On Being Poor and Waiting for Sources: #JSchool

I check my bank account every day as if, magically or by the grace of God, I won’t be poor. Unfortunately, there’s never a miraculous source of money that fills my Savings account to bursting.

Ah, well, that’s why I’m at university, right? To get a degree which leads to a job which pays me enough I never have to buy one-ply toilet paper again. For most people, that statement is true.

I, however, am in JSchool. For any of you that don’t know, JSchool is industry jargon for Journalism school. You know, Journalism, the dying industry, the most pointless degree, the job anyone with a blog and a computer can do. Yeah, that.

I’m about halfway through my second year and I’m having doubts. Everyone does, I’m sure, but I find myself adoring my Anthropology minor far more than I enjoy my major. I’m sure that has more to do with sources not getting back to me on time and the horror that is Journalism and Public Institutions and less to do with Journalism itself.

My Fundamentals of Reporting class, for example, is a breeze. It’s fun and engaging, and my prof cares more about getting us out early so we can “go get beers” than he does about lecturing.

However, sending out email after email and getting no response, or calling organizations and getting told, very condescendingly, that they “don’t talk to real journalists, much less student ones.” It’s disheartening.

Anthropology, by contrast, is not disheartening. Anthropology is fun and allows room for opinion and speculation. Anthropology shows me cultures from within, through ethnographic writing and teeny tiny textbooks with pictures. Anthropology makes me want to put on that one coat I have with the pockets that makes me feel like Jane Goodall.

Journalism makes me want to put on a blazer. Blazers are expensive and uncomfortable, my jacket with the pockets cost me 5 pounds in Scotland and lets me breathe and holds all of my things.

“Stop complaining and switch majors then, Katrina.”

No, you don’t understand. I worked my ass off to make the first year Journalism cut-off (Carleton’s is a B+ in Journalism and a B average) and I am stubborn as all hell. I won’t be quitting anytime soon. I might not end up being a journalist. Maybe I’ll get a Masters in Anthropology, become a poor Grad student as opposed to a poor Undergrad student.

Maybe I’ll end up on the Trobriand Islands, writing for National Geographic. Best of both worlds. Maybe I’ll end up in a small town newspaper, with a dog and significant other.

Who knows?

For now, I’ll just go stare at my inbox.


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