Author: vazquezsc

I love my job and everything I do there! I work at the Oak Brook Park District. I am a preschool assistant, Swim lessons Instructor and Supervisor, Lifeguard and Swim Coach. I am currently pursing two different careers, Air force and Early Childhood Education. I don't know which one I will end up doing but I know I will end up happy with either decision.

Fighting For Their Lives

 An interesting story I found was on called A ‘Silent Killer’ Returns: Live Chat With Filmmaker on Fighting TB. The story was about how the Health News From NPR Shots teamed up with PBS’s Frontline to host an online panel discussion with the director of the film TB Silent Killer, Jezza Neumann. The panel provided questions and answers about TB and the film. What got my attention right away was the video they provided. It was a 2:16 min trailer that gave a quick summary of the documentary and the epidemic itself. It kept me wanting to know more and I wanted questions answered. The trailer gives a good glimpse of what the film is about but I think a slide show of pictures from the film could have been added. This way if the reader doesn’t have time to watch the video, they could just skim through the pictures. Another element that could have been added is a map of where the epidemic is happening in Southern Africa.

Some questions I have for the author 

1. How did you prepare yourself for this interview? 

2. Did you feel you got all the information needed and questions answered? If not what would you say or do differently looking back on the interview?

3. How did you get other people involved in the discussion? 



A Little Piece of Heaven

We can all agree that vacations bring us all a sense of happiness. It’s a time that could be spent away to travel and explore different parts of the world. It gives us a chance to escape reailty for a little while. Mexico is known for a beautiful vacation spot. Regardless not every part of Mexico looks like paradise, there are certain parts that could be your own little piece of heaven. I chose a series of pictures I took from Quintana Roo, Mexico to represent happiness and to simply answer the question “What does happiness look like?” Although these pictures may not resemble happiness to you, it may help you capture the essence of the photo and create a different meaning to you.

January 5, 2014- Quintana Roo, Mexico- This site is called Tulum, A pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Coba. The ruins are situated on 12-meter tall cliffs, along the East coast of Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.


Two boys play on the sandy beach of Quintana Roo Mexico as the sun sets behind them

January 3, 2014 – Quintana Roo, Mexico – As the sun sets, two younger boys play on the sandy beach while the waves of the ocean approach them.

Quintana Roo, Mexico- A group of turtles swim underneath a bridge.

January 3, 2014 – Quintana Roo, Mexico – A group of turtles swim underneath a bridge. The reflection of the trees above appear clearly in the water.

January 4, 2014 – Quintana Roo, Mexico – An empty scuba diving boat sits on the surface of the ocean at the edge of the beach.

January 5, 2014 - Quintana Roo, Mexico - A  sail boat lingers far in the distance. A boy stands on a platform leading into the ocean.

January 5, 2014 – Quintana Roo, Mexico – A sail boat lingers far in the distance. A young boy walks on a platform leading into the ocean.

TIME tells all

All three photos I chose to be my top three favorite from TIME NewsFeed: Picks the Most Surprising photos of 2013 because I found myself drawn to them at the first glance. They capture the essence of the moment, they speak for themselves. They all fit into the three rules for visual story telling which is fill your frame, control your background and shoot for moments. The photographers made it clear what point they wanted to get across using emotion. These photos provide a feeling to the story and give it context.

The captions I used are from TIME NewsFeed, they provide a clear description of the picture. 

 First photo: June 17, 2013, Pope Francis attends the opening of the Pastoral Convention of the Diocese of Rome at the Vatican. The lighting is the biggest factor that sets a scene for this image. The use of contrast of light and dark help distinguish the focal point. The way that the popes hands are positioned and the way he is seated develops a sense of character. It is also not to close up, the distance is about medium but it still a good enough position for us to feel the emotion happening.  


Second Photo: July 3, 2013. Race leader yellow jersey holder Orica Greenedge team rider Simon Gerrans of Australia cycles past Sisters of the Consolation congregation during the 228.5 km fifth stage of the centenary Tour de France cycling race from Cagnes-Sur-Mer to Marseille.
The angle this is shot from almost makes it look 3D. There are two completely different types of events happening in this pictures and although it may seem cluttered, It fits the frame well with the amount of people and facial expressions. They give off a sense of the people’s excitement when watching these bicyclists pass.  Perfect timing for this picture to be shot, and it is up close. There is no main focus but the background seemed to be controlled, The only thing I would say about this one the colors might be over whelming, and it could be little too much motion. 



Third Photo: Aug. 7, 2013. A general view of the 108-meter-tall 1:3-scale replica of Eiffel Tower built by a real estate developer in the residential block named Tianducheng on in Hangzhou, China.
The angel is everything in this picture. The way the replica of the Eiffel tower is centered along with the building in the background being symmetrical. The grass is looking extra green stick out. The shot looks like it was taken medium, we can only see half of the tower but it still fits the frame perfect.  I would say the focal point is the replica but I want to say it’s the path leading up to it, The way the background is set up with the trees fading in the distance is what turns into my focus, The contrast of light and dark help distinguish that. 



