Tag Archives: The College of Saint Rose

Online Journalism may just be the death of me

This class is wiping me out.  It is just such an odd fit for my personality.  I have to force it each week. 

And I feel so guilty about that.  Here I have a wonderful professor who LOVES Journalism.  She is so excited about it.  The fact that I do not share her passion for the profession makes me feel as though I have a dirty little secret. 

Her passion does at least give me an appreciation for it.  That is the best she can probably do with me.    

The trouble is that this class is consuming my life.  If am not doing work for it, then I am stressed because I am not.  We have 3 books for this class and I am always behind in the reading.  I had this idea that we were going to be passively learning about the profession of journalism.  I don’t know why I would think that.  Saint Rose is nothing if they are not hands on. 

We have to actually write interesting stories to publish.  It is an insane amount of work.  Writing an article for a news story is inherently different than regular coursework where you read a book, and write a paper.  For a news story, you have to research your subject, research it some more, interview people, get annoyed when they don’t call you back, call some other people, change your story because the people you wanted to speak to either weren’t available or they didn’t give you the angle you were hoping for and then write and re-write. 

I went through this process and handed in my “story” thinking it was a gem.  I had put so much of my heart and soul into it that it just had to be good, right? Ha ha ha. When I received the graded paper, it had so much red ink from the corrections the professor wrote that I am positive she used the entire pen grading my paper alone. 

Grade?  B+.  Yippee.

Despite all of that, the relief that I felt when I had the story published was overwhelming.  I spent 5 full minutes enjoying that reprieve before the panic/terror overcame my body when I realized that my next “story” is due… on Monday.  You know in four days.   The celebration time after you get a story published is practically nonexistent.

Welcome to my world of journalism.  Now you know what I have been doing with all of my “free” time.   

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Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind

Crisis Simulation

The semester is quickly drawing to a close.  I just cannot wrap up the semester without chronicling some of the highlights. 

When we arrived to our Crisis Communications class a few weeks ago we were immediately placed in a simulated crisis.  Each of us were paired with another classmate and handed a piece of paper that contained a crisis in which we, as the PR professionals, were to respond. 

I was paired with one of my friends from class and darned if we didn’t pull the short straw.  In our fictional scenario a patient died in our hospital because one of the nurses were not administering the proper medicine but using it for her own personal use. 

Hmm… Now isn’t that a pickle. 

It really doesn’t matter that we have no experience in the medical profession.  The exercise is to teach us how to handle ourselves when dealing with the media (and the family in this case) during a crisis.  Saying “no comment” is not an option.  This course is about handling a crisis dead on with integrity and transparency.

We had five minutes to prepare and then we were to stand before our peers who were posing as the media.  They took their jobs very seriously.  They were tough.  I was pleased that my partner and I came out unscathed from this little exercise although I made a couple of mistakes.  Let’s call them learning opportunities. 

Each one of us had a turn and we were able to reflect and critique ourselves after each simulation presentation. 

Being up there on the hot spot with a quiet room of your peers staring at you with blank expressions was quite different from passively reading the book. Just like everything else in life, I believe that true learning comes from practice.  Reading certainly helps, but going through the motions is more valuable.   In my opinion, this is learning.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  I loved being challenged in this way.

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Garage to Glory part II

I have been so wrapped up in things in my personal life (a sick child, the desperado plunge in the local elementary school, living outside of the law.. just to name a few) that I never did follow-up about my experience with Garage to Glory.

Last Friday, The Times Union and The College of Saint Rose collaborated to put together a contest and a live show.  The intention is to inspire local musical talent to take part in a competition where the winner will receive a free music video and a music CD that will be produced by The College of Saint Rose. 

As you may know, I am taking a Video Class at the college and participating in the production of this show satisfies a class requirement for our grade.  If you have followed along, then you know that this class is not a traditional class.  Which is awesome for me.  I am not a traditional student.  Fits like a glove.  In the TV studio we learn more just doing it than we would reading a text. 

There were two classes that would make up the “crew” for this live show.  Our professor, who has a ton of previous experience in television, is our supervisor.  He never acts like a supervisor in the way that I am used to.  He is tough, but he really gives us space to make our own mistakes and learn on our own.  We had run through a series of practices to set up and break down the equipment prior to the night of the show.  We did all the troubleshooting the week before the class. 

There was so much to do and so many wires.  You could get dizzy thinking about it all.  My professor was so clever in the way that he assigned our roles.   He made sure we could do it.  Each of us had a very defined role.  We did not deviate.  We did exactly what we were told and we stayed at our post until we were relieved. 

We were all so nervous that we were like a bunch of grasshoppers confined to a mayonnaise jar.  I couldn’t understand why our professor wasn’t nervous.  When I asked him he said this:  “I covered 9/11.  This is child’s play.”

He sure is right about that.

Now, if you watched the show you probably noticed it wasn’t as smooth as a live version of American Idol.  However, I thought we did a good job.

I was amazed at my professor’s composure; I was impressed with Dan Fogerty’s ability to host the entire show after being asked to do so at the very last minute and I was impressed with Dana’s ability to interview the musicians on the fly.  But what I really loved was the way that everyone really took their jobs so seriously and how we worked so well together.  It was great fun and I was proud to be a part of it. 

Sadly, I didn’t get to hear a lick of the music that was being played.  We all had headphones on – so we could only hear ourselves speaking to each other.  We didn’t want to miss a cue.  However, I send hearty congratulations to the winner “Try Sarah Topps”.  I look forward to working with these guys in the future when we shoot their music video.

Let’s hope that Garage to Glory becomes an annual event!

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Filed under adult education, Alicia Legg, Continuing Education, No Adult Left Behind