5 Things I’d bring with me to a deserted island

Imagine this scenario.

If I knew that I was going to be stranded on a deserted island by myself for an extended period of time, and I could only take 5 things with me, here is what I’d bring.

Note: this list excludes any and all electronics.


1.  Water.

This one is obvious – without water you die. I’d bring one gallon of drinking water and make it last as long as I could.


2.  Wheat Thins.

There are 140 calories per serving (16 pieces) and just 5g of total fat. Wheat Thins are my favorite snack because they can stay firm no matter if the temperature reaches record highs. I’d take a Wheat Thin cracker any day over a melted granola bar or a crumbled cookie. I wouldn’t have to hunt for food right away if I had a box of Wheat Thins.


3.  An issue of Men’s Health Magazine.

Men’s Health magazine is your ultimate guide to fitness, health, weight loss, nutrition, sex, style and guy wisdom. The magazine’s entertaining content would keep my mind sharp and occupied until someone comes to rescue me in a helicopter.


4.  A set of 20 lb. dumbbells.

Strength equipment, which is used to stay in shape, can be purchased for a reasonable price at places like Target or Walmart. I’d use the advice given in the fitness section of men’s health magazine to do various exercises working different muscle groups. Chest, back, shoulders, biceps and more.


5.  A knife.

A knife would increases my chances of survival because of its many uses. According to http://www.instructables.com/id/10-essentials-for-wilderness-survival/, a knife is used for the following: creating weapons, boredom relief, building emergency shelters (cutting branches), and cutting cloth for bandages (assuming you don’t have a first aid kit). I’m sure that I’d discover more uses through experience.


Other considerations:

– a Camalbak for water

– A rope or cord

– A signal mirror

– Matches

– A compass

-One change of clothing

-An axe, to protect myself and chop wood for a fire.

-A golf club

-A picture of a family member or soul mate

-Beans, kale, berries, cantaloupe, barley or fish


Going into full out survival mode means that the clothes on my body would have to suffice. I’d wash them every once in a while.


A friend asked me this question recently and it really made me think. What did people do before technology? They played cards, board games, wrote hand-written thank you notes and read books. Before clocks, the Ancient Egyptians divided the day into two 12-hour periods, and used large obelisks to track the movement of the Sun.

These are all good things that could crack the top 5 for items I’d bring on a deserted island.

What would you bring?


Northeast Nourishment

Spring Break 2016 featured new cities and new dining experiences


Philly cheesesteaks, red picnic tables, a pretty skyline and basketball.  That’s the common scene at the intersection of 9th Street, Wharton Street, and Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia.  This is where 13 close friends and I ate dinner one night last week.

With a fading sunset and the skyline in the background, several teens enjoy outdoor basketball at Capitolo Playground right across the road.  While the setting is pleasing to the eye, it’s the cheesesteak sandwiches that really make this spot a favorite among locals and tourists.

My Philly cheesesteak at Pat’s King of Steaks was probably the tastiest sandwich I’ve ever had.  It was definitely my favorite meal of our east coast road trip.  The combination of meat, cheese, bread and onions made my mouth water and wanting more.  I highly recommend dining at Pat’s if you are ever in the Philly area.



The famous Pat’s Philly Cheesesteak with american cheese and onions.

If you see that the line for Pat’s is too long, don’t worry.  Try Geno’s Steaks across the street.  Unless you’re not a fan of the best Philly cheesesteaks, you won’t leave Pat’s or Geno’s disappointed.  If you don’t like them then we can’t be friends.   Bring cash when you go.

To learn more about Pat’s, the inventor of cheesesteak sandwiches, visit there website http://www.patskingofsteaks.com.


While my favorite meal took place in Philadelphia, my friends and I explored our options in every city we traveled to.


If you haven’t tried pizza in New York City, you’re missing out.  There’s just something about pizza on the east coast.  It’s different than you’re typical Papa John’s, Domino’s or Pizza Hut (I like all of these places).  You have to experience it to taste the difference.

I liked the crust we had in NYC better than anywhere else because it was both crispy and soft at the same time.  This crust was baked to perfection.  Additionally, the Italian cheese on top wasn’t coated in grease.  So rather than feeling like collapsing on the coach after inhaling it, this pizza enabled me to continue strolling around in the Big Apple at a brisk pace.

