(*disclaimer: this post had a point when I started it, but I got to rambling and I lost direction on it. I can't remember what the end product was going to be..maybe something that happened this weekend... I don't know....sorry!)
Here at the paper, we work a week ahead. For example, even though today is May 17, we're writing for our May 28th issue.
My boss man says it's the working so far ahead of ourselves that make the weeks fly by -- we're always looking ahead, never back. There's just no time for it.
The weeks fly by in this job. Monday through Wednesday are spent gathering info and Thursday and Friday are spent writing and editing.
I never thought I would have a job where I wake up on a Friday morning shocked to find the end of the week is here...again...already!
And while the clock moves rather quickly, so does the entire editorial staff. I am in awe of what we can turn out in a week! (If you're a Twitter-er, you can now follow our whole staff on Twitter! To find all of us, check out www.twitter.com/AgNews and then look for all of our pretty faces under "followers"... and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @AgNews_Cole)
Once we get our office copies of the week's finished product -- full of stories that we've all written like over a week ago -- it is such a thrill to flip through the pages and remember where I've been or what I've seen.
Every new issue of AgriNews is like opening a present.
When I started this job four and a half years ago, I had no idea just how much I didn't know. (That statement isn't a typo, but you might have to read it twice to "get" what I'm saying here.)
I grew up in the country. My family farms a few hundred acres -- not much by today's standards. I was a 10 year 4-Her and showed beef cattle and pigs. I earned my American Degree through FFA, served as a chapter and district officer. I graduated from Purdue's College of Agriculture.
I'm about as all-American, tomboy, country-chick as you can imagine.
But when I applied for...and somehow managed to get... this job, I had NO idea what I was in for. I thought I knew about agriculture and had a grip on everything it entails... boy, was I wrong.
I often joke that my background was enough qualification to get me the job and I'm still learning how to do it.
I have met SOOOOOOO many people and learned about SOOOOO many things from feeding cattle a steady diet of cast off pizza crust to making red hots from scratch. I have gotten to see the law making system work! That sounds so dull, but it is really cool.
I have learned enough that I can carry on an intelligent conversation and not feel like a goober. Again, if you aren't a reporter, that might make you say, "huh?" But when you are interviewing someone and you can demonstrate that you understand what they are saying, they more like to keep talking.
I have had folks send me thank you letters (and even a gift basket with chocolates in it one time -- thank you A Taste of Indiana! They make awesome arrangements and sell all kinds of goodies Made in Indiana! Very Cool!)
And I've had folks send me letters that aren't fun to read -- including a guy who told me he was ashamed to read I was a Boilermaker! (What the heck is up with that?!!)
But I still love this job.
You wanna know a secret, though? (Hey boss man, stop reading here....)
I really don't care for writing.
I failed a research paper in middle school and it scarred me for life. It was the only assignment in my life I failed. And it was a research paper -- and now I write shorter versions of research papers by the boatload in the form of newspaper articles! Oh, the irony!!
BUT -- I do LOVE to talk to people and I LOVE to hear everyone else's stories and I LOVE ...I mean LOVE when I am interviewing someone and they say to me, "yes, Whitney. That's it. You get it. You understand what I'm saying."
ahhhhhhhh..... it's like the angels sing.. it's like a breath of fresh air! That is music to my ears!
So, if I have to do a little writing as a trade off in order to keep traveling the Hoosier state and meeting people and hearing their stories and learning about things like alfalfa that covers its entire stem with little hairs to prevent aphids .... I'M IN!
I have been on a couple of fun adventures for work lately, but I'd rather not write about them until they are live on the Web site so I can direct you straight to them. Oh! I can't wait to tell you all about it!
Sorry there aren't any pictures amid this rambling, but I've got some good ones to show you coming up soon, I promise!
Until the next adventure...