Coming to a close

December 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm (Reaction)

Following a semester of in-depth reporting and finding stories, it is safe to say it is time to take a breath and have a sigh of relief. It is completed and I can now see a final product. I worked very hard over the course of the semester and have to say I am quite proud of my final product. I learned alot about time management and how important it is to stay ahead of the game. I also learned the importance of contantly generating ideas about a topic that way you always have a backup plan and are constantly preparing for the next story. It was difficult at times to have a suberb final product when interviews didn’t go as I had planned so it was important to be prepared for things to change.

Overall, I enjoyed working on this project and educating students on making money using odd jobs. I hope it is proof of my passion and hardworking attitude for journalism. It will be a great showcase of my work and I am glad this class forced me to test my talents and try new things. I encourage all journalism majors take this course to not only develop your portfolio but use it as a way to challenge yourself in new ways. The field is changing so much that it is important to be prepared for whatever lies ahead. In this case, online multimedia.

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Comments on classmates blogs

November 30, 2009 at 10:46 am (Reaction)

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A trip down memory lane

November 18, 2009 at 10:55 am (Reporting)

Chuck Dean, a husband and father of two returns to school seeking a degree to help solidify his future.

“Right now, I work in the IT field as a dataflow technician. It’s okay – but it’s just about all I’ve done for 25 years [in one form or another.]”

“I currently attend Howard Community College; I have one class left then I’ll have an associates [degree] in general studies. I’m also enrolled in the bachelors in intelligence studies at the American Military University.”

“I’ve got a lot of experience in my field, but I’m pretty much locked into it since I have no degrees. I’ve found that many employers value experience, but they’re required to hire folks with a degree – in something. The customer wants people with degrees or certifications to be on a contract; experience doesn’t always get you in the door. I want to be able to have some flexibility in my future career decisions.”

“I’ve always wanted to be an intel analyst, so I’m hoping a bachelors in intelligence studies from AMU [plus my military experience] will help me find something in that field.”

Throughout his life he has held odd jobs periodically. The economy is not the only reasons people look toward odd jobs; Chuck Dean used these options throughout his life.

“I worked on a dairy farm where I basically got the lousy jobs that the owner’s family didn’t want: forking out the manure piles, carrying feed and water to the barns, stacking hay and straw in the haymow. I didn’t get the cool jobs like driving the tractors or milking the cows.”

“One of my jobs in the Navy was a flight deck safety observer. That job consisted of me walking all around the flight deck of my ship, keeping my eye on the guys actually doing the work (handlers, fuel guys, maintenance techs, and ordnance men among others), making sure they worked safely and that they were aware of what was going on around them. Most of them had no communications in their helmets, so they didn’t know when helicopters or Harrier jets were coming or going. I made sure they kept clear of landing spots and that they were wearing their safety gear properly.”

“Odd jobs are definitely character-building experiences… they can teach some humility to young folks who have basically never had to work for anything. Another thing that odd jobs can do is help a young person possibly see some of the details that go on which they may otherwise had not been aware of.”

“I believe that having any job [odd or normal] will enhance a person’s career plans with regards to making more money – if the job is done well.”

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Holidays leave little help for unemployed

November 16, 2009 at 9:36 pm (Research)

With the holidays fast approaching most think that jobs will become available, well, guess again. An article published on the Web site titled, Retailers Take Wait-and-See Approach to Holiday Hiring, says that business owners are holding out on hiring.

Firstcoastnews quoted business owners stating that they are waiting to hire based on how the market does and that even then, they are still hiring less people than last year.

It is important to keep thinking of odd jobs this holidays season as the media tells us there is little hope for jobs even with the shopping rush.

This is a valuable article for those depending or getting hired this winter, not meaning to burst your bubble, but you need to be on the lookout for something else. How crazy is it and what does it say about our economy that the busiest shopping time of the year will not open up jobs for that many people.

Odd jobs continue to be the way to go, so as the time for gift giving approaches, step away from the mall and see if you can make gifts to sell or help an elderly couple with their decorations. These ideas are looking to be your best bet.

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Afro-Latin Americans

November 13, 2009 at 2:30 am (Reaction)

Storytelling and how to storytell is one of the things everchanging in this world. From books to videos to writing and more, you can tell a story in a variety of ways. With the increased use of the Internet, people have to find new and effective ways to tell stories online. The site has gone well above and beyond typical online storytelling with their, “A Rising Voice: Afro-Latin Americans” series.
This Web site offers a enormous variety of resources for the viewer about this culture and how it has changed over the years. From pictures to interactive maps, to articles and introductions, this method is certainly the way to go.

