Well, this is my final post, in my final semester.  Instead of finishing off everything with a miniature profile on a student from UA involved in Greek Life, I’m dedicating this post as a wrap up for the past semester of classes, the last dance.

Going into this final semester, I had only one real journalism class I was enrolled in, Border Beat.  Prior to the beginning of the semester, I had already made up my mind that most likely I would not end up with a journalism career.  Over the course of the last three and a half years, my interests had changed, a common enough occurrence for many college students.  I entered the university after years of journalism experience through junior high and high school, it only made sense to continue working towards a career in the field.  But after a glimpse of what a journalistic career would entail, which was shockingly different than my high school courses, I turned my interests elsewhere.

Regardless, I still had a sense of anticipation for the upcoming semester in Border Beat, which was filled with many students I spent the last four years of class with, and a professor who taught a previous class I enjoyed- things did not seem too terrible for my final semester.  Before the first class, I was approached about possibly holding the position of Editor in Chief of the publication. Though I ultimately did not land the position, I’m confident the right decision was made, and I would not have been able to put in an adequate amount of effort to fulfill the position.

From the start the class was kicked into high gear, and we were expected to publish a blog post ever week (my other blog posts for the semester can be viewed in the sidebar to the right) and a story every week.  With the barrage of work from my other classes, I felt I would never be able to finish a story ever week- somehow I managed to nearly every week.  Despite the stress I had when deadlines would come nearer, the demand for weekly stories taught me something about journalism I had yet to learn in the past few years- the amount of time devoted to a story is not extremely demanding as long as I have some sort of plan.  In all of my other classes, from junior high up until my final semester of college, I had at least two weeks to work on a story.  The only thing I mastered as a result of these long deadlines was simple- procrastination.

Being a journalist taught me how to procrastinate, and for the most part, procrastinate successfully.  For the past eight or nine years, I would put my stories in the back of my mind, and not put an emphasis on a story until it was a day or two before my deadline.  This strategy worked in the past, but became much more difficult during this semester, or at least added a level of stress I was not accustomed to.  With the onslaught of work from other classes I often found myself a day before deadline without any idea of what to cover for my weekly story.  The mission of the publication is to concentrate on issues involving the border that lies extremely close to the Tucson campus, and other international issues present in Tucson.  Therefore, my job of searching for ideas was more difficult- add a little more stress.  I would end up finding a last minute story, and working on it up until my deadline.  Even after I finished, I was never extremely satisfied or proud of my work.

This vicious cycle continued for a majority of the semester until I finally looked at what I was doing, and realized how simple it was to get information and produce a story, a process I was only making exponentially difficult on myself.  This all happened about three weeks ago.  From this point on, the semester was a breeze.  I began searching for story ideas earlier, being more observant of places around me, always looking for stories to cover.  Immediately I began finding subject ideas, and found people often were happy to speak with reporters who were trying to make their lives or businesses more available to the public.

Two weeks ago, I traveled with a few of the other members of my class to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church down in Nogales, a yearly occurrence for Border Beat.  For one day a month, the church transforms into a medical clinic for children living in Mexico, who are unable to afford adequate medical assistance in their home country.  In the weeks leading up to our trip, we prepared for what we would cover, and my anticipation grew with each meeting we had.  Despite all of our preparation, nothing could truly have prepared us for what we found on that Thursday.

It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.  The children were bussed in with their families, and were greeted by a slew of volunteers.  Not long after I arrived, I learned finding volunteers at St. Andrew’s is not a difficult task, but instead they often have to deny volunteers.  A large number of medical professionals drive down to the border town to use their expertise in the many fields, from vision and auditory, to orthopedics and pediatrics.  Many other volunteers have spent the past few years working at the clinic in areas from parking and a welcome desk, to cooking food for all those working at the clinic.

I’m now in my final week of work for Border Beat, my final of journalism work I will complete in my life, and still it feels like any other week.  Hopefully you enjoyed the blog post, and all of the work on Border Beat.

To look through my other blog posts, they are all listed at the right.  All of the stories I have published on Border Beat are also listed below.  Thanks for reading.

“A Good Feeling” says 10-year St. Andrew’s Doctor 

A Semester to Remember 

All-Star Game in danger of being moved from  Phoenix

An escape to Tucson 

Babylon Market offers new flavor to Tucson 

Doctor travels from Sweden to volunteer at St. Andrew’s

Hacienda del Sol: A Slice of Tucson 

Individuals volunteer time and time again at St. Andrew’s 

Live Blog: Immigration Week community panel #1 

Many believe All-Star Game will remain in Phoenix 

Panelists call for immediate action

Taco Shop attracts late night students

The business side of St. Andrew’s: Fundraising

The experiences of an International student

Where to volunteer in Tucson