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June 11, 2014 · 5:09 pm

Dear Mandork,

Thanks for being an awesome roommate and friend.

You put up with my off the walls attitude and endless questions- not to mention were always up for adventure. I admire your writing skills and independence, and know you’ll go on to do great things!

 

See you soon in the bean,

Ginger Squad Forever xoxo

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Filed under Madrid

Hiking with Keds

Last spring break I visited a friend of mine in San Diego. The day before I left, he suggested we go for a walk at a park he wanted to show me. It was on the outside of the city, so I pulled on my Keds, a ragged pair of jean shorts and  hopped in the car.

After pulling onto a dirt path, he popped open the trunk of the jeep and whipped out a pair of beat-up Timberland boots. Seeing a look of surprise on my face as he laced them up, he chuckled and replied he wasn’t going to go hiking in his sandals.

I nervously glanced down at my own feet and after looking around at the surrounding cliffs, I knew I  was in for a rough time.

As I trekked through the scrubby terrain, tripping over roots and stubbing my toes on rocks, I couldn’t help but curse him for not giving me a heads-up. Leave it to boys to not notice what type of shoes women are wearing. Looking back now I can still remember the silly jabs and good-hearted sarcastic comments hurled at each other.

During the hike, it turned out my little sneakers weren’t all that bad. They managed to get the job done and gave me a slight advantage over my friend. The thin bottoms let me grab onto edges of rocks where clunky boots could not. The lightness of my trainers made it easier to jump over things and allowed me to feel the earth as I walked. With less weight on my feet, I moved forward with a little more pep than my friend who was dragging behind me. Of the few times I did slip, he was right behind to catch me.

When we got to the top of the mountain, the view was breathtaking. There were waterfalls in every direction and as we sat down to have lunch, we forgot how tired and sunburnt we were and enjoyed the moment. Despite my lack of appropriate gear, I had made it with relatively few scrapes and cuts. It was as we made our way back that I complained: I didn’t want to leave such a special place.

My time here in Spain has been like my hike in San Diego.

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Filed under Madrid, Reporting, Salamanca

IT HAPPENED.

 

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No, Shanny and I didn’t ride THIS exact Vespa but it was hanging out down the street. Probably in front of Austin Powers’ flat.

It happened. For about 30 ft, we rode a Vespa.

You couldn’t control the vehicle enough to steer, you say?

You didn’t even make it off the sidewalk, you say?

You hit a table where some poor man was having lunch, you say?

Hahaha and you would be right. After a hilarious sequence of events, Shanaynay and I decided it was not safe to continue onto the real road. Also we may have been lacking certain documentation to make us riding a motorized scooter in Europe legal.

You would think we would have realized it was a bad idea from the beginning, when we couldn’t figure out how to turn it on. As the rental worker at the agency said, YOLO.

Oops #wheninromespain!

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Filed under Madrid

Backstage

Looking back to a month and half ago, I had no clue what journalists had to do to put an article together.

I would read a newspaper, a magazine, or a blog and think about the content of the article and not so much as the writer’s efforts. Through my time here, I have been taken behind the curtain to the research, writing, and editing process and as a result, truly appreciate the work gone into good stories.

I’ve found myself reading other pieces online critically and thinking about what they could have done better. I can see who they should have talked to, what sources they should have collected, and whether or not the flow of the story makes sense. Granted, I am no editor or expert in any way, but now I can pick up on little mistakes or triumphs here and there.

In the past month, I’ve been submerged in an entirely different world. I’ve gained so many new perspectives being outside of the lab and into the press core. I now know what it’s like to be in a newsroom environment, make deadlines, and meet with experts. It’s been a lesson in professional conduct as well as looking at people objectively.

I’ve gone backstage to see what it’s like to be a reporter and have to say, I love what I saw.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Madrid, Reporting

You’ve been hijacked

Hi Olivia,

Muchos gracias for letting me borrow your laptop tonight. I know you’re dying for an update on my article, so here it is: it’s currently 1,052 words long.

And super depressing. #saverocknroll (Fall Out Boy? Anyone? No? OK…)

I’m procrastinating now, so here’s a list of things we still need to do in Madrid:

1) Prado

2) Vespas

3) Mock interview

I’ll leave you with some puppies.

-Shandana

PS: This hijacking was carried out with the prior approval of Olivia Sears.

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A Brief Sigh of Relief

Passed in all three articles. Court dismissed- bring in the dancing lobsters.

Now, editing and Arturo’s culture paper are all that are keep me from a big, fat siesta.

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Filed under Madrid, Reporting