Monday, April 15, 2013

1 What's the deal with Boropalooza? (For Edinboro students)

OK, I get it if you don't like the name "Boropalooza", that's perfectly fine.

It's one thing to criticize the name "Boropalooza"... But  what's unfair is that hardly anybody is talking about all of the other new things that EUP is doing to make this years homecoming better.


It seems everyone is focused on the name and not actually what's behind it.

Immediately after the Bigger, Better, Boro I saw Facebook posts saying "They're getting rid of Homecoming?!" or "Boropalooza? What is this, the circus?"

Yet, ironically, many of the people who I saw criticizing the changes weren't even there to hear about them themselves.

They just lost their minds when they heard "Boropalooza".

This didn't happen, but you get the point.

Yet, no one's talking about the actual changes that are happening with homecoming, which I find to be beneficial. 

Prime example: The changes in the homecoming candidacy requirements.

It was announced that Edinboro Students who aren't in trouble judicially and have at least 24 credits could run for homecoming.

Do you know how many people have wanted to run for homecoming over the years but couldn't because they weren't part of an organization?

I find something like this to be great because it is more inclusive of the Edinboro University community as a whole and not just focused on organizations.

Also, another new thing that they're introducing is a bonfire for students during homecoming weekend.

Who in the hell doesn't like a bonfire?

No one's cancelling the game or the parade, no one's changing our tartan colors to polka dots, and no one's changing our alma mater to "The Wobble" (even if they did, I probably wouldn't mind).

Hell, people weren't even this passionate and vocal when Corbett cut our budget. Remember that, guys?

But, I digress. 

I honestly think some people constructively criticize but others just want to be negative toward anything that differs from what they're used to. 

And quite frankly, there are some people who just have personal issues towards particular people who were involved with introduction the new initiatives and use that as a passive-aggressive way to criticize them.

But they were gonna be mad either way.

We might not all agree on the name, but hopefully there one thing that we can all agree on, our love for Edinboro University. 

I can't wait to come back for Homecoming/Boropalooza this Fall as an alum and enjoy all of the great festivities that the Boro has to offer.

So let's just try to go into this with an open mind have some fun that weekend... Who cares what it's called?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

0 Kobe Bryant: A lesson in resilience

Resilience (Merriam Webster's Dictionary)

1. The capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress

2. The ability to recover from or adust easily from misfortune or change.

"I made a move that I made 100 times and it just popped" , said a solemn Kobe Bryant, fighting to hold back tears during a press conference last Friday. 

That was the emotional description of the devastating injury that he suffered last week in a game against the Golden State Warriors.

Kobe ruptured his Achilles tendon in that game and had to undergo surgery. Doctors say his recovery time will be between six to nine months. Sports analysts say that after an injury like this, with him being 34 years old, his career may never be the same.

Yet today, it is likely that Kobe sits back with a smile on his face.

All the doubts which people have of him and all of the pain that he feels,  are simply gasoline to his fire.

The fire which burns inside Kobe Bryant is his drive to be the best. It's what separates him from other NBA stars and many other athletes in general. It's the reason why people talk about him in the same sentence of the likes of a Michael Jordan.

It is the reason why he can score 81 points in a game... and possibly do it again.

Kobe knew early in his career that he had to prove himself. When he went to the NBA fresh out of high school in 1996, some people questioned his ability to perform on the same level as athletes who played in college and honed their skills over time.

Many saw him as a boy trying to play in a man's league. However, he proved them wrong and surpassed many people's expectations, winning five NBA championships, being a two-time NBA finals MVP, and ranking 4th on the list of most points scored in an NBA career.

Kobe lives and breathes basketball, he's a student of the game. I remember watching Spike Lee's 2009 documentary, Kobe Doin' Work, in which Kobe narrates footage of himself and the Lakers playing against the NY Knicks. By just listening to him talk about the game of basketball, you can see why he's been so successful.

He thinks with focus and clarity, he plays with the precision of a chess player and leads on the court with the strategic eye of an army general.

Now I'm not the biggest fan of Kobe Bryant, but I respect his ambition and drive, and I know that when you doubt him, you'd better be ready to see him do something spectacular. 

Make no mistake about it, the Mamba will strike again.

But at the end of the day, there's a bigger picture to all of this. We could all learn something from Kobe. What Kobe shows us is that not only are drive and focus important, but he also shows us that we are far greater than our challenges.

Too often, we let our setbacks put us into a slump. We temporarily forget about our dreams, our ambitions and our goals and slow our progress. Yet, setbacks are merely setups for comebacks. We have to learn how to view our challenges as exactly what they are: challenges.

Facing a challenge doesn't mean it's time to throw in the towel, that means that its time to come back even stronger.

If you need an example of this, just watch what Kobe does next season.

I'm not saying whether or not he'll be MVP next year or that the Lakers will win the championship. Only time will tell what he's going to do.

But one thing that he won't be doing anytime soon is quitting.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

0 Is Journalism Dying?

Published in The Edinboro Spectator: April 4th 2013

About a month ago I joined a group on the professional networking website Linkedin called "Linkedin for Journalists".

The group consists of hundreds of journalism professionals and job seekers looking to connect with people within the field. Me, being a young journalist approaching graduation, joined this group as soon as I read about it.

Seeking advice on breaking into the field of journalism, I asked a question within the group's discussion page.

"I'm a grad student approaching graduation and trying to get my foot in the door as a journalist. Do you have any advice as it pertains to the job search?", I asked. 

To my surprise, over 30 people commented with advice and tips for me. Yet, not all of the responses were positive. While I was reading the comments I noticed a few group members had responded in quite a negative tone.

One poster responded, "Yeah, I'd suggest going back to school and getting a law degree."

Another one commented, "Journalism is a dead-end business... students are making a mistake in pursuing what is laughably called a career as a reporter."

Now, I've heard this sentiment many times before.

In fact, as an undergraduate student at Edinboro University, pursuing my degree in print journalism. I even had a guest speaker in one of my reporting classes call journalism "a dying field".

The economy isn't what it used to be, newspapers companies are shutting down, and technology is changing the face of both print and broadcasting journalism as we know them. 

Yet, journalism is not dying, it is only evolving.

Yeah, it may be much harder to break into the business these days, but we can't afford to lose hope. A huge problem is that many people already have. 

Some are too afraid of change and are so stuck in the way that things USED to be that they cannot adapt to the way that things actually are.

All fields evolve in some way, look at medicine, law, business and entertainment.

What makes people think that journalism is going to be exempt from change?
Maybe we're not living in the same as the era of journalism that our grandparents experienced.

Yet, journalism still matters.

I believe that when a journalist is truly passionate enough about their craft, they don't wait for someone else to validate their skills. They don't wait for some "job" to make them feel like a journalist.

True journalists aren't made by their major or career, they're made by whats in their heart.

True journalists are inquisitive, curious and fearless. Therefore, they FIND and/or CREATE a way to be successful and prosperous at what they do.

So, whether one is a writer for the New York Times, is an anchor on CNN, or simply a blogger, we should take pride in what we do, because our work is monumental.

Journalists are supposed to be society's messengers, the writers of history, the  the voices of the voiceless, those who make sense of seemingly senseless times.

They help us to understand this ever-changing world in which we live. They analyze and examine our lives, and as Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

People have sacrificed their lives for the sake of journalism

Therefore, to neglect journalism is to neglect a huge part of our lives.

Being a journalist is a heck of a responsibility, yet it is an honor as well. That is something that we all need to remember. 

As long as passionate journalists live, journalism will never die.

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