A Moment to Reflect

Photo credits are owed to Miss Laurel Rigby.

At the beginning of class, I said that I wanted to learn the skills necessary to create a fun, interactive, visually appealing blog page that made it easy and meaningful to my readers. This was important to me because I wanted to create a place to share my ideas in a way that makes people eager to keep scrolling and keep returning to my page.

When scrolling through my page, I can see that I have learned these skills, and have done so to a greater extent than I ever expected. As far as soft skills, I have learned to become a better critical thinker and problem solver through many assignments. I often ran into trouble when putting everything together and often had things go “unplanned”.

However, problem solving and trouble-shooting made it possible for me to still be succesful and stay calm. I also learned how to be a better listener throughout my interviews and saw that when you are more silent, you will actually create something that says so much more.

I thought that the video assignment was the most meaningful to me. Not only did I cover a topic that was meaningful to me but I did so in a way that resulted in a very high quality product. It was by no means easy, but nonetheless, still made me proud at the end.

The hardest assignment for me was the Live Tweeting. I had never actually used Twitter before so it was all new to me. I dont really enjoy being on my phone at events, I typically feel rude. But, in the media word we live in, you have to be in order to cover events. I was impressed with how well my tweets read and how I covered the event.

If I could give myself advice, I would tell myself not to be scared. I would tell myself to look at the new things in this class as an adventure and an opportunity and not a challenge. I feel that I would have been less nervous during this course if I had a different perspective.

Lastly, I just want to share my appreciation with my instructor. She was so encouraging and helpful the entire time and always pushed me out of my comfort zone! Thank you for teaching me the skills it takes to be successful in journalistic and PR careers!

A Look Inside the UW Meat Laboratory

This was by far my favorite assignment of the semester. I felt like I had the most freedom and got to cover a topic that was truly interesting to me. I decided to create a video, along with my classmate, covering the UW Meat Lab. I got to interview employees and take video footage all over the facility.

I really enjoyed the actual process of putting the video together. I used iMovie on my iPad so it was really easy but still produced a high quality product. I really enjoyed establishing a flow and sense of symmetry throughout the clips.

There was not really a part of the assignment that I did not enjoy. However, if I had to pick, I would say that the actual capturing of footage was hard. This is because its very loud and action filled. So capturing unique good footage without a lot of shaking, was hard. Laurel and I also realized that after we took around 90 percent of our footage, that we shot it vertically instead of horizontally.

However, what we had captured was too good to try and reshoot horizontally so we just accounted for that when editing our film and putting clips together. That was the only thing that I would have done differently. I was so surprised with hoe great the video turned out. I usually feel good about the final projects I submit for this class but, this was a new kind of feeling of pride.

I feel that Laurel and I worked so cohesively together to produce something that is worthy of social media or a web page. With this said, I could absolutely see myself doing a similar project for a company that I work for because I feel confident in my skills. And, I could even see myself making short videos for friends and families in regard to their events.

Instagram for Promotion

I have used Instagram for years for my own personal use but have never utilized it for marketing or promotional means. I follow many pages that do use the social media platform form to promote their page or products.

I had never used Canva before but I have used similar applications. I wasn’t a huge fan of the application because it kept asking me to pay for certain features. I do like the final product that comes from it though.

When trying to promote my blog page on instagram, I tried to use a lot of color, relevant hashtags, while still making my page light-hearted and appealing to people close to my age.

The biggest challenge for this assignment was using Canva. I was surprised that it brought so much challenge. I was also surprised how much I liked talking about my work in my captions and how good the page looked.

In the future, I can really see myself using Instagram and other social media platforms to promote my future blog. I follow many young writers who do the same but until this assignment, I never knew how easy it could be and how good it would look.

Hands Only CPR: Red Cross

The Red Cross Wyoming Chapter hosted a Hands Only CPR event with the goal to inform more people on their ability to save lives.

This week’s blog post will focus on the Live Tweeting Assignment. The assignment instructed student to attend an event in Laramie, WY and to have at least 10 tweets reporting the event. I chose to tweet the Red Cross Hands Only CPR event on April 9, 2019.

