Kind365: The Beginning

 Day 1: My first act of kindness in 2016 was writing thank you notes for our fabulous doormen. These gentlemen do much more than just guard our home and receive our packages. They meet us every morning and every evening with big smiles and warm greetings, making us feel like part of a community. 

Greg never fails to ask me how my day was, expressing genuine concern in how I am. Vladimir teases us for our love of Amazon. Frank sends me out into the world on the right foot each morning with a hot cup of coffee. These men have made our apartment home, for which I am deeply grateful.  

Day 2: I found myself in Grand Central Station this morning en route to visit some friends in Connecticut. While waiting to buy my ticket I overheard a man asking people to help him buy his next meal. Realizing that the spare dollar I had in my wallet would mean much more to him than me, I gave him it in the hopes that it helps him buy some food.

As I sat on my train a woman and her son came down the aisle, clearly in distress. The mother explained that they were a bit short on train fare and asked the other passengers for help. 

It instantly brought me back to a time my mom and I hopped on a departing train without tickets, only to find out once we sat down that we didn’t have enough cash on us to pay for the marked up onboard fare. We were lucky enough to be surrounded by generous people who helped up make up the difference.  

 I stood up alongside a few other kind  passengers to help the mother buy their tickets. I hope one day they return the favor to an unlucky family who miscalculated how much money they had for their tickets. 



Oh, January 1st. The one day we all reflect on the past year (often
wallowing in our failures) and make bold proclamations to change everything in the coming year (often lofty and extreme resolutions but with good intentions.) After all, who amongst us doesn’t hope to be better in the new year, however “better” is defined?

It is my general opinion that resolutions can, and should, be made through the year. They don’t happy 2016need to be bound by a calendar. Self-improvement is important, as is the self-reflection that urges people to improve. Nevertheless, upon reflection of my year I’ve hopped on the bandwagon, deciding to make a bold, potentially lofty resolution in hopes of being better in 2016.

I’ve resolved to commit an act of kindness every day for one year. 365 days of kindness big or small, planned or unplanned, elaborate or simple.

While I believe I am a kind person, I think I could make a more concerted effort to spread kindness. Sometimes I find myself completely caught up in the stresses of my life, carried away by the impatient pace of the city. It’s those times when I’m disappointed by my lack of compassion toward others and the ease of which I overlook those in need.

My goal this year is to be kind to at least one person each day, with the hope that the acts of kindness spark a chain reaction that is carried out by others. I hope to make people smile, brighten people’s days, send good vibes into the world, and make myself focus on others rather than on myself.

Since it is a pretty unanimous feeling that New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep for a full year I’ve decided to blog about my efforts to keep myself honest. I’ll be posting about my resolution on social media with #Kind365 for anyone who wants to follow along.

Wish me luck!


China’s Adorable Panda Cubs Are Now 100 Days Old

How can someone not love baby pandas? These cubs are 100 days old and simply adorable. This video is sure to put a smile on your face this morning.


The age of 100 days is a milestone in Chinese tradition, when families gather to celebrate and wish the baby a long and happy life. It’s a big day for the 14 panda cubs, some of whom are now more than 20 times their birth weight.

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The Daily Campus staff learns the least they need to know about journalism

