Adios to the INC and UF!

Nostalgia. It’s delicate, but potent. In Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.

 

I confess. I borrowed that from Mad Men. But! I have never found a character and a show that spoke to me quite the same. Don Draper is king of all the feels. Eliminate his womanizing and I connect with his character. I quite possibly look up to him because of his ability to create magic. He makes people feel a moment like no other. Ok, I may be veering off but I promise I have a point.

 

When I think back to graduating high school in 2008, yes it was that long ago, I remember dreams of going off to a top university, joining every club imaginable, being at the top of my classes, and maybe even being a cheerleader. Then life happened. I learned that just because thats what the narrative normally looked like, mine might play out a bit different.

 

I had to move out and support myself due to some family struggles. I secured two jobs and worked hard to become self sufficient. College moved to the back burner and just couldn’t be my main focus. I did well for myself. I managed to pay my bills, take some classes, have some fun, and purchase my first car. After about 4 years I finished my AA in Jacksonville. I still wanted something else. I felt it in my heart, I still wanted to go to my dream school.

 

I wrote my entrance essay and filled out my application for the University of Florida. I remember not telling many people because I didn’t want everyone to know if I didn’t make it. Within a couple weeks, I received a text message. By the way, technology is great but I certainly had it all planned out to walk to my mailbox everyday and open a letter. I digress…

 

With three weeks to move and still enrolled in a couple classes in Jacksonville, I moved to Gainesville. I honestly don’t even think I completely thought about it. I just prayed about it so much that I knew it would work out. I went to Preview and was welcomed to the College of Journalism and Communications. I talked to the advisors and was so excited to start learning all about broadcasting. Another bump in the road, apparently there was a “News Test” I had to pass. I began to think, what am I doing? I know NOTHING about the news. I just know I wanted to do it. I failed the first test and started to panic. I enrolled in some more classes the next semester and studied up to take it again. With a lot of prayers I decided if I didn’t get into the program this time, I would choose something else to major in. A couple weeks later I received the email that I finally got into the program. I was feeling so unstoppable. Little did I know, this was the easy part.

 

The News Program. Where do I begin? I believe I could write a series of novels about it really. I was so unbelievably under experienced in the INC. My high school did not have a news program what so ever, let alone I hadn’t been in high school in five years. The other students were hard workers. It seemed like every single hour they had, they devoted to the newsroom. I barely had time cut out to make it to class. I was so exhausted most mornings from pulling an all nighter bartending to pay my bills. Just about every semester that went by, I had at least one awful grade, barely involved, and it emotionally made me feel like less. I was six years OLDER than most people around me, I didn’t understand them, and they didn’t me. Working with WUFT taught me again that in life you have to do things you always do feel like doing. In the beginning, I was not passionate about the news. I loathed it with every fiber in me. I never thought I would say this, but today I’m addicted. I find myself watching it all the time. How would I say it? How would I edit that?

 

I wanted to quit a million times. Some days I believe the only reason I didn’t, was because my body was in a routine and my brain sometimes followed. There is one person who periodically checked in on me and that meant the world to me. Especially because I felt like a ghost in the newsroom. My sports director called me a couple times a semester and made sure I was coming back to work with him. I know I was not this epic sports writer, but I think he knew it meant a lot to me to be apart of the program. I loved writing and anchoring sports updates for WRUF every week. I was proud of myself when I did these things. See how much fun I had…

 

 

Now I think about today. I have a week left in this journey at UF. Pure nostalgia. The experience nearly broke me. Life threw a curve ball every single chance it got, (I will leave the personal life sliders out of it, pun intended, my goodness). UF, the College of Journalism and Communication, and the News Program all have wonderful reputations. I know I was not the type of student that should have tackled all of this, but I did. Just like  any sport, if you want to be the best, you have to compete with the best. When you get tired, try harder. Just before you give up, that is when the magic happens. And you really do miss the shots you don’t take.

