Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Life as a Journalism Student

Life as a journalism student at the University of Florida has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  Earning a degree in Journalism is a unique process that can not be found in any other atmosphere.

While most degrees require countless hours of reading and homework, Journalism students learn about our future field through hands on experiences. We actually spend the majority of our time working in radio and TV stations on campus, recording stories out in the field, and editing pieces together to actually be aired for public viewing. There is no other major that allows its students to gain so much hands on experience.

At the University of Florida we are even more spoiled because we have a new, fabulous Center for Media Innovation and Research. This area allows students to try out their skills and experiment with new mediums and ideas. This area has also been the birthplace of exciting projects like new apps for phones.

We also have the Innovation News Center where radio and TV shows are produced daily and operate exactly like a professional news room. Through this center and my classes I have gotten to report about a Supreme Court Justice visiting Gainesville, interview our Governor, report just yards away from a fire, as well as have many more opportunities.

As a journalism student I have learned so much about how to work in the journalism field and about my community of Gainesville and Alachua County. I am so thankful for this

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Tipping Point

     The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell is truly fascinating. Through school we learn about epidemics, such as the Black Death. Through life we see trends come and go, such the toy craze of Beanie Babies or fashion styles like the outrageous clothing of the 80’s. I think we all assume that trends and epidemics result from a mass movement, or we never think about their initial occurrence.  Gladwell, in The Tipping Point, discusses the beginning of ideas, trends, and behaviors that spread worldwide.  What I found most interesting in this book was Gladwell’s discussion of the causes of the syphilis epidemic in Baltimore in the mid-90’s, the discussion of how television became educational through “the stickiness factor”, and the case study researching teen suicide in Micronesia.
     In the first chapter Gladwell discusses the Syphilis epidemic in Baltimore in 1996. What I find interesting are the three very different theories he examines while trying to determine what caused the exponential increase in carriers of the disease.The first theory was produced by the Center for Disease Control. This theory claimed that an influx of the use of cocaine was the cause of the Syphilis epidemic because drugs, like cocaine, lead to illicit behavior. A second theory was presented by John Zenilman, who claimed the rapid spreading of Syphilis was caused by breakdowns and budget cuts to medical centers in the poorest neighborhoods. John Potterat presents the third theory. Potterat claims the epidemic began as a result of the demolition of two huge high-rises that housed 100s of families and also served as centers for crime and disease. What I find fascinating is that, as Gladwell points out, none of these theories are dramatic; in fact all three are very subtle in nature. I find it very interesting that something so deadly and quickly spreading can result from a minor change in the behavior or conditions of a few residents.
     Sesame Street is a childhood favorite for many in my generation. We grew up loving Big Bird, the cookie monster, and all the while being educated. I think it is interesting that Gladwell points out that Sesame Street was engineered around one insight, “if you can hold the attention of children, you can educate them”. While this does seem obvious, Gladwell goes on to explain that it is not. He points out that researchers discovered that children actually do not simply stare at the Television screen; instead, they divide their attention between multiple things at one time.  Their breakthrough discovery was that children watch TV when they understand and look away when they are confused.  This breakthrough provided the “stickiness factor” for Sesame Street. The “stickiness” was enhanced through distraction testing done at Harvard. For instance, in one study researchers concluded that Oscar the character was “sticky” but the lesson he was teaching was not because Oscar was distracting the children from learning.  After much research and trials producers of Sesame Street finally found a perfect balance and Sesame Street, as well as its lessons, stuck.
     Finally, I found the case study on suicide in Micronesia to be fascinating and morbid. Suicide is such an uncommon thing here in America and is severely frowned upon. It is often even associated with mental disorders or extreme depression. But, as the study points out, suicide in Micronesia is a very common practice among teenage boys, as there are 160 people who commit suicide per every 100,000. It is also rare because suicide in Micronesia can be set off by something as simple as not receiving a few extra dollars from parents or seeing their girlfriend with another boy. What is also unnerving is the idea that in Micronesia children often imitate suicides at ages as young as five years old. Gladwell points out that based on suicide research, in some places committing suicide can be contagious.  David Phillips, a sociologist, explains that this contagion is not like a disease or in any way rational, it is more like imitation, imitating a person who provided permission to perform some kind of deviant act.    

