Monthly Archives: September 2013
I’ve completed the GRE. (Pause for wild cheers of jubilation). And while I’m very relieved it’s over and while I’ll eventually be leaving my first, full-time, “big-girl job” behind, I’m still at a bit of a loss.
Will there be a good journalism graduate school program out there that wants to accept me as a student? Will it be harder than I think to leave what’s become a comfortable position that’s actually given me a lot of purpose (although I do have to pay for my own gasoline, and I use my own camera)?
I’ve learned more from simply being a reporter for the last year and a half than I probably ever would have learned in a couple of semesters in the classroom. But I still long for an intellectual experience.
I’ve been doing some research on millennials in the workplace, and authors of the articles I’ve read have a lot of our traits down. We don’t see why we can’t chat directly with the CEO if we have something relevant to say. We want technical training that’s going to serve us well for years to come, flexible schedules (if possible), and opportunities for advancement.
I understand completely why employees have to prove themselves over and over and “move up the ladder” slowly. But honestly, I sometimes feel like there’s a vast lack of common sense and social graces in the wider world.
For example, one thing that’s amused me to no end in the workplace is watching people email rather than chat face-to-face when the situation involves an uncomfortable topic. Email – even when your correspondent is right next to you – seems to give this magical element of power to the sender. Like they really think emailing you something is going to make you more inclined to follow-through with their orders. Are they afraid of the recipient disagreeing with their viewpoint or providing an alternative opinion? Is that why there’s a dearth of actual communication in cubicle land?
Personally, I’d love to know more about all facets of the media business–from advertising to layout design. Yet at an entry-level job, it’s easy to get pigeon-holed into a silo of your responsibilities. Small companies don’t necessarily offer mentoring opportunities to you unless you demand that you want that kind of experience.
It’s been a steep learning curve, but I stuck it out. And when listening to my editor give instructions to our college interns, I can honestly reflect on how far I’ve come. I know how to craft news briefs and sort through government records. I can hold my own with one of the most powerful millionaires in the country–and isn’t it cool that I can say I’ve met him? I can call, and call, and call one more time until I finally get that energy company to give me a statement. I can juggle–writing three to four stories at once about anything from customs of the Medieval period to space travel. I’ve learned to take a better photograph and to more effectively respond to criticism. I’ve learned more about the world and about people.
I’m hoping school will provide more technical training and a greater focus on my love of all things social science-related. I know I’m ready and capable. I know I’ll be fine. I hope and pray some school accepts me even though I don’t know exactly what I want. I’m still young, after all. And there will be time before school starts again to polish up a few “life skills” and grapple with new responsibilities.
But every now and then, I miss those college parties when nothing seemed to matter, and everyone around you was grinning and felt invincible. Sometimes, when I scroll through Facebook photos, I think that maybe people’s young marriages are just a way of coping with The Real World with a partner perpetually plastered to their side to make the journey a bit less bumpy. I was barely done pulling my finally valid 21-year-old ID out of my pocket before my peers began walking down the aisle. But I’m not quite ready to part ways with Avicii, Lady Gaga and late night trips out for ice cream yet. I still deeply enjoy getting to hang out with girlfriends and just relaxing and being carefree. And if that means I’m a little immature, well, it beats being old.
Who knows? Maybe that initial English degree I earned will prove very useful one day. After I get married and have children and decide I can’t run around and keep humanity informed about the issues of the day anymore, perhaps I’ll be sitting contentedly in the classroom of a private school (since I have no masters degree in education), listening to kids read passages from “The Giver” and tell me what they think this crazy world is all about.
Just a few poems based around the idea of creating your own art.
Black curtains on a barren stage
The world on one side awaits
While far beyond the thick fabric,
A story prepares to unfold.
Unreal, someone’s fantasy
A Christmas tree, bejeweled
Glowing, appears at last.
A gasp from the people who,
Moments before, mindlessly chattered
Complained of that tall man’s bald head
Positioned in front of them.
Then lights go down
And silence falls.
A little girl strains to see . . .
. . . the other girl curls her stocking-feet
Up under delicate dress folds, looks
Down at his polished face and moveable jaw.
Cradles him in her arms; he’s free from harm.
Until sword fights and late nights
And unknown enemies crouched
Under the stairs
Attack, forcing him to prove that he can
Again, and again, and again
Survive and transform yet endure.
Later they sail through cotton-candy clouds
Drink from peppermint rivers
And waltz in golden halls overlooking the sea
She and her Nutcracker Prince.
But the story’s just a story
Well-rehearsed, colorful, engaging
Yet nothing to satisfy the raging for a
Reality as pretty as the creation.
Shimmering, she cuts across the ice
Entranced, dedicated to a fluid movement, a leap of faith,
That lands her solidly on a sharp blade.
Chin tucked in, just a flash of her
Metallic-painted eyes seen
Under the white-bright jewels fixed
Securely in the chocolate of her hair.
Open archways around the ancient temple
Show off a rising moon, framed by aspens.
The last ink blots of deep ruby, of gold,
Fade into constellations.
She hears the internal music
The insistent rhythm, the roaring crescendo
Molding her into a twirling goddess of evening.
Hand pressed against a pillar, he watches,
Barely daring to breathe
And when she rises, the formal disguise is
Lost when she catches and holds his azure gaze.
She plays and zigzags her feet
Over to where he waits, amazed.
Tips of her lips cracking into a small, soft grin
The moment he touches the silver fabric
At her hip, slowly, so slowly
Like she has the power to set the night ablaze.