Stress less

Running a hot bath
hearing a best friend’s laugh
sipping a warm cup of tea
having a day just for me
smelling the lit incense
taking a dew deep breaths
belting out my favorite tune
(believe it or not) cleaning my room
pigging out on comfort food
writing a song, if i’m in the mood
running one mile, or three, or five
remembering to be grateful to be alive

various ways to take stress away
the easiest way is to say
it will all be okay

Michelle Brignoli
TSV Editor in Chief

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From a writer to photographer and learning manual control

When I first joined The Skyline View, I hadn’t even considered becoming a photographer, or for that matter, being anything but a writer. But, as I quickly learned during my first semester, in this day and age journalists can’t afford to be a one trick pony anymore.

Media outlets want reporters who can write, edit video/audio, take photos, and more. They want reporters with different skills, reporters they can throw at different assignments with the knowledge that they can do whatever is required of them. Instagram? Twitter? YouTube? Live streaming? Vine? Soundcloud? Blog? Podcasts? Some people can do it all, and they’re the ones getting hired.

No longer is a reporter just a reporter. Rather, a reporter’s workload has increased with the additions of social media, video, and audio sites. And, depending on what platforms a media organization is on, editors may require a story, social media posts, and multimedia product. And the reporter may be required to do all of them when covering an event, if there aren’t enough reporters to cover it.

Anyway, my point in mentioning all of this is that I’m thankful for it. It has forced me to take my own photos when covering a story. I was forced to learn from each image I took, while also learning from each story that I wrote, and every mistake that I made. Then, I would take those mistakes and apply them to the next photos I took for the paper.

When I first started taking photos, I took them using my own digital camera before I started using the newsroom Canon Rebel camera. It reminds me, that when I first took photos, my friend @JoeBarrack had to set up the manual controls for me, and between switching between it and the other settings available on the Rebel camera, it was a semester or two before I started adjusting the manual controls myself. Mainly because I was busy learning other skills in the newsroom, but in any case.

It took a while of learning, from doing test photo shoots in the newsroom and experimenting with the Rebel camera manual controls, before I finally got the hang of the shutter speed, ISO, and everything else.

So, taking photos on sunny and cloudy days? Got that quickly enough, but there were two areas of trouble that I quickly ran into. Taking photos during really dark places (like the Skyline College theater and night) and sports photos, where players are always moving very quickly.

Both proved very annoying, and seeing the failures pile up did leave me with a sense of dread. But I’m happier for having gone through the pain of learning, because in the end, I have become a better photographer for it. Now I can take photos inside the theater and at night, fast moving sports photos, and all sorts of other things. Although, I do still have problems with adjusting for motion, but that is a work in progess.

In the end, I’m happy that I’ve done countless photo assignments for The Skyline View. I’ve learned from each experience, and in doing so I’ve built up the set of photos that I can use professionally and for my resume.

If you’re interested in seeing the photos I’ve taken, you can click here to be taken to my Flickr account. If you’re interested in using my photos, just drop a comment or message me on Flickr and we can talk about it.

Will Nacouzi
TSV Website Designer

Why do I love making videos?

So I’m back, as The Skyline View’s multimedia editor, even though I’ve been the multimedia editor two semesters now and have been working on multimedia for more than two years straight. So you have to ask me the burning question, what is it like editing videos and multimedia, and how do you keep doing it?

I just love videos.

I was one of those kids who always wanted to create content for others to see, and growing up with YouTube inspired me to make videos and post them online. I didn’t get into filmography until recently either, as I used to be an engineering major, which is a huge jump too.

Watching YouTube channels like CorridorDigital and RocketJump, I was inspired to work with videos, albeit not in the Special Effects department. Just as long as I’m making edits to videos, cutting and trimming, mixing audio, all that jazz. It’s fun to see the fruits of my labor, to see something work so well even when I unintentionally make an edit and it turns out to be perfect. It just makes me really happy and proud about my work.

