Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Boston, my love

The last few days have been emotionally taxing for me, so I have turned to blogging as a release/source of happiness. In order to boost my spirits and give me the spark I need to finish this week on roughly 20 hours of sleep, I have decided to write about two of my favorite things: The city of Boston and journalism. 
Last weekend, I, along with 24 other Publications staff members, went to Boston for the annual National High School Press Association Convention. Here's the highlights of my trip to Beantown:
  • Wednesday- I slept in until we left for the trip, since my Grandpa's Shiva [Jewish mourning service] was the night before and I just could not get myself out of bed. My spirits were immediately lifted when we got to the airport and I was surrounded by people who were as excited about Boston as I was. We crashed really hard in the super fluffy hotel beds on the first night, since we were so exhausted from traveling. The beds were actually not queen size, but full so my friend Jill and I repeatedly hit one another in the face. It was hilarious/painful. 
  • Thursday- We woke up relatively early to go meet our Freedom Trail tour guide in Boston Common, the oldest public park. His legal name was Jeremiah Poope and he was SO funny. I can't even begin to describe the stories he told. Definitely worth the cold, 90 minute walk around the city. We saw Paul Revere's grave, learned about Mother Goose's origin, visited John Hancock's memorial [his body was stolen twice, so it is not buried in the cemetery with the other founding fathers], saw Samuel Adams' grave, went inside the Omni-Parker House [serves the original Boston Cream pie recipe, housed Stephen King when he stayed in room 1408, and is the primary place for Boston's guest celebrities], and stood on the corner where the Boston Massacre broke out. After Poope's tour, we all followed him on Twitter [@tourguidepoop] and parted separate ways. Some kids went on a tour of Fenway while others shopped in the Quincy Market area [myself included in the latter]. Later that night, we headed over the convention center to register for our write-off events. I met with a Herff Jones representative concerning this year's yearbook. Her positive criticism/praise gave me a whole lot of faith that I really needed. We later went to the first keynote speaker, Juliette Kayyem, a Democratic candidate running for governor of Massachusetts. She talked about the importance of writing, being a smart woman, and how to report effectively. She was inspiring and sweet and very personable for being such a huge public figure. After her speech, I met up with Anna, one of my best friends who attends Boston University [the one I stayed with only a few weeks ago]. We met for a 25 minute coffee date. It was brief but so worth it. My friends and I stayed up super late that night, talking about life and journalism. 
  • Friday- I attended a writing session about making readers laugh through true humor, taught by Kathy Craghead, a hilarious, seasoned journalism adviser. I later attend the second keynote speaker, Raney Aronson, a producer for Frontline as well as a super inspiring feminist figure. She was all about "going for it," which is appropriate, since she randomly decided to go to Southeast Asia to do some reporting during college. Raised by parents who sheltered her from any and all news in her tiny Vermont town, she was starved for media and she made a life out of it. That night, I met up with Emily Theis, who was definitely the highlight of my trip. I met Emily when she taught a very basic design class at Ball State J-Day last spring. She dropped out of college this year to fill in for a designer on maternity leave at the Boston Globe. Her spontaneity and passion is admirable. We ate spicy Thai food at a tiny little restaurant in Back Bay and talked about life, journalism, college, people, and vegetarian diets. She spoke about not being too hard on oneself, treating oneself like a human before a designer, and following ones dream even if that dream is something one knows very little about. She changed my views on the stressful Hell that is senior year of high school. She bought me dinner, so I bought her chocolate at Max Brenner [heaven on Earth]. I found myself in this strangely elated creative mental state after that night. She's such a great role model. 
  • Saturday- After a couple super idea-sparking design sessions, we headed to Newbury Street to shop and such and we ended the day with a huge group dinner at Cheers [the restaurant in which the television show was shot]. My friend consumed one and a half full bottles of ketchup with her order of fries. I had such a warm feeling being with everyone, even though our adviser was hotel room-bound with strep throat. 
  • Sunday- All great trips must come to an end, but this end was not ideal. We left at 9 am for our flight, which left at 10:45. We were supposed to land at O'Hare at around 1, but after circling the airport for 40 minutes, the runways closed due to weather and we made an emergency landing in Cleveland. Where waited. For 3 hours. We flew back to Chicago at 5:30, when we landed about 2 hours later. Because of the heavy traffic on the runway, we had to wait on the plane for an additional hour and a half. It was painful. The tweets coming from my staff were absolutely hilarious [I've never laughed harder] but eventually went from funny to desperate. We arrived home almost 10 hours after we were supposed to, and it seemed like everyone except me ditched school the next day.
I apologize for the extremely long post, so here's a visual break for you, reader. You deserve it. 
famous cemetary where many founding fathers and authors were buried

Mike's Pastry, my true Boston love 

Me and Jill in the Italian Village

Our hotel view


keynote speaker gave me fun stuff to doodle about

so did Kathy Craghead

my little swaggies [roomates] at the convention dance 

Max Brenner chocolate box from my night out with Emily

$5 ice cream from the convention center

The Boston Marathon finish line where the bombs went off in April.
The memorial there was very touching.
Almost spooky.

no caption needed

cookie truck aka diet buster

cheers at Cheers! We got 10th place in the nation for our yearbook and 9th for our website!

imagine 24 kids from Indiana on a subway. Multiply the stress by 10.  Now you should have an accurate picture. 

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