Tag Archives: future

I don’t think the past is better just because it’s cased in glass

Hello citizens of the Internet! I’m back (I know I promised in the last post that I was back, but now I’m really, really back!) and better than ever.

Along with the movies I’ve watched, the new music I’ve consumed (St. Vincent, Stromae, Run The Jewels, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend — I KNOW, I’M BEHIND. I’M WORKING ON IT), the late nights laughing ’til my sides ached, I’ve done a couple big things.

(From left to right) Myself, Colin Robinson and Maurice Tomlinson at the Supreme Court of Jamaica during the court's recess on the first day of the hearing.

(From left to right) Myself, Colin Robinson and Maurice Tomlinson at the Supreme Court of Jamaica during a recess on the first day of the hearing.

In March I traveled to Jamaica to cover an immigration hearing for the Belize documentary. There I met Maurice Tomlinson, an absolutely outstanding Jamaican LGBT rights activist who explained the situation on the ground. Maurice lives in Canada — where he fled after he was outed without consent by a Jamaican newspaper — but returned to Jamaica to fight against immigration restrictions on homosexuals in Trinidad and Tobago and Belize. While there we explored Kingston, sat through the hearings and shot an interview that will help round out our film and put it into context with LGBT rights in the rest of the Caribbean, while simultaneously showing the plight of other activists.

Post-Jamaica (like immediately after, less than a week) I began interviewing for jobs in New York City. The job I wanted the most was the most prestigious. The interview spanned two days, and the second day was a grueling journalistic competition, to say the least. I was pitted against one international reporter, one University of Albany student and 10 (yes, 10) Columbia University School of Journalism graduate students. I felt like my odds were slim to none when I realized I was the only undergrad from a school no one had ever heard of. But the experience I accrued during my time working for Naples Daily News proved to be invaluable. I could speak to records requests, content creation and creative thinking, which was on par with my competitors. Although, apparently, none of us knew how to spell (which I still say is a dead skill at this point).

In April I was offered a position with this major international newspaper based in the UK. I’m going to refrain for saying which paper until I’m a little more established, but all I can say is I’m. So. Freaking. Excited. I’ll be living for approximately six months split between London and a soon-to-be-revealed city in England, working with a local bureau. Then I’ll return to London for a month before going to work in their Manhattan office. I guess dreams really do come true.

Dinner with my extended family after my interview in Manhattan.

Dinner with my extended family after my interview in Manhattan. I’m the one in beige on the far left.

The day I found out I got the job in London, I found out I was nominated for four Sunshine State Awards. I’ve been applying to the Sunshine State Awards for the last three years and I’ve pretty much set up a nice, little home in third place every time I apply. I’m nominated for College Journalist of the Year, Best Profile, Best Coverage of LGBT Issues and Best Coverage of Race/Minority Issues. I’ve always dreamed of winning College Journo of the Year, but the good news is the two other student nominees are not only phenomenally talented and beyond worthy, they’re also Will Write For Food alumni. It just goes to show how far a student journo can go if you trap them and their peers in a homeless shelter for 36 hours. If that sounds like something you’re interested in (and want to see a picture of me! — and read my contributions) click here. This year is an alumni year (crying forever because I will be in the UK and unable to attend), so new applicants won’t receive a spot. However, you can learn how to apply for 2016. Do it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next College Journo of the Year.

My cousin Hayley and I at FGCU's Grad Bash.

My cousin Hayley and I at FGCU’s Grad Bash.

In May I graduated college. Anyone who knows me knows I have felt like college was a chain around my ankle, keeping me stuck in one place. A place I didn’t want to be. Well the chain is off, and I’m getting ready to spread my wings (oh, god. The cliches. I’m sorry.) and explore the world.

Before I move, I’m spending two weeks exploring Europe with my best friend. We’ll start in Berlin, head to Paris for a few days, then Amsterdam, and then I have to figure out a final city. I’m debating where I want to go, but let’s just say I have a few choices in mind.

For now, I’m just wrapping up my time at Naples Daily News, and trying to remember what relaxing is. Am I doing it yet? And, in all sincerity, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a while. And it’s a really nice feeling and a great place to be. I haven’t felt this way in many, many months. But I’m here now, and while I know the tide ebbs and flows, I’m enjoying this moment.

Now we’re all caught up! As these next adventures unfold, be prepared to hear a lot more from me. Until then, safe travels.

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It’s yours to find

Do you ever feel like your fate sits on the edge of a knife? Lean one way and it’ll fall into chaos. Lean the other and it’ll fall into place. That’s kind of where I’m at right now.