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Health in Every Day Life

Food is Great! But, being healthy is more than just eating healthy, it is a way of life which involves the mind, body, and soul. 

I am very health conscious and so are some of my class mates. Check out their blogs, take their advice, and improve your quality of life. 

Courtney Allen provides some great advice for being healthy in soul and mind. Courtney loves to write and is a very uplifting person who cherishes her voice more than anything.

Amanda Di Lella provides great tips about really healthy foods and food habits that everyone should embrace. Amanda is a third year Telecommunications major here at UF. She has been passionate about news since she was little and has gotten extremely involved in the news program at UF. She is actually a specialty anchor on WUFT-TV. 

Ashley Goodus provides some great alternative ways to work out. Ashley is also a senior at UF studying Telecommunications. She is passionate about working out and loves to learn new things.  

Fresh Food Ideas

We are all different and we all have different opinions. This is why it is important to take advice from many different people, especially when it comes to where you should eat. Check out these other food blogs for new and exciting recommendations!

Shane Chernoff  is a senior Telecommunications major here at the University of Florida. He currently works for Gainesville's NPR affiliate station, contributes to Gainesville's ESPN affiliate station, and is a co-host of the talk show "Cheap Seats".

Talia Medina is a 5th year Telecom student at UF as well. After graduation she plans to pursue her aspirations in New York. I can't wait to try the French Toast recipe she has on her blog and I hope you all check it out!

Nick Swain takes a new approach to his food by explaining that we are what we eat! He is also a Telecommunications student at UF who has hopes of being a TV anchor one day.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ashlyn Robinson 2

Between classes, law school applications, and interviews the food spectrum has again been relaxed.

Ill use this opportunity again to tell you a little more about myself.

I am from the small town of Plant City, FL. This is a very rural yet proud town. Plant City is the Winter Strawberry Capital of the world. Every winter we host the Strawberry Festival.

Currently, I am a student at the University of Florida. I am studying Telecommunications in the College of Journalism and I am a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. I actually had the honor of being crowned Miss University of Florida 2012.

As a senior I stay very busy. Especially because I am in the process of applying to law school. I spend a lot of time studying but I do find some time for fun. The activities I consider to be fun and relaxing are playing with my dog, Angel, and cooking.

Angel is a two year old chihuahua. She is five pounds and the most adorable dog I have ever seen. I will admit, I may be a little biased!

Cooking is a great release for me. Creating delicious meals and experimenting in the kitchen allows me to get in my own little world. But, when I am too tired to cook, or most likely too tired to want to clean up after I cook, i choose to eat out. Italian food is usually my go to choice for a delicious meal!

If you would like to know a little more about me, Ashlyn Robinson, visit my website and take a look at my resume!

Happy eating!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ashlyn Robinson

This week has been very boring on the food spectrum. I have not eaten anywhere unique or cooked anything interesting.

I thought instead of discussing food, since I have nothing to discuss, I would instead let you know a little more about myself.

I am a student at the University of Florida and currently applying to law school. I am in a sorority, have danced my entire life, and compete in pageants.  

If you would like to know more about me, Ashlyn Robinson, please visit my website. 

Have a great week!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Dillard House

The Dillard House is located in Dillard, Georgia, very close to the North Carolina boarder. 

This is a very unique restaurant, and trust me, you need to bring your appetite. 

When you are seated you are not given any menus, instead, the servers begin bringing out food. I was given three different salads, four different meats, and about eight different side items, as well as bread and dessert. 

I went for lunch today while I was traveling through Georgia and I plan on going back Tuesday for breakfast on my way back to Florida. I will let you know how breakfast is.

I realize you probably are not near Dillard, Georgia so let me recommend restaurants in Gainesville, Florida instead incase you just do not feel like cooking tonight. Both Bistro 1245  and Emiliano's 
are both delicious and will satisfy any craving you may have.