life is short

Last month, three young students at my school were killed in a drunk driving incident.

Last week, a good friend of mine's boyfriend died from Cystic Fibrosis. He was in his 20's.

Those events have had a big impact on me, even though I didn't really know those who were killed in the accident, nor was I close to Shaun who died from CF.

It just makes me realize how SHORT life can be. For anyone. I can die tomorrow and never resolve current conflicts with people, or not accomplish some of my life long dreams; or someone who I love can die next week and I'll regret not having taken advantage of the time I had with them.

We're all guilty of taking advantage of time in general but I think that old cliche' - Live each day as if its your last - really can benefit everyone in their life and in their relationships.

I'm not really good with death. I never know how to act, or how to show my sympathy. I wasn't really sure how to show Samantha (Shaun's girlfriend) my support. We weren't that close, however she was an amazing person who I connected with the first time I met her. I did all the routine things that you do when a friend loses a loved one - I told her I was sorry, that I loved her, that she was in my prayers, that if she ever needed anyone just to call - but it just didn't seem like enough.

I really sympathized - or empathized? never know the right word - with her because I was always scared of losing Nick when he was in Iraq, and I could slightly imagine how hard this must be on her. They were so in love and so perfect for each other, but they only got a small period of time together. Click HEREto read about Sam and Shaun

In order to show my support for Sam and Shaun, I joined her team for the CF walk in Baton Rouge on May 16. The walk raises money for CF research. Sam has been researching his condition, trying to learn more about it, in order to cope with his death. I think the walk itself will be good therepy for her, and I think that it will help having her friends there to support her.

My goal is to raise $500 dollars for the walk to contribute to Sam's team goal of $3000. If anyone is interested in donating, please contact me. I am really hoping to get a good amount of money to support Sam and Shaun. Click on the widget below to go to my CF homepage where you can make online donations...or you can email me

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CF Fact Sheet
Great Strides Home

fave song right now

What I love about my IPOD is that I can put it on random and re-discover songs that I fogot I ever listened to in the first place. Had my songs on random last night while cleaning my apartment and this beautiful song came its my favorite song of the week. Something about it...

Aqualung-Strange and Beautiful

sad story

I've finished my article -- edits appreciated. I've never done anything like this before, so if one of you reading this has ideas to make it better please let me know. I want it to be good to honor his life. Thanks...

Maxime Profit, 23, of Vaires Sur Marne, France always lived to the fullest, according to his friends, and his life was tragically ended in the hit-and-run incident Friday, March 6 that shook the whole community of Hammond and Southeastern.

Maxime, or Max as he was called by his close friends, was a French foreign exchange student who came to Southeastern in August of last year to finish his degree which he started at the University of Paris 12. He was scheduled to graduate in May with a Masters Degree in Business.

“He came to the United States to study, but also to visit the country and learn more about the culture,” said Sabrina Blin, also in the Southeastern foreign exchange program. According to Blin, Max loved to travel. Since August he traveled to Florida and Las Vegas and was planning a trip to New York in May after he graduated.

“His first travel abroad was last year and since then he had decided to travel the world,” said Blin.

All of Max’s friends knew he was always ready for a new experience and he didn’t like to waste time being idle. Blin knew him as an active person and she described him as being the guy everyone called when they wanted to do something because he was always ready. He was the life of the party and there was never a dull moment when he was around.

“He was the driving force behind our group of friends,” said Blin.

Max spent his spare time going out dancing with friends and playing sports. He was friends with some of the Southeastern men’s tennis team and could often be found at the tennis matches supporting them.

Besides finding new things to do with his friends, Max was a great student who spent a lot of time studying even though he struggled with English as his second language. On the morning before the incident, Max was extremely excited to find out he did well on two of the tests he had been studying for.

“We had 2 tests that day,” said Vedad Cinara, a Southeastern graduate student and close friend of Max. “After Managerial Statistics class we checked our Audit grade and Max was very happy with his grade. He deserved it since he studied so much. We had a cigarette that night and I told him I would see him later. I will never forget that happy face.”
Max’s positive attitude towards life and willingness to help his friends however he could will be missed by all those who knew him. He had a good heart and was liked by everyone who met him.

“I never heard someone talking bad about him,” said Iva Velkovska, senior Marketing student. “He was always considered one of the coolest people we’ve ever known. I will really miss his smile and his positive attitude that he had every day of his life. He was always saying if we ever ended up in France to call him and he would take care of us,”

In France, Max was survived by his mother, father, sister and neice.

“He was proud of them and they are really proud of him because he was a bright student,” said Blin. “In his bedroom he has pictures of his niece everywhere and he was always buying gifts for her. He always smiled when he held her in his arms. I will miss his happiness towards life, his support, his smile and his company.”
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    blah blah

journalistic lesson

This Friday was a very sad day at my school. Three students were killed and two were injured by a drunk driver. The 5 people involved were walking home from a night club at 2am when the bars were closed and were mowed down by a drunk driver. I was asked to do a feature story on one of those who were killed.

