Whitworth University. Triplet. Dogs. Pizza.



It took 18 days for my life to change drastically. This trip was filled with opportunity. From meeting with employees at huge media organizations to experiencing history being made, I truly couldn’t have asked for a better trip.

I had the opportunity to visit many huge media organizations and talk with their employers. We were able to sit in their fancy (and usually with a great view) conference rooms and talk about how the media is impacting the U.S. today and strategies on how to progress with the media in the years to come. Many of the employers had amazing advice to us. Some of the advice was reassuring and some made me realize how much work I still have to do before I enter the real world. I had the opportunity to look professional and act professional and get a taste of what these organizations are all about.

I had the opportunity to experience not only national history,  but worldwide history. I was able to attend the inauguration and watch Donald Trump be sworn into presidency. I had the opportunity to stand in line for hours upon hours listening to Trump supporters chant and discuss their love for Trump. I was able to stand in a crowd of thousands of people there to support Trump while we watched on the big screen Barrack and Michelle Obama greet Donald and Melania Trump at the White House. I had the opportunity to see all these people coming from different parts of the U.S. (and of course the wide variety of diversity….Ha).

I had the opportunity to be apart of the biggest protest in the history of the world. The women’s march was put down in history as the biggest protest with over 2 million people participating. I had the opportunity to march with men, women and children of all ages and races and chant and cheer and uplift one another. I had the opportunity to witness some creative protest signs these people have made and their creative outfits. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to witness that there was still a large amount of hope and fight embedded in these people’s hearts. This gave me tremendous hope.

Lastly, I had the opportunity to experience real friendship. Going into this trip I only knew a few of the students, but not very well. Throughout the trip we had spent almost every waking hour together. Whether it was riding the subway, or getting lost and finding our way back, or sitting in meetings or family dinners, we always wanted to be with each other. Our group grew close the first day we started the trip and by the end it felt like a family. Some of us even bickered like siblings. In the airport departing ways for the first time in 18 days, I felt anxious and sad leaving my new close friends behind. I am beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to meet the amazing people I did and grow so close to them. I am sitting here in my dorm room in complete silence and I am wishing I was crammed with them in a loud hostel. This is how I know I met people who I would be friends with for a lifetime.



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Nasty Women Rise

On January 21st 2017, history was made. The women’s march was the biggest protest in the history of America. I was lucky enough to attend this march following the inauguration. After watching the inauguration I legitimately fell into a slight depression. I had started to lose faith in humanity. Then 24 hours later my faith in humanity had been completely restored and more.

The streets of Washington D.C. were jam packed with women, men and children of all ages and races. People were wrapped up in rainbow flags, wearing pink hats and carrying some of the most creative protest signs I have ever seen. It was so crowded that people were climbing trees, stop lights and any type of sturdy object that they could climb on to get a better view. The vibe of the women’s march was night and day difference from the vibe of Trumps inauguration. At the inauguration, there was so much tension and everyone felt on edge, even the Trump supporters. It was almost like people were expecting protestors to attack and they were more than ready to fight back. At the women’s march, everyone was laughing and smiling and chanting and taking pictures together and showing off their creative outfits and protest signs. Regardless of the crowd being overwhelming, I have never been more okay with being squished and shoved with these people, because these are my kind of people. I remember at one point in the march, I got separated from members in my group. I had assumed they were following closely behind me in the sea of people, but I was wrong. It was then I heard a random man’s voice scream, “Kristen!” making me turn around to see my group members face show relief next to the guy who yelled my name. Turns out my group member was yelling my name but his voice wasn’t carrying far enough so a guy next to him yelled to help my group member out to get my attention.

This march was so incredibly revitalizing to my faith in humanity with how much hope all these people still had in our country. Not only were people marching in Washington D.C., or nation wide, but people were marching all over the world.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

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Inauguration Day

I would love to write in a much more professional fashion of my experience at the Inauguration, but I am so distraught with what I have witnessed that I can only write down my hourly schedule.

Started at 4:30 a.m. – I woke up, put on my Obama t-shirt and tennis shoes and got my bag ready for the day.

6:00 a.m. – I departed International Hostel and headed towards the mall.

7:00 a.m. – I waited in line for security surrounded by Trump supporters shouting, “Build a wall!” and “U.S.A.!”

8:00 a.m. – I was still waiting in line for security at this point.

9:00 a.m. – I finally made it past security and headed towards the mall. I saw many people protesting and arguing back and forth. A woman looked at my Obama shirt and said, “Are you insane.”

10:00 a.m. – I was on the mall surrounded by people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, and my five other class mates. We stuck out like sore thumbs in a crowd of these supporters with our Obama shirts and “Love Trumps Hate” pins on our jackets.

11:00 a.m. – I was watching the big screen and saw Trump and Obama departing the White House together. Following the footage of the President of the United States and the President-Elect of the United States was footage of Hilary Clinton. Following the footage of Hilary Clinton was a sudden up roar of “Boo’s,” from the Trump supporters.

