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All good things must come to an end, right? This post represents both the end of my blog and the end of my time at the University of Florida. It’s been an awesome time, but I have to move on into the scary, real world. Going to UF is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I’ve met wonderful friends, learned from one of the best Telecommunications schools in the country, and won some national championships. Big things are in store, both for me and for Weimer Hall.

This is the new third floor of Weimer. The building’s undergoing huge renovations right now, marking a move towards convergence. I’m a little upset I won’t get to see all the changes going on. One thing I am glad that I got to see: the Center for Media Innovation and Research. That super long name is just called CMIR. It’s a nice lab on the ground floor. I have seen a trend towards more modern equipment and research for the Telecom college, and that’s awesome.

I’m going to miss my co-workers at WUFT the most. I’ve learned so much from them and I’ve enjoyed every minute of being in that newsroom. I know we look all cute in this picture (except for the guy posing for a mugshot) but don’t be fooled, we can put on a mean newscast.

However, this is WUFT in our natural habitat.

All that’s left for me now is to walk across the stage at graduation, join the Alumni Association, and finally get to sit on the shaded side of Ben Hill. Really looking forward to that last one.

So thanks for the memories and here’s to the new ones. Gator Nation is everywhere and we’re always better than FSU.

The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell is about the changes that happen once a situation reaches what he calls “a tipping point.” That point is what makes a fad a fad. How does something become popular? I think this book is very relevant to today because things become “viral” so quickly that it is hard to remember how something became what it is today. Can we remember a time before “hide yo kids, hide yo wife?” And why exactly did that clip blow up the way it did? Gladwell examines these theories in his book.

Gladwell takes a look at a few popular crazes in “The Tipping Point.” Mainly he traces how Hush Puppies became a fad in the mid-1990s. The shoes were not a big hit; in fact they were given to the unpopular, until a few trendsetters in downtown New York turned it into an in-demand national brand. Those influential few began wore Hush Puppies and the company took off over-night. People started buying stock in the brand, and the fad even reached the runway. That is when this fad hit the “tipping point.”    Gladwell makes an argument that these kinds of trends are created by three different types of people: the connector, the maven, and the salesman. Each is a key component in creating a fad. The connector is the person who knows a lot of other people. They are in a sense the “popular kids.” Everyone wants to be like them, so when they are seen with a product, others want it. The maven has the ability to take in large amounts of information and find the single, important part, and then distribute that important information to the masses. They are the sifters. The job then passes to the salesman, who takes that relevant bit of information to the buyer. I would agree with this breakdown by Gladwell. I had never thought about who is really behind a fad. I just always assumed it was the “connectors” or the popular kids. Like if Kim Kardashian was seen wearing a certain shirt, that shirt would be sold-out in stores. Gladwell makes you think about what exactly goes into that craze.

He specifically debunked my theory about the popular kids by explaining the “Power of Context.” Gladwell writes about how a group smaller than 150 cannot influence groups larger than their own numbers. And if you think about it, this is a good point. The news does not go to cover small events, they cover the big ones. So why would a small amount of people be able to really influence very large groups of people. I believe this is also why radical fringe groups, like the Black Panthers, are not a big part of mainstream culture.

Overall, I like how Gladwell was able to take some really complex theories and explain them in easily-understandable terms. He makes you think, but the questions he presents are ones that should be risen in today’s culture. Before we jump on the ship with another fad or viral Internet craze, maybe we should take a look at how it became so prevalent. I think his book could be taken a step further as well; culture should also look into the motives behind certain fads. Are they just an advertising ploy and it this the best use of popularity? “The Tipping Point” is a good place to start with these poignant questions.

I miss Joanna Wise. She was great to hang out with during class and in the WUFT newsroom. But alas, she moved on to bigger, better, and apparently tastier things. Yes she writes a food blog, but she incorporates family recipes and her own stories about food. It’s really approachable and not intimidating like other blogs about food can be. Also, clever title, right? Confections of a Wannabe Foodie. Get it? I’m going to silently cyber-stalk Joanna so I can keep up with her exciting life away from UF. But not really stalk. Please don’t sue. Toy Story is a good movie to describe Joanna. No one can hate it and it’s always great.

