Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Four months ago...

I sold my life and soul to broadcast journalism.

Thirteen stories later....I'm almost at disbelief to report that I survived to tell the tale.

325. The class that all broadcast journalism majors dread. Every week for an entire semester, reporters are required to find their own stories, find credible sources to interview, shoot b-roll, shoot a stand-up, write (multiple) scripts, edit footage, voice over, produce and submit graphics, compose a package, and attempt to look good on live television, in addition to a radio story -- every. single. week.

Needless to say, I struggled.

I experienced back-knotting stress, countless sleepless nights, 6:00am treks up to the Brimhall, tears, and daily thoughts of, "Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life??"

I remember my first story I was terrified! I chose to do a piece on skin cancer prevention, and showed up at a Rite Aid parking lot to film a skin cancer tour without the slightest idea what I was doing. After looking like an idiot trying to find out what was going on, I met some of the nicest people!!! The tour director and the dermatologist I interviewed were so helpful. Andrew (bless his heart) even showed up for moral support and took me to lunch after. I'll never forget that day. I feel like I've come miles from then.

Here's a few other pics of my epic journey as a reporter:

Dermatology center in AF. They were so patient when I asked them to re-enact a check-up several annoying times. Such nice people!!!

My first live shot on depression awareness. By far my favorite story. Dr. Golightly was so gracious and helpful and Kels even came out to show some love! Shout out to Bro. Green as my photographer!

Thaicycles Benefit Concert with j. wride! Check out Thaicycles here and j. wride here. AMAZING stuff going on. Joel was so nice and got me in for free. Definitely my funnest story!

Prescription Drug Take-Back. I'd been calling Kye Nordfelt, "Kynor" all day. As if we were like BFF's or something. Haha...Embarrassing.

As a health beat reporter, I met so many kind and helpful people in the medical field. I seriously couldn't have gotten through the semester without those people, my fellow reporters, and my amazing friends and family. If anything, this experience brought me deeper-felt gratitude to have met and know such sweet and genuine people in my life.

Celebration dinner with some of the news family! I love these people.

Please take special note of Anna's face. It brings me great joy.

More than anything, my experience as a student journalist brought me a greater appreciation and respect for journalists around the world in every medium. The job is no easy task. I revere the plethora of men and women who are passionate and devoted enough to dedicate their lives to round the clock hours of seeking truth and reporting it. I believe that journalism remedies people of ignorance. It gives a voice to the voiceless. It inspires people to fight for freedom. I can't imagine a world without it.

Below is my first resume reel! Don't judge...I still have a long way to go and this thing still needs a lot of work (aka almost all my stand-ups were deleted so I should probably shoot some new ones...), but here's just a taste of my first attempt at being a bona fide reporter:

325 was, without a doubt, the hardest class of my college career. But you know what? It was worth it. I really feel so grateful to be part of one of the top communications programs in the nation.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

As Anners would say: NBD.

This is Anna and I at the library earlier tonight, studying. Or should I say "studying". Ha.

The bane of our existence.

There's only two reasons I can think of why this situation was bearable.
1. Anna.
2. We can revel in our freedom: NO MORE REPORTING.

One week till I can actually kick back and finally reunite with my family. Until then...Bring it, BYU.

Friday, November 26, 2010


This morning my dad and I walked into Target.
4:30 am.
My dad said, "I'm too smart to be doing this. People here are crazy!"
Even though the morning fiasco was my idea, I had to agree.

I always thought people were a little ridiculous to be getting out of their beds in the wee hours of the morning, just to hit some sales. Even more ridiculous are the ones who never go to bed. This morning KSL reported some people waited 10 hours in single digit degrees. I know, right?

Today, I admit I was one of those crazy ridiculous doorbusters. And...I loved it!

My dad was a trooper and let me haul him through the aisles as my personal assistant. He's such a happy guy at such an early hour. What a cutie pants.

"Can't we get like a fast pass or something?"
"Dad. This isn't Disneyland."

