Publishing features on Confessions of a Student Newspaper Editor

I’m going to publish three features I wrote for my feature writing class this semester on Confessions of a Student Newspaper Editor.  I didn’t ask to have them published in The Gatepost because the last few issues of the year were pretty busy for the Arts & Features section, and I knew I could publish them here if I wanted to.

The first one is about the Gallery of African Art in my hometown, Clinton, Mass.

The second one is a self-involvement feature about my first time visiting and experiencing New York City.

The third one is a magazine feature about Framingham State University’s Alternative Spring Break program and this year’s trip to Biloxi, Miss.  (This one will most likely be published next weekend.)

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Sandella’s brings all the students to the yard

A student purchases a F’Real Reece’s milkshake at FSU’s Sandella’s.

The most recent feature I wrote for my feature writing class and which was published in The Gatepost was “Students pleased with Sandella’s food options” in the April 5 edition.

The article is a business feature about the status of Framingham State University’s on-campus Sandella’s restaurant and convenience store a little over a year after the restaurant opened.

I spoke with FSU’s Director of Sodexo Dining Services Ralph Eddy about Sandella’s, how students have taken to the new dining spot and how he hopes students utilize the space for future events and activities.

I have to credit my Co-News Editor Michael B. Murphy for this post’s title.  He thought of Kelis’ song “Milkshake” when we discussed making a teaser of the article for the front page of The Gatepost because one of Sandella’s’ newest and most popular features with students is its F’Real brand milkshake blender and F’Real’s milkshake and smoothie options.  (In the end, the article wasn’t teased.)

The above photo was taken by Photo Editor Allie Card for The Gatepost.

Lee Brice: truly not ‘hard to love’

Country singer Lee Brice performs at FSU.

Country singer Lee Brice performs at FSU.

As overused as my claim is – it’s true: Lee Brice is, in fact, not hard to love.

I know, because I got to both interview him via phone and cover his performance at Framingham State University’s annual Student Union Activities Board-sponsored spring concert for The Gatepost.

A few days before the country singer arrived to steal the hearts of FSU’s country fans, I and one of The Gatepost’s Associate Editors Kerrin Murray waited for him to call us so we could ask him a few questions.

He was polite from the very beginning all the way through the end of our five-minute talk – we had originally been given a 15-minute time limit, but clearly, he’s used to keeping interviews short and sweet.

He even laughed at our last question: “Would you say you are hard to love?” He admitted that although he tries not be, being away from his family while performing is hard for them. However, his seemingly friendly personality portrayed him as anything but hard to love.

The same could be said about his performance at FSU. It was clear from the way the floor shook in the Dwight Performing Arts Center that the audience was more than impressed by this year’s spring concert headliner.

To learn more about the concert and interview, check out my article “Not ‘hard to love’” and Brice’s Q&A with Kerrin and me.

Photo courtesy Alexis Huston via The Gatepost.

Getting to cover Dalton and the Sheriffs was a great experience

Dalton and the Sheriffs performing at the Simple Man Saloon on Feb. 18.

Dalton and the Sheriffs performing at the Simple Man Saloon on Feb. 18.

I was very fortunate to be able to cover a performance of Boston-based country band Dalton and the Sheriffs for The Gatepost a couple of weeks ago.

I was introduced to the band last summer through a family friend whose son occassionally plays the mandolin with the band. I saw the band play a couple of times at the Simple Man Saloon in Clinton, MA – the same restaurant in which I covered Dalton’s Feb. 18 performance.

That performance was a tribute to former Clinton resident Maia McDermott who died in a car accident two years ago.

In my article “‘Boston country’ band thanks local fans for success,” I explain:

The event included raffling two Celtics tickets to raise money for “Team 01510,” the Clinton affiliate of Breast Intentions, Inc., which helps Breast Cancer patients pay their personal expenses, because helping those in need is something McDermott was passionate about. …

McDermott’s mother Lori McDermott, who promoted the event on Facebook, said because Maia’s brother occasionally plays with Dalton, “we’re connected to them.”

Lori said her family decided to come together to celebrate Maia’s life, and because she had been a country music fan and was passionate about helping breast cancer patients, they thought the combination was a “perfect match.” The raffle raised $365, but $540 was raised in total for “Team 01510” because of additional donations.

I originally covered the performace for a feature assignment for the feature writing class I’m taking this semester, with the hope of having it published in The Gatepost, and I’m really glad I did.

After interviewing both the band’s lead singer Brian Scully and Maia’s mother, I knew how important it was that I write about Dalton’s and Maia’s stories.

I also live tweeted the show, which was really cool because it was the first time I officially live tweeted an event. I’m happy to report I got a couple of retweets, including one from the band.

The show was lively and full of both the band’s original songs – including one of my personal favorites: “You Ain’t Her” – and covers of popular country and rock tunes like Lee Brice’s “Hard To Love” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Kind Of Man.”

Initially, I almost wrote about something else for my feature assignment, but I know now I would have regretted not covering Dalton and the Sheriffs’ performance for Maia.

Follow Dalton and the Sheriffs on Twitter @DaltonSheriffs and on their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/daltonband. Watch Dalton and the Sheriffs’ “You Ain’t Her” music video here.

I took the above photo of Dalton and the Sheriffs.

My most recent feature story

FSU's Student Trustee Molly Goguen is looking forward to her last ASB trip to Biloxi, Miss.

FSU’s Student Trustee Molly Goguen is looking forward to her last ASB trip to Biloxi, Miss.

Check out the profile I wrote about Framingham State University’s Student Trustee: “Molly Goguen: thankful for getting to give back.” I wrote the article for a feature writing class I’m taking this semester and it was published in the Arts & Features section of The Gatepost in last week’s edition.

I’ll share other features I have published throughout the semester as well.

Photo courtesy Allie Card via The Gatepost