One of the main things I liked about this site is you can choose what you want to know about and when. It is a beautiful site and easy to navigate so viewers can teach themselves and learn based on their interests.

This Web site I believe would be certainly effective, the interactive map especially would gather people to the site, Not only does it provide interesting and valuable information, but it also provides tid-bits of information to add even more to the standard map.

Breaking the site up into multiple parts, makes it easier to navigate and lessens the fear factor of extensive information which can be overwhelming. Check the site our for yourself you are certainly in for a treat. It caters to the viewer. Its all about you!

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Students not the only ones struggling

November 13, 2009 at 2:13 am (Research)

This post title speaks for itself. Students are not the only ones struggling to find work or make decent money. Other people are affected as well. The worst part is, an article on says its our military veterans that are falling by the way side. As Veterans Day has come and passed I thought it would be nice to reflect on our military veterans, as I did I was shocked at the unbearable truth that many of them are struggling when they leave the service.

This article titled, “Veterans: Rememberance Days are for the dead, what about the living?” talks about some veterans and how they are disheartened at the fact that they fight for their country and are not even guranteed a job when they leave the military. They are faced with the same predicament students are faced with, and end up doing odd jobs.

It is crazy to think that the people who serve our country so well are not helped when they leave. Not only that all their years of service gets them is odd jobs and minimum wage. Another way to think about Veterans Day, huh?

Students, I would encourage you to not be discouraged as you are not alone, their are veterans next to you going through the same thing.

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A look from the norm

November 12, 2009 at 6:07 pm (Reporting)

Not only do people with odd jobs have advice but people with regular jobs do too. Kristen Joyce, a senior at Towson was able to grab a two of the “normal” jobs that this area had left, however it hasn’t stopped her from giving advice to other students about how to make money in other ways.

Joyce works at Olive Garden and Winebrenner and Associates Physical Therapy. She says the goal to finding a job and making money is, “Just have motivation to get your act together.”

Joyce also expresses the importance of not living off your parents and how big of a role that plays in the grand sceme of things.

“I think that in college you should have any kind of job you can get. By this age you should have some responsibility in your life and should be paying for things yourself and not living off your parents. I think that it is OK for college students to be getting some things paid for by their parents but you aren’t going to be able to practice good finance management later in life if you don’t take some responsibility now.”

Another important thing she adds is that you have to settle for whatever you can get in this economy.

“At this point if you need a job you need to take what you can get…especially for those who aren’t creative…there are jobs out there. They might not be jobs that you want but if you need a job you have to do what you have to do to make the money so if that means working in a fast food place or doing something that you don’t want to do or is low on the totem pole you have to suck it up.”

All in all, Joyce said, it’s all in who you know.

“Get out there and meet people… they might know someone who needs help too.”

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Interactive maps, a way of the future

November 5, 2009 at 12:17 pm (Reaction)

Interactive maps are becoming a way of the future, incorporating updated information and in a way that is easy for viewers to understand and relate to. The Web site 10,000 Words shows multiple maps that prove this point.

One map, titled is like an interactive police radar. Updating viewers on 911 calls, both active and closed. This is a great way for viewers to stay updated with crime and emergencies in their area. What a way this country has come in keeping people updated and safe.

Another map, FluTracker is very helpful for the current dilemma of Swine Flu. With the ongoing concern arising from H1N1, this map helps ease peoples minds. It shows the number of cases in each area of the U.S. and allows a zoom tool so viewers can gather more information about specific cases in their area. Its the new age health tracker. What did people do in the days of the Bubonic Plague?

Finally, Vidmap is an excellent tool. This interactive map incorporates video as well. It allows the viewer to see exactly where they are as if they were there. All you have to do is click on a spot on the map and a video of that area will come up as supplemental material. Who needs a printed map or atlas? Old days. This map is the way of the future and an interesting way to relate and draw viewers into the area. Check it out for yourself.

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Odd job number seven: unique sales

November 5, 2009 at 12:51 am (Reporting)


Courtesy of Facebook

Josmari Rodriguez, a senior mass communication major at Towson has her own ideas about making money. And she has found a unique way to do it. With family circumstances being a factor, this students does what she can to help her family and afford school.