Producers can always use a little extra love, and Christian Sursky is a fellow producer. She has really taken on this blog assignment and turned it into something she can show future employers. Props. What’s really unique about Christina’s blog, the political news is presented pretty much without bias. She takes usually boring subjects, like keeping up with the delegate race, and makes them interesting. She also has a great gasp of confusing topics such as the importance of embeds on the campaign trail. I hope she keeps it up through the whole campaign season. I’m going out on a limb and saying Christina is like State of Play. It’s not a well-known journalist movie, but it is really good. No-nonsense, smart, exciting movie. A must see for anyone in the news world.

And to round out this roundtable of wonderful people, I submit Jen Chiogioji. Yes I did have to go on Facebook to make sure I spelled her last name right. She is also a huge sports fan and we women have to stick together in that sports world. Jen really knows her stuff and has great insight. I especially love her take on Linsanity. Her enthusiasm really shows. This girl is going on to bigger and better things. I just hope she remembers the little people. Now I hope this doesn’t come across as an insult, but she reminds me of Legally Blonde. Jen’s determined to make it and won’t give up even when she’s told to quit. We need great women sportscasters out there. Keep fighting the good fight.

Gator Nation is everywhere. Be jealous.

Amazingly, there are more awesome blogs out there than mine. I know, I know, shockingly. But actually my lowly blog is just a blip on the radar compared to some of my classmates.

If you’re looking for a journalist’s blog with a touch of health news (or is it a health blog with a touch of journalist’s news?), look no further than Ricardo Navarro. He’s got such a great sense of humor about the age-old struggle with staying healthy. It’s like the everyday-man’s blog about exercising. Ricardo’s posted some great tips about everything from cool apps to help you stay on your weight loss track to how to stretch properly. If he was a movie, he’d be a film even your parents would like, think You’ve Got Mail. Ok, I lied about this not being a movie-related post.

Gillian Finklea. Is there more I really need to say? She’s hilarious. So when checking out her blog, it honestly surprised me to learn she was blogging about super healthy food. Totally unexpected. But then I saw her Anchorman references, and Gillian returned. She’s got some steel stomach lining from the looks of her latest detox plan. While she might focus on the healthy stuff, there’s humor thrown in too. Who can’t pass up a chance to show a Harry Potter clip? Clearly Gillian is a snarky, smart comedy-type of movie like Young Adult. Yeah I’m sticking to this movie comparison thing.

And finally since I like returning shout outs, Aliciamarie Rodriguez has a cool blog too. Now I am a little biased here. Aliciamarie shows you how to be Italian to those less-fortunate to have Italian blood. I of course am a quarter Italian and very proud of it. She’s even got step-by-step instructions on how to become more of an Italian. Need to learn a traditional dance? Bam, there’s a blog post for that. And of course, no true Italian speaks with just their words. It’s a full-bodied conversation. Aliciamarie has  your guide to talk with your hands. While I don’t think she’s involved with the Italian Mafia,  I do think she, along with everyone else Italian, is like the family in The Godfather. Everyone inside the family understands, and everyone not in the family will always be on the outside looking in.

More of these lovely bios to follow.

Shameless Plug

I know how a persons views a movie is a very revealing topic, so you might not know a lot about me (Kara). Besides a love for movies, I’m also an avid sports fan. I mean I love sports, even things like the Outdoor Games and archery. The Olympics are this summer and I’m psyched. I’m also graduating from the University of Florida in about a month. It’s the end to a journey that I want to last forever. This has been an awesome time in my life.

Weird fact: I’m a huge fan of puzzles, board games, game shows, and crosswords. Basically anything puzzle-related, I can’t get enough of. I think it’s the mystery that attracts me. My dream job would be to somehow combine this quirky passion with producing. I’m thinking producing The Amazing Race.

So over the course of this blog, I hope you’ve seen my sense of humor and love of all things movies. I’m also looking for a job and am qualified for a job in the television industry. Again, I can write and I can analyze writings. If you’re interested, please contact me.

Resume

This is my resume. Contact information and references are available upon request.

