon other people schedules you have to be strategic in your weekly planning and time management.  One day out because of sickness could potentially conflict with an interview or editing your work.  Some tips on how to professionally set up and interview or manage your time include:


Time Management:

Setting up Interviews:

Role models

role model


a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people

Who is your role model?  According to Dictionary.com a role model is: “a person whose behavior, example or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. “  Ones view of “role model” is unique based on characteristics that describe themselves such as, their age, hobbies, background, culture, class and job. Some examples may include:


  • TV show character: Clifford the big red dog or Spongebob an imaginary sea creature
  • Singer: Jason Aldean (country singer) or Nelly (rapper)
  • Basketball Player: Michael Jordan

High School Students:

  • College or professional sports player
  • Movie stars who make a lot of money
  • Popular girl/boy who has a lot of friends or cool clothes


  • Professors helping them reach their degree
  • Parents who support their students dreams and pay for the tuition
  • Successful business man: Bill Gates

Although it would take years to write out all the possible role models, the above categories cover the basics.  I think it is easily seen that adults are more realistic with their role models than children.  For example when you are young there is not much meaning behind who you want your footsteps to follow, but once your older you start to think realistically about who you want your life to model. 

Once you finish college your role model will potentially be someone you look up to in your career.  As we have been taught the past couple weeks in J2150 lecture, there are many different emphasizes you can choose with a journalism major.  Including:



            Strategic Communication


With each of these emphasizes there are many different career choices and therefore lots of “role models”.  Some famous role models who studied journalism and communication in college include: 

Spike Lee


Meg Ryan

Denzel Washington

Hugh Hefner

Sarah Palin

Katie Couric

The list above clearly illustrates the wide variety of career’s that have been taken with a Journalism and communications degree.  This unique variety show’s that you don’t just have to write or report the rest of your life if you choose this major.  I think it also show’s that after you finish your emphasis there is a lot jobs you can have that most do not realize. This could even include becoming as well known as some of Journalist role models listed above, assuming you have the drive and work ethics to push your self there.  To read more about famous journalists check out the below websites:





So despite all the stress and pressure that has been put into the past couple weeks of   lecture regarding choosing our emphasis, I think it is important to step back and realize we have a lot to look forward too.  Although, we will not all become as famous as some of the role models mentioned above we should still step back and take the opportunity to learn seriously.  Yes, it has and will be stressful deciding what direction to take with our major, but in the long run we have a lot a going for us.  No matter what emphasis you choose there will be many different career paths and with hard work you can strive to be anything you want to be.  Even if that means being a “role model” to the people you work with at your future job, or just a good example to the citizens your severing. 


Looking to the future


Finding the perfect degree is a challenge that college students face at some point in their careers.  It is hard for people to accept that the decision they make now about their degree affects the lifestyle they will lead the rest of their working life.  However, there are ways to help you make this choice.  Some tools start off basic helping you decide which colleges to look at and what field of degrees to consider including these websites, programs and quizzes:

 While the above resources help you make some big decisions about what college to attend and what field of study to focus on, there is still other decisions that must be made for your future.  


What do I want to do with my life? Where do I want my career to take me in 5 to 10 years?  What is my actual dream job?  There are so many question that immidetly come to mind when I start to ponder the next steps in my life following college.  However, the biggest problem with this question is that I have to start thinking about where I want to be in 5-10 years now.  I have to make the decisions about my field of study emphasis today, so that when I leave college I am set with the right degree and emphasis. 