12:00 p.m. – Donald Trump is officially sworn into democracy and a long four years begins.

1:00 p.m. – My group and I stood in line to go through security to get out of the mall. (Yes for an hour.)

2:00 p.m. – My group and I are frantically trying to find ways to get back to our hostel, but police and security have us trapped in the mall.

3:00 p.m. – Still trapped in the mall.

4:00 p.m. – Still trapped in the mall.

5:00 p.m. – Finally we were let out of the mall because the parade was delayed. My group and I took off in a sprint down a closed off street to find food and water and a bathroom.

5:30 p.m. – We arrive at the hostel with tired feet and weary souls.


Sur(real) life…

I take back what I said about the first day of the Media Impact trip and how surreal it was being in the New York Times and New York City in general. Nothing compares to the feeling I had when I walked into the 9/11 memorial museum.

I can remember the day of this terrorist attack only vaguely. I was six years old and had no real understanding of what was going on, let alone what a terrorist attack was. It was early and I was just getting ready to go to school when I go downstairs to see the T.V. on, which is extremely rare. (My siblings and I weren’t allowed to watch T.V. on weekdays until homework was done, let alone turn it on before school.) I remember looking at the T.V. and seeing some really tall building going up in flames and smoke. Six year old me didn’t need a teaching lesson on buildings on fire to know that this was not good.

It was at the point in the trip where people in our group are starting to get weary and patience was wearing thin. We were cold and our feet were killing us, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the 9/11 memorial. We walked into the museum and immediately I could feel the density of emotion in the air. Our group has done every activity on the trip together so far, but once we walked into the museum we all split up. I personally wandered off on my own and took the time to look through as much as I could before the museum closed.

There were two things that I will never ever be able to get out of my head. 1: I was too little to remember the footage of the planes flying into the building and seeing the building explode and hearing screams. There were about eight T.V.s lined up in a row, all playing footage of different angles of the planes flying into the World Trade Center. I kid you not, I could not pull my eyes off of the screen. I was so awestruck, fascinated and horrified at the same time. My brain started racing with thoughts of how scared the civilians who were in other buildings or on the ground were watching this happen… in the flesh. 2: I walked into a very small room with dim lights and panicked voices playing over the speakers. I looked at the photographs on the walls and immediately I was in tears. The images were of individuals jumping and falling from the World Trade Center. I closed my eyes to hold back tears because I was so overwhelmed. I listened to the panicked voices being spoken over the speaker. I couldn’t tell you what was more bone chilling, the voices of the panicked voices, or the images of people jumping from buildings.

This museum was one of the most chilling and fascinating museums I have ever been in. It gave me an entirely new perspective of the terrorist attack that happened on September 11th, 2001.


A better word for surreal…?

I am going to say the most cliché thing in the entire world and I am ashamed to say it… but I don’t have the right words to put it in any other way. On January 6th my life was changed. Our group had the absolute privilege of attending a meeting at THE NEW YORK TIMES with the head of the graphic designs. It was so nerve wracking but also so incredibly thrilling at the same time to be in this huge building with insane windows over looking the streets of the city. I am going to say the most cliché thing in the entire world and I am ashamed to say it but I don’t have the right words to put it in any other way. On January 6th my life was changed. Our group had the absolute privilege of attending a meeting at THE NEW YORK TIMES with the head of the graphic designs. It was so nerve wracking but also so incredibly thrilling at the same time to be in this huge building with insane windows over looking the streets of the city.

The head of graphic design was very kind and welcoming to us and made us feel a little more at ease by cracking small jokes here and there. That most definitely eased the tension. He would ask us questions and I knew the answers to them but I was to nervous to blurt them out confidently in case I was completely wrong. That didn’t stop me from being completely awestruck by the fact that I was given this incredible opportunity to be here, at The New York Times, in the first place. The one thing the head of graphic design said that really stuck with me was his statement about getting a masters degree. He said you do not need a masters degree, and no one looks at that. What the companies look at is the skill and talent you have to offer to the company, no one cares what school you went to and if you got a masters degree.

The second place we had the privilege to attend was the Smoking Gun. This company could not be more polar opposite of The New York Times. Compared to the New York Times, the Smoking Gun is a “sliver” of the size. It’s very small, and only three people work for the company. Hearing William Bastone, the editor and founder of the company of 25 years, talk about this company gave me an entire different perspective of journalism and the media. He told stories about Russian hackers sending him confidential e-mails from high level political figures. It had finally hit me that things like that actually do happen and not just in movies and I was being told the stories first hand. Hearing about what the Smoking Gun does and how it requires reporters to be sneaky in their ways of getting their information gave me a hint of adrenaline rush and definitely sparked my interest in the field of investigative journalism.

My jaw was dropped to the floor from start to finish on the first day of our media impact trip. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that we have this incredible opportunity to talk to employees from these huge media organizations and hear them talk about what their organization does.

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