Stepping out of the Missourian

There are so many things to say about this class. It has honestly made me the most frustrated I have been in a long, long time. The first week I wanted to jump off the deck, sometimes I still feel like that, too. But it has also been a good experience.  A test of patience–which I must admit is something I probably need to work on. A test of tolerance. A lesson on when to say your opinion and when to keep your mouth shut. A lesson on politeness, and how that old stupid saying you win more bees with honey than vinegar is actually one of the most appropriate little sayings for the field of journalism than any other.

There are certainly things I am proud of and things I wish I had done a little different. One thing I tried very hard to focus on this session for class was the idea  not to be selfish with my ideas because if I let other people in on them, I can make them better usually. And if people tell me they are bad, chances are the idea I have next will be even better. I’ve tried to apply that to my writing as well as my reporting. Sometimes it hurts to get your ideas shot down or stolen or whatever else might happen. But it’s necessary.

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All in all I think this semester has taught me a lot about what is important to me. It has also been a lesson in learning about what more exactly I want to do. I don’t think I fit into a daily newspaper very well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t think I fit in as a reporter. I love reporting, and I love asking questions and talking to people and learning about things I didn’t know about before I started.

It was a good experience, and I’m glad I did it during the summer rather than during the school year. I don’t know how people survive that, really.

Learning to understand the people around me really helped me stay sane during this class. Sometimes if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it all was another one of those mom-isms that really came in handy. Because sometimes my opinion just isn’t needed. Although I do wish I had spoken up a bit more during the year.

During a final report today, my editor Liz told me that she wishes I would have spoken up a bit more about what I wanted. This was really strange for me. Normally in my personal life I feel like I make things known if I want them. But once she said that I realized that I really do struggle with talking about what I want out of things, I just sort of try to find out or guess what everyone else wants to make them happy. Which isn’t necessarily a bad quality, I think, but sometimes it is important to speak up for what you want before it passes you by. I wish I could say I have actually done this, but I don’t think I really did speak up about that much during this class. I kind of just assumed this class wasn’t about what I wanted, it was more about what other people wanted me to do. I think I struggle with this moderation of telling people what I want and learning when to step back and just do what others want because I normally do have such a strong pull in my own life about doing what I want, because I don’t usually let others tell me what to do. In fact, many times I have to do things solely because someone told me that I can’t or couldn’t.

I guess that’s why I feel I did so well in this class, because it was one of the few times where I actually just did what others told me to do a lot of the times. Of course this was probably one instance where I probably could have let my inner ‘go-doer’ come out a bit though, so maybe I could have gotten my hands on a few more centerpieces.

I would have loved to take on a lot more challenging pieces, and that is something I wish I would have done.

It’s very strange to think that two years ago I had never even considered going into journalism at all. And then when I wanted to take a class in high school, they didn’t even offer it anymore. I had my sights set on such different things and I struggled with being able to pick one concentration. That’s why I ended up picking journalism because I do feel like it is the ‘everything’ major. Yes, mainly it focuses on writing and reporting, but in the end you get to learn about so many different things and you don’t have to choose. That’s why I like journalism, and I suppose that’s why I guess I am drawn to the book publishing industry as well. Because you’re constantly learning and you don’t have to necessarily pick what your “major” is.

All in all, this experience if I had to describe it in one word would be HARD.

It was hard from the beginning. It was hard to make a decision to not move home for the summer, not to be with my friends, not to have a fun summer job, to miss out on being with my family, to miss out on staying up late, to miss out on sleeping in late for sure and just to almost grow up (if only for a few hours a day) as I stepped into the newsroom each morning and did the same work professionals were doing.

It was hard to constantly feel not good enough and to listen to others and sometimes feel that I wouldn’t ever do anything right.

But sometimes it was worth it, if not only for Liz telling me I inspired her, or John saying, “Well you didn’t leave me with any questions, that’s for sure,” or Liz calling me to tell me she would edit me because I was feeling frustrated and no one would help or finally just for that approving grunt that John made one time when he was editing one of my stories. If nothing else for making a good friend.

I suppose it’s the little things that make the big things happen.

 

It’s us against the man

Yesterday I covered a meeting about a new CVS that wants to open up downtown, which would demolish three old buildings. One of these building currently houses McAdams’ Ltd. Fine Jewelry. It felt to me like a classic part of history, where big corporations shut down smaller local businesses. To further play into the stereotype the man representing CVS was a lawyer wearing a business suit who introduced himself with a firm handshake and a business card. He even answered a question with, “I know, but I’m not allowed to say.”

Like hello big bad stereotype coming to demolish the building that houses the local store owned by an older woman, which has been in business for 40 years. I felt like I was helping to play a role in the pre-Wall-E era, or if not playing a role, just sitting by and watching it happen.

After the meeting, the lawyer was fine with talking to me, but the owner of the shop said she didn’t want to be quoted in the paper and just wanted to go about this quietly.

I went back to the newsroom and used what I had to write up a story. Since she was at a public meeting, I could use her quotes from there.

As I walked out of the newsroom afterwards though, I wondered if I had just lost her chance at winning this fight she was silently preparing. I felt bad about it. I guess there’s nothing I can really do about it though, except hope that more awareness about the situation actually helps her cause rather than hurt it.

I personally am only concerned because I’m a horrible driver and I hate hate hate traffic restrictions that don’t let you turn left because they really only should be in use during peak traffic times, but half the time I run to a store like that it’s at weird times in the day, when making a left would be completely fine.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the story, and I think it was one of my best at the Missourian yet. Next up: Boone County Fair stories!