Stater Website

Looks like the site for the Cleveland Stater is updated now.

We tweaked the layout a bit this time.  Now you can read the lead for each story as a blurb on the home page, and follow a link to the complete story.

i noticed the headline font sizes aren’t consistent.  Darn it.  On the bright side, it’s a laboratory class and the point is to learn.  So if i may paraphrase one of my all-time favorite movie lines…

The next one will be better.”


Each one was better than the next.  Wait…

Anyway, here’s a handy bit of links to my articles for volume 14, issue 17:

Cleveland State students win study abroad scholarship

New interim vice provost puts focus on student success

Creative voices come to Cleveland

And unfortunately the video i’d embedded also does not appear to work properly on that last one.  So about halfway down, after the line “Sometimes behave so strangely…” imagine watching this video clip:

We’ve got one more issue to go this summer.  i wish we had more time to do more, and to amp up that website as well.  Maybe in News Media Lab II in the fall?  Pretty awesome time so far already.

In other school-related news, it was really wonderful to read the comment on my last post from my buddy Brett.  It’s very cool to think i have even a teensy part in inspiring anybody to do anything positive so that was my cockle-warming moment of the day.  Anyone who knows me knows i’m quite a geek, and a nerd, and although i’m in my mid-30’s still without a bachelor’s degree, i’ve always done what i can to encourage people to stay in or go to school.  Guess it was time for me to follow my own advice, and it feels really terrific.


Now get off my jock, fool.  <– inside joke


Pre-website update

Today was distribution day for our second summer issue of the Cleveland Stater.

Note to self: jeans are a bad choice when it’s 80 degrees and i have to trek across campus and surrounding environs toting 3 stacks of newspapers.

Anyway, the updated website isn’t published yet, but i wanted to share this page.  Inspired by my colleague Ronnie Holman, who posted his stories on his Tumblr, i thought i’d share this page here on The Long Shot.

This is page 2 of Volume 14, Issue 17.

i had a great time at this event hosted by Radiolab‘s Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad.  They were really cool and allowed for a post-show interview in the green room.  As a big ol’ science geek (conceptually at least) it was a real treat.  In addition, i am happy to see i got the whole second page to myself, which included the photos i took after the show.  They didn’t allow photos during, which kinda sucked.  The official photog of the event emailed me his pics though.  That was really cool.  They were terrific shots, but my professor/Stater adviser urged me to use mine because, well, they’re mine.  And he said they’re more “newsy.”

Another nice thing about this page is that i also did the layout, which i thought turned out well.  Two nice photos, a pull quote, and an inset box from a colleague who also attended the event and provided a different perspective.

The website version of this story was fun to layout as well.  i got to experiment some more with Dreamweaver, added some links and embedded video that ties into the story.

Really digging News Media Lab I this summer.  We get to do everything.  Editorial meetings to decide on stories to cover, the actual coverage and reporting, interviews, writing, photos, copyediting, print design, website design, and distribution.  In the fall i’ll be in News Media Lab II and of course i’m stoked about that.

14-17 Page2 Layout by me-page-0

Okay so it’s a little stretch to read this.  Had to use Zamzar to convert the PDF to JPG and stuff.  But if you click it, then zoom in, you’re gtg.

Also today, i had my initial meeting with the Center for International Services and Programs about potential study abroad to finish up my college career.  There are a dizzying array of options.  Going in, i had London and Tokyo on my mind.  Exiting, that had morphed into Morocco, Italy, and Tokyo.

There’s a lot of research still to do, and probably a lot of anxiety after that trying to finance it.  But hey…YOLO and all that.

yolo tennant

The challenging this is finding a program that offers what i’m looking for.  Believe it or not, journalism isn’t the prolific discipline i’d expected to find in study abroad.  You’d think it would be everywhere, right?  The most intriguing ones i found so far involve working with functioning professional journalists and getting a chance to do real reporting with them – some of which has the potential for publication in US media outlets.  Um…yeah!

At this moment, the Italy one is sounding really terrific.  It’s field work, plus it includes a language immersion program.  And, you know, it’s Italy.  So my stomach and taste buds are definitely campaigning hard for that.  On the other hand, Tokyo holds a strong appeal for the same reason.  Sushi!  But not that traditional fermented stuff.

Not-quite summer


What a summer so far.  And by summer i mean the colloquial version of it.  This year’s solstice occurs on June 21 at 5:04am.  Which of course means it’s still spring right now.  But with the recent run of consecutive sunny days, summer classes, and the season of blockbuster films in swing, it’s kinda like summer has already begun.  But unlike childhood years of blissful days of freedom, or traditional student years of well-deserved breaks, i’ve been pretty darn busy.  So busy, in fact, that the Long Shot got shunted down the list of Things i Have To Do.


After graduation i want to spend a week here.  i don’t know where this is but it looks very nice.

In its place, stuff like “school,” “work,” and sometimes even “sleep” shot up a few notches.  But right now, as it was about two weeks ago, i find myself with a rare bit of extra time.  Curiously, at the very moment i tapped out that last sentence, my phone began to ring.  Instinctively i reached for it…but then withdrew my grasp.

i’m writing, dammit!

That’s something i’ve actually done a lot this summer so far.  All told, i’ve tapped about 42,000 words in the last five weeks between my advertising class, articles for the Stater, and the little bit of blog posting i managed to squeeze in.  According to Convert Words to Pages that’s about 105 pages.  Bear in mind that doesn’t include correspondence emails to article sources, transcribing interviews,  and other miscellany.

