Makayla Stowell


ebe6868fdbc2885ebb62db2998ba6de7MY BLOG:

I never realized just how many aspects of a person’s life could be affected by having a disability. This course really helped me to think about how difficult it must be and how strong people with disabilities have to be to get through things that are so simple for me.

During interviews and class speakers saw so many examples of people I want to be like. For example, Carol MacNicholl who doesn’t let being dead slow her down. I realized how little help they receive from outside sources. I couldn’t believe some of the things that happen to them, like Jeremy Chatelain being ignored by a bus driver, and the way they are treated just because they have a disability.

I think it is impossible to know the extent of difficulty unless you are also living with a disability. However, through this class I learned to be more compassionate and understanding of people who are disabled. Most of the people I spoke with said they just want equality. This is something that really made me admire them for not wanting special treatment.

I came into this class thinking that I wanted to be a news anchor for a big station in a big city. Well, that isn’t really the case anymore. As much as I understand the need for written journalism, I don’t enjoy writing it. I like performing and talking but I don’t like interviewing, writing, and editing. If someone could write the stories for me and I could just talk about them, this might still be the career path I would choose.

I realize that this is wishful thinking, though. If you want a career in journalism, you have to be the whole package, writing, interviewing, reporting, and editing. That is not what I want to spend my whole life doing. When Kathy Thomson, of the Los Angeles Times, came to speak with us, my whole career plan kind of changed. I loved that she worked so closely with news but didn’t necessarily have to write stories. She worked almost more in a public relations capacity for the Times. If I could have her job at a big television news station, I think I would be very happy.

This course made me realize just how difficult it is to be a journalist. People don’t always give you what you want in interviews. Editors criticize papers that you think turned out really well all the time. Deadlines are difficult to make and add a lot of stress into your life. AP style isn’t just common sense; you have to use the stylebook. I know now that I can’t spend my life working under deadlines and being critiqued. I am glad I enrolled in this course and realized this before I got too far into a journalism major and had to live with that career.


I am currently a junior at the University of Utah studying strategic communication. I expect to graduate in the Spring of 2015. I would like to either be an event and wedding planner or handle public relations for a large company such as Disney. In 2013 I participated in the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida. In 2014 I will serve as the Vice President of Chapter Relations and Standards for the Beta Nu chapter of Alpha Chi Omega.

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