How to make fried eggs

170203The past few weeks since graduation have been adventures in adulthood (or something like that). Granted, one of those weeks was spent at Carolina Beach, where the extent of being an adult was not getting a sunburn (harder than it sounds when you look like me) and walking to the kitchen table to eat the already cut fruit and already fried eggs that Mr. Rich had so kindly prepared.

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But since then, adult. And there have been some high points.

For one thing, I’m finally out of a dorm room. I have my own space to live in and arrange, I don’t have to walk down the hall to the bathroom, I have a parking spot and I have these super cool shelves.

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And, without homework, I’ve had time to read just because – hello, Harry Potter – and even run every once in a while.

However, there have also been low points, some how-did-I-even-survive-to-be-22 moments.

Like when my headlight went out and I learned that my trusty Sub has at least six different kinds of lights that my dad could inquire about by phone (good thing the magic iPhone sends pictures). Or when I learned that to replace this “headlight” you have to take out the battery (thanks, Dad). And when the battery is unhappy you’re likely to find yourself immobile in the face of a green light.

Also like when I apologetically tried to talk bank stuff with a teller.

And let’s just talk about food.

Food costs money and going to the grocery store requires more planning than you expect. Sometimes when your stove doesn’t have an exhaust fan the fire alarm goes off. And, similarly, butter doesn’t function as closely to olive oil as one might expect. On occasion, you find even yourself googling things like this:

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I promise I graduated… But I think that this might end up being one the most important parts of adulting.

If you ever find yourself in the following situation:

1. You want fried eggs,

2. Mr. Rich is not around,

3. and you only know how to make scrambled eggs…

Then figure out how to make the stupid eggs, eat them even if they’re not the greatest and do it again.

I know I’m speaking to “you,” to “one,” when maybe you already know how to adult. To avoid offending you, I should give some context.

I was praised for my accomplishments in high school. I was good at reading, writing, memorizing, analyzing… But what I was actually good at was obeying. People pleasing. Rising or falling to the expectations set for me. And now that I’m done with school indefinitely, what I have to accomplish, what I am expected to accomplish, is more unclear.

So, at least for me, for now, to adult is to force myself to daily do the small things that I don’t know how to do. To force myself to accomplish things that I’d – very lazily – just rather not bother with. To do things that no one has told me to do and to be ok with looking dumb.

To adult is to make fried eggs.


And, as always, I hope you take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Thanks, Sari. 

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Embrace it

168707I took this class because I needed another immersion, and out of all of my options, this sounded the most interesting. Doable, at least. On the first day of class I was convinced that it would actually be pretty interesting, but also scary.

John Robinson pretty much listed reasons to drop the class (at least that’s what I heard). And three (well minimum of three) posts sounded like a lot, especially when I had never blogged before.

Another issue that I had with the class, and J-school in general, was that the subject matter is so temporary.  I spend time learning about the implications of an app that I probably won’t use on the job in 10 years?  We discuss a barrier to the media business that will be overcome 5? I come to a class to talk about the present and dream about the future?

(I was a history major in a previous life, and had grown pretty accustomed to stability and certainty.)

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My biggest takeaway from this class is to embrace new things and then keep on running.

When I started hearing about Snapchat at the beginning of college, I thought that it was the dumbest thing ever. I was slow to hop on board and not excited about it or optimistic about its future. Its only use appeared to be finding camaraderie in late night studying – another way to waste time.

But during this class we watched Snapchat launch Discover. Snapchat, with its sketchy sexting associations and time-killing abilities, had partnered with CNN. And ESPN. And Nat Geo.

Plus it has ads (really expensive ones, too). And live event feeds with sponsors and a lot of views. It’s all mobile. There’s a growing number of users. I wouldn’t be surprised if location features will keep getting better, with people adding their own snaps to the story of their favorite local coffee shop, businesses getting some free ad content to mix with paid logo ads right beside it… I’m genuinely looking forward to watching it develop.IMG_0086

That’s different. And not very me.

In mass communication, sticking with the status quo just isn’t an option. So when people come up with a new idea about communication, I want to check it out to see if I think that they’re on to something. And then question what would make it better. If I give it a chance and still hate it, fine.

Snapchat just happens to be my most recent example of something that I looked down on and resisted. Maybe it won’t be around much longer, but surely we’ll learn communication methods that work and don’t work no matter what the outcome.