A Potential New Bike Path That Could Be Used For Your Convenience


It is understood many of the students from the College of DuPage bike to and from campus, many people ride their bike, but you can’t get to campus without being on a major road. Luckily, DuPage County is thinking about developing a full east-west trail from the College Of DuPage back to Oak Brook Mall.

They also want to link the North Central DuPage Regional Trail on the North with the Illinois Prairie Path, Great Western Trail, and the Southern DuPage County Regional Trail to the South. Both trail plans would allow the surrounding communities to have easy access to them. I emailed Keith Yearman, Professor of Geography at the College of DuPage about this idea, and he expanded with his own thoughts on the plan. Here is what he said,

If you develop new paths, people will find them.  Also, you have significant development due east of the campus.  You have large single-family subdivisions, town homes and apartment complexes between Roosevelt and Butterfield stretching back to and beyond Yorktown.  There’s a large population that could take advantage of an east-west path. With both new north-south and east-west paths, you would link downtown Wheaton and Glen Ellyn to Morton Arboretum, the College and out to Oak Brook Mall.  That’s a great network developing from an already-great path (Illinois Prairie Path). “

The Prairie Path is very useful to some people depending where you live and can only get you so far. For some students, they can take the Prairie Path directly to campus but for others it is not so easy such as this student at COD, Blake Englesman. He lives in Oak Brook off of York Road and still has to cross a busy road to get to the Prairie Path. When having an interview with him, I asked him if he would find this path beneficial and he said,

“Except for when it’s cold outside, I pretty much bike everywhere because it’s my only way of transportation at times. If there was a safe way of biking to COD for me without being on a dangerous road for bikers, I would definitely take that route.”

DuPage County cannot accommodate everyone by creating bike trails conveniently located for everyone, but this path would be beneficial for multiple purposes for the people in the surroundings areas.

On DuPage County’s website under Bikeways & Trails Regional Trail Development East Branch DuPage River Greenway Trail, It says by using the combination of off-road and on-road bikeways, they will tie together the ten forest preserves including Spring Creek Reservoir, Swift Prairie, East Branch, Churchill Woods, Hidden Lake and Green Valley. Over 420,000 residents in central DuPage County will be available to this trail, 29 local parks, COD and 18 schools and other destinations like Morton Arboretum. The trail also provides non-motorized access to employment centers, downtown areas, train stations, and other commute destinations.

Creating a project like this will need people to become involved and be aware of the issues they could run into. When having a phone interview with the Principal Planner/Trails Coordinator of the DuPage County Bikeways Program Daniel Thomas, I asked him how will they make this happen and what things to they need to do first in order to get started on this project and he said,

“There would need to be a bridge over the DuPage River, It would be part of the land that is owned by the Park District. There needs to be permission from them, ComEd, schools the path would be cross; it needs to become funded.”

Later in the interview I asked Thomas when they plan on putting this project in action and what exactly will it take and he said,

“It is all conceptual right now; it will need people to partner together and make agreements.”

Although this idea will take time to develop and does not have a specific timeline established, this is a great outlook for potential students who are not able to bike to COD as easily.


Blake Englesman-Phone Number: (630) 439-6106 Email:

Daniel Thomas-Phone Number: (630) 407-6883 Email:

Keith Yearman-Phone Number: (630) 942-2765 Email:

DuPage County IL Official Website: Bike & Trails Regional Trail Development East Branch DuPage River Greenway Trail 

Not so sweet Valentines day </3

Remember all those fun special holiday parties you had back in elementary school that were filled with snacks, candy, gifts and fun actives? Well part of that is being taken away from the children at Hawinton Consolidated school this year on Valentines day. Todd Stames provides the details in “Kids broken-hearted over school’s Valentines Day candy ban”candy

This news story covered the who, what, where, when and how within the first sentence. Todd Stames from Fox News took the Basic News lead approach by using the summary lead. Then the “Why” and “how” are answered in the first paragraph with what the principal wrote to the parents:

“We are working to encourage healthy practices swell as manage food choices in classrooms were food allergies are present in order to maintain a safe environment.”

He goes on to state the facts about the story, What others are saying and also comments in response to the actions that the school is taking using wity humor. He uses Focus, Clarity and answers the 5 W’s and How. He provides an interview, pictures, and direct quotes from the principal, the nurse and teachers.

I work in a preschool and know how excited they are for exchanging Valentines day cards and our party. I understand they are tying to promote healthy choices but I can’t imagine how the children of Harwinton School feel about this. 

