September’s Ended… Wake Me Up

Unlike the Green Day song, I most definitely did not sleep through September. I was busy with class, work and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff.

First and foremost, I’m in the running for a scholarship from Dr. Pepper. My focus is how I want to break down the gender barriers in my field. As many of you know, I’m a sports writer. During my day to day work life, I’m always the only female beat writer. I want that to change. We have amazing women in this world who love sports and can write well. I want to break those glass ceilings and one day, become an inspiration for a woman who wants to have a career in sports writing. You can vote once a month. So, please vote for me! You can vote for me here.

This fall, I’m covering the University of Kansas football and men’s basketball teams for the Associated Press. There’s nothing new there. I’m still stringing quotes for the AP during home Kansas City Chiefs games. However, I have a bit of a new thing going on that I’m super excited about. Last season, I wrote about the Chiefs for ChiefsDigest.com. I’m still doing that, but over the summer my wonderful editor and mentor at CD, Herbie Teope, and the great folks over at the Topeka Capitol-Journal entered into this amazing partnership. So now, in addition to that, I’m writing weekly blog posts entitled “Just Verdict” (I’m super stoked about that name, by the way) that focus on one key piece of the game that happened the day or night before, along with my traditional five highs and five lows. Oh. I’m still doing a lot more, too. I still work for the University Daily Kansan, but not in the same capacity that I was last semester. This semester, I retained my correspondent position as the swimming and diving beat writer, but also took on the task of covering Kansas volleyball. (For you college volleyball nuts, Kansas is undefeated (13-0) so far this season. I’m kind of thinking choosing to cover them was a good idea.)

Aside from my journalistic writing positions, I’m the Communications Chair for my sorority (Omega Phi Alpha), as well as the Public Relations Coordinator for the Journalism Student Ambassador Program.

So. Here’s a recap of my September.

September started off with a bang right away with the first game week of the season for football, plus a game week for volleyball. Both of those were home. That Saturday was insane. Kansas football kicked off at 11 a.m. Volleyball had first serve at 4 p.m. I was at both and wrote recaps for both. Needless to say, I was exhausted afterward.

4359211EI’ve continued my triathlon training, but it hasn’t been at the pace I want it to be. (Thanks to my wonderfully busy schedule.) One of my best runs this month came the day after one of my high school track coaches, Andrea Kabourek, passed away after a long and hard fought battle with breast cancer and leukemia. Six miles isn’t much, but for a sprinter who could barely get through 600s in high school, it’s a big step. (Everyone grieves in different ways. I tend to write my face off, regardless if it makes sense or not. Here’s my blog post about her if you care to read it.)

I’ve tried branching out from just focusing on sports writing. I wrote a feature about tattoos and a short-ish research article about the tunnels that run under downtown Lawrence. During my free time (lol. what free time?), I’m going to be researching the heck out of those because I find them super fascinating. Who knows what I’ll dig up. (I have links to every article I’ve penned this semester below if you want to check those out.)

So many things happened with Omega Phi Alpha. We had recruitment one weekend. We took in 28 amazing girls. I cannot wait to get to know them better. I’m taking one of them as my little. As of right now, we haven’t figured out the Big/Little pairings and I’m impatiently waiting for that to happen. We had a crafting sisterhood event. I’m soooooo not crafty, but I’ve been really trying to make cute things for my future little. We went to Mission (it’s a suburb of Kansas City) and teamed up with the American Heritage Girls troop there to make cards and bags for children fighting brain cancer. We also went to Clinton Lake and put up waterfowl houses around the lake. We also had a fundraiser on campus where people could donate money to pie OPA women in the face. I was pied twice. Here’s a video for your viewing pleasure.

I had an interview for a possible internship for next summer. I’m not disclosing who it was with because I don’t want to get anyone’s (or my) hopes up. All I’m saying is, it’s with an amazing company that I would be absolutely honored to intern with and I’m very fortunate that I even landed an interview with them. If I find anything out, I of course, will let everyone know more details than I’m letting on here.

One Thursday, I was selected by the Office of Admissions to speak to potential future Jayhawks in Omaha at the Preview KU-Omaha event. Sharing my story with high school students in my home state was amazing. Seeing them excited to start their own college journey was exciting. I’m honored (I realize I’ve said that a lot, but this month has been full of opportunities that I’m truly honored to have had) and humbled that I’ve potentially helped navigate someone’s college decision. I realize how big of a decision that is and people taking advice from me about their next step is humbling.

Gehring, me, Okmin during the GALvanize bootcamp.
Gehring, me and Okmin during the GALvanize bootcamp.

The last weekend in September, I was selected to participate in the GALvanize Bootcamp. For a little background on that, GALvanize was started by Celeste Gehring (VP of Events and Field Production for FOX Sports) and Laura Okmin (Sideline reporter for NFL on FOX and Westwood One Radio). I spent the majority of the Saturday with 50 or so women, along with Gehring and Okmin, working on empowerment. Everything was amazing. I’m writing two articles about the weekend for the Jayhawk Journalist (the magazine published by the J-School for the alumni). Those articles will be out later this year.

My life has been crazy and it’s going to be even crazier once basketball starts.

Each article that I wrote over the course of September are listed below. Yep. Every one of them.

Articles from September:

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