Saturday, November 6, 2010

Groups hope poverty simulation will increase empathy

How would your family Thanksgiving be affected if you had to live on fewer than $1,000 per month?

By Morgan Meade

Holidays can be a time of plenty or a time of simply doing without.

Thanksgiving is a time when many celebrate a time of harvest and surplus, but many will be making do with less.

Donations are already being accepted by food banks to help supplement this lack.

Students at Ohio University have been doing their part by donating extra meal swipes to pay for groceries going to this cause.

At a local food bank, less fortunate families begin to stock up on the donated holiday essentials many of us take for granted.

(Interview expected with food bank staff and/or patrons.)

America, widely considered the world’s largest economy in terms of spending, is one of the many regions of the globe experiencing alarming increases in poverty rates during these tough economic times. According to the U.S. Census:

“The nation's official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008 — the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004. There were 43.6 million people in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million in 2008 — the third consecutive annual increase.”

Ohio is a prime example of this, with more than 1.75 million Ohio residents, or 15.2%, living under the poverty threshold (Athens County Job & Family Services). On the county level, Athens County, home to Ohio University, is currently experiencing one of the highest poverty rates in the state and subsequently in the nation, at nearly 30%.

Students groups on the Ohio University Campus constantly work to raise awareness of this local and global situation among their peers who may have never experienced having to do without, encouraging donations and fostering a passion for volunteer work such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity.

One of the methods used to increase the tangibility of this issue to students is the annual Poverty Simulation hosted by Ohio University in co-facilitation with The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks.

70 participants including faculty, students, and community members had the opportunity to get an idea of what some of their neighbors are going through on Monday, November 8th.

Four fifteen minute “weeks” of living under a newly assumed identity were role-played by each participant to deepen their empathy towards those who are less-fortunate.

The experience was followed by a group discussion of the problems each group-member endured throughout the simulation.

(Interview with organizer and participant in simulation expected)

Organizers hope this experience will spur increased efforts in the greater Athens area to make the holidays everything they should be for the impoverished.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Student campaign aims to reduce binge drinking

By Kendra Wagoner

HPV a silent STI [Lamendola]

By Christa Lamendola

updated version:

original version:

Vegan friendly campus draws students [Goare]

By Aja Goare

With the 5th year of Vegetarian/Vegan awareness upon us, it's time to consider the effect that Ohio University's constant nomination into PETA's competition has on student enrollment. Students explain how the importance of their diet had a considerable impact on their decision to attend, and the campus head chef details the extensive efforts put into a non-meat menu.

LGBT students face challenges on campus [Faris]

By Robert Faris [this is the script for the video, which will be uploaded ASAP]

University is a wonderful place to be for most people, most people go off to school excited to be there. However there are some people who aren’t as confident. Many LGBT students find their skin crawling become extremely stressed out as they prepare for their journey to school.

When most seniors in high school think about going off to college they get really excited however, many LGBT students are anxious about it from day one. Jake, who asked that his real name be withheld, told us that “Going to a liberal college was important to me, it wasn’t the final deciding factor in where I would go, but it was definitely in my mind when I was considering schools.” It is sometimes a hard thing to look at when looking at different schools, because tolerance is not an easily quantifiable thing.

Housing is one of the things that is at the forefront of many LGBT student’s minds. Justin Morris said “I was worried about it a little, but, I mean I didn’t like let it get to me... I mean, deep down it did bother me a little bit”. Ohio University strives to promote a safe, stress, and worry-free living environment for all of its students. It does this through a variety of policies and rules, the main one being that OU makes it extremely easy to switch rooms, and makes it well known to students. Morris said, “I knew that if he made a big deal out of it, I could always just get a new roommate”

Justin Morris’ experience at Ohio University has been a good one so far, he has not had to deal with any adversity yet in his career at OU. Whether or not LGBT students at OU experience discrimination and homophobia can be affected by a lot of factors. Micah McCarey is the Residential Coordinator of the James Residence Hall at OU, he has completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies at OU and is now a full time Ohio University employee. “I think that there certainly are a lot of people on campus who are homophobic”.

Ohio University’s housing preference forms that all students living in residential dorms fill out before the start of each school year ask a lot of questions, however they do not ask about a students sexual orientation. Some universities, including Rutgers University in New Jersey, the site of the high profile suicide of LGBT student Tyler Clementi, do ask this question on their forms. They also take it a step further by asking whether or not student would feel comfortable with the possibility of living with someone of an opposite sexual orientation. However, Micah McCarey believes that even though it may seem like a good idea to some to ask these questions, we shouldn’t. “I think that these questions are too akin to allowing someone to state their preference to not live with someone of the opposite race”. Justin Morris disagrees though, as an openly gay student who lives in a residence hall, he thinks that “if someone clearly does not want to to live with someone who is gay, then i think that would be a good thing to say on your application so you don’t get put with someone you don’t like and then conflict happens”. This is an interesting twist, the students would like the preference to be on the form, while Residential Housing’s view on the issue is the opposite.

The Department of Residential Housing at Ohio University does strive to make itself as tolerant as possible. Residential Housing staff are encouraged to take workshops such as “SafeZone”, which provides training and information to anyone who wants to know more about LGBT issues, regardless of their sexual orientation. It helps people to become walking resources about LGBT issues for when someone may want to talk about them. It can train people to become peer counselors for when someone needs help with an issue in their life.

