I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in my orientation class the summer before my freshman year at West Virginia University, feeling anxious, excited, alone, old, young, happy, nervous, and any other emotion you could possibly imagine?
One thing I remember quite vividly from that time was when our small Television Journalism group was given a tour around Martin Hall, the Journalism building. I remember stopping at the edit lab door where our instructor paused and said, “This is what you guys will be doing in a few years!”
I remember this moment so well, and yet, it’s still so surreal for me to think that it was really four years ago when it all began? Really four years ago when I first entered Martin Hall, not knowing where the bathrooms were, or which rooms were what, or any of the professors, or where the water fountains were… Everything was new and unfamiliar.
Four years ago, I had no idea Martin Hall would soon become my second home, and the people I met inside it would, throughout the years, become my second family.
Now, four years later, I walk into Martin Hall confident, knowing exactly what I’m there for.
As a senior, I am now completing the most important course of my college career, WVU News. I have anxiously awaited this moment since freshman year, and it’s finally arrived.
Before the class could really begin however, we first had to try out for anchor positions. I auditioned for main anchor as well as sports anchor. For the main anchor position I was called back three separate times, which was so exciting and honestly unexpected! When I tried out for the sports anchor position I was first up, and had no idea sports anchors only had one shot with no callbacks? Luckily, I did great; even better than my news auditions. I left Martin Hall feeling amazing. I didn’t know I had it in me; we’re all our own worst critics of course?
When anchor positions were announced and I read, on Professor Dahlia’s creatively executed brochures, that I had made sports anchor, I was absolutely ecstatic! I had achieved my goal. Something I was unsure if I was capable of doing four years ago.
After learning I was sports anchor a wave of new emotions came over me; similar to those at my orientation meeting before freshman year. I was nervous, happy, and excited for what the future had in store. And I can honestly say, the experience has gone above and beyond all expectations after receiving this huge responsibility.
WVU News sports reporters have special privileges, privileges that I never take for granted, even for a second. On top of making elite packages for WVU News and always striving to make show along with the three other sports reporters, one being my co-anchor, we also receive a number of other duties.
We communicate with ESPNU Campus Connection, where we do fun activities and creatively done packages or VO’s for them, along with a number of other things. We attend football press conferences every Tuesday night at the stadium around 6:30, and also attend the press conferences they hold after games.
We receive media passes on game days where we are allowed to enter the press box and film on the field. The first time I have ever been in WVU’s press box as well as on the field was the last game against Baylor, and it again, exceeded all expectations. Our press box is gorgeous and so is our field and entire football facility.
An interesting thing to note, it was funny to me how much larger all of the players looked when I was actually on their level! I was surprised and intimidated at first, but eventually settled right in, and did my thing. I felt like I belonged there, on the field, like it was totally natural to be near all of the players and casually talking with the Mountaineer whenever he passed.
At our first show my co-anchor Jamie McCracken anchored. It was awesome getting to walk around the studio and get a behind-the-scenes look at everything. At the last show we taped, being our second, it was my opportunity to anchor.
I couldn’t believe how much fun it really was.
For a moment, I got lost in my thoughts, imagining I was on set with ESPN or Fox Sports chatting with Erin Andrews.
It is so serious and professional, that I don’t even feel like I’m a student at all. During our first run through my adrenaline was rushing, heart was pounding, and all I was thinking about was getting through my lines, reading clearly from the teleprompter, and of course, smiling.
Each run through I improved, and the final take, my best take, was the one chosen for our final tape. Maybe I sound like a child, spouting off how excited I am to have this experience. Maybe I sound naive saying I feel, at times, because of all the responsibilities we hold, like a professional sports reporter. I don’t care.
The biggest thing I want to get across to readers and anyone else who is striving for this position in years to come, is never give up and never underestimate yourself!
The experience is crucial for your future and whatever career you wish to pursue in television and media.
Talk about a hands-on class you actually enjoy, it honestly is the student experience of a lifetime. I can’t wait for the rest of the semester and the rest of our WVU News shows. Bring it on.
(From: School of Journalism Sports Blog)
“You’re on in 3, 2?”
Well, four shows down and only two more to go!
It’s hard to believe that something we have all worked so diligently towards throughout college is now over half way completed, and soon coming to an end.
This past week we shot our fourth show, which was also our special edition episode. Professor Dahlia decided this particular show would be focused on everything consumer. Where we provide the “news you can use,” as we like to say.
As you know, I am one of two sports anchors for WVUNews, alongside Jamie McCracken. The stories I’ve produced for the past three shows have all been, of course, sports related.In this situation however, I wanted to do something a little bit different? Mix it up, and challenge myself.
I decided to think of a different story angle. I didn’t want to do a typical sports consumer piece, but still wanted to cover something that incorporated athleticism and exercise, but wasn’t directly sports related. Even more so, I wanted to cover something that consumers could actually use in their everyday routine to benefit themselves!
After much thought, I decided to do my story on one of my personal favorite past times, yoga. Yoga is still a hugely ignored form of exercise, even though it has been practiced for over 5,000 years.
Many fail to recognize the great inner peace yoga provides, while also getting you in shape, and what’s better than that? It’s been proven to cure a number of physical, emotional, and sometimes even psychological ailments, and this is something I felt was especially important to make viewers aware of.
Initially, this story posed as a much bigger challenge than I had originally anticipated.