I've never had to do a story like this before. I was asked by a close professor to write the story and I wanted to decline; the subject matter is so hard but I figured as a journalist I'm sure I will have to learn how to deal with things like this. As I speak to all of his friends I am learning that it is so much harder than I ever could have imagined. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I'm finding it hard to not become emotionally involved. As all of his friends are informing me about him and his positive attitude toward life I can't help but realize that it could have been any of my good friends in the same situation. Hell, it could have been me...

While I am finding it hard to get through the task of writing this story, I'm glad that I am getting the chance to honor his life through words and hopefully his death will not be in vain. This is a huge project and I hope I can do it justice. I'm trying not to shut down emotionally because the more I learn about him the more I feel like it truly was one of my friends....

I just have to keep on truckin' and hope that maybe by honoring his life I can possibly put the seed in others' heads not to drink and drive...not to be careless...ANYTHING so that this may be prevented from happening again

More later as my progress continues...

Stuff I LOVE right now...

The Kindle 2

Call me a nerd, its ok. This is number one on my wish list right now. Ever since I've heard about it, I think about it every day, dream about it, and go on about it to everone I know. The Kindle 2 is an electronic book reader -- virtually an Ipod for books. It holds 1500 books and organizes all of them together. You can bring your entire library with you everywhere you go! When you buy Kindle versions of books they cost half of what you would pay for the paper version. With the Kindle you can make annotations, highlight favorite sections and switch to text-to-speech by attatching headphones. I don't know if I'll be able to live without one of these things....


Macbook Air Laptop

I really need to win the lottery...My taste is getting extremely expensive

newest painting

This is my newest painting that I'm super super proud of! Its one of my first real originals and Its kind of mixed media. I used oil paints for the base, implementing silver and gold leaf in some places. For the glittery parts I used 3D glitter fabric paints. And the ribbon around the masks is real ribbon glued to the canvas.

  • Current Mood
    creative creative
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SEJC Press Release

Southeastern students take second at SEJC

[Nashville, Tenn.] – Southeastern students finished second only to Belmont
University at the Southeast Journalism Conference held Feb.
11-13 in Nashville. Finishing first in three onsite competition
categories, students compiled enough points to finish ahead of 23
other competing schools in the annual SEJC Journalism Championships.

Senior communication major and Daily Star intern Heidi Rogers Kinchen finished
first in editing, sophomore Jessica Frederick finished first in entertainment
writing and senior Angela Broussard earned Southeastern first place in the media
law competition.

In onsite competitions, students compete head-to-head with students
at other universities to determine the winners. Southeastern also
brought home honors in the Best of South competition, in which
students send in their best work prior to the conference for judging.

Best of South winners included first place honors for Christopher
LeCoq and Tim Mitchell for best research paper and best editorial
cartoonist, respectively; second place for John Reis as best
broadcast news reporter; third place for Terry Trahan Jr. for
magazine writing; and honorable mention for Megan Mosher, Chaucer
Tademy and Amanda Cantrell for best public service journalism.

The Southeastern Channel also was honored for best college television station
and KSLU earned third place for best college radio station.

The Southeast Journalism Conference is comprised of 60 member schools, 29 of
which attended the 2009 Southeast Journalism
Conference. Southeastern will host the 2010 conference in Hammond Feb. 11-13.

Better late than never....

Sooooo I went to the Southeast Journalism Conference this weekend at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. This was the second year I attended...last year was at Ole Miss. Last year was the first time any of us had beeb to SEJC and we had a bout 20 people in our group...this time we had some people from last year and we had a group of 30 people! We had the biggest group at the conference! Every time something was said about our school, there was a joke that we brought a grayhound bus full of people, lol.

The SEJC is composed of about 60 schools from the South. In November we submitted published stories to the Best in South competition which was judged by very prestigeous journalists from around the country. I was selected by the SLU faculty to be entered in the News Writing category...I didn't win anything though :( Five people from SLU placed in Best in South though. I think we placed in Public Service Journalism, Best Television Station....anddd....I don't remember the other ones.

We also competed in on-site competitions which are sooooooo much fun! Last year I competed in Entertainment Writing in which we got to talk to a local artist and view his work, after which we had to write an article about it. This year we got to have a mock press conference with the lead singer of a local band and write a review about the band...

I WON FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was soooooooooo freakin excited!!!!! I wanted to win SO BAD! I was disappointed last year when I didn't win and I really felt like I did a good job this year, and I really hoped I would win. I didn't expect to win first place! This will be the last year I can compete in on-site because next year the conference will be at SLU and I will be helping with the planning, so I won't be allowed to compete :( But I'm glad I went out with a bang!!!

