J500 Media and the Environment

ABOUT ME, Ben Pirotte by bpirotte
January 20, 2010, 12:26 pm
Filed under: J500 Week 1

Sorry for the late post. As procrastination sometimes does, this came back to bite me.

However, I will now take some time to talk about myself to share with you all.

My name is Ben Pirotte, and I was born and raised in Wichita, KS. On a side note, I actually grew up entirely in one house, and about a month after I move out to go to KU, I get a phone call from my parents telling me they are MOVING. I had quite the attachment to this house, and although I was a little sad for quite sometime, the new house is very nice. (Of course they upgrade after I leave).

I am a photographer, and am especially interested in travel photography. My family is very interested in travel, and I have been very lucky to have been able to travel extensively already. Like many photographers, I have the goal of being published in National Geographic. To prove my photo-nerdness, I have a large poster of Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl” featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue signed.

With the increasing trend and necessity for our world to become more sustainable, with the nagging of my father to become “(at least) basically scientifically educated,” and because of a genuine interest, I have added Environmental Studies as a minor to my Journalism major. Hopefully, someday, I will work with the likes of National Geographic to inform the world about today and tomorrow’s environmental problems and solutions.

I am half-Mexican, my mom being full-blooded. I can speak Spanish pretty fluently, and am also interested in learning other languages. Since I studied abroad last semester in Florence, Italy, and Paris, France, I was able to pick up some French and Italian (sadly we did not take language classes). I would like to finish learning those languages, and pick up a couple more. The goal is 5 before age 25. I’ll include English in that list.

With my entire Pirotte family being somewhat in the medical field with 3/5 of my dad’s siblings doctors (including my dad), an aunt and 2 cousins that are nurses, my sister training to become a nurse, and 2 more cousins in medical school, it was somewhat difficult to break the mold and decide on Journalism as a major. Most of them might still be convinced I’ll end up in medical school. However, I feel that I can help people around me just as much through photographs and stories as much as sewing up a flesh wound or caring for a broken bone.

After I graduate, I plan on joining the peace corps to work in their environmental endeavors. I hope to gain incredibly valuable experiences and a new outlook on life, as well as expand my horizons even further. After that, who knows, right?

I’m excited about this class, and am ready to learn. Like I said, I studied abroad this past semester, so it’s going to be difficult getting back into the swing of things (i.e. my late post…) but I’m happy to be back and taking exciting classes like this one.


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