I thought that this event was unique because it was hosted by a student organization but was open to anyone, not just UW students. The audience was about 20 people but it was extremely interactive and useful.

My first few tweets were actually facts that I was gathering from the presentation. I had first tweeted my location and what event I was at but for some reason it did not post as my first post, likely because I was in the basement of a building. However, I thought that this might also grab the attention of followers and might make it more interesting for them to follow.

I utilized a more journalistic approach to the assignment. I focused more on facts stated and observations made during the event. I interviewed the guest speaker, Spencer, and the leader of the Red Cross Wyoming chapter and gained their perspectives and opinions.

I chose to do a journalistic approach because of the factual nature of the event and because it is more of what I am interested in. And although I think that the work that Red Cross does is incredible and applause-worthy, I did not think this was really a “cheerleader” type of event.

I really enjoyed attending the event and learning all that I did. Without this assignment I likely would not have attended and therefore would not have experienced this. I did not like trying to use hashtags or trying to tweet in third person, I found both of these very hard.

I actually do not have a twitter so I was surprised by how easy it actually was. I would say outside of learning more about the human body and how to save lives, I learned how to use a new platform that I never would have thought to use for promotional or journalistic purposes.

I can see myself using this in my future career quite well. The company that I will work for is very small and has no existence on social media so I think it would be great to develop these platforms and increase interactions.

Judge On! Summer 2019’s Judging Camps

The 2018 UW Livestock Judging Team lead over 150 campers in a three-day camp.

For most young people summers are spent by a pool, lathered in sunscreen with an endless supply of Bomb-Pops. But, for a select group of children, summer break means they will travel the country in search of more knowledge about something they love and cherish: livestock judging.

Last June, over 150 individuals from various states traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to learn from the talented, sharp minds from the 2018 UW Livestock Juding Team. However, this year Head Coach Caleb Boardman expects attendance to be even higher. The 2019 team has had exceptional success and has made headlines very quickly.

Apart of that team is UW junior, Stephanie Connelly. She says that

“Judging camps give young evaluators the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable and unbiased individuals whose sole purpose is to help those kids succeed.”

Connelly has had tremendous of success this season and has had the priveledge to compete in various states all across the nation. However, as a future agriculture teacher, she says that the opportunity to host a judging camp is thrilling and something that she looks forward to.

And, judging camps are not limited to the University of Wyoming. They are hosted all over the country through various universities and organizations. Camps are typically three days long and can be rather intense. Campers eat, sleep and breathe livestock judging and can typically run for more than ten hours each day.

Below is a map showing the mid-west. Each point on the map shows a location where a camp is being hosted. The link following the picture can give you more information about the dates, locations and hosts of each camp. This makes it easier for youth and parents to find information about camps rather than having to chase down different webpages.

Each pin on the map represents a different camp. For instance, Casper College hosts a camp in June. Campers are lead by sophomores of the judging team and are provided lodging in the dorms along with meals.

In Miami, Oklahoma, Northeastern Oklahoma College campers spend their time looking at various types of livestock and participate in a mock contest. The awards that are given out include hats, shirts and scholarships.

Some games are played at other camps. Here at UW, campers play red-light-green-light with a twist. They have to get into groups and act out scenarios that might happen at livestock shows. For example the leader might tell them to have one steer, a showman and a judge and three campers must get together to carry out the act.

Camps can be incredibly fun and are even more fun based upon the energy of the team that is hosting them. Some kids can feel afraid or home-sick being away from their families but it is up to the hosts to reassure them.

The goal of these camps are to expand upon the lessons that 4-H leaders or FFA advisors teach their students. The camps can be specific to one species or can cover general evaluation skills for cattle, sheep, goats and hogs. Campers also can learn more about oral reasons and develop their decision making skills and speaking skills.

2018 Campers learn how to properly handle a steer and learn the locations and feels of fat and muscle. This is something not typically taught until high school or college but is extremely valuable.

Judging Camps are beneficial to youth in many ways. The time from their families and normal surroundings teaches them independence. The time spent explaining their reasoning and thoughts to strangers they meet at camp teaches them speaking skills. And lastly, the involvement in these judging camps expands upon their passion and keeps them involved in a very positive program.