It never crossed my mind that because yoga is an extremely quiet and focused practice? Having me moving around with my camera and tripod, getting different angles and interesting shots, may cause some distractions? And lets be honest, no one wants that when trying to find their inner peace?
After speaking to a number of different yoga instructors, I finally persuaded one or two of them to letme sit in on their class, and everything went smoothly from there!
After filming, editing, and submitting my package, I was thrilled to find out that my piece had made show! I had hoped that doing something a little different from everyone else would give me the edge I needed to make it on the show, and fortunately I was right.
This was the first time my piece had made show, and I was also anchoring for our special edition episode, so I was extremely excited to say the least!
Filming began bright and early Wednesday morning as usual, at the studio. Yes, during the lovely hurricane Sandy. However, things didn’t go quite as smoothly as we were used to from the past three shows?
We began way behind schedule, and suffered numerous technical difficulties throughout the actual taping of the show.
We were convinced it was a Halloween curse?
One of the technical difficulties occurred while I was reading, where we had an issue with one of the cameras. Unfortunately, this happened on my last take of the day, which was a little upsetting to have ended on a bad note. But, luckily all of the reads I did prior to that one were good, and could be used instead!
In general, the more takes we had to repeat, the more frustrated everyone was growing. The more irritated and anxious we grew reflected in the way we subsequently performed. This in turn made everyone more nervous, and naturally the more anxious and nervous we felt the worse we performed.
Even though we all were getting frustrated by the way things were going, it was a great life lesson. We all kept smiles on our faces for the most part, and cracked jokes here and there to keep everyone’s spirits up.
Personally, I feel that the mistakes that happened that day were all good things.
It’s important to take things as they come, roll with the punches, as I like to say. I felt that the mishaps that happened on that day of filming, and the difficulties we faced, were all good things in the long run.
One of the reasons this class is so important is because it prepares us for what we will face in the real world? These mishaps occur in the real world! If anything, the more problems we run into and fix now, the better off we will be by knowing what to do when they happen in the future.
A person’s talent in many ways is not measured by how well they do in everyday situations, but how well they handle themselves and react to issues when things go wrong.
The reason I enjoy writing these blog posts so much, is yes of course to inform you on the fun opportunities I get to partake in, but more so to offer my perspective and show those reading what it’s really like to do this kind of work!
Not everything is easy in WVU News, but when it comes down to it everything is worth it.
In the end, the show we produced this past Wednesday ended up being our best show yet. I am looking forward to seeing even more improvement in our shows to come!
(From: SOJ Sports Blog)
It seems as though my time with WVU News this semester is now coming to a close.
Strange, as it feels like it was just yesterday I was walking into my first WVU News class of the semester, reuniting with old friends after a long summer break, and meeting some new ones.
However, upon entering Martin Hall at the beginning of this school year, one extremely vivid thing flashed back to my memory the second I opened the door… I remembered entering Martin Hall for the first time as a freshman, wondering what was in store for me the next four years.Nervous was an understatement?
I searched for room 205, which housed the very first class of my college career, Journalism 115, our Journalism Orientation class. After finding the correct room, I paused before opening the door? I thought to myself, “This is it, after I enter these doors there’s no going back. I’m in it for the next four years, and I will make the most of it.”
And make the most of it I did.
Each year I excelled through my Journalism classes, knowing that I was only getting closer to the one class that was arguably the most important of my college career, our broadcast capstone, WVU News.
Fast-forward three and a half years, and I am where I am today, completing WVU News and preparing myself for the real world with only one semester left here at West Virginia University.
At the beginning of Fall 2012, I remember entering room 103 to find some faces I recognized, and others I did not. I remember anxiously awaiting the chance at the end of class to meet my professor, Professor Dahlia, who I had never taken a class with before.
One of the first few days of class she played us the famous, viral YouTube video, Sweet Brown – Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That (Auto-tune Remix), to try and lighten the mood before our anchor auditions. For the rest of my life whenever I hear that song or see that video, I will always think of that moment.
At that point I knew that Professor Dahlia would not only provide us with the vital tools needed to make it in the broadcast industry, but that she would also make the journey an enjoyable one.
From the beginning of WVU News, to becoming sports anchor, to creating numerous packages, to meeting all kinds of new and interesting people, including ESPN SportsCenter anchor, Jay Harris, to where I am now, I can say with confidence that I’m ready and excited for the world beyond college.
Now, I enter room 205 to finish some of the last classes of my college career knowing full well that I am well versed on anything and everything journalism. I have the confidence in myself to pursue whatever I put my mind to. This was something I was lacking as a freshman and even lacking at the beginning of this semester, but not anymore. That is the main thing I would like to stress to anyone venturing into the WVU News world after us? Believe in yourself! WVU News and more importantly, Professor Dahlia, truly made me believe in myself. This is something I will never take for granted.
The road definitely wasn’t easy. It is especially important to keep yourself positive and always thinking one step ahead! It’s much better in this class to be proactive rather than reactive. But even more important than that, it certainly was an enjoyable ride, one that I am sad to be getting off of now. All of the stress, and even chaos at times, was well worth it.Although the memories from the beginning of the year are still fresh in my mind, all of the memories we as classmates and friends made together throughout the entire semester are what I am going to cherish forever.
(From: SOJ Sports Blog)