“What Did You Learn Today?”

Thank you! I enjoyed the class very much!

Blogging has never been a “thing” of mine. I intended to start one with Tumblr but the widgets, sidebars, and accessories that come with it just confused me, so I avoided it. I love the idea of actually writing and devoted my time to a written journal. However, this class added a new level of journalism that never came to mind.

I definitely got a glimpse of both the old and new media. Our local newspaper doesn’t do much with their online website. In fact, the Navajo Times has a better website – and it’s easier to navigate. And they are located on the Navajo Reservation. If I intern at The Daily Times again, hopefully I can use my newly sharpened multimedia skills.

One thing I learned for sure is writing a blog can get you seen; use the blog as a live resume or portfolio. I always wondered how future employers would see my stories from our local newspaper, The Daily Times. I figured I would need to do it “old school” and show the employers the newspaper clippings. There’s only one story that caught on the wire, which they may find easily – Cowboys & Aliens. Now, it only takes a few paragraphs, a couple clicks, and I can link my article to my blog.

This course did a great job with bringing in a variety of professionals; each instructor with a specialty in sort of journalism platform, such as print journalism, blogging, writing books, freelancing, or writing reviews.  I had no idea how to write a review or an opinion piece. I am generally not an opinionated person because I believe that you should adjust and overcome any obstacle. Each instructor critiqued a different part of my pieces and it made each one stronger.

Rohan Daft was another favourite part of the class. He amazed me with his background: writing the gossip column for the London Evening Standard, writing a couple Spanish cookbooks, freelancing, teaching at a university in Spain, and writing a blog for Richard James, a Savile Row tailor company. His experience was impressive but I admired his sense of adventure the most. He moved to Spain one day without money and a job, and didn’t know the language. I admire people who have the bravery to do such things and hope to do the same one day, but move to South America.

On another note, I was familiar with all the fieldwork we needed to do, such as going out to get interviews, capturing photos, recording video. It came naturally and I learned one or two things from here.  I loved learning a new video-editing program, Adobe Premiere Pro. Reza said that with journalism going the way it’s going, it’s a brilliant idea to know a few video-editing programs because each newspaper, computer, or future employer will be different. Knowing how to work a variety of programs will make you stand out as well.

Blogging was the major multimedia platform that I wanted to gain knowledge in. Linking, adding photos and videos is like collaging. Hopefully, my blogging skills develop as well as researching because that is where the stories are. A journalist digs and digs to find the right story.

I also never realised that blogging does have a connection with social media. And the video showed to us during the first few days of class was fantastic.

Overall, I am certainly glad I took this course! I took a variety of journalism courses in Colorado and South Dakota so this definitely expanded my knowledge and broadened my resources. I believe that creating a blog for our athletic training program at Fort Lewis College would be great to add another medium to our website and I can combine my major and minor. I hope to keep my blog going for professional purposes as well and keep up with my personal one because you will improve each time you write.

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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Assignment, London


News Update: Day 68 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay

Weighing 800-850g, the Torch, is perforated with 8,000 holes to represent each torchbearer participating in the relay.

With two days until the Opening Ceremony, the Olympic Torch Relay continues to bring countries together and inspire millions of people around the world. It’s a tradition dating back to the ancient Olympic Games in Greece.

BBC reported on the traditional ceremony, which is held at the ruins of ancient Greece. The Flame is lit using a mirror and the sun’s rays. The Flame travels around Greece before being handed off to the Host City for another ceremony in Panathenaiko stadium in Athens.

London, the Host Country, receives the Flame and it is transferred from one Torchbearer to another throughout the country and ends when the last Torchbearer lights the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, signaling the start of the Games.

The route visits 1,000 iconic landmarks (pictures of places!) throughout the UK, such as The Eden Project, Stonehenge, Fort Rail Bridge, and Wembley Stadium, the stadium of the 1948 Olympics, Hyde Park, and ending at the Olympic Stadium on Friday, 27th July.

Today marks day 68 of the Flame’s journey in the United Kingdom. Ruper Grint, Ron Weasely from the Harry Potter series, will be carrying the Torch due to his work with children charities. The Flame traveled at 9:17am from Harrow to Haringey and will arrive at the Alexandria Palace Celebration Stage at 6:46pm.

BBC has the live update on the Torch Relay and the approximate arrival times of the Flame at each site.BBC also has a timeline and a user-friendly interactive map of the Torch Relay.

Torchbearers must be at least 14 years old and be able to carry the Torch 437 yards

Thursday, 26th July, the Flame will be arriving in Camden at 6:48am. From there, the relay will continue to Islington, City, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, go back to Kensington & Chelsea, then is finishing at Westminster for the day.

The public will be able to view the Flame at various sites throughout London, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral (8:58am) and Trafalgar Square (5:40pm). Thursday’s route will end at Hyde Park with a Westminster evening celebration hosted by Coca-Cola. Performing at the Olympic Finale will be The Wanted, You Me at Six, Katy B, and more from 2:00pm to 10:30pm. Tickets are £15 plus a transaction fee.

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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Assignment, Group Blog, London


Opinion: Behind Foreign Lines

As the former U.S. president Thomas Jefferson said, “A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” I certainly learned a life lesson or two while in Paris for a weekend.

Learn airport phrases (i.e., “sortie” = exit)

First off, prepare for the language barrier. A few students in our study abroad program, who are in the first and second sessions, said the French will treat you differently if you don’t try to speak the language. Avoid pulling my move and learning phrases the night before. Write down a couple phrases and learn them at least within the week you will be arriving in Paris. I found it very helpful to at least know some phrases because the French residents I encountered were friendly – or they laughed at my poor pronunciation. Fodor’s has a great list of phrases for travelers for greeting, dining out, or shopping with audio.

