Javan Rivera



She went skydiving.

There it is. The single most interesting part of the interview I had with Natalya Sergeyevna Nizkaya, and it didn’t even make it into my profile on her.

It was near the end of my interview with Nizkaya. We were sitting there in her cubicle, talking about everything she had accomplished in her time at the University, and I was trying to get a better sense of who she was as a person. What better way to get to know a person then to discover what they consider to be their greatest accomplishment?

So I ask. She smiles, and I expect her to say something in regards to the incredible story she’s just told me about her time in Russia and how she came to America. Instead, she tells me about her friend’s desire to do something special for their birthday. She describes the events surrounding the idea of skydiving, how she and her friend were the only two to go through with the jump.

I sit back and think on what she’s just told me. It’s such an interesting story that, for a moment, I consider changing the perspective of my article so that I can include it. But then I look at the clock and see that 39 minutes of the interview have already passed. I decide to move on instead.

Later that evening as I was writing the first copy of the profile, my mind continued to wander back to that story. It was so out of place, such a random event when compared to the rest of my notes. The more I played with it, the more I came to realize that it just wasn’t going to fit with the focus of the article. In the end, it was left on the cutting-room floor, as the only thing I heartily regret about the article.

This story, more than anything else, has stuck with me this semester. Thinking about the sheer wealth of information that I gather as a student-journalist, and even what I hope to gather as a career reporter, is more than I could ever hope to include in my articles.

This surely isn’t something that’s limited to my own writing. The process of sifting through one’s notes to find what fits within a particular article is something journalists around the world do on a daily basis. So then, what interesting tidbits get left out of the articles I read every day? What simple, but interesting topics are cut or are simply never included in the stories that go up in newspapers around the world?

These questions are something that only those who’ve written the articles can really answer, but I think I’m all right with that. Interviews can be unpredictable, and I doubt this will be the last time I have some small anecdote that doesn’t fit with what I’m covering. Rather than fret over it, I think I’ll just write them down and keep them as unique perspectives on stories past.


Writing has been a part of my life since my childhood. Whether it was my obsession with a good book, or the little storybooks I would write when I was younger, word crafting has always been something that has drawn my interest.

It wasn’t until high school that I first began to write with any real fervor. I spent many hours writing fictional content in those years, and I believe they were a time of discovery for me. I learned how to hone my skill with the pen, how to breathe life into paper and ink, and ultimately, how to express the wonder of the surrounding world through the marvelously expressive English language.

I did not discover my desire to craft stories based on real happenings until I began attending the University of Utah. I first came to the U in fall of 2009, and beyond a shadow of a doubt I knew I was going to become a novelist. That is, until I took my first English course. While I could never condemn the works of Shakespeare or Twain, it quickly became apparent to me that what I was learning would never be practical for the life I wanted.

So began my search for a major that would allow me to combine my love of writing with a career path that I could genuinely enjoy. It didn’t take me long to discover the journalism track at the U. At 20 years of age, my life is just beginning. I look to a future in which I desire to write and gain further knowledge to improve that writing.

The majority of my work this semester is related to my courses, but as I pursue a new opportunity at The Daily Utah Chronicle this semester, I hope to continue to practice the craft that I love.