Author Archives: patricehendrix

Honors College Pre-graduation Reception

By Patrice Hendrix

The MSU Honors College had their pre-graduation reception on Friday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Breslin Center. Graduates, friends, and family members all turned out for the occassion. There was a disk jockey, refreshments, picture stations and a podium set up for speeches from some of the graduates, faculty, and staff of the Honors College. 

There was a station set up with two world maps.  On these maps students placed sticky notes on the places in the world they have been and the places in the world that they plan on going to when they graduate. 

I interviewed a few graduates who talked about their career or school plans for the future as well as their immediate plans for graduation night. Nicole McGowan, for instance, said she was going to do a fifth year of interning with the Detroit Public Schools system and take a year off from school.  Then she said she would continue on to get a masters degree in education.  She wants to be an elementary school teacher.  She said that her only plans for post-graduation night would be to get some much needed sleep.  She would graduate this evening with a bachelors in communications.

I also spoke with Mary Welsh over at the Kellogg Center.  She is the manager at the State Room restaurant.  She talked about how fast reservations are booked, with some already booked right now for 2011.  She said that people would not be able to eat at the State Room without reservations.  Everything is booked up due to graduation and Mother’s Day.  Here’s the video. Enjoy!


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Dear Mr. Mandela, Dear Ms. Parks

By Patrice Hendrix

I did my first big story on the Mandela and Parks exhibit which is being hosted at the MSU Museum.  When I learned that the exhibit featured letters addressed to Mandela and the late Parks from children around the world, I automatically wanted to cover it.

Often times we may forget about the challenge of elementary and grade school.  We may have forgotten about those times when our emotions and thoughts were misunderstood or ignored.  As adults, when we think about our rights, our concerns, or any of our day to day issues, we might not be concerned with what a 8 or a 12-year-old might think about those same issues.

This is why I chose to do a story on the exhibit.  I think it’s important to be aware of what goes on in the minds of our youth because they are symbols of our future.

By looking at the lifestyle of Mandela and Parks, children can get a certain understanding of the progress we have made in our societies and in the world in general.  For me, it is about not taking for granted the freedoms that I have today and always being thankful to those who came before me.

A poem and a letter written to Nelson Mandela.

A letter written to the late Rosa Parks.

A letter written to Nelson Mandela.

This exhibit was important for me also because I greatly admire both Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela.  Since studying the life of Mandela and reading his autobiography, he has especially become a heroic figure in my eyes because in the heart of his struggle he remained true to himself and he continued until he got results.

Choices that he made lead to his being accused of treason in 1964, but even then his determination would not let him quit.  His life was especially a challenge during those times because as he said, he fought against white domination and he fought against black domination.

I remembered being saddened when reading his autobiography.  It was those times that crooked people infiltrated organizations that he helped put together, such as the ANC in South Africa.  There were people that Mandela considered to be friends or ones that he assumed were fighting against the mass domination in the country, but were only there to undermine him.

Mandela’s life story is a very layered and seasoned one of much struggle, but when I listen to his speeches or see his face I see a man of peaceful disposition.  I see a man with the type of genuinely good spirit that the world could use right now.

I salute you Mr. Mandela and I salute you Ms. Parks (R.I.P.).

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Writing an Effective Music Review by Rich Leigh

By Patrice Hendrix

“When writing a music review it’s important that you get plenty of personal opinion across.”  That line jumped off the screen at me when I read Rich Leigh’s article on how to write music reviews.  I was enthused because it goes against the heart of what I have learned thus far in journalism, which is to be objective.  My dream as a journalist is being able to write how I feel or how I see things.

Leigh said that you should thoroughly express what you get from the music.  You must be very descriptive.  You should try to capture how strongly or not so strongly, you felt about the album.

Leigh recommends reviewing three or four tracks that can capture the overall feel of the album.

However, I was a bit confused when about three paragraphs into the article Leigh said to remain “fairly objective.”  The entire article is on writing how you feel about the music, so where does the objective part come in?  He suggested referring back to earlier albums from the artist and said it was ok to add that you favored a previous album over the current one.  So when must the writer be objective?  Hmm.

