3 Weeks A.B.: Life After Boston

I’ve been back in North Carolina for close to three weeks now. Three weeks of a grad school graduation, moving, family, friends, holidays, visitors and readjusting sleep cycles. There is a lot percolating on my job search front; but nothing ready to write about quite yet. In the meantime, I’m holding this quote above close to my heart.

Searching for a new job (whilst looking all over the country, mind you) is quite scary in so many ways. At the same time though, I embrace knowing that it’s the only way to go. You can’t follow up Boston with going right back where you started.

Adventure should precede adventure.

The funny part of looking for a job though is the normalcy that creeps in from being back home. A car that needs to be inspected. New tires. Trips to the bank. Cooking dinner for mom and dad. There’s almost a sense that this is actually a Twilight episode where adult Ashley goes back to a parallel dimension from when she was 17 years old.

After living a thousand miles from home and seeing my family approximately two times in 12 months, I’m embracing it.

One of my favorite parts of life is seeing how you have exactly what you really need when that time is present. Today may have been full of some preparatory job work, but it was also full of soaking in my cup of coffee and looking around my parents living room grateful to be in the one place that provides the best springboard for “next”:

h.o.m.e.

It amazes me as I look back at “New Years” posts of yesterday. I was always quick to make a long list of hopes and goals and accomplishments to tick off.

This year I have a mental list of things to do; but most of what I want to accomplish in 2015 is a feeling. I want to feel my heart operating full time at that bursting capacity. The way your heart feels when you adore what your job consists of. The way your heart operates when you’re embracing and appreciating the small moments with people you love.

I have been so focused on the tedium of accomplishment for the last two years (perhaps that is inevitable when you’re in school), that in 2015 I want to focus on the emotion of it. When I’m fully feeling my work is when I actually finish it to the very best quality. When I’m breathing and relishing my relationships is when I act like the very best friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend and co-worker.

Full heart and full steam ahead. A good mantra as I go into this next year.
For all of my rumblings about how, for me, change is truly hard––I’m getting to be quite the accomplished ‘transitioner.’ For me, if 2015 were a road sign it would inevitably be: “Curve Ahead.”

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We call this my “drama tiara.”

I can’t help that I was born with a type-A personality.

Symptoms include overactive planning, over-thinking small details and needing to feel entirely in control at all times.

Sometimes, when the planning is going wrong, I have no control and the small details are overwhelming—my feelings decide to take the reigns.

And I put on my “drama tiara.” Aptly named by either my mother or bff Katie. I can’t remember.

Amen.

I get extremely worked up and everything is just, for lack of a better phrase, well…it’s all going to hell!

Then the second phase of this 3-year-old-style meltdown begins–which is the inability to move on. I have to dwell and sulk and freak out until something magical happens that neither I nor anyone else can forecast that alleviates my anxieties.

I’m, admittedly, kind of a nut job.

This is what I really need to be telling myself…

Over the past year it’s been too easy for me to get into these funks and forget that the thing that makes me feel better is pretty simple.

It’s Jesus.

This past week I’ve been constantly working on finishing SIX final packages for my internship. (Y’all that’s like 60 hours of work, likely.) Not to mention I’ve been working on that whilst saying goodbye to Andy as he moved away from Boston (just goodbye for a week—but in my full drama, I’m acting like it’s goodbye forever) and also packing up my first Boston apartment.

Somebody get me a piece of pie or something.

It’s just moments like tonight on a Saturday night feeling sorry for myself and looking at my to-do list and the empty spot next to me on the couch that I kind of have to pinch myself. And remind myself that I control my feelings — they don’t control me.

So, y’all — maybe some prayers over the next week while I get my life re-situated!?

In the meantime, I’m hanging out on the REVO Church Podcast page. Feel free to join me, :).

^^ That.

From My Lobster Sammie to My Boat Shoes. #CapeCodder

There have been so many  wonderful and fun adventures this spring but I haven’t been able to blog about them. Mostly because I’ve been lazy—sigh—but, I now right the ship.

One of the best parts about this beautiful time I have in Boston is that I’m learning so much about a new city––but also a new region. I moved to Boston in September being the hugest New England nube. I had no idea what was good about Rhode Island, nor did I have a consistent idea of which was west and which was east – Vermont or New Hampshire? (They look alike, cut me some slack.)

