Thousand Foot Krutch

Thousand Foot Krutch
I love this band. I listen to them daily. Even though we are looking at another camera, we all look like we're alert for it being a fan signing and it's 11:30 p.m. on a Friday.

23 September 2012


My great adventure did not end Saturday night with our team meeting.

There was still Sunday.

So I got sick about 8:30 a.m. and woke up - disappointed I couldn't sleep in. I knew I wasn't going back to sleep (thanks, 8 a.m. classes). I texted one of the others and she invited me to breakfast. I go down looking like some sort of bum (I couldn't believe I looked the way I did, but remember I felt a little sick). Well, Reggie's there. He wants to eat breakfast with us. I always looked super professional and put together, so I'm superbly embarrassed about my appearance (I'm in black gym shorts and a purple tank top). Lesson learned in Fashion 101! Always be prepared for anything, including a surprise breakfast with your boss. Everyone was super laid back about it, of course. No one said anything.

Pash and I gave out copies of the Working Press to random people at breakfast. Then we ate. Then Reggie joined us for about thirty minutes; he only ate cereal with bananas. It was awesome when he points at the broadcast reporter on the TV and says, "I was his editor when he was first starting out." He said it so chillaxed and Reggie-like about it that I was like, "Whoa." Pash was too. It was kinda funny. He could easily say that about me in 20 years. (I have no idea how much time had passed since he'd been the man's editor.)

He offered to pay for breakfast but Pash turned him down - for both of us. I gave her my "let-people-bless-us-if-they-want" belief (I'll share it here sometime) after he left. But I wasn't too upset (I really wasn't, Pash). I had spending money and Reggie had been extremely generous the entire trip; he paid for most of our meals.

Pash mentioned wanting to go to Miami. Reggie bummed my phone off me and called a friend, but she didn't pick up. He then told Pash everything she could do in Miami and said it was a great idea. I was sad I couldn't go with her, but I was leaving at 3 p.m.

Reggie said bye. I was sad. He's so nice and fun and awesome. I can see why everyone loves him and why he is so awesome. As far as I know, I do not have his number. There's a random number he called from when he was looking for my address. It's somewhere on my phone, but how can I ever find it?

I managed to get Jen's number. Apparently at one point I was supposed to text her about hanging out Saturday. Since I didn't know the plans, how could I tell anyone else?

At the buffet, I got as much portable non-spoilable food I could stuff in the to-go box for the plane trip. I was getting the most out of that $20 buffet (gratuity included).

After breakfast, Pash and I go our separate ways. Lorraine was waking up and then we went down to meet the rest of the gang. We went to the beach, which I dove into in my clothes (not the jeans). Pash and Ryan swam but the others stayed on the beach. I told Pash the water probably scared them. I love the beach. I think I may have been born to live at the ocean (kidding, living on the coast is mega expensive. Nice to visit though).

I lugged my stuff downstairs to the hotel lobby, where the gang gathered for our last goodbye. Everyone was there.

We laughed, talked, swore to look each other up on Facebook and Twitter (if we hadn't already), joked we'd go to a reunion in Anaheim (yeah, California) for the 2013 national convention, and then we hugged like we'd known each other forever and were moving away from our family.

Then I got on the Go-Shuttle, gave the driver too much of a tip (he was kind of annoying) and wished I'd taken a cab with some of the others so I wasn't alone with annoying driver, silent girl and journalist man. It would have been cheaper. And more fun.

I got in line, got questioned by a gruff TSA worker (it was one question about my sea shells), got my carryon bag checked for free due to a completely-booked flight, and left Fort Lauderdale.

I was so sad to leave. Glad to see my friends in good old Cape, but sad to leave my new friends.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


22 September 2012


Lorraine, Paige, Holly and I. Some of the interns decided to hang out on Saturday night after we were officially done for the internship.

Saturday was the last day we worked on publishing a paper. At the budget meeting, we learned that everything going on the front page was going to be late. I decided that page 1 and 16 (the jump page for the front page) was going to be mine. The others agreed. One of the other page designers decided to do the center spread for the first time. The guy who pretty much did the graphics agreed, and we set to work. We sent a couple of pages early, about three before 5 p.m., which was actually pretty decent, I thought, considering we had like two stories finished. The reason we had so few stories was because the first days the pre-written stories were used, as much did not happen then.

Throughout the day, past presidents of SPJ came in and told us that the paper (the two published issues so far) looked great. People were actually calling out the page designers to tell us the paper looked fantastic. I was nearly bursting, and I think the others were too. They were impressed with the stories and the photos; he said in the past that some of the stories were so offbeat that the readers wondered if the staff members were even in the same city. I don't think that's something they tell everyone.

Everyone seemed to know where we were and wanted to see us work. Yesterday's paper had names spelled wrong. We checked carefully for that in the proofed pages, and published a correction. The SPJ Creative Director told Laura, our supervisor, that the paper looked great, and she said he was impressed. He works for SPJ so I was pleased about that.

In the midst of laying out pages, we had a dinner invitation.

