You probably won’t believe this, but I am transferring again! No, seriously, I actually think I will this time. Yes, I have decided to once again – for the third time – transfer universities. I previously attempted to transfer to the University of Southern Indiana and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee but was unsuccessful because of financial aid and classroom credit issues.
There are of course many things that will factor into my decision on where I will transfer to. Cost, credits, scholarships, class sizes and opportunities will play major roles in my decision.
Why? Why would I transfer schools in the second semester of my junior year of college? Well, the answer is pretty simple: I don’t enjoy what I'm learning at my current university (University of Wisconsin-Parkside). Communication is an odd major and for me, it’s not really a subject I want to study. Academically, I’ve been fine while at Parkside. My grade point average is over a 3.0 and I’ve never received anything lower than a B in any of my communication courses here.
So what do I want to learn? Well, if it isn’t already obvious on this website, I want to become a successful broadcaster. Learning about social justice, identity, and other things won’t help me improve and become a more effective broadcaster. I do take those things for granted, and appreciate the professors here who've helped me gain information in regards to those things.
And lastly, this is where I tell you where I’ll be enrolling next fall, right? Eh, you won’t get that today. That’s mainly because I haven’t fully decided yet on that special university. Right now, Marquette University sits atop my list followed by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. For some, you might already be aware that I am a member of Marquette’s National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) chapter. Other universities will certainly come into consideration, but for now, those are the two schools.
Once the decision is made, you'll find out from me via Twitter (like 99.9% of news that is broken today), so stay tuned.
First off, my hair is typically never that long.
Not too long ago, I put together a post about being Eritrean and a sports journalist in the U.S. When looking at things specifically, there’s still only one other sports journalist in America that’s Eritrean. In general, there aren’t many Eritrean or Ethiopian journalists here in our country. There are only three that I currently know of: Master Tesfatsion, Rahiel Tesfamariam, and Semhar Aria. Despite the small number, I consider all of us trail blazers, in my honest opinion.
This past weekend in Urbana, IL at #nabjs14, I actually met a fellow Eritrean journalist in person for the first time in my life. On the gorgeous and hotter-than-hell-inside-the-classrooms campus at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, I met Senait Gebregiorgis during an icebreaker session on the first day of the summit.
Funny thing is, I already kind of took note and wondered if she was habesha (“habesha” is a person that is Eritrean and/or Ethiopian) just by how she looked. Of course, when she stated her name was Senait, it made clear sense. The same thing ran through her mind when I introduced myself.
Anyways, I totally didn’t expect to meet another Eritrean college journalist at a summit in the worst state in the whole country (sue me if you feel I’m wrong). Of course, everyone thought we looked just like, which is absolutely nothing new to us.
It was great to finally talk in person with somebody around my age that is going through the same things at home just like me. When Senait told me she has to explain her career to her parents, I acted like a frantic teenage white girl and said, “me too!” No shame.
And just like Master reached out to me a few months ago, I did the same to Senait and gave her my contact information. Even though I am still learning in college myself, I want to pass down what I know to other habesha journalists since we’re so limited.
To summarize, there are a total of seven habesha journalists that I know of in the U.S. today. That includes three other students and myself, followed by three professionals. Maybe it’s just a weird itch, but I have a feeling this number will keep growing in the coming months.
On April 3, 2014, I attend my first ever NABJ event with fellow college journalist from different areas in the country. It was the NABJ Illinois Midwest Journalism Summit 2014, located in Urbana, IL. It took place at the University of Illinois campus, home to over 40,000 students. The distance was roughly an hour or so away from downtown Chicago, and about three and half hours away from Milwaukee.
For this being my first event with other African-American student journalists, I didn’t know what to expect going into Day 1. That changed. The hospitality everyone received from the NABJ-UIUC chapter on the first night was so comforting. They greeted us all individually as soon as we walked through the door, and yes, it was definitely unexpected, but it made everyone feel like family (which we all are). After briefly hearing an informative speech from Herbert Lowe, we all proceed to eat and mingle with one another before the student panel took place next door. Unfortunately for me, my braces got in the way of things and I had to consume my pizza later.
I would love to go on about how amazing the summit was, but I will save that for another post. Written below are my ten favorite takeaways from the NABJ Midwest Journalism Summit 2014:
1. You’ve got to be a 10 tool journalist (social media, editing, shooting, etc.). This came from entertainment reporter Marcus Riley of NBC5 Chicago when he lectured on early Saturday afternoon. This applies to any journalist no matter what your field is.
2. When working as an entertainment reporter on the red carpet, have a money question. Marcus gave a cool example of this when he reported at the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Party. He asked celebs what they would name their horse if he/she were in the competition. The responses he received are hilarious.
3. Be accurate instead of being first, and make sure your stories are accurate. This came from Jonathan Hood of ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com. It’s one of the biggest problems I think many young sports journalists fail to realize. Some tend to just want to be the first on breaking something and ignore the steps on how to fully confirm news. Hood also mentioned to make sure that you have at least two sources in sports reporting.
4. Write everything down and keep a notebook. Amanda Porterfield of CBS WCIA 3 explained how when she’s out in the field, she talks with so many people that she brings a notebook to use as a reference for her stories. Use it to track and keep record of phone numbers along with helping with time management.