Having my car here over the last six months has opened up a whole new radius for me.

Most recently traipsing all over Cape Cod with Andy and his mom.

There had been a huge build up to May since….well, since I met Andy. (For me, May has meant graduation and Andy moving away from Boston. BUT. That’s not happened yet. Well the moving part. So we won’t talk about that for now. I’m using avoidance as a coping mechanism very effectively 🙂 )

May came.

And with it a graduation.

And finally meeting Andy’s mom and brothers.

It was the best. Such the best. And such a happiness that I immediately felt like I had known them for a long time.

Graduation was a wonderful send-off of celebrating some of my best new friends.

Credit to Ms. J-Radz. Most of the people in this photo….They’re what’s made Boston “home.”

Of course, most of my time revolved around being with this guy and his family. It was – I’ll say it again – the best.

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We have some awkward photos in our relationship. There’s a strange part of me that likes this photo though. I look proud.

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Don’t mind my mound of crap in the background. I was a working girl that day doing interviews!

Did I mention that he was also the speaker at the graduation ceremony? Proud girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In that wave of bonding, I tagged along on a week-long road trip all along Cape Cod and into Rhode Island with Andy and his mama. We left on the road trip pretty much immediately after graduation had settled down.

And I have to say. Y’all, I pull off New England OK.

Lobstah Sandwich? Check. Clam Chowdah? Check. Boat Shoes? Check, check.

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Our first stop on the Cape was South Yarmouth. It was lovely. We stayed at the Red Jacket Resort and our view was aahhhmazing. It was so nice we went with the intention of staying one night and ended up there for three. Totally recommend.

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While it was a little too breezy for what I would call “beach time,” it was still really nice to just be barefoot in the sand. Jacket or not. What shocked me though was how clear and green the water is up here. Maybe it’s because it’s so cold…

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Glare warning. You would NEVER believe that I’m vaguely capable of a tan these days. Curses NE weather!

One of those days we channeled our inner “Wings” and went to Nantucket for the day. It involved three hours on a ferry, biking around this tiny island, finding a secluded beach where I FINALLY saw a seal (I’ve been on the look out for months) and it was DEAD. Smelly, gross, leathery, dead. Disgusting. But the rest of Nantucket was so great. Very quiet, peaceful and as New England as you could imagine.

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Andy takes a lot of naps. This is a lifestyle choice we don’t see eye-to-eye on. “WAKE UP! Let’s look at the water together.”

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We did sequence shots of Andy jumping down the cliff into the water forever. This one was the funniest. He looks so happy. HOORAY BEACH.

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So we settled on a selfie.

As we wrapped up our time in Cape Cod, we made a mecca to the homeland of potato chips. We got less free samples than my potato-chip loving heart would have preferred–but it was still a fun, free stop along the way.

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Then it was off to Newport, RI, the mansions and the cliffs. Newport is so beautiful and unique along the coastline (at least to me). If you ever want a weekend getaway that’s cozy and romantic, or cozy and fun—try that. Lots of old stuff. Fun things to see. Good restaurants and bars. And when it’s warmer there are good beaches, as well.

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Surreal that someone lived in these places.

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Not suitable for sandals. I about fell to my death a few times.

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Haha, hence I took this photo thinking it was funny how terrified I actually was. I kept thinking of some book I read in elementary school where a girl falls to her death off of cliffs. Scary.

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Mansions. These have to be haunted. But totally less scary.

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This is Rose Hill … or Rose Cliff…Andy always has to tell me the right one. Regardless, it’s where the original Great Gatsby was filmed, as well as some of 27 Dresses, True Lies and….another movie I hadn’t seen. It was gorgeous and so incredibly Art Deco.

We toured four mansions over two days. It was fun and interesting. The history nerd in me was in heaven wandering around listening to the audio. I have to say though, living so close to the Biltmore House growing up has spoiled me. I was rather unimpressed by some of the sizes haha but then had to realize that to these aristocrats these homes were just “summer cottages.” Crazy.