This week in lecture we were introduced to several different paths or emphasizes we can focus on in a journalism degree.  Some including:

  • Convergence:
    • http://convergence.journalism.missouri.edu/
    • We teach “Multiple media”
      • Learn how to report, edit and produce with the story and the audience in mind
      • Skills can translate into any (non) tradition newsrooms
        • NPR news rooms
        • Huffington post
        • Produces
        • Post-info graphic
        • “Freelance” for KOMU, KBIA, and Missourian
        • Students work in teams to report weeklong multimedia projects every other week
          • KOMU: 6hour-shift/week: 8a-2p, 12n-7p, 5p-11p M-F
          • KBIA: 2 four hour shits per week 9a-1p, or 1:30p-5: 30
          • Newsy: 2 four hour shifter per week M-S (6am-11pm)
          • Missourian/Vox: flexible
          • Looking at 15 hours per week
  • Photojournalism:
    • http://photojournalism.missouri.edu/
    • Telling stories through images, video and audio
      • J4556: Fundamentals of photojournalism
      • J4558: Advanced techniques in photojournalism
      • A rigorous lighting course
        • Taught by professor Rita Reed
      • J4560: Staff Photojournalism
        • Cover our community for the Columbia Missourian
      • J4670: Picture Desk Management
        • Several shifts a week
        • We dive the photo editors into beats so we can specialize
      • J4980: Picture story and Photographic Essay
      • J4568: Visual photo journalism
      • J4564: Micro documentary Photojournalism
        • Taught by Steve Rice
        • ImageImage
  • Magazine Journalism:
    • http://journalism.missouri.edu/department/magazine-journalism-faculty/
    • Interest Areas:
    • Magazine design
    • Magazine Editing
    • Magazine Publishing and Management
    • Magazine Writing
    • Arts and Culture Journalism
      • 4450: News Reporting (1-3 stories per week)
      • 4506: Magazine Design (4-5assignments in the semester)
      • 4410: Intermediate Writing (1 to 4 stories during the semester)
      • 4408: Magazine Editing (Weekly editing assignments, 3 exams)
  • Capstone Classes
    • Can be taken last full academic year
      • 4984: magazine staff
      • 4986: Advanced writing
      • 4988:Advanced magazine Design (Spring Only)
      • 4990: Journalism and Democracy
      • 4994: Magazine Publishing


Hearing the 3 different speakers this week was such a wake up call.  Each of the professors went through the different courses we would be required to take in that certain sequence, as well as the time commitments and responsibilities of each of the required class.  I enjoyed seeing the professors examples of the work we would be producing in the classes and also hearing about the job opportunities past students in that particular sequence had received. However, even though the professors were interesting it was an intense reminder to hear that we will have to decide the emphasis we want to choose soon which then will lead us to looking for a job!

            Although I am pretty sure I want to have my emphasis as strategic communication, I am not really sure what kind of job I would like to have.  However, I have researched several different options for Strat. Comm. majors and these are some things I found:

  • http://www.cas.muohio.edu/advising/majors/stratcomm.html
  • Business/Industry
    • Research analyst
    • Assistant buyer
    • Consultant
    • Sales representative
    • Business manager
    • Information specialist
    • Account coordinator
    • Customer service representative
    • Claims investigator
    • Advertising assistant
    • Management trainee
    • Marketing associate
    • Reservation agent
    • Employee relations staff
    • Personnel
    • Public affairs director
    • Corporate communication director
    • Human Relations
      • Community affairs administrator
      • Program coordinator
      • Public relations representative
      • Public Relations
        • Media relations director
        • Employee relations specialist
        • Consumer relations director
        • Corporate communication director
        • Community relations specialist
        • Publicity director
        • Public information specialist
        • Marketing communication trainee
        • Account executive
        • Assistant account executive
        • Media researcher
        • Promotion specialist
        • Public relations marketing specialist
        • Media buyer
        • Integrated marketing communication director


Seeing all these different options for a future job in the emphasis I’m considering is encouraging.  I am a people person and I think what is most intriguing to me about the above positions is that I will be working a lot with others.  Although it is not a guarantee that I will get one of the above jobs, I think it I am on the right track for the future.  No matter where I end up I feel like my hard work and determination to succeed will lead me anywhere I desire. 