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The Underrated, Timeless and Savvy Femme Fatale -Anais Nin

By Patrice Hendrix

The late Anais Nin, a writer of erotica, was a very liberated and phenomenal French author and diarist in the 30s and 40s.  I became hooked on the bold and beautiful writings of this woman while reading one of my favorite fiction writers Eric Jerome Dickey.  Dickey, obviously a Nin fan, quoted her throughout his book, Pleasure, a story about a woman in pursuit of an unhinged and highly passionate affair.

Nin was super fierce with her commentary on relationships, the world, sex, race, class and pretty much everything.  She said things in the 30s that some women in 2010 would be afraid to say.  “I can only tell you that my surroundings are me.  Everything is me, because I have rejected all conventions, the opinion of the world, all its laws.  I am not obliged,” wrote Nin in volume one of her published diaries. She is also known for making statements like, “Man’s vanity is greater than a woman’s -because his whole life is based on a manly cult of conquering, from the Dark Ages, when the one who could not hunt and was not strong died.”

To make a long story short, Nin is a favorite of mine because she was timeless, unapologetic for her views, and was liberated not only as a woman, but more so as an individual.

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Versed -Pulitzer Prize blog

By Patrice Hendrix

I chose to write about Pulitzer prize winner, Rae Armantrout, for her collection of poems in a book titled Versed, because my journalism focus is in the arts.

Armantrout is a poet and obviously a lover of the arts, just like me.  Her subject matter is similar to what I often write about, which are the unseen or far out things -be it the conscious mind or the universe.

Armantrout discusses the inner workings of the mind and a thing called dark matter which most believe make up the universe.  These topics are heavily themed in my own research as of late.  I have often set aside schoolwork in lieu of becoming this mad scientist who studies and researches the human consciousness, how it comes about, and what it actually means.

I often pen writings that could be categorized as politically incorrect and possibly wayward ideas about life.  Armantrout is said to have written her book in a way designed to separate us from everything we thought we knew about our own reality.

My reason for wanting to become a journalist is to put forth or review work that is similar the work of Armantrout.  The little I read on her book, Versed, has landed her in my shopping cart on Amazon!

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The Small things in Life Will CHANGE Your Life

By Patrice Hendrix

A Menu of Small Things by Brian Gerald is a highly imaginative writing that discusses how the smaller things in life create great change.  The article is laid out as a dinner menu with a list of starters and entrees as you would see on a restaurant menu.

On the list of starters, Gerald talked about how you could get rid of cable television, iPods, and other electronic devices that keep you disconnected from your environment.  He touches on things you can do for yourself and others that create change such as smiling at strangers, reading daily and listening to your surroundings rather than an mp3 player, just to name a few.

On the list of entrees, Gerald lists things like starting an herb garden, turning off computers for 24 hours, or hosting a potluck.

On the list of desserts, he lists the “one in, two out” option where you give away two things for every one thing you acquire.  Gerald recommended doing this for a month.

It is a cute and meaningful concept especially since we live in a technological world that seem to rule our minds and the way we communicate with other people.  The article encourages selflessness.

He wrote, “Don’t replace your iPod when it breaks, sell it if it still works.”  Most people couldn’t imagine life without their iPhones and iPods.  He makes the point that when you become detached from the material world you become more in tune with your surroundings and yourself.

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DNA Samples of Those Arrested

By Patrice Hendrix

I recently read a news article from a non-mainstream news source I follow.  The site is called  Blacklisted News.  The article Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest caught my eye and I had to know more.  Apparently, laws have been passed that allow police officers to take samples of DNA from those who are arrested.  No, you don’t have to be a criminal or convicted of anything, but if you go into police custody for any reason the law now says that police have a right to obtain DNA from you.

Supposedly, this law is going to help law enforcement solve more cases and lessen the chances of someone being wrongfully accused of a crime they didn’t commit.

Well I decided to do a little digging and come to find out some retired police superintendent in England made a sweeping statement saying that “Police officers in England and Wales have made arrests just to get people on to the DNA database.”

Apparently, 18 states in the US are already actively gathering DNA from anyone placed under arrest.

I must confess that this has me totally on edge, as it violates our privacy and gives police more power than they should have.  It is also frightening to read claims that police have an agenda to arrest folks just to get DNA.  Scary world we live in…

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