Simply promoting tolerance is not all Ohio University does to create a good environment for its students, it also has very strict disciplinary policies in place to deal with discrimination on campus. At OU, if a student is found to be discriminating against another student or person, they will be charged with either “A-4 Violation: Mental or Bodily Harm to Others” or a “A-5 Violation: Discrimination” code of conduct violations. An “A” level offense is the most serious violation in the student code of conduct. The punishments for being found guilty of this level of violation can include expulsion on the very first offense.

One of the main groups that works to promote tolerance and provide support for students at Ohio University is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center located in the heart of OU’s student union building. <--WAITING ON INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR AND STUDENT EMPLOYEES-->

Going to University is by far one of the most important factors in getting ahead in life; this is true for almost everyone, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Universities strive to make themselves tolerant, and some there is no magic formula that can create tolerance, but Ohio University seems to have an effective one in place. Justin Morris had this final thing to say, “I love being here, I don’t act any differently than I did at home, I wouldn’t change a thing”.

Mixed martial arts fighters argue for sport [Parks]

By Bradley Parks

Mixed Martial Arts has become a global phenomenon. Fighters from all around the globe have taken their unique fighting styles, combined them, and pitted them against each other to create one of the most dynamic art forms on Earth. However, now with the National Football League looking into the head injuries surrounding big hits, MMA--a sport focused on big hits--could soon be fighting to stay alive.

Banning public smoking on a college of campus [Judy]

By Ryan Judy

Many colleges in the United States have put smoking bans on campuses. Ohio University's health promotion department has started a campaign called The Smoke Vote of 2010, which surveys college students about smoking on the college campus. The survey informs students of the health risks, current restrictions, quitting smoking, and the possibility of banning smoking on the campus. Students at the university feel very strong about the campaign, but recognize the reality of smoking on campus

Women work to give back to Appalachia [Conner]

By Kaity Conner

This story is a look at the efforts OU students are making to end “generational poverty, abuse, and dysfunction through [the] empowerment” of Appalachia’s young women. Brit Wolverton, Shea Daniels, Shannon Moore and others like them mentor middle school girls in low-income communities in Athens County to help prepare them for high school and improve their chances of acceptance into a university. Interviews are scheduled with Brit and Shea for next week and I will be attending the FWA meeting and activities for the week. Almost all of the b-roll will be replaced with actual footage of the girls at work and higher quality video of the campus. Audio and video of the interviews with Brit and Shea will be added, as well as their motivations in creating the organization and their hopes for it's impact on Appalachia's young women in the future.

And the link to my video:

YouTube seems to be having issues because both Kate and I had clear video on FinalCut, but pixellated videos online.

Peter: I would really like to have a discussion with you on Skype at some point this weekend. By the time everyone else was done talking with you in class, I didn't figure I would have time to both upload the video and really get into the details of my story (my YouTube account is especially finnicky).

Universities debate cost of athletics [Westerh]

By Alex

Across the country athletic programs are spending more money than they're making, passing a big portion of the cots back on to students. This leaves students and fans to debate the true cost of intercollegiate athletics.

Election means education cuts [Pappas]

My video is about the budget cuts that will be made due to deficit in state funding. I'm going to look at how the election will affect the budget, when will the budget cuts be put into affect, and how will they impact the school and students. I have an interview with the dean of the library and the vice president of finance and administration. I'm also going to interview students affected by the budget cuts to get their opinion. I'm going to say what will be cut but then focus on the library because that affects all students. I just decided to do this story yesterday which is why I haven't done too much with it yet.

[video was set to "private"; will add when Carli changes that]

Little Monsters spread understanding through Lady Gaga [Sklar]

By Lincoln Sklar

Hookah bars showing up around college campuses [Ianni]

Here is my REAL rough story. I know as of now that I need to get some sources to back up that smoking hookah is as bad as regular smoking. I also need to get some lighter images of people smoking and explaining why they like to smoke hookah. I will work on getting some new and better b-roll. I also need to get the name of the worker that I interviewed (bad mistake not getting it at first, I know).

Theresa Ianni

Marijuana in rural Ohio could lead to economic growth [Davis]

By Drew Davis

Getting sick at college [Eastman]

By Morgan Eastman

University balances sexual assault treatment and school's image

By Hallie Gebel

NOTE: There are some shots that I need to fill in on certain places. I want to do a stand up, transition narration to an interview, and an interview with a Women's and Gender Studies Professor. Depending on her interview and information I will add shots and commentary accordingly. With all of this said, the story- hopefully- will outline the program that OU has that helps survivors, but also highlight the cases and situations where people have not gotten the help they needed, or the justice that they hoped would be served. I will hopefully get some stories from my professor, and another interview with a survivor or two to get their first hand accounts.

Exercise generates electrical power

By Kate Irby

Gender-neutral dorms becoming more common in U.S. [Bunce]

By Brooke Bunce

[Krista, please see below]

Prof Stewart-

I am having some technical difficulties trying to get this video to work and upload. I will have it to you ASAP. I think I may just need to re-edit it from a computer in the multimedia lab in the library. I have one more interview and will need more b-roll. I would like for my text to include the bulk of the information and for my video to include mainly testimonials, opinions, and experiences of students, seeing as this is quite an abstract concept to catch on film. Here is a basic script:

Gender-neutral housing is a practice that is becoming increasingly more common throughout colleges across the United States. As conventional definitions of binary gender and sex continue to blur, so too do the boundaries of traditional roommates. With the help of Student Senate, Ohio University recently passed a resolution to enact optional gender-neutral housing in two years, tentatively. OU is just one in an increasing amount of campuses that are implementing this residential policy. Popular since 2004, some of the first colleges to incorporate gender-neutral housing were Oberlin College in Ohio, University of Southern Maine, and Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Now, 55 campuses nation-wide have decided to opt for the gender-neutral residence option.

