Leigh Ann Walsh

MY STORIES:

MY BLOG:

When Elaine and Lois came to talk to the class about reporting on aging, my eyes were opened to a whole new side of aging I had never thought of before. To be perfectly honest, when we were told our beat for the year was aging the first thing that came to my mind was how cute old people are – there is no better image than an old married couple walking hand in hand. This visual quickly evaporated when Elaine and Lois warned us not to call old people cute just because they are old. I knew right then that my thinking needed to change if I was going to come up with some interesting topics to cover.

I can honestly say without hesitation that I have learned a tremendous amount over the last four months. One of my biggest concerns at the beginning of this class was the interviewing process. I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I made my first call to a potential source. However, these initial fears were quickly dispelled when I realized how willing people were to help me. Everyone I contacted did their best to give me the information I needed and created times in their busy schedules to talk to me. I am grateful to all these people for helping ease me into unknown territory.

With each story I tried to remove myself further from my comfort zone. The fact that I got better with every article is the greatest satisfaction I will take from this class. My best experience was interviewing three older refugees from Bhutan for my last article. They had spent 17 years in a refugee camp in Nepal before being resettled in Utah. I interviewed them through a translator and it was a very humbling experience. Their story inspired me because after interviewing them I realized that I would be the person putting their story into words. I have always wanted to be a journalist but I could never give a specific reason why. Now I know. I want to give people a voice.

ABOUT ME:

‘Live each day as if it is your last.’ That’s my life motto and never have the words had a truer meaning for me. I am an international student from Dublin, Ireland, and I have roughly six months left before my student visa expires.

I arrived here a little over four years ago with my life packed in a suitcase and my mind occupied with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. My years spent playing tennis had finally paid off when I was offered a scholarship to come play for the U. I touched down on American soil for the first time in my life and I did not know what to expect.  Fast forward through four amazing years of college tennis, full of laughs, tears, cherished memories and lifelong friends and I can honestly say I have lived the American Dream.

My love of sports has lead me in the direction of a potential career in the sports media. I played tennis, football (more commonly known here as soccer), and field hockey when I was younger. Growing up in a family with four older brothers was most likely the fuel behind my love of sports. Although my sister did put in a good, albeit unsuccessful, effort at converting me to a childhood of frilly dresses and dolls. `

I will graduate in May 2010 with a double major in mass communication and exercise and sport science. Where will I go from there? Well, your guess is as good as mine. My first 22 years have taken me to some incredible parts of the world but there is still so much more to explore. All I know for sure is I will always be proud to have been a Ute!