Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Your Career Starts Now.

JENNIFER MERRILL APPROACHED me on the first day of school during the fall semester. She told me that she may have to run out of class sometimes - she was pregnant, and morning sickness was unpredictable.

I told her to write about her experiences. She's 18, a freshman at TU. She doesn't know what she will do with the child - she is weighing keeping the child versus putting the child up for adoption.

Jennifer wrote a long, thoughtful piece. I sent it to my editor at the Philadelphia Weekly. And it is the cover story of this week's paper.

Get your career started now. Write, photograph and create videos for the Temple News. Join student groups like ED2010, TABJ, WHIP, Temple Update, the Templar, SPJ, whatever.

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Reilly Fies said...

This story is amazing. I could never imagine what I'd do in her situation. Like Jennifer said, she's pro-choice, but never really had to think of what that choice would be, until she had to make it. There are so many questions I'd love to ask her! What happened to the father? Is he helping her through this, even though he pushed for abortion? I hope he's being a man and staying by her side because it takes more than one person to make a baby. Even though it's not an ideal situation, it seems that her family is helping her through this. I'm from the Harrisburg Area Community College area, and I'm happy to hear that she moved home, for the safety of her and her baby. It was probably hard to leave her new friends from Temple, but I believe she did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my best friends at temple and she is truly inspirational. She is honestly one of the most genuinely cheerful people out there and her story deserved to be heard!

- Mary Penxa J1111 class

Naila Butt said...

i think her story is very interesting because as a freshman she is putting her studies on one side for her baby and it is very touchable that she choose baby over her studies. i still want to know about his man i mean is he with her or not and she is very lucky that she has friends and family to help her. i wish her good luck in her her life.

Amanda DiStefano said...

I know a few girls who were in her situation and I give respect/support to them all. Double points for writing about it. That takes courage.

Amanda DiStefano
(current Journalism and Society student)

jermar said...

Growing up with a teen aged single mother on welfare who was about the same age as Ms.Merrill when she had me, I commend her. I also thought the story was written well and appreciate her for telling her story and hope other young woman read it. However, as I read the story the cynic in me wondered would this have been news if she was an 18 year old Latino or African American woman? Would this have made the cover of even the "liberal" PW? Would the conservative like the Ann Coulters of the world pointed to it as just another case of minorites running amuck with their animal lust?

Kristen said...

When I read this I really struggled to reason why this is newsworthy at all?

Human interest, but I really struggled to see a point, I think it has done more harm that good
(why didn't she even mention contraceptives? with so many diseases ESPECIALLY on college campuses I mean it really could have made a statement but now I'm thinking it might have been a disservice)

Why are we trying to correlate being smart with dropping out of college and having a child on your own?

Why did the editor give the story no context? Was she an essay winner or something?

When I first saw the piece I was excited because I thought it would be provoking but I was REALLY disappointed with the lack of dimension and point to be honest. Why is this news for Philadelphia?

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

I thought the piece was very well written and heartfelt. It read almost like an extended blog post. I think Jennifer's words were both mature and honest.

I was extremely disappointed in some of the comments left in response to this article on the Philly Weekly website. Someone actually had the audacity to write "Are you so hard up for a story you turned to Livejournal for ideas?" One user even compared her to the Jonas Brothers.

Just because this isn't a breaking, national news story doesn't mean that it should not be published.

Sarah Fergus

Stephanie Klock said...

This story sends chills up and down my spine. I really hope there is a follow up. She already loves what she has created and unconditional love is all a child needs. I am rooting for her to keep the baby!!

jermar said...

I have read this story a second and a third time. I agree with everyone who says it was a well written heart-warming story etc..However, could anyone tell me why this is news? Anyone? Someone? I hope its not because shes white and upper middle class.

Geo said...

By the way, you do not have to agree with me ... on this blog, in class, whatever.

All I ever ask of you guys is that you state your opinions, offer support to your beliefs and then stand by your statements.

If you read the PW website with the pregnancy story, you'll find that numerous people questioned whether this was a valid story.

I encourage you to form your own opinions. Have your voice, and speak your mind.

This applies to class time as well, and not just my class. If you ever question something that someone says, challenge them.

Seriously, debating is more fun than listening to lectures anyway.

- Geo
(the teacher who loves to debate)