Oberlin Blogs

How'm I Doin'?

July 13, 2009

Alice Ollstein ’10

I just sat down with my editor at La Opinion, where I'm interning as a reporter this summer, to go over my work so far. Oberlin's Office of Career Services gave me a nice little form to fill out with my supervisor, which was a nice, non-awkward way to ask, "So...how am I doing?" Most of the feedback was positive--apparently I'm "pleasant and professional" and have good ideas--but I do need to work on my Spanish grammar and be more outspoken. The Spanish thing is true, though I've been improving, but that last criticism I'm not sure I understand. Outspoken about what? Maybe that's just one way of saying I've been a bit shy here.

As for writing articles in Spanish, I know I'm getting better because the published versions are looking more like what I hand in. My first few articles they changed a lot--entire paragraphs! Now they even keep my witty corny little intros, like on this *cover* piece on the singer Lila Downs.

Anyways, my point is that the mini-assignments I have to send in to Oberlin are helpful in facilitating communication between me and my editors (when I'd be too shy to do so on my own) and allowing me to see my own progress. We had to do a much more hard-core version of this on the Border Studies program, where we volunteered for an organization, and wrote an entire ethnography on our experience there, how we fit in and contributed, what preconceptions we had about service work and how they were altered, etc. Like the summer assignments, I grumbled about doing this before realizing just how important it was. A little self examination never hurt anyone...

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