Author Archives: caseybtodd

Story Profile 1: From the Ground and on

For Timothy Menzel, a Piedmont College life science professor, everything started in Piscataway, New Jersey. With the sound of music to the wide road and his precious ants, Menzel had two passions he wanted to pursue, and music was his choice.

At the age of 7, his love for music and nature became a big interest. “I wanted to be an ornithology professor,” says Menzel, “someone who studies birds or a music professor.”

Menzel’s love for music had taken him down the road to Stockton College. He studied music for a few years and started a band with his friends. “After graduating, I basically moved to the beach to play with my band at shore bars.” he said.

Menzel and his twin brother also played in a band while he was in graduate school. Once he moved to Georgia, he played solo for six to seven years, before an injury changed his course.

“I took a year off from playing with them when I hurt my hands.” he said.

Menzel never got a full diagnosed report on why his hands hurt, but does know it’s an overuse injury, tendonitis. “It just got really tired and I couldn’t hold a pencil,” says Menzel.  “It was from over practicing.”

His choice between music or nature became clear.

After college Menzel worked as a florist delivery manager for one year and electrical supply driver for another. He was full time for four years but only drove for two. Menzel’s boss would ask him questions about what he was doing there. “I had three things going for me,” says Menzel, “music, nature, and making a living.”

This didn’t last long before he got injured causing him to be bedridden. Menzel was hiking one day when he slipped on ice and needed to be helicoptered to the hospital, “I was unable to work for three months,” says Menzel. “It was kind of a low point.”

He spent a lot of time on the couch trying to figure out how to do things with his cast.

Menzel’s best friend gave him hope with reasons why he should keep going. “He basically convinced me to get up off the couch and do something with myself.” he said.

Menzel’s friend would set up obstacle courses in the yard for him to do on his crutches and forting streams. “He basically convinced me that I could tackle the world,” says Menzel. “I don’t know if I had, would it of not been for him.”

“I think if I were to talk to my students today about what they could learn from my experience is it’s never too late to follow some kind of path, but it requires belief in yourself and dedication.”

That didn’t happen for Menzel until he was 29. Menzel will continue to teach at Piedmont College helping to teach his students to keep going. “Sometimes it takes something like that to motivate you to see something, to see potential that you might not see otherwise.”


Hunter (Kari) Juday short profile

Hunter Juday is a 19-year-old education major sophomore who lives in Stevens country. She has a little sister, Chole, and lives with her mom and dad.

Hunter is a professional dancer and has been since she was in high school. She’s been dancing since she was 7 and now is a dance choreographer. She has been choreographing since she was a sophomore in high school. She teaches all ages ranging from 18 months to 18 years male and females both.

Her dance competitions range from ending at 11 o’clock to only lasting three hours. These competitions will take different routines such as solos, duos, trios and group dances. Hunter will compete in these recitals as well as watch the ones she has helped for their solo, duo, trio or group dances.

She’s studying education to become a teacher for high schools. She wants to teach at her high school but still teach dance on the side.

RR #4: Leading the Reader on & Basics of Writing

In leading the reader on I like how it goes into how a good lede is a lead regardless of how it is. There was a part where it says it’s worth repeating because you have to save the lede. I was interested to read how leads can change the way you go about the story.

The part about generic and dull ledes because it tells you that the reader will most definitely of already knew the information you give them.

In the basics of writing it gives you a more interpersonal way of how ledes can come across. The helpful hints in the book are very helpful, obviously, for the way it goes into a further perspective towards the topic.

The question leads were defiantly my favorite part of this section because it was interesting to realize how often this is used on us, especially on twitter.

This whole section went into a good depth of how to go into the forms we use most often without relizing.

RR #3: Building the Story, Interviewing

In chapter four I liked how they go into how not to have an interview right off the bat. I liked how the whole first part was based on a big example of how this one reporter was during their interview. I already knew a lot of what was being said but to refresh myself.

The section where it talks about when to stop describing I liked more in this chapter. I liked how they tell you even though it’s written beautifully and with nice wording you can, in the end, sabotage your writing. The section goes into telling you when to stop describing things, nonessentials.

