Sorry readers for my lack of blog posts as of late, but I have a good excuse- I’m a student. Thankfully, I won’t be in school much longer; this is the final semester of my fourth year in journalism.
I attend one of the top journalism schools in Canada and, as challenging as the past four years have been, I am happy with my decision to earn my degree in journalism. I have met some amazing people and have learned so much, so if you are passionate about reporting, I encourage you to pursue your dream.
When I actually have my degree in hand I will write a more detailed post about my experience, but for now I will give you a shopping list of jskool must-haves. These are the top ten items a journalism student needs:
1.Notepad: spiral at the top, lined pages.
2. Pens and pencils: Pens freeze in winter! Pencils for backup.
3. Tape recorder and headphones: For upper-year students or those working at the campus paper.
4. Laptop: My laptop is old and the battery is dead, so I’ve survived without that luxury, but having a laptop that you can bring to school will make life easier.
5. Camera: Canon rebels or Nikons will do the trick. I have a regular digital camera (which I used to take this picture), but the quality isn’t good enough for print. When I need to take photos for the paper, I rent one from the school.
6. Reporter bag: Pockets and zippers are great! My purse is from Roots and is the perfect bag for any journo-in-training.
7. Cellphone: I survived until fourth-year without a cellphone, but having one makes life easier.
8. Watch: It’s easy to lose track of time, but being a journalist means you have to meet deadline. A watch will keep you on track.
9. CP Style Guide: Or AP Style Guide or whatever-country-you’re-from Style Guide.
10. Ambition: Requesting interviews with strangers is tough, meeting deadline is tough, writing a good article is tough. You have to want this, otherwise it’ll be a long four years.
Any other “must haves,” journalism students?
Are you pursuing a career in journalism?
All the Christmas-themed episodes of TV shows are airing, so I decided to write a blog post about them. At first I thought I would rank them in order of favourites, then I thought I would describe each episode and later I pondered writing an article that included each show.
The only problem was I had been out of town for five days and was behind on my TV viewing. I listed the shows I knew I would include in my piece – 30 Rock, Community, How I Met Your Mother, The Office and Glee – and decided to watch the shows as quickly as possible. Thinking about my blog post with tired eyes and a bottle of Aspirin beside my computer (because my head has been hurting all day), I realized that I take this website a little too professionally.
When I first started blogging, I didn’t share it with friends; I thought it was embarrassing and that they would think I need a life. But when my classmates started following me on Twitter (and checking out the link to my blog), they started asking me about the website. And the more I blogged (and the more I shared my blog), the more people learned about my pop culture hobby. And, instead of being embarrassed, I embraced it. I enjoyed talking about my hobby- but I when I decided to write this Christmas post, I realized the blog isn’t just a hobby.
Watching show-after-show-after-show (with the sole purpose of writing a post), I realized how professionally I treat this website; but this isn’t my job, it is a hobby. Judging by the time and effort I put into this, I think I’d be a great asset when my dream job comes along- if it ever does come along.
Sometimes my dream of working as an entertainment journalist seems impossible. I’ve watched so many people get jobs that will lead them to success, but I don’t seem to be going anywhere. On Glee‘s “A Very Glee Christmas,” Artie had lost faith in ever walking again, but his girlfriend believed it was possible. When Brittany asks Santa to give Artie the ability to walk for Christmas, Artie receives the “Rewalk,” a gizmo that helps him stand (and walk) on two feet. Like Brittany, I just have to keep believing anything is possible.
I also have to have patience. Artie was in the wheelchair for years before the Rewalk came along, and it may take years before I land a career. Michael Scott also learns that patience is key on The Office‘s “Classy Christmas” episode. When Michael is disappointed with life because Holly lives with her new beau, Pam tells him to just be patient; things between Holly and her boyfriend aren’t perfect and the couple may not make it. Michael’s hope returns when he realizes the ticket to his dream life is to wait out Holly’s relationship. Perhaps the ticket to my dream life is just to be patient with the situation I am in?