I can’t tell you anything about the story I want to tell you about so desperately, but I think this teeter-totter feeling has a lot to do with it. Like I am sitting on the potential cusp of something really important, and I’m just not sure what’s going to happen. I actually feel this way in many aspects of my life right now.

In addition to this mystery story, I’ve been working really hard on getting application material ready for internship season. I sent off one application to The Boston Globe (*heavy breathing*) and I’m working on applications for The Overseas Press Club, WaPo and The L.A. Times Washington D.C. Bureau. I missed the deadline on a few opportunities like The Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times, but if I’m being perfectly honest, I really want to leave Florida. So maybe I subconsciously blew those deadlines so I’d have to find a way out. Also, if you know me, you know I just love to sign myself up for responsibilities that are way over my head and then rise to the occasion.

EN staff writer, breaking news reporter, editor-in-chief, Will Write For Food staff writer, news clerk, associate multimedia journalist. Each one scarier than the last. Each one a way way way bigger challenge. I don’t know why I love this strange form of masochism, but I come out on the other side a better writer and a stronger person, so I guess it’s a good kind of struggle.

But here’s the thing: This is what makes me happy.

Having something to look forward to. Having a challenge. Being challenged. That’s where I excel. Again, I think this is why I’m so stoked for this potential story I can’t talk about. (We need a codeword for this story so I can stop calling it “the story I can’t talk about, yet somehow manage to keep talking about” so lets just call it Project NoFla). Both the applications and Project NoFla could fall through, but the work and effort toward that goal is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I really love this. And so, because of that, life in this moment is good.

WARING: OBNOXIOUS BASKETBALL TANGENT: Okay (I know I’m violating AP Style, leave me alone), other things I need to talk to you about: THE MIAMI HEAT ARE BACK. EVERY ONE ELSE CAN SUCK EGGS. CHRIS BOSH SCORED 30 PTS TONIGHT. NUHH UHH CAN’T TELL ME NOTHIN’… I’m really sorry, I know I’m embarrassing myself, but I just get so excited for that Miami Heat basketball. Spoiler alert: You’re going to have to deal with this for the rest of the season. TANGENT OVER.

WARNING:photo 1 FLORIDA WEATHER TANGENT: And speaking of season, today was the first cold day in South Florida. It’s 52 degrees in the Gulf right now, and I’m absolutely freezing. My New York blood has completely run thin, but I am so in love with this part of the year in this state. I want to drive everywhere with my windows down, my heat blasting and a good playlist drowning out the noise of the wind as it rips past my windows on the highway. I know there’s one person who totally gets this. TANGENT OVER.

SUPER IMPORTANT PSA. IF YOU’RE ONLY READING ONE THING HERE, MAKE IT THIS: Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. GO VOTE PLEASE. PLEASE. NO SERIOUSLY. AMERICA. VOTE. Yes, we all know the midterms aren’t as sexy and exciting as the presidential election, but there are some huge items on the ballot that need to be looked at in every state. Please, do your civic duty as a free American citizen; educate yourself and vote.

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Do you hear the people sing

The will of the people is an incredible thing. Like a domino effect, the tides turn — not just in one nation, but in many — when people get fed up. You have to reach the end of your rope, put your foot down and say “no more.” It happened in the Arab Spring in Egypt and Syria. It’s still happening in Ferguson, Mo. And now it’s beginning in Hong Kong.

What I love about this is it goes to show how strong human will is. When people want freedom, when an injustice has be served society doesn’t just roll over and accept it. They get mad. They band together. And they demand something be done. The power of the human heart to demand its voice be heard as a collective is the most powerful force in the world.

I really hope in my lifetime I get to cover one of these protests or movements. And the thing I love the most about these demonstrations is that they’re started by college-aged kids. The Arab Spring and the Hong Kong protests were all started by students who saw government taking too much control, overstepping its bounds and said, “absolutely not.”

And people say our generation doesn’t care about anything but iPhones and Facebook.

We are the most intelligent, most engaged, most well-connected generation of all time and there is no force of government that can stop us.

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Photo by Ivan Watson/CNN

There’s a picture circulating online of a banner in Hong Kong with words from Les Miserables, which reads, “DO U HEAR THE PEOPLE SING?” I grew up with Les Miz, and prior to that image, I really never knew what that line meant.

“Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again. When the beating of your heart echos the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.

Do you hear the will of the people? It is a song that cannot be unheard. We are here. We are not slaves to the government. The government works for us. And the youth of the world knows this and refuses to be pushed. I find it highly inspiring that there is a great and glorious future lead by this generation ahead of us.

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