Needless to say, the store was packed. The check-out line wound around every aisle, and took us an hour and a half to get through. I didn't mind though--I was proud of my steals and deals! (Don't look too closely at what's inside that basket, Katja...;))

I also just found out that there's actually a reason to the name of this rhyme. Apparently "black friday" indicates the period during which retailers turn a profit, putting themselves "in the black". Now put that fun fact in your back pocket.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"There's a Light on in Chicago, and I Know I Should Be Home"

Last month I was blown away--figuratively AND literally--by the Windy City itself.

Let the truth be known: I LOVE Chicago.

Back in the summer, Shelby buzzed me a text one night: "Wanna go to Chicago with me?"
I didn't think she was serious.

I'd been DYING to travel back east for the last year (just ask my dad), but the idea of actually going seemed improbable considering my poor, college-confined wallet, and my tendency to "play things safe". By some miracle, I put my typical mentality to the wind one night (PUN), and chose to be spontaneous. Shelbs and I found cheap plane tickets, and with little thought, broke bank and set an official departure date of 10/21/10. It seemed too good to be true.

When 10/21 arrived, it was a CRAZY day. I'd been up all the previous night, working on a story that was airing that morning, and while frantically spitting out my radio story that afternoon, I was seriously worried I wouldn't make it to the airport in time. Somehow, a few hours later I found myself on an airplane with Shelby headed to Chicago.

It wasn't until we descended over the lights
of the city that night, that the reality hit me. The dream was real.

Shelby's sister, Nessa, picked us up from the airport, and dropped us off at Shelby's aunt and uncle's house in the beautiful city of Naperville--our place of board for the next five days. We stayed in Dallin's room, decked out in BYU paraphernilia. Ironic that Shelbs and I are both Ute fans.

The first day, Aunt Stacy took us to a pumpkiny festival thing. The weather was GORGEOUS and I was in love.

We watched fat pigs race, "chopped off" our heads in the Halloween guillotine, "got lost" in a corn maze, walked through a "haunted" house, and "fed animals" in a petting zoo ("ha. ha."). Check out how cute our crew was:

That night we went to the mall, and Shelbs and I
were allll over Delia's and H&M. I wish we had them in Utah, but then again...It makes them more special to have them abroad elsewhere.

Biebs was even there! Oh, baby baby baby....How I've missed my eenie meenie miney mo lover.

Next stop: Giordano's. One of Chicago's most famous pizzeria's. Chicago ain't Chicago without a deep-dish slice of one of these babies.

Saturday was the day I had long been waiting for. We took the train into Chicago (which was rather exciting in itself), and as soon as we exited the station I could barely contain myself as I ran out into the open expanse of colossal buildings, loud noise, and...lots of rain. Words cannot describe the pure ecstasy I felt at being reunited with this city.

Our first stop was the Sears Tower, which Shelby so kindly informed me is now the Willis Tower, aka her tower :). The thing is HUGE. A ride to the top was 16 bucks, so we let that one fly. I spent my dough there on some sweet postcards instead.

Turns out Chicago was a little emotional about seeing us because the city wouldn't stop crying.

SO. MUCH. RAIN. The souvenir shop was out of umbrella's and we were kinda out of luck. I was fortunate to have my coat, but poor Shelbs and cute little Ashlyn were especially freezing. We decided to postpone the city exploring until Monday and change plans to spend the day at the aquarium. The rain toned down a bit on our long trek there, and I couldn't get over how beautiful everything was. We took some of my favorite pics on the way.

Apparently everyone had the same idea we did, because the line to get into the aquarium was backed up about a mile. We started questioning our decision, when lo and behold, we were informed that families with strollers were allowed in a separate little line that put everyone else in the dust. (Thank yooooouuuu, Ashlyn!)

Shedd Aquarium. I did a little research on
the place and found some pretty cool facts. Containing over 25,000 fish, the Shedd was at one time the biggest aquarium in the world with 5,000,000,000+ gallons of water. The aquarium has 2 million annual visitors and is apparently the most popular cultural attraction in Chicago. Bottom line: this place is pretty cool.

We started out at the Happy Feet 4-D show which, not gonna lie, was a little weak compared to Disneyland's, but we still got some good laughs ("What was that?").

We then moved on to the aquatic show that I was superrrrr excited about, but turns out the show isn't actually until DECEMBER so we only got to watch the training. Kinda lame. We wanted to see more tricks, but it was still fun to watch. Such cute little dolphins and whales.