One thing I did like is how he includes a quote from part of the conversation he had over a telephone interview with one of the teachers named Stacey Sefcik who actually wrote a letter to the principal expressing her displeasure towards the new policy.

“I’m totally fine with teaching nutrition and encouraging healthy choices,” she said. “I applaud their intent, but the execution has a lot to be desired. It’s just candy for one day.” -She makes a very good point.

How accurate do we think our memory really is?

1. Stories covered by WGN News at 9pm on February 4th, 2014

2. Hard Covered Stories

  • Weather, showing pictures they took of weather that were submitted to WGN
  • Firefighters caught in fire
  • Tollway worker killed on job last week on i-88
  • Investigation on mayor Dally’s nephew punched a man- Trying to homicide in 2004 cover up. He said he was only protecting himself from David kosman (self defense)

Soft Feature Stories 

  • Governor Quin wants to purpose budget-5 year spending plan
  • Sochi Russia is having problems with hotels being build. Showing twitter posts from drinking water, she took a picture and posted it.
  • Sports-Bulls having a rough month, hawks having emotional night from Kane’s story.
  • Facebook turns 10 years old today.-Users posted pictures from the past 10 years. Their goal is for Facebook to grow over the next ten years in tying to re invent itself.
  • Target being hacked
  • Man saves dog and owner from lake Michigan-Good Samaritan helped out dog and man are stable condition
  • Hinsdale middle school returned to school today closed to mold
  • People came down with half disease swelling skeleton muscle in buffalo fish,- Any fish bought After Jan. 30th cooking does not kill it. Could develop symptoms
  • BIT coin “cyber money”-Internet currency that has been a secret for a while.
  • Memory not as effective as we think. Studies shown memory is in a constant stat of change.
  • Racial hostility in train yards African American conductor afraid to go make to work after he was failed to be protected by hateful language racial slurs assaulted by men.

3. The story that appealed to me the most would the memory study. Studies show memory is in a constant state of change. Northwestern memory study medical research had ran simple tests on participants and did MRA scans. What makes this story “newsworthiness” exactly? I would say this story fits under the Relevance category. This effects every single person in some way or another, the headline was “Your memory may not be as effective as you think” Just by hearing that, People want to hear about how it is rev lent  to themselves. They had shown the tests they ran on the participants and its results. They included who exactly was in charge of this study and offered additional information about the study, They seemed to have reliable sources. It stuck with me especially because I consider myself to have a bad memory and was immediately interested in what kind of studies they did and what they found. They provide this link for more information. 

Here is the link to WGN covering the story: (Includes video)

For more information, WGN provided this link:

Interesting coverage from Obamas Speech that could relate to you

The Telegraph really does great job at discussing the coverage and reactions of social media durning President Obama’s speech on the State Of The Union on Tuesday night. They show the highlights and live coverage, Other videos, Tweets, direct quotes from Obama, Comments, photos, links to related articles, and a timeline of the events. They also provide an option to share this to other social media outlets. I feel it was very effective because considering I missed watching it Tuesday night, this filled me not only on Obamas speech but also on the peoples reactions. It gave me a good perceptive on the vision Obama has for the country, his new plans and ideas. Along with that it mentions what people are saying about his speech, Whether they agree or disagree. What is most important to me and what I feel makes an effective and interesting story or news coverage is to not only the summary of the topic of interest but also what the others have to say about it. Not because I feel it would change my perspective on it but to get other peoples opinion and see if others feel the same way as I do, or maybe see it from a different point of view.

Copy and paste this link and it will take you directly to the site. If you want to refresh your memory on Tuesday night speech, This will give you a great overview and some insight on what everyone is saying about it. It Also provides video highlights and descriptions of specific topics that could relate to you. Really does a great job at breaking all the information down! 


About Myself

My name is Stephanie Vazquez. I am currently in-between pursuing two completely different careers, One is the Air Force and the other is Early Childhood Education. I am going to try and get into the Air Force after completing my general education degree at COD this semester. If it does not work out then I will finish my Early Childhood Degree either at COD or a University. I am taking this course because it fulfills my requirement for my general education degree. Considering there was other courses I could have taken I chose this one because it seemed to catch my interest in social media. My hopes from this class are to learn how to become a successful blogger and learn more about journalism. Ive always been curious about what makes an journalist effective. My expectations from this class is to succeed with an A.  My future goal in life would be to do diet therapy in the Air Force and like I said if that didn’t work out I would be an Early Childhood Educator, but most most importantly my future aspiration is to find out who I am. I have been struggling to find out who I am for the past few years and as I am writing my first blog on this site I feel that blogging with help me find that out. Its like a journal I honestly feel comfortable sharing information and I am exited to see what other people have to say on here. It will be a nice change of pace from Facebook and Instagram.