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Grant Turner: Morningside’s King of Naps (feature story

A group of prospective students walk through the lobby of Eppley Auditorium on their campus tour when they spot Grant Turner, a sophomore, napping on one of the couches. The student ambassador has to think quickly about how he will address the unusual sight, as its not part of the tour. “Well, as you can see, the furniture in our buildings is so nice that you can’t help but fall asleep on it.” They all awkwardly laugh as a groggy Grant pretends to keep sleeping to avoid any interaction with his audience.


Grant gets a quick nap in between classes in the hallway of Roadman Hall.

This is a common occurrence for Grant. He is the undisputed “King of Naps” at Morningside College. A number of students and faculty members have witnessed him in action since he has slept in nearly every building on campus. Not all interactions with onlookers were as awkward. “There were many times when I was napping in Eppley and I would wake up with a banana and a bottle of water and one time a blanket and I would wonder where that was coming from. Then one day I woke up as he was doing it and it was Orlando, the janitor in Eppley, who I think is one of the nicest guys ever.”

Turner is a sophomore business major who commutes to campus. Most students who live on campus go back to their rooms in the residence halls if they want to take a nap between their classes. Since he doesn’t have a room to return to he began taking naps wherever he could. So far the only buildings he hasn’t slept in are the apartments on campus and the Allee Gym, which happen to be the two buildings he has never entered.

Grant uses these naps to account for his lack of a sleepless night. “I have a lot of problems with insomnia and don’t get a lot of sleep at night but I also like, you know, not dying so that’s when I decided to nap around.” Turner has no problem falling asleep at night, it’s staying asleep he struggles with. “I am well aware that my habits aren’t normal.”

Insomnia is a condition where a person has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has a chance to do so. It is a common problem for adults, effecting nearly 30 percent of the population. The two most common symptoms are waking up feeling unrefreshed and waking up multiple times a night.

Turner asked that we meet to conduct this interview at his favorite nap destination: the couches on the upper level of the Eppley lobby. He says that even in the winter the lobby of Eppley is very warm and there is always music playing. This mixed with the general comfort of those couches makes for a pleasant napping atmosphere. “One of my favorite times to nap is during college choir so I can hear pretty voices as I drift off to dream land.” He also spends a lot of time in Eppley because of his music minor.

He says that a lot of buildings on campus don’t lend themselves to napping. The HYPR is one that came to his mind. “There’s too much noise and no place to lie down.” Another building he doesn’t enjoy much is the Walker Science Center. He described it as cold and hospital-like. Aside from that he says the all buildings have their own merits when it comes to napping.

Grant has been declared the “King of Naps” by those who know him well. Jared Martin, one of Grants closest friends, finds his ability to nap astounding. “It’s crazy. I swear I will look down at my computer, look back up, and he will be asleep.” He recounts one story of how while waiting for friends to be finished with a rehearsal in Klinger-Neal Theatre Grant laid down on the hard tile floor of the lobby and fell asleep in less than two minutes. “If Grant can fall asleep there, he can do it anywhere!”

Amy Carothers, another close friend, says that she finds his napping endearing. “It’s pretty adorable. I mean, you will just walk around campus and there is Grant sleeping on a tree stump.”

College students have a long history with napping. Research shows that napping helps enhance memory, learning, and motor skills which is useful for students. As the New York Time reports, some colleges go as far as to build nap pods for their students. But until Morningside invests in that feature, Turner naps wherever he can.

Grant, known for his ability to nap in some crazy places, remembers one time in the cafeteria when he closed his eyes for what he thought was a minute, but when he opened them again he realized his entire table had left him there and the cafeteria was closed. “They even left my plate of food in front of me!” He claims that that experience helped him to understand who his friends really were. “As much as I hate being woken up that was one instance where I should have been.”

He was also able to take a nap in one of the lesser frequented buildings on campus. While waiting for a presentation by the applied theatre class he fell asleep in what was being called the “solitary confinement room.” It was a completely barren room on the very top floor of Longfellow School Building with no furniture.

One of his favorite nap experiences was just a few weeks ago when he was napping in Eppley. “I woke up from my nap and I was surrounded by the ENTIRE college choir. I don’t know why they were there. It was honestly terrifying.”

Grant’s history with interesting nap locations didn’t start in college. Some of his other crazy nap experiences have taken place in the back room of a Burger King, at least four vehicles owned by Budweiser, the Walmart parking lot, a closet in his high school, the bleachers at a track meet, a river boat, and Mount Vernon.

