What I’ve been up to…

Busy, busy, busy.

The week after a race is about recovery, but I’ve been keeping busy (swimming on Monday as well as a yoga class and spinning yesterday) and probably not giving myself the rest I need. I’ve decided to take tomorrow off but I will be working all day so it’s not a total recovery day! That’s alright–I haven’t worked since the weekend (a girl covered my shift yesterday because I was feeling overwhelmed with things) and I am looking forward to going in!

This morning’s swim was full of drills, which I am pretty terrible at. We swam about 1700m during the practice and I cooled down with 300 more. I have an awkward break afterwards before I start class, so I think in the future I should bring gym clothes and spend it stretching or maybe doing some ab exercises rather than dilly dallying. We’ll see–this week isn’t the time to add more weight training, etc.

Before swimming, I had a clif bar:

Carrot cake is a delicious flavour--and I don't feel like making anything at 5:30am.

After I swim, I have my chocolate milk and then when I get to class, I usually have my breakfast. Today’s was a delicious repeat of Monday’s, but I snapped a picture this time! I wish that it was more aesthetically pleasing, but it is what it is!

Plain yogurt with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, topped with all bran buds, kashi go lean crunch, and raisins!

Goals for the future include taking better food pictures (perhaps so that I can use them for the recipe of the week/month that I’d like to add to the Campus Rec website), which means I probably need some fun bowls, etc. Excuse to go shopping, TAKEN!

I’m struggling to figure out a direction for this blog. My online course is about making a writing portfolio or a professional portfolio and we get to analyze some past students’ work. I am finding it both inspiring but also intimidating. I feel like I’ve not taken as many writing courses as many of these people (and are these the others who will be applying to journalism school? how am i going to complete without graphics, web, editing, etc. experience?) and like I’m pretty clueless when it comes to how to actually showcase what I have done! I see people adding things I never considered important/thought to keep (i.e. query letters to show that you know how to pitch to an editor).

I’m starting to really fear that I’m not going to get into journalism school and I’m starting to think that my blog should be less of a diary and more of a healthy living blog a la Carrots n Cake, Meals n Miles, Peanut Butter Fingers, etc.  Truth be told, writers write regardless of whether someone reads it. If I want to be a journalist, I can do it without going to school. I think I mentioned a great email I got from an editor I write for, and I’m going to include part of it here:

“…The question remains: do you need to go to school to do this? Journalism schools are not created equal and if the Master’s program you apply to and attend is more theoretical/academic, that may not help you in the real world. If you think you may want to teach at a university someday then, a Master’s might be a good idea (Ryerson started pushing all its profs – even the ones who’d been working journalists for 20+ years – to get Master’s degrees!). Given your brainy family, I get the desire to pursue a post-grad – even just recently I considered applying for UBC’s MFA program, but whether you need it to work is debatable. Ryerson was a very hands-on program and I learned a lot of the basics; I also made some very good contacts that I keep in touch with to this day. But it took writing, lots of writing, to develop the skill level I have now. And a thick skin. Not to mention some good editors along the way.”

To be honest, I want to go to journalism school because I want to be a writer. I want to be a writer because I love to write. I need to remember that when I’m feeling swamped with commitments–to make time for writing. I also need to keep in mind that taking writing classes will teach me important things even if they don’t bring my average up (it’s way hard to get a 90 in a writing class and way easy to get one in a multiple-choice based kin class). In the past, I’ve stayed away from some writing classes because I’ve been worried about them lowering my average and making it harder to get into journalism school, which I see is a really stupid thing to do if I actually want the skills and not just the ‘prestige’ of having a master’s in journalism.

This is turning into much more of a ramble than I intended, but it comes down to my being scared of life as a journalist because I crave security and the job market is so unstable. That being said, every job market is unstable. I have friends who are teachers that have to work at other things that they don’t really love because there’s no teaching jobs. I’ve met people who have changed careers a million times because they’re not sure what they want to do. I know people who have worked at one company for years and then all of a sudden are laid off and find themselves lost.  The question is, are benefits and a retirement package worth settling for less than what I want? Or, is it better to go for the job I really want or at least to go into the field I really would like to and to trust that I’ll be able to create security for myself?

I think I know the answer…


5 responses to “What I’ve been up to…

  1. Cheryl! I like the diary format. I think it makes it more personal. Peanut Butter Fingers can be great, but I enjoy reading about emotions and day-to-day ups and downs because it makes it so much more relatable. Good luck finding a happy medium!

    As for master’s versus no master’s, I say staying a ‘student’ can sometimes be a security blanket. I think the real world values talent, experience, hard work, and, unfortunately, personal connections. I know with your commitment, you can get there!!!

    • Thanks Heather, I really appreciate the honest comment!

      My plan is to apply, see if I even get in, and to go from there. A large part of me wonders if a college program might not teach me more of the practical things I’d like to learn.


  2. Always make your blog what YOU feel it should be. I know I’ve lost readers because I don’t write about calorie counting and losing weight every day and that’s what they want me to write because I’ve lost so much weight. But I’m more than just weight loss and I like to write about whatever I feel. So my blog is about me as a WHOLE person. Make yours who you are. And once you fall into a groove, you’ll start to feel where your blog is going. 🙂
    Love the pumpkin recipe – we can be orange together 🙂

    • Thanks for the reminder to be true to myself! I love reading a lot of different blogs even though they’re all a little bit different, and to be honest I think things are the most powerful when they’re personal!

      I guess I just feel like my stuff’s not up to snuff but the more I practice the better I get!

      Did it take a while for you to get into a blogging groove? I don’t feel like I am legit yet, but I’m sure it will come?

  3. Cheryl,
    I’ve been reading your blog since you mentioned it at the September staff meetings. I love that it’s personal. It makes me feel more human, especially when sometimes life is getting crazy and out of control – it’s good to know I’m not the only one!

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