Chieftain staff creed

Neither horror of tornados nor torential rains
will keep this staff from the I-double-C J A

Two-thirds of the Chieftain staff journeyed to Utica, IL for the Illinois Community College Journalism Association (ICCJA) Spring Conference on April 9th. A 90 minute drive seemed to go quickly as the back seat was filled with the singing of songs – Disney and otherwise – much to the “joking” annoyance of the front seat. The last ten minutes of the drive was a bit frantic with the torrential rain that would not be cleared by the faulty windshield wipers on our rented vehicle. However, the staff was able to arrive at the Grizzly Jack’s Starved Rock Resort in one piece, though the same could not be said for the hotel.

Before the Chieftain staff arrived, there were two tornadoes in the Illinois Valley. A bolt of lightning struck a cell tower near the hotel resulting in no signal for the entire two-day stay.

The staff reported to their workshops, glancing at the TV in the lobby between classes and watching the horror of tornadoes appearing throughout Illinois. Phone calls were made to the reporters’ homes, making sure that all were safe on the western front. The hotel’s three Wi-Fi networks were also down leading to some hair-pulling and grumbling by all.

The voyage home from the conference was just as eventful as the journey there, more music emanating from the backseat. However, the digital Djs stayed away from soundtracks that day and instead broke out some classic club songs. The Fall Out Boy songs were on the device with terrible speakers, so the driver was a bit out of luck.

Even with a bit of a novel-twist, I did enjoy my time at the ICCJA Conference. Being able to get off-campus but still improve my journalism skills was a good experience, and one I’ll always remember. Having to share a room with three other girls brought back memories of sleep-overs as a child, but no make-overs or games of “Truth-or-Dare” were present this time.

The workshops were very informative and kept my interest even with the stuffy rooms where the lectures were held. My favorite workshop was “Awesomeness of Social Media in Sports Journalism,” presented by Brandon LaChance. LaChance had some interesting stories to share about his experiences in sports journalism, and lots of good tips on how to handle social media when reporting sports.

All in all, I truly want to go to the next ICCJA Conference in order to learn more about journalism and to hang out with the staff. Because if there’s no technology yet again, I know at least I’ll have fun with them.

Oh, and remember, beware the Death Boggle.