Deeper Inside Washington

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. It has been a busy couple of days.

Last weekend, I got to cover a play. Caitlin came with me as we experienced our first bit of the Fringe festival. After the play, I went to the bus stop to pick up one of my best friends, Priya. Then we all three went to Chinatown for real Asian food.
 
She lives in Philadelphia, so she is close enough that we can spend a weekend together when we have time. Sunday we went to the National Zoo. I was a little sad that the pandas were asleep. If you have seen my dorm you know that I really love pandas. 🙂

That night Caitlin and I went to another play for The Georgetowner. This one was a bit better than the first one because it was an experienced Shakespeare cast. For both articles check out The Georgetowner’s website.

This story package (which also included a calendar of events and an intro article by Nicole) had to have a pretty fast turn around because our deadline was Tuesday. So I designed this page, the calendar, a "web exclusives" teaser page and finished my photo story page over the next two days. It all went very fast, but the more design I do, the more it brings back my old love of it. In all my years of working on publication, I have discovered that I love taking the raw elements of content (copy, graphics, photos) and combining them to form something that is both functional and beautiful.

Speaking of both functional and beautiful, I have been working on our latest assignment, our WordPress portfolios, in all of my free time. I want this portfolio to really shine. I know that I won’t have time to work on it much at all once the semester starts and my job at The Lariat gets going,  so it is really important to me to get it done now. WordPress is a bit more difficult to work on than other sites I have worked with, but I know that just means it has more capabilities and looks more professional. Andrea (our assistant program director) is helping me a lot with it though. I tried to make one for a required photoblog last fall, but I gave up because nothing I did seemed to work. I refuse to give up this time. I will conquer WordPress!

I actually want to learn a lot more about web design. Maybe even do it as part of a design job some day. If I have learned anything from this program, it is that I am not limited to starting as a reporter and working my way up the food chain like it has been in the past. Of course, there will be some not-so-great jobs to start out with and I am prepared for that, but there is so much more out there than the typical corporate ladder.

Speaking of jobs, we got to meet the deputy press secretary for the President yesterday. I could tell he was chosen for his PR expertise. I was also a bit proud of myself for being able to recognize it. Saying it was a really cool experience being inside the White House’s press briefing room doesn’t even begin to cover it. I was thrilled. I sat in the seat reserved for NPR. Though I don’t think it is my dream job after hearing about it more in detail this week, I definitely have a healthy respect for the importance of that room and all it represents: free and open government.

I don’t know how many of my peers recoginized it while we were there, but that room symbolizes something special. The right of the American people to know what is going on in their government. Of course, it is still restrictive and only gives the press bits and versions of the truth, but with hard work on the part of the reporters sitting in those special chairs, it is the closest the world comes to being honest with the people that live in it.

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