Getting settled

Hello!

A few weeks ago, I started my college career here at Marywood. On the first few days, I felt somewhat apprehensive about the entire thing. After all, college is a completely new experience; you’re trying new things, meeting new people, and moving away from home. However, after only four weeks here at Marywood, I feel comfortable calling the University my second home.

I quickly found out that the people here, especially within the Comm Arts department, are extremely welcoming and friendly. I quickly adapted to this new lifestyle, and I feel that I made the right choice by choosing Marywood, and more specifically, choosing the Comm Arts department.

Within the first week, I was already finding out about how to get involved in the department. Mainly, practicum is the best way to do this. It is required that you complete a certain amount of practicum, which is basically learning hands-on about the fields of the department that interest you the most. For me, this was radio and TV. I signed up to take a radio shift for 91.7 VMFM, as well as join the TVM crew. After some training, the next week I was put into the station/studio, and got to experience the department hands-on.

My first experience with practicum was my radio shift. I linked up with an upperclassmen, Mariah Wolk, to do a programmed radio show that plays local musical talent throughout the Scranton / Wilkes-Barre / Philadelphia area. We each chose an hours worth of local music and got it prepared to play on the radio. We took turns picking what the next song would be, then after we picked the song, we wrote into the station log. Then, after about 4 songs, we would take a break to talk on air about various subjects. We covered the U2 iPhone scandal, Paris Hilton’s new dog purchase, and the Miley Cyrus cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.” All in all, the shift was very fun and I learned so much about how the radio station works.

Working in the TVM production room.

Working in the TVM production room. Photo Credit: Kim Del Valle

 

A few days later, the first TVM production was set to take place. I auditioned for TVM to be an audio tech, since I’m more of an off-the-camera kind of guy. I got the position, and as soon as I got to our first production set, they started showing me how to set up the audio. I learned how to connect all the XLR cables, and then how to mic every reporter that would need to talk.

Next, I went up to the audio mixing board and was shown how to use that. My main responsibilities were to make sure that everyone that was talking was not muted, and that everyone who was not talking was muted. Then, I was also responsible for fading the theme music in at the right time. I would have had no idea how to do all of this, but I received lots of help from people who had been in my position before. I loved working with TVM, and I can’t wait to do it again next week (where we will possibly go live).

Aside from practicum, I seem to be adjusting to all of my courses pretty well. The work load is more than what I was used to in high school, but not so much that I can’t handle it. The thing about college is that you have much more free time to do whatever you want. It is up to you to utilize this time wisely, and do your assignments instead of watching TV or playing video games all the time. If you’re good with time management, it is possible to do everything and still have some extra time.

Some of my Comm Arts classes include Video 1 and Comm Theory. Video 1 is an awesome class that teaches you how to film and edit videos. Along with the learning aspect, there is a three-hour lab the same day where you get to work with Final Cut Pro and actually edit videos. Our first project was a picture story, where we have to tell a story using only still pictures and music. Although mine is not finished yet, I really like the way it is turning out.

Then, in Comm Theory, we have been learning about different styles of communication and what their intents are. Our first project was to create our own flow chart for communication. I liked this project a lot because it forced me to be creative and think of my own ways to show communication through a flow chart.

Aside from my Comm Arts classes, I really enjoy my core classes as well. Philosophy, though extremely different from any class I’ve taken before, is very interesting and is making me think differently.

English is one of my favorite classes, as we have been examining editorial cartoons and finding their underlying meanings. Many of our homework assignments in that class are posted to a Facebook group, where we get feedback from the professor and our fellow students. I really like this method of teaching and posting homework.

Lastly, I wanted to touch on the food here. Chartwells is amazing and I’ve been getting lunch and dinner at the Nazareth Dining Center almost every day. However, it is very easy to eat a ton of food there and not even realize it. So, I’ve been going to the gym every other day to try to avoid gaining the Freshman 15. Wish me luck!

See you next time,

-Jonah

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