  1. Our writer’s bootcamp is underway in Oak 439. Watch #DCBootcamp to see what we’re discussing & learning. #UConn #Journalism
  2. The first lesson was on news judgement and where to find stories. Croteau had the group play an interactive game from Poynter called Be an Editor. The group collaborated on picking out the most newsworthy stories from a budget and arranging them based on importance.
  3. Interviewing
  4. Interviewing: make a source feel like you are genuinely interested in them. But also that you are going to be fair #DCBootcamp
  5. The writers perked up during this part, commiserating on difficult interviews they have had.
  6. One attendee said she struggles with interviews when the source gives answers of only a few words. #DCBootcamp
  7. @lizfrances28 sometimes, the players I talk to give me maybe five words. Sometimes it’s an operation getting what you want.
  8. Croteau said that the traditional pen and paper, in-person interview is the best method.
  9. Interviewing: Be careful of email because you don’t have any intonation. Easy to misinterpret, it is a permanent record #DCBootcamp
  10. “Texting, tweeting, skywriting and notes in bottles tossed in the ocean are all desperate measures.” #DCBootcamp
  11. Interviewing Rule #6: Take notes. May seem obvious but it’s not now that everyone has digital reporters. #DCBootcamp
  12. Digital recorders are dangerous. All you have to turn it on and let it go. Then you have to listen to it all over later. #DCBootacmp
  13. Croteau warned that reporters who use voice recorders tend to rely on them to take notes. But in the end, you will have to listen to the entire interview over and take notes from the recording. It is quicker to takes notes during the actual interview. She said to use recorders during complex interviews and as a back up to your written notes.
  14. @lizfrances28 I like to flag certain times in my notes from my voice recorder when a source says something of interest. #DCBootcamp
  15. Joe O’Leary, the DC’s focus editor, said he once had to resort to texting a source because it was the only way the source would agree to speak to him. Croteau said that sometimes the reporter has to cooperate with the source to get the interview.
  16. @jto23h said Sandusky’s lawyer would only talk to reporters through text. #DCBootcamp
  17. Croteau said we have to remember that while we are students, we are reporters and we have every right to interview sources. She said she has seen student journalists treated poorly because they are students.
  18. “If you are reporting for @The_DailyCampus, you have a right to be there,” Prof. Croteau on interviewing. #DCBootcamp
  19. “You’re not being nosey when you interview people. You are asking for your readers.” #DCBootcamp #UConn #Journalism
  20. @lizfrances28 My first interview with #UConnWomen‘s coach Geno Auriemma. Talking to a hall of fame coach is humbling. #DCBootcamp
  21. @lizfrances28 my first one with the women’s tennis coach 3 years ago. That. Was. Awful. #DCBootcamp
  22. @lizfrances28 I’d never spoken with a coach before and I had never even taken a J-class. I was totally iced there #DCBootcamp
  23. @lizfrances28 that I need to get over the nerves or find another major. But I also learned that coaches are people too. #DCBootcamp
  24. Croteau said interviewing is difficult to teach but gave the group some tips. She said to have topics prepared and answers you are looking for, but not to go in with a list of questions. Reading down a list makes the reporter sound stiff. She also said to avoid yes-or-no questions.
  25. You don’t want your interview to be like a true-false or multiple choice exam. #DCBootcamp #Journalism
  26. @DanAgabit: You’d be surprised how many professional reporters as yes-no questions in press conferences. #DCBootcamp
  27. Yes or no questions are only worth it when you’re confirming information. #DCBootcamp
  28. It is important for reporters to ask clarifying questions when they are confused, Croteau said. If the journalist does not understand the subject, they can’t explain it to the reader.
  29. Asking for help when you don’t understand something is so important, especially if you’re covering something outside your beat. #DCBootcamp
  30. After a short snack break we came back for a round of Poynter’s Be a Reporter game. This game charges the player to investigate a story of elementary school children eating toxic cheese.
  31. Writing a news story
  32. Next topic: How to write a news story and not embarrass yourself or others. #DCBootcamp
  33. Croteau touched upon the most important aspects of news writing, including lede writing, the inverted pyramid, writing in a concise but interesting manner, word choice and AP style.
  34. “You’ll notice that I spelled lede the old fashioned way. L-e-d-e. So shoot me…I’m old. Go with it.” Prof. Croteau #DCBootcamp
  35. Croteau said when covering an event, like an Undergraduate Student Government meeting or a comedy show, the news is not that the event occurred. It is what happened at the event and what was said.
  36. We all know that the student government meets – that is not the news. The news is what the speaker says. What the group is doing #DCBootcamp
  37. @lizfrances28 Needs improvement. I’m always trying to find a way to better convey the essence of my story in an interesting way.
  38. @lizfrances28 My key is getting my mind off a story, approaching it from a different angle and looking for something new #DCBootcamp
  39. Simple, straight to the point writing
  40. The inverted pyramid style of writing has its place. It is best used in hard news, breaking news and normal day-to-day coverage, according to Croteau. Feature, magazine and investigative writing are not always best suited for the inverted pyramid.

    Inverted pyramid works because it gives the reader the essential information in order of importance. It also allows editors to chop the story from the bottom without fear of loosing a key part of the story.
  41. Every word that does not bring you where you want to be impedes the reader. #DCBootcamp
  42. Beware of meaningless words- preplanned, below freezing, really unique, totally destroyed- #DCBootcamp
  43. “Don’t write something that your reader needs a map to understand,” Croteau. Technical terms, convoluted sentences, #s, titles. #DCBootcamp
  44. Libel & Ethics
  45. Libel: A published untruth that damages a person in his or her profession or hold the person up to scorn. #DCBootcamp
  46. Commentary had better be paying attention to this part about libel #DCBootacmp
  47. If I report that 2 grad students were caught kissing there is no harm. But if 1 of them is a nun, there is. It depends who it is #DCBootcamp
  48. Croteau said student reporters have a unique gray area because they know many of the people they write about. She said it is best to make a distinction between reporting on someone you know and someone you are friends with.
  49. But there’s a diff btw knowing some1 & having a personal relationship with them. You can’t report if you have that. #DCBootcamp
  50. You have to let reader know if you are connected to a group you are covering. #DCBootcamp
  51. Under most circumstances you can’t write about your friends, clubs, teammates, political or social causes. #DCBootcamp
  52. Croteau: You need to shut your mouth about your opinion. #DCBootcamp
  53. You may not give your opinion about a story you’re covering. This includes all communication. Tweets, Facebook, emails #DCBootcamp
  54. Prof. Croteau shares story of Board of Ed reporter who would step up to the mic and share her opinions. No editors knew. #DCBootcamp
  55. Ending on AP Style
  56. Moving on: The absolute least you need to know about AP Style #DCBootcamp
  57. AP Style basics. As a copy editor may I just say THANK YOU #DCBootacmp
  58. No courtesy titles. Don’t write “dollars.” On 2nd reference use last name. Don’t refer to race, ethnicity, sexual pref unless essential
  59. Do not refer to someone’s race, ethnicity, marital status or sexual preference unless it’s essential to the story #DCBootcamp
  60. “This is not AP style but it should be: the abbreviation for our university is UConn not UCONN” #DCBootcamp #realtalk