Grant borrows a blanket from a friend as he takes a nap in Dimmit hall.

Grant borrows a blanket from a friend as he takes a nap in Dimmit hall.

Mount Vernon came about on a school trip he took to Washington D.C. his senior year of high school. The school put them through what he described as packed days of sight-seeing. “We would be out about town from 6 AM to 1 AM. It was crazy!” By the third day Grant had had enough. “So we went to Mount Vernon. Which was great by the way, big ol’ plug for Mount Vernon here. They have a nice little museum there where they have a theater that plays an informational video about George Washington. They were having some technical difficulties with the video and I zoned out. I slept for an undocumented amount of time.”

Insomnia is a treatable condition. Treatments include therapy and medication among other non-medical and natural options. The most important part of treatment is to determine the underlying cause of the condition such as stress or medical conditions.

For now, Grant will continue his nap quest as a treatment. “I’m not a trained physician, [my habits] probably aren’t healthy, but I’m not gonna stop.” He says that in the future he hopes to nap in the two buildings that he hasn’t been in to round out his nap tour of Morningside.

In Class Writing (Mall Explosion)

An explosion occurred at Mega City Mall Thursday morning resulting in two fatalities and a number of injuries.


The Mega City Police Department reports that at 9:50 AM an explosion occurred in the mall food court near Dairy Queen. Witnesses report hearing a loud explosion and smoke billowing through the mall. Reilly Mahorn, a nurse, says that she was able to take refuge under a table in Victoria Secret when she saw the smoke approaching. “This is my first time being part of an explosion so I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to make sure both of us were ok and able to get out of the building.”


The explosion occurred before the mall had officially opened. Mall security guard Engels Perez was near the food court at the time of the explosion. “The food court was pretty empty. Everything was quiet until ‘boom!'”


Aleigha Carlson, an off duty police officer was on the other side of the mall when the explosion occurred. As a police officer she decided to take control of the situation. “I ushered people out of the building. I was able to help push a man in a wheelchair out of the mall.”


Those injured have been transferred to various hospitals around Mega City. Hospitals have reported injuries consistent with fire and smoke inhalation. The Mega City Police Department will hold a press conference at a later date to give more information on this story.

News Comment (12/7)

On Tuesday the final work of playwright Sam Shepard will be published. It is a story of a man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease which blurs the line between fiction and autobiography because Shepard also suffered from the disease.

I believe this is a newsworthy story because of the recognizability of Shepard’s name as he was both a playwright and an actor. A number of people will probably recognize the name and be interested in this book.

I really liked how this story was written. I enjoyed the way that the author wove in facts about Lou Gehrig’s disease with stories of Shepard’s life and telling the story of how this book came to be. The story here was that this book was being published. It was promoting the book without feeling like a “hey buy my book” story.

I really enjoyed the lede of the story it gives some insight into the book while also giving insight into the articles focus on the disease. I also really enjoyed the final little paragraph of the story because it is a little uplifting, heart-strings pulling moment to end a rather bleak story.

Overall I believe this story accomplished what it set out to do. It made me want to read the book. I will probably go out and buy this book, even though I am not a book person, because the story of how this book was made and how much attention to detail went into the publication was so interesting to me.



News Comment (11/30)

My news feed this week has been dominated by the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle since it crosses over into entertainment news AND regular news. This is newsworthy because the royals attract a lot of attention and the fact that he is marrying a (and this quote comes from a different story than the one I am linking) “mixed race, American divorcee.”

This is not the norm for the royal family. “Important” royals are known to marry “commoners” (i.e. Princess Diana, Kate Middleton) but not usually Americans. Because of the oddity of the engagement, the high-profile position of Prince Harry, and the celebrity status of Markle makes this important to a wider audience that even that of the last royal engagement.

This news has been reported by all kinds of news outlets with them all taking different spins on the story. Many just reported that it happened like the Daily News article I linked to. The Washington Post took to reporting on the last time a British royal married an American divorcee.

My personal favorite was the Buzzfeed post that compiled all of the tweets about the engagement where my favorite quote of this story came from which was “Prince Harry is marrying a mixed race, American divorcee and you know that is just Diana’s way of giving the finger to the queen.” I really like when news sites show some reaction from the public in their pieces. Buzzed takes that to the extreme sometimes making that their entire story but when done well I really enjoy hearing snarky comments from Twitter, Facebook, etc.