Supported heavily by the LGBT community, gender-neutral housing creates a safe and inclusive environment for those that may not feel comfortable in the traditional confines of gender. The option for this type of housing is in most cases completely optional, just as a female-only or substance-free hall would be. Abuse is highly unlikely and has not been reported by any college that has enacted the policy, says Sean Martin, commissioner for LGBT Affairs on Ohio University's Student Senate. Those opposed to this type of housing argue that it opens up many opportunities for abuse by heterosexual couples, and creates an uncomfortable bathroom situation. Lindsey Cohen, an openly gay freshman at OU, states that she chose to live in a single due to her fear of possibly having a roommate that was not comfortable with her sexuality. Cohen expresses that gender neutral housing would alleviate both anxiety and cost for her and many other LGBT students.

Ohio University hopes to implement a pilot for gender-neutral housing within the next year. These test models would include a mod-style dorm on the South Green campus and a more traditional style dorm on the East Green campus; one with a community bathroom and one with an individual bathroom.

Diabetes in Appalachia foreshadows global epidemic

By Caleigh Bourgeois

[new and improved: 11/10/10]

Art studio for the disabled changes man's life

By Kelly Gifford

Here are the things that I am planning on adding/changing to what I have now:
1. I'm going to redo my voice over. Its shaky and I mixed up some words.
2. I will also be adding 2-3 more interviews to my script. It will add to Noah's personal story.
3. I will be getting more B-Role of Noah and his family as well as some more shots of Passion Works and some of the art that is showcased around Athens.
4. Depending on how my interviews go I may change my script around.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ledes exercise:

Kendra Wagoner

Kelly Gifford

Lincoln Sklar

Robert Faris

Drew Davis

Alex Westerh

Christa Lamendola

Caleigh Bourgeois

Kaity Conner

Brooke Bunce

Hallie Gebel

Kate Irby

Morgan Meade

Theresa Ianni

Aja Goare

Bradley Parks

Ryan Judy

Morgan Eastman

Carli Pappas

Friday, September 24, 2010

Their Days, Their Media

Caleigh Bourgeois:

Brooke Bunce:

Kaity Conner:

Drew Davis:

Robert Faris:

Hallie Gebel:

Kelly Gifford:

Aja Goare:

Theresa Ianni:

Kate Irby:

Ryan Jude:

Christa Lamendola:

Morgan Meade:

Carli Pappas:

Brad Parks:

Lincoln Sklar:

Kendra Wagoner:

Alex Westerh:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Syllabus for JOUR101, Fall 2010 (04401)

Prof. Bob Stewart ( and Peter Shaplen (
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism
Scripps Hall 105B

Course location: Scripps Hall 211

Learning goals: To gain a critical understanding of how journalism and media function as well as shape our lives.

Required Mass Communication: Folkerts, Lacy and Larabee. The Media in Your Life. 4th edition. Allyn & Bacon, May 11, 2007. [ISBN: 9780205523658].

Attendance: Required [final grade drops a half-letter for every two unexcused absences].

Academic dishonesty: “Academic integrity and honesty are basic values of Ohio University. Students are expected to follow standards of academic integrity and honesty. Academic misconduct is a violation of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct subject to a maximum sanction of disciplinary suspension or expulsion as well as a grade penalty in the course. … A student or student organization found to have violated a Code A offense will be subject to the full range of sanctions (reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion). Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol does not diminish or excuse a violation of the student code of conduct. … Dishonesty or deception in fulfilling academic requirements…includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, un-permitted collaboration, forged attendance (when attendance is required), fabrication (e.g., use of invented information or falsification of research or other findings), using advantages not approved by the instructor (e.g., unauthorized review of a copy of an exam ahead of time), knowingly permitting another student to plagiarize or cheat from one's work, or submitting the same assignment in different courses without consent of the instructor. Note: An instructor may impose a grade penalty for academic misconduct and/or file a judicial referral.” [This statement is copied with permission from the Student Handbook. For more from the handbook see:]

Grades: Final grades are based on a combination of the exams (50%) and production exercises (50%) (see scale below).


Weekly Reading/Assignment Schedule:
Week 1, 9/10Media Processes & FunctionsChap. 1
Week 2, 9/17Books/Newspapers/Magazines/RadioChaps. 2-4, 6
Week 3, 9/24Television, Computers & InternetChaps. 7, 9;
First Exam
Week 4, 10/1Journalism: Information & Society, Public RelationsChaps. 10-11
Week 5, 10/8Advertising, Ethics/Regulation, Mass Communication ResearchChaps. 12-15;
Second Exam
Week 6, 10/15TBA
Week 7, 10/22TBA
Week 8, 10/29TBA
Week 9, 11/5TBA
Week 10, 11/12TBA
Final Exam Period: Tuesday, 11/16 (reading day) 8-10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Morgan Eastman

I am a strong believer in having no regrets. I feel that the mistakes in your life are all there for a reason and to teach you what you need to do the next time a situation like that happens again. The events that make up my life made me who I am today. When I was five, my mom and dad broke up. When I was seven, my dad started dating my step-mom, Carol, and I began living with them. My mom called me one night when I was 8 telling me that she was living in Virginia and the only time I would see her was if I drove down to see her. Since then I have seen her once a summer for about a month.

