Journalism, Ohio University

I’m well on my path to interesting

I’d like to point out that writing this blog is what I do in my free time these days. Before I would set aside some time to take a seat, kick back and let the words flow. Now I am hurrying to get a couple of sentences down before I head off to my next commitment.

This is not a complaint. It’s awesome!

Never before in my life have I been so inspired to do great things. Yeah, when I won an award or published a good story I would get a little buzz about it in the past. Now it’s serious, though.

Day in and day out I am meeting people that are so extraordinary dedicated and absolutely love what they do, whether it is biology, physics or journalism. The amount of time and effort that my peers put into their work is absolutely mind-numming to me.

Not that I’m spending my days propped up against a tall oak snoozing away with a good book… I’m just as busy as the next guy.

That was my pointless intro that allows all of you out there who are waiting anxiously on my every word, dying to know how Ohio University is treating me.

Sarcasm? I’ll let you decide.

Tonight I was really driven to write something important. It may be looking back and chatting with some of my Gaylord friends. Maybe it’s the politically-fueled debate I got in with my roommate. Possible I’m just getting to the point where I am adopting a bratty, opinionated and self-centered college lifestyle. Who knows.

The more time I spend here, the more I realize what exactly I am here to do. Yeah, I made the nine-hour hike down to Athens to have fun. I came down here to get more academic. To become a better journalist. Those are just surface things. What I want to pull away from this whole college thing means so much more.

I am going to find out who I am, what I stand for and where I’m going. Along the way I will probably figure out the things that shape the person I am and the person I want to be. A little bit of soul searching never hurt anyone.

At least I think it didn’t…

Over the last couple of days I have found myself getting into more intellectual debates. Not that I never had a chance to voice opinions at home — I did. I guess I just didn’t have that much to say. The point I’m getting at, though (forgive me if I am scattered in thought, once again), is that for the first time in my life I have had to explain what I stand for, my beliefs, what I want to do with my life, etc.

These people don’t know me and I don’t know them. Many of them happen to be a heck of a lot smarter and more well-informed than I am. This is where the whole “finding myself” deal comes in.

I am going to find out what I believe in over the next four years.

This applies to not only personal things, such as how I expect to come across to new acquaintances. It is more of a broad reference. What are my political views? How would I deal with sitting in a position of power? Can I stand up for myself going toe-to-toe with someone way smarter than me? How will I hold up under pressure — deeper pressure than I have ever felt? What’s it going to be like living far, far away from my loved ones?

The list goes on and on, with the real question standing tall: Who am I?

This seems simple. I have detailed this to every friend I’ve met over the past two weeks. I can pull out that crap without even thinking these days. Instead of saying that I’m Jim from (holding up my hand and pointing to the general Northern Michigan location — everyone gets a kick out of that!) Gaylord and that I’m a freshman I could say that I am a highly opinionated well-informed journalist that is from wherever gets him a byline.

Ha! Isn’t that a thought.

I’ve never been one to really make a firm stance on anything publicly. I generally keep to myself and just voice my opinions to a select few. Now I’m encouraged to be bold and courageous — not only in actions but in written words as well. There’s no such thing as outspoken in college.

I think I can say I’m well on my path to interesting.

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My name is Jim Ryan, and I'm a breaking news reporter for The Oregonian and OregonLive in Portland. I'm an Ohio University graduate from Gaylord, Michigan.

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