Sunday, March 29, 2009

I decided to google...

It's past 10:00 PM. I have a Climatology exam on Friday. I should be studying, but I decided to google. 

I googled my name. Yea I know, pretty lame. I was curious what would come up. In order of appearance: my facebook account, my blogger user profile, an article written by my friend Jill Shatzen, my "Gangs at Walmart" blog post, an online-candle I lit in memory of my best friend Giulia who passed away, and among other things, the list of finalists for the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters contest (link).  

On the second page, I came across a newspaper article written on the day I graduated high school (link). I was the salutatorian/class president of River Ridge High School's class of 2006, so I spoke at the ceremony.  I used audio clips to make my speech more colorful. Two or three minutes into my speech; a disturbance in the back of the auditorium. Too nervous to look up, I continued chugging along.  Turns out someone's grandfather had a heart attack. According to the article, he was able to walk out "with assistance" after the ceremony. I should have known something crazy would happen...welcome to my life. 

I remember somewhere in my speech, I spoke about the unknown journey ahead. Life is so weird. We're all traveling on this road-and along the way we make decisions that change our direction. For example, I was accepted into the University of Florida. So at 17-years-old, I left the security nest at home and moved to Gainesville. Our decisions directly effect our direction, but we can only see so far ahead. We can't predict the approaching obstacles, the people we'll encounter, the decisions we'll face.  I guess what I'm saying is, I've changed. I've grown to know who I am, and be confident in my skin. I know my purpose here on earth, and I owe that to my faith. I'm inspired and enthusiastic for life....

Who knew googling would be so deep :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"and with your daily dose of entertainment..."

A little dated, but an example of what I do. 


Monday, March 23, 2009

This is a project I HAD to do for my interactive media class...I repeat, this is a project I had to do for my interactive media class. I promise I don't have this much time on my hands :-) 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gangs at Walmart

         I just received 4 emails and 2 text messages warning of potential dangers at our friendly neighborhood Walmart. One message reads, "DO NOT GO TO WALMART TONIGHT! I've been told a gang is initiating and planning to shoot 3 women." The scare is spreading around town. Apparently the local Target closed early. 
        This news makes for an interesting reaction package in tomorrow's newscast. I can interview girls in my sorority house, ask them questions like, "How did the message make you feel?" "Are you scared?" or "Will you go to Walmart again?" I'll call Summer Hallett, spokeswoman for the Gainesville Police Department, and see if arrests were made, or heaven forbid, shots were fired. 
I took my mother to the Gainesville Walmart a few months ago. She drove up with my little brother to pay me a visit. I remember the fear in her eyes when I responded "yes" to her concerned but serious question, "do you come here alone?"  
Gainesville, Florida has been my home away from home for the past three years. To me, its so much more than a college party-town. It was here that I took my first stab at being a reporter. I even anchored my own radio show last year, (from the hours of 4:00 AM - 7:00 AM, my voice could be heard on AM850, for the Morning Drive). 
According to, Gainesville, Florida is one of America's "Best Places to Live." Gainesville is home to National Champions- the Florida Gators. Sports are big in this town, as is the presence of college kids. We're everywhere. However, outside the bubble surrounding the University of Florida, Gainesville has it's fair share of problems. The East side of town for example, is extremely poor. The average household income for a family residing in East Gainesville is a little over $300 a month. That's crazy. The majority of children in public schools here qualify and receive free lunch. This year's state-wide budget cuts hit education in Gainesville, (or Alachua County) the hardest. 
The CNN article didn't mention these facts, not to mention recent gang violence. Did the "Gangs at Walmart" message shock me? Not at all. I've seen the real Gainesville. If you're curious and brave enough to travel down University Avenue, past the familiar restaurants and clubs downtown, you'll also see the real Gainesville. A great place to live for sure, however, without the University of Florida, this place wouldn't be the same.