Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Aspen is pretty sweet

So it's been awhile since my last post. I've been soaking up all that Aspen has to offer! This past weekend when my mother was here, we went up to the Maroon Bells with the Times' new intern, Abby. It was beautiful up there, and we racked up almost 8,000 steps on our pacer app!
I am probably the luckiest girl in the world. I got a job before I graduated college. Did I mention that job was in the same field that I got my $40,000 piece of paper for?? Yup. On top of that, my job is in a pretty amazing place. AND...I LOVE my job. I love the work I'm doing and I love my coworkers. But there's another part to what I've been feelings during my first few months in Aspen. It's like that scene in "The Help" when the two main maids are in the super market and end up spying on a lady who's reading the book.
OK, so I'm not actually writing, but I put that paper together. I chose those wire stories. I helped make sure everything was perfect before it was sent off to press. 
And I still get that same feeling that Abilene and her friend got when they saw a person reading what they helped put together. It's a pretty awesome feeling and I am so blessed for this opportunity.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm alive...how could I NOT be?

After finishing my first full week of work, I've decided I like it. My coworkers are awesome. My apartment is awesome. I've made tons of friends already--human and K9 alike. 
My mom has stayed a few more days than originally planned (personally, I'm not surprised.) We took a walk down the Rio Grande footpath right across from my apartment today since it's my first day off. I will be taking that path more often to see my new furry friends. One of these friends I made today is part wolf part husky named Pistol.  This morning, Pistol's mom informed us that he chased a bear up a tree. Apparently he does this a lot, and the walkers and bikers of town know that if Pistol is on the walking path, they are safe. 
I am loving Aspen and everyone that I have met. I can't wait to continue on this amazing journey. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Is it really over?

As I finished my final test of my college career, I thought of a lot of things. I don't have to buy anymore textbooks. No more late-night study sessions. No more falling asleep in lectures. Wow. Guys: I'm DONE.
As a soon-to-be Husker Alum, I have some words of wisdom:
-jschool kiddos:

  • work at the DN. It's experience. And the little extra cash in your pocket is nice...even if it just goes to some Raising Cane's during your shift.
  • Sue Burzynski Bullard is amazing. I can't even begin to tell you how much she has helped me along my path to becoming a copy editor at the Aspen Times. Thanks, Sue, for your words of encouragement and your games during class (yes...GAMES.) I will probably never be able to thank you enough.
  • Michael Goff is a god. I'm pretty sure he can fix anything when it comes to advising.
  • Take a class with Matt Waite.
-all undergrads:
  • Take advantage of teachers' office hours. I wish I would have done this more. If you're confused/lost/about-to-rip-out-your-hair, go see them. It's what they're there for.
  • Gatorade can cure headaches. Learned that this year...weird tip from Pinterest.
  • ...of course, if you pull an all-nighter, Gatorade may not fully help. SLEEP.

I am planning to continue blogging in the future, so look forward to posts about my new adventure as a college graduate, full-time copy editor and brand-new Coloradoan!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I absolutely love the fact that more than half of the accounts I follow on Twitter are editing or journalism-related. Hence why I am able to come across so many amazing pieces, like this one:

This piece reminds me of another post I reblogged awhile ago. The point is, not everyone is perfect, editors included. There are always going to be errors; that's just human. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

To be a good copy editor

I really loved this piece by Craig Silverman. Human error is the exact reason that stories go through multiple sets of eyes before publication.
The best part about how I found this piece was the retweet it came from:

Please read Craig Silverman's piece here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Proud part 2

Ok so I kind of missed the best part. 

Like I said, he sounded like a kid coming home from camp, adding and accepting friends on Facebook the whole ride back to Lincoln. He never once complained about all the tough things he had to do. 

He admitted it was hard, but didn't complain. He even said in the letter I got that he felt like he found himself. 

He's always been a great leader, but he proved it at field training. The trainers saw it. I saw it the second he stepped through security. Something was just different about him. He was meant to do this. He is a true and natural leader and I am more than honored to be his sister. 

