Writing for a semester: reflections

During my time as a writer on The Skyline View, I’ve published tons of different types of stories relating to all different kinds of subjects, even if I wasn’t interested in the topic beforehand. Sure, there have been some snags, but the overall process is pretty fulfilling in the long run. I can recall at least a few nights of general tomfoolery interspersed with working on articles. Granted, there are a lot of things that I don’t like in my writing looking back, but there are a few articles that I really like that are evident of the type of writing I’d like to do in the future.

I’m also surprised that my editors haven’t gone after me since I ramble so much when I write. Most of the people at The Skyline View are nice enough to at least give your work a try, and they’re pretty good at telling you where your work can improve. If you come in and do what you’re supposed to do, most of the people on The Skyline View will give you the respect you deserve, and it’s been rewarding the entire way.

Sure, working on the Skyline View isn’t without its problems, especially as someone who usually has an inclination to procrastinate. When everyone isn’t doing their job, the newspaper usually takes much longer to produce than it should, but it’s usually worth it in the end. Producing stories constantly is also another challenge in itself, especially trying to interview the right experts when it comes to your particular story, since they don’t always seem to respond on time. But when everything comes together, the story is its own reward when it gets published, and if you put your mind to a story, it usually comes out to be readable, and sometimes you get very proud of it.

In the end, it’s still worth it to keep working at The Skyline View. Next semester, I’ll primarily be editing other people’s’ work rather than writing stories. I’ll see what I can do when it comes to writing even further. I definitely look forward to writing stories for The Skyline View when I can. I’m not entirely sure when I’m going to transfer yet, but I also continue to look forward to writing even more stories as I transfer. It’s been a good ride so far at The Skyline View, and I think it’ll only get better.

Joshua Chan
TSV Staff Writer

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This is it. I’m finally graduating.

I waited so long for this time to come where I can say I accomplished so much in just three years of school here at Skyline. I’ve learned a lot about journalism, made good friends and strong connections with people, and applied for my AA degree in journalism.

I’m so excited to have reached this milestone in my life at only 20 years old too. I feel like I have grown a lot as a person and as a future journalist. There are so many things I have learned while being in the newsroom and in Nancy’s classes. I think my writing skills have improved more from being on the newspaper staff for three semesters, and my skill at editing videos and audio clips have progressed over the semester I was the multimedia reporter.

Learning new journalism skills and tools to improve my knowledge of the field in which I want to pursue a career has been a good experience. I really do enjoy writing articles on news and entertainment because it’s fun and you get to inform people on issues that are important to know. That’s what makes journalism fun. Also, the feeling of having my byline (name) on an article I wrote is very rewarding.

Reflecting on my years at Skyline, I feel like I got a good education and utilized the resources I had to the best of my ability. One thing I definitely learned is to reach out and ask for help if needed. As an adult, no one is going to be there to hold your hand. You have to have your own back, and do whatever it takes to get the help you need to succeed and to achieve your own goals.

As a journalism major, I learned that putting yourself out there is important. Communication is a major key to success in journalism (word to DJ Khaled). For most people, it takes a good amount of courage to reach out to professors or even just go up to students on campus for an interview. However, all the shyness goes away eventually and once you become accustomed to the routine of approaching strangers, everything gets easier from there. I’ll admit it was very awkward for me to do that when I was a staff writer, but after the first few times, it became normal to me.

Reflecting on my three semesters on The Skyline View staff, I’ve come to realize that journalism is very time-consuming from writing articles to working on putting the paper together. Although I never worked on the layout for the newspaper, I watched the other editors put in so much time on all of it. The late nights and dedication they put in to producing a paper for all students and even communities beyond Skyline were well worth it (they really should get paid for that though, but it’s just a thought).

Overall, I took some time to sit back and think about the choices I have made as far as school, my future career and life in general. I’m happy with where I have ended up, and I’m even more happy that I choice to become a part of The Skyline View newspaper staff. Now, it’s time for me to transfer and to start making bigger and better moves. I will definitely miss this amazing, yet crazy staff of super cool, dedicated individuals.

Good luck everyone, and good bye Skyline.