While stopping for pizza in New York, you’ll find very large pieces to be filling.  One or two slices will be enough to satisfy.  It’s ready in 10 minutes or less!





Restaurant Reviews

Which Wich has a convenient location in Homewood and is also at the Summit.

Which Wich has a convenient location in Homewood and is also at the Summit.

When it comes to food, I like to compare some of my favorite restaurants.  As I choose my meals carefully, I think of every  detail that comes to mind.  The quality of the food is the most important aspect when choosing where to eat meals, but I also look at the atmosphere and cleanliness of restaurants, as well as the variety of menu options.

Now I’m no food critic, but I sure want to be.

It is guaranteed that I will finish my undergrad degree at Samford University in Birmingham.  I’m expected to graduate next spring (May 2016).  Thus, I will spend a good portion of this upcoming year analyzing and critiquing the area’s best dining options.

Personally, my favorite places to grab a sandwich and a bag of chips for lunch are Which Wich (in Homewood) and Jimmy John’s.  A new Jimmy John’s location has opened up on Highway 31 in Vestavia.  This spot is much more convenient for a Samford student like myself than to have to drive to the Jimmy John’s by the Rare Martini and University Blvd.

While Momma Goldberg’s Deli is another stellar choice in Homewood, I prefer to eat at Which Wich and Jimmy John’s for a few reasons.

1.) The bread

There’s something about the bread at Jimmy John’s that tastes better than the bread at Momma G’s.  It’s always fresh.

To me, part of the issue is that Mama G’s sandwiches don’t fill me up because of their smaller size.  Don’t get me wrong – Momma G’s still tastes great and their nachos with peppers are to die for.  But, the way that JJ’s white bread and Which Wich’s toasted hoagies taste puts them over the edge.  You get more for what you pay for at Jimmy John’s and Which Wich. My mouth truly savors every bite and I would choose them over Momma G’s any day.

2.) Menu Options

At Jimmy John’s, I usually order the #11 Country Club with a side of BBQ Jimmy Chips.  This combination of cold meat with a crunchy, tangy chip flavor is unbeatable.  The menu includes seven sandwiches that are 8 inches and 11 giant club sandwiches.  If I’m ever craving something besides the country club, I know that I have a lot to choose from.  Not to mention that the Jimmy John’s workers are freaky fast.  I’ll have my sandwich in hand within a minute after handing the cashier my debit card to swipe.  Truthfully, it takes about 30 seconds!  Jimmy John’s makes up for not having toasted sandwiches on their menu by their super speedy delivery.

Which Wich takes longer to get you your food, but that’s due to their unique system of ordering.  Common sense tells you that it takes longer to toast sandwiches.  Customers at Which Wich use sharpies and brown paper bags to describe exactly how they wants their sandwich.  Everything from condiments to veggies to cheeses and even dressings is listed on the bag.  All you have to do is fill in the bubbles and write your name at the bottom.  They’ll make it exactly how you want it.  I love how I have the choice of getting a hot sandwich or a cold sandwich.  Plus, there’s three size options for Which Wich superior sandwiches:  small, medium, or large.  The medium size of 10.5 inches is enough to leave me feeling satisfied and not too full.

3.) Atmosphere and General Cleanliness

I can say with confidence that I’ve never eaten at a Which Wich or Jimmy John’s that is dirty.  Each gourmet location keeps their bathrooms, tables, chairs and booths clean and up-to-date.  Jimmy John’s and Which Wich also give customers the option of ordering online.  Who doesn’t love the idea of ordering quickly using their smartphone or laptop while they’re tied up at the office!?  Additionally, I have the choice of eating inside or outside on the patio at both restaurants.  Momma G’s, however, doesn’t have room to eat outside.

I’ll admit that I can be a picky eater.  In my opinion, the right amount of mustard or mayonnaise can really make or break a sandwich.  I’m a mayonnaise guy.  I can’t eat a dry sandwich.  I haven’t been disappointed by Which or Jimmy John’s.  It’s a good thing that they’re both chain restaurants!  I can eat there whether I’m at home or traveling.  I consistently leave Jimmy John’s and Which Wich as a happy customer.  To the owners of both restaurants, I say well done and keep up the excellent work. They serve  the tastiest sandwiches in town.  I will continue to dine at both places for many years to come.

