By Rachael Kroot
The semester is more than halfway through, and I think I owe you all a few updates.
First, those tests I had last week? I passed them all with flying colors! So… I guess that doesn’t say much about my study habits either way. Procrastination vs. hard work, it all turned out the same in the end. Just trust your own instincts in grad school, and I’m sure you’ll be fine, too.
Second, remember the website Dr. B asked me to work on? If you’ve forgotten, that’s okay. Let me refresh your memory. My first assignment as Assistant to the State Climatologist was to redesign the website. I had pretty much free reign on the assignment. For inspiration, I looked at other State Climatologist websites to see what type of information and layout they used. I ended up splitting the page into different categories… “Welcome,” “About Us,” “MS Climate,” “Resources,” and “Contact.” Most of my time went to finding and formatting acceptable images for the top of the page. Beyond that, I had to make sure all of the links were up to date and accurate.
Third, I am proud to inform you that I have made significant progress in my broadcasting skills. I never wrote about my first day in the broadcast studio, but I have to be honest… looking back, it didn’t go very well. I discovered the first week that being on the green screen was not going to be as easy as I anticipated. Because of all my acting/film experience at Maryland, I thought I would feel comfortable on camera. What I didn’t realize, however, is that weathercasting is like improv. No script!
Working with no script is hard enough… but thinking about the weather, what to say, how to say it, how to transition, how to point, how to walk, how to smile, how to look at the camera and how to use my hand motions all at the same time is quite a lot. For those of you out there who think being a weathercaster is easy – I’d like to see you try it! Seriously. Get a camera and record yourself. You’ll probably be surprised at how silly you look.
As they say, though, practice makes perfect. It took me a few weeks, but I am finally starting to get the hang of things. No, I’m not perfect yet – but it’s nice to see improvement. It’s actually a lot of fun to study something with practical, tangible results like that. When I reach my second year of lab work, my forecasts will be posted online. If I am still writing this blog, I’ll be sure to share.