Byline Brag: September 20, 2017

Welcome to this week’s Byline Brag! I’m not super thrilled by that name for this series, so if you have any other ideas, let me know. Bonus points for puns and/or alliteration.

Today’s featured article is the profile I did on a Foothill college grad who’s also a DACA recipient. Community colleges and working class immigrant families are two subjects close to my heart, so the chance to be able to share this story with the relatively privileged readership of the Los Altos Town Crier consumed me.  It’s not just the best thing I’ve written for the Crier; it might be the best thing I’ve written in a long time.

Read more about Liliana here.

As for the rest of my stories for the week, because I poured so much of myself into this article—and because the Business section was small this week—Liliana’s story wasn’t just my favorite byline; it was my only one! But that doesn’t mean I just spent the week hanging out in the office. I covered some school events and brought my camera with me. I’m still not the best photographer, but it has been nice putting the skills I learned from quidditch together with getting to know the community that I’m supposed to be covering.

You can find my images of Los Altos High’s Green Team electric car exhibition and Hausner Jewish Day School’s Dinosaur Dig in the PDF version of the paper.

Oh man, it’s been just over a month since I posted. I swear I haven’t been lazy. If anything, it’s been the opposite problem. Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to in the last month:

  • Portuguese school started again!
  • I joined the board of the Silicon Valley Portuguese Education and Culture Foundation.
  • I traded in being a non-playing manager for the Argonauts for being a playing manager of the Skrewts.
  • I started coaching SJSU Spartan Quidditch.
  • I returned to NCQC after applying unopposed for the community commissioner position.
  • Oh, and the day after I flew home from the MLQ Championship, I started working at the Los Altos Town Crier as a reporter covering schools as well as business and real estate.

Phew, just looking at that list is exhausting. It’s mostly been the last thing on that list that’s been keeping me from blogging. I’m definitely writing, just not necessarily here.

It’s taken me about a month to (mostly) bury my impostor syndrome and get used to working at the pace of a weekly print newspaper instead of a purely digital publication, but I think I’ve got it under control. Mostly. I have moments sometimes where I feel like I’m punching above my weight class, but let’s save that for another post.

I’ve decided to update my blogging schedule (yes, again) and not let all this content I’m creating elsewhere go to waste. I still want to write two original posts a week. Those will be published on Mondays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, I’ll be linking to my stories in the Town Crier, and most likely giving a little background info on one or two of them.

Spoiler alert: I am pretty damn proud of something I wrote for this week’s paper. Come back Wednesday and check it out.

Barcelos Knows turned one sometime in the last month; I only know that because got billed for another year of owning this domain. A year ago I was struggling with unemployment and wondering if I’d ever make it professionally as a writer. I’ve gone from intern to blogger to reporter in that time, with a few relapses into funemployment sprinkled in there, but that mostly upward trajectory wasn’t all my doing. There was a lot of luck involved, but also the support of you, my readers.

Every time you tell me about something I’ve written, in person or in the comments section, helps validate me and what I’m trying to do with my life. That’s kept me going when I’ve felt like quitting, which has been more often than I care to admit. Thanks for sticking with me as I continue to figure myself out. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of your support.

My #MLQChampionship Journey, Day 5

You don’t force traditions. They just happen. They’re organic. A year and a half ago, I came home from Irvine after reffing nine games and all I wanted to do was see this face and eat a 4×4. I was hungry and it was convenient. It was the first time James picked me up from a quidditch journey. It’s become a regular thing since then.

I forgot how we got into the habit of going to In-and-Out whenever I get back from my quidditch travels, only that it kept happening. It’s a tradition now. I spent the whole day knowing that I would end it with my favorite person and a final #MLQChampionship post as cheesy as the well-done fries I ordered.

My #MLQChampionship Journey, Day 3

This picture is why I’m here.

I’ve written before about what a pessimist I am before my team plays. I thought that we’d be lucky to pull off a win against a great 3rd place team in the New Orleans Curse since we’d only brought 14 players.

I was wrong.

I took this during the gap between our sweep of the Curse and our matchup against the Night Riders. Okay, I thought, at least we made it as far as last year. At least we’re having fun.

Instead of trying to get a perfect photo, I captured what my team is really like. Ridiculous, but in the best way. As much as I wish they’d take me more seriously sometimes (like when I need them to fill out forms), I loved this moment. I thought that hanging the hallway, goofing off and sitting at 2-0, would be the highlight of my day.

Later on, the day got even better. This team went on to do more ridiculous things like start game two just wanting to have fun, only to lead the Boston Night Riders for 15 minutes or so with only 14 people.

That’s why I’m here. This team.

My #MLQChampionship Journey, Day 2

“I HAVE A BATTLE STATION!”

Some people claim beds when they get into a hotel room first. When I walked into the hotel with Miles this afternoon and saw a huge desk with outlets to charge all my electronics and their batteries, that was what I called dibs on. So I crowed those words and took over the desk. Gotta keep my spreadsheets in front of me and up to date!

Why? Well, I have terrible short-term memory. I could tell you what gas cost in December of 2003 ($1.74, btw) before I went to Portugal because I wrote it in my diary. On the other hand, I almost never know where I left my keys.

I can never remember who is coming when or where they’re sleeping, but I always know where to find that information when I’m asked.

And I get asked. A lot. Seriously. Oh so much. But it’s what I signed up for.