I’m glad this class forced me to investigate change and find and read a lot about it on my own. I hope finding and reading (and watching!) is a new habit. Good thing I didn’t drop it.

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5 Things that are the absolute worst about blogging (Part II)

As I said before, blogging is the worst. But it also has a bright side. Sometimes, blogging ain’t half bad. For those of you who appreciated Part I for its honesty, rest assured that this is equally as honest.

5 Things that aren’t that terrible about blogging

1. Anyone and everyone can read what I say.

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Most will be indifferent and a couple might hate it. But maybe someone out there will be interested and you’ll make a cool connection. Or maybe NiemanLab will link back to you because you’re a college kid and you said something about something. And that will encourage you to try and say something better next time.

2. My friends can read what I say.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHaving to blog for class was a great excuse to get me started. Although I had considered blogging for a while, I didn’t want to come across as, “Hey, look at me, I have important things to say. And you should take time out of your busy day to read it and let it clutter up your Facebook feed.”

But my reasons for not blogging were just as arrogant and assuming. I assumed that people spent enough time thinking about my social media activity to judge meyou_have_a_blog for having a blog. When I see a blog post on my Facebook or Twitter feed, I  simply scroll past it if I’m not interested, and skim it if I wish. No second thoughts and definitely no judgment.

Plus if your friends make fun of you (and if they don’t), you can embarrass them on your blog.

3. I can write locally & personally.168665

Even though my class aims to blog about current issues in mass communication, I can take those bigger, impersonal issues and predictions and talk about what they look like in my life. If I want to write about the future of watching sports, I can write about my Heels and talk about how my friends keep up with sports.

This is much more fun for me, and hopefully makes me more relatable as a writer.

4. It’s way better than writing papers.

You can’t put GIFs in papers. Or say “ain’t.”

5. It gives you more wiggle room than social media.

I’ve stopped sharing pictures on Facebook. I never update my status. My tweets lean toward the professional end of the spectrum. It’s annoying to Instagram too frequently, and so on…I don’t share that much of my life online anymore.

It’s not necessarily because I don’t want to, but because I’m not a huge fan of the ways that I used to share (or I think I’m too cool).

In a blog post, I can display content more creatively and with more detail. I can tell a better story. I can weave time experiences and events together and bring out a theme. And, all I have to do is share a single thing, a link, on social media. Then those who are interested can take a look without being bombarded.


168438I am happy to say that this is my last mandated blog post, so of course the truest test of whether or not I like blogging will be whether or not I continue it. We shall see. 

Love, Amber

Keeping up with the Walter Scott story

Thoughts on how I’ve kept up with the Walter Scott story & who’s helped me out.

1. CNN app notification

A notification on my iPhone was the first I heard of the shooting. I opened it in hopes of seeing more on the CNN app, but I guess there wasn’t much to report yet.

Here I saw a bit of the process of disseminating breaking news in the digital era. I got it fast, but only a blurb. Penny Abernathy mentioned this in class the other day.

One thing that I would say to CNN – don’t send me so many notifications. I’ve stopped believing that your breaking news matters. This matters. (Admittedly I should check my settings before I say too much.)

2. CNN homepage

I keep CNN set as my Google Chrome home in an attempt to keep up with breaking news. The shooting video and story were the headline this morning. The video of Scott’s death was filmed on a cell phone by a bystander.

A cell phone

3. Twitter

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4. PeriscopeIMG_9583

I watched a live stream of a vigil taking place in Charleston tonight.

This was the second time that I’ve used Periscope, and the first time that I’ve gotten news from it. I think the app will be a useful way for me to follow the story, especially if I see a tweet that alerts me to particularly interesting happenings. Twitter recently bought Periscope – makes more sense now.

5. CNN homepage

Then I was back to CNN online to get more information. I watched another video and skimmed another article.

Although my information is being supplemented by nontraditional news sources, I’m still getting direction from and being directed to something tried and true. Most of the known facts can be read and viewed in one place. I trust CNN’s coverage (and I need it because I can’t stay glued to my iPhone), but it’s still pretty exciting to have access to live content from regular people with smart phones. 

5 things that are the absolute worst about blogging (Part I)

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Senior year is making me even more sentimental than usual and I feel the need to reflect. Please humor me as I blog about my reflections on blogging. 