Oh, and out of the 60-something schools in the conference, about half participated in on-site competions....and SLU one second place OVER ALL out of all the schools!!!!!!!!!

Here's my winning article!!!! ((Let me know what ya think))
Sell out shows with energetic crowds are the business of Belmont band, Moon Taxi. With the release of their second album, Live Ride, under their belt the band, which is often classified as jam rock, spends their weekends touring the South with a large cult following.

While Moon Taxi tends to shy away from labels, their music has a recognizable sound with the ability to transcend musical boundaries and appeal to audiences of many different genres. The band thrives on variety making every live performance a distinct event.

The group got their start as students at Belmont University where three of the five members studied music. After getting to know each other through dorm room jam sessions in Maddox dorm hall, Moon Taxi was born and has now grown into “weekend warriors,” packing up their band gear every weekend and travelling from Tennessee to Georgia and everywhere in between.

Moon Taxi has especially made a name for themselves in the Nashville area where they recently sold out the bar Exit Inn with a crowd of over 580 people. The band has managed to gain their following without the help from the Nashville music scene or local media, achieving their popularity through the grass roots method.

“I’m the highest and the lowest person in my band,” said Trevor Terndrup, singer and guitarist for the band. Besides performing in weekend shows Terndrup, along with the other band members, does everything from management to promotion. He even personally answers his own email messages from the band’s popular website.

“I’d like to keep it that way,” he says. “I’d like to play in front of a big sold out stadium one day and if we could get there through this grass roots method it would be very satisfying.”

Lack of media attention may be due to the “jam rock” label that was placed on the band because of the dueling guitars and long instrumental intervals in their songs; however their energetic and extroverted stage presence is a sharp contrast to the introverted jam band concerts in which the musicians sit idle on stage with their instruments.

“We’re a jam band that head bangs,” says Terndrup. “The fans reciprocate our energy and we thrive on that.”

Live Ride, which was released on Feb. 10, is a bluesy Southern rock album with a hint of reggae. The funky and upbeat rhythms are similar to such bands as 311, but are strongly reminiscent of local New Orleans favorites such as the soulful Cowboy Mouth and progressive Galactica.

Terndrup gets his inspiration from a variety of musical greats such as Bob Dylan and Bob Marley. The other band members however get their inspiration from local hip-hop groups such as McBattle and popular rock bands like My Morning Jacket, giving the band a sound of their own that is hard to pin to one label or genre.

Moon Taxi sees music as a vehicle and that is what they hope to convey with their band name. To them, their popularity is not just a chance for 15 minutes of fame, but a way to express themselves and engage their audiences.

“Hopefully through our music people can be transported to a new dimension,” says Terndrup.
Upcoming shows and samples of music can be viewed on the bands website,


Gotta Love N'awlin's Weather, eh?

Thursday = snow storm
Wednesday = ((6 days later)) warm, humid, foggy, muggy, MESS!!

Only in Louisiana folks.
Sweatshirts, gloves and hoods one day; shorts and tank tops the next...

The snow was magical though. That's the only word that I know how to describe it. I was on my way to Hammond in the morning and when I saw the flurries start I felt my stomach jump and my heart smile. Then when the flurries turned into a full fledged snow storm...I cried.

I guess I'm overly emotional but a full blown snow storm isn't something that is often seen in Louisiana. I know for a fact that I have never seen that much snow in my lifetime. In Hammond we got 8 inches. 8 INCHES!!

The sight was just completely amazing. I've seen snow flurries once or twice, but on Thursday, I saw snow FLAKES. They were HUGE!! I felt like I was in the North Pole. After playing in a real live snowball fight I was sitting on the couch under a blanket and looking out the window at the huge snowflakes fall. The sight was indescribable. It was like I was in the movies, I couldn't even believe it was happening.

Then, once the snow stopped, seeing everything covered in a blanket of white had to have been one of the most beautiful things in the world. THe trees were covered in white as well as the lawns and roof tops. I don't know how anyone who lives somewhere where it snows all the time can ever be unhappy. I couldn't help but smile and I felt like a little kid.

Then, as the snow started to melt later that day and I was laying on the couch again trying to keep warm since we didn't have power, I watched as all the snow melted. The only sound that could be heard all around was the sound of water droplets, yet it was as sunny as could be outside. That is probably something that most people in snowy places witness at the beginning of spring; but I was able to witness the feeling of a true "first snowfall" and also witness the refreshing sight of it all melting - all in one day.

It really made me want to move somewhere cold. But I guess this way we can appreciate it more. For one day, I kind of forgot everything that was going on in my life and was able to witness how the simple beauty of mother nature is truly a miracle and a beautiful thing. It is definately a day that is forever etched in my memory.

I kind of took it as a sign that everything's going to be ok...