When you spend a lot of time psyching yourself up for something — as I did, before my two-week work/study at the Globe and Mail — it’s kind of discombobulating to come out the other end.
On my last day, as I stepped into the crisp November air, I couldn’t help but say out loud, “So … that’s it then?”
It’s incredible how quickly 14 work days can whiz by.
I’m only starting to process some of the lessons I learned — which are numerous considering the brevity of the experience — but I already have a clearer picture of the skills I have and the ones I need to sharpen.
(Here’s an example: It’s a skill to be able to diplomatically ask a question over and over and over again until you actually get an answer. Awkward, perhaps, but you either get the key information or exhaust all your options. Sometimes the answer is that there is no answer, in which case you find out why that is.)
Each day was filled with variety. I filed details from the scene of a fire on my iPhone, I learned about different breeds of goat, I interviewed academics, politicians and CEOs, and I also had frequent opportunities to meet the big names behind the bylines.
Okay, I have to admit to chickening out when John Stackhouse ventured from Toronto to an area roughly five steps away from my desk. I had this mental image of strolling up to him with an outstretched hand – “Mr. Stackhouse, what a pleasure — I, sir, am your B.C. intern.” … but by the time I thought of something less doofy to say, he was nowhere in sight.
There’s a lesson! “Relax – people be people.” (That eloquent slang is courtesy of my younger brother.)
One of the most interesting challenges was to write about issues as opposed to events. Although it was difficult to come to grips with the complexities of things like shelter system in Vancouver or needle management in B.C., this practicum was a wonderful reminder of just how much I’m going to be learning while wearing my press hat.
It seems like a wealth of accumulated knowledge just spills out of great reporters, and social trends just auto-compute in their brains. Egad! I want that sheen of experience . . .
So, final thought then: I’m grateful that I got to try things out at the Globe for two weeks. Sure, I’m quite behind in all of my classes, but I’ve come out ahead in many other important ways. It reminds me of when my dad saw me reading the Ontario driver’s manual and handed me the car keys.
“Let’s just go for a spin. That’ll teach you.”
Well said, dad. Well said.
Now, for the files, here are some stories I wrote in my second week:
Fabiola Carletti. Globe and Mail Update. Published Friday, Nov. 26, 2010 8:23PM EST. Last updated Friday, Nov. 26, 2010 8:28PM EST …
Nov 26, 2010… have been picked up – although 300 needles were collected by city staff in Kelowna parks between March and October. Fabiola Carletti …
Police identify charred human remains found in Surrey ravine. Fabiola Carletti. Globe and Mail Update. Published Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010 8:38PM EST …
FABIOLA CARLETTI. Vancouver— Globe and Mail Update. Published Wednesday, Nov. 24 , 2010 2:20PM EST. Last updated Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010 4:30AM EST …
FABIOLA CARLETTI. From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail. Published Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010 9:13PM EST. Last updated Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010 10:53PM EST …