Through my mom leaving, I have had problems maintaining relationships and friendships and trust has become a really difficult thing for me to do. I feel that everyone is going to up and leave at one point. I learned not to regret her leaving because it has made me a stronger and more independent person.

Since I was six, I have been playing softball. I was a pitcher and still continue to play. I have met some amazing people who have changed my life, and I love that my dad and I always had something to talk about and something to do together. I do not regret the long weekends of doing nothing but playing softball, the strenuous workouts that made my legs numb, the time with my friends I had to give up to play in tournaments and the ridiculous farmers tans I acquired over the summers because it helped me learn to manage my time and it also made me realize that commitment to a team is so important that that being a part of a team is something that you need to do in order to achieve a high goal.

In high school I took Journalism 1 my freshman year and then decided that I wanted to be a part of the broadcast journalism program. I was involved in this for a year before I realized that this is what I really wanted to do as a career. I met a boy named Kevin who was diagnosed with cancer in his brain. I was assigned to do a story on his story, and the things that I learned and witnessed through the process is what made me want to be a journalist. I don’t regret the hours on end of filming, writing, editing and all around hard work because seeing the way the students reacted and stopped what they were doing to listen to Kevin, a boy who so many people knew so little about, made me realize that broadcast journalism is want to do this every day of my life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Caleigh Bourgeois

Ryan Judy

download powerpoint

Christa Lamendola

download powerpoint

Lincoln Sklar

The year is 2006. The place is Bridgeport, West Virginia. The controversy is about Walter Sallman’s portrait of Jesus Christ. The sleepy little town awoke on March 8 with a battle on their hands. The portrait might not have matter in any other setting than right outside the principal’s office at the local high school. This was the day that my world was changed, and it hasn’t been the same since.

My father had gone the night before to the county board of education meeting to ask for the picture to be removed. We were not the only non-Christian family in the area; we were not the only ones being cast as outsiders. Never did he think that the town would go into an uproar; growing up as a young Jewish boy in racially diverse schools in Brooklyn, he thought that once he pointed out the fact that the painting’s existence in the high school was illegal, the BOE would be more than willing to take it down. Little did he know that his daughters would be launched into a nightmare-like situation.

As we rode in the car down Johnson Avenue, we noted the unusual sound of multiple honks. It wasn’t until we neared the school that I saw the sign and the protestors. “Honk for Jesus” the white banner, parked in front of the high school said. Honestly, I was shocked. How could people be so ignorant? Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there.

Entering the school, all eyes were on me and my sister. I was quiet, and rarely talked in class, so to be receiving this much attention was not something I was used to. That’s when the whispers started, and the noise level in the middle school cafeteria rose so that I knew I was blushing. In class, it didn’t get any better. People passed around petitions right in front of me, and one student even stood up and gave a speech about how “stupid” my father was and about how he needed to be stopped. Some that I thought were friends turned their backs on me as I walked by.

The poor treatment of me and my family continued up until the painting was stolen in the middle of the night before proper legislation could be brought against the case. Slowly, things quieted down, but as I prepared to enter high school, I was nervous about what would happen. When I first started at Bridgeport High School, I was extremely shy; I was starting in a place where I didn’t know who was my friend or my enemy. I stuck to clubs that were “safe,” that kids I knew were in instead of branching out. That was before I took journalism.

I was asked to write a story for the yearbook, and after reading it, the journalism teacher, Mrs. Alice Rowe, approached me to tell me I would be taking her class the next semester even if she had to change my schedule herself. Needless to say, come second semester, I found myself in second block Journalism one. My eyes were opened as I learned of a world full of intrigue, of libel and sedition, a world where the truth must be told and journalist are the ones to do it. I also learned that journalists not only tell the stories of the world, but shape the way people look at what is going on around them. It is reporters who are down in the trenches with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, up in the heights of Whistler Mountain at the Olympics, and at the proceedings of the White House. As the way I viewed the world changed, so did the way I viewed myself.

My past has made me realize who I am. I am no longer the shy girl who attempted to stay out of the fray while others tried to tell me how I could and could not feel. I believe in a world free of the kind of ignorance displayed by the small (in both size and mind) town of Bridgeport. I believe in a world of acceptance.

Bradley Parks

I believe that there are certain things every human being should live their life with. The number one thing to bring along in every day of life, I think, is passion. Without passion, the work people do and the decisions they make don't seem as meaningful to the person.

I try to live my life with passion. There are things that I love in this world and I love them with every fiber of my being. My dream of becoming a sportscaster is one of those things and something I have held near to my heart. I want that to be what I do for the length of my career and in order for that to happen I feel as if I need to take every moment I have in the press box and put all of the passion I can into those moments.

I like to draw inspiration from Gus Johnson, sportscaster for CBS. Johnson is able to bring excitement into every play and every second of every game no matter what the sport. He could make a timeout seem exciting! I try to do the same when I am on the mic. I want my listeners to feel the same excitement that I have pumping through my veins. If I'm calling a basketball game, I'll watch the ball being passed around among the players and calmly describe it to the listening audience. As the penetration into the lane increases, so does the volume and excitement in my voice. It's like a volcano on the brink of eruption. As the ball inches closer and closer to the hoop, I want my listeners to feel the emotion swelling up in my body. When that leather sphere passes through the thin nylon cords is when the eruption occurs. Excitement overflows my passion bucket and spills out onto the floor. The game could be a blowout, but each basket scored, to me, is like a lightning strike. It's quick and exciting and gets my adrenaline going on high.

