Over the past three months I have sat in an intermediate reporting class, listening, observing and accepting plenty of tools that may help me become a much better writer. Some of the things that have been offered from classmates as well as some of the things I had on my mind were made clear by our instructor, Holly Mullen, as we expressed our difficulties we stumble upon when we are writing. Despite all of the sharing and learning that has gone on in this semester, it has seemed to fly by in a blink of an eye. A lot of joking and laughter has been expressed throughout the four walls surrounding us in this enclosed box in the LNCO building here at the University of Utah.
As our class first began, we set out on an expedition to write about Law & Justice. But the process of writing kicked in, our theme being edited and stripped down to its final details to make readers become attached to the stories we wrote is the journey this class went on. Straying away from Law & Justice later in the semester, we were able to seek out things we were interested in, stories we felt attached to as well as something we at least knew a little about. The road wasn’t easy but it sure was a great learning experience along the way. With only a dozen student/classmates the class seemed as if it had begun to mold into an authentic friendship. There has been a great change from the first month of class to now, as we approach our final destination to the semester’s end. We all feel comfortable asking the person to our left for help with a critique on our stories, because as we learned from guest speakers, that intimidation of peer editing is something every writer needs to overcome, because every good writer needs a great editor.
The process of writing can sometimes intimidate me, due to the fact of having to go seek out strangers, sit them down and talk face to face asking personal questions at times. But like any fear, we cant let them stop us from doing what it is we want to do as well as become great at it. When you take these kinds of risks you find you learn a lot not only about yourself but others around you. This might be someone you would never have chosen to speak to. You begin to build a relationship with someone in such a short period of time, and it seems real.
An experience I encountered while doing our enterprise stories was something that stands out in my mind till this very day. I went to the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake to visit and chat with some of the homeless people there. I saw a lot of intimidating human beings, (or was it because they didn’t have the same privileges as myself) but I caught my eye on one guy in particular, a 72-year old man by the name of Herbert Smith. A recovering drug addict who has lived in so many places in those years, he doesn’t feel comfortable enough to call anyplace home. As he shared his story with me I felt some sort of connection in an entirely different way. My mind had been made up before I ever walked into the Rescue Mission about what I would find there. This has been the experience I have gained this whole semester, going into things with an open mind. Walking into something blind can be a bit scary, but with the right game plan, everything can turn out the way you wanted it to.
The way we ended this class has been sweet, literally, sweet. We gathered one last time for cups of lemonade and cookies, our sweet tooth’s were calling for something to make us all jump out of our seats. Although everyone was hesitant for a bit, we all made our way up to the front of the class to partake in some last minute refreshments.
My name is Lewis Walker, 22. I am a student at the University of Utah studying journalism as well as a part of the athletics program. Born in a small town in California named Lancaster, then moving to Utah in high school, where I have seen a whole different side of culture. The reasons as to why I aspire to become a journalist are simple: I love to write and share things with others, writing can change many views of people when they see a different angle on a subject, and writing is a medicine to the mind. It allows you to clear your head and just let things out.
If, one day, all my dreams were to come true outside of sports, I would love to travel the world and take photographs that force people to look deeper into the images sitting in front of them, allowing the mind to become creative and free.