When I registered for this class, I had no idea what I was getting into. Being a technical theatre major, I don’t have to take a lot of non-arts classes and was excited to get out and take a new and different class, especially with it being a class specific to the bike race. I had taken a few media classes prior, so at the beginning I wasn’t too surprised, but as the class went on I learned that there was so much more out their to learn about media studies.
Throughout this course I have learned how to use social media to my benefit in promoting whatever I need to. The assignments using twitter and posting picture I had taken on my phone were awesome. I finally learned how to take a good picture! Some classes you can take, even the ones online, are outdated and don’t use any sort of media aspects. This class embraced the media aspects and taught us how that, in the changing world, it can work in a positive way.
I know in the future I would like to take more classes like this. I have come out of this class alive, and wanting to know more and that’s what I think a class should do. Captivate someone to want to continue learning about these subjects. The UCI World Championships were an interesting event to focus on, and this online class opened me up to the experience of getting more involved with Richmond and what goes on here.
My first ‘final thought’ is that there is no way these will be near my final thoughts at all. Parts of this experience- like all experiences- will come alive in my thoughts often. I learned things doing social for the RTD about my abilities and have already transfered them to my similar position at which I am employed.
To talk about the actual class and classwork- I liked it. Things were a little freeform, but I still enjoyed it. It reminded me immensely of writing professionally. Things are just fluid and moving really quickly until all of a sudden there’s a due date and wow it’s concrete and it’s in front of you and it’s finished!
This course felt like it was over before it even began for me. Same holds true for my time at the RTD. I felt like the whole thing may not of taught me new skills, it honed ones I already had. The skills I had were taken and sharpened into a toolkit. And I’m going to use that to take on the world.
To start out on the honest foot, I will admit as the bike race came closer and I wanted to run and get out of the city. Looking back I am so grateful I signed up for this class which forced me to stay in the city. I found the race to be amazing and I am so happy I stayed to witness something that may very well be a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.
I just transferred to VCU from JMU so at the time of the race and really now, I’m still in a huge transition period coming from a school so vastly different. With that being said the idea of adding 4,500 extra people to a city I was still getting used to was a scary thought to me.
This class really opened my eyes to what the bike race had to offer in regards to opportunity and life experience. Just the simple task of having to tweet for this class got me more involved than I had planned on being. However the greatest benefit from the bike race came in the form of being published.
We all got the email from Rob Crocker asking for help, which would in turn have to possibility to benefit us as well. So I followed up with him and he simply told me to cover the Elite Women’s Time Trial race. With no direction or indication as to what they were looking for, I just went into it trying to find some angle between sports and human interest. When I sent my final article to Crocker I figured I’d get an email back saying good work, here’s some pointers for next time or see an edit of my article that looked nothing like mine.
As I was scrolling through tweets to find some fellow classmates tweets to retweet (I hate how many times tweet is in this sentence), I saw a picture I submitted as the cover photo for a channel 8 story. My initial reaction was “Wow they used my photo, that’s awesome.” I started to read the article and was astonished that I was reading my own words, hardly changed from what I had originally submitted, with my name in the byline section.
I was and still am on cloud nine about it all, mainly because as an aspiring journalist getting published is a huge reassurement that I’m in the right field. Also that transferring to VCU was the right decision which I question a lot because I left so much behind.
Overall I’m thrilled I got involved and embraced the bike race not just for assignments but outside of class work. It was an amazing event that I’m happy I can say I was apart of.
Sunday, the final day of the UCI World Championships in Richmond, I sat frantically doing homework in my living room. The sound of helicopters and cheers could be heard in resounding laps around my apartment in the Fan and with each coming cowbell, I felt a twang of missing out. It happened. I had become a race fanatic. One that pushed aside responsibilities to feel that roller coaster-esk high upon seeing cyclists pass dangerously close to temporary street railings.
Covering Richmond 2015 allowed me to explore the culture and essence of international, professional cycling as it became intertwined with the city that I love. It was exciting to follow something that was constantly developing and evolving. I researched and pursued aspects of cycling and the city of Richmond that I hadn’t explored previously, while also witnessing the events first-hand and contributing to the plethora of coverage on the events.
How did I end up complimenting a dutch man on the quality of his wooden clogs? As I was tasked with interviewing international spectators on their involvement with the race, I was pushed to interact with people that I would’ve never talked to. It turns out, many people are overjoyed to share their story and talk about their passions. This was something I was nervous about, but immediately put at ease when I spoke with spectators alongside me! The bike race truly brought the world with it, as I encountered people from countries like Eritrea, Holland, Norway, France, Slovakia, Rwanda, Canada, Thailand, Colombia…(I could go on). Being in the presence of people from so many other cultures and backgrounds gave me an idea of truly how unique every society in our world is, yet there was a beauty in that we could all come together and celebrate something so simple as a bike race!
The impact the UCI World Championships had on the city was amazing. Being able to take pride in my city with a supportive network of others working towards the same goal was something I hadn’t experienced before. Crowdsourced journalism is such a unique form of communication as it takes a group, a team, a city of people to tell the story. Each individual coming from a different background, with different interests and vantage points, was able to create a conglomerate picture of this period in Richmond and cycling history. It was an incredible experience to be a part of!