Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Highlights Bamboo Collection for Annual Fall Garden Festival

For this JOU3109c assignment, I had to create a Practice News Release (PNR) for Kanapaha Botanical Garden’s annual Fall Garden Festival. This assignment was very beneficial for me because I am a Public Relations major and writing press releases is necessary for careers in PR.


4700 S.W. 58th Drive

Gainesville, FL 32608



Nov. 19-20 2016



Carly Rogers, Intern
Phone Number: (352) 372-4981

Fax Number: (352) 372-5892

Email: kbotanical@gmail.com



Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Highlights Bamboo Collection for Annual Fall Garden Festival


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Plant lovers unite! Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, home to the largest collection of bamboo in Florida, will host its annual Fall Garden Festival Nov. 19, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 20, 2016 from 10 a.m. 5 p.m.

The Fall Garden Festival features about 175 booths offering plants, landscape displays, garden accessories, arts and crafts, educational exhibits and food.

“For a lot of the nurserymen and growers around here, this is a place where they can showcase and sell all the things they’ve been growing throughout the year,” said Alexis Caffrey, Director of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

All kinds of plants will be for sale, such as bamboo, crape myrtle, magnolias, and azaleas. Twenty food booths including typical fair food, and Greek, Soul, and Vegetarian food will also be available.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages three to 13. Children can plant and take home a flowering plant, complimentary of Hatchett Creek Nursery and the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

Main stage performances are scheduled for an hour on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. On Sunday, performances are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 62-acre Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is the second largest and most diverse botanical garden in the state. Built around Lake Kanapaha, the park features twenty-four gardens, including the largest herb garden in the South. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is operated by the North Florida Botanical Society, a non-profit educational organization.

For more information about Kanapaha Botanical Gardens or the Fall Garden Festival, visit http://www.kanapaha.org or https://www.facebook.com/kanapaha/.

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A Deeper Understanding of Culture: Interview with Kruti Bhatt

For this JOU3109c assignment, I interviewed Kruti Bhatt, a classmate of mine, over the phone. After our interview I had to create a personal profile for her.

While visiting other countries, understanding its culture adds personal meaning. For others, sharing this culture is a large part of their life, whether they are traveling or not.

Kruti Bhatt, a 22-year-old student at the University of Florida, shares her experiences while traveling to India to visit family.

Bhatt and her family travel to Gujarat, which is in Central India, to visit relatives. There, she speaks to them in Gujarati, one the many languages of India. “My parents taught me Gujarati, but I learned Hindi, the official language, from movies and soap operas.”

While traveling, Bhatt was able to visit many Indian sights, including the Himalayans. “During my first trip, we went to a resort called Kullu Manali. We went hiking and there were monkeys everywhere, which was very cool.”

In India, it is very common to see animals, such as cows and dogs, roaming the streets. “As a kid it’s really cute and funny, but it is also kind of sad because the animals do not have a home. In India, it is tradition to leave leftovers outside to feed the strays.”

In addition to feeding the strays after meals, families will usually go on walks after dinner to socialize and help digest dinner, and sometimes buy ice cream as a treat.  “One of the biggest things I’ve noticed in India is that nothing is more important than family,” said Bhatt. “It is important that you respect your elders because it shows ‘seva,’ which is a good reflection of you [and your character].”

Festivals are extremely import to Indians and to Hinduism, and are celebrated often. “One of the festivals I was present for was Uttarayan, which celebrates the changing of seasons from spring into summer,” said Bhatt. “It is an outdoor festival and we celebrated by flying kites.”

In the United States, however, Bhatt and her family must celebrate holidays, like Diwali, the festival of lights, at home. “We try to go to the temple and we will put lights up around the house and turn on all of the lights in each room,” said Bhatt. “After, my mom will make food.”

Her favorite memory is when she visited the Taj Mahal. “It wasn’t as much as destination that was the best part, but the journey. There was a great field we had to walk through to get there,” she recalled. “There were many restrictions I didn’t understand [because I was young] at the time, but it was very memorable and beautiful.”

Bhatt has taken two trips, one at age seven and the other at age 12, and a third is being planned for this summer. Although it has been awhile since Bhatt has been to India, her excitement to return grows larger with time. “I have a lot of love for the country and I cannot wait to go back,” said Bhatt. “There is so much more I have to discover.”

Gainesville Construction Worker Accidentally Shoots Himself in the Chest

This JOUC3109c assignment was to create a news story based on the information given to us by our instructor. This assignment allowed us to practice this form of writing and to practice our AP Style skills.


GAINESVILLE, Fla.- Daniel Harper, a Gainesville construction worker for Lean On Us Builders, is lucky for the outcome of his unlucky incident.

On October 3rd, Harper, 52, was laying shingles down on a roof of a new home site when his nail gun jammed. He tried to fix it by gripping the gun between his knees and pulling the bent nail out. While trying to remove the four-inch nail, the gun went off.

“It was about a foot away and it went right into my chest, right into my heart,” said Harper.

Harper’s coworker, 28-year-old Jerry Reeker, heard him scream and saw him grip his chest. He immediately knew what had happened and instructed Harper to stay still as he called 911 from his cell phone.

“I didn’t have time to be scared. I just went into automatic drive and tried to get Daniel help,” said Reeker.