Okay, confession time: i have taken several nightly excursions to a galaxy far, far away after discovering Star Wars: The Old Republic, upon which i am hooked.  What a terrific, well-crafted MMO.  Color me impressed.  Probably the best aspect of that game is the story, or stories, that your character crafts for themselves during a playthrough.  Gotta hand it to Bioware – they know how to put a story together and immerse players.  i’m an unabashedly gigantic Mass Effect geek, unhesitating to name it as the best game(s) i have ever played.  By the time my beloved FemShep sniper brought about galactic synthesis, it felt like she was a real person.  The decision-making choices throughout the game became a non-issue; it was very clear what my Commander Shepard would do in any of those situations.  And even though she was kind of a bitch, she would never do anything to endanger the crew of the Normandy.  Everyone made it through to the very end (except Kaiden).  Ahh, Kaiden…i should have let you live.  If Barda Shepard was a bitch, that would make Ashley, well, it’s not polite to use that sort of language (unless you’re British, but that wouldn’t mean the same thing).  Once i learned that Jennifer Hale lends her excellent voice acting to the female trooper, i just had to make one of those.


Who doesn’t?

So yeah, SWTOR.  It’s a sandbox game and it’s got something for every taste.  Player-versus-environment, player-versus-player, minigames, co-op, space combat, customization, collecting, crafting, you name it.  i settled on the Imperial Agent for my main toon because it offered my #1 favorite role of any combat-inclusive game: the sniper.  But you know what?  When it came time to choose an advanced class, i went the other direction and chose the Operative.  Why?  i don’t know.  In the moment, i thought i ought to branch out a little and try something different.  i am regretful.  Picking off baddies from a mile away is certainly more my style.  But i stuck with my decision and i’m having a lot of fun mixing it up.  Sure, i could have re-rolled but i was already in too deep.  My agent had developed a personality that i liked and i couldn’t bear to delete him.  He is a complicated fella, cold-blooded Imperial assassin one minute and defiant operative the next.  Mostly this is due to the fact that Force-users in general rub me the wrong way, and he’ll go out of his way to thumb his nose at orders handed down by the Sith.  Why the empire (or the republic for that matter) leaves important decision-making to Hatfield-and-McCoy zealotry is beyond me.  Lest he ever get too vicious, my stalwart RL friend and DDO partner – also a newly converted SWTOR fan – is usually there to choose the goodie-two-shoes conversation options.


Go ahead.  Try it.

As for other snippets of relaxation during this hectic time, i’ve got a big ol’ backlog of Dr. Who to catch up on.  Coming in eight years late, i picked up the series with the ninth incarnation of the Doctor (not counting the fourth doctor that i watched as a kid).  Like it is with so many things that are widely loved, i felt pretty skeptical that i would like the show when i started watching them.  i could not have been more wrong, and now proudly consider myself a Whovian.  There’s just something special about the series, and countless others have already described it much more eloquently than me.  It’s just fun.  i will say though, part of the hook that got me literally one minute into the revived series episode “Rose” was immediate nostalgia for London.  When i visited there in 2001 i absolutely loved it.  The memory of emerging from Victoria Station will forever be burned into my mind, and right away i thought “i want to go back to London.”  Who knows, maybe after i graduate next spring, fate will find me a gig there.  i’m certainly open to relocating outside of America.  In fact, that’s my main plan.


So silly, yet so compelling.

Outside-the-home entertainment is another thing i’ve had the opportunity to rekindle this summer as well.  Used to be i went to the movies a lot.  A LOT.  Like, there’s so many times i’ll see something on cable and think “gawd, i actually paid money to see this in the theatre?!”  Over the years i’ve become much more selective in what i’ll shell out money to see.  In the last couple of years, i think i went to the movies twice, to see Drive  in 2011 and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  This year, i’ve seen Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Man of Steel (shocking choices huh?).  Liked it a lot, a little too pandering, and loved it, respectively.  Looking down the pike i’m very excited to see Pacific Rim, and The Wolverine looks pretty good too.

Huh.  In light of all that, i guess this summer hasn’t been too bad after all.  i found a great new game to sink my teeth into, saw a bunch of cool movies, and discovered the wonderful gem that is Dr. Who.  Why was i thinking it’s been so rough so far?

Oh yeah.  Sleep!  Or, the distinct lack thereof.  Up until…yesterday…i hadn’t slept more than five hours in one night.  Granted, that was often due to my own method of over-doing things.  But that’s how i do.  Sure, i could have banged out those articles for the Stater using press releases and sorta phoned them in.  And maybe it’s a sign that i’m not all that great at journalism, but i really took my time to craft the best articles i could muster for those and i hope that showed.  And yeah, i could have half-assed my advertising class assignments.  “C’s get degrees” and all that.  But most of them were writing assignments and, as you may guess, that’s something i enjoy doing.  Plus, i’m a big time nerd and i want to keep my straight-A streak going as long as possible.

Yesterday, i decided, would be a much-needed mental health day.  i do not work at my job on Mondays (during this semester anyway), and i could manage to miss our not-strictly scheduled class meetings.  With the whole day off, i could have gotten really ahead with school work and/or put together a much nicer post for you to read (thanks for getting this far today btw).  Instead, i slept in, took a walk through the Metropark, finally got that stubborn video card installed, went out for tasty coffee beverages with a friend, caught up on gaming with another, and watched three Dr. Who episodes – in a row!  i felt a bit guilty about shirking my other duties.  But lo and behold, by 4pm today i’m all caught up again.  Sort of.  There still remains one more article for next week’s Stater, a couple of writing assignments, and a Powerpoint.  But i’ll get ’em done.

As long as i get five hours of sleep, i’m golden.

At least for the next five weeks until i can sleep in again.