Next to my friends and family, there is nothing I love more than the sport of basketball. I've never been the best player, but I am completely obsessed with the sport. I love to play, love to watch, and love to study the game. I also love to bring the sport to other people by being in the booth. Basketball is one of the things I'm most passionate about.

I carry my passion bucket with me everywhere and I think that others should too. What is in others' buckets? That's up to them. What is in mine? Family, friends, school, sports, theatre, politics, and the list goes on and on. With every piece of work I do, I reach in the bucket and sprinkle passion on every inch of that work. I feel if I'm passionate about what I do, it gives it that much more meaning to me.

Carli Pappas

Nothing is what it seems. People lie or tell partial truths. You base your life, your actions, your choices on a foundation, a code, a set of rules, of reasons. And then a shift is made and the foundation quakes. You start to stumble, unsure, not quite as steady, as confident as before. The trembling alleviates and you look down, realizing that there are cracks in your foundation. Nothing is as smooth, as clean cut as you thought it was.

I pride myself on being cool headed, grounded. I pride myself on being able to let go and adapt to change. I pride myself on being strong and fearless. I pride myself on being unattached, on being able to go where the wind blows me and where the road takes me. I’m living behind a mask.

This I believe, this I know as I chat with my best friends--with Dove chocolates, root beer, and two pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the center of our forever bond made triangle--if anything, I am too passionate and too sensitive.

This I believe, this I know as I shout out “Mom?” in a tearful, quivering, searching voice and collapse into her warm embrace, shedding not only tears but also my apathetic, indifferent, unattached facade: that I am not only so attached and unwilling to change, but I am also deeply, deeply afraid.

I am afraid of running out of time. I am afraid of taking things for granted and not fully appreciating the love I receive and I am afraid that I don’t fully return that love. I am afraid that I won’t get to do all of the things I want to do. I am afraid that I don’t feel enough. I am afraid of losing my individuality, my Carli-ness. I am afraid of missing out and not living. But most of all, I am afraid of moving from this moment, this moment of perfect content and happiness because I don’t see life getting any better than this.

That’s life, though: moments of happiness and sadness, events of significance and insignificance, periods of changes and shifts, and periods of stillness and stagnation.

One thing I will always believe and will always know: No one is as lucky as me. So I’ll fill in the cracks and start again.

Drew Davis

Sitting here with a blank slate before me, posed is the question of what I believe.

To tell the truth I think that no one really knows what they believe in until they are about to die. Only in those spiraling seconds can a person really examine their life and the choices they made to decide whether or not they were the right ones. But, since I am not in my death throws I will examine my life up to this point.

I believe in music. From an early age I have always enjoyed listening to music. When I was a fifth grader I enrolled in the band as a drummer. This sparked a passion that has not died out, even to this day. I quit school band in eighth grade but I continued pursuing the drum set. By the time I was a Junior I had been in two bands that had played shows in Cleveland and even out of the state. I believe that music is the original language between all the different people of the world. Styles may vary but the messages that songs convey are almost always the same. A tribute to a god, a love story, or the epic journey of a hero all stretch through music to every culture through out time.

I believe in America, but not the people who run it. Republican or Democrat, I do not care, I think they are all corrupt. I have grown up in a very trying time for this nation. Though I have lost faith in the people that run it, I have not lost faith in the basic tenants that it was built on. I believe in the teachings of Thomas Jefferson and enjoy reading his well thought out, eloquent sentences that form the basis for our nation.

I believe in the individual. The single greatest factor in decision making is myself. I believe that no one can tell me the right or the wrong choice because they are not in my shoes. I hold the keys to my own enlightenment, my own sanity, my own sovereignty, my own etc. The list goes on. In this way I ensure that I am held accountable for my actions and that I deal with them accordingly. I do not need to put my problems onto someone or something else because that just masks the real solution. Therefore, all the ideas and thoughts formulated in my head come from myself and only myself. This way I am the ruler of my domain. I am my own king.

I believe that history is the greatest way to learn about the future. The actions of our ancestors shaped the human race into what it is today. I believe that if we do not pause and reflect on the past from time to time that we will lose grip with the future. I feel that this has happened once again to the world and that the human race needs to stop and reflect on the choices that they have made in the past years and decide if they were the right ones. This was we can fix our mistakes and move one making better choices for our children and their children.

I want to be the best I can be. I believe that I can do this through hard work and dedication. If I put my mind to something there is no stopping me from obtaining my goal. I believe that hard work always pays off and that being lazy never does. Working hard means that I am preparing for the future and ensuring that it is a bright one. Being lazy is just a selfish act that will not advance any goals of mine or the people’s around me.

If I died today I think that I would be mostly content with my life up to this point. I believe that I am going in the right direction for myself. The only thing that I would be disappointed about is that I did not yet finish some goals that I have set out before myself. I do plan on finishing these goals and more that I have not yet set out for myself.

Brooke Bunce

Kate Irby

I grew up with slightly strict parents who treated freedom as a privilege, not a right. They gradually began to give me more freedom as I matured, and once it came I valued it more and more. This also means I began to realize that freedom, while a fundamental right for adults in this country, requires work.

