Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back to School

I find it funny every time I think an easy semester is upon me, it turns out to be the opposite. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to be done with break and I look forward to the endeavors ahead. The new semester will continue to teach me many things and it should put me in good position as I apply to the professional program

Monday evening kicks things off with my oceanography class. This is an interesting and laid back class and it appears that the prof will make the class enjoyable. I liked the first lecture on the history of oceanic exploration. Class is held on Wednesday evening too.

Tuesdays and Thursdays will be my busy days as I have International Relations and Photojournalism. I've always had an interest in world events and my International Relations class should further my understanding. A big part of this class is reading and analysing international issues in the NY Times. The lectures are captivating but my caregivers probably will dispute that :)

Photojournalism will be my big challenge but I'm optimistic that I will become a decent photographer. We'll be spending the beginning of the semester learning the technical aspects of what our DSLR's can do and then this knowledge will be put to the test out in the field. I'll blog some of my images throughout the Spring.

Lastly, there is my Current Events class which I haven't been to yet. We'll be reading several articles weekly in The Economist and getting testing on that. There will be team multimedia presentations but I'm not sure how that will pan out.

Well that's my next few months in a nutshell. I'll try to keep my blog current and 3 weekly posts sounds doable but I will see how things go.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Favre's Secret

Well tomorrow is the day that the Vikings can take one more step towards a long awaited Superbowl appearance! I'm hoping the boys in purple will be able to notch the victory in front of a raucous NeHere's a report from ESPN's Kenny Mayne on a special Favre secret Orleans crowd.



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Frosty Photos

Thought I'd share some photos my mom took of a recent frosty day back in my hometown. These appeared in Logan Adams's "It's Good to Be In North Dakota" blog. You can view them at Great job Mom!

I've been enjoying my last few days of break before the grind resumes on Monday. Hopefully Sunday will a perfect end to my break as the Minnesota Vikings face New Orleans in the NFC title game. The Vikes have had a stellar season and it would be awesome to see Brett Favre lead them to the promised land. I'm excited already :)


Monday, January 18, 2010


There are many things people admire about Martin Luther King Jr. but sacrifice is what I think embodies King best. He used his life to speak out on the worst injustice in our country's history. It dismays me that the color of someone's skin has ever been used to judge a person's character but sadly racism still exists. King set the standard of what our country's potential could be but he realized the long road it would take. His dream lives on through the generations and hopefully in my lifetime we will see a totally inclusive society.

Non violent civil disobedience has been a powerful tool to correct many social injustices. It certainly was instrumental in the civil rights movement of the mid 20th century. I along with my brothers and sisters with disabilities continue to use civil disobedience in our fight for equality. Our community must use this to gain attention of our elected officials and to give voice to the voiceless. I long for the day when we no longer have to fight for our place in society but until then I remain committed to doing whatever it takes. So when you think of Martin Luther King Jr. think not only of what he helped achieve but what he has done to inspire others.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Uncle Sam

We recently found out that our little black boy Sammy became an uncle. Sammy's brother Lucky who lives with our breeder Julie in North Idaho had five little girl pups. They are absolutely adorable and the spitting image of their dad and uncle.

The first picture is of our Sam followed by the proud papa. It amazes me how much these two look alike! The last two pictures are of the little ones. I may be biased but there's nothing cuter than a litter of baby puglets :) Thanks to Julie for these great pics.

By now many of you are aware of the recent catastrophe in Haiti. I'd like challenge each of you to make some kind of donation to the relief efforts. The easiest method I've found is donating online through the Red Cross. You can do this by visiting


Monday, January 11, 2010

The Truman Show

I was in a documentary watching mood this weekend and the vast library at Netflix fit the bill. After a brief search, I settled on one covering the life of President Harry S. Truman.

Initially I knew little about Truman except he succeeded FDR and ended WWII with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan. This particular documentary brought to light many things I didn't know about our 33rd President. Here's a few interesting facts I discovered.

Truman was a Missouri farmer and haberdasher who served as a military captain during WWI. Truman is the only President in modern history to not have obtained a college degree.

President Truman had a long courtship with his wife Bess and she turned down his first proposal. Bess was the only woman that President Truman ever dated.

Truman left office with an approval rating lower than President Nixon's but with the passage of time he has become quite a popular ex-president.

When President Johnson signed the Medicare legislation in the 60's, he gave Harry and Bess Truman the first two Medicare cards.

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. Digging into history has been a favorite pursuit of mine and it's great to learn about the rich history of our country.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Muslms In Missoula Project

During my print journalism class we were assigned several stories relating to the perceptions of Muslims in the media. It was quite interesting to gather people's opinions on this often misunderstood group in American society.

Our professor, Clem Work assigned us a final group project relating to Muslims living here in Missoula. The stories covered a wide range of subject matter and I was assigned the task of gauging the amount of knowledge UM students had about Islam.

The stories were gathered and placed into a blog that I designed. I would like to invite you to peruse the work that our class assembled for our final.

Visit the Muslims In Missoula Blog

I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about this fast growing religion and hopefully our work will clear up some of the numerous misconceptions surrounding the Islamic faith.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010


We've said goodbye to the naughties and ushered in a new decade. I'd like to wish you all the very best in 2010 and in the coming decade. May you be happy and healthy in the year ahead!

I said in my last entry that there would be changes ahead for my Mark in Montana blog. No worries about my blog ending but steps will be taken to keep things fresh. Starting this Thursday, I'll be doing briefer blog posts 3-4 times a week. This will make it easier for me to maintain my blog and at the same time allow me to cover a wider range of topics.

The other change I'm making is the end of sending out mass emails when I have a new update. This will save me a considerable amount of time with the planned increase of blogging. There are two alternative ways in which you can keep up with my blog.

Your first option is to become a follower of my blog. This means that Blogger (the host of my blog) will update you whenever I post a new entry. TO BECOME A FOLLOWER, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF MY MAIN BLOG PAGE AND CLICK ON SUBSCRIBE TO: POSTS (ATOM).

If you don't want to become a follower you can email me at and I'll add you to my notification list.

I recently received my fall grades and I managed to get a 3.76 GPA. I'm really pleased because I had some pretty intense classes this fall. My best grade came in my reporting class and it should help greatly as I apply to the School of Journalism in March.

The break from school has been great and it feels good to be free from deadlines. I've been spending time catching up on movies, listening to some audio books, and of course enjoying our Pugs. Time is flying by and soon I'll be resuming the grind.

This spring will provide a diverse range of classes but I'll still be continuing my journalism education in earnest. My classes will include: Photojournalism, Current Events, International Relations, and Oceanography. I'm looking forward to getting my camera out and do some shooting. Last fall left me with little time to work on my photography.

Well it's time for me to ready for bed but before I go I'd like to thank you all for your continued support. It's hard to believe that this project is entering it's 6th year and the experience has been amazing! Here's hoping that 2010 will be the best yet.

To be continued...