During the month of July, I had the pleasure of producing a documentary film called The Hero Within. The work is a profile of Dr. Kay Sornmayura, a Hepatitis C expert who originally moved to the United States from Thailand in 1989. After years of working at multiple hospitals throughout Miami and ascending through the ranks in the world of nursing, she became a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) working at the Schiff Center for Liver Disease at the time of production.
The U.S. government, Amazon, and even kids around your neighborhood are all using or thinking about using drones for military, commercial or recreational purposes.
In August of this year, the FAA issued a 624-page publication detailing Part 107, the agency’s answer to the sprawling and until then unregulated popularity of drones across the United States. The legislation allows individuals to obtain drone aviation certifications that would allow them to fly for commercial purposes, opening up the door to substantial financial opportunities that were previously inaccessible.
Now, a South Florida-based company called Soaring Sky, which has been flying drones since 2014, wants to jump on the education bandwagon and help middle and high school students get the skills they need to take advantage of this rapidly growing industry.
Beyond that, the two courses I learned a lot from this semester have truly left an impression on me: Intro to C++ Programming and Fundamentals of Music Theory. It was cool to try my hand at subjects that I’d never really involved myself in before, thereby challenging the feeling I often get after a school year or a semester passes: what did I learn that was really new?
Well, I certainly didn’t have the slightest clue as to how to read sheet music or program a text-based game before this semester, and now I do.
The semester also reinforced my idea that college is supposed to be a – amongst other things – a breeding ground for new experiences that will take me out of my comfort zone. I’m already used to classes where the norm is to listen to a lecture, engage in philosophical discussion and then write an essay about it all; therefore, it was a change of pace to engage in courses with a larger emphasis on hands-on activities, such as the labs in C++ Programming and the rhythm dictations in Music Theory.
The next two semesters will consist solely of prerequisite courses
such as Biology, Sociology and others.
Now it’s time to kick back and soak up the Miami sun!
I wrote this essay for my Leadership class, as one of the final assignments of the course. In it, I talk about my reconciliation with the idea of pursuing journalism as a career.
My passion for the art of journalism was strengthened during my first year in college, a passion that I thought I’d lost during my year off high school.
Many years ago, through my active participation in my high school’s TV Production Magnet program, I took a liking to the notion of pursuing journalism as a career. I took joy in the workflow of identifying a story worth telling, combining all the resources necessary to tell the story, and finally publishing it for its intended audience.
My being in an immigration status limbo that almost forced me to return to my home country of Argentina to keep studying didn’t send me back home but did force me to take a year off. During this time, I tried to keep myself motivated by sitting in on junior- and graduate-level mass communication classes at Florida International University such as “The History of Journalism” and a special topics class on news literacy, but this charade only lasted so long before I ceased keeping up with the assignments.
My work with Teenlink, a youth-oriented publication that’s delivered on a regular basis to Broward County schools, was also falling by the wayside. For instance, I volunteered to cover the 2013 Book Fair, only to leave unfinished all five of the author profiles I said I would do.
I thought I’d fallen out of love with the craft, but I realized that this lack of motivation was part of a larger mental response against not being in college yet. It was irksome to be sitting in on college classes and working on projects that, despite being in accordance with my passion, were not really helping me make concrete academic or professional progress.
Luckily, my experience writing news articles for The Reporter student newspaper at Miami Dade College this semester has rekindled a fire that I thought I’d lost forever.
With The Reporter being a newspaper as opposed to a television channel, I’ve gotten the chance to explore a kind of journalism that I’m not used to working in. Often times, it’s easier than the multimedia reporting I used to do in high school: I can do interviews over e-mail or phone and not have to worry about lighting, sound quality and video equipment. But on the flip side, it’s harder because of the higher level of writing skill required. In several situations, my editor has alerted me to perspectives on interviewees’ testimonies and to questions about subject matters that I would’ve never thought of.
Though the game is slightly different, The Reporter has nonetheless gotten me fired up about journalism again. Newly, I get rushes that I haven’t felt in so long. Leaving voicemails, requesting interviews, scrubbing through the recordings of telephone interviews, and synthesizing an array of resources into a 500 word article now again feel like activities worth their weight in gold.