I joined the news room two years ago, not expecting to want to do multimedia and make videos. I really jumped in as a writer, expecting to write stories, to interview people, and all things journalism. But after one semester of being the multimedia editor, I fell in love. I didn’t realize that making videos could be so fun, that editing was what I wanted to do. Even if I still am not a journalism major, I wouldn’t mind doing broadcast or being a video editor for a news publication.

Here I am now, making videos, learning as I go. Unfortunately, Skyline College doesn’t have a film program, so I can’t expand my horizons here. I’m going to transfer, maybe to San Francisco State University or San Jose State University. Or Academy of Arts, who knows.

Either way, one of my professors is the one who got me into making videos. He was a film major before he decided to go all the way around and become a Biology major and teach. But he said it was a fun experience, even though it was taxing on his personal life. I feel like I could totally handle that, and I wouldn’t mind the stress video editing as a profession can bring. So I’m going strong with this, and sticking as a film major.

Miguel Garcia
TSV Multimedia Editor

Taking the chance to be a part of The Skyline View

The year prior to this one, I had given up on school and decided to work full time as a USPS mailman. The money was great, but I didn’t picture myself living the rest of my life that way. No offense to those who have made a living working for the post office, such as my father, but I just felt as if I was cheating myself by settling for the job.

So, I returned to school after spending the semester and summer working. Still undecided on a major, I decided to take a journalism class because I heard how much a friend enjoyed it. Unfortunately as the semester finished, I still had not committed to any major, and again felt as I was cheating myself by settling.

It was just past midnight, making it the early morning of January 20. For many, it would be the first day of the current spring semester at Skyline College. But for me, it was an empty day on my schedule; I had only been registered for two classes. An online lab biology class to meet my lab science requirement and an english class. So, I decided to join the The Skyline View to fill the void in my schedule. I figured it was time to take this seriously.

There I was, walking in as one of the last people to arrive to class, not knowing what to do, let alone where to sit in the newsroom. Returning staffers had their established computers and taken seats, while a few new staffers were able to grab the remaining ones. So I sat in the corner of the room, on a stool, under the white board until we moved to an actual classroom. Even then I sat away from the other staffers.

This went on for a couple of weeks and I was about ready to drop school again to work as a mailman. I was struggling to establish myself in class because I felt that my writing skills were nowhere ready to be published on the school paper. Thankfully one of the beginning staff roles was to be a photographer, something that I’ve always had as a hobby. Still, I feel it wasn’t until I took pictures of the Chinese New Year’s performance that people actually knew what my role was in the class.

If had not taken those pictures, I may still be sitting under the white board not knowing what to do. Funny thing about it was, I wasn’t even assigned to cover the event. I just happened to be there.

I got a couple of pictures in the paper but it wasn’t like everyone was ready to be my friend. It was more like “Hey, that’s pretty cool.” But people started to talk and give me assignments, which was all I really needed. I even got to write a baseball story, but I messed up by not getting any interviews. In fairness our team took a really bad loss that day, but I should have asked anyway, so that I would have quotes for my story.

The Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) conference was the next chance I had to take photos, and also allowed me the chance to see how other community colleges school’s papers were like. I was told it was going to be competitive weekend, and one of the few things I’m sure of about myself is that I love to compete. More so physical competitions though.

That weekend I got to test myself and I was glad with the outcome but I was sure I could have done a lot better. None the less, just being able to see what I got against others was enough to satisfy and energize me for the rest of the semester.

This might sound like a bunch of random events but it ties together somehow. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m glad that I took a few chances with journalism, and that I am figuring a lot of things along the way. Or it might actually just be a bunch of random events. I don’t know.

Kevin Perez
TSV Photographer

Surprisingly easy to be a copy editor

As the chief copy editor for The Skyline View, I have to read every article written before it can be published. You’d think my job would be hard, what with having to know the ins and outs of every bit of the AP Style book (basically a journalistic dictionary) and basic English, among other things. Shockingly, it’s actually pretty easy. That doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly frustrating though.

At this point in my education, it has become very clear to me that many students don’t have the same grasp of language that I do. While I can write an essay or article with ease in an hour or two, it is a chore to many. This little tidbit is what makes my job hard. It is the easiest thing in the world placing an appropriate comma, but only if the sentence makes enough sense to clearly need a comma.

