In my early years at Falconer High School, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to go off to college and that whatever I chose to study wouldn't involve math or science. That was about it.
I enjoyed reading and writing, even in my spare time, so I decided I'd try to write for a living and went off to study journalism. Now, of course, I do get paid to write, and I read emails, press releases and my own newly created sentences all day.
Since I stepped into the real world nearly a year ago, I've spent much less of my free time reading. By the time I get home, my mind feels like it has melted away into nothing, and I'd rather watch TV than read a novel or even instructions on how to make dinner.
Highlights And Happenings With Scott Shelters
When I don't read, though, I waste time watching pointless programs and dinner ends up looking weird. So I'm trying to get back into it, slowly but surely.
I agreed to step way out of my comfort zone last month and took on some extra reading. I read 15 stories from across state lines as a judge in the Pennsylvania Women's Press Association annual journalism contest.
A representative from the organization contacted me, stating she needed an out-of-state reporter to evaluate travel, arts and entertainment entries. I'm not sure how or why she chose me. Maybe someone from the organization drew my name out of a hat or struck out with the first couple hundred reporters on the list. Since a self-esteem boost didn't look like it would hurt, I took my selection as a judge to be a compliment to the job I'm doing here.
I read through each of the travel, arts and entertainment stories a few times until I selected my six favorites. Naturally, I waited until the 11th hour to write my final assessments, but I enjoyed myself and felt accomplished when I sealed the envelope and shipped the winners back to Pennsylvania.
Now I just need to pay more attention to packaging instructions at home.
Here's what's going on in the area:
Banff Mountain Film Festival Coming To Jamestown Tuesday: The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will stop at Reg Lenna Civic Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The festival is the largest mountain festival in the world and will be hosted by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.
The festival is a international competition featuring film footage on mountain, cultural and adventure subjects. Each November the festival takes place in Banff, Canada, where more than 300 films are submitted from around the world. Only 25 are selected to travel the globe to 32 countries and 350 locations, reaching more than 245,000 people.
The film topics include mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding, biking, kayaking, adventure, culture and the environment. For tickets, call RTPI at 665-2473, the Reg Lenna Box Office at 484-7070 , the Hollyloft Ski & Bike at 483-2330 or purchase them at the door. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $14 for RTPI members and $12 for students.
Open Casting Call For "The Real World" To Be Held In Buffalo: Casting directors from Bunim/Murray Productions, creators of the MTV show "The Real World," will hold an open casting call for the show's 28th season Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Bayou, 79 W. Chippewa St., Buffalo.
Casting directors will be on the lookout for applicants who have challenges living an everyday life; struggle with weight issues; were affected by a natural disaster; are products of home or alternative schooling; are followers of unrecognized or non-mainstream belief systems; are elite athletes; are recent graduates affected by the economic downturn; are involved with goth, emo or punk subculture; are members of a pro-abstinence organization; are recently single due to a tragedy; have recently gotten out of the foster care system; or want to bring the spotlight of the show to a cause, condition or social issue they care deeply about. They are also interested in cast members who worked hard to support themselves and move ahead in their lives.
Applicants must bring a recent picture of themselves, which will not be returned, and photo ID. They must be 21 or older by March 1, 2013, and appear to be between the ages of 20 and 24. (No, I did not make the second half of that last sentence up.)
For those who can't make it to the open call, applications are still being accepted via email. Visit bunim-murray.com/rwcasting for more details on how to apply.
7:30 Boys Member Places Second At Jacksonville Mixer: Shawn "Bama" Bingham placed second of 17 performers at the Coast 2 Coast Industry Mixer in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday. Bingham performed two songs from his new mixtape throughout the weekend. He did not place in the Miami mixer Friday night, but finishing runner-up in Jacksonville earned Bingham and the 7:30 Boys $1,400 in prizes from Coast 2 Coast. Visit facebook.com/730boys for more information.
JCC Uncommoners Announce Fall Musical: The JCC Uncommoners will present "Legally Blonde" in November. Pre-auditions will be held June 4-5. Final auditions will take place August 30-31. The show will run Nov. 2-17.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, call Scott Shelters at 487-1111, ext. 253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claire Stuczynski: 6-9, The Empty Pint, Southern Tier Brewing Company, 2072 Stoneman Circle, Lakewood. Admittance to the 21-and-over show will be free.
Blue Grass Jam: 7-10, Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave., Celoron. All area bluegrass musicians are welcome to sit in and play.
Derek Davis: 4 p.m., Bellini Lounge, Chautauqua Suites, 215 W. Lake Road (Route 394), Mayville.
Brian Hanna: 6-9 p.m., The Lakeview, 13 Water St., Mayville.
"A Cross on Calvary": 6:15 p.m., St. James Church, 27 Allen St., Jamestown.
Carl Wozniak: 9 p.m.-1 a.m., Murdock's, 100 E. Main St., Sherman. Wozniak is an acoustic cover artist.
Pressure Sensitive and DJ Jimmy Whispas: 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m., The Q, 104 W. Second St., Jamestown.
Springfest: noon-10 p.m., Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. Several area and regional rock and metal acts will perform. Tickets are $10 pre-sale and $13 at the door. Call the arena box office at 484-2624 for more information.
"Manon": noon, 1891 Fredonia Opera House. "Manon" will continue the 2011-12 season of "Live at the Met" high-definition opera broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for Opera House and Met members, and $15 for students. Call 679-1891 for more information or to purchase tickets from 1-5 p.m. today or Friday. Tickets can also be purchased at fredopera.org.
DJs Unlimited: 8-midnight, Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave., Celoron.
Big Leg Emma and The No Good DooGooders: 8:30 p.m. (doors open), Roberto's Restaurant, the former Fenton Grill, 2 W. Second St., Jamestown. Tickets are $12 for the 21-and-over show. Call Blue Moon Management at 499-9638 for more information.
Karaoke Contest: 9 p.m.-1 a.m., Murdock's, 100 E. Main St., Sherman. Murdock's is hosting a weekly karaoke contest each Saturday through April 21. Three winners were chosen last week, and three more will be chosen both April 7 and April 14. The nine finalists will compete April 21. The grand prize will be $300, the second prize will be $200 and a third-place finisher will receive $100.
Brian Hanna and Scott Horton: Steener's Pub, 322 Route 430 in Greenhurst.
The Winter Sounds, The Seedy Seeds and Color Bars: 10:30, Mojo's, 104 E. Second St., Jamestown. Admission will be $3. For more information, visit thewintersounds.com.