Katelyn Payne
TSV Social Media Editor

There are times when I ask myself, “What the hell did I get myself into?”

Not only am I a full time student who is a news editor for the second time, I also run my own business.

Time management can be a person’s worst enemy, especially when a student such as myself is attempting to prioritize my responsibilities. There are times when I find myself focusing solely on my business. Other times, the newsroom wins over my other classes and my business.

My business, if anyone is wondering, is a spiritual trade. I am a mystic, a holistic healer of sorts. A mystic is a type of psychic who delves into many types of divination, looking into the client’s future, aiding them with their problems. Or, as it usually ends, with the client needing someone to listen to them.

My gifts I have been blessed with enable me to help others understand themselves and get an idea of where they stand in life. One of my gifts includes going between the spirit world and the physical world. (This is my perspective. If you don’t believe in it, fine with me.)

Anyway, when business opportunities come up, I have to sacrifice my time at school in order for my business to grow. This does not mean I jump when potential clients say jump. The only time I leave school is when it is an event. Those are one of the bigger ones to do, and a great opportunity to advertise. Don’t get me wrong, single clients are great as well, but when there are tons of people there are more business cards to be handed out.

Like most businesses today which do not have a physical location, it can be difficult to draw in customers. Or least advertise that I have a business, which is open.

Since I am a full time student, I have limitations on when I can do readings. The times I do are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some techniques I use in attempting to emphasize that: one I only do house calls and two people have to make an appointment. Hence this is where it would be easier to have a physical location. Cars pass by and people, they read the open/close sign and read the hours and realize when they are able to come in.

Also there would be more opportunity for customers to do walk-ins if I had a physical location on those certain days.

These circumstances do not stop me. They actually give me the opportunity to be creative with advertisement and learn better business techniques. Seriously, social media is a god-send. It helps me in spreading the word about my business through hashtags, pictures and posts.

If not, flyers and word of mouth would be it for me since I am still on a limited budget.

Laurel B. Lujan
TSV News Editor

Life in front of the lens

I started out doing Skyline’s weekly updates because one of our other newspaper staff members really, REALLY didn’t want to. And I’m the type of person that if something needs to be done, I will get it done (Just call me Olivia Pope!).

So I started my career behind the camera. I started off my first Weekly Update reporting on sports for the week.

That was my first mistake.

My second was thinking I had to get everything down in one take. Let me just say, this is a lot harder than it seems. It was a shaky start, but I was becoming a part of something.

I learned that it’s much smarter to report on what you know (AKA not sports), and that doing a jump cut (being able to cut together the good footage instead of trying to shoot one perfect continuous shot) will save your life.

And from watching my colleague Miguel, I learned that making eye contact with the camera and not reading from a script is the best way to connect with viewers (even if half of the viewers don’t care, because they are my relatives).

From working with our camera man Will, I learned how to set up different shots (thanks Will!). Another thing, shooting B-roll is a lot of fun. And most of what we shoot ends up in B-roll.

B-roll is the footage that we don’t publish on our website. So lots of singing, dancing, photobombing, and weird inconsistencies in our film. Also, filming the Weekly Updates takes a lot longer than you’d think. It takes at least an hour to film, but we only end up using a few minutes of the footage.

Also, being camera-ready isn’t really a thing. At, least not if you are doing a video that needs on the spot coverage. You gotta film in whatever you’re wearing and just get the news across. The news is always the first priority.

Also, as someone new to the newsroom, it gives you a taste of what being an anchor on a news show is like. You might not have those hard-hitting investigative stories but you are reporting for the people and that is pretty cool.

Basically, doing this was a way for me to get involved and meet new people and it has ended up teaching me a lot more than that. It’s a good experience and learning how to cut together footage is great way to gain some experience for a career in broadcast journalism.

So go watch the videos! And join the newsroom! You’ll be glad you did, I know I am.

Olivia Bowman
TSV Staff Writer

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

Job hunt or peel your nails off individually?

It’s the latter, and here’s why.

Job searching is the worst. It’s time consuming, torturous, soul-breaking work and the only thing worse than not hearing back from the 800 companies you applied to is the constant stream of uninvited advice that everyone from your mom to your insurance provider feels the need to give you.

