The Exciting Life of a College Journalist.

I wrote this article for my reporting class. Writing this article an eye-opener because the subject had a interesting life.

The Exciting Life of a San Francisco State Journalist
February 13, 2008

Justin Hughes maintains a description of calmness. His black, hooded sweater and his “Viet nam” hat covers most of his appearance. His face has a sense of maturity with his lightly thinned glasses and an abundant amount of facial hair. But deep inside, Justin Hughes is a 23-year-old man exploding with ideas.

He has a sense of creativity and emotion whenever he utters a word. Hughes, a SF State Xpress writer for the Arts & Entertainment section, sees journalism as a fun and exciting opportunity, but envisions more in his future.

“I chose it [Journalism] as a major, but not necessarily a career,” said Hughes. “I still love to write. I come up with ideas that don’t fall in the category of Arts & Entertainment.”

His interest range from traveling to teaching to human rights to local communities. Last semester, he was a teacher’s aid in ESL (English as a Secondary Language) classes for foreign speaking children at the City College in San Francisco.

Hughes mentioned his trip to Thailand last December, and how he taught English to Buddhist monks.

“He has a genuine fascination of a lot of things,” said Evan Jones, 21, a lifelong friend of Justin’s since high school. “He has a creative drive. He really listens and understands the people he interviews.”

In the Feb. 7 issue of Xpress, he wrote about a Fresno couple’s art work featured in a student gallery. He talked to the curator about the significance of some of the paintings,  and how he interviewed the couple as they were setting up the gallery.

“I like the pressure. You get better quotes when you talk to them in person cause it’s more casual,” said Hughes. “You get a glimpse of life. It’s fun, and so candid.”

For Hughes, the toughest aspect in reporting is how any subject can be unfamiliar.

“If you cover anything, you have to research a lot,” said Hughes. “It’s very foreign. But again, the experts explain it to you and break it down to the basics. It’s exciting.”

After he graduates, Justin plans to travel back to Thailand. Justin could only describe the country as “so welcoming” and “nothing like it in the U.S.”

“Thailand opened his eyes. I see him doing a lot of searching,” said Ben Caragol, Justin’s bandmate in Hacksaw to the Throat, a 4-man death metal band. Hughes plays the drums and vocals while Caragol plays the guitar and vocals.

He also hopes to be a Japanese consulate teaching English for a year. He has an interview soon in Japantown, but he has already learned bits of Japanese such as kanji, hiragana and katakana.

“I definitely see him traveling,” said Jones. “He’s interested in South East Asia and teaching English to kids. He’s going to meet a lot of people. He’s hard to contain. He’ll definitely explode.”

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