One proud sister

So in case we are not friends on Facebook, yesterday was pretty awesome for me.
An hour or so after I got done with class I got in my car and drove to Omaha. I was picking up my little brother from field training (basic training for Air Force ROTC cadets.) 
When I got to Eppley I felt kinda bad because I noticed some families had flags and signs. Then I saw a group make their way to where I was waiting. They had "Welcome home" signs and such, so I assumed they were picking someone up as well. There was a college-age girl with them that for some reason looked familiar. This is normally not like me, but as soon as I thought I knew who she was, I got up from my chair, walked over to her and said, "Are you Patrick's girlfriend?" Patrick is another cadet from UNL ROTC (Recruit Officer Training Program) who went to field training with my brother. 
"Yes," she replied, somewhat hesitant because the only reason I recognized her was from Patrick's Facebook pictures. Yup. Never met this girl. I was then introduced to Patrick's family and I kind of just joined them, which was really fun. 
I was watching the airplanes with Patrick's dad and little cousin. "Patrick's on there!" the little cousin shouted, pointing to the big plane. 
After lots of hugs and LOTS of pictures, my brother and I got his luggage and headed to my car. 
The whole time, of course, he talked my ear off with stories of field training. I was just so happy to have him home. He sounded like a kid coming home from summer camp and missing all his friends--not a tired boy who just got back from military training.
I was told (among more stories) that he was a "DG", or distinguished graduate. Which is also pretty dang cool. So I cheered again! AND he was commander of his flight for the parade they do on the last day (which is why his voice was so hoarse.) THEN. He pulled something out of his carry-on bag. It turned out to be a little, circular medal/trophy thingy. 
Yes. My little brother. Got. Top. Gun. Yes, you heard me correctly. TOP GUN. Which apparently is not just a movie. "It was just of my flight (20-ish cadets,)" he said. So?! TOP GUN!!!!
I suddenly felt truly humbled. Yes, I landed a pretty sweet job. Yes I graduate in almost a week. BUT MY BROTHER IS TOP GUN. 
And a welcome-home-from-military-training just wouldn't be complete without a big steak and a root beer float. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Twitter is overflowing

So in case you hadn't heard, the Washington Post was bought by the owner of Amazon today.
More info and details later. My best part about this, however, is that my Twitter feed currently consists of official newspaper tweets and then my journalist friends making jokes about it. Here is my favorite so far:

True to form, fellow Husker Andy Boyle has some pretty good ones as well. 
Now the details. 
A staff and wire report from the Chicago Tribune released a story at 4:10 p.m. today that the Washington Post and its assets were sold to Amazon.com founder, Jeff Bezos for $250 million.
The Tribune also lists the URL for the story from the Post itself.

Apparently Mr. Boyle was not mentioned enough. So everyone, RIGHT NOW, go read every funny thing that Andy has ever tweeted: https://twitter.com/andymboyle. I'm timing you.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Words of wisdom from a professional copy editor

The ACES national conference in St. Louis this past April was one of the most enlightening experiences I have ever had. Not only did I get to spend a few days in St. Louis with some good friends, I also made some friends there. And these new friends were just as obsessed with editing as I am!
UNL ACES members photobombed by journalist celeb Craig Silverman