Education

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, Anticipated Graduation May 2012

Bachelor of Telecommunications (Emphasis on News)

Merritt Island High School, Merritt Island, Florida, May 2008, 4.2 GPA

High School Diploma

Recognitions

Florida’s Associated Press Bureau

Best Long Hard News Feature 2011

 Work Experience

First Coast News WJXX and WTLV, Jacksonville, FL                     August 2011 – Present

Associate Producer

First Coast News WJXX and WTLV, Jacksonville, FL                     May 2011 – August 2011

 Producing Intern

WUFT TV, Gainesville, FL                                                                  January 2011 – Present

Producer, News Operations Manager, Sports Anchor, Tennis and Volleyball Beat Reporter

WRUF FM, Gainesville, FL                                                                 January 2011 – May 2011

Morning Line Producer

WUFT FM, Gainesville, FL                                                     January 2010 – December 2011

Senior Producer, Reporter

WRUF AM, Gainesville, FL                                                    December 2009 – December 2011

Sports Reporter, Volleyball Beat

Gator Country, Gainesville, FL                                               September 2009 – December 2009

Intern, Sports Reporting

Cocoa Beach JR/SR High School, Cocoa Beach, FL            November 2004 – February 2005

High School Basketball Announcer

Cocoa Beach JR/SR High School, Cocoa Beach, FL                        August 2004 – May 2005        

Produced the afternoon news show

Other Work Experience

Kmart Corporation, Gainesville, FL                                                                 May 2011 – October 2011

 Checkout Service Associate, Jewelry Saleswoman

Native Sons Fishing, Inc., Merritt Island, FL                                      May 2009 – August 2009

Secretarial and Marketing Manager

Satcom Direct, Inc., Satellite Beach, FL                               May 2009 – August 2009

File Clerk                                                                                                May 2008 – August 2008

Volunteer Experience

Georgianna United Methodist Church, Merritt Island, FL                June 2007 – August 2009

Vacation Bible School Leader

Middle School Chaperone

Cocoa Beach Public Library, Cocoa Beach, FL                                May 2007 – August 2007

Volunteer Librarian                                                                                            May 2006 – August 2006

Island Community Church, Merritt Island, FL                           September 2005 – August 2007

Children’s Nursery Volunteer

Sunday School Teacher

How M Sees Project X

Project X is a fun movie because it gives the audience exactly what the audience expects. The movie isn’t going to win any oscars but it won’t win any “worst movie of the year awards” either. The film is about a group of high school losers that throw a party that becomes Superbad on steroids. The film has a great soundtrack and shows people the type of party they want to have but really can’t. The acting was average at best but it doesn’t seem acting is the reason someone sees this type of movie. The film flows fine and keeps the viewer entertained.

Project X is one of the craziest movies I’ve ever seen. There was no shortage of insane party shots, bare boobs, and just general crap-going-down. Of course the reviews for Project X were not exactly kind, but that’s not why you went to see the movie.

It’s the story of an average, outcast in high school, Thomas, who just wants to have an awesome birthday party. Who hasn’t felt this way? You can really identify with Thomas and his obnoxious friends. While this is an unrealistic portrayal of high school, I think it was truer than Chronicle. I would recommend this movie to anybody under the age of 35. Anyone older wouldn’t appreciate it and would not find it as funny. It’s difficult to describe Project X, but all I can say if you’re looking for a good, no-brainer time at the movies, go see it. Overall: B

Chronicle, According to M

Did you like Cloverfield? The easiest way to describe Chronicle is Cloverfield meets Twilight during puberty. The acting is subpar and the whole found footage thing is so late 90's during the time of the Blair Witch Project. I just want to see a film with an original idea and not something that has been before. The film did introduce some cool ideas but they need real special effects and actors to pull it off effectively. I give this film 2 stars out of five. 

The movie 50/50 could very well be the defining point of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogan's careers. By the way, did you see JGL's adorable video with Zooey Deschanel? Well, now you can see their perfect New Year's song.  


The film allows each to demonstrate clear dramatic acting chops while still using the funny one liners we have come to love. The direction of the film is well done and the script provides great opportunities for the actors to show off. The film gets to serious as some points you might forget the film was advertised as a comedy and the old switcharoo was pulled and you get a drama. I would give the film 3 out of five stars.

Editor's Note: M is clearly wrong here. He should have given 50/50 more stars like I did in my review. Another reason M has undervalued 50/50, just look at how the critics felt.