Cuisine Curiosity

I decided to make a separate blog post just to talk about the food in India.

Indian ice cream I tried at a restaurant in Delhi, India.

Indian ice cream I tried at a restaurant in Delhi, India.

A typical Indian dinner plate looks like this, not pictured is the bread, a.k.a.

A typical Indian dinner plate looks like this, not pictured is the bread, a.k.a. “naan”.

Curry and another dish at a restaurant called Barbecue Nation.

Curry and another dish at a restaurant called Barbecue Nation.

While on my trip, I had told myself to be open-minded when it came to trying new food.  This mindset enabled me to get the most out of my thrilling experience.  Over the course of the week, I didn’t know what I was putting in my mouth most of the time.  It didn’t always look appetizing.  Our group ate some meals at the hotel we stayed at, and other meals were eaten at various restaurants.

Several restaurants we ate at had a buffet style dinner, with foods of many different colors.  The bread is called “naan”, and it was served at every meal.  I never got tired of consuming naan.  What I didn’t care for was the spicy food that had a long unfamiliar name.  This was when I didn’t know exactly what I had been putting in my body.  Often, eating spicy food for lunch meant that we weren’t going to feel like eating for the rest of the day or night.  Eating the same thing over and over again made us feel sick.  Thankfully, I took as many stomach pills and anti-diarrhea stuff to alleviate my situation.  I never threw up, and praise the Lord for that.

I noticed how none of the restaurants stand by themselves in India like they do here in America.  Everything is connected.  I observed several McDonald’s, a few Starbuck’s Coffee locations, a Dunkin’ Donuts and Domino’s Pizza.  These popular destinations were the only American related places that I noticed.  I learned that they don’t serve beef in the Indian McDonald’s because cows are sacred to the culture.  A major part of the Hindu tradition in India is that most people are vegetarians. Thus, I really missed eating meat during some meals.

I looked forward to dessert every day.  The ice cream we had was like heaven in a bowl.  It was my favorite food that I tried on the trip, by far.  It tasted better than American hand-dipped cones or soft served milkshakes.  I’m not talking about the weird-looking pink splatter with beads pictured above. I’m talking about rick, thick and creamy chocolate ice cream.  AH! SO GOOD.  I was fortunate to come back to the states not having gained 15 pounds.

We avoided drinking tap water in our hotel rooms.  This was very wise, as the conditions for water aren’t as sanitary as they are in the USA.  We’re lucky we get to drink tap water here.

Welcome to India

You haven’t lived until you’ve been so confused by your surroundings that you stop asking questions.

I traveled with a group of 12 people from the Church at Brook Hills to Delhi, India last week.

To say that the Indian culture is different from America would be an understatement. For starters, the Coke cups are the size of shot glasses. Some kids have the skill to draw temporary tattoos on your hands. Every thing about India is unique in its own way.  Here are two main takeaways that I want to share about my experience on the other side of the world.

1.) The heat is constant It was after 2 a.m. Sunday when our group arrived at the Delhi airport. As soon as we stepped outside, I could feel the dry heat encompass my entire body. The heat never goes away, even after the sun goes down.  It creates dust, and this dust fills your nostrils. There’s no such thing as “fresh air” in India. Opening a window is like opening an oven and sticking your head inside. Also, it didn’t rain once all week. The people who live in India are simply used to the heat and accept it as normal. I was sweating bullets walking around the villages and slum areas. Wearing dry-fit shirts each day was an excellent idea!

2.) Cars can fit in really tight spaces Of all the things that were a culture shock, the way that people drive is what stood out the most to me. The fact that people drive on the left side of the road there came as no surprise, however, other observations had me baffled beyond reason. What I did not expect was the utter chaos that ensued on the roads at all times of the day. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it.  It is a known fact that despite the chaotic driving, they have fewer accidents in India than we do here in the USA. Driving in India is like playing one continuous game of dodge ball with all kinds of people, cars and animals. Traffic laws are simply not enforced in India the way that they are required in America. The speed limit signs and narrow lane lines are just suggestions.

