Saturday, April 16, 2011

Intern Shmintern

The end of the semester (and graduation) are quickly approaching, and I've been busy -- and only getting busier.

Here's a few stories I've been working on at the paper (click the photos*):

1. Heard of the Nissan Leaf? It's a fully electric car only currently available in limited supplies. Lubbock received it's first Leaf the beginning of this month, and I got to test drive it! Let me tell you, it was an amazing drive! The story was difficult to write because it was spur of the moment, I only talked to Nissan sources, and it was way hard to not have my story come out sounding too PR-ish or totally pro-Leaf! Regardless though, it was fun to drive the car -- I was impressed by it's tork, handling and speed, and most importantly, it's great to know this is only the beginning for the electric car.

Nissan all-electric vehicle may excite people who get a charge from different car

2. Lubbock has an Arts Festival every year, and I got to cover a part of the event. The best part was visiting with Herb Williams, a Crayola crayon sculptor -- yes, sculptor. Herb told me all about how he got to where he is, and what he does now. He also said Lubbock has great talent and a supportive  community, especially for a small place.

Lubbock Arts Festival: Proof big ideas flourish in small settings

*Fun fact, this little girl, Ayiana, is the daughter of a family friend. She's such a ham! It's pure coincidence that the photographer took a picture of her!

3. I covered a story about a national conference held by Tech's Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery. They had big news to announce that could possibly change a small portion of campus cultures around the culture. It was amazing to see so many academic professionals who are truly passionate about serving others.

4. Meet Rita Pettigrew. Home owner in Lubbock and lucky owner of a beautiful, giant "wall" of purple wisteria. We visited for over an hour about gardening -- she even gave me my own trimmings to plant and introduced me to her black cat named Panther. By the end of our visit, I was convinced I needed to start a garden of my own...I'm sure Nathaniel is grateful I've decided to put that dream on hold.

Get down and dirty: Gardener, experts say anyone can garden, regardless of money, space

And by the way, when I spoke with one of the owners of a local nursery, she told me "vertical gardens" are the next big thing. In fact, she said they are getting commissioned thousands of dollars to "paint" an image in a vertical garden with succulent plants. Maybe I'll combine art and gardening in the future and make some garden wall art. Don't know what I'm talking about? Check this guy out.

5. Yesterday I covered an auction/raffle held to raise money for "The Stork's Nest," an incentive program operated by the March of Dimes and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. The program is designed to support low-income pregnant woman in their pursuit of prenatal education and health care, and ultimately help the women attain full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. How it works: women sign up for the program, attend educational courses given by the program, and go to their prenatal and postpartum doctors appointments. When they do all these things, they earn points which they can then exchange for new baby items from the program. I was inspired to see how many people were there -- both those serving and those being served. It's wonderful to see that in a world that often doesn't value family, there are still individuals and organizations that support families of all types.

Stork's Nest benefit deemed a success

This is new mom, Samantha Moreno, of only 5 days. Samantha participates in the Stork's Nest program and had her baby on TUESDAY but insisted on checking out the "baby shower" event. She said she couldn't miss an opportunity to support other women who needed as much help as herself.

*photos by AJ photographers.


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