Cartoon by Allie Brosh
Last summer, I was struck with the fine idea of applying for admittance into the University of Alabama’s Community Journalism graduate program. The program involves a practical, skills-based approach. Students take a depth-reporting class, as well as a web metrics class, where they learn about blogging, Google Analytics, social media and other online tools. Another class centers on website building and the use of journalistic equipment like cameras, recorders, microphones, etc. In addition to reviewing highly applicable skills, each student chooses a community issue on which to report. This issue becomes a large-scale master’s project, conveyed through the creation of an original website and a written semi-thesis of sorts.
My fellow classmates and I could likely be classified as having “A-type” personalities. Being that ours is a one-year professional program, we knew from the start that we would be busy bees. Most of us have part-time graduate assistantships, and we all carry a full-time graduate student schedule. We also write for various publications or have additional part-time or full-time work. Essentially, when I volunteered to cram a two-year master’s program into one year, I knew I wouldn’t be leaving my laptop idle for quite some time. Looking back, I don’t regret my decision at all. I love my classmates, my project and the writing I’ve done since coming to Tuscaloosa.
But I may need a few words of inspiration or some cheers from you guys, because I’m on the last leg of the semester, so to speak. In the next three days, I will need to finish A LOT of work. Think of the biggest amount of work you’ve ever had. Now double it. I have slightly more than that. Even worse, I am playing catch-up as a result of three days worth of debilitating laryngitis. Strangely, I’m in great spirits. It will all be over soon, for better or for worse. So I’ll be keeping a lookout for inspirational quotes, upbeat music or feel-good stories in the next few days and will let my fellow workaholics know what I come up with.