Happy Birthday, Facebook!

In honor of the social networks 10th birthday, I wanted to share this gem from the November 2005 issue of The Prowl Newspaper – Oakville’s finest – which gave the first point-of-view on the network. Please ignore my junior in high school writing ability, and enjoy.

Getting Personal

Journalism: My First True Love

The glory days of journalism, when all you needed was a pad of paper and a typewriter.

I stumbled upon this killer Pinterest board this morning thanks to my former teacher & mentor Mr. Mitch Eden. Scrolling through pages of layout designs and visuals made me remember what really fueled my passion five years ago when I was accepted into the Mizzou School of Journalism – the desire to make a difference.

As an 8th grade student at Oakville Middle School, I already knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – I was going to be a journalist. Whether I was writing for the back page of Sports Illustrated or designing layouts for Cosmopolitan, I wanted to be first in line with my notebook and recorder. I soared through writing papers and joined the school newspaper team as soon as I could. Playing around after school finding funny things to print seemed so juvinille, but I loved it.

I entered high school on cloud nine, hearing only the best about the Prowl newspaper. After waiting the necessary year, I signed up immediately for Journalism 1 and became entranced with Rick Reilly articles and principles of reporting. I knew I found my niche. That December issue of the Prowl was my first published work – an article about the 2005 NHL Lockout and how it affected fans and local players. It’s still one of my favorite articles.

The following year I took on the role of sports editor. Lucky for me, I went to a school with a pretty killer hockey team, so I was able to pitch stories and assign writers for our State Champion Tigers and more. I wrote the first Prowl article about Facebook, the quiet, college social network that was expanding into high schools. OK – I failed at predicting the future, but I learned the tricks and tips it took to become a real writer.

Towards the end of my junior year, I was pumped to start the following year of the Prowl. My best friend Jackie was Editor In Chief, and I was layout editor. It was going to be the best year yet, until Eden dropped a bomb – “I’m taking a position with Kirkwood.” I’m not sure what emotion took over more in room 234 – shock, disbelief or silent. The man who helped fuel my passion was leaving during the most crucial year of my career (or so I thought). Still, there is no one I respect more.

Senior year began and the Prowl was published as planned. I was unable to be in the Journalism class due to scheduling conflicts, yet I was in room 234 a whopping  14 + hours a week developing layouts, articles and even Yearbook pages. It was this time that I began writing columns – the prequel to Sorry I’m Not Sorry and Glatz & Glamour if you will.

I applied to the one and only University of Missouri without a doubt in my mind, and was admitted to the Journalism school immediately. I took a turn along the way, studying Strategic Communication, however I still learned plenty in my Principles of Journalism class and reporting. I even took a dream position with Inside Hockey covering my St. Louis Blues.

As I sit at my desk, writing up a document on the network I never thought would make it back in 2006, I hope that my passion hasn’t completely died. After all, you’re never too old to dream, right? Who knows, maybe you’ll see my shining face gracing the back page of Sports Illustrated someday.

Getting Personal

The Five Year Plan

If you could go back to 2007 and ask me where I’d be in five years, I’d be talking so fast you’d never fully understand, but you’d know I was excited about my future. I was going to be graduated from the best journalism school in the nation, writing copy for brands like Budweiser and the St. Louis Cardinals at a huge, beautiful office in St. Louis for big bucks. I’d be living the life in my loft apartment in Kirkwood, walking my dog every day and having an endless among of time to spend with my friends and family.

Now, here I am, five years later, nearly crying at how wrong my predictions were. Yes, I did graduate from Mizzou’s prestigious school of journalism. I have a job. I live in an apartment, and I do walk my dog a few times a week. But it’s not my dream loft or dream job, and i’m too wore out to see friends by nightfall. The friends that I’ve kept, that is. But is it really a disappointment, or just the reality of my generation?

Have I short changed myself? Have I let fear get in the way of my dreams? Or was I wishful thinking from the start?

Who knows. What I know, is that I’m not the person I set out to be. Not implying I’m a negative version of my once hopeful self, but I don’t see myself living up to the potential I set out for when I walked across the stage at my high school graduation. I feel as though I’ve become one of many – the dreary, post-grads just trying to get by, still relying on mom and dad and anyone else willing to lend a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on or a devoted ear to listen.

I look at my dad, who started as an installer at 18, and has worked his way up through a fortune 500 company with little to no college education, while I am struggling to show off my strengths and make my value known. Here I am, attempting to be “independent,” while my dad was responsible for himself and my mother at a younger age. Here I am, baffled by the thought that people my age are raising children and buying houses, while I’m struggling to find $10 to see the Hunger Games before pay day. These colleagues and friends are mature, responsible, and reliable. Where does that leave me?

Don’t be mistaken, I am extremely grateful for the life I live. My loved ones are healthy; I made it out of college without debt; I’m gainfully employed. I have friends and family who love me, a boyfriend always available for encouragement and a dog who curls up to me when I need it most, but I can’t help but think something is missing.

Who knows – maybe i’ll find my missing piece at the bottom of a glass of wine, the last bite of an ice cream cone, or even lying on a beach somewhere in the sun. but when I do, you’ll be the first to know.


Picking the right Apple

It’s hard to believe that 35 years ago, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were just forming what as become one of the greatest companies of all time. In light of Steve Jobs passing, it’s only fitting to talk about how Apple has impacted my life, and the legacy Jobs has left in this technologically advanced world.

Like many girls, my infatuation with Apple started in the Harvard book store where Elle Woods, decked out in bunny gear picked up her orange MacBook. It was love.

I still wish they made that computer. Sadly, my parents didn’t think a 12-year-old needed a computer, so I was left to dream.

One day, my dad came home from work with an iPod shuffle. “Won this from a vendor. Do you want it?” The holy grail was in my hand. After loading it up full of *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, I couldn’t wait to increase my Apple collection.

I moved on to get an iPod nano for Christmas during high school, and then my senior year, I was finally able to pick up my MacBook 13inch, straight out of the j-school bundle. It came with an iPod video. #winning

FYI – this was my J 1000 class in Cornell Hall at the University of Missouri. I’ve got one of the black macs. Can you find me?

As I moved on into college, I found the need for a MacBook Pro. This was when my parents learned the magic behind Apple, as they took my old MacBook for themselves.

Oddly, I waited for the iPhone 4 before picking one up, however it was the greatest phone decision of my short cellular life. I could never go back to another.

Today I’ll make my next Apple purchase – an iPad 2. Somewhat for fun, somewhat for business, but 100 percent of loyalty to the brand.

Sure, Steve Jobs didn’t cure cancer. He didn’t end wars. But what he did was impact the lives of millions through technology. To me – that’s pretty damn cool.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

RIP Mr. Jobs.