All posts tagged: SHFW

For my Fall 2010 semester of college, I worked a reporting internship for the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire in Washington, D.C. This collection of posts documents my first foray away from home, as a reporter in the big, bad city.

Busy Work

So much for weekly entries. In all reality, I haven’t done anything super exciting or covered any particularly sensational stories lately. Most of the last couple of weeks have been spent finishing this story about community involvement in redistricting next year. I got a crash course in the process and learned all about how people can submit their own maps so they can make sure their own rights and interests are protected. It was one of those complex topics that made me feel alternately brain dead and fascinated. The high stakes of the process was interesting; these districts will influence elections for the next 10 years. The volume of information and level of involvement in the process made it feel almost overwhelming at times. I was relieved when I finished, but I’d hate to have this knowledge and background work go to waste after this story. I’m hoping to be able to keep following this story on the local level when I get home for a local news outlet. Beyond that, I had my first …

Nothing like a cemetery to cheer you up

Arlington National Cemetery There was a “One Nation Working Together” rally Saturday on the Mall, and I absolutely wanted nothing to do with it. I avoid dense crowds and large gatherings of people at all costs. I had no idea what I wanted to do yesterday when I woke up. I just knew I wanted to stay as far away from the Mall as possible. I ended up at Arlington National Cemetery. I got there  late in the afternoon, so I didn’t get to see much.  I did get to see Kennedy’s gravesite and the Tomb of the Unknowns. The ceremony of the Honor Guard was the most elaborate thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not one to stand on ceremony. I try to stay barefoot as much as possible and just do things without much fanfare. The Changing of the Guard was about a 15-minute ceremony where the guard on duty is replaced by a new one. The relief commander comes out to announce to the crowd that the ceremony is about to begin and …

How to survive your first trip to DC

Mom and Dad’s first Metro ride. Their expressions say it all. If you’re visiting DC for the first time, there are somethings you need to keep in mind. First, if you’re claustrophobic and don’t like crowds, don’t take the train. Second, check for scheduled maintenance on the Metro line on the weekend. It could keep you standing on a crowded train for an hour if you’re not careful. (There is a wonderful Android app for that.) Third, exercise before you come here. If you’re not used to walking, you won’t survive here more than a few hours. Last weekend, my parents, brother and cousin made their first trip out to DC and learned these lessons the hard way. I think they’re all still recovering from the experience. The Washington Monument at sunset. My dad is the claustrophobic one. He really hates crowds, doesn’t like to be in large groups of people and gets kind of freaked out in small spaces. I was kind of impressed on how he dealt with the train. I was actually …

Well, this just sucks.

I’m the daughter of a die-hard Reds fan. I grew up listening to Marty and Joe call games on WLW and hated every second of it. I didn’t understand the game and it was a sport, therefore for boys only. It wasn’t until I was 18 or 19 that I actually watched a game from beginning to end and was hooked. For the next couple of years I lived and died with Reds wins and losses … mostly dying. The start of each season brought new hope that that would be the year the Reds finally win it all. Then I went back to school. Even thought I didn’t take summer classes, it was just too difficult to watch every single game. Besides, it got kind of old being known as the girl who always carried around a radio and earbuds so she can listen to the games wherever she happened to be. So I guess I haven’t paid my dues as much as some other people, but I’m still upset that out of all …

Lessons Learned

Ugh. The Cart. (I stole this from Elvia’s Facebook!) I’m falling into my old habits again, but I promise I have good excuses this time! However, I should have posted Sunday after my shopping excursion with Elvia, one of my roommates. Before I got to DC I wondered how in the world I’d grocery shop. I like to go on Sunday to get everything I need for the week so I don’t have to think about it anymore. At home, I go to the store, load up my cart, transport it to my car and take it home. But there’s one vital thing missing from that formula here: my car. Now, I suppose I could carry the bags back home. But then my fingers would probably be bleeding before I got back and my arms would be disjointed from my shoulders. So someone invented carts. Not like grocery carts, just small, squarish carts you can use to put your bags in and wheel back home. Problem solved, right? Ha ha, no. Try wheeling that thing …

Past the Print

Fountain at Freedom Plaza Waaaaaaay back when I first joined the staff of The Northerner a few of the editors started blogging. I say started because I only remember one blog having one entry and then they kinda just died. The one blog I remember was the editor in chief’s, titled “Past the Print.” In it, she would talk about some of the things that happened in the newsroom while we were creating an issue or something interesting about a story that didn’t make it through the editing process. Or at least that was the intent of the blog. Like I said, there was only one entry. For example, if she had covered the rally at Freedom Plaza about distracted driving, she would have included in her blog that a fire alarm went off at the National Press Club just as the rally was starting and that the looks of disappointment on the organizers faces were priceless. They were already getting discouraged because few people had arrived. The fire turned out to be a false …

Mama said there’ll be days like this

I’m swallowing a lot of pride to write this blog. I would much rather forget about most of today, but it just doesn’t seem right to only talk about the good moments of the trip. Besides, in the end, I did finally get  a byline. It’s been exactly a year today since I wrote a news story. (I did write a few PR stories late last year.) So I covered a Congressional hearing this morning about the Universal Service Reform Act, which was written to bring broadband service to rural areas, among other things. My first draft of the story was awful. And I knew it. I couldn’t even tell you what I was thinking when I turned it in, but I did. And Jody, my editor, kicked it back out to me. Shame and embarrassment just about cover how I felt at her desk. I knew I could do a lot better than that first draft. So I rewrote the story. The second time around it took some minor edits and we reworked my …

Epic Fail

Today was supposed to be the day I got my first byline. But the force just wasn’t with me. The first problem came when I got to the event and realized that what I thought was going to be something about preparing for retirement was actually a group advocating the Social Security system. So my original story was blown out of the water. I spent the rest of my afternoon trying to get in touch with Senators and retirement experts. No one called me back. (Big surprise there.) I finally just called it quits around four and started getting ready for another story tomorrow. There are a couple of events happening later in the month in conjunction with Social Security and retirement. I’ll keep an eye on them and maybe the legwork I did today will come in handy. I’m taking another stab at a story tomorrow. I have a House Committee meeting tomorrow morning about making broadband cover the nation. We’ll see how this one goes.

Officially Official

Capitol Building My feet are dying. I knew that all the walking around DC was going to be gruesome. But I thought I prepared for it. I carefully bought and broke in my shoes. And then I got here and realized that my pointy-toe black flats just aren’t going to work, no matter how comfortable they were back home. I have blisters on eight out of 10 toes tonight and my brown flats are going to be my mainstay until I get new black shoes. I don’t care if they don’t match my outfit. We did do a lot of walking today though. We went to The Hill and got our press passes and Jody, our ringleader/editor/manager, took us on a tour of the House and the Senate. She showed us where the press galleries and a plethora of other rooms were, but I sincerely doubt I remember how to get to any of it. That building is one big, beautiful maze. There is at least one cursed stairwell in the capitol, at least for …