Next, the red lights are optional. Some members of our team loved the thrill of riding in cars that sped up at every opportunity, weaving in and out of traffic like a knife through butter. Others of us, such as myself, almost had a mini heart attack with every close call and sharp right turn. I saw fourteen year-olds riding on motorcycles. I saw animals not only walking on the side of the road but strutting in the MIDDLE of the street. These animals included cows, horses, goats, pigs, water buffalos, and many village dogs that run around eating trash. I even spotted a few camels here and there. Travel to India and you’ll experience a mix of motorcycles, cars and bikes dodging one another, swerving and quickly merging. And don’t even get me started on the horns.  People LOVE to honk their horns constantly, as a heads up for coming over to the other lane, cutting people off in traffic.  Horns honk from all different directions.

IMG_0461   Picture above:  It’s pedal to the medal in India.  This is how close the cars get to each other when stopped.

There is a first time for everything. My first time in India was filled with questions and curiosity. I feel more knowledgable after experiencing life in an unfamiliar territory. Jet lag affected us the most during the first couple of days. New Delhi is 10.5 hours ahead of the U.S. central time zone. While a lot of cultural norms were difficult to adjust to, I loved India. I love that it’s so much different than any other place I’ve been to. I would go back if I got the chance. Seriously though, there were so many cows! Who is in charge of milking them and where do they all come from? IMG_0401

I got this cow to look at me while I snapped a photo.

Thanks for reading! Chris

End of the semester marks the end of another eventful year

Well, that was a quick semester.  It feels so great to be done with finals.  I’m one step closer to earning my college degree.  As I get older, each semester of college seems to go by faster…

Two classes gave me trouble this semester:  Marketing management and intro to sociology.  Both required several hours of studying each week for multiple choice exams that seemed to have all correct answers!  I could hardly narrow it down to even 2 of the 4 or 5 possible choices.  But I passed these courses, and that’s all that matters.

Unrelated to academics, I experienced a lot of new things this semester, many of which have been the highlights of 2014.  Each day for the past few months, I’ve had the choice where I can either revisit old memories, or create new ones.  I discovered that creating new memories is the better option.

First, I went white water rafting in the Ocoee River in Tennessee.  This was a part of Campus Outreach’s fall retreat, during a chilly October weekend.  CO is a campus ministry that meets on Wednesday nights.  I had never been white water rafting before.  The water was cold.  Nobody in our raft fell out.  I spent time in the back and the front, paddling hard.  Five other guys were in the raft besides me, and we had one “raft guide” named Justus.  White water rafting was definitely a highlight of my semester that I will remember for many years, and I’d love to do it again!

Next, a memorable event that took place this fall was the Tough Mudder.  Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course designed to test all-around strength, stamina, teamwork, and mental grit. It’s Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet.  This particular Mudder was in Montgomery City, MO, about an hour from my hometown of St. Louis.  I had signed up for this months in advance, with 6 other men from my home church, Kirk of the Hills.  Some of these men are pastors who have had a tremendous influence in my spiritual growth, and I’m very thankful God placed them in my life.  I was the youngest one but not the strongest.  I ran and did pushups/pull-ups for prepare for the Tough Mudder.  Nine days before the event, I broke my left ring finger playing intramural flag football at Samford.  While I was bummed about my finger, I wasn’t going to let a minor setback keep me from completing the obstacle course.  I was limited in what I could do, of course, considering only having one good hand.  My teammates helped my climb over walls by giving me a boost.  I was very careful not to participate in obstacles such as the monkey bars, mount everest, and others.  These parts of the course could’ve made my finger worse.  However, running 10-12 miles was not an issue for me.  We trudged through mile after mile of thick mud.  It had just rained a bunch, which the mud even thicker.  I had to stop jogging on several occasions and walk.  It was more difficult than running on the beach through sand!  My entire shirt, shorts, socks, and shoes were covered in mud at various points of the course.  This is what makes the event memorable, the fact that even girls aren’t afraid to get there whole outfits filthy.  I hope to complete the Tough Mudder again next year, with no broken fingers.  Nevertheless, it was a highlight of my year.

