Gluten-Intolerant Life

Cutting out gluten to see if you feel better

Feeling better

Passing on free cake and cookies at every social function

Going to bars and brew houses

Realizing you’ll never drink good beer again


Juggling + Mentoring

Intentionally and unintentionally, I’ve done a lot of mentoring as of late. Time consuming, but immensely rewarding. A pattern of advice has emerged through the process; here’s one such exercise I’ve recommended several times this past month to help people with busy schedules maintain sanity and liberty within their own lives.

I call this the

Do I Have Time for X? Test

Complete this test whenever you are positioned to add something onto your already bursting plate of “shit-to-do:”

  1. Grab a pen & big piece of paper.  
  2. Find a secluded space for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Without any hesitation, start writing down all of the things that you have on your mind as they come to you—all of the things you know/think you have to do, all of the special events you need to attend, all of the obligations you’ve been saddled with. Do not pay attention to the order, just write them down as quickly as you can, with as much detail as you care to add in that moment. Write until you have to strain to think of things on your plate. In my experience, once you write down some semblance of “eating,” all the important stuff has been penned.
  4. Now, just soak in that list. Note that the really important things are the ones at the top, the things that you should probably care more about are in the middle, and try to find the neglected item near the middle or bottom that really should be at the top of the list. Pay attention to the fact that your personal well-being and health probably didn’t make the list.
  5. Now, think about that thing, X, that you were contemplating adding to this list. Is this thing more important than the first half of the list? If not, you probably shouldn’t do X.

That said:

Look what I edited recently! It was definitely something I didn’t have time for in the grand scheme of my list:


Advice

This afternoon someone emailed me with a commonly asked question:

Happy Monday! Bleh. Could you give me some advice? I am trying to put together an online portfolio/website to send to possible employers.
 
First I tried Tumblr, then it got weird. Then I looked up articles about what everyone else is using, and the top ones were WordPress, Pressfolios, Flavors, and About.me. Dunno if you are familiar with any of those besides WordPress, I just assume you are because you seem to be a journalism genius (I’m not brownnosing). If I do use WordPress, do I sign in through the University or just WordPress not-affiliated with UofO? ANYway, what’s the best way to go about compiling the shred of work that I have for people to see? Any tips? I’m trying to get an internship this summer so I just wanna impress all the head honchos out there. 

To which I replied:

I don’t bother with other CMS (content management systems) because working with wordpress serves 2 functions.
  1. It gives me a space that I can reasonably customize for $26/year
  2. Learning WordPress is a very valuable skill out in the real world. Many organizations use WordPress, and knowing how to navigate their CMS from day 1 is a huge bonus. Alternatively, many organizations don’t have a website (or a very good one), which means I can easily design a new, fancy, functional and friendly website for anyone in less than 6 hours with my knowledge of WordPress if I needed to—something I could bring up in an interview and not be lying about. Also a huge bonus, IMO. 
Honestly, though, other than the above reasons, I see no benefit from one CMS to another—just as long as what you have looks organized, is functional, and has your name on it, you should be good to go.
 
If you do decide to go WordPress, I do not recommend using blogs.uoregon.edu—you’ll have to migrate your site after you graduate, which is the biggest pain in the ass. WordPress.com is a good place to start. In the long term, and when you have more time, look into web hosting + WordPress.org—that’s the only way you’ll ever have an original site, but that kind of things is most definitely not important. Never forget that you’re not selling your website design skillz, you’re a storyteller. That’s what counts in your portfolio—your stories!

Hope this helps!


Grad School

This last term was, put mildly, crazy business.

I co-produced a music video:

I produced a documentary:

I was also accepted into the Communications and Society masters program at the University of Oregon on full scholarship. I’ll be a graduate teaching fellow in the fall, and excitedly working with Carol Stabile in my scholarship of video games.

I was also placed on a panel for the Console-ing Passions Conference, and I started working as a research for Chris Birke.

Somehow, I also juggled 2 part-time jobs, a social life, and my managing editor position with FLUX Magazine.

I know that one day I’ll look back on my undergraduate years as cushy and full of excitement, but a single person can only take so much fun.


FLUX MM Stories (Fall 2011)

I’d like to give a shout-out to my fantastic FLUX multimedia producers, who’s work is finally published on the @fluxstories website. Last term was incredibly difficult for the team, mostly because we were all new to the FLUX staff. Also, there were 4 of us. This term (winter) I’ve increased the staff to 12 (including me). Yeah. It has made a difference. Regardless of the struggle, I’m very proud of the work they did.

Sponsors INC.

by Sasha Riddle

Finding Companionship with Mother Nature

by Amber Wilmarth

Learning Without Sound

By Lauren Geschke and Iris Bull

View the interactive environment here.


Flux ‘n Stuff

Here’s a quick update on life, just for the sake of blogging:

  1. FLUX is rockin’ this term (we hire new staff members every quarter), mostly because I got to make the hiring decisions this time around for multimedia. I can’t wait to showcase some of the amazing work my producers are crafting together—I’m really quite impressed at how well they are collaborating. Many of them have never worked on a publication like FLUX before—one is even a biology major—and yet, all of them are stepping up to the challenges that come with a new territory and new toys.
  2. I forgot to feature my big project last term for FLUX. Here it is! You can read more about the story here.
  3. For this term, I made a personal, “executive” decision to not produce anything for my portfolio with FLUX; instead, I’m working to help build the portfolios of 11 others. I’m also organizing a revamp of how FLUX defines multimedia—I hope that after I’m gone, there is a foundation for more interactive media publishing. Video is cool, but Flash is also cool (and not dead).
  4. I’m working on a music video and a documentary in lieu of traditional school work. The documentary is on the 16mm film collection in Knight Library at the University of Oregon. We’ll see what comes of it.
  5. I applied to the Communication and Society masters program at the University of Oregon last week. I have felt amazing ever since getting the application in. What can I say—I wear stress like a rug.
  6. This website got quite a remake over the last month—I bought a domain name, reorganized everything, and published more content. You can now access some of my work samples.
  7. In January I was hired by Chris Birke as a research assistant. So far, it has been fun!

Update

Where have I been these last several weeks?

In class! At work! Also, here: http://theitalianfantasy.wordpress.com

It is my latest blogsite project for a communications class focused on applying political economy theory to studying the media.

What is “the Italian fantasy?” You’ll have to read on to find out!