OPINION: I won’t miss my program

(Photo by Milca Kuflu)

I am in my fourth year and the only thing that comes to mind is, “I can’t wait until it’s over.”

Don’t get me wrong. At Ryerson I’ve met some wonderful people, I’ve passed (almost) every single course with at least a B minus *cough cough* and, compared to my York days, the commute isn’t so bad.

The reason I can’t wait to get out of here is that the only type of journalism I’ve learned in my program isn’t my forte. At J-school, I’ve learned so many amazing things — how to edit videos, use proper Canadian Press style, create photo galleries and write hard news. To all the teachers, TAs and peers who are reading this, I am not a negative Nancy. And, I swear I value everything I’ve learned.

I appreciate the opportunity to get an education that many people crave to have and don’t get.  But in all honesty, I have yet to learn something I really want to learn about, in the field. Fashion. Beauty. Entertainment.

When I applied for Ryerson’s journalism program, I made a seven-page mock magazine as my portfolio. It included celebrity news: The Dixie Chicks’ comeback tour, Miley Cyrus grinding on Robin Thicke in flesh-coloured, skin-tight booty shorts and bra, and even school events at the time. It was maybe the last time I submitted something in my own writing style.

I remember the first day, of my first year, in my first class, my teacher asked everyone why they decided to come to Ryerson for journalism. I said something along the lines of: “I decided to come to Ryerson for journalism because I’ve always been in love with celebrity news and gossip.”

(Cartoon by Brooke Taylor)

My teacher responded: “Sorry to break it to you but we really don’t do that here.” Yup, I felt stupid. I didn’t realize how true her statement would prove to be.

In year one, J-school focused on grammar and hard news, in year two, on reporting seminars and working with different apps usable for journalism. Third year was a lot of feature writing, which I can say I liked.  My creative juices got to flow in that class and I lucked out with getting to study fashion journalism.

And that’s that. No celebrity news, gossip or beauty. Everything that I grew up loving about journalism coverage and magazines I hadn’t gotten a glimpse of.  I’m still getting an education, which is itself very valuable. And, maybe, after I’m done, I can take all the great things J-school has taught me and put it into the sort of journalism that I love.

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