Most of my past summers were spent pool side, reading novels and maintaining my gingerbread doll tan.
This summer, however, the only tan I got was from the glow of the newsroom's fluorescent lights. I didn't sleep in, went to bed earlier than I did in high school and made Diet Coke my version of morning coffee. When I complained of getting up early and being pale my mom would kindly but bluntly reply, "Welcome to adulthood."
When I started my first day of work at the beginning of the summer, I was rather nervous. I worked here in the mornings last summer, but I had never worked all day. I was scared of answering the phone because I just knew that I wouldn't know what to say to the person on the other line. I felt so awkward doing interviews (and sometimes even still do), especially with people I didn't know. I am not a fan of new things and that's the only word there is to describe my tasks. Now that I've finally got it down somewhat, it's time to go again.
Rather than the red ink pen that was my enemy in high school on the Barker staff, it was the words "jb -- with questions" and words highlighted red on my computer screen that were my demise. I've seen those words (and color) less throughout the summer, which makes me hope that my writing has improved at least a little bit and it isn't that Ms. Jill is just tired of dealing with my same mistakes. But from Ms. Ginger's help on Looking Back in Time to Scott's advice on press releases, everyone in the newsroom has been so helpful (and probably sometimes patient) with me. There's nowhere else in Sikeston I would have rather spent my summer.
I feel like I can't write about my summer at the newspaper without mentioning Tim Jaynes. I went with Tim the first time I was actually "on assignment" a couple weeks ago, covering a story on the new helicopter pads that were placed around New Madrid County. I listened to him talk about what positions his son, Morgan, would probably play on the football team in a few years and how he got started here at the paper at about the same age I am now. Tim had a passion for everything he did, and I hope I can show even a fraction of that in whatever I do, whether it's journalism or not.
Well, the columns, Faurot Field and unfortunately Ellis Library are calling my name. My "how I spent my summer vacation" story probably isn't the most exciting, I can definitely talk about how much I learned. I am ready to head back, but when I sneeze at school and no one laughs or says, "Was that really a sneeze?" I probably won't know what to do with myself, thanks to everyone in the newsroom.
I've had so much fun writing this column every week, and I hope y'all have enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.