This whole chapter had a lot on what to do in an interview setting as well as how to write without having too many descriptors to where it is unnecessary.

In the interviewing chapter of Filak there are a lot of tips and tricks. It has sections on where the source is one you need and how valuable the story. For me, this chapter was a lot of refreshing on how to interview so most of it I skimmed.

The section I did like was the helpful hints and how it was written almost how you talk to yourself. I am one to overwrite questions and have more then I need and end up not using half the answers to the questions. This section defiantly helped me understand that having precise questions are ok and are more needed.

The purposes for interviews was very interesting to read and see how people take interviews for a lot of reasons I didn’t even know about. I knew about fishing for quotes but provoking a reaction seemed almost unethical. I was always told you want to keep a story as non-biased as possible before getting in regions where it is very skewed.

RR #2: The Craft & Active Voice, Action Verbs

These two chapters were very helpful in terms of how in chapter five it was talking how to avoid wordiness. I feel as we grow up he all have learned that the more words you can fit into an essay, paper, or even paragraph the better. This section was helpful in ways of getting your head out of that habit. They give a lot of examples of how to take sentences and take out all the extra bits. It goes on about how to just keep your words as specific with lhaving less. This is very helpful for a reminder on how to write.

In chapter six I like how it goes into active verbs because all through my years I was never taught a way to keep what a verb was in my head. This whole chapter was very informative to how giving a better active voice and knowing what to use can impact your writing.

Linking verbs were a big one for me, so reading this part was probably the part that stood the most.

RR: #1 why and how good writing counts

I am not a good writer in terms of how I don’t know grammar well, at all, and it definitely shows. My teachers throughut college have made it very prevalent in telling me I need to see a writing utor, but I have nevre been able to understand or fully put across the knowledge that I do understand. It is also definitly harder to write in a different way then how you speak personally.

Knight puts it into a concept that is a bit easier to understand. He writes about the guidelines to develop skills for writing, but in my own opinion, I feel it is helpful for those who haven’t already heard these tips and tricks. The only guideline I had never personally been told about was the last, “use color when you can”. It was a very interesting thought of how to grasp the reader’s attention. This I will defintly be trying to put into action in my future writing for I feel the part about going into detial when it’s needed is defintly soemthing we don’t see often in writin.

I defiantly think Knight has a very good way of putting how good writing counts but I feel he should have gone into it more than just resting some of the most common guidelines.

Hi ​my name is Casey and here’s what I’m about.

My full name is Casey Brynne Todd, pronunciation is KAY-CEE BRIN TOD.

I live in Decatur, Ga with my mom, three dogs and two cats. I have moved to many places and grew up in three different places for each stage of life. First, it was Snellville, Ga from the time I can remember till right after second grade, I was around 8. Second, I moved to Lawrenceville, Ga for half of the third grade then moved to Auburn, Ga, yes there is one in Georgia as well. I lived there for six years and moved right after my freshmen year of high school leaving all my friends to start new in Decatur.

I have five older siblings who I have lived with briefly with each of them. They have a different dad but were still close and getting closer with time. I have a younger sister who has a different mom and she is honestly the best thing to happen to me because of shes just, so crazy but honestly the best to talk to.

I have three dogs who are very different but very much alike fo they are all ‘red’. Their names are Samantha, Sargent Pepper, yes from The Beatles’ song, and Dahlia. There are two cats who are very different for one is very old and the other is about an adult cat, their names are Jimmy and Dolce, and yes had a Gabbana but she wanted to be a wild cat.

I only have a few hobbies and it’s running, singing, and sometimes dancing. I have been running cross country and track since seventh grade and have stuck with it for I am one of those where my sport defines me and without it I’m nothing, but on another note I do sing, but only in the shower, car, or screaming loudly with friends. I dance in a way of just letting off steam and stress so it’s a fun dance but not actual dance.

I don’t have much planned for my future besides getting done with college to just go live and hope somthing cool happens.