To the End of the Semester–and Beyond!

To the End of the Semester–and Beyond!

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The end of the semester always sneaks up on you. First, you think there’s no end in sight, that you will never make it through grad school and onto your career. Then, all of a sudden, you have one week left, and beside wondering how you’ll ever get everything done, you realize how much you’ll miss it all. Well….most of it.

Here’s a sampling of what you can look forward to at the end of your semester:

Saturday: Finished and turned in my feature on the state of third parties in Illinois elections for Echo magazine, the college’s student run print and online magazine. It was probably the most data-heavy feature I’ve ever written, but it tells an important story. Did you know that third parties have a heck of a time just getting on the ballot in Illinois? Example, they need to collect at least 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot while the Dems and Reps only need about 10,000. Crazy, right?

Sunday: This day was spent visiting not one but two Hindu temples in one day to snag last minute interviews for my Reporting and Public Affairs: International final project. I really want to go back another day when I’m not on deadline. The temples were so beautiful and interesting.

Monday: Reporting and Public Affairs: International final project due. I presented my photo slideshow, video clips, and a 1,000 word story about Hindu immigrants from India and the ways they balance preserving their Indian heritage while trying to assimilate into American culture(s). I was pretty pleased with the photos and my story, but the video wasn’t as strong as I’d have liked. Though on the plus side, I did learn a great deal about shooting outside at night.

Tuesday: Today I did it. I turned in a final draft of my thesis, finally titled “Cyber Covens and Wired Wiccans: How Earth-Based Religions Found a Home Online.” Now I just sit back and wait for any edits from my adviser. Next step: Get a magazine to run part of it as a feature. Next next step: Keep on researching and visit some Pagan events and gatherings. Next, next next step: Book deal.

Wednesday: Woke up and started knitting a human heart for a photo to accompany a piece about the healing powers of knitting I wrote for Echo. It’s definitely the weirdest thing I’ve ever knitted, but also, possibly, the most awesome. Finished some more interviews for a feature about Kickstarter I’m doing for DEMO magazine, Columbia College Chicago’s alumni publication. So many features this semester.

Thursday: Caught up with the little tasks and assignments that got put on the backburner while I was busy finishing three monster projects in order to graduate. Also, planned a lesson for…

Friday: History of Journalism! I am journalism professor Norma Green’s teaching assistant for this undergraduate course, and in order to improve my teaching skills, she’s letting me lead a class discussion on the evolution of digital journalism. Maybe someday I will be teaching journalism classes of my own. But not before I take a little rest from this crazy last semester of grad school.