- Ventura US-CA
- [email protected]
There are obviously many elements that must be considered to produce a successful publication, but through the year I've felt one of the most important and undervalued character traits in the Dragon Press to be courage. Being in such a valued program comes with a great amount of responsibility, but it also can leave new staffers feeling intimidated, especially in the face of more seasoned writers. I felt this intimidation throughout the entire first semester, being in the news section and surrounded by some of the best writers in the class, and even at the start of my time in opinion. However, as I spent more time in opinion I realized that all of the writers were demonstrating the courage I lacked as I worried so often how my pieces would be received. This realization first gave me even more respect for the people I already looked up to, but more importantly gave me the push to see that to be like them I needed to demonstrate the same courage to voice what I felt was important for readers to hear, even sometimes when that meant voicing opinion against some of those same writers. As I realized this, I believe my writing got better and I'm excited to see where this newfound character trait will take me in the next year as I continue to write freelance.
"Friend Zoned?" Stop the selfishness; get over it: This was my first idea for a piece, as it was a subject seeming to plague the lives of high school students and young adults pretty much globally. Sick of criticism from every angle for not having romantic feelings towards my male friends, I felt the need to detail what was wrong with the argument for the friend zone and defend my and countless other girls' side of the story. I enjoyed writing it and especially seeing that being in the Opinions sections was a much better fit for me than in News, where I was the previous semester. Starting with this article, I began to be stopped occasionally in the halls by girls I'd never talked to who said they could relate with or enjoyed my writing, and being able to see my writing be put to that effect was an amazing feeling.
Q&A on the female psyche: This piece came about after a guy friend, who, fed up with hearing girls announce that they "need[ed] to pee", vented his confusion and frustration to me with the what he felt to be "vulgar" outburst. His words served as inspiration for me to ask a couple male friends what questions they had about the opposite sex, and then answer them on behalf of my own sex. Another fun article to write, and as it was another "social"/ "male/ female interaction" column, I started being compared to Carrie Bradshaw (secretly I love this) so that was cool.
Loving humanity through and in spite of the terror: One of my more recent articles, I took a break in most of my lighthearted pieces to respond to many of the responses to the Boston bombings. I obviously was frustrated by the negativity surrounding every conversation, which of course would be expected. I was just as shaken as anyone else and by no means meant to diminish any of the horror; after all I'd been in Copley Square only two weeks prior to the bombings, but I felt and still feel that if we as a society separate to criticize anything and everything in the wake of such tragedies, nothing will get better and such tragedies will only continue rather than decrease.
I haven't exactly been a "leader" in this class, but I do value and feel grateful for the initiative I demonstrated at the start of the second semester in switching sections from news to opinion. This better suits my writing skills and I feel provides a new element to the opinions section, which as Lucas so astutely comments, "talk about awkward situations that need to be addressed."
This probably doesn't sound like it demonstrates too much initiative, but at the time when I chose to write "Loving humanity through and in spite of the terror" I felt a fairly large sense of responsibility to respond to what I felt to be a horribly discouraging and unproductive column piece on the same subject of the Boston bombings. It was also kind of intimidating to be voicing an opinion almost directly against such a valued writer to the publication, but I was satisfied with the end product and with myself for stepping beyond that fear to write what I felt needed to be said.
For the past 4 years I've been a tutor at the Project Understanding Tutoring Center here in Ventura, helping kids in subjects ranging from phonics to Algebra I. Currently I work with a 10 year old boy named Addam once a week.
In those 4 years I've also lead worship once a month at my church, Orchard Community (formerly Eastminster Presbyterian), where I sing. This past fall I interned for the Tony Strickland Campaign for Congress, where I worked as a secretary and filled in wherever else needed be. This summer I will intern with many of the same people I worked with during the campaign, this time for a project with Golden State Water.
One of eight Dragon Press columnists.
Tutor to children ages five to fourteen in subjects such as reading, writing, earth and physical sciences, and elementary math through algebra I.
When not at the front desk, I entered data, walked precincts, and phone banked.