We went to the awards banquet dinner (for free that cost $40). We had salmon and steak; while I liked both, I switched my steak for salmon with my roommate and the other page designer. She was from Texas and we kept joking she was a real Texan (because she mostly just liked the steak). I adored that salmon; it was so good and tender. The male page designer got the vegetarian dish and I ate his Key Lime pie because I love Key Lime pie, but I ate a piece and a half only because it was so sweet.

At the banquet, everyone cheered for us when they introduced us, and the professionals were called "volunteer professionals" on the powerpoint. We were listed with our position, title and university. Then, we left early to finish the paper.

We finally got all the pages laid out, but editing took awhile and there was some confusion. I did a lot of the proofing because I'm used to the process, and it went quickly. I PDFed a lot of pages as well and sent them, but of course the others did as well. But, we finally finished the paper.

We missed our official deadline by 15 minutes. But we were done before midnight, and everyone seemed relieved we were done. We cheered.

We had our final closing meeting at midnight. We were supposed to have it on Sunday, but our boss had a dinner date on Sunday night and had to catch an early flight out. It was a lot of fun; we pretended to plan another paper on Monday, a fun one with what tourists could do in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He told us to send thank you letters to the Miami Herald. We exchanged business cards with the professionals. Our boss told us to email him our resumes after Oct. 1 and he would look at them. He told us one page and three references with phone numbers. When I gave him my business card, he had me sign it. We hugged everyone and then we left.

The night wasn't over, though. I went to the beach with one of the reporters, Pash, because I wanted to see it at midnight. We talked for a little while. She went to bed but I wasn't tired. I got a text from the other students and went to where they were. I went with another one who wanted to go that I found in the hallway. In the cab we were in we found $7, enough to cover our trip! 

We got to the bar.

We hung out with the others, talked and played pool. Some drunk idiot who looked ancient and horrible at the other table tried to talk to me and make fun of me. I was like get away from me. The others said they didn't notice him. He left when the cop supervising came over and sat near the back door.

It began to pour, so everyone decided that instead of walking we were going to have to take a taxi. Then, the guy I found the money in the first taxi with paid for the taxi on the way back. I gave him the final dollar I found in the car in payment. It was pretty fantastic, and fun hanging out with them.

21 September 2012


We are scrambling to make deadline. Kevin had a dilemma. The photographers, reporters and copyeditors were all looking at proofs, trying to make our pages look perfect.
The first paper looked great in print! 
Day three of the internship. We began at 8 a.m. and ended at 11 p.m., missing dinner. But we made our deadline 45 minutes early, as opposed to right on time. Meeting deadline one minute early is still meeting deadline, right?

We found out at the staff/budget meeting after breakfast, a buffet generously sponsored by one of the members of Society of Professional Journalists, that the printer of the paper, the Miami Herald, thinks the publishing of our paper is important. That's so great!

Everyone really liked Thursday's design. Of course there were issues, as with any publication, and things we could improve on, but overall it was a great first issue. Professionals even complimented the paper.

In addition to laying out pages, I also received a story assignment! It was published on page 12 of the second issue, the one published on Saturday! Check it out here:

I was really excited. It's an honor, it showed my reporting and design skills off to the professionals and other journalists and gave me a byline!

We mostly worked on the issue. I'm learning a lot about working in a group, collaborating and working on a daily, which is exciting. It was day two of working on the second paper and I adjusted to the demanding pace fine; it's just like Mondays at the campus paper, except everyday.

We had about half the stories done, and three stories fell through.
Still, we made deadline.

20 September 2012


Page designers work closely with copyeditors. I am proofing pages on my computer.
Day two of the internship began, and we worked from 9 a.m. to midnight. We got our own breakfast and lunch but Reggie provided dinner, which was pizza from one of the local places while we hashed out the details of work and began to work against deadline. Our ideal deadline turned out to be 10 p.m., with the latest being midnight.We settled on the actual pages, finished some of the unsettled templates and found ideas. It seemed like some of what we settled on was different than what we previously invented. It seemed like a lot of things changed and were inconsistent, typical of a short-term publication.

I did feel a little confused about cutlines, photo credits, font sizes, graphics, etc. It turned out the other page designers thought graphics were splashy and visual. They didn't realize that text boxes were considered graphics. Our advisor, however, agreed that text boxes could be graphics. The cutlines and photo credits were another aspect that the guy who put himself in charge of templates kept changing. It was annoying and unstable, and seemed like it was more tightly controlled as opposed to more creative. We did, however, build the templates from scratch. We emphasized lining up the tops, which the male designer consistently broke. When I broke it, it deserved a strict voice. When he did it, it was creative. It's annoying; mine is a mistake, his is creative. I digress.

What did I learn? Cutlines could be put in Photoshop, although they do not show up on their own in InDesign. The photographers, though, could leave cutlines and cutlines didn't have to be typed into InDesign, but copied and pasted from Photoshop. I suppose it's a matter of style, though.

I learned about straightening the text and evening up the top and the bottom. I can see why it's hard for small staff publications to do it; it's time consuming, and when someone is not paid as much, it can be annoying to sit and do it. It really is.

I'm learning to be patient.

