Turkey, family, pie and iPads

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When I went home to the Chicago suburbs for Thanksgiving last week, I expected the usual treats: time with family, tasty turkey and, my personal favorite, my Aunt Laurie’s apple pie. But when I got to my grandma’s house that Thanksgiving day, there was another treat. My Uncle Mike was sitting on the couch, holding an iPad. Despite the fact that iPads have been out for a bit now and I go to a school that practically worships Apple products, I had yet to use an iPad. So instead of the usual family chatter and gossip I engage in on holidays, I joined my uncle on the couch and we proceeded to spend our afternoon playing with an iPad. While I didn’t feel I could really do all that much with it that I couldn’t already do with my laptop, the experience of the iPad was much different, and at the time much more enjoyable, than the laptop experience. The touch screen interface was simply fun to use. I found my self pushing buttons and sliding between screens just for the fun of it. The tablet was small enough to easily and comfortably hold, but big enough to read clearly. If I had the means, it was something I would definitely like to own, just for the fun of it.

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Holiday scramble

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While many college kids my age spend their Thursday evenings going out to parties or bars, I can be found sitting at the Missourian’s graphics desk. This past Thursday was the last Thursday before Thanksgiving vacation. Since all my other classes appeared to be slowing down for the break, I thought the case would be the same at the Missourian.

Not so much.

Thursday was one of the busiest days I’ve had at the newspaper. The reason? The Missourian’s content is provided by Mizzou students, and since most of them go home for Thanksgiving break, we need to produce much of that week’s content beforehand. Therefore, my fellow graphic reporters and I had a big workload. But by the end of the shift, I had completed three graphics, gotten to know my staff better and learned a lot about how my newsroom functions in this non-traditional setting.

Here’s a link to one of my graphics.

Cool opportunities

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Along with working for Vox and Discovery News – Space this semester, I’ve been a staff member at the Missourian newspaper’s graphics department. I’ve learned a lot working there, including how to use Flash and write a bit of code, something I had no idea how to do before. One of the requirements for that class is to produce a full-page graphic and online Flash component as a final project. My project was an analysis of the election results and ran Friday of election week. This week though, my editor came up to me in the newsroom and told me she had sent my final project, along with a couple others, to the graphics editor at the Wall Street Journal for feedback. Pretty cool. Can’t wait to hear was they have to say!

Click here to see my project.

First Discovery story!

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I had my first story for Discovery News – Space published last week!  I didn’t expect to be published so soon, but my slideshow was up and running just days after I sent in my first draft. Check it out here.