Friday, March 30, 2007

New place, New Experience: A Blogger in California from Hong Kong

Today, it is March 17, which means I have here, in California, for two months. I’m Ian, a foreign exchange student from Hong Kong, and I’m the online photo editor for this semester’s Access magazine.

Within this short amount of time, I have experienced a lot, some ups and downs, but overall, a great learning adventure.

My Frat Brothers and Language Barriers

I joined a fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. There, I have met a lot of friendly people who are passionate about community services. The brothers are helpful and have a strong bond. Joining the fraternity has made my exchange-student life more fruitful. Moreover, at the beginning when I arrived, I found that some people were speaking very fast, and I couldn’t really comprehend much. After a few weeks, I got used to the speaking pace, but, sometimes, I still couldn’t understand. That is the reason why sometimes I wouldn’t join the conversation with others.

Journalism 155, Access

I think that working in this course has widened my horizon a lot because it’s like we are working for a real magazine in the corporate world. Also, this course is practical because the class has been divided into different department, like front of book, circulation, online, features, art and management. The class works like a real magazine production house. Plus, I think that our class would have a good training because we have to cooperate with people from outside of class, like the photographers and writers. In a working environment, it is common to interact with different people from different department or companies. That’s why I think this course is practical and it prepares my classmates for the magazine field.

Hong Kong Culture

In Hong Kong, students are different from Americans: What I have observed is that students here are more serious about their academia. They pay a lot of attention and effort on their schoolwork and assignments.

U.S. students are very hard working. They work on weekdays and relax during the weekend by going parties or clubs.

In Hong Kong, it is a bit different; they don’t pay that much attention and effort. They can have different types of entertainment every day. After classes, they would always find some form of entertainment like having lunch or dinner with a bunch of friends. After going back home, they have different pastimes. For those who live in the dorm, the residents would have fun together, like playing TV games, playing Mahjong (a Chinese game). There is more of a vibrant nightlife in Hong Kong than here. There are karaoke, pubs, pool and restaurants all open 24 hours.

Hong Kong is a small place, it is easy for the Hong Kong people or students to reach their locations since everything is within proximity. That’s why nightlife is common among us: We can still see the same amount of people on the street as in daytime. So, the life of students is quite different between Hong Kong and United States.

As an editor

I’m the online photography editor, and I also edit a feature story about [confidential]. I feel a bit anxious because this is the first time for me to be an editor for an article. At the beginning, I had no idea what to do. As time passed, there was some guidance on what to do, what to turn in; I started realizing the tasks and obligations of an editor. I feel glad for being an editor because I have a new experience under my belt.

Being an editor is a bit challenging because apart from editing writers’ articles, we have to know how to interact with the writer. An editor has to pay attention to establishing a good working relationship with the writer. Otherwise, the writer would not be as willing, and you won’t have articles to put in the magazine. I’m relived that my writer, Mike, can turn in his work on time.

Also, I would like to appreciate the team’s effort in this magazine because I can see that everyone has put a lot of attention and time on. I want to give props to everyone because everyone had met all the deadlines. Everyone has done a GOOD JOB! We are already halfway through the end of publishing spring ‘07 Access magazine. WE CAN DO IT!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Jokes, the Cover and Titles

Professor Fosdick proposed jokes as each meeting's icebreaker. Then he places a small black box containing a few rocks, which connects to a rubber-hose pump. "It's relaxing," said Fosdick. A few teammates stretch out their necks to get a closer view of this therapeutic contraption.

He squeezes the pump and water jets from its center with a velocity that made all of us jump back. We nervously laugh pondering if he was serious.

Britney [circulation manager]: "It sounds like a wet fart." We genuinely laugh.

The cover art is complete, and its final touches are being implemented. One word can sum up the cover: phenomenal. Access has been in circa since 1986 and there is not one cover that will come close to this upcoming issue. The art team is exceptionally talented, and the art will far exceed any reader's expectations.

The titles and decks are currently being concocted by Britney and Ryan [coordinator of cover, TOC (table of contents), masthead, titles, decks and captions]. Decks are subtitles that add insight of the article's angle or subject.

A joke from professor Fodick:

Fosdick: "Have you heard of up dog?"

Lesger: "No. Is that a new software?"

Fosdick: "You're supposed to say 'What's up dog?' You know, what's up, dawg? Get it?"

Lesger: "Oh."

I still think professor Fosdick's fountain looked like a manually powered bidet.

