While sitting in my Journalism 8 class this past spring, I began to flip through the glossy, haute couture-laden pages of this April’s Vanity Fair issue.  Our assignment that week was to simply read and analyze select articles previously chosen by our instructor, Saul Rubin. One of those pieces was an incisive and thorough examination of China’s efforts to serve as the “perfect hosts” for this summer’s Olympic Games.

The more I read into the article, the more I thought to myself how amazing it must feel to be a journalist reporting back from China during this crucial time in its already rich history. I indulged myself by imagining me serving as a foreign correspondent to a prestigious news agency while in China in this year. That little dream cloud soon faded though as I had to return my attention back to that night’s lecture.

Several weeks passed and the semester’s end was not far off. By this point any thought of traveling to China in the near future had become as outdated as that Vanity Fair issue.  However, that dream was about to get a refresher by way of Barbara Baird, my advisor on the Corsair student newspaper.

With my mind frazzled with deadlines and other academic anxieties that would overwhelm even the likes of Woody Allen, I suddenly and very unexpectedly get offered the opportunity of a lifetime. I had been selected as one of 20 students to represent SMC this upcoming October in China!

It was the dreaded Monday morning in early June leading into the painstaking final stretch of the semester. I woke up that morning with one pressing thought; I really want Corn Pops for breakfast. The first strike against that day was that indeed I did not get to treat myself to a bowl of Corn Pops. Rather, I had to jet off to the newsroom and complete my portfolio as my review with Professor Baird was soon approaching.

With my hands shedding strands of dried-up glue stick, I headed over to her office in the nick of time. I would’ve been stoked to have the meeting conclude with her giving me an A for the semester. Instead, it ends with a once-in-a-lifetime offer to serve as a reporter for SMC and the Corsair on this historic trip to China!

And just like that, my audacious dream became a reality in every sense of the word – not only because I get to go to China, but I go as a journalist representing a great publication, the Corsair, and an amazing school, Santa Monica College.  All this and I turn 21 while in China and visiting Confucius’ birthplace on that day!

All that comes to mind now is how grateful I am to SMC President Dr. Tsang and Shandong College for this almost unfathomable opportunity and a sigh of relief that I chose to be a part of two great establishments; SMC and the Corsair. 

Prior to this, I thought I had reached my journalistic peak for the time being by covering the National Grilled Cheese Invitational in Griffith Park for the paper. But now in a matter of weeks I’ll get the chance to see my ambitions take flight in China!

Suddenly, I don’t think much about Corn Pops anymore.