I dreamt of the day I would turn sixteen since I was very young; I wanted to have a job to earn money and be able to drive on my own. These were my first real opportunities for independence from my parents and I couldn’t wait to experience them. I took the driver’s test as soon as I could and applied for jobs all over the area a week after my sixteenth birthday. I began to pay my own phone bill and whenever I wanted to eat out, go shopping, or see movies with friends I paid for it myself. Though not always a pleasant fact, I started to recognize that while money isn’t the key to happiness, it is to real freedom and independence.

My sister lead a complicated life in her late teens. She became pregnant at sixteen, dropped out of college, fired from her job, evicted from her apartment, and married someone without telling my parents. After she had her second child and she had told my parents about the marriage, her life thankfully calmed down. Now she is happy with her family and her life. But during all of that she was mostly dependent upon my parents or her boyfriend at the time. Now that she is married she depends on her husband financially, though of course he also depends on her to watch their kids. Watching all this happen to her frightened me and showed me why being responsible, going to college, and taking your education and career seriously is so important.

It is one of my worst fears that something will go wrong in my life and I will have to drop out of college or depend heavily on my parents after I graduate. While my sister loves being a housewife and is okay with asking my parents for occasional financial help, I don’t believe I would be nearly as happy as she is had my life taken the same route. I expect myself to be self-sufficient and take responsibility for my actions. Asking for money without feeling like I earned it always feels wrong to me, and one of my main goals is to experience a successful career that I enjoy. The most satisfying moments of my life are when my personal hard work has paid off: such as getting a raise at work, receiving scholarships, or being accepted into this class.

Both my family and friends have told me that I am very stubborn. I know what I want and I realize that to achieve my goals I have to be dedicated and sedulous. Opportunities are rarely, if ever, handed to anyone on a silver platter. If I expect to get the best out of my life I must create my own opportunities.

Hallie Gebel

It is dark here. I am alone. It is kind of smelly. I feel the world staring at me to make a move. Make a move. Just dance. Leave the embarrassment for tomorrow. Now it is time to make a fool of myself.

I was the mascot for basketball games during my senior year of high school. Try to just imagine this: a tiny girl wearing long, white gym shorts, a maroon jersey, and for the finishing touch - a jumbo size head that resembles present day John Travolta. This was the picture of the mascot, Sparky the Hillclimber.

It was an awkward time to say the least, but I could not help feeling liberated every time I walked out onto to court.

I always thought of myself as an outgoing person, but I was awakened to a world of obnoxious fans, sarcastic teens, and terrified children, all of whom were unforgiving and at most times, made me want to run away and cry. Never before had I felt so utterly out of place and so completely zoned into every sense. Almost every step I took had to be planned and executed with extreme precision, because one wrong move could send the head toppling over, or worse, my body into a cluster of people. I found myself constantly checking my shoe strings, if my shirt was tucked in, and if a basketball was barreling towards me. Somehow, though, even with all of these obstacles combined, I felt like I could do anything I wanted because it was not really ‘me’ jumping around and dancing, it was an alter ego that did not care what anyone else thought.

My entire life I have always cared what people think. My entire life I have tried to live up to almost unattainable standards. I always wanted to make everyone around me feel like I had it all. Everything I have ever wanted in life I have worked hard for because I never want to feel like I am cheating myself from a better future, or actually a better persona. I cannot lie, most things I have done in my life, I have done for the praise of others. Every move I made was choreographed to make sure I did not make a single mistake, because mistakes meant weaknesses. All of this changed when I put on the mascot head. Suddenly, I did not care who was watching- I just wanted to dance and dance until I felt I was just a plain fool. The dictionary defines dancing as: leaping, skipping, jumping, etc., as from excitement or emotion. I would say that the only way to celebrate letting go of people’s doubts and personal paranoia is to dance.

The experience of being a mascot was something I will never forget, and I still cannot believe how it remains in the forefront of my mind every day. I was humbled by the experience because now I know that I can go through life being my own mascot, and I do not need the praise of others to know that I am accomplished. All I have to do is remember the immortal words of Lady Gaga. Just Dance.

Kaitlyn Conner

I believe that a person's actions should be motivated by their power to impact another person positively.

I grew up in a household where money was put aside to be used for helping others. My dad often comes home after a long day of work, only to leave again to meet with a needy family who had come to our church seeking financial help. My mom never misses an opportunity to remind my brother and I of how blessed we have always been. She brings us with her as she buys up half of the grocery store, filling boxes for other families to use on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My church provided opportunities to go on mission trips each year. I would travel on a bus that broke down without fail every summer to spend a week working with other teenagers on a project.

I saw how a creating a brand new baseball field could impact the lives of parentless children in North Carolina, or how a re-shingled, rain proofed roof impacted the life of a sweet widow in Michigan whose children had grown and left.

Later I saw how my performances in musical theatre could have a positive impact on someone else, even if that impact was as small as letting strangers in the audience forget their troubles for a few hours.

Because of the example set by my parents, I learned to watch the effect my decisions had on other people, whether I was singing, building or simply taking time to talk to someone.

I had always wanted to be an astronaut. I visited the NASA Space Centers in Huntsville, Alabama and Cape Kennedy, Florida, and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. I studied books about shuttles, watched movies like Apollo 13, and idolized Sally Ride. On Saturday, February 1, 2003, I woke up early to watch the news and see the crew of the Columbia return home to their families. But as I turned on the news, I could hear the distress in the voices of the news anchors. Having woken up before anyone else in the house, and without a voice, I painstakingly wrote down every detail of the events taking place live on my television screen.

As I watched the families of the crewmembers learn that their loved ones would not be coming home, I discovered the impact these broadcasts could have on the lives of the television audience.

