Tuesday, September 20, 2005
All You Need Is Love
Here's what I ate for dinner tonight: I've not had time to go to the store for lettuce...so I had to improvise. I can't eat a sammich without something crunchy on it. So here you go (and I can imagine coming to a blog and seeing what someone ate for dinner...it all has a point, trust me): On a toasted honey wheat bagel I added: A few slices of turkey A few slices of tamayta (tomato - for the humorless) Some snow peas - still in the pod - of course A sprinkling of shredded cheese A dollop of ranch dressing 3 basil leaves It is the oddest sammich I have ever made. I made it out of desperation. It was already almost 8 o'clock . And I usually try not to eat dinner past seven. The best part about the sammich? I don't care how odd it was or that it tasted...well unlike anything I'd ever had. I loved it. I'll even tell you why. I shouldn't be blogging right now, because I have entirely too much to do...(I've even shut my phone off...) but I just have to anyway. I've been working on a sample news story for my school's paper. It's a sample to see if I can score a gig writing for them on a semi-regular basis, and it's kind of a big deal. Getting this spot would mean more experience, and I could finally start building a portfolio of clips that will help me in getting jobs at newspapers in the future. If I were to get this spot, I'd get my foot in the first of what will be several important doors. So I'm sort of immersed in that right now. And the crapload of homework due in the next few days. Meanwhile, things aren't going too well at work. I'm loaded with things to do and working my ass off - and for the first time - not arguing with my boss. But I also have a feeling something bad...or at least turbulent (as in...how am I going to make rent this month turbulent) is about to happen. Soon. So today I was busy adding and working and editing copy, while interviewing the Academic Advisor in charge of the program I would be attending and writing about, emailing the Department Chair of the Computer Science Department and responding to emails of several others I contacted while trying to brush up on everything else I needed to know, without a clue as to how I would work this story. My mind got real crowded, real fast. It became filled with names, dates, bills due, words to fix and tweak, deadlines, homework assignments, my mental balance sheet and even one 'wait...I am wearing a bra...right!?' moment. My interviewing skills need a lot of help. As I listened to the advisor for twenty minutes, I furiously scribbled - not only missing half of what she'd just said - but forgetting what it was I asked her in the first place. And it only got worse... When I got to campus and finally met all the advisors and panel members face to face - I'd forgotten my own name. Seriously. When one asked me how to say my last name, I didn't even recognize it. Then, when the Department Chair said "I'm sorry about the long email I sent you." I answered with, "Oh it's okay, I read it and everything." Way to go...English major. Later, when someone asked me what research I'd done so far, I forgot the Department Chair's name. Which was on a name plate. Right in front of him. On the table that was right in front of me. Then, standing in front of three different Liberal Arts & Sciences advisors, when asked the name of my own Advisor - I drew a complete blank. I envisioned myself in a church basement with a Styrofoam cup of coffee, sitting in a circle. Hi my name is Jessica. I'm an idiot. I'll just go sit by the guy who keeps crying to himself and is rocking back and forth...really pay no attention. Then, when I thought all was over, on my way to the car I met up with a friend. I was talking to her about a mutual friend's boyfriend...and completely forgot his name. As she kept speaking to me, I forgot her name, while trying to remember the boyfriend's name. When I do a mental check off of all the things that should be sending me to a padded room complete with straight jacket - I am eerily calm. The first lesson of a journalist is to be prepared. Do your research. Know what you're talking about before you interview. Do the leg work. I failed miserably. I didn't know anything when I interviewed anyone. I had no idea how a college even worked. I stuttered, I sounded like an idiot and I got a lot of looks from people who I imagine were saying to themselves "must be a special-ed paper..." But I didn't care. I had so much fun. I didn't care that I failed the first responsibility of being a journalist. It was like scraping your knees while trying a wheelie for the first time. It stung at the time, but it's fun and you do it again. Trophy scars? Is that what they call them? I'm in love with what I do... And it means not caring that the sammich you have to eat for dinner is a homeless creation. Or that you're loading up on caffeine so you can stay up long enough to get not enough sleep and be groggy for hours in the morning. It means not caring that your laundry is starting to pile up. It means being excited. All the time. It means that even if I don't get this spot as a writer for the paper...if I don't get my foot in this door...I know I'll bounce back. Because I did get my foot in there for a minute...and I love it so much that it's all I need to know that I'll make it. Eventually.