Most French residents know a little English

I strongly believe the language barrier was the most frustrating but challenging part of the trip. I’ve never been in a country where English was the second language. If I traveled to Spain, that would’ve been a different story; at least I would get by with Spanish.

Paris was also enlightening. The United States is a very diverse country comprised of many individuals whose first language is a non-English language. According to the 2007 U.S. Census Report, the number has been increasing for non-English languages in the past three decades. Many people are coming in speaking in their native tongue at home more than English.

I now empathize with foreigners immigrating to the U.S. because I was on the other side – lost, frustrated, paranoid and confused. English must look like rubbish to them as French did to me. I do hear a lot of my Navajo language at home and on my reservation but hearing French each second was overwhelming.

Visit the attractions at night

Don’t let the language difficulty hold you back from exploring Paris. Walking the 674 steps to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower (and taking the lift to the top), walking 3.8km from the Louvre Museum to Arc de Triomphe, climbing 402 steps to the cathedral towers, and eating delicious crepes in the Latin Quarter is worth it. You’ll see breath-taking views from the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, and take photos of the Mona Lisa.

One last piece of advice and a lesson I learned. Watch out for pickpocketers. Being vigilant the entire time will save you a headache in the end. The Eiffel Tower website and signs displayed on the famous landmarks warned tourists to keep personal belongings close by. I already caused myself a mini heart attack when I thought my wallet was stolen at Olympic Park in London. Fortunately, I placed my wallet in the wrong pocket. Whew.

The next mini heart attack came when Oniwa, Lindsay and I were waiting for the train in Paris. I got on the train and put my backpack on my lap to find that two of the smallest pockets were open. Luckily, my tiny camcorder was tucked under my lotion and packet of tissue and wipes. After that incident I made the effort to “lock-up” my pocket with my wallet using the clip that holds my hand sanitizer. It took 30 seconds to take it off and put it back on, but it was worth the time.

Definitely go to Paris with some friends so you can all look out for one another. Traveling alone or with friends, be aware of your surroundings. And don’t leave your bag open with your wallet or money hanging out, especially at the tourist attractions (Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Champs-Élysées & Louvre) or anywhere. Traveldudes has a few more tips on how to avoid pickpockets. My friend got her wallet stolen by gypsies when she was at the Eurostar train station. Moms are always right; my mom told me to be extra alert overseas but to soak in each wonderful moment. Don’t forget to learn some basic French phrases! Bon Voyage!

View from Notre Dame Cathedral tower


Video Diary: London 2012

Trying to sum up my 2.5 weeks in London.




Summer in London

I learned and explored a new program from my multimedia journalism class.

I made a quick audio slideshow with pictures from my time in London. I was pressed for time so the pictures are quick. Not all of my pictures are here, obviously, so I hope to make another video.

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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in London



Profile: Rohan Daft

“I’ve always been interested in tailoring.”

A room full of study abroad students typed swiftly at their blog while Rohan Daft reviewed his notes for our lecture.  After David Lancaster bought the former gossip columnist, The London Evening Standard, tea from Costa Coffee the lecture was on the way.

Without looking at each computer screen, one could tell that every student had Microsoft Word open. Students banged away at the keys trying to catch a good quote from Daft, who wrote since he was 17-years-old.

The London native spoke right away about Richard James, a Savile Row tailor located on Savile Row in London.  “You’re allowed to call yourself a Savile Row tailor if you’re within 50 metres of Savile Row,” Daft said after mentioning the street of tailors spans 150 metres.

The shop is full of modern designer menswear that is customised for every gentleman who walks into the shop that may cost £4,000, whereas a Gucci designer suit may cost £400. “Men aspire to wear Savile Row suits. Savile Row suits are supposed to be the best in the world,” he said.  The well-known shop even closed for big-time customer, Elton John.

To be frank, I never heard of Savile Row tailors until Daft mentioned he produces the company’s blog and website. He spoke about the difference between a Savile Row and bespoke tailoring, which just amazed me. A lot of detail and care goes into each suit just like a doctor does when seeing a patient, Daft said.

Takes 3-4 months to
produce a 7-minute show

What inspired students most of the 3-hour class was his interest in food and living in Spain. Who would have known that traveling with a band, writing a gossip column, a Spanish food cookbook, Menu del Dia, and being a feature writer would lead to blogging about a tailor company? “I’ve always been interested in tailoring,” he said.

A few students asked if he has tried Russian cuisine and he named a few dishes that were absolutely foreign to me. One right after another the Russian students said he should try this and that. Words blew over my head and all I could record Daft saying, “I do believe in good food. I think good food is important. People do make things and they put care into it.“ Food led to living in a country, which is understandable because we are studying abroad.

Unlike London, Barcelona had good weather but he could never get used to eating at 10 or 11 o’clock in the evening even after living there for five to six years, Daft said with a laugh. “It was great going there, not knowing what they were saying. It was like being a child again. I had to read people’s faces. They were either happy, sad or angry.” We all – including myself – admired his bravery.

Friends invited him to Spain and he decided to stay. Not much on his back and no job. He started freelancing, wrote for a restaurant magazine, The Daily Telegraph, and taught a journalism class for one year at a university.

“I always wanted to live in another country for a while and sometimes you have to jump,” he explained.  “I don’t think you can’t always plan too much. I didn’t have anywhere to live or a job. I just did it.”


What Do You Think of American and British Culture?

“What do you think about America and Americans?” was the original question, but it evolved toward the differences and similarities of the American and British culture. Interesting answers.