 

I know I will look back and remember how hard I worked for my degree. It was painful and certainly left a wound (and some debt). It reminds me I can do things people say I couldn’t. Saturday, December 17th, 2016 at ten in the morning, I will be a complete mess. I know my sentiments will change as I turn the pages to complete this chapter.

 

I won’t be ready to say goodbye.

 

 

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WUFT Sports in 60

Here is a Sports in 60, Kady produced and edited on September 23, 2015. Highlights include: Florida Gators football, Auburn and South Carolina football, and the death of MLB great Yogi Berra.

WUFT Sports in 60

Here is a Sports in 60, Kady produced and edited on June 10, 2015. Highlights include: Tampa Bay Lightning facing the Chicago Blackhawks during the World Cup Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers battling the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, and the Florida Gator baseball signees during the MLB draft.

CFB Preview: No.1 Alabama Hosts Chattanooga

The Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0) will face FCS opponent Chattanooga (8-2) this Saturday from Bryant Denny Stadium at 7 p.m. Although we have seen multiple upsets as the weeks dwindle away from us, don’t expect one coming from this matchup Saturday. The Tide is No.1 in the College Playoff rankings and head coach Nick Saban has made it crystal clear to his team they must remain focused to earn their National Championship spot. 

The University of Alabama

Head coach Nick Saban wants his team to keep building on their success. Last week Alabama rolled over Mississippi State 51-3. Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has blown fans away with 2,003 yards, 15 TDs and rushing for 735 yards and 11 TDs. Sophomore Damien Harris is the team’s leading rusher with 759 yards. With receivers like ArDarius Stewart and Calvin Ridley both earning 6 TDs, they round out the options their offense has used all season to prove they are among the best. Offensively it is clear to see the threat, but to match it their defense is just as bold. Key players are defensive end Jonathan Allen who has recorded seven sacks and outside linebacker Tim Williams, who has recorded eight sacks. Senior outside linebacker Ryan Anderson has a team best 14.5 tackles for loss. Bama is ranked 23rd overall in offense and 2nd in defense in the FBS.

The University of Tennessee Chattanooga

Chattanooga shouldn’t be disrespected. Quarterback Alejandro Bennifield has punched in impressive numbers of his own with 2,067 yards and 23 TDs through the air. Running back Derrick Craine is his team’s leading rusher with 772 yards and 9 TDs, and right behind him is Richardre Bagley with 508 yards and 5 TDs. Receivers Xavier Borishade and C.J. Board both have over 30 receptions and have a combined 12 TDs. Head coach Russ Hesman is in his eighth season at his alma mater currently with a 58-35 record all time. UTC is second in the SoCon and No.15 in the FCS in scoring offense. They are currently fifth in the nation in total defense and eighth in scoring defense.

All previous 12 meetings with the Mocs have ended with the Crimson Tide coming out on top. In their last two meetings they shut the Mocs out completely, in 2009 and 2013. With the SEC West division clinched with extra padding, the Tide should confidently check in another W on their impressive 22 game winning streak, which is the longest winning streak in the FBS.

Check out original link on ESPN Gainesville

Book Review: The Tipping Point

In Malcom Gladwell’s, The Tipping Point, he highlights the major difference in small details that help something catch fire and gain popularity. Many times, we do not even notice these different factors that catch our attention. There are different rules of epidemics such as, the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context.

 

The Law of the Few is all about people’s interactions. He highlighted the idea with an example about disease spreading. He claims that disease originally traces back to influential people that then spread the disease to many others. The “connectors” are people that have an influence and connection to a multitude of people. There are “mavens” who are knowledgeable in a certain field. I know my resume shows my ability to work with people and be social. They have a natural ability to want to reach out their hand and this influences people in their passion. There are also “salesmen” who are very persistent in their approach at dictating people’s decisions.

 

The Stickiness Factor is like said, sticky. With a successful beginning, influences that are sticky change the way people perceive the future. People will often use these sticky factors to mimic an idea. Sesame Street and Blues Clues are children’s shows that still run today because they are proven to positively influence young children. They are some of the longest running of their kind and it stuck!

