Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CJC and Me

Going to the University of Florida has been the experience of a lifetime. I have met some of the best people ever, I have had some of the funnest times I think I will have have in my entire life, and I have had amazing professors who have taught me more than they will ever know.

Going to the greatest school in Florida has also provided me with the opportunity to learn and practice what I am learning in the great field of journalism. CMIR, or the Center for Media Innovation and Research, has put me in contact with amazing professors and mentors like Andy Selepak, Bridget Grogan, Mark Leeps and many more.

I have had the chance to do radio work for the WRUF-FM with amazing directors Tom Krynski and Forrest Smith where I got hands on experience like calling the station from a site and doing a phoner, doing radio interviewers with people all over Florida, and writing scripts to be read live on air.

On top of that, for two semesters I worked as a reporter for WUFT where I got to make VO-SOTs, VO-B-VOs, and Packages for the 5 and 6 o' clock news.

One of the coolest stories I got to do was literally playing with guard dogs all day that were trained to help you with pretty much anything around the house. From going opening the doors for you, to getting you food from the fridge, to even knowing how to call an ambulance if you were in a state of emergency. 

Some days where easier than others. I could get out on the field, conduct several interviews, get tons of b-roll, come back to the station, get multiple assignments done and still have time to spare before I watched my work air on TV. Days were hectic, scary, and had me on the edge of my seat just seconds away from tears... but everyday was a journey and a learning experience that I wouldn't give up for anything.

From my very first day in the newsroom over a year ago, where I was so nervous I cried as I walked into the building, up to today where I openingly laugh, debate, and share ideas with my peers, directors, and producers at CMIR, everyday has taught me something new about my school, the world, and myself. Being here has taught me that I am capable of so much and that nothing can deter me from what I want to do in this life, to share stories with the world.

Love you CMIR.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is an insightful, engaging and surprisingly relevant book about trends and the reasons why some things stick with society and others don't.

The best summarize the book, I believe that you would have to address the Three Rules of Epidemics. I know what you may be thinking. Epidemics? What does the Black Plague have to do with trends and fads in society? Well, first of all, no, Gladwell is not talking about illness. His definition of "epidemic" are the trends, styles, and phenomenons in society. One person creates it, passes it along to another person and the next person and the next person and so on until everyone, or the majority of people are doing it or at least know about it.

The Three Rules are the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor and the Power of Context. The Law of of the Few means that for something to even start out, there has to be those few people who spread the word. Gladwell put these "few" into 3 categories; the connectors, mavens, and salesmen. The connectors are the people who have many ties and relationships in many different groups, these are the people who can really spread the word. Mavens are the people want to help you make an informed decisions and the salesmen are the people who know to use their persuasive skills to get you to buy something or act an certain way.

The next rule is the Stickiness Factor and that means how well whatever the trend is, is perceived by people and if it "sticks" to them. To me, this is the most important factor because no matter how much a connector or salesmen talks something up, people have to actually like it and there has to be consumers or an audience taking it in for it to last. Examples that were used were Sesame Street and Blue's Clues. These shows were tested and actually proved to have a positive effect of children's cognitive development, therefore, they stuck for years.

The final rule was the Power of Context. The Power of Context is the aspect that caused the trend to tip into popularity. One point that Gladwell that I found interesting and have heard over and over is the rule of 150. It is said that you can only handle a group of 150 and actually maintain a meaningful relationship with the people on that group. Marketers sue this rule to help spread whatever it is they are trying to sell, knowing that it will spread more easily this way.

Actually, looking back on it, it is not surprising that this book, though 15 years old, is still relevant today because the psychology of people, I feel, does not change much over time and it takes the sames tricks and methods to get people to do something or believe in something now that I am sure would get them to agree to go along with something 50, 100, or ever 200 years ago.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Checking out fellow bloggers Part 2

In my previous post, I went over the bloggers I like who keep more professional websites that would be a great substitute for a resume. Now I am going to to go over some bloggers who I just enjoy reading when I have a minute to myself.

Dyann Lesnever is probably one of the funniest, friendliest, coolest people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. She also keeps up a pretty cool blog, that I am totally going to plug to you right now. She mentions her job as a radio personality for 99.5 Gainesville Party, but she also has these great tid-bits of inspiration that make you want to strive for your dreams. Check her out, you won't regret it.

Another good friend of mine is Jesse Pagan. His blog rubs me in all the write (lol, I meant right, but I will be "write" there for pun's sake) places because it is about one of my very favorite topics in all the land: movies. I love movies and I could spend hours cuddled up, watching and analyzing movies of all genres. His blog keeps you in the loop about what upcoming movies are about and why you should or shouldn't check them out.

Finally, I have Elizabeth Beisel's blog. She recounts her life as a swimmer and even making it to the Olympics. You can tell by reading her posts how important swimming is to her.

Whose blogs are you always reading?

Checking out fellow bloggers

Blogging is one of the best ways to express yourself, brand yourself, and share your feelings with the world in your own way. Whether you blog about crazy things that happen to you, the kind of foods you like to eat, pop culture, or you keep a website as a portfolio, it is a great way to have all of your writings, pictures, and videos in one place.

