TODD PATTON

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MY BLOG: Toughen Up

Our professor slowly paced the front of the classroom and proclaimed “this business isn’t for pansies” (family-friendly version) as we prepared to embark on journeys to find additional sources.  A phrase that I will probably never forget as I aspire to make my career as a journalist.

This statement not only added to what I’ve learned in this classroom, but rather, defined it. No other time in my life would I approach an Eastern European restaurant owner and ask him if I could interview him, only to be rejected three times. I would never find myself talking to complete strangers at a rally at the Capitol Building, trying to find a poignant that I could add to my story. Hell, I even found myself talking to a few complete strangers while picking up food for work.

Who was I becoming? My dad? The man who has been calculated to speak to 90 percent of strangers on an airplane, while myself and older brother have a rate of 20 percent. Maybe. I’d like to think I was just simply becoming a journalist.

I’ve come a long way from the kid who could hardly stomach telling a waiter that my order was wrong. Or that calling to set up an appointment for a haircut was almost too intimidating. I never liked talking to strangers before I became a journalism student. And no other class has taught me to put myself out there quite like Holly’s.

Again, I couldn’t believe I was emailing legislators, even talking to them on the phone. As I worked for the Daily Utah Chronicle I wrote columns and sat idly in Real Salt Lake press conferences. Sure, sometimes I would man up, like when I marched onto the swim deck for a last-minute, deadline-saving, interview with the swim coach.  But I always felt uncomfortable.

As I prepare myself for graduation in the first week of May, I can honestly say this lesson may be the one I carry out of this university. Whether it’s finding a job or finding a source, I think the phrase “this business isn’t for pansies” can be used in almost any situation.

It has helped me realize that if you don’t put yourself out there to succeed, you won’t.

ABOUT ME:

Hailing from ever-cultured Utah County, I’ve transitioned myself to Salt Lake City and am slowly attempting to become a journalist while at the University of Utah. Sports is an undying passion of mine and the reasoning behind my endeavor to work with sports in any way possible.  Whether it’s writing or producing, working with sports is not just something I want to do, but have to do.  While it may seem that I’m one-dimensional when it comes to my interests: music, food and social concerns are some other aspects of life that take up my time. And yes, I’m being sarcastic about a cultured Utah County.