We stayed in an airbnb in Newport that Andy swore was haunted. It was pretty scary one night — but mostly because I think we had been watching too much “American Horror Story.”

When it was time to go back to Boston it was bittersweet having to leave and take on the oncoming summer busy-ness. But it was also a welcome to be back in my own bed.

What a wonderful opportunity to spend so much time with Andy and his mom. When you have bi-coastal families that’s just such a rarity. Who would’ve ever thought I’d date someone from the other corner of the States and have to even think about such things?

All I can say is, when I left North Carolina I knew that my world was bigger.

Boston added to that.

Going to the Cape. Gallivanting New England adds to that.

But also, having Andy does too.

My world is a LOT bigger than it was a year ago.

So, do you want to go to Cape Cod? I’m full of places that I’VE liked. What about you? I’m very open to New-England-like weekend, day and long-weekend trips. Pearl the Mazda is ready for a trip — just give me a suggestion where to go next!

Ashley Gets More Comfortable on Cam

It’s really annoying to start every blog post with an apology for the delay–both for you–and for me. So, let’s skip that and talk about fun things.

One year ago this week, I was having a complete anxiety attack over the impending decision to move to Boston. I was given less than 12 hours to make a decision on an apartment that I had never laid eyes on and agree to a montly rent that I had no idea how I would pay for.

At that time, as I laid in the floor hyperventilating, my mom calmly told me that a year would pass either way and before I knew it it would be next spring. She said that we wouldn’t believe how quickly the time would pass.

And boy, was she right.

One year. And now I’m back to stressing about where I’ll live next 🙂

In funny torture, Boston University makes its graduate program three semesters–which means you’re left looking for an apartment for––three months? You have a year lease and then everyone wants you to buckle down for another year.

What’s a girl to do?

Well, I don’t have a clue. I’m obviously staying in Boston through the end of school. I do love it here. But, after December the story is yet to be written and I want to give myself the greatest flexibility to either be with my loves while I look for a job, or travel, or just move to the next gig! I’m hoping and praying and crossing fingers for a splendid ordeal to work out. But I need some prayers!

It’s hard to worry too much about life stuff though with so much school happening. Shooting, shooting, shooting. I’ve been doing a lot of application this semester. The first part of my program gave us the tools: intro to cameras, intro to editing, intro to approaching stories. This semester has been about constantly generating––and I can see huge growth in what I’m doing. The latest example was completed earlier this week. I’m pretty excited to show how much more comfortable with the camera that BU’s program has helped me to become:

I’m happy to say that I’ll be getting even more on-camera experience this summer as I take part in the Newton News fellowship and generate a lot of stories over the coming months.

That means I’m not sure when I’ll get to come home to North Carolina next though; which is intimidating. I’m hoping and praying for at least a long weekend in the coming months!

In the meantime, I came to Boston to switch back to newswoman––and I have to say––that’s been my true focus over the last seven months; now eight more to go before a graduation!

Still alive. Still very alive.

I was sitting in the kitchen last night when my mom asked “Ashley, did you post on your blog today?”

After answering with a “No,” I got the cringing response; “You know it’s been a month, right?”

Oye, nothing like your mom calling you out for being distracted.

Something about being a graduate student in November and December? It’s busy. And not in all of the typical expected ways.

Of course there are the “finals,” which in my case were all final projects. Final packages to film and edit, papers to write and scripts to finish. I had to turn in some final research (eek, which I still need to do). There were students from my TA class with a lot of questions and there were some very busy end-of-semester projects for my graduate assistantship.

That’s all expected and a good excuse, right?

The other intangible part was that there were holidays to prepare for; a month-long trip home to pack and anticipate––and a lot of graduating that called for celebrations.

I remember so vividly early September. Not only did December seem far away, it still seemed imminent. There was an intimidating “older” girl in one of my classes who was set to graduate at the end of the semester. We always ended up sitting next to each other in our class. She seemed nice; but like she knew what she was doing. And since she had already been in Boston a year, I figured she already had friends and she wouldn’t take too much notice of me.

In some ways that made me grateful because she wouldn’t be looking over my shoulder at my mess of an edit job.

Somehow one day I decided to tell her about November Project though. She looked like she appreciated being active and working out. And that’s all it took.