One of my favorite bloggers is Rochelle Alleyne. She is a reporter for WUFT and her website is a great example of her keeping track of her work and displaying all of her best packages. You can really get a taste of her style and writing by taking a look at her page.

Now, I am not into sports, but being a UF Gator you are no doubt going to be hearing about basketball and football at the very least. Come football season, the crowds that come from far and wide to tailgate and celebrate UF are amazing. It is crazy to see all the support that our Gators have here. Robert Scheppke and Benjamin Bornstein both report for WUFT's sport's section, so if there were any blogs that I would read to get my fill of sports news, it would be theirs, no doubt.

What bloggers do you love?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ashley's Bio

Hey guys!

I realize that I do have a short about me tab right on the top of my page, but here I have decided to get a little more in depth about who I am and what I love, that being fashion.

I was born in Miami, Florida and lived there until I was in 6th grade. From there, my family and I moved to Fort Lauderdale so that we could be closer to my sister's university. Much of my ideas about fashion and style come from my mom and sister. When I was younger, my mom did not allow  me to just sit in my pajamas all day, she would make sure that no more than an hour after I got up that I was fresh, clean, and dressed for company, as we usually had family or friends come to visit randomly and she wanted us to have our best foot forward. Now, it doesn't take me hours to get ready, I am pretty low maintenance as it only takes me (after showering and teeth brushing) about 5-20 minutes to put on make-up (if you read one of my prior blogs, you know that I don't even know how to use a lot of make up), but even if it's just something as little as going to the store to pick up some milk, I take a few minutes to put together a sundress and cardigan or cute shorts and an awesome pair of sandals because you never know who you are going to see.

My style sense came from my sister. I own a few pieces that are really bright and loud, but for the most part, my clothes are earthy, darker colors, with calm patterns. That way it is easier to create a variety of different looks with limited amounts of clothes. If you can't afford to have the world's biggest closet, you biggest friend is to stick to earthy color, solids, and calm patterns because when you re-wear them and style them in different way, it is easier to make it look like an entirely different piece of clothes. Like on one blog I wrote, I could easily re-wear all of those pieces of clothes in different ways because they easily go with a ton of other things. Nothing there is too busy and too crazy to wear multiple times a month. Having a closet like this, is also a huuuge budget saver!

As you know, I am all about the deals. I love finding cute clothes for low prices and some of my favorite places to shop are Sandy's, Plato's, and thrift stores in general. Not much feels better than to put together an amazing outfit from head to toe, and it costs you no more than $15.

On top of clothes, I love accessories and playing around with nail polish. Little do some people know, that sometimes it is the smallest things like a cute belt, earrings, or purse that can put an outfit together. I hope one day to be a on-air correspondent on E! where I get to talk about fashion, style and people's fashion all day. It literally would be a dream come true, so if you know Giuliana Rancic, let her know I say "Hey!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bahama Mama part 2

Oh hi there,

As you may have read in my previous post (which you should totally do if you haven't) I recently went on a fantastic cruise to the Bahamas this past week for my Spring Break.

My very favorite part of the trip, besides getting to spend time with my 5 best friends of course, was going to the world-famous Senior Frog's. People travel from all over to go to a Senior Frog's.

There are limited Senior Frog's around the world and it is known for being a bar in which you can truly let loose.

There are a few in the U.S. but in the Bahamas, where the drinking age is 18, you can just image how crazy things get during Spring Break.

However, on top of their amazing drinks, they also serve delicious Mexican food and they have a souvenir shop where you can buy memories to replace the ones that you will be sure to forget.

Next time you go on a vacation, check to see if there is a Frog's where you will be staying. I promise, it will be an experience like no other.

Bahama Mama

Hey guys!

So, it's around that time for us college kids... Spring Break has either just passed or this week is your Spring Break. Either way, it is pretty much the best week of your entire school year and you wish more than anything that it would last more than just 7 days... more like you wish it was 365 days.

I booked my cruise with Royal Caribbean and I must say, I think I will be cruising with them every single year.

The service was impeccable. I have never been around so many people who seemed to genuinely want to make me happy. Literally, there was a waiter or server or attendant asking if my room was ok, if I needed a drink, or food, or handing me a list of activities to partake in around every corner.

I had never been happier.

Our cruise left from Miami on Monday March 3rd, we were in Nassau the 4th, Coco Cay the 5th, Key West on the 6th, and back in Miami on the 7th. I am not sure I will ever fully disclose what occurred on those days.

To get ready for my trip, I did a bit of shopping, as seen in my previous post. Most of my shopping was done at Sandy's, one of my very favorite places to shop, but I got my bathing suit from Pacsun, and didn't mind paying more for a bigger, more supportive top since I am a bit more... well-endowed than some.

So if your break is over and you're having the Spring Break blues, I know exactly how you feel, if you are in vacation mode right now, or your vacation is coming up, take a shot for me!