Over Thanksgiving break, Dylan Ferguson and his mom were browsing the Walmart Black Friday ad. His mom expressed some interest in getting one of the 4K TVs that was on sale. In that moment Dylan decided what he was getting his mom for Christmas.

Black Friday is a shopping day that can strike fear in to the hearts of the most avid shoppers. Customers can brave extreme crowds to get the best deals on some of the hottest gifts for the holiday season. Dylan, who gets very anxious in crowds and always expects the worst to happen, took his chances against the multitude of bargain hunters to pick up the perfect gift for his mom.

At 5:30 on Thanksgiving Day, Dylan took advantage of his families lazy afternoon to sneak off to Walmart to obtain the television. When he arrived he had trouble finding a parking spot. “It was the busiest I have EVER seen Walmart.” The crowds made it difficult for him to get to the electronics section and pick up the gift. He was greeted by shouts from people he knew and even groped by strangers.

Once he finally had the TV in hand he proceeded to the checkout where he was faced with a 45 minute line. When it was finally his turn his card was declined. “Thankfully I just wasn’t paying attention and was trying to use an old gift card, so I was able to check out.” Once he arrived home he couldn’t wait to give the TV to his mom so he decided just to walk in and give it to her. She was very pleased with the gift.

Dylan had to return to Walmart on Friday to pick up some supplies for a recipe his family was making and to his dismay there were still TVs at the sale price available for purchase. He says that even though he could have avoided the holiday crowds he does not regret his decision to shop early. “Whatever I can do to make Mom happy!”

News Comment 11/23

The biggest death this weekend (and mind you there seemed to be a lot including AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young and former Partridge David Cassidy) was Charles Manson. Many news cites decided to cover this news. The first place I saw it was on the TMZ Facebook page Sunday night where the headline was “Charles Manson has died. We will refrain from RIP.”  Since I don’t really consider TMZ as “reliable news” I waited until today (Monday) to check “real” news cites.

The NY Times has 24 stories about Manson in the last 24 hours in a number of their “genres” of stories. I have decided to focus on the Arts section story about how he was an “Unhinged Pop Culture Figure.” I think this is a perfect framing of Manson. He has been a big figure in pop culture for my entire life and the biggest thing I know about him is that he was crazy and he could manipulate people in to killing for him.

I found this story in particular interesting because instead of retelling the stories that most people are familiar with they decided to take a look at his impact on Pop Culture. I find this very appropriate and timely as the newest season of American Horror Story which just ended had a VERY strong Manson Family influence, going so far as to reference the family and the Tate murders directly. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of the videos to supplement the text.

This is news worthy because of the celebrity status of Charles Manson. He has been a figure that, as this story puts it, “loomed large over America.” I mean, I was born in 1996, 30 years after the Tate murders, and I still know the exact story of the murders as well as all about Manson and the Manson Family because they have had a lasting influence. I can’t even count how many movies/TV shows I have watched (yes I have kind of odd taste in movies and TV shows I choose to watch) that haven’t in some way referenced the Manson legacy.

What I thought could have been done better in this article is they could have used the same length of article and had more varied examples. They have some very good examples here such as the multitude of books, the tie in with the Beach Boys, and the addition of the Opera (which I will be looking up later) as a more our of left field entry but I think they could have expanded into film and TV choices especially since American Horror Story, which I mentioned earlier, just ended.


News Comment (11/16)

This week I decided to do a news comment about the feature I found on a celebrity since we talked about it in class. This feature talks about Patti LuPone (shocker I know). It focuses on her current run in War Paint, her rise to fame, and her “famous” feud with Andrew Lloyd Weber.

This story frames her as having a “painful” life. It talks about all her onstage injuries, her career slump after Evita, how she couldn’t be type cast but also played a lot of *gasp* “secondary characters.” It was a very odd angle to take with her career. She is legendary for what she does and this kind of makes her sound whiney.

It also definitely takes the “she is just like the rest of us” angle as well. It talks early on about how she attended the interview in pajamas, how she doesn’t wear a lot of makeup, and how she is “vanity-free.” She didn’t want to play herself on TV because she is just a working actor. She has a kid and a husband and isn’t that so relatable, guys!

Overall I think the frame of this is a little confused. Maybe the writer was trying to take a chance and be creative with the framing to dispute the “diva bitch” image but to me it just made LuPone sound whiney.


“Watch for Gesture”

As an actor I always pay attention to a person’s gestures, body language, etc. because some day maybe I can use them as inspiration for a character. The place that I do a lot of this people watching is at work. This is because I get to watch a lot of people with whom I don’t usually interact. Also because I work in an office here on campus, I get to see how students deal with “professional” situations and questions. During my most recent shift at work I encountered three very different types of these personalities.

