Autobiography: Glass Half-Empty

My life as a sports information director is overwhelming. And the graduate assistant part of my title sucks even more life out of me.

On a weekly basis, I write and self-edit 15-20 pages of notes that I’m pretty sure no more than five people have use for—and even some of those people don’t read them. In addition, I have to prepare a condensed, 300-400 word version of the same notes because the people over at the WCHA don’t even have the time to go through the long version. There’s no way people read the condensed one either, because they’re buried in a 30-page PDF of blatantly copy and pasted notes and stats from other schools. God forbid the team I’m currently covering plays at home that week—then I have to create a game program before the end of the day Tuesday. Add having class and schoolwork to that, as well as fulfilling random requests from fans and other people that they could easily do on their own, and you have a kid with no life. I also don’t have cable.

The fact that my work computer takes—after all that work—about two hours to get all this stuff online makes me want to spike it like Rob Gronkowski does a football. I actually did that to the computer I used last year (and it felt great).

When all my work for the week is done, I can’t even enjoy watching the team I do it all for: No cheering in the press box!

It’s been tough going from being a 21-year-old senior with at Minnesota to a 22-year-old graduate assistant has been a tough one. It’s a lot more work than it looks like and I’ve had to learn a lot on the fly. My parents couldn’t even explain what I do and I struggle with doing that, too.

It feels even worse when my high school and undergrad college friends text or call me expecting an immediate response. I have to control my emotions and (for the 20th time) calmly explain to them that I have a lot of work to get done. I wish I had taken a year off after graduating, but there’s no time for that when my family needs money with my sister going to a more expensive school than I would have even applied to when I was her age.

Though my high school friends from Massachusetts that haven’t finished college or are still job hunting make me appreciate just working and having the opportunity to go further in school at a low cost, there are the other people I grew up around—whether it’s a hockey/soccer player I played against who’s making it big, a New England Patriots cheerleader, or the youngest contestant on ‘Cake Boss: Next Great Baker’—that put me right back in my place and show me that I have a long way to go before I’m done.

Oh, and my name is Jake Ford.


Autobiography: Glass Half-Full

Hi, my name is Jake Ford. I’m a 22-year-old graduate assistant in media relations at Bemidji State University. The job I have is a challenging one and whenever I tell someone what is usually asked of me at work, they remind me ‘how much that sucks’. I go along with the negativity because it’s a job that isn’t for most people, but I really do love it. I work in sports—what more could you ask for? That’s not even a job!

I grew up in Massachusetts playing hockey (proud former WTM Indian, MassConn Brave, Springfield Jr. Indian, and Western Mass Blade) and soccer (Go Western United!) before high school, where I abruptly quit soccer for volleyball even though I was 4-foot-11 on a good day as a freshman. By senior year, I was a captain on both teams and had four varsity letters in each sport.

Because I was always the small kid when I was playing sports, I was in awe whenever I went to college or professional sporting events.

In college at the University of Minnesota—I still can’t believe I went to school that far away from home—I had the coolest job I could’ve ever wanted when I decided to go there: Live-blogging Gopher games live from the Mariucci Arena press box before writing recaps and my own instant analysis after the game. To do this, I got into games for free, went on trips, and got free food and team gear (sounds good to me—I made notes for my hockey teams from squirts through high school for free).

Getting to be around great hockey players on a daily basis and going to the bar or something with them after a game was a really fun experience and getting to fly with the Gophers to the Frozen Four and work at the NHL Draft at the Xcel Energy Center were things I never would have envisioned when I was applying there as a senior in high school.

My luck continued further into 2012 when my boss found a job for me at Bemidji State, a school I loved ever since I saw its men’s hockey team put defending champion Denver against the ropes in the NCAA Tournament in Amherst, Mass. in 2005. Of course, not many people from Massachusetts know where (or what a) Bemidji is—my best friend still pronounces it ‘Bejimmy’ unless I pronounce it correctly right before he says it.

My role at BSU is basically the same as it was at Minnesota, but I’m the go-to guy for all of my sports. It’s more work, but the work I do is more rewarding because I’m doing it on my own. I’m a cold-weather guy and I love Bemidji, which helps.

