Pulitzer Prize winners: Violence covered in two different forms

The difference between the two is A & B, you get the same emotional impact but in one you get it faster than the other. Both Events happened on our home turf, and I think we have lost sight, that violence is happening here too. We are just better at hiding it.

A.   Winner-an essay type

The shooting in the church in Charleston this past year shocked many as well as Infuriated. I myself was not pleased to see yet another shooting in America, especially after one of them was at my high school. However, this article on this horrifying event was one that shocked me but also was interested to continue reading.

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah according to the article, wrote it with the intension of covering the victims and their families. However, instead, she decided to go an alternative route and cover the shooter instead. after reading this article, I still finished it confused as to how or why someone could do something so horrible, but having someone focus on it in so much detail, I think would be extremely difficult to do. It is a story, and journalism is telling all sides of the story, not just one.

I thought she did a very good job on researching the story and asking the right questions to get the type of information she was aiming for.

B.   Winner -a Photo type

This photograph was graphic. It was truth. And it was exceptionally well done. As a photographer myself,  just thinking about the critical aspects of this photo, It capture the attention right away, but as soon as you realized what was happening in the photo, terror strikes and the first question that will come up in your brain is…”Is this real?”

This photo was taken by Ryan Kelley in Charlottesville, VA at the protest where a car drove through a crowd of people. 

It has been a while since I have seen a photo this graphic and horrible that It felt wrong to be seeing it.



6 things to live by when traveling the world

1. Do Not Wear Leggings

The first thing to know as a lady traveling across all borders, is, wearing leggings as pants is just an American trend. It is not a trend in other countries nor is it understood. Of course they wear them to the gym, but that is it. Women dress for success and not for those around them but for them selves. There is a stigma with American women, and wearing leggings as pants, does not help with this stigma.  European women have truly mastered walking on cobble stone in 5 inch high heels with pure confidence.

2. Speak English

Most people speak the basics of English. So speak English. I know I catch myself sometimes speaking in slang and my good friend from Japan will have to slow me down and ask what I am actually saying. But don’t let language barriers stop you from getting to know other people of different cultures. I met a nice couple form Norway on the plane and we still stay in touch every once in a while, and it is very rewarding.

3. Research scams in area

When I went to Italy, there were a lot of people who would come up to you and try to get you to buy their bracelets. This never happened to me because I did the research, but, a friend got sucked into the trap. They got close enough that a man put the bracelet on her wrist and wouldn’t take it off until she paid them money. There are many many other scams, so be sure to look it up in the area you attend.

4. Do Not Be A TOURIST

This is probably the most frustrating point for me. After living in Ireland during the off season, I got to experience Ireland for what it truly was. We were able to connect with the people in the places we were because we tried to find out about their culture, and if you just ask, they will without a doubt share it with you.  A wood Carver in Sligo, incorporates his knowledge of Irish history and mythology into his carvings and asking him about it was probably the best decision.  We went Deep sea fishing, and the fisherman guide brewed his own Irish beer and had some for us to drink. There is a trip to experience a stereotype of a country or there is an open minded way to travel with lowered expectations and truly soak in the sunshine on the other side of the world.

5. You can lie

When ever you have someone ask you for your Passport, unless you are in an airport, or you were expecting to show your passport, do not share it. Just as if someone asks you where you are from, unless you have been talking with this person for a while and have established some sort of trust with them or common ground, do not give up the valuable information of being from America. We were told to say we were from Canada and to keep walking, especially on the street.

6. Be Confident

Confidence is literally Key. If you get one thing from this post, please let it be this point. I was walking in plane day light with a friend shoulder to shoulder, right beside me, around 6 p.m., in a nice part of town. A man grabbed my arm, pulled it back, I yanked it back looked at him while saying “what the *&%^$#” and continued to the restaurant to order pizza. But I will not forget the look on his face. I had a friend tell me once. “If I was stuck down town at night by myself in  a town I didn’t know, I don’t think I could do it.”

I looked her in the eyes and I said, “You would have to do it, and you would have to do it with confidence. ” Being a woman is not all shiny , and men can smell fear and they can tell when you feel inferior to them and that is not a time that you want to feel that way. in the case of a scary situation. DO NOT PANIC. and remember who you are and be confident.

Beauty out of Nothing

I am sitting in the library working on homework eating chocolate. I do this on a daily basis, but this time, something new and exciting happened. I look over my lap top and the crumpled up shiny pieces of what I considered trash, was neatly sitting on the table, in a crane like shape.

My really good friend from Japan, sitting next to me pulls out her ruler and begins to make paper cranes as though she was folding clothes.


“I get to my room and I have paper laying all over my dresser, but it doesn’t seem like trash to me, because I have folded it all nicely.”

