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Editing the News II, I had a really crucial interview with a local historian for my audio slideshow project. I made a reservation for a voice recorder and mic from the equipment center. The equipment center HATES grad students. My reservation never went through. Four hours before my interview was set to start, I borrowed a co-workers car, drove to Staples and bought my own voice recorder and then went to Best Buy and bought a microphone. The interview was one of the best ones I ever had and my subject was perfect.

Same class, I had a video project due. This time, the equipment center came through. Except they don't charge their camcorder batteries and if your video cam kit doesn't have a charger, you are out of luck. I had about an hour or so of life left before the camera would die. I needed multiple hours because I had a lot of content to record. So in a panic, I scoured the city and found a universal battery charger for the Canon video camera (actually all Canons ever). I road the bus down to Best Buy and bought the expensive thing right before the store closed. Then I got stranded in South Philadelphia for two hours. It was expensive and a crappy experience but I got the project done and earned an A.

I have traveled the far corner of the burbs to take a handgun training class and do as story on Ladies' Night at the range. I remember having to walk a half a mile back to the bus stop in the freezing cold at night. I hung out with homeless folks during Occupy Philly. I had to find leaves in the dead of winter and identify them. I carried 14 textbooks to and from my Editing I class in a rollie bookbag.

I have stayed up until 3-4am just to finish a project or paper, then sat in class, looking like a zombie. I was hospitalized due to a gallbladder attack and brought schoolwork with me to the ER. During recovery I completed three weeks worth of make up work and turned it all in the next time I went to class.

I've spent a lot of money. I've spent a lot of time. I've cried, laughed, drank to much, had proud moments and had doubts. Yet all throughout graduate school, I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

Three years ago I learned about the Departmental Awards. I learned the Journalism Department had a Top Scholar Plaque for the graduating grad student and undergrad who had the highest GPA. I wanted it.. So I decided to bust my rump to earn it. I cried when I got my first A- but the next one didn't sting too badly. By my final year...I had all A's and three A-'s.

Then this happened:

I was awarded Top Scholar. I did it. I made it my goal to win and I did. Bamsies.

By the end of the ceremony, I was inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha, the national journalism honor society equivalent to Phi Beta Kappa. I won the Lori Schipper Graduate Award and of course, Top Scholar.

There is a medal and a pin in there too. That is my Journo bestie, Alexa. We came into the program together and we are graduating together. Actually the great Northeast Earthquake occurred during my orientation. So I think I am going to write on my mortarboard: "I came in with an earthquake. I went out with a bang."

I can't believe it has been three years! What a ride!

Until next time...


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