She wanted to come! And it turned out that we had a lot to talk about. Enough so that she invited me to meet her at a birthday party that weekend.

Hmm. Even though Jeanna was 23 (younger than me!); she was getting ready to graduate. And in a REALLY weird way I felt like I was back in high school and an older girl was inviting me to a party––and oh, I felt special.

But I didn’t know anyone.

The kids in my program year hadn’t really hit it off yet. I wasn’t comfortable enough to really force one of them to be a tag-along.

That Saturday night as I had text back and forth with Jeanna, who was asking where I was at, I was skeptical.

I told my roommates, “They’re going to graduate in December. What’s the point? Why make the effort to be friends?”

My roommate Brian made a plausible case, “You never know what kind of connections they could be afterwards! If nothing else, go for that.”

I said if I could find a sidekick I would go. Luckily for me, Erika said she’d meet me there in 15 minutes.

Four months later as I got a little teary writing Jeanna’s graduation card among a stack of others, I thought “Wow. What if I hadn’t gone to that party?”

Maybe things would have turned out quite similar and the next weekend she would have convinced me to come.

Maybe?

Maybe inevitably my friend Alex would’ve gotten to me and forced me to hang out like he’s apt to do.

All I know is that after that night I fairly forced the graduating class to adopt me as a surrogate graduate. I spent all of my weekends with them. I went to all of their celebrations for the end of the semester. And I went through some waves of sadness in the last month realizing that the next two semesters will be very different without them.

Every time my mom would call it seemed that I was on my way to a party. “Are you sure you’re doing school work?!”

I was. But I had to make sure I squeezed in all of my time and congratulations in the midst of that school. Boston has been for graduate school, yes—but turns out that it’s also been for a lot more.

Not to mention, that birthday party? Well it turned out to be Andy’s birthday party. Yeah, that turned out kind of special too.

My life in Boston would only have been a shadow of as awesome if it hadn’t been for those people graduating.

Beautiful Christmas Sweater photo creds to Jeanna.

So, that is why I am so delayed. I’ve been living it up the last month and soaking in every last second before going back to North Carolina.

You know, as the plane landed and I’m walking through the Charlotte terminal, I couldn’t help but feel like it had only been a week that I was gone. A week of a surreal, yet very detailed dream.

It’s just nice to know that it wasn’t. And while for a few weeks that may feel like a parallel life—I’ll try to connect it to North Carolina as best as I can over the holidays.

Man, there’s one heck of a New Year’s post brewing. I can feel it!

More on turkeys, Thanksgiving, the Macy’s Parade and all this love I’m feeling for life soon. But at least now you’re decently on the news.

xxxx.

I live in a World Series city.

If you turned on a television in the last week, you maybe knew that the Boston Red Sox were playing in the World Series.

If you turned on a television in Boston in the last week, you knew every detail. Without choice.

As an avid baseball fan, one of the reasons that I was most excited to move to Boston was the sports culture. Boston has one of the highest concentrations of professional sports teams–and the idea that I would live less than a mile from one of the most historic ballparks? I was ecstatic.

Mind you, I wasn’t a Red Sox fan though.

Born and bred Braves girl.

Could name all of the players. Knew all the stats. I’ve quite literally been a Braves fan since birth. And Braves fans don’t like the Red Sox.

Total Braves + Atlanta girl at heart.

Then I actually moved to Boston.

And man, am I ever still a tomahawk-chopping crazy; but I found that the Red Sox were pretty fun to cheer for too. It’s a team and a ballpark with incredible history.

I despise the Yankees.

There are at least two players with Braves connections (Saltalamacchia started with the Braves and Stephen Drew’s brother J.D. was an Atlanta favorite).

The American League is totally separate from the National League–I mean, the only time the Braves would be seriously challenged by the Red Sox would be a World Series. And in that case I would, of course, pull for the Braves.

It was decided.

I could be both a Braves and a Red Sox fan.

So I jumped in. Two games (one of which was the crazy AL East clinching game) and a hat later, I decided I was excited.

Roommate + Red Sox Love.

So, when they started making a World Series run–I was pretty captivated.

As a Braves fan, we’re used to the postseason. That’s not very special (for shame, I know). But when there was a pennant and then an actual World Series potential–you had to watch every game. You had to get near Fenway.

On one special night, the Series opener, I went to Fenway to put together an iPhone-captured montage. Phones can do great things these days. It was posted for BU News and while it was great to be outside of Fenway, I really would have loved to be inside.

For some reason, I feel like the city of Boston accepted from the beginning that there was no alternative other than winning the whole thing. I never doubted that they wouldn’t win. It just seemed like a given.

So it was weird joy (I was still wishing it was the Braves) that I wore some support last Wednesday.

I looked super professional that day at work. I blame the "Wear Red Sox gear to work or else" email that I received.

I looked super professional that day at work. I blame the “Wear Red Sox gear to work or else” email that I received.

Instead of watching game six at a bar, we opted for a friend’s who lived practically shouting distance from Fenway. Any of you who watched will know that the game wasn’t that exciting and it was evident early on that Boston was going to close up the series. But there was still a decent excitement in the street.

Given the recent marathon bombings, it seems the city is wary to security in general. It was quite evident with the 50-motorcycle police brigade outside our friend’s apartment. And then again evident with the number of police barricades.

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A night full of blue lights.

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Boston was bursting with Red Sox pride.

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Everyone wanted to get as close as possible. The reward was at least a first-hand view of the fireworks and the sounds of the crowd in Fenway.

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More people, mostly singing. No fights were seen; instead mostly high fives, whoops and hollers; and even some tears.

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Meanwhile, my people were working. Life of a journalist.

We were still able to get out and film a little after the game–and while it was exciting, I was a TINY bit disappointed it wasn’t more crazy.

Still.

Pretty friggin’ awesome baseball season to move to Boston.

Now. 2014, Let’s go Braves.

Sneak Peek: “Ashley on Cam.” aka, what’s Ashley doing in Boston?

I came to Boston with the excitement and interest in figuring out what spectrum of broadcast news I should be focused on. Should I be a producer? Should I be on-air?

A funny realization hit me last week.

I came here with the misconception that everyone could produce; and only a certain few could be on-air.

And I was wrong.

It takes a pretty special talent to produce OR to be reporting in front of the camera.

Lucky me, I’m getting a wealth of exposure to all types of situations and opportunities that are allowing me to work on the necessary skills to be good––as well as figure out what feels better. What do I really want to do? It’s very different pathways even though they’re in the same newsroom.

This week’s flex work involved doing a professionally set stand-up report with some coaching. I’m sharing for the furthest from vain reasons (I HATED people watching me. An inherent problem if this is what I want to do). Instead, I’m sharing it because–as someone who was considering graduate school; I think it could be helpful to others interested who want to see what the grad school experience can be like.

I want to post it so my family can get a sense of what the heck i’m doing 14 hours away.

And I’m posting it to kind of get over myself and insecurities a little.

Only way is to jump right in, right?

I had some mixed feelings about posting the whole take (it’s only like 3 minutes long); but at the same time––that’s really the only way to see what I’m doing right now. Which happens to include gibberish and giggling sometimes in the middle of forgetting what I’m supposed to be saying.

Overall, I’m SO excited about how much progress I’m making. This session was abundantly helpful to really iron out some vocal things that I need to work on. Look forward to taping an even better stand up with my next package.

In things I need to fix: don’t be an up-talker, say the letter “W” correctly and get used to those crazy bright lights.

This is just the beginning!

PS: Isn’t BU beautiful!?

For best viewing: Make sure you let it load all the way first. Otherwise it looks grainy and the audio doesn’t match up. In other things I need to learn to do better: downsize video files better. If for some reason it’s embedding here grainy and not so great; check it out here instead.

Happy One Month, Boston.

Great depiction of my feelings? "#NoFilter. Just loving on Boston tonight."

Great depiction of my feelings? “#NoFilter. Just loving on Boston tonight.”

It’s hard to believe but silently and quickly a one-month anniversary passed.

I may be two days late in technicalities, but the beautiful part is that it passed without knowing.

I adore my family and friends in North Carolina with heart and soul. I love the mountains and the roots that I have always had there. I really cherish the fact that I’ve been able to plant such a foundation of stability in a place of sameness for the first 24 years of my life.

But.

I love Boston.

I remember the first day that felt like a routine.

I walked to the train stop, likely in the midst of my third week here, and for the first time I didn’t feel like I was at a conference or fall camp. I didn’t feel like I should whip my camera out to take a photo of something new and I certainly didn’t feel the need to look at the T map to check the stops.

I could walk the path without looking up at landmark houses and street signs. I could bustle along without the worry of missing something.

The thought only occurred for a second, but once it happened–that, “this is life now” thought–things were different.

I remember that first day that Boston felt like home.

It was just this past Saturday.

After venturing an hour outside of the city to go to an apple orchard in Ipswitch, Mass. and spending a morning picking apples, traipsing fields and shooting a lot of camera footage–I was tired. As we crossed the bridges and ventured back into familiar Brookline it was a relief to see our street and know that home was just a quarter-mile away.

It was home.

And it is home.

And that is both beautiful and strange.

I miss my family  and friends of course in the, want-to-see-you-and-share-this-new-adventure-with-you kind of way. But it’s not a hankering for me to go home. It’s an excitement for them to come here and let me show them my happiness.

I used to give my friend Lindsay such a hard time for her Carrie-Bradshaw-like love for New York City. Oh, how she loves that city.

But now I find myself chuckling as I get lost looking at the skyline on a walk home or as I can’t help but smile at the sound of the trains outside my window.

I absolutely love it and feel like it fits. It just fits. I can honestly say that I am happy in a way that I haven’t experienced in a really long time. A different way.

This happiness for the last month has seen me challenging myself in new ways. It’s seen me exploring and trying new things. It’s seen me taking chances and channeling a new bravery. It’s seen me digging deep for confidence and resting in my own reassurance. It’s seen me crafting a new set of friends and a realizing that in some senses I’m recreating who I am. Same Ashley. New chapter. But you know how much shift in a storyline just one chapter can make . . .

One month in and I haven’t skipped a beat. Not even enough to take five minutes and revel in the fact that it had been a month on October 1st. Instead I have pondered too many times already in the last week how time is passing too quickly and I want to stop the sand in a sieve.

Savoring life is incredible.

And I can’t express how much the last month has been an incredible start to one of the adventures that I think, one day, I will look back on with some intense pride.

Miss you North Carolina; but for now why don’t you just promise to come visit? You’ll see me at Christmas, if not : )

How can  you not love this? Boston, you're pretty.

How can you not love this? Boston, you’re pretty.

Back to By-Lines.

I'm with the press.

I’m with the press.

It’s been over a year since I’ve written an article. Over a year since my by-line was on anything other than this blog.

A strange feeling for a reporter.

Even stranger to then go cover an event.

I was very blessed to get the opportunity to cover the Boston municipal preliminary elections Tuesday night. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Boston politics, the current mayoral election is very important since current mayor, Thomas Menino, is leaving after 20 years in office. Most locals are a little turned up that he’s leaving. It’s what they’re used to; and it’s what many feel like they have always known. Not to mention, he’s fairly popular.

Anyway, so I got a great opportunity to cover the preliminaries for Boston University News Service.

This is one of the many reasons I chose Boston University.

They have television, radio, print and online all ran by students internally–and then they also have students working with other local publications.

I chose to cover the event from candidate John Connolly’s reception (he ended up being a winner by the way; and yes I picked his location on purpose not on luck). While I was there I met three other BU students covering in various other capacities both for BU and for other local media outlets.

Now, I’ve never covered politics before.

I follow it.

I read the news.

I read the analysis.

But I was always a sports girl.

I was a little nervous that some kind of reflex was going to kick in and my lede was going to say:

“City Councilman John Connolly rallied tonight, coming in second place with X number of votes. His record now stands 1-0 as he advances to the next round of the playoffs.”

I joke.

But in seriousness, I went into the event knowing that I needed to be sensitive to a new game. (Literally, I cannot stop making sports references.)

All I can say is two things:

1) Thank God I had a friend to go with.

2) Thank God I’m taking advantage of learning opportunities.

On the Silver line to Roxbury. It's hard to ride a bus carrying so much stuff. Back row.

On the Silver line to Roxbury. It’s hard to ride a bus carrying so much stuff. Back row.

I was proud of the final article I submitted. And excited to see it make print. But I definitely learned a number of things on the way that I feel worth sharing:

Don’t always take for granted the exact address given to you by the press spokesperson. 

Mikaela and I showed up at the address that was given to us approximately two hours early and no one was there. It wasn’t because we were being over diligent on getting there in time–but a lot of other people went to polling locations and then the reception. Or they went to headquarters and then the reception. There was no one there! There was definitely a moment where we thought to ourselves. “Oh my. We have none of the news right now. We have no news.” Do your research, be diligent about exploring and seeking multiple locations. Our schedule wasn’t really conducive to allowing us to fully do this; but next time if we had a full day to delegate (and this was a full-time job) that’s definitely a consideration.

Be assertive about getting your story.

John Connolly’s reception was in Roxbury, which is a more diverse area of Boston. I’ll put it like this, there were a couple of times my camera was noticed on the street, two men called out “Hey blondie, how you doing?” and one of my interviewees talked about the prevalence of drug deals that happened in the area. If I hadn’t just had a little gumption to go out and get the interviews I needed on the street; I wouldn’t have had a story. Period. Know your surroundings. Be smart. But be brave, too. Sometimes you just have to go do it. For me, Boston is already a slight culture shock. That night in Roxbury (ha, no pun intended) was definitely vastly different than what I’m used to. I was proud for how I handled the reporting though.

Make friends.

This one I knew from sports reporting. The men you sit next to on the press row are the same ones who might offer you a ride to your car later or charge to your phone if you have to have it. The same was true on the camera line Tuesday night. My friend needed a longer cable and what do you know, a nice neighboring cameraman obliged. Lesson learned here though: always get their names. That way you can track them down later to return aforementioned items and offer a thanks. We ran into some hurdles with that later. . . .

Plan, plan, plan.

And have a realistic idea of what you want to accomplish.

Mikaela and I went armed with a video camera, audio recorders and notepads. I was trying to live blog, write a print story, shoot a television package and get audio.

I about lost my mind.

Maybe if I had been impeccably organized with a rundown of shot list, how long each shot should be; interviews and questions–it would have been more manageable. But in the heat of a first time reporting with a camera in tow? It was a lot.

Get a mule.

Less reasonable. Broadcast-J students have a lot of stuff to carry.

At 11:30 p.m. as I’m walking a mile home from the bus stop I’m realizing what a lovely predator target I could have been. Here I am carrying a backpack, a tripod and a big camera bag. Easily 30 pounds of stuff. And that’s a light load. Note to self, plan for cabs.

You can’t get a mule; but I should have planned ahead better about getting home so late and with so much (expensive) equipment slowing me down.

You know at the end of the day, politics weren’t so different than sports.

There’s a winner and there’s a loser. There’s a next game and there’s a strategy behind what just happened on the field. There are coaches and MVPs; fans and supporters; there are bandwagoners and there are hecklers. They just have different labels and the game may not all unfold under the stadium lights quite like sports–but there are more similarities than I imagined. Maybe that’s a blog for another day when I’ve covered as many government events as athletic ones.

John Connolly's reception was a great event and election outcome to be covering.

John Connolly’s reception was a great event and election outcome to be covering.

But until then, I’ve at least crossed off one more 25 by 25 to be published in a new publication.

Not to put any pressure on myself, but there are still FIVE 25 by 25s to do before October 7; and that’s only 10 days away. I need to get going:

– Write a book proposal. (Pfft. I can already tell you–this sucker is not going to be checked off.)

– Volunteer time somewhere that really counts. Find a non-profit to dedicate passion. (Does volunteering with BUTV count? I need to check into this . . .)

– Try for other acting experience. (Yeah. About that.)

– Learn how to handle a firearm. Okay, and maybe shoot one too. (Damnit, I’ve had TWO friends attempt to cross this off with me this year and it just . . .hasn’t happened. Something tells me it would be easier if I were still in N.C.)

– See a play on Broadway. (This MIGHT be feasible.)

Wish me luck . . .