The way she sees wrappers as having another life reminded me of someone else. Even when we feel as though all hope is lost, and that we tell ourselves that maybe we aren’t good enough to pursue a dream, God shows us a different purpose for our lives. He takes the wrinkles and makes them uniquely beautiful. He takes a chocolate wrapper and turns it into an origami crane that you never want to throw away.

Content out of Context

2017 had me questioning humanity. It was not because of who was elected president, it was because how people of both sides reacted and still react.

While scrolling through Facebook or social media of any type, we come across videos with a short sentence above. These videos are created to make your veins boil. The head line is designed like a wine glass to get the solid taste of wine directly to your pallet. They chop up a part of the video in a way that they take it out context just to upset you and make you feel a certain way about a subject.  That is not Journalism. That is twisting and controlling content to make people feel a certain way.

Our dependence on technology doesn’t necessarily help with this. We want our information quick and easy so we will look at anything and not look in to it further. We don’t care to sit down and watch a 30 minute news cast, which is okay, because I don’t have a television and totally understand. But, we should at least understand and be mentally aware of how easily it is to be manipulated by content and the way in which it is designed to hook us. I once heard a pastor say that when listening to any preacher, we should keep tuned in and not become brain washed or listen so innocently to the point that we agree with everything he says, because pastors can get it wrong too sometimes.

This is just like social media. Unfortunately, we should be aware of the consequences of everyone having access to our attention, and be careful who we give it to.

A vast amount of nothing

I want you to for a minute sit and think about nothing.  What color is it? Is it a color? Because when we are talking about nothing, we are literally talking about nothing. So, in the case that we are discussing nothing, we are actually discussing something.  Does this nothing have a color? Is it clear, or is clear so clear that it is white? The topic of God is as controversial as the idea of nothing.

Mind blowing. How is it that nothing could ever exist and come together all by the collision of rocks but yet a God could not exist? I was listening to a sermon about finding pleasure in God and not his gifts, but that his gifts give us a precursor to him in the essence of a person. We find pleasure in things that instantly satisfy and to many the idea of God is too vast and too overwhelming to even consider.

So in the simplest form go back to the first paragraph, and think about nothing and how amazingly overwhelming nothing is. God is everything, and he is perfect and holy and loving.

Think of the violin playing that one note that when played it sends a shiver down your spine into a moment of purity, happiness, and security. But only a moment, no longer.

Or the time you taste something so good, that you close your eyes, take a breath and for only a moment you feel satisfaction. But again, only a moment.

God is forever. he is a breath of fresh air that lasts a life time and hug that never loses its meaning.

God is all of this plus more for eternity. His love is not laced with false intentions. He does not need us but wants us. He died on the cross for us. This is my interpretation of a sermon and of what I receive from the scripture. Interpret it as you must but for one last mental picture, as I am driving through western Nebraska at the time of writing this, everyone always says that Nebraska has nothing.

For nothing, these Sandhills speckled with horses and gnarly trees against the deep blue sky, creates a beautiful scenery. A Beautiful nothing.

God is not nothing. He is everything, and he is holding his hand out to you waiting for you to hold on and trust in him.

The Voice of Treason


Some days I get entirely board with where I am. But at the same time, it is some form of familiarity and being comfortable with my location. On the other hand, however, staying in a place of comfort is not forcing a person to grow. So here I am on the road again. My friends asked me if I wanted to join them on a road trip to Valentine, Nebraska. However, my voice of “reason” was telling me to stay home and finish my homework that I yet again have not finished and put off until last minute. However, the other voice says, “Hey Syd, remember that time four years ago your friends asked you to go on a road trip to Scotts bluff to go hiking and you didn’t go, and now four years later you still wish you had gone?”

I think my biggest fear in life is not living it. Finding the easy, the mundane and the “normal” and listening to what everyone else calls the voice of reason.

Someone in my life is always raining on my parade and bringing up what could go wrong in my dreamer’s plan and they call themselves the voice of reason. But at what point is that voice of reason preventing you from doing something amazing. Completely chaotic, but life changing.

photos taken by S. Rose Photography

So on the road I am again ignoring the voice of treason. The voice that tends to keep us in our comfortable zone and prevents us from becoming the person we could be. Now please don’t translate this into going and robbing a bank. That is a whole different level but I am talking about spending time with people, going out of your comfort zone, talking to people of a different mindset or culture, doing the thing that scares you the most become the person you deserve to be.


Column #2 : Mattress advertisement or what?


We just got off the plane and were in a new place. We were in Portland, Oregon and we had just picked up our rental car.  Even though we were in a new state, it felt as though we had just stepped foot in a new country. It seemed to be a new breed of people than what we were used to here in the middle of the country. In front of us was a small truck about the size of a U-Haul. However, it being rush hour, this truck was in front of us for quite a while. My friends and I getting anxious and kind of bored, began looking for topics to talk about. It soon came to my attention that this truck in front of us was indeed a mattress delivery truck.  The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear mattress is well, a bed.