Stephanie Connelly summarizes the experience in a brilliant way. She says:

“[Judging camps] are the the best coaching staff, backing up some of the best collegiate judgers, backing up some of the best youth from surrounding states. And on any level, its exciting to be apart of.”


The Past and Future of a Future Ag Teacher

Chaney Peterson, of Sheridan, WY, had plans of working in accounting when she entered college. However, one experience redirected her path and started her on a new journey towards becoming an Ag Teacher.

My experience interviewing Ms. Peterson was extremely easy. Her various positions in the Mortar Board, Collegiate FFA and Ag Teachers Association likely improve her leadership and speaking abilities, making it easy to interview her. I was surprised by how comfortable she was even with using an audio recorder.

Chaney Peterson is a junior at the University of Wyoming and is very active all across campus.

I really enjoyed learning about Ms. Peterson and her experiences. I did feel more pressure with using an audio recorder because I was more nervous about what I was saying and my interviewees answers.

I wish that I would have phrased my second to last question differently so that it was clearer to my interviewee but overall, the process was great.

Here is the unedited audio file of my interview with Chaney Petterson.

Editing was a challenge for me and I wish I would have had more experience with Audacity and Soundcloud. I had a hard time selecting the right portion of audio in Audacity and a hard time converting it to a seamless track without pauses. However, I did eventually figure out how to make it one track rather than small chunks which helped a lot. In the future, I can see myself using audio interviews for my blog.

It was such a blast getting to work with Ms. Peterson. I loved learning about her career plans and hearing about how her previous experiences changed her path and reshaped her future.

From Lands Far Away: UW International Students and Scholars

Arriving to Places Unknown, It’s Harder than you Think

Whether it’s the other side of the globe or bordering countries, prospective students form other nations must take many steps in order to come to the University of Wyoming. Jesse Hughes, the Immigration Coordinator of UW explains what students must do in order to obtain an education in the United States.

To start their process, they have to apply and be accepted to the University. After that, they must apply for their Visa and go through the required background checks and screenings.

If they clear that step, they then will be asked to attend an in-person interview with one or more specialist. Jesse Hughes explains how hard this step.

He says “…even something as simple as that person mentioning an internship opportunity or having family in the United States can disqualify the applicant.”

Hughes also added that the most important part of their approval process is proof that they can pay for the full first year of college upfront and that they will return back to their country after completeing their degree. Even after all of this, they still must make it through customs and border patrol.

They Made it Here, Now What Happens?

The challenges don’t end when their feet hit American soil either. Not only do they have to adjust to a new language, new cultures and new foods, but, they also have an entire book of rules to abide to. Luckily, students at the University of Wyoming have amazing resources to help them be successful. Jesse Hughes talked about his experiences at UW and compared them to his time working at a school in Utah.

Many other schools do not make nearly as much effort to help international students. The school that he worked for previously didn’t have an open-door, appointment free office that was as flexible and welcoming as Wyoming’s and also didn’t correspond with them nearly as frequently. Hughes explains that this is greatly important to the student’s success and helps them avoid conflict with ICE and the federal officials.

There are also many other challenges for international students. For instance, they pay extra fees for being international but are offered no federal aid and even less scholarships. They also are not granted permission for employment off of campus and cannot work more than 20 hours a week.

Strict Regulations, High Expenses & New Cultures, What Makes it Worth While?

The University of Wyoming currently has 715 international student, 70 international scholars and 121 children or spouses that traveled with them. These international students come from 90 countries with China, Canada, India, Bangladesh and Saudia Arabia being the most popular.

Among those students is Juan Vintimila from Ecuador. During an interview, Juan gave details of getting his Green Card for schooling in the United States. Juan explained that he could apply for a Green Card instead of a Visa because he was born in the United States.

“Getting my Green Card was extremely long. A lot of paperwork and medical studies”.

Juan said that the medical studies were the worst part of it but that ultimately memories like speaking at the Honor’s Convacation and the promise of a better future make it all worth it.

An international scholar from Uganda, Stephen Frimpong, shared insight of his struggles as well. Stephen was lucky to have previous international study experience and work experience with the UN which made it easier to obtain a Visa.