One day I was working the UNL grad school booth. My editing professor was checking in on me and a man came over to talk to her. I just sat and smiled since they were obviously catching up. But then I saw his name tag. "You're Steve Buttry!" I blurted, like I had just realized Brad Pitt was standing in front of me. Mr. Buttry was one of the people my class followed after we started our Twitter accounts for Intro to Editing. After some laughs I properly introduced myself and got to have a nice little chat with Mr. Buttry. I called my mom that night and almost screamed into the phone, "Mom!!!! I met STEVE BUTTRY!!!" ..."Um. Who?"
Regardless of my mother's cluelessness to the celebrity world of journalism, I got to meet several other famous journalists that week.
I've kept in touch with many of the people I met in St. Louis, mostly via Twitter and LinkedIn. One friend I made was Brian Cleveland, an editor at the Washington Post. I recently got to speak with Brian again about his editing career, experiences and knowledge on editing.
After 12 years of editing experience, not counting college, Cleveland is currently a "multiplatform editor" (editor for print and online) at the Washington Post.
"(As an editor) you get to be an advocate for the reader, which is an important role...(if) something is unclear to you, odds are good it will be unclear to some of the readers as well," Cleveland said.
He also enjoys writing headlines and even photo captions. "Any time you can write something that will make people smile or laugh, you've done a good deed."
In a world where no job after college, especially in your field of study, is a real possibility, Cleveland has some suggestions for hopeful young journalists; the first being an easy one for the technology-savvy generation, is to learn as many skills as you can and as quickly as you can.
"If I had a choice between two potential hires, one of whom knew more but couldn't really learn new skills and someone who knew a little less but was adept at picking up new things, I would hire the second person every single time."
Cleveland, like many other professional journalists, suggests that college students also gain experience. "(Internships) are important for the experience and the connections you'll make...journalism is a small world, and your network can make a huge difference."
I also asked Cleveland if he had any fun stories from the newsroom that he could share. And his response was even better than I'd hoped for and is also getting me even more excited to join a professional copy desk.
"I can't really think of any specific funny stories, to be honest. I've certainly had a lot of fun over the years, but it's usually related to in-the-moment jokes, commentary about some story or mistake you've found or some other gallows humor that only journalists appreciate and most people would be appalled by."
Thanks for your words of wisdom, Brian. And for getting me even more pumped for my new job! These next 15 days are going to go so slow!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My furry friend

In case you didn't know, I love dogs. Mostly dogs that are actually dogs, not toys. Although I do have a few friends who look like rats after their summer trims.
I turn into another person when I see a dog. Careful if you're in the same vehicle as me and we see a cute boxer collecting the breeze from the best car ride ever. I have, more than once screamed, "puppy!" in a case like this, with my attention now on my new friend. At least until his owner takes a left. 
But my favorite dog in the entire world is KDog. Technically she's my niece, since my brother is the official owner of this adorable, registered chocolate lab. Her full name is Kady Bondo Browndog. That's pronounced kay-dee.
She is the absolute sweetest dog you will ever meet. My uncle calls her "Lickums" because one of her favorite things to do is lick people. Hands, legs, arms. Even faces. 
I've always wanted to get a dog of my own once I got out of college and got settled. I will be taking my time, though. I need to make sure my future furry friend will be truly cared for. Any suggestions about what dog I should get when the time arises will be greatly appreciated. But, please follow Ron Swanson's divine wisdom while submitting suggestions:

Oh. This is really happening...

19 days, people...including weekends. It's not that I'm excited to move to Colorado. It's not that I get to move to ASPEN. Those are just my frosting and sprinkles. I'm ecstatic for August 22: the day I get to start copy editing again. 
The fact that I have a job where I get to do something I love is beyond amazing. Especially for a soon-to-be college graduate. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Empathetic editor

I am a very empathetic person. I rarely get angry and if I do, watch out! I'm not just saying I'm empathetic because I'm a nice person. Empathy is one of my top strengths as determined by the Gallup StrengthsFinder Assessment.

  • Empathy--You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel their feelings as though they were your own. You may not agree with each person’s perspective or condone the choices, but you understand. You help others give voice to their emotional life. People are drawn to you. They appreciate that you understand them. ~Tom Rath

I was once told I was good at copy editing opinion pieces. While considering this compliment, I realized why. An opinion piece is just that. An opinion. 
While copy editing at the Daily Nebraskan, some copy editors wouldn't want to edit opinion. I loved to--mainly because I could usually learn something new, but I was good at it because I was nonjudgmental toward the writer. It didn't matter the topic--my job was not to argue with what the writer was saying, but rather to make sure their message was portrayed correctly--grammar, spelling...whatever. 