The news broadcast enabled these families to share memories of their lost husbands, fathers, wives and mothers with the people of America. Families were touched by the courage of the families of each astronaut. Children were inspired to try harder academically to realize dreams of building other spacecraft, or journeying to space themselves.

I decided that my love for telling the stories of others could have a greater impact on others than my love of flying. There is something so gratifying about doing something you love and seeing someone else benefit from it.

[See original post.]

Kelly Gifford

While eating my mint chocolate chip ice cream before bed a few nights ago, I began to ask myself who my being is. While pondering this question I dozed off and had a very odd dream, probably brought on by the large amount of ice cream I had just eaten. I was walking along beside both my parents in a field, just walking not talking at all. Then we came up to a bridge. The bridge looked worn and sort of rickety, as though many people had trodden upon it. I turned to my left and asked my dad, “Should we cross?” He replied, “Only you can Kelly. Your mother and I have already been across once and now it is your turn.”

Even in my dream I thought my dad sounded a little more like Gandalf the Grey than my actual dad. So I chuckled and said, “Uh okay. Enough deep talk lets go.” My mom stopped me and said the same thing as my dad. I was completely bewildered. I was about to set off on some broken up bridge that could probably collapse at any moment and all they could say to me is “it’s your turn?”

They said their goodbyes and left me there, not turning back to see if I had crossed onto the bridge yet. I stood at the foot of the bridge for a while going over the pros and cons of crossing. Finally I stepped onto the bridge and began my journey into the unknown.

After what seemed like years of hopping over holes in the bridge and trying to keep my balance I came up to a huge mirror. To my surprise I looked older. Not much older, probably about four years older. I touched the glass on the mirror and it shattered revealing a golden gateway whose arches read, “Whom you truly are lies within.”

Then I woke up.

The first thing I thought of after I jerked awake was that I have to stop eating ice cream before bed. As the day grew on, I realized the dream was a metaphor about me finding out who I truly am over my four years of college. The dream helped me recognize that I do not know my true being now because I have not experienced enough to know who I am. College will give me the experience I need to answer this question without hesitation. For now, being a little undecided of who I am is just fine with me.

Aja Goare

Growing up, roll call always brought laughter to the room. “A.J.? A-juh? A-ha?” I would doodle on scrap paper and try to ignore the giggles which made me embarrassed of my Steely Dan inspired name. Of course, none of my 10 year old classmates had any idea who the band was, but as I’ve gotten older I’m happier to explain.

My mom is an artist, and my dad is a musician, and that is how they make a living. Because they’ve chosen a less than common career path, they’ve supported and even encouraged my siblings and I to try new things. I’ve tried to take full advantage of that, participating in sports and the arts, and even changes to my appearance.

The first time I ever dyed my hair, I was 9, and my mom had a box kit that she applied while I sat impatiently on a stool in the kitchen. From that day on, when I looked in the mirror and saw the newly highlighted golden streaks against my medium brown hair, I loved that people had the ability to alter their appearance. I’ve dyed my hair every natural color (and a few non-natural), and have had it elbow length to pixie cut. Besides hair alterations (which makes some girls cry at the thought), I’ve had my ears gauged and pierced 6 times, my nose, and my lip twice- along with that, a few tattoos. I love the reinventing process.

The people of the art world generally understand such a feeling. Artists’ are all about self-expression, and though I don’t believe that putting holes in my lip is truly expressing myself, it’s nice to be around people so accepting. I was probably born with an easel and canvas in hand. I’ve just always enjoyed art- virtually, every aspect. I draw, paint (acrylics, oil, watercolor), form, create. My high school art department was a big deal, and my fellow student-artists and I were constantly being asked for help around the community, doing things such as creating Child Abuse Awareness silk banners for the like foundation, teaching surrounding area youth the fundamentals of art, and taking photographs at the annual Pickle’s Blues Extravaganza.

In opposition, the world of sports is amazingly different and unreceptive of such self expression. My coach was always baffled when I would come to practice with a different hair color or shiny object on my face. But I loved the game. Up until seventh grade, the competitor in my (at the time) 4’5’’ person, had never been released, and once it was, I was hooked. I played as much as I could, literally all year round for 6 straight years. My senior year, my high school team went 19-6 and sectional runners up- the best Lima Senior High has done since 1980.

Buying hair dye, Asic knee pads, and putting gas in my car all takes money so I’ve been employed since 16 and a half years old. My first job was at FOX news station, where I was a teleprompter operator and floor director (and occasionally a sports score finder). I held multiple titles because we were incredibly short on staff- 8 people, and that’s everyone from control room to talent. The job was very fun, and all of the people were playful, young (mid 20’s and under), and not afraid to use all of their vocabulary (and yes, I mean all). Once the station closed, I was almost immediately hired at TV 44, a local Christian TV station. It was a much more organized station with countless employees, and I was the tape op. When I say organized, I should also include conservative, professional, and religiously driven- a drastic change from FOX. None of my “that’s what she said” jokes were appreciated, my lack of religious enthusiasm was frowned upon, and my nose hoop was never directly confronted, but you can only stare at it for so long before I get the hint. After that, I went on to work at Applebee’s as a host, which is by far the hardest job I’ve had. I’ve got newly formed wrist muscles, the ability to induce cooperation in grouchy people, and overall, a newfound leadership role.

I’ve grown a lot since those pigtailed, lunchbox carrying days, but there is still so much to do, so many places to go, and countless things to learn; which is why I have chosen journalism.