[online editor]

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Gold Star for Everyone Except...

Gold star: definition: A metaphorical term of endearment for praising a teammate's accomplishment(s).

Gold stars are thrown at teammates like ninja stars in Dwight Bental Hall.

The Access team has an abundance of stars being projected toward the next teammate---and---it has become the reoccurring theme during meetings.

Updates: The features and front-of-book articles have rolled in---the deadlines have been met. We must thank our two femme fatale leaders---Evie [editor in chief] and Kaitlyn [managing editor]---for their proactive involvement and for cracking the whip oh, so gently. Look, no lacerations!

I won't forget to mention [features editor] Heather's perseverance during her midnight surveillance of the anticipated e-mail influx from the editors. She checks her e-mail on her brand-new, state of the art, megabook, super-charged Mac. The notebook's white light mesmerizes all of us during meetings. Luckily, we won't get zapped like other white lights that lure its prey.

Nicole [FOB editor] has done a stellar job collecting all the short front-of-book pieces. These works are usually on a lighter subject with a concise superficiality that spark an interest in the reader. Found in the beginning of the book, tending to be less than 400 words, FOBs are a quick, fun read.

Lesley [assistant photo editor], this gold star is beamed at you; unfortunately, I can't throw your favorite Fosters Freeze treat your way on the Web. She's not only a journalism major, she's also a competitve swimmer and active athlete on SJSU's team.

Oh, so who is the ostracized that won't receive the much-wanted gold star? Well, the reader that doesn't read the blogs.

[Online Editor]

Monday, March 12, 2007

Falling into place

After many weeks of waiting, things are starting to fall into place at Access magazine. Many of the photographers and artists have delivered their work last Thursday to our art department. All the art work should be turned in by Monday.

Monday will also be a big day for the magazine because our writers will be turning in their first draft of their article to their editors. The editors will then forward their article to our features editor, Heather.

There appears to be mixed feelings regarding our writers. Some of us are having a difficult time dealing with them. Getting in contact with them, etc. Others have found their writers to be reliable.

Fortunately, I am one of those editors with a dependable writers. Kaitlyn, Heather and Evie each vow to track down those writers who are lagging and get them to commit to the magazine.

The online department is currently working on designing different layouts for the magazine’s Web site. We will be using InDesign to create the site. The site will feature the same stories as the magazine as well as some additional ones. The site will also have video clips of various aspects of student life at SJSU. This will be the first time Access magazine has an online companion since 2003.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A work in progress

Hi everyone, my name is Cody Haueter and I am Access’ online front-of-book (FOB) editor. The fall 2007 issue of Access is in production and it can only be described as a hectic yet fulfilling endeavor.
During the first few weeks of the semester, the Access staff focused on planning out the entire issue including content and design. Now that we are nearing spring break, the workload has shifted into high gear and the staff is working hard to keep in contact with their writers, illustrators and photographers. Each staff member is in charge of at least one feature article or a few FOB articles.
As editors, we are all learning how to manage our writers, keep in contact with them and make sure they meet their deadlines. It can be a tough job, but I’ve learned that having a strong and professional relationship with your writer can and will make the job 100 percent easier. When a writer can trust their editor to be compassionate and understanding, it seems like they are more likely to produce great work.
My specialties at this point are the FOB articles. These are short articles that are usually found in the beginning of a magazine. This issue of Access will be featuring some amazing FOBs, and since we will have an online issue of Access, we have the opportunity to use many of the FOB queries that were submitted.
The world of magazine journalism may not be as fast paced as newspaper production, but there are a lot of elements that go into creating a beautiful magazine that will grab the reader’s attention. This semester’s staff is large, so this means that the workload placed on each individual isn’t too grueling. However, it amazes me how many details are involved in creating this magazine and how each staff member has a few jobs to keep track of. Fortunately, our editor-in-chief, Evie Smith, has everything covered. Having worked for a San Jose publication, she knows a thing or two about the magazine industry.
Our leaders are the ones holding us together at this somewhat chaotic time. Evie and Kaitlyn Osborn-Brown, our managing editor, are superb leaders who know how to gather the team and get us working at our maximum potential. Their passion shines through and it’s obvious that they want this issue of Access to be the best one San Jose State has ever seen.
The story has only begun because we have so much more ahead of us, and I think the staff is looking forward to putting their hearts into this magazine, no matter how much work it takes. The end result is worth all the time and effort. It is a reward worth working for.

Until next time,
Cody Haueter