I can’t believe that I have hardly written on this blog this semester. It’s like time just decided to grow it’s own feet and run as fast as it could away from me. I will enjoy the day when I am able to reflect on the things I do, as well as do them. I think that is going to be one of my projects to work on: practice doing a lot of things, but still taking the time to reflect back on how well they are being done.
That being said, I am nearly finished with my internship with the Kalamazoo Gazette. It is crazy to think of all of the new things that I have learned just in my 20 hours a week there. I am no longer intimidated to speak with people, okay well maybe I am still a little but, but that’s natural right? No, before I had like a downright anxiety filled fear to speak with people, but now I just do it. It’s a work in progress like everything else, but I think that is one of the greatest skills I have gained through this internship.
Every week I get to talk to really interesting people and some really funny people. Like last week Mark Bugnaski went off and photographed a “Kitchen Band” at Friendship Village, and I got to interview 87-year-old Kay Snider, who aside from my 106-year-old great-grandmother, is one of the funniest people I have ever spoken to. I will never forget the day she told me about a banjo made out of cans–otherwise known as a “canjo.” Probably one of the funniest interviews I have ever done. To read the story, click here. It’s the little things like that that just make my day, week and the front page of the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Speaking of the front page, I know that it’s something that I probably shouldn’t get so excited about being in the digital age and all, but there is nothing like picking up a physical copy of the paper and seeing your byline beneath a big heading on the front page of the paper. It’s something that I will probably never get over, well maybe eventually, but I hope when I look back at this blog post I can remember the way having an article in the paper made me get excited and happy. I hope the feeling never goes away.
One thing that is still nerve-wracking to me is police stories. They are some of the most basic stories to do because the point is to just get the facts out, just story-telling at it’s most basic level, but if you think back to some of the police stories you hear or read, they can get pretty complicated, and hard to word appropriately. But like everything else, it is something that I am always working to improve on.
I wish that this internship would never end because every hour I spend there I learn something new or I get better at something I already did decently. That’s what I love about journalism as a career: there is always room for growth. All throughout my life I have always said that the one thing I know I am good at is school, and journalism is kind of like school. You are always learning, seeking information, writing something and have to have it done by a certain date. I think deep down I always knew what I was going to end up doing, and this is it!
I have had so many journalists, family members and just people in general tell me to change careers, that I should rethink my future. While I fully agree with having a back-up plan, why would I ever want to give up something that I enjoy doing so much? It’s hard work sure, and maybe it won’t be everything I expect when I graduate, but if this internship is any indicator of the future, then I am so utterly excited for my career I don’t know if I will ever be able to quit. I think that is what sets me apart from other people: even if I am not the greatest at something, I will work my butt off to bring to the table something that is worthy. I will make mistakes, but I will make sure to do everything that I need to bring a great product. I never quit, no matter what!
With only a few weeks left at the Gazette, I think it is appropriate to say thank you to everyone there. You guys have taught me so much in the very short amount of time I have been there. I got to be a part of a wonderful late night of election coverage where I watched school board races just waiting for those numbers to change (and ate pizza of course!). I got to sit throughout the day and just be handed stories, where I can make them what I want, but always have somebody to help me. I learned what it is like to be truly busy, and I am not talking about myself, I am talking about the editors and the reporters who all day everyday are interviewing, writing what seems like hundreds of stories and trying to remember to breathe. It’s amazing the work that I see going on everyday to bring those hard-hitting stories, but also the creativity of everyone to bring fun stories. I have learned that to be a successful news team there has to be communication, motivation and meetings (lots of meetings!). It has literally been the most rewarding and exciting experience of my entire life.
So on that note, here is the short version MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette staff: Thank you and I would love to be a part of the team in the future.