The final new event that I participated in is probably my proudest accomplishment to date.  I did something that I once thought was impossible.  I ran the Magic City half marathon the weekend before Thanksgiving.

It was a rainy Sunday morning, around 60 degrees. I had trained with two of my close friends leading up to the race. Their names are Graham Lehman and Grant Schumpert. You should get to know these guys if you haven’t already. The farthest we ran before this 13.1 mile race was between 9 and 10 miles. We started in September, running 3-5 miles two or three times during the week, then increasing our mileage with a longer run on the weekend.   The key was consistency.

On race day, the adrenaline carried us.  I finished in just under 2 hours. I was in the zone!  It was a great run, marked by a hilly course through downtown Birmingham.  At about mile 5 or 6, my right leg started to bother me.  But, I kept going and only stopped once very briefly to take a sip of water. Pain in my right calf/hamstring area prevented me from running fast for part of the way. However, after pushing through it, I hardly felt it anymore.  They put a huge medal around everyone’s neck once we crossed the finish line.  We rewarded ourselves afterward by eating at our favorite restaurant, Mugshots Bar and Grill.  Mugshots has the best burgers in town.  I didn’t feel guilty about eating unhealthy that day!

Praise God for giving us physical bodies that we can use to glorify him. Health is something that I never want to take for granted.


This semester, I also experienced true freedom for the first time in my life.  I’ll explain what I mean by freedom.  I didn’t feel bound to anything or anyone, and it was awesome.  I was free to talk to whoever I wanted to, girls or guys.  I reconnected with old friends, some from high school, some from college, and will continue to make new friends.  I also felt free in that I can choose to do anything with my life.  I didn’t truly think about this concept of freedom before, because of two family businesses that I’ve been born into.  The family businesses are on my dad’s side.  I’ve always felt some pressure from the dad to work in the family business, even though he’s told me multiple times that I can do whatever I want after my college graduation.  My dad is a mechanical engineer, who worked for his dad, who worked for his dad.  He is the president of a company called American Pulverizer.  What my dad does is awesome, no doubt.  And he’s provided excellently for my family.  That being said, I’ve seen the generational patterns and I’ve chosen to go a different route by majoring in journalism.  If my dad REALLY had a choice of where he wanted to work, I wonder if he would’ve chosen differently.  He’ll say that he wanted to go into the family business, but my honest guess is that he felt like he had to.  Now, I wonder “what will happen to the business if neither me or my want to take over?”  I can’t predict the future.  All I can say is that I want freedom.  I want the choice of where I can work and live.  I’ve had my entire life planned out for me since I was a little kid.  Having my life planned out since childhood has not enabled me to feel free.

Life moves pretty fast.  Opportunities come and go in the blink of an eye.  I want to make the most of every opportunity I get to live life to its fullest.

Chris’ Thoughts

Goodbye, summer 2014.  Hello, junior year.  I have now completed my first week of classes to begin the 2014-2015 school year at Samford University.

I want to take some time to briefly reflect on what happened in my life during the summer months.  This summer brought a change for me and my family, as we moved across town from the house I’d lived in for 17 years.  I knew that I would miss our old house, the big backyard, and it’s convenient location to grocery stores.  However, I was also excited to live in a new home that offers a nice pool.  We never had a pool before.  I have my own bedroom and bathroom on the first floor, which I’ll enjoy a lot when I’m home for the next 2 years.  Change, whether it’s physically moving or going through a different stage in life can bring feelings of anxiety, fear, excitement, and anticipation.