 

The Power of Context is about timing. Sometimes ideas do not influence people because it was not the correct time. If it is relevant and the people are ready to receive it, it will be influential. This reminded me of a time my mother took me shopping for jeans when I was little. She made a statement that low riding jeans would soon be replaced by high waist jeans, like in the past. I laughed at her but with another decade she was correct. Fashion comes and goes and its about timing.

 

Overall, this book was very educational. I agree that timing and the Power of Context is so important. You need everything to be in the right place to set things in motion sometimes. If people are not ready to receive something it simply will not work. This book is very informative if you are entering the field of marketing. Marketing is useful for everyone, as it is important to know how to market yourself! I bought mine here.

 

 

SEC Preview: Tennessee to Host Wildcats

The Tennessee Volunteers were perched in the hot seat for a portion of this 2016 season, with claims of their team falling apart. Think the grass turned brown on their season? If the Vols can take care of the rest of their business however, they can still punch their ticket to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game.

This Saturday, UT (6-3) will try and smooth out their Rocky season starting with Kentucky (5-4). Following the Wildcats, they face Missouri at home, and then Vanderbilt on the road. Winning out would in all likelihood put them on top of the East-leading Florida Gators, whom they devastated 38-28 earlier in the season. Florida faces South Carolina at home who is gaining momentum, and LSU on the road, which could be the nail in the coffin on their season. But even crazier, if Kentucky wins this Saturday at Neyland Stadium, and the Gators indeed drive that rusty nail through their own coffin, the Wildcats would win the East.

 

 

The Tennessee Volunteers

The Volunteers season has been one of either luck or divine skill as they have rallied from behind in a majority of their wins. Hail Marys, touchbacks, and overtime victories have defined their wins and if they continue to play smart they can knock off Kentucky. Senior QB Joshua Dobbs has 1,869 yards with 18 TD’s. Last week added some confidence against Tennessee Tech, after they ran away with a 55-0 victory. This was a breath of air for them after three consecutive losses beforehand.

Dobbs recorded a solid 12 for 13, 183 yards and 3 TD’s. Glorified running back or not, he’s seen some action rushing with 323 yards, 102 rushes, and 5 TD’s. Backup QB Quinten Dormady even got some reps and was 9 for 13 for 109 yards. Junior running back Jalen Hurd tweeted goodbye to the program, but John Kelly had 198 yards and a touchdown with 21 carries since his departure. Game-time decisions will be made on running back Alvin Kamara who was injured against Alabama. He has rushed for 313 yards, 3 TD’s and been an asset with 22 passes caught for 260 yards and 3 TD’s. WR Josh Malone and Jauan Jennings have over 900 yards and 12 TD’s between the two of them to add to the mix.

The Kentucky Wildcats

The Wildcats could have a wild story all right if they can upset the Vols. Senior QB Stephen Johnson has 1,231 yards and 7 TD’s. Last week in their nail bitter against Georgia (24-27 loss), he completed 10 of 20 passes for 103 yards, 1 INT, and 2 sacks. RB Stanley “Boom” Williams will be adding to his 898 yards, 123 rushes, and 4 TD’s. Cats will also use one of their leading scorers, running back Benjamin Snell Jr. who has 775 yards, 139 rushes, and 10 TD’s.

Receivers Jeff Badet and Garrett Johnson and TE C.J. Conrad have 9 TD’s on the receiving side of things. UK’s offense will have to step up and eliminate turnovers. Their defense isn’t firing and has lost 13 fumbles, and Tennessee will be waiting to pick up points defensively. The Cats will need to be ready for defensive end Derek Barnett, a leader in the SEC with 9 sacks.

Overall, Tennessee is nationally ranked 77th offensively compared to Kentucky who ranks 80th. UT tops them at 54th defensively to UK’s 83rd. Tennessee has won 30 of their last 31 meetings with the Wildcats.

Although an upset is on the table, Rocky Top will most likely be ringing again from Neyland Stadium this Saturday at noon.

 

Check out original link on ESPN Gainesville