I've had a lot of great opportunities and experiences during my time as a college student. As that part of my life is coming to a close, I've been looking back at some of the amazing things I've done in the last four years.
The summer after my freshman year at UNL I took a study abroad trip to Greece. This group of UNL students was led by Dr. Michael Hoff. He's been doing this trip for over 30 years. You could not find a better tour guide anywhere. 
I still pinch myself when I think back on those three weeks scouring through the entire country of Greece. Did that really happen? Did I really see all those sites and museum pieces that I had read about in my art history class with Dr. Hoff? Did I really jump off a pirate ship into the Mediterranean Sea? Heck yes I did.
It was a truly unique and special experience and I would recommend studying abroad to any student.
Dr. Hoff with the Vapheio Cups

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Illiterate Facebookers

Remember what I said about Facebookers who can't spell? Well if you don't know what I'm talking about, here are some very good examples. Or if you're just interested in a good chuckle. Ha. "Um Beyonce."

Editorial edict on editing

For the next month or so I will be blogging about editing for a journalism class.

Scott Kleinberg (social media editor at the Chicago Tribune) says that good bloggers follow the rule of thirds:
-a third should be about your company
-a third should be personal--talk about yourself
-and the final third should be reposts from the work of others (cited, of course--we ARE journalists here!)

So to start off this little adventure, I am reblogging/reposting a blog that a fellow American Copy Editors Society member had retweeted last week. So please read the link below!


I truly felt like I connected with this story--being a copy editor at the Daily Nebraskan in college was so much fun! I never thought I'd be able to do it as a profession! But it takes a certain kind of person. For instance I know some Facebookers who could not handle it because they do not know the they're/there/their rule. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. 

What I loved the most though was the Illinois teacher's response to future mockers of editors: "I'll punch them in the face."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Colorado attire

So my mind has been racing since I said, "yes" the other day. One thought was that I was going to buy myself a new television. Then I said to myself, "Megan--you silly fool. You're going to be living two blocks from a ski resort and a bajillion gorgeous hiking paths. Why would you need a tv?" Touché, myself.
I remembered my wardrobe for summer school. And pretty much college in general. Don't think you can wear t-shirts and gym shorts to work. So I've been Googling everything from "newsroom fashion" to "copy editor style." No decent results. I asked my mother what I'd be wearing..."Columbia sweatshirts and hiking boots." Touché again. It is Colorado, but let's be serious here, Mother.
So I've been scouring Pinterest...general searches and the style boards of my stylish pals. Any assistance/advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
So excited to go shopping now! Is it August 17 yet??

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"And at last I seeeee the liiiiiiight!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (yay for Disney references)

Wow. I don't even know where to begin. The last month or so has been really rough. Not only was Spanish hard and frustrating, I literally did not know where I would be by the end of the summer. Back at my parents house working at the local newspaper? The grocery store? McDonald's in Lincoln? No idea. And it absolutely scared me to death. Anxiety levels have been super high and I was really living hour by hour, even minute by minute some days. That was until I saw through the clouds today.
After returning home from campus on Monday, I was hot, sweaty and smelly but all I wanted to do was rest. After a few games of Bejeweled on my iPhone, I started to close my eyes when my phone started buzzing. I looked at the screen where a 970-area code and "Aspen, CO" were displayed. I leapt out of bed and my heart rate was doubled instantly. I let it ring a few times while I caught my breath and then calmly answered.
Sure enough, it was the editor from the Aspen Times. After completing a few copy editor tests and a questionnaire from the human resources lady, I had been anxiously awaiting any kind of response.
After about 15 minutes of more info about the position and some further interview-style questions, the editor stated I had scored very well on the tests I took (kudos to my editing professor, Sue!!!) Not only had I finished them in a short amount of time, I had "great attention to detail." These two things are vital to any copy editor. The editor then said that because of my great score on these tests and after further chatting today, he would like to offer me the position.
I couldn't speak. I think he realized this and immediately told me he didn't want an answer right away--take my time. One of the questions I had answered for the human resources lady was how I respond to success. Well, I smile, do a little happy dance and call my mom. Instead of simply smiling, I instead started to sob hysterically before my happy dance and calling my mother.
Not only can I see through the fog, I think I can see sounds now. Ha. I am on a high. My life doesn't feel like a waste. I have been given an amazing opportunity and I'm not letting anything hold me back. There isn't anything that could hold me back.
So apologies if I don't blog much in the future--I'll be on the slopes ;) ha jk that's just a perk. I am super excited. I already love the people involved with this publication that I have had the opportunity to speak with and I am even more excited to start copy editing again!! I've missed the DN this summer :(
I want to thank everyone who has helped me make it this far. You all know who you are. But more importantly, I did this. I don't mean to sound cocky. I'm not. This is proof of my skills and my efforts. No one else's. I can't wait to see what Colorado has in store for me!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A sad edit to a previous post. It was not "Hot Ott" who signed my get well card, but actually my surgeon. Darn doctor signatures.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Single and temporarily handicapped

