As I reflect back on this experience all I can think about is what a great time I had.
I would like to say thank you to UF for allowing students to experience something as cool as this. Although students experience what it’s like to have deadlines on a day-to-day basis, this really gave me a look at what it’s like to go to a game and then have to post a story right after because it is only relevant for so long. It really puts stress on how important deadlines are and gave me a look at how stressful it can be.
There was one night when it took me about two hours to get home because of traffic, I was hungry, tired and ready to plop down on my couch and do nothing for the rest of the night. I couldn’t though because I had a game recap to do and photos to go through for a gallery.
This gave me a true look at what is like to be a sports journalist and I am appreciative of it.
I’m also thankful that Eric picked me for this class because like I mentioned I had a blast visiting these ballparks. I was able to visit five spring training parks in a week, two of which were new to me. I went by myself but still had a blast just wandering around doing my thing.
Taking pictures for my assignments was really fun but I think the most fun assignment I did was my article on the food in Spectrum Field because out of all the pictures I took of food that day only one of the items was paid for by myself.
Walking up to random people asking to photograph their food and them not question why I wanted to photograph it was so funny to me.
Having more access to the Rays than an average person does was definitely my favorite part of the week though. Everything about that day was awesome.
One of the top things I took away from this experience was always be ready to improvise. I applied for media credentials for two games and never heard back from anyone for either games. I was able to buy cheap tickets and wander around the parks but my idea for both of those games was to put together a photo gallery and now I had to find ways to get good pictures from the stands.
One of the games I was even told I wasn’t allowed to bring my long lens in for my camera because it was “professional.” That left me having to improvise since I wouldn’t be able to get good pictures of players throughout the game to put together a photo gallery.
Luckily it all worked out and a lot of spectators were actually interested in what I was doing and thought it was really cool that I was in this class. I am very thankful for this opportunity and would do it again in a heartbeat.