March 8, 2006 at 3:44 pm (Uncategorized)

Last night I happened across the blog of a local journalist named Don Surber. Go say hi to Don. I sent him an e-mail and he was kind enough to respond, even putting me on the list of “blogs to visit today,” and correcting my spelling. He thinks I should go to Columbia.

I read some of Don’s blog and the admissions information from Columbia and determined a couple of things. At this point, I’m woefully behind on where I should be to even have a chance at being accepted to Columbia. Woeful.

Although I love writing and I think I’m better than average when I get my groove on, to be an investigative journalist (they just opened a new sub-speciality in investigative journalism at Columbia), a couple of things have to happen.

One: I have to stop hiding my face in the sand. The very thing that makes me a better than average writer is what makes me a crappy journalist. My empathy is both a blessing and a curse. In order to learn more about the world, I have to learn to better filter the emotions and images of pain and suffering. I’ve learned once before that I cannot absorb, I must filter.

Two: I hate watching people get away with shit that is just wrong. Corruption, lies, deceit, things that hurt the average Joe on the street, and things swept under the rug just gall me. Being a crusader against injustices in the world is why I got into Criminal Justice to start with. It makes you unpopular and there’s a certain amount of fear there. I’ve never been what one would call “popular” so I don’t guess that hurts me too bad but I have to get over the fear of pissing people off. That’s not just in relation to journalism, that’s my life as a whole. I still carry a fear of Jeff inside of me. I literally do fear him. I’m tough but not as tough as I would like to be. Nate is my Achilles heel and he knows it.

Three: Speaking of Nate, regardless of how I feel about Jeff, I may have to face that Nate would be better off staying here. Not necessarily with Jeff, but just staying here, continuing into middle school with his sister, karate, golf, and tennis (both of which he has taken a liking to recently). If I go to Columbia part-time, it’s two to three years to complete the degree, full-time it’s 10 months. You do the math. Sacrifice sucks, that’s why it’s called “sacrifice” instead of “fun.” However, I don’t see our lives getting much better from here on out unless we both do a bit of sacrificing.

Four: There are some people in my life who will stand behind me and push me forward – you all, AZ, Lex, my dad, and my current bosses. There will those who question every movement – T-Bird and Nate’s half-sister’s mom. And, there will be those who won’t want me to do it. They will see it as selfish and ridiculous and criticize me for leaving Nate here (if that indeed happens). I’ll never win with these people – Jeff and my Mom.

The best thing is, I have a lot time to be prepared. Applications for the August 2007 M.S. program aren’t being accepted again until November 2006. I would then have to take the written test. Decision letters would be mailed around April 1, 2007. The only other issues at this point would be my house and my cats. I bet AZ could help with the house part, at least rent it out while I’m gone, find a “house sitter,” or something of that nature. I’m not going to worry. I’m just going to keep moving forward.

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