Sunday, 26 January 2014

Spring Semester Classes

Last semester saw me specialising in journalism, but now I’ve taken a change of pace and gone for more variety in my classes, crossing over into the paths of creative writing and women’s gender studies. I’m hoping that this semester will be more enjoyable while still expanding my experiences and building on my professional portfolio.

ENG 205: Creative Writing Fiction

Working outside the journalism writing style and delving into fiction, this class develops elements of fiction writing including: character sketch, plot development, description and dialogue. Taking a workshop format we will be developing short stories and giving class feedback, working towards a portfolio of manuscripts at the end of the semester.

WGSS 216: Hollywood and Beyond

This class explores the ideologies of gender, race and sexuality in the movies. During this module we will be looking at contemporary Hollywood films from a feminist perspective. This is something that has always held an interest for me through studying media, and I’m looking forward to taking a more specialised approach.

JOUR 305: Media Design

I’m hoping that this class will help to develop my very basic knowledge of InDesign, which is a valuable skill in the print journalism industry. This class gives us the opportunity to design newspapers, PR materials, photo spreads and reinvent logos.

JOUR 480: Magazine Production

Gaining hands on experience of magazine writing and production techniques by producing content for the monthly campus publication DIG magazine, and content and design for an issue of Beach Byline magazine. Hopefully the added experience of different publications will prove a valuable asset to my journalism portfolio!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Home for the Holidays

As my first semester at CSULB came to a close it was time to return home for the winter break. I had been feeling homesick and was missing my family, so I couldn't have been more excited to be flying back to England.

But it's funny how your new perspective can change the way you see things. Even once I was past the jet lag, I still struggled with an uneasy feeling. While it was incredible to see my family again (shocking to see how much the little ones had grown!) something wasn't quite right. California was calling me and I found myself counting the days until I could return to Long Beach.

Never the less, I had a lovely time with my family and some old friends. Christmas and New Year's Eve is a time for family and a tradition I am sworn to keep. With days out to Winter Wonderland, Secret Santa, leaving parties and more, this was family time at its best.

For many of my friends this semester will be their last. It's a strange feeling that I'll be seeing them graduate before returning for a final year without the people who made the first two years of my degree so memorable. But this is a small price to pay for a year at the beach, and I wish them all the best of luck!

Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity and sometimes it takes a bit of distance to realise it (over 5,000 miles to be precise). I never took my place for granted but now I know for certain how much the experience means to me. I've never felt a strong grounding in England and have always had dreams of travelling, and now that it's become reality my heart is set.

I have one more semester in Long Beach which I plan to enjoy to the full before coming back to finish my degree in Hertfordshire. But something tells me this won't be the end of my journey...