I do miss some things from home, but it’s being far away helps me appreciate the times I do get to go home more. I’m glad to be at BSU and am very excited for the future.


Autobiography: My 'About page'

Hi, my name is Jake Ford.

I am a graduate assistant in athletic media relations at Bemidji State University in northern Minnesota. On a daily basis, I make updates to as well as the Beavers’ Facebook and Twitter pages. I also make game programs, game notes and previews, arrange interviews, and take care of a variety of other responsibilities. The teams I work with with at BSU are the volleyball, softball, and men’s and women’s hockey teams. For school, I am studying English and this semester, I am taking a Weblogs and Wikis course–that is what this blog is for.

Before coming to Bemidji State last August, I went to the University of Minnesota, where I majored in sport management with a minor in mass communications. I graduated in May of 2012. At Minnesota, I worked in a similar role with the men’s hockey and men’s and women’s tennis teams while getting my feet wet with several other teams and at other events such as the 2011 NHL Draft in St. Paul.

Originally, I’m from East Longmeadow, Mass., where I grew up and went to high school. I played for and ended up being a captain on the hockey and volleyball teams there and was also an editor for the school newspaper and yearbook there.

Self-Analyzing AutobiographiesJMF

Note: I'd like to use the second autobiography, Autobiography: Glass Half-Full, for TIO.

In my first two autobiographies, the relationship I tried to establish with the reader was more of an informal one, where the reader may be a new friend that doesn't know much about me. Because most of the writing I do a lot of the time for school and for work is formal and doesn't allow to show any positive or negative emotion, I tried to write about myself and how my life has gone using both positive and negative outlooks. On the 'About page' on the blog I wrote for 'Weblogs and Wikis' class was a shorter version of these autobiographies with less of a perspective--making it look like something I would write at work for (unbiased with just factual highlights). These autobiographies show a little more personality.

My tone was the aspect of the writing that I tried to make the most different. The "glass half-empty" bio had more of a negative tone that came from the frustrations of my life with a little bit of mention of the positives. The "glass half-full" bio focused on how lucky I am to be in my position and how much I enjoy it despite what other people think of this. Put together, the general view is supposed to be positive. The first (negative entry) is supposed to show that I have some challenges and obstacles to overcome, but the second shows that I can put all those things behind me. That's why I put them in the order I did. The third autobiography was more of an outside look.

I think the stance I took in these autobiographies was to make people more aware of what my life is like and where I come from. It's possible that my story could help, amuse, or even teach people, but I included a lot of information that it seems people aren't aware of when they talk to me. I was going for amusement at first, but wasn't sure how amused people would be by hearing about my life.

The register/word choice I used for the first two was much less formal than I am used to using. It was more formal that a text to a friend (no swearing; more reasonable spelling and grammar), but less so than autobiography No. 3, which was more robot-like. I used the word ‘sucks’ in one of the first two. I couldn’t write about how I think certain sports teams ‘suck’ in a game story.

The sentence structure was close to how I talk—or at least how I imagine myself talking. There were some simple, compound, and complex sentences included. There were also both loose and periodic sentences. Throughout the page, I had more of an active voice because the first and third autobiographies (aggravated and monotonic tones) were more about getting facts across. The second one had facts in it, as well, but there was more description that allowed for a passive voice.

The use of rhetorical figures and tropes has become less frequent in my writing over the years, but there are still some there. Because of the style we use for writing for articles on causes us to specify what or whom we are writing about before we refer to it (ex: we always say Bemidji State University before Bemidji State, BSU, Beavers, etc.)

With only 500 words to work with, I tried to include as much as I could, but I didn’t delve too much into any specific details on one thing because I would probably write a ton about one subject and you would not know much about me in the end (defeating the purpose in a way). I included some specific events (ex: the Frozen Four and NHL Draft), but the reader can look up what those things are if the really don’t know. They also have the option to go on assuming it just ‘a cool sports thing that Jake likes’. I didn’t include any specific names because I don’t know if the people I would talk about would like that and I’d also want to go further into detail on each specific person.
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