However, he spoke about the financial struggles with international studies and said that airfare, serves fees, Visa Application fees and postal fees accumulate quickly and create extra obstacles for many people.

He also said that leaving the warm weather and beaches from hone make this new life more difficult.

Overall, the University of Wyoming welcomes many international students and scholars and has many programs including the ISS to help students connect better with Americans. A large portion of the international students and scholars seek this type of assistance and are grateful for flexibility and commitment of ISS.

To learn more about ISS as an organization or the students themselves, check out the website at: http://www.uwyo.edu/iss/ or stop by the Cheney Building and talk to any of the staff or students in the Immigration office.

Photojournalism From Many Perspectives

This assignment was so exciting but also made me nervous. I love to journal and I love to take photos but I never tried to mesh the two. I was most nervous about not taking thought provoking, interesting photos that I would then be able to write about. It was also the first time that I had to take pictures of strangers. I was however greatly surprised that I did enjoy taking their pictures and capturing their personalities and qualities without even knowing them. So, without further adue, let me introduce you to five amazing people that I captured.

“Higher Heights” UW basketball player, Haize Fronstrom, watches Jake Hendricks make a big leap for a praise worthy shot during the warm up period before their game against UNLV. The game was held in Laramie and although the outcome was not in the favor of the Cowboys, the energy and hype was great the entire time.

This picture was by far the most challenging picture to take. I had to take roughly 100 pictures just during the warm-up time just to get a shot that wasn’t blurry. the hardest part of taking this picture was actually getting the courage to go and sit right underneath the basketball hoop next to the press members that had their giant cameras. But, I was really happy with how the photo turned out. I also had to heavily utilize the UW Basketball page to gather the names of the players. https://gowyo.com/roster.aspx?roster=94&path=mbball

“Getting Visualization” Sierra Jepsen, the coach of the Meats Judging Team is in the UW Meat Lab preparing specs for an upcoming meat judging practice that is being hosted at UW. Here she is taking a beef hind quarter and breaking it down into primals.

The above picture is one of my favorite non-sports feature photo. I came upon this situation while I was working in the Meat Lab. I have never had a conversation with Sierra before this and just decided to ask her if I could take a picture of her. Im so new to the Meat Lab that I don’t have the confidence to cut meat very quickly and I just found myself amazed with how fast and percise Sierra was while cutting.

“Too Early for This” Vincent Oedekoven, an employee of the UW Meat Lab works on pulling a hide off of a lamb during a slaughter. The grit shown on his face truly speaks to how hard working and determined he was the entire time despite starting his day at 4 o’Clock in the morning on a Tuesday.

The pictures I took during the slaughter on Tuesday were my favorite to take for this assignment. It was so easy to catch my subjects off-guard and to really capture a genuine moment. For this, I used the Portrait Mode on my phone and took several pictures to get the lighting right and to come from the right angle. If you have any other questions about the UW meat Lab, you can look at their Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/cowboybrandedmeats/?ref=content_filter

“Sidelines” The UW Cheerleaders practice their tumbling routines on the side of the basketball court before the game against UNLV began. There was an intensity in their attitudes the entire game even at times when the UW cowboys were not winning.

For this photo, I utilized the Live feature on my phone to capture and “freeze” the photo at the perfect time. It was difficult and took many tries to get the right shot but I was happy with the results. I wo wish that I could have taken the photo with a higher quality camera to avoid having it appear grainy.

“Taking Aim” Johnstown local Rayna Alexis practices a game of pool before playing with friends at a local bar in Colorado. Despite being a loud, Saturday night, Rayna was still focused on each shot.

I used the Portrait Mode feature on my phone to take this picture and put the focal point on the 6 ball in the front. This picture became one of my favorites because of the lighting and the depth.

The World Through Jessie’s Eyes

These photos were captured during class time at the UW Conservatory and in my free time at the Swine and Beef units at Hansen Arena, hopefully you can distinguish which pictures were taken at each location. I captured all of these utilizing my iPhone because I do not own a high quality camera. I greatly enjoyed this assignment and even more so, I enjoyed reflecting on and sifting through the 200 plus photographs that I took.