Morgan Meade

Kendra Wagoner

Theresa Ianni

I am many things. I am an athlete, and a leader. I pride myself in the chances I have taken and the opportunities I have grasped, because every experience has shaped me into the person I am today. As we grow older, the question of who we are seems to become more complicated to answer. I believe this is because we discover so many more qualities in us than we ever really noticed. When asked to introduce my being to the class, I thought to myself. This is a new school, I know no one and can be anyone I want to be, who am I? The question challenged me to really think. I am many things, and have been since I can remember. When I really thought about the question, I realized that among many, I am one thing. I am the same as every other Ohio University student. I am a Bobcat. So then I began to think. What does it take to really be a Bobcat? I looked up some characteristics of the animal, and realized I was more right in saying I was a Bobcat than I thought.

Bobcats are said to never take their eye off the prize. They are also said to be curious and passionate, especially while hunting. I, in ways can relate to the animal. Although some situations may be foreign to me, I will not hesitate to try new things and jump into different situations. I will never give up when I set a goal for myself, and will at all times do the best that I can to succeed. I am willing to give one hundred percent to any cause. I have played softball since I was five years old. Although the main purpose of the sport was to enjoy myself, I always pushed myself to become a better team player. If I made one error in a game, I would make it my goal to play consecutive flawless fielding games. This test challenged me to work harder to go above and beyond my potential. I am extremely passionate in everything I do. Whether I am playing softball, hosting an event, or visiting with friends, I will give my all and put my whole heart into the situation.

The bobcat utilizes a variety of habitats. They travel and make homes out of different climates. I have never been one to stick with one activity. I consider myself an athlete, a singer, and a leader. In high school, I would find a club that interested me, and would try it out. There was never a bad time for me to open myself to a new experience. Over the years, I have found myself different homes in various places. My senior year, I split my hours between my job, my high school and my home. I made a home where ever I had to be.

Finally, the bobcat varies in colors. They can be gray, a yellow brown, or a red brown color. I believe that there are many different colors to me. I epitomize the color yellow by being outgoing, positive, and friendly. The color red is shown through my loving and passionate attitude towards others. My loyalty towards friends, businesses, and activities is an example of the color blue found in me.

Being a bobcat not only means going to a university. Being a bobcat depicts me as a passionate, hardworking, colorful and nomadic person. I am ready for whatever comes my way, and hopefully can be great.

Robert Faris

I have always wanted to spread knowledge around the world around me. I want to be able to show people things they never knew existed. I want to learn as much as I can about the world before I die, and that’s why I have fallen in love with journalism.

I’ve always been that kid who can do anything with technology, the one who everyone goes to when they have a problem with something. It’s not that I necessarily know what I’m doing, it’s more that I can always figure out what I need to do. I love to help my friends and even people I’ve never met when they need help.

I have always been fascinated by video production, and starting in 7th grade, I began working with my technology teacher on a video news broadcast of the morning announcements at my middle school. Even though this wasn’t real “news” per-se compared to the real world, but it got me hooked. I loved every second of it. It’s also when I got my start working with Apple’s Final Cut Studio, which was a great learning experience, it inspired me to take three years of independent study coursework in high school where I dedicated myself to learning and mastering Final Cut Pro.

The summer after 8th grade was when I really became interested in advertising. I was given the opportunity to intern under a producer/director to work on a commercial from filming to final editing for Time Warner Cable. It was an intense three day experience. On the first day we filmed for 8 hours, I learned how the process of cutting down footage to create a enticing and inviting advertisement. It took 2 days of post production which created even more interest in me. It was really neat to get to work with the entire production team, the actors, directors & producers. It was a rewarding experience that gave me confidence to continue to pursue video production and advertising.

In high school I took my school’s journalism course for two years and quickly began to fall in love with producing real news content. I quickly became the “Video Production Chief” and extensively worked with Final Cut Studio to produce our news show that we aired on Columbus’ local broadcast station. This began to cement my desire to dedicate my life to the journalism field.

I want to work with journalism and advertising because it allows me to use my creative skills, and pursue my goals to spread information around the world. Now as I enter the Scripps School of Journalism, I want to develop my skills as much as I can during my 4 years I have here at Ohio University. When I leave here I expect myself to be able to go out in the world, fully confident and ready to explore the world, and share what I learn.

Alex Westerh

I believe everyone has their own path in life to take where ever they want it to go.

Everyone believes something different depending on where they are from, who has been part of their life and how they got to their current point in life. These along with many other factors help to influence their life.

With everyone coming from different places I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion and it is wrong to censor or try to suppress views.

My life path has taken me to this point because of my involvement in journalism throughout the past three years of high school. Journalism has taught me the importance of a freedom of viewpoints and individuality.

Since then I have known I wanted to be a journalist for the rest of my life despite all of the people who doubt the career.

Many people have told me to go into something that will make me money and my dad halfheartedly jokes that it is not too late to go to med school. But my mind has already been made up a long time ago, the unique path I have chosen for myself leads to being a journalist.

There other half of people is convinced I will not succeed on my path. I have had a teacher tell me that I was going to end up failing out of college but proving those people wrong is what makes the road to success so much more fun.

I also believe in having fun at all times, people should do whatever makes them happy.

There are very few points in my life where I am not happy and I think it is because I do not take a second of this life for granted. I realize how lucky I have it and that not everyone is happy with the path they have chosen.

As long as I keep doing what makes me happy I will consider myself to be a successful person because this is my path to take.