It’s not that you don’t appreciate their care and thoughts, it’s just you’d be more excited if that advice involved a real job cropping up in the future, say before you have to start subsisting off cat food.

But of course, the worst of the worst is the actual application process.

The endless search through Monster, Indeed and Craigslist and your personal contacts list.

The headaches from the endless job listings that sound like they were made up in the movie Office Space.

The uncomfortable trying-not-to-sound-desperate e-mails to friends of friend’s friends’ friends.

The jobs that look great until you see the little line of requirements: 400+ years experience, fluent in C++, cuneiform, Arabic, two PhDs, and a super great attitude that starts with a smile!

That nice simple application to Safeway is starting to look pretty good now, huh?

Finally, when you have about 100 tabs open to postings that promise “even you can make a great kindergarten teacher,” you find that one gem in the landslide of receptionists. And then, everything just gets worse.

You spend an hour, sweaty palming the keyboard to create a semblance of a cover letter from idiotic phrases like “my biggest weakness is being too hard on myself.” Then you spend another hour making sure you didn’t leave any spelling mistakes that belie your complete inadequacy for any job, and then whoosh it’s off into cyberspace.

Nine days later, you either haven’t heard back and are rocking yourself back and forth on the floor wondering what was so bad to not even receive a response, or you’re sitting at weird angles so you don’t mess up your unused work slacks on the bus to your–inevitably awful– interview.

Ah, the interview. What couldn’t be wonderful about meeting face to face with someone who holds your entire future in their uncaring fists? What isn’t joyful about forcing your positive attributes upon a stranger in the hopes that they will give you money to do something poorly, with the hopes that you’ll adjust quickly and actually benefit others somehow, with the hopes that this will then earn you more money?

In the end, it may or may not be worth it. Each terrible job may, just may, bring you closer to a career you love, one that makes work feel like vacation, one that fills your life with passion. But then again, there’s the strong possibility that your job, one finally procured, might amount to a stint of energy depriving drudgery and you’ll be flung back into the whole job search cycle in a few months time.

So really, just peel your fingernails off one by one. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain.

Madison J. Tidwell
TSV Staff Writer

A writer’s view so far from the newsroom

Being a reporter on The Skyline View so far, for the half semester that I’ve been here, has been fulfilling, and it’s also been an incredible learning experience when it comes to improving my writing. In the three or four pieces that I’ve written for the paper so far, I’ve learned how to do better interviews, make my writing clearer and more approachable, and I’ve also had the pleasure of experiencing what it’s like to be published in a body of work for the first time.

It has been a bit stressful at times, admittedly, especially as someone whose natural inclination when it comes to things like schoolwork is to procrastinate on them until their eventual due dates. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t really procrastinate when it comes to writing something for the paper because you have to be comprehensive with your research, especially when it comes to tackling complicated, serious topics. I remember specifically a story I did on people going into STEM majors, and the amount of people I had to interview to get a comprehensive picture of the current state of STEM majors definitely put the amount of research needed for even some of the simplest stories into perspective. Every story that I’ve done has led into a deep rabbit hole of interesting perspectives and things to see.

I definitely recommend going into the Journalism program at Skyline College or at least looking into it, if you have even a passing interest in either writing, illustration or photography. I’ve seen many people published in the paper without having actually seen them in real life thanks to Journalism 695, which is perfect for people who have a busy schedule, or simply can’t make any time to come into the newsroom. It’s taught me a crazy amount about how to improve my writing, both outside and inside of the newsroom, and it’s honestly one of the best classes at Skyline. The people in the newsroom are at least interesting, if not friendly to me so far, and it’s a much more fun environment compared to the typical classroom, thanks not only to the way the classroom is structured but also due to the people here that are all lively and are all really entertaining.

My time with the Journalism program here at Skyline College has been interesting, challenging, and it’s overall made me a better student and it’s also made me more observant of my surroundings and all of the different services and programs offered at Skyline College. It’s also made Skyline in general more entertaining, especially as I go through my classes for transferring to a four-year university.

Thanks for reading,

Joshua Chan
TSV Staff Writer