”New World Small” This picture captures a rustic, golden dinosaur meshing prehistoric times and modern times. The main creative domain illustrated in this picture is the Establishing Size Domain. I really love the irony of this photo because in the minds of most people dinosaurs were huge creatures and in this picture the dinosaur, which is the main focal point, is actually the smallest element. I feel that the irony not only makes the picture interesting but thought provoking. I also think that the gold color pairs well with the almost rust color in the chipped paint on the brick and allows the dinosaur to remain dominant in the picture.
“Lookin’ Sharp” This photo is a Birdseye view of a large cactus from the UW Conservatory. This picture depicts the Creative domain of Texture mainly. You can see the harsh, sharp points of the cactus that keeps the plant safe but there is also a soft almost cotton-like texture below the spikes that has a mesmerizing, inviting feel to it. I also feel that this photo can demonstrate Cropping because there isn’t a full specimen in sight. This picture might be the most unique one I took. The first thing that my family said when I showed them is “what is that?” And while that might be an insult to some people I actually like that because of the lighting and the angle, you are actually forced to think about it and interpret it.
“Nobody Nose 29-7” This photo shows a curious barrow that wasn’t quite brave enough to let me see his entire face but still wanted to investigate. I think there are many creative domains at play in this photo but the main one that adds the most character to it is the Rule of Thirds. The pig’s nose is almost centered in the photo and is the main focal point. The placement of the nose makes the picture unique and makes it central. I also think that Depth is crucial to making the photo unique because his feet, chest and even his ear are all blurred which makes the nose stand out more and adds an extra element to the picture.
“Sleeping on the Job” This ladybug has an important job to protect the plant by consuming other insects that might harm it. However, this ladybug is enjoying a peaceful nap while nestled inside a spiked succulent. This photo mainly depicts the creative device of Symmetry and Patterns. Theres almost an exact pattern on the leafs of the plant and a symmetrical way that it grows. I think its this almost precise pattern that allows the bright red ladybug to stand out so much. I think that the depth also makes the picture more pleasing and the subtle water droplets make it more interesting and adds a calming feel to it.
“Stand out From the Crowd” This picture shows a lone red heifer that was just curious enough about me to walk up to the food bunk. She put her head in the right place to create a picture that utilized Framing really well. That creative domain really draws the viewer’s eye to the heifer’s face. I also really like the depth of the photo and how the black heifer in the background adds an extra element to the photo. I linked this picture so much because it has a focal point but there is also so much detail outside of that. The texture of the mud, the steam out of the other animal’s nose and the loose straw on the chin of the red heifer all add extra character to the photo.

Overall, I enjoyed this assignment greatly. I thought that it was surprising how unique each photo turned out. I kept trying to make each photo different from the one before by adjusting the lighting, focal point and angle. I did have some help from the Portrait Mode on my phone which gave me more control with lighting. If I were to do anything differently I would have tried to think more outside of the box and taken more unique pictures.

Exploring Blogging for the First Time

Starting a new domain where I will begin sharing my ideas and opinions seems very exciting. I greatly enjoy writing and have for a very long time. The thought of have my own space to express my passion, knowledge and creativity is thrilling in many ways.

However, making it a fun, interactive page that is visually appealing seems intimidating. After looking at previous students’ work, I feel confident that I can learn new skills for developing and maintaining a page that feels very welcoming and organized for my readers.

I am also afraid that I wont be able to share my page in a manner that reaches the right audience or reaches enough people. I want to learn more about marketing myself in order to share my ideas in an efficient manner.

I hope I also gain experience in blog writing because I have doubts about whether or not I will be able to write entertaining pieces each week. I am interested in writing about issues that the agricultural industry faces.

I hope to have a broad range of topics including livestock and agronomy. I hope that I can choose topics that are different enough from other pieces that I have wrote but similar enough to where there is a consistent theme and feel with my site.

I follow many blog pages that are always very entertaining. In recent weeks I have tried to follow more pages so that I can decide what I want to implement on my page and what trends I wish to avoid. The pages that I do follow are all diverse from each other but I also

Although I have made it seem like I am terrified and unsure about all of this, I am more so excited for this opportunity. I look forward to making new connections through this page and learning new skills. I also think that it is a great opportunity to market myself.