5 Things that are the absolute worst about blogging

1. Anyone and everyone can read what I say.

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It makes me really nervous to let friends edit my history papers, let alone having strangers read my opinions online. If I make a mistake, or say something dumb, people on the other side of the planet can laugh at and/or judge me.

2. My friends can read what I say.

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This is worse than strangers. I like my friends. They like me. I want to keep it that way.

My “friend” Brian, for instance, doesn’t actually read my blog but likes to ask me about it from time to time and laugh at me.

3. I don’t have anything (important) to say. cant

I’m just some 22-year-old kid hanging in J-school at Chapel Hill. What do I know about mass communication, shelf assembly or life in general. Sure, I can write, but why should anyone else listen?

4. Making predictions is scary.

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I don’t like to take risks. It’s borderline cruel to be asked to take a shot at what the future of mass communication would and should be and post it on the internet (see 1. & 2.)

5. Sometimes I’m fresh out of ideas.

What I learned in boating school is?!” That’s why there are only five of these.


I have a love/hate relationship with this blog. As the semester has progressed, however, the scale has tipped closer to the love side. Bad news first, good news second. Stay tuned.

Growing up on Facebook

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It took a long time to convince my parents to let me have a Facebook. This was devastating at the time, but now, I see the bright side – there are no pictures of middle school me on Facebook.

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Kids younger than me, though, might have bigger things to worry about with the new Facebook Scrapbook feature.

Overall, I would say good job to Facebook for filling in a hole. I’m normally a little too particular to tag people in pictures that they’re not actually in. The only time I do it is when I upload pictures of my baby friends (s/o to my best baby friend K) and tag their parents.

Another reason that I usually tag parents is so that they know that I’ve posted a picture of their child online. Though I feel confident making my own privacy decisions, I do not feel comfortable making them for someone else’s child. I only post pictures of kids on my private accounts, and I’m careful about who follows me.

So good catch, cool idea, but I’m still a little weirded out. At first glance I don’t see this being a huge privacy issue – at least no more than when people tagged parents in pictures of their kids. To me, the weird part, is growing up on social media. Sure, I mostly grew up on it, but I wanted Facebook because I thought it would be a fun thing to have. Gaining a social media presence is becoming a natural (seemingly necessary) step in growing up. It feels different.

I’ll get over it though. Love those baby pics.

Selfies, a sore spot

Some observations on the implications of social media inspired by controversy over the selfies taken at the NYC East Village explosion:
serbz 282My visit to the 9/11 Memorial this summer was a sobering experience. I stood in a place where so many lives were lost. I ran my fingers over the engravings of the names of those that died and saw flowers and notes left by loved ones. I leaned forward hoping to see farther down when, years earlier, I would’ve been craning my neck to look up at the Twin Towers.

Feeling the heaviness of this space, I felt awkward and uncomfortable posing for a group picture with friends.  Not necessarily because it was a reminder of pain and sadness – I think that can be deserving of documentation – but because it didn’t feel like my pain. I didn’t know anyone who was hurt or killed, or even know anyone who knew anyone. I didn’t own it. Chances were that no one would see our smiling faces in front of the name of their loved one, but it still didn’t feel quite right. To me.

Others, including a teen called out for taking a selfie there, feel justified in taking ggroundzerophotos. Like most around my age and older, he remembers September 11th vividly. Taking a photo at the site was just an extension of his personal story. He did feel a sense of ownership.

I guess we can take a moment to lament the fact that social media makes everyone a journalist, whether or not they’ve taken a multiple choice Intro to Ethics exam or flipped through some powerpoint slides on the ethics of photojournalism. But in my experience those classes don’t offer many hard and fast rules. And today I felt uncomfortable looking through a photo spread from a big city daily. And maybe you feel totally fine with this selfie and don’t want to waste another moment lamenting.

Today we have a ton of chances to get angry or think, “I would’ve done that differently.” Social media makes public those individual choices that we may not have otherwise heard about. When I post this, or anything else, I’m making myself apologyvulnerable to criticism from those who disagree.  And the internet, made up of individuals and reporters, can easily make an example of someone’s decision.

That’s some intense peer pressure. Maybe it will have a sensitizing effect similar to that of a classroom in some cases. It certainly makes me think twice before sharing.