So as stated before, I had a cyst removed. My anesthesiologist, Dr. Ott, was a total babe. And I'm not the only one who thought so (Mooooooommmm). Even my nurse said they call him "Hot Ott."
I was excited for the surgery because they said I could watch it on a television screen. Didn't happen. Darn technical difficulties. I did get to chat with Hot Ott, though. In case you're wondering, I had an auxillary nerve block--they didn't put me to sleep. FYI: nerve blocks are the weirdest thing ever.

I'm supposed to be in a sling for a few more days and after that I still have dressings around the incision until I get my stitches removed later this month. 
I now know why all those children with casts on during the summer were so upset. I stink. It's gross. And I can't get rid of it. Fail. But I do get a sympathy look every time someone sees my sling so I guess it's ok. 
I've been in a sling before, but I was still in high school--under constant supervision of BFFs and my parents in case I needed anything. 
Now, I am in a sling while living alone. I have to drive to campus every day. And mommy's not here to put the plastic sack over my dressings before I can get rid of my nasty body odor and then help me into a t-shirt. Or bra for that matter. And my buddies Audrey and Maddie welcome me to class every day by offering to put my hair in a ponytail. They don't even mind the neck sweat I've accumulated from walking clear across campus. I have some awesome friends. 
So elastic shorts will be my best friend for the next few weeks. As well as limited computer action. But perhaps that's a good thing. Thank goodness for smartphones.

P. S.

I am trying out the mobile app for Blogger, so that's why Mr. Buttry's link is not hyperlinked and there's not a beautiful/goofy picture of my mommy along with my last post. Hopefully my posts will improve as I play with this app. Happy blogging, everyone!

I'm alive

So it's been awhile. And I read a Steve Buttry post (http://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/advice-for-editors-check-a-job-candidates-digital-profile/) that if a journalist looking for a job isn't blogging, some employers will overlook them. Let's not let that happen. 
So playing catch up: I'm currently 1.5 classes from graduating college. Where did time go?! More on that later. I had a cyst in my wrist (I just love saying that!). Thankfully I had it removed this past Saturday. A huge thanks to my amazing mother who drove clear across the state just to drive me there and back. And take videos of me being loopy during pre-op. And take me shopping. And dress me since I'm supposed to be in a sling. Yes. Just huge kudos to all the moms out there. 
So back to college. I'm about to take the next big step of life and I'm scared out of my mind. More so than when I graduated high school and was about to start college. No more late night study sessions and cramming for tests...I am ready for the single, working life of a real job and taxes. 
Job hunting is probably the scariest thing ever. I have no idea where I will be in a month. "But that's a great feeling, Megan!" To those of you who do NOT suffer from anxiety, yes, maybe. So I am taking my mother's advice and thinking like an alcoholic: I'm living one day at a time. That sounded much better when she said it.