In addition to my family moving, I death with a social change as well.  I attempted to move on from a dating relationship with a girl that lasted for about 2 years.  Breakups are never easy for either of the people involved.  But, now that I’ve been on both sides, I’d definitely say it’s harder being on the receiving end.  The person who does the dumping is more in control.  I was very devastating and heartbroken when our relationship came to an abrupt end.  Despite grieving my loss, I think it’s good that she and I will be attending different colleges this fall.  Many times I sat in my room this summer and I thought, “now what?  who do I talk to?”  I have no choice but to make new friends, I guess.  They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Besides my family’s move (which was only 15 minutes away), a highlight of my summer included a ten day mission trip to West London in July with a large group from church.  I have been a member at this church in my hometown of St. Louis, MO, since middle school.  Our group consisted of a variety of adults, college kids, and some high school students.  We stayed at the London School of Theology, which provided us breakfast every morning and a couple of meals for dinner.  While visiting religious sites and participating in a prayer conference with World Harvest Mission, I pondered why so many South Asians decided to reside in certain parts of England.  It was interesting because we interacted with more South Asians than white Europeans.  I was impressed by how clearly most of the people there spoke English.  This was the second time I had been to London.  My first experience occurred with a group called the People to People Sports Ambassador Program, at age 15.  I unfortunately didn’t take as much away from that trip.  I’ll remember much more from going a second time.  I was much more aware of the cultural differences between Europe and the United States as a 20 year-old.  I got to meet other Americans from cities like Chattanooga, Boston, and Baltimore, MD.  People from a mix of (American) churches were there for the same reason as our group.  I think that everyone should travel internationally at least once in their lifetime.  Traveling abroad forced me to step outside my comfort zone and I noticed how often I complain about food and things that don’t really matter.

News Critique Blog- Summary

     I had a few main takeaways from my assigned news outlet, which was CBS42 in Birmingham metro and central Alabama. Newscasts are about telling stories that people will want to hear about. As expected, the staff of CBS-42 only chooses to cover stories that they think people will find interesting. Some common examples of news stories included the weather, such as flooding, tornado threats, and snow, unexpected deaths, crime investigations, etc. My favorite stories covered murder cases and crimes. I just found these to be very engaging, compelling and intriguing. In my opinion, the writing in the stories was generally clear and understandable. I liked how all stories had a video posted first and then words underneath. The words helped me follow along while watching the video news reports. In each video, reporters were always at the setting of the story. This proved to be extremely helpful for a visual person like me to understand it better.  

     Mostly police officers were interviewed in the crime stories, and I thought their quotes added credibility to the articles.  Even if an average person on the street was interviewed in one story, I would be more interested in reading the article.  Quotes are extremely effective to stories and without them, the reader doesn’t feel as connected to what’s going on.  If the reader hears from a human being, he or she is more likely to relate to that person’s situation.  The professional journalists of CBS42 news did a great job of providing quotes for their stories and intriguing the reader.  

     The “special reports” section offered more interesting and unique stories besides the everyday news articles on weather and crimes. These special reports were usually posted once a week; sometimes once every two weeks.  I never found a boring special report.  For the overall user friendly scale, I would give it a 9 out of 10.  I liked the website and it was generally easy to find interesting stories.  Things didn’t seem to be too jumbled or compacted on the page, which was nice.  The simple layout appealed to me.  Furthermore, I enjoyed viewing the link to “mugshot of the day” under the news tab.  On a scale of 1-10, I would also give CBS42 a 9 for information quality.  

      When I reflect on what CBS42 did poorly, not many things come to mind. Perhaps they could write longer stories, as most of them were pretty short.  In some ways Other than the stories being short, I thought they did very well.  I wish they could do special reports twice a week or everyday.  I would read them.  

      One story that I thought exemplified the good qualities was “Blind Wrestlers Work Hard to Overcome Obstacles.” This special report captured my attention the most because it wasn’t a typical news story on a local flood or a man getting arrested for sexual assault. Two male teens were interviewed who attend the Alabama School for the Blind. Wesley Baker and Ryan King were both born blind, but that hasn’t stopped them from achieving their goals on the wrestling mat. Their wrestling coach was interviewed as well. As the reader, this story inspired me and I felt more of an emotional response rather than just being informed on what is happening in the areas around me.  Nothing stood out to me as bad, however, I thought the author could’ve added even more details and information to this story.  That being said, sometimes if stories get too long the reader can become uninterested.  It’s difficult for writers to know exactly how many words each story should contain.  I felt as though I understood what was happening with the blind wrestlers.  If the author added specific results of a wrestling competition with those two male teens raising a trophy, I think that’d be icing on the cake.   