However, I know facing reality is important, otherwise I would never hustle for success. I can’t just blog and tweet, expecting an opportunity to be handed to me; I have to put myself out there, taking internships and networking. In 30 Rock‘s “Christmas Attack Zone,” Jack refuses to face the music. Avery is pregnant, but Jack doesn’t share the good news with his mother because he knows what Colleen’s reaction will be (and he doesn’t want to hear it). When the news breaks and Colleen fakes a heart attack, all is well and everyone looks forward to a new addition to the Donaghy clan. Everything always works out, just like everything will (eventually) work out for me.
I won’t just snag that dream job right away- there are stepping stones, which means taking the “boring job” that will lead me on the right path. Robin faces the dilemma of taking the “boring job” at World Wide News or being a game-show “bimbo” alongside Alex Trebek (“Robin, you need to check yourself before you Trebek yourself“) on How I Met Your Mother. In “False Positive,” Robin struggles with taking the dull World Wide News gig, because even though World Wide News would lead her to being a serious journalist, being a coin flipper would be so much more fun. While researching isn’t Robin’s dream, she realizes working at World Wide News is a stepping stone to a journalism career. When my stepping stone comes along, I will take it, because in the long run the “boring jobs” pay off.
In the meantime, blogging and tweeting are a way for me to escape reality, living in a dreamworld where I write about pop culture. Abed has the same tactic when his mom cancels her holiday visit in Community‘s “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas.” When Abed’s mother doesn’t visit him during the holidays because she “has a new family,” the pop-culture junkie makes Greendale his very own Christmas special. Viewing his friends in stop-motion animation, Abed deludes himself into believing something that isn’t real, because reality is too hard to face. Like Abed, I have created a fantasy to escape, but it’s okay to escape sometimes, because we all need something that makes us happy.
Yes, I may brainstorm, write, edit and layout pieces for this website as if I am a professional, but I enjoy doing that. I may not get paid to write about pop culture, but with faith (Glee), patience (The Office) and taking those stepping stones (How I Met Your Mother), everything will work out (30 Rock). In the meantime, I’m going to visit my blogging dreamworld (Community), because when I am buried under “real news” assignments for school, it reminds me that entertainment journalism is my goal.
My name is Leigh and I am a Coke addict. I should reword that: I am a Coca-Cola addict. Actually, I enjoy Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Cranberry pop (or soda for you non-Canadians), Fanta, Fresca, Raspberry fizzy drink and any other carbonated beverage sold at grocery stores. I love the sweet flavour, the bite, the refreshment- face it, pop is the perfect beverage.
Pop is the beverage of choice when relaxing at a movie theatre; laughing, crying, screaming and over-all enjoying the experience of being entertained by the entertainment industry. And as the studios crank out film-after-film-after-film, and you go from watching PG-13 to Rated R, the same iconic movie theatre cup is being filled with the same bubbly beverage and it feels like nothing has changed.
I love pop almost as much as I love my other indulgence: pop culture. Film, television, music and books fill me with the same sense of glee that Sue Sylvester receives when she snags another trophy, or when Liz Lemon finds a new delicious treat, or when a Jersey Shore guidette gets a spray tan. I digress…
Pop is a tasty treat that’s not too sweet, and that’s exactly what ThePopCan.com is. It is not a mean-spirited blog to knock down celebrities, nor will it falsely advertise bad movies to gain readership; it is a site dedicated to those who love pop culture and want to learn about entertainment.
For the past year, I have been writing on LAMcEachran.com/blog. Originally, the site was created for me to display my journalism work to potential employers (the blog was added as an aside to keep the site fresh and show that I am up-to-date on the entertainment industry.) As the blog grew, I decided it was time to get a site specifically designed for an entertainment blog. I wracked my brain for the perfect name; it had to be simple, easy to grasp and representative of the content. When ThePopCan.com popped (I know your eyes just rolled) into my head, I knew it was perfect. “Pop” is a delicious beverage, fun music and the first half of a fun hobby (pop culture), while “can” is the holder of said delicious beverage and the first half of my identity (Canadian.) So, no matter how you slice it, ThePopCan.com suits me just fine.
I will keep LAMcEachran.com for the next few months and then-poof!-it will disappear, so get used to the new name! All of the blog posts from my last site are posted here, so no worries if you want to re-read my review of Kathy Griffin’s memoir (I knew you were very concerned.) I’m very excited about the new site, as I did everything entirely on my own, and I hope you enjoy it too!
So grab a can and sip the delicious, fizzy drink as you read through my thoughts on popular culture.