Two travel companions and myself took a couple days off of classes and flew halfway across the country to Los Angeles, Calif. I knew right away I would NEVER want to live there, while it is beautiful there are more people and cars than I want. Everything is spread out too, so you need a car to get around.
I have worked for the school paper for pretty much two years now, and every spring there are conventions. I was blessed to have my hard work rewarded by going to both of them. The most recent of which was in Los Angeles/ Hollywood area Feb. 18 to Feb. 21.
Our hotel was in downtown Hollywood and just a five minute walk from the Walk of Fame (and shopping). The hotel had an outdoor pool and hot tub that we actually got to go in it. It. Was. Amazing. We tried to bring the warm weather back to Wisconsin, but it got held up and took a couple weeks.
The convention hotel also had a shuttle that went to the Universal City Walk, so after one of the days we went there to wander and shop a bit before heading back to the hotel. It was a lot of big lights and there was a candy shop! They had candy imported from England so I was super excited until I realized the one candy I missed wasn’t there.
However, with all of the enjoyment and good weather, we still went to the convention. There were people from all over the United States, although due to traveling, most were from Southern California area. There were two sessions that still stick out in my mind.
L.A. Times tour: Yes. I got to tour the Times, and it was nothing like I expected. I always think a newsroom is going to be chaotic and a lot of people running around, trying to get deadlines met. However, it was basically empty. For having to be social as a part of our job, newsrooms are generally pretty quiet and it’s almost a solitary job. Our tour guide told us the reporters were out doing interviews and it stays relatively quiet during the day because of this. Then the editors come later at night, quietly do their edits and then it gets sent to print. They do it all again the next day. At the end of the tour they let us eat in the cafeteria and the food was pretty generic pizza and deli lines. Nothing special.
The other one was aimed at arts and entertainment editors. There was free pizza. Michael Koretzky presented about how to make an arts and entertainment section more entertaining, and how to stay away from the generic ideas. While this was focused a lot more on fashion and movie reviews (he said to stay away from anything someone can just google) he told us a lot about the types of things he did for his college paper. One of these was that they took five random people and had them all taste test pizza and then grade it on different scales. Unfortunately, that’s not in the budget.
The reason I like these conventions is that there’s something for every position, from how to run a newsroom, to the art of interviewing to budget stuff, anyone can take something away. In addition, I also get to meet a lot more people from around the country and this time I got to see a new city and explore a bit.
Next place? Nowhere nearly as far away. I’ll be staying in Wisconsin, but exploring Milwaukee a bit over my spring break.