I’m Amanda and I am a 29 year old with an Associate’s Degree in Journalism from Housatonic Community College. After graduation, I needed to remember why I liked school. So, I decided to slow down before moving on to a four year college and limit myself to one or two classes for a year. I also kept up with my work as Editorials and Opinions editor for the school paper, Horizons and Gay Straight Alliance President. Not exactly the most restful time off, but for me it’s a breath of fresh air because for the previous two years I really pushed myself to get that degree. My advice to college students is simple: Take your time.
In my first Creative Writing class, my teacher made us keep a journal because she believed writing every day was important. At first, I resented the work, but as I continued the semester I grew to realize that keeping up the habit of writing was important to the craft. Even if I only write 10 minutes a day, that still hones my art. This journal is the product of that fine-tuning process. Because I can’t keep my public self going 24/7 I keep this journal “Friends Only” for the most part. However, I am always looking for new friends, and if you add me and leave a comment, I will most likely add you back. Regardless, I hope you enjoy watching me on my journey.
I loftily consider myself to be a writer, and I keep a website with everything I’ve written in my adult life. Maybe someday, if someone pays me enough money, I’ll post the few little bits and pieces of adolescent poetry and angst I have available. But that probably will not happen.
For a long time, the place where I wanted to take my writing was up in the air. When I started writing, I plunged head first into the Editorials section. Opinion writing will always be my first love, but probably not my greatest. I’ve always been opinionated as all hell, and was even Lincoln-Douglas Debate Captain in high school. I believe that your argument will stand best if you back it up with facts, and I tried to bring that attitude into my writing.
That said, I am now going to school for a career in entertainment journalism, doing movie reviews and artist profiles and the like. Some of my teachers have told me that I feel this way because the current political climate is so skewed towards the conservative right now. Some of my friends have even gone so far to tell me that this career choice would leave me unfulfilled. Others still think this is not where I will end up. But, I truly love pop culture. I love movies, and television, and I love writing about both. Unlike editorials, I’m always happy when lost in writing a review. Plus, my efforts don’t seem so pointless.
To the naysayers, I think I’d say this. I want to live in a world where pop culture is relevant because the other problems have been taken care of. To that end, I don’t intend to ever stop working for a better world, but art is a part of that. Besides, art has the power to change the world, and I can help get the word out about those films.
I have been accepted to Columbia University for the fall semester. It’s going to be weird going from a community college to a “real” school. I'm a little nervous about leaving the comfort zone of HCC, which is probably why I stayed two extra semesters, and because it's a wonderful place if you're uncertain about your academic skills. Still, somehow I think I'll be okay out there, because of what I've learned. (It isn't that I think HCC isn't a real school, but other people hear "community college" and they just let prejudice and misconceptions guide them.)
Horizons took up most of my time at school, and I miss it in weird ways. I am still not sure if I want to keep up on the school paper at Columbia. Horizons was lot of work, but worth the time that is put into by the entire staff. My original bio had this quote, “To me, it's like my baby. Every issue is something I give birth to, and I don't take criticism of it lightly. We have reporters of every skill level, so it's not going to be perfect. But over each semester, I see everyone grow, and it’s consistent progress. It's gratifying to know that I am a part of something like that.” I still believe this, no matter what I end up doing with my spare time at Columbia.
I have been very involved with the Gay Straight Alliance at school, which is probably why they made me their president this past year. LGBTQIIA issues are something I hold very close to my heart, and I work tirelessly for the GSA to promote awareness, and to create an environment where everyone has the same civil liberties as everyone else. I also worked with a few other clubs, including the Women's Center. I believe very strongly in activism and volunteer work and believe that everyone should be altruistic where they can.
I'm on the extreme side of liberal, but I do try to compromise. I've been called a bleeding heart, socialist, feminist, hippy, and many other labels that people seem to want to force on others to mark them as deviant. I am probably a little of each, some more than others, and that’s not a bad thing. There is everything right with being a liberal bleeding-heart socialist feminist hippy.
I have two spoiled cats, Christoph and Truman, and one very beloved husband of six years, Steve. In addition, I have two brothers and one sister, who live back in Utah, where I'm originally from. I used to be a Mormon, now I consider myself to be a secular humanist. I've also done the Buddhist and Unitarian Universalist thing. Buddhism didn't particularly impress me, but I still have some respect for it. Unitarian Universalism is just a crock, filled with hypocrites and postmodernists. The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth. Mormonism is just false and conservative. In some ways, I'm bitterer about UUism, than Mormonism, but both are not good for their participants. If you’re curious, I will most certainly give you my religion reviews, because I’ve been to enough churches now that I can rate them like I rate movies.
Obviously, I’m very interested in religion, but I also like philosophy, books of almost every stripe, video games, movies that are intelligent (intelligent movies does not mean indie movies), an eclectic mix of music (although my favorite genre is folk, stuff like Dar Williams and Indigo Girls), history, politics, fiddling around on my computer, and playing with my cats.
I am not sure if this effectively sums up my life. But for now, it will have to do.