“My real job, I’m a manager at Aldo shoe store and how I try to make extra money is… well let me just start from the beginning, it all ties together.”

“My father was just recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s so he was dismissed from his job, so my sister and I, she does a lot of crafty stuff and she sells a lot of that. I don’t have time to do that so I just take all my purses that I don’t use ever and I took my mothers shoes that she hasn’t used in years, most of them were brand new or lightly used, and I box them up and chose the nicest ones to sell. The ‘80’s style is in so her shoes from the ‘80s are perfect for people who really like vintage.”

“Everything is lower than $20, what I make is money that my mom doesn’t have to spend on me.”

“I could used the money to help pay for my school. So since my dad doesn’t work anymore, last semester I had to work full time. Because of that I failed two of my classes. I’m retaking them right now, so I’m not working as much at Aldo right now. That is why I decided to sell that stuff out of my car to make extra money.”

“I can’t tell people to come to me to buy stuff, I have to bring it to them that is why I keep the stuff in my car.”

“I haven’t been advertising lately as much as I was in the beginning because its November, the semesters ending and there’s a lot more school work to do. But I did have some phones calls.”

“Some ads get ripped down so people can keep the phone number or so other people can put their stuff up and I haven’t been reprinting them like I should be.”

“I mostly took all the purses and had an event at my house to sell them. We have one once or twice a year. That’s where my sister sells her stuff so I sell mine to.”

“Creativity is key, basically creativity will tap in when you really, really need the money. I really needed the money so I started selling my stuff.”

“That’s so 5th grade, but I had to think of it as a way to make money. I had to price it as high as possible, but I had to think of what students would buy, so it couldn’t be over $20.”

“When someone has the resources, like I have a car, I can bring the stuff to you, you don’t have to come to me and when you need the money, the ideas will come to you.”

“I printed out flyers. I picked a font and wrote out the prices. I did it all in the library.”

“I’ve done it since the beginning of the semester.”

“I had a lot of clients in the beginning of the semester. Word of mouth helps me. It doesn’t mean I get a sale every time, but it’s something.”

“I sell knock off bags. I sold a knock off Dior bag for $20. The buckle was broken, but the girl still wanted it. I mean it was a Dior bag, what the heck.”

“There’s name brand and non name brand stuff.”

“Once I sell the stuff I have I will do other stuff. Even right now too, I make and sell earrings. I buy the posts and glue stuff to the front of it.”

“It’s really easy but sometimes people don’t have time to do it, so they’ll just buy it.”

“I also got this idea from a local headband designer, you just glue decorative flowers to the band. So when you put the headband on, it looks like you have a flower in your hair.”

“This is kind of funny, but I was watching Master P, he has a reality show and I only saw the first one and I think he’s so corny, a rapper trying to have a reality show, but his points were so true. Excuses won’t get you anywhere. Just because I dress a certain way, means I cant get a job. You’re not obligated to dress the way you do. You can change what you look like to change the impression you give people. Its just excuses.”

“If you want to make money, you will.”

“If you’re good at something, sell it. If your good at braiding hair, advertise that you know how to braid hair. I did that when I was younger, I could corn row. I don’t do it anymore, I don’t have the time and it makes my hands heart, but yeah.”

“Market yourself if you know how to do something. If you know how to dance, shoot, put on a show.”

“Everybody is looking for something different, especially if it’s affordable.”

“Its important to just be creative. Then your not blending in, your standing out and someone is going to look at you.”

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A serious approach

November 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm (Research)

After the series of haunting Halloween articles on this blog, I feel it is time to take things down a more serious road.

The United States is the not the only country in an economic downturn and with limited jobs for its people. We are not alone. In Honduras, locals are becoming fed up with the lack of jobs and certainty in their country. Local resident Efrain Alvarez, has had trouble finding work and is currently working at a building site. The job is not permanent and he is forced to do odd jobs to help keep up his house and maintain the safety and nutrition of his five children.

Students in the U.S. are not alone in the lack of jobs and worry surrounding money. Families in other countries are dealing with the same stress and turmoil. They have to turn to odd jobs to make money, which is what students are having to do as well. This is a good article to give students a global approach to a problem they are dealing with. Take a look at the article and take a second to think how your problem is relating to others. 

To view the article go to the BBC Web site or click here.

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