Identity: Real and Imagined


Julie Shaprio, the Third Coast artistic director, came to MU campus on March 1, 2013 to share some great broadcast radio clips and inform us about the Third Coast Festival.  Shaprio has been with Third Coast since 2000 and it is clear she very knowledgeable in her field.  I was easily drawn into Shaprio’s laid back personality and true passion for broadcast radio. The audio clips that we played and discussed during the presentation were great.  Each of the pieces were unique with ideas and angles of audio that I had never heard before.  I was shocked at how interesting I found the clips and how easily I was drawn into the stories behind them.  All of the stories were extremely visual and made me feel like I was watching them right in front of me.  Although broadcast radio is not something I see myself doing in my career, I still felt like the presentation was very beneficial to me.  I was able to grasp some new ideas for telling stories and I hope that in the future I will be able to use them in my work. 

  • Some of the main points I took away from Shaprio include:
    • Thinking about where audio and sounds are taking you. 
      • I.e. different places, situations, cultures
        • How do you feel in this place?
  • Radio and broadcasts can connect and take you to places you normally wouldn’t go. 
  • Audio can be visual
  • Audio can change your emotions and how you feel about something
    • It be persuasive

To learn more about Julie Shapiro and the work she does for Third Coast visit:

Below are some of the bold statements that stuck out to me from the audio as well as some of the ideas I took away from the discussion:

  • “Podcast”
    • Trying to incorporate the audience by saying “say it with me”. 
    • “A podcast is every bit explainable as a toaster”
      • What are “podcasts”?
      • “Girls who hunt”
        • Very visual, “I have brown hair” “Her hair is teased up and pulled back”.  They go through all the details of shooting a dear including looking for one, shooting and killing it and loading it in the truck.
        • So much going on in the piece, and very visual
        • Interesting that almost 500 comments were on the clip but most were about animals rights            
        • I enjoyed that she showed how normal this girl was even though she hunted by sharing her interest in cheerleading.  Also interesting to see her pride in hutting, how she shares her feeling about it openly as if it is a day-to-day hobby for everyone. 
        • “Harper Funeral”
          • Visual and intense to hear them read the names of the students that have already passed because of gun violence.  It was easy to relate with the feelings by hearing the speaker breakdown over the radio and listen to the tears they were shedding. 
          • “Seems like someone is added to the list every week”
          • “Which one of us isn’t going to be coming back to school next fall”
          • “ I pray everyday that I don’t get another call that a student has been killed”
            • Points out some very hard things to hear
  • It really shows that everyone is heartbroken and that you might feel uncomfortable listening, but you realize they were feeling uncomfortable as well. 
  • “As black as we wish to be”
    • The words describe the situation in full. It illustrates the lady showing her birth certificate.  Clear that the lady as proud of her race and where she was from. 
    • “It says on her birth certificate “negro””. 
      • Makes it clear that the town was very decimator. 
  • “Don’t black girls need deodorant”
  • “I was a black person because I rode the black kid bus”            
  • “You will never forget who made your life miserable”
    • Very sad she had to live this way.  She didn’t want to show her parents so she would say they are to busy.  It made it seem as if they were hard working white people.  She had to pick out a different crowd that did not know her when she was being raised.  It was easy to see she that she wasn’t not proud of her family or sister. 
  • Really started to draw you in with the details because family is a topic that can be relatable to everyone.

The last thing mentioned at the presentation was that in a couple weeks there will be a public audio challenge.    The details and requirements include:  

  • 2-3minute story that is presented in 3 parts
  • Appetites as the theme
  • 8 finalists
    • Winners will have chefs make food inspired by their audio clip

I thought this competition sounded really fun so I brainstormed some ideas for a piece I would make. 

  • For my story I would do dinner club or progressive dinner
  • This would have a great storyline because so many families and groups all over the US get together and have these dinner events
  • It would be easy to break up in parts because you could do something for each course and talk about the history behind where the recipie came from
    • Many times people bring dishes they are good at making and sometimes these foods have a story that comes with it.   

Here are some examples of progessive dinner and food story ideas: