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Merry Christmas!

Posted Dec 24 2009 12:00am
Some of you may be wondering where the heck I've been but here I am alive and kicking after a fantastic fall semester. My school obligations have kept me extremely busy so the blog had to be put on hold temporarily. That being said, here's a wrap up of how the fall semester went for me.

I began my journalism education this fall and it went as well as I could have hoped. The first half of my reporting class was devoted to learning the basics of broadcast journalism. This consisted of being sent out into the field to interview, gather audio, and compose 30 second to 2 minute radio pieces. Some of the stories I covered included: Missoula's panhandling ordinance, Montana's statewide smoking ban, and the healthcare reform debate. My professor was tough but she provided us with a wealth of information from her career as the news director for Montana Public Radio. Composing and recording my stories took a good amount of effort but I was able to turn out some good pieces.

During the second half of the semester we learned the ropes of print journalism. Again we had another great professor who shared his real world experiences with us. The workload for this half increased greatly and we were sent out to report on a wide variety of campus events. Our challenge was to turn out complete stories under very short deadlines. I tolerated the pressure pretty well and in the process produced some pretty good stories. In the next several weeks I will post some of my broadcast and print stories on the blog.

My radio production class was an enjoyable one and it taught me many digital audio editing skills. We produced some stories by ourselves but also worked in radio teams as well. Our radio teams had to put together three complete one hour live broadcasts during the semester. I had different jobs for the broadcasts and these included composing commercials & promos, doing a brief newscast, participating in a live remote, and conducting one live interview. The class was a blast but I'm glad it's over and done with.

Lastly, I had a public speaking class on Wednesday nights and this was another time intensive class. We learned how to present various types of speeches and there was a fair amount of preparation required for each speech. The class wasn't too bad and it ended with a very special final speech.

My final speech was one of tribute and I devoted it to the Chinese Pug. I had a straight forward speech planned with a Powerpoint but I was in for a huge surprise. When it was my turn to speak, I went upfront, turned around and saw Theresa standing there with our Pugs Sammy & Cari. They all came forward to join me and it was cool to have two adorable visual aids for my speech. My speech went very well and having the Pugs there was an added bonus. Thanks Theresa for helping me end the semester on a high note!

I want to wish my family, friends, and blog readers a very Merry Christmas! May you have a wonderful holiday season and best wishes in the new year ahead.

Stay tuned for an update very soon on some changes I have planned for my blog.

Peace...Mark
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