At this point I don’t know if it is because the educational system of the United States is in a rapid state of decay or if Internet short hand has taken over, but the amount of spelling mistakes and scattered thoughts in the articles I read is impressive and mildly frightening. It shouldn’t be so hard to write a coherent English sentence when you’ve been taking English classes since Kindergarten.

On the plus side though, the amount of simple mistakes are easily remedied if given the proper attention.

First of all, the most important lesson is to not sweat the small things. As the copy editor, it’s my job to make sure all of the colons, periods and commas are in the right place. As a writer, it is your job to make sure I can understand what you’re saying enough to place those periods and commas. It doesn’t matter how many commas you have if all you did was spill a can of alphabet soup and copy down the results.

The second tip works similarly to the first: your phone’s auto-correct is not your friend. It will sooner predict words you use frequently than the words you actually want. I can’t edit something that should have said “The governors picked up the pieces” if it says “The giraffes licked up the pizzas.” Context clues can only lead me so far, your article shouldn’t be a treasure map to your point.

Lastly, try reading a well-written book. Reading a good book (critically acclaimed or well-reviewed) can help teach you appropriate thought routes and streamline your own writing process. Find a book renowned for it’s plot and study how it is written. Seeing examples of ordered plot may help prevent deviations in your own writing, preventing a jumble of paragraphs that seem like puzzle pieces for me to rearrange.

Overall, the worst part of being a copy editor is getting to see the failure of education in action. Having to read literally everything exposes me to some of the worst writing I have ever seen, but the improvements I notice over the course of a semester only serve to enforce the benefits of one final tip: practice.

The more writing that happens, the better the writing will be. Obviously I can write well, I spend all my time writing. My job is literally perfecting writing. Now all I need is for everyone else to perfect spelling.

Haley Holmes
TSV Chief Copy Editor

Take the initiative, take the first step and become a journalist

Teamwork is not effortless, despite what you may see portrayed in the media. I’m only one piece of the puzzle that makes up our small, cozy newsroom. Being a journalist can be compared to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution: you will not rise to success unless you put your foot in the door and take the first initiative to broadcast yourself in the real world.

In the past, I found myself living an easy life, taking shortcuts and barely making my way through high school. To my family, I have been seen as unsuccessful, floating around in space without a path in my career. However, I made the decision to turn my mistakes around when I committed to being a part of the staff on The Skyline View, even if it was unknown to me at the time.

I seldom feel that I have any important roles in life, but this semester, I can actually say that I feel productive. I am not a writer because I was forced to be; I am a writer because I want to share my thoughts with others, and that is one of the few choices I will not regret in college. I think for some members on staff, the feeling of being validated or acknowledged can mean the world to them. Sure, it can be a nice feeling, but that isn’t the reason why a person should be doing work or writing interesting, news-worthy stories. It’s the fact that you’re displaying your talents, and giving the world a piece of what you have to offer, which can make a huge impact on your own life in the long run.

Now that I hold the position of a section editor, I understand what it’s like to have many obligations and duties. I put myself into the shoes of others more often than I would have, in comparison to one year ago. I believe that it is difficult to understand how a certain situation will play out, unless one has experienced something similar before. People will try to relate, which is only human nature. It’s not a bad aspect, but sometimes, it is necessary to experience in order to have an opinion. This way, it’s easier to support a claim and be seen as a reputable source. I’m not referring to only writing stories, but in any given situation, experience comes in handy.

The caveat of being on staff is that if you show even the slightest amount of unreliability, your image has already been tainted in the eyes of your colleagues. This shouldn’t seem shocking and absurd; if you have a job to do, it is your responsibility to fulfill certain requirements and keep your word. But this has proven to be beneficial, because it has kept me on pace with things, and has surprisingly given me disciplinary lessons which have helped in other courses. I like being in charge and having an important role, and I have learned to love school. It is impossible to succeed without teamwork, though, and each and every person on staff makes our newspaper production special in different ways. Eventually, you come to appreciate studying journalism, after everything it’s taken to get to the point you’re at now.

Amber Wong
TSV Opinions Editor