My mom made me swear I'd pay a visit to her beloved beluga whales. Apparently she had a "special" relationship with them when we lived in Chicago, which became clearly obvious when I heard them all chanting, "We miss Aprilllll!" True story, mom.

Shedd even attributed a whole floor to my ancestors! Holla to my Filipino kaibigans!

Below is some of the favorite little creatures Shelby and I met. We even got to pet a tub full of star fish. Woo!

After we had our fair share of aquatic life, the weather finally cleared up enough to venture back into the city. Our crew took a trip to Millenium Park a
nd the Jay Pritzker Pavilion reallllly made me wish a concert was going on. Beautiful.

And what's a trip to Millenium Park without a visit paid to the legendary Bean? This massive steel sculpture mirrors the city's skyline and anything in its vicinity. The thing could have kept me entertained for hours.

My heart ached when I saw this wedding going on! Everyone looked so happy and the bride was absolutely stunning. What I would give to have my wedding in the heart of Chicago.

NBC. My favorite network and home of my potential internship this spring in NYC. Everyday is indeed full of color.

Some other random shots from the rest of the night. I'm extremely disappointed I didn't get any from our frantic race trying to make it back to the train in time. 4 people and a baby booking down Chicago city streets = HILARIOUS. There's no way we would have made it back (or even survived the day) without Nessa and Tim's navigation expertise. Thanks, guys!

The night concluded with some amazinggggg ice cream that I wish I remembered the name of. Fresh from the cows down the street. They even had my beloved pumpkin. Won my heart. Check out how cute Shelbs looks even after a long day of city life.

Sunday, we strolled around some parks in Naperville, that a description of "gorgeous" wouldn't justify. The pictures and video speak for themselves. (Have I mentioned that I am in LOVE with Illinois??)

Afterwards, we went to Nessa and Tim's ward, that happened to the homecoming of an RM...Long story short, the crew got a kick out of me going up to talk to him after. Ness convinced me he was going to BYU, and he made it clear that he wasn't. Nice. My gullibility is going to get me killed one of these days. That night we had dinner with the Black's and played games that revealed mine and Shelby's apparent need to read up on the Bible. "I will never again forget Jesus." :)

Our last day in Chicago was a sad but happy one. The weather was finally in our favor!

Had to take a few shots in Bloomingdale's for McLayne. The boy would have drooled over these stores.

Tree covered in purple ribbons to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness month. Very cool.

Hershey's cupcake. Had to refrain from eating 10 more.

This is what I do back in Utah...about a million markets below hers. ;)

Then it was off to Navy Pier! Once again: breathtaking. And windy. Couldn't get enough of it. Shelbs and I were two very happy girls.

Glass museum. Serious talent here.

Since we didn't break bank for Willis Tower, I came up with the brilliant idea of convincing Shelby to ride the Pier ferris wheel with me to take in the city view. Turns out the idea wasn't so brilliant. My EXTREME fear of heights kicked in and my eyes were shut too tight to even see the epic city scene. I'm such a baby. At least Shelbs got a good laugh...

You know you love DANIELLE! ;)

Barnelli's made the cut as our final dinner destination and Shelby enjoyed this sign. "I thought it said Mrs. Fields but then I realized it said thank you..."

The rest of the night was filled with homework and a test I avoided all weekend long...ugh. I got about 2 hours of sleep, before we got to get up at like 4:00 to get to the airport. Needless to say, we felt exactly how we look:

Lucky we got out when we did, because less than an hour after we took off, the airport shut down due to the heavy rain. I was surprised they even let our plane leave. The turbulence on the way up had me and Shelby convinced we were at death's door. ("I don't wanna die today!") The showers cleared up as we headed west, and cute Shelby and I completely zonked.

Overall, Chicago was an AMAZING trip I will never forget. Shout out to Shelby for being such a sweetheart and a lifelong friend. I learned so much more about her this trip that made me love her that much more. Nessa and Tim were awesome tour guides and were so nice to tow us around! Ashlyn is one of the most precious little girls I've ever met and it was so cute to see how much Shelbs loves her. The Blacks were also such great hosts and were so gracious to let us stay in their beautiful home.

Another trip to Chi Town in the very near future is a must.