Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I was almost your brain surgeon.

Every time a new acquaintance asks me what I "do," my first response is that I work in marketing. It's not a lie exactly, but considering that I live, breathe, and subsequently suffocate on j-school, it's not exactly the truth either.

In my social life, I like to gloss over the fact that I'm a journalism student because it nearly always illicits the same response:

"Oh, that's sooooo funny! I was actually going to go into journalism, too! I got really good marks in my high school English classes. I even wrote a poem that was published in my yearbook."

That's special, really. Thanks for sharing about something you almost did, but then didn't do. That's like me telling a med student that I "almost became a doctor because I was really good at dissecting frogs in biology class!"*

It's not that easy.

Imagine you’ve been spent 20 years of your life walking the correct way, when someone comes up to you and says, “You know something? You’re doing an excellent job of walking upright, and I think you have potential, but you should actually be walking backwards.” So, you start walking backwards, but you suck miserably at it. And then you start thinking that maybe you shouldn’t have even started walking upright in the first place. You’d much rather prefer to just start crawling again. But after trying and failing many times, you finally succeed in learning how to walk backwards. You’re feeling brilliant, since your walking skills are clearly superior to everyone else who is walking forwards. You’re feeling on top of the world!

That is, until that same person comes up to you and says, “Okay, good job on walking backwards. But what I actually didn’t tell you is that now you should also be walking on your hands. Through pits of fire. While carrying a full jug of leeches using only your big toe. Think you can handle that? Good. Because once you’re done, I’ll be grading you.

Oh, and did I mention you owe me $5000?”

This is what journalism school is like. And this is what learning to write again is like.

(Fun fact: I would estimate that out of the 150 people who were originally accepted into my program 2 and 1/2 years ago, only about 110 remain. The whole process is kind of soul-crushing.)

And now, here's a blurry picture of my cleavage as compensation for reading that terrible metaphor:

(For added bonus points, can you spot Alex Dodd in the above photo? )


*Which I was, by the way. You should have seen me handle a scalpel. Pro, all the way. Dissecting the fetal pig was my favourite activity. I wasn't a big fan of the cow's eyeball, though.


  1. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Hahahaha! I hope in the future we'll see more, um, terrible metaphors.

    Journalism school doesn't sound very fair. But think of all the extra walking you're getting in.

  2. Alex is on the left, and miss a great while napping.

    However Jess you do a fantastic job at Journalism, keep it up.

  3. I'm dropping by Rauhala's office tomorrow afternoon but I'd love it if you can go over my stuff too before I do any more damage to my career.

    I did that racial test and it showed that I had a preference towards white people. I wasn't surprised. I grew up in an environment where ignorant and paranoid parents (a horrible combination) would blame black people for everything. It totally brainwashed me and there's still some subconcious crap that I need to get rid of.

    I have a feeling a big chunk of the people of our year aren't going to be journalists after graduating. Many are just dicking around, just doing class assignments and not trying to get shit published or internships. I mean, you're in third year, you should have clippings by now. Our reporting teacher shouldn't have to force you to write for the Sonian or the Eye. Bah!

  4. I don't get it -- why a jug of leaches?!? Leaches aren't very heavy and are only really scary when applied to the body [shudder shudder]. Why not a jug full of lead pellets (assuming it's a sturdy jug) while covered in leaches?

    Wait, wait -- what is this metaphor all about again?

  5. Karon- Well, truth be told, there's a good chance that I won't "become" a journalist. . .and even if I do, it's not a career I'm going to dedicate the rest of my life to.

    But I'm trying all the same for the time being. We'll see what happens. (For me, finishing this degree is a necessity. This is my fifth year of post-secondary. I need to finish a degree sooner or later. But I'm going to put my all into it regardless.)

    Unfortunatly I'm headed back to Alberta this afternoon due to a familiy obligation, so I won't be able to look at your resume. Sorry! I'll be back on Monday.

    Rev- Leeches because if you dropped the jug, they could fall on you and suck your blood. Sounds pretty unpleasant to me.

  6. A degree's a degree, and I like your writing style (as do others).
    That isn't Alex, I think you just ingeniously folded a hoodie and sat next to it.

  7. What happened to my bonus points??

  8. Niiiice... what were you talking about again? >:)

  9. That's how I feel about being a Music student. Be special, but MORE SPECIAL and snobby cause snobby kids get the gigs, or the teachers do. Nice cleavage :)

  10. You have journalism down. I used to think I could write, now I'm full of doubt. Even worse, I saw what I look like on camera today. Yeah...I used to think I was decent looking too. I guess you never know everything.

    (Took me a while to notice you today..I don't tend to recognize people until they yell my name...)