As this semester has progressed, I’ve noticed that the ideas I’m learning in my journalism master’s program have slowly but surely infiltrated my daily life. I’m a relative newcomer to the field, having spent one year in the editorial department of a couple of magazines after a full undergraduate career of language and literature studies. My past studies also invaded my life, as I find myself still searching for meaning in every cultural artifact I encounter, and I believe journalism school has taken my natural curiosity and undeniably analytical mind a few steps further. The signs are unmistakable, and all of my classmates have begun to notice them.
So, for some examples of how journalism has taken over my life:
A few days ago, I was talking to a good friend of mine about her new boyfriend. Having never met him before, I followed my natural curiosity and started cyberstalking him. Armed with his first and last names, I searched the Internet and found his hometown, where he studied abroad, his current job and a few pictures that confirmed that my friend has quite good taste.
One Friday night, I was at a cute bar in downtown Phoenix with some of my classmates when we spotted a large crowd of people standing on the sidewalk. After we joked that we “couldn’t turn off” our journalist instincts, two of them wandered over and found out that the people on the sidewalk were participating in a bar crawl.
Last Sunday, I was at Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Phoenix to film my first TV package about the church’s weekly pancake breakfast for homeless members of the community. The church members were absolutely awesome, and I had a great time filming the piece. However, I stayed for the worship service afterward, and while singing along with the praise band, I found myself subconsciously searching for the meaning-laden words on the Powerpoint slides. I may have successfully internalized the principles of broadcast delivery a little too much.
And those are just stories from the past week. Ever since last year, I practically dream in AP style, and great soundbites automatically catch my attention, even sometimes in basic conversation. It’s been a fun adventure so far, and I’m curious to see where it leads.
So how has your education managed to infiltrate your daily life? I’d love to know (or at least know that I’m not the only one).