     Another interesting story that displayed good qualities was the special report entitled:  “Is the texting and driving ban being enforced?”  The author interviewed a state trooper and a captain of the Hoover Police.  This was one of many stories structured by interviews and facts.  I could relate to this story because I have texted many times while driving my car.  It’s good to be reminded of the danger of texting and driving.  Again, the video at the top of the page helped me to visualize the story.  If there had just been the words, it would’ve been more boring.  

The stories I’ve covered this semester have been more intriguing than I initially anticipated them to be, especially the special reports.  

News Post #10

4/22/14 by Chris Griesedieck.


     Sebastian Posey wrote this story on April 21, 2014.  However, Mike McClanahan of CBS42 news did the live reporting from St. Clair County, Alabama.  I did not notice any sources cited in the article.  I’d say that the really important information in the story is stated at the beginning.  The location, time of the drowning, and everything I needed to know was said in the first sentence or so.  A man and his wife were on a fishing boat.  Somehow they both ended up in the water, and she made it safely to shore but he was not found.  More details followed on the police officer’s investigation.  But overall, I learned the important stuff at the beginning.  I would not say that this story was structured by interviews, considering that there was only one.    

     The investigators, desperately trying to find a drowning victim, were interviewing potential witnesses, according to McClanahan.  No potential witnesses were shown in the video, though.  Undersheriff Billy Murray, with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s office, had this to say:  “Well we’ve had varying reports of some people that may’ve saw some boaters in distress and then some people that weren’t quite sure but they did see something.  So we’re kind of deciphering through that now.”  This was the only quote used in the story.  I believe it added to the story because a man from the sheriff’s office spoke the words.  If it was anyone near the lake, it wouldn’t have been as affective.  Police or sheriff’s are the right ones to interview in this situation.  It’s their job to search for the missing guy and discover the details of the incident.  I always like hearing what police have to say because they do their best to keep our country safe and protected.  They want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again, if there’s anything people can do to be more cautious.    

     I definitely thought the writing and speaking (in the video) was understandable.  No big words were used that I didn’t understand.  The reporter’s confidence and appropriate tone/volume of voice made it clear for me to know what he was saying.  I did not think that the story was in favor of a particular side.  It seemed pretty balanced to me.  Also, it helps me whenever there is a video because I’m a visual learner.  It helps me picture the scene as I get a clear idea of where the incident took place, when, etc.  McClanahan reported the facts and Posey wrote down the facts.  I know that McClanahan’s conclusions were supported by facts as he often said:  “investigators say…”  One fact that he said was the river’s depths range from 6-60 feet, at various parts.  The search will continue and more will come on this story later, if they find the man.  

Reflection of PR Group Presentation

First, I had to ask myself the same question they asked us at the beginning:  what really is PR??  I had an idea, but couldn’t exactly put it into words.  All I knew was pretty obvious, that it’s relating/communicating to the public.  I learned that PR includes storytelling and  relationships between a company and its customers.  Companies have direct relationships with consumers through internet technology and the immediate reactions that happen through social media.  Social media is a more recent trend of PR.  

PR is a growing field.  Within certain job fields, a person working for a PR firm might make PSAs, do interviews, press releases, and a crisis communication.  While reflecting more on this excellent presentation, I remembered what Allie and Mary Margaret said about the necessary skills required to work in the field of public relations.  It’s important to have experience with social media and technology, as well as possessing knowledge on how to formulate stories.  Also, having good interpersonal skills are a must.  

While I’m not currently interested in the PR track within the JMC major here at Samford, it’s good to keep an open mind and learn about all the concentrations.  If I were to work for a PR firm, I’d probably choose corporate PR as opposed to agency, government, or non-profit PR.  Corporate PR most often means working for a business and the pay is good at normal hours.  Agency PR is the most stressful track.  An individual must be very passionate about what he/she does in order to work for a non-profit PR organization, such as Habitat for Humanity.  Salaries for non-profit PR are low, but individuals do something different everyday.  In conclusion, I was interested in what this group had to say about the current job market for public relations.  A local agency includes O2 Ideas here in Birmingham, where our class visited last week.  Regional PR firms are located in Atlanta, GA.  APCO Worldwide, in Washington D.C. is one example of a National PR firm.