“He did the right thing by not trying to remove the nail himself,” said Dr. Terrell Walker, cardiac surgeon at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital. “His friend did the right thing by getting medical attention immediately.”

The nail pierced Harper’s right ventricle, which supplies blood to the lungs, and Harper went into cardiac arrest. “We closed the hole and his heart is strong,” said Walker. “His recovery from surgery has been remarkable and I was glad to be able to send him home to his family.”

“He’s super lucky,” he said. “I told him he should go play the lottery.”

Harper’s wife, Janice, said she’s really glad to have her husband home safe.

“It was a roller-coaster couple of weeks. First the birth of our grandson, then the agony of seeing my husband in the hospital bed,” she said. “He’s going to be a great grandpa, and I’m glad he’s going to be around to see his grandson grow up.”

Harper spent a week in the hospital before he got to come home. Now, he’s taking it easy at his house, and will be going to therapy to continue to regain his strength.

As for the lottery, Harper said, “I’ve already won the lottery. I’m alive.”


Tips for Online Students

I recently graduated high school in June 2016 and began my time as a Gator the following fall semester. Because I had to complete two full semesters online before taking campus classes, I decided to live at home for an additional year so I could continue working and saving money (and to spend more time with my family.)

I had planned how the next two semesters would go; which classes I would take, how much money I should save each week, and how I should spend my spare time. On paper, it was foolproof and I was excited to reach my goals. Unfortunately, this plan lasted for two weeks. My five classes dove headfirst into their curriculum shortly  after syllabus week ended. The workload was tolerable at first, but my work hours doubled because I became one of the top performing employees, and it soon because more difficult to complete tasks and assignments.

Thankfully, I did well last semester, but I didn’t meet the goals I had originally set for myself. My first semester online was a wake-up call and I now understand the misconceptions and issues with online classes, and I have the tips to help overcome them.

1. Understand that online classes are not as easy as you think.

Many people are under the impression that online students have it easier than students on campus because they don’t have to attend classes in person. In fact, I was (and still am) spending hours on my laptop each day of the week. From the time I got home from work to almost midnight I was up completing assignments. It wasn’t the difficulty of the work that I struggled with, but the actual amount of the work that had to be done. Online classes are very time consuming.

Before even signing up for classes, realistically plan out what you are capable of doing each week. My mistake was biting off more than I could chew and thinking that I could turn myself into in the Leslie Knope of online education. I did not factor in other events that would take time away from my classes, such as assignments that are more work than they seem or having to take a break every now and then to stay sane.

As a rule of thumb, make sure that you set aside at least three hours of study time for each credit you are taking. For example, because I was taking 18 credits last semester, I should plan to do classes for 54 hours each week of that semester. I would even recommend to give yourself more time than you think. If you didn’t need the extra time, you can now use it for something enjoyable. If you did use the extra time, then at least you weren’t stressing about needing more time to begin with.

2. Effectively sort your priorities.

Learn how to manage your time wisely. It is extremely tempting to  watch another episode on Netflix or to go out on a Friday night instead of doing homework, but in the end, this decision could cause you to fail a quiz because you didn’t spend enough time studying.

I would become so distracted watching online lectures and would go on other sites while they were playing. By the time the lecture was over, I realized that I hadn’t learned anything and would have to re-watch it, wasting an hour and a half of my time. As an online student, you must buckle down and stop procrastinating. Remember to stay motivated and to stay focused on your tasks and goals.

Buy an agenda and actually use it! Creating your own highlighter system and keeping track of deadlines and assignments gives you a calendar view of your workload and helps divide it among the days. Keeping your agenda, workspace, and mind organized allows you to focus better.

3. Know that missing or failing an assignment isn’t the end of the world.

You will miss or fail an assignment. This is a fact. It happens to every student at least once. That being said, try to move on from it. Realize what you did wrong, and learn from the experience. Crying or breaking down will only lead you to feel worse about yourself. There are almost always more assignments to complete, and you will be able to bring your grade up. Make sure you do any extra credit assignments your professor offers because that could be the one thing that separates a B+ from an A-.

Things can get hectic and you often wind up turning in assignments hours before their due date, which is also fine. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

4. Reward yourself.

In addition to factoring in extra time to do assignments, make sure set aside time to take a quick break. If you do not take breaks, you wind up wasting more time because you will get distracted while doing your work. Taking a 10-20 minute break every hour or after completing a large task allows you to be as productive as possible without burning out. Taking a break could mean scrolling through Twitter, eating a snack, or even taking a shower.

5. Remember to take care of yourself.

This is probably the most important piece of advice. Even though it is important to stay on-top of your assignments, you must take care of yourself first. If you feel it is necessary, put a hold on your work to take a bath or a walk around the block. Lie down for a few minutes. Call your best friend.

Getting sufficient sleep is important. Sometimes you have to close your laptop and recharge yourself. Assignments can wait, but your health cannot. Making money is important, but if you have to ask your manager for less hours so you can get back on track, do not feel guilty. Remember that you are more important than any assignment or grade will ever be.

Sometimes it is hard remembering to do these things. Believe me, I ought take my own advice. I hope these tips help you out! If you would like to contact me for additional help or have your own advice to share, don’t be afraid to contact me!