However, as we are sitting on the interstate I start to dissect this advertisement. There was something seriously wrong with it, but I couldn’t put a finger on it. It took me a whole 15 minutes to finally figure out the problem with this truck advertisement.

This situation should have innocently been a bed but instead they made it about sex, because sex sells. “but the woman was fully clothed!” people may say. But first of all, why was there a photograph of a woman in the first place? Have we really gotten to a place in this world where some people see a woman and instantly associate her with a bed?

If that is the case, then these people need to go get their brain checked and along with that, reality. She was blond, had a perfect smile and a white collared shirt with one button unbuttoned a little lower than it should have been.  It should have been an innocent advertisement but it wasn’t.img_3272.jpg

Subliminal messages are all around us. Not all correlate with sex. For example, the Wendy’s sign with the logo of Wendy, her collar says MOM in cursive. Even though the company denies this was intentional, it almost implies that the food they serve is food similar to what your mom makes.

A more sexualized recent advertisement includes two cheese burgers sitting next to each other and two female hands over the buns with a sexual innuendo. Literally, it is a cheese burger. You would make me so much hungrier and more likely to buy the burger if you talked about the cheese and what was actually in the meat rather than making me sick to my stomach with subliminal messages and sexual innuendos. It is 2018, not 1950.

Companies will market off of whatever they can,  but having a blond female on a truck of a mattress delivery company, is that not a little obvious and confusing. Even if we weren’t talking about selling sex and subliminal messages, how is that selling a product to those who do not speak our language and are visiting or learning the culture of America.

Just think, all of this just because of a photograph of a woman on a mattress delivery truck, but they obviously think it is more than that and so do I.




Opinions and boundaries

As a student nearing college graduation, I am expected by some to have a political standing on one side of the fence. While I lean more towards one side, and those who know me can probably guess which side that is, I refuse to stick to one side of the spectrum because over the years the spectrums have completely moved around, one president on one side  believes climate change is a thing while others do not. Well, I love nature, photograph nature and have seen the changes of climate change and believe in it whether a president thinks it exists or not. This is an example however.

The spectrums are different and the pendulum keeps swinging, and I will politically sit on the fence because I will not let boundaries rule over the realities of a belief that has been instilled in me.

This blog/column was written by Rush Limbaugh. I did not agree with his post because He is talking down to students who went through something tragic and every time another school shooting happens, every single kid, myself included will have a very detailed painful flashback of something no one should have to ever experience.

This column however, written by David French,was a little more soft spoken and less harsh at pointing fingers which while reading many columns and blogs about different political topics, it can be a go around of people pointing fingers rather than sticking to facts and soft opinions.



Spring Broke; but totally worth it

All Photographs taken by myself; S. Rose Photography, and are protected under Copyright. To view my website, please visit http://sydneynorrisportfolio.weebly.com


Nearing the end of college, two semesters before graduation I realized I spent all of my spring breaks working. Well, I decided to use that money I had been working so hard for and go to Portland, Oregon. Absolutely beautiful and totally worth it. The trees, fresh air, amazing food, delectable coffee, salty, fresh ocean air, wonderful company and can’t of course forget about my first Air B&B experience, made my five days away from school, one of the highlights of my final year at college.

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Day one, we arrived and the first thing we did was pick up our Kia Soul, rental car and drive in the rainy, cool Oregon air to our first vineyard. The owners of the vineyard welcomed us with a warm welcome and inquiry of our age and Driver’s license.

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After them seeing we were indeed above the age of 21, they were taken back that we were from Nebraska, but extremely friendly. They had beautiful property and gorgeous gardens surrounding the land.


Day two, we hit up two Vineyards which was a great experience full of yummy food and of course wine.  The First Vineyard we went to on the second day was Called Ponzi. They too had amazing service, beautiful land, and amazing wine.


The third day, we woke up fairly early and went hiking in the luscious, wet green forests of Oregon near the Columbia River. As we drove there, the fog was very thick and you could barely see in front of you. But, as we increased elevation, the fog begin to lift creating unique and fabulous lighting through the trees, illuminating the moss on the wet, brown bark and mud.  oregon 56

As we kept driving, we stopped at Multanomah Falls. This was the iconic waterfall you see in Oregon. There was a forest fire that unfortunately affected this area of the woods and mountains. We, without knowing, saw the falls the first day they opened after the fire.

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Day four, was the day I had been looking forward to since I was really young. My mom went to Canon beach 26 years ago and saw Haystack rock. Also the beach where “The Goonies” was filmed.  I found a sand dollar and was finally able to see the beach I have always dreamed of seeing. The sand creeped in through my toes, and I could taste the salty air on my lips. Had my hair been longer, It would have majestically blown in the wind, while the waves came crashing up to my feet. But, it isn’t. So it blew everywhere. It was not a stock photo worthy moment, which is why I stuck to photographing the land.

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