A story I have thought about throughout the semester is my story I did for Falcon 411 about the Shape of Things cast. I went through the whole interview and it was great; the two leads in the play were awesome and gave very personable answers and my questions were flowing conversationally. Until I looked down at my H2; it wasn’t recording. Just my luck! I think they knew right away when they saw my look of horror. I apologized profusely and explained that I hadn’t recorded a single thing. We laughed and they said they would do it again it just might not be as charismatic. I was so grateful they were willing to give up that time again to help me out and to get the story. At first, I had written the story about the play itself in a way then the next week I re-wrote it and it turned out to be about students passion for theatre arts. I will never forget how mortified I was when that happened, but everything turned out well and just fine in the end. I will never forget to check that agan, either.
This semester, I was assigned the Veterans’ Services Office. Since they don’t really have events or other things they really do around campus besides help out student veterans, I got an idea. I reported personal profile type stories for Falcon 411 for an Independent Study and my idea was to highlight life of student veterans for a story.
The story started out when I interviewed a 53-year-old, retired Coast Guard Chris Collins. I liked how the story turned out. He hadn’t been in a war or deployed, but he still served the country. Not only that, but he was a non-traditional student. I thought a lot of these veterans must have awesome stories and I want to know what they are.
I checked out an H2; it didn’t work. for some reason I couldn’t trouble shoot why the sound was so crappy and then in the middle of my interview with Rob Calahan, it ran out of time. I also had an interview with another veteran who had a great story about being deployed to Saudi Arabia and taking Generals to the market to purchase gifts for their families and it didn’t turn out. Anyways, Rob rescheduled with me and was so nice about the first meeting going awry, but nothing would work out with the other vet.
After all of this, I ended up interviewing Rob and this other woman who was part of the initial invasion of Iraq. She was great. We ended up talking for hours. She showed me pictures and even a video her military friends had put together of them blowing up enemy buildings, vehicles and even a person shooting at them. They both talked about friends dying and mortars being shot at them. She even was based in a former palace of Sadaam. It was eye-opening to me because I am someone who would never last in the military.
They had such interesting stories. I ended up writing up his story seperate from hers, only becasue I had so much information from the both of them and wanted to really show their story. This was definitely my favorite because eventhough nothing seemed to be going right at first, it turned out great.
I have learned about myself that I really like to write stories about people or groups of people. I’m not a person who likes to talk politics or other hard news. I’ve realized I like people in general, I like how people are unique, but there is usually someone out there who will relate to something said.
I took Feature Writing in Spring 2008 and loved this feature story I wrote about a teen mom group I used to volunteer for. This kind of started the ball rolling and lead to an intership with Stillwater Living Magazine. For my final article, I wrote a feature article about an youth group organization. This was a good experience because readers wrote in and said they loved the article and they had learned a lot about the organization and they had even been involved in it themselves.
Since high school, I have had this idea that I want to write a book. When I took Literary Journalism in the Fall of 2008, I knew I wanted to write one in a style like Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickel and Dimed.” That style and how she traveled around and worked different places and shared her experiences with it. I want to travel around the United States, meet people and share their stories.