Rich Fahey

Photo courtesy of Anna Borgman.


Sitting in this class for the first time, I was less than enthusiastic. I remember reading through the syllabus and getting that sudden overwhelming feeling that this semester was going to be miserable. The amount of writing to be done was expected, but I assumed it would be on the topic of my choice. When I found the entire semester would be focused on the Asian community in Salt Lake City, all I could think of is I don’t even know someone who is Asian. After all, it is Utah, seemingly the whitest state I’ve ever been to. Like any large city, I knew there was diversity here – I just had to go find it.

After our first in-class interview with Dr. Linda Oda I came to the realization that this semester would not only be educational, but extremely rewarding. When given the opportunity to write on any topic, I almost always pick something I’m familiar with. The writing is easy, but at the end of the process I’ve learned nearly nothing.  With a new motivation to develop as a writer and a member of this community, I became excited about getting into the reporting and writing process.

The outcome is what I had expected, and a little more. I feel like I learned life lessons about the writing process, managing my time, contacting sources and putting it all into a published article. But, more importantly, I feel more knowledgeable and conscious about our community. I’ve experienced different foods, customs, languages and traditions. I am more aware of what is around me, and know now that Salt Lake City is more eclectic that I ever thought.


I am in my final semester at the University of Utah and will be graduating with a B.S. in speech communication. It’s been four and a half years, and the finish line is so close. Like many college students, my time in school was full of ups and downs, fun classes and boring lectures and concern about whether it’ll all be worth it. It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I knew what I wanted to do.

After finishing nearly all of my general courses, I took COMM 1010, Elements of Public Speaking, just to fill a gap in my schedule. Little did I know, that class would decide my academic future for me. I had never thought about the process of communication so closely. I became hungry to learn more. From there I started taking any communication class that looked interesting. My classes went from being a chore, to something I was truly excited about.

I don’t know what career I want to pursue after school, and truthfully, I’m not too worried about it. I’ll probably just ski for a few years until something comes my way and completely opens my mind, just like COMM 1010 did.

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