I've noticed stuff, too.

It's hard to change styles I've been doing for a year or so and replace them with styles I don't necessary agree with, such as centering the byline and byline title. Also, apparently a lot of publications do "by and then the name" and we don't. It's important to do it, but hard nonetheless.

I've definitely learned the importance of audience and readability as I've been defending it.
My attention to detail is returning as I've been doing it.
I love this internship! It has been a great experience.

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,


19 September 2012

The First Day

The beach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. We had some free time on Wednesday before our meeting so Lorraine, my roommate, and I went to get lunch. We walked by the beach. Our hotel had its own private beach.

This was Wednesday.

I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., at noon-ish, since I flew. I met several very friendly people on the plane, including one guy who was trying to psychoanalyze me, I think.

I departed from the plane and found the Go Shuttle, which whom SPJ had made an arrangement to offer transportation to the attendees. At the Go Shuttle, the workers and I had a few problems understanding each other and finding my hotel. But, I met my very first fellow internship member, one of the two copyeditors, who ended up on the shuttle with me. What a blessing!

We checked in together. We found out SPJ had arranged to have our WiFi fee, which was a charge in the room. The front desk worker, Natasha, suggested where to eat, how to get to the beach and where to check in.

My fellow worker and I went our separate ways to get settled into our rooms.

I met my roommate and fellow page designer. There was one more page designer we had not yet met.
We walked to the nearest and cheapest restaurant, which was moderately priced apparently for Ft. Lauderdale. I ate a bacon, egg and cheese bagel, which was delicious.

We had our first official staff meeting at 4:30 p.m., where we met Reginald "Reggie" Stuart, journalist, past President of SPJ and Wells Key Scholar recepient, Darlene Superville from the Associated Press and Jennifer Jenkins from the New York Times. They were our editors. I also met Nikki, the photo editor essentially, and Laura, the person in charge of the page designers.

We met the others and everything but their names escape me now.

We broke into our respective groups after the staff meeting. My group began to plan the pages, but first we went to a delicious seafood restaurant with the entire group, paid for by Reggie. There I met more of the fellow staff members on a more personal basis, and had a very adorable waiter I'm not afraid to admit I flirted with. I felt it was mutual.

I also tried jumbalia made in the South by southerners for the first time ever. Yes, Dr. Reiger, I actually went to the South and found jumbalia at a New Orleans-based restaurant and ate it. I had to. 

It was absolutely delicious. Spicy, but delicious. Our waiter, who was absolutely gorgeous and looked like they dragged him out of the backwaters of New Orleans, goes, "It's very spicy."

I said, "Mexican spicy?"

He said, "Spicy."

I said, "Spice it up!"

I drank four glasses of water but I ate almost all of that huge pile of jumbalia. The waiter made jokes about it while I was working on it. I just blushed, which I'm sure he enjoyed, as everyone enjoys my blushing moments. He was such a good waiter. I swear the waiter was flirting with me, though, and I wasn't even paying the bill! I never think that, but I sure thought that then. Even the other girls kinda implied it was so (and we were all flirting with him) and I never flirt with waiters, but man I was sure doing my best then for some reason. I wished all my waiters were like that (I actually usually get fairly decent waiters, but he was AWESOME - I even remember his name, Jesse, because I figured I would have to call for him to get me more water - nope, he was a good table tender - he showed up a lot).

I liked it when the waiter came back, practically dropped his head in my plate, and said, "You ladies want a to-go box?" I was very pleased, because he was definitely surprised I ate so much of it.

We had some fun conversations, me and the others girls, and me and that waiter.

After dinner the others went where they wanted to go. The page designers had a different game to play.
We had to begin deciding layout questions, fonts, styles, theme (apparently, which I do not think we stayed to) and everything. We had no guides. It was exciting, but scary. Naturally we all tried to stay with what we knew - our school newspapers or magazines. But that was three different schools of varying sizes with varying levels of staff. And magazines and newspapers are not married well to each other.

We spent from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. figuring stuff out, and then the male page designer took over a few things (literally just took them away from us) from 2:30-8 a.m. when we re-met to begin our first day on the job.

We decided on a body, headline and subhead font. I had to drill into their heads that italics do not work because audiences have a hard time reading it.

We settled on old-school, over-used Helvetica Nue as a headline and Hoefler Text for body. It's a readable font.

We settled on a flag that the male page designer came up with.

I realize now I've had opportunities I maybe wouldn't have gotten at other schools by going to Southeast, and I'm on par with people from much bigger schools.

The students are really nice, the others, photographers, reporters, copyeditors. They know their stuff (at least mostly). I love the professionals and the guidance. They're people too. They're amazing and awesome and know what they're doing. And, best of all, they're old school. I love working with them. They're very positive. So far, it's been interesting, but a little aggravating. I almost wish I had come down as a reporter now. I had to chose something, and I chose page designing back before I was managing editor. I don't regret it, of course. Doing everything here on such a demanding schedule would have made meeting deadline nearly impossible.

I'm learning so much and walking a lot too.

Thank you to everyone who has supported my trip!

Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,