5. Anything that the government is involved in, it’s open to inspect. If you love investigative reporting, this might be something new to you. Senior political analyst Alden Loury explained this to us in the first session of the day. Loury also mentioned that property records are helpful for cases to help piece things together.
6. When doing investigative interviews, decide on the approach, prepare, and know your stuff. Loury suggested that you may also ask lighter questions to warm up your interviewee. Keep it real, too.
7. Leave color off of your resume. I personally know a lot of students who are told to have color on their resume. I don’t have a spec of color on mine and I like it that way. Herb Lowe gave a fantastic presentation on cover letters, resumes, social media and much more in the second-to-last session of the event.
8. In sports reporting, 80% of the job is listening. You can find out so much more when you actually listen. You don’t even have to think about this in regards to your job. Next time you’re out in public, listen to the things people say around you (don’t get nosey). It’s funny what people will actually tell you if you listen closely.
9. If you have a unique experience, share it. People can learn from your experience that you put out there. Never be afraid to talk about the things you have gone through. You never know who you might inspire someday.
10. When you have something in the present, connect it to the past. As an example, Jonathan Hood talked about the recent horrid slump of the Indiana Pacers in the NBA. He then mentioned how somebody can either write on other teams in the past few years who have slumped like Indiana, and how they fared in the playoffs right after.
11. 33% personal, 33% news, 33% information. This applies to the social media world.
When you walk through the main hallway of Brown Deer High School/Middle School (the district combined the two together in one building starting in late 2011), you’ll pass along art classroom’s and the school cafeteria before arriving at a four-way intersection also referred to as, “the four corners”. At that intersection, you can go to the restroom, get trampled by students, or gaze at Windex polished trophies inside a glass display case won by the north Milwaukee suburb. Also inside that case is a newspaper from 2002 with NBA forward Steve Novak on the front page. It shows a picture of Novak smiling cheek-to-cheek while holding his then Houston Rockets jersey after being drafted in the first-round in New York City.
Novak, 30, graduated from Brown Deer in the summer of 2002 before he made his way to Marquette University, – which is located roughly 15-20 minutes away in downtown Milwaukee. During his time at Brown Deer, as a junior, Steve averaged 22.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots per game. In his senior season, Novak averaged 20.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. In 2002, he was also named the Gatorade Wisconsin High School Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year.
Just last month on March 15 in Madison, Wis., his former high school added another trophy inside that display case in the four corners. The Brown Deer boys basketball team (23-5) brought home the school’s first Division 3 state title after defeating Lodi, 59-37.
“It’s huge, I think for Brown Deer to have built a new field house and have a state championship this year, is special. It’s something I was never able to get,” Novak told me early Saturday before his Toronto Raptors played the Milwaukee Bucks that evening.
Brown Deer’s most recent experience in the WIAA tournament came in 2002 when Novak was a senior. The Falcons fell 46-37 to Madison Edgewood that season. “For them to bring it home, it’s just special.”
Brown Deer has been in a loaded Woodland Conference for the last several years. They’ve been overshadowed by powerhouses such as Pewaukee, New Berlin Eisenhower and Greendale, but Novak believes the school will start to finally get the attention they deserve.
“When you win a championship it validates everything you’re doing, they’re on the map, that’s for sure. I think that you don’t win a championship by accident. It’s just great to see that they were able to put a year together like this because I think all of those other teams in the conference are going to be aware that not only did they win a lot of games in the conference, but they did it on the biggest stage.”
Yesterday Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins finally announced his decision to enter the NBA Draft this coming June. Wiggins is regarded as the top prospect in the upcoming class alongside Duke freshman Jabari Parker – who will be making his announcement soon. Anybody who has paid attention to college ball this year knew that Wiggins was going to declare all along. It wasn’t a shocker, and certainly wasn’t anything to cancel wedding plans over or anything like that.
For the sake of adding a comedic twist to his announcement, I blogged today about the hilarious sentences that Wiggins constructed during his news conference. I’m two years older than the guy, so c’mon, I (along with pretty much anybody with a brain) know exactly how Andrew Wiggins reeeally felt yesterday.
This post is in no way intended to insult Andrew, but to just point out two things he said that I find funny. That’s all.
“It wasn’t an easy decision because the fans showed me so much love here. I just wish I had more time.”
Hold up, Andrew. You DO know that you have more time, right? Now I do believe he was being honest when he said it wasn’t an easy decision, but that’s only because the students and fans in Kansas show tremendous support for the basketball team. Even though he’s a consensus top-three draft pick, leaving the fans there was something that slowed his decision down for 0.4 seconds.
“College goes by so fast. When you aren't getting paid, everything speeds up around you.”
Alright, he didn't say the second sentence. As somebody who is still in college (I’m just the tender age of 21 y’all), honestly, it does. It goes by even faster when you play only one year of basketball, though.
Good luck to Andrew Wiggins as he prepares for the next chapter in his life. Dolla dolla bill y’all.
Behind the Broadcaster
This blog displays topics that interest me -- including culture, entertainment, music, and life experiences.