The first student I encountered came up to the window very calmly. She sat her bag down and proceeded to ask her question. The first thing I noticed was that she folded her hands and laid them on the counter while she spoke and stood up very straight. This made her come off very controlled and like she knew why she was there but it was also a little off-putting as the person trying to help her.

The second student I assisted was the type of student I encounter most often at work. This student was a very tall, football player type of guy who came to the window and immediately leaned over on the counter resting his chest on his arms. He was a little perturbed and threw his paperwork down on the counter rather harshly. He kept looking around away from the office as if he was waiting for anyone to come save him from this interaction. He obviously wanted to be anywhere else at this time.

Finally, I encountered the very nervous student type. This person who came to the window talked very fast and gestured wildly. When I went to help her I noticed she was constantly tapping her fingers on the counter and when she wasn’t doing that I could see her wildly bouncing her heels. He posture was very tense and once the situation was resolved I immediately saw her relax.


Story #3 (Broadcast Story) Script

Good evening, I’m Joey Volquartsen and here are this week’s top stories.


The Morningside College Department or Performing Arts presents The Princess and the Pea. The Department of Performing Arts has a long tradition of presenting a show aimed at a young audience. Their offering this year was The Princess and the Pea written by Stan Gill. The group of actors performed 7 sold-out matinees for local schools as well as 2 public performances. Khiana Hume, a freshman student who played Princess Hannah is making her Morningside Theatre debut in this show. “It’s a fun atmosphere, different from high school. Everybody is so welcoming.” This children’s show is always a hit with local schools usually selling out the performances a year in advance.


Fans of the Disney Classic “The Lion King” were treated to some exciting casting news about the upcoming live action remake. On November 1st, The New York Times reported the full cast of the Lion King. The cast will be lead by box office favorites Donald Glover and James Earl Jones along with Beyonce, John Oliver, and Seth Rogan. Fans of the original movie are confused about how this movie will turn out. Morningside junior Amy Carothers says that she doesn’t know how the movie will turn out. “I’m a little confused about how they’re going to do it ‘live action’ because, you know, lions.” This movie comes in a long line of Disney live-action remakes that have relied on visual effects, such as The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.


Twitter reported on Thursday that the person responsible for deactivating the Presidents Twitter account was a contractor. On November 2nd, President Donald Trumps Twitter account was deactivated by the company for 11 minutes. It was original reported that the stunt was pulled by a rogue customer support employee on his last day on the job but the New York Times reported on Friday that a contractor was actually responsible for the deactivation. The schemer was hailed as a hero on social media by everyone from everyday people to celebrities like Kathy Griffin who offered the one responsible a job via her own Twitter. Many people, like Morningside sophomore Grant Turner, agree that though this was a great protest it is a fireable offense. “I’m sure that whomever deleted Trump’s account had intentions of helping in some way, but that was most certainly a fireable offense.” A representative for Twitter has said that a full investigation into this stunt is under way.

News Comment (November 9)

A really interesting story has been developing over the last weekend about the deactivation of Donald Trump’s Twitter account for 11 minutes on Thursday (November 2nd). I saw this story right after I posted last weeks news comment and I wished I had covered it then but I didn’t so now I am doing it for this week causing me to post my news comment early.

The story I have linked to is more of an overall reporting of the situation from the NY Times the day after they originally reported it. In just the 24 hours they had reported that it was deactivated, that an employee on his final day was responsible, and that it was actually a contractor who was responsible. I am now glad that I did put off using this story as a news comment because I think its an interesting look in to how major news companies report things.

This was a developing story that many people were interested in because the President was involved. The news value of celebrity was obviously the driving factor here. Because of this the media reported every single update. This article, though it is a NY Times length article gives a good overview of what happened, what was reported/what is most likely true at this stage, and some reasons why this will affect Twitter as well as other companies that use contractors. I found some of the new information on Twitters previous scrutiny because it gives a whole new dynamic to the reaction to this particular incident. Honestly I didn’t care about Trump’s Twitter being deleted, especially since it was only down for 11 minutes, but I did care about the fact that someone could decide to delete an account. Finding out more about Twitters situation was a more interesting story for me and they needed the celebrity angle to make this newsworthy because I found the prank’s general conceit troubling but not interesting enough to read about but I found it funny that someone did it to Trump therefore I clicked on the story.

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