Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Diving into the Media Pool

So, I'm a very inconsistent blogger. Like any millennial (is that what we are called?) I have dabbled in blogging in the past. From live journal, to xanga, to blogger pages while I was traveling in college, I have attempted to share my few scattered thoughts with friends and family throughout my 24 years, but I have little experience in continuity and utilizing a blog for professional growth. This is easily one of the most valuable skills I will gain this semester.

Without further ado, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Liz Burman. I grew up in Arlington, VA, a large suburb just outside of Washington, DC. Prior to arriving at Maxwell, I graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, IN. I loved my time in the midwest and the community that Earlham provided. Earlham is similar to Maxwell in the close-knit environment and the emphasis on citizenship, consensus governance, and engagement. I left Earlham with a newfound excitement for service. Fresh out of college and unsure of my place within the world of civil service, I sought out work within the field of social work, knowing that eventually I would return to graduate school for social work or public administration. 

I moved to Rochester, NY and began work in an emergency shelter for runaway and homeless teenagers. This was the best, most challenging thing I have ever done. I learned more about myself and about the world around me in the 8 months that I worked in the shelter than I have at any other venture of my life. I learned that I'm a great counselor, that the world is not what I saw before behind my rose tinted glasses, and most importantly, that I do not have a career as a social worker. I learned that my passion and excitement to serve the young homeless people of the world is better spent in creating programs and making sure that places like the shelter in which I worked stay open than in counseling, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I finished my term of service as a tutor for a program called Upward Bound, where I taught writing, US history, and watched some amazing, driven young people create change in their own lives to make themselves better.

After I finished my term of service with AmeriCorps and moved to Syracuse to be near family and friends. I worked odd-jobs for a year, applied to graduate school, and volunteered within the community. This time was invaluable to me because within this economic climate, it taught me that I am never too good for a job. I made a lot of coffee, learned how to make latte art (I can make a pretty impressive rosetta at this point) I babysat, I hung clothing and stocked shelves, I did data entry, I stuffed envelopes, and I updated donor software for a non-profit. I lived as most Americans do, and I was fueled to move forward so that I can accomplish my goals of serving the poorest in our country and help them to break the cycle of poverty.

When I was looking for graduate programs, the biggest draw for me was the programs that fostered a strong community. I wanted to find a school with an emphasis on citizenship, working to create civil servants, focused on making real change. This is why I came to Maxwell, and every day reminds me that this was the right choice, that this is where I am meant to be.

This semester, I look forward to telling you a little bit about my understanding of Government 2.0 and the roles of social media in the development of government. I look forward to sharing the roles that media plays in our day-to-day lives, and I hope that you can get something out of it.

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