Trying New Things, Writing News Articles…

As a journalism major, writing for the fourth best college newspaper in the country is an opportunity that I simply could not pass up.  Penn State’s student run paper, The Daily Collegian, has always been highly regarded for the content it produces, but this past year was also given the spot between Columbia’s and Cornell’s papers when compared to all other college newspapers, according to the Princeton Review.

In order to make it onto staff for The Daily Collegian, you have to take a test.  At this stage you are an applicant and you are among over a hundred other Penn State students.  If you score high enough on the written exam, which consists of current events and ethics questions as well as being able to take a list of facts and craft a new article out of it in proper AP style, then you get the opportunity to book an interview.  If, after interviewing with one of the editors, you do well enough, then you are given the opportunity to become a candidate for The Daily Collegian – that’s when the fun starts.

Not only are you required to go to weekly meetings for training, which covers ever topic a journalist could ever possibly need to know, but you are also required to go to weekly meetings for your beat (section of the newspaper – news, sports or features and culture).  On top of walking all the way into town for these meetings twice a week, candidates must also complete twitter challenges every time Trudi (our news editor) gives them out, review articles via email or twitter, be an active supporter of The Daily Collegian’s twitter page, shadow our chief editor, multimedia editor and copyright editor for 2 hours each and complete paper pass outs.

Being a candidate for The Daily Collegian is a full-time job in and of itself, but so far I’m loving every minute of it.  Candidates must also have at least 2 stories published by October 20th and at least 4 stories published by December 1st.  Luckily, I made the cut so far and I have been published both in the actual paper and online.

My first story was actually an idea I came up with myself.  I thought it would be fun to debunk popular Penn State myths and rumors.  It was pretty easy to find a couple rumors and then from there I just had to start reaching out to people to get some quotes for each statement I was making.  You need at least 3 sources for something to be a legitimate article, but I wanted to do at least one interview for each rumor I was debunking.  For me, the best part about being a journalist is being able to meet new people that you never would’ve talked to before and learn new things.

In short, while writing this article I learned that sororities can have houses without being considered brothels, Berkey Creamery ice cream is totally FDA approved, if a student gets hit by a CATA bus then they don’t get their tuition paid for and, according to the President of Penn State’s Paranormal Research Society, the ghost of Atherton probably doesn’t haunt campus.  Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better “new thing” to try for my blog than writing for The Daily Collegian and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to do so.

Here’s the link if you want to check out my first article:

Or my second:

Trying New Things, Finding New Art…

In another attempt to try new things, Kyle and I travelled all the way to the North side of campus to the Palmer Art Museum.  Unfortunately, Palmer is closed on Mondays and we walked all the way over there for nothing.  Tuesday, we walked over to Palmer again.  We were invited into the big building by the paws of a nittany lion and were excited to actually make it into the building this time.


Living only an hour from New York City for my entire life, I have been to a fair share of art museums.  My favorite art museum is the Met.  In my opinion, the Met has the perfect ratio of modern and classical art.  The Met collects pieces from Renaissance artists like Michelangelo to surrealists like Salvador Dali and basically anything in between.  My favorite exhibit at the Met is the one displaying Claude Monet’s waterlily paintings.  It’s sad, but also fascinating to watch the blearily painted pictures get even hazier as Monet neared the end of his life and began to lose his sight.

I’ve also visited the Museum of Modern Art.  Although, modern art isn’t my favorite, this museum has quite a few standout pieces.  Covering artists from Andy Warhol to Van Gogh is very impressive, especially because the museum boasts itself as a modern art museum.  MOMA even showcases Van Gogh’s starry night, a favorite of any art enthusiast.

Having visited these two amazing art museums, I honestly had very low expectations for the Palmer Art Museum.  I know that sounds bad coming from someone who loves trying new things so much, but I just couldn’t see how a college art museum could be anywhere near as nice as New York City’s finest art galleries.

I am happy to report that I stand corrected.  Penn State’s art museum, as with most features at University Park, was really impressive!  I loved the contrast between pieces.  The art ranged from classic to modern, just like in the Met or MOMA and there was also a huge variety of mediums and art forms.  Inside the drawers of one of the galleries are a collection of charcoal sketches on paper.  The walls are filled with beautiful paintings.  Tables are decorated with glass blown pieces and clay pots.  Even outside the doors of the Palmer Art Museum is an entire sculpture garden filled with abstract and thought-provoking pieces.

All in all I am again so happy that I go to a school that provides me with so many new and exciting opportunities.  Visiting the art museum right here on campus gave me the chance to escape the worries of everyday life and do something a little bit less mundane.  Appreciating art helps you to appreciate life because it reminds you to look for beautiful things all around you.  Walking back from Palmer, I was even more grateful than usual to be at a college as beautiful as Penn State.

Not to mention, this experience made me realize that Kyle has an uncanny knack for mimicking artwork which could be a cool party trick.