Sunday, March 21, 2010

Two weeks

In two weeks, the phrase "today is the first day of the rest of your life" will actually mean something. The big gray question mark of life after school.

The amount of work I have to do won't follow the reliable schedule of bearable in September/January, busy in October/February, insane in November/March.

No more writing papers, or going to class.

Most of the people I know will move away.

It's such a massive concept to wrap my head around. The question "why should I get out of bed today?" has had such a clear answer for so long.

When I took a year off after my undergrad and went backpacking in Southeast Asia, I didn't like not having a clear answer to that question. Most days, it was "because I want to eat a mango in a hammock."

I'm not sure how applicable that experience will be.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I may have to change the title of my blog

This week in my magazine writing class, we've been assigned two articles about journalistic fraudsters - people who have made up quotes, sources and stories and gotten away with it for long periods of time.

One was by a former Carleton journalism undergrad who got top grades by faking her assignments. The other was about Stephen Glass, who was the American magazine world's "it" writer until his spectacular web of lies unraveled.

They both seem to have been motivated by stress, perfectionism and fear of failure rather than laziness. I bet this happens way more than people think, especially in class assignments that don't actually get published and the source never sees. I think this says a lot about the absolutely insane pressures of j-school, the middle class cult of high achievement, and journalism in general. Not that that makes it right. It just explains it.

Anyway, in the article "Shattered Glass," the writer describes Stephen Glass getting kicked out of the office:

"Lane ordered Glass to leave his office. Glass pleaded to be allowed to take his Rolodex and some files from the hard drive of his computer, but Lane refused to let him. Instead, the only thing that Stephen Glass carried out of The New Republic — after Lane had searched his pockets — was a blue blazer."

He took his blazer and got out.

Not exactly a moment in journalism history I want to